Occupy Rock Criticism (ORC), I

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October 20, 2011 by admin

Various rock critics grappling with the “Occupy” protests and/or the state of political/economic life in general.

Frank Kogan, Getting people all in one place is amazingly hard: “I feel a bit hypocritical for not getting involved, since I’m the one who strenuously insists that the major flaw of my musicwrite world is its unwillingness to focus and follow through: that the people in it don’t know how to sustain an intellectual conversation and are totally unable to comprehend the need to persist on a topic, return to unanswered questions, develop rudimentary thoughts, work to understand someone’s ideas, communicate their own, etc. Not that I expect anyone at Occupy Denver to do better or accomplish much of anything. But I doubt they’ll do any harm. And as Mark [Sinker?] said in WMS #13, getting people all in one place is amazingly hard, much less with at least the illusion of moving all in one direction, and persisting. So I may drop by, today or tomorrow, just to see.”
[This is followed in the comments box by Frank’s report after dropping by: “Went for a couple of hours. Loved it…” Read the rest.]

Dave Marsh, Who’s Demonizing Who?: “Does President Obama believe that more than 30 months of supporting the Wall Street ownership class justifies his putting words in Dr. Martin Luther King’s mouth? On what basis does he arrogate to himself the right to sideswipe an entirely non-violent movement to curry sympathy — or even empathy — for the Wall Street scoundrels who occupy so many posts in his cabinet?”

Tom Hull, Down and Out at the DMV: “One reason I see this resembling the 1960s is that when you think about it you’ll realize that the new left won the culture wars back then: civil rights, getting out of Vietnam, abolishing the draft, women’s liberation (everything from abortion to equal pay), clean air and water, consumer protection. The problem was that we didn’t build the institutional framework to consolidate power to protect (and extend) those gains — but one key reason that didn’t happen was that we distrusted and never grew comfortable with power. So we left the rich too rich and the military-security state too well dug in — the bases for the right’s counterrevolution — and we lost focus and, at least for a while, just lapsed and enjoyed the better world we had made.”

Tom Smucker lands his mug in “Faces of Occupy Wall Street” at Think Progress: “We just came down to handout flyers since at Verizon, union employees in the northeast are bargaining a new contract with Verizon. So we’re here to support these people and hoping these people will support us. […] The issue of there being a fair economy is obviously very important to union members right now. And we all feel that there is now pressure on union members and working people in general to accept less when it’s clear that there’s another set of people who aren’t accepting less.”

Greil Marcus, Revolution in Amerika? at Zeit Online. Um, given that this be in German, you might prefer to read this (somewhat spotty, I’m guessing) English translation at the blog, I’m Gonna Call You Fluffy instead: “I don’t know who organized the protests against Wall Street, whether hidden motives are behind it and whether groups such as the pseudo-left fascistic ‘International A.N.S.W.E.R.’ have a hand in it. I don’t know either what’s supposed to happen, if anything concrete is demanded. It’s obviously not a spontaneous outbreak of frustration. After all, considering what gives rise to frustration in America — which is pretty much everything — the protests pose the question: Why only just now and why here? I find it hard to believe that the demonstrations pose as a left parallel to the Tea-Party-Movement, as some honourable liberal commentators suggest. The Tea Party Movement has been started by anti-governmental Ayn-Rand-Worshippers, celebrating the hegemony of the corporations, and was rapidly monopolized by the unofficial money machines of the GOP, in order to be hierarchically structured and funded by right-wing billionaires.”

… And of course, the inevitable NYT piece about pop music’s inability to communicate any sort of coherent, unified message about these events as they unfold in real time, a piece, I swear, I come across at least once every three or four years.

(Looking for more intersections, interjections, etc.)

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