Elliptical

James Fallows has a good round-up of news on the pepper spraying cop. He was caught on video doing the same thing to yet another protester, in clear violation of the NYC’s rules on the use of pepper spray, and the story is getting big play worldwide.

What’s interesting to me is how a protest designed to draw attention to the disparity in wealth between Wall Street millionaires and the rest of us, as well as the injustice of the bank bailout, has morphed into a conversation about police overreach. We’re like a big dysfunctional family that never deals with any of our problems, and when today’s problem gets us a little agitated, we latch on to one minor detail that’s related to some other festering sore in our collective psyche and use that to distract ourselves.

Now that we have our distraction, it’s time to burn someone at the stake. Instead of having a discussion about our tolerance and even celebration of brutal cops, para-military no-knock raids, and expensive, pointless security theater, we’re going to drill in on this one asshole who maced a few protesters and get him fired. Once that happens, we’ll go back to forgetting about the elephant in the room.






136 replies
  1. 1
    beltane says:

    I’m not seeing it that way. What I am hearing are a lot of observations on how the cops work at the behest of the 1%ers to keep the 99% down. The protest on Saturday will be huge and Tony Bologna won’t be there. What then?

  2. 2

    We’re like a big dysfunctional family that never deals with any of our problems, and when today’s problem gets us a little agitated, we latch on to one minor detail that’s related to some other festering sore in our collective psyche and use that to distract ourselves.

    Feature not bug for homo sapiens.

  3. 3
    bkny says:

    shit… as if the majority of people in this country don’t enjoy police brutality directed against ‘the other’… (i’m still half convinced that the infamous ‘don’t taze me, bro’ was a set-up; it was certainly one of the most incredible p.r. pieces on behalf of a torture device ever)

    hell, just a couple of days ago, the booyah squad was all atwitter about nypd’s ‘ability’ to shoot down aircraft. (oops, except, it turns out ray kelly was lying). this is a thug society; get used to it. your rights are passe…

  4. 4
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    And he’ll get a gig on Fox, making more than he did as a police officer.

  5. 5

    Good point, but…SQUIRREL!

  6. 6
    RAM says:

    At this point, I’d settle for getting just one asshole at at time. But I don’t really think much will happen to this thug. They might decide to make an example of him, but when the hubbub dies down, I suspect he’ll be quietly rehabilitated and put back in a position where he can, with that creepy look on his face, assault more defenseless women.

    Our willingness to allow cops, prosecutors, the rest of the criminal “justice” system, the military, homeland security thugs and the rest to do what the hell ever they want with no consequences is slowly destroying our democratic form of government and no one really seems to give a damn.

  7. 7
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    While I mostly agree with @beltane‘s assessment, I do see that there’s a danger of the story changing more in line with mistermix’s worries. I just hope things stay focused. Police brutality and idiocy are worth calling out always. I just hope it doesn’t completely overshadow the other points this incident should be about too.

  8. 8
    beltane says:

    @Thoughtful Black Co-Citizen: Just like the entire Vietnam war was condensed into that one image of the napalmed children.

    Hand-wringing over the fact that our media isn’t going to have a serious discussion about police brutality (as if they ever have a serious discussion about anything) is itself just another distraction from dealing with the elephant in the room.

  9. 9
    PeakVT says:

    It’s an ADD country; you just live in it.

    I blame Obama cable teevee.

  10. 10
    James Hare says:

    Occupy DC starts October 6. The weather in DC ain’t bad. Maybe I’ll take some work clothes and go camping for a few days. It’d be funny if they beat me up in my work clothes.

  11. 11
    amk says:

    In a country obsessed with constitutionally approved gun rights and violence and 24×7 mindless ‘media entertainment’, who has got time or even the intellect to think about the ‘elephant in the room’ ?

  12. 12
    gene108 says:

    The issue is what does a profession do with bad members of that profession?

    The issue with the police is they tend to circle the wagons, unless there’s something beyond human decency, with regards to members, who do a disservices to police work.

    I really have no idea how to make police departments more accountable.

    That’s really the bigger issue.

  13. 13
    James says:

    @bkny:

    There’s actually a buzz going around the park that blue-shirts who picked up overtime on last weeks march are actively refusing to work the next one. It’s a standard footpost now across all three watches and the men and women who’ve spent the time getting to know these kids do seem to be affected by the message. It’s pretty fucking cool.

    Just rumours of course, so I can’t get you a ‘confirmed by some uncanny valley cnn-bot’ link, but it’s heartwarming.

  14. 14
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @James Hare: Interesting that Occupy DC is happening the same week as the Greek general strike, IIRC.

  15. 15
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Also, too – what does the title of this post mean wrt the issues at hand? Maybe it’s just too early in the a.m. for me.

  16. 16
    beltane says:

    @James: I saw that too. I also read that the Transport Workers’ Union is going to join the protest this weekend. People I went to high school with are bringing their kids to the protest this weekend. The media is always going to focus on a few sensational stories instead of on the big picture (Anyone remember Neda?), but that really isn’t relevant one way or another.

  17. 17
  18. 18
    Stefan says:

    Since Bologna was willing to assault young white women, in public, in daytime, while being videotaped, then you have to wonder what he’s been doing for years to young black and Latino men, out of sight, at night, with no video cameras on him….

  19. 19
    singfoom says:

    I don’t think this has changed the protest into a conversation about police overreach. It’s just a fact that when large protests happen and police us crowd control tactics, that someone is going to get hurt.

    The police are part of the 99% as well. I’ve seen video where protesters are talking to the police about it being about their pensions, their quality of life, their kids as well as the lives of the protesters.

    http://current.com/shows/countdown/

    Olbermann has been doing a good job of keeping up with this story.

