October 11, 2011

You Are The 98%



foley-baby.jpg
no, they forced you



"We are the 99%."

Rarely does a slogan perfectly capture the zeitgeist, the ethos and the pathos, each word a passionate announcement of a popular uprising.  And neither does this one.

It is, however, an important piece of propaganda.  It sounds like the enemy is Wall Street, but observe that the slogan doesn't point to an enemy, it defines the group.  The slogan is a twist on an old fascist standby:  select a minority enemy, and create an impression of opposing unanimity.  Once done, the leaders of the group have the powerbase to do what they want, making it impossible for anyone in the rest of the 98% to disavow this madness.  When it all goes down you will be too terrified, or too busy, to dissent. 

Take a look at the website, see which one you are. 

iamtheother1-1.jpg
I very, very much empathize with this woman, but her aside, what if I don't believe education is they key?  What if I think there should be no such thing as student loans at all?  What if I think that it, not Wall Street, is a far greater enemy of civilization?   Do I get to be in the 99%?  Do I get a choice?

Here are some of the demands of #OccupyWallStreet:

  • Restoration of the living wage.
  • Free college education
  • Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end
  • One trillion dollars in infrastructure
  • Open borders migration


Never mind that these demands are internally inconsistent, mathematically impossible and downright weird.  ("Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the "Books.""  Really?  You want that?)  What's important is that most of the 99% don't want all those things, or even most of those things.

Grant me that when Naomi Klein is invited to speak for the 99%, at least 45% are looking at each other like, wtf, who let Linda Tripp in here?


Naomi_Klein_Occupy_Wall_Street_2011_Shankbone_2.jpg

Do you think that when the movement becomes powerful they will represent the guy making $533000 as well as the guy making $0?  How about the $250k and the $5k?  All the way to the median income of $30k, but-- surprise-- that $30k guy most definitely does not want anything to do with an open border policy and guaranteed living wage and abolition of the death penalty.  Oh, your plan is to exclude all of the states that have >2 right angle borders.  Hmm.

They exist in a quantum superposition of multiple eigenstates, but the moment they make an official demand the whole thing will collapse into a single state and everyone will hate it.

Which is why any demands are quickly disavowed,  "There is NO official list of demands," they emphasize on the site, and yet the point isn't the demands, the point is the "they."  The point is to pretend that there aren't any official demands, attract the largest possible base-- who doesn't hate Wall Street?-- and then make demands.  "'They?' You mean the loose affiliation of Trader Joe's shoppers at OccupyWallSt?" No, I mean the guys who can say this:

This content was not published by the OccupyWallSt.org collective, nor was it ever proposed or agreed to on a consensus basis with the NYC General Assembly.

They say they have no leader which means it's pointless.  If they do get a leader, science suggests it will naturally be a man with a long ring finger and some psychopathic traits; all I know is that they will simultaneously count me amongst their numbers even as they ask me please to die.  Or kill, depending on how much power they get.

II.


What you don't realize about those pictured as "the 99%"--what they have in common is not that they are young or college educated or indebted or white females, but that they were willing to put a picture of themselves on the internet, fully of the belief that they stand for something worth being pictured for.  Bad move.     

You think marching on Wall Street gives you power, a voice; but it is a wholesale surrender to the media, you have signed a waiver allowing them to use your image any way they want, and they will tell the rest of us what to think of you and titrate our exposure and emotional responses, all while feeding us with marketing for the very things that got us into our predicament.  The income disparities, the education pyramid scheme, the personal and public debt, the anxiety, brought to you by Revlon and the makers of CNN.

Take a guess which side Fox, MSNBC, John Stewart chose.  How did you know?  Wrong: it isn't their "bias" because it doesn't matter what the protestors want,  it's because they predictably transmorph the protestors into what they need them to be.   

"Marching gets our message out."  No it doesn't, it gets CNN's message out.  "We don't watch CNN, we use the internet."   Yet given the infinity of the internet you still surf the same 5 websites, looking for and finding exactly what you want, like a baby playing peekaboo in a mirror over and over and over and over and over and over and...

You are the 98%, you are totally without any access to the machinery of power and worse, much worse, you plug yourselves into the machinery of media and become a slave. 

"That's why I don't watch television!" Well, a) you mean TV dramas, and 2) it's because you're not a 45 year old woman, the target demo of TV.   But maybe you're proud that you skip the commercials and avoid the "mainstream media", you don't want to be part of the corporate consumerist machine and good for you, yet your independence is why Whole Foods knows you'll buy anything wrapped in brown and you already have a subscription to The New Yorker, which has a curiously large number of ads for mental institutions.  If you're reading it, it's for you.  The New Yorker is also at the checkout counter in Whole Foods, along with Rolling Stone and Psychology Today and not along with Sports Illustrated and The Weekly Standard.  You think you shop at Whole Foods because it has better quality food?  It's because of those magazines.   Even the neocons who shop there-- they don't shop at Acme-- shop there because of the branding: liberal=organic, so the more left wing magazines and the more dred locks the more it has reinforced the "liberalism" and therefore the "quality," and so you go, "reluctantly",  shaking your head at the crazy commies stocking the store as you hand them 3x more than anything is worth.  "Would you like to donate $1 to help Ethiopian refugees?"  Son of a bitch, this apple is delicious.

III. 

If you hold a protest and you aren't throwing rocks it will fail.   I'm not telling you to throw rocks, I'm explaining why your march won't work. 

The reason "peaceful protests" don't work anymore is because now the protests are slower than the media coverage.  When they threw the tea in Boston Harbor it was urgent, immediate, and by the time the press could interpret it it had already been digested by the public.   But now even before the protest reaches critical mass the media, whose agents  outnumber the protestors 100 to 1, has packaged and produced it, like a reality show, and by the time Naomi Klein got there I had already been told to expect someone like her.  Do you see?  She had already appeared before she got there.  Yes, I can take pride in thinking for myself but if I'm going to be honest, all I'm doing is reacting to what I'm told.  I was once going to write something about what Amanda Knox's innocence revealed about our earlier media  prejudices, and then I realized I still have no idea if she's innocent or guilty, only that the media tells me she isn't.  And then I wondered, why do I even care if she is guilty or innocent, why do I even know her name, what's that got to do with me?  Because the media decide not just truth and falsehood but existence and non-existence.  #OccupyWallStreet never stood a chance, come one person, come ten million people, it doesn't matter, the only people who have any power are people like her:

alison kosik wall street protest.jpg

and she is stronger than all of you.  Close your eyes: do you remember anyone else?

You can agree or disagree, but you must do it with her, not with the folks holding signs.  And by her I don't mean her, of course, she doesn't get to decide what she thinks, either-- her producer tells her, and so on up the chain. 

Late at night as I'm drinking my eyes blind I hear the protesters regularly complain that they are not getting enough media coverage.  They are protesting Wall Street, and they want more Wall Street coverage?  You lose.

Those protesters are based in a world that is built on rules.  Because of this, they will never be as strong, or as fast, as the media that exists outside those rules.  "Hey, stupid, what's that? a sign?  TOO SLOW, we have a thousand satellites and a harem of reporters, from beautiful blondes to ugly intellectuals, we control the whole thing.  You even put a hashtag in your official name because your only voice is twitter.  Bless my heart-- twitter!  How absolutely precious. Don't forget to rock the vote!"

"We are the 99%. We want to cut the umbilical cord from fossil fuels and consumerism." Easy, but then what?  There are two ends to that cord, something has to nourish you and all that's left since you can't afford what you were told you needed is the placenta of the political-media machine.  "Get out the vote" is truly terrible advice, the only way to win is not to play.  If you're at the protest and a guy comes around asking you to register and it's not for a handgun, punch him in the face.  He's your enemy.

"We need a third party!"  Come on, do you think the media will allow you to have a third party?  John Anderson, Ross Perot, Ralph Nader--  they let them through to "show" third party candidates aren't any more serious than Howard Stern when he ran for governor.  Poor Ron Paul pulls in more people than porn but he can't get a break, sorry buddy, 100 years too late for your kind.  There's a difference between what you need and what you want, and the media will always, relentlessly give you what you want.  Do you know why you have such poor candidates every single election?  Because you want them, you want someone you can easily judge for some sexual indiscretion or because they called latinos chicanos.  "Well, that matters to us!"  Then you got what you asked for.

The media will have data mined the culture and chosen for you two cans of Campbell's Chicken Soup, and then encouraged a public debate about which can is a better representation of the spirit of the country, the one on the left or the one on the right.  "Well, that matters to us!"  I know.  

IV.

The protests will fail.  They will eventually be co-opted by the pre-election media orgasmia, branded as either this team or that and assigned a leader no one would have ever picked, ever, ever.    The Tea Party may have started with Rick Santelli but they soon got Sarah Palin, figure that out.  Half of you will vote, all of you will complain, and nothing will change until the day we are buying fake iPads with real yuans, hey, who's the balding guy on the 20?  And the 50?  And the 100...?  And the reason it will fail is that you don't want it to succeed.  You are still holding on to the mercantilist, zero-sum economic delusion that tariffs and gold standards and less money for Wall Street means more money for you, and then you can go back to living like it's 1999 again.  You  can't.  It's over.

Of course Wall Street has excessive profits, but just as your life has been an inflated delusion of easy credit, so has theirs; yes, they have received an obscene share of that fake money, and ten-twenty years ago maybe you could have redistributed that fake money, but that ship has sailed.  Now, the moment you take it away from them it ceases to exist, poof, it's gone.  It's fine if you want to do it to punish them, I get it, it's the right thing to do and Glass-Steagall and all that, but it won't help your situation one bit.

