We all take care of each other, whether badly or well.
1 of 1Okay, not 100% sure where to post this so I randomly chose one of your 483,204 posts on #OWS…Let me start with…I AM COMPLETELY IN AGREEMENT THAT THE SYSTEM IS BROKEN AND THERE REALLY MIGHT NOT BE A WAY TO “FIX” IT AS IT CURRENTLY STANDS.I’m yelling there because after this post I expect to:A) be eviscerated by Petro (and anybody else who reads this) B) I’ve got a little bit of the “corporate sellout” rep on this blog (somewhat justified…as I write this from my cube at a ginormous for-profit education outfit…THE HORROR!)C) I’m going to get a few details wrong…why…because I’m not completely up to date on all of the machinations the banks (and others) have instituted, which is part of the reason they need to be torn down…because almost nobody can lead a ‘normal’ life outside the financial institutions and stay up to date on all the machnations…D) Finally, and most eviscerating-able, I’m going to talk about how this thing is playing to the people who, as a general rule, watch more hours of television created by Simon Cowell than they spend thinking about this crap.OWS is brilliant, and grass roots, and it really honestly appears to be for-the-people-by-the-people. Love it love it love it. Can’t stress that enough, but as Petro and I discussed via the TwitterMachine yesterday, there are no “demands” or “solutions.” There is no way for them to “win.” When asked the Petro made some vague (and I use the word “vague” because he started using a variety of three and four syllable works that I’m not familiar with, and suspect in at least one circumstance that he made up to mock me) statements about “no winners” “no bosses” “no new system” that didn’t really compute with my brain.This is fine, when you’re writing a thesis about how Wall Street needs to be torn down, or when you’re playing the bongos (and by the way, that’s not a shot, one of the coolest things about OWS has been the amount of surprisingly good ‘jam’ bands that have sprung up…if I had half a mind I’d roll down there and start signing them to label-friendly contracts that would inevitably lead to my making more money off the band than the band itself, and the studio…well they would RAKE in the dough and…wait…maybe I’m missing the point…anyway, the bongos line was NOT a shot) and chanting (semi) catchy slogans at the three news crews who have shown up (by the way, side note…WOW does the mainstream media suck), but at the end of the day unless a shanty town is going to move into Zuccotti park (and let’s be honest, as well meaning as these people are wait until that first winter storm hits and BOOM watch the numbers thin out…either through people leaving or…you know…dying of hypothermia) there needs to be something at the end of this rainbow.
2 of 3The bottom line is there are many millions of dollars at stake for the greed-heads (Copywrite: Petro 1923), and frankly there are many more millions of dollars at stake than thousands of people…even worldwide. The banks aren’t just going to issue a release saying, “Hey, sorry, we totally fucked this whole thing up, we’re sorry, the money is being evenly distributed and sent to each of you via dragons and unicorns.”This change might start at the grass root level, but if it’s going to “finish” it’s going to finish in Congress and/or The White House. Those people are:A) Not that bright (big time generalization, but c’mon…do I have to say anything more than Rand Paul?)B) Way greedy.C) So deep in the pockets of Wall Street they actually have to look up to see Congress’ balls.So you’re going to have to give them some pretty specific ideas. And yes, you’re going to have to stay on them to ensure they don’t simply lawyer the language up so much that everything goes back to the way it was, but this whole vague thing isn’t going to work, not in the long run. You know what it reminds me of (cue the sound of hundreds of bloggers getting ready to destroy me)…The Iraq War.C’mon now, there’s some parallels.Shit-tons of money.No real firm grasp of what they hell we’re trying to do.A completely “this is NOT political” ethos that completely subverted by…you know…reality.Multiple messages.Hell, even the “enemies” have similarities, namely that we don’t really know who the hell they are (are you really pissed at the teller at the bank making $12 an hour? No? Okay, what about the branch manager making $75,000 a year? Maybe? Okay, what the hell did he/she do? That person has absolutely no decision making power) and instead they’re a vague sort of “they” that took advantage of “us” so now “we” are going to bring “them” down. It sounds like you haven’t come out of the closet but you’re telling your mom you’ve met someone.Now, I’m pretty sure NOBODY on this blog is a big fan of the Iraq war. And I think the third worst thing about it (after 1) Assholes lied to get us into it and 2) it spread to Afghanistan) is that IT NEVER FUCKING ENDS. This should not be a never-ending story…they tried to make a sequel to that flick and everybody involved in the sequel should be destroyed…no really, I loved the first one, it’s part of the fabric of my childhood, and the second one is blasphemous.
