Sunday, October 23, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Preoccupied with Money...Just Like the Wall Streeters They're Protesting!

Original NY Post article here: They want $lice of the occu-pie.

Even in Zuccotti Park, greed is good.

Yep...for a mean-spirited laugh.
Occupy Wall Street’s Finance Committee has nearly $500,000 in the bank, and donations continue to pour in -- but its reluctance to share the wealth with other protesters is fraying tempers.

Color me surprised the "Finance Committee" doesn't want to share. And why the fuck do a bunch of quasi-anarchists have any sort of "committee"?
Some drummers -- incensed they got no money to replace or safeguard their drums after a midnight vandal destroyed their instruments Wednesday -- are threatening to splinter off.

I suspect the "midnight vandal" was an aggrieved neighbor (who likely pays a lot of rent for a dinky closet with a toilet and shower) deciding they'd had just about enough artless ersatz "tribal drumming" in the wee hours. (At a certain point, even Art Fucking Blakey would get tiresome...and I say that as a jazzer. I doubt I could stomach more than three minutes of gormless hippies exercising their non- existent "right" to bang shit like a hyperactive three-year-old on meth.

I cannot endeavor to put my finger on any part of our Constitution which enshrines a right to percussive pandemonium by unwashed urchins...or anyone else.
“F--k Finance. I hope Mayor Bloomberg gets an injunction and demands to see the movement’s books. We need to know how much money we really have and where it’s going,” said a frustrated Bryan Smith, 45, who joined OWS in Lower Manhattan nearly three weeks ago from Los Angeles, where he works in TV production.

Well, Mr. Legal Eagle....precisely what standing does Bloomberg have to request an injunction? And do you really want to get him involved? After all, he'd probably be more concerned about monitoring the sodium intake and tobacco consumption of your comrades. (BTW - I strongly suspect that "works in TV production" means either "middle-aged production assistant" or "extra".)
Smith is a member of the Comfort Working Group -- one of about 30 small collectives that have sprung up within OWS. The Comfort group is charged with finding out what basic necessities campers need, like thermal underwear, and then raising money by soliciting donations on the street.

Huh...I thought panhandling was illegal in NYC. Not to mention that having so many "collectives" is certainly not real "collectivism" (which is defined as "the political principle of centralized social and economic control, especially of all means of production").
“The other day, I took in $2,000. I kept $650 for my group, and gave the rest to Finance. Then I went to them with a request -- so many people need things, and they should not be going without basic comfort items -- and I was told to fill out paperwork. Paperwork! Are they the government now?” Smith fumed, even as he cajoled the passing crowd for more cash.

The Finance Committee dives on whatever dollars are raised by all the OWS working groups, said Smith, and doesn’t give it back.

I'm guessing the Finance Committee has the "ability" to give you free shit, they just don't see the "need". (For more info, see: Marx, Karl.)

Your complaints regarding the Finance Committee "diving" on the money working groups bring in and not wanting to give it back sounds rather similar to something one of those horrid, racist, ignorant and despicable Tea Partiers might say. In fact, you sound like one of those greedy, selfish bastards who object to money they brought home being confiscated from them to be spent in ways they have no control over.

Why do you hate redistribution and economic justice, Mr. Smith?
The Comfort group has an allowance of $150 a day, while larger working groups, like the Kitchen group, get up to $2,000.

That's probably because "food riots" are more of a potential danger than "laundry riots". Especially with lefty protesters.
“What can I do with $150?” said Smith. “We have three tons of wet laundry here from the rainstorm -- how do I get that done? We need winter gear, shoes, socks. I could spend $10,000 alone for backpacks people need. We raise all this money. Where is it?”

Y'all should have thought of the laundry issue sooner, Mr. Smith...if that is your real name. And what the fuck sort of fancy urban hippie backpacks cost ten thousand fucking dollars, anyway?
Pete Dutro, 36, a Brooklyn tattoo artist who is getting a master’s in finance and sits on the Finance Committee, said big purchases like Smith’s can’t get immediate approval.