$3.6T out, $2.4T in, those are the numbers, and in case you want something on letterhead here's the CBO saying taxing the rich would get us $450B over ten years. Ten years!  Double the taxes, triple the taxes, it makes no difference, it's over.  The only way out is a massive tax on wealth; cold fusion; a war; a new media; or inflation.  Inflation has the side benefit of pushing you into a higher tax bracket and we'll all get to see what a $1000 bill looks like.

"We are the 99%."  Stop it.  There is a 1%, fighting another 1%, and while both of those megalomaniancs dominate the media coverage the other 98% has no recourse, no representation, no allies, and no savings. If you're over forty 2007 was the best you will ever have it, make sure you backup your photos, it may not get worse than this but your only hope for growth is the next generation so you better change your expectations and your priorities.  If you want to eat something other than canned goods and insects when you're 80 you better prepare your kids now,  work them harder in math and get them to read better books, make some kind of/all kinds of a sacrifice for them, because the only thing keeping you from the hellacious Medicare funded nursing homes and the Social Security that will not exist is them, the 17 year olds you are screaming at for drinking too much of the whisky you are hiding in the bathroom.

And in 2030 don't tell me "the young should respect their elders," in the oldest of days the elderly were revered not because the young were respectful but because in those days if you made it to 60 you were a goddamn superhero.  "Whatever the hell this guy did in his life," Johnny said to Timmy,  "I'm copying.  How in Sutekh's name did he not get eaten by a hyena?"  If the hyenas had slacked off maybe those youth wouldn't have been so respectful.  Pray you don't find out.

Are you listening to me?  Or were you looking at the woman in the red dress?


michelle franzen.jpg
You are the 98%, and you are too slow.



--- 

The Dumbest Economic Collapse In History



http://twitter.com/thelastpsych










Comments

"Once done, the leaders of ... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 1:28 PM | Posted by Gerard: | Reply

"Once done, the leaders of the group have the powerbase to do what they want"

There are no leaders. Call me a liar and point them out.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -28 (78 votes cast)
The whole point to these pr... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 1:32 PM | Posted by Brakhage: | Reply

The whole point to these protests is there is no structure for accommodating the needs of the less-than-rich; no leadership, no viable platform, no means of restructuring society.

Everybody around these protests realizes this - viewers and participants. Everyone knows this whole thing will just blow away and leave no result, and that aggrieves everyone further. And that sense that nothing can be accomplished will demoralize some, and further motivate others.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 15 (39 votes cast)
There's no official list of... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 1:32 PM | Posted by Dan Dravot: | Reply

There's no official list of demands, but polling indicates a hyper-landslide consensus for exactly what you'd expect when you look at them: Pretty much all of them want free everything.

It's nice that they think they're against crony capitalism, but how exactly do you square that with wanting more government and more "green energy"? "Duhhh... Wha'?"

On the other hand, it really is crazy for tuition debt not to be dischargable in bankruptcy, and you can't blame 18 year olds for being stupid enough to believe that a lib-arts degree was worth borrowing $100,000 to pay for. Maybe $1,000.

But Wall Street never sold them that lie, and nobody's protesting against the people who did.

How strange.

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Anyhow, I agree that what's... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 1:37 PM | Posted by Dan Dravot: | Reply

Anyhow, I agree that what's deeply creepy about this is the scapegoating. It's all the international bankers, eh? Yeah, that's a switch.

Nobody EVER fixed anything with that lunacy. Ever. Not ever, not once. It is an evil and destructive lie. And while it may hurt the rich, they can always afford to work around it: Leave, or buy indulgences from el presidenté, or whatever.

The people crushed by it are the ones at the bottom who can't afford to leave or buy their way out. The ones it was sold to as a solution. That's you, kids.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (42 votes cast)
Cries from the void ... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 1:37 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Cries from the void
Screaming on a plastic box
Echoes confusion

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 7 (31 votes cast)
Wait until they start blami... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 1:39 PM | Posted by Claudius: | Reply

Wait until they start blaming the jews.

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Oh, and lastly: These kids ... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 1:42 PM | Posted by Dan Dravot: | Reply

Oh, and lastly: These kids will accomplish nothing that they want to accomplish. But they will soon enough turn ugly and start smashing windows and attacking people (they always do), and the Democrats will look very stupid and crazy for having supported them.

The United States is nowhere near screwed enough, and our political institutions are nowhere near rotten enough, to support this kind of thing on a politically-relevant scale. We're not Venezuela. We're still so rich, we can't even imagine what being Venezuela is actually like, or else none of us would imagine that as a possibility.

So in effect, these kids are just Romney voters. Which, considering the other options, I guess it's better than having cannibals eat my fingers while I watch.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -27 (67 votes cast)
Holy fuck, Alone - don't ho... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 1:45 PM | Posted by Internet Name Goes Here: | Reply

Holy fuck, Alone - don't hold back for chrissakes!

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 23 (27 votes cast)
Your country is as poor and... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 1:48 PM | Posted, in reply to Dan Dravot's comment, by Gerard: | Reply

Your country is as poor and corrupt as any other 3rd world country.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 26 (66 votes cast)
Nice. ... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 2:02 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by eqv: | Reply

Nice.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -8 (16 votes cast)
Once the economic crisis en... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 2:18 PM | Posted by Max: | Reply

Once the economic crisis entered the political sphere, the outcome became unpredictable, and the same goes for these protests. These things never spring fully-formed from the head of Zeus; it takes time, action and reaction, over a period of years, before the victors write the history.

I think you and pasta are jumping the gun in your condemnations; if the economy continues to degrade the odds of violent action increase. What we're seeing could be nothing, or it could be something. It's too early to tell.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 42 (42 votes cast)
Well thought out and provoc... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 2:27 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Well thought out and provocative. The truth as the physics of economics would have it, is exactly as you put it: Its over.

Our government will never take the steps to remedy the problem. The cure is worse than the disease and would surely kill off a large percentage of the worlds largest nation-states.

That said, I disagree with a few assertions you made: "The only way out is a massive tax on wealth; cold fusion; a war; a new media; or inflation"

Massive tax on wealth isn't large enough to make a dent, and simultaneously defeats the only engine moving progress forward; capital outlay.

A War. These NEVER create wealth. Its a fable that WWII "cured" the depression. And given the way the US has to wage war, there is no recovered asset to pay down the debt required to fund the war. Even if all the oil fields were redistributed it wouldn't back us out of the default.

Inflation. This is simply a nominal reflection of a fiat-currency out of control. There is nothing about inflation that fixes debt.

The solution that won't be taken by our current government (though it may happen regardless) is to default on Social Security, Medicare and to allow banks/countries to BK on zombie assets (e.g., real estate) and allow grid locked capital to rebuild in the wake of the restructuring.

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I don't patronize bunny rab... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 2:29 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I don't patronize bunny rabbits.

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Well, I've just always thou... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 2:33 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Well, I've just always thought that when a college degree can't even get you a job at Wal-Mart or Wendy's, something's wrong (and yes, been there done that). Perhaps it's not Wall Street, but something needs to change.

However, I'd say it's far more effective to actually get involved in your government than to just continue to yell and scream at the government to do more. "This is what democracy looks like"? How many of the OWSers actually vote (who are of age, that is, because I know there are some very young ones)? Support the candidates that are actually going to get done what needs to get done. You know why everything's messed up now? Because you DIDN'T.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -11 (41 votes cast)
The protest will *probably*... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 2:34 PM | Posted by Internet Name Goes Here: | Reply

The protest will *probably* fail precisely because it has no leader - these sort of twitter/facebook/whatever groups have a dislike of hierarchies. Unfortunately experience has shown that you need a hierarchy since you are using political power to effect change - power demands structures, parliaments, committees to be handled safely. The protestors will probably win a few concessions, not necessarily in New York, but the similar movements springing up in Britain etc, and then it will dissolve into infighting since there is no power structure within the organisation to formulate demands

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (19 votes cast)
If you measure US wealth by... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 2:47 PM | Posted, in reply to Gerard's comment, by Dan Dravot: | Reply

If you measure US wealth by per capita GDP, standard of living, or any other measure, we're unambiguously miles ahead of everybody but the rest of the first world. Comparisons with them rest on how you value intangibles like the time value of being an annoying Frenchman or whatever. So let's leave aside those unresolvable debates for the eternity you and I will spend locked in the same room in hell together, with Sartre for an umpire.

Wealth or corruption are measurable, and the worst any sane person could contemplate rating us on either is about average among filthy rich countries. Either you've never been to the third world, or you've never been to Aroostook County. There's no comparison, and by our standards the County is a hellhole.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 4 (28 votes cast)
The government is part of t... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 2:50 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Gerard: | Reply

The government is part of the problem.

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The prices of degrees isn't... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 3:30 PM | Posted, in reply to Dan Dravot's comment, by Gary: | Reply

The prices of degrees isn't Wall Street's fault. The fact that they are not market-priced as determined by the expected rate of return is the problem. If we all know that every degree has a different value, why are all of the credits priced the same? Start restricting loan amounts for liberal arts degrees (based on expected income potential), and you will see less of them. Our degrees are not priced properly...it's very simple.

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"...the media will always, ... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 3:35 PM | Posted by ThomasR: | Reply

"...the media will always, relentlessly give you what you want."


This is so true. And it almost, kind of makes me value politicians again!

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Inflation. This is simpl... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 4:06 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Max: | Reply

Inflation. This is simply a nominal reflection of a fiat-currency out of control. There is nothing about inflation that fixes debt.

Inflation "fixes" debt by reducing its real value over time, assuming that the price of the underlying asset (secured debt) or the price of labor (unsecured debt) rises along with the inflation. This is the government's preferred method of debt destruction. Ultimately this is still a kind of default, but under normal conditions the burden of debt is released slow enough that the economy can adjust.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 12 (14 votes cast)
"Would you like to donate ... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 4:37 PM | Posted by ZombieChimp: | Reply

"Would you like to donate $1 to help Ethiopian refugees?" Son of a bitch, this apple is delicious.
-Ring Lardneresque

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (8 votes cast)
I am intrigued by the numbe... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 5:04 PM | Posted by anon: | Reply

I am intrigued by the number of commenters who ape your style - that is, long on huffing-and-puffing (bordering on hysteria) and feel-good sneers at the "kids", and short on analysis.

