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Posts Tagged ‘Occupy Wall Street’

 

After reading a friend’s latest thoughts on this weekend’s Occupy Oakland protests and arrests, I started searching on the current happenings and came across this article about the damage done by the anarchists.  He and I have talked before about Occupy’s refusal to stand up to the anarchists but rather this idea of respecting everyone’s rights to the way they protest.  Which IMO is bullshit, especially at the detriment of the purpose of the movement itself.  (But that’s a whole other post.)

 

What I look to then is a creation like Reddit, where the community DOES so easily self govern, and those that try to cause nonsensical havoc are quickly smothered out.  Which leads me to think then, why does this work so easily in an online community but not in a current in-person revolution?

 

This is something I’ve been pondering on and accessing  for quite some time–this idea that current technology that “connects” us also disconnects and dehumanizes us in so many ways.  There has been a shift where people are freer and more apt to communicate via technology than in person, via technology losing the human aspects of eye gaze, voice intonation, and body language.  Certainly anonymity plays a part in this; there is the  freedom to say whatever you want if nobody really knows who you are (or where to find you).  Or even for those that are completely forthcoming with personal information, but know there are no real in-person consequences to whatever one might say.  I’ve been both disgusted and fascinated with comment sections in various forums (news, FaceBook, entertainment sites, YouTube, etc) where people will say the most astounding things; and you know full well if someone were to actually have the balls to say such things in person (they wouldn’t), retaliation would not be deemed unreasonable but perhaps even cheered on.

 

In light of all of this and now the recent Google privacy changes, I have to ask is the internet becoming (or has it already) the new television, aka  the means of propaganda control by government and the 1% corporations?  While we, the 99%, are certainly beginning to figure that out and using it to our advantage, how much are we awake and aware to how it influences us as humans in our everyday, interactive (or non-interactive) lives?  Certainly the governments and corporations (same thing) see the big picture and are well aware of how to both use it against us as well as how the people are using it to fight back; hence SOPA, PIPA, ACTA and the likes.  But are we, the people, seeing the big picture and fully at choice in our daily lives in the use of the internet and modern technology and how it might be influencing our in-person interactions?

 

 

 

I don’t have any answers and not necessarily expecting any in return, but rather am presenting food for thought, as it is something that has been mulling around in my head space for quite some time.  I think it’s more than worth considering and being brought to awareness and discussion to the public at large.  Even today so many of the people do not get that the TV is being used against them as a propaganda machine and a means of control.  I would guess that even though the internet is a prosperous means of information  and idea exchange, even less of the people realize that the internet is being used for this exact same thing and in a much more intrusive way.  Is newer, more advanced, smarter, faster, and more more more better?  Is it helping or hindering us, or both?  And what can we do with and about this information?

 

Lastly, I’ll live you with an excerpt from this great interview with the film maker, Terry Gilliam, on this very subject:

 

“Would you ever make a satire about the world we’re living in today?:
Well that’s the part… I don’t know how to get at it. I mean, how do you get at it? I think if there’s anything, it’s about how people are becoming so disconnected from reality even though we live in a time when everything is connected. And that’s the irony of it. And that’s why I’ve got this house in Italy. When I’m there, I just do manual labor. Just physical work, and dealing with trees, birds, bugs, rocks.

And then I start talking to younger people and I realize that they don’t understand where things come from. They don’t understand how the system works. This is terrifying. They just are consumers, and that’s it. And that’s like the dream if Orwell had written the dream. We don’t live in a socialist or capitalist society; it’s a consumerist society, and nobody cares, as long as they’ve got their goodies. And if it’s well-designed, it’s even better [points to an iPhone on the table].

And yet at the same time we’re supposed to be getting cleverer and thinking. What may be happening is, I just think people are becoming neurons, and they’re just part of this big thing. Hollywood was always like this. A new idea pops into the system “Boom!,” all these neurons start firing, synaptic gaps are being leapt. And then it dies down and the next idea comes. It goes like that. And the world is becoming like that now.”

 

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Call the White House right now at (202) 456-1111 and tell them: no more sweetheart deals for the banks.

Here’s what you can say when you call:

“Hi, my name is [NAME], and I am calling from [STATE].

I’m calling to ask President Obama to stand up for homeowners and hold Wall Street accountable. We need a full-scale investigation into the big banks and Wall Street, and criminal prosecution for bank executives. Furthermore, any settlement with big banks must include at least $300 billion worth of principal reduction for underwater homeowners.”

