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Strange Famous Forum > Social stuff. Political stuff. KNOWMORE

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Alan Hague



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 621
Location: http://askthedead.bandcamp.com
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There are some ridiculous ad-hominem criticisms going on here, the bulk of which are simply not accurate.

Enough with the dread-bashing, white-college-kid bashing, blah blah.

I'll attest from having been at all 3 of the Occupy Providence meetings so far that the turnout has been 95% completely new faces to Providence/RI political organizing. This is pretty amazing in and of itself - how often do folks here on SFF talk about, "Why aren't people DOING anything? When will the people wake up/get active?" etc. Well, people are getting active now. This is something to be embraced!

Further, the people who are coming out are regular working people, not whacko, unwashed, Alex Jones-bots or whatever. Working people who are in danger of eviction due to foreclosure, or people who have been laid-off/unemployed for years now. Military veterans who have no work & haven't received their benefits in full.

As Sole pointed out, these movements are all being organized as they go. Don't condemn it as a do-nothing, ineffective movement when Occupy Wall Street has only been going for a little under 3 weeks and is composed, to a significant degree, of people who weren't politically active a month ago (as is the case here in Providence among other cities). Yet despite the difficulties of democracy from scratch (and how it sometimes feels like herding kittens), efficient, effective organization HAS been taking place.

Furthermore, the occupations in other cities have only just begun or haven't begun yet! Lists of demands are being made, groups are getting more efficiently organized and will only continue to do so.

Who knows what's going to be decided upon? Maybe after 2 months, if the Wall St. protest grows in numbers (as it's doing right now) and the banks are still unresponsive, it may result in an actual occupation of the Stock Exchange.

But to ignore/minimize the obvious chord that these protests have struck with so many people around the country, let alone around the world, that has spurred them into action? That's simply foolish.

How about if people offer their insights in a constructive way instead of simply tearing these movements down? THAT's what truly won't change anything.
Post Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:10 am
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jakethesnake
guy who cried about wrestling being real


Joined: 03 Feb 2006
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Location: airstrip one
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I don't think anyone is saying "don't do anything". We're saying "put your ideas down on a fucking notepad or napkin or toiled paper or something before you go and stand on a bridge and get arrested so people know why". "Disenchanted" does not make for a strong argument.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Spanish_protests
Post Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:17 am
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Alan Hague



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 621
Location: http://askthedead.bandcamp.com
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Initially, that was my criticism of the movements, too - the argument against making formal demands obscured who the target of the message is at this point. In my opinion, it's better to convince other working people of the need for serious, systemic change (& of the need for organization to make this happen) and get them onboard to build a mass base for these protests.

It looks like the groups in more & more cities ARE putting forth demands, though - http://occupywallst.org/forum/proposed-list-of-demands-for-occupy-wall-st-moveme/. And again, I think this will only continue to happen.

An especially important demand that comes to mind is putting an end to eviction due to foreclosure. I'm thinking specifically of Bank of America with this one, as they received tens of billions in bailout money (tax money), but have still continued with foreclosures.
Post Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:39 am
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tommi teardrop



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 2209
Location: Las Vegas
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I keep trying to type something that illustrates my frustration with some of the opinions expressed in this thread.

I'm trying to be rational about this criticism, but the truth is, it annoys the shit out of me. How are you gonna be the dude that sits back like, "meh, what do these kids think they are going to accomplish with their occupations and lack of focus?"

I hate this growing idea, perpetuated by pussy academic liberals, that if you are completely dissatisfied with the banking system and concentrated wealth that you are either tea party crazy or a liberal truther with a trust fund and dreadlocks. If those tags don't apply, we might just be unfocused idealists with no perspective on how change is truly accomplished.

People have this air of superiority like they are so knowledgeable about politics and economics and what can be accomplished and how that should be done. "It's not that black and white. It's a really nuanced problem. Who do these people think they are, just doing some hippy anti-protest thinking that's going to do anything. Do they even understand the problems?"

We should probably write our congressman, vote for the next Obama or vote with our wallets.

