"We are the 99%."
Rarely does a slogan perfectly capture the zeitgeist, the ethos and the pathos, each word a passionate announcement of a popular uprising. And neither does this one.i
It is, however, an important piece of propaganda.ii It sounds like the enemy is Wall Streetiii, but observe that the slogan doesn't point to an enemy, it defines the group. The slogan is a twist on an old fascist standby: select a minority enemy, and create an impression of opposing unanimity. Once done, the leaders of the group have the powerbase to do what they wantiv, making it impossible for anyone in the rest of the 98% to disavow this madness. When it all goes down you will be too terrified, or too busy, to dissent.v
I very, very much empathize with this woman, but her aside, what if I don't believe education is the
y key? What if I think there should be no such thing as student loans at all? What if I think that it, not Wall Street, is a far greater enemy of civilization?vii Do I get to be in the 99%? Do I get a choice?
Here are some of the demands of #OccupyWallStreet:
- Restoration of the living wage.
- Free college education
- Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end
- One trillion dollars in infrastructure
- Open borders migration
Never mind that these demands are internally inconsistent, mathematically impossible and downright weird. ("Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the "Books." Really? You want that?) What's important is that most of the 99% don't want all those things, or even most of those things.viii
Grant me that when Naomi Klein is invited to speak for the 99%, at least 45% are looking at each other like, wtf, who let Linda Tripp in here?ix
Do you think that whenx the movement becomes powerful they will represent the guy making $533000 as well as the guy making $0? How about the $250k and the $5k? All the way to the median income of $30k, but -- surprise -- that $30k guy most definitely does not want anything to do with an open border policy and guaranteed living wage and abolition of the death penalty. Oh, your plan is to exclude all of the states that have >2 right angle borders. Hmm.xi
They exist in a quantum superposition of multiple eigenstates, but the moment they make an official demand the whole thing will collapse into a single state and everyone will hate it.
Which is why any demands are quickly disavowed, "There is NO official list of demands," they emphasize on the site, and yet the point isn't the demands, the point is the "they."xii The point is to pretend that there aren't any official demands, attract the largest possible base -- who doesn't hate Wall Street? -- and then make demands. "'They?' You mean the loose affiliation of Trader Joe's shoppers at OccupyWallSt?" No, I mean the guys who can say this:
This content was not published by the OccupyWallSt.org collective, nor was it ever proposed or agreed to on a consensus basis with the NYC General Assembly.
They say they have no leader which means it's pointless. If they do get a leader, science suggests it will naturally be a man with a long ring finger and some psychopathic traits; all I know is that they will simultaneously count me amongst their numbers even as they ask me please to die.xiii Or kill, depending on how much power they get.
What you don't realize about those pictured as "the 99%" -- what they have in common is not that they are young or college educated or indebted or white femalesxiv, but that they were willing to put a picture of themselves on the internet, fully of the belief that they stand for something worth being pictured for. Bad move.xv
You think marching on Wall Street gives you power, a voice;xvi but it is a wholesale surrender to the media, you have signed a waiver allowing them to use your image any way they want, and they will tell the rest of us what to think of you and titrate our exposure and emotional responses, all while feeding us with marketing for the very things that got us into our predicament. The income disparities, the education pyramid scheme, the personal and public debt, the anxiety, brought to you by Revlon and the makers of CNN.
Take a guess which side Fox, MSNBC, John Stewart chose. How did you know? Wrong: it isn't their "bias" because it doesn't matter what the protestors want, it's because they predictably transmorph the protestors into what they need them to be.
"Marching gets our message out." No it doesn't, it gets CNN's message out. "We don't watch CNN, we use the internet." Yet given the infinity of the internet you still surf the same 5 websites, looking for and finding exactly what you want, like a baby playing peekaboo in a mirror over and over and over and over and over and over and... xvii
You are the 98%, you are totally without any access to the machinery of power and worse, much worsexviii, you plug yourselves into the machinery of media and become a slave.
