A friend, after a depressingly detailed lunchtime conversation about the current state of American affairs, begged me to tell her one positive thing. I promised I would, and bought time by heading to the bathroom to think of something. I smiled when I got back to the booth and spun out this idea.
We’d both been lamenting the lack of a community of fellow actors to interact with. The isolation one feels in the social media echo chamber can defeat all thoughts of positive group action. This is partly by design: demoralized individuals in their private echo chambers are unlikely to act in concert in the face of tyrannies small or large. How about this idea? I asked.
I go to my local library and speak to the person in charge of assigning the public room there. They have language lessons, computer classes and book clubs there. I’d propose to run a six week animation workshop open to all ages. I’d show her my thirty second demo on my fancy new phone. Children must be accompanied by an adult (one adult per three kids) senior citizens are cordially invited along with anyone else who likes interactive creative play. Session one everyone signs in, animating their name and learning the basics. For session two, we animate various emotions, using faces and body language. The remaining four sessions are devoted to producing a group message to the people in power.
“Ooh, I like that….” said my friend.
I agreed it was kind of subversive, having a group of random strangers acting in concert to make an animated one minute message to the unaccountable powers that be. I already have all the materials and equipment packed up and ready to carry over to any room the local library can spare. How about if we produce something really moving, narrated by children and old people? The library puts it up on its website. Say it goes viral?
“That’s a great idea. Are you going to do it?” she asked.
“Probably not,” I said, stating the obvious.