Guarding the Perimeter

         I returned to the place I grew up to spend the Thanksgiving holiday.  As the airplane began its descent to the airport, I opened the window by my seat and peered down. 
       The landscape was so different from New York that I might as well have flown to my destination in a NASA space shuttle.  The quality of the sunlight was amazing.  It burned my eyes. 
     Later, at my mother’s house, I helped her bake pies.  The television was on in the background.  There was a brief story about Amy Winehouse, the young singer who died of alcohol poisoning. 
     “She was so young!” my mother said.  “Such a shame.  I don’t know why she did that.  Some people can never overcome the bad things that happened to them.  I wonder why that is.”
     I was crinkling the crust of the pie dough with my fingers and didn’t look up.  It crossed my mind that she might have been trying to suggest something, but I doubted it. 

       “Such a shame,” my mother said.  We put the pies in the oven.

       Late that night, before bed, I looked up from my computer screen to see her in the living room, going from window to window, checking the locks.  She does this almost every night.  Sometimes more than once.  The house is the cleanest house I’ve ever seen, and it’s locked up like Fort Knox. 

       The suburban streets outside were vacant, motionless.  The neighborhood was very low crime.  As safe as the safest in America.  I’d never felt the least bit menaced there.  Nevertheless, my mother feared home invasion, prowlers, some faceless threat.  Night terrors.

      She stood at the window by the door, scanning the yard and the street outside.  Her hands were clasped together in front of her, worrying each other.

      “Mom, it’s okay,” I said gently.

      She looked back at me.  “I know.  I’m just checking.” 

      I pictured her in my mind, doing this ritual at night when I was gone.  Guarding the perimeter of her house.  Patrolling.  Checking.  Making sure that nothing could get in.

We Feed Off Of Each Other

Update 8/21/11  5:10 AM:  I might add–the Surgeon was leaner than he was the last time I saw him.  Definitely leaner.  I remarked on it after I’d unbuttoned his (very beautiful) shirt, removed it, and placed it, folded, on top of the dresser.  

      I ran my hands down his side, over his ribs and his hips.  My brow scrunched up.  “You look like you’ve lost weight.  You’re thinner.”  

    The Surgeon says: “FINALLY!  I’ve been waiting for you to say something.”  

       Oh Jesus

        *              *            *                    *               *          *  

     The Surgeon is at my house, and I am letting him do things to me that I seldom allow him to do these days.  Engaging in these behaviors is dangerous for me because they are intimate and personal, and because they are at the heart of my compulsions.  The Surgeon isn’t safe for me to share this piece of myself with.  It’s a very bad idea for several reasons: every time I do it, it binds me to him; it reinforces and re-affirms the compulsion itself; and finally, it’s just plain nuts to be emotionally vulnerable around a person like The Surgeon.  At best, you will be disappointed.  At worst, you will be mercilessly savaged.  

    But, but, but…but it’s been a long time, and I need it.  Or, I think that I need it.  It’s not the easiest desire to have fulfilled.  Not just anything can do it for me, unfortunately.  

    The Surgeon has always done a perfect job.  Always hits the mark.  Fucking always.  The man gets me fixed.

    Why?  I’ve had sex with the man a million times by now.  There is no reason why the sexual attraction should remain this intense.  Especially given my growing alienation from him.  

     There are a few explanations.  The attraction is obviously subconscious; irrational.  Our dysfunctions line up perfectly.  And while it pains me to admit this, I can identify with the man.  He has a lot of my bad or neurotic character traits, magnified to the Nth degree.  That is why I know him as intimately as I do and he does not frighten or repulse me.  How could I?  I understand him.  

       Now my hair is wrapped in his fist and I am physically pinned against the bed and the wall, and he is biting the hell out of my back.  He bites when he gets very excited, and we are not talking love bites here.  Bites that leave prints.  Bites that could be used to identify dentition.  

       When he’s not biting, he’s talking.  He’s using the opportunity to emphasize a few key points.

     “Sometimes it’s hard for you.  Sometimes, it won’t work out for you.”  FYI, he is referring to our relationship here.  “But, that is just the way it is.  That is the way it has to be.  That’s life!  It happens.  I happened to you.  I happened to your life, and that’s just the way that it is.”  

     And here it is, The Awful Truth.  This is it.  And it doesn’t matter that it is nonsense–absurd on its face; it doesn’t matter that it’s abusive and negligent; it doesn’t matter that it means an eternity of suffering for me.  

    “You will belong to me FOREVER!  I NEED YOU!  Don’t you know that?  We need each other.  We feed off of each other!”  

