holding signs

Walking among their passengers:

Wall Street saw yet another surge in protesters today – as hundreds of Continental and United Airlines pilots demonstrated in New York City’s financial district.

Over 700 hundred activists, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) carriers, took their grievances to the streets as they protested for wages and benefits in light of a stalled merger between the airlines.

Using the image from the “Miracle on the Hudson” was clever. The Postal Workers were out yesterday, too. If this keeps up, we’ll all be able to find a picket line to join.






206 replies
  1. 1
    geg6 says:

    Now, this is what I’ve been talking about. These are people that my friends and neighbors will support, happily. I wish they’d take the DFHs seriously, but they don’t. Pilots, Teamsters, transportation workers, and postal workers are all the very picture of middle America. Get some nurses and teachers (this stuff needs some females, front and center, for all the soccer moms) and we’ll have a real movement happening.

  2. 2
    cleek says:

    If this keeps up, we’ll all be able to find a picket line to join.

    ain’t no C++ programmer’s union.

  3. 3
    beltane says:

    For those complaining that there were too many dirty hippies at the protest, I say: Are you satisfied now?

    Really, you can only sh*t on workers while rewarding Wall Street so much before people say “Enough!”. The hippies built a protest and the workers did come. That’s how it’s supposed to be.

    Thank you Kay. That is an awesome picture.

  4. 4
    kay says:

    @efgoldman:

    Come on. You gotta give them “what’s a pilot worth?” with that picture of the plane in the river.

    That’s good.

  5. 5
    kay says:

    @cleek:

    To join, cleek :)

    I’m not a teacher (which is lucky, for students) either, but I can hold a sign.

  6. 6
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @efgoldman:

    Any of the pilots get maced on the face?

    Nope, so as per some of our local experts on protest, that means this one isn’t a real protest.

  7. 7

    Meanwhile, the U.S. media fawns over which Republican wackadoodle is manly enough to deserve its undivided attention.

    Why the fuck do I have to read about this in the UK papers? What the fuck is the U.S. media doing besides devoting 100% of its time to an election that 13 fucking months away?

    I fucking give up I really, really do.

  8. 8
    adolphus says:

    @efgoldman

    Ahhhh Mace Face. My favorite Dick Tracey villain.

  9. 9
    kay says:

    @Southern Beale:

    To be fair, it’s in plenty of US media. I just liked this story.

  10. 10
    singfoom says:

    Good for the airline pilots. I’m also glad that the unions are finally getting involved. This really feels like it has the ability to turn in a much bigger movement.

    I still don’t think the original protesters are assholes, nor do they deserve to be called such just because they aren’t the Cleavers.

    I’ll try to see if I can find any video or pictures of the airline pilot protesters, but from above, it’s telling that there aren’t any cops kettling the pilots…

  11. 11
    Trinity says:

    This bring me great joy.

  12. 12

    Far more importantly, a picket line to honor.

    I have been unemployed for over a year, but recently I was offered “temporary employment to help us during a labor dispute” and turned it down cold.

    My Mama didn’t raise no scabs.

  13. 13
    ruemara says:

    This is excellent. I’m now officially jazzed. And tearing up.

  14. 14
    Cat Lady says:

    Those snappy uniforms all in a line look great in those pictures. It’s going to get harder and harder for the media to dismiss this “rabble”, cuz the optics are getting SO good.

  15. 15
    trollhattan says:

    That’s awesome. I’m reminded a bit of civil rights protesters in the 1960s, dressed for Sunday church. This made them harder to ignore and marginalize.

    I’m not generally a fan of street theater for scoring political points, be it foam tree costumes or tri-cornered hats and muskets.

  16. 16
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @cleek: That was exactly what I was going to put.

  17. 17

    @kay:

    I haven’t seen it on the TeeVee (except lefty shows like Olbermann and Rachel Maddow). And if it’s not on TeeVee it ain’t happening.

  18. 18
    HRA says:

    Thanks, Kay. Great subject as always from you.

    It’s the uniform that makes them (cops)stay away.

  19. 19
    cleek says:

    @singfoom:

    I still don’t think the original protesters are assholes, nor do they deserve to be called such just because they aren’t the Cleavers.

    were a lot of people were calling them assholes ?

  20. 20
    Elie says:

    @Southern Beale:

    The MSM and Village Leaders donot want this to spread and if they put this out, they believe that people might want to join up and you know, assert their rights and shit. I think its going to happen anyway, but I am not surprised and don’t let yourself get demoralized by that. Take satisfaction in knowing that they will not matter…I also send around these links to my friends..

  21. 21
    Jim in Chicago says:

    When the Police Union joins the protest, then we’ll really have a victory!

  22. 22

    @beltane: #4

    The hippies built a protest and the workers did come. That’s how it’s supposed to be.

    Revolutionary theory 101.

    But it might be an accurate analysis of what’s happening. Stay tuned for all the latest developments.

  23. 23
    singfoom says:

    @cleek: No, not a lot. Just one, who stands by her insult for some reason. I’m just stirring shit up.

    More pics of the ALPA protest:
    http://photos.denverpost.com/m.....r-27-2011/

  24. 24
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Cat Lady:

    Those snappy uniforms all in a line look great in those pictures. It’s going to get harder and harder for the media to dismiss this “rabble”, cuz the optics are getting SO good.

    The pilots won’t get dismissed as rabble, but that ain’t going to rub off on the original protesters. The ways in which the pilots got the optics of this right aren’t really applicable to everyone else.

  25. 25
    Butch says:

    Can I quibble with the term “activists,” which I think in this context is meant to be at least slightly pejorative? It’s working people fed up with their treatment.

  26. 26

    Michael Moore just Tweeted that the NYC Transit Union Exec Board has endorsed Occupy Wall Street.

    Damn. The kids pulled it off, they really did.

  27. 27
    cleek says:

    @singfoom:

    More pics of the ALPA protest:

    wow, Richard Gere is a pilot?

  28. 28
    Donut says:

    @beltane:

    Agreed.

    The amount of petty naysaying from many-a BJ commenter was ridiculous. WTF do some of you people want? Are we only supposed to put up teachers and firefighters when we protest against the right wing and their puppet-masters in the financial sector? Also, is it okay with some of you that these are private sector workers? Do pilots pass the “not lower-class enough” smell test for (some of) you assholes now? Some of you can come off as amazingly privileged. Figure it out – this protest is not all about you or what you think it should be. Grow up.

  29. 29
    singfoom says:

    @cleek: Right? That guy is a dead ringer.

  30. 30
    kay says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Good point. I don’t know. I still watch tv, I just can’t watch tv news and/or opinion.

  31. 31

    @Elie:

    Wow and here I thought the news media was interested in A GOOD FUCKING STORY. Silly, stupid, naive little me.

    :-}

    I mean, would someone interview a couple of Wall Street brokers and tell me what THEY think? Are they nervous? How is this being received on the other side? I’d like to know. Maybe someone in the business of interviewing people and getting some comments and weaving them into a story and then distributing that story to people all around the country — you know, the MEDIA — could find out for me.

    Or, you know, maybe they could talk about whether Rick Perry can really make it or break it at the next GOP debate.

    /sarcasm

  32. 32
    kay says:

    @Butch:

    Can I quibble with the term “activists

    You may.

    I hate the word, too. It’s just everywhere now, though, so I don’t think it’s meant to demean or minimize.

  33. 33
    catclub says:

    @Southern Beale: Reporting on Solyndra.

  34. 34
    Elie says:

    @Donut:

    C’mon now… lets not use dividing language or intent now when there is positive and progressive evolution of this thing. Please. Honestly, please think of all that we have in common with each other and all the good things that can come of this energy if we work together and support each other, no matter the differences. We will all never think alike about everything and that is probably not achievable. So lets focus on the positive and leave our resentments behind…

  35. 35

    @kay:

    There’s a bank of 5 televisions at my gym. I usually switch it off of Fox whenever I get in there (though occasionally I leave it on if I want to know what the GOP message of the day is …). But usually I’ve got a bank of TV’s on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and MSNBC to watch for an hour during morning new hour — 7:30-8:30 am. I have seen NOTHING on the Wall Street protests on any of the channels. Nothing.