    The police reaction to the protest will continue to be a side story, and remember, if it bleeds, it leads, just our fucked up media and their fucked up priorities.

    That doesn’t mean it’s the most important thing there.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @singfoom: A slight bit off-topic, but what are Olbermann’s ratings these days?

  22. 22
    James says:

    @beltane:

    It’s some what relevant in that it wins allies, opens people up to the dialogue that is taking place. The Occupation is still a very nascent thing, so any voice added into the mix, for whatever reason, where we can honestly discuss the issues we face is incredible. I hadn’t heard about the Transpo workers, so that is indeed ‘fucking rad’, so is the news about your high school chums.

    I think that’s something people have also overlooked about this, even posters on here with their “WHERE IS MY FUCKING SOUNDBYTE” diatribes. It’s about finding people to talk with because none of us have the answers right now on how to solve these global issues we face. The more voices and ideas we can bring in, the better. Corporate media can’t co-opt and therefor can’t understand a thousand different ideas, but we can with a lil’ patience.

    Whichever way the wind blows in the corporate media, it’s fucking irrelevant to what’s taking place here and all around the world.

  23. 23
    Cat Lady says:

    This is just another opportunity the MSM is not going to miss to demonstrate for everyone how irrelevant and corrupt they’ve become. My wake up call was the demonstrators they didn’t show at Bush’s first inauguration parade. They continued their FAIL in the run-up to Iraq by ignoring the millions of people in the street, and now they’re continuing to tip their hand with this protest, which is getting harder and harder to ignore. Our Arab spring to me is about throwing over the media propagandists, first. To paraphrase, first we kill all the bobbleheads.

  24. 24
    bkny says:

    @James: james, i’ve seen that; but nothing that confirms it. it would be terrific if true….

    @Stefan: that’s been on my mind too… there’s no way this asshole hasn’t abused others. also, keep in mind, he’s got a lawsuit of civil rights abuse stemming from the 2004 republican convention. that’s expected to go to trial in 2013 (iirc).

    don’t hold your breath thinking there is going to be any legitimate investigation into his behavior. it might uncover too much. besides which, bologna’s likely to retire quietly (while racking up months’ worth of ot that will factor into his already very generous pension).

  25. 25
    deep cap says:

    Once that happens, we’ll go back to forgetting about the elephant in the room.

    QFT

  26. 26
    Paul in KY says:

    @Stefan: You can bet he has.

  27. 27
    iriedc says:

    @Stefan Yup.

  28. 28
    Yevgraf says:

    My vote is for an asymmetric response. Identify 10 hedge fund managers, knock on their residence doors and give them a dose of cheap pepper spray.

    This beats the notion of a coordinated assault on the Manhattan South precinct house.

  29. 29
    Zifnab says:

    Now that we have our distraction, it’s time to burn someone at the stake. Instead of having a discussion about our tolerance and even celebration of brutal cops, para-military no-knock raids, and expensive, pointless security theater, we’re going to drill in on this one asshole who maced a few protesters and get him fired. Once that happens, we’ll go back to forgetting about the elephant in the room.

    I absolutely disagree.

    Dealing with this one cop is not going to end the Wall Street protests. You’re still going to have kids rallying at the front door. The difference between now and then is that cops will be a little more well-behaved. And that difference is very necessary for an effective protest.

    The media may have become distracted, but I’m confident that the protesters themselves and their constituents still have their eyes on the prize. Dealing with this police-brutality openly and aggressively will make protesting easier and will allow the protest leaders to score a victory point.

    This was a perfect lead-in to a bigger story, and will get more people aware of the movement. And it paints the conflict in a very easily distinguishable good guy / bad guy light that even a bumper sticker reading independent can understand

  30. 30
    Dead Duck Fucking says:

    Well, since I have joined the ranks of those hollowed out of the Federal Gov’t, I will have to see about joining the DC occupation.

    Might be able to rustle up a camera or two.

  31. 31
    Tom Hilton says:

    What’s interesting to me is how a protest designed to draw attention to the disparity in wealth between Wall Street millionaires and the rest of us, as well as the injustice of the bank bailout, has morphed into a conversation about police overreach.

    I’d put it this way: an unfocused and haplessly ineffectual “protest” with no likelihood of getting us any closer to the goals it hasn’t even fully articulated may, against all odds, have the unintentional benefit of sparking a conversation about police overreach.

  32. 32
    danimal says:

    I dunno. I think the Bologna assault will drive interest in future protests. Even a thousand protesters will draw major press interest, probably much more than when hundreds of thousands protested the Iraq Invasion. We’ll see, and God knows I can be overly optimistic, but I think the DFHs may be about to spark something big.

  33. 33
    handsmile says:

    The criminal actions of Anthony Bologna are not a distraction. The issue is one of accountability for malfeasance which relates it fundamentally to the dual, interlocking principal demands of the “Occupy Wall Street” protest (the other being robust regulation of the financial institutions of global capitalism).

    Should Bologna be investigated and penalized for his misdeeds (yes, of course, that might not occur), that would be a concrete achievement in the objective of accountability, far more than “having a discussion about our tolerance and even celebration about brutal cops….”

    It must be emphasized that it wasn’t until the videotapes of Bologna’s criminality (and perhaps that of others as more documentation/witness accounts surface of police actions during last weekend’s march) that the American corporate media’s dismissal of the protest as just the usual rabble of scruffy youths and malcontents was irreparably punctured.