In the weak-analysis/hysteria department, let's include this example:

"Double the taxes, triple the taxes, it makes no difference, it's over. The only way out is a massive tax on wealth; cold fusion; a war; a new media; or inflation. Inflation has the side benefit of pushing you into a higher tax bracket and we'll all get to see what a $1000 bill looks like."

Actually, none of this is true. For example, given that tax receipts relative to the size of the economy are at multi-generational lows, there is plenty of room for modest tax increases that would stabilize the deficit, and ultimately reduce it, and reduce the national debt (if that is desired.) It will take time, but debt-to-GDP has on occasion been much higher in the past.

(The debt-train-wreck "narrative" is really only plausible if US healthcare costs continue to be double or more of what other developed nations pay (while getting poorer results, for the most part.))

There is plenty of good factual information out there on this kind of thing (economics texts are a good place to start), but you need to open your mind to the possibility that the perversely comforting apocalyptic debt narrative is false, and that the kind of accounting that a family does, for example, doesn't really apply to governments (and no, governments are not like "businesses" either.)

For example, as a bit of homework, I'll leave it to you to explain why it is that not every country in the world can have a positive savings rate and a "balanced" budget at the same time...

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Society of the Spectacle - ... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 5:13 PM | Posted by Zach: | Reply

Society of the Spectacle - Guy Debord

^^^ Read this.

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In the weak-analysis/hys... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 5:29 PM | Posted by Max: | Reply

In the weak-analysis/hysteria department, let's include this example:

TLP does seem to have bought into this Summer's manufactured debt crisis narrative, although at some point you have to pick an idea to hang your hat on, otherwise you'll drift forever in pomo hell between one matrix and another.

The mayor of San Jose (via Michael Lewis) recently said it well:

I ask him what the chances are that, in this pinch, he could raise taxes. He holds up a thumb and index finger: zero. He’s recently coined a phrase, he says: “service-level insolvency.” Service-level insolvency means that the expensive community center that has been built and named cannot be opened. It means closing libraries three days a week. It isn’t financial bankruptcy; it’s cultural bankruptcy.

“How on earth did this happen?” I ask him.

“The only way I can explain it,” he says, “is that they got the money because it was there.” But he has another way to explain it, and in a moment he offers it up.

“I think we’ve suffered from a series of mass delusions,” he says.

I didn’t completely understand what he meant, and said so.

“We’re all going to be rich,” he says. “We’re all going to live forever. All the forces in the state are lined up to preserve the status quo. To preserve the delusion. And here—this place—is where the reality hits.”

On the way back to the elevators I chat with two of Mayor Reed’s aides. He’d mentioned to me that, as bad as they might think they have it in San Jose, a lot of other American cities have it worse. “I count my blessings when I talk to the mayors of other cities,” he’d said.

The OWS protests ultimately represent the end of yet another mass delusion. What replaces it is the question.

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Quite a crapping on the kid... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 6:24 PM | Posted by Sdc: | Reply

Quite a crapping on the kids there. One thing, the idea that Santelli to Palin was a step down amuses me greatly. I saw his tv tantrum. Him and a bunch of surly traders posturing for the camera.There is a likelihood OWS will be coopted, but the Tea Party business was AstroTurf right out the gate

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This is really something - ... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 7:03 PM | Posted by anon: | Reply

This is really something - that someone who seems to have some sort of education can write this stuff and brazenly post it for everyone to see. It takes a certain courage, and the hope he'll remain anonymous, I imagine. The replacement of the simple declarative sentences of the high school-level essay of the old days with such constructions as this:

"Half of you will vote, all of you will complain, and nothing will change until the day we are buying fake iPads with real yuans, hey, who's the balding guy on the 20? And the 50? And the 100...? And the reason it will fail is that you don't want it to succeed. You are still holding on to the mercantilist, zero-sum economic delusion that tariffs and gold standards and less money for Wall Street means more money for you, and then you can go back to living like it's 1999 again. You can't. It's over."

...is surely another symptom of the endarkenment. This is awful, awful writing - silly, fake-insightful, incoherent, but possessed of the boundlessly self-assured tone of the ignorant.

I spend my days drawing red lines through this sort of thing, and patiently explaining, one student at a time, that though the "ignorant pundit style" is all around us, there is still no substitute for clarity and speaking from a position of knowledge.

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Did you get the coverage of... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 7:08 PM | Posted, in reply to Sdc's comment, by TheCoconutChef: | Reply

Did you get the coverage of that event from the Daily Show?

I'm not saying the Tea Party is awesome, but Santelli isn't a total dumbass nor was he ever for any of the bailout.

If you can't differentiate between Palin and Santelli it's because you haven't been listening to either one of them but to somebody else who described them to you.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 15 (23 votes cast)
I think you're wrong on thi... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 7:29 PM | Posted by Lise: | Reply

I think you're wrong on this one, Alone. The rage and the rum have blinded you. I can't say why, exactly. But the insight you usually possess seems to be missing, and you're just ranting without any actual point. Why are you so angry at these kids?

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Well TLP it looks like a lo... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 8:44 PM | Posted by Al Miller: | Reply

Well TLP it looks like a lot of crazy and deluded people read and comment on psychiatry blogs.

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Been reading this blog for ... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 8:57 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Been reading this blog for a few years now. I've gotten older and the economy has gotten worse. All according to plan, so far. I'm almost 25.

I'd like to think something will change in the next presidency, but I don't see it happening. In fact, I'm watching the Republican debate right now. Now I know for sure it won't. Either way, I'll be almost 30 when it's over. Damn, I'm getting old.

I feel nature tugging at me. Move the girlfriend in. Split the bills. Have a kid. Raise a family. Do it before you're too old. Before you miss out on life. One day that voice will overpower my finances.

I just hope that I won't have to raise my family in a one bedroom apartment.

Alone, I've asked before, but you've never answered. So, I'll ask again. What is your advice to the lost twenty-somethings? Hole up in the apartment? Move to Canada? Start learning Chinese? Buy lots of rum? Our thanks, in advance.

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Oh, it's easy to tell the d... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 9:00 PM | Posted by SDC: | Reply

Oh, it's easy to tell the difference between Santelli and Palin, much like it's easy to tell the difference between shit and shinola. I'm saying neither would be particularly tasty. Yes, I watched the thing and did some background on Santelli. Horrible choice as leader or standard bearer for anything. Central casting white weasel complaining about his $10k watch not working.

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You are a genius, sir. Alt... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 9:22 PM | Posted by Adam: | Reply

You are a genius, sir. Although I do not disagree wholeheartedly with what I guess the student's intents are. They are going about it the wrong way.

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Such malodorous, nihilistic... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 10:39 PM | Posted by NiL: | Reply

Such malodorous, nihilistic garbage, grounded so firmly in malodorous, extreme-right garbage.
Go easy, TLP: you might pop an aneurysm or have a coronary - that will probably increase MY insurance premiums, which will displease me - profoundly.
Power to the People!

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Hey there, 25 year old Anon... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 11:10 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Hey there, 25 year old Anon. I'm in a similar boat. Here's my take on this whole thing. You don't want to start a family until you can afford to provide a good life for it, right? Well, reasonable expectations for the trappings of "good life" change. Your future kids aren't doomed if they'll have to grow up in a one-bedroom apartment. The reason nice people of the 2 previous generations who were concerned about their kids' quality of life waited until they could buy a house, was because that required effort, but was a reasonable expectation. House was just a physical representation of all the other things such people do: helping with homework, being available for conversation, coaching, tucking in at night and so on. I came to America when I was a young child. My parents are nice, educated, family oriented people, but where they lived, even a one bedroom apartment was not a reasonable goal before having children. Yes, it was crowded, but all the bells and whistles of a middle class lifestyle were there for my brother and me. Our parents read us books and then discussed them with us. We were expected to do well in school, and our parents were actively involved in our education. Parents helped us prepare for school plays, insured we had costumes for the carnivals (even if handmade), practiced soccer techniques with us, took us camping and so on. I remember growing up there, the kids in my class could always guess whose parents were professions and whose were alcoholics. I guess what I'm trying to say is: it's a very good sign that you want to wait until you can provide your child with a house, but house isn't the point. What is really important to you? Why do you really want to have that kid? When you imagine a happy family, what the main characteristics that jump out? I now live in an inner city where I came with Teach for America to take a job at one of the city schools. The vast majority of my students' families are on welfare and in section 8 housing. The vast majority of my students either have their own bedrooms or share their rooms with a same sex sibling close in age. Everyone has a large TV in the house. Everyone has internet access at home. All the parents have cell phones. Mothers (there are usually no fathers) who i get to see usually look well taken care of with hair and nails professionally done. Guess what? Little kids still come to school without coats in the dead of winter. Mothers still never answer their phones nor do they call back. Children still come to school with their homework unattempted everyday. A large number of kindergarteners can't speak when they start school, and then rapidly learn that first year, catching up by 3rd grade, more or less. It's not the housing, phones, cars, foodstamps, free school lunches, church provided school supplies and so on that raise a child and keep a loving relationship. People do that, or they don't. And people are able to do those things without what used to be a sign of middle class comfort.

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<a href="http://plymouthbel... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 11:36 PM | Posted by Bruce Lewis: | Reply

One man's NSFW opinion of the 99%ers

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This is not an analysis. Yo... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2011 12:11 AM | Posted by Neil Kandalgaonkar: | Reply

This is not an analysis. You are offering no observations and no facts to back up your argument. You are just hurling accusations of hypocrisy at everybody and anybody.

