Back in the 1960’s there was a strong sense of community in the emerging hippy culture. If you identified yourself as being part of that culture by displaying some version of the hippy costume, you belonged to something larger than yourself, and were immediately embraced as a friend by others traveling the same path.
As nuclear weapons activists we need to create a publicly recognizable identity like the hippies did with their long hair. We need a costume and a catchy fun name. We need to tap in the ancient human need to be part of a tribe. We need a brand.
What’s Our Name?
The hippies had a great name. At just two syllables, it rolled easily off your tongue, and sounded like the fun people the label pointed to. Hippy, Yippee, and ok, kinda Dippy! It was our brand. It worked.
“Nuclear weapons activists” isn’t a brand, but just a dictionary definition. It’s an accurate description, but the term aims for our heads and not our hearts where we all really live. And as a brand name it has way too many syllables. It’s not really a fun label either, but creates more of an impending doom atmosphere.
So let’s learn from the hippies and try a name for ourselves that is shorter, simpler, catchier, and more fun. So until somebody comes up with something better, I propose that nuclear weapons activists be rebranded as….
After all, given that the vast majority of our culture would prefer to pretend that nuclear weapons don’t exist, you have to be kind of a nut to keep bringing the subject up.
The term has a self-deprecating spin to it, the most popular form of humor. And of course it’s always smart to label oneself as a crackpot before others do it for you.
So until further notice we have a name for our brand. And now we need a costume.
What’s Our Costume?
If you had long hair in 1968 you were immediately recognizable as a hippy and could promote that culture just by just by walking down the street. The long hair was the flag for your tribe, and it signaled to all who you were and more or less what you believed in. Others in your tribe could identify you as one of their own, and the long hair brand served the purpose of helping to bond that community together.
As Nuke Nuts we need a costume too. We need to be able to identify each other in public to strengthen our tribe, and we need to project our message to all those who we hope will join our tribe.
Like the hippy hair, our costume needs to be something that is accessible to all, convenient, catchy, an easy flag to wave.
The best I can come up with here is a No Nukes T-shirt. They’re cheap and readily available on Amazon and elsewhere. There’s a selection of different No Nukes shirts so that each of us can be part of the tribe while still expressing our own personal taste.
The Nuke Nuts Tribe
To get the point of the costume, imagine this happening. You’re at the gas station filling your tank, lost in thought about the day ahead. And then you look up at someone at another pump, and see they’re wearing their No Nukes shirt too. You smile, they wave, you come together and shake hands and have a good laugh.
You aren’t just one little person out there on your own trying to do the impossible. You belong to something larger than yourself. You’re part of a tribe. Your tribe is growing, it’s everywhere, it’s on the march. Victory will be yours!
I’m Not Making This Up
Big companies understood the power of branding long ago. Consider the simple little Apple logo. Steve Jobs very skillfully built a tribe around his product line. According to Jobs, if you had an Apple computer you weren’t just another mindless drone slave of the corporate gulag, you were creative, a free thinker, a smart savvy forward looking artist. If you bought a Mac, so the branding story went, you were special. It’s the success of that story that made Apple the richest company in the world.
That’s the kind of tribe building success we should be trying to replicate as nuclear weapons activists, oops, sorry, I mean Nuke Nuts!
A place to start with the rebranding is with a catchy name for our tribe, and a recognizable costume that we wear in public every chance we get.