    While I wrote last night that “message-creep” had begun to appear among the growing number of protesters, the predominant focus at “Occupy Wall Street” remains how to reform the financial structural apparatus that fosters deplorable economic and social inequities in the United States.

    At this moment, the protest has reached a critical transitional stage and I am acutely curious (and palely optimistic) how it will evolve.

  34. 34
    Stuckinred says:

    @jeffreyw: I don think they have those in SAn Pedro

  35. 35
    bystander says:

    Once that happens, we’ll go back to forgetting about the elephant in the room.

    Who is we?

    Do I expect the all writers covering this story, in whatever media they report it, to stop covering/reporting if Bologna is removed from the area? No. Some will. Many won’t.

    What our trad media does with Occupy Wall Street post-Bologna isn’t in anyone’s control but the corporations who direct them. Some might reasonably argue that a Bologna-type-incident/person was necessary to focus their attention – no matter how briefly – else they’d have ignored it altogether. Bologna is a symptom of the problem, and it would behoove us to speak of Bologna as a symptom. That’s what we’d like the low-info individual, going to the net to “get more” about Bologna, to encounter and be engaged by.

    As Jay Rosen keeps hammering, it’s not just reporting the facts (featuring the video of Bologna macing those kettled protesters), it’s reporting on what it means. And, that’s where the internet is/can be different than trad print or broadcast media. Bologna can remain figure (shiny object), or retreat to background (as an incident, in an array of incidents) that define and illustrate the larger problem to be addressed.

    And, notice how your own framing changed, from a focus on the disparity of wealth – the point of Occupy Wall Street – to wondering if the Bologna incidents won’t crowd out the better (?) discussion of brutal cops, para-military no-knock raids, and expensive, pointless security theater. The disparity in wealth is all of a piece with our mufti-tierd justice system and the notion of “keeping us safe.”

    Keep who, or what, safe from whom, one wonders.

  36. 36
    Dead Duck Fucking says:

    And just to comfort the comfortable, I’ll wear a tie.

  37. 37
    singfoom says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: No clue, just providing a link that has some interesting videos. I don’t watch TV news…..

    I take it the point you’re making is that he’s not getting out to many people?

  38. 38
    James says:

    @Dead Duck Fucking:

    You should bring some of those cartoon money sacks with the dollar sign on them, offering them to white-shirts. State plainly that blue-shirts deserve none.

    If you’re going to be theatrical, steal the show.

  39. 39
    singfoom says:

    @Tom Hilton: Way to support those people trying to make a change. The fact that they’re getting some coverage is a good thing.

  40. 40
    singfoom says:

    @handsmile: But wait, “What do they want? I just can’t understand what this protest is about?”

    /snark for those impaired

  41. 41
    Mojotron says:

    These Kent State shootings are distracting us from our Vietnam war discussion

  42. 42
    Samara Morgan says:

    @bystander: this is an anonops operation…affiliates of AnonymousIRC, wikileaks, the hacker nation.
    this is America’s Arab Spring. Organized on twitter and facebook, directed at the oligarchy.
    welcome to the revolution.

    We are Anonymous.
    We are #AntiSec.
    We are Legion.
    We do not forgive.
    We do not forget.
    We love you.
    Expect us.

  43. 43
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tom Hilton: “Kids. Lawn!”

  44. 44
    handsmile says:

    @bystander: (#35)

    Thanks for contributing that astute, well-framed post (and for prompting me to read Jay Rosen, always an estimable pathologist of our “failed media experiment”).

    If you don’t mind a little ribbing, however, I would maintain that the tiers of our justice system would be immeasurably enhanced if they were to be adorned in mufti (though it would confirm Tea Party fears about the imposition of Sharia law).

  45. 45
    Corner Stone says:

    @singfoom:

    But wait, “What do they want? I just can’t understand what this protest is about?”
    __
    /snark for those impaired

    AKA, “I instinctively despise this, and can’t be bothered to spend 30 seconds finding out more info.”

  46. 46
    jwb says:

    @beltane: Let’s hope the protests are huge. I also disagree with mistermix that this particular incident has in fact been a distraction. In fact I think it has brought a needed focus, and because it was so over the top that it has emphasized the asymmetry of power that the MSM has proved incapable of not broadcasting clearly to the whole world. That asymmetry of power—albeit in a different domain, that of the wealth of Wall Street—is what I believe the protest started out attempting to draw attention to, so in that sense it fits the general theme, even if the particulars are quite different, and even if the MSM tries to keep the narrative from spinning out of their control by personalizing it. We’ll see if this manages to be the trigger that galvanizes the movement into something more.

  47. 47
    Cat Lady says:

    @singfoom:

    You do understand that there’s a difference between a necessary condition and a sufficient one, right?

  48. 48
    JGabriel says:

    DougJ:

    We’re like a big dysfunctional family that never deals with any of our problems, and when today’s problem gets us a little agitated, we latch on to one minor detail that’s related to some other festering sore in our collective psyche and use that to distract ourselves.

    … Like a man shouting, “Forget about the syphilitic dementia, I’ve got a sore on my fucking pecker!”

    .

  49. 49
    James says:

    @Corner Stone:

    “Why aren’t you behaving like corporate media? You’d rather talk with me? Fuck you, hippie!”

  50. 50
    bystander says:

    @handsmile (#44):

    mufti-tierd? Sheesh. Ribbing? Richly deserved for that one.

  51. 51
    handsmile says:

    @singfoom:

    Let me also express my many thanks and much appreciation for your tireless and thick-skinned efforts at combatting willful ignorance and disheartening apathy on these threads on the “Occupy Wall Street” protest during the past several days.

    The word “comrade” comes to mind, if that phrase has not been irredeemably compromised by its associations.