BREAKING: Obama to strike sweetheart deal with big banks | NPA.

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My intense artistic/spiritual (same thing) January practice has already begun to shine in some light, and with that the Universe also continues to deliver inspiration to keep the motor running. Today’s inspiration,  I AM (directed by Tom Shadyac), is so timely to me regarding the current world events, where I am (with myself) at this point in my life, what empassions  me, and what calls me as far as what to do about it all, and how.

 

I find this movie so synchronistically timely with the recent events of the world: the economy, global warming, Occupy Wall Street, poverty, health care (access and lack there of), educational systems, wars, and the list goes on an on and on and on.  What struck a chord with me while watching this movie was how Shadyac says we should approach the 1% (he doesn’t use that terminology, but when you see the movie, you will understand that he means the same thing); we must act to evoke the change we want in the world with compassion and the understanding that those that are wrecking havoc, abusing the system, the people, and the planet, are in fact mentally ill.  We, through compassionate understanding of this fact and the allowing and use of Love, can help them, which it turn helps and heals the collective all.  And the first person we must start with:  ourselves.

 

I use capital “L” love intentionally, as I do not mean the mushy, sweet, sappy, polite, I-dont-want-to-hurt-your-feelings kind of love.  I mean love in the way that Gandhi meant it when enacting Satyagraha: Soul Force, or Soul Love; Truth.  For any real GOOD change to be born and have lasting effect and growth, it must start  and end from this place.  Which means, then, that the responsibility falls upon us, individually and collectively, to open up to this change within ourselves that needs to happen in order for this to occur.  This is where our real Power is.  To open up and allow what is already there to emerge and be what moves and breathes and acts and interacts in our world.

 

(Side note:  Towards the beginning of the movie, Shadyac briefly mentions once hearing about how talking to plants can effect their growth.  I actually did this as a science project experiment when I was in the 5th grade.  I had two sets of plants.  Group A I said loving things to, played them classical music, and “sent” them loving energy.  Group B I yelled at and insulted and neglected other than the basic needs of sunlight and water.  The sunlight and water provided for both groups were identical.  By the end of my experiment ( 6 weeks), Group A plants were strong, bright,  green and flourishing.  Group B had fewer leaves, several yellow or blackening on the tips, and  much weaker structures. TRUE STORY.)

 

I just cannot recommend this movie enough.  Just see it.  Just see it.  Just see it.  It is already available on Netflix (although I believe there is a long wait…and I do currently have one of the copies:)  and Amazon.  Yes there are spiritual undertones and possible interpretations, but if this tends to not be your cup of tea, know that it is not a religious or woo-woo film.   It is about humanity and life and who and what we really are and what we are really capable of being and creating in our world.  In the words of my late and great friend and ASL instructor, Geoff Mathay:

I believe.  I have hope.”

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For those reading this who are connected to me via Facebook, I think it’s been fairly obvious during the past weeks (from my FB notes, pictures, comments, etc) that my experiences, conversations, and somewhat obsessive research have opened up my understanding and perspective on the current Occupy Wall Street movement. I was initially quick to defend the NYPD after the Union Square/West Village protests, where about 80 were arrested. This was because of my own personal experience with the NYPD, and *especially* in comparison to my experience with the Seattle Police Department. In comparison, from where I stood, the NYPD had already earned their wings.  By my interactions (and Jack’s…we had an extensive conversation about this following the protest arrests), I associated them to be like one’s brother/ sister/neighbor/ co-worker. Very much the blue-collar cop you want on the street, very human, who you feel really understands the people. So when the news and footage started circulating the internet and exploded in social media, I was shocked, and confused, and truly thought, there has to be more to the story; this doesn’t make sense, something is not being told. And I think to an extent that could still possibly be true. But also, perhaps, if I am totally truthful with myself, I didn’t *want* to believe it. It felt akin to my 7 year old self putting two-and-two together and suddenly coming to the realization that the Easter Bunny isn’t real. And then if the Easter Bunny isn’t real, then neither is Santa Clause. Nor the Tooth Fairy. The sky is falling.

