Activism is now like poetry or philosophy. Few people take it seriously. These days the activist, like the poet or philosopher, has no public. And as the poet and philosopher have lost their power to engage, educate and entertain, so has the activist lost the power to effect progressive change—assuming progressive change is the objective of the activist. Somehow all public protest of this corrupt and intransigent government appears futile. Mainstream American culture regards such activity as self-indulgent and effete. The present cultural context of activism is now the absence of a cultural context. The only reason to proclaim that one is an activist at all would be to gratify a sentimental delusion that such a role might still exist—a proclamation that would ring as ridiculous as that of being a poet or philosopher. Nevertheless, there are those who visibly assume the role. And it’s embarrassing to watch them as they go public with their naked need for attention. Like impoverished street musicians, they’re mocked and ignored. Folks pass by, wisecracking in hushed tones or feigning distraction to bypass the unpleasantness of being embarrassed for them. Fortunately, most poets, philosophers and activists do not go public. They gratify their vanities in supportive, obscure subcultures, or in universities where they ply their passions on the young, gullible and whimsical. Some survive outside of these safe havens, but only by hiding from coworkers and acquaintances the obscene futility in which they daily engage, closeting their perverse leanings toward intellectual inquiry, esthetic perfection and social betterment. They hide the outrage evoked by a political climate that abets and exploits mass stupidity, shuffling obsequiously from office to market, suppressing an urge to take dramatic action against this pervasive chicanery like a flasher suppressing an urge to show his penis to the checker.