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November 09, 2011

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rjmadden

“We don’t want any violence,” screams he, while going out of his way to be provocative and physically intimidating.

The whole point of these 'occupations' is to create conflict. Masked Raving Guy is just making it obvious.

David

rjmadden,

“The whole point of these ‘occupations’ is to create conflict.”

Indeed. And all that sitting around in squalor being cold has to have some payoff, some reward. For quite a few participants, the payoff is a scuffle, some bullying and a spot of property damage. And the longer the “occupations” go on, the more degenerate and dishonest they’re likely to get. It’ll be interesting to see just how many of these encampments take on the air of a wife-beating scenario: “Baby, don’t talk back. You’re making me hurt you...”

Anna

Oh no. Occupy Sydney is down to four people.

Tim Blair: "Extremely harsh down twinkles."

Penny Plain

I have said this before, but these lunatics will get aggressive and behave in this way because people are continually pointing cameras at them. The presence of 'the meeja' gives them a credibility, treating them as if they have something to say. But the only thing they can impress us with is not the depth of their argument or the breadth of their understanding of the human condition, but their furious passion. They have no grasp of history and even less understanding of consequence, so the passion soon resorts to instinctive acts of violent outbursts and aggressive postures.

It's drama, you see, and what's the point of being quiet and thoughtful when gestures and anger looks so much better on someone's small screen?

I expect however that as intelligence, consideration for others and thoughtful reflection play so little part in the lives of these people that the ability to be 'someone' for a few minutes of airtime is a powerful incentive for more outlandish behaviour.

AC1

Projection, Envy, Narcissism, Neoteny and Dunning Kruger. It's the full-house of left wing mentalism.

David

The Guardian’s John Harris pays a visit to Occupy Bristol - “the biggest occupy camp outside London” - which apparently reflects a “thriving left-Green subculture,” and which by all appearance is a squalid shanty town populated by a handful of misfits and the odd well-meaning bringer of brownies. Presumably, Mr Harris is hoping to convince his readers that the “movement” is noble and deserving of support. To this end, he interviews a man with a grudge against Thatcher blathering about “collective consciousness,” a single mother who objects to bankers’ bonuses, someone who really doesn’t grasp how markets work, and an alcoholic “new age traveller” who complains about his life as if how it had played out were someone else’s fault.

Not the most persuasive case, all things considered.

R. Sherman

Actually the St. Louis crowd (my neck of the woods) has been rather subdued. I wonder if the fact that Missouri allows "Concealed Carry" has anything to do with that.

Trimegistus

This whole "movement" is such a blatant Potemkin Village affair. The Democrats were panicked (and furious) when the T.E.A. Party emerged -- a genuine, spontaneous, grass-roots, populist movement. But it is opposed to the Democrats and their insane social engineering ideas. Worse still, the Tea Partiers moved from waving signs to organizing, and winning elections. The Kennedys' own rotten borough in Massachusetts fell to a fascist! (Actually Scott Brown is kind of a wishy-washy liberal Republican, but facts have long since lost any place in the Democratic Party.)

So the Democrats, in their new role as the Fantasy Party, decided to create their own movement. All the usual suspects were enlisted: union goons, ACORN crooks, and the whole legion of the perpetually indignant. With massive media hype and lots of Soros money as a laxative, they've managed to grunt forth this squalid, incoherent little movement.

What's worse is that they're so blinded by nostalgia for 1968 (the last time Democrats had any new ideas) that they've forgotten the results of the Summer of Love and the Chicago riots. Nixon got elected in a huge landslide because most Americans, then and now, think dirty hippies camping out and beating drums is a good argument against liberal politics.

AC1

@Trimegistus

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/gallup-poll-conservatives-42-liberals-21

The Poopstock effect.

Sam

and an alcoholic “new age traveller” who complains about his life as if how it had played out were someone else’s fault.

With the drunks, vagrants and slackers onside how can they possibly fail?

R. Sherman

@Trimegistus: Someone described these clowns as "not protesters, but protest reenactors." An apt description, given their nostalgia for 1968, though George Wallace, a segregationist Democrat, running as a third party candidate helped Nixon, as well.

Rafi

At Occupy Victoria, tree-dwelling protestors douse those below with urine.

From the link:

"The urine thrower was talked down from his perch last night. He will now undergo a mental health assessment."

