Tag Archives: #occupywallstreet

Occupy This, Wall Street

In 2008, my friend bought me an Obama shirt as a New Orleans souvenir. I was definitely an Obama fan but I’ve never been one for political worship.

You show me a politician, I’ll show you someone who makes compromise a lifestyle — Obama or otherwise.

Not that all compromise is bad, but sometimes you gotta fucking stand your ground, only that doesn’t happen in American politics anymore, not in a way that benefits the average person.

I’ve been unhappy with the Obama administration because I’d hoped for more. I’d hoped for someone who would inspire while he led, who’d bring the passion of those campaign-trail speeches to daily life.

And I’d hoped for an American people who demanded more, who got involved, who wanted changed, and who’d be there to make the change.

Then nothing changed.

For 2.5 years, I’ve worn that Obama shirt inside-out, and only while housecleaning. I think that’s my own private way of making a statement. I don’t hate him, I just didn’t get the leader I’d hoped he’d be. Still, ain’t Bush.

For three years I’ve been frustrated at the lack of passion in America, how everything’s been one glib joke after another, but somehow there’s a wall between the reality of people’s homes and jobs evaporating, and the pompous otherworldly life of the 1% that sucks up so much of the airwaves’ time.

Photo by Nancy Edlin, shared publicly on Facebook.

Fuck Kim Kardashian’s wedding, Mr. News Anchor.

For years now, I’ve been angry, frustrated, and felt like I’d been ripped off and oversold. First eight years of Bush, then three years of this tip-toeing through ethical landmines that Washington has become.

In the early days of Occupy Wall Street, I thought “Yeah, nice gesture, but let’s see how long that lasts.”

I’m flabbergasted at the rate at which it’s starting to catch on. Stunned that the Billionaires’ Club is now defending its earnings and politicians are saying “Let’s not acknowledge them.”

The tide is turning. It’s an immovable force. It seems like the anger I wanted people to feel is finally there, that they’ve finally attained a sense of entitlement to a good life and a slice of the vaunted American Dream Pie.

There are so many sayings going around behind the #OSW protests. Like, “I believe in the separation of corporation and state,” and “I’m not opposed to capitalism; I’m opposed to corporate greed.” Yet so many seem to just not get it.

But they will.

The media has begun to realize #OccupyWallStreet might be the verge of a bold new era of an involved electorate, an angry populace, and the beginning of the end to this neo-feudal society that has arisen.

There’s one area in which the 1% are our equals: They only get one vote.

So, then. Who gets that vote?

Not a clue. Give it time. Hello, Darkness– do ya got a voice crying out in there? Who?

Remember, the French Revolution only took three years for the peasantry to overthrow the monarchy and the bourgeois. It took three years to plant the seeds for a way of life we’ve enjoyed for 220 years.

220 years? Democracy needs a facelift. She’s looking a little punchy. And now we have social media. Think of soc-med, like Twitter and Facebook, as the microwave-cooking of revolutions: Gets cooked faster than you ever hoped!

And business? Time for an overhaul, but mostly in the financial sector. I don’t give a fuck about Coca-Cola, I care about Goldman-Sachs.

Last week, when Steve Jobs died, even people I’ve long respected made ignorant comments like “If the the Occupy Wall Street protestors had their way, there’d be no Steve Jobs.”

What the fuck you talkin’ ’bout, Willis? I choose to own an iPhone, I don’t choose to have the economic world collapse due to speculators. I’m fine with Apple being Apple, Jobs having been Jobs. That’s business, not personal.

What I’m not fine with is executives like John Paulson taking a half-billion-dollar bonus because he THINKS he speculated well on finances (but then loses 40% value the next year). Steve Jobs took ONE DOLLAR A YEAR in pay, so don’t tell me he’s in the same class as the Wall Street Fat Cat Assholes who seem to think $500,000,000 is a good year-end bonus.

Their mistakes crash the world. Their successes have been few and far between for years. A little objectivity might help.

I’m lucky if I get a $500 Christmas Bonus, because I live in the real world and work for a small company, like most average joes/janes.

Between the stupidity of the finance industry in the United States — which is a world different than Canada’s, where we’ve never softened legislation, banking is healthy, and people still get loans — and the broken electoral system, it’s gonna take a big, long, noisy protest to wake the entire country up to just how stupid things have become down south.

There are massive issues in countries all around the world, because we’ve watched the relaxing of ethics in power in America and it spreads like a fungus, because America’s influence on the world is unparalleled.

Within their own borders, I find Americans don’t understand why it’s so important to the rest of us what happens there, and why we get so invested in their inability to demand true change from their leaders.

But it’s really, really simple. America is the house of cards we’re all built upon. They come tumbling down and the whole world’s financial network goes boom. Even Canada, where it’s sort of a healthy economy due to our regulations, has felt the pain from America’s missteps in recent years.

These are dark, difficult days. Change is needed urgently, globally: fairness in finance, representation in politics, equality in legislation, and people’s voices being truly heard.