“We don’t have the power for that. They have to go to the General Assembly. If it’s approved, we pay out that amount and make sure everything is accounted for,” he said.

Maaaan...for a bunch of jackasses "occupying" a mere three-quarters of an acre of concrete (plus a few scrawny trees), you sure do have a lot of bureaucracy. Fight the power, dude!
Within the next few days, the Financial Committee will release a detailed report, he said.

If I were you, I'd audit it very carefully, Mr. "Getting a Master's in Finance"; half a million bucks is a lot of temptation to a bunch of people with no jobs. BTW...are they using "cash" or "accrual"? Buwahahahahaha!
Yesterday, a huge flat-screen TV went up in Zuccotti Park for a movie night and pajama party with popcorn. Organizers hoped it would attract new recruits -- even as some long-timers complained that the movement was getting too diffuse after yesterday’s lackluster showing at a police-brutality event in Union Square that barely attracted 50 participants.

Lackluster showing at a police brutality event? Not enough pepper spraying and/or heads caved-in? Lazy union pigs. Oh, wait...
“I think it’s getting too spread out,” said John Glowa, 57. “My sense from where I live is that it’s losing steam. We gotta plug the holes.”

Better ask the General Assembly for a shit ton of caulking; I'd recommend GeoCel tri-polymer sealant. (Don't thank me...I'm a giver.)
Some activists, like those in Pulse, the committee that represents Zuccotti Park drummers, are a bit worn out by all the collective activity.

Last week, on a rainy night, someone stabbed holes in many of the protesters’ drums with a knife, said Elijah Moses, 19, of Queens, a founder of the Pulse Working Group. Moses asked the General Assembly -- the nightly meeting where protesters collectively vote on OWS decisions -- for $8,000 to replace the drums, and build a small shed to lock them up.

Eight thousand dollars for fucking drums and a storage shed??!? If you didn't all at least pretend to hate corporations, you could just go to Home Depot and get a shed and a bunch of ten-dollar five-gallon buckets for, oh, say, three hundred samoleans. (Of course, the shed and drums would be made of teh evil plastic...but you'd save $7,700.00 of "the people's money".)
“They said no -- they turned us down. I’m really frustrated,” said Moses.

I think it would be most amusing to pit your frustration against the "collective" (see what I did there?) frustration of the folks who live and/or work in the neighborhood of Zuccotti Park who are almost certainly weary of you lot worsening their quality of life with your pretentious, pathetic attempt to "make a difference"

The sixties are calling; they want their memes back. (But they'll probably let you keep the toe-sucking, knife-wielding nutjobs.)

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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.


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.”

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 little learning.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

An open letter to Allied Waste Services in Gwinnett County

Dear Tertiary Syphilis Victims:

Despite the fact I put my bin curbside in precisely the same place I put it every week, your highly trained cadre of mobile sanitation engineers refuse monkeys neglected to pick it up.

When I phoned your offices, I was placed on hold for approximately ten minutes, during which time I was regaled non-stop with all of the services your company provides, how large you are, how long you've been in business and myriad other self-serving bunkum attempting to demonstrate that you're the best refuse service ever.

May I disrespectfully suggest this is not your smartest public relations move, given that your garbage gibbons somehow missed the large blue bin emblazoned with your logo placed in a location where it has been placed on each and every pick-up day since Gwinnett County shoved you down our throat.

When you fail so abysmally at such a goddamned simple task, do you really think it's good marketing to up-sell an already-irked customer?

"Hmmmm...their trash barrel baboons have once again failed to empty my bin which in-turn forced me to wait on hold while listening to their hype; I THINK I'LL ORDER A FUCKING ROLL-OFF BIN FROM THEM, TOO!"

Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb.

At least the very pleasant and professional individual who finally got my call made the correct noises, apologized and promised the situation would be rectified. (Of course, actions speak louder than words...)

UPDATE: To my pleasant surprise, the trash was collected the very next day and the bin placed neatly back on my treelawn.