The Revolution will not be sponsored by Bud Lite, Taco Bell, or Toyota. It will not be back after these important messages. It will not be out on Blu-ray and DVD next Tuesday available at Wal-Mart for $6.99 to be shown on high-definition TV. The Revolution will not be televised.
The Revolution will not have six-pack abs and Botox smiles and skin that looks ten years younger and have more taste and be less filling. It will not have whiter teeth and fresher breath and less calories and fewer polyunsaturates and it will not make you lose weight so you can have sex like a porn star. The Revolution will not be televised.
The Revolution will not be recommended by four out of five doctors. It will not get the Goodhousekeeping Seal of Approval. It will not be the choice of a new generation it will not go better with Coke and it will not be “the official Revolution of NASCAR and the New York Yankees”. It will not soon be made into a major motion picture starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie coming soon to a theater near you because the Revolution will not be televised, brother.
The Revolution will not be up ten points on the Dow Jones it will not make Wall Street rich and famous it will not have its picture taken with Dick Cheney and Bill Clinton and have stock in Halliburton and send more troops to Afghanistan and Iraq. The Revolution will not tap our phones invade our homes spy on us at work know what library books we read monitor our every movement with computer chips satellite surveillance and nosey neighbors and call it “patriotism”. The Revolution will not be televised.
It will not lock up habeas corpus and throw away the key and give us euphemisms for torture like “rendition” and “enhanced interrogation techniques”. It will not treat the Third World like a cash cow to be milked to the last drop or as a supply of lab rats for Big Pharma’s assembly line of legalized drugs. And it will not stop unions and free speech and turn the workers of the world into slaves of the global-plantation as the global-bank counts its money (which used to be our money) to the last Euro-penny. If you wanna know about any of this then don’t look on TV cuz the Revolution, my friend, will not be televised.
The Revolution will just say no to ChaseVisa, it will not do a commercial for American Express, it will not buy now with no interest till 2012! It will not want to be a billionaire (or a millionaire even) and it may just want to live simply again so that others might simply live because all of this, sister, will not be televised.
There will be no theme song by Britney Spears or Madonna no fund-raiser by NPR no tie-ins to Burger King and McDonalds and the words that are said won’t be trademarked or copyrighted or used as a catch phrase on Saturday Night Live because, my friends, the Revolution will not be televised.
There will be no reality shows or virtual games of the Revolution on Myspace or on Facebook because the Revolution is real, my friends, it’s three-dimensional, it exists right now in every action that comes from an idea that says no to globalization and corporatization, to monopolization and homogenization (which might be good for milk but it ain’t right for human beings, ya hear?). It says yes to any action that comes from an idea like those crazy ones that say we might all be able to live in peace, that we should treat others as we want to be treated ourselves, that nobody should go hungry, that diversity is what it’s about, that our differences are what make us unique, that religion serves to separate us from our brothers and sisters, that we should watch out for any god who tells us to kill in his name, and that most of mankind exists for something more than just to make a handful of people really fucking rich. This Revolution will most definitely not be televised.
The Revolution does not exist on a piece of paper in a book or in a fortune cookie. There is no recipe for this Revolution. It is not in the history books or the newsreel footage or in some politician’s mouth but it exists in our minds when we know when somethin’ just ain’t right, when the words and the actions don’t match up. When they keep us busy with a million distractions (like mice on a treadmill) so we can’t see what’s goin’ on right in front of us. When it’s easier to go back to sleep and turn on the TV, and this is why the Revolution will not be televised.
Because the Revolution is real. It’s the program we join already in progress with no commercial interruptions complete and unedited. It’s what we see in living color when we reclaim our own minds when we think for ourselves when our ideas become action. And then, when enough of us do this the world will begin to change. This is the Revolution. The Revolution will not be televised. The Revolution is live, it’s happening right now, it’s already begun.
*It's been 40 years since the original protest poem/song was written, and I figured it was due for an update. So here's my version written the other day. Imagine a band behind it with a jazzy soul groove as the words are spoken, or perhaps a solo upright bass...