    I’ve seen Herman Cain interviewed everywhere, I’ve seen crap on that Kardashian creature, I’ve seen Rick Perry and Obama, I’ve seen all sorts of Republican and Democratic strategists interviewed but I’ve seen zero actual news, and certainly nothing on this.

    So.

  36. 36
    Cat Lady says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    I used to work at a top law firm in Boston that leaned so far left that I’m surprised the building didn’t tilt. They only hired the best and brightest from the top schools, and then expected them to do a lot of pro bono. They were proud they had defended Sacco and Vanzetti. They sent a contingent to oversee ballot counting in Florida in 2000 on behalf of the Democrats. From their hires they produced an ACLU executive director, several top notch first amendment litigators, an openly gay state senator who was instrumental in advocating for same sex marriage, a Bar Association president who fought the Bush DOJ on illegal detention, and so on. Interestingly, they didn’t hire anyone who had piercings, visible tattoos, blue hair, chain jewelry, etc. I thought that was a very effective strategy for being taken seriously. Nothing got in the way of the message.

  37. 37
    Martin says:

    Nobody is covering the bigger story.

    People used to protest in front of the Capitol. That’s where the power was, that’s where you needed to take the message. Apparently no longer. Now the power is clearly established to be Wall Street. Obama would do well to raise this issue and rhetorically ask Congress why the public thinks that Wall Street is more powerful than the US Congress is, and whether they think that’s good for America.

  38. 38
    singfoom says:

    @Cat Lady: Because court is totally the same as in the street protests.

    People carry preconceptions of other people and who/what they are based on their physical appearance all the time, and it’s usually all bullshit projection.

    We need ALL kinds of people involved in this protest, from trashy looking gutter punk anarchists to completely straight edge laywers.

    Regardless of how you look, you get out there and support the movement, who cares?

  39. 39
    kay says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Right. Agreed. I’m sure we all have our tipping point. Mine was when CNN showed footage of a woman being tasered in the course of a traffic stop, and they had a long panel discussion on what she did wrong in the course of the stop.

    I think that’s insane. I don’t want any part of that.

  40. 40
    Donut says:

    @Elie:

    I am a democrat and a Democrat. I want all voices to be heard and all I’m saying is there is not a “right way” and/or a “wrong way” to protest. And I’m happy to be a scold (jerk) and call it like I see it.

    Also, we are on the internet after all. It is easy to ignore me.

  41. 41
    Elie says:

    @Martin:

    I hope that the administration takes that up. We’ll see.

  42. 42
    Napoleon says:

    @Jim in Chicago:

    Yeah, but who will be there to mace them?

  43. 43
    Martin says:

    @cleek:

    were a lot of people were calling them assholes?

    No. I called them stupid, though.

    This protest by the pilots is much more effective. Not because of the uniforms (though that never hurts) but because the message is simple, clear, and effectively repeated. I still don’t know what the fuck that other group of protestors were trying to communicate.

  44. 44
    Elie says:

    @Donut:

    Oh no! I hope that I did not come across too strongly to you, which was not my intent. In some other threads on this topic, things got kind of steamy and I was just trying to work the smoothing energy. That is all and carry on as you see fit.

  45. 45
    Napoleon says:

    @Southern Beale:

    NBC nightly news covered it yesterday or the day before.

  46. 46
    MaximusNYC says:

    @Martin:

    Nobody is covering the bigger story.

    People used to protest in front of the Capitol. That’s where the power was, that’s where you needed to take the message. Apparently no longer. Now the power is clearly established to be Wall Street.

    Personally, I think people should start protesting in front of media company offices.

  47. 47
    Cat Lady says:

    @singfoom:

    I agree with this, but effectiveness is key now. If it “looks” like it’s about to be another G8 conference protest about to tip to chaos, there goes a big chunk of your potential supporters. That’s just the way it is.

  48. 48
    trollhattan says:

    More, on controlling the narrative.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2.....ll_st.html

  49. 49

    @Donut:

    Are we only supposed to put up teachers and firefighters when we protest against the right wing and their puppet-masters in the financial sector? Also, is it okay with some of you that these are private sector workers?

    Yes and YES- the protest needs definition. It needs a fine point. What has the death penalty got to do with occupying Wall Street?

  50. 50
    singfoom says:

    http://vimeo.com/ivarad/occupywallst – Great video of the protesters (the stupid smelly assholes for the naysayers)

    Some old ladies in the video seem pretty “normal”, maybe they can be approved.

  51. 51
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Donut:

    Are we only supposed to put up teachers and firefighters when we protest against the right wing and their puppet-masters in the financial sector?

    Rosa Parks was not the first black woman arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus, but she was the first respectable, middle-class one whose arrest would be able to spark a widespread movement.

    I give the kids who started this all kinds of credit for being the catalyst, but you have to broaden the base of the movement to get it to move ahead. Even the dirtiest DFHs from the Vietnam era will admit that there wasn’t much progress towards ending the war until you started getting middle-class groups like Another Mother for Peace clamoring for it as well.

    So, yes, you do need teachers and firefighters and pilots to show up and show their support because you need a broad base to get a broad movement off the ground, not just a tiny group of activists.

  52. 52
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @cleek: “I’m a member of a C++ Union” would actually be a funny t-shirt.

  53. 53
    Elie says:

    @Cat Lady:

    Agree with you completely. Peaceful, orderly protest is what is necessary. There would be every motivation on the opposition to incite violence or to plant people who do that. That would mess this completely up and take it off the high road that it needs to be.

    I was so upset yesterday on a BJ thread discussing this when a couple of our resident knuckle heads actually “joked” about “wanting” blood or to “arm” the protesters. That shows you what morons folks can be cause that would totally screw up this opportunity — and make no mistake — its a huge opportunity for real people to assert their simple message: “enough!”

  54. 54
    singfoom says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): “I am an instance of a child of an abstract class” would be a good OO Programmers Union shirt.

    ETA: Proper subclassing

  55. 55
    kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Without a joint contract that merges seniority and duties, the carrier cannot achieve the full measure of cost and revenue benefits forecast as part of the merger. The announcement came after pilots at United Airlines asked a federal judge on Monday to halt integration with Continental Airlines, saying the company is moving too fast in its bid to merge operations fully.

    Just to be clear, I don’t know that the pilots chose the location based on anything other than the fact that this whole dispute has to do with a merger. One of their claims is that the airlines are pretending that the talks are going well, and they’re not going well.

    I don’t know that we can assume “catalyst”. I’m all for “catalyst”, but we don’t know.

  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I mentioned this on a previous thread, but my best frien from undergrad is an airline pilot who has been spend much of his free time over the past couple of years picketing. They might be in NY right now because of the other protests, but it is not what caused them to picket.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Donut:

    There’s not a “right way” or a “wrong way,” but there is an “effective way” and a “not so effective way.”

    Having a bunch of college kids with drum circles is a less effective way to protest than having a bunch of airline pilots in uniform march carrying pictures of the Hudson River crash asking people if they really want to save money by cutting experienced pilots.

    Honestly, I strongly suspect that the kids who organized this have been getting in touch with other organizations to gain their support, because they clearly aren’t dumb and they know that they need that broad-based support if they don’t want to be dismissed as just another bunch of smelly hippies.

  58. 58
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Is it possible that there’s a difference between protests that are intended to accomplish something concrete and those that are primarily intended to call attention to the fact that there are discontented people out there? Because the discussion when this first came up was all about not knowing what the protesters wanted; but is there such a thing as a protest that wants nothing more than eyeballs? A “visibility protest,” maybe?

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kay:
    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Yeah, okay, I got overexcited and didn’t read the story.

    But if the kids organizing the Occupy Wall Street protest are as smart as I think they are, they’ll associate themselves with the pilots’ protest ASAP.

  60. 60
    kay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Right, agreed. They say they chose this site because of the proposed merger and because they will encounter frequent business travelers, and one of the issues is training, and thus, safety.

  61. 61
    Corner Stone says:

    @Martin:

    I still don’t know what the fuck that other group of protestors were trying to communicate.

    “I can comment lucidly on experiments involving neutrinos and FTL issues but I’m too stupid to spend 30 seconds to independently determine what the protest is about!”

  62. 62
    Emma says:

    @Southern Beale: I gave it up around the time of the Bush/Gore debacle. Best decision I ever made, because the closest I’ve ever come to homicide was when I heard some of those evil mf’ers confess that they loved to beat up on Gore.

