Big Smoke

'cause it's hard to see from where I'm standin'

Oh god please stop

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It’s not every day that Mother Jones and RedState will agree on something, but both have done just that when it comes to the professional protesters downtown. Compare Mother Jones’ analysis,

So far, Occupy Wall Street has brought out the usual suspects, as well as the odd Internet millionaire and a few ex-Wall Streeters. But it hasn’t drawn in a wide swath of Americans just yet. That may not be entirely its fault: In the midst of a recession, who’s willing to to take the risk and play hooky from their job or job search to camp out on Wall Street? So far, this is more a movement for dreamers than for middle-class Americans trying to make ends meet.

with Teresa Koch of RedState’s diatribe:

It’s been going on for over a week now (yes, really!) – a lovely little temper tantrum being thrown by a bunch of well-fed white kids who fancy themselves as some sort of modern-day, new age revolutionaries.  They study the Communist Manifesto and hate capitalism in all of its forms because it’s … well – evil, ya know?

As it stands, I should be a prime candidate for participating in this sort of hoopla. Consider: I’m recently laid off for the second time in two years. I’ve had to switch career plans twice in the last six years because of how quickly jobs dried up in what I’ve originally been trained for. Like every other lefty, I’ve watched Democrats live up to their reputation for resolute spinelessness against any form of adversity. And, yet…

I blame the hipsters. It feels almost as if they’ve hijacked what is to many a legitimate grievance in order to pick fights with cops. Hell, I hate the idea of hashtag catchphrase as the Call to Revolution. What about the rest of us who don’t give a flying fuck about Twitter (and don’t have time to read your inane crap)? You know what caused the Arab Spring? Not Twitter. But that’s just a minor quibble. I think this protest wont work is because of two observations:

  1. The folks protesting are, well, not starving. It ain’t as bad as it can be – which is why the narrative has reduced to girls getting maced already at the protest instead of why they’re protesting. Yeah, it’s bad. I know it’s bad. We have record corporate profits and yet the middle class is shrinking. I, like a lot of people, am worrying about where rent’s going to come from. But what’s that in your hand, protester? A $400 Apple-branded consumer product? I thought the point was that we were really hurting. I thought the message was anti-corporate. Why are you waving around a consumer trinket trying to catch videos of cops cracking heads? Because it draws attention from the fact that you’re loaded with shit that people – indeed, those poorer than you – will rob you for.
  2. The message comes first, THEN the protest. Nobody has time to wait for you to figure out what you want while you block traffic and beat drums. The message should be so freaking obvious and staggering in its immediate need that it oozes out of every pore. Instead, we get this stultifying return to form over function where these people chant that they need to be heard and then… mumble. What, have you forgotten? See, I’ve marched in a few protests, and the one thing you do NOT need when you stage a demonstration is a confusion over what you’re demanding. If it’s an anti-Iraq War protest, leave the Free Palestine flags at home. If it’s a message for more jobs, don’t waste your breath on capital punishment.

They think they can get this to swell, but the thing is, the original protesters detract as much as they attract, even among people who may agree with their politics. Sure, I want things to be better, but things need to be worse first before people are willing to take to the streets, and when people take to the streets, they need – need – far better spokesmen than the folks currently downtown.

So, please, hipsters… stop it. You’re not helping.

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7 Responses to “Oh god please stop”

  1. Teresa in Fort Worth
    on Oct 2nd, 2011
    @ 9:49 am

    Thanks for the pingback! I hope you know that my post wasn’t a “diatribe” – at the time that it was published (5 days ago), I was responding to a comment that a friend had seen on a FB post from a friend of a friend who wanted to “do something” to support these kids. (Read the post again – it wasn’t aimed at the protesters)

    I just get so upset with some of the cluelessness of people who want to support a cause without looking any further than the surface – honestly, that’s all the post was about. And I was suggesting to the FACEBOOK COMMENTER that she could, indeed, support “the cause” – I just wanted to make her think about what it was that she was “supporting” (even though she probably never even knew about my post).

    I took the liberty of reading some of your other posts – you write very well; I’m sorry that you are experiencing so much trouble. If you ever decide that you might like to look for a job in a right-to-work state, please consider looking at Texas; I know that we can always use Computer Technician Specialists here – and not just in the schools. We’d welcome you with open arms (it’s what we do)!

    If you ever find yourself in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, please look me up – if you come down for an interview and can’t afford a hotel room, our home is always open.

  2. Rott635
    on Oct 2nd, 2011
    @ 10:18 am

    Thanks for the kind words. Yours isn’t the only suggestion I move to Texas to work in technology, and it gets more tempting by the day – though Texas and me may not work together as well as all that.

    I didn’t mean to denigrate your post by calling it a diatribe (I’d typify my own work as such quite often) but was merely attempting to allude to the strength of the sentiment behind the words. I *like* snark, and it was funny to me that the pain of watching this social-event-cum-political-demonstration is visible to all across the spectrum.

  3. Start “The Revolution” Without Me | Koch's Tour
    on Oct 4th, 2011
    @ 8:59 am

    […] Pingback: Oh god please stop « Big Smoke […]

  4. Actually, No « Big Smoke
    on Oct 11th, 2011
    @ 4:48 pm

    […] the problem, though: Yes, the protestors are having trouble embodying their plight, and have not been especially great at explaining their views, but they’re kinda right. […]

  5. Oh God Please Stop, Part 2 « Big Smoke
    on Oct 18th, 2011
    @ 5:19 pm

    […] has apparently become a concern downtown for the #occupywallstreet protesters, as I predicted. Interesting tidbit: “Stealing is our biggest problem at the moment,” said Nan Terrie, 18, a […]

  6. Occupy Whatever looks mighty white-bread « Big Smoke
    on Oct 28th, 2011
    @ 2:29 pm

    […] Hipsters. […]

  7. Where’s my poll question? « Big Smoke
    on Nov 3rd, 2011
    @ 4:04 pm

    […] is to blame for the negative associations? Certainly, I’ve spent a lot of time writing words blaming the protesters themselves for their lack of savvy when it comes to public image, but I only really know New […]

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