I think you are just grasping at straws trying to fit this into your personal narrative of how everybody else is deluded, and you're the only one who sees hard, cruel reality.

The fact is: this is a real movement, of people who have a genuine but reasonably informed faith that they can change things, and who are very alert to manipulation and co-optation. I know this is threatening for you, but it is okay to feel hopeful about this.

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When it comes to the 1% fig... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2011 12:35 AM | Posted by DataShade: | Reply

When it comes to the 1% fighting the other 1%, you're probably not wrong, but I think you may be underestimating the other 98%. I don't think they're doing it on purpose, but they're not all doing it wrong. Have you ever heard of Global Guerrillas? The guy who writes it is former spec ops/USAF, COINTEL expert turned writer/theorist. He seems to think, by and large, #OWS is a non-violent protest version of the open-source warfare he's been writing about for over a decade, and that it has a better chance of effecting change - altho' I think he's with you on the notion that it's not going to be anything that any one protester wants.

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"Once the economic crisis e... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2011 3:13 AM | Posted, in reply to Max's comment, by Or: | Reply

"Once the economic crisis entered the political sphere, the outcome became unpredictable, and the same goes for these protests. These things never spring fully-formed from the head of Zeus; it takes time, action and reaction, over a period of years, before the victors write the history."

And in the short term they are often quite disappointed. Two thirds of France went on strike in May '68, but the way they voted a month later, you'd think they were just trolling.

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I don't really have any fee... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2011 5:46 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I don't really have any feelings about the protest yet, but the way you write reminds me of Steve Sailer.

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Damn. This was good.... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2011 7:05 AM | Posted by Bob Dobalina: | Reply

Damn. This was good.

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While it's true that war do... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2011 7:33 AM | Posted by Guy Fox: | Reply

While it's true that war doesn't always leave you in the black, it can be a mighty handy way to change the conversation. Oh, hi guys! Thank you for stopping by. We've been expecting you.

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"The reason "peaceful prote... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2011 7:54 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"The reason "peaceful protests" don't work anymore is because now the protests are slower than the media coverage."

now we're getting to the heart of it. thanks for the insight

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The Moon Is A Harsh Mistres... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2011 11:57 AM | Posted by haldol5: | Reply

The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Alone. So what is America?

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You seem to have a higher f... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2011 12:28 PM | Posted by The Rambling Fool: | Reply

You seem to have a higher frequency of political posts lately, TLP. It seems like these protests have hit a nerve with you...

But you shouldn't be complaining in the way that you are. The protestors are attempting to represent 99% of the population, and they have the right to do so (in some definition of the word) until/unless some of that other 98% speaks up for itself.

CNN, Fox, all of the major news stations always pretend to represent some larger-than-rational percentage of the population. And they ARE representing them until they get their own voice.

Consider this: if you don't vote in an election, local, state, whatever, you ARE voting for the 99%. It turns out to be a lot less than 99%, because a fair share of that chunk has spoken for themselves in opposition, but sure enough, your vote is in favor of whoever 'the majority' favors.

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Why are you so angry at the... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2011 1:13 PM | Posted, in reply to Lise's comment, by Mark p.s.2: | Reply

Why are you so angry at these kids?
Maybe because they are stupid?

"you can't blame 18 year olds for being stupid enough to believe that a lib-arts degree was worth borrowing $100,000 to pay for." Dan Dravot.

"Kids are only as dumb as they're allowed to be." http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2008/10/the_dumbest_generation_is_only.html

Who caused them to be stupid?

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"They exist in a quantum su... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2011 4:26 PM | Posted by JKep: | Reply

"They exist in a quantum superposition of multiple eigenstates, but the moment they make an official demand the whole thing will collapse into a single state and everyone will hate it."

That's awesome. But dude, I thought you were a shrink. Why U know physics geekspeak?

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Well, Alone, buddy, it look... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2011 5:09 PM | Posted by BHE: | Reply

Well, Alone, buddy, it looks like you and I are the same page again. You seem about as close to snapping as I feel. Thanks for making me feel, again, not so alone. I wish we could have a drink sometime, I'd like to help you crawl into that bottle.

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25 year old Anon. I'm, like... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2011 5:16 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by gatekeeper: | Reply

25 year old Anon. I'm, like you, 25.
When I was 23, while still studying, I went ahead and I got lucky (sure I had skills and I work in IT, but life is always a game of dice) and got myself a decent job - above nation average salary in my country. It was hard at first, studies plus job, but I kind of liked it that way. I was working there for 8 months and then, just 2 weeks after promotion, I quit. To quit such job in the middle of a recession. Reckless. Careless. I could have made such a career. But it's just a job, it has a purpose. And I had a plan.
I always knew better. The job was boring, it was getting me nowhere I wanted to be. And it already served its purpose - it got me enough money that I didn't have to worry about food, clothes and shelter for the rest of my studies. So I went ahead and for about a year I studied (on my own) a particular piece of technology. It was simply interesting. Imagine what can you do if you focus on a single thing for a year. You got it wrong. You can do a lot better, you don't know because you never tried.
Thanks to what I learned about a year ago I started my own company. This day I earn 3-4 times the national average salary. At the former job I was facing a 15-year loan for an average apartment. Now I can pay it off in 3. And I already know when I'm going to quit it. It got boring, and I have a plan.
So, here's a piece of advice:
Make your life interesting. Beautiful. Enrich your environment. Learn from it - everything you ever do, even if it only means slicing your bread in a prettier way. (Never thought of that, did you?) Oh... you buy it already sliced.
Take risks, take chances. Nobody cares about you. Not your boss, not your company. When they get into trouble, you're expendable. It's a risk you can't control. You won't get back a second of your wasted life.
Know what's best for you because nobody else does. Maybe you won't win, but the chances are against those who don't have the balls to pursue their dreams.
Act, don't react. Reaction means you're one step behind. If someone already made the move, you may just as well skip the whole thing. How smart do you think you are? Do you honestly think you can catch up? Go find your own path. Learn to let go. You'll never slice a bread prettier than I do.
Hear people out. Don't listen to people. If you follow, you never get ahead.

Why are you nodding? I don't know anything about you. Always know better.

SIDE NOTE: This comment.. choice of words, punctuation, and even this very side note is constructed in such a way that I know exactly in what two states your mind can now be. Most of you that is. Learn from it. Read it again. See if you can find manipulation in it. Read news that way. Read Alone this way. Can you see it? Keep in mind that I'm not even a native English speaker as you very well can tell. And also that I didn't spend a year focusing on it. It's a skill I developed on purpose - to defend from the media. Pardon. Mediators. Ah, collective thinking, you never really free from it.
Maybe I just flat out lie. Doesn't matter. What matters is: can you tell?

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Oh were you thinking he'd h... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2011 6:30 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Washington: | Reply

Oh were you thinking he'd have any actual useful advice or something? Didn't you say you'd been reading the blog for a few years? It's just "you're part the problem, narcissism, worst generation etc." over and over.

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In the end, democracy isn't... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2011 7:06 PM | Posted by Eipa: | Reply

In the end, democracy isn't the best system because it leads to good solutions. But because when the system breaks down nobody will be responsible. We simply will have to admit, that the whole thing turned out to be too big for us...

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I don't mean to alarm you, ... (Below threshold)

October 13, 2011 1:43 AM | Posted by Ted: | Reply

I don't mean to alarm you, but this will blow over just like every crises the U.S. has faced in the last hundred years has blown over.

We (Gen X and Y) will not be the first generation to leave our children worse than we ourselves were.

At some point, we will figure out how to reconcile the quality of our lives, which has never been higher, with our enjoyment of our quality of life. Can you imagine if our great-grand parents could see us now? Those that lived through the years of the 1930s, when people were genuinely starving, watching us debate the value of organic foods on our iPhones.

Yet we are depressed, not economically, but emotionally and socially. Fewer people with friends and less enjoyment from them, hidden behind thousands of Facebook friends with no one to call and say, "You know, today really sucked, do you mind if I talk to you about it?" We'll reconcile the plenty with our attitudes towards it, at some point. Probably. But it bears repeating that depression (and suicide) are luxuries - every bit as much as McDonald's and internet. Ever see a depressed Amazonian tribesmen? Or are they just happy that a boa constrictor didn't eat them last night?

So regardless, everyone...cheer up. This 'crises' is exactly as bad as you decide it is. And in the meantime, you're arguing on the internet, with people thousands of miles away about economic and social forces that you wouldn't even have been able to read about 50 years ago. Your lives may not be that bad either.

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Don't tell people to have k... (Below threshold)

October 13, 2011 8:25 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Don't tell people to have kids and teach them math. It's much better to learn to manipulate others and make them want to work for you.

Life is so much better when you are at the peak of the piramid...

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you are part of the 99%. Yo... (Below threshold)

October 13, 2011 11:12 AM | Posted by Zach: | Reply

you are part of the 99%. You just have no idea what the term means. It isn't a movement, but a statistical fact.

The movement is called something else. You wasted all that time raging against something no one is saying. These are individuals in OWS. Is it a good or bad thing to be in the 99%? No, its just what sector of the financial class we're in. This can't be that hard to understand. If OWS succeeds, will they no longer be IN the 99%? No, they still will.

This is about corporate and political corruption more than it is about taxes. The system is broken and at this point Taxes won't fix it. And see? I'm just a voice. My opinions, and the opinions of any of the Activists are NOT the voice of the whole, but that of individuals. There is ONE message and ONE only that ALL of the protesters agree on. Something is wrong, and if we don't fix it this thing WILL collapse. Its not anti-capitalism, or pro any other system of socio-economic government template, they ALL have an expiration date. but Capitalism is probably one of the better models. But its not meant to deal with modern internet business and multi-billionaires. They shouldn't be punished for success. But can we allow their success to destroy us?

