". . . 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

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Occupied Washington Square Park This Afternoon

As they say, this is a conversation, not a demonstration.

As with conversations with more than one participant, there are many conversations going on at once. And there were tourists who had never heard of this movement, entirely bewildered The Blue Shirt Cops seemed pretty bored. So were the NYPD horses, fully tacked up, but kept in their trailers when they clearly wanted to be outside in the beautiful weather as much as the hordes of people crowding the outdoors wanted to be.

Presumably the inhabitants of the swarms of helicopters over this part of the city weren't bored though. It must have been perfect flying weather.

I was fairly impressed with the entire thing. It really was a conversation not a demonstration. That there are cadres present who like dressing in costumes and doing the street theater version is just fine. And there are others who are very articulate in the hand gestures and broadcasting of the texts being delivered in waves, since you need special permits from the city to use amplifiers and so on in public -- and so, they don't. Again, great bafflement on behalf of the out-of-towners who pay no attention to anything. Though these young people are dressed like students dress pretty much everywhere, the hand signs and so on, made them freaks in the eyes of these people. There ya go.

Again, the participants are overwhelmingly young, as you must expect, when the student loan ponzi scheme is such a focus of the anger with the financial institutions. There are discussions about the best way of going about just reneging on the lans all together since the other end of the bargain, the job that enables you to pay off the loans you took out to get the education to get you that job will never materialize. There is a lot of discussion of how best to close down your checking account and taking whatever money you have out of the banks, and if you have a job, how to get paid without using a bank account. That's the hurdle, isn't it? That's how the banks hold a gun to all our heads: if we get paid for anything there's always a bank involved. We've been trying to figure out this one for several years now, and so far have failed.

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