No Mystery On The Science Of Political Theater

One of the groups protesting (counterprotesting?) the genetrification and changes in Silicon Valley* protested at the home of Kevin Rose of Digg and Google Ventures fame.  They also apparently asked for $3 billion to establish anarchist communes, which will doubtlessly lead to many sarcastic analyses of investments.

Kevin Roose (not Rose, but boy he’s apparently had problems with parties over the names) referred to this as political theater.  Indeed, political theater is something the Bay Area** is used to, usually from the left and in this case anarchists, unless that’s also part of the joke.  Except, the more I think about it, it seems that who uses political theater has changed, and I think this is where the protestors are going to experience backfire.

Political theater in America is now the domain of the Right.

The right is the realm of elaborate Tea Party costumes***.  It’s the realm of Glen Beck’s blackboard.  It’s where Clint Eastwood does performance art talking to an empty chair.

I don’t know about you, but I associate political theater with the Right in America, not the Left or Anarchists.  As Roose (not Rose) notes, the more “mainstream” protestors are involved in anti-eviction, city planning comissions, and the likes.  Those prone to political theater are in the realm of the Right at this point, and that may hurt their cause, whatever it is (one guy even suggests it’s a false flag), since the traditional Left won’t be sympathetic, the Right isn’t sympathetic, and others may just be confused.

* I should note that the exact geography of Silicon Valley is up for debate.

** Not necessarily the same as Silicon Valley, but let the debate begin.

*** Cosplay for people into politics.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, publishes books on career and culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at