You Can’t Take Occupy Wall Street Seriously

October 12th, 2011 at 12:29 pm | 53 Comments |

| Print

At Huffington Post Canada, Daniel Alexander Portoraro explains the many problems that are preventing Occupy Wall Street from reaching a more mainstream audience:

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) has finally broken out of the ivory computer towers of social media users, and spilled over into mainstream media. I say spilled over, because with the way things are currently going, there is no tsunami yet. The dam has not been broken, as the protesters would have hoped. There are several good reasons for this.

First, the media is not taking this seriously, and why should they? Frankly, the organization of OWS has been pitiful; a rally in Chicago, a rally in DC, a rally in NYC are all useless unless they can explain what it is they actually want. So far, this is not a movement; this is an emotion: anger. No political movement can survive on emotion alone. However, if this anger were harnessed and used to promote a specific agenda, OWS will undoubtedly be more successful in what it hopes to achieve.

Second, this lack of specificity has been something OWS detractors have been harping on, and they ought to. The general enemy is something called “corporate greed,” a term so vague, an enemy so general, that I can almost hear Orwell groan from six feet under. But after this “greed,” the protests are also aimed at topics such as fighting wars the United States shouldn’t be fighting, the ravaging of our environment, and the list goes on. I suspect if one asks five protesters what they’re protesting against, one will walk away with five different enemies. If Napoleon was unable to win a two-front war, Brooklynites have no chance.

Saul Alinsky argues that “True revolutionaries do not flaunt their radicalism. They cut their hair, put on suits and infiltrate the system from within.” With jobs being hard to come by, OWS protesters might have a hard time following Alinsky’s word to the core. However, they can at the very least try not to look like homeless people. It may sound superficial, and it essentially is, but aesthetics cannot be ignored in protests.

When one goes for a job interview, it doesn’t matter if at home he wears sweatpants and Bob Marley t-shirts, when he walks into the office, he wears a suit and tie; he plays according to the office’s rules so he can get what he wants. If a CEO won’t hire someone with no shoes on, why on earth would he ever listen to him when he’s screaming outside on the street? I’m not suggesting everyone at OWS gets Brooks Brothered, but I am suggesting they break the stereotype that all protesters are sandal-footed, long-haired, bongo-loving, bong-smoking bums. Protesters must clean themselves up, or otherwise, act as mere fodder for the right-wing media cannons of Fox News, or people like P.J. O’Rourke, and not be taken seriously by the greater public. Clearly, these people do not represent everybody involved with OWS, but with the type of media coverage the protests have been receiving, there is no room for error.

Click here to read the full piece.

Recent Posts by FrumForum Editors



53 Comments so far ↓

  • Watusie

    Last week the consensus of FF editors was that the movement had already failed. This week the consensus is that it is actually steamrollering on, but you can’t take it seriously.

    At this rate of evolution you’ll all be in your very own V for Vendetta masks by Halloween, and will be spending Thanksgiving in Zuccotti Park.

  • Graychin

    I’m glad to see that our friend Daniel’s career was able to recover from his inability to find a summer job. As we make fun of the OWS students who graduated with degrees in basket weaving, Daniel gives them all hope that someone with a useless degree can still find gainful employment – with the right connections.

    And why is Frum Forum still paying attention to OWS? You told us two weeks ago that it wouldn’t last past sundown.

    Keep trying, guys. If you repeat it often enough, maybe it will become true.

  • tommybones

    Once again, worth noting…

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Ghandi

    We’re approaching the 3rd stage….

    • Solo4114

      I wouldn’t be so sure. Something is going to have to change with the OWS movement if it wants to actually accomplish something. The movement itself needs focus and the problem it faces at the moment is that it lacks this focus. It is, in my opinion, very much like the Tea Party movement in early 2009. At that point, the Tea Party movement was more of a general statement of anger and frustration, about a multitude of issues. They didn’t like Obama, they didn’t like taxes, they thought government ought to work for them, etc. As far as what they wanted, though, that was pretty unclear, and they were easily dismissed.

