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The New York Autumn

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Has the Arab Spring come to our shores by way of the New York Autumn? Is this a valid comparison? What exactly is the nature of the movement at hand? And a movement it definitely is, spreading like wildfire throughout this land of the thief and the slave. Occupy Boston, Albuquerque, LA, San Francisco, Seattle – these are but the initial points of contact, points of a conflagration that is likely to take America, if not the whole world, as if by storm, a tsunami against which there is no foreseeable defense, no fortification or preparedness, no appropriate response. I certainly hope so, which should tell you where my sentiments lie. Call me biased if you like, but I think we’re long overdue. The time for the global revolution has arrived.

It’s tempting to compare what we’re witnessing at the moment to the good old sixties – the counter-culture revolution by those we’ve come to call hippies, the flower generation, in short, the Haight-Ashbury kind of scene, the sit-ins, and the like. Indeed, some of the elements reminiscent of our past are definitely present in the attitudes and behavior of the Occupy Wall Street crowd. And yet, the kind of dissent we experienced back then, for all its general and across-the-board character and outreach, cannot be dissociated from, indeed was spurred by, two overriding issues of the day: the anti-war protest (exacerbated by the draft) and Civil Rights.

Not that these were unimportant issues. American imperialism and militarism are to be fought tooth and nail, whenever the occasion presents itself. Likewise with civil rights which, according to script, is the legacy of all people, regardless of skin color or ethnic origin. We’re supposed to, indeed, we’ve all been programmed to fight these injustices time and again, whenever we see them.

What’s the beef then? In what ways do the sixties fall short of the present? How does the present motley crew comprised of students, activists, lawyers, media people, folks of different persuasions, even the Teapartiers, so we’re told, stack up against the glorious sixties? In what way does it do it one better?

A comparison with the recent Madison, Wisconsin rally is equally instructive. The object there was pensions and collective bargaining rights, and the crowd was in the thousands, 70,000 in fact, if memory serves – the measly crowd of Wall Street occupiers is a drop in the bucket in comparison, but who is counting? It was the largest rally in the history of Wisconsin, one of the most progressive states of the Union to boot. Kudos to the Democratic senators from the state legislature who absconded to Indiana lest they be forced to vote against all odds for the rights of the ordinary worker and against severe austerity measures made necessary, so the story goes, by our budgetary crisis.

A valiant effort, I daresay, by politicians and the people alike, standing together for once in the common cause. But how did it end? What was accomplished? Nothing, I’m afraid. Soon after, Governor Walker, with the blessings of the Wisconin Senate and the State Supreme Court, saw to it that the action on behalf of human, workers’ rights was for naught.

Which brings me to the heart of the matter, the idea of committing to a cause, any cause, no matter how just it is! My thinking is, however noble the aspirations or the particular cause which gives rise to them, they’re stained by association, contaminated, tarnished, and the reason is – all such responses are fool’s errands because they’re co-optive by nature, suggestive of the feasibility of negotiation when the time for negotiations is long past. Which is why the movement’s absence of specific demands or a clearly-articulated platform – the subject of severe critique on the part of even the most progressive elements of the American Left – rather than being its greatest weakness, is its greatest strength.

How so? You don’t negotiate with the enemy if you perceive them as the enemy. To do so would be to validate their status as something to be reckoned with, the last thing you want to do once you’ve come to a realization that they’re no longer deserving of any such status, not when the very object of the movement is to strip the enemy of all pretensions to legitimacy. Whatever few concessions can be won or chipped away at the negotiating table aren’t worth the price, not when the object is to discredit the enemy as having no standing whatever, whether moral or legal or otherwise, and to reduce them to the level of brute and faceless force which in fact they are, and deprive them thus of any justification to be anything but.

Indeed, once the traditional channels of voicing a dissent or a protest have become exhausted, when they no longer hold any promise, when all such efforts have been tried in the past and were found wanting, total and absolute negation is the only way to go. So make no mistake about it, the movement at hand is an outright revolt, a revolution in the making, a promise of better things to come; and there’s no taking of prisoners.

