October 11, 2011

#DavidBrooks: There's no boboes in #99ers at #OWS

Well, the folks at Zucotti Park? You've really done it now; you've made David Brooks mad, mad enough to call you small thinkers.

That said, he's only about 80 percent wrong, or maybe 90 percent.

See, in part, that's because the top 10 percent have been getting economic separation from the other 90 percent for a full decade. And that top 10 percent, even, has felt relatively little economic pain the past three years. It's even true to a degree of the top 20 percent.

Of course, none of that is mentioned by Brooks; he's just lucky to be 10-20 percent right and give me a narrative hook.

He is, though, right about the Adbusters affiliation. (Brooks' column links to an Adbusters' story from 2006 that is at least borderline antisemitic.) You have "look at me" types a-plenty there, even if to rely on that narrative hook too much is stereotyping. Then you have Anonymous, which likes protest and monkey-wrenching for their own sake. And, you have the 99ers themselves, not leaderless at all, since the official website was started in June, 2010.

Whether it's founder(s), too, believe in protest as art form remains to be seen.

One friend kind of wondered if the situation wasn't somewhat equivalent to ANSWER's involvement in anti-Iraq War protests. No, not really. It was not a primary organizer of any protests as much as it was a piggybacker. Adbusters and Anonymous, though, are major propellers of Occupy Wall Street. And, should OWS gain more traction, more David Brooks-type columns will appear. Given that a person affiliated with Adbusters blatantly photoshopped a picture to inflate crowd size claims two weeks ago, this could be a problem.

No, it is a problem. It's just not that public a problem yet.

But, let's not forget that Brooks is still at least 80 percent wrong. That's because he's a fake centrist, as Gene Lyons points out so well, along with Teapot Tommy Friedman. It's no wonder the two of them are leading pushers of a fake third party "centrist" movement, that's really as conservative as late-70s Republicanism.

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