Tough Questions

being asked in full-color illustration. I was noticing in the Des Moines Register Sunday paper, there was a whole page of OWS news. Six items, I think it was. From all over the country.

Don’t think this effort is going away anytime soon. It’s going to be a long winter–and I don’t mean for the people drinking hot cocoa in city parks.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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7 Responses to Tough Questions

  1. David D. says:

    Except to legitimately aggrieved local residents and the recently expelled homeless people, does it really matter when OWS inevitably falls apart? While many at least share the protesters’ general antipathy towards the financial industry and its relationship with government, many of those same individuals find OWS’ modus operandi distasteful and its identifiable goals, such as universal student loan forgiveness, childish. Numerous commentators, even on the left, seem to generally agree that OWS is at best, intellectually incoherent and at worst, rather foolish and silly. Even the protesters’ self-appellation, Occupy Wall Street, is a bit of a joke implying as it does that the locus of global capitalism (at least for now) is being physically disrupted by some irresistible outside force . Zuccotti Park is not Wall Street, a place the protesters never had a chance in hell to occupy in any numbers or for any length of time. I imagine most people knew the park by its old name if at all as Zuccotti is not a particularly important, beautiful, historic, or even large park (take a look for yourselves: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6b/WTM_tony_0128.jpg). Rather, it’s a privately owned public amenity where, until recently, wage earners from the nearby office blocs could enjoy their lunch break during the warmer months and the homeless could relieve themselves at night. In other words, taking over Zuccotti Park, which is about the only thing OWS has going for it, is a bit like invading Lichtenstein.

  2. John Drake says:

    OCCUPY PROGRESSIVIST BLOGS!

  3. Todd says:

    The dilemma for people who want to occupy this progressive blog (no such word as progressivist, my friend) is that I welcome occupation. Nobody has ever been banned from this site. You only get edited for blatant name-calling or spamature.

    Interesting that all the analysis expended on how fuzzy OWS goals are, or how dirty or crazy or communist the people are–for a bunch of irrelevant people, they sure are annoying people in power. For an invasion of Liechtenstein, it sure has some Nazis worried, eh?

    If I were a mayor or police chief, I’d let ‘em stay without permits and protest as long as they wanted. The only intervention is when actual laws would be broken. Like making arrests for the use of pepper spray or firing incendiaries into a public gathering–prankish stuff like that.

    • David D. says:

      Not sure where you get the idea that people in high places are worried or even annoyed. For better or for worse, OWS is a non-event at this point. The dailies hardly mention OWS anymore other than to speculate when and under what circumstances it will all end. My only hope is that OWS finds a way to gracefully and peacefully decamp. After all, OWS is an undeniable nuisance to local residents and workers not to mention a drain on this city’s already strained finances. Mayor Bloomberg and the park’s owners have rightly taken a hands off approach. Even the NYPD is to be commended.

      p.s. progressivist is a word: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/progressivist

      • Todd says:

        On your ps, point taken. But the root of the word is “progressive,” which is how I prefer to be labeled, when a label is needed. No need to complicate the vocabulary with additional suffixes. Like the use of the pseudo-word “irregardless.”

        Of course people are annoyed. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t devote so much energy trying to discredit. Many liberals were annoyed by the Tea Party. Tea Partiers were and are a political force in the US, as are OWS. Some might wish it weren’t so, but that’s a pipe dream.

        As for the nuisance factor, protests are always nuisances. It’s part of the schtick. But people have the right to assemble in this country. For any reason. As long as they do so lawfully, and preferably with courtesy, they should be able to gather as long as they wish.

        If John, for example, decided he wanted to start Occupy Todd at my house or my church, I would welcome him inside. Feed him a meal and a cup of tea (don’t drink coffee) or a beer. Lend him a book. Engage him in a conversation when my family or work duties permitted it. Make sure my dog didn’t urinate on his tent. Stuff like that.

        If civil authorities and their corporate masters were really calm about this, they would take a hands-off approach to the whole deal and let the movement die out. That it seems to be far from dying is clearly making people nervous.

        And that’s a good thing. People in power should be nervous.

      • Jimmy Mac says:

        You obviously do not live in the San Francisco Bay Area! Occupy Oakland remains in the local and national news almost daily.

        Tomorrow they are calling for a city-wide strike by unions, teachers, other government employees, etc., as well as for business to voluntarily shut down for the day.

        The strike will happen, but who knows to what degree and extent.

  4. Liam says:

    I have some friends who wax libertarian and who complained simultaneously about OWS’s lack of coherent message and what they believe to be its Communist-planned origins – must be pretty bad Communists to forget a coherent message. Sometimes, actually, what I find to be recycled is not Communist tropes but latter-day John Bircher tropes, which I remember pretty well from the ’60s even as a child (my family discussed politics in detail at the dinner table, and we were all expected to be well read and prepared to discuss current events with a measure of intelligence). I will say that our current culture is extremely passive compared to the kinds of unrest we saw in the 1960s, 1930s, and generally between the 1830s-1900s.

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