"That's why I don't watch television!" Well, a) you mean TV dramas, and 2) it's because you're not a 45 year old woman, the target demo of TV. But maybe you're proud that you skip the commercials and avoid the "mainstream media", you don't want to be part of the corporate consumerist machine and good for you, yet your independence is why Whole Foods knows you'll buy anything wrapped in brownxix and you already have a subscription to The New Yorker, which has a curiously large number of ads for mental institutions. If you're reading it, it's for you. The New Yorker is also at the checkout counter in Whole Foods, along with Rolling Stone and Psychology Today and not along with Sports Illustrated and The Weekly Standard. You think you shop at Whole Foods because it has better quality food? It's because of those magazines.xx Even the neocons who shop there -- they don't shop at Acme -- shop there because of the branding: liberal=organic, so the more left wing magazines and the more dred locks the more it has reinforced the "liberalism" and therefore the "quality," and so you go, "reluctantly", shaking your head at the crazy commies stocking the store as you hand them 3x more than anything is worth. "Would you like to donate $1 to help Ethiopian refugees?" Son of a bitch, this apple is delicious.
If you hold a protest and you aren't throwing rocks it will fail. I'm not telling you to throw rocks, I'm explaining why your march won't work.xxi
The reason "peaceful protests" don't work anymore is because now the protests are slower than the media coverage. When they threw the tea in Boston Harbor it was urgent, immediate, and by the time the press could interpret it it had already been digested by the public. But now even before the protest reaches critical mass the media, whose agents outnumber the protestors 100 to 1, has packaged and produced it, like a reality show, and by the time Naomi Klein got there I had already been told to expect someone like her. Do you see? She had already appeared before she got there.xxii Yes, I can take pride in thinking for myself but if I'm going to be honest, all I'm doing is reacting to what I'm told.xxiii I was once going to write something about what Amanda Knox's innocence revealed about our earlier media prejudices, and then I realized I still have no idea if she's innocent or guilty, only that the media tells me she isn't. And then I wondered, why do I even care if she is guilty or innocent, why do I even know her namexxiv, what's that got to do with me? Because the media decide not just truth and falsehood but existence and non-existence. #OccupyWallStreet never stood a chance, come one person, come ten million people, it doesn't matter, the only people who have any power are people like her:
and she is stronger than all of you. Close your eyes: do you remember anyone else?xxv
You can agree or disagree, but you must do it with her, not with the folks holding signs.xxvi And by her I don't mean her, of course, she doesn't get to decide what she thinks, either -- her producer tells her, and so on up the chain.xxvii
Late at night as I'm drinking my eyes blind I hear the protesters regularly complain that they are not getting enough media coverage. They are protesting Wall Street, and they want more Wall Street coverage? You lose.xxviii
Those protesters are based in a world that is built on rules. Because of this, they will never be as strong, or as fast, as the media that exists outside those rules. "Hey, stupid, what's that? a sign? TOO SLOW, we have a thousand satellites and a harem of reportersxxix, from beautiful blondes to ugly intellectuals, we control the whole thing. You even put a hashtag in your official name because your only voice is twitter. Bless my heart -- twitter! How absolutely precious. Don't forget to rock the vote!"
"We are the 99%. We want to cut the umbilical cord from fossil fuels and consumerism." Easy, but then what? There are two ends to that cord, something has to nourish you and all that's left since you can't afford what you were told you needed is the placenta of the political-media machine. "Get out the vote" is truly terrible advice, the only way to win is not to play. If you're at the protest and a guy comes around asking you to register and it's not for a handgunxxx, punch him in the face. He's your enemy.xxxi
"We need a third party!" Come on, do you think the media will allow you to have a third party? John Anderson, Ross Perot, Ralph Nader -- they let them through to "show" third party candidates aren't any more serious than Howard Stern when he ran for governor. Poor Ron Paul pulls in more people than porn but he can't get a break, sorry buddy, 100 years too late for your kind. There's a difference between what you need and what you want, and the media will always, relentlessly give you what you want. Do you know why you have such poor candidates every single election? Because you want them, you want someone you can easily judge for some sexual indiscretion or because they called latinos chicanos. "Well, that matters to us!" Then you got what you asked for.
