the mayor

As you head out of the metro on the four-lane highway that goes west, you will find the village on the south.

The good people of the village love nothing better than a good cause. Nothing slips their attention. They protested the war, they campaigned against fiscal irresponsibility. The sex-trade was duly marched against, and fair-trade coffee is consumed in quantities that keeps the village hyper-alert to the next new thing.

The mayor of the village is very good at  identifying the next new cause. He knows his village, and knows exactly what will get them going. 

And nobody does a protest better. There's always a powerful sense of energy when they get going, and a deep sense of achievement and closure when they're done protesting.

When he first started leading these protests years ago, he worked hard to mobilize the people who marched for the cause into working toward real change. That was amazing. But they soon discovered that true change was difficult work, and people were too busy with their jobs and families anyhow. It was too hard to sustain.

it turned out that most of the buzz was in the protest and the parade, anyhow. And while they were busy trying to effect change, along came another critical new cause to be concerned over, and what were they going to do? Keep working the old cause (which wasn't working out like they'd hoped, anyway) while this new one fell by the wayside?

And so they decided they were all about creating awareness through parades, protests and promotions. Sure, every once in a while something practical would emerge from a parade, but the elders of the village sagely observed that these practical programs proved to be a distraction from their primary focus. There was only so much time, after all. Their niche was clearly creating awareness through protests, and they needed to stick to their calling. It was generally hoped that someone somewhere would be roused into action by their protests, parades and promotions. We've all got our part to play, they said to each other.

...

The village has all kinds of momentum. It's filled with energy, and there's a good deal of buzz over the next new cause. Isn't it amazing, they say to each other, how united we are in changing our world for good?

Every now and then, the mayor senses that something seems to be missing, and wonders if they're really making a difference. But then the buzz of leading the next parade renews his vigor. And off he goes, kissing babies, shaking hands, chatting with the villagers, making remarkably moving speeches, working the crowd. He enjoys that potent sense of leading something important. And his constituents cheer him on as he leads the parade, walking with slow, purposeful and weighty steps. It's a good cause, a great cause, after all.

We're doing good work, he tells himself. Awareness is important, after all. You can't make a difference if you don't know what's what, right?