Days of Rage, Evenings of Indifference
above: uploaded 17 Sep 2011, below: 20 September 2011
below CNN:Erin Burnett: Wall St. protesters vague on details 4 October 2011
Slate, "Even the Protesters at Occupy Wall Street Are Confused About What They’re Protesting"
(This article was also titled: Vacant: The Occupy Wall Street protests and the creation of the post-Obama left. By David Weigel Monday, Oct. 3, 2011, at 3:24 PM ET)
Douglas Rushkoff, CNN: "Think Occupy Wall St. is a phase? You don't get it"
updated 1:09 PM EST, Wed October 5, 2011
Peter Hart, Fair.org, "Erin Burnett Hears the Critics--But Still Misses the Point"
Dennis Perrin writes:
I admire these kids. They're off their asses. Agitating. Arguing. Providing a living example. There's passion and feeling in their dissent. They're willing to be punished. It's easy to mock them, but how many of you would take their place? Primarily when the cops attack?
Our owners fear any rustling from below. They'll throw whatever they have at those unsatisfied with our paradise. There are signs that the Wall Street protests will expand nationally. If so, get ready for serious shit slinging.
Yet I have doubts. The class war from above demoralizes as much as it incites. Countless people have surrendered. Faded from view. To demonstrate or occupy corporate turf doesn't seem like a wise option. You'll get beaten and arrested. For what? Making mortgage payments is tough enough.
I've been checking Pollingreport.com for signs of any thing related to Occupy Wall Street. They have links dedicated to Nancy Pelosi, Chris Christie, "Is the Supreme Court too liberal?", "Kids of illegal immigrants", even "Is Social Security constitutional?" But Occupy Wall Street? Thus far, zilch.
There are, admittedly, some items that may be peripherally related: "Can you trust Washington?" and "Distribution of money and wealth" but these are summaries of older and unrelated polls. You'd think the establishment media was blithely unaware of 'OWS',(Ha!) but one assumes they've been hoping the kids would just go away. I'm not even sure how accurate it is to characterize them as all or mostly kids but either way they didn't just go away, at least they haven't yet. One assumes the powers that be have a certain patience threshold with respect to how long OWS may go on, but it hasn't been reached yet. They recognize it's in their interest to seem indifferent at this point.
Finally, CNN released a poll today about OWS, saying that roughly half the population has heard of the protests going on. If a poll conducted after this has been going on for over two weeks shows 49% of respondents still haven't even heard of "Occupy Wall Street", how many do you suppose were even aware of the various one-day demonstrations in D.C. over the years, whether related to the Iraq war or other things ? 20%? 15%?
(I mean the noncommercial ones of course, mounted by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition and their ilk, as opposed to those media spectacle faux demonstrations sponsored by Fox News or Comedy Central.)
It reminds me of the conceit of looking for "untainted" jurors for high-profile murder trials. I've always wondered about that, why it's supposed to be preferable to have incurious lunkheads as stewards of the juroring, or whatever you call it.
Poll: Half the country has heard about the Occupy Wall Street protests
An ORC International Caravan Poll released Monday[pdf link] indicates that 51% of Americans say they've heard about the Occupy Wall Street movement, with 49% saying they haven't heard about the demonstrations, which started in New York City 24 days ago and have spread to cities across the country.
According to the survey, 27% say they agree with the movement's overall position on the financial system and social change, with 19% saying disagree with Occupy Wall Street on those issues. Fifty-four percent of those questioned have no firm opinion about Occupy Wall Street.
The pdf link CNN provides barely scratches the surface. Maybe there were many other questions. I'm curious how people's views correlate to age, whether or not they usually vote, to level of education, and obviously viz-a-viz employment status and income. The perennial drum-beating about how persons with bachelor's degrees making so much more over the course of a lifetime than high school grads has struck me as a bit fishy for some time, and I wonder about how those numbers are derived.
A detour, of sorts: Discussing Slavoj Žižek means you get to use diacritical marks, which is always fun. I've read people like John Caruso and BDR saying he's an overblown fraud, but have tried to reserve judgment because I haven't read any of his books, just an occasional essay in The Guardian or Counterpunch. But he comes across as a clueless, egocentric jerk in this linked 2 part Youtube video [via] of his visit to OWS from this Sunday. Why do the kids co-operate with his insistence that they repeat everything he says, like extras in The Life of Brian? So Fox News can make fun of them?
Cain: Not rich? No job? Blame yourself (CNN Political Ticker)
Herman Cain: "Don't blame Wall Street. Don't blame the big banks. If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself."
( And he's supposed to be one of the less wacky candidates.) I hope somebody asks him about the phenomenon of CEOs occasionally getting performance bonuses for trimming their workforces, in light of the above.
He's right though, that ultimately the Occupy Wall Streeters represent a critique of capitalism, but I suspect that now that the establishment media has their angle of "the liberal tea party", this critique will be increasingly difficult to discern for people watching on television. At any rate, it probably behooves us to mistrust our own reactions sometimes, when we are convinced
"the American People are so...[insert quality x]"
because the media often works to make us give up on each other.