I have always thought the Occupy Wall Street was a phony movement
As an anti-capitalist activist in my early twenties, I believe that I was, at the time this was occurring (the anti-capitalist protests of the early 2000's), engaged in a real resistance movement against the capitalist exploitation of the United States and third world countries in Latin America and elsewhere. I had my own college radio show and I attended every protest anyone could conceive of, huge demonstrations in Canada and in the States.
Thousands of people would crowd in the streets and I swear, there was this contagion, of a momentum, of an excitement. Everyone I knew was talking about THIS, and I couldn't understand how someone could ignore THIS and proceed with "normal life". All this crazy stuff was going on, and the world was gonna change! It WAS changing! (Obviously I thought I was living in my generation's version of the sixties, without any drug use on my part).
And I knew THIS was a legitimate movement; I could feel it in my gut, because the movement was being ignored by the mainstream media.
My radio show was a shambles; I was the only person who produced it and I would regularly be up at four the morning of the show printing off articles to read on the show and unfortunately, not allowing enough time for guests to speak their minds and for callers to ask good questions ( yes, I had call-in sessions, but with no one to screen the calls, so I got called an idiot a lot).
But the guests I did have I could get without much problem because they were mostly people that the mainstream media didn't want to interview, didn't want to hear from; they were happy for my meager platform (well, you know; I'm not trying to be presumptuous)
Then 9/11 happened, and I'll tell you this: to this day I believe 9/11 was an inside job. Cui bono? oh yeah. patriot act. justification for foreign wars. insurance scam
It also had a chilling effect on the burgeoning anti-capitalist movement
The movement that my heart was sailing on came to an abrupt halt with the events of September 11th. I remember to this day the meeting convened at the radio station (whose FM frequency happened to be 91.1) and everyone there hushed, a little scared, subdued, unsure, afraid to speak
But the station manager, who was no big activist, bravely and wisely told us that we shouldn't allow the new atmosphere of fear to silence our voices. We should keep on being the voices we were before (well, to those of us who had public affairs shows, which was quite a few of us in those days)
But the damage had already been done, and the anti-capitalist movement, whose ardor had been so strong, fizzled out and disappeared in a cloud of wispy-piss, to be replaced by insipid anti-war movements and their accompanying demonstrations, focusing on one foreign entanglement after another, and not the silver bullet that the anti-capitalist analysis had been.
Many years followed, years of emptiness in my life (and depression), years of little to NO political ardor in my life, until the flames again, seemed to start flickering
seemed to be
and the headline went like this...
I don't rightly recall when I first started hearing about the Occupy Wall Street movement. But I'm pretty sure from that very moment it made me cringe
Made me want to vomit a little
in my throat
An ex-friend (at the time we were friends), who had never been interested in politics before, suddenly became interested in its message, and she seemed empowered by it ( like the lady who works at the tv station in the article above)
But I was like "WHAT IS that 99%"?
And who the fuck cares?
Think about it - what a vague concept
YES WE KNOW
Most of us are not as wealthy as the few of us
I think this situation has always existed, so what new thing are you all saying here?
Oh that's right - NOTHING. Nothing new. Nothing controversial. Nothing out of line.
Of course people are poor. And the rich keep getting richer. Wow
The power of cliche
I have a problem with political movements that are so watered down that the most apolitical among us can get on board
When you are that general, you don't stand for anything
When your message is that broad, your message means nothing
You have to be a little offensive, you have to rock the boat a little
Yes, we know. War is bad. Poverty is bad. Only the most cynical capitalist thinks they are okay.
You have to poke holes through myths and blast flames through lies; you have to find the secret levers and press the buttons and get at the angles and hit some targets! when you really start changing things, you're gonna bump up against individuals and groups who obviously benefit from the status quo. so if this isn't happening, you're kinda just stating the obvious
you're a like a susan g komen of political activism: yes, we know breast cancer exists - are you gonna put any money into actual research?
World capitalism was probably like "hell YEAH! this movement ROCKS! it says nothing at all, but all kinds of people can get on board, and they challenge and question absolutely nothing! we love you occupy movement! Here be your neutered hippie moment! Would you like to be an NGO as well?"
"Hell! We'll even give you a lil' diddy cover article on Yahoo! news!" the bozo news of all newses
The movement I was involved with received hardly any news coverage at all, let alone a cheesy human interest story on two feuding sisters. The reason for the emergence of the Indymedia movement was the total media blackout of coverage of our protests and activities. The numbers in attendance at demonstrations were regularly downplayed and hardly a blurb in most papers at the time. The only impression demonstrations were able to make on the public conscience were those lame beverage commercials where the protesters are parched and thirsty and the cops oblige by assaulting them with water cannons ( and I cannot for the life of me recall for what product that was for).
The media's reaction now is telling - it only talks about things that are useful to it or that are not threatening. That's why it wastes its time on Antifa and white nationalists because they play into a great "divisive" narrative for the country, pitting ordinary people against each other
And as we see, the Occupy movement has been pretty nonthreatening. Nobody even talks about it anymore
Except for Putin
And Putin asks "Yes, where did they go?"