      What changed, though, was that they were gradually focused (or, arguably, co-opted) by coordinated efforts from the likes of Dick Armey and the Koch brothers. After that, the demands became more specific, the organization a bit better, and there was a real push towards some kind of change to be achieved at the ballot box. Insurgent candidacies for office and “challenges from the right” started popping up and knocking off GOP “moderates” or “establishment” candidates like Mike Castle, Arlen Spector, etc.

      In other words, the Tea Party movement suddenly gained much more focus, and was able to translate what would otherwise have been a mere emotional outburst into actual political action.

      At present, OWS is not doing that. It hasn’t made the transition from “public gathering of really angry people” to a true political movement. It doesn’t have clearly defined goals, and to the extent it does, its goals are unrealistic and unachievable (at least from what I’ve seen — erase credit card debt? Dream on.). Moreover, the movement — such as it is — is actually working AGAINST itself, from what I can tell. There seems to be this anti-establishment, anti-leaders, anti-organization thrust to a lot of this, as well as an utter rejection of “the system,” which is seen as corrupt and unresponsive to their desires.

      Yet when an actual elected representative shows up to say they support the movement, they’re thanked for their support and otherwise ignored. Again, not the sign of a coherent political movement, but rather just an emotional outburst.

      None of this, by the way, is to say that the movement needs to be “co-opted.” But at some point, it needs to face reality. And that reality is that, if you want to affect change to “the system,” you have to — at some point — engage with it on some level. Either that, or you need to establish a new system, and mere chanting in the street will not accomplish that.

      Part of the problem is that I think many view the protests as an end unto themselves, rather than as a means to an end. A protest is just a tool to achieve an ultimate political goal, and it achieves that goal by being a demonstration of popular support. Right now, it’s not entirely clear what these protests are supporting, so it’s easy to dismiss and ignore them. If the movement develops coherence and a real set of principles, if it can say that it’s demanding specific action (not necessarily providing pre-drafted legislation, mind you — just a clear, coherent, feasible outcome), then it may accomplish something. But merely saying “It sucks that I have a lot of debt,” or “Man, I hate how corporations are greedy,” well, you may get some general sympathy, but…so what? What else do you want? Are you looking for support from Washington in creating jobs? Are you looking for debt-forgiveness? Tougher enforcement of existing financial regulations? NEW financial regulations? Nobody can tell right now, and that’s why — unless some focus comes to the movement — it’ll just end up fizzling.

      Ghandi’s quote is nice and all, but Ghandi was looking for some pretty specific goals. Same for MLK. Same for the Vietnam War protesters. The OWS protesters, though? Nobody can really tell what they want. Maybe that’s a lack of coherence on their part, or maybe it’s an inability for a coherent vision to make it to the public. The former will be a lot harder to fix than the latter.

      • tommybones

        “The OWS protesters, though? Nobody can really tell what they want.”

        This meme is already tired. The establishment keeps echoing this over and over instead of reporting what the OWS goals actually are and people buy the idea that there are no specific goals. Pay attention for five minutes to what the protesters are saying and not the lazy, dismissive and willfully ignorant “journalists” and you’ll know what the OWS protests are trying to achieve.

        If you repeat the mainstream media lie, you are part of the problem.

        • Solo4114

          I don’t see it as all that much of a lie, though. Mostly I see the central issue being discontent about the influence of “the 1%” and the lack of influence of “the 99%.” In other words, corruption and government bowing to the interests of the wealthy few instead of the less well off majority. Ok, fine. That part makes sense to me. But there’s a lot more to the protests than just that.

          You have people demanding that “Wall St.” be held accountable for its damages to the public. You have people demanding increased taxes on the wealthy. You have people demanding across-the-board student loan forgiveness. You have people holding signs complaining, basically, that they took on student loans, got higher education degrees, and there are no jobs for them. There even appears to be a debate as to whether it’s a good idea to focus the movement around certain core issues, or to keep the protests amorphous.

