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OK, I'll Be That Spokesman
October 8, 2011 9:22 PM   Subscribe


 
P.J. O'Rourke is such an insufferably smug dick.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:30 PM on October 8, 2011 [39 favorites]


Any videos from the SNL skits on Occupy Wall Street?
posted by jeffburdges at 9:35 PM on October 8, 2011


I would've accepted either this articulate response or a boot knife to the face of O'Rourke. Both if possible.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:36 PM on October 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Grayson's tie is a laff riot. (Just thought I'd make a sartorial statement about a male politician, since female politicians are so closely examined regarding their attire.)
posted by kozad at 9:37 PM on October 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


And O'Rourke is the same maroon he's been for 30+ fuckin' years.
posted by dobbs at 9:41 PM on October 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh damn, that's gonna leave a bruise.

Also... bongo drums? Bongo drums will not protect you from the metric ton of science that Grayson is gonna drop on your face.


Grayson's tie is a laff riot.

That's his dazzle camouflage.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:41 PM on October 8, 2011 [18 favorites]


Pwned.
posted by mollweide at 9:49 PM on October 8, 2011


O'Rourke was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2008 so you have to cut him a little slack.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 9:54 PM on October 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


> O'Rourke was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2008 s

I don't know if that's a joke because his brain is in his ass, but just for the record.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:55 PM on October 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Yes, that was the joke.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 9:57 PM on October 8, 2011 [19 favorites]


P.J. O'Rourke is such an insufferably smug dick.

O'Rourke is the sort of man I pay attention to, because he bears every conceivable mark of the sort of man who does not listen to others but views them as something to refute and ignore and mock, however cleverly. I use him as a standard for the sort of man I would rather catch fire than become, because I could see myself becoming him, and I certainly see my country becoming him, and both scare the shit out of me.

I used to think he was funny, but more exposure to him reveals a kind of learned-funny-man desperation (cf. Dennis Miller, or for that matter Dorothy Parker) that gets sadder to behold the older I get. I'd rather be wrong or underestimated.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:02 PM on October 8, 2011 [67 favorites]


I was rather disappointed by the dismissal of the entire panel, particularly Bill Maher, of the OccupyWallStreet movement. It has become rather trite in the past week to hear media folks say that the protestors have no articulated message. It is already a cliche, and a bad one.

O'Rourke is always awful on Real Time and Maher brings him on due to misguided loyalty but apparently blind to the stink he brings to the show. His appearances there remind me of when Letterman used to have his standup buddies on the Late Show [Jimmie Walker, George Miller, etc] who would also always tank.

Grayson = awesome, both in tenor and in fact.
posted by AndYouWillKnowUsByTheTrailOfBread at 10:10 PM on October 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


O'Rourke was just trolling there. He was refusing to engage substantively with the subject, using transparent ad hominems and pathetic strawman arguments which Grayson deftly and decisively crushed with clear, well-researched, brilliantly-articulated nuggets of truth. It was like watching a fight between Scrappy Doo and a grizzly bear.
posted by Scientist at 10:13 PM on October 8, 2011 [23 favorites]


I'd not previously seen Grayson in action, but color me impressed, if still skeptical.
posted by wierdo at 10:19 PM on October 8, 2011


I was rather disappointed by the dismissal of the entire panel, particularly Bill Maher, of the OccupyWallStreet movement. It has become rather trite in the past week to hear media folks say that the protestors have no articulated message

To be perfectly fair I've spent now a few hours talking with the Occupy Wall St people in their IRC channel and a few hours at a protest/GA in Occupy Asheville, and in both cases was immensely unimpressed by the individuals and organization(s). The general assembly/"direct democracy" structure in particular looks hopelessly unworkable and unscalable

I'm desperately hoping some more adept organizers and skilled speakers from the American left see the opportunity this meme has and jump in and try to inject some coherence into the movement. If you look at MoveOn, the unions, Grayson, etc. - this seems to be happening
posted by crayz at 10:20 PM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why is this of significance? It's not really great oratory; in fact, I don't know that it's really laid out the disparate feelings of the 99% beyond what Grayson wants to latch onto in a political sense. And besides, Grayson's an ex-pollie so it's not like he's got skin in the game by jumping on a side with gusto. Or maybe it's post-worthy in the sense that anyone with half-celebrity who can string 2 sentences together in support of the left is a thing to behold in this day and age and needs to be shared more widely.
posted by peacay at 10:20 PM on October 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Thanks for that, middleclasstool.
You may honestly have just changed my life and I thank you for that perspective.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:26 PM on October 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


PJ O'rourke is a boot-licking toad.

And no, he was never, ever funny.
posted by bardic at 10:34 PM on October 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


That was Jonathan Franzen going "oh my god" at the beginning, right? A YouTube comments says the panel was all Republicans except Grayson, which seems odd..
posted by xmutex at 10:48 PM on October 8, 2011



And no, he was never, ever funny

Humbly submitted.

Of course, that was a long, long time ago. But he was very kind to me once, so I cut him a good bit of slack. That said, this was quite the smackdown.
posted by Optamystic at 10:58 PM on October 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why this needed to be said

Mainstream media is tripping over itself attempting to utilize citizen journalism via the "Man on the street" perspective at the gatherings and leaving general television viewers confused while making the movement appear "unorganized".


