MC Yogi’s Take on Political Change Almost as Silly as His Name

“I truly believe that through celebration, through good vibes, good feelings, being friendly, kind, this is the energy and power that’s gonna change the political landscape. It’s not about beating, or fighting, or banging against the wall.” —MC Yogi

Well, MC Yogi. Thanks for invalidating the struggles of oppressed people the entire world over.

Sorry, Jesus

Sorry, Arjuna….

Sorry, Guru Gobind Singh….

Sorry, Geronimo….

Sorry, Revolutionary War reenactors…

Sorry, Spanish resistance to French invasion

Sorry, Nelson Mandela….

Sorry, lil’ Black Panthers

Sorry, American Indian Movement….

Sorry, tiny lil’ Zapatista women….

Sorry, Gulabi Gang

I don’t know, MC Yogi. Perhaps it takes a more inclusive vision of what constitutes viable means of resistance to make a change….

Thank God, for good ol’ complicated Rage Against the Machine who were always good at inspiring that

PS- We will discuss the effects of the hugely popular above RATM videos as a means of peaceful protest in an upcoming post.

PSS- Dear, MC Yogi. If you are reading this, please email us your mailing address and we will send you a copy of this book free of charge:

In the spirit of giving our love away.

____________________

Thanks to Be Scofield for passing along the MC Yogi video.

28 comments

  1. Paula

    Lol! Just be nice to the man, little woman, and we’ll give you the vote and equal pay and protection from domestic violence. Sure thing, man.

  2. Dyspeptic Skeptic

    This is the same pollyanna ethos that is prevalent in the yoga world.

  3. Linda-Sama

    and don’t forget those women who went on hunger strikes and tied themselves to the White House fence to get the vote. idiot.

  4. Yoga Whelp

    Changing the world – and your pants – one smelly, Lulu-enhanced asana fart at a time.

  5. gross

    can’t even get past 1:09 . barf. gross. what is worse than listening to him is the fact that some of those wanderlusters think he has something to say.

  6. “Love and Light” = complacent fuckwit

  7. Hugely gratifying.

    While we’re at it, can we discuss this democratic YogaVotes “intention” of getting “everyone to vote their hearts”? Actually, no. It does not help support the oppressed if more people who feel Romney is their “truth” go to the polls. Civil rights, peace and general welfare are not advanced when undemocratic impulses (regressive immigration laws and taxes structures, regressive definitions of marriage, regressive abortion legislation) are the the platform of the ruling party. People who feel Mitt Romney in their hearts should not vote.

    Jurisprudence (Baba, I bet you rock the John Rawls, eh?) distinguishes between procedural and distributive justice. Yoga Votes is mistakes the former for the latter.

    But the democratic procedure (disenfranchized Republicans going to the polls) would lead to ACTUALLY UNDEMOCRATIC EFFECTS (distribuitive injustice).

    It’s not a good thing if everyone votes their hearts when the majority of a body politics holds undemocratic beliefs. Awkward, I know. But it’s better for the continued growth of democracy if certain people do not vote their hearts.

    • I agree with nearly everything stated above–but determining, because one feels like it, that a certain group of people “should not vote” is about as regressive as it gets. Encouraging others NOT to vote is the most undemocratic behavior that exists, even if–especially if–those “others” disagree with you. I will not support Willard Romney (It’s hard enough for me to type his name), and I encourage everyone I know not to support him. But as much as I cannot stand to hear the man’s voice, I respect that it must, in fact, be heard.

      It is absolutely acceptable to espouse beliefs that are contrary to those of the Republican Party, and to encourage others to espouse them with you. I do it all the time, and it used to be my job when I was a progressive political journalist. But in politics, your vote is your voice. It is one thing to make your voice (vote) known in the plural chorus of democracy; it is quite another to condemn everyone else to silence so you can belt out the solo that you think the audience actually needs to hear. As Ben Franklin wrote, “If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking.” In other words, enforced enlightenment isn’t actually enlightening at all.