3 of 3Another issue is this, it gives way too much room for idiots to get involved. Of course I recognize that they were plants, but the whole “Nazi’s are at OWS” line that FUCKSNews is pushing right now was practically gift wrapped, and before long there are going to be morons who either don’t understand or don’t care what this is “really” about who show up with “legalize prostitution” or “Elvis’ birthday should be a National Holiday” posters and these people will do nothing except distract from the actual important shit this movement is trying to accomplish.Finally, here’s the biggest issue with the “no demands” philosophy. People don’t get it. It doesn’t compute. We’re a win or lose culture. Should we be? I dunno, and frankly, I don’t care about that question right now because the fact of the matter is…we’re a win or lose culture. The difference between the history books writing of OWS “a bunch of dirty pot-smoking hippies camped in the park for six weeks and made traffic crappy all over NYC” and “a group of driven, people-first protesters were fed up with a corrupt and corrupting system and were able to non-violently force change through their collective disapproval of the system” is whether or not there are changes demanded (or suggested, or politely asked for, or whateverthefuckyouwanttocallit) and those changed end up implemented. This movement is going to need all of the help it can get. Certainly people who got screwed out of their homes, or out of their jobs, or out of their dignity are out there, everywhere, who could join, but we’ve got to let them know what they’re joining!Let me finish like this:Hey come on out to this park where we will stand, and chant, and maybe get arrested because we no longer are willing to stand for the current system. It is unfair and hurts the little guy. It rewards only a few, big money, wildly favored groups, and doesn’t really care about the rest because the system is set up in such a way that there are almost no legitimate options outside of the established structure. We must level the playing field and give everyone an equal shot.Sound about right? Good, because what we’re protesting is the current system for college football.
Hey, FB - always a pleasure.This movement's really getting under skin, isn't it?Aside from the minor quibble that Afghanistan war was started before the Iraqupation:As for teevee perception, guess who just bought a 30-second spot (to run first on ESPN, which I think you will especially appreciate:)http://news.firedoglake.com/2011/10/19/occupy-wall-street-inspiring-new-ways-of-thinking-about-protest-movements/(And BTW - idiots are people too, and I welcome my information-challenged brothers as part of the 99%)It's not going it’s going to finish in Congress - it's going to finish Congress.See my comment here.And of course, the elites aren't going to give us their money - we're going to take it - by prying their hands off of the levers of financial speculation and power. When their Praetorian guards abandon them (they're part of the 99% too), there won't be much they can do about it. (I don't have time to ferret out all of the links here, but there are many reports of private support of OWS from police officers.)Anger at branch managers and tellers? Don't be absurd. They are also part of the 99%.The enemy, if you must have it spelled out, is the layer upon our society that steals (not creates) wealth by financial speculation. This sector has grown too big to be allowed to continue. Speculation used to be a hanging offense in the 17th? century and there's no reason to allow it today.Anyway, I'll be happy to be more specific if you choose to spell out your concerns with less colorful rhetoric rife with the tattered threads of thoughtless cultural impressions.(And you don't get away with saying something is so if it isn't so. Like, yes, your "bongos" reference is indeed a shot in the context of a serious political discussion. Which I think this is supposed to be. Really - this movement of misguided protesters with vague and unfocused concerns come off as the fucking Cato institute compared with your position paper.)Not to eviscerate or anything...
From that television commercial post (which I again want to mention will be running on ESPN, because I forgot to point out that I believe that that station has even more low-information voters than "FUCKNews"):“We are watching,” I wrote, “the beginnings of the defiant self-assertion of a new generation of Americans, a generation who are looking forward to finishing their education with no jobs, no future, but still saddled with enormous and unforgivable debt.” Three weeks later, after watching more and more elements of mainstream America clamber on board, I think this is still true. In a way, the demographic base of OWS is about as far as one can get from that of the Tea Party—with which it is so often, and so confusingly, compared. The popular base of the Tea Party was always middle aged suburban white Republicans, most of middling economic means, anti-intellectual, terrified of social change—above all, for fear that what they saw as their one remaining buffer of privilege (basically, their whiteness) might finally be stripped away. OWS, by contrast, is at core forwards-looking youth movement, just a group of forward-looking people who have been stopped dead in their tracks; of mixed class backgrounds but with a significant element of working class origins; their one strongest common feature being a remarkably high level of education. It’s no coincidence that the epicenter of the Wall Street Occupation, and so many others, is an impromptu library: a library being not only a model of an alternative economy, where lending is from a communal pool, at 0% interest, and the currency being leant is knowledge, and the means to understanding.- David Graeber
FB:This explained a lot to me as well.