Funny how lots of these 'occupiers' turn out to be people with mental health 'issues'.

rabbit

A: I'm angry.
B. Okay.
A: I'm really angry.
B: Uh huh.
A: No you don't get it. I am very, very frustrated.
B: Take a valium.
A: So what are you going to do about it?
B: What do you want me to do about it?
A: You have to change things.
B: Like what, specifically?
A: I don't know, things. I'm not an idea man.
B: I can see that.
A: And be quick about it before we get violent.
B: Okay.
A: Okay, what.
B: Okay, get violent.
A: Really, really violent. It's going to get quite nasty.
B: Have at 'er.
A: And we're going to pitch tents and light bonfires in public parks.
B: So you demand marshmallows?
A: This is oppression, man.

Karen M

Occupy Trafalgar Square?

FAIL.

Stuck-Record

Thanks, Karen. Hilarious link.

Man the barricades, here comes angry multi-millionaires Jarvis Cocker and Lily Cole!

I thought the left was supposed to be good at irony?

Rob

Try occupying a fucking job, you worthless parasites.

I walk past the St Pauls squat most evenings, and it contains the usual suspects: overwhelmingly white, middle-class extreme Left. The usual posters, the usual idiot banging bongos. I can understand why certain parts of the media take them seriously, but why all of our political leaders do so is unbelievable.

dr cromarty

Shame. I liked Pulp (though it all went downhill with 'Hardcore') Can't say I know who Lily Cole is except she looks hypothyroid.

I'm sure it's all good marketing for them.

As Mark Steyn says (quoting Tony Parsons):
"when Elvis sang, "If you're looking for trouble, look right in my face," you couldn't help noticing he was wearing a bit too much mascara"

http://www.steynonline.com/4608/revolution-inc

Horace Dunn

David

The Bristol video is interesting. I suppose it shows that not all the "occupy" crowd are beligerent loons. The Bristol crowd seemed pretty affable, though they seem to share the intellectual shortcomings of their more rowdy comrades. I was particularly interested to hear the presenter trot out that line about the "occupy" movement "opening up a space" in which people can discuss things that are little discussed. I've heard two dozen variations of this line over the past weeks. All this "creating a space" for dialogue about ...erm ...

... bankers' bonuses, bank bail-outs, failing economies, debt crises, cuts to the welfare system ...

That is to say all those topics we've heard so little about in the last few years. Well, hooray for the occupiers for giving us the chance to talk about them...

David

A few updates have been added to the post:

The “peaceful” protestors obstructing St Paul’s are making their presence known

Staff at St Paul’s have been forced to clear up human waste inside the cathedral, it emerged today. They have made several trips with mops to remove the mess found on a carpet inside the church near the West Steps - just yards from the anti-capitalist protest camp. One cleric furious at the use of the building ‘as a latrine’ said, ‘This is desecration of a very holy place. It hurts me and it hurts the staff.’

But the protestors are benign and fluffy people, surely? Practically kittens. I can only imagine what would happen if they tried doing that to the nearest mosque. (Still, on the upside, no mysterious deaths as yet.) And at Occupy Oakland protestors have opened an account for donations at the same bank they vandalised days earlier, saying it’s “the easiest way to access the money to bail out people from jail.”

Why, it’s almost symbolic.

David

Horace,

“All this ‘creating a space’ for dialogue about ...erm ...”

Well, quite. But what could be more virtuous and compelling than lots of presumptuous, economically illiterate lefties telling each other about how righteously indignant they are? It’s got fun times written all over it.

I suspect the “spaces” being “created” will be fairly uniform in their assumptions, much as the student protests have been. I doubt, for instance, that yesterday’s marchers will have been discussing the actual causes of their predicament or the leftist ideology that devalued their studies and made intergenerational subsidy unworkable. Nor will they be pondering the morality of someone who objects to paying for their degree in a subject of little or no market value because they reckon it isn’t worth the investment even with generous credit, while expecting someone else to pick up the tab for exactly the same indulgence.

[ Added: ]

As I’ve said before, the left has been allowed to monopolise the language of good intentions, to claim them as its own, as if entitlement and statism were synonymous with virtue. One result of this linguistic land grab is a generation of students who imagine they have an unchallengeable “right” to study X at someone else’s expense, regardless of whether a degree in X will lead to private sector employment and a return via taxation. Despite all the alleged “spaces for dialogue,” the role of leftist assumptions in making intergenerational subsidy unsustainable will not be a hot topic.