Which message, unsurprisingly, is lost on the conventional purveyors and analysts of news in our mainstream media, from Cokie Roberts to Clarence Page, all of whom are still intent on seeing the world in terms of the same failed paradigm and on interpreting the world’s events in terms of it. What they fail to realize is that it’s that very paradigm which is brought into question with the idea of uprooting it.

And it’s no different with the powers that be, from New York’s Finest to Mayor Bloomberg. All authorities, the presumed guardians of the gate, are at their wits’ end; they know not what they’re dealing with, and their resort to violence and sheer force in trying to quash the rebellion is only an indication of how threatened they are, how insecure, how devoid of all understanding.

It’s really amazing how uniform is their response whenever their authority is being challenged; and it makes no difference whatever whether we be taking about Bahrain or Egypt or the good old USA, or whether they’re educated or common thugs. It’s a doomed strategy if there ever was one, one which is destined to failure; yet we see it implemented time and again as though there were no lesson to be learned, no sense of the impending reality that their days are numbered, no conception that you can’t avert a true revolution when it’s knocking at your door, that the best thing you can do under the circumstances is to fold your tent and go home unless you’re willing to be dragged down in chains to the public square and hanged from the nearest lamppost like a common criminal.

They never learn, though, do they? That’s the hallmark of those in power, arbitrary power, all the more pronounced whenever it becomes obvious to anyone but them that their time has come. It’s sheer insanity, if you ask me! Yet, human history is replete with stories of ruthless dictators who have tried to hold on to the remnant, the last vestige of power, and to the bitter end, only to end up as human refuse, their lot no more deserving than that of a mangy dog. This alone should be a telltale that when a revolution comes knocking, you’d better get out of the way and retire while you still can. It’s also a telltale of the ways of power and its eventual demise.

There are populist movements afoot both from the Right and the Left, and they better not be ignored, the Tea Party and the Occupy America movement. They have much more in common than meets the eye – distrust in the government being the starting point, the point of convergence. Both have been subject to derision and utter ridicule from the respective quarters whom they seem to buck, the GOP on the one hand and the Democratic party on the other – both bastions of the Establishment in case you failed to notice. No wonder both are being minimized.

The essential difference between the two? The Teapartiers are still hoping to connect the dots and bring our business sector into the fold as an equally complicit element contributing to their discontent and sense of outrage. Our Military-Industrial complex, corrupt to the core, blessed besides by our government, this unholy alliance, the collusion, ought to be the target, the proper object of their rage. Another obvious shortcoming is their failure to embrace the 99 percent as part and parcel of their radical, anti-government stance, the failure to identify with those who are no longer the middle class or soon to become disenfranchised, with all who live in abject poverty no matter how you cut it, with America’s “invisibles” – in short, with all segments of our society who’re also suffering from the very same dysfunctional system they themselves are rebelling against and find obscene.

Well, that failure can be traced to false ideology, to less than perfect understanding, to a parochial, self-serving outlook – soon to be corrected, is the hope. And when that happens, when the mere 99 percent become 99.99 percent and counting, watch out, America, for your future will be anything but certain; it’ll hang in the balance.

The New York Autumn, to be distinguished from the Arab Spring, is just the right term for the occasion. Unlike our Arab brethren who are putting their lives on the line in order to depose autocratic regimes in favor of democratic ones – regimes we ourselves helped install – we’ve already been through the whole gamut, the gamut of living in a democracy in name only. It was so from the very beginning, and it’s no different today. We are far more sophisticated than that. We know that the idea of democracy is incompatible with the idea of a ruling class, whatever that ruling class may be and whatever the guises under which it tries to represent itself, be it in the form of enlightened legislation, the emphasis on human rights, what else have you. This is but a drop in the bucket, the scraps from the table, condiments thrown your way in order to appease you, to make you believe that our legal-juridical system is working just fine, that its objective and that its only purpose is to promote universal justice and the interests of all.