Swear to holy-Icon-of-your choosing that the bongos thing wasn't meant to be a shot. I suppose the fact that bearded guys playing bongos is one of (not by any means the only, but one of) the images I most closely associate with OWS is part of the problem. I guess I'm just a little disappointed that one of the things the OWS peeps haven't gone after (or at least haven't succeeded in getting) is the media. I guess I'm just a little surprised because I feel like "this generation" (in quotes because I realize how ridiculous a generalization it is) is supposed to be the TwitterBookFacetimeiMovieYouTube generation, and I really thought there would be a concerted effort for them to control their own media. I mean, I know there's the occasional guy with a livesteam, but it seems, for a group who (one assumes to be) so media savvy that they haven't been more interested in, you know, the media. Only in the last couple of days have we gotten (especially) images out of OWS that haven't been the police beating the hell out of somebody (not that those images shouldn't get out, lord knows they need to) with Jesse Jackson and such.I'm skeptical, but I'm sure that's actually an improvement on what you probably THOUGHT I was (I'm guessing you had me begged at somewhere between offended and disgusted by OWS). After all I'm almost exactly the right age to have missed all meaningful protest in the United States. Yes, there was Wisconsin a few months back, but really the most effective "civil uprising" I've seen in the States in my lifetime was the riots after Rodney King. Not exactly a shining example of "non-violent protest."That skepticism is why the bongos remark (in retrospect, no way to read it as anything but a shot...my bad) happens. I use snark to cover fear that this is all going to fail...or that I'm going to end up on the wrong side of it.But seriously, get control of the message...
How are they supposed to go after the media? It won't be televised if they do. Consider this clip, my friend. He pwned FOX News, but of course they would never air it.http://youtu.be/Cjj9X0o5YOE
I disagree my friend. Like the rest of those driven by virtually nothing but the almighty dollar, the major media outlets are driven by ratings. Why are the OWS moments that HAVE been televised the ones with Jesse Jackson, Tom Morello, Kanye, Michael Moore, and Bloomberg? Because those names move the dials, people tune in. You can't tell me that the "Hollywood Liberal Elite" wouldn't show up if asked, and you can't tell me there aren't some out there who have the connections to ask them. Get those recognizable faces out there, get the cameras on them (or more to the point, have them bring their own cameras). The media IS noticing, MTV is casting Real Worlds there and they're owned by Viacom, one of the biggest media companies in the world. Use the passion of the youth that got Obama elected four years ago (and will be the deciding factor on whether he gets re-elected). We're seeing some of it (the OccupyMuncie and OccupyPeoria protests are proof) but get the college radio stations and television station to be broadcasting non-stop from there. Get the demographics that get advertisers' panties wet out in force, and get them in front of cameras!The bottom line is that the majority of the 99% are not reading blogs like this one, and are not watching Olbermann on Current, and they're not reading the NYTimes. If you really do want to be inclusive (and I sense that you do!) you're going to have to find a way to get Wolf Blitzer to talk about OWS in a positive light. The only way to make that happen is to get the advertisers to WANT to appeal to the 99% in a way that involves more than selling Bud Light and Goldline.Now obviously, you've got a problem in the fact that most of the people you're fighting against are also the people you need to appeal to if you want the message to get out, but this Catch 22 is the difference between the history books (sorry to repeat it, but it bears repeating) talking about a bunch of hippies in a park (playing bongos) and a bunch of people coming together to change a corrupt and corrupting system.
Well, grasshopper, I s'pose I'll just have to resort to trite aphorisms at this point. As was said in a different - yet related - context, "Don't force the river, it moves by itself."
I welcome all reactions and points of view, so comments here are not moderated. Cheerfully "colorful" language is great. I'll even tolerate some ad hominem directed against me... each other, not so much. Racist or excessively abusive comments (or spam) will be deleted at my discretion.