And as Putin implies, the movement contained fifth columnists; the Wikipedia article dedicated to Occupy makes a weak indication that some of its members may have been neoliberal wolves in sheeps clothing, and that the movement failed to mesh with other social justice causes.
But these fifth columnists aren't really anything special and for me, they may or may not have existed, I don't really know, and they're not really the point - the fifth columnists were the ordinary people like my ex-friend who were attracted to a movement that didn't really require them to do much. Or to think much.
I'm not really criticizing the movement for being a scam, or being "controlled opposition"; i'm criticizing it because from its very foundation, it was built to fail
But I don't care, per usual, what other sources say. I say the results speak for themselves.
The last dregs of the Occupy movement I saw in the movie Adult World, when the main character's friend is protesting "wealth disparity" with a generic group of protesters, whose signs say ludicrous, protest-y, things like "imports not exports" and "serve the people"
Coranda Cashew had to write all the articles this time; everyone else is on that wintry Christmas break that extends into the new year
(a correction was made since this was first published - Keith Olbermann had his political show in the 2000's not nineties)
I used to watch Keith Olbermann on MSNBC when I was dumb and lived in the early 2000’s. I used to think "Wow! How is this guy allowed on?! He does these great monologues that really cut to the chase of what's going on in our nation. How wonderful..."
He was a breath of fresh air
And then I got on with my life and I forgot about him, only to meet him again about twenty years later as a reawakened sleeper neoliberal Manchurian candidate
Taken out of the closet of fetid air
I wasn't even going to waste my time on this book, and to be honest, it was very hard to read through because it's nothing but shouting, but then I thought about how Keith Olbermann is really just another Milo Yiannopolis ( an extremist obfuscator in his own way) and here's another liar, this time one who claims to be from the left, and claims to represent the "opposing viewpoint"
Well, all these "opposing viewpoints" don't seem to offer any real critique of today's problems, and nary a solution, so I would not take them too seriously. They purposely skip over the biggest problems facing people in this country today, and therefore, are only distractions
The petulant, tantrum-soaked Olbermann sulks squatted and wrapped in an American flag on the cover of his book (which by the way, it's actually not very patriotic to wear the flag. It's actually like taking a certain religion's god's name in vain, but whatever, no inconsistencies here)
I have found there are ways of knowing when someone in the media is lying to you, even when you don't have the time to investigate them further (or inclination, because GAWD in this case what a painful book to read! And I have to admit, I couldn't really muster it all the way through). Some may call it instinct, or it may be a set of rules you have cultivated and imbibed over a long and fruitful time analyzing "lo political"
1.) When it's robed in a great deal of hyperbole or hysteria
The hysteria surrounding Trump has been over the top from the start,and way out of proportion to his actual threat to the world. A cursory examination of US presidents will show you that he actually fits right in, leading this country in its never-ending imperial saga to completely dominate the world. Nothing really elevates him from the flock expect for his banal blustering and hard-spokenness and his frequent use of Twitter. But these are historical factors, because who is to say that another person elected to be President in our time period would not also rely on Twitter? It's just a sign of the times, a way to communicate with the masses, and what's wrong with that?
Trump was a wild card, and you couldn't really know what he as going to do; the powers that be weren't sure if they could control him. They know they can now, but what's hilarious about him is how he is REALLY turning the rest of the world against the US by showing the US's hand ( like for instance, most recently with the embassy kaffufle in Jerusalem)
When someone wants to control you, they try to scare you, or guilt trip you, two techniques that run rampant in Olbermann's book
2.) When the hysteria and hyperbole are about things that really don't matter, illustrating a classic case of "phony outrage"
He has tiny hands! He wears a toupee! His suits don't fit him well! He drinks too much Diet Coke and holds water bottles funny! He doesn't have a penis!
He's never had a dog!
Oh my god!
I would have more respect for your vitriol if you screamed from the hilltops:
"You said you wouldn't bomb Syria and you bombed their airfields! That's what Hillary would have done!"
" You said NATO was obsolete and now you say we need it?"
"You said we should have good relations with Russia, and now you are joining in the smear campaign against them?"
'"Why have you instigated a tax cut for the wealthy?"
Granted all these activities took place after his election, but Trump betrayed a lot of his base, who voted for him for these very reasons
Why provoke animosity with Russia? What's the point?
Criticizing him about Israel would have been factual, but you wouldn't be making him out to be worse than any other candidate. With the possible exception of Jill Stein, all the candidates (Clinton, Sanders, everyone) pledged allegiance to Israel. If you're a politician in the US, your first allegiance is not to our country, but to Israel, just ask Cynthia McKinney. If Keith Olbermann had made a criticism regarding that, I would have had more faith in him.
And as to any sexual shenanigans, again he is not much different than the slew of politicians and move stars who have been committing sexual assault, and who has anything on the granddaddy of sexual assault in american politics, Mr. Slick Willy Clinton?
