Elsewhere (51)

Hush, Our Betters Are Speaking

It’s about antagonising people and slapping them around a little bit and waking them up to reality.

So says Kalle Lasn, editor of the anti-capitalist magazine Adbusters and inspiration for Occupy Wall Street. He and his OccupodPeople are slapping us around for our own good. It’s altruism, see - because they care - and it’s the only way we’ll learn.

Mr Lasn also shares his views on Christmas, the build-up to which he hopes to disrupt with a mix of flashmobs, “rabble-rousing,” sit-ins and other yuletide obstruction:

[Christmas] has been an empty, soulless kind of ritual that very, very few people  enjoy.

He’s therefore giving us “a new way of thinking about the holidays.” He, or rather his minions, will “occupy the paradigm” and “occupy our minds.” Yes, they will save us from Christmas. With sit-ins and mobs in shops. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, here’s a video of an attempted flashmob “occupation” from earlier this year, in which protestors, some of whom were masked, invaded and eventually shut down a Boots store in Oxford Street. One protestor was arrested for suspected criminal damage, at which point other protestors tried to overpower the arresting female officer in an attempt to prevent the arrest. Despite repeated instructions to step back, a scuffle ensued, during which at least three protestors ended up with CS spray in their faces. The protestors inevitably accused the police of being “violent,” “heavy-handed” and “disproportionate.” The views of the store’s owner and customers were, sadly, unclear:  

Imagine the festive cheer.

But remember, the Guardian tells us that mobs in shops are “a perfectly justifiable form of protest.” So hush your scepticism and just be glad that Mr Lasn knows so much more than we do. Being better than us, he has seen through our false consciousness and will guide us to his socialist utopia. Where we will no doubt thank him for our slaps and perhaps even put him in charge.



One more, just to underline what should by now be obvious: Occupy San Diego “occupies” Wal-Mart, annoys customers, hands out insulting flyers, then leaves an enormous mess for staff to clear away.  

Again, symbolism.