      For the Surgeon, this is a tremendous insight into himself and our relationship.  He has never expressed it with such clarity before.  

     And me?  Well, for the time being, I am off in Lala Land.  I’m getting fixed.  Obliterated.  

    Let’s backtrack a bit.  Remember this quote, that I blogged about a little while ago?

  She was very clearly a masochist, but speaking to psychoanalysts, they tell you that sadomasochism is always a circle, so the masochist is always looking for a sadist and will force people into that role, and even become the sadist themselves in order to form that circle. So I thought that was really interesting, the manipulation is strangely powerful. At the same time as she plays the victim, she’s creating these situations and manipulating them. 

     When all is said and done, I’ve kept the Surgeon in my life because he is perfect for me.  Many times, I’ve been hurt and confused because he wasn’t meeting my needs.  That is, in fact, the case.  However, like everyone, I have many needs, and some are more important than others.  The Surgeon has, in fact, met some of my needs very well.  Which needs, you ask?  Well, the need to be denied.  The need to be starved.  These are the needs I have given presidency, whether I was aware of it or not.  I’m aware of it now, and that is all that matters.  

       “You are the only woman in my life I’ve ever wanted to keep,” he tells me afterward, in all sincerity, as if he was giving me a great compliment.  I guess in his mind, it is.  

     Soooo…instead of being loved by a man, I have chosen to be the object of a narcissist’s obsession instead.  For little Margo, that’s as good as it gets!  What else could I ask for?  

     I gotta get rid of this guy.  Definitely.  That should be interesting!   

     But getting rid of him won’t be enough.  Because as long as the need remains, there will always be another Surgeon to fill it.  

     I have to fix myself.  

Reality Check: Males Do Not, In Fact, Wish for Miss Margo to Die

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UPDATE Sunday November 20  12:15 PM

     Wow, that party was excellent.  Expensive, but definitely worth the price of admission.  The event space was lux, the people were overwhelmingly attractive by any objective measure, and somehow the planners managed to keep out the demonstrable weirdos and sketchy guys.  And the music wasn’t industrial, and it wasn’t too loud.  I felt like I was in a movie, actually.  

     I was hit on by a beautiful young woman and I was so friggin dense that I didn’t realize she was propositioning me until it was almost time to leave.  That was pretty funny, actually.  I thought she was just being outgoing and make friends because she was new.  Because I have zero interest in women sexually, I simply don’t see it.  I wish that I could see videotape of our interaction last night.  I bet it would make great comedy.  Here’s what it was like, basically:

Her:  My boyfriend doesn’t like to do any of these things, but I really want to explore it.  That’s why I’m here, to meet new people and see what this is like.  And maybe get to try things.

Me:  Well, you’re in the right place!

Her:  I noticed you right away.  Your outfit is so beautiful and you really have some presence.  

Me:  Aw, thank you!  Your clothes are pretty too.  I love your shoes!

Her:  And when I learned that you had experience, I wanted to hang out with you, because I’m new.  My boyfriend isn’t into this.  

Me (donning relationship therapist hat, trying to be helpful):  Hmmm, too bad about your boyfriend.  What does he object to, specifically?

Too funny!  I did a major facepalm in the cab on the way home.  DUH!  Well, if I see her again, or if she calls, I’ll point her in the right direction.  Too bad she wasn’t a boy.  I would’ve scooped her up in a heartbeat.  She was a real sweetheart.

*                                   *                                *

     I have recently received two much-needed reality checks regarding my attitude towards men.

     This morning I told my analyst that I was, in part, frustrated and angry with the fact that I’ve been getting a lot of attention from men recently (I mentioned it in this blog here).  

     “What?  Men are not allowed to like you now?”  She asked.

    I turned on her, eyes blazing.  “They like me when I am skinny because they want me to die!”  

   “No, they don’t want you to die! That is a projection.  You want yourself to die.  You are thinking that about you.  The men are not thinking that.”  

      Well, I’ll be damned.  She was right.  Men, I am sorry I accused you of harboring violent ill will towards my person.  I retract that assertion and I wish to apologize.  

    Earlier this week I was hanging out with a young woman I’ve become friendly with.  She has fantastic dark reddish-blonde hair that makes me sick with envy–I wish I could snatch it off her head and put it on mine.  Anyway, I was telling her about my date with Matt and my Prime Directive for guys that I date (“Don’t Bore Me.”).  