I am NOT the 99%. The OWS movement is NOT the 99%. They are AMONG the 99%. and this almost seems a concentrated effort to make sure that distinction remains vague. Because the easiest way to win is NOT to be right but to make your Opponent look like an idiot. you just have to create a stalemate and win by default. and when your entire movement is Anonymous anyone can say they are you.

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Poor Ron Paul pulls i... (Below threshold)

October 13, 2011 11:37 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Poor Ron Paul pulls in more people than porn but he can't get a break, sorry buddy, 100 years too late for your kind. There's a difference between what you need and what you want, and the media will always, relentlessly give you what you want.

There are more of us than they will ever admit. WAY more.

It ain't over til it's over.

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Spot-on post from Alone.</p... (Below threshold)

October 13, 2011 11:52 AM | Posted by medsvstherapy: | Reply

Spot-on post from Alone.

Here is the sad thing: the upset generation/community is upset because they have believed a bunch of college professors and victim hucksters when these class warfare hucksters said all of this stuff about "oppression" "rights," "justice," and "entitlements."

This is all possible because of wealth.
Same as our obestiy epidemic, and epidemic of low-income single moms.

Wealth.

If these goofballs, or any Alone readers cannot figure out how wealth has led to the wonderful opportunity to complain that we can no longer get a cool good-paying job with a humanities degree, you need to stat reading economics. And not redconomics.

I was in the final generation where a liberal arts college degree was not totally taken over by media studies this and feminist that. On top of "computer studies" and the non-business "business" courses.

I read transcripts regularly. I teach, and we have to review and admit students. I know what is on your transcript.

With the OWS, I know ralize we have raised a huge cohort of ppl with no brains in their heads, and who cannot figure out the most basic things.

Wall Street lowers transactions costs, helping us to be the most productive and wealthy country. Helping you attend W&M. Your university, teaching you this thinly disguised marxism, was built on the wealth of capitalism. Yes, including exploited steel workers in Pittsburgh, in Monterrey, and now in Taiwan.

Honestly: no one will pay you well for studying the Reformation or French literature, or "Communication Studies."

I was in the "liberal arts." I was one of those ppl trying to declare it was valuable, compared to the business school and engineering school, and natural sciences. when someone asked me how, I had to answer: go to grad school.

Myself, I knew this lib art humanities stuff was not going to pay bills. I studied psychology. And went to grad school.

I also knew better than to borrow $100K to get any of my degrees- I have a few.

If you recognize that debt is a problem, get out of it and stay out of it.

A bank loaned me money to get into my home. Lots of money. more than my annual take-home.

Who here would go give a French Rennaissance Lit major a loan for a median value home, say $150k? You are nuts. You cannot make that kind of money tutoring French.

If a bilionaire has 5Bn, what does he or she do with it? They set it in a bank (I borrowed that money to buy my hoise - yay me! win-win!), or buy something (I worked in retail and took their money - yay me win-win!), or invest in a new company so I can patronize that company - I have bought academic books befoer Amazon/Ebay and after: believe me: the investment that billionaires made in Amazon/Ebay has been wildly helpful for my textbook addiction.

Billionaires make jobs, not take them.

Bill ayers JUST put out a textbook on RACE COURSE TO WHITE SUPREMACY. I think it is c. 2009. Go google it.

I am not kidding. The prez's benefactor and ghost-writer, and mad-bomber wife, just published a textbook on our white guilt and how we should, for redemption, embarrass our hard-working parents plus bring down the capitalist system.

Sadly, since our ed has been taken over by the stealth marxists (BTW: Bill Ayers is also a leading figure in higher ed).

At the same time, the humanities majors continue to espouse the idea that "learning to be a critical thinker is a good idea."

Sure, Let's get back to it.

Now I kow why I have such a hard time getting grad students to use common sense.

I think the end of ppl actualyl getting something out of a lib arts/humanities degree ended in 1990. Those ppl are now 40yo and younger.

We will figure this out, but it will be painful.

The successful ppl wil be those who sidestep this embracement of marxism. Possibly the Hispanics, Subcontinenters, and Middle Easterners who have immigrated and have been working instead of ooh-ing and ahh-ing over projected slides of Keith Haring paintings in a college auditorium, while scrawling their emotional response to such heady classics as "I Know Why The Caged bird Sings" (all 68 pages), and believing that scrawling your "Reaction Paper" is "thinking."

The market will correct, and our society will. It will be painful.

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the tumbler foto website is... (Below threshold)

October 13, 2011 12:12 PM | Posted by medsvstherapy: | Reply

the tumbler foto website is great.

it show s the quid-pro-quo belief: if I get good grades, or get a degree from a school with a good name, i will be assured a satisfying, stable future.

-folks: that is commumism. wake up already. in the real world, nothing is guaranteed. the govt is not in control of tornadoes or cancer. they just happen. you had better figure out what you need to do to be ready. no one has yet figured out how to control an economy from the top-down, and if they try, it is basic economics to expalin how stable, guaranteed jobs and prices will inadvertently wreck the economy, not make it stable.

in those pics/stories, a true tragedy is health care. i have my opinions abt how it should be different - and my ideas are not what was in health car reform.

health ins became a job perk, like free coffee. this blew it all.

partly because the 'perk' quality was made to be very favorable to large employers, not small employers.

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"Cheer up. It ain't that b... (Below threshold)

October 13, 2011 1:32 PM | Posted by Rose Lane: | Reply

"Cheer up. It ain't that bad"--Edina Monsoon

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It could also be the ten pa... (Below threshold)

October 13, 2011 3:36 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

It could also be the ten page psychological exam some employers use for the simplest of jobs. You need a full psyche evaluation to stock shelves at a grocery store. Really?

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I bought (borrowed the mone... (Below threshold)

October 13, 2011 5:11 PM | Posted by crumbskull: | Reply

I bought (borrowed the money for) a 36 foot sailboat early this year and am currently working 7 days a week 10+ hours a day as a mechanic for the Alaskan fishing industry in order to pay it off in a year. The rest of my peers are either just now graduating college or are in their first post-college year and for the most part way in debt trying to leverage their anthro major into an office manager position at like a corporate hospice provider or company that does over the phone student counseling or some shit and its like "lol, woops".

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"You need a full psyche eva... (Below threshold)

October 13, 2011 9:32 PM | Posted by bleh!: | Reply

"You need a full psyche evaluation to stock shelves at a grocery store."

I know, I thought I would get bonus points for being honest "I am a generally messy person" YES! They are going to think I'm psychologically awesome because I am SO HONEST! I'm on to them they want to see if I'm willing to tell the truth.

"I tend to be on time" Not always!

With a cherry on top.
WHAT? I failed the psychological exam to work at the grocery store?! But I'm very nice and if you tell me do things I'll do them. If I remember, you might have to remind me. A lot. What was I talking about?

Damn. I guess if there are enough quality employees to fill the slots, makes sense they want to filter out the sucky people. Sigh. I think it means there just aren't enough jobs. Think about it this way... if there are only enough jobs for x number of people, then the bottom y percent will not have jobs. Likely they will be people who suck at working for various reasons.

Meaning: Maybe people who don't have jobs would be willing to work if someone were willing to give them a job. If employers needed more employees, they would be willing to hire such people and deal with their suckiness.
And there's something about feeling needed that can actually bring out better performance in people who don't function that well.

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It's a little amusing to se... (Below threshold)

October 13, 2011 10:04 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

It's a little amusing to see how many people conflate youthful laziness and yuppie entitlement with Marxism. It's a natural and unavoidable revision of the American Dream, it starts with blind faith in capitalism and ends in disillusionment and betrayal. These kids haven't been equipped with the critical thinking skills to come up with a new future for themselves- all they know is they followed orders and now they're tens of thousands in debt and living in their parents' garages. They don't want free everything because they're liberal, they want it because they're weak, and if you talked them into being conservatives then they'd just overcompensate by taxing the poor into oblivion and making Muslims wear tracking devices.

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Past a certain point it's r... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2011 1:09 AM | Posted by Blarg Blargeson: | Reply

Past a certain point it's ridiculous to play the devil's advocate; the time for debate is over and it's time to pick a side. We're not there yet, but we're getting close.

The question you need to ask yourself, Alone, is where you stand. If your sympathies lie with Wall Street, fine; you're doing an excellent job in towing their line. If your sympathies lie with everyone else... then what the hell are you doing? Stop picking off your own side and start picking up the fight. If you don't agree with the protesters' tactics, all right, fine, do whatever it is you think appropriate to help, but don't cut their balls off while you do it.

(Also, you're great when it comes to psychiatry and a fucking wreck when it comes to economics so it might be worth focusing on what you know)

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"All that capital asks of u... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2011 1:32 AM | Posted by noob: | Reply

"All that capital asks of us is to receive it as rational or to combat it in the name of rationality, to receive it as moral or to combat it in the name of morality. Because these are the same, which can be thought of in another way: formerly one worked to dissimulate scandal -- today one works to conceal that there is none."
-- Jean Baudrillard

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you really don't get it, do... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2011 2:36 AM | Posted by nopehasntimprovedwithage: | Reply

you really don't get it, do you? they're making salt (google it).

it takes only 10% of a population to capture popular opinion and change paradigms. OWS doesn't have to win anything, they just have to last long enough to secure 10%.

the only entitlement being demanded is the right to express anger and frustration publicly--an entitlement that they are guaranteed as their birthright as american citizens.

most of the complaints voiced by various OWS supporters are exactly the same as those expressed by the colonists 250 years ago that led to the american revolution (why do you think that the right to a fresh start bankruptcy and the prohibition against debtors prisons was enshrined in the constitution proper--it wasn't even an after thought like freedom of speech).

let the tired fascism fear-mongering go. when you are at your worst, you are so fox news that it is just so dull to read. these kids aren't neo-robespierres and neo-lennins, they're neo-kropotkins and neo-bakunins--to understand them, it is far more constructive to read about bakunin's criticism of, and subsequent bansihment by marx, than it is to entertain visions of the reign of terror.

reread your copy of animal farm--a pig or two fancying themselves as more equal than everyone else is both a necessary and a sufficient condition of facism (funny how right-wingers love themselves some orwell but don't seem to be aware of the fact that orwell was a self-professed anarchist).