          I think that, regardless of whether one supports the underlying sentiment of the movement, you have to admit that the protest is not being effective in communicating its goals. The meme of “But what do they want” is succeeding because (A) there are no leaders of this movement as of the present to communicate clearly what the movement wants (which I gather is by design), and (B) the protests themselves contain enough disparate messages that it’s easy to lose the overarching demands.

          To the extent that there are overarching demands, thus far they seem either extremely broad (IE: eliminate corruption and reduce the influence of “the 1%” while increasing that of “the 99%”), or wishful thinking (IE: eliminate student debt across the board).

          If there are more coherent ideas, more concise, specific demands, they aren’t making it out to the public, and that is a failing of the protests themselves, not of the media. And I say this as someone who regularly lambasts the media for being lazy. Of course the media is lazy. But for the protesters to expect the media to operate differently is naive at best. You KNOW what the media is going to do. Ergo, you have to manipulate it instead of expecting it to cater to you. Feed the beast what it wants, and it will serve you.

        • Cyberax

          To the extent that there are overarching demands, thus far they seem either extremely broad (IE: eliminate corruption and reduce the influence of “the 1%” while increasing that of “the 99%”), or wishful thinking (IE: eliminate student debt across the board).

          Wishful thinking??? Higher education is free or very cheap in most of the Europe.

          It’d be nice if Americans looked outside of the USA sometimes.

        • Solo4114

          [blockquote]Wishful thinking??? Higher education is free or very cheap in most of the Europe.

          It’d be nice if Americans looked outside of the USA sometimes.[/blockquote]

          So what?

          Good for Europe. Now how are you going to actually accomplish that here?

          Look, regardless of what particular set of ideals a person believes in, at a certain point, the rubber’s gotta meet the road, and you’ve got to advance actual coherent ideas that have a snowball’s chance in hell of making it into law. Towards that end, you need coordination, a clear message, and you have to infiltrate and/or use allies within the system itself.

          The bottom line is simple. Simply standing outside the walls and shouting won’t accomplish much. That leaves you with two fundamental approaches to affecting change:

          (1) Pressure the system politically, which requires using allies within it and/or getting inside it yourself;

          or,

          (2) Violent revolution.

          That’s it. That’s how political change actually happens. I doubt these people are really interested in violent revolution, so that leaves them with #1, which also — at the moment — seems to not be something the movement is interested in. The end result is that the system has no incentive to respond to these folks right now. None whatsoever.

          “You’re pissed?” the system says. “What’s that got to do with me?”

          At present? Nothing.

          The system doesn’t recognize that these people vote, and probably expects that if they are ignored, they’ll just opt out of voting altogether, believing it won’t make a difference. Net result: protestors lose, system wins. Business as usual. These folks also don’t contribute to political campaigns, so, even if they don’t vote, there’s still no reason to pay attention to them. When given an opportunity to let a political figure get some positive press, what did protestors in Atlanta do? They shut him down.

          How exactly is any of this going to make the system, and the politicians within it, respond to these people’s demands?

          As I’ve said, protests are a start, but only a start. They’re a good way to demonstrate popular support for particular positions. But that’s it.

          You know why politicians pay attention to unions? Because they vote in large blocs and contribute money to reelection campaigns. You know why politicians pay attention to PACs? Because they vote in large blocs and contribute money to reelection campaigns. You know why politicians pay attention to big corporations and guys like the Koch brothers? Because they contribute a TON of money to reelection campaigns and/or operate messaging/propaganda machines to influence votes.

          Voting. Money. Coherent messaging. These are the non-violent ways in which you get politicians to pay attention and take you seriously. Protests can be a part of that, but only if the protestors demonstrate that any of the three actions I described are likely to follow the protest.

          OWS has a chance to actually accomplish something, but it’s got to get its act together as a movement if it’s going to do that. It needs sustained support, coherent messaging, and it needs to be organized. It needs to show that, not only will people get out and march, but that they will also get out and vote. I would advise the OWS protesters to look at the failed example of the Spanish Revolution (the 15-M Movement). OWS has much in common with the 15-M Movement. The problem with the 15-M Movement, though, is that it failed to effectively publicize its legitimate political demands (reducing corruption and pluralism within the Spanish government), and the protestors indicated that they would opt out of voting. Well, if you do that, why should the government consider you anything other than a minor nuisance? You’ll rant and rave, and carry signs mostly saying “Hooray for our side”, and then you’ll go home having accomplished nothing. That’s what the system is counting on, and that’s what’s going to happen unless these folks can coalesce into a real political movement.