Don’t be fooled by these high-sounding words or the Constitution, especially if you happen to be gay, a woman, or a person of color. All you’re getting is an ounce of permissiveness masquerading as human rights, but truth be told, they barely tolerate you. In fact, they detest your guts, your insubordination, your haughty insolence, with every fiber of their being, but the democratic creed requires fine words to gloss over the ugly sentiment that lies underneath, the charade. So yes, unlike our Arab brethren, we know what it’s like to live under the thumb of a government which professes itself to be democratic but which violates every rule in the book because we’ve done it for years; we know full well that nothing short of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people will ever satisfy our aspirations and fulfil our destiny. We hope you’ll come to realize that too and join us.

The 1830s was a turbulent period in European history, a period marked by a series of uprisings and struggles for national independence from under the boot of tyrannical nation-states which held lesser nation-states hostage. Today promises to be another such moment, except the struggle is against governments which terrorize their own people. If “Occupy America” only stays on message and doesn’t succumb to putting forth demands or an articulated platform, better yet, if it’s joined by the equally disgruntled segment of the American society from the Right, the Teapartiers, mark my words, the days of the one percent are over and a new beginning is at hand.

Viva La Revolution!

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About Roger Nowosielski

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    The time for the change you seek is not yet, and it may never come. One can speak truth to power and fight city hall and sometimes win, but it will be done so – if at all – by the OWS movement and by those politicians who accept and align themselves with the movement.

    While there are a very few in the Tea Party who have agreed with OWS, most will oppose it to their dying breath. Why? Because unlike OWS, the Tea Party is not so much a grass-roots movement as a tool of the Right. Read this article from the NYT – it’s quite educational – and here’s an even more educational article from the New Yorker.

    Both articles show quite clearly that the Tea Party has long been co-opted by the Right in general, and by the Koch Brothers in particular…and even a cursory examination shows that the Tea Party is hostile to much that OWS stands for.

    So…no. The Tea Party will never, ever join OWS.

    I’m really hopeful that OWS will succeed, but they’ll have to do it without the deep pockets of billionaire financiers like the Tea Party had.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    A good part of today’s Amy Goodman show devoted to OWS.

  • http://1freeworld.org Anarcissie
  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Got to give me better URL, this one doesn’t work.

  • http://1freeworld.org Anarcissie

    I just tried it now, and it worked.

    It looks like Bloomie has backed off for the moment. About a thousand people showed up in the plaza (at 7 a.m.!) and once something started probably a lot more could arrive. So the Man has gone back to Plan A.

    I didn’t like Amy Goodman’s piece much; it seems she’s slipped into thinking that OWS is a formation of shock troops for Mr. O’s reelection. This is what the Democratic Party establishment would like, no doubt, and the Right is trying to help out by roundly abusing and lying about the Occupation, but at the moment Mr. O and company are as much targets of the Occupation as anyone. 2008 is water under the bridge.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yes, it does work now.

    Top-notch analysis, Anarcissie. The focus on access to public spaces, the agora, in which to exercise rights of freedom of speech, assembly, and to petition the government is the indispensable element of the democratic process; yet, it’s precisely the access to these spaces which is being controlled by private property rights and local/municipal ordinances which enforce those rights.

    I thought you would be negligent of making mention of non-physical spaces as well, but of course you haven’t, and your take on MSM is a case in point.

    Lastly, the eventuality of OWS becoming co-opted is a far greater thread to the movement than sheer destruction by brute force — I entirely agree. A powerful myth is better than none at all.

    So yes, we’re joined here “in dubious battle” whose eventual outcome no one can foresee.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    … a far greater threat …

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @5

    Of course Mr. O & company are as complicit in the mind of the protesters as the bankers are. Not certain though about your take on Amy Goodman and will have to re-watch it. To the best of my knowledge, she’s always been one of those rare progressives who have been skeptical about Mr. O and the present “democratic” process, going back to 2008 at least. In short, I very much doubt whether she’d consider O’s re-election as a move in the right direction.

