If the Occupy movement has a sound it’s the mic check – the sound of a crowd arriving at a consensus without the aid of amplification. Invented specifically to circumvent the prohibition of megaphones and PAs in the public spaces occupied, the mic check (or human mic) is an almost insanely polite, maddeningly slow means of communication that’s as much about the rather self-conscious rejection of hierarchy as it is about passing a message across an open space. Mic checks are now used as a means of protest and disruption too – George W. Bush’s Chief of Staff Karl Rove was singled out for a mic check at a recent speaking engagement. He wasn’t happy.
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