Old age, who knows what it will bring. As for myself I never thought I would ever witness anything like the social unrest of the 60s again. I guess as we all get older there is that tendency to believe the clichés, like things were tougher when I was a kid, school standards were higher, and we were more passionate about social injustice.
Occupy Wall Street has changed all of that for me. I am amazed at how rapidly a loosely organized gathering has been transformed into a well oiled protest movement that has garnered worldwide attention.
There are those who haven’t figured it out, at least yet. Politicians, political pundits, talking heads, and the erudite cognoscenti are all desperately trying to make sense out of something they are inherently incapable of understanding in the first place. Let me put it this way if you need to ask what is it all about then you just don’t need to worry because you’re not one of the 99%. Or perhaps I should put it into words that you will understand, if you have to ask how much it cost you can’t afford it.
I started this website for myself. I wanted to have a place to put all the information I was collecting as I was researching different topics. I discovered that once I made the effort to obtain quality journalism a new world started to appear. There was a disconnect between what was actual truth and what was manipulated reporting or as its better-known, “propaganda,” and this was attributable to a media system that had discovered a far more profitable way to deliver the news. There’s plenty of really good investigative journalism being written today I just needed to look in the right places.
I discovered that as hungry as I was for the real truth there were an equal number of people out there dedicated to finding that truth and writing about it. The past five years have been a wonderful journey. At times it has been frustrating and there were times that I wondered out loud why it seemed that no one else cared about those things that were happening right in front of our eyes. No one seemed to care when the Patriot Act was passed and very few understood what Citizens United was all about and how it could affect us. The news cycle was extended to 24 hours a day seven days a week and filled with garbage or nonessential noise. I felt something had to change and I knew it wasn’t going to be the networks so I created a place for me to put the stories that I felt were important and the stories that had resonance well past their publication date. Obviously I’m no longer alone.
I’ve always been amazed at how interesting the news can be if we just allow it to be what it is in the first place, news. We are conditioned to recognize news as something timely however much of what happens in the future is dependent upon the past. One would think that the past would be something that we all could agree on. However corporate media has discovered that the past just like the news of the present can be spun and turned into the narrative necessary to advance their agenda.
This is where the power of Occupy Wall Street rests. There is a whole nation to educate and there are many members of the 99% who need to be convinced that being a good American is about striving for the greatest good for the greatest number. Party affiliation is meaningless. Let’s strip away the lies of the campaign rhetoric and focus on fact. Find those places and people who are dedicated to delivering truth and developed a nation of critical thinkers who develop their own metrics to determine the quality of candidates. Knowledge is a politicians kryptonite, this combined with an educated, active, and engaged electorate will leave no place to hide.
It may be well-meaning but it is truly ignorant to compare Occupy Wall Street to the Tea Party. One is a movement made up of concerned citizens working to educate each other while conducting thoughtful discussions on issues. The other is an Astroturf movement that was quickly co-opted by the Koch brothers and Dick Armey’s group “freedom works.” Again it’s the little truths like this that provide perspective and lead me to believe that those people propagating this Tea Party myth are ignorant, deluded, or just plain evil.
As I mentioned in the beginning Occupy Wall Street has no other demands other than people take an active interest in their government and start to participate in democracy. This comes from educating yourself on those topics that you find important and it comes from keeping an open mind. Staying true to myself I will leave you with some stories that still resonate today. The first is “The Bonus Army War in Washington” and the second is an interesting PBS documentary about what is now affectionately called Obamacare titled “Obama’s Deal.” Stay strong my friends and remember if you can’t be safe, be careful.