Friday, November 18, 2011

Another World is Possible

More creativity like this, please.

That's the best full-length video of the projection on the side of the Verizon building in NYC that I've seen. It was a brilliant idea, and it went everywhere last night.

(And what leads the morning news? NBC, Natalie Wood. ABC, Natalie Wood. CBS, Syracuse abuse allegations, live from Penn State. So there you go. Moment, over.)

As the mass media turns the focus to the confrontations and the arrests surrounding Occupy, the original message may get lost. David Atkins at Hullabaloo pointed this out just the other day:

The latest PPP poll showing a drop in public support for the Occupy Wall Street can be interpreted in a number of ways. Probably the most reasonable points of note would be that 1) constant negative stories in the press about supposed poor behavior can have a poor effect on public opinion of popular protest, just as they did with the Tea Party; and 2) the focus of the movement has become more about the process of occupying ground and conflicts with police, than about the original reasons for the protest in the first place. In a battle between police and public protesters, the majority of the nation will usually side with the police.

He then dug up a poll from 1970 that showed 58% of the respondents thought that the demonstrating kids at Kent State were responsible for the deaths of those four students that were shot by the National Guard. Different time, different place in the national psyche, true, but the dynamic is the same. People get nervous when authority is challenged, and their default position will always be authority.

Greg Sargent addressed that PPP poll, and then hit on the bigger picture: While people may disagree with some of the tactics of Occupy, they are very much in favor of the underlying message.

There was a good deal of crowing in some quarters yesterday about a new poll showing support dropping for Occupy Wall Street. And there’s no sugar coating the fact that the movement should be very concerned about its image and direction.

But a new poll today from the Public Religion Research Institute suggests something that national Dems should not lose sight of as the battle over Occupy Wall Street’s meaning continues: Americans agree with the basic critique of the system embodied by the movement.

It finds that 67 percent of Americans agree that government should do more to reduce the gap between rich and poor, which a large majority says is growing. Sixty nine percent favor hiking taxes on millionaires. Fifty seven percent favor eliminating tax breaks for corporations. Sixty seven percent oppose cutting federal programs that help the poor (though a large majority also says the poor are too dependent on government). A plurality, 48 percent, thinks the American Dream — that if you work hard, you’ll get ahead — no longer holds true. These general findings are borne out in many other polls.

The Dems, as usual, are sitting on the fence at this point, probably waiting to see what happens next. And that is the question now - where does this go from here? The protests at state capitols earlier this year, before the word "occupy" even entered the national lexicon, have morphed into what we are seeing today. The cold weather, the "holidays", the dead-of-night crackdowns (and maybe the arrests of journalists, too) will suppress the physical occupation of public areas for a while, but what happens next spring, when the media and the election rhetoric starts to rile up the populace again?

This isn't over by a longshot, and it would be great to see more visible creative messages like the effort above. Not vandalism (Wolverines!), but peaceful and non-destructive ways of getting and keeping the public's attention would be wonderful.

C'mon all you creative kids; you can think of something.

Update: Replaced with the entire projection, and here's an interview with the guy who did it.