It’s no coincidence that many of the most vehement critics and protest agitators have been lecturers in joke subjects with little if any market value. (David Graeber, Nina Power, Priyamvada Gopal, et al.) When students are obliged to choose their degrees wisely, because they can no longer palm the bill off on some other sucker, politically tendentious and all-but-useless courses will start to disappear. Without the taxpayer as the eternal rube, postcolonial studies, “anthropology and anarchism” and “magic as a tool of politics” won’t look quite so attractive in the harsh light of day.

sackcloth and ashes

'It’s no coincidence that many of the most vehement critics and protest agitators have been lecturers in joke subjects with little if any market value. (David Graeber, Nina Power, Priyamvada Gopal, et al.) When students are obliged to choose their degrees wisely, because they can no longer palm the bill off on some other sucker, politically tendentious and all-but-useless courses will start to disappear. Without the taxpayer as the eternal rube, postcolonial studies, “anthropology and anarchism” and “magic as a tool of politics” won’t look quite so attractive in the harsh light of day'.

Nail. Hammer. Head.

David

Sackcloth,

Tangentially relevant… Glenn Reynolds ponders the lingering appeal of communism in the West:

I think it’s that communism/socialism promise good career paths for people whose skills are bureaucratic politics, conforming, sucking up, and punishing nonconformists, and that there are enough of those people — especially in influential professions like journalism and academia — to ensure a continuing constituency.

In my experience, the sadistic aspect should not be underestimated, especially when disguised with unearned righteousness.

Stuck-Record

Check this out.
http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2011/11/new-eugenics-from-looney-left.html

Apparently, Chris Mooney has proved that Republicans are genetically incapable of understanding science.

sk60

So, clearly, utopia beckons.

"A 29-year-old man was arrested this morning inside the Occupy Portland encampment, police said, on suspicion of throwing a Molotov cocktail onto a staircase at the World Trade Center last night."

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2011/11/police_arrest_man_at_occupy_po.html

sackcloth and ashes

@ David

I was chatting with a colleague many moons ago about this very subject, and his verdict was that Communists and the extreme left had lost politically and economically, but had won culturally because they had ensconsed themselves in key positions in the media and academia. So long as you have someone like Shameless Milne writing in the 'Guardian' you're going to get a certain view of Communism promoted and propagated. Neo-Nazis are (rightly) classed as beyond the pale, but their counterparts on the far-left are treated as if they were fundamentally decent people, whose ideals happened to have been tarnished by the likes of Stalin, Mao etc. This is of course a lie, but it's one that still has legs.

With academia, there is decent scholarship and good teaching, and then there is doctrinaire hackery as exemplified by the po-mo crowd. The likes of Gopal, Power and Graeber have basically invented a bogus discipline for themselves, and I'd add here that the language of po-mo theory is deliberately concocted for two purposes. Firstly, the language associated with Judith Butler et al is intended to obscure meaning, not to convey it; if po-mo speak was put into plain language then the hoi polloi would recognise the obnoxiousness and the absurdity of the ideas expressed (e.g. Gopal with her response to . Secondly, po-mo is an elitist con-trick practiced by pseudo-scholars who supposedly are challenging the 'elitism' of traditional academic disciplines. If I was to give someone a book or an article written by an old-school historian or any similar scholar, a reasonably intelligent member of the public would be able to comprehend his or her arguments and assess whether they agree with them or not. In contrast, anyone reading po-mo would be left scratching their heads. In this respect, the Butlers and Gopals are in the same position as late medieval and Reformation-era priests who resisted the efforts of Wycliffe, Hus and Cramner to translate the Bible into the vernacular. Clarity exposes their inanity, and leads them to lose whatever credibility they may possess.

Another problem - evident in the UK with UCU - is the asymmetry which exists between the majority of academics and the minority of hacks. The uni trade union has become dominated by the SWP and various other extremist arseholes because they are full-time agitators who have become focused on propagating their politics, and who aren't distracted by such fripperies as teaching and research. Most academics are too busy doing their jobs to take the time and trouble to take them on. Now for my part I wonder why it is that departments don't discipline the hacks and ask them why they're spending all their time at PSC and STWC demos, and none of it on writing peer-reviewed work. But maybe an unexpected benefit of the current economic crisis - and indeed the pressure on academic jobs - is that the SWP types and their ilk might find it less easy to get away with cuffing off their professional duties, and might end up first in line for their P45s. I live in hope.