Occupy Wall Street Newspaper Raises $54,000 on Kickstarter (previously)
posted by TangerineGurl at 11:02 PM on October 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


The general assembly/"direct democracy" structure in particular looks hopelessly unworkable and unscalable

I've participated in communities that use consensus-based decision making, both at university and at Occupy New Orleans. They do work, though they require engagement, patience, a willingness to try and understand other perspectives, and the presumption of good-faith interaction by all involved. Not unlike some blue-colored online communities I might mention.

As for scalability, your point would be valid if these communities were meant to scale. What must be understood is that in a very real way these protests are against centralized power in general, for centralization of power (or, put another way, unequal distribution of power) is at the root of the problems that face our society. The model of society represented by the 99% movements is one of local organization, decentralization, and egalitarianism.

People don't seem to understand the type of radical change that is being espoused by these protests. That is not to say that every protester (and certainly not every member of the 99%, who are of course incredibly diverse by definition) shares these values, but these values are nonetheless at the base of the movement's founding principles.
posted by Scientist at 11:06 PM on October 8, 2011 [20 favorites]


I was rather disappointed by the dismissal of the entire panel, particularly Bill Maher, of the OccupyWallStreet movement. It has become rather trite in the past week to hear media folks say that the protestors have no articulated message. It is already a cliche, and a bad one.
When talking heads mock the protesters as unserious, remember how many serious people assured us that there was no housing bubble and that budget deficits would send interest rates soaring.

...the whole point of the protests is to change that political climate.

posted by ignignokt at 11:07 PM on October 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


"Humbly submitted."

Nope. Not funny.
posted by bardic at 11:47 PM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Watch the whole episode, not just the clip. Maher asks the Republicans how the Occupy Wall Street thing could be run more effectively, their advice: Logistics, Logistics, Logistics. Where are all those people going to the bathroom, better sign making tools, appoint spokespeople who can go toe to toe with Fox News, etc. And you wonder why the R's do so well?

"Good generals study tactics. Great generals study logistics."
posted by Chekhovian at 11:47 PM on October 8, 2011 [25 favorites]


I would vote for Grayson.
posted by jb at 11:57 PM on October 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks for articulating that, Scientist.


I'm desperately hoping some more adept organizers and skilled speakers from the American left see the opportunity this meme has and jump in and try to inject some coherence into the movement

I hope that this meme is somehow able to avoid any association with "the American left" so that it can include as much of the 99% as possible. How awesome would it be if, say for example, Tea partiers realized they'd been duped by divide and conquer propoganda this whole time and joined in the movement.

The longer the movement remains somewhat amorphous and resist demands to conform to a conventional structure the greater something like this has a chance of happening.
posted by umamiman at 11:58 PM on October 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


I've participated in communities that use consensus-based decision making, both at university and at Occupy New Orleans. They do work, though they require engagement, patience, a willingness to try and understand other perspectives, and the presumption of good-faith interaction by all involved

OK, the GA I went to basically seemed to be run by a handful of little napoleons, say 8 people out of a crowd of 100 who knew each other and used their role as referees to selectively enforce speaking rules and dominate the conversational flow. It was "direct democracy" in the same way a "push poll" is a poll, and by the time I left about 2/3 of the crowd had left, a bunch of them having been told they weren't allowed to talk and had instead been complaining amongst themselves before leaving

And the working groups were unclear in number, membership or meeting location, an issue that was brought up by yet another of the out-group and refused any clarification
posted by crayz at 11:59 PM on October 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


ALAN GRAYSON YOUR HOME DISTRICT MISSES YOU and is still flabbergasted the last election spun the way it did - wish your team had campaigned for the indie vote with a tad more humility.
posted by cavalier at 1:03 AM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


with o'rourke on, i'm glad to have missed it this time around. i don't know why maher insists on having him. he seems like somebody who in his mind is so busy congratulating himself on his cleverness that he's rendered incapable of expressing whatever he's congratulating himself for. on maher's show, it seems his sole function is to ensure that any intelligent depth of discussion does not take place. maher basically sits back and lets him put a damper on the whole show.

but then i'm not too impressed with maher these days. he gets a little too stuck on his pet issues, he'll turn away from a decent conversation to accommodate some gimmick, and now and then he'll make a basic factual error upon which he'll build an opinion he's a bit overconfident in and which reveals he hasn't quite fully read up on something. i think he gets a little too willing to sacrifice accuracy for an easier punchline.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 1:11 AM on October 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


How awesome would it be if, say for example, Tea partiers realized they'd been duped by divide and conquer propoganda this whole time and joined in the movement.

The Tea Party is, generally, Murdoch's trained monkey. If you listen to them, they just say whatever Fox News has told them most recently. Proof: they seem fascinated by the idea that Obama is somehow destroying the country.
posted by JHarris at 1:21 AM on October 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


The original modern Tea Party movement had a very different ethos from what I read over here in the UK: it was only later that it was captured by the republican machine. In some ways, the Occupy Wall Street movement overlaps significantly with that original grass roots organisation, even if the latter drew more from the right than the left.