  • dugfromthearth

    OWS is not being taken seriously for two reasons
    1. it does not have a media channel devoted to promoting it as the tea parties did with fox news.
    2. it is younger people who are less likely to vote than the old people in the tea parties. While politicians care about those who can vote, they care more about those who do.

    • driftglass

      Amen.

      OWS also doesn’t have Dick Armey and Koch money waiting to bankroll them.

      And it should also be added that there Is No Such Thing As The “Tea Party”.

      As every poll and survey shows, the “Tea Party” is overwhelmingly made up of exactly the same GOP Base goofs who have always been the core of the Party of God. They just burned their Bush/Cheney bumper stickers, put on tri-corner hats, boarded their Koch-funded buses and then rode off to their Fox News-sponsored rallies and re-branding glory…

      ..where they ranted about the same deficits they never once gave a sh1t about when Mr. Frum’s former employer was running them up at record rates…

      …just like they never gave a sh1t about the record Reagan/Bush deficits until 10 seconds after Clinton was sworn in.

      • armstp

        I would also add that the Tea Party did not have the cops arresting them on mass for walking down the sidewalk, although I think the arrests have helped to grow the movement.

  • SSteamers

    As long as the fed is paying banks for excess reserves that can be generated by borrowing for nothing, I think OWS is gonna have some steam.

    As long as WS uses their borrowing spread to subsidize enriching their executives or lobbing against all regulation, I think we move closer to complete societal breakdown.

    Ron Paul gets one thing right, “when the fed prints money, its the first people in line that get that money. The rest of us get inflation.”

  • Nanotek

    “You Can’t Take Occupy Wall Street Seriously”

    should we eat cake?

  • Frumplestiltskin

    There are certainly many elements of the OWS crowd I don’t take seriously, those who advocate abolishing capitalism for example
    http://www.tnr.com//article/politics/magazine/96062/occupy-wall-street-zizek-lewis
    But liberals are far more ready to do self criticism, it is both their failing and greatest strength.
    When I see right wing magazines saying how the Tea Party should not be taken seriously (I say should not, not are not) then I can take them more seriously.

  • Stewardship

    Ok, the young woman in the photo, with the sign listing her student loan amount and interest rate…does she really think it’s anyone’s fault other than her’s that she’s saddled with that noose around her neck? Does she expect taxpayers to bail her out of her own decisions?

    I bet if she’d used that money to get an engineering or math degree (instead of, what, sociology or Modern American Studies) she’d have a job and could retire the loan post haste.

    • tommybones

      Yes, that’s the answer! Everyone should become engineers! How could that fail? Thanks for your insightful input. After all, there is an endless supply of engineering jobs in the U.S.! And all those other jobs? Which require a college education? People should just ignore those. Maybe illegals can come into the country and do all that work for below minimum wage! Everybody wins!

    • Frumplestiltskin

      of course it is insane for the US not to more aggressively subsidize higher education. You don’t think that the Chinese, South Koreans, and Japanese don’t? In China there are more engineering students in their University system than we have engineers.
      The US provides free education up to the point that you are still pretty much useless for all but the most manual of labor in a 21st century society.
      And humanity needs the humanities, I have no idea why you would think the US would be better if we were all engineers, engineers need English majors as much as English majors need engineers. Do you really want to watch TV shows or movies written by electrical engineers? Eat food in restaurants cooked by math majors? Have your children be taught by chemists?

      • Houndentenor

        “The US provides free education up to the point that you are still pretty much useless for all but the most manual of labor in a 21st century society.”

        In other words, jobs that will be outsourced to China or India or elsewhere or that will be taken by illegal workers who will work for half the minimum wage.