What we need is a government with balls, a government who realizes there’s opportunity in saying, “Hey, you, hedge fund — go fuck yourself. The public want what we got.”

As for Obama, I’d seen a speech he did on the early days in the Iraq war, and he was so prescient that I thought “A man with this kind of future vision, he needs to be leader.”

And every day since his administration began, I’ve had one West Wing/Aaron Sorkin-inspired wish: “Let Obama be Obama.” I’ve wished he’d raise the level of debate in America.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. After all the partisan bickering, the forgetting that there are real people who depend daily on issues politicians are supposed to resolve, after all the water under the economical/political bridge, Obama’s a guy that’s a faint shade of who he promised he’d be.

Well, that oversold dream and those glossed-over half-truths, they’re old, and we need something new, Obama & Co.

PS: Let’s remember, too, that a Vancouver, Canada company kickstarted the whole Occupy Wall Street Movement — Adbusters announced the Occupy Wall Street event back in July and tried to drum up support. I wonder what their editorial office is like these days, as the movement takes hold globally.

The Media Is Dead To Me

For three weeks, protests have been gaining steam in New York City, and spreading across America.

People are realizing they’re angry, and hey, so’s the next guy. They’re seeing their way of life evaporate.

Gone is the way I grew up, the life I knew, and I’m Canadian. Americans have it worse. Middle class? Buh-bye, we don’t have that no more.

The media? Where have they been? Not covering the protests, that’s for sure. Why would they? When they’re so advertising-dependent on all the companies that the voices are shouting against, why would the media cover it? Don’t slap the hand that feeds you… even if it means you’ll lose the trust of the masses you need. Fucking idiots.

There was a time when one would turn to NBC or CBS, because, if Cronkite, Murrow, or some other most-trusted-man-in-America told you, then you’d believe it. Now? Jon Stewart repeatedly wins polls as the most trusted man in America, and he’s literally a joke[r].

In the first few days of the protest, there were active disinformation campaigns. People with blog posts showing garbage left by the “nowhere to be seen” protesters. I searched many of these sites and believed it was over.

But the protest went nowhere. They stood their ground, took over the park, and have been there ever since. Gradually, the word’s gotten out.

If it wasn’t for the stupidity of police brutality, they may never have gotten the coverage they’ve needed for growth.

Even now, the cable news shows aren’t focusing on the protest.

Then there’s the talk of what’s the message? What are the protests really ABOUT? What’s the unified theme?

Long story short, money, and how so many of us work so fucking hard, following all that we were told to do, and yet we’re still barely keeping our heads above water. And how much harder that is in the United States, where banks have a stranglehold on the entire economy.

There’s barely a middle class anymore. Thrift stores are doing desperate pleas for donations, because more people can’t afford full-price new items in stores. Food is going through the roof. My bread flour’s up 30% this year. Peanut butter is to follow. Never mind everything else.

Soon, restaurants will be priced out of existence, and the last 50 years of our culture based on dining out and that blissful life will be a memory of the past.

Once upon a time, eating out was a rare treat. For some of my friends and I, we’re back to that era, where dining means we’re stepping into another world for a meal. Most of the time, it’s eating at home. But at least we’re eating. I get takeout, sure, but restaurants? Maybe twice a month. Maybe.

Instead, the media’s talking about the iPhone, new movies, crimes with Americans abroad, and other shit that has no actual relevance on MY life, or most people’s.

From the #OccupyWallStreet Facebook group. Uploaded by PHOTON FREQUENCY.

The real stories don’t get play. Why talk about something that doesn’t have a lot of hope attached — or can’t be spun into advertising revenue?

NOTHING HAS CHANGED since the 2008 bail-outs! Money was handed out with no restraint for the banks, with no rules about how to spend it, and look where we are. The lack of regulations remained, and now we’re hearing from Robert Zoellick and other international players that we’re on the edge of a crisis — world-wide, because America’s fucking up at the wheel.

Apparently the politicians are the last to find out, because those of us who’ve been stressing about bills, rent, and life in general don’t think the recession ever “ended.”

We’re still in the fucking fray, man. We’re still barely breathing here.

Since the economic collapse of 2008, I’ve been dealing with never-ending back problems, job woes, and other stresses. I’m not the happy Steff I once was, and my life is hard, week in and week out, but at least I have a very little breathing room, largely because I shop in thrift stores, eat at home, and keep a lid on my purchases. I feel like my life is lived in bondage because I really have very little room to move, and it makes me so empathetic for those who have far less than I do, or Americans living in an even worse market.

But where the FUCK are you, media?

Thank god for smartphones, YouTube, and social media.

If I’m boring you on Twitter or Facebook with #OccupyWallStreet content, then too fucking bad, because SOMEONE NEEDS TO GET THE MESSAGE OUT, and it looks like it’s on us to do so.

More than 150 cities are now doing protests. Where the FUCK is the corresponding media?

You can’t believe what you hear, read, or see, if it’s in the media. Not anymore.

If the press wanted a nail in its coffin, well, we’ve got the hammer.

We are the 99%.