The media will have data mined the culturexxxii and chosen for you two cans of Campbell's Chicken Soup, and then encouraged a public debate about which can is a better representation of the spirit of the country, the one on the left or the one on the right. "Well, that matters to us!" I know.
The protests will fail. They will eventually be co-optedxxxiii by the pre-election media orgasmia, branded as either this team or that and assigned a leader no one would have ever picked, ever, ever. The Tea Party may have started with Rick Santelli but they soon got Sarah Palin, figure that out.xxxiv Half of you will vote, all of you will complain, and nothing will change until the day we are buying fake iPads with real yuans, hey, who's the balding guy on the 20? And the 50? And the 100...? And the reason it will fail is that you don't want it to succeed. You are still holding on to the mercantilist, zero-sum economic delusion that tariffs and gold standards and less money for Wall Street means more money for you, and then you can go back to living like it's 1999 again. You can't. It's over.xxxv
Of course Wall Street has excessive profitsxxxvi, but just as your life has been an inflated delusion of easy credit, so has theirs; yes, they have received an obscene share of that fake money, and ten-twenty years ago maybe you could have redistributed that fake money, but that ship has sailed. Now, the moment you take it away from them it ceases to exist, poof, it's gone. It's fine if you want to do it to punish them, I get it, it's the right thing to do and Glass-Steagall and all that, but it won't help your situation one bit.
$3.6T out, $2.4T in, those are the numbers, and in case you want something on letterhead here's the CBO saying taxing the rich would get us $450B over ten years. Ten years! Double the taxes, triple the taxes, it makes no difference, it's over. The only way out is a massive tax on wealth; cold fusion; a war; a new media; or inflation. Inflation has the side benefit of pushing you into a higher tax bracket and we'll all get to see what a $1000 bill looks like.
"We are the 99%." Stop it. There is a 1%, fighting another 1%, and while both of those megalomaniancs dominate the media coverage the other 98% has no recourse, no representation, no allies, and no savings.xxxvii If you're over forty 2007 was the best you will ever have itxxxviii, make sure you backup your photos, it may not get worse than this but your only hope for growth is the next generation so you better change your expectations and your priorities. If you want to eat something other than canned goods and insects when you're 80 you better prepare your kids now, work them harder in math and get them to read better books, make some kind of/all kinds of a sacrifice for them, because the only thing keeping you from the hellacious Medicare funded nursing homes and the Social Security that will not exist is them, the 17 year olds you are screaming at for drinking too much of the whisky you are hiding in the bathroom.
And in 2030 don't tell me "the young should respect their elders," in the oldest of days the elderly were revered not because the young were respectful but because in those days if you made it to 60 you were a goddamn superhero. "Whatever the hell this guy did in his life," Johnny said to Timmy, "I'm copying. How in Sutekh's name did he not get eaten by a hyena?" If the hyenas had slacked off maybe those youth wouldn't have been so respectful. Pray you don't find out.
Are you listening to me? Or were you looking at the woman in the red dress?xxxix
You are the 98%, and you are too slow.———
- Right ? Who the fuck even remembers the pre-looting party of 2099% or whatever it was. Wasn't it twothousandninetyninepercent ? I'm pretty sure it was, and what the fuck do you mean "that's not even a real year" ?! It was the one with that mulatto dude, the constitutional professor of history or whatever, they were occupying his house because his wife was slutty or he wasn't validating their passing grades or something, I remember. Vaguely, but I remember. [↩]
- This is quite like saying "it's a substantial piece of aerogel", seeing how propaganda is unimportant by definition. [↩]
- See ? I told you it was #occupychange. Or was it #occupychallenge ? Whichever it was, something with you can believe it or you'd better believe it... hm. Maybe it was "you can't believe it's not occupied already", like a toilet in a busy metro station. Something like that at any rate. [↩]
- What "leaders", what "power" and moreover... what the fuck doing ?! More like a howling case of "where the fuck is everyone", if I remember. [↩]
Must suck, trying to pretend to human life on the meager resources of a pantsuit tard in the thick sauce of a pantsuit world, huh. Well... fuck you. [↩]
- I don't have to -- seeing how it's on a platform I just assume it's lame as all get-out. What did Gitsie say, "really all of it... it's just an onesie" or something like that. [↩]
- Anything to not have to say "her not being beaten into a pulp". Anything at all.