  63. 63
    cleek says:

    @Martin:

    This protest by the pilots is much more effective. Not because of the uniforms (though that never hurts) but because the message is simple, clear, and effectively repeated. I still don’t know what the fuck that other group of protestors were trying to communicate.

    100% agree.

    KISS

  64. 64
    scav says:

    Some people are vetting the list of acceptable protesters with the vigor and strictness of spin-doctor-bouncers at the door of a W town-hall meeting. I admit to finding that dispiriting, however much I can abstractly appreciate where they’re coming from.

  65. 65
    staci says:

    Why are these people not marching on Congress? As mad as we may be at the folks on Wall Street, they didn’t make the laws – they did as many people would do – took advantage of the loopholes given. I couldn’t believe how smug Michael Moore looked yesterday with the protesters when he knows he is participating in a useless effort complaining about Wall Street. Those guys could not have hurt us at all with the kissy face that goes on with our legislators. Yell at the folks that are really responsible.

  66. 66
    Corner Stone says:

    Didn’t St. Reagan fire the ass right off the airline pilots’ union?
    Doesn’t that make them de facto hippie scum with a bad body odor?

  67. 67
    Cat Lady says:

    @Elie:

    To be clear, I’ve never called any of the protesters a disparaging name. I’ve marched in several large protests, and it felt good, but still, here we are. I think this protest is awesome, and I have a strong feeling that we on the left are going to get just this one crack at it, and this feels heavy with possibility. It needs more heft, and sorry, but the kids have to get, and just as importantly, look as serious as a heart attack. With focus, now that they’ve gotten everyone’s attention. No burning cars, please!

  68. 68
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Corner Stone: Actually, it was air traffic controllers.

  69. 69
    singfoom says:

    @staci: Because Wall Street owns Congress. When a dog shits on your yard, do you yell at the dog, or the owner who allowed the bad behavior?

  70. 70
    cleek says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):
    hah!

    also:
    “members of my class have no friends”
    or
    “my member is private”

  71. 71
    Shinobi says:

    I don’t know why people get on the young hippies as if being a young hippie somehow meant that you don’t get to vote. Those unemployed kids camping out in that park are voters, and they have a voice. It encourages me to see people from my generation interested in politics and advocating for change. Some older folks are sure that they will have the largest say forever because young people don’t vote. But they do now.

  72. 72
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Cat Lady:

    I finally saw some actual video of the protesters on either O’Donnell or Olbermann’s show Wednesday night. I had two thoughts: (1) The DFH quota was lower than I had allowed myself to believe (this was before the pilots arrived, and you could already see plenty of older and/or other non-DFH demographics there). And (2) That crowd would be a hell of a lot more scary-looking to Wall Street if they were all dressed in suits and ties.

  73. 73
    jrg says:

    What right do these non-productive moocher airline pilots have to hassle our super-productive Wall St. trader overclass? /dumbasswingnut

  74. 74
    Corner Stone says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Oooo, yeah. My bad. Any time I think of Ronnie the blood starts flowing in the wrong direction.

  75. 75
    Emma says:

    @singfoom: I’m sorry to answer your question as: the people who matter. The voting majority.

    I hate it, but the US is a country in which certain people are dismissed out of hand because of their looks, and if they can’t be dismissed, they can be abused. The majority of the population shrugs and says things like what do they expect?

    I remember a professor in college telling me that the day she joined the civil rights movement was the day she watched fire hoses turned on women and children dressed in their go-to-Church best. These people, who except for their skin color, looked and acted just like her managed to get through her own personal “color barrier.”

    Fair? No. But it sure as hell worked.

  76. 76

    In other news, since I know Kay is an animal lover … this two-faced kitty in Boston scared the crap out of me.

  77. 77
    28 Percent says:

    @cleek:

    ain’t no C++ programmer’s union.

    ASP MVC is what you need. Lrn 2 .Net & C# nub!

  78. 78
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Corner Stone:
    I think you mean the air-traffic controllers’ union.

    @all:
    Sorry for going off-topic, but I think this piece of satire shows that The Onion is still comfortably keeping up with reality. There’s even a TPM reax.

  79. 79
    kay says:

    @staci:

    Why are these people not marching on Congress?

    Well, Sully (the pilot who was our national hero for about 20 minutes) did go to Congress. He testified. He told them everyone involved in the “Miracle on the Hudson” was a union member.

    It is an incredible testament to the collective character, professionalism and dedication of my colleagues in the industry that they are still able to function at such a high level. It is my personal experience that my decision to remain in the profession I love has come at a great financial cost to me and my family. My pay has been cut 40%, my pension, like most airline pensions, has been terminated and replaced by a PBGC guarantee worth only pennies on the dollar.

    That was immediately prior to the start of the media and conservative campaign to attack all unions, I believe.

    I don’t know what you want them to do.

    He landed a passenger plane in a river, and they still ignored him :)

  80. 80
    cleek says:

    @28 Percent:
    i like C++ because it’s not a moving target.

    i got off the chase-MS-around bandwagon a couple of years ago and have been much happier for it.

  81. 81

    As for the sorry state of our news media, I recently discovered BBC World News on my satellite radio, and it has saved my life. Imagine: in depth discussion of a current event that goes on for, like, 10 minutes! Without needing some yokel to call in and express their opinion! Just a factual discussion by experts. Totally amazing.

    I’ve learned so much about what’s happening in the world since I started listening. I can’t believe it but there are actually things happening, events, people doing things … and none of it has anything to do with the U.S. Republican presidential primary!

    I can’t help but think the more insulated we behave, the further America’s place in the world falls. We just look and act like a bunch of babies staring at their feet waving in the air. Cute but .. ultimately, not very useful until they grow up.

    Yeesh.

  82. 82
    singfoom says:

    @Emma: Well, that’s a fair opinion and I can respect it, but I just disagree.

    I don’t think it is dependent on a person to get others to get over their preconceptions, nor is it possible.

    I really think there’s a generational thing going on here. I’m in my 30s, and I’m a professional. In my industry (application development), you’ll find a ton of people that look very strange to some. Usually it’s the wackiest looking guy in the room that comes up with the most elegant solution to a given problem.

    The looks are immaterial and will continue to be to me. Yes, perhaps more people might be more interested if all the protesters were there in suits and ties, but that’ll never happen.

  83. 83
    Cat Lady says:

    @Judas Escargot:

    This whole protest should be considered like a job interview now – how do you present yourself to your target audience (which has to be defined, starting now) when trying to make your case? The challenge is how to turn critical moments of opportunity to your advantage so your message is heard and not how you look when saying it. It’s just a sad fact of life that it matters.

  84. 84
    singfoom says:

    @Southern Beale: I can heartily recommend BBC newshour podcast and the BBC Americana show. Very nice reporting.

  85. 85
    beltane says:

    @Emma: I live in a rural blue-collar town and the only people I ever see in suits are Jehovah’s Witnesses. Maybe the things upper-middle class people can relate to are not the same things that other people can relate to. I guess I should never attend a protest, my clothes aren’t fancy enough.

  86. 86
    jaywillie says:

    @beltane: I’m sorry but you’re attributing the airline pilots strike happening because of Occupy Wall Street and that’s just not the case. From the LaborUnionReport.com:

    “On Tuesday, more than 700 pilots from United Continental (created by a merger of Continental Airlines and United Airlines) protested on Wall Street. Unrelated to the #OccupyWallSt protests less than a block away, the pilots were out to protest the slowness of contract negotiations”

    I understand completely why you’d want to co-opt someone else’s protest in light of the ineffectual and largely unnoticed OccupyWallStreet (outside of the online left), especially given that whatever message they were attempting to be convey has been drowned out by the pepper-spraying incident. If you want to simply dismiss the criticisms, that’s fine–but it’s a problem that even OccupyWallstreet knows it has. Next time, before you hold a protest until your demands are met, know what those demands are–don’t say you’re still figuring them out; that only makes it easier for the people you’re protesting against to marginalize you. Take a cue from the airline pilots, postal workers, and other labor protests, because they know what they’re doing. If you’re just gonna act like know-it-alls (who clearly don’t) taking on the guise of forty-year-old cultural relics, don’t be surprised when the vast majority of the left doesn’t join you–we’ve moved on from the 1960s; you should, too.

