Revolution #239, July 17, 2011
From a reader:
Promoting BAsics—from below—at YouTube
The last issue of Revolution (#238) included a call for people to record and send in videos of their favorite quotes from BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian. The idea, as the article explained, is that these videos will get collected (see info at the end of this letter), and posted at YouTube, to help create a buzz online about the book, the man, and the revolution he is leading.
I’ve got some thoughts on this project, and how important it could be.
First, let’s all step back and think seriously about what we’ve got with this book—the potential it holds on so many different levels, including this book being a way for people to meet Bob Avakian, to get a powerful distillation of his 35 years of work as a pathbreaking revolutionary, and to see the possibility of a whole different kind of world, and how to get there.
Now, read the letters in this week’s Get In, Get Out, Get Connected column—this is a glimpse of the power of this book.
What we have with this YouTube project is a chance to amplify and magnify the impact of BAsics. To do it right, we need all kinds of voices sharing their favorite quotes from BAsics—a whole range of voices, comin’ up from the underground—projecting the exciting and unpredictable breadth of the movement for revolution that we are building. Bringing out of the shadows people who are attracted to this book on one level or another, from one angle or another.
There are videos up now at YouTube of Carl Dix, Herb Boyd, Rev. Earl Kooperkamp, and Nicholas Heyward Sr. reading quotes from BAsics. Their voices are precious and will compel people to listen up, all the more so as other voices are added to the set list at YouTube. Watch them yourself at youtube.com/knowthebasics1.
Never underestimate the power of the truth—and in particular the truth coming from the mouths and from the hearts of those who have seen some of the ugly reality behind this so-called “best of all possible worlds.” As people see others like themselves reading these quotes, and as they see people very different than themselves reading them, they will get a deeper perspective on what this book means to people, and a more multi-colored, multi-dimensional picture of the movement for revolution we are building. Getting these videos up is part of making it known that this revolution is REAL.
So, pick your own favorite quote from BAsics, practice it until you can read it clearly, and read it like you mean it. Get someone with a cell phone, or maybe a better camera, to record it as a video. Or, if you’re in a position to do so, get hold of a camera, set up a session, organize people to come, and record some of these videos.
You can do this even as you first introduce people to BAsics. There was an experience shared in Revolution where a student was handed BAsics—in a school cafeteria—found a quote on the spot that spoke to her deeply felt anger and aspirations. And then she practiced it, and read it out loud right then and there, with heart and power. Let people like that speak to the world through these videos. And let’s make sure there are videos of people reading BAsics in English and Lo BAsico en español.
The article in Revolution emphasized that we should make these videos in a way that protects people’s privacy. Pick a good spot to record the video, and, before you start recording, have a stack of hats, dark wrap-around glasses, bandanas, and so on. Get creative with things people can wear while they record their videos.
Then, the article in Revolution explained, “You can mail video files (in regular video file formats like MOV, WMV or AVI) on a flash drive to Revolution Books in New York City (address on page 15), or go to revcom.us/basics-videos for further instructions.” Or call Revolution Books for more info. I see at revcom.us that there will be advice later for those of you who can send in your videos digitally.
But don’t wait. Seize the time: Get your camera and help make this happen, right away.
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