"If you make a revolution, make it for fun, don't make it in ghastly seriousness."
Thus spake D.H. Lawrence in his 1929 poem, "A Sane Revolution." And thus began our December 2011 satire of Occupy Charlotte. Why did we quote Lawrence? Because, frankly, we felt the local movement needed a little levity.
Creative Loafing had covered Occupy Charlotte heavily from day one. Freelance reporter Rhiannon Fionn even camped out with protesters on the first night of the occupation in early October, and for the next three months spent many hours with the group. Fionn wrote news reports, blog entries and commentary. She attended meetings and uploaded documents for CL readers to see and inspect for themselves. She talked to anybody willing to offer an opinion or expert analysis on the topic.
Every day, sometimes several times a day and well into the night, Fionn filed updated bulletins. She captured the occupiers' voices on audio, interviewed them on video, spoke with Charlotte police and other city officials.
During the last three months of 2011, Rhiannon Fionn was the one journalist who positively owned coverage of the Occupy movement in Charlotte. Her work was comprehensive, informative, exciting — and serious. Deadly serious.
It was so serious that by December, we were getting a little fidgety here in the CL offices. This "We are the 99 percent" stuff was hugely important, but like Emma Goldman, we didn't want to be part of a revolution if we couldn't dance a little. We're Creative Loafing, fer chrissakes! We like to dance. We're in the dancing business.
So, for the cover of our "Occupy Yourself" spoof, we thought we'd dance our way straight into your revolutionary hearts. We sent up every cliche of a protester we could think of, from the bandana over the face to the red Che Guevara T-shirt under a blue hoodie. Inside, we offered our unapproved guide to making revolution in the Queen City, complete with tips on what to wear, what music to listen to, where to have coffee — even what kind of condoms a revolutionary should use.
Look, we're aware how important the Occupy movement was (and still is) in cities across the country. But as Lawrence and Goldman suggested during revolutions long past, activism is flat-out boring without a little humor.