     She grasped my attitude immediately and completely, and said:  ” ‘Entertain me! Dance, Monkey, dance!‘”

     I laughed because it was funny as hell, but the joke’s on me.  Really.  When confronted with my cynicism, I was actually taken aback.  I mean, “Don’t Bore Me” is kind of low in the expectations department.  This is not exactly, uhh, getting my emotional needs met.  

     And let’s be honest: if I was a dude and I said something like that, I would be an asshole.  That’s a fact.  If I came across that post and it was written by a guy, I would think to myself, “Wow, that guy is kind of an asshole!  With that fantastic attitude, it’s no wonder he doesn’t have a girlfriend!”  

     Men: Sorry for being an asshole.  I don’t want to be a cynical, bitter person.  Really.  

    Now I have to hop in the shower because I am going out tonight and I need to start my feminine grooming and beauty rituals.  I got invited to a party.  A private party.  A special party.  And unlike the last one I was invited to, this one is happening as planned.  It’s a totally new venue and crowd for me–I don’t know any of these people and I have no idea what to expect, but I was asked to dress to impress, and I shall not disappoint!  Fake eyelashes, lipstick, steel-boned corset, absurd high heels, the whole shebang.  I will look more girly than a drag queen, and most of my clothing will hurt me!  Yes, I will happily participate in my own oppression!  Feminism?  What feminism?  LMFAO

     I’m going stag, too.  Maybe I’ll meet a nice dude!  Who knows?  

     Photos not allowed inside, but maybe I’ll get pics of my shoes.  I have a really great pair of heels just for occasions like this.

timestamp is incorrect.  I took this photo 5 min ago.

UPDATE: behold, my most beloved pair of bad-girl anklestrap pumps.  Because here at Miss Margo Manor, we keep everything classy–that’s how we roll!  And nothing says ‘class’ like patent leather!!!

Occupy Wall Street VIII (Foley Square and Brooklyn Bridge)

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    Well, I went to OWS this afternoon and made it back home safe and sound.  The protests I attended started out very tense (bloody pavement, pissed-off police officers, the girl who was standing next to me getting arrested in a most unpleasant fashion–details and pics to follow), but it smoothed out just fine.  Everyone was cool (except for the girl standing next to me…and a few others, I guess).  

      OWS “clashed” (media word of choice) with police around Wall Street and Liberty Square this morning and afternoon.  Descriptions of the violence vary depending on where you get your news. In one well-publicized incident, a 20-year-old guy got his head busted open and was arrested.  The cops claim that he did it to himself resisting arrest; some say that the cops beat him up.  I must admit that I’m siding with the cops on this one, because 1) he sounds like an immature asshat, and 2) if that arrest was anything like the arrests I saw tonight, the cops wouldn’t dare lie because EVERYTHING was caught on digital video or photos.  

       I missed all of that, myself–didn’t get there till past 3 PM.  I didn’t attend the Subway Occupation because after I thought about it I decided that it was obnoxious and ill-conceived.  What is the point of occupying the subways?  We already occupy the subways! Use em every day!  Shit, if they put a cot down for me at my local station, I’d probably move in!  It’s like saying, “Occupy the $.99-Store!”  Already there, dude.  Also: nobody likes to  be bothered when they’re riding the trains–period.  Panhandlers, evangelists, loud drunks, people eating meals (as opposed to SNACKS), blaring iPods, groping pervs–the bane of every straphanger’s existence.  Nobody is going to be receptive to your ideas when you’re rudely violating their boundaries and impeding their commute!

     Wouldn’t it make more sense to occupy a yacht club?  I don’t mean to imply that everyone who belongs to a yacht club deserves to be confronted and reproached–just because you have an expensive boat does not mean that you unapologetically torture and exploit your fellow man! 

     Wait..where was I?  Oh, yes.  I dressed warmly (but not warmly enough), stored some extra cash in my shoe in case of emergencies, charged my cell phone and told two people where I was going, just in case.  I left my handbag and wallet at home and just carried ID and a credit card in a zip pocket.  I wore bright red gloves, thinking that police would be able to see them in the dark.  I considered bringing a flashlight or votive candle, as the internet statement urged protesters to do, but quickly rejected that idea.  I did not want to have ANYTHING in my hands that police might later be able to claim that I was using for a weapon.

      I took the bus downtown around 3 PM.  It was running very late; I was waiting for almost half an hour and I was trying to hail a taxicab when the bus came into view.  While I was waiting, I witnessed about 30 police cars (no exaggeration) running downtown at full speed with their lights flashing.

