“Unless you’re a sex-mad, anti-social, anti-Semitic exhibitionist with an appreciation for law-breaking, Occupy Wall Street is unlikely to be your cup of tea.”
– David A. Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research
“Early in life, I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper.”
Of all the excuses used by mainstream Americans to ignore/dismiss/reject Occupy Wall Street (OWS), trusting the corporate media just may be the most indefensible. I could cite thousands of examples of willful media distortion spewed since September 17, but a recent Washington Times piece by Chuck Bentley called “Don’t feed the lazy” (later reposted by FoxNews.com) serves as a formulaic example.
After lauding the Tea Party for (allegedly) making their demands clear, Bentley digs into the well-worn anti-OWS playbook: “No such clarity can be found in the encampments that mark the Occupy Wall Street rallies, which occupy little of Wall Street but litter cities across America, creating dangerous environments and showcases of human degradation.”
Bentley promptly contradicts himself in the next paragraph by paradoxically presenting a list of the supposedly absent OWS demands. Of course, the list is laughably inaccurate (and even ends with the obligatory uninformed Karl Marx reference).
Wait…did I say “laughably”? My bad…there’s nothing funny about how many Americans—folks, by the way, struggling on a daily basis— who delegate the faculty of independent thought to those who characterize OWS activists as lazy hippies needing a bath and a job.
To you, yeah you…the people sitting inactive as the battle lines are being drawn…the people who live in constant fear for their physical, social, and financial welfare but have nothing but lazy, misplaced blame for the OWS activists fighting on their behalf. To you, I plead: #OccupyReality.
If you feel compelled to flippantly toss around the word “lazy,” please allow me to suggest a new perspective:
Lazy: Allowing the professional propagandists of the corporate media to do your thinking for you
Not Lazy: Volunteering your time and energy (under constant threat of arrest) to cook organic, locally grown food to feed the homeless
Lazy: Staying home and judging OWS without any research or personal interaction
Not Lazy: Giving up a tenured academic position in another state to come live in a tent in a NYC park and work tirelessly for social justice
Lazy: Pretending everything is fine and that America is the land of opportunity
Not Lazy: Facing up to the myriad crises facing all life on the planet and recognizing the urgency of these crises
Lazy: Giving a few bucks to a charity or writing an annual check to some mainstream eco-group and feeling like you’ve done your part
Not Lazy: Standing up to relentless police repression and brutality without even a hint of retreat or surrender
Lazy: Spending hours on line to do holiday shopping
Lazy: Being a willing consumer of material goods and cultural conditioning
Not Lazy: Imagining an alternative form of human culture and beginning the process of making it happen
Wake up, America. They’ve stolen your money, your jobs, your health, your communities, your freedom, and your future. The trees are disappearing, extinctions are happening on an epic scale, and the ecosystem is in critical condition. It’s now or never…
Media con artists talk of “human degradation,” but these commissars exist solely to help disguise/maintain the profit-driven, white supremacist, homophobic, patriarchal culture of violence that required an OWS intervention in the first place.
Again I say: Wake up, America…because the corporate media offers little more than this: “Few protesters seem to be aware that as citizens of the United States, they’ve already experienced an unfair financial advantage. According to World Bank figures, the poorest 10 percent of Americans have more income than nearly 4 billion other inhabitants of the planet. Put another way, Americans are relatively rich compared to most of their global counterparts.”
Translation: Shut up and be thankful that you’re not some malnourished kid in Mali. Keep shopping, keep talking about Demi and Ashton, and keep mocking and/or ignoring those lazy, unwashed OWS protestors. If you feel bad about starving dark kids, send a donation…but whatever you do, stay lazy. Leave the politics and business to the experts.
Reality: Those “experts” have brought us to the brink of social, economic, and environmental collapse and it’s only coast-to-coast laziness on the part of mainstream Americans that allows these criminals to retain and wield such power.
Rather than listening to you parrot the deception being disseminated by institutions desperate to keep you distracted, alienated, and frightened, I’m bringing back some questions I asked in an article here a few months ago:
- Is your home under threat of foreclosure?
- Have you been laid off or “downsized”?
- Are you unable to afford education?
- Are you one of the 40-45 million or so Americans without health insurance?
- Are you barely living paycheck to paycheck?
- Are you angry about corporate welfare, corporate personhood, and tax breaks for the rich?
- Are you tired of 54% of your tax dollars going to the US military?
Simply put: Are you ready to say no to global policies that subsidize the wealthy while promoting war, poverty, oppression, and ecocide?
If you answered yes to any of these queries, congratulations: you’re part of the “99%” and you might want to get involved in this fight, a fight for nothing less than our future and the future of all life.
One last question: When the next generation asks what you did to defend all life on earth, will you talk of how you lazily dismissed activists who were fighting in your name or will you simply and honestly reply: “I did my part”?
#OccupyReality. #De-OccupyLaziness. #OccupyIndependentThought. #OccupyUrgency&Participation.