OWS is leaderless. a leaderless anything by definition lacks self-fancying pigs:

IF NOT L, THEN NOT P
F IFF P
NOT L
NOT P
THEREFORE NOT F

your meme de coeur can't help you with this one--and i truly feel for the epistemological destabilization that this is obviously engendering. OWS is the antithesis of narcissism, it isn't about any person, and even when people post their own reasons for supporting it, they hide their faces. that their reasons are often based on personal experience not narcissism; it's the fundamental way that human understanding works. personal experience is necessary for empathy.

part of me feels a deep sense of pity for you and you misanthropic cult of devotees, alone. such blighted souls you randian an-caps have.

ps: wanting to have more than a meager existence
is not narcissistic
it is not unreasonable

wanting to be more comfortable than simply "not destitute"
is not narcissistic
it is not unreasonable

wanting the fact acknowledged
that for large swaths of the formerly middle class
the inability to have more than just a meager existence
or to be more than "just better than destitute"
is the result of both specific economic policies
pursued on behalf of and for the benefit of FIRE industries
and specific imprudent actions taken by FIRE industries
over the last 40 years
and that it is not the result of mass laziness or spendthriftery
or some inexorable economic entropy
is not narcissistic
it is not unreasonable

the first step in being able to change anything is being able to truthfully acknowledge the what created the need for change

calcifer ate your heart, didn't he howl?


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Dang whippersnappers get of... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2011 3:00 AM | Posted by Random: | Reply

Dang whippersnappers get off my lawn!

They can't hear you, you're going to have to get down there on the lawn to tell them off.

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Jon Stewart</... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2011 6:07 AM | Posted by nwt: | Reply

Jon Stewart

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PROPOSED list of demands. B... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2011 6:23 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

PROPOSED list of demands. By ONE PERSON. Consider reading your source material next time before using it to build an argument.

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Good post, but Orwell was a... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2011 10:54 PM | Posted, in reply to nopehasntimprovedwithage's comment, by Rob: | Reply

Good post, but Orwell was a socialist, not an anarchist. Figured I might as well point it out before someone else did.

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funny how right-wi... (Below threshold)

October 16, 2011 7:04 AM | Posted, in reply to nopehasntimprovedwithage's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

funny how right-wingers love themselves some orwell but don't seem to be aware of the fact that orwell was a self-professed anarchist

Funny how some conservatives around these parts seem to compare socialism to the world of Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron.

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It's not about the stuff no... (Below threshold)

October 16, 2011 8:11 AM | Posted by Bergen, Norway: | Reply

It's not about the stuff normally referred to as politics, it's about you, the media narratives and the machinery of power.

"When they threw the tea in Boston Harbor it was urgent, immediate, and by the time the press could interpret it it had already been digested by the public."

And you, dear reader, want change?
Be the change you want. It's all about you and the choices you make. It's a waste to ask Alone for specific advices, he's merely pointing direction and sharing insights.

Alone: thank you and hope you ignore most of the comments. You're way ahead. Keep being humble? Guess it's lonely being you in some ways. Keep remember that trust is more important than mutual understanding. I trust your sincerity and believe you to be a kind and honest person.

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Another post of "The matrix... (Below threshold)

October 16, 2011 7:02 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Another post of "The matrix doesn't exist" thingy.

I might not be Neo, but Matrix and Agent Smith do exist.

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I they were changing a tire... (Below threshold)

October 16, 2011 8:58 PM | Posted by Jess: | Reply

I they were changing a tire in the same manner, they'd be shaking their fists at those driving by, while standing in the rain. Come to think of it, that's exactly what they're doing. I guess they can't find much sympathy since they're all able to do it on their own and are completly responsible for their own car and the shape it's in.

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These Occupy Wall Street di... (Below threshold)

October 17, 2011 9:28 AM | Posted by Empire of Jeff: | Reply

These Occupy Wall Street dipshits have no idea why they're "angry". It's because it's not anger they're feeling. They're experiencing the frustration that true ignorance engenders. And that ignorance springs from their root illness: terminal adolescence.

What you're seeing now is the true curse of affluent societies. These pole-smokers have the LEISURE to whine about how they weren't able to tweet for three hours about how awesome The Revolution is going because The Man wouldn't provide charging stations for their iPads.

You incurred $100,000 in student debt to earn a degree with no marketable value because:

1). You signed the contract.
2). You suck at math.

At some point, you have to take responsibility for your stupid decisions. Most people do, but not these eternal teenagers.

99%, my ass. If 99% of the population were this helplessly stupid, we all would have starved to death long ago.

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How is people supposed to h... (Below threshold)

October 17, 2011 11:24 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

How is people supposed to have kids if they have no jobs?

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Easy- have them anyway and ... (Below threshold)

October 17, 2011 7:27 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by welfare: | Reply

Easy- have them anyway and get welfare, section 8, clothes, free meals, etc, etc.
Then make college kids believe this is the empathic thing to do, sprinkle feminism, and liberal arts, and blame the teachers, call them racist, and walla!
Lets go make demands for entitlements.
This is the truth and so is the problem with dysregulation of the banks and wall street. Tax payers had to bail them out as they had us all by the balls. We all suck, we don't care, we don't vote, and then we wonder why we have lazy shit on the bottom, and psycho shitheads- face fucking everyone at the top. Pay off the politicians-lobby mother fucker.
It's the middle, the balanced, the thought out. The worker who wants to love the friends and family and live a decent life- they have to pay attention now- squeeze-can you feel it?

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president obama has frequen... (Below threshold)

October 18, 2011 9:52 AM | Posted by liz: | Reply

president obama has frequently said that he needs to be pushed to accomplish anything--and by that he was referring to energy like this 99% movement. otherwise, given the hugely sluggish and obstreperous nature of our bi-cameral government, nothing would ever get done. it took the increasing energy and anger of the lgbt community to help get dadt overturned.

http://pocketshrink.blogspot.com

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True that, but I would also... (Below threshold)

October 19, 2011 11:46 AM | Posted, in reply to Empire of Jeff's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

True that, but I would also add that most of these people are there for the fact that they're part of a movement, not because they want anything specific. Protesting is COOL, and they want to show how they're sticking it to "da man". I think that's a good chunk of WHY there's no serious agenda. People who are protesting to change something (like in the civil rights movement) had very specific ideas about what success means. The CR movement was about removing obstacles to black participation in American society. The vietnam war protests were about ending the war. Occupywallstreet is about protesting. They've won in their own mind because the point is to be seen protesting, not to change policy. It's about being a part of a protest movement. Having a clear goal means the possibility to failure, and they can't handle the thought of failure.

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This is nothing less than o... (Below threshold)

October 20, 2011 9:16 PM | Posted, in reply to gatekeeper's comment, by Fran: | Reply

This is nothing less than one of the best things on this website. Good job!
-Fran

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Claudius said: "Wait until ... (Below threshold)

October 22, 2011 6:31 PM | Posted, in reply to Claudius's comment, by Jasmine: | Reply

Claudius said: "Wait until they start blaming the jews."

Actually, if you google "occupy wall street antisemitism", you can see that it's already happening.

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Oh, if only you had spent s... (Below threshold)

October 23, 2011 1:29 AM | Posted, in reply to medsvstherapy's comment, by Beloved Parrot: | Reply

Oh, if only you had spent some of that energy getting all those degrees learning to spell . . . .

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Robert Musil a german write... (Below threshold)

October 23, 2011 6:29 PM | Posted by xyzf: | Reply

Robert Musil a german writer once wrote an eternal truth:

Du kannst von mir aus, wenn du willst, das Geld abschaffen, aber du wirst nicht abschaffen die Übermacht desjenigen, der die Vorteile in der Hand hat. Nur wirst du einen, der nicht mit ihnen umgehen kann, an die Stelle dessen setzen, der es gekonnt hat! Denn du irrst, wenn du glaubst, daß das Geld die Ursache unserer Ichsucht ist, es ist ihre Folge.

You may if you want abolish money, but you will not be able to abolish the power base of the one who has the advantages. You will just replace one who is capable with one who is not. Because you err, if you think that money is the root of our egotism, it is the consequence.

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Worth repeating, so I can l... (Below threshold)

October 25, 2011 12:52 PM | Posted by medsvstherapy: | Reply

Worth repeating, so I can laugh out loud again:

"You incurred $100,000 in student debt to earn a degree with no marketable value because:
1). You signed the contract.
2). You suck at math.

"99%, my ass. If 99% of the population were this helplessly stupid, we all would have starved to death long ago."

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Funny, you heard about the ... (Below threshold)

October 31, 2011 7:26 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Funny, you heard about the protestors. And yet, would you (like most who have heard about it) have found out anyway from your most common ? It appears they were able to spread their message, however ludacris, beyond just the people who would hear it already.

Also, you forget that minorities, even stifled ones, have attained power before. In fact, isn't that your whole fascism point to begin with? Aren't you arguing that a new minority can indeed gain power, just as it has before?

The pirate party in a few countries of Europe is a great counterpoint to your argument, for they have achieved a level of power despite everything.

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So many hateful, clueless p... (Below threshold)

November 12, 2011 7:58 PM | Posted by Texrat: | Reply

So many hateful, clueless people.

