Rather than belittle OWS, I’m happy that a normally politically apathetic group is angry enough to take to the streets, even if it is a little incoherent. I just wish I were one of those critics with organizing skills and contacts and all the ideas about how to do it better who roll their eyes at the noobs. If I were, I’d help out OWS instead of sitting uselessly behind my keyboard telling everyone they’re doing it wrong.
I’ve been meaning to write something about OWS and keep putting it off because I haven’t had a chance to get the links I want or to get all the correct references or to make sure I’m covering all the talking points. I don’t know that I’m going to, so I’m just going to rant for a second.
It doesn’t matter what OWS is about. People are pissed. Seriously, all the critics and commentators trying to point to a lack of a clear message or set of demands as evidence that OWS is fleeting are living in a fantasy land. The vast majority of the world has seen things, lots of things, get worse for them over the last 5, 10, 20, 50 years. And at the same time seen things get infinitely better for some other, smaller group.
The reason doesn’t matter. Pick one. I could list 100 different reasons here, any one of them will do the trick. Why doesn’t matter. In fact, the lack of clear message is exactly how this is continuing to grow - anyone who is pissed off about something can lump their complaints into the mix and suddenly feel like they have millions of supporters. More people are showing up to the protests, and more protests are happening in more cities. That isn’t going to change.
What is going to change is the level of discourse. Right now the protesters are being level headed. Shockingly so, and in the face of blatant abuse. But that won’t last for ever. Pissed off people who feel like they are being ignored and think they have nothing else to lose are very, very dangerous. And because there isn’t one clear demand, there is nothing that can happen to make everyone out there protesting suddenly say “OK, cool, we win, let’s all go home now.”
If you think this is a silly fad that will just go away, you need to pick up a history book.
“You could move.”—“Dear Abby” ( Abigail Van Buren ) responds to a reader who complained that a gay couple was moving in across the street and wanted to know what he could do to improve the quality of the neighborhood.(via pansexualpride)