Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Goliath & the Davids

Goliath & the Davids by deanv41
Goliath & the Davids, a photo by deanv41 on Flickr.
Yesterday's Wells Fargo Shareholders' Meeting protest stopped traffic for a few hours in the Financial District. It was an Occupy-affiliated event with Labor marching to protest rampant foreclosures, over half of which are deemed fraudulently in recent state reports. The protesters were a mix of SEIU Workers and the same rag tag band of Occupy elements, from students to margin dwellers all with important messages and a human bullhorn. The sidewalk citizenry was primarly silent if sympathetic or hostile and 'on their way to the gym.' The cops were eager and prepared. The demo tied up California Street through the afternoon as activists dutifully marched past corporate HQs. That's the Bank of America Tower in the shot above.
None of this script masks the fact that the current economic, political, and social situation is devolutionary, unsustainable, unfair, and obviously unjust. Traditional forms of protest, though, feel spent as a force for change. The sloganeering, dress, attitude, and style seem more in line with the Boomer past than the Burner present. Not that Burners are politicized to any degree beyond the Dionysian demand. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just that the times are so dire for so many & so good for so few. Responding with a hippy rain dance to put out a burning book on fire doesn't fit the moment, any more than lighting a candle on the town hall steps will stop a war no matter how many sputtering flames. It's an empty gesture designed to assuage our collective guilt, remorse, and avarice. And yet, something must be said about the distance between today's American ideal and the American reality. We used to be dreamers acting out our dreams, Coast to Coast, WKRP, LA to NYC! Now we're just sleep walkers with banners denouncing Logos & fractions, drowning in debt and making rent.

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