Thursday, October 20, 2011

What Occupy Wall Street is all about

The snake has eaten its tail.

A writer for The Atlantic blogged this as he tried to figure out Occupy Wall Street:
It's wrong to create a mortgage-backed security filled with loans you know are going to fail so that you can sell it to a client who isn't aware that you sabotaged it by intentionally picking the misleadingly rated loans most likely to be defaulted upon.
Certainly not a sound bite. Hardly the clarion call to action. Clunky, heavy, messy, unclear without context. Nonetheless, a lightning rod, the crystallization of why Wall Street occupiers stand in parks and share their outrage in call-and-response human-microphone fashion.

And why we should be with them in the parks and on the streets of our cities.

The writer, Conor Friedersdorf, capture the essence of Occupy Wall Street in a stuffed-to-cracking nutshell.

People in control of the money — your money and mine — do egregiously illegal things on a global scale to take more of your and my money, and they get away with it; Friedersdorf in this case was talking about Goldman Sachs specifically, just one of many well-dressed players in a big song-and-dance softshoe atop your money.

They change the rules, get an official stamp from unwatched watchdogs, or don't even follow the rules, because nobody would know or care anyway. They won't get caught because no one's chasing them.

The people who should monitor what becomes of our money, and the people who control it, allow the illegal activity, or don't understand it, or profit by it too.

You and I don't know enough, maybe don't care enough, don't have power enough, to do anything about it, least of all among the people we elect to represent us, the monitors in this sad affair.

But it's hard not to see that the rich keep getting richer and our schools are getting worse and our neighborhoods are closing down business by business, and we and our neighbors are losing jobs.

And so it goes, the snake eating its tail, chewing the last bit of nourishment from whatever's left for us to produce, until it's all gone.

And we're tired of it.

No leaders emerge from the Occupy Wall Street and its spawn because the reasons for protest are as many and complex as the regulations and secret maneuverings that separate us from money and opportunity.

Someone in the movement read the Conor Friedersdorf's blog, put the sentence on a sign this week and trotted it around at the protests. Wall Street occupiers, using their human microphones, broadcast it to the crowd

The video hit the Internet, going viral. Friedersdorf then saw his own words on the sign, on the Internet, and wrote about it in his blog, confirming the point that he was making, that the movement is like the Internet itself — a people's force, undirected by a leader, unfocused, but fierce and by no means invalid, and not going anywhere real soon.

The snake eats its tail. And so it goes.

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