     During the trip, I sat next to two old ladies who were also going to the protest.  They were very nice and they reminded me of my Mom for some reason.  One of them had blue eyes and fluffy white hair.  From behind, her head looked just like a Q-tip.  She was wearing a pin that said “99%.”  The other lady was African-American and she was wearing a floppy denim hat.  She had a white  cane, so I guess she was visually impaired.  I talked to both of them as we went through Chinatown.  

     As the bus approached downtown, the traffic became very congested.  Some streets were closed off for the protests.  The waiting was making me anxious, so I bid the ladies good luck, exited the bus, and hoofed it over to Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park).  

      THERE WERE TONS OF COPS EVERYWHERE.  There were cops everywhere.  Did I mention that there were cops everywhere?  Because there were.  Cops in cruisers, cops on foot, cops on horseback, cops riding motorcycles.  I’ve been to many protests in my life, but I have never seen a police presence of that magnitude.  Not even close.  Hundreds of them.  Thousands.  So many that it made me wonder how large the police force in NYC really is (I looked it up–God Bless the Internet!–wikipedia says 34,500).  

     The ones around Liberty Square looked very pissed off.  Usually, most of them are approachable and somewhat relaxed (as relaxed as cops ever get–which is not very.  Trust me, I know).  They weren’t chatting with each other.  Nothing.  I said thanks to one who was directing traffic and he looked at me like my dog had just crapped on his living room carpet.  

     The protesters were pissed right back.  They weren’t relaxed or chatting with each other, either.  They seemed very strained.  On two different occasions, I saw puddles (no exaggeration) of fresh, bright red blood on the pavement.  I guess I could have taken a photo, but I was self-conscious about it.  It seemed like a jerky, voyeuristic thing to do.  So I didn’t do it.  I did think it was weird that nobody was cleaning it up.  Spilled blood is a public health hazard.  

     I talked to a few people.  They said that there’d been confrontations with the police all day.  Then the police had ringed the perimeter of the park, forbidding people to enter or exit.  Everyone thought that mass arrests were imminent.  That scared people.  Then they got furious.  

approaching Foley Squre…see the heads of the crowd?  

      It was dark when I got to Foley Square around 5:15 PM.  I’d never been there before, but I found my way by following the streams of people.  I was passed by a contingent of police on horseback.  The horses were beautiful.  They looked incongruous among the glass skyscrapers.  I like the sound horses make when they walk.  I looked at the metal hose shoes on the bottom of their hooves.  I have horse shoes on the bottom of my boots, too.  The kind soldiers wore in World War I (I think there should be more written about that war.  Why isn’t more written about that war?  It was tremendously significant.).  

         Foley Square was packed!  There must have been 20,000, 30,00 people there.  As I edged around the parameter of the crowd, craning my neck to see, I didn’t notice the police pull up behind me.  It happened really fast.  I guess that was intentional.  A couple dozen of them ran right up to the crowd on motorcycles and braked to a halt.  One of them was not two feet away from me.  He had blonde eyebrows and a complexion like my own.  His face was red, though.  He looked pissed.  

      The crowd, including myself, tightened and drew back, like a school of fish.  Holy shit! I thought.  

     A few people started shouting at them.  One of the shouters was a young woman immediately to my left.  She had brown hair and was wearing a hooded coat.  

     I made eye contact with the officer in front of me and asked, “What do you want?”  

     “Get onto the sidewalk!” he shouted.

      An eminently reasonable request! I looked down and saw that, indeed, I was standing on blacktop (I think this was Centre Street).  I immediately nodded at him, put my camera in my pocket and made for the curb.  I don’t think anybody else heard him, however.       

      The woman who was standing next to me shouted, “What are you going to do, run us over?  Are you going to run us over?”

      Oh wow, I thought.  That is probably not a good idea. I’d looked that cop in the eyes, and I could tell that he meant business.  He was serious as a heart as a heart attack. 

     “Go ahead!  Run us over!” I heard the woman shouting.

     When I got to the curb, I heard everyone around me shout or hiss in breath.  I looked back and saw the police falling on the crowd, including the girl who’d been standing beside me.  I have to hand it to them: the move looked very professional.  No hesitation.  Overwhelming force.  They worked in coordination with one another.  Fast, economical movements.  They looked like they did this sort of thing all day.  

     The woman shouter’s arm was being twisted around her back and she was forced belly-down on the pavement.  She had zero chance.  She was small and weak. She was cuffed in the blink of an eye.  The cop kept his body weight on her, pressing her down.  It looked like it hurt.  It was totally excessive.  She was shouting.  Everyone around was shouting.  While we stared, streams of cops walked in fast.  Some of them, dressed in riot gear, formed a line.  Others assisted in the arrests (they seemed to be picking people at random–whoever was within reach).  Others carried hand-held video cameras and documented the crowds and the arrests.  One of them was right in front of me.  He was looking at the  video capture screen of his camera; his concentration was intense but otherwise his face was expressionless.  Like I said, the operation was very professional.  Very well-executed.  