  87. 87

    @Corner Stone:

    “I can comment lucidly on experiments involving neutrinos and FTL issues but I’m too stupid to spend 30 seconds to independently determine what the protest is about!”

    Bullshit.

    30 seconds is going to get you through about .5% of the items on the grievance list.

  88. 88
    slag says:

    @Donut:

    Figure it out – this protest is not all about you or what you think it should be.

    OK. Maybe it’s not all about me. Just 99% about me?

    Just sayin…if you’re claiming to represent 99% of the people, you should expect 99% of the people to give some input–good or bad.

  89. 89
    singfoom says:

    @28 Percent: The irony of someone who codes .NET in C# calling a C++ programmer a noob is delicious.

    Those MFers have to manage their own memory and shit. That’s not noob, that’s hardcore.

    I would suggest you take a look at the Subsonic project instead of .NET MVC anyway. You don’t need their framework to do MVC correctly as a design pattern.

    Or better yet, Ruby on Rails. Context switching between C# and Ruby in the same day is fun!

  90. 90
    JPL says:

    @Amir Khalid: reply to ot..the new york times media blog just wrote about it.. tsk tsking
    I did write a comment asking who the onion was mocking, Congress or the media for using the term in the first place. The Twitter feed is hilarious btw.

    Sorry Kay for the ot

  91. 91
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @cleek: I’ve done both C# and C++, actually at the same time, and other than writing UIs, I prefer C++. I’ve got to learn QT and get hired to use it. (Geeky)Make sure you check out boost/proto when you get a chance.(/Geeky)

  92. 92
    g says:

    I don’t know why people get on the young hippies as if being a young hippie somehow meant that you don’t get to vote. Those unemployed kids camping out in that park are voters, and they have a voice.

    And they are our children. If any of you have kids in college or just graduated, they can’t get jobs.

  93. 93

    @Mnemosyne:

    Historically, it has been the middle classes that staged successful rebellions. Well, I guess if it’s successful then it’s a revolution. Whatever.

    The point is, participation of obviously middle class people in the protest may be absolutely necessary.

    And yes, I admire the kids for going out there and starting it. Who knew you could rebel against the One Percent?

  94. 94
    slag says:

    @kay:

    He landed a passenger plane in a river, and they still ignored him :)

    See…now if he had gotten out of the plane and walked on top of the river, that would have been something.

  95. 95

    @singfoom:

    We have DirectTV (I know, part of Murdoch’s evul empire…), but every time I tune in to BBC America it’s something like “Cash In The Attic” or some other lame show. The actual news comes on at 4 am and, like, midnight.

    Wish I could see BBC TV news at a decent hour. I guess I could DVR it …

  96. 96
    Yevgraf says:

    It occurred to me that all the “stocks rose/fell on the news of ______________, as investors were encouraged by/experienced fear over the fact that this mans ________________” has been nothing but a pretense all along. The pretense is that the financial ubermensch are actually doing some work and analysis, as opposed to picking red or black on the roulette turn.

    Any reporting you do on Wall Street activity could be easily transposed onto sports betting, with far more satisfying results arising from the sports betting.

  97. 97
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @slag: Only if he could turn the water into money.

  98. 98
    singfoom says:

    @Southern Beale: Sorry, misconnect. I listen to Newshour and BBC Americana as podcasts. I know newshour is a video show.

    There’s also a great series of Oxford style debating in America, I’ll have to look the name up.

  99. 99
    Yevgraf says:

    FYWP. Godammit, fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

  100. 100
    Maude says:

    The reason they aren’t protesting at the Capitol is the golden rule.
    Wall Street is what Senator McConnell protects.
    The GOP is tied in double knots to the financial sector and so was Bill Clinton.

  101. 101
    beltane says:

    @jaywillie: How many people here would have heard about the Airline Pilots strike without this other protest happening? Sorry, but I’m seeing a lot of upper-middle class snobbery here. You all sound like George Will bitching about people wearing blue jeans. Elitism at its worst.

    My husband works is a f*cking machine operator at a food processing plant. I guess we’re not good enough to participate in a proper, genteel type of protest. Maybe in addition to requiring a photo id, we will also have to deal with fashion police at the polling places.

  102. 102
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Is it possible that there’s a difference between protests that are intended to accomplish something concrete and those that are primarily intended to call attention to the fact that there are discontented people out there? Because the discussion when this first came up was all about not knowing what the protesters wanted; but is there such a thing as a protest that wants nothing more than eyeballs? A “visibility protest,” maybe?

    I think you are on to something here, but the distinction is less superficial and cosmetic than this. To effect change protests need to accomplish at least one of two different goals which involve appealing to different audiences. First, a protest can try attract attention to an issue from people who already sympathize with the viewpoint of the protesters but who simply weren’t paying much attention to the issue before. Second and much harder, a protest can try to use moral suasion to move people who were already paying attention to the issue but who were formerly not sympathetic to the cause over into the symathizer column. Call these “attention protests” and “persuasion protests” respectively.

    The Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s managed to do both, which is a very high bar to leap. Protests against the concentrated power of Wall St today may be effective as an “attention protest” without having to cover as much ground to persuade as did the Civil Rights Movement, because Wall St. today is already less popular with a middle class class mass audience than was white race privelege with a mostly white audience back in the 1950s.

  103. 103
    Yevgraf says:

    @singfoom:

    @28 Percent: The irony of someone who codes .NET in C# calling a C++ programmer a noob is delicious.

    Those MFers have to manage their own memory and shit. That’s not noob, that’s hardcore.

    I would suggest you take a look at the Subsonic project instead of .NET MVC anyway. You don’t need their framework to do MVC correctly as a design pattern.

    Or better yet, Ruby on Rails. Context switching between C# and Ruby in the same day is fun!

    Let me guess – somebody skipped their senior prom because

    a) he had no date;

    b) a date would have interfered with the weekly D&D game; and

    c) Lara Croft is really hawt!

  104. 104
    Judas Escargot says:

    @cleek:

    Please don’t shoot the messenger: The new C++11 standard (which actually has some really good stuff in it) finally got released a few weeks ago.

    So, while the target hasn’t moved, it did just get a lot bigger.

    Given past iterations, we have a good 3-4 years of mild “confusion” to look forward to, as GNU, MSFT and the rest of them update their compilers.

  105. 105
    singfoom says:

    @Yevgraf: LOL.

    Didn’t skip my senior prom, went with my girlfriend.
    D&D was boring.
    Lara Croft is annoying, I’ll take games with real writing/challenging mechanics rather than simulated boobies.

    Thanks for playing though. :)

  106. 106
    Martin says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): No shit:

    On September 21st, 2011, Troy Davis, an innocent man, was murdered by the state of Georgia. Troy Davis was one of the 99 percent.
    Ending capital punishment is our one demand.
    On September 21st, 2011, four of our members were arrested on baseless charges.
    Ending police intimidation is our one demand.
    On September 21st, 2011, the richest 400 Americans owned more than half of the country’s population.
    Ending wealth inequality is our one demand.
    On September 21st, 2011, we determined that Yahoo lied about occupywallst.org being in spam filters.
    Ending corporate censorship is our one demand.
    On September 21st, 2011, roughly eighty percent of Americans thought the country was on the wrong track.
    Ending the modern gilded age is our one demand.
    On September 21st, 2011, roughly 15% of Americans approved of the job Congress was doing.
    Ending political corruption is our one demand.
    On September 21st, 2011, roughly one sixth of Americans did not have work.
    Ending joblessness is our one demand.
    On September 21st, 2011, roughly one sixth of America lived in poverty.
    Ending poverty is our one demand.
    On September 21st, 2011, roughly fifty million Americans were without health insurance.
    Ending health-profiteering is our one demand.
    On September 21st, 2011, America had military bases in around one hundred and thirty out of one hundred and sixty-five countries.
    Ending American imperialism is our one demand.
    On September 21st, 2011, America was at war with the world.
    Ending war is our one demand.

    So, they’re bitching about everything from capital punishment to wars to political corruption to corporate censorship. And what, exactly, is anyone supposed to do about that?

    Is there legislation you want supported? What? This is just a laundry list of ‘why we think America sucks’. If you want any kind of effective messaging to work, you need to provide solutions not problems. Civil rights wasn’t focused on ‘look at what shitbags white people are’. It was focused on ‘the government must guarantee that all people have the same rights regardless of race’. Solution, not problem. How fucking hard is this concept for people to grasp?