  52. 52
    singfoom says:

    @Cat Lady: I certainly do. Are they sufficiently focused? No, they could be more focused, but it’s getting out despite that. I’m just tired to the nth power with the denigration and snide remarks about this protest from people, combined with the constant questioning of what it’s about.

  53. 53
    bystander says:

    @handsmile:

    But, ya know, given our military adventures all over the world, and the implications for our domestic experience(s) forthwith, it could be argued that mufti-tierd justice is an “inspired” typo.

  54. 54
    singfoom says:

    @handsmile: Thanks man, I appreciate your reports from the protest.

  55. 55
    Cat Lady says:

    @singfoom:

    That’s fine, but regardless of your feelings on the matter, it needs to go the next level to have any hope of effectiveness. Emphasizing that to these mostly young protesters isn’t the same as denigrating them. Even the protesters know that.

    But as we all sat in a jail, I noticed an interesting thing happen.
    __
    People began to talk very seriously about organizing in a more cohesive way than they have been. Jailhouse rookies, who had never been arrested or involved in radical political activities, listened attentively as experienced activists spoke about the need to set clear demands in order to rally broader public support for specific outcomes.

  56. 56
    geg6 says:

    @Cat Lady:

    Our Arab spring to me is about throwing over the media propagandists, first. To paraphrase, first we kill all the bobbleheads.

    IMHO, this is the first step to actually getting the message out about how the 99% have been screwed. I don’t even blame the banksters or Wall Streeters fro what has happened nearly as much as I blame our constitutionally protected (where it is given special status and responsibility) fourth estate for most of what has happened in the last 30 years, especially the last 10. They have not done what they should have done, which is to educate the public, we the people, about what is happening to and around us. If they had been doing their jobs, much of what we’ve seen would not have happened.

  57. 57
    singfoom says:

    @Cat Lady: Absolutely agree. Read the other threads and upthread here, and you’ll see people actually denigrating the protesters. That’s the shit I’m talking about, that’s what drives me crazy.

    And for a lot of people in these threads, there has been deliberate obtuseness about the aims of the protest.

  58. 58
  59. 59
    Cat Lady says:

    @geg6:

    You’ve made my point, exactly. The historians of this period of the republic, should it survive as one, will be harshest on the press who have a constitutional mandate and use of the public airwaves, and who have failed the citizenry at every important juncture. They’ve got to go up against the wall first.

  60. 60
    Samara Morgan says:

    @singfoom: like Cole sneering at “trustifarians”?

  61. 61
    Bullsmith says:

    I don’t think the role of the police is a red herring. The whole problem with Wall Street is that they’ve been immunized from facing consequences for their crimes, no? As the News International scandal in the UK shows, when push came to shove the police actively protected lawbreakers because they worked for Murdoch. If the Nation had been caught spying on the Royals, I suspect the Met’s response would’ve been somewhat different. Ditto the Guardian.

  62. 62
    singfoom says:

    @Samara Morgan: I don’t remember Cole sneering at trustifarians, I’m more concerned with the people pooh poohing the protest as unserious DFHs.

    Which post are you referencing? The first one, about the drum circles?

  63. 63
    Dead Duck Fucking says:

    The ‘tako-chin: Like Cole selectively sneering at ‘crowds’, even though he had no problem with them when he was smoking Jerome Garcia’s pole.

  64. 64
    handsmile says:

    @bystander: (#53)

    “Inspired” to be sure, given the context of the American Empire, but I remain enough of a Freudian to believe there are no mistakes, typographic or otherwise.

    And are you prepared to be responsible for inciting another hysterical Tea Party campaign: SHARIA LAW OUTRAGE! LEFT-WING BLOGGER DEMANDS AMERICAN JUSTICE SYSTEM HIRE TERRORIST MUSLIM SCHOLARS!!

    Remember, the fair-and-balanced eye is always watching.

  65. 65
    Samara Morgan says:

    @geg6: they are doing their Freed Market jobs.
    PROFIT!

  66. 66
    RalfW says:

    Did the cops pepper spray the 700 uniformed airline pilots who protested Wall Street yesterday?

    I take this as a good indicator that it’s not just hippies any more. But it didn’t get much press yesterday. Hmmmm, why would That be?

  67. 67
    Cat Lady says:

    @singfoom:

    I think what you’re calling pooh poohing is not denigration so much as it is skepticism and cynicism left over from the 2000 election, run up to Iraq, etc. where protesters not only didn’t accomplish anything, they were completely ignored, then steamrolled by Boy Blunder and Darth Cheney using their media whores. Nothing has changed. Telling them to take some lessons from civil rights strategies and to dress a certain way and drop the hippie/anarchist/free Mumia shit that makes them too easy to denigrate is good advice, not denigration. YMMV.

  68. 68
    Samara Morgan says:

    @singfoom:

    I see a bunch of trustafarian nitwits who should be braiding hair and drinking wheat beer in the parking lot of a Phish concert, weaving in a few bong hits and a couple games of hacky-sack. We’re just making it too easy for Wall Street and the money boys if this collection of motley fools is the opposition. It’s so fucking depressing.

    unadulterated Cole.
    But we dont lissen to phish.
    we lissen to Prodigy, Foster, Flogging Molly, and Rage Against the Machine.

  69. 69
    singfoom says:

    @Cat Lady: We’ll have to agree to disagree. I have no problem with people offering advice to how to strengthen the protest, but there have been several commenters over the last week’s threads that have denigrated the protesters.

    I think some things have changed, such as the widespread use of social media and alternative media to get the word out, since 2000, but that’s for a different conversation…cheers…

  70. 70
    Samara Morgan says:

    a classic that y’all might not have heard.