     I thought: Jesus, these guys could kill us all!  

      They could have, if they intended to.  Would have been easy pickings.  

     I have never had that thought before.  It was a totally novel experience.  Still wondering what to make of it.  I was definitely afraid, but it was more than that.  It was several emotions at once.  I’ll come back to it later if I can–probably in another post (though–note to self–if I do, I should do it today, while the feelings are still fresh).  

     All of a sudden, via cell phone and iPhone, a zillion cameras were documenting the action.  People were filming the police, who were filming the protesters.  It was weird.

      “The whole world is watching!” some people shouted.  Also, “Shame!  Shame!”  

      The cop in front of me, with the camera, did not look ashamed.   He didn’t look like he was feeling anything at all, other than ‘It is imperative that I film this as well as possible.’  He was a youngish guy, about my age, maybe younger.  He was Asian.  My height.  Looked slim, but it was hard to tell because of his uniform.  

      Then, the chant picked up: “This is what a police state looks like!  This is what a police state looks like!  This is what a police state looks like!”   Camera flashes everywhere.  More police had brought in bright lights to aid them and their photography.  The arrested protesters, once restrained and subdued (not that there was much resistance), were quickly lifted up and brought to paddy wagons.  

     I took out my crappy camera and took a few pics.  It made me feel like a tool, so I didn’t take many.  That’s not to say that I don’t believe that people should have documented the arrests.  That is all well and good.  
      Sorry that the photos are not good. I am a mediocre photographer in the best of circumstances.  When I got home and looked at the pics, I saw that most of them were of people taking pics.  

     To be continued…right now, I have to go to work!!!


Occupy Wall Street VII (#N17 Actions Tomorrow…and What About Gov’t and the Cops?)

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     I’m not working tomorrow so that I can attend the Gathering and Foley Square and the March Across Brooklyn Bridge.  I do have a meeting at noon, but I should be able to leave in time to also Occupy the Subway at 3 PM.

     I intended to post a blog about my suddenly ambivalent attitude towards the police (NYPD in particular), but after three hours of writing, the essay is overlong and still unclear.  I’ll share it if I can tighten it up.  The sentiments I’m wrestling with are important and, I think, worth discussing at length.

     For now, suffice it to say that, for the first time in my life, I have an attitude problem with the cops.  It’s not antagonism or blanket hostility.  More like a crisis of confidence, if you will.  I have a big problem with this picture:

A New York City police officer scuffles with Occupy Wall Street protesters after they were evicted from Zuccotti Park on Nov. 15.  Image: Don Emmert  AFP/Getty Images

This one bothers me, too:

New York Police Clear Zuccotti Park–NY TIMES

       You see, I’ve never had a problem–personally or philosophically–with the police.  I’ve had major misgivings about various societal and cultural institutions since I developed a political consciousness in my adolescence, but cops–the idea of their function--never concerned me, even during the brief and unhappy times when I was the (deserving) object of their scrutiny.  If anything, I felt empathy towards them–they provide crucial services, and their job is not easy.  One of my beloved family members was a police officer.  Whenever there’s a story about police conduct in the news, my impulse is to give the cops the benefit of the doubt and wait for more information.  I never thought I would last long in their role–and not because I tend to think too much, or because I’d feel conflicted about doing their job.  Quite the contrary, in fact.  I’d be worried that I’d blow a pimp or incorrigible drunk driver to smithereens, and that would be all she wrote for little Miss Margo.  And as I’m sure we can all agree, we can’t have cops doing something like that!

Protesters Return To Zucotti Park/Todd Heisler- NY Times
Brent Schmidt, of Brooklyn, was arrested near the Occupy Wall Street encampment. Mary Altaffer/Associated Press  

      That said, I think we have a major problem on our hands when government–or whoever is running the show–dispatches thousands of police to monitor, bully, intimidate, and arrest hundreds of average non-criminal American citizens.  Demographically average people just like you and me–effectively poor, precariously employed, indentured servants fucked for life by the credit bureaus and criminal banks who ran the economy into the ground and got filthy rich doing it.

      Occupy Wall Street is logistically, at most, a pain in the ass nuisance for the City to deal with.  But you can see with your own two eyes, good reader, just how seriously and intolerantