Sunday, November 06, 2011


Co-ordination was not so good
But everyone did just what they could
Unarmed with inexperience
We had to use our common sense
- From Rats, performed by Subhumans, lyrics by Dick Lucas

So. People gathered in parks and plazas, marched, ranted, raved, rioted in a couple of municipalities, maybe even engaged in some sort of meaningful dialogue with each other. That’s nice.

The tough question that I must ask to anyone who will be willing to at least try to answer is this. Has the majority of the American middle, working and poverty classes come to realize that they need to somehow assimilate themselves into the political and socioeconomic conversation of the nation, which has been shut out to them for practically the entire stretch of American history?

So far, the answer I’ve been getting from simple extended periods of observation since the start of what’s been now referred to in many circles as the “Occupy Movement” is: Fuck. No.

Don’t count me in that equation, as the sentiments and awareness surrounding the Occupy Wall Street protest equals preaching to the choir when drifting in my direction. I’ve been writing about this stuff as well as talking about these sorts of subjects to anyone who’ll listen, both online and in the real life, and it’s been that way for years now.

However, since I happen to be one of those working class Americans that the self-appointed and reputedly leaderless faces and voices of the Occupy Movement claim to be fighting so hard for, please allow me the moment to educate for whoever has eyes to read a bit of hard truth about the so-called Average American.

Most people who could be labeled as “Average Americans” are barely even paying attention to national, much less international, current affairs anymore. Their topics of discussion in the workplace, bar, holiday dinner, front porch etc. usually deal with such heady subjects as the reality show they saw on TV last night or the raccoon that attacked their dog in the back yard or the big game last night or Scarlett Johansson’s boobs. (Come to think of it, those subjects I just mentioned as examples are the only relevant current events, at least in their minds.) Sometimes the subject turns to the latest round of layoffs or a neighbor walking away from their mortgage and getting foreclosed or somebody’s son getting killed by an IED in Afghanistan, but there is never any real wonderment about why these things happen, and these types of incidents are usually shrugged off as uncontrollable circumstances of everyday life. “Coping” is more often than not confused with “submission”.

Add, or even mix in, to the aforementioned segment the American citizens who have been seduced by the system to the point where they’re pretty much nothing but tools for the corprocratic wing of the American Dream Fabrication Machine, who have a couple of credit cards and a tract house with a huge mortgage and think that somehow they are inextricably linked to those at the top of the oligarchic foodchain. These are the people who are genuinely convinced that a more unfettered free market and less taxation and regulation for business interests will magically revitalize the economy and all of its current woes. They genuinely believe the pundits who dismiss any sort of dissent of the sort spurred on by the Occupy Wall Street protests as socialist propaganda or (perish the thought!) class warfare. In short, any criticism of the imbalance of wealth and political power in this country translates in their heads as unpatriotic national heresy.

These are only some examples of the types of folks who have not been reached by the message of the Occupy Movement, and it will be an uphill battle to try to motivate them into any reasonable dialogue in terms of contemplating the wealth gap and its subsequent economic injustices and unfairness among the workers and impoverished of 21st Century American society.

Also, I would not be too optimistic in terms of garnering any significant show of support from most or even any of our elected officials. Politicians have what seems like a genetically inherent talent at playing before the news cameras. If their role is not to be the usual preordained spokesperson for the corporate-friendly right, then they are going to carefully mince out a condescending statement about how they understand the frustration of the Occupy Movement’s participants, and covertly hope that it all blows over so that they can go back to being the same type of business jocking sluts as they usually are. None of these politicians are going to change their attitudes, policies or legislative strategies by one iota. That is, unless there is an ideological tsunami of dissent generated among the currently silent (or actually, for the most part, authority, society and media silenced) majority of the American public.

The true challenge, however, is in how to get through to the so-called ninety nine percent.

The United States Census for 2010 counts the current population at 308,745,538. Times one percent, that’s an unscientific estimate of about 3,087,455 Americans out there who are sharing the blame for the general fuckedupedness of our unbalanced distribution of wealth. That can be a significant number in terms of financial as well as media and cultural control. Many of these few million are, quite predictably, in various social positions that wield considerable influence and power. They can, and do, with glaring regularity, control the flow of information, jack up the price of food and other vital goods and services, and restrict the opportunity, health and general welfare and even the free communication and expression of dissent against the status quo.

Any true outreach effort will need to have a fairly equal amount of people at what’s been described as the 99 per cent level who are not only just passionate, but able to communicate and interact with others around them to the point that the discussion spreads as far as the next ninety eight people from each originator’s own personal space.

Is it perhaps becoming clear now that this type of sea change in the American psyche is going to take much more than just hanging out in a park in relatively small groups and talking amongst ourselves?

Hopefully it does, because after leaving those parks and plazas all over the country, and returning to your homes, workplaces, campuses and neighborhoods, you must try to get those people next to you in your everyday lives to realize that a lot of what is accepted as part of just another day getting screwed, abused and enslaved by the system of the privileged few does not have to be taken as acceptable, in any way shape or form, whatsoever.

Otherwise, without any real affect in that area, these protests just become a footnote in American history, and a curious political anomaly for scholars and sociologists. That would be a goddamned dirty shame.