Monday, October 10, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Occupies My Mind

The Occupy Wall Street movement has been spreading slowly. This is a growing protest that was partially the brain child of Adbusters, an anti-consumerist, pro-environment non-profit group from Canada that is now a worldwide community. At first, there was hardly any coverage of the protesters, and then the news stories made jokes of them. Now they are somewhat being taking seriously, probably because famous people started showing up. Fortunately, Anthony Bologna did not pepper spray Susan Sarandon while she was there. I hear he likes to spray pretty white women.

As usual, if you tune in to Fox News, you’d think the Occupy Wall Street group are just a bunch of leftist, communist, socialist, anarchists who are complaining about the rich because they are not, and they need to spend their time updating their resumes and getting jobs instead of demanding handouts from people who earned their money the honest way: by sailing through loopholes and storing their money in off-shore tax havens, and good ole’ fashioned money laundering.

Also as usual, if you watch MSNBC, you’d think the OWS’s are a group of disenchanted patriots who want their country back from the corporations who have bought and sold more members of our federal government than they have their own product, and they will not rest until real changes have been made and people will be held accountable. Also, there will be a drum circle in Liberty Plaza at 3:00pm, for those who actually wear watches.

If you watch CNN, then what you know of the OWS is whatever people tweeted and e-mailed to CNN, as it seems that is their primary way to get information for their news shows these days.
My thought: The Occupy Wall Streeters are doing precisely what the Tea Partiers have been doing: rallying against a blanket entity that they view as being the cause of the bulk of the ills of our society. Much like the Tea Partiers, the news outlets have been looking at them as a joke, and when they interview individual members of the protest, the reporters inevitably find the most stoned, ignorant, sign-misspellingest schlubs they can find. Unlike the Tea Partiers, their roots don’t seem to be in established politicians’ pockets, under the veil of being a “grass roots movement”. With the exception of Adbusters planting the seed, this actually seems to grass roots. Unlike the Tea Partiers, I haven’t seen any blatantly racist depictions of anyone in power in their protest signs.

One thing the OWS has NOT done is appropriate what used to be proud symbols and terms from the opposing side of the fence and distort and bastardise them so that now they connote complete opposite. The Tea Partiers took “Boston tea party”, the “Don’t tread on me” snake, and the US Constitution and applied grotesquely distorted history to them to validate their use of them as logos for their movement. What if the OWS’s took icons and symbols of extreme conservatism (or at least what right wingers hold up as icons and symbols of conservatism)? Perhaps the OWS’s should take the Daughters of the American Revolution, Ronald Reagan, the Heritage Foundation, Manifest Destination, and the Confederate Flag and egregiously warp their meanings to reflect their own views…then again…maybe not.

Bottom line: I tend to agree with what a lot of the non-stoned OWS’s say. The government has been letting big corporations dictate what laws are passed, and all big corporations really want is to get bigger. They do not care about the people, our land, or how they get their money. They have been doing everything they can to buy and sell whoever they can to make the most profit. You can tell that from the Industrial Revolution, a company WILL NOT do what is good for its employees and the public if not told to do so. All for which it cares is its bottom line. This is just as exemplary now. Exxon ALWAYS yields ridiculously high yields every year, but instead of investing that profit into better ways to produce energy than extracting a finite source that potentially poisons millions of ecosystems, they line their executive’s pockets with million-dollar bonuses. Though there is some validity to their claim, if the Occupy Wall Streeters don’t do what the Tea Party did and register to vote when they get home and put their votes where their rhetoric is, then they will have occupied and gotten arrested and brutalised by the NYPD for naught.

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