Friday Ephemera
They Think That I’m a Dog (But I’m the Thing)

A Better World

Andrew Breitbart takes a stroll through the crowds at Occupy LA. 

Note that Breitbart is accused of “spreading violence” by a woman who then indignantly denies saying any such thing – despite having said it on camera - all while Breitbart is stalked by a union heavy, whose purpose, presumably, is to intimidate. Like some socialist antibody. The exchange at the end of the clip needs no further comment from me.

Meanwhile, Katherine Ernst probes the minds of protestors in New York:

I chatted with some of the throng. All wanted me to know they were speaking only for themselves, not the group. So what’s the endgame here? “Uh… that’s hard to explain,” said Moses, a nice young man. His answer was a nonsensical roundabout, but he used the phrase “socio-economic” a lot. He implied he was unemployed, so I inquired about a dream job. “To be a decent human being… to not live in reaction to a market.” Gotcha. Becca, a sweet “organic gardener” from Brooklyn, was there to “end a capitalist system that treats people like cattle” and live in an America where everyone has “equal wealth.” She wanted a country with a “high tax,” a la “Sweden and Finland,” to ensure “personal well-being.” (Those Scandinavian examples both have a much lower corporate tax rate - 26 percent and 26.3 percent, respectively - than the U.S.’s 35 percent rate, but let’s not get hung up on details.) Then the irony gods flexed their muscles as a friend interrupted Becca; she handed him her Visa card to order something over the phone.

Behold: the architects of tomorrow.


Via John D and SDA, a scene from Occupy Atlanta.

Let your puny individual mind absorb this mighty feat of collective decision-making:

What? It’s obviously the model for how our society should be run.

Update 2:

Henry points us to a similar robo-gathering filmed in Washington DC.

Note that the robo-collective frets at length about whether all of its members consent to being filmed – i.e., filmed lawfully, in a public place. Apparently being filmed would somehow be injurious to some of those speaking (or rather, mindlessly repeating). Yet they don’t seem at all concerned with whether their intended law-breaking and disruption – declared as a matter of imminent fact – will inconvenience anyone else. Nor does the collective hesitate to impose its preferences on the non-collective person quietly filming them. It’s curious how so many of these gatherings are defined by an atmosphere of passive-aggression. Evidently, their ostentatious concern for sensitivity and “consensus” applies only to The Tribe.

Update 3, via the comments:

Crowd dynamics throw up all kinds of odd behaviour, but what we’re seeing above is much more pronounced among groups of people whose politics and psychology are collectivist and supposedly egalitarian. The inevitable contradictions and dishonesty make the passive-aggressive aspect much more pronounced. Pretentious protestors will tend to be pricklier and more obnoxious precisely because there’s a mismatch between how they wish to seem and who they actually are. And you won’t be thanked for noticing.

In the clip above, the rather smug and obnoxious young woman attempts to explain why the protestors shouldn’t be filmed, at least not by certain people - despite choosing a public space where filming is quite likely and despite their belief that “the world is watching.” Hypothetical scenarios are invoked and supposedly some of the protestors have had “bad experiences.” Inevitably, filming is construed as an act of oppression. But it’s more likely that the actual objection is much simpler, albeit unflattering and therefore unmentionable. The collective has just stated its plans to “break the law.” Any protestors subsequently caught doing precisely that would find it unhelpful to be faced with footage of themselves publicly declaring their criminal intent.

And then there’s the equally smug and obnoxious guy – the one who repeatedly blocks the cameraman’s view. Despite his pretensions of gallantry, he immediately resorts to rudeness and condescension and accuses the cameraman of, among other things, being an “asshole” for quietly filming a public display. His brief, erratic smiles don’t seem to match his sentiment. And note how the guy reacts when he discovers the cameraman is from out of town and possibly not a lefty. He says, “This isn’t Texas. This isn’t the South. This isn’t where you get to do shit just ‘cause you feel like it.” Which is an odd sentiment from someone whose friends and associates are planning to break the law and disrupt other people’s business. Why, it’s almost as if he were projecting his own feelings onto others.

And when people are so laughably disingenuous – and in danger of being rumbled - they can get rather pissy.

Update 4:

Okay, one more. Via Darleen, from Occupy Wall Street.

Because socialism is never, ever about being selfish. Or exploitative, or greedy.

Update 5:

Oh dear God, there’s more.