- Or even understand what any of those things even are. For that matter, they fail to represent even a simplified list of what those things could be. [↩]
- I am crippled by not having any fucking idea who either of those bitches are. In any case, they should've invited Stoya. [↩]
- Rather, if. And no. [↩]
- Wel... it's scientific, right ? It's with right angles and counts and... Science you can believe in, aka scientism. [↩]
- No, actually the point is power, and authority.
Let's understand each other through sharing my private life -- not like we have a choice, seeing how your private life isn't worth recounting, let alone sharing, as it contains exactly nothing that'd interest, let alone enlighten, anyone.
So : slave girl gets in trouble because there's no eggs. Elder slave girl attempts a negotiated solution, "listen, she asked you when you charged her, she said ''so if there's less than a dozen I should buy'', and you said no, which no I expect she took as a firm rule rather than a rejection of her proposed solution.
Then the yelling starts : "I don't need a slavegirl that buys exactly twelve eggs. I am only interested in a slavegirl that buys the right number of eggs such that I always have as many as I want. For instance if she hears we're making deviled eggs she buys three dozen, and if I say I'ma try making hachapurri tomorrow she doesn't face me from behind two dozen-and-a-half cartons containing a total of ten eggs!"
That's the point, my slave doesn't get a guideline, like at the office, there's not a rule written down in her jobsworth and whatever, she did what it said in there, "let me see how they're gonna fire me for cause" bullsit. My slave is responsible for the perfect functioning of the mechanisms I'm interested in, and that holds in all conditions, she's a human slave not a paintsuit employee.
That's the point across the board : the idea of the "protestors" isn't "the government should do thus and following", like during earlier, more involved, interested times. Their idea is "the government should do what should be done -- and they should figure it out themselves and correctly without bothering us to instruct them, we got bingewatching and inane minutia awaiting at home, what the fuck!!"
- Heh. [↩]
- Or future Karens. [↩]
- Hey, every Traci gotta start her trip to the only possible destination somewhere. It's true these mostly seem like late bloomers, but that's intentional : come to hang out with the (discardable, you just don't know it) older chicks, stay for the afterparty. How much rape went on in those "occupy" tents, by the way ? Anyone bothered with as much as an attempt at quantification, or is this "not a sexy topic" in the pravdas because racism? [↩]
- No dude, they're fucking desperate to get laid. All other avenues being closed, they're gonna camp on concrete, because it gotta be done. [↩]
- Da fuck would you want them to do ? Own their environment ?! Maybe if you paid them more money... [↩]
- Worse nothing. The last thing anyone needs to see (or, for that matter, wants to see) is these fuckwads having any access to anything even resembling power.
- Ah, lovely soviet 70s... how I missed thee... [↩]
- Now this is entirely possible, not in the direct causation sense, but in the meta "the thing that makes you shop there has nothing to do with the food and everything to do with its other specific manifestation, the selection of magazines". Stated like that, it's almost trite. [↩]
- I am telling you to throw fucking rocks. Burning rocks. [↩]
- All these spurious twats nobody's heard of... Seriously now, lay off, nobody cares. [↩]
- So stop gargling the pravdas like normal fucking people, what the fuck. [↩]
- Excellent question, who the fuck is this Amanda Cocks.
