Monday, November 21, 2011



You check in at your activist organization’s web site and there, one of those gullible ninnies has posted comments regarding the conspiracy of the week of the month of the year... chem trails, smart meters, aspartame.

One of the favorites is the contention that all the top corporate media execs and anchors get together every weekend to agree on the spin they will give the news this week. Noam Chomsky laughs off the concept saying basically that these people don't need to be told how to conspire because years of working their way to the top has given them all the required corporate perspective they need.

But last Monday morning even we were startled at how everywhere we turned, TV and print media moved on a dime from a somewhat sympathetic if confused take on the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) takeovers of city centers across the nation, to a sort of "get a job you dirty smelly hippies and stop blocking those of us with a job from getting to it" slant on the movement.

We had a feeling this didn't bode well for the integrity of the skulls of the OWS denizens and sure enough, by the next morning, as though directed by the invisible hand of totalitarian oppression, cities across the country had let loose their police to perpetrate violent, head-cracking crackdowns, throwing those in the streets out into the streets- so to speak.

But the oddest thing happened Tuesday. Reports started to trickle in that, in fact, 11 mayors across the nation had held a conference call to discuss the planned removal of those pesky whiners, according to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan- many of whom, including Quan, acted Monday night.

Although many like Portland Mayor Sam Adams denied the call was a strategy session, none denied it was the topic de jour of their confab.

We had a feeling it was only going to get worse but we had council meetings to watch and local buffoons to skewer. So Saturday, when we began to see the inklings of some kind of viral video of protesters getting pepper sprayed we paid little attention- we'd seen plenty all week already and were all too aware of the all-out effort to all-but-kill-off OWS movement.

But they kept coming... emails... Facebook postings... tweets. Until by halftime of the big Kapa`a High School football game it all got so obtrusive upon our little sports cocoon that we had to watch that which had become the object of all the 'lookie-here" finger pointing.

And it didn't take long to see that the video was- if anything was- going to be a game changer.

So much so that we posted the following to those who had inundated us with links to the quickly and virally-spinning-out-of-control YouTube clip:

This has to be one of the most bizarre things (we)'ve ever seen.

The line of seated protesters had quite obviously been trained in non-violent, passive resistance, yet the cops apparently have not. In fact the officer nonchalantly sprays the whole line of arm-linked dissidents like he's spraying a mound of termites with insecticide while dozens of fellow officers stand there looking on with acquiescence indicating that this was approved if not directed by higher-ups.

But even more distressing is the fact that this is Davis, California, known as one of the most progressive city governments in the country where one would assume that there had been communication and police training in responses to non-violent civil disobedience... (It's) unfathomable that this could happen in this location.

By the evening the clip remained the sole domain of the internet where you couldn't click a clack without finding a link to yet another shot angle or someone else virtually scratching their head in a "is this what it's come to" manner.

Yet the point is- and we do have one- that the deafening nature of the on-line attention paid was apparently inversely proportional to the national TV news coverage.

Saturday brought nothing. Sunday there were a couple of broadcast notes on a "viral video" of a UC Davis pepper spraying event and a couple of outlets even played the most egregious 10 or 15 seconds.

It wasn't until late Sunday night our time (Monday morning on the east coast) that the clip broke through and began running in rotation on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, Bloomberg and the rest.

Seems that the Monday through Friday regulars were back on the job and after some confusion by the weekend crew over whether to actually "cover" the event, the big bosses settled on a spin of "look at what went viral over the weekend" rather than "look what actually happened Friday."

Though the difference may seem like one without a differentiation, the two divergent views of the event point out how any story line that challenges the preconceived and previously broadcast notions of the corporate shills has to be presented with a "we didn't miss this but had to show it to you because so many people were watching it" caveat.

It becomes understandable sometimes how those who see conspiracies everywhere miss the simpler explanations. Because when the herd moves in unison, their eyes in their pocket and their noses on the ground, you got to figure they know something is happening here- they just don't quite know what it is.


A note on the performance by "Makana" for the APEC leaders. Despite notes we received that it was "neither the time or place" for a protest song, in a NY Times editorial on how bad the wealth gap is in Hawai`i- and about our horrific homelessness problems- they note that:

The divide in Hawaii between haves and have-nots is grotesque. So is the reluctance to challenge it. A Hawaiian musician, Makana, recently got a chance and blew it. He was invited to play at an APEC dinner, where he quietly sang a protest song, “We Are the Many,” for 45 minutes. Too quietly: world leaders, including President Obama, kept chatting and chewing, undisturbed.


We'll be light posting this week- so much college basketball, so little time.

1 comment:

Blogger said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.