Imagine protesting such and such: a pre-occupation

First of all, I think that maybe I painted to bleak a picture of Portland in yesterday’s post. I just thought I would clarify: I think this a great town. The fact that it is overrun with the noisily insane is by no means a deal-breaker. I live walking distance from my job, which happens to be in a huge old 5 story department store, and i can walk to the ocean in a couple of minutes.

the view from the park down the street

not too bad really. Just wanted to put that out there. There happen to be an inordinate number of walking dead and shouting maniacs, but you get used to it.

Anyway, my real purpose for writing this brief post, is to make a request:

This is desperate plea, brought on by the current Occupy Maine protests that have inhabited downtown Portland and Liberty Park for about a month now, of course spawned by the massive Occupy Wallstreet Protests. This is in no way an indictment of the movement. On the contrary, I am feeling guilt for not partaking in the NYC rallies. This is a movement that has to happen. It has to go further. It has to grow until it cannot be ignored.

However, this is a plea for some kind of unified vision. Lets do away with the vagaries and shouts for horn honks and consider what it is that we want folks. I say this because of this…

imagine a new motto

Now, I know, I’m a jerk. But, have we really not moved beyond the “Imagine” sign? is this our statement? This person had to make a sign, not only to carry, but to finally hang outside the group encampment, and this is what they said. Unfortunately, I see this as representative of much of what I am seeing here every day. Some vague idea of disappointment and longing with no idea how to characterize or express it. Remember that song, that dead guy wrote decades ago about something? that was good. I have seen this at so many rallies and protests and gatherings of the lost and well-meaning, and it bothers me. have we nothing new to say? Granted, not much good protest music has come about since the time this song was written, but honestly, why fly this word anyway? As a simple word it symbolizes little and makes a movement look shallow and borrowed. My plea (yes, I’m getting to it) is that, since the time seems right for this movement, we don’t spoil it. Think about what you are protesting and why, and what it is that you want to gain by it. If not, don’t bother, because bullshit like This happens. If the movement looks too much like a bunch of bored hippies congregating, reactionaries will dismiss it. If it looks like an amalgamation of concerned, angry, down and out, people coming together with a cause, they can’t ignore it.

That’s all. Imagine there’s something real to be gained, pinpoint what that is, and demand it.

thanks… here’s this

Imagine there's no more Che' imagery

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Imagine protesting such and such: a pre-occupation

  1. Good points all around. My main contention is that while being vague, the messages of most of the occupy movement are also not fun or funny or witty. The imagine sign you have pointed to is the epitome of banal…not inspiring, not funny, not provoking. It is earnest yet meaningless. I prefer absurdity in street theater ala the yippies, not things that should be written on scented candles.

  2. adamjohnmanley

    exactly, scented candle protest signs. I think you’re right. where is the good theater? I don’t see outrage and mocking of anyone as much as an actual desire to protest things and hold signs. Here they are at times literally begging for horn honks. It’s like the desired result was just this: standing in a public place and getting honked at.

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