“Some of these stories are closer to my own life than others are, but not one of them is as close as people seem to think.” Alice Murno, from the intro to Moons of Jupiter

"Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see." Arthur Schopenhauer

“Why does everything you know, and everything you’ve learned, confirm you in what you believed before? Whereas in my case, what I grew up with, and what I thought I believed, is chipped away a little and a little, a fragment then a piece and then a piece more. With every month that passes, the corners are knocked off the certainties of this world: and the next world too. Show me where it says, in the Bible, ‘Purgatory.’ Show me where it says ‘relics, monks, nuns.’ Show me where it says ‘Pope.’” –Thomas Cromwell imagines asking Thomas More—Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

My favorite posts to get started: The Self-Righteousness Instinct, Sabbath Says, Encounters, Inc., and What Makes "Wolf Hall" so Great?.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Occupy Fort Wayne

What is one to do when the purpose of events like this is to rouse passion for a cause, only he believes there's already too much passion, too little knowledge, too little thinking, too little reason?
Heather Bureau from WOWO put a camera in my face at one point. "Can you tell me why you're here today?"
I had no idea who she was. "Are you going to put it on TV?"
"No, on the radio--or on the website." She pulled her hair aside to show me the WOWO logo on her shirt.
















"I wanted to check it out. We're here because of income inequality. And the sway of the rich in politics. Plus, I guess we're all liberals." I really wanted her to go away.
The first speaker filled us in on "Occupation Etiquette." You hold up your arm and wave your hand when you agree with what's been said.
And the speakers use short sentences the crowd repeats to make sure everyone can hear.
The call and response reminded me of church.

Rallies like this are to gather crowds, so when talking heads say their views are the views of the people they can point to the throngs of people who came to their gatherings.
But what is one to do about the guy carrying the sign complaining about illegal immigrants?
What about all the people saying we need to shut down the Fed?

What about the guy who says, "There's two kinds of people: the kind who work for money, and the kind who work for people"?
Why was I there? Well, I really do think inequality is a problem. But I support the Fed. And I'm first and foremost against tribalism. As soon as someone says, "There's two types of people..." then I know I'm somewhere I don't belong.
We shouldn't need political rallies to whip us up into a frenzy. We're obligated as citizens to pay attention to what's going on--and to vote.
Maybe the Occupy Protests will get some issues into the news cycle that weren't there before. If so, I'm glad I went.
But politics is a battle of marketing strategies. Holding up signs and shouting to be heard--well, let's not pretend our voices are independent.
Some fool laughingly shouts about revolution. But I'm not willing to kill anyone over how much bankers make.
Why was I there today? It seemed like the first time someone was talking about the right issue. Sort of.

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