Saturday, October 08, 2011

OWS, destroyer of jobs! (Allegedly.) Also: The name game.

No, seriously...
Speaking on WOR radio Friday, Bloomberg said the city's labor unions - many of whom swelled demonstrator ranks earlier this week - depend on salaries that "come from the taxes paid by the people they're trying to vilify."
He doesn't mention (because nobody mentions) that things were a lot better when the top marginal tax rate was about 75% higher than it is now.

Go on and try to scare us, Mister B. It's not as though jobs were growing steadily before the OWS protests began.

Naming names: Dare we bring up the age-old question of nomenclature? I don't like "Occupy Wall Street." It's unwieldy. Worse, it doesn't offer up a sharp and zingy identifier for the occupiers. I mean, are the protesters supposed to say "I'm an Occupy Wall Streeter"? Or "I'm a Wall Street Occupier"? Or "I'm an Occupier of Wall Street"? Or...what?

Also, that phrase has kind of an unwelcome militaristic feel -- as in, Occupied Iraq, Occupied France, that sort of thing. It gives off kind of a Bushy vibe.

Maybe we can segue into another name?

"Ninety-nine percenter" is a little better, but it's still six syllables, and writers have to remember to spell out the number when it occurs at the beginning of a sentence. And they won't remember to do that.

I like "The Rebellion." The rebels can call themselves The Rebels. Short and catchy, innit?

And they can adopt Alexander Hamilton as a mascot of sorts. He was a revolutionary in a tricorner hat, a bona fide founding father -- and he advocated protectionist "American jobs first" economic policies that would make modern conservatives just shit. (If they knew about those policies, which they probably do not and never will.)

If you have an alternative suggestion, I am all attention.

Frankly, the kids who put this OWS thing together are doing many things wrong. Wrong name, wrong methodology, (partially) wrong statement of grievances...wrong everything. Yet the movement is growing. You know why? Because the situation is desperate and people need something like this.
We have Teabaggers and Fleebaggers and Firebaggers so why not Wallbaggers?
Hey, it's WOR the station that carries Michael Savage so what do you expect. Also just goes to show where Democrats that like Bloomberg have their heads. (Hint, they need a butt snorkel.)

As for OWS, how about Owls? Short 'n sweet.
Rebels without a clue....a classic catchy phrase.
Guys, I was in advertising. Not sure I should be proud of that, but there it is.

And I'm telling ya -- "The Rebellion" is good. Especially on t-shirts.

"Are you with...THE REBELLION?"

As opposed to:

"Are you with...THE OCCUPATION?"
Have you been reading Camus again?
The 99ers. Shorter than the 99 Percenters, but still a synonym for the majority.
"Are you with...THE REBELLION?"

Does that carry connotations of violence?

"Are you with the NON-VIOLENT REBELLION?"

I don't know. Maybe it's best for now if we accept a diversity of T-shirts and keep talking with one another.

- Gary McGowan
Wallbaggers will get confused with wallbanger, a sexual term.

Anyway the fact that there is no leadership, no agenda, no demands, no organization is the really great thing about it. God forbid it should morph into what commentors want.

Who knows what will happen and that's a good thing. We all need to consider ourselves intellectual terrorists.

About 5:30 in this, Mr. Hedges uses the term [act of] rebellion and ennobles it.

A great speech:

- Gary McGowan
There's no easy answer. Having a zingy handle 'everyone' can identify with assists recuperation. It's reminiscent of colour revolutions and, for those old enough to remember, 'C' for Cory Aquino when the CIA overthrew its previous stooge Ferdinand Marcos. Colour revolution ain't what we want.

On the other hand, of course we want a fucking easy-to-understand unifying idea. Neologism fuels expertism above and passivity below, like nobody's business. That's what I found when studying the fall of the USSR, to which (as increasing numbers of people are recognising) the present period in the west is similar in important ways. So on this count, "rebellion" is great. We don't want diversity for its own sake - we need unity, and concentrating forces on Wall Street is fucking excellent. All of my old-bastard gripes and sniping criticisms can go to hell! So there! :)

(Just so long as someone doesn't logoify an 'R' in a circle for 'rebellion' :) )

I've seen a colour revolution coming in the UK for a couple of years now. I don't know about the US. Certainly there's a media-savvy 'left' celebrity wing of capitalism that's keen on shouting about certain aspects while all too completely 'oblivious' to others (especially notably, Zionist power). But CR doesn't seem on the cards in the US - I can't see the bullshit political system being bullshit-reformed - and the way things happen will be very different from in western Europe.