    :)

  71. 71
    singfoom says:

    @Samara Morgan: Eh, yeah, I remember that post. If you want to be mad about it, go ahead. He changed his mind later and owned up to it with subsequent postings..

  72. 72
    geg6 says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    we lissen to Prodigy, Foster, Flogging Molly, and Rage Against the Machine.

    Hmmmm, I was told the other day by someone who thinks I’m too mean for asking what the protest was all about and for pointing out that looking like a community theater production of the film “Woodstock” might not be the most productive marketing tool that Rage Against the Machine was just too too 90s and that I was so old and out of it that I should just shut up.

    Guess not.

  73. 73
    Samara Morgan says:

    Maybe Cole just needs bettah musiks.

  74. 74
    Samara Morgan says:

    @geg6:

    Rage Against the Machine was just too too 90s

    here, try some dubstep.
    jam sukkah jam.
    :)

  75. 75
    Samara Morgan says:

    @singfoom:

    He changed his mind later and owned up to it

    orly?
    link please.
    i think Being John Cole means never having to say you’re sorry.

  76. 76
    Yevgraf says:

    The historians of this period of the republic, should it survive as one, will be harshest on the press who have a constitutional mandate and use of the public airwaves, and who have failed the citizenry at every important juncture.

    Some media critics disagree. Tonight, there will be a Fox News panel consisting of Chuckles KRRRRRRAUT-hammer, Fredzo Barnes nad Sean Hannity contesting Mort Kondracke’s contention that the media have failed to talk about the myriad threats that White America faces only out of incompetence and negligence, not out of malice…

  77. 77
    singfoom says:

    @geg6: @Samara Morgan:

    The music one listens to has nothing to do with this protest. Musical taste varies widely across peer groups, generations and has nothing to do with this.

    And I never said you were mean for asking about the protest was about geg, I was pissed off that you called them assholes and suggested that Trumka should come in and take over.

    Pegging people into nice little holes based on their musical choices is stupid. I like RATM, but does that mean anything other than I like that band?

    I like They Might Be Giants too. Musical taste and politics have very little to do with each other…

  78. 78
    handsmile says:

    @Bullsmith: (#61)

    To illustrate your point, are you aware that two weeks ago London’s Metropolitan Police subpoenaed Guardian reporter Amelia Hill, who broke the story of Murdoch’s News of the World hacking the phone of murdered teenager Milly Dowler, for her confidential sources at the newspaper? (That is the article that sparked the conflagration that consumed NoW, burned the reputations of numerous Murdoch employees, and continues to smolder among the Murdoch media empire.)

    In its application for subpoena, Scotland Yard invoked the Official Secret Acts, to be applied in cases affecting national security, which the Guardian correctly decried as “an unprecedented legal attack on journalistic sources.”

    Its action denounced across the spectrum of British politicians and media, the Met hastily withdrew its petition and mumbled an apology about internal bureaucratic misunderstanding. Tom Watson, Labor MP and chief Commons scourge of Murdoch’s UK media operations, has demanded a parliamentary inquiry into the police’s heavy-handed effort.

    This linked Reuters piece by Jack Shafer offers a worthwhile analysis: http://www.reuters.com/article.....5220110916

    As you would imagine, the Guardian website has many articles on the matter if it’s of further interest to you.

  79. 79
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    Is it naive to hope that this will only amplify the original point of the protest? I’m feeling rather like a hoper today.

  80. 80
    Samara Morgan says:

    @singfoom: my FUCKING POINT was Cole pidgeonholed the “trustafarian” #occupywallstreet protestors as Phish concert attendees.
    no one i know lissens to phish. we liek 30 seconds to mars and greenday and flobots and LCD soundsystem and tonnes of other contemporary, relevant bands…
    Cole is the one stereotyping, and again, link please where he retracted his drum circles and wheat beer comment.
    :)

  81. 81
    Corner Stone says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    Is it naive to hope that this will only amplify the original point of the protest?

    I don’t believe it’s naive to think that may happen.
    I disagree with mistermix’s conclusion and think the “Occupy” protest will continue rolling along. The sharp focus this incident has brought to the larger theme is helpful, IMO, and if the people outraged by police overreach want to join in, or join along side, then more power to that.
    But whatever does or does not happen to one abusive police officer will not stop or distract this specific protest.

  82. 82
    singfoom says:

    @Samara Morgan: That’s great MC. I’m glad you like that music. Congratulations. You aren’t the protest, so your musical choices aren’t all that relevant, but I’m glad you like that music.

    I like Rattatat, Phoenix and The Glitch Mob. That’s also irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

    And yes, I know Cole pigeon holed them on that post and then in a later post, while not apologizing for said pigeon holing, was supportive of the protest.

    Again, I’m less interested in whether Cole did this or that, and I’m more interested in the actual protest. Cheers.

  83. 83
    handsmile says:

    @Yevgraf: (#76)

    Now that Stephen Colbert has rocked the cable television world with his hour-long program devoted to Radiohead (all hail!), I guess Comedy Central’s rival must respond with an hour of braying jackals and jackasses. Ramped up to 11, I suspect, for its hearing-impaired (elderly) audience.

  84. 84
    Samara Morgan says:

    @singfoom:

    Musical taste and politics have very little to do with each other

    false.
    theres plenty more where this came from, if you want to bother googling.
    Consider for example that republican candidates can only play C&W at their rallies.
    :)

  85. 85
    Samara Morgan says:

    @singfoom: at first you denied he said it.
    there is a strong correlation between voting affiliation and musical tastes.
    Its likely partly genetic, and partly age. :)

  86. 86
    Cat Lady says:

    @singfoom:

    You aren’t the protest

    Let’s hope. Too many like her there and no one anywhere will take it seriously. The whole look and feel of the protest if you want to get to the 99% who are majority low-info voters should be more “there by the grace of god go I”, than “spoiled children need to be spanked by cops”.