  107. 107
    Bex says:

    @Southern Beale: There’s no room for protest stories on the network “world news.” Right now it’s Michael Jackson again, interrupted occasionally by medical advice or cute pets.

  108. 108
    WaterGirl says:

    @singfoom: These days page hits and clicks seem to drive the narrative, so I made sure to click on every single photo at that link. If people keep posting links to stories, I will make sure to click on every single one. Not quite like joining the picket line, but it’s something.

  109. 109
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Judas Escargot: Actually, VS2010 is only missing a few things, the biggest one being variarg templates (using … in the template list). From what I read last time from gnu, they are pretty far along as well, but they are much more concerned about sticking with the standard, rather than being ahead.

    And while it got bigger, they only change that will affect the current code, or coding skills, is that the memory model changed slightly in order to accommodate multithreading. A lot of the features were geared toward library writers, though nullptr will definitely be useful.

  110. 110
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Historically, it has been the middle classes that staged successful rebellions.

    I’ve often found myself wondering if this isn’t exactly why the PTB seem so hellbent on destroying those very same middle classes.

  111. 111
    cleek says:

    @Judas Escargot:
    yeah, it’ll be a while before i get to that stuff. i’m still writing code that has to be compiled on many OS’s, including some whose C++ compilers never even learned the C++ rule for for loop variable scope. and some who can’t handle std::string in a multi-threaded app.

    it’ll be a good long time before we start doing lambdas and auto variables! :)

  112. 112
    WaterGirl says:

    @Martin:

    Obama would do well to raise this issue and rhetorically ask Congress why the public thinks that Wall Street is more powerful than the US Congress is, and whether they think that’s good for America.

    I would pay a lot of money to see that.

  113. 113

    @Martin:

    It reminds me of the magical thinking of conspiracy theorists: If we can just do this one thing, all of the world’s problems will disappear.

  114. 114
    Emma says:

    @beltane: I have yet to understand why sarcasm is supposed to be an answer to observation. In your mind, does it trump anything else?

    I am not saying people should not attend protests if they don’t look middle class. I’m saying that for something to become too big for the general public to ignore, it seems to help if there are enough of them to make them identify with the protesters.

  115. 115
    Elie says:

    @Southern Beale:

    You CAN get other info on the net and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is on my cable package and does a pretty good job. I agree in general though that US news and information generally sucks on details and follow up — particularly noticeable with interviews where American interviewers are seemingly unable to ask anything in follow up… they just take what the right winger tells them and that is that…

  116. 116
    Emma says:

    @singfoom: Yes, well, conviction and $4.50 buys a giant latte in some overpriced coffee shop.

    As I said, it’s not my favorite concept. But in politics you need allies. And there aren’t enough billionaires on the left ponying up to buy our own congressmen, so… it has to be voters. And most voters are low-info. They look at someone, dismiss them, and the vote goes the other way.

  117. 117
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Martin: Its most famous manifestations — Selma, e.g. — often focused even more narrowly than that, on voting rights.

    The Chartist movement’s charter.

    The Erfurt Program.

    We know how to do this.

  118. 118
    slag says:

    @Martin:

    No. I called them stupid, though.
    __
    This protest by the pilots is much more effective.

    You’re stupid and ineffective. There. Now that you’ve seen the light, I expect nothing less than completely effective intelligence from you from here on out. And by “completely effective intelligence”, I mean:
    1. You will never ever define your ambiguous terms, such as “stupid” and “effective”, and you will use them vigorously and with no tinge of irony.
    2. Coincidentally, you will certainly never give your opinion in first-person, such as “The protest by the pilots is much more persuasive to me because…”, but rather always state your opinions as simple matters of fact that only ineffectual imbeciles could possibly disagree with.
    3. You will directly engage with those who don’t already agree with you and actively try to persuade them to your viewpoint. Just as I did here by calling you stupid and ineffective. Yay me! I’m such an artist in the realm of persuasion. Look at me go!
    4. You will elucidate every future thought you have in simple, easy-to-read bullet points completely devoid of context or tone. This one’s just for fun. Nobody ever contextualizes anymore anyway, so you’ll be among the cool kids.

    Whew. I feel good about this productive little exchange we’ve had. I’m glad that you do too.

  119. 119
    harlana says:

    LOVE IT!

  120. 120
    Maude says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:
    The bit about the 50’s and 60’s, it’s not over.
    Look at what some call our president.

    @beltane:
    There are more of us than them. I was wearing a black tee and jeans because it is rainy, in my job search. The people I talked to were dressed pretty much the same.
    It’s the media that likes the pretty stuff. They know nothing about the airlines or how pilots are treated. They like those natty uniforms and were prolly looking for codpieces.
    The pilots have had a very hard time for a long time. They are blue collar.
    W\hat your husband does is important. Very much so.

  121. 121
    Maude says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:
    The bit about the 50’s and 60’s, it’s not over.
    Look at what some call our president.

    @beltane:
    There are more of us than them. I was wearing a black tee and jeans because it is rainy, in my job search. The people I talked to were dressed pretty much the same.
    It’s the media that likes the pretty stuff. They know nothing about the airlines or how pilots are treated. They like those natty uniforms and were prolly looking for codpieces.
    The pilots have had a very hard time for a long time. They are blue collar.
    What your husband does is important. Very much so.

    Edit: Sorry for the x2 post. Didn’t seem to go through on the first try.

  122. 122
    cleek says:

    @Martin:

    And what, exactly, is anyone supposed to do about that?

    not sure, but i think the answer involves using more open source software.

  123. 123
    Elie says:

    @WaterGirl:

    GREAT idea…

  124. 124
    handsmile says:

    @geg6: (#2)

    Perhaps the hopeful anticipation we both feel today is in part the result of your recent successful (and brave) door-to-door activism and my own first-hand support of the expanding “Occupy Wall Street” protest.

    But my optimism is tempered by the fact that the “very picture of middle America” you cited, the teamsters, transport and postal workers, nurses and teachers who rallied in Madison, Phoenix, Columbus etc. etc, earlier this year was still distorted by the American national media into images of malcontents: disorganized, ill-informed, greedy, chronically agitating.

    You and I with our different methods/styles/opinions of effective advocacy are irrevocably DFHs in their fixed narratives. Attire, proper deportment, and message coherence offer only so much protection. The evidently well-organized, graphically savvy Air Line Pilots Association march today can easily be caricatured as yet another union grab for “More!” at a time of national belt-tightening by the editorial choices of interview and image. These pilots may recall “Miracle on the Hudson” for us; St. Ronnie and the air traffic controllers will be invoked for others.

    Speaking with protesters yesterday at “Occupy Wall Street,” I suggested that in interviews with the media, they refer to Zuccotti Park (the main protest site) as Tahrir Square. Yes, it’s an inexact perhaps even inapt comparison, but it would complicate lazy media narratives if it were to be adopted.

  125. 125
  126. 126

    I’m so old, I remember when we used to protest in front of the White House. Now we protest on Wall Street, where the nation’s REAL power lies.

  127. 127
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    No arguments with any of that. But (as you probably know) the engineers seldom got to choose which compiler version they use. That decision is made by managers, as advised by the IT priesthood (Praise the Company).

    I spent most of last year and the first half of this one developing a C++ multi-threaded library, which in some circles is enough to have me declared legally insane. The updates to multithreading and the new “smart pointers” (many adapted from the Java way of doing things) would have been nice to have available then, but that wasn’t my call.

    I’m more excited about the tuples, built-in hash tables and lambda (anonymous) functions. You’ll be able to do more lisp-y/scheme-y/python-y sorts of things naturally in C++, instead of having to commit horrible sins against the language to get it to do what you need it to do.

    (Having just admitted that I get excited about lambda functions, I think I’ll comment no further on C++ today. Sorry for the topic drift).

  128. 128

    @Judas Escargot:

    (Having just admitted that I get excited about lambda functions, I think I’ll comment no further on C++ today. Sorry for the topic drift)

    Dude, you’ve been in the bathroom for an awfully long time now. Everything alright in there?

