GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: Dr. Larry Burriss


As you’ve probably noticed, the United States Supreme Court has issued a series of rulings that almost everyone expected to upset at least half of the population and has led to protests and demonstrations across the country.

But I really have to ask, what do the protestors, demonstrators and rioters, or whatever you want to call them, hope to accomplish?
All sides are simply seeking publicity for their respective causes and are, in fact, merely engaged in a kind of game to see who can get the most media coverage.

Does any side really expect to change any minds during the marches? I doubt it. Both sides presented arguments and slogans we had all heard before, and there has been precious little of the dialog that is so necessary to change people’s minds.
In fact, I wonder what would have happened if the news media had told all of the groups, “You go ahead and march, but we’re not going to be there.” I would venture that none of the groups would have shown up.
The writer Daniel Boorstin had a word for this kind of activity, a “pseudo-event,” something that takes place just to generate news coverage, or just to generate attention for itself.

I would bet, in fact that most parades, rallies, and such events are staged just to generate publicity.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with that.  I like a good parade as well as the next person, and besides, they are pretty much guaranteed by the First Amendment.
If any group I can think of, fun or dreary, liberal or conservative, wants to march down Main Street, that’s fine with me. And in fact, I might even go out and watch them.


But does yelling and screaming make people more aware of the issues? The answer to this question is, I fear, a pitiful, “no.”
And if it’s not going to do any good, then you’re just playing around. It’s just a game.
I’m Larry Burriss


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