    Cornell West and other black radicals no longer think so.

  • http://1freeworld.org Anarcissie

    I sort of worship Amy Goodman. But, like a lot of people, I am very sensitive to the threat of cooptation — as I mentioned in the article, the Democratic Party leadership did much to destroy the effectiveness of the anti-war movement’s major organization, and they will certainly do the same thing to the Occupation if they can. Their attraction for me is not in getting some high official to look over his shoulder for fear of riot, but in the possibility that they might be able to eject the high official from his job and possibly get rid of the office as well.

    Krugman recently wrote something similarly ambiguous, was called out by Yves Smith, and sort of apologized for seeming to endorse what they called ‘elite capture’.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Likewise, same sentiment. As to Krugman, perhaps you’re referring to his recent editorial in NYT. I’ll look it up and post a link.

    To change the subject (somewhat), would you consider having your last piece on OWN published it here. I know it’s not one of your concerns, trying to influence people and all that, but it would certainly be a good thing if your analysis of OWS got greater exposure. I could provide you with the details if you’re interested. If not, there’s another outlet Cindy suggested, a direct input to the OWS people — if only for edification purposes.

    I’ll provide the link to that, too.

  • http://1freeworld.org Anarcissie

    The article published at 1freeworld.org is licensed under the Creative Commons. (See the symbol at the bottom.) It can be published or sent anywhere by anyone anytime.

    My take on the people at OWS is that they are way ahead of me, so I think the article may be superfluous in their case. However, if you think it would be of any use to any of them, by all means send it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I think you’re doing yourself discredit, though I’m certain that since they’re living the reality, they’re not unaware of the key concepts underlying the very fact and idea of “occupation,” if only on the intuitive level. Even so, a clear and articulate statement of the issues, of what’s really at stake, is never an effort wasted.

    As an example of the many ways OWS can be trivialized, check out comment #58. This commenter can at times be lucid and capable of meaningful interchange, but in this instance he simply displays deep-seated prejudices. What’s even more amazing, he’s taken seriously by other commenters, seriously enough to merit a response.

    Don’t they see that physical bodies are being put on the line for the cause? which isn’t to say anyone knows how it will all turn up.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski
  • http://1freeworld.org Anarcissie
  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yes, it is.

    Also, see #95 for further thoughts on your “Occupy Wall Street and the Abolition of Public Space.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Which side are you on”

    Natalie Merchant

    Pete Seeger

    Rebel Diaz

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski
  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/haveno handyguy

    If “Occupy America” only stays on message and doesn’t succumb to putting forth demands or an articulated platform,

    My main disagreement with you could be boiled down to the fact that that sentence is self-contradictory and makes no sense. If a movement insists on remaining all things to all people [or at least to ‘the 99%’], it will end up meaning little at all. This is actually analogous to the 2008 Obama campaign, where “hope and change” were nebulous enough for a majority of voters to project their own dreams onto it — a formula for electoral victory and inevitable post-election disappointment and alienation.

    This doesn’t mean they just have to give up and be Democrats. But as Barney Frank says, “If they don’t vote, all they’re putting pressure on is the grass [in Zucotti Park].”

    better yet, if it’s joined by the equally disgruntled segment of the American society from the Right, the Teapartiers

    And this is just silly. Most tea partiers reflexively follow Fox News’s lead and label OWS dirty hippies and freeloaders. There is a common ground of alienation, but such a wide divergence of vision about how to fix things that these two groups will never join. Each is better off trying to recruit from the great Uncommitted Middle of American citizens.

    And again quoting the very quotable Rep. Frank, “The Tea Party did vote, and made a big difference in the 2010 election — much to the detriment of the country.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The alternative forms will emerge, Handy. My main concern is to ward off against co-opting; surely you’ve heard it expressed elsewhere as well.