This isn't about hippies, or slackers, or self-deluded souls-- it's collective frustration over a power balance that has shifted way too far (unsustainably so) toward a super-rich, disconnected few. It's anger that these few can wreck the world's economy and get away with it.

Just amazes me to see so many law-and-order types castigating the protestors and defending the criminals they are protesting.

Hateful and clueless.

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Let me guess; you're a baby... (Below threshold)

November 12, 2011 8:32 PM | Posted by Michael: | Reply

Let me guess; you're a baby boomer putting down young protesters because your generation is real and ours isn't. If it makes you feel younger, or prouder of your generation, then .. OK; I was gonna' say it's OK but it really isn't; it's old and boring and just because you keep repeating it loudly still entirely untrue.

You don't get it .. the fact that the protests have made you so angry, that you know about them, means that they're already successful.

Many of the demands could be met with courage, and without inventing nuclear fusion. We've spent $20 trillion on direct and indirect bank bailouts, with little or nothing to show for it except a few great bonus seasons for a tiny number of bankers (and $5.4 billion, last year alone, for John Paulson .. creator of a hundred jobs).

We can eliminate a large amount of cost in healthcare and education by eliminating a large amount of administrative overhead. Simply eliminating student loan guarantees, and allowing loans to be discharged, would probably also eliminate half the needless colleges and drop tuition dramatically almost overnight. Same with healthcare; get rid of the insurance companies and the administrative cost also disappears. [Yes, I do see doctors, and yes I do have a catastrophic policy, but I just pay them -- old school -- for services; no need to allow healthcare companies to track why I'm going. They actually get reimbursed more, and it cost me less, than going through an enormous bureaucracy.]

As for eliminating fossil fuels and improving infrastructure .. two sides to the same coin. It's time for the US to exercise their authority to take back our desserts, and to fill them with solar and wind farms. The more we build the cheaper they'll become. Same with geothermal; we have lots of untapped power. Let's start to tap it. Best yet, these investments will create jobs that will eventually pay for themselves. Yes, there will be some stinkers and some tech that doesn't work. But that's life .. as long as there wasn't overt fraud (which should be aggressively prosecuted), we're smart enough to make these technologies a reality at a fast pace. Other countries are already way ahead.

That leaves open borders and a livable wage. Those two are tougher.

Living wages is probably the easiest. Insisting other countries, especially China, don't keep their currency artificially low would probably make a huge difference. So would retaliatory tariffs on countries that don't reciprocate trade policies, regardless of how "friendly" they are. Ending worthless wars would probably make a difference.

Open borders .. don't really see it happening. Not a bad ideal, but there's just too many economically fragile people already in the country already.

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Just like an undiscovered T... (Below threshold)

November 12, 2011 11:51 PM | Posted by Mr. Unexpectedly: | Reply

Just like an undiscovered Taibbi, only without the insight or sharp turn of phrase.

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That sure was long but it d... (Below threshold)

November 13, 2011 12:12 AM | Posted by liam: | Reply

That sure was long but it didn't make a lick of sense. You are clearly paranoid about OWS growing in size, getting co-opted, and determining a leader who will naturally be very scary (I don't share any such fears).

Worse, you list inane examples of OWS's wish list, but in reality it's much more straightforward than that: less institutional bias towards the wealthy and the corporations they control, less institutional bias towards wealth preservation at the expense genuine wealth creation (aka capitalism without the crony prefix).

There was a time when the government and corporations were in line with OWS - it was called the 50's 60's, and 70's, and all in all it worked very well! A rising tide lifts all boats and whatnot. Back in the day if a corporation was doing well it meant that the people who worked for that corporation also enjoyed their success; now it's only the uppermost echelon that is rewarded.

So snark away, but the current regime is simply unsustainable. If it gets fixed via peaceful, lawful protest that's obviously going to be better for everyone, but that isn't automatic - just misinformed by complacency. I personally wonder what's more inane - calling OWS vapid media tools or blogging about it (*duh - it's the same thing! You are media, because MSM isn't any different than non-MSM: you're just selling a slightly different product).

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Another jealous, bought and... (Below threshold)

November 13, 2011 2:06 AM | Posted by bob: | Reply

Another jealous, bought and paid for culture "Warrior". The "argument" is a series of well known and hand picked straw men strung together into Baby Boomer Enlightenment.

How's that working out?

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Umm, at least that's what t... (Below threshold)

November 13, 2011 3:50 AM | Posted, in reply to Dan Dravot's comment, by Binky P. Behr: | Reply

Umm, at least that's what the media told you to think, per the OP.

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So for the Last Psychiatris... (Below threshold)

November 13, 2011 3:51 AM | Posted by Binky P. Behr: | Reply

So for the Last Psychiatrist....


What makes you so sure?

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Never before have I seen so... (Below threshold)

November 13, 2011 5:21 AM | Posted by ebear: | Reply

Never before have I seen so many straw men gathered together in one article.

ebear

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The problem we have right n... (Below threshold)

November 13, 2011 7:39 AM | Posted by Doly: | Reply

The problem we have right now has happened before, many times, in other times and places. It's called "too many people and not enough stuff to get everybody what they want". There are only two solutions to the problem:
1) Get people to accept the idea that they will have to live with less, especially those with the highest expectations.
2) Kill off enough people, especially among the ones with highest expectations.

Historically, humans have a very marked tendency to go for option (2). The 99% people are in favour of solution (1), but restricted to 1% of the population. That won't work. If the problem was only with 1% of the population, it wouldn't be a problem. And I'm perfectly aware of income inequality. Income inequality is a symptom, not the cause of the problem. Read Peter Turchin.

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Nice write up. It's a sham... (Below threshold)

November 13, 2011 9:56 AM | Posted by Carl: | Reply

Nice write up. It's a shame that you're completely wrong.

Section I: Look at top of the page of demands in your first section around which a number of premises are based. I'll quote it for you:

>Admin note: This is not an official list of demands. This is a
>forum post submitted by a single user and hyped by irresponsible
>news/commentary agencies like Fox News and Mises.org. This
>content was not published by the OccupyWallSt.org collective, nor >was it ever proposed or agreed to on a consensus basis with the >NYC General Assembly.
>There is NO official list of demands.

So, yeah, not only was that whole section wrong, but premise that they are ripe for the co-opting is also wrong. If any one stood up and tried to be a "leader" they would get chopped down by the general assembly, very easily I might add. This is why people like Naomi Klein, Michael Moore, Russel Simmons, et al. have all came down to Occupy Wall St., all gotten media coverage, and all left Wall St. no closer to a leadership position than when they came. Had any of those people, or you, or the demon spawn of Hitler and Mao gotten up to steer the movement for their whims they would have gotten downvoted by the General Assembly. So yeah, that's that premise of that section.

Section II: The people on the streets don't give up on media, they already gave up on it (hence the twitter). They exist completely outside of it out of necessity, which may be why you had so little actual evidence of their relationship to media to point to in this section. Surely, they are ignored, or colored by the media, but they really don't care. Somewhere in here you start to pointing to people who shop in whole foods,and read whatever shitty magazines as if you know them. Your fictional movement member who shops at whole foods and reads rolling stones isn't sleeping outside in attempt to change the country. Those guys eat whatever hand outs they get, and they read whatever books get donated to them. You're railing against the supporters of the movements who aren't even really there. The armchair activits, deciding between perusing the easy-to-access Occupy Wall St. protests, or settling down to another episode of Anderson Cooper. You argument is based on poorly constructed generalizations of what the movement is about (which is sad, because you are a good writer and probably would have put together something meaningful if you knew what you were talking about). The worst generalization of course, being that Occupy Wall Street wants to be part of the world that the mainstream media occupies.

Section III & IV: I'll lump these two together because they are wrapped around you calling them failure. It's a nice trick, defining someone else as whatever YOU think they should be, so then you can call them failures when they fail to meet their definitions. This is how political campaigns work against their opponents and, correct me if I'm wrong, it seems like you are trying to define Occupy Wall St. as an election group meant to swing media attention towards their fringe demands and ultimately use the power to influence who wins in 2012. If so you're right, they will fail at that. They will also fail at being portrayed fairly in the media. Most importantly, they will also fail at being co-opted and turned into evil communists. They are going to not do all these things, of course, because they aren't based out of their actual goals, they are based off of your projections.


Check out what they actual wrote on the NYCGA's actual website, then write an article about that:

http://www.nycga.net/resources/faq/

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Funny, (not haha funny) how... (Below threshold)

November 13, 2011 10:33 AM | Posted by greydogg: | Reply

Funny, (not haha funny) how you managed to (endlessly) spew forth alcohol-induced, ('late at night as I'm drinking my eyes blind.') inaccurate snarky bullshit while attempting to make a case for what morons we are and how we have already failed.

Who paid you to write this 'analysis'? Goldman?

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Biggest pile of elitist con... (Below threshold)

November 13, 2011 11:53 AM | Posted by kill the 1% on sight: |

Biggest pile of elitist condescending Bankster apoligist bullshit wildly innacurate straw man talking points ever published on the internet.

Clearly, you only identify with the 1%, from your ivory tower.

You are scum, and you speak for scum. Scumsucking scumbag. No wonder I have endless contempt for "psychiatrists".

I wish I could get back the time wasted reading this worthless whine.

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It is to amaze how many peo... (Below threshold)

November 13, 2011 1:22 PM | Posted by Atticus: | Reply

It is to amaze how many people will leap and elbow for the chance to demonstrate their ignorance publicly.

When everyone who completely fails to grasp the meaning of these posts have finally been burned, shot, hanged, irradiated, etc., by the forces that TLP is trying to describe and warn about, the remainder will go back and read this stuff as scripture. . . and I'm an atheist.