        I think people over 4o who don’t have college age kids don’t realize that tuition is now many times what it was years ago. I knew people in the 80s paying their way through the local state college. Even in state tuition is too expensive to make that possible these days.

        • Cyberax

          Outsourced? That assumes that companies in the USA will be doing the outsourcing.

          But that’s not gonna happen. Instead, Chinese and Indian companies would work for their internal markets and also export stuff outside. That shift is already happening in China.

    • MaxFischer

      Does she expect taxpayers to bail her out of her own decisions?

      That worked perfectly well for Goldman Sachs and AIG, didn’t it?

      Once upon a time, taking out a student loan was a pretty safe bet on a quality standard of life regardless of whether one studied engineering or art history. One needn’t be a genius to note the dichotomy between those bailed-out and those left to twist in the wind at the hands of our financial institutions. Likewise, it shouldn’t be difficult to understand why someone stuck with a load of debt they have no chance of paying off (owed to those who were bailed out) might be angry.

    • hisgirlfriday

      Lots of American engineering jobs have been moved overseas or companies are importing cheaper engineering labor from abroad on the H1B1 visas to get out of paying payroll taxes.

  • lilmanny

    Good God! You all miss the point.

    Here is the rub: the individual “demands” are ridiculous and have little chance of convincing anyone. These are a bunch of dopey kids making dumb statements. But those are myriad and no one is paying attention to them individually. What is convincing is the general rage that Wall Street screwed us all, got bailed out, refused to reform, and is humming along as arrogant as ever. There are people that are going to be picked up on the cultural snowball that don’t look like these kids and have jobs and drive trucks. Screw Wall Street like it screwed us? I can sell that a million ways til Sunday.

    I say I can play both sides of the coin here: get a job hippie, but you have a point!

    • forgetn

      Absolutely agree with the sentiment you expressed here!

      The reality of a 5 week old protest movement is irrelevant to what it actually ends up saying and demanding. Tea party 1.0 was a bunch of screaming loons — eventually a message was crafted. I suspect that the Democrats are worried that the OWS movement could do to the Dems what the Tea Party has done to the Republicans — there is no point in denying that it has taken the GOP to the far right (maybe for the better — but unlikely).

      Already the OWS is spreading to other cities — there is something here. If Wall Street has another disaster (watch out derivatives) you get bet serious money that OWS will have a message — get the bums out, get a financial service industry that actually provides a service to the economy (and not a leach to the system).

      • hisgirlfriday

        This is the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party making a stand after they feel sold out by DLC/Clintonism/Third Way types that destroyed labor with unfair trade deals, forgot about students, ignored peace activists and gave environmentalists the finger all for the sake of picking up Wall Street campaign cash to benefit themselves personally in their personal quests for power. Many of these folks protesting likely worked to push Obama forward because they mistakenly thought he offered an alternative to the Rockefeller Republicanism of the Democratic Party.

        And while in some aspects Obama has offered an alternative (he has been pro-labor except when it comes to teachers unions and public employees), it’s still not enough, and it’s clear that no one person can take on the system or the culture of Washington implement any real alternative to the status quo of corporatism.

    • Demosthenes

      +1

  • bidthesoldiersshoot

    Come. Come. OWS has as much chance of changing things for the better, as the coming elections in November 2012.

    I know it’s hard to accept but the freight train is coming down the mountain side at 100 miles an hour. The economy is forever shot, we will never be able to pay the interest on the debt let alone any principle, that giant sucking sound you hear are the oil wells of the world running dry, and the soon to be-hysterical PTB are starting to wite the big checks to keep the status quo.

    So go ahead and talk about November 2012, the DJIA, the tea party and abiotic oil. If it really makes you feel better you’d be nuts not to. Me, I’m an old fart. I saw the whole thing unfold; I marched; I protested. Nada. This crap has been going on since they shot JFK. Probably before, but’s when I noticed it.

    I’d rather see a junta than any of the politicians.

    • Cyberax

      Anyone who doesn’t know the difference between ‘principal’ and ‘principle’ can’t make any statements about the economy.

  • Oldskool

    Why dress for a job interview when you’re trying to piss off the people who aren’t hiring.