One similarity is that the enemy's arguments are looking increasingly full of shit, as it begins to sink in to more and more people that the economy is shrinking and will continue to shrink. (It probably stopped growing decades ago, just as it stopped growing maybe 20 years before 1991 in the USSR). Thus we don't get the promise of a social-democratic deal involving increasing productivity. It's increasingly class against class, just as it should be. Boss class - give us back what you stole, you bunch of lying thieves.

The most beautiful slogan painted on government buildings during last year's student riots in London was simply "Give Us Back Our Money", painted on the Treasury (finance ministry).
Joe, in your last paragraph you say, "the kids that put this OWS thing together". Do people really believe that kids did this?

It's a fact that Steven Lerner of SEIU was at PACE University in March talking about doing this.

It's all the same players as the Wisconsin protesters; Unions, Frances Fox Pivens, Code Pink, MoveOn, Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, Al Sharpton, etc. etc.
Just so long as they don't try writing any songs.

I could not love these young uns half so well did I not remind them that they can't write songs.
It was the kids who did this, anonymous. CodePink has been concentrating on war protests as always. Michael Moore showed up to support the kids, not the other way around. This is the Twitter revolution, so maybe we could call them the Hashtaggers, but that would only describe them, not the 99% they're representing---which is what people are already calling themselves. I've just been calling them The Kids. And taking them whatever they ask for. Whatever the Kids want, the Kids get. Because they're standing up for us, the 99%.
The Rebel Alliance would tie in nicely with merchandising.
People have been responding well to 99 percent.

There is even an online place to post your own home made sign/story as part of "We are the 99 %"

Huffington Post has reprinted a few:

People tell their story and include "we are the 99%" or "I am the 99 percent." etc...and sometimes include Occupy Wall St or Occupy (their city here).

99 per cent works so well because it does represent a uprising against the 1% --- and the threat is inherent. More of us. It's an uprising.
I stand by my comment. Lerner of SEIU, in an article entitled "This Can Be Our Moment", 3-29-11 has this to say:

....."But in order to make this vision reality, we need to go on offense and make Wall Street pay for the trillions it stole from us. Wall Street is bankrupting cities, states, homeowners, and students with trillions in unfair debt, even after the big banks received $17 trillion in bailouts and backstops after crashing the economy. We can use our political and economic power to renegotiate our relationship with Wall Street to keep millions of people in their homes, and raise revenue for cities and states to protect jobs and critical services"

Lerner makes a very good point, however, to say that the "kids put this together" is something that I don't agree with.

Lerner, Van Jones, MoveOn, etc. are the real organizers. The kids are just the followers.
Prowlerzee, you state that CodePink has been concentrating on war protests as always.

Perhaps that is what they started out doing. Now, they protest any liberal cause.

They were in Wisconsin, they were protesting a Koch Bros. conservative meeting in CA earlier this year.

Are they protesting our involvement in Libya? Are they protesting the killing of American Anwar-Al-Awalaki? Please direct me to those sights. Thank you.
Anonymous, first of all, pick out a nym. It's not that hard. Second of all, CodePink has indeed been concentrating, as always, on war, regardless of any support they may lend to other organized protests. Their most recent protests have been directed at all the drone warfare. Do your own research.

Lastly, obviously you are an uninvolved rightwinger. Just because someone makes a speech doesn't mean that person started or organized anything. Just because "all the regulars" come out in support (duh, of course they would) does not mean they organized this. They didn't. The kids were out there all by themselves for quite a while before anyone was paying much attention.
Anonymous, zee is correct. There was ZERO media attention when this all began, I only heard about it after it had been going on for 3 days or so, and that was from a decidedly non-mainstream source (some small time blog, based in NYC, can't recall which at the moment). No, if this was started by an established group or name, it would have been in the media on day one, with some sort of coverage (positive or negative).
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