  129. 129
    beltane says:

    @Emma: I’m not being sarcastic. I am getting an off-putting vibe of elitism from some of the commenters here and it is one that has hurt liberals in the past. That whole “Real American” schitck was meant to appeal to the non-suit wearing portion of white American and it generally works. Most of the men I know only wear suits at funerals (and very awkwardly I might add) and they tend to be fearful and suspicious of men who wear them routinely.

    The pictures I saw of the protesters looked mostly like a cross-section of young to middle-aged New Yorkers, the people I grew up around. Yeah, there were a few hippies, but mostly it was just normal people. If your target audience consists of affluent suburbanites, than I suppose a dress code is mandatory; I don’t personally know people like that so I’m not sure what is considered proper attire among that crowd. I do know that if the parents of my kids’ classmates saw a protest made up mostly of people wearing nice suits and expensive clothes, their reaction would be “What the f*ck do these rich people have to whine about? They’ve got it made.”

    I think there is a basic failure on the part of certain liberals to understand the nature of class resentment. Most of the “rednecks” I know hate yuppies a lot more than they hate hippies.

  130. 130
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Martin:

    People used to protest in front of the Capitol. That’s where the power was, that’s where you needed to take the message. Apparently no longer. Now the power is clearly established to be Wall Street.

    This.

  131. 131
    WaterGirl says:

    @slag: I love the website you linked to. It reminds me of the “sorryeverybody” website after bush won in 2004. I hope this catches on.

    Edit: http://sorryeverybody.com/

  132. 132
    metricpenny says:

    This warms my heart. As does Kay. Thank you for sharing.

    I read somewhere (here?) yesterday that this might be the beginning of America’s “Arab Spring”. I kinda like that notion. “American Autumn” anyone?

  133. 133
    becca says:

    @Martin: Smartest boy in class award for you today!

    I had not thought of it that way before.

  134. 134
    MikeJ says:

    @cleek: I’d compare left protest politics to much software that is written. Everybody comes up with ideas for things that should be included. Some of these things are good ideas. Zawinski’s Law is that every program expands until it can read mail. Every protest from the left expands until Free Mumia posters appear.

  135. 135
    AA+ Bonds says:

    God bless them, and God bless the United States of America.

  136. 136
    Liberty60 says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:
    I am a coordinator with MoveOn, and organize many protests.

    You are correct, in that the main point of protests is NOT to actually result in the immediate change of policy; its to force the issue to the forefront of the national conversation, even if it angers and alienates people who you wish would join.

    The real enemy of social justice is silence and apathy; the mere fact that aggregate sites like Memeorandum and blogs like this are discussing Occupy Wall Street is proof that they have succeeded in pushing their way to the national podium.

  137. 137
  138. 138
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Martin:

    That sure is an effective whitewashing of the civil rights movement you’ve done there, YAAAASS SUHHH, it certainly had nothing to do with collective bargaining, an end to the Vietnam War, or economic opportunity for the poor.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. understood that in order to succeed, he had to never talk about any of that other stuff, ever.

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Is it possible that there’s a difference between protests that are intended to accomplish something concrete and those that are primarily intended to call attention to the fact that there are discontented people out there?

    Yes – the difference is a world where Americans are so isolated and harried that they need to be shown that there are other Americans out there who are just as pissed off as they are.

    On the other hand, EVERY demonstration is an attempt to ‘demonstrate’, visibly and undeniably, that there are people out there who are discontented.

  139. 139
    drkrick says:

    Without a joint contract that merges seniority and duties, the carrier cannot achieve the full measure of cost and revenue benefits forecast as part of the merger.

    This is interesting – so the net revenue forecast is more binding than the contracts with the pilots?

  140. 140
    WaterGirl says:

    @beltane: Please remember that even though there are a few vocal people here who think that way, not everybody here thinks that way. Not by a long shot.

  141. 141
    cleek says:

    @MikeJ:

    Every protest from the left expands until Free Mumia posters appear.

    i hereby dub this The MikeJ Postulate!

  142. 142
    Emma says:

    @beltane: Most of the rednecks I know hate everyone except rednecks. Perhaps the fact that I am definitely ‘the other’ have colored the encounters.

    All I know is that from all I have seen in the past thirty odd years of watching the US political scene from half-outside, so to speak, the odds are stacked against any sort of protest until and unless the low-info majority is shown how the issue impacts them. And they usually accept it from someone who at least looks somewhat like them, even if there are hippies and yuppies in the background.

  143. 143
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @beltane:

    So much of the critical POV of these protesters grows from the same laughable “eww yuck HIPSTERS” nonsense I see everywhere, although now those people get to be “hippies” because that’s what fits the stereotype of a demonstration.

    Old men, old women, old people of America:

    That is just how young people dress nowadays.

  144. 144
  145. 145
    singfoom says:

    @AA+ Bonds: Yes, but is it an effective way for them to dress? What do they want? I don’t understand their goals…

  146. 146

    @AA+ Bonds:

    That is just how SOME young people LIVING DOWNTOWN IN METROPOLISES dress nowadays.

    FIFY

  147. 147
    cleek says:

    are there really a lot of people talking about how the protesters are dressed?

    personally, i haven’t seen (or remember) any complaints about their dress.

  148. 148
    singfoom says:

    @Southern Beale: Ah, another wingnut who thinks freedom of speech means “I can say anything I want without any consequences.”

    As if there was a right for him to give Seminars at BOA.

  149. 149
    cleek says:

    @Southern Beale:
    i read that as “Maggie Gyllenhaal”. that would be fun.

  150. 150
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Donut: Bingo.

  151. 151
    JustMe says:

    @singfoom:

    People carry preconceptions of other people and who/what they are based on their physical appearance all the time,

    Exactly. Which is why you put on a good show. Protests are a form of street theater. If you can’t dress the part for your theatrical show, then you aren’t up to the job.

    Some fashion disaster might be the best C++ programmer in the world, but unless he’s programming in C++ right at that very moment, what does it matter when he’s at a protest trying to promote awareness for a cause?

    When I’m want C++ programmers, I want the most effective one possible. When I want protesters, I want the most effective one possible. In one case, looks don’t matter, and in the other case, they do.

  152. 152
    singfoom says:

    @JustMe: Well, put on a suit and tie get out there, sport. Thanks for your support!

  153. 153
    harlana says:

    it’s definitely an improvement over drumming on a bloody mannequin arm! ;)

  154. 154
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Ha, nope. I’m speaking as a young person who is definitely a few county lines away from any “metropolis”. That’s how you’ll see the kids rockin’ it at the bar on Friday a mile down the road from the tobacco fields.

  155. 155
    cleek says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    those people get to be “hippies” because that’s what fits the stereotype of a demonstration.

    i think they get to be “hippies” more because of the fact that they’re camping out in a public space, playing drums, doing communal food sharing, can’t focus their efforts on anything more than standard college-lefty boilerplate because it’s more important that everybody get to speak as an equally-empowered and non-uniquely-privileged individual, etc.. you know, hippie stuff.

  156. 156
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @singfoom:

    It’s an effective way for them to be: there, and not at home.

    Young people look at them and think, there’s some young people like me. If they were dressed in suits and ties, it would probably make some (SOME!) old people relate to them more, and some (SOME!) young people relate to them less.

    And yes, you clearly understand what they want. They are out on Wall Street because Wall Street has too much power, Wall Street crashed the economy, and no one has been held accountable. They obviously want more accountability for the crooks there, and they obviously want reform of the system so that Wall Street has less power.

    If you expect them to have a twelve-point plan before hitting the street, you should probably talk to the Spartacists or the ISO, who I am sure were out there with their pre-printed signs and their standardized tracts.

  157. 157

    @AA+ Bonds:

    Yeah, at YOUR bars. Same thing at MY old bars. Problem is that there are a lot of other bars out there where the young people are wearing NASCAR t-shirts or sports shirts with no sense of irony.

  158. 158
    harlana says:

    @beltane: wow, i struggled for 5 years, was unemployed for 2 but i had a damn suit hanging in the closet – anybody who has ever had a job has had to buy a suit to wear to an interview – if anything, i would think it would engender respect, but what do i know, i’m just a working class gal, thankful to be working. lot’s of poor people have at least one suit or something comparable for interviews that require one. you can get free, donated interview clothes through the unemployment office

  159. 159

    @Martin:

    OMG I totally didn’t see your comment before posting mine. Great minds think alike.

    Yes that IS the big story being overlooked.