  87. 87
    Samara Morgan says:

    @handsmile: nah, they can respond with an hour of Ted Nugent and random C&W artists.

  88. 88
    singfoom says:

    @Samara Morgan: Sorry, let me be explicit then, and then I’m done with this musical sidetrack vein, thanks.

    Correlation is not causation, MC. What I’m trying to say is that yes, when you look at the music a person listens to, you can make assumptions about their politics and perhaps about the person themselves, but those are just that, assumptions.

    I happen to like some C&W myself. Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, etc… but that says NOTHING about me. I also like Ween. What does liking Ween have to do with my politics? Or the fact that I like Adam Ant? Or the Bird and the Bee?

    All of these things are distractions, signifiers that mean to the beholder more than what they’re beholding. You can want them to mean something all you want, and if you do, they’ll mean something to you, but that doesn’t mean that it hold true for any other individual.

    Cheers.

  89. 89
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Cat Lady: im going to the G8.
    perhaps i’ll get justifiably spanked there.
    :)

  90. 90
    Samara Morgan says:

    @singfoom: anecdote is not statistical information.
    Peace out.

  91. 91
    singfoom says:

    @Cat Lady: Perhaps. I think the look of the crowd will always contain that element you’re talking about and that is a good thing. A more diverse crowd will appeal to more people, but honestly, I don’t care what someone looks like if they’re out there putting their voices in the air and their bodies on the line.

    I think most of that is the assumptions of people looking at the individuals and a genetic political memory/meme from the 1960s about dirty hippies.

  92. 92
    singfoom says:

    @Samara Morgan: I’m sorry, you have some statistical information to share with me, or more of your anecdotes about what you and your friends listen to?

    Because I don’t remember any non-anecdotal evidence coming from you. Cheers.

  93. 93
    Tom Hilton says:

    @singfoom: They aren’t actually “trying to make a change”; they’re expressing their feeling that a change is necessary. There’s a difference.

    People who actually try to make a change act in a focused, pragmatic way, with careful attention to strategic and tactical considerations. The OccupyMyAss protests are just a lot of self-indulgent wanking.

    ETA: And in a more constructive vein, here’s an excellent post on the factors that (can) make for successful protest.

  94. 94
    singfoom says:

    @Tom Hilton: Thanks for your opinion. I happen to disagree and will continue to support them.

    I personally think we need people out in the street demonstrating and ALSO people working within the system, writing letters to their congress critters and such.

    I won’t denigrate either approach, and I don’t think it’s helpful of you to denigrate the protests, but you have every right to.

    You don’t think that any of the media attention, if light in general at this point is a good thing?

  95. 95
    Cat Lady says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    I’m sure you’ll represent admirably. You’ve got your V mask, all of the appropriate tats and the soundtrack ready to crank on your ‘droid I presume? Wallah, dear child.

  96. 96
    Less Popular Tim says:

    @singfoom:

    I like They Might Be Giants too. Musical taste and politics have very little to do with each other…

    They Might Be Giants are wingnuts?

  97. 97
    ruemara says:

    I have to disagree. This fellow is owed a few beers for his mindless, abusive conduct. Without it, no one would have paid much attention, beyond whining about the smell. Now, the protestors have a reason to be paid attention to, there is focus on the main issue they have and a feeling of sympathy for them because of the police being used to terrify them away. Wall Street is not beloved. This is probably for the good. Sadly, people don’t notice, until there is some horror for them to take a stand on. Now, it’s spreading and the key area it needs to spread to is DC. I’m finally encouraged that this is going to have an effect.

  98. 98
    Samara Morgan says:

    @singfoom: haha, one counter example disproves Coles Phish thesis.
    I gave you statistical information.

    The survey, done by Jacobs Media, recently revealed the results from a technology survey dealing with rockers, politics and the much-anticipated 2008 presidential election. The survey showed that men and anyone who listens to classic rock are more likely to vote Republican, and women and those who listen to alternative rock are more likely to vote Democrat.

    if i was interested, i could get a lot more links– its part of red/blue genetics theory.

    peace out, and V!

  99. 99
    singfoom says:

    @Less Popular Tim: I don’t know their political leanings. I get a general liberal vibe from them. I’m trying to say it’s a red herring that has nothing to do with anything other than the preconceptions a person has about a given band.

  100. 100
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Tom Hilton: #occupywallstreet is part of a string of protests popularized and organized by anonops, the activist branch of Anonymous, which included #opBart and next months #opFacebook.
    Here is the mission statement.

    On the 17th of September, we want to see 20,000 people to flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices and we will not leave until that demand has been met.
    Like our brothers and sisters in Egypt, Greece, Spain, and Iceland, we plan to use the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic of mass occupation to restore democracy in America. We also encourage the use of nonviolence to achieve our ends and maximize the safety of all participants.
    Together we will build assemblies of people along every street of lower Manhattan from Wall Street to Washington Heights.

  101. 101
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Cat Lady: wallah, of course i have an iphone, not a ‘droid.
    its de riguer.
    :)

  102. 102
    Corner Stone says:

    @ruemara:

    Without it, no one would have paid much attention, beyond whining about the smell.

    Always good for a laugh line or two.

