I need to start writing a few papers…so since I’m at work an no one else is here, it seems like a perfect time to make some words. It’s just going to be a shit-jumble of ideas that are floating in my head right now….so that’s a warning for you. The following is nothing but random babbling. It isn’t even written well so good luck navigating it. If you want to ask me a question, just leave a comment. I’ll get to it.
First off, I think I found a tactic I like that someone who associates themselves with Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is doing. People are printing infographics on dollar bills to aim to show the amount of capital the top 99% controls (Occupy George). I’m not necessarily saying that this practice will enable change…but at least it can disrupt the daily flow of life of a person who might come in contact with it. Now that I’ve written about it and actually thought about why I might like it and why other people might like it…I’ve destroyed any hope I had in it. The bills that actually have infographics printed on them will be kept by people as souvenirs and only a small percentage of them will even make it into circulation. The idea that they ever even leave New York is at best optimistic. Their value as culture icons is going to be high for anyone involved in the protests (yes, I am still refusing to call it a movement). Nothing to do now except count down the days until one of them ends up in MoMA or the Guggenheim or the Smithsonian and then I die a little more inside.
Sorry if I’m depressing today people….I’ve been listening to the Antlers and Andrew Jackson Jihad this morning….it’s the perfect mix of sadness and anger to give whoever reads these things depression.
As I was blankly staring at a concrete wall this morning I saw a little twitter update out of the corner of my eye from OWS….it was a picture of some people with a sign stating “love + solidarity from Antartica” (http://whatreallyhappened.com/IMAGES/occupyantarctica.jpg). When I saw this I curled into a ball and tried to go to sleep but I realized I was at work so I couldn’t weep loud enough to nap. I’m a bit confused why people from all over the globe think that sending photos of “solidarity” actually helps things. Maybe some of the people down at Wall Street are happy to see that people agree with what they do. Maybe that will warm their hearts enough to stay out in the cold one more night.
It seems that these protests have become utter simulacra. It’s not just that the images and videos are being transmitted to an audience through Twitter or news networks. There seems to just be an air of simulation around everything that is said (not only by OWS, but also by the police). The simulation of victory and triumph seems to be the most common. Their triumphs seem to be these tiny little things. We didn’t get shoved out of the park today, woo! Is this really a victory or is this what has become of protests after the orgy of the 60’s? Are the aims set so low as to acknowledge as a victory the ability to continue to stay in a space? Is that what this “movement” is ab0ut?
While the simulation of victory is troubling, it is even more troubling to see the simulation of OWS by media outlets. Without more clear ideas and goals being processed, it is even easier to simulate the ideals and goals of the protests. Many believe that the protests are a direct confrontation to capitalism….no. That is quite possibly the worst simulacra that has been manifested throughout all of this. This is not a confrontation to capitalism at all. This has become a minor inconvenience to capitalism and the only reason it has been attached to capitalism is because of its proximity to Wall Street. These protests don’t call for the tearing down of Wall Street. They call for taxes.
They call for taxes and if they get that, it is probably enough to stop everything. It doesn’t require companies to halt practices that endanger millions of workers around the globe. It doesn’t call for the system at hand to be abolished and something new to rise from it’s ashes. It is another selfish, quick fix want. And at last, we come to the simulation of care. I don’t think this movement is for the Other. Where would the revenue raised by corporate taxes go? They could still divert off and go to the war machine and end up right back in the hands of corporations. Greater taxes could make some companies want to cut even more costs overseas by allowing workers rights to diminish further. The system is not being challenged, but we love to fake our care for it to change.
The protests want to be told it’s alright, it’s okay. We’ll fix this anger right up with a few laws. Then we can get right back here in another 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years. It’s okay little tike. Don’t cry in your falafel. We’ll make it all better. Poppa Capitalism will always be there to help you out. You would never want to actually hurt Poppa Capitalism, would you?
There’s always a Right and a Left, folks. Don’t let them fool you that they are all that far Left.