      A state cannot support democracy by squelching it. There are many ironies inherent to the American political system, but this isn’t one of them. The attitude espoused by the commenter above is similar to that of neoconservative ideologues who, in ’03 and ’04, pushed the United States to encourage democratic “regime change” in the Arab world–cf. “greeted with flowers,” Condi Rice’s “birth pangs” quote, etc.–and then didn’t like the what the democratic process had to say (Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hezbollah in Lebanon, etc.).

      Democracy is ugly. The alternative is horrific.

      • Eh, people get all hung up on the word “democracy.” Let’s try to proceed without it.

        – I used to be a politics beat reported for Gannett in Oregon’s capital city. Totally inculcated into the “freedom” and “democracy” ideologies that any j-school student gets. Whatever.

        – ‘As Ben Franklin wrote, “If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking.” In other words, enforced enlightenment isn’t actually enlightening at all.’ Huh? Those two sentences do not mean the same thing. Ben Franklin was not especially egalitarian.

        – If majority opinion had been used to determine whether women should vote, women would not have been granted suffrage. If majority opinion had been used to determine whether black people should vote, black people would not have been granted suffrage. I’m just not that sentimental about majority opinion, because I think that Civil Rights are evolving and expanding. The “us/them” boundary wants get expand, even if majority opinion of those deemed to be worthy of voting is not always the mechanism by which that happens.

        Thanks for biting. Indeed, I intended this comment to be quite offensive, but wrote it too quickly for that to come off very clearly.

        xox(ovo)

        • Thank you so much for responding. As an aside, which paper did you work for? I’m originally from Corvallis, so I read the GT every day until I went to college.

          I know I am extremely idealistic about American democracy, but that is because I draw a line between “the United States,” which is what we’ve got, and “America,” which is what we ought to be shooting for. They are not the same thing, and for the time being, I’ve given up on trying to save the United States and now instead try to remind people that there were and are times, however fleeting, when America comes to the fore and outshines and outclasses the petty bickering and garbage that constitutes much of boots-on-the-ground, GMOs-in-the-food United States. When it comes to American ideals, I will celebrate them, because that’s what ideals are for. No, they cannot be reached–our most eloquent proponent of individual liberty infamously owned slaves; Jefferson is one of the biggest hypocrites of all–but we can, and should, try. When reality, as it always will, perverts those ideals, then that’s another story. “One person, one vote” is the American ideal regarding voting. Obviously, given gerrymandering, Citizens United, and the wicked voter suppression measures that groups like True the Vote are undertaking, that that ideal is in shambles. But it is still something to look up to, to pay lip service to, to exist if only to label those who don’t subscribe to it–like Tea Partiers–as hypocrites. In our contemporary morass, I believe ideals are more important than ever, and that includes encouraging anyone and everyone to vote.

          People get hung up on the word democracy, I think, because they assume it to be a good thing. It’s not. It’s just a thing, like an automatic transmission to a constitutional monarchy’s manual. In his “Politics,” Aristotle likened democracy to mob rule and thought that the state ought to be run by an enlightened “polity” of citizens.

          I actually believe the fundamental problem is the system of nation-states, which we’ve been dealing with since the Napoleonic Wars. When a group of people becomes oppressed in the state to which birth or immigration has assigned them, then they should be able to more easily form their own community and not have to worry about the mothership going ballistic over petty issues like sovereignty. I do not hold the United States sacred, but I would like to see more communities striving for American ideals. Maybe, just maybe, we can someday live up to them.

    • Namastellen

      I think Yoga Votes is a vanity project. Probably Huffington Post or someone will give them awards for delivering votes because they have pledges. I don’t think they should claim credit for my vote because I happen to do yoga. I always vote. Not to mention telling people to engage in a partisan activity in a nonpartisan way doesn’t get you at the table. No political insider takes this project seriously.

  8. Yes! The reason Tibetan Buddhists are still living under Chinese rule is that they are spending too much time self-immolating, and too little time sending out good vibes. And surely, Mr. Bouazizi, the Arab Spring and the over throw Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and other horrible dictators would have happened if you just thought about unicorns and rainbows instead of drenching yourself in gasoline then lighting a match.

