LINES OF THE DAY

". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Good. Grief. Andrew. Ross. Sorkin. Not Much of a Journalist Are You.

The NY Times's does the bidding of its masters --

The New York Times economic columnist, Andrew Ross Sorkin, paid zip attention to the Occupy Wall Street movement, knew nothing about it -- until:

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/10/03/on-wall-street-a-protest-matures/?ref=business

[ " I had gone down to Zuccotti Park to see the activist movement firsthand after getting a call from the chief executive of a major bank last week, before nearly 700 people were arrested over the weekend during a demonstration on the Brooklyn Bridge.

“Is this Occupy Wall Street thing a big deal?” the C.E.O. asked me. I didn’t have an answer. “We’re trying to figure out how much we should be worried about all of this,” he continued, clearly concerned. “Is this going to turn into a personal safety problem?”

As I wandered around the park, it was clear to me that most bankers probably don’t have to worry about being in imminent personal danger. This didn’t seem like a brutal group — at least not yet. ' ]

Glenn Greenwald discusses further the significance of what it means that the NY Times economic columnist never even bothered to learn about the movement until a banking C.E.O. calls him up to ask questions -- and why the C.E.O. need to call a newspaper about what is going on only a few steps away from where, presumably, his office is located.

http://politics.salon.com/2011/10/04/andrew_ross_sorkins_assignment_editor/
[ " Though it’s not evident in Sorkin’s column (nor in this characteristically snotty, petty, pseudo-intellectual condescension of yesterday from The New Republic), the prevailing media (and progressive) narrative about the protests has rapidly shifted from these-are-childish-vapid-losers to there-is-something-significant-happening-here. In part that’s because the protests have endured and grown; in part it’s because the participants are far less homogeneous and suscepitble to caricature than originally assumed; in part it’s because they are motivated by genuine and widespread financial suffering that huge numbers of Americans know intimately even though it receives so little attention from insulated media stars; in part it’s because NYPD abuse became its own galvanizing force and served to highlight the validity of the grievances; and in part because their refusal to adhere to the demands from the political and media class for Power Point professionalization and organizational hierarchies has enabled the protests to remain real, organic, independent, and passionate.

What will determine how long-lasting and significant is the impact of these protests is whether they allow themselves to be exploited into nothing more than vote-producing organs of the Democratic Party — the way the GOP so successfully converted the Tea Party into nothing more than a Party re-branding project. There is no question that such efforts are underway, as organizations that serve as Party loyalists try to glom onto the protests and distort them into partisan tools.

I have a hard time seeing that working. After all, the reason this is a street protest movement (rather than, say, a voter-registration crusade or an OFA project) is precisely because the protesters concluded that dedicating themselves to
the President’s re-election and/or the Democratic Party is hardly a means for combating Wall Street’s influence, rising wealth inequality or corporatist control of the political process. Still, it’s hard to avoid the suspicion that the reason these protests are now receiving more respect in establishment venues is because those venues now see some potential use to be made of them. Those dedicated to the original purpose and message of the protest – and Matt Stoller defined that as well as anyone here — will need to make resisting those efforts a top priority if they want to succeed. " ]

2 comments:

T. Clear said...

Thanks for keeping my up to date on this. Feels like I have an insider's perspective! (Or at least a more clear perspective than anything else I've seen Out There.)

Foxessa said...

This has done more for my outlook than anything in many years.

Love, C.