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I don't blame you for your ... (Below threshold)

November 13, 2011 2:56 PM | Posted by TPaineRedux: | Reply

I don't blame you for your jaundiced outlook. Serious political action has been absent from the US for many decades.

Yes, things are being manipulated by the media for its purposes and chances seem slim.

I don't care much about the media, what I care about is making allies and engaging in relevant political discussion and developing strategies and tactics.

The mayors and the police are ironically helping move things forward through their inept actions bolstered by video, photos and live blogging. For 'occupy' members, the impt thing is not to let the mm define us to ourselves.

With high unemployment, underwater mortgages, automation instead of jobs, student loan debt that can't be paid and an increasingly more accurate analysis of how most are being screwed, etc., there is a chance.

Just like there was only a slim chance for the American Revolution, the Labor Movement, the Civil right movement and the Vietnam Antiwar movement.

Who knows maybe in the next 4 to 24 months, things will move forward enough that instead of drinking in despair, you'll come out into the streets.

It took the American revolution many years and it was more an struggle over ideas than muskets.

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Your ideas are too great. Y... (Below threshold)

November 14, 2011 2:36 AM | Posted by hermes bags: | Reply

Your ideas are too great. You analyze the problem from the point of view of new and original., From your point of view I learned many things. I quite agree with what you talk about. I hope I can continue to study with you and know more novel ideas from you.Thanks for your sharing.linmei/comment201111

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So the solution is just to ... (Below threshold)

November 14, 2011 12:27 PM | Posted by Robert Seaton: | Reply

So the solution is just to sit back and do nothing, because the media already control us, huh? The 1930's Nazi party in Germany would have fully approved of that thinking. Let's get real here. Of course the protests themselves will accomplish nothing... except to get people thinking... which is all that they ever needed to accomplish anyhow. And as to the thought that nothing can be changed anyhow... jumping jehosephats, do you know anything about the rest of the world? There are lots of viable solutions out there which don't involve tearing everything down, but which result in a more equitable society. Look at Sweden, or Canada, or Germany...

Stop watching TV and believing it, and start thinking.

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I am still laughing at all ... (Below threshold)

November 14, 2011 2:47 PM | Posted by Warming Hut: | Reply

I am still laughing at all the irony. This author is either a friggin comic genious ROTFL over this masterpiece of ironic wit or (please do not be true) the author is unaware of the magnitude and utterly hilarious ironies. This is Yogi Berra worthy--unless of course the author is unaware of how irnoc it is being, then it is just sad--like watching someone too drunk to realize they are peeing themselves.

The icing is adding his twitter account address at the end.

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so many rants for comments ... (Below threshold)

November 17, 2011 10:54 AM | Posted by ungrateful bastard: | Reply

so many rants for comments from those that think their country owes them something for nothing. not enough free hand-outs for you? come to my country where there is no public assistance and realize how good you have it now.

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<a href="http://vimeo.com/2... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2011 2:03 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

http://vimeo.com/29322145

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They already did (some of t... (Below threshold)

December 14, 2011 9:44 AM | Posted, in reply to Claudius's comment, by Alex: | Reply

They already did (some of them). Classic.

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One of the best way to comb... (Below threshold)

January 8, 2012 12:29 PM | Posted by NDeewar: | Reply

One of the best way to combat the 99% movement is for the government to turn around and say:"All right, we'll fulfill one wish for you guys, any wish at any cost but only one! Ok? So which one do you guys want fulfilled?" Now watch the whole movement collapse on itself.

Reading the article is like experiencing a mind race from ideas to ideas and analogies to analogies, must be difficult to engage in oral conversations.

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Media both reflect and crea... (Below threshold)

January 8, 2012 3:02 PM | Posted by Bergen: | Reply

Media both reflect and create public opinion.

The point is certainly not that John has to agree with what's being told, the crucial part is that the premise for an eventual disagreement is accepted, to provide a framework for public debate, and family discussions over dinner.

Organized mass movements are too slow. The 2 percent community suggest interpretations of them on the fly. The general public perception - if it differs from the medias - doesn't get a chance to solidify.

Internet communication and social software facilitate improved monitoring of public perception, which provide decision-makers precise and accurate information, in real time. It's my layman observation that in the history of revolutions, the rulers has often been misinformed or oblivious beforehand. I assume that has changed.

As I see it, the hope lies in using Internet to educate.

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Yes, the protestors will fa... (Below threshold)

January 9, 2012 1:05 AM | Posted by Jed: | Reply

Yes, the protestors will fail if their aims are really the way you describe them, but your description of the agenda is a straw man. You critique the campaign as if it was thought up by one person, one guy sitting in his room wondering how he could change the world, "I know, I'll get people to occupy Wall Street, and things will have to change!" It wasn't some master plan, so of course the goal is not unanimous, but no one ever said that it would be. And of course the media co-opts the protest into a 1%, but the movement never purported to be part of a unified ideal, so why are you criticizing it for not living up to that?

You are buying into the media as much as you accuse, exactly because you believe, as the media says, that the protestors have some (ill-advised) plan, and if you think that were the only point, of course they will "fail." But People do not take to the streets because they are convinced of a political strategy. People protest because they are wronged and demand expression. These protestors are rightfully angry, and they are coming together to feel heard. That is the place of true protest, where frustration with injustice creates action, any action, stratagems aside. All this stuff about not understanding the power of the media and the economic situation is irrelevant; the protest is not a political strategy that believes a Wall Street sit-in is the solution. It is a stand against greed, it is action in the face of being made to feel impotent, and it is symbolic; and if you think that means it is foolish, you have greatly missed the point. The very fact that it has been discussed so much means it is a powerful symbol, and in that it has greatly succeeded, and that is no small feat.

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To every person whom know ... (Below threshold)

March 20, 2012 5:02 AM | Posted by oakleyeyewear: | Reply

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This post is loosely speaki... (Below threshold)

April 7, 2012 10:41 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

This post is loosely speaking about how hierarchy in society works: how the few can control many. A while ago TLP wrote the other ego epidemic, which among else describe how narcissism is depicted in society (ie media, popular culture) and what kind of response this depiction begs. Quote:

"Looks like you were right, even the popular press is catching on to the increase in narcissism--"

Belay that. These magazines are your enemy. Do you think they exist to improve you?

Why are these magazines your enemy?

My five cents: A broader awareness in certain matters would undermine their source of income, not mentioning their ability to define. Not that the average editor has the latter in mind, but someone do.

Currently I'm reading Albert Speers memoirs. He share some interesting observations on the workings of his particular government and folk – observations which are amusingly similar to TLP's, albeit not as detailed and eloquently put. Very different historical and cultural context, but it's still a story about a narcissistic ruling class, popular culture, self-interest, and how – as the saying goes - you can't make somebody understand something if their salary depends upon them not understanding it.

Jed, my rather poor point was poorly formulated in the first place, so you misread me. Nevertheless I enjoyed your comment. Thinking in terms of emotions rather than rational thought are more on the ball.

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That you are consequently ... (Below threshold)

May 5, 2012 2:40 AM | Posted by oakleyeyeglasses: | Reply

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Jesus fucking christ do NOT... (Below threshold)

August 6, 2012 7:56 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Jesus fucking christ do NOT move to Canada, it is not any better here, prospects are bad, it's impossible to save. Our government is run by people who are either incredibly stupid or incredibly corrupt, I don't think it matters which. I'm 22, I make 18 dollars an hour part time and I still am terrified that I have no future. My family is the only one I know that is not in some kind of debt either in the form of student loans or some other kind of debt, and we live in a tiny house, one working car, my mom drives 2 hours each day total for work as a teacher in the next town over. We have no spare anything, we have enough to go to school, eat, and because she is a teacher we can go to the dentist and I can afford my dexedrine. Well, I guess that's a little better than what I hear of he states, but if you're going to move somewhere, move to the nordic countries or something, they seem to have it a little more together. That's where I'm going. If you do move to Canada, go to the yukon or north west territories, they're desperate to employ people and some places will actually pay you to live there because it sucks and is cold and the price of vegetables is totally unreasonable.

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Wow. My head hurts. This is... (Below threshold)

October 4, 2012 10:19 PM | Posted by The Old Wolf: | Reply

Wow. My head hurts. This is quite an essay, and while I don't agree with 100% of it at first blush, every word deserves to be considered and digested.

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Well, it's a year later. I ... (Below threshold)

November 12, 2012 9:06 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Well, it's a year later. I think we can safely conclude TLP's has been right so far.

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"The protests will fail. T... (Below threshold)

November 22, 2012 5:05 PM | Posted by Jess H: | Reply

"The protests will fail. They will eventually be co-opted by the pre-election media orgasmia, branded as either this team or that and assigned a leader no one would have ever picked, ever, ever."

Actual result: we went underground, started grassroots efforts on a local level, AND we voted. It's not even close to over, people.

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What a great article, i jus... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 1:47 AM | Posted by Embroidery Library: | Reply

What a great article, i just loved it and i loved to read it. Excellent thought author,i have bookmarked it.

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Naomi Klein fat jokes? Real... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2013 11:15 AM | Posted by FTF: | Reply

Naomi Klein fat jokes? Really? I know, I'm not as smart as you and you wanted me to react that way because really you were proving some larger point that I don't understand and you knew my reaction before I even had it.

But fat jokes?

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I stand corrected to you. N... (Below threshold)

March 10, 2014 5:04 AM | Posted, in reply to Jed's comment, by Vid: | Reply

I stand corrected to you. No, there was no particular individual, or single original source for these thoughts.

Zeitgeist, isn't that what it is called?

Even if it can't be manufactured, can it be given a push?

PS: Anyone here understand the Snowden-show? Insight appreciated! (Assange seem to talk "truthers" down, those who notice that detail about approx free fall speed buildings.)

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