Idle No More - Complications Ensue
Complications Ensue:
The Crafty TV and Screenwriting Blog




Baby Name Voyager graphs baby name frequency by decade.

Social Security Administration: Most popular names by year.

Name Trends: Uniquely popular names by year.

Reverse Dictionary Search: "What's that word that means....?"

Facebook Name Trees Match first names with last names.


Archives

April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014

 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

There's been a bit of news up here in Canada about the Idle No More movement, which is a movement of Native rights activists who are blocking roads and trains and things because they want... something. I'm not entirely sure. Something about rivers?

Kids, I'm not up on the politics of this movement, or whether Natives really get the short end of the stick on taxes. I don't doubt they do. I went up to visit an Inuit town on Hudson Bay, and the Canadian Government pretty much destroyed the Inuit way of life and replaced it with nothing. But from a point of view of political theater, which is the only part of this that belongs in this blog, "Idle No More" is a lousy name for a movement.

First of all, it's generic. Any movement at all could be named "Idle No More." (Tautologically: if you are a movement, you are moving, and if you are moving, you aren't idle.) ACT UP could have been named "Idle No More," except that "ACT UP" is much snappier, and has the nuance of "We are going to behave rudely to get your attention" which is exactly what ACT UP was all about.

"Idle No More" utterly fails to communicate what it's about. The name of a movement should communicate what it's about. Greenpeace -- get it? The People's Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints. Occupy Wall Street. No one ever heard the name "Students for a Democratic Society" and asked, "But what do those kids even want"?

"Idle No More" unfortunately sounds like it should be an organization whose goal is to obtain jobs for its members, who have been or are currently unemployed. I suppose Idle No More wouldn't mind getting more jobs for Natives, but then it's not about rivers, since their objection to deregulating rivers is that stuff will get built near or in or over them. Some of their program is a recipe for fewer jobs and more environment.

"Idle No More" is a lousy name because it implies that its members have been idle so far. And "idle" is just not a good word to apply to yourself. "Oppressed no more," fine. "Dispossessed no more," good. "Give Us Back Our F***ing Land That You Stole, Or At Least Pay Us Fair Market Value," a bit wordy, but okay. But "Idle No More" has the nuance, "Hey, Look, We Finally Got Off Our Asses!"

I guess the idea is that Natives have been forced to be idle by a couple of centuries of oppression, rape, murder, theft, and so forth. But this gets back to my main point is:  the public shouldn't have to guess. Your movement's name is the most important way you communicate with people who don't already agree with you. It has to be amazing.

And this gets back to screenwriting: the most important part of your screenplay, after your hook, is your title. No one spends enough time on their title. You might spend three or six months or a year on your screenplay. Shouldn't you spend two weeks or a month getting the most amazing title you possibly can? Because people make snap judgments all the time. If your title doesn't sell your screenplay, you are cutting yourself off at the legs. Make sure it sells

1 Comments:

You know, the first couple of times I saw Idle No More on Google News, I thought it was something to do with stopping cars from idling. There's a law against it here and many other places. In other words, I agree.

By Blogger Tim W., at 1:51 PM  

Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.



This page is powered by Blogger.