  160. 160

    @singfoom:

    Remember Laura Ingraham’s constitutional right to have a radio show?

    Guffaw.

  161. 161
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @cleek:

    Grandpa, even if I grant you your goofy assumptions as somehow characterizing all the young folks out there – you know, the ones out there doing what should be done – I’m pretty sure that the Teamsters can handle that stuff. I’m pretty sure the pilots you see above can handle that stuff. Finally, I’m pretty sure that the people at home can handle that stuff, especially the young people. Why can’t you?

  162. 162
    slippy says:

    @cleek:

    i haven’t seen (or remember) any complaints about their dress.

    In the linked article one so-called gentlemen is glibly dismissing the pilots as just throwing in with the dirty fucking hippies.

    I posted a comment asking him if he was lazy, or stupid. But for some reason that comment didn’t post.

  163. 163
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    AFAIK those are the same bars?

    So many old people are really eaten up inside by this “irony” thing – they have to figure out who’s being ironic, if the NASCAR shirt is ironic, if everyone who is wearing a NASCAR shirt is thinking about NASCAR right FUCKING NOW or not and if they are grimly serious with the fear of God about the logo on their shirt. I have heard old people talking about how to tell if someone’s beard is ironic or not.

    Really? I mean, really?

  164. 164
    singfoom says:

    @AA+ Bonds: Absolutely, sorry, I should have snark tagged my comment to you. I’m all aboard. Don’t worry though, I’m sure some more people will show up asking what they want, what their goals are.

  165. 165

    @AA+ Bonds:

    The mullets aren’t ironic, either. Not everyone has a friend with dreds.

  166. 166
    different-church-lady says:

    Folks, it ain’t about the clothing: it’s about the focus.

    People keep talking about Madison by comparison. Well, let’s look at Madison: it was a bunch of people who’s jobs and livelihoods were directly affected by the decisions being made in the building they were occupying. None of theme were wearing suits. But you knew what they were protesting for and you could get behind it.

    That being said, if the “DFHs” and their abstract street theater provided a center of gravity for less fuzzy concepts to rotate around, then it’s all been good. But it ain’t gonna go anywhere but squat in people’s minds just by pounding drums and making giant puppets.

    Not to reinforce facile comparisons, but we should keep in mind that through all that marching in the civil rights movement there was MLK telling people what it was all about, and encouraging people to keep their eye on the ball. He didn’t just protest, he created meaning in the public eye.

    OK, bunch of half-baked thoughts there…

  167. 167
    different-church-lady says:

    @cleek: Strangely, so did I at first.

  168. 168
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @slippy:

    I guarantee you it’s confusing for all the young suits out there to see pilots on the other side of the fence.

    In my experience, most Wall Streeters see themselves as part of a mystical 1950s time warp, linked arm in arm with anyone or anything that looks like it might be holding a martini glass at the end of the day.

  169. 169
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @singfoom:

    Fair enough – I’m trying to put out a few fires here at once, so sorry if you got splashed.

  170. 170
    cleek says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    even if I grant you your goofy assumptions as somehow characterizing all the young folks out there

    my assumptions are based on the writings on the various occupywallst websites, and on the interviews i’ve read and heard from people participating. if those assumptions are incorrect, then we can add “public relations” to the list of things they need to work on.

    Finally, I’m pretty sure that the people at home can handle that stuff, especially the young people. Why can’t you?

    i doubt people at home even know about it. this is getting almost zero coverage.

  171. 171
    singfoom says:

    @different-church-lady: Please. for the love of all that is holy, stop with the fucking giant puppets meme.

    I’ve watched TONS AND TONS of videos of this protest, and I haven’t seen a single goddamn giant puppet.

    Your shorthand for the usual crowd of protesters doesn’t mean that the people in NYC ARE your shorthand.

  172. 172
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Dude, you’ve been in the bathroom for an awfully long time now. Everything alright in there?

    Just having a little tuple with my lambda.

    I’ll be out in a minute.

  173. 173
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Well, if I think I look good with a mullet, and I didn’t grow up with other mullet-wearing people all around me, is my mullet ironic? Am I barred from true mulletude?

    Seriously, there are not a lot of people out there who pick a hairstyle to rock for the next however many months for the purpose of making fun of someone. It’s kind of paranoid to think otherwise.

  174. 174
    different-church-lady says:

    @singfoom: Guilty as charged. Will seek better shorthand. (Although “Mannequin arm drummers” just doesn’t have the same ring.)

  175. 175
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @cleek:

    As far as I can tell, you’re hanging out at some websites put together by some of the groups that are protesting there, websites I’m not reading and I probably won’t read, because they don’t define the demonstrations.

    I’m not talking about those websites. Instead, I’m talking about the demonstrations. As far as PR goes, they seem to be doing just fine. And as gruesome as it is, the blow-up about the mace-happy cop proves that those demonstrators are, in fact, making their point to the world at large.

  176. 176
    Culture of Truth says:

    For real giant puppets you have watch a GOP debate.

  177. 177
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @cleek:

    I agree that it’s sad that this isn’t getting enough coverage, and that all of us (that’s you, cleek) need to be pushing these legitimate demonstrations to everyone you feel comfortable talking to about them, and probably a few people who don’t feel so comfortable to you.

    You need to be talking about how those demonstrators are with it, how they have real complaints that shouldn’t be ignored, how they reflect the mainstream of America, how they are just like you, the person who your listener can’t ignore.

    Surely you’re on a social networking site or two. If you’re not at work, pop open a tab and get on it.

    @Culture of Truth:

    For real giant puppets you have watch a GOP debate.

    LOL, stolen immediately

  178. 178
    patrick II says:

    @singfoom:
    Nice one.

  179. 179
    slag says:

    @WaterGirl: Agreed. That is a good website. And without the Wall Street Occupation, I’m not sure I would have ever seen that website. So, that’s something.

  180. 180
    different-church-lady says:

    @metricpenny:

    I read somewhere (here?) yesterday that this might be the beginning of America’s “Arab Spring”. I kinda like that notion. “American Autumn” anyone?

    Let’s resist the urge to slip into Hoekstroika here, eh? Our protests might be important, but the simply aren’t on the same level as putting your life on the line to remove a despot.

  181. 181
    becca says:

    The local paper has a headline up about OccupyMemphis at Overton Park tomorrow.

    I want to thank the Master Occupyperson who chose a spot so convenient to my home! So thoughtful. I can just stroll over and maybe take cookies.

  182. 182
    wrb says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Is it possible that there’s a difference between protests that are intended to accomplish something concrete and those that are primarily intended to call attention to the fact that there are discontented people out there?

    I’ve been thinking something similar.

    The original protest was the sort that is usually ineffective or counter-productive: Bunch of kids looking like they were more interested in validation than achieving anything, people who would neither influence nor intimidate.

    But this could be an exception, if the freakiness provoked an incident that brought out others who are less likely to be dismissed and are more likely to intimidate.

    Starting a ball rolling

  183. 183
    Donut says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I get your gist, but are we ANYWHERE near the point where there is a coherent message with which some MLK-like figure can step in and turn the general critique into finer points?

    This comparison, “the efficacy of the Civil Rights movement vs. Occupy Wall St,” that keeps coming up in this thread is getting absurd. Goddamn, it’s not like one day King woke up and suddenly knew how to do it and what to say. There was a very very long history of African-American political activism from which he drew, and the language and approach used in the 1950s so effectively by King took a long long time to develop.

    Why do you think it’s necessary – RIGHT THIS SECOND – for the protests to have an entirely coherent meaning? This is democratic protest (using lower case “d” intentionally), people expressing their sheer anger.

    There is time for this to evolve into something better.

    You can’t have this instantly gel into a “movement”. That’s not going to happen. It needs time to shape and to evolve. It won’t happen on your timeline, either. Jeez, it’s like some of you are obsessed with this idea that you should be instantly gratified so that YOUR needs are specifically met.

    Again, I suggest those of you who are on this kick are kinda sorta missing the point. I don’t care if you think I’m wrong or hostile, or whatever. A bunch of you are posting about pie right now, for all I know. Thanks for reading.

  184. 184
    different-church-lady says:

    The local paper has a headline up about OccupyMemphis at Overton Park tomorrow.

