There has been a curious twist in gaining the media’s attention and in public displays (usually of displeasure) by large masses of people away from large events (War, Famine, Disease, Repression) to a micro zeitgeist (seemingly a contradiction in terms) that directly affects one member of the community at a time. Of course, in reality the event is macro as we still respond first to the micro event – a policeman killing a black youth while trying to take that youth in custody leads to protests while the subtext which is also the main text is that there is a very tenuous level of trust between state sponsored authority figures and several racial minorities. The same is true regarding the murder of a police officer(s) which has led to large gatherings of support for the victim – a micro situation which is both the sub and major text for the tensions in many of our communities between the same state sponsored authority figures and various minorities.
The same sort of and level of attention of the micro zeitgeist can be seen in the protests and support of freeing an individual wrongfully convicted and incarcerated which in both its micro form and macro text is an indictment of inequities and wrong in our jurisprudence system. A nurse imprisoned because she tended to the sick overseas even though the nurse shows no signs or traces of the Ebola disease shows gross ignorance and politicization by local authorities.
We all have our resentments of authority whether it be from obtaining a speeding ticket while others whizz by, or the underinsured motorist who slams into the back of our unmoving car, to the individual who thinks it proper to cut in on line. It is both our empathy and share experiences of slights that open us to the world of protests. While much has been written about our desensitizing as our empathy overall seems to be shrinking it is possible that the one on one media focus can help turn this desensitized era around. http://www.examiner.com/article/is-social-media-reflecting-our-lack-of-empathy All of a sudden the “me” generation is reachable. Interestingly, it might be our personal experiences, each of our experiences in the micro zeitgeist, which will lead to change far more compelling than the great protest of the last forty years that I have been a part of.