"Slandered his own country?" The hoax of the WMD's in Iraq is well known, if conveniently ignored. The imperialistic history of his own country, complete with the support of bloodthirsty right-wing dictatorships in South America, has also been ignored by Olbermann. To bring up historical facts, according to Mr. Olbermann, I can only imagine, would be considered "slander"
An honest critique of the President would necessitate an honest critique of every other President this country has ever had, and we simply can't have that, because then the horrendous criminal enterprise known as American corporate imperialism would come to the forefront of people's minds, and everyone would be demanding an end to our current political system
If we demonize a particular President though, make him out to be some unique and monstrous existential threat, much worse than any that has ever yet to come along, the crimes of a Bill Clinton (Yugoslavia, Somalia,), Dubya, Reagan, Bush Senior, Truman (who dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even after he knew the Japanese would surrender?) become minimized. And we see this in cases like the total exoneration of George W Bush in the media recently, as NOT a dumbass warmonger
If we demonize the opponent politician beyond repair, like the Democrats do, then we don't actually have to offer a quality plan to our constituents. All we have to do is pretend to be different from our opponent, scare and guilt trip our constituents so powerfully, that they surrender their votes to us, without our having to offer a worthwhile candidate or do anything worthwhile in return
So that everything remains the same...for both Republican and Democrat
And many wise people, many with barely a high school education, could tell you this
Both candidates should have been required to release their health records, because a person about to die is not a good candidate for president. Trump did actually release his, and I believe Hillary released hers, albeit a severely redacted and altered one
Now here's an interesting case of collusion
Let's use an instance of an error committed on the part of a Sputnik journalist to prove incredible political intrigue
Let's use an instance of an error committed on the part of a Sputnik journalist, that was debunked and retracted, to prove incredible political intrigue
A Sputnik journalist published an article stating that an email unearthed in the Wikileaks "hack" contained a conversation where Sidney Blumenthal, a former advisor to Bill Clinton, wrote to John Podesta, Hillary's former campaign chairman, stating that Hillary did screw up in Benghazi, and that the attack against Ambassador Stevens and other US personnel in Benghazi, Libya was definitely preventable
The problem was that Sidney Blumenthal hadn't actually stated that
He had sent John Podesta an article written by one Kurt Eichenwald, where Eichenwald states that Benghazi could have been prevented
Trump later culled this story from whatever newsfeed he consults, and included it in a speech he gave in Pennsylvania during the election
Even the Washington Post, who are no big fans of Trump, reported in an article from OCTOBER 2016 (Olbermann's book is Copyright 2017 and has a whole chapter dedicated to that fateful month) that a mistake had been made and that the most you can accuse Trump of is not having much discernment as to where he gets his news. But that's garbage too, because how could he know it was wrong? And why is Sputnik a questionable news site? It's a Russian government funded news site, true, but does that mean that only Russian sites should be treated with skepticism but American new sites should be believed without question? What about French news sites? Or Spanish ones?
CNN and other US news outlets NEVER have political biases and NEVER make errors, and they definitely don't have suspicious funding sources
This next part I love. It has special meaning for me
The first time I was ever legally allowed to vote for President in the United States, I placed my vote for RALPH NADER
Ralph Nader, who's now in his eighties, gave his life to the fight in defense of progressive causes and the rights of Americans
Whether it be auto companies who viewed customers lives as cheap, tort reform, the environment, political corruption, you name it, he has had a hand in. He has lived a frugal, single life with a narrow-minded devotion to making the world a better place for Americans
He was my man
And while I knew he would never win, I thought he had the momentum to get a large enough percentage of the votes to give third parties a bigger presence and a greater chance of breaking through the two party stronghold we currently endure
He barely made a dent, but Democratic sycophants claimed that just that tiny dent was responsible for the election of George W Bush (supposedly the worse of two evils)
So here's another sycophant to discourage us from voting our hearts and dreams and giving in to the supposedly more benevolent bully of our two party slavery
That's not hyperbolic or threatening
According to Olbermann, if you voted for Johnson or Stein in 2016, you will have plunged us into this incredible dictatorship where literally within a year, you will never be allowed to vote in another election
Now I am scared - I will do whatever you say
(Our vote is already meaningless dumbass. You literally cannot vote for who you want)
Olbermann's baseless fear mongering is what he intends to show you that "The difference between Clinton and Trump is that stark" (it's not, they're friends)
Olbermann conflates Trump's threats to put Hillary in prison with crazy dictators of weird little foreign countries who crazily jail all their political opponents. The part about how Hillary is corrupt and may have broken the law isn't entered for consideration here
And all this fearmongering seems to result in nothing more than a win for the Republican party ironically, in both instances that it was used
Olbermann has a right to vent his opinion
He has a right to say what he wants
He has a right to write torturous books full of flaming hatred and few pieces of knowledge
He has every right to proudly shine as a cog in the propaganda machine
But he doesn't have the right to expect that anything he is doing is heroic or anything new. His book and his attitude can be boiled down to only one thing, to THE SAME OLD THING, and that was why he was taken out of his fetid storage closet and awoken to be used in the war against changing the status quo: the same old tired defense of our current exploitative capitalist system, anchored in place with the facade of democracy portrayed by our two-party system
Coranda Cashew is at it again