Tag Archives: riots

Occupy My Heart: The radio Show on Best of the Left

The Play that made national headlines, changed hearts and energized a movement is now available on Best of the Left at the link below:

 
Filled with heart and truth, Occupy My Heart: A revolutionary Christmas Carol is not just a story for the holidays, but a tale of our times. You will be touched in this modern retelling of the Dickens classic.

Please share it with your friends, especially those who still think the struggle of our times is not the co-opting of our great nation by corporate and financial greed.


Art, Occupy and the Illusions of the One Percent

Achievers. The one percent. Winners. Those who are so adamant about not raising taxes on corporations the wealthiest in the nation would have us believe that there is some inherent quality, something unique and sacrosanct in this supposed talent. Set aside the responsibility to the nation fostering a nurturing environment for business(political and social stability, laws, courts, infrastructure, an educated and healthy populace) argument. Talents are for the arts, or sports, for positive intellect and in healthy and uplifting relationships. 

No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe;” wrote John Donne in meditations XVII, in 1624, “every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.”

Achiever is in itself an insult hurled at the rest of us by the selfish and greedy. It implies that the jobs we go to daily, the place we’ve arrived at in life is not an achievement. It screams that raising children, running a home, going to school, struggling with poverty, prevailing through an illness is somehow a lesser achievement. It presumes one person’s experience is greater than another’s. It pits one person’s struggle against another’s, which is a fool’s game.

Reverend Billy at the Occupy Chicago General Assembly Wednesday evening spoke about community and the responsibility of the 1%. One is indeed the loneliest number

The way it is used becomes an assertion of power and right and privilege. Their achievement is presumed to have value above all others. It is an assumption of rule and of a ruling class, which is antithetical to the declaration of Independence and of the Constitution.

It also betrays a lie the so-called achievers pretend to themselves. It is the ultimate lie because it ignores the very thing Donne wrote about. Life is impossible alone. A soul alone writing a novel relies upon the history making the computer usable, upon the society nurturing freedom of thought, of the luxury of not having to forage through the day for food, shelter and sustenance, and even of the craftsman who constructed the desk and chair upon which that novelist writes.

A month ago I wrote a play. I am proud of that play, but as such it is little more than a semi-interesting collection of two dimension words upon a page. In the coming weeks a passionate and talented cast will bring those words to life, moving them around in three-dimensional space, adding inflection and history and textures I would never have imagined. We will perform on a radio station, the play expanded and re-envisioned  by a producer who will add sound effects to create a new and as yet unrealized world. We will perform upon a stage built by dreamers who wished for a space that actors might create as yet unimagined works and as yet unwritten words. Those stages are maintained by electricians, lighting experts and others who make each performance possible.

Sadly, what has happened in America is that the one percent has all but convinced us that only the writer matters, and that all the rest should bow before them. The Occupy movement asserts a different reality, one consistent with the constitution, in which all citizens are imbued with a god-given dignity and that all of us have a responsibility to maintaining the greatest measure of human dignity that can be maintained. The limit placed on that dignity is a measure of the cynicism inherent in a heart.

No man is indeed an island, except in his own heart, and upon that island is loneliness and nothing more. There is an old pop song that says one is the loneliest number. If there is salvation from that loneliness, it must be among the 99%.


Anger rages as Paterno fired; The misplaced fury of tribalism and hypocrisy of the Corporate media: A comment and rebuttal

  Thinker Belle commented on Anger rages as Paterno fired; The misplaced fury of tribalism and hypocrisy of the Corporate media

Americans like having it in plain old black and white-your team or mine. These students are clearly disgusted with the way the media handled this “issue.” Mostly male, like their football coaches, it would seem to be more important to win a game, stick together as a team, regardless of the injuries inflicted upon the opposing team-the children this guy raped.

The Occupy crowd has no leader-coach, per se- so there is no “big wig” or person of idolization to bring down. It would be easy to compare them to communist since they vandalize the small businesses near their encampment and terrorize those that do not provide free food and water sources for bathing and using the restroom.

It must be pretty bad when even Berkley doesn’t want them on their campus.

 Thank you for the response, but your opening paragraph precisely made my point about tribalism. Indeed, that is the very definition of tribalism. I have always acted independently, my supreme bias being a morality that defends human dignity and individual freedom, a freedom again measured by the standard of human dignity. Maybe I’m on a different track, but I have never been a follower. It has gotten me into scrapes with some of the largest corporations on the planet(against which I always prevailed), and I always go to sleep with a clear conscience. Furthermore, I am always consistent in my positions, and never have to face the possibility of flip-flopping on issues.

