Essentially, I’m neither for nor against the Occupy Movement. As any rational person would, I’ve taken a step back to listen to both sides and measure out each argument. As it stands, I’m more for than against the movement, but the message has also become convoluted over time.
The Occupy Edmonton was a complete joke. Every rhetorical hyperbole and deprecating stereotype blurted by conservative media about the Occupy Movement overall was wholly personified in Occupy Edmonton. There was no real action being taken, their demands were ludicrous and ficticiously-possible at best, and they occupied on private property. The only air there was to this movement was that it felt like it was the trendy thing to do at the time and some manager at American Apparel said that this was a cool thing to do this week. Next week will be jumping off cliffs (one can only hope).
Now, this brings up the issue of Frank Miller: author of many of my favourite comic books. In his blog about the Occupy Movement, well, to say the least, he went a little overboard with the conservative doctrine. It’s really no hidden secret that many comic writers tend to be more conservative (think about it, vigilantism in the pursuit of justice, just a shotgun and a constitution short of a Tea Party rally), and maybe this is just my Canadian-ism talking (in Canada, a conservative and a liberal/leftist can be in the same room together and not try to kill one another, and no there aren’t any unicorns or dragons here), but what’s the big deal? Yeah, it’s easy to disagree with what Miller is saying, but it’s an opinion. A slightly ill-informed opinion, but you’ll always find this ill-formed nature no matter what side of an argument you’re on. This should be the springboard for discussion and discourse to find what the greatest truth about this issue is. Not grounds for multi-panelled, brightly illustrated lynching.
I’ll never be one to nay-say against public protest. It’s an extremely important aspect of any democratic based government, and if we are to continue this facade of freedom and power-by-the-people, then we need to continue to recognize protest and an important aspect to this system. But protest loses its merit and its ground of reason when the message becomes misinterpreted and turns into a means for others to try and grab attention for whatever other issue they want to push. Adbusters Magazine (those glossy covered Anarchists) are pushing an Occupy Christmas movement, saying we should protest outside of larger companies and big-box stores and boycott them for small businesses. I agree that supporting small business is extremely important, but what this idea negates is the minimum-wage workers whose retail-chain jobs are their only means of survival and support. Further, obviously no one at Adbusters has ever studied economics, what the kind of spending that occurs at Christmas (though I will agree, the numbers are mind-boggling) actually helps economic growth, keeps first world countries afloat, creates private and public sector jobs (remember the jobs issue? Or is that passé already?), and will continue helping magazines like Adbusters produce their glossy covered rhetoric and canvas shoes. Until the Anarchist movement takes full force, you still depend on the same money as everyone else does. It’s funny, because the kind of rhetoric Adbusters is practicing in Occupy Christmas is no different from the backward logic we see in the Tea Party: where the Tea Party will flaunt influential past-presidents names and segments of the American constitution, Adbusters have adopted the “Occupy” term to add an emotional appeal to their hidden-agenda.
Though I probably sound like a nutty conservative at this point, I do consider myself a moderate leftist who follows socialist qualities. As such, I believe that logic and rationale are essential. What my logic dictates to me is that the Occupy Wall Street movement was a great idea and should have stayed on Wall Street. The protests have had the most impact there, the symbolism is most pronounced there, and that’s what Americans are really angry at, isn’t it? At Wall Street. At the major banks who sold them out on bad mortgages and even worse investments. Who destroy jobs and steal government money to ensure their bonuses are intact. That’s the issue. What the fuck does a downtown park in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, have to do with any of this? Solidarity makes sense, I can understand that, but making their own demands? Congratulations, you’ve taken a great movement that was meant to help millions of people and made it about yourselves again. Gotta love that North American culture.