Some of us don't think that repealing the Bush tax cuts and taxing the super rich more is addressing any of the deep rooted problems with having an economy in which we are all at the mercy of forces that we have no control over and really don't even understand completely.

Have some fucking heart. If you don't want to be a part of this, dont. But don't sit there at your computer and insinuate that there is some better way to do it without offering anything constructive at all.

And guess what? You can do whatever you think will accomplish change and still acknowledge that at its very least, this movement is about recognizing some problems and attempting, however misguided you might think it is, to affect things and have your voice be heard.

I don't know, read the Grapes of Wrath or something. Get excited about something. I can be apathetic as anyone, but the fact that people are taking time out of their lives to try to do something that matters is admirable.

I feel like Ian MacKaye over here. Jesus.
Post Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:13 pm
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jakethesnake
guy who cried about wrestling being real


Joined: 03 Feb 2006
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Location: airstrip one
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I'm gonna be that dude because 2 weeks ago my wife wrecked the car and broke her back so as much as I'd like to participate, I don't have the means, the money, or the time right now. Maybe I should be out demanding Obamacare? Unfortunately, I need to care for my family right now. But thanks for asking.

And since when is fucking constructive criticism wrong? The biggest problem with this generation and this movement is the fucking self-satisfying, smug, skinny-jeaned, hipsters, full of fucking self-entitlement that can't even take a fucking suggestion without crying "GET OUT THERE AND DO IT YOURSELF THEN I GIVE UP". And if that's not who you are, that's who you're projecting yourselves to be, change it. Grow some thicker skin or you sure as fuck aren't taking down Wall Street, let alone the world financial system.

Fuck.


Last edited by jakethesnake on Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:32 pm; edited 2 times in total
Post Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:26 pm
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tommi teardrop



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
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Location: Las Vegas
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I don't have the means to go there either. I don't think that means we need to trivialize the work of those who have gone though, does it?
Post Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:31 pm
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jakethesnake
guy who cried about wrestling being real


Joined: 03 Feb 2006
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Location: airstrip one
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tommi teardrop wrote:
I don't have the means to go there either. I don't think that means we need to trivialize the work of those who have gone though, does it?


No one is trivializing anything. Rome wasn't built on good intentions. It was built on the labor of millions of slaves--almost the entire population of Europe--to serve the rich. Amazing human progress was made, at the cost of millions of poor people. Sound familiar? Who mentioned people should be protesting at WTC? That would make a statement. Brooklyn Bridge? Not so much. How is this hard for people to understand? Work smarter, not harder. How many cliche's or quotes can I come up with?

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." (Abraham Lincoln)


Last edited by jakethesnake on Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:43 pm
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firefly



Joined: 27 Sep 2002
Posts: 3990
Location: Montreal
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jakethesnake wrote:
I'm gonna be that dude because 2 weeks ago my wife wrecked the car and broke her back so as much as I'd like to participate, I don't have the means, the money, or the time right now. Maybe I should be out demanding Obamacare? Unfortunately, I need to care for my family right now. But thanks for asking.


I'm sorry to hear about your wife. I hope she gets better soon.

I don't think that anyone was giving people shit for not going there, my complaint at least was that people were criticizing without being constructive or offering other alternatives. That and people making the same claim that "there is no direction" when there was clearly presented examples of the demands that have recently been made in this thread.

But we DO need to be critical of the demonstrators as we do ourselves. Always. But you gotta be constructive.
Post Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:45 pm
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jakethesnake
guy who cried about wrestling being real


Joined: 03 Feb 2006
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Location: airstrip one
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firefly wrote:
jakethesnake wrote:
I'm gonna be that dude because 2 weeks ago my wife wrecked the car and broke her back so as much as I'd like to participate, I don't have the means, the money, or the time right now. Maybe I should be out demanding Obamacare? Unfortunately, I need to care for my family right now. But thanks for asking.


I'm sorry to hear about your wife. I hope she gets better soon.

I don't think that anyone was giving people shit for not going there, my complaint at least was that people were criticizing without being constructive or offering other alternatives. That and people making the same claim that "there is no direction" when there was clearly presented examples of the demands that have recently been made in this thread.

But we DO need to be critical of the demonstrators as we do ourselves. Always. But you gotta be constructive.


