For me, the OWS phenomenon is by far the most interesting instance of widespread objections to Ye U.S. Status Quo that the commercial mass media finally got around to noticing in 2011. Some of the OWS-related photos, doctored photos, and links recently circulated via Facebook have been as surprising and creative as the OWS actions themselves. What’s been missing (for me, anyway) has been some sustained, intelligent commentary. Now those are starting to appear.
The November 28th issue of the New Yorker has a fascinating (and lengthy) history of exactly when and how the OWS was conceived, and exactly who conceived it.
The authoritarian beast within the American spirit has been roused. It is heavily armed and lavishly underwritten. It wants, more than anything, to reduce our minds to panic machines. The OWS protestors have shown heroic restraint to this point. They’ve refused to fight back. Nor have they backed down. Instead, they’ve greeted the bullying theatrics of the last few weeks as evidence of the growing anxiety among those who oppose them.
[You may need to register with Rumpus to read its online incarnation, and you must subscribe to the print version of the New Yorker to read it online…but (as one of the two best magazines in the universe) it might be worth your trouble and expense. And if it’s not in your budget to subscribe, try to get hold of the November 28th issue from someone who does, or find it in a public library that subscribes.]
Like many people who sympathize with the basic impulse behind the OWS actions, I remain uneasy about its vulnerability to the inevitable violence-preferring infiltrators, government informants, and paranoid crazy persons. I’d love to learn about other good commentaries on this oddly persistent media campaign championing the interests of “the other 99%.” So feel free to send along such links via a comment to this blogpost.