 As for the protests, they have resisted a leader which could co-opt their message-and there is one even if some refuse to hear it- and spin it into watered down or subverted politics. The incidence you’ve referred to are FOX-news generated, hyped or distorted. I can speak for the Chicago group, which I visit each day, especially since they are near my office. There is a culture of respect and dignity and honesty the likes of which I have never seen, and I have been a part of many protests, from pro-democracy in China rallies to anti-war and pro-Union rallies at the Madison Wisconsin statehouse.

 For those incidence that have occurred, as in the sexual assault in New York, the police bear a significant responsibility, as they were rounding up homeless people and others and depositing them among the protesters as a tactic to disrupt constitutionally rights. Taken in total, the very small number of actual incidence is still far, far lower than the society at large. Drug use and alcohol use is discouraged, but there are not security gangs patrolling the protests. It is an honor system, largely, and people are people, and the movement has attracted a broad menu of people. At a general assembly meeting last night in Chicago I met with an attorney, 2 DePaul graduate students, a grandmother and a Teamster, working three jobs but coming each Sunday to serve soup as his contribution.

 The best advice I can offer is, stop accepting the fear and siege mentality of the corporate media, which plays to niche markets and base impulses as the vehicle to sell their crap. Too many people buy the marketing tactic that the world is spiraling out of control. Maybe look a bit closer at people whose energies are spent in the defense of individual human liberty-above even capitalism and who are engaged in making it a better place for people first. Truly, wouldn’t it stand to reason that if the world values people first, business would likewise benefit. Instead, the corporate controlled media would have us believe that business is a giant benevolent and monolithic cow whose teat we all endeavor to suck from.

 And one last note. While Communism was a failed economic system which essentially devoured itself, which is what capitalism is doing right now, crime was, comparatively to American crime, almost non-existent. Having spent much time in Eastern and southern Europe just after the Berlin Wall came down, those societies were quite safe. Indeed, the so-called worst parts of cities like Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade where far safer than the best parts of Chicago, New York and Dallas.

 Finally, it is interesting the use of Berkley as a pejorative. The penchant for tribalism also promotes antipathy for intellectualism and knowledge, evidenced by the constant assault against education, attacks on professors, teachers unions and public schools by way of vouchers, the home-schooling fad and the promotion of creationism in curricula. The result is creating a dangerous malleable and disastrously gullible populace. That will work for the purveyors of fear and paranoia and hate and selfishness for a time, but is unstable and unsustainable in a society, and whose eventual collapse or backlash is potentially fatal to this also potentially great country we’d all like to see prevail.  

 


Anger rages as Paterno fired; The misplaced fury of tribalism and hypocrisy of the Corporate media

Let’s see, rioting over a football coach who help conceal the rape of a child acceptable, protesting against a banking and corporate  takeover of the American political system to the detriment of middle class and poor families, bad.

I’m sorry, where is the liberal media I’m hearing so much about? There has been no positive coverage in the media regarding the Occupy movement. On the Right it has been called everything from violent to communist and evil. In the so-called mainstream media, it is portrayed as unfocused and disorganized, despite being in every city in the nation, and despite communicating very precise grievances. That is, if it is covered at all. Focus is put on arrests-peaceful arrests( and a very small number not so peaceful) of people asserting, sacrificing and defending constitutional rights. 

Contrast this with the matter-of-fact, even ironic reporting of the Penn State riots last night over the “retirement” of Coach Joe Paterno. Near the bottom of a long and glowing article on the MSNBC site, under sports, http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/45233483/ns/sports-college_football/ about Paterno’s “heartbreaking” exit because he made a “misjudgment” not to report his child-molesting defense coordinator, after a witness reported the rape of a child by this man, was a brief mention of the tantrum by student supporters of Paterno.

Hundreds of students gathered about two blocks from the campus, with some chanting “We want Joe! We want Joe!” Some shook a lamp postand others tipped over a news van, kicking out its windows. Police fired bursts of pepper gas.”

courtesy: Michael Henninger / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via Zuma Press

No arrests? A notable absense of disgust over a tribal display by so-called educated and cultured student?. They got a complete pass that the righteous Occupyactivists have been deprived of. An hypocrisy, or the predictable effort by corporate owned media outlets to extinguish any true expression by citizens to retain control of the nation and to uphold a constitution so many wave but so few truly revere.


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