Gil Scott-Heron released his spoken word piece “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” in 1970. Now, forty-six years later we are in a new century and I felt it was time for an updated version. This was recorded live as part of the worldwide event “100,000 Poets For Change”, held on September 24, 2016...
“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2016)” by Kevin Kunundrum
The Revolution will not be sponsored by Bud Lite, Taco Bell, or Toyota. It will not be back after these important commercial messages. It will not be out next week on Netflix, streaming in high-definition starring Kevin Spacey. The Revolution will not be televised.
The Revolution will not have six-pack abs & Botox smiles & whiter teeth & fresher breath. It will not have more taste & be less filling so you can lose weight, have sex like a porn star, & get your own reality show, because the Revolution will not be televised, brother.
The Revolution has nothing to do with Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, & Marvel freaking comics and it will not be the official Revolution of NASCAR & the New York Yankees. It will not keep up with the Kardashians, be the next American Idol, or hang with Oprah because the Revolution is not on TV, my friend.
The Revolution I’m talkin’ ‘bout is not gonna have a photo op with Hillary & The Donald. It’s not gonna lip-synch & auto-tune & win a Grammy for Beyoncé, it won’t sip Cîroc with P. Diddy, and it won’t be a tattoo on Miley Cyrus’s left butt cheek. It’s not a sound byte, sister. It’s not a catchphrase, cousin. Or a trademarked slogan to sell condoms, Clorox, or Coca-Cola. The Revolution is serious, yo.
The Revolution will not be up ten points on the Dow, but it will occupy Wall Street & give Big Banking the bird. It will not do a commercial for American Express (because it’s beyond priceless). It will not buy now with no interest till 2018, it will not want to be a millionaire, and it may just want to live simply so that others might simply live. And it will not use its power to tap our phones, invade our homes, & monitor every choice we make with computer chips, satellite surveillance, & Google search engines because as I said before, it will not be televised.
There will be no theme song by Adele, no fund-raiser by NPR, no tie-ins to McDonalds & Burger King, and it won’t be a guest host on Saturday Night Live. There will be no games on Xbox because the Revolution is three-dimensional, yo. It exists in every action that comes from an idea that says NO to globalization & corporatization, to monopolization & homogenization (which might be good for milk but it ain’t so good for human beings, ya feel me?). The Revolution says YES to that crazy-mad idea that we all might be able to get along. Uh-huh! That we can treat each other as we want to be treated ourselves, that nobody should go hungry, that diversity is what it’s about, that our differences make us unique, and that we should watch out for any god who tells us to kill in his name. And the Revolution says YES to the notion that people exist for something more than to pay bills on time & to make a handful of people really effing rich, because this Revolution is about we the people, not we the corporation. And because of this it will definitely not be televised.
The Revolution does not exist on a piece of paper, a meme, or a Facebook status update. It’s not on CNN, CNBC, or in some pundit or politician’s mouth. The Revolution will not get 10,000 "Likes" because it’s not a popularity contest, yo. But it will go viral because it’s a movement in our hearts & minds when we know that somethin’ ain’t right, when the words & actions don’t match up. When they keep us distracted like mice in a maze so we can’t see what’s really goin’ on, because it’s easier to close our eyes & go back to sleep. And this is why the Revolution will stay far away from TV.
Because the Revolution is real. It’s the program we join already in progress with no commercial interruptions—complete, unedited, & uncensored. It’s what we see in living color & crystal clarity when we reclaim our own minds, when we think for ourselves, when our ideas become action. And when enough of us do this in peace & love, not war & hate, the world will begin to change. This is the Revolution. The Revolution will not be televised because it’s live, my friends, it’s happening right now, it’s already begun.