The phrase began as the title to one of my student films, in which beautiful women were dressed as famous male revolutionaries. I played Che Guevera, and although my face was covered in the patchy beard of a guerilla soldier, my legs were still exposed beneath a camouflage mini skirt. Images of these hermaphroditic creatures, half super model, half dirt caked warrior, were layered with text from a manifesto that I had written for a cultural revolution. The initial concept had been inspired by the use of Che Guevera’s face to sell t-shirts to frat boys. Though at first it seemed ridiculous and frustrating, I realized that Che himself had begun his life as a clean cut son of the bourgeoisie. Maybe the recruits for the next cultural revolution are right under our noses.
My personal favorite cultural revolutionaries were the surrealists. They believed that art could be, and should be, created by all. They believed that art could change the world. And if none of that is revolutionary enough for you, they were just plain strange. They were weird and people noticed. And that changed things. Now nearly everyone has become culturally literate in the dream language of surrealism. As Jung might say, our collective unconscious has seen it all.
More than the startling curves of Dali’s surreal moustache, there was Kerouac’s hobo-chic. There was Warhol’s soup cans, and there was MTV. And now there’s this.
This revolution self published its manifestos using library copy machines and sharpie markers. This revolution dressed itself in its grandmother’s hand me downs. This revolution elected a black president with the help of graffiti artists. This revolution blogged, knitted, biked, designed, uploaded, downloaded, forwarded, recycled, repurposed, screen printed, and educated itself into existence.
We made the revolution, now all we have to do is sell it. Maybe all we have to do to change the world is be interesting. Maybe all we have to do is be cool.
And maybe use the internet.
Computers not only made nerds cool, they reinvented everything. The internet gave millions of people access to their 15 minutes of fame. Viral content spreads among us simply by the strength of its own virtues. Some of the richest and most powerful people in this world got to where they are not because they inherited their status from their ancient aristocratic blood lines, but because they had a really good idea and it worked. Bill Gates. Enough Said.
So here I am on the good ol’ world wide web, trying to sell my little piece of the cultural revolution pie. It’s nutritious, delicious, and pretty darn cool. Maybe even a little sexy, too.