A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action

We traveled to Graceland last year, and picked up a CD. 30 Elvis Number One Hits.


A seven-year old we know borrowed the CD. He had never heard about Elvis or heard an Elvis song. His favorite song?


It wasn’t Jailhouse Rock. It wasn’t Hound Dog. It wasn’t Heartbreak Hotel. It wasn’t Hardheaded Woman. It was none of the 30 Number One Hits.


It was the last song on the CD. It was the bonus song. Number 31: A Little Less Conversation.




A little less conversation, a little more action please
All this aggravation ain’t satisfactioning me
A little more bite and a little less bark


This is the seven year old’s favorite song. He plays it over and over and over.


This song came to mind after scanning the web and picking up the flood of writing and criticism about the state of the world. Here are three stories dated from yesterday, March 9:


In the New York Observer, Nicholas Von Hoffman writing about his son’s return from Iraq, in which he observes: “It is the incontestable truth that the politicians and news personalities who talk so blithely about war would adopt a different and more cautious tone in their advocacy of killing others were they to know that a degree of risk attaches to themselves and their own kith and kin should war ensue. It would be a more peaceful world if the law read that the children of every elected official and every TV news celebrity would immediately be drafted on the commencement of hostilities.”


A report out by the American Society for Civil Engineers, showing how our nation’s infrastructure is crumbling, as we spend billions overseas in wars of destruction.


In the Brown Daily Herald, a report on Seymour Hersh’s talk the day before at Brown University. “The problem is that George Bush is convinced he’s doing the right thing,” Hersh said. “It doesn’t matter how many body bags come back. At some level he thinks he’ll be vindicated. It doesn’t matter what we write, we can’t shape [Bush]. If you think it’s a little terrifying, it is. Other [presidents] felt the heat, this guy doesn’t.”


There’s just a non-stop flow of factual reporting and critical analysis. Those are three stories, just from yesterday. And we could deliver 50 more of equal quality and interest — just from yesterday.


It is all here at our fingertips. True, it doesn’t often make it onto the mainstream media. But click a button and there you have it. It is all right there. Available to anyone with access to the Internet.


The concentrated corporate mass media is the primary source of information for most citizens in the United States. But the fact remains that we have access to every news outlet and web site in the world. We can communicate instantaneously with anyone we wish. There is a flood of quality information and informed criticism, more than we can use.


We can’t keep up with it. You can’t keep up with it. We are drowning. You are drowning.


We know this may sound strange coming from two writers who spend most of their time researching and writing and contributing to the flood. But someone has to come up for air and scream: It’s not making any difference!


Or as Hersh put it — “It doesn’t matter what we write. … Other presidents feel the heat, this one doesn’t.” To which we would add — other politicians feel the heat, these don’t.


As a citizenry outraged by this war in Iraq, and the possibility of wars against Syria and Iran, we must ask ourselves: will the flood of information break the dam? Or are we deluding ourselves into thinking that information matters?


Shouldn’t we be spending less time writing and more time organizing? We can’t predict. But we suspect this:


We are at a tipping point. Bush can be pushed over. And we know for sure that Elvis wasn’t talking about politics. But his advice holds true for the here and now:


A little less conversation. A little more action.


 Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter, <http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com>. Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Multinational Monitor, <http://www.multinationalmonitor.org>. Mokhiber and Weissman are co-authors of On the Rampage: Corporate Predators and the Destruction of Democracy (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press).



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Focus on the Corporation is a weekly column written by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman. Please feel free to forward the column to friends or repost the column on other lists. If you would like to post the column on a web site or publish it in print format, we ask that you first contact us ([email protected] or [email protected]).

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