Thursday, November 17, 2011

We Got Nothin'

U.S. National Debt At $15,000,000,000,000

(Illustration © David Dees; See Note Below)

The National Debt Of The United States Of America officially passed the Fifteen Trillion Dollar mark today. Apportioned strictly on the basis of population, that's $48,000 for each man, woman and child in the nation.

Over 40% of it ($6.5 Trillion) was created during the reign of the Weak, Vainglorious, Peevish Dullard, Little Wee Georgie Bush ("The Decider!" "Bigger Than His Daddy"!). Thanks so much, Lil' Boots! Hope you're safe and warm, and have treats, and hired persons to serve you -- because you and others of your ilk are so superior; in every way.

As I'm so find of saying, as long as we have 400-channel on-demand porn and Lil' Rupert's Fox Entertainments; as long as there's Monday Night Football and cheap beer, and some people can barely keep making payments on their underwater homes... well, who gives a damn? Who will make an end and a Change; who will revolt, with enough Bread and Circuses?

The #Occupy Oakland encampment at City Hall Plaza was removed two days ago; my Place Of Witless Labor™ is two blocks away, and directly across from Snow Park, where the remaining Occupy (how do you refer to people protesting in your place?) FellowHumans™. This morning, there were a number of Oakland PD cars -- marked and unmarked -- parked around the park.

In downtown San Francisco (where #Occupy has taken the area I'm assuming might be called South Justin Hermann Plaza, in front of the Federal Reserve Building on Market St. and the Bank Of Aremica on the north corner of Market and Spear Sts.), I saw unmarked SFPD vehicles in the general vicinity at 6:00AM this morning when making it down to BART. At 5:00PM, traffic had been blocked at California and Drumm Streets by the City; there were more unmarked cars parked, and the California Street Cable Car line -- how I normally commute home -- had been shut down.

The Giant Lard Boy:
From Nashville. Headline. Staffer says she was urinated on from occupy protesters. No matter where you go here, Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Oakland, they're urinating on people. What is it, is there a syndrome I missed?... Every day we're getting stories that these Occupy people are urinating on people.
All signs are that the City and County of San Francisco, and the City of Oakland for a second time, will follow what happened in New York and in Oakland two days ago. And as digby points out, it's important for the government and established power structure to reduce the New Bonus Marchers to the level of animals. In fact, it's essential.
The protesters are being accused of being criminals, rapists, drug users and more. It's calumny, but perhaps that's par for the course in our overheated culture. But apparently people also want to believe something totally bizarre and shocking about the Occupy protesters: that they are literally behaving like animals by having sex in public and living in bodily waste. It's so astonishing that I've come to believe that it truly represents a dark psychological need to dehumanize these people. And the purpose of such dehumanization is almost always to prepare people psychologically for the next step:
Psychologically, it is necessary to categorize one's enemy as sub-human in order to legitimize increased violence or justify the violation of basic human rights. Moral exclusion reduces restraints against harming or exploiting certain groups of people. In severe cases, dehumanization makes the violation of generally accepted norms of behavior regarding one's fellow man seem reasonable, or even necessary.**
There's no reason this has to devolve into violence. But it seems to me that some people are getting themselves prepared to mentally excuse it just in case.

** Susan Opotow, "Drawing the Line: Social Categorization, Moral Exclusion, and the Scope of Justice." In Cooperation, Conflict, and Justice(New York: Sage Publications, 1995).
Local news in San Francisco is reporting that traces of a potentially fatal canine virus have been found in the #Occupy SF encampment: Ooo, Ick; Dirty Hippies, spreading disease.

Who gives a damn? These people seem to -- more than most of us, because they're Out There. They are in the streets because they understand there is a worm at the heart of the rose, a structure of lies and manipulation which made this current crisis inevitable.

They're saying (among other things) that to claim American culture is the manifestation of Democracy, Liberty and Justice, when it's more apparent than ever that we live in a Rigged Game, It's Chinatown, Jake, is worse than hypocrisy. It approaches willful evil. They're willing to put up with discomfort and arrest and worse, in recognition of the cognitive dissonance that marks the culture we live in.

And perhaps we all had better be in the streets ourselves -- because the current financial situation here, and around the world, is poised to become worse. Sooner or later we may all be in the streets, whether we like it or not. And while that isn't a certainty, even if everyone may not know that, they can feel it. Neroism is in the air.
In art and politics, culture and commonplace belief, Europe in the last years of peace before August, 1914, was speeding towards... something. No one knew what it was, but people felt it, like a wind that picks up ahead of a thunderstorm: You can see a peculiar light, the darkened and clotted sky, and smell the dust and the ozone. Even the deaf and the blind can tell something is coming.
(NOTE: The illustration above is by David Dees, who does good work -- though his images are more for the David Ickes / antizionist crowd; and while I don't agree with the notion of Acturian Space Lizards and HAARP-induced earthquakes, and absolutely don't agree with the state of Israel being represented by a rattlesnake -- for this image, I'm an equal-art opportunity Dog.)

And, one other thing. I don't look at the character in Dees' illustration above with distaste, or make fun of someone who watches televised football.

One reason it's there is that I found myself looking at the image, and feeling suddenly protective. I didn't want anything bad to happen to this character -- because, Goddamn it, I want things to work out for all of us. I want no one harmed, no one to suffer, no one to be mocked or abused or taken advantage of. I want us all to be safe and happy. Everywhere. I want everyone to have a shot at redemption and everyone to matter.

I know how absurd that sounds; and it continues to be my abiding wish.

But I'm only a Dog, and no one listens to me.

MEHR: #OWS Twitterfeed Map is here.

The New York Times reports about, and the Guardian UK livestreams #Occupy Wall Street; clashes with police have been reported. I tend to follow events in the [non-Little Rupert] UK media -- it's in English, its coverage is more honest than domestic outlets, and it does report on multiple #Occupy sites across the United States and in Europe...

I recommend following the Guardian livestream / Twitter feed posted by the Guardian's on-scene reporter, Adam Gabbart. Additional video of OWS can be seen here.

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