Friday, October 21, 2011

OWSers Tire Of Free Pizza; Begin To Eat Their Own



(Original New York Magazine article here.)

All occupiers are equal — but some occupiers are more equal than others. In wind-whipped Zuccotti Park, new divisions and hierarchies are threatening to upend Occupy Wall Street and its leaderless collective.

Collectivism - how does it work? Oh yeah...not too well.
As the protest has grown, some of the occupiers have spontaneously taken charge on projects large and small. But many of the people in Zuccotti Park aren't taking direction well, leading to a tense Thursday of political disagreements, the occasional shouting match, and at least one fistfight.

Sounds like there have been numerous "teachable moments"; alas, I surmise very little learning is occurring
It began, as it so often does, with a drum circle. The ten-hour groove marathons weren’t sitting well with the neighborhood’s community board, the ironically situated High School of Economics and Finance that sits on the corner of Zuccotti Park, or many of the sleep-deprived protesters.

TEN HOURS A DAY?!?!?

Drum circles are the last bastion for those who couldn't master even three lousy guitar chords. (Those being, in "The People's Key", E, A and B.) They're also a graphic demonstration that complex polyrhythms ain't quite the same as "playing whatever the fuck you feel like".

Not to mention that, since they're almost universally populated with white people, the rhythmic emphasis tends to be on 1 and 3...'cause a lot o' honkies don't got no riddem.

While these shenanigans may have continued for ten hours at a stretch, one can safely presume said "marathon" was seriously lacking in "groove". Guys like Art Blakey, Tony Williams, David Garibaldi, Clyde Stubblefield, Mike Clark and Jabo Stark "groove"; caucasian trust-funders with degrees in worthless ______-studies degrees, not so much.
“[The high school] couldn’t teach,” explained Josh Nelson, a 27-year-old occupier from Nebraska. “And we’ve had issues with the drummers too. They drum incessantly all day, and really loud.” Facilitators spearheaded a General Assembly proposal to limit the drumming to two hours a day. “The drumming is a major issue which has the potential to get us kicked out," said Lauren Digion, a leader on the sanitation working group.

Probably due not only to the volume, but the incredible suck as well. Criminy...even a journeyman Ghanian drummer learns that it's far more musical to give it a rest every once in a while.

Also..."sanitation working group"? Puhleeze...I'll bet they haven't even gotten past the "piss here, shit there" stage.
But the drums were fun. They brought in publicity and money. Many non-facilitators were infuriated by the decision and claimed that it had been forced through the General Assembly.

"THIS IS WHAT COLLECTIVISM LOOKS LIKE!" (And should furnish a practical lesson in why the US is a representative republic rather than a democracy...but probably won't.)
“They’re imposing a structure on the natural flow of music," said Seth Harper, an 18-year-old from Georgia. “The GA decided to do it ... they suppressed people’s opinions. I wanted to do introduce a different proposal, but a big black organizer chick with an Afro said I couldn’t.”

Help! The "natural flow of music" is bein' repressed! See the violence inherent in the lack of system!
To Shane Engelerdt, a 19-year-old from Jersey City and self-described former “head drummer,” this amounted to a Jacobinic betrayal. “They are becoming the government we’re trying to protest," he said. "They didn’t even give the drummers a say ... Drumming is the heartbeat of this movement. Look around: This is dead, you need a pulse to keep something alive.”

How can a "collective" have a "head drummer"? Also...what a pretentious, clueless little asshole.
The drummers claim that the finance working group even levied a percussion tax of sorts, taking up to half of the $150-300 a day that the drum circle was receiving in tips. “Now they have over $500,000 from all sorts of places,” said Engelerdt. “We’re like, what’s going on here? They’re like the banks we’re protesting."

The drummers clearly weren't paying their "fair share". Further, they ought to pay license and permit fees for their 5-gallon plastic tubs, tambourines and whatever other "instruments" they're using. After all, we can't have "percussion instruments" in just anyone's hands, right.

I'd also suggest a 5-day waiting period and background check before someone is supplied with noisy shit. Not to mention strict testing to ensure a sense of rhythm and micro-stamping of drum sticks...because we have waaaaay to many percussion instruments in private hands in this country.
All belongings and money in the park are supposed to be held in common, but property rights reared their capitalistic head when facilitators went to clean up the park, which was looking more like a shantytown than usual after several days of wind and rain. The local community board was due to send in an inspector, so the facilitators and cleaners started moving tarps, bags, and personal belongings into a big pile in order to clean the park.