    HuffPo must still not be paying their writers.

  • rbottoms

    I though OWS was over, a fad.

    At least that was the party line a week ago. Now it’s concern trolling that the DFH need to be more like Neidermeyer if they want to be heard.

    Interesting.

  • paul_gs

    Love this quote from the article:

    . . . economically-retarded trust-fund babies talking about things they have no idea about, as they wave around an iPhone.

    • nwahs

      The ridiculous thing is this is just an extension of social networking flash mobs. It won’t work as a protest because they have little in common except twitter. That’s why you can’t find 10 people who can agree on why they are even there. Once people start telling them what to protest it will be, “later, this is too much like work.”

  • djmeph

    “Daniel Alexander Portoraro explains the many problems that are preventing Occupy Wall Street from reaching a more mainstream audience”

    If your definition of “mainstream audience” is mouth-breathers sitting in front of their 24 hour cable news cycle all day, then you’re probably right. The reality of it is that the movement is having absolutely no problem reaching a mainstream audience, despite resistance from the mainstream media. The internet is a wonderful thing.

    • nwahs

      What have they reached the mainstream with? They hate greed? Fine, throw your strip mined metal laden Ipad in the garbage and get your sun deprived body out helping people with real problems.

      These pasty people look like they wiggled out from underground.

      • djmeph

        I really shouldn’t dignify this with a response, but the message is pretty clear. The problem is that the middle class in this country has been destroyed. The solution is to make corporations pay their fair share in taxes. There are many ideas being floated around the movement, but the goal of the mainstream media is to cloud the issue to make us look like we have no purpose. It’s all a lie, and as the movement grows bigger you might actually see the truth come peeking out on your 24-hour news channel of choice. As for your comments about the protesters being pasty, why is it with you right-wingers it always comes down to skin color?

  • Southern Populist

    The OWS movement isn’t going to go anywhere. Like the TPM, the OWSM is a functioning as a release valve. It’s allowing a huge segment of the population with many legitimate complaints to blow off steam in a way that does not challenge the system and that won’t lead to meaningful change.

    What have Obama and the Democrats done so far in response to the OWSM? Have they proposed forgiving all student loans, or bailing out middle class families who are underwater by forcing the banks to make principal adjustments? No, of course they have not, and they won’t. Hell will freeze over before the leading Democrats will propose meaningful change much less do anything that will lead to change.

    And before someone comes back with the standard response, “well the GOP would just block it,” notice I said Obama has not PROPOSED meaningful change like student loan forgiveness.

    Can the GOP stop Obama from PROPOSING radical solutions? No. So the question naturally arises, why has Obama not proposed anything significant?

    The answer is that he does not support challenging Wall Street in any meaningful way.

    - DSP

    • Oldskool

      So what do all those jobless people have to lose? We’ve heard a a lot about how this generation is detached from politics, but when the Arab Spring began, they seemed to have taken notice and identified with the protesters over there.

      I wouldn’t compare them to coddled tea partiers. They have good reasons to be pissed off.

      • Southern Populist

        Wall Street, the Federal Reserve System, multi-national corporations, and the US government are more sophisticated and formidable adversaries than the typical middle eastern government.

        I wish the OWSM well but hate to see them putting their hopes for meaningful change in the Democrats. The Democrats are as much a part of the global oligarchy as the GOP.

        • Oldskool

          I doubt they’re admirers of either party but if there’s any hope at all, it’s surely not with Republicans.

    • rijo

      Not only has Obama proposed a plan for student loan forgiveness, he has signed it into law.

      http://www.myloansconsolidated.com/2010/02/02/obama-student-loan-forgiveness-program-how-to-get-forgiven/

      • Southern Populist

        That’s pretty thin gruel.

        A real leader who cared about the young and the middle class would fight for across the board student loan forgiveness for everybody.

        - DSP

        • rijo

          Depends on how much you owe. A friend of mine owes $175,000 for a chemistry PhD. Based on her family size and income she is paying less than $50 a month. Her payments will go up as her children age out and her income goes up, but no way is she paying off anywhere near that in 20 years, after which it gets written off. Sounds like forgiveness to me.

