In our era, in which our mind's are distracted and circumscribed by relentless, manic formations of instant information and evanescent imagery, we too often dwell in domains devoid of musk and fury, of the implications carried by mind meeting flesh; therefore, one is often nettled by an abiding hollowness resultant from voluntary exile in these weightless realms of electronic ghosts.
The events unfolding in this place bear little resemblance to contrived reality TV tawdriness or pro sports/corporate rock, empty spectacle. Although some of the event transpiring here have been broadcast, webcast and tweeted in "real time" -- in vivid contrast -- events are unfolding in time that is real.
In Liberty Plaza, both the
winged spirit of commitment and the rag and bone shop of the heart abide.
Acting upon the human yearning not to live in chains, those assembled here are
attempting to navigate their way out of the wasteland of isolation and
alienation inflicted by the inverted totalitarianism of the
corporate/consumer/national security state.
"Protest that endures,
I think, is moved by a hope far more modest than that of public success:
namely, the hope of preserving qualities in one's own heart and spirit that
would be destroyed by acquiescence." ~ Wendell Berry
The barriers: This photo (of Occupy Wall Street protesters entrapped on the Brooklyn Bridge by the NYPD) is emblematic of existence within the constraints of inverted totalitarianism. The image is evocative of how the present order works to contain and narrow (if you will, kettle and cage) our conception of both the right to free expression in the public sphere and, by implication, within the psyche of an individual.
For instance: Notice, under
"normal circumstances," how even the thought of pamphleteering or
making an attempt at public oration in those areas of hyper-commercialized
commerce -- e.g., malls, big box retail stores and sports arenas -- squatting
upon most of the landscape of the U.S. is summarily dismissed. An individual
who attempts to exercise his right to free speech and free assembly in those
locations is expelled on sight by private security types maintaining that the
reach of one's rights to free expression ends where private property begins.
In general, in daily life,
living under the inverted totalitarian nature of the corporate state, the walls
that imprison an individual are invisible to the eye, even as they create bleak
barriers within. For example, if you are arrested while exercising your
(allegedly) constitutionally guaranteed rights during an act of public protest,
future employers will be privy to the information and chances are that such
information will not be exactly helpful in your attempt to gain employment;
hence, many are dissuaded from protest.
Yet, the New York City power elite can be thanked for the following: By actions such as these, captured in photos like this one, they reveal to us the true nature of the society that they have created, both extant and internalized within.