Wow, what a bunch of quislings; caving-in to "the man" like that. SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! SHAM!
But some refused to budge. A bearded man began to gather up a tarp and an occupier emerged from beneath, screaming: “You’re going to break my fucking tent, get that shit off!” Near the front of the park, two men in hoodies staged a meta-sit-in, fearful that their belongings would be lost or appropriated.

Heh. I thought their stuff ought to be part of the "collective"; isn't that how collectivism works? And what the fuck is a "meta-sit-in"?

meta adj - self-referential; referring to itself or its characteristics, esp. as a parody; about. Example: That book is so meta.

Maaaan...while I was once that young, I'm pretty sure I was never that fucking stupid.
Daniel Zetah, a 35-year-old lead facilitator from Minnesota, mounted a bench. “We need to clear this out. There are a bunch of kids coming to stay here.” One of the hoodied men fought back: “I’m not giving up my space for fucking kids. They have parents and homes. My parents are dead. This is my space.”

Hoodied man, meet eminent domain.

I hope that Suzanne Kelo is pointing in your general direction and having a good laugh at your expense.
Other organizers were more blunt. “If you don’t want to be part of this group, then you can just leave,” yelled a facilitator in a button-down shirt, “Every week we clean our house.” Seth Harper, the pro-drummer proletarian, chimed in on the side of the sitters. “We disagree on how we should clean it. A lot of us disagree with the pile.” Zetah, tall and imposing with a fiery red beard, closed debate with a sigh. “We’re all big boys and girls. Let’s do this.” As he told me afterwards, “A lot of people are like spoiled children." The cure? A cold snap. “Personally, I cannot wait for winter. It will clear out these people who aren’t here for the right reasons. Bring on the snow. The real revolutionaries will stay in -50 degrees.”

Paging Mr Gore...Mr. Albert Gore...
“The sunshine protestors will leave,” said “Zonkers,” a 20-year-old cleaner and longtime occupier from Tennessee. (He asked that his name not be used due to a felony marijuana conviction.) “The people who remain are the people who care. You get a lot of crust punks, silly kids, people who want to panhandle ... It disgusts me. These people are here for a block party.”

"Yeah...they should be here for the pawthetic freak show, instead."
Another argument broke out next to the pile of appropriated belongings, growing taller by the minute. A man named Sage Roberts desperately rifled through the pile, looking for a sleeping bag. “They’ve taken my stuff,” he muttered. Lauren Digion, the sanitation group leader, broke in: “This isn’t your stuff. You got all this stuff from comfort [the working group]. It belongs to comfort.”

THIS IS WHAT (PURE) DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE, BITCHEZ!
And as I spoke to Michael Glaser, a 26-year-old Chicagoan helping lead winter preparation efforts, a physical fight broke out between a cleaner and a camper just feet from us.

“When cleanups happen, people get mad,” Glaser said. “This is its own city. Within every city there are people who freeload, who make people’s lives miserable. We just deal with it. We can’t kick them out.”

*DING DING DING DING DING* This is why freeloaders suck, Mr. Glaser. And why some of your fellow citizens take a rather dim view of them.
In response to dissatisfaction with the consensus General Assembly, many facilitators have adopted a new “spokescouncil” model, which allows each working group to act independently without securing the will of the collective. “This streamlines it,” argued Zonkers. “The GA is unwieldy, cumbersome, and redundant."

Are you beginning to understand why less government and more individual freedom might be a very good thing, Mr. Zonkers?
From today’s battles, it’s not yet clear who will win the day: the organizers or the organized. But the month-long protest has clearly grown and evolved to a point where a truly leaderless movement will risk eviction — or, worse, insurrection.

Since these dipshits are "occupying" private property, they should have been evicted weeks ago. But I'd settle for insurrection, providing there's copious video.
As the communal sleeping bag argument between Lauren Digion and Sage Roberts threatened to get out of hand, a facilitator in a red hat walked by, brow furrowed. “Remember? You’re not allowed to do any more interviews,” he said to Digion. She nodded and went back to work. But when Roberts shouted, “Don’t tell me what to do!” Digion couldn't hold back.

There's trouble in collectivist paradise? Imagine that.
“Someone has to be told what to do," she said. "Someone needs to give orders. There’s no sense of order in this fucking place.”

BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! So many teachable moments...so little learning.

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