It’s frustrating at times, being a common-sense liberal. In many ways everyone thinks we’re cracked. The hard right consider our (majority) atheism to be completely unacceptable. The extreme left consider us too conservative. Moderate conservatives outnumber (and, from an organisational point of view, outgun) us so completely that it serves their purposes best to ignore us. Being here to the left of the “fascist corporations” and the right of the “anarchist pond scum” does have one advantage though. When you’re surrounded by contempt, you can fire it back in all directions with little cost.
Needless to say, you’ve all heard me foam at the mouth in the direction of Catholicism, Pro-lifers, prohibitionists and the like. Tonight however I’m reserving a circle of hell for the “99 %” movement in the states that’s crossing the atlantic faster than the inevitable zombie apocalypse (NOTE: At some point, talk to your loved ones / living partners about contingency plans if it all goes “28 days later”. That would be a bad one to be unprepared for, given the amount of time we’ve all spent daydreaming about it. Just me? Moving on). I’m under no illusions that many regular readers of this page are going to take this incredibly personally. That’s part of the problem. Hang in there, hear me out.
It’s been three years since Lehman brothers collapsed and showed us all what happens when a global financial system is based on the phrase “assume a tenner”. In that time we’ve seen record unemployment, foreclosures, a property collapse, emigration, bad weather, Ireland failing to win the world cup, bad haircuts, terrible dubstep, and Jedward. I won’t bore you (HA!) with the ins and outs of what went wrong, but let’s just all agree that Things Aren’t So Great Right Now, RECESSION! and all that. Fine. Things are bad. So what do you do? Well, personally i’d be for assessing what happened, extrapolating the causes, ensuring it isn’t allowed to happen again and do what you can to recover. Easy. In much the same way that if one were to wake up with their bedroom floor covered in piss after a heavy night on the drink they’d
1. Work out whose piss it was
2. Ensure that person doesn’t stay in their room again
3. Clean the floor
4. Maybe drink less next time?
All of the above makes sense, right? Here’s the OWS movement’s approach
1. Work out whose piss it was
2. Piss on the floor
3. Invite their friends to piss on their floors
4. Have all their friends around to smear whatever they can find on the walls, too
5. “FUCK EVERYONE WITH PISS-FREE WALLS! THEY DONT SPEAK FOR US!”
We are the 99%? No, no you’re not, American protestors in inexplicably lens-less thick-rimmed glasses, tweeting about your righteous movement on your iPhone. You are NOT the 99%. You are the 5% of the world that consumes 25% of the world’s resources. My favourites are the ones sobbing about having to work a 50-60 hour week just to get by, as if this was something that never happened before. I’ll see your 50-60 hour week and i’l raise you Africa, Asia, Most of South America, most of Europe, Most of central America, every farmer / fisherman that’s ever lived, and fuck yourself. Did anyone notice the missing continent? It was the Middle East.
Here comes the contrast part – concentrate. From early this spring there’s been what can only be described as a splooge of revolts across Arabia and North Africa. The reasons have been many and varied, but mostly come down to an unfortunate election tradition they used to have over there called “I won in the 70s, so from now on we’ll have the elections you want but i’m counting the votes”. Probably a fairly good reason to get out on the streets, one would think. Not only that, but as we all saw in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and are still seeing in Syria and Yemen the protestors have been beaten, tortured, detained, disappeared, or just flat out shot. Is pepper spraying two 19 year olds from Syracuse U acceptable? No. Is it preferable to having them gang-raped by state soldiers while their families are arrested? Yeah, yeah I think it is.
What’s that? First world problems are problems too? Absolutely! “But Blumpkine” they’ll say, “why should their grievances be any less valid just because they have things slightly better off in certain parts of the world?”. Well, they shouldn’t. That’s not the part that really bothers me. The part that really fucking stinks is the part that’s always reeked about any left-wing movement in western democracies. Complete lack of cohesion, organisation, or sense of reality. Here’s the “official” (i.e. well formatted and uploaded) list of demands. I’m not making this up.
Take the time. Click the link. They’re demanding (in order)
- Ending capital punishment is our one demand.
- Ending wealth inequality is our one demand.
- Ending police intimidation is our one demand.
- Ending corporate censorship is our one demand.
- Ending the modern gilded age is our one demand.
- Ending political corruption is our one demand.
- Ending joblessness is our one demand.
- Ending poverty is our one demand.
- Ending health-profiteering is our one demand.
- Ending American imperialism is our one demand.
- Ending war is our one demand.