I don't care for OWS because I think it was indulgent. You had everyone from Panhandle Media working overtime to make it into something. You don't start the Civil Rights Movement without some concrete goals. The idea that this free-floating, vague gathering was going to be treated as an important movement. I think we were again handing out awards when gold stars and pats on the back weren't even warranted. I think we were overly indulging a group of people that should have been asked, "What are you doing? What do you want?"
They weren't asked that. And they didn't form around anything. A factoid, okay they formed around a factoid. At some point left magazines and left radio is going to have to offer something other than today's indulgent parent.
Now their non-stop, superficial coverage did do something, it eventually attracted real media. That is what happens. The right-wing fringe media and the left-wing fringe media can glom on something (due to their own political interests) and once they do it will bubble up into Big Media. But you need to know that your subject's ready for that kind of attention.
Big Media was very clear that they were not going to cover a camp out for days and days. They needed something that qualified as news. Nothing happened. Sameness, repeat behavior, that's not what drives the news cycle.
When smart people were heard (over the airwaves) treating OWS as if it were the Civil Rights Movement or the women's movement or the gay liberation movement or the peace movement, that was offensive. When they would then hear this national camp out referred to as the most significant moment politically in the US since "the sixties" (early seventies), that was even more offensive. Not just ahistorical, mind you, offensive.
People are bored. A publicity stunt is all OWS is currently. Ava and I pointed out in our piece that it can now peter out or spring back to life. I have no idea which it will do. I'm not part of it and I'm largely unimpressed with certain elements of it. (I don't applaud, for example, the exploitation of the homeless which I saw with my own eyes when I visited Occupy DC.)
And I'm doing a jump cut here because the paragraph that was here will instead get filed away for year-in-review.
I don't doubt Joan Wile's sincerity and don't believe she's lying. (And I have friends taking part in OWS NYC, Oakland and Los Angeles.) I'm fine with sharing her reporting here.
But by having no goals and with some of the people involved from the start (and in the shadows), what's going on now is no surprise.
Click here for Kevin Zeese's piece at Dissident Voice where he decries the ongoing effort to co-opt/takeover OWS:
The Occupy Movement is not part of either corporate-dominated party and Van Jones is not our leader. It is corporate rule we oppose. The Obama administration and the Democrats as well as the Republicans maintain the rule of Wall Street. Occupiers have organized an independent movement that challenges the rule of the 1% and their Republican and Democratic lackeys. Bought and paid for with millions of dollars from Wall Street, the health insurance industry and big energy interests, Obama and the Democrats are part of the problem, not the solution.
Really, Kevin? Then you might need to grow the hell up.
Kevin Zeese could be one of the most amazing people in the world. He has all the capabilities to do that. Instead, he's stuck in a rut of his own making.
How did he spend 2008?
Did you forget? I never will. He trashed Hillary and gave Barack a pass. Then, as the general election started, it was trash McCain and give Barack a pass. He'll argue -- and has -- that he did call out Barack. Yes, there was a sentence here and a sentence there. Never focused on him the way he did Hillary or McCain. Never made the case for his friend Ralph who was running for president. Nor was he a vocal voice behind Cynthia McKinney.
And Kevin would argue that's ancient history or he wasn't into electoral politics. If he wasn't into them, why did he obsess over them in 2008, in one piece after another.
I'm not the mood for this s**t.
Kevin Zeese is pissed because Van Jones is trying to co-opt whatever life is left in OWS.
You know what pisses me off?
Who the hell is Van Jones?
He'd already burned his bridges in San Francisco before the administration was stupid enough to bring him in. He was known as a sell-out who repeatedly took a stand only to run from it, he changed like the weather. And then he went into the administration as some sort of green jobs czar but he never did anything and he never advocated for anything.
He was building his own nest. Then Glenn Beck and others realized that you had a man who had self-defined (publicly) as a Communist at one point and they went to town. And they should have. Barack Obama was being called a Socialist and a Communist since the campaign. The White House never should have brought anyone in with that hidden in their background. They're the ones who were fighting the false labels during the campaign. Now they're going to bring that in? It was a stupid move. It not only appeared to give credence to (false) rumors, it was amateur time. Who doesn't properly vet at the White House? (Van Jones was Valerie Jarret's pet, for those who don't know.) But the White House doesn't properly vet anything which is how one tax evader after another had to announce that 'for family reasons' they were stepping back from the nomination Barack had made.
Van Jones was the White House mistake. Van Jones became the Kevin Zeese mistake when people like Zeese began going around lamenting Van getting fired. Of course, he would be fired. He was brought into the administration as an 'activist' and now America's being told that he was a Communist. (If you're not reading clearly, I do believe that this administration could have brought in a current or former Communist or Socialist. That's not the problem and wasn't the problem with Van Jones. The problem was the hidden aspect of it all.)
Suddenly it became "poor Van Jones" -- wall to wall. Scew Van Jones. He didn't belong in government -- nor does anyone with a pattern of hiding things. The public did not meet, vet and elect Van Jones. They trusted the administration to nominate capable people. Van Jones was not capable as evidenced by the fact that he had his scandal emerge. This wasn't Van Jones going on American Idol and, woops, same-sex sex tape turns up. This was someone going to work for the White House and they've got a potential scandal that opponents to the White House can run with.
Van Jones' problems were of his own making.
But instead of letting him stew in his own juices, the Zeese contingent were screaming that this was awful and poor Van and Van was heroic and Van was that.
Van Jones is a cheap hustler. That's all he'll ever be.
There was no reason to defend him.
There were actual issues -- from the ongoing wars to the need to demand single-payer universal health care -- but we couldn't focus on them, could we? Instead it was Democracy Now!, The Nation, The Progressive, In These Times, Pacifica Radio and so much more blathering on about the 'victim' Van Jones.
Van Jones was no victim. Hustlers are victims only if they're killed. Otherwise, they are the victimizers. They go through life victimizing others.
Currently, Kevin Zeese correctly sees Van Jones trying to suck the life out of OWS.
How about taking a look at who put Van Jones in the position to do that? Kevin writes about the Center for American Progress. If left voices hadn't portrayed Van (wrongly) as the ultimate victim, then he wouldn't be in the position to sap whatever life and independence is in OWS.
A whole cottage industry was built around defending Van Jones. That time would have been better spent on real issues. Now the cottage industry gets bit on its cottage cheese ass. At least, Kevin Zeese, have the honesty to admit your own role in this. At least.
It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)
Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4486. Tonight it's [PDF format warning] 4486. Here's the screen snap:
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i hate the war