- This is such idiotic nonsense... It's like Messy irl, except mine was a work of fucking fiction, why's this dude so very unsubstantially ireal ? [↩]
- And yet that's precisely not how that panned out -- but of course Ballas is disappeared now, so he doesn't have to cash the cheque of his being wrong ; and of course there's ever more pointless dorks in a neverending stream doing the exact same thing over and over again. The situation is approximately as if every single mosquito you ever ran into vocalized instead of buzzing, "oh, you have no power". Then you kill it, and so it's silenced, but... the next mosquito... I mean, it's in their genetic code, the nonsense doesn't have any basis in anything besides biology, it's how they buzz. If mosquito buzzing happened to be "meaningful" in your particular dialect (perhaps because you happen to be Polish), what'd that change ? [↩]
- Up the chain, huh. [↩]
- Pretty funny, because it's true. [↩]
- This is actually the core of the problem. Get your own harem or get the fuck lost, smart boi. Unless you command female submission significantly better than the other party, you ain't got a leg to stand on. [↩]
- Bless your heart, register for a gun ? Why, so as to have your manhood reissued ? [↩]
- The problem with this sort of enemy is that punching them in the face is more expensive for you than it is for them. You want the converse to be true, which is why firebombing the police will work way the fuck better than punching random politruks in the face. [↩]
- This incidentaly may seem like a big deal, a sort of modern day equivalent of the "means of production" of yesteryore, those magical behemoths baring access, yet it is very far from difficult. "The media", like any other government agency does a terrible job of it very loudly ; but otherwise data mining the culture's rather on the trivial side of things. [↩]
- What co-opted, the whole thing was "strategic" "guerilla" "tricks from the book" Obama camp nonsense from the get-go. Are you fucking kidding me, any more USG.blue handprints on it, it'd have been called a color. [↩]
- It's figured out. [↩]
- That much is absolutely true ; the age of the prole came and went. From now on, as for all of history except for the brief interlude, it's 100% rustics ye are and rustics ye stay.
But the rest is perfectly false : yes, the world is very much a zero-sum game ; yes the world is very much on the gold standard, as it always was, as it'll always stay. What "gold" exactly means may change, on the grounds of its having changed exactly twice throughout history -- first from bronze to gold ; then from gold to Bitcoin -- but the point ever remains, there's no such thing as "cooperation". The word for the genuine article this "cooperation" is ineptly trying to monkey is submission. There's no such thing as viable socialism ; the word for that thing which this socialism is ineptly trying to monkey is monarchy. Und so weiter... [↩]
- Excessive...as to what the fuck standard ? Profits are never excessive, there's no such thing nor ever could be such thing as "excessive" profits anymore than there's overwet water or too airy air. That's what the fuck profits are, the excess. Is there such a thing as excessive excess ?!
The thing about absurdity is that they're not free, but pregnant : all held absurd notions describe the holder ; and the holder of this "excess profits" absurd notion is necessarily, inescapably and by definition living in a collapsing world. That's what it is, completely and exactly, the only thing "excessive profits" discusses is that there's no more profits to be had anywhere, the whole thing's going down for good. (There's somewhere, possibly in the logs, where I explain that the females-as-scar-tissue civilisational decay is primed by the first generation of males being less successful than their parents, but sadly now I can't find it. Something in the vein of The principal-agent problem, or how America went away, but more explicitly pointed. I'd have liked to link it off that "going down", but... well, maybe one day.) [↩]
- Quite. [↩]
- More like 1999, but whatever.
Actually, come to think of it, his 40 is overgenerous. Reality's a lot closer to "if you're over twenty", and the article was written in 2009. Practically, if you were born before the mid-90s... forget about it. There's a reason MP is looking for women 25 and under, and that reason is... you're doomed. [↩]
- A dress with pockets ?! Like, on the tits like that ? Really, looks a lot more like a lumberjack shirt, but... whatevers, simps will simp out I guess. [↩]