These days, I'm thinking that the demonstrators at OWS are definitely reminiscent of hippies and the counter culture because in both cases, a rejection of Establishment values is at the core of a movement driven by the emerging generation. There isn't much difference between Establishment values now, then or even back during the Gilded Age when the agrarian populists stood up the the Robber Barons. Bill Moyers mentioned those populists in his speech at Public Citizen's 40th Anniversary (10.31.11). Disputes with the Owners have a long history.
I've frequently mentioned that I believe Amazing Grace says, "When we've been there ten thousand years . . . " because it's going to take 10,000 years to get out from under the Patriarchy. I've come to look at the movement toward Direct Democracy as a shift toward making community decisions via a horizontal process as opposed to a vertical, top down, hierarchal process. You don't wind up with Super Committees and Citizens United when none of the animals are more equal than others. David Graeber discusses that horizontal stuff on Alternet (What Did We Actually Do Right?), and Consensus Decision Making in the October 22 edition of the Occupied Wall Street Journal.
|from Occupy Media|
OWS is not without problems, however. Punk and I were speculating on what Bloomberg and the NYPD will do next since cops across the nation are somewhat subdued now that the Oakland police nearly killed Scott Olsen with plastic bullets and concussion grenades. Punk told me that the cops are already sending a bus load of newly released prisoners from Riker's Island - New York City's main jail - every now and then. The cops deny it, of course, saying that the inmates are just looking for free gourmet food. Anyone who lived through Richard Nixon will remember the Department of Dirty Tricks, however. And they would remember the term Ratfucking, too, which describes infiltrators. Under cover cops around the nation have been instigating trouble - just like this guy who was the loudest mouth in Citibank when customers were arrested for trespassing when they came in to close their accounts. He got in the security guard's face and caused enough shit so that the bank manager called the cops, then he arrested the demonstrators for causing a disturbance (Daily Kos, 10.19.11).
I love The Punk Patriot to pieces, but I have to confess that I'm a little star stuck at the idea that Dennis Trainor is coming over to my house. Punk shot footage for the documentary project and uploaded it onto my computer before he went home to Maine. Dennis has to come over and get it.
Meanwhile, I'm happy to say I think my hair looks nice. The Establishment may be fully entrenched with SWAT teams working overtime to maintain the status quo, but they can't stop the movement toward direct democracy today anymore than they could in 1776. I'm hoping something equally as encouraging happens to me. Maybe a single, straight, attractive male activist somewhere between the ages of 45 and 60 will finally walk through my door.
Here's me talking to a kid in my classroom. For those uninitiated to the ways of Early Childhood, the chairs on either side of me are the grown-up chairs. Note the smaller one to the left of my knee. It's for kids. One kid is having snack at the table. I don't know where the rest of the ruffians were, but they had to be there somewhere.