        • Velocity

          What does that say about how much the Republican leadership cares about the young and middle class, then?

  • kirk

    All these “guidelines for a true movement” written before the Internet are like the “how to publish a book” guides written before Gutenberg – not worth the sheep skin they were written on.

    • hlsmlane

      +1 The commenter implies that the internet and other forms of social networking have overtaken the traditional media. The question is, are we at that tipping point? OWS may be a harbinger.

  • anniemargret

    These are young people who are getting screwed. Told to go to college, they did. Told to apply for jobs and work their way up….they can’t. There are no jobs. They have a right to be angry and watch out….they are going to be joined by middle class folks from the Boomer gen…people who got laid off and are now looking for hamburger flipping jobs in desperation while watching their benefits drop out of sight.

    I am amazed that anyone would vote Republican in the year 2011. It is still the party of the elite and well-heeled and the party of the religious zealots, who would vote for Yosemite Sam if he wore a cross around his neck.

    It’s going to get worse before it gets better.

  • Diomedes

    “The ridiculous thing is this is just an extension of social networking flash mobs. It won’t work as a protest because they have little in common except twitter”

    Ummm, correct me if I am wrong, but weren’t the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya all catalyzed by social networking? And judging by the OWS message, they seem to have the notion of OCCUPYING WALL STREET as their common theme.

    Sorry if the young are resorting to modern technology. What did the Tea Party use to get organized? Carrier Pigeons and smoke signals?

  • armstp

    OWS has already been hugely successful at getting the conversation going. This is a big part of what they are trying to accomplish.

  • NRA Liberal

    Shorter Daniel Alexandre Fluffyhairo: “I saw some hippies and painted naked chicks and drum circles on the TV news.”

    What do you think the cameramen are focusing on?

    The people I’ve been talking to down at Zuccoti Park don’t make good TV. The old shipyard rigger and Nam vet who solemnly assured me that Obama was a Muslim mole and that America needs its unions back. The retired FDNY captain with cancer. The longshoreman smoking a cigar (straight out of central casting, that guy, but he turned out to be a sweetheart). A merchant seaman officer on container ships. A union airline pilot from Iowa City. A whole gang of electrician apprentices–muscular, fresh faced healthy young men with Yankees baseball caps and i-Phones. A retired teacher of social studies who now passes the time as a volunteer for the fire department. A coed from the DR who looked like young Bianca Jagger. A bespectacled, scholarly looking urban planner who works for the city. A red-haired boilermaker from Jersey who looks like the poster child for “working class Irishman”. Another teacher lady, all the way from Oregon, with shockingly bright green eyes.

  • Slide

    Well we are starting to get some poll data on the OWS protests. I have seen polls from Reuters, WSJ, Rasmussen and Fox News. Every single one of them has more Americans supporting the OWS protests as those opposing. The WSJ poll has it 2 -1 support. So does the admittedly un-scientific online Fox News poll. (guarantee that was not what they hoped or expected). Even Rasmussen shows more people agree with the OWS protests than disagree.

    By the way, the Tea Party’s poll numbers are exactly the opposite with generally 2 to 1 unfavorable.

    So I hope the right keeps disparaging the “dirty hippies” and keeps telling us not to take them seriously. Let them continue to protect those poor beleaguered 1% from the rest of us.

    The more we read articles like this the more I know how scared they are by this movement.

  • hisgirlfriday

    “First they ignore you”

    Phase 1 over.

    “Then they laugh at you”

    Phase 2 in process.

    “They they fight you”

    Phase 3 preparations underway.

    “Then you win.”

    Phase 4 eventual result.

  • Rockerbabe

    Take the Occupy Wall Street protestors seriously. I know you don’t. But you should, they are fighting for everyone, not just themselves.

    I am old enough to remember that many in DC and around the country, not t mention my own father did not take the anti-war [Vietnam War] seriously and it turns out they themselves were seriously mistaken. Stop being so nasty to people who want to work and make the American Dream their own. You should be ashamed.