  103. 103
    ruemara says:

    @Corner Stone:

    It’s a ref to the ultra banal article posted earlier. I could care less. It’s NY. It’s not as bad as Hoboken, but there are smells. I just want these protests to be very effective.

  104. 104
    Less Popular Tim says:

    @singfoom: I’m just joshin’ ya– they, and I’m confident the vast majority of their fans, are progressive. I was just ribbing you about the strength of your counterexample, compared to as if you’d said something like, “yes I like RATM but I also like Ted Nugent” for example. No offense.

    But you’re right of course that these generalizations are just that, and may or not be true for a particular individual. On the other hand, I wouldn’t say it’s all about the preconceptions people have about a given band, many bands and performers include explicit or implicit progressive messages in their music and public statements.
    Peace.

  105. 105
    ChrisNYC says:

    @RalfW: Oh come on. The pilots were picketing about airlines dragging their feet on a new contract due to the United Continental merger. See pic.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/article.....rotest.htm

  106. 106
    scav says:

    Somewhat amusing to see all the uniquely pure at heart and clear on the single and sole effective tactic going on and on and on. Anyhoo, just as a sidenote, don’t forget the Ian Tomlinson + Police incident in the 2009 G20 demonstrations in London as a near comparison. That incident is still moving along now, so I guess this is also a probably ignored attempt to not draw the line under the end-game of everything too quickly.

  107. 107
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Tom Hilton: and you have to understand….there is no conventional top down structure….these are all emergent grassroots protests.
    opBart was successful enough that the protestors had their constitutional rights violated when the Bart managers shut down the cell services of the demonstrators.
    Remind you of anything? Like say, Tehran and Tahir Square?

  108. 108
    Bill says:

    Actually the pepper-spraying incident wouldn’t have gone viral if it had been men attacked by the officer. The reason for what you call a distraction has to do with its emotional appeal. In any case, the incident drew further attention to the protests, which suffer from a decidedly indifferent media. There are many such examples in history of a single photograph or video vaulting a larger story without distracting from the larger context. One wouldn’t say, for instance, that the famous photo of the Vietnamese girl crying after being napalmed distracted from the anti-war movement by focusing on little girls suffering napalm burns. One would say it helped focus attention on the horrors of the Vietnam War. No?

  109. 109
    Samara Morgan says:

    @singfoom: look. i just gave counter examples to Coles Phish thesis. in mathematics, all you need is one. :)
    musical taste is neither predictive or causative, it is a general statistical correlate.

    peace out.

  110. 110
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Less Popular Tim:

    but I also like Ted Nugent

    b-b-b-but no one but conservatives like Ted Nugent!
    qed

    :)

  111. 111
    RalfW says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    But we dont lissen to phish.
    we lissen to Prodigy, Foster, Flogging Molly, and Rage Against the Machine.

    How about Consolidated?

    A little to earnest some times, but I tended to like them better than Rage Against the Machine.

  112. 112
    geg6 says:

    @singfoom:

    As I think is clear from my comment, I did not name you as the person who said that to me and, if it was, I don’t remember. It was one of the people pushing back at me in the thread AFTER my “assholes” comment. FTR, what I’ve read coming out of most of the stories about what is being demanded is the very definition of what ineffective “assholes” do during any sort of protest. So I stand by it.

    However, if this become something more than ephemeral wishes for a shiny, happy egalitarian paradise, I’m all over it with both financial and material support.

    Also, too…I actually love RATM. As I do Greenday and Prodigy. A lot of us old punks still are. Punks, that is. LOL!

  113. 113
    Arm The Homeless says:

    Obviously I am a RATM fan. But if I am looking for a band’s lyrics to sink my teeth into, I am probably going to go with Propagandhi. YMMV

  114. 114
    BrianM says:

    @geg6:

    Transit Workers and Teamsters Unions are both in on the protest.

  115. 115
    geg6 says:

    @BrianM:

    Well, thank heaven. Some people with organizational skills are sorely needed. Excellent news.

  116. 116
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @beltane: I guess that means that geg6 will approve of that message now.

  117. 117
    singfoom says:

    http://nplusonemag.com/occupywallstreet

    A list of specific demands (silly to serious, but definitely some I can certainly ge behind)

    To repeal the Citizens United Supreme Court decision (through a constitutional amendment)

    To remove the bull sculpture from Wall Street (as suggested to us by a man who walked by dressed as a banker but wearing a noose instead of a tie)

    Some form of debt cancellation (either for everyone or just for students)

    Pay-as-you-go military intervention (so that wars could not be waged without Congress agreeing to finance them immediately)

    Taxes on small financial transactions (one version of this is known as a Tobin tax)

    Full employment

    A social wage or guaranteed income (also described as a negative income tax)

    Universal care centers (for children and the elderly)

    Reinstating the Glass-Steagall act (a banking reform passed in 1933 and partially repealed in 1980)

    Paid sick leave for all working Americans

    Greater political transparency in general

    Overturning Citizens United and reinstating Glass-Steagall are damn good goals.

  118. 118
    Ruckus says:

    mistermix

    Maybe it’s that there is so much wrong right now and many of the battles are huge that people have to latch onto the small injustices, the one’s they may have a chance to fix.

  119. 119
    Paul in KY says:

    @singfoom: I hate Adam Ant. How did he even become a star!?

    Edit: Did like some of the other acts you mentioned.

  120. 120
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @singfoom: My personal take after having watched Mr. Hilton is that he’s mayberry in all the ways that count.

  121. 121
    AA+ Bonds says:

    One thing that strikes me about that video is that if you watch the non-white-shirted cops around the cordon react as the women are screaming and falling to the ground, they are looking and gesturing at each other in semi-panic. They aren’t even sure what happened or why, or how to react.

