Monday, July 9, 2012

Observations from the Edge 7.9

Hubris, the characteristic of excessive confidence or arrogance, which leads a person to believe that he or she may do no wrong.
Person, or movement.

When I said the Occupy movement was in for a big summer I may have been wrong, yes I can be wrong sometimes. I could blame the relentless heat but I made that prediction in what felt like spring but was in fact winter. I like to think I'm politically knowledgeable but, caught up in the events of fall, I glossed over in my mind the movements major failing which in the end would start it down the road to the dustbin. Occupy has no plan other than being occupy. Protest is good but it can't be sustained without some sort of end game like the end of the Vietnam War or equal rights for minorities.

The movement bragged endlessly about its lack of centralized leadership or goal but the lack of that has finally caught up with it. Somebody needs to be out there talking every day, talking to the press, talking to anybody that will listen. They seemed to have forgotten, or never really knew, how to generate publicity. Looking back maybe the NYPD generated more Occupy news than the movement itself did.

A good example of the fall of Occupy can be found in last week's news from Philadelphia. Or I should say lack there of. Occupy held a convention in Philadelphia last week which you probably don't know about because it wasn't widely reported. The convention drew hundreds of protesters from around the nation, a far cry from the tens of thousands I once saw in the streets of New York. The only first hand knowledge I have of this event is from my sister. According to her it just added to the annual 4th of July traffic debacle that is Philadelphia and pretty much just irritated her to no end as she tried to get to Penn's Landing. After the convention Occupy Wall Street marched back to New York in temperatures approaching 100°. For all I know they could still be marching across Jersey.

When I think of all the excitement and optimism of last year, of Zuccotti Park and Tahrir Square, I hope I  am as wrong in writing this as I was in my original prediction. Otherwise it really is a sad world we live in.

I was ready to post this when I decided to add something. It really doesn't matter if an official Occupy slowly fades away. Occupy's lasting achievement is that it showed that the status quo can't be sustained indefinitely and it changed the national discussion to the massive economic inequalities in this country. It's now up to the rest of us to continue that fight in November and beyond.

Also, I may just be venting. 

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