    Furthermore, I no longer have faith in our democratic process, and I believe many of the OWS people share the same sentiment. You’re speaking of winning the next election as though it represented an important objective to me or many other people. But if it is not, do you not see the limitation of your counter-argument?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/haveno handyguy

    Surprise: I don’t see it as a limitation in my argument, but rather a limitation in your predictive powers. There may or may not be a ‘revolution’ as you hope there will be. If there is, it may happen 50 or 100 years from now rather than in weeks or months; i.e., not in our lifetime.

    And whenever it comes, it could change the country and the world for worse rather than for better. In other words, the 99% consists of a lot of smaller groups, many of whom may have bad ideas, or no ideas at all, and some unimaginably awful government could result [as in the fascist and communist revolutions of the 20th century]. It ain’t necessarily all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.

    Therefore I’d be more satisfied to see OWS influence the players in the current system. It’s a more likely and a more practical outcome.

    And as I pointed out on another thread, about a third of OWS participants see it that way too: they want to influence the Dems in a way comparable to the Tea Party’s influence on the GOP. One hopes it will be a less corrosive and unpleasant and unproductive influence than the TP’s — and in fact I believe it will be.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But I do. I’ll formulate appropriate response shorty, once I’m done with my errand.

  • unoccupier troll

    handyguy – it is common for the more anarchist elements of the movement to decline interactions w/ media and pollsters

    be wary of any generalizations about opinions that don’t come out of GAs

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/haveno handyguy

    The ‘more anarchist’ elements are not the aspects of OWS likely to gain widespread support. That road leads to ‘we are the 0.9%.’

    Many journalists and curious onlookers have expressed delight that ‘these are just ordinary folks.’ If want to try to convince me that anarchism is a major strain of thinking in ordinary folks, I’m listening.

  • unoccupier troll

    no you’re not

    a longstanding ‘meme’ of the movement is that it is leaderless and its decision making procedures are designed to reinforce this

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/haveno handyguy

    Right. I just meant that the movement will remain relatively small if it pursues ‘anarchistic’ thought. I would call the Zucotti Park approach ultra-democratic. But try applying that to a whole country with 300 million citizens.

    And that ‘no you’re not’ is superfluously hostile and presumptuous.

  • troll

    we are certainly entitled to our opinions and sensitivities whatever their relationship to reality

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/haveno handyguy

    sure thing. i would suggest that that applies to both of us.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Here it goes, Handy. The very paradigm is being put into question. That’s the essence of my argument and what I believe, if the movement stays on course, will emerge.

    The possibilities are endless, and the kind of scenario that would be most to my liking would consist of organizing local communities along lines independent of the existing political machinery, bypassing it altogether and thus, eventually, rendering it irrelevant.

    And where did I argue for use of violence? The term “revolution” need not entail violence. The movement by Gandhi is a case in point.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/haveno handyguy

    I didn’t say you were advocating violence. Just that change may come at a time and in a manner unforeseen by any of us. The ‘revolution’ is more likely not to resemble your personal vision than it is to be just like what you want.

    And OWS may be the beginning of this, or not. Acknowledging these multiple possibilities is just accepting life as it has always been and will always be: a massively chaotic array of ideas and events.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/haveno handyguy

    Gandhi in the end viewed his revolution as a failure because he knew it would lead to violence. The enmity between Muslim and Hindu was too massive to overcome.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @29

    Just wanted to get that idea out of the way. And yes, I don’t disagree with you as to what may eventually follow. All I can do is hope for the best, and I outlined what I envisage as the most desirous of the alternatives.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @30

    And he was proven right. Still, moral force is the only force at the people’s disposal. Fail one time, you got to try again.

  • troll

    as my notes from a protest site are proving to be less than conversation worthy here I’ll leave you guys with one more story from the real world

    a nice thing about participating in an international movement is all the folks you meet from all over…talking in a quiet time w/ a woman who participated in the May 15 movement in Spain — my question: “why didn’t that movement spark international support” — her answer: “because it was reduced to a block party – the ultimate bourgeois wet dream”

    ciao

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Don’t be checking out, my man. You ought to know I’m hungry for the truth.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/haveno handyguy

    Roger, did you get the message I am living in TN now?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    [edit]

    It’s good to know, I’ll come and visit, Clarksville, I presume, so we could iron out our differences.