David

Sackcloth,

What’s striking is the presumed entitlement on show - a level of presumption that would have been laughable when I was a teenager. Let’s take a quick look at the placards carried proudly by the protestors:

“[Higher] education is a right not a privilege.”
“[Higher] education for the 99%”
“Fight for free [higher] education.”

Ah yes. “Free” degree courses are somehow the “right” of everyone, regardless of their intellectual ability and regardless of their choices and the fallout of those choices. “99%” of teenagers should have degrees… in, er, something. What a conveniently consequence-free world these seedlings expect to inhabit.

“Free” degrees mean some other sucker should pay for them, not the actual beneficiaries, of course - and some other sucker should pay for them regardless of whether any job will ever result or any repayment will ever be honoured. A degree in medicine or electrical engineering is likely to pay off for the student and the taxpayer. A degree in feminist theory, juggling or post-colonial studies… not so much. And much of the recent growth in student numbers involves insubstantial or fatuous courses that ultimately lead nowhere, except back to academia and further public subsidy, or more likely the dole. But hey. Let’s subsidise more resentful Marxist ideologues – sorry, Critical Theorists - more courses in Football Studies, and more degrees in Puppetry.

And then watch the economy boom.

Penny Plain

Sackcloth and Ashes: good point about the Commies winning culturally, but for me they are wrapped in theories and 'consciousness' that doesn't pan out in anything identifiable, or for that matter relevant. They have become, in effect, the modern version of middle-ages intellectuals arguing about the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin.

An engineer or an architect or even someone from the measurable disciplines of science (I exclude AGW as that is just hot air) would not be impressed, but the 'soft' legions of academia thrive in their own self-absorbed world -- a world satirised so well by 'Alice In Wonderland.'

But the media, either thinking they are full of intellectuals themselves or believing their thought processes are the equal of the professors, never stand back and say, as you might expect: 'Hang on a mo, all this is pretentious waffle. Communism failed, and failed badly because its only answer is to kill people or restrict survivors to a life of misery.'

I am tempted to recall the little boy who spotted the flaw in the Emperor's New Clothes. Until we have a media that has the same acute vision, we will continue to fed lies and half-truths lost among the shallow opinions.

Andrea Harris

Sackcloth, this passage of yours made me scratch my head: "the Butlers and Gopals are in the same position as late medieval and Reformation-era priests who resisted the efforts of Wycliffe, Hus and Cramner to translate the Bible into the vernacular. Clarity exposes their inanity, and leads them to lose whatever credibility they may possess."

But Wycliffe et al weren't translating the Bible to "expose [its] inanity," but because it was in what was basically a foreign language (Latin), and they wanted all people to be able to read the truths in the Bible for themselves, not depending on some priest. Unless you had the time and money to learn Latin, and few people in that era did, you were dependent on someone else to give you the information that at that time was supposed to be the most important knowledge in your life -- what God wanted you to do. This gave the Church a lot of power over the masses. This is very different from the sort of power the likes of po-mo "scholars" like Butler et al have; the "knowledge" they are supposed to possess is *not* important, and is in fact bogus, and the only power they have comes from the way they have fooled so many into thinking it is and that its purveyors deserve to be supported with tax money.

By the way, I am not saying (for the atheists and non-Christians here) that Christianity and Bible knowledge *is* the truth, only that it was for Europe in the era of Reformation. Post-modern theory is certainly not central to contemporary Western culture and the bulk of people who aren't involved in academia couldn't care less about it.

peter horne

Heh heh!, hilarious. It seems a pointless waste of time for intelligent people to discuss their motivations or their puerile views. They should simply be ruthlessly mocked. Anyway, long may the occupations continue - for the good of capitalism...see
http://www.forbes.com/sites/kylesmith/2011/11/08/for-the-good-of-capitalism-dont-end-occupy-wall-street/

Ted S., Catskills, NY

"Free" degrees also mean, if we follow the logical road down to its conclusion, that we can force people to teach the courses.

Of course, every time people here in the States start talking about single-payer medicine, I suggest single-payer legal care, since no lawyer does anything that's worth more than minimum wage.

David

Peter,

“They should simply be ruthlessly mocked.”

Oh, I think there are some interesting points to be made in between the fits of laughter and disgust. For instance, here’s a survey of the Occupy demographic:

Our research shows clearly that the movement doesn’t represent unemployed America and is not ideologically diverse. Rather, it comprises an unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in radical redistribution of wealth, civil disobedience and, in some instances, violence. Half (52%) have participated in a political movement before, virtually all (98%) say they would support civil disobedience to achieve their goals, and nearly one-third (31%) would support violence to advance their agenda... What binds a large majority of the protesters together - regardless of age, socioeconomic status or education - is a deep commitment to left-wing policies.