If OWS wants to truly represent the 99%, then including those original Tea Party protestors would be a laudable goal.
posted by pharm at 1:29 AM on October 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've never been impressed with Bill Maker, as he always struck me as the type of guy who says funny and/or controversial things in an effort to get laid, rather than actually having any convictions behind his statements, though I enjoy the format of Real Time (and PI) before it. PJ O' Rourke used to be one of my favorite humorists (even after I gave up on Conservatism) but of late he seems like a man trapped in the prison of his own reputation, and it shows in his work and appearances.
posted by KingEdRa at 1:30 AM on October 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


If Bill Maher would stop constantly laughing at his own jokes I would love him 1000x more. His habit is just as terrible as when Jimmy Fallon on SNL would constantly look at the camera during his skits.

though I enjoy the format of Real Time

And I really dislike the formatting of the new rules segment of the show. It feels dictatorial by Maher to force his guests to be the audience, and the cut aways to them laughing are so awkward feeling. He should just do the new rules at the beginning like very other comedy show in history.

rather than actually having any convictions behind his statements

He seems genuine enough to me. Back in PI's glory days he seemed to be a strong voice of Libertarianism and really seemed to have his own voice. Since all the republicans have gone crazy he just seems to be fighting fires. Its probably harder to focus on putting forth your own ideals when you have to exert every possible effort to counter the nutjobs.
posted by Chekhovian at 1:40 AM on October 9, 2011




This, of course, alludes to you, it's certainly easy to decide what is best for the country when you have no real power. He's the guy who devoted a chapter in one of his books to demonstrating how easy it is to balance the budget, where one of his steps was invoking a rule of his that "one can take 10% off the top of anything." (Of course, Clinton actually did balance the budget. Obama could too, if the Republicans would let him.)
posted by JHarris at 3:14 AM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


The original modern Tea Party movement had a very different ethos from what I read over here in the UK: it was only later that it was captured by the republican machine.

I don't know what you read. I live in the U.S., it seems pretty apparent to me that it would never have taken off without Fox News giving it so much free publicity, and if it hadn't taken off we wouldn't be talking about it now regardless of who started it. (Who would that be? I've never heard a name given to the person who originated the thing. If someone else can point me to an article explaining the origins of the Tea Party I'd appreciate it.)

(I am assuming you weren't joking about the "original" tea party movement, in that you said "modern.")
posted by JHarris at 3:25 AM on October 9, 2011


"Forget where to go to the bathroom."

Wait, is this a thing? Are there people in OWS who are all "Ooh. I have to go to the bathroom. I wonder where one does that? There's that word... bath. room... Hmm, I wonder what THAT means."

Bash hippies and their bongo drums all you want, but this one doesn't even make sense. Every hippie I've ever known has been housebroken.
posted by sonika at 3:32 AM on October 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


As douchey as Karl Denninger (original tea party dude) can be, for years his mantra has been, "stop the looting and start prosecuting." From what I've seen OWS is and should be a non-partisan organization dedicated to holding those that destroyed the American economy responsible.

I was at the Occupy Portland event on Thursday and saw an amazingly diverse group of folks rallying around a common cause. The idea that OWS is just a bunch of dirty, unorganized, hippies is absolute bullshit and a convenient meme for the mainstream media. In reality there were a ton of average looking middle class people fed up with the status quo. Once we get beyond the divisive bullshit that's fed to us constantly the people (as it should be) will be a force to be reckoned with, and I believe that scares the shit out of those in power.
posted by alpinist at 3:36 AM on October 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
posted by Duug at 3:48 AM on October 9, 2011 [19 favorites]


Of course, Clinton actually did balance the budget. Obama could too, if the Republicans would let him.

This, a thousand times this. I'm so tired of hearing intelligent people complain that Obama hasn't done anything to fix the economy/the budget/the hot-button topic of your choosing. To which I invariably reply, well, what has the Republican-majority Congress let him do? A conundrum.

Maher asks the Republicans how the Occupy Wall Street thing could be run more effectively, their advice: Logistics, Logistics, Logistics.

I'm not sure how good/organized/optimal the logistics for OccupySeattle are...I do know the mayorally-sanctioned ones are pretty much awful, though that (obviously) isn't something the organizers can control for. These kind of uncontrollable outside factors, I think, are that needs to be taken into account in any honest criticism/analysis of these marches. The organizers can plan and organize and work logistics 'til their thumbs fall off...But some other person (or persons. Or organizations. Or whatever) can still come in and balls it all up. A process which I believe may be called "society".

Which sounds cynical, I suppose. I still think it's true.
posted by clavier at 4:06 AM on October 9, 2011


I'm also sick of the idea OWS is anti-capitalist, because what I see happening down at Zuccotti Park is anything but that. It's really like a start up in many ways, with a highly mobile, decentralized and committed group (and auxiliary and support groups online) working on something intangible and abstract and there's so much energy and imagination, ingenuity, team work, problem solving, mutual respect and a sense of entrepreneurship over it all, and the wisdom to keep the whole thing protected and growing at it's own rate.

It's pretty weird in some ways because, in other words OWS is taking the best methods of Capitalism, before Capitalism gets completely corrupted by the idea of Capital, amassing as much as possible of it in the short term without any thought to the ethical aspects or the idea of how it circumvents democracy and puts power in the very few and privatizing the profits for those very few while making losses and dysfunction the responsibility of society.
posted by Skygazer at 4:41 AM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bash hippies and their bongo drums all you want, but this one doesn't even make sense. Every hippie I've ever known has been housebroken.

If this puzzles you, you may be interested in recent political psychology research. Example:

Dirty Liberals! Reminders of Physical Cleanliness Influence Moral and Political Attitudes
Abstract: Many moral codes place a special emphasis on bodily purity, and manipulations that directly target bodily purity have been shown to influence a variety of moral judgments. Across two studies, we demonstrated that reminders of physical purity influence specific moral judgments regarding behaviors in the sexual domain as well as broad political attitudes. In Study 1, individuals in a public setting who were given a reminder of physical cleansing reported being more politically conservative than did individuals who were not given such a reminder. In Study 2, individuals reminded of physical cleansing in the laboratory demonstrated harsher moral judgments toward violations of sexual purity and were more likely to report being politically conservative than control participants. Together, these experiments provide further evidence of a deep link between physical purity and moral judgment, and they offer preliminary evidence that manipulations of physical purity can influence general (and putatively stable) political attitudes.