    Such a clear abuse of power – absolutely disgusting. And whatever that coward did exactly, it looks like he calmly called it in to SOMEBODY a second later. If that transcript doesn’t mysteriously disappear, it should damn him and likely someone on the other end.

  122. 122
    AA+ Bonds says:

    If you don’t sympathize with these protesters, then you need to Learn How to Democrat.

    We all should have been there, getting maced, is the real story. I think we all know damn well why those people were out there raising hell.

  123. 123
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @geg6:

    It would be good for the Democrats if you stopped whining, yes. Although maybe you want Republicans to get elected, so there’s that.

  124. 124
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @BrianM:

    Yup. I am wondering when folks are going to realize that they need to start rocking Teamsters gear everywhere they go – they’re generally to the right of me, but they get things done and they don’t shut up. That’s what’s behind these protests, and that’s how we’ll win in 2012.

    @singfoom:

    I don’t think this has changed the protest into a conversation about police overreach. It’s just a fact that when large protests happen and police us crowd control tactics, that someone is going to get hurt.

    LOL, “crowd control tactics”. Like walking up to a group of cordoned off women, surrounded and outnumbered by police, and hosing them down with mace. That’s “control”, all right – the unconstitutional kind, the kind you find in Iran and China.

  125. 125
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    It’s really silly to say that Tactic A is bad just because Tactic B is effective so everybody should do Tactic B all the time. Really, really silly.

  126. 126
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Samara Morgan: Well, there’s a wee problem with studies of this kind; they are very embedded in time and place. For example, I listen to (and play – http://myspace.com/wetheones) classic rock, but I think the Democrats are rotten corp(se)ratists, just slightly less shitty ones than the Republicans. But… I’m not an American. Which means that in all likelihood that study’s results are completely fucking useless within my cultural context.

    Most of the committed lefties up here in Canada love themselves some good ol’ shitkicking rawk. I should know… I’ve played enough parties for them.

  127. 127
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @ruemara: Another mayberry moderate heard from. All except the smell, eh? Remind me not to invite you to any parties, you petty bourgeois sanctimonious tightass.

  128. 128
    singfoom says:

    @AA+ Bonds: No argument there. Obviously he went over the line, but I’m talking just about statistics. Large number of protesters + large number of police = altercations, one way or the other…

    Pepper spraying kettled women is obviously not good/moral/useful

  129. 129
    Cermet says:

    AS for the cop being fired, that is ridiculous – a demotion, maybe, lost pay and desk job for six months but fired? When cops shoot innocent people with no or little legal issues (see Bart cop murder and the infamous PG County cop murdering a student in Virginia for ZERO cause or reason)? Ridiculous to fire someone for stupidly that while immoral and over-the-top, is still not to the level that such action as firing makes any sense.

  130. 130
    RalfW says:

    @ChrisNYC: If ya google it, there are some indy sites claiming a pilot – Occupy linkup. They “report,” you deflate. Fair ’nuff.

  131. 131
    Samara Morgan says:

    @geg6: you know….i was just puncturin’ Coles Phish thesis. It actually only takes one counter-example.
    Then singfoom started raving about correlation not being causation and dumped a buncha anecdote on me.
    wtf.
    there is a statistically significant between group difference in political affiliation between alternative listeners and non-alternative listeners.
    Like the polyoctopus pointed out, the study i linked did not correct for age or geolocation or any number of other variables, and sadly considers Ted Nugent to be an exemplar of “classic-rock”.

  132. 132
    Samara Morgan says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch: a more interesting study would be the correlate of political affiliation with just Ted Nugent fans….or the correlate of political affinity with RatM fans.
    /smiles mischieveously

  133. 133
    Samara Morgan says:

    @RalfW: last wednesday the troy davis march hooked up with occupywallstreet until the Basij NYPD broke them up and and escorted the Davis protestors back to Liberty Square.

    that is what the oligarchs really fear….the infection spreading.

    this is from the occupywallstreet mission statement.

    Like our brothers and sisters in Egypt, Greece, Spain, and Iceland, we plan to use the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic of mass occupation to restore democracy in America. We also encourage the use of nonviolence to achieve our ends and maximize the safety of all participants.

  134. 134
    Larkspur says:

    @AA+ Bonds: You’re thinking along the same lines I am. I read the linked Fallows piece, and clicked on his highlighted Village Voice link, and I watched a different video clip of the first mace incident, from a different angle. You can see one of the non-white-shirted officers react, and you can hear him quite clearly saying “He just fucking maced us!” I knew it. I knew he was shocked and pissed off from the first video. This Bologna guy is not popular in the NYPD these days, even if no one wants to talk on the record about it.

  135. 135
    mark says:

    Don’t know if anybody commented on the OPs link to the excellent Fallows article but that is EXACTLY the kind of thing we need,

    He calls the pig Bologna a coward over and over. See, don’t call them “thugs” that makes them feel good. They are essentially cowards. Call them on it!

    Look at the Republicans latest joke of a budget with cuts to NPR (which Dr. Helen Caldicott calls National Petroleum Radio). The way to fight this is not to get all huffy about the excellent programs they offer or their attempts to find balance or even what Carl Bernstein calls the closest to the truth. Its: “Look at what cowards the Republicans are! They can’t take it if anybody questions them or comes up with a good idea. They are afraid if someone shows us they aren’t telling the truth. Such wimps!”

    Loved the Fallows piece.

  136. 136
    Paul in KY says:

    @Cermet: He should be fired. Gross abuse of power & doing a bit of torture (IMO).

    Is that the kind of cop you want on the force, walking around armed?

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