There is also the somewhat moderate liberal side of me, who has liberal politics, but tries, in my older and “wiser” years (emphasis on older), to not be so quick to jump the gun. To see the human beings in the situations, not just the clusters of people with one big fat label. I don’t want anyone doing that to me, so I don’t want to do that to anybody else.  And I still do stand by that. In the incidents of violent arrests that occurred at Union Square, I don’t think it’s fair or justified to come down on the entire NY Police Department, nor all of the “white shirts.” I feel that it is my responsibility as a human being to try my best to take each incident and the individual(s) that participated and analyze from that standpoint.  At the same time, when you have (an) organization(s) tolerating and even approving of such behavior….well then we have another problem…and a responsibility to look deeper into who or what ($$$) is pulling the puppet strings.

I have altered my original stance as I really have no logical choice but to obviously assess that some illegal and NOT OKAY actions were taken by certain members of the NYPD during that particular protest march. I believe this, too, of the march on the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday, October 1st, where it is estimated that over 700 people were arrested. I have spent hours reading articles of personal perspectives from people who were there (reporters and amateur writers alike), and watched equally, if not more, video footage from every angle possible (including that put out by the NYPD). It should probably be a whole other blog post in and of itself, but for sake cutting to the chase, I will simply say that from my very detailed assessment, the police intended and wanted and intentionally led the marchers onto the bridge with THE PLAN to arrest as many as possible. I realize some will not agree with me, but I stand by that conviction. The choices they made (and didn’t make) that day make it glaringly obvious to me.   For this blog post, I will leave it at that (SAVE that they already had scores of cop cars and vans and MTA buses lined up on the other side of the bridge ready to be put into action…I’M JUST SAYING).

One of my biggest criticisms of the movement before I initially went down to Wall Street was that after thoroughly researching, I felt that the participants were not making it clear what exactly they are trying to achieve. Even after my first time going down there and talking to volunteers, I was not fully satisfied. There seemed to be no “end goal,” no “demands.” It took my talking to a lot of people and reading everything I could find to finally get it and have a massive “aha!” shift occur in my understanding.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  You cannot solve the problem at the level of the problem. The solution can only be discovered and created at the level of the solution. In other words, go back to the Beginning.

That is what is NOW happening, and no longer just in Zuccotti Park or  in other Occupations all over America; suddenly this movement is simultaneously giving birth in cities all over the world. What I initially misunderstood as a National Revolution is indeed, in Truth, a Worldwide Revolution. I don’t mean World War 3 is upon us; we are intelligent beings (when we chose to be), and it does not HAVE to go down like that. In fact, I besiege (no pun intended) anyone who is reading this to focus their attention concerning this movement to that of a Peaceful Revolution (note:  I did not  say “resolution”).  I DO, and will always, retain faith in Humanity and believe that at the very core of every person is the Seed of Truth of Goodness. Unfortunately, people’s lack of self and external awareness (often by no conscious fault of their own because of the created educational system and cultural society that humans have created promotes exactly that) leads to giving up true personal Power, which has led to our current state of affairs of global oppression.  And, yes, I absolutely include myself in that soup pot.  (Self) Awareness is the first step.  (Actually it’s the only step).

What is being created now is something new entirely.  It is happening as I type this, Creation in Motion.  As I was reviewing some of my pictures and video footage from my visits to Zuccotti Park, I suddenly understood this movement on a powerful visceral level.  It is bigger than even words or ideas or demands or explanations can ever hope to express.  It can only be experienced.

It is the Asian man whose passion in his eyes burns through to your heart as his tortured voice chants with the crowd while holding up his bilingual sign that says, “Protect Humanity’s Peace, Freedom, and Democracy.”

It is the young dreadlock haired woman dancing to the beat of the drums with unapologetic freedom, sans even a hint of self consciousness, while the rest of us watch on secretly thinking, “yes, that’s how I WANT TO LIVE.”

It is the spirit of a 5 year old  Jennifer who has a wild imagination, insatiable curiosity, and questions everything and believes in the magic of the world and TRUSTS herself.  Until she learns what she thinks are the rules of the game,  and that her nonconformist ideas and behavior are not appropriate.

It is the Voice of hundreds that KNOW BETTER.

It is about the Human Spirit’s boiling point, and the refusal to be oppressed  from Its Natural Freedom for one second longer (both self and externally imposed), and the standing up to the external manifestations of that oppression that are our current national and global economical, ecological, judicial, medical, educational, and societal state of affairs.

In the simplest terms, it is about Love (and not the syrupy sentimental kind) of Humanity and Life and the refusal to continue to squelch what is True by applying a band-aid to the dam or, worse yet, adhering that Crayola yellow mocking Happy-Face-Sticker.

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