Occupy: Dissecting Occupy Wall Street--
A New Dissection by Danny Schechter
--with a foreword by Greg Palast
"[T] his festering situation is still underway as I write."--D.S.
"We have a right to fight for what's right."--MLK
"Wall Street ' s banks are not only not too big to fail, but not too big to jail."--D.S.
"You can't evict an idea whose time has come. "--poster at #Occupy
"Wall Street already occupies the world. Can OWS dislodge it?"--D.S.
"History is happening ."-- D.S.
It is difficult to describe Danny Schechter's Occupy as a dissection, because it paints this monumental event in such colorful terms as it waxes, wanes, and wanders. It is more like a documentary--a multimedia experience that includes narrative (Danny's blogs--picture DS in front of the mike in any of a number of his documentaries); visuals (the signs with their insightful slogans and graphics); photography at the opening of each chapter; poetry and song; the General Assembly's two-part manifesto (" We are daring to imagine a new sociopolitical and eco nomic alternative that offers greater possibility of equality. We are consolidating the other proposed principles of solidarity, after which demands will follow "); quotations from celebrities and talking heads; the Script of a TV Report, "Behind The Scenes of the Occupation," for Press TV's "In Focus" program; the film itself (a separate effort, which I hope is included with the hard copy as a DVD); day-by-day journals by Schechter and finally Wikipedia; and more.
Danny the filmmaker, Danny the producer of mainstream TV episodes and PBS series, Danny the radio maven, Danny the activist, Danny the dissector has donated to history an invaluable archive, a cornerstone for an edifice that I am sure will rise high above the Gotham landscape, as the people occupy their native land, fighting back the fate that demolished the Native American culture. Has #Occupy heard from the Indians yet?
One pervasive trope with which I disagree is that goals are unclear--to me 99 versus one is plenty clear and pervasive enough--to the extent that at least one Wall Street financeer sits down with Danny for his lunch break to gripe that while his pension dissolved with the cave-in of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers he met a retired teacher basking in his pension unworried as he nonetheless stands solid with his 99 percenters, as his profession is suffering such abuse at the hands of the one percenters, frustrated that we're not dumbed down enough to accept the abuse with a whisper--of surrender.
Throughout this multimedia marvel, there are clues that shout down the premise, embedded even in the manifesto (see above), that a bulleted list ("demands," a provocative term that alienates even me) must distill all the drama, all the trauma, all the wounds, all the violence, all the defiance, all the heroism, all the brilliance, all the creativity, all the innovation.
This book IS a bulleted list. Get over it. We must get past that mentality.
Viz., in Danny's own words:
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