Add the mainstream media’s complete aversion to broadcasting the protests (of course why publicize educated white kids challenging the system, but of course if it was the tea party out there then that would make a great story hinting at parody and siphoning at expedient political leniency), this week’s bad weather and the fact that as much as some of might wish these individual’s well in their desire to bring their grievances forward, most of us in the post era of unions and other traditional affiliates who once challenged power interests and now no longer exist, are preternaturally suspicious of anyone who still believes in street protests, well at least in America anyway.
As much as a certain segment of society chooses to combat what they perceive to be the gaming of society by entrenched power interests perhaps we ought to ask the uncomfortable question- does anyone then really care anymore? And if they did, how is it that the movement that started off with 5000 members last weekend has dwindled to less than 200 come this weekend? After all the concerns of the ‘occupy wall street’ group are legitimate ones with deep consequences.
Perhaps it’s a situation that as much as many of us may actually desire change (isn’t that why you voted for Mr Obama who in all honesty has changed nothing and adhered to the same policies of exploitation and imperialism as his predecessors), most of us aren’t yet living on the street or scraping the grounds for chicken bones to insist on immediate change. Somehow most of us are still able to afford the trinkets that we are told will make us more valuable and desired members of society. Then again, going to the streets means risking being locked up, missing ones favorite TV show (could you imagine Fidel Castro having to put off his revolutionary aspirations so he could catch GOSSIP GIRL?), and the general belief that the system is too big to get in the way of, and perhaps writing about it may also mean losing certain ad sponsors.
Yet what has most singularly served to undermine the group known as ‘occupy wall street’ is the mainstream media’s refusal to give it any real air time or serious contemplation (except to try and trick those in the movement by asking them if they themselves had bank accounts, as if somehow that proves they are complicit with what rots in the system) which says more about the current insular practice of journalism and the reluctance of the media to expose the gritty circumstances of life in America from the lion’s den.
After all it’s fine to read and then later forget that there are people all over America living under tenuous circumstances (which is easy t0 do when all you are being presented are vacuous TV shows with people purportedly living upwardly mobile lives, and dealing with inexplicable substance addiction issues) but then again it’s another thing to show people people actively protesting those situations as a collective.
Inertia aside what makes the situation particularly ironic is the fact that as much as we are free to protest and explore alternatives unlike other nations, we instead choose not to. But perhaps the real irony becomes more apparent if one examines the fact that what has been the general underlying tenant of life in America (and what many people have gone to lose their life for) is our right to question and fight for our freedoms, equality and rights. Things that it seems so many of us now have little regard or resolve to fight for. Or perhaps cynically we’re just waiting for someone else to die for us, as dying is also sometimes an inconvenient consequence of standing up to authorities and entrenched interests.
After all one wonders where this nation would be today if it weren’t for the early settlers revolting against the autocratic British, the deign of slave practices, civil rights protesters, war protesters, the Stonewall protesters of the 60’s fighting for the right to their chosen sexuality and those fighting for the rights of free expression.
On some level one has to question if part of our disregard is due to the media and corporate America’s ability to corrupt and blind side us, swapping our sense of self and our ability to be free thinking to that of what we should own next, whom or what we should glorify and what we’ll do with all the money we all stand to make once we too become millionaires like the Joe Bloke on TV. After all the definitive axiom has now become money and social standing (heard of the expression- ‘Which ivy league school did you attend?’) which extends ones legitimacy and access, not what one feels or thinks. Feeling and thinking has little currency in the current paradigm of self promotion if it ends up leaving you homeless and hungry.
Maybe the lesson here is to create a satellite system, perhaps via the internet that becomes self sustaining and nurturing that forces dialogue, consensus and rueful attention and active real change to the things that certain entrenched interests are very happy to have sequestered into a little allotment, 3 blocks away from where tonight a tiny band of 200 individuals truly wish to be. Time will tell…