If nothing else, we’ve seen how this section of society behaves when given a little rope. As Laurie Penny said, rather proudly, it’s all being done to “model the sort of society of mutual aid and trust that occupiers would like to see.”

And now we know.

mojo

"Anything free is worth what you paid for it."

Karen M

As Laurie Penny said, rather proudly, it’s all being done to “model the sort of society of mutual aid and trust that occupiers would like to see.”

And now we know.

Yes, we do.

Karen M

Occupy Atlanta… Now with tuberculosis!

mojo

"We don't want you here!"
"Tough shit."

Chris S.

Really, if it's TB, they shouldn't look to disperse the Occupiers. Containment is the key. Lock 'em in there and don't let them leave. You want your utoptia? Fine, but you can't leave.

David

Heh. The ‘radicalism’ continues to degenerate into farce:

A clique of privileged U.C. Berkeley students, upset that they’re the top 1% of elite students in the state and thus disqualified from participating in the Occupy movement, could no longer contain their frustration on Wednesday and threw an Occutantrum, attempting to “occupy” a few square yards of the 1,200-acre campus. The police dutifully played their roles in the street theatre performance, showing up in riot gear and looking scary so the privileged students could shout at them and feel properly revolutionary, as instructed by their professors.

Note the dapper young thing dressed as Lenin. And I do like the term “Occutantrum.”

So… bearing in mind the riots, racism, thuggery, vandalism, urine hurling, Molotov cocktail hurling, drug overdoses, shootings and outbreaks of tuberculosis and lice… I’d say the “Occupy” project has been a roaring success, yes?

Steve

Vetted out then!

What a pity.

Anna

So… bearing in mind the riots, racism, thuggery, vandalism, urine hurling, Molotov cocktail hurling, drug overdoses, shootings and outbreaks of tuberculosis and lice… I’d say the “Occupy” project has been a roaring success, yes?

You're harshing his mellow, dude.

David

One more.

The occupodpeople attempt to “occupy” BlogCon11, a conference of conservative and libertarian bloggers. It isn’t exactly a triumph.

Actually, the whole “occupy” thing is rather like blog trolling, but in person and with more smartphones and shoving.


[ Added: ]

Jeff Goldstein, who was at BlogCon, adds this little nugget:

I have a bit of video of two seventeen-year-old “protesters” who were part of a high school class brought by their teacher… One of these young ladies told me they were being “taught” in school that we (bloggers? reporters? producers? videographers? libertarians? conservatives? people who have chosen a hemp-free lifestyle and don’t own plastic masks or Mao hats? That was never made entirely clear) are “fucking up the future” for them, and they are outraged!

Sadly, when pressed on how “we” were fucking up their future, the poor kids couldn’t say how. Which is okay, of course. Because that’s how they feel, and it’s how they feel, no matter how much those feelings have been manipulated, that matters. Jim Hoft of Gatewaypundit was able to catch up with the teacher and interview her. Late in the interview, she seems to finally sense that not only might bringing her class to the protest have been a bad idea, but that being interviewed on camera about it was likely a worse idea.

sackcloth and ashes

@ Andrea

My point was that the promoters of po-mo and other academic charlatans are like the theocrats of medieval Europe, insofar as their position rested on their ability to speak a language that none of their congregation could understand. When the Bible was translated into the vernacular, it meant that literate members of the laity could read sacred texts for themselves, and challenge their priests over their own interpretations.

Likewise, if (and I do apologise for not including this in my earlier comments) Priyamvada Gopal said bluntly 'Look, fuck Afghan women. They should just knuckle under and accept the fact that if they don't do what their men tell them they're going to get maimed', she would be ostracised. But if she dresses up her essential point - that a 'sister' who has the misfortune to be a Pashtun peasant rather than a Cambridge academic has no rights - in the language of post-colonialism and anti-imperialism, she gets a platform in a supposedly 'liberal' newspaper's website.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/aug/03/burkas-bikinis-reality-afghan-lives

DB

Here's another display of passive-aggressive intimidation aimed at a broadcast crew, this one up at Occupy Vancouver. Same message - this is ours, you're not welcome. The guy involved - a Truther - even bears a passing resemblance to the raging Portland loon; I wonder if there's an entire angry family working the west coast Occupy camps.

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