Or this: Disgust as Embodied Moral Judgment
Abstract:
How, and for whom, does disgust influence moral judgment? In four experiments participants made moral judgments while experiencing extraneous feelings of disgust. Disgust was induced in Experiment 1 by exposure to a bad smell, in Experiment 2 by working in a disgusting room, in Experiment 3 by recalling a physically disgusting experience, and in Experiment 4 through a video induction. In each case, the results showed that disgust can increase the severity of moral judgments relative to controls. Experiment 4 found that disgust had a different effect on moral judgment than did sadness. In addition, Experiments 2-4 showed that the role of disgust in severity of moral judgments depends on participants’ sensitivity to their own bodily sensations. Taken together, these data indicate the importance—and specificity—of gut feelings in moral judgments.

Gut feelings of disgust, which are intimately linked to ideas about "purity" and "cleanliness", are part of conservatives' moral judgements. You could clearly see that on display during the Tea Party protests, where so much time was spent on Fox News talking about how the Tea Partiers were so clean, and didn't leave any garbage behind. Now, we're seeing the flip side of that; liberals are dirty. You can also see it in anti-immigration debates, in debates over sexual behavior (celebacy = purity; homosexual behavior = unclean), or racial issues (blacks and hispanics are dirty; white people are clean).

A link between political attitudes and a need for "purity" has been fairly well established in the psychological literature.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 4:43 AM on October 9, 2011 [35 favorites]


Bash hippies and their bongo drums all you want, but this one doesn't even make sense. Every hippie I've ever known has been housebroken.

I think he's referring to the picture (mildly NSFW, Daily Mail warnings apply) of a protester pooping on a police car. It's become a bit of a thing on the news.
posted by Mooski at 4:50 AM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would not like to scrape poop off my car but COME ON poop scrapes off.
Whereas some of the Tea Party signs can never be unseen
(oh, and COME ON don't poop on cars in a posture that would cause you to get poop in your pants. That guy in the photo -- I would imagine 1/2 of his poop slid into his underwear)
posted by angrycat at 6:03 AM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I actually took the pooping on a police car as....a statement.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:37 AM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


It really is amazing to me that people still think there's something witty, charming, or even intelligent about a feigned, "what on EARTH can they possibly be protesting?" I grant that I'm closer to the ground than some other folks, but really, you have to not only be stupid to not know what the message is, you have to be working hard to cultivate that stupidity. (It also doesn't help with you say that the protestors' motivations are incomprehensible in one breath and anti-capitalist in another, though that just boils down to, "I can't be bothered to figure out what this guy is saying bu he doesn't look like me so it's probably terrible.")

The reaction to OWS is quite telling, and I don't mean CNN's pretend bafflement or the Tea Party's clueless lack of realization that these people are largely on their side. I mean yet another round of, "Hey look I'm a practiced moronic asshole who is now going to say something 'edgy' by making fun of people who deviate slightly from societal norms!" (laugh track).

It's no surprise that the GOP is going to pick its candidate from a seemingly endless supply of braying boorish louts. As I said in 1999 when asked who I thought would win in 2000, "I'm assuming Bush will win because he's a fucking idiot, he appeals to fucking idiots, and most Americans are fucking idiots."
posted by Legomancer at 6:54 AM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Maher is the left's Glenn Beck. He's an asshole, but he's our asshole (speaking for my lefty friends, not MeFi, of course). He can say things that leave me gasping for breath from laughing so hard, or pumping my fist in agreement. And then he can say the stupidest shit, especially when it comes to his reflexive anti-feminism (seriously, Bill, WTF is up with that?), apparent and clueless Islamophobia (again, WTF Bill?), and especially, for me, his gullibility in the face of junk science (his vaccination position remains obtuse at best, dangerous at worst). His show works best for lefty viewers when he's got at least 2 liberal guests and they all beat up on some hapless conservative, because really, how often do you get to see that anywhere else on TV anymore? He's the ID of the rational technocratic left, saying the true but nasty things others don't have the balls to see.

But he's also a douchebag extraordinaire. No question.
posted by spitbull at 6:55 AM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


er, that's "others don't have the balls to say."
posted by spitbull at 6:58 AM on October 9, 2011




Right wing reporter brags about infiltrating OWS, inciting police violence, and getting the Air and Space Museum shut down.

Wow. He's an assistant editor at TAS.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 7:16 AM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


As douchey as Karl Denninger (original tea party dude) can be, for years his mantra has been, "stop the looting and start prosecuting"

I've been told that the Wall Street practices that capsized the economy weren't necessarily illegal.
posted by Trurl at 7:24 AM on October 9, 2011


Something no one is saying: if OWS takes off as a movement, there will violence, and it won't come from within the movement. It will be of the stochastic terrorism or false flag variety (see above about the right-wing infiltrator, as well as the history of 60s radical groups).

Right now, OWS is being treated as a joke, but the fear is mounting on the right as they see their neglect of the story and their mockery failing to stop it. Cantor and Romney, to name two, have already alluded to it being "dangerous".
posted by mondo dentro at 7:26 AM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've been told that the Wall Street practices that capsized the economy weren't necessarily illegal.

