Posts Tagged ‘Occupy Wall Street’

Triumph on Wall Street

November 7, 2011

OK, it’s Monday, and if you’re as groggy from the time change as I am, you could probably do with a good laugh. You’re welcome.

• Extra credit bonus Triumph: Listen to the 2003 Terry Gross interview with Triumph creator Robert Smigel.

Occupy … what, exactly?

October 27, 2011

OccuPad: The official notepad of OccupyUSA's agitprop troops.

OK, boys and girls, it’s long past time we took up the Occupy movement.

I’m enjoying watching the various occupations coalesce, disperse under pressure and reform, especially as this also involves watching The Man and the media try to figure out just what the hell Occupy is all about.

It seems fairly clear to me: Some folks woke up one morning and realized that the light at the end of the tunnel is the taillight on the gravy train chugging away without them, taking the 1 percent to Fat City and consigning the 99 percent to the hobo jungle.

And it pissed them off. Finally, something pissed them off.

So, as V.I. Lenin famously asked, what is to be done? Voting doesn’t seem to work — I’ve been voting since Nixon-McGovern, never picked a winner until 2008, and if the country is better off today than it was in 1972 the enhancements seem to be eluding me.

And speaking of Lenin, old-school leftist doctrine doesn’t strike a chord with the average American, or even with me — my brief flirtation with communism via the October League and the Communist Party (M-L) taught me that Marxism-Leninism, like representative democracy, looks good on paper but less so in practice.

The whole tea-party tempest was never truly a grass-roots uprising — it was basically an Astroturf op’, financed by the big boys and orchestrated like “Network,” with various mad prophets of the airwaves instructing their audiences to join them in screaming, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

But this Occupy thing kind of takes me back to the Nixon days, when he claimed to speak for a great Silent Majority that wasn’t in the streets agitating against his administration in general and the Vietnam war in particular.

Nixon’s heirs deride Occupy with the usual outdated lingo — get a job, you smelly hippies, dope fiends, and sex-crazed beatnik weirdos — but I’m starting to wonder whether Occupy might be some combination of Marx’s proletariat and Nixon’s Silent Majority, finally clearing its throat and taking to the streets to speak its mind.


There goes the neighborhood

October 26, 2011
First real snow of 2011-12

We finally got our first real measurable snow of the season — just a few inches, but nice to see nonetheless. It'll tamp down the sand on the trails.

It can’t be 70-something and sunny all the time. Still, going from a record high of 78 to snow on the ground is something of a shock to the system.

Happily, the streets and sidewalks retained much of that heat, so I didn’t have to do any shoveling this morning — good news for the ol’ back, since I spent yesterday raking leaves from the huge maple tree that shades Chez Dog. Looks like a bumper crop, too. I’ve already filled six bags and we’re a long ways away from seeing the last leaf on the tree.

Sounds like the cops in Oakland were engaged in a little clean-up operation of their own last night. They went after the Occupy Oakland folks with everything from tear gas to flash-bang grenades and rubber bullets. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, “City officials said they had been forced to clear the encampments because of sanitary and public safety concerns.” Uh huh. Right out of Steinbeck that is, as in “The Grapes of Wrath” and the less-well-known “In Dubious Battle.”

All the stories I’ve read make references to a schism in the Occupy crowd, with some insisting on a non-violent approach and others intent on challenging the cops to a fight. I’d love to know how much of the latter is legit and how much is the work of agents provocateurs. It’s an old trick, and one that keeps working, especially on the media. The Oakland Tribune‘s account of the evening’s festivities could have been written by the PD’s PR flack.

If you’re interested in following the Occupy movement online, bookmark Greg Mitchell’s OccupyUSA blog at The Nation. It’s one of my first stops every morning.

Can you hear me now? How about now?

October 14, 2011

From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Apple Store. I’m not quite certain we’ve achieved the IWW ideal of One Big Union yet. Ooo, look, there’s some bread, and there’s a circus!