    Thanks for letting me know, and do resend it to the new address.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/haveno handyguy

    Will you beat me up? =(

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And let me assure you, I’m not as horrible in person as some of you make me out to be.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Just answered you, beat you to the punch as a matter of fact.

    Just play on words, ha ha!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Just so you know, Handy, I have a winning personality, my man. Have a coterie of followers, men, women, animals, minerals and vegetables. The source of my confidence, in addition to my intellectual prowess.

    But never listen to the person’s description of self, for it’s bound to be exaggerated. Just warning you, though.

    Ha ha again.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    It is not a protest, but a prototype for a new way of living.

    There you go, Roger. Let’s hope handy is wrong about it not spreading if it is anarchistic. Because anarchistic is the only reasonable and fair system of living in a social world.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Oh, wait! It IS spreading! Well, what do you know?

    I see signs that both liberals and others are opening up to anarchist principles, without even knowing it. Go figure.

    The end of the world as we know it would be a joy to behold. I hope some on the left will refrain from defending the past with its failed attempts at creating a space to live like caring human beings.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    (Did I mention that article I posted is my new favorite on the movement? I think it grasps it entirely and in ways others have not yet comprehended.)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Make that ‘fully’ comprehended.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Hiya troll,

    How goes it at the (un)occupation?

    (What is the ‘un’ about? I see other Albuquerquers employing that ‘un’ too.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Sorry for belated response(s), Cindy. Too much KY bourbon, plus was polishing off my next article.

    Where the hell is it, BTW?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/haveno handyguy

    Piers Morgan and Michael Moore will host a town hall discussion with ’99 percenters’ tonight at 9 eastern on CNN. It may be terrible, but Moore’s participation may keep Piers from being too condescending.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/haveno handyguy

    Re: the mass acceptance of ‘anarchism.’

    I wasn’t making a full-on prediction, or even expressing a preference. But anarchists don’t make up the totality of a proudly inclusive group like OWS. And getting a significant number of the vast political middle involved is the only way for any political movement to grow to significant numbers.

    For example, the middle showed some curiosity about the Tea Party initially, but more recent polls have indicated that opinions on the TP have soured. They are seen as extreme loudmouths. So their current influence is primarily at the furthest, least savory extreme of the right and the GOP.

    The lasting impressions made by OWS on Middle America have yet to happen. My gut tells me Mr and Mrs Iowa or South Carolina will not respond favorably to ‘pure anarchist principles’ — although they may well respond to a message along the lines of “big corporate interests have corrupted our political system.”

    Anyhow, my gut is not infallible. This is not a football game where I’m rooting against ‘your’ team. I’m just making observations.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/haveno handyguy

    By the way, Big Corporate Interests are Out to Screw Ordinary Americans was a message Al Gore tried in 2000. It did not catch fire then, in a time of prosperity.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But those were times of prosperity (or so we thought).

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/haveno handyguy

    A time of perceived prosperity. Well, I and others that I know made more money that year than any before or since. I worked in an industry that, like many, thrived in the tech bubble.

    At any rate, there certainly was not the widespread economic anxiety that is so pervasive now. Although there were ominous rumblings. Nasdaq crashed in March 2000 and layoffs started to spread.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/haveno handyguy

    Cindy’s article link is indeed interesting. And it’s from the CNN web site yet! Maybe they are trying to make OWS their pet the way Fox News adopted the Tea Party.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It was a bubble, though, wasn’t it? Started with dot-coms.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Interestingly, they had a big crackdown in Oakland, CA. Last I’ve heard, Dellums was still the mayor, an ex-radical from the sixties. Goes to show once you move into politics, you invariably end up in somebody’s pocket.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/haveno handyguy

    Perhaps you need an update:

    This morning’s attack from the Oakland PD came as a surprise after Mayor Jean Quan had originally appeared supportive of the protests, noting that, sometimes, “democracy is messy.” The city had originally said that demonstrators could continue their occupation of Frank Ogawa Plaza, despite laws that would normally prohibit the camp. In recent days, however, officials have cited concerns over sanitation and fire hazards as among the reasons for the forced evacuation.

