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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Identity politics and the usual lefty crapola

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.
"An association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing which has never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry."
Thomas Jefferson
I don't know who said this, but I've found it useful to remember: if two people always agree, one of them is unnecessary.
There are 600 cities with an OCCUPY face now. We don't need to obsess on NYC. Just a thought. I've seen the New Orleans one. I'm going to check out the Denver one over the weekend. The only way NYC gets to set the tone and agenda is if the media lets it. There's a lot of folks still living out here in the great flyover.
Successful movements, such as the Civil Rights of the 60s have good leadership, a well defined set of demands (the fewer the better), and a focused determination to achieve the goals. OWS is not a movement.

It's not just the people demonstrating that win the fight, but the people who are not demonstrating who support the movement that win it for the people who demonstrate. Right now the polls show that most people blame Washington for the economic mess, not Wall Street. People understand that Wall Street did the damage with the approval of the politicians in Washington. OWS can camp out in NY, to highlight the connection, but the focus should be against Washington. Civil Rights demonstrations were held in many cities, but the push was for Washington to pass the Civil Rights Act.
Hippies are an asset, not a liability.

Whether there are 5 or 50 at a rally, FoxNews will gravitate to the hippies.

Therefore it's better to have 50 hippies than 5 hippies at your rally. Hippies dependably add numbers to rallies which make them look bigger.

The corporate media will select the details, but the big picture is more difficult to distort. Focus on the aspect of the demonstration in control of the movement. That's the forest, not the trees.

If the public is more disgusted by hippies than bankers, then the movement is futile.
I don't want to hear any more speeches about medical marijuana. Talk about shooting a movement in the foot. Nobody gives a shit about stoners and their "rights." Focus only on the economy and jobs. Period.
you know i keep looking for some OWS people going on & on about edical Marijuana... just don't see it Susan. You are shooting the movement in the foot. with self inflicted anger. Who is the enemy again?

Oh and while you don't give a shit-- you call my grandma with MS a stoner to my face, and I will beat you up. I don't care to tarnish this "debate" with arguing with you Susan, nor with Joe, but that's some fine compassion you have there... I'm a Canadian. We don't have the abuses with MediMari that you have in LA, but have many people with HIV who are gaining weight, have people like my grandma who aren't in pain 24/7. So either grow some compassion or expect to hear people who aren't exactly like you say they don't give a shit about your hunger... about your homelessness.... I'm not saying this to argue a point here (will you affect Canadian laws? no) but have some god damned compassion. AND LEARN HOW TO FOCUS YOUR ANGER AND VEHEMENCE not just you, Joe too with his I HATE TOFU EATERS and they're all memelike hippies. Fuck that. I've worked in Clean Tech for over a decade and a half... have seen professional hippie bashers, and rank amatures, and it goes nowhere and does nothing....

so what do you not give a shit about, fighting with your stoners, or getting shit done? Go feed an occupier, get off your self righteous ass and computer, and feed people. do something. Don't just bitch some more....
Do you think I haven't been to an OWS rally? Think again. That's why I mentioned the idiotic "medical marijuana" speeches. That is NOT what OWS is supposed to be about. It will KILL any reform movement to praddle on about stupid issues like this one, which are phony anyway because those who peddle "medical marijuana" are just using this as a way to legalize the drug wholesale. They aren't even honest.

Nothing else should be brought up but the economy and jobs. Period. That's what people care about regardless of political affiliation.
oh and FWIW there's pretty much Zero Tolernace (as best as possible) for pot smoking in Zuccotti park (same stance against booze, even though legal). The only place you'll find mention of cannabis smoke is in the yellow journals.
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