Reporting from the trenches, Riverdaughter
reveals that some of my original fears about OWS are coming to pass...
There are more people who have mapped out their own little smidgeon of the park for identity politics. In this respect, I’m a little concerned. In my humble opinion, the more you go overboard to make your point, like wearing a grim reaper costume and earnestly proclaiming your concern about who is killing the planet, the more people you will drive away. Yes, the environment is paramount in all of our minds but it would be a shame if the movement, which is based primarily on economic grievances, is derailed by this kind of thing. It would give an unrealistic picture of the 99% and, frankly, I’m an omnivore. I like my steaks medium rare and my veal grilled with porcini mushroom dust. I’m not interested in your lifelong committment to veganism. I understand why having options for vegans who are occupying is important but I don’t want to feel like I’m doing something immoral if I don’t get onboard some crunchy granola agenda. No, seriously, some of these identity groups have a quasi-religious zealousness to them and I don’t want any part of that.
May I quote myself?
Quite a few of you are probably bursting at the seams right now, desperate to tell me: "But this movement isn't about partisan politics! It's about raising consciousness and awareness and establishing a New Age and heralding a We Century and proving how virtuous we can be by eating lots of tofu!"
If you want to give me that rap, please...just die. Preferably in pain. I want no part of a "consciousness raising" exercise, and I don't care for tofu. I want to see a movement that gets practical things -- big things, but practical things -- done.
The entire shebang will be undone by internal bickering, combating egos, the unrelenting cries of me me me. Most of all, expect to see that unrelenting scourge of liberalism: Identity politics. (Black, gay, Hispanic, feminist, etc.) Once those egomaniacs take the spotlight -- it's over.
Ya asks me, the tofu purists should be treated with the same contempt reserved for infiltrators. Right now, our national discussion is about economics -- ECONOMICS ECONOMICS ECONOMICS
-- and the topic-switchers are just going to alienate the proles who should be standing with OWS.
What's the matter with Kansas, you ask? I'll tell you: They hate tofu and they hate tofu liberals. With good reason. I hate them too, and I am a liberal myself.
You know why the tofu lunatics and the "identity" egomaniacs don't like talking about economics? They're stupid. That's been my experience: They are too fucking stupid (or stoned) to read even moderately difficult books. So they'll do their best to switch the topic to something that makes them feel comfortable.
I'm a big fan of Al Gore; I wish he'd run for president. But this movement is not about the issues discussed in An Inconvenient Truth
. This ain't that.
What's that...? I hear a voice from the back. Oh. It's our old friend, Smelly Hippie. (I first met him back in 1969, when I was just a wee tyke.) Yes, S.H.? You have something to say?"Don't you see? It's all connected, man! The environment, vegetarianism, reconnecting with the Goddess, the thing with the banks, legalizing pot..."
That's enough outta you, pal. Just DIE, Smelly Hippie. Nobody likes you. When you show up, you drive everyone else out of the room.
Consider this paradox, grasshopper: If a movement is too
inclusive -- so inclusive as to include Smelly Hippie -- it does not expand; it contracts. It does not entice; it alienates.Another thing.
I've been reading a lot lately about fears of the movement being co-opted. My response: Working with Democratic politicians is not the same as being co-opted. The point is to co-opt them
, the way the tea partiers co-opted the G.O.P.
(I denounce, deny and abominate this ridiculous new narrative in which a prelapsarian pure tea party was seduced and betrayed by the Republican leadership. The baggers were vile fascist libertarian garbage from the beginning -- and now the Republican nominee is being forced to bow to their wishes.)
If OWS is afraid of exercising power -- if, as is traditional for left-wing movements, they view power as a form of bad taste -- then OWS is doomed to be nothing more than a bunch of tofu-slurping urban campers.
I'll quote another bit from Riverdaughter's report:
There were some people who I felt I was connecting with who wanted to talk about stuff I felt was important and the sharing of ideas was very simpatico, not because we were thinking the same things but because I was getting information that was filling in the data I was missing from my own perspective. That is when I started to feel that I had to be cautious. Collaboration is highly desirable; a hive mind is not. That is not to say that OWS is promoting such a thing. It’s just that it’s probably inevitable due to the nature of the movement, our grievances and our desire to work this out. It’s a social phenomenon as well as a psychological one. When that flow state is reached and we’re all in an excited emotional state, that is when we are most vulnerable to each other and to outside forces who may wish to infiltrate and redirect the movement in a certain direction.
Just reading about this "hive mind" shit nearly gives me the hives. If I ever actually spend some time with the OWS-ers, I'll probably turn against the movement. As you know, I'm allergic to people.