You're really missing the point here. Regulatory capture is used by plutocrats to make the illegal legal, and their control of the media is used to portray the immoral virtuous until that becomes "conventional wisdom".
posted by mondo dentro at 7:28 AM on October 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


Well, speak of the devil:

Rep. Peter King Attacks OWS: We Must Stop Those Ragtag Mobs And Anarchists

Contrary to media spin, I think the message of OWS is clear. What I do think they're dropping the ball on is inoculating themselves against the coming violence. But this is a problem the entire left has, from anarcho-communitarians to Democrats.
posted by mondo dentro at 7:31 AM on October 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


It really is amazing to me that people still think there's something witty, charming, or even intelligent about a feigned, "what on EARTH can they possibly be protesting?"

A while back I tried to find a way to describe Libertarianism in a single sentence and my result was "take any statement of fact about progress for any individual group in America, and add an exclamation point." Eg. "Affirmative Action corrects racial discrimination of the past[!]" "Women are trying to paid equally[!]"

Likewise, I think a good single-sentence explanation of conservatism is, "pretend to not know something so you can pretend someone who does is the loser." Haha! You don't know what you're protesting! Haha! You think there's an ozone layer! And so on.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:31 AM on October 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


What I do think they're dropping the ball on is inoculating themselves against the coming violence.

There is not a force on earth that will inoculate anyone who the right wants to blame for whatever violence happens. Four years ago Michelle Malkin accused Dunkin Donuts of supporting Palestinian terrorism because Rachel Ray wore a scarf in a coupon insert. Crazy is a train with no brakes.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:33 AM on October 9, 2011 [13 favorites]


pharm: "The original modern Tea Party movement had a very different ethos from what I read over here in the UK: it was only later that it was captured by the republican machine. In some ways, the Occupy Wall Street movement overlaps significantly with that original grass roots organisation, even if the latter drew more from the right than the left.

If OWS wants to truly represent the 99%, then including those original Tea Party protestors would be a laudable goal.
"

Well I've seen a few videos these days w/Kucinich and Ron Paul or Nader and Ron Paul...

I always get this feeling though that those who say "left and right are something used to dupe you" tend to be right-wing capital L Libertarians wanting to get more left-wing type libertarians (anarchists/libertarian socialists) aligned with them.

And on the one hand I do think there should be cooperation when the interests overlap, but at the same time, the right-wing libertarians need to wake up to the fact that until they can really grok that yes, state power is bad, but corporate power is just as bad, and if you don't start scaling back the corporate power and influence in government, until they stop using "individual freedoms" as an excuse to grant more collective power to the institutions of finance and economic power, then they will continue to play lapdog to the state-capitalist institution.

Yes, regulatory capture is a problem. But the answer isn't to demand complete dissolution of regulation. That's like saying "Some murderers might use the power of government to get away with murder, so we should make all murder legal, then no-one can misuse the power of government to get away with what isn't right..."

I'm simplifying a bit. I guess I kind of veered off course as well.

Anyways, yes, we need to get the original Tea Party folks on board, and I think that a lot of the original ones ARE on board... It's all the fake ones who jumped on w/the Palin/Koch etc... bandwagon who are castigating these folks as dirty hippies (and of course the "reasonable" centrist democrat types are doing the same thing).

I think using 1% is a bit too broad, we need to discuss the super rich. the top .1% is really where the ultimate problem lies, and if you can get people to grok that, you might have more pull. Well, the ultimate problem lies in capitalism, imo, but for our purposes in discussing the current crisis, I'd argue it's getting people to understand the top .1% is what we need to be discussing.
posted by symbioid at 7:57 AM on October 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


You know, the Sixteenth Amendment should have probably been limited to the richest 2% to 10%, effectively requiring that income tax itself remain vaguely progressive.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:03 AM on October 9, 2011


Where are all those people going to the bathroom, better sign making tools, appoint spokespeople who can go toe to toe with Fox News, etc. And you wonder why the R's do so well?

-In the case of Occupy Wall St., the protesters are prevented from erecting any structures, such as tents. I'm pretty sure this precludes porta-johns. Their continued presence there is right at the limits of local by-laws, and I'm sure the NYPD would love for them to step outside what is permitted, even for a second or two.

-I rather like a lot of the signs I've been seeing during the protests.

-How are you going to go toe-to-toe with Fox when they simply won't broadcast anyone smarter than their reporters? It's not like the Occupy movement has billionaire sponsors who can buy time on a major news network.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:12 AM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Right wing reporter brags about infiltrating OWS, inciting police violence, and getting the Air and Space Museum shut down.

He sounds like 50s frat boy bragging about sneaking into the girls' dorm. But ya gotta love somebody who probably masturbates to Fox "News" talking about socialist indoctrination.
posted by NorthernLite at 8:14 AM on October 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


One party is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street and the other party caters to them as well.

Once a party man, always a party man.

Fuck you, Grayson.
posted by Trurl at 8:15 AM on October 9, 2011


peacay: "And besides, Grayson's an ex-pollie so it's not like he's got skin in the game by jumping on a side with gusto."

I understand he will be running again next election.
posted by Obscure Reference at 8:25 AM on October 9, 2011


To me, the interesting thing about OWS is that it almost acts as an imaginary "mirror of truth" for the observers. That is, everyone who looks at it, sees whatever they think they would like to see in "the movement" (on the positive as well as negative scale). Somehow they have managed to create something so undefined that everyone else defines it for themselves ("it's a movement", "it's a political party", "it's just a bunch of hippies", "it's an angry mob", "it's anarchists", "it's the 99%",...).

On the other hand, if you spend a little time with folks down at Zuccotti Park, the whole thing reminds me more of the "Somebody's going to emergency, somebody's going to jail" episode on West Wing. They seem to be in desperate need of a Toby come in (though admittedly, I always feel like we could use more West Wing in our lives).
posted by CaffeineFree at 8:44 AM on October 9, 2011


I hope that this meme is somehow able to avoid any association with "the American left" so that it can include as much of the 99% as possible.

I've seen a couple people on Facebook post this: We're neither from the right or the left. We are from the bottom and we're going after those at the top.
posted by overglow at 8:47 AM on October 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


Good lord, that American Spectator editor is hilariously pathetic:

I was the only one who had made it through the doors. As two guards pointed at me and started running, I dodged a circle of gawking old housewives and bolted upstairs....I was surprised to find myself a fugitive Saturday afternoon, stumbling around aircraft displays with just enough vision to keep tabs on my uniformed pursuers. "The museum is now closed!" screamed one of the guards as alarms sounded. "Everyone make your way to the exits immediately!" Using my jacket to cover my face -- which I could feel swelling to Elephant Man proportions -- I ducked through the confused tourists and raced out the exit. "Hey, you!" shouted a female guard reaching for my arm. "Get back here!" But I was already down the steps and out of sight.

This is right before he says the protestors "don't have what it takes" to "go bold" because most of them thought "storming" (his word) the National Air and Space Museum was *not* something they thought worth doing.

What colossal ass.
posted by mediareport at 8:47 AM on October 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


a
posted by mediareport at 8:47 AM on October 9, 2011


Last night at the OccupyBoston general assembly I was reminded of a simple emotional truth that many men seem not to understand: when someone is sad or angry, the important thing isn't his demands, his utterances ('I hate you' doesn't mean 'I hate you' when the person saying it is desperately reaching out for help)...the important thing is that he is authentically sad or angry and you have a responsibility, as his fellow human, to help him through it. To help address his problem, not correct his fucking grammar.

The general assembly was a clusterfuck of left-protest clichés. What no one wants to hear is this: THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE. The OWS protestors and their satellite groups are demonstrating the extremity of their situation and the depth of their anger. That is their only responsibility right now.

I mean, duh.
posted by waxbanks at 9:09 AM on October 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


That reminds me I have s'more books that could be donated to the liberty square library.
posted by The Whelk at 9:15 AM on October 9, 2011


( I think going postal carries with it a revolutionary spirit don't you?)
posted by The Whelk at 9:16 AM on October 9, 2011




Skygazer: I'm also sick of the idea OWS is anti-capitalist, because what I see happening down at Zuccotti Park is anything but that. It's really like a start up in many ways, with a highly mobile, decentralized and committed group (and auxiliary and support groups online) working on something intangible and abstract and there's so much energy and imagination, ingenuity, team work, problem solving, mutual respect and a sense of entrepreneurship over it all, and the wisdom to keep the whole thing protected and growing at it's own rate.

Capitalism owns none of these qualities. Any successful non-profit will also exhibit them. What capitalism would bring into it is, too often, top-down control by a clueless manager with nothing invested other than his career, and the sense that making a profit is more important than whatever the project is really about, which has wrecked a lot of things.

Trurl:
>>One party is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street and the other party caters to them as well.
Once a party man, always a party man. Fuck you, Grayson.


You dispute his statement?

To respond to mondo dentro, the discontent that the OWS guys are airing has been a long time coming. Changes comes eventually, whether it's from a single epochal event (Berlin Wall falling) or over centuries (dark ages). The purpose of democracy is to accelerate its coming, and to give the people a means other than violence to affect it.
posted by JHarris at 9:30 AM on October 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


The original modern Tea Party movement had a very different ethos from what I read over here in the UK: it was only later that it was captured by the republican machine. In some ways, the Occupy Wall Street movement overlaps significantly with that original grass roots organisation, even if the latter drew more from the right than the left.

The Tea Party was an attempt to preemptively declaw an Occupy-ish movement, I think, by channeling outrage over many of the same issues into a manufactured non-movement, and burning effigies. It worked for a little while, and it actually succeeded in a few ways that the Occupy folks haven't really gotten yet. Namely, the Tea Party was/is pretty inclusive, and encouraged its folks to take action, organize and get stuff done wherever they are. I haven't really seen much of that from the Occupy folks yet--so far, the plan looks more like, "Travel to Big City, Protest," which is alienating and simply unworkable for most people; not to mention likelier to run out of steam and energy.
posted by byanyothername at 9:41 AM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


"They are upset that Wall Street has iron control over the economic policies of this country, and that one part is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wall Street, and the other party caters to them as well.... 24 million people in this country who cannot find a job in this country... 50 million people in this country who cannot see a doctor when they are sick... 47 million people in this country who need government help to feed themselves...."

That was pretty awesome. I hope the protest expands and makes a purposeful effort to reach the millions of people who have traveled down the road of social movements before, who have a deep understanding of exactly what Grayson was saying, and have understood it long before the recent financial crisis. The Business Insider website posted a lot of great photos of the protesters (which I really didn't expect), but one struck them as weird, and me too -- but to me it showed an opportunity that I hope is not missed. This man probably has something to share, if people would only ask.

After the crisis, we all stepped at least one rung down on the ladder. The people who were already on the bottom rung, before the meltdown, what about them? The numbers are there, and there should be an effort to reach them.
posted by Houstonian at 9:44 AM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Alan Grayson is a smart, good man, and has some brass balls. A true quality citizen.
posted by dbiedny at 10:07 AM on October 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Travel to Big City, Protest," which is alienating and simply unworkable for most people; not to mention likelier to run out of steam and energy.

"As of 2011, about 250 million Americans live in or around urban areas. That means more than three-quarters of the U.S. population shares just about three percent of the U.S. land area."

The political process in the US has been held hostage by corporate interests in the guise of duped rural voters over-represented in the political scheme of the country. In fact, most people live in cities, and protest movements in the early 20th century based on much smaller cities did just fine, thanks.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:23 AM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


mondo dentro, I've been talking about just that point on my Angry Human show for last couple of weeks - the extremely high potential that violence, and other forms of disruptive tactics, will appear from external influences, to discredit OWS. There has already been one incident involving a doctored picture of crowd turnout for the early days of the protest, which appears to have been done to vilify and question OWS right from the get-go. We're going to see a lot more of it, and for anyone who would begin to even think of typing that we're engaged in vapid conspiracy theory, please get thyself to a library and read some books, starting with "The Grapes of Wrath", a little ditty by a dude called Steinbeck.
posted by dbiedny at 10:52 AM on October 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


You dispute his statement?

Yes.

Both parties are wholly owned subsidiaries of Wall Street and it's the height of disingenousness for him to pretend that the Democrats are even marginally less shitty in that respect.
posted by Trurl at 10:53 AM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


A link between political attitudes and a need for "purity" has been fairly well established in the psychological literature.

Oh, I'm very well aware of this ("The Great Unwashed" and all), I was just making a joke because it's a pretty ridiculous claim to make that hippies can't find a toilet.

I think he's referring to the picture (mildly NSFW, Daily Mail warnings apply) of a protester pooping on a police car.

Ahhh, makes much more sense now. Though I'm pretty sure he hadn't "forgotten" where the typical place for such things is. (Though if we're talking porta-potties, the police car was probably a lot cleaner.)
posted by sonika at 11:18 AM on October 9, 2011


Trurl, your incandescent rage over small degrees of difference about just how shitty the democrats are, well it seems excessive.

I think he's referring to the picture (mildly NSFW, Daily Mail warnings apply) of a protester pooping on a police car.

If you watch the full episode it seems pretty clear that O'Rourke's comment about "forgetting where to go to the bathroom" is just a call back to the Republican woman's previous comments about logistics and planning.
posted by Chekhovian at 11:21 AM on October 9, 2011


your incandescent rage over small degrees of difference about just how shitty the democrats are, well it seems excessive.

Not to me it doesn't. The Democrats have just as clearly shown themselves to be wholly owned by Wall Street as the Republicans.

Is there any serious observer of the past 3 years who *doesn't* think that's true? It's nice that Grayson is trying to pull his party away from that, but it doesn't make his formulation any less pure spin, given the actual facts of how his party has behaved during the crisis. Acquiescing to every Wall Street demand covers it perfectly.
posted by mediareport at 1:14 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


O'rourke, might be mildly amusing if he'd stay away from politics. And removed the stick from his ass. He was on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me this weekend, and I'll be honest I usually turn it off when he is on. He had a pretty infamous outright sexist rant against Hillary Clinton a few years ago that was scrubbed from the show, combine that with his simmering homophobia and inability to let things go without making a point and I just can't waste my time paying attention to what he thinks he thinks.

However he was on WWDTM this weekend and I left it on as I was busy with other stuff. During the "bluff the listener" part his story was about EU taxation and regulation, which might have actually been funny if it was someone else reading it, but with O'rourke it was just another chance to make snide jokes about government regulation, it was personally not something made up for humor. Add that to his falling over himself to make clear he wouldn't be attracted to a guy and deliberately taking a partisan pot shot in the final lightening quiz and it all just added up to another gooey mess. If this is the best conservative humorist WWDTM can come up with it's pretty lame. And frankly it's not as if they regularly have a partisan left humorist on the show anyways.
posted by edgeways at 1:15 PM on October 9, 2011


Right wing reporter brags about infiltrating OWS, inciting police violence, and getting the Air and Space Museum shut down.

I saw this earlier via boing boing, and it looks like he may have tried to clean up the story a bit. The Spectator link has the sentence:
But as far as anyone knew I was part of this cause -- a cause that I had infiltrated the day before -- and I wasn't giving up before I had my story.
But when Firedoglake quoted it earlier, it said:
as far as anyone knew I was part of this cause — a cause that I had infiltrated the day before in order to mock and undermine in the pages of The American Spectator — and I wasn’t giving up before I had my story.
posted by homunculus at 1:34 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


JHarris: Capitalism owns none of these qualities.

That's obvious to me and you, but Capitalism, of the extreme corrupted sort that rules this nation and daily lives and breaths within the endless self-generated huris, does not know that. And sadly neither, it would seem to me, do most of the people in the country.

It's for them (I'd say a majority of the country that lives in the Fox News/Right wing radio/business radio narrative), that the process of decoding, and transmission of that truth, needs be done.

Someone who truly believes in a free market would support OWS.
posted by Skygazer at 1:48 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Good generals study tactics. Great generals study logistics."
posted by Chekhovian at 11:47 PM on October 8 [19 favorites +] [!]


Yeah, that worked out real well in Vietnam. The untrained innovator is an unsung hero of history.
posted by rhizome at 1:50 PM on October 9, 2011


that worked out real well in Vietnam

One could argue that North Vietnam's mastery of logistics is what won them the war eg we'd bomb a railroad exchange, and then as soon as the debris cooled they'd have bucket brigades of people transferring cargo resulting in almost delays in cargo movement, or their incredible ability to rebuild bridges after we'd bombed them.