    I’m confused: why are we occupying Memphis? Did Memphis become one of the major financial power centers while I wasn’t paying attention? Or are we protesting R&B now?

    (Note: tongue in cheek — I’m trying to make a point about that “focus” thing I keep harping on.)

  185. 185
  186. 186
    singfoom says:

    @different-church-lady: http://occupytogether.org/

    It’s national…..growing every day

    One of the things that is frustrating about this is that if you want to find information about the movement, it’s easy to find on the internet using the Google. It won’t be on the TV or in the papers yet.

  187. 187
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Liberty60:

    You are correct, in that the main point of protests is NOT to actually result in the immediate change of policy; its to force the issue to the forefront of the national conversation, even if it angers and alienates people who you wish would join.

    But as it is, I don’t even know what “the issue” is. And this is after @Martin posted what is evidently the protester’s manifesto. “The issue” appears to be eleven disjoint demands.

    And if we were to break this out piece by piece, a number don’t even work as issues to force to the forefront of the national conversation:

    On September 21st, 2011, roughly eighty percent of Americans thought the country was on the wrong track.
    On September 21st, 2011, roughly 15% of Americans approved of the job Congress was doing.
    On September 21st, 2011, roughly one sixth of Americans did not have work.

    I think we, as a country, are all aware of these.

    So if the point is to raise awareness, “even if it angers and alienates people who you wish would join,” then the protesters really need a new strategy, because the strategy as it is can’t win.

  188. 188
    different-church-lady says:

    @Donut: Those are all excellent points.

    I was offering my thoughts more as observation rather than dismissal or demand. Certainly I do hope things evolve, and this has some staying power through broad support. And it probably can’t be instantaneous, but it’s never too soon to start on it, no?

    I’m just still working on the question from a couple of days ago: why is it that (for sore lack of a better term) ‘professional protesters’ (aka, ‘DFHs’, or ‘giant puppet makers’ or whatever the hell stupid shorthand we want to come up with for them) turn people off? It’s the kind of psychological/social puzzle I like to chew on.

  189. 189
    different-church-lady says:

    @Sentient Puddle: I’m with you on this. And I think your points are important, because this could break two ways. One way would be as a genuine phenomenon that has some impact. The other would be to peter out as a sort of inverse tea party.

    If the message doesn’t evolve into something more significant than “I’m pissed off and it’s self-evident that you should be too!” then it’s going to break the second way. And that would be a shame.

  190. 190
    Monty says:

    @cleek: Maybe Starting a Programmers Union would be a good thing?

  191. 191
    Berial says:

    @different-church-lady
    I think many people turn off of anything related to the ‘DFHs’ (just using this as shorthand) because they show up too often. Almost any protest they show up. Even at right wing protests, they show up to counter protest. People see ‘DFHs’ at every protest no matter how miniscule, decide that’s all they do, so they don’t have or want jobs and therefor “aren’t like me, or anyone I know”. Because the ‘DFHs’ “aren’t like me or anyone I know”, and show up no matter what the subject, they (and their opinions) just don’t matter.

    I don’t think that’s the entirety of it, but a significant portion; tribalism. “They aren’t like me, or my circle, so they are “the other” and “the other” don’t matter to me”.

  192. 192
    different-church-lady says:

    @Berial:

    I think many people turn off of anything related to the ‘DFHs’ (just using this as shorthand) because they show up too often. (etc.)

    You’re helping me apply heat to some of my half-baked thoughts. And I think you’re on the right track.

    Again, the difference between Madison and the start of the Wall Street occupation. Mind, this is only talking about perceptions, but as I said earlier Madison starts off as the people who’s jobs, income, and livelihood were directly affected by the laws being created in that building. They were not protesting an abstract concept, they were protesting actual policy. And they were not doing it for kicks. I doubt a single person there was really into the idea of spending their time protesting.

    The Occupy Wall Street folks, on the other hand, give off the impression of really digging the idea of being protesters — like they seek opportunities to do this kind of thing. They give off a kind of “This is our moment!” vibe instead of a “I’m fighting for my life” vibe.

    Like I said, these are perceptions. Realities are far more complicated. But saying my little amateur psychology job here has any legitimacy it explains why people react differently to pictures of protesters in professional uniforms carrying specific messages than to people creating ‘attention’ through worn-out street theater.

  193. 193
    different-church-lady says:

    Another thought on this is that I might not be giving the occupation organizers enough credit: it may or may not have been the result of coherent strategy, but it’s quite clear that one of their goals* was to create the gravitational center for very broad protest. Now that fresh material is being pulled into the gravitational field it would seem that goal might be met. Which is a very good thing, even if the messaging is absent.

    (*Perhaps, naively, it was their only goal. And while they may have been wrong in thinking it would be sufficient as a goal in and of itself, they were right in it being valuable.)

  194. 194
    KS in MA says:

    @John M. Burt: Good for your Mama, and good for you!

  195. 195
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Let’s not forget that the “Tea Party” protests were plenty incoherent — spanning everything from anti-bailout to pro-gun to anti-HCR to Obama = The Joker. They didn’t have an agenda or a short list of demands. They just started yelling. And it may have diminished their success as a genuine social movement… but they never were that anyway. It definitely didn’t diminish their success in getting people to pay attention to the fact that there were angry crowds making a ruckus about… something.

  196. 196
    D-Chance. says:

    Yay! Astro-turf~!

  197. 197
  198. 198
    Cat Lady says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    The difference being that Fox was promoting the teatards every step of the way, and so were the politicians. These protesters are being deliberately ignored. Maybe Bernie Sanders should be there every day.

  199. 199
    Mnemosyne says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    It definitely didn’t diminish their success in getting people to pay attention to the fact that there were angry crowds of old white people making a ruckus about… something.

    Fix’d. And, as Cat Lady said, much of the “Tea Party” was manufactured and promoted by Fox News and Dick Armey, not a grass-roots effort that happened spontaneously like, say, the state house protests in Wisconsin.

  200. 200
    Cat Lady says:

    @Cat Lady:

    Or perhaps MSNBC could devote hours of man on the street coverage like Fox did for Beck’s million moron march. I guess that wouldn’t be fair and balanced.

  201. 201
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @harlana:

    anybody who has ever had a job has had to buy a suit to wear to an interview

    Just plain not true. People don’t wear suits to interviews for a job in a factory, or at McDonald’s, or with a landscaper, or a variety of other places. My guess is that a lot of software development firms don’t necessarily require them. Me, I have a bunch of suits. OTOH I didn’t wear any of them at the Madison protests. Depending on the day, I dressed for warmth or went with jeans, a sweater, and my long coat. Not that anyone gives a fuck.

  202. 202
    Maude says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Thank you. I stated what I wore today and it was appropriate to the jobs I was going for.
    I thought I heard that this protest was also going on in other countries. Is that right do you know?
    This is great. It has started out slowly and quietly with the only violence being the mace cop.
    I hope it expands and continues.
    It’s like turning on the light in the kitchen and watching the roaches run. The Wall Streeters are in no way comfortable with this. Run, guys, run.

  203. 203
    Robert says:

    It’s amazing that 700 people were able to show up in protest-hating NYC with tons of police present and not be arrested on sight for daring to form. Except for how, you know, the pilots informed the city they were protesting, did exactly what they said they would do, and didn’t break any laws.

    Peaceful and lawful protests have results. #OccupyWallStreet proper could learn something from being this organized, composed, and orderly in their efforts. Don’t distract from the issues by doing stupid things. Get your message out and do it without breaking the law.

  204. 204

    […] Kay at Balloon Juice linked to this Daily Mail piece with some amazing photos of the pilots marching. All of those suits and ties sure must make the suits and ties on Wall Street nervous. […]

  205. 205
    goblue72 says:

    @Cat Lady: And then the Real Estate group decided to screw everyone else at Hill & Barlow, and headed over to Piper Rudnick where they could make more money and didn’t have to worry about how a quirky mid-sized law firm was going to survive the 21st century legal market.

  206. 206
    BattleCat says:

    Reading all these comments from a week ago…

    …this shit is the greatest. If you’re on the homepage and desperately needing something to laugh at, come on down. It basically un-ruined my day, which is a miracle.

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  1. […] Kay at Balloon Juice linked to this Daily Mail piece with some amazing photos of the pilots marching. All of those suits and ties sure must make the suits and ties on Wall Street nervous. […]

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