    Mayor Quan, a Chinese-American woman, took office in Jan. 2011. And today’s arrests may or may not reflect her overall opinion of the OWS movement.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/haveno handyguy

    Another tidbit:

    “At 7:30 Tuesday morning, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s office issued a statement regarding the police raid on the two downtown Occupy Oakland camp sites. The statement, reprinted in its entirety, reads:

    Many Oaklanders support the goals of the national Occupy Wall Street movement. We maintained daily communication with the protest0rs in Oakland.

    However, over the last week it was apparent that neither the demonstrators nor the City could maintain safe or sanitary conditions, or control the ongoing vandalism. Frank Ogawa Plaza will continue to be open as a free speech area from 6 am to 10 pm.”

    So it’s not a complete eviction, just no overnight stays.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    There was one interesting “precedent,” if you want to call it that. The governor (forgot now which state) called for “harsher measures” but the mayor refused.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, there are always those “elements,” some people wanting to capitalize on the situation. Amazingly, the NYC crowd appeared to have been very well-behaved. They should set up their own task force dealing with security, safety, and hygiene issues. Lots of GAs are doing it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    This is one of the alternative newspapers in the Bay Area: East Bay Express.

    Check out the first two entries under the “News Blogs” column. It looks as though the Mayor’s action is resulting in a recall initiative.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And here’s the news from Berkeley.

    I’ll make it a point when I finally get back to CA to do some serious shit-disturbing.

    It will be great to mix in with the UC crowd.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/haveno handyguy

    Right. The recall notice was filed Monday, before the crackdown, and concerned other issues, some of them racial. And it’s hard to tell how much support in general the mayor or the recall have from that brief item.

    She is the mayor of all of Oakland, and Occupy Oakland is, um, not yet all of Oakland. Her decisions about safety and sanitation may be right and they may be wrong, but she is probably in a better position to determine that than you or I are.

    75 arrests and a curfew are not so drastic. The NYC protests generated 700 arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge alone, and this didn’t stop OWS or even apparently lead to worse tensions with police in the days since.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski
  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/haveno handyguy

    Mayor Quan has had run-ins with the Oakland Police Department, and her popularity has sunk partly due to crime in Oakland. So that may have something to do with the curfew enforcement this morning.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Sounds right.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You just got to visit the Bay Area, my man. Alameda is my perfect spot, New Yorkers say it reminds them of Long Island.

    You might meet your old nemesis, Kurtz, in person. His bark, I assure you, is bigger than his bite. He looks like a jolly good fellow. Bulletin boards are misleading.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/haveno handyguy

    Not sure if this is addressed to me, but northern California is my favorite part of the country. SF, Berkeley, Marin, Sonoma, and the coast north and south of there.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yes, to you, and you’re right 100 percent.

    Marin is just beautiful.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Besides, I miss the food — Italian, Chinese, Korean, you name it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    In my best days, used to net close to 150 grand in disposable income, drove Citroen-Maserati and dine in the best SF restaurants.

    I practically opened Jeremiah Tower’s Stars restaurant in the Opera Plaza.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Great quote from the article as per Cindy’s link:

    “For as we come to embrace or even consider options such as local production and commerce, credit unions, unfettered access to communications technology and consensus-based democracy, we become occupiers ourselves.”

    The idea of anarchism at its best.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski
  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Anarcissie,

    You might also want to take a peek at this one from one of our editors, Ms Diana Hartman, for a privileged view from Germany.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Oh UNoccuppy!

    (now I get it!)