Well, to be fair, the protest has been going for 3 weeks (I think) and the "demands" were just created, like, 2 days ago. But kudos to them for that, honestly. A protest is either going to become more organized, or more chaotic, right? There really aren't other options, it's going in one of those two directions. In my opinion, the former is more effective, in most cases. Unless you want mayhem in manhatten, Fight Club stylee (maybe this would be good? Someone convince me), then you want organized, peaceful (or non-peaceful if that is your goal) protests, with arguments, demands, etc...
Post Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:55 pm
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tommi teardrop



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
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Location: Las Vegas
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jakethesnake wrote:
tommi teardrop wrote:
I don't have the means to go there either. I don't think that means we need to trivialize the work of those who have gone though, does it?


No one is trivializing anything. Rome wasn't built on good intentions. It was built on the labor of millions of slaves--almost the entire population of Europe--to serve the rich. Amazing human progress was made, at the cost of millions of poor people. Sound familiar? Who mentioned people should be protesting at WTC? That would make a statement. Brooklyn Bridge? Not so much. How is this not hard for people to understand. Work smarter, not harder. How many cliche's or quotes can I come up with?

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." (Abraham Lincoln)
You are trivializing it. You, as one of the people who are not there, are thinking of all of the ways that it could be more effective. You think they should be working smarter than they are, like if you were the one organizing this, it would be accomplishing so much more. But you are not organizing it. You are merely saying, "It should be done like this."

You can show me any movement that has ever existed and I can show you something that they could have done better to be more effective. But the truth is, there are people that are actually doing something and if you want to be a part of it and let them know how they can do it better, then you have the ability to do that.

And this goes to anyone that thinks they have an idea of how it could be done better. Write that shit out and post it everywhere you can and let people read it and email to occupyyourcity and fucking do something other than be a Monday morning revolutionary with all the bright ideas and perspective. Donít write vague criticisms and act like you will formulate your thesis at some point and then never do it.

I'm sorry, I'm getting all fired up today. Perhaps I should focus and agree on some demands.
Post Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:08 pm
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jakethesnake
guy who cried about wrestling being real


Joined: 03 Feb 2006
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So, write out what you think should be done better, but don't tell anyone because that trivializes the movement. Got it.
Post Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:11 pm
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medicineman
HALFLING


Joined: 21 Apr 2007
Posts: 1393
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It makes me sick to my stomach that there is actually serious disagreement about this on these forums.

All dissent is a positive. All attempts to raise consciousness should be embraced.

What, solidarity doesn't apply to dreadlocked white kids, or whatever stereotypes you want to erect to represent the kind of left-leaner that you are so fervently not?

What the fuck is this shit?

*spits on curb*
Post Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:24 pm
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medicineman
HALFLING


Joined: 21 Apr 2007
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Why did this thread take so long?

Is frustration less valid because it is inarticulate?

...the enemy is inarticulate.
Post Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:26 pm
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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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If I had to write a list of the things that make me sick to my stomach these ulcers would finally do me in. The reason I can't get down with this "movement" is because I can't stand a lot of the things the people are demanding of others without showing what they will demand (or have demanded) of themselves. That's my current stance and it's a pretty strong one that I'll gladly expound upon in a more official way when I have a moment to breathe outside of my daily responsibilities.

Post Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:35 pm
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tommi teardrop



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 2209
Location: Las Vegas
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@ jake

No, just don't only write on a message board that you think that the brooklyn bridge is a stupid place to do it and that the WTC would be more effective. All of these sites have their own forums where you can offer suggestions, constructively.

Don't treat it like, "These people should state their intentions and then I can decide if I agree with them or not." You can create the intentions. That's sort of the point of all this. Talk to each other. See what you agree on.

If you are on your cities site offering your constructive criticism, then good for you. But from the tone of most people's (including your own) criticism, that really didn't sound like it was the case.

And please keep in mind that this is something that is just getting going. I know 3 weeks seems like a long ass time in the internet age, but this is still in its very early stages.

I guess I just don't get down with the cynicism I'm seeing all over the place on this.
Post Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:38 pm
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