    Also, let us remember that MLK did more than just send out good vibes. He FOUGHT and he advocated that everyone FIGHT for justice. Fighting while using peaceful means is not the same as “celebration, through good vibes, good feelings, being friendly, kind”.

    On another note, MC Yogi’s tracks have about as much in common with good music as a novelty Christmas song.

    • jorge

      “MC Yogi’s tracks have about as much in common with good music as a novelty Christmas song.”

      straight up! kind of bop your head to it for a few minutes and feel all good and silly, and then spend the rest of the day feeling so fucking guilty and grossed out by yourself.

  9. The P

    He’s confusing pacifism and passivity – one takes action for change where the other does not (thinking nice thoughts and smiling is not taking action). He should take a closer look at the actions of his hero Gandhi (instead of just signing about him) and he would see a legacy of civil disobedience and conscientious objection. Gandhi was not a man who simply sat around loving everyone, smiling and singing songs, he was a man of action who put his life on the line for his beliefs.

    Also, I’ve had the impression when MC Yogi speaks that he is talking to children and not adults with the language he uses. In some ways it reminds me children’s programming like the Teletubbies or Sesame Street with the dancing and singing and simple spoon-fed messages.

  10. jorge

    comes across like white privilege….. although i don’t doubt that mc yogi is sincere and probably a really good dude in person. and i don’t necessarily ”disagree” with what he is saying, but it is overly simplistic and brushing off the great amount of struggle and determined efforts of many, many brave people through out history who have fought and challenged power structures and inequality in the name of making this world a better place for us all, as you mentioned above. and that isn’t always pretty. i saw derrick jensen, ward churchill, and everyone’s favorite terrorist pal bill ayers speak a few years back(i swear to god i thought that controversial combo was a sure fire recipe for a bomb attack and that night would be the end of us all), but derrick brought up this great story that’s in one of his books about a mama grizzly bear. trains had killed her two cubs, and so this mother grizzly began charging train after train after train that came by. how do you think she felt about the loss of her cubs, a lack of love or SO much love? can one express anger and still be loving and compassionate? Are the two mutually exclusive? i don’t think so.

    there’s a song by the rambunctious, loud, angry, ugly, anarchist band crass that speaks along these same lines. this verse still gives me chills every time i hear it-

    ‘In attempts to moderate they ask why we don’t write love songs.
    What is it that we sing then?
    Our love of life is total, everything we do is an expression of that,
    EVERYTHING THAT WE WRITE IS A LOVE SONG.’

  11. Be Scofield

    Pacifism as Pathology is a must read for anyone. But, be sure to read George Lakey’s insightful critique of that book as well. “Nonviolent Action as the Sword that Heals: Challenging Ward Churchill’s “Pacifism As Pathology.”

    http://www.trainingforchange.org/nonviolent_action_sword_that_heals

  12. Whoa, MC Yogi is a sweet man, working in the pop tradition. He’s not MC Billy Bragg or MC Michael Stipe, or anything like that. He has got his own groove, or whatever that is called.

  13. Yoga Whelp

    Here’s MC Romney doing: “Who Let the Dogs Out. Woof Woof!” at a Martin Luther King Parade in Jacksonville a few years ago. The video guys souped it up a bit. He also starts talking about Bling and
    Blang.

    That’s right, Mittens is a closet raper, didn’t y’all know? Can’t wait to see the Republican White House dance parties.

    Gerald Ford’s wife, Betty Ford, brought the Hustle and Disco to the White House (she’d been heavily drinking and doping at the time).

    PX90 Fitness Freak Paul Ryan? Don’t be surprised if he goes all yoga on us!

    Question” Which Yogalebrity will throw herself at him first? Hazard a guess? I’m betting on fellow
    libertarian Ayn Rand devotee Leslie Kaminoff!

  14. Chai Fan

    Ugh…I really couldn’t watch/listen for more than a minute. Especially with Seane Corn crouching in the corner ready to pounce at any time….

  15. Hey! No one noticed me standing in the corner, not dancing…I’m crushed. Hahahahahah

  16. JP

    the comments here are just as good as the posts…

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