Ashtray Chat OWS

OCCUPY: an editorial

This is a call to support dialogue, reason, and democracy.  This is a call to support the OCCUPY movement.

The pond scum making the mess in our nation’s parks and streets want their MTV, oh yes they do. Why wouldn’t they? After all, they are for the most part 20-somethings of the 21st century; they want plentiful cups of steaming coffee and affordable high-speed internet access, they want marijuana decriminalized and fucking Fringe to get renewed, yes they do. They want to hit Burning Man next year and not get ripped off, robbed, raped, or worse; they want certain pleasures and comforts, sure. They would like a fair shot in the troubled world they have inherited, such as the ability to save enough money to move out of their parents’ house, for example, or a college education that won’t cripple them w/ debt for decades; I think the spoiled whining brats of the OCCUPY movement would appreciate being armed with a set of skills with “real world applications for a competitive 21st century world economy!” Why not?

Well, not going to happen, kids. Sorry. Fringe, maybe. And that’s a big maybe. But affordable coffee? Hunh! Stay tuned. Pretty soon coffee’s going to be more expensive than cocaine.

[In the spirit of seriousness, your editor will now cut and paste the admittedly vague and far reaching “Principles of Solidarity” as stated by the New York City General Assembly of #Occupy Wall Street:

Through a direct democratic process, we have come together as individuals and crafted these principles of solidarity, which are points of unity that include but are not limited to:

  • Engaging in direct and transparent participatory democracy;
  • Exercising personal and collective responsibility;
  • Recognizing individuals’ inherent privilege and the influence it has on all interactions;
  • Empowering one another against all forms of oppression;
  • Redefining how labor is valued;
  • The sanctity of individual privacy;
  • The belief that education is human right; and
  • Endeavoring to practice and support wide application of open source.]

Not going to happen, pond scum!  No way. Just forget about that shit, right now. Because in recent days you brats have made some REALLY outrageous demands…

• You expected the right to use tents and tarps (and umbrellas!) in a public space in order to facilitate your presence in dubious comfort. Squatters! Get lost.

You thought senior citizens would not be pepper-sprayed point blank in the face. Talking to you, grandma! Ya got off lucky, this time.

You brought over 5,000 books to be shared w/ your fellow occupiers, you created a “library.” Oh, you scum. Books that weren’t unwanted, unsold remainders? You brought books that were precious and valuable and important to you, books that other people actually might want to read? That does it. Those books have been DESTROYED. On principle!

Okay, enough. It’s currently getting tense during the Day of Action, so enough of the semi-funny bullshit. It’s not even funny, not really, because as I’m writing this I’m also reading/watching/listening to dispatches from NYC that aren’t too far-off from the critical dissenting voice I mock above; some Manhattan folk are literally annoyed the streets are congested! The streets are congested, yes. The streets are filled with people who demand to be heard. These are facts. The protesters are chanting We are unstoppable, another world is possible.

Not only is another world possible, another world is inevitable.

The world is changing. Whether we like it or not, change is coming. We’ve seen it across the globe in a single calendar year (comparisons to the Arab Spring, et al, are very relevant and not to be dismissed purely on the basis that armed forces in other countries used bullets and grenades to suppress “insurrection” as apposed to civilian-friendly twist-ties and pepper spray); we have seen change in numerous ways beyond the means of human control—the planet itself is changing and growling beneath our feet. Change is coming. It’s a good idea to talk about those changes, while we still have a chance. NOT to secure our seat at the swag table, NOT to make sure our place in line is secure at the feeding trough, no. Let’s drop that mockery of the occupiers as spoiled brats, let’s drop it right now.

Because it is a very good idea to demand to be heard when those in “disagreement” with us see fit to burn books and maim the elderly, when a stone ear is turned to very real and salient complaints of a life of insurmountable debt, of inequality, of a request for dialogue that is denied and termed “illegal.” Yes, let’s talk about the giant banks and corporations that have ruined our economy while lining their own pockets, let’s talk about the percentage of American families on the poverty level, let’s talk about the future, let’s talk about change. That’s right. Let’s talk.

Support reason. Support dialogue. Support democracy. Support the occupy movement.

— Simon Drax, November 17, 2011


5 replies on “OCCUPY: an editorial”

“The people who read the books go to the people who can’t read the books, the poor people, and say, ‘We have to have a change.’ So, the poor people make the change, ah? And then, the people who read the books, they all sit around the big polished tables, and they talk and talk and talk and eat and eat and eat, eh? But what has happened to the poor people? They’re dead! That’s your revolution. Shhh… So, please, don’t tell me about revolutions! And what happens afterwards? The same f***ing thing starts all over again!”

Great site you have. I like it so much I almost hate to disagree with some of the points you bring up. The “Occupy” party does seem to be for the most part just a regurgitation of libertarian ideas. I am not knocking those ideas in anyway, I believe in them whole heartedly. The issue many people have, and it seems including Mr. Miller to an extent, is the ideals are not being represented by the protestors. When this first started many of them had no idea why they were even there, when asked for the points of the occupation they became dumbstruck and stammered that they wanted to be heard – but had nothing to say. That and current behavior issues make the cause look like a whine fest for losers who have no regard for anything except “poor me”. I think the point I would like to make is protest is great for visibility, but you need to add to that a plan to enact change.

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