Unless all these Occupy wall street people have somewhere to pee and shit, this movement would end real damn fast.
posted by Chekhovian at 2:02 PM on October 9, 2011


Is there any serious observer of the past 3 years who *doesn't* think that's true?

Scully, I've been saying that for years...

One of the big fires under the Nader run in 2000 was that both parties had effectively already been bought by corporate influences.
posted by kaibutsu at 2:05 PM on October 9, 2011


http://www.megaupload.com/?d=YGTCSRS9

the TAS article looks to have been taken down but here is a copy (from Google Cache)
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:18 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


the TAS article looks to have been taken down

*falls out of chair laughing*

Yeah, cause the moron's about to be arrested.
posted by mediareport at 2:25 PM on October 9, 2011


I will agree with whoever will pay me the most.
posted by dougrayrankin at 4:46 PM on October 9, 2011


"As of 2011, about 250 million Americans live in or around urban areas. That means more than three-quarters of the U.S. population shares just about three percent of the U.S. land area."

My empire for an edit button; I knew that was poorly worded and someone would cite this just as soon as I hit post...

Anyway, my point was that, as a person living in a really poor and really isolated part of the US who supports a lot of what the Occupy movements stand for and would like to join but can't, the implicit and explicit message I'm hearing from people who are participating is basically, "Too bad" which is bad enough or, "Why don't you move/drive 12 hours to join us?" which completely ignores socioeconomic reality and makes me think these movements are more aligned with vacation activism than anything that will make a substantial positive change.

I'd like to be wrong, though.
posted by byanyothername at 6:41 PM on October 9, 2011


It's not like the protesters have a mission, or a message...or a manifesto.
posted by Chuffy at 7:09 PM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


byanothername, what do you expect? Should a few thousand occupiers peel out from LA or New York to come occupy your small town? Are you really holding it against them that they haven't figured out how to include you?

I was just in the rural south, and in one small (college) town I saw many kids getting organized to travel to the nearest city to protest.

If you can't go, then there are lots of ways to support the movement you profess to support. No one is excluding you. It's a matter of logistics. The banksters are in cities. If you want to take the fight to them, that means going to where most people are.
posted by spitbull at 4:19 AM on October 10, 2011


Anyway, my point was that, as a person living in a really poor and really isolated part of the US who supports a lot of what the Occupy movements stand for and would like to join but can't, the implicit and explicit message I'm hearing from people who are participating is basically, "Too bad" which is bad enough or, "Why don't you move/drive 12 hours to join us?"

The good thing is, this isn't about land rights. It doesn't matter that the protests are happening in larger cities rather than more-cities, because they're happening and a response is only goign to occur if more people get involved. You can be on the "involvement" team that helps motivate city people to be involved, and maybe even to get involved. "Increase mindshare," to steal a phrase from the first dotcom boom.
posted by rhizome at 9:22 AM on October 10, 2011


byanyothername: "Anyway, my point was that, as a person living in a really poor and really isolated part of the US who supports a lot of what the Occupy movements stand for and would like to join but can't, the implicit and explicit message I'm hearing from people who are participating is basically, "Too bad" which is bad enough or, "Why don't you move/drive 12 hours to join us?" which completely ignores socioeconomic reality and makes me think these movements are more aligned with vacation activism than anything that will make a substantial positive change.

I'd like to be wrong, though.
"

While I disagree on the "vacation activism" bit, you're not wrong.

There are groups working outside of the cities that are natural allies to the OWS/99% movement. The Center for Rural Affairs are the first group that springs to mind working with and on the behalf of non-urban people. The Greenhorns are another group focused on young farmers, who are pretty rural by definition. [Disclaimer: I'm marginally involved with this group and my farm partner/wife volunteers to do logistics for them.] They're pretty limited to the coasts from what I've seen. And, of course, limit their focus to young farmers.

Also, FUCK YEAH TRACTORCADE!
posted by stet at 9:52 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't Raise Corn, Raise Hell.
posted by The Whelk at 9:55 AM on October 10, 2011


And also Corn, because feedstore prices for HellChow are ridiculous.
posted by stet at 9:59 AM on October 10, 2011


Cerebus' Choice (tm)
posted by The Whelk at 10:04 AM on October 10, 2011


Super-douche and weasel extraordinaire James O'Keefe sniffing around Occupy Wall Street in a "disguise."


And having a little trouble getting away from a camera...LOL.
posted by Skygazer at 7:59 PM on October 10, 2011


PJ O' Rourke used to be one of my favorite humorists (even after I gave up on Conservatism) but of late he seems like a man trapped in the prison of his own reputation, and it shows in his work and appearances.

OK, I have to stnd up here and say that, when I read "Holidays in Hell" by PJO'R, I was impressed: here was a guy who packed a bag, filled his wallet with (Jan Wenner's) twenties, and headed over to see what was happening in those places that I saw on the evening news. He flew into Tripoli as soon as he could after the U.S. bombed it, he went to South Africa to talk to people three years after Paul Simon released "Graceland" (and probably with greater sensitivity), and he also went to check out Heritage, U.S.A. He was funny, he wrote with some historical perspective, and he had a Regular Guy viewpoint that was far easier to relate to* than the network anchormen.

Yeah, now he's pretty lame, but that book was great.

* I think I was 17 when I read it, and the article about Europe touched a nerve as I had just returned from a teenager's dream trip of seeing much of the same places with my best friend and his dad.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:42 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


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