It’s interesting that the last post I wrote was about how I thought the NYPD was doing a great job with OWS and now today I’m writing because that same police force just kicked the protestors out of their home base last night. But my point is the same: I think they went about it in a very civil and fair way. This wasn’t Oakland with tear gas and rubber bullets. This was slow and methodical and restrained. And lets be clear, the police weren’t acting on their own here. This was all due to orders from the mayor. If you’re going to be mad at anyone it should be him.
But this post really isn’t about the New York situation. It’s more about my feelings about this entire situation including the Occupy Philly group (who I see every day and who is heading towards their own confrontation with authority). It’s about my anger at the local media who do their best not to cover the movement or when they do, they cover it with a bias. It’s about my utter despair with the fact that almost nobody I know even cares about what is going on, as if we aren’t at a historic moment right now. As if the Declaration of Independence was being drafted and other than the people at Independence Hall, nobody gave a shit.
I don’t know if the Occupiers are doing the right thing. I’ve complained a lot about their strategy and tactics over the past few months. I’ve debated with myself a lot about what I could do to participate and what we all should do and I haven’t come up with a good answer. But what I have figured out is that at the least, the Occupy Movement could be a catalyst, a starting point for change in America. We all agree that things are messed up. Everyone I talk to has some complaint about something wrong in America (and the world) but everyone always just accepts that things are fucked up and we can’t fix them. And that’s what’s bothering me the most lately. We do have a way to fix things but yet for the most part we don’t even try.
It starts with paying attention. If you woke up today and didn’t find some real news to ingest then you’ve failed yourself and your country. I was watching someone on the bus today reading the Daily News and do you know what story they were reading on page 3? It was a full page story on how Chelsea Clinton got a job at NBC. That, my friends, is not news. It’s not important. It’s filler, its soma, its bullshit to keep you distracted from what’s really going on. Every day you should be seeking out real news from around the world. Watch documentaries, follow blogs, find the most non-biased mainstream media you can. Pay attention to what is really going on and shun bullshit.
The next step (if you want to actually do something to change the world) is to share your news and maybe comment on it. Post an interesting story on facebook or twitter, share what you are learning. Talk about real things from time to time with your friends or co-workers. Teach and educate each other. We have all these tools now to communicate and yet we don’t. This makes me insane some mornings. Sure it’s cool and fun and even fulfilling to post about what’s going on in your life, but use your social stream to educate a little bit too.
Then you move to support. Support movements and groups that are doing things you agree with. You don’t need to use money, in fact, oftentimes it’s better you go out and volunteer your time instead. Or better yet, do both! Change only happens when people demand it. These occupiers are doing it and we’re essentially laughing at them. Can’t you see how wrong that is?
I really urge you all to take a minute to participate in making our world a better place. And most of you aren’t doing that. By simply living your life, and riding the roller coaster, you’re just being a sheep. You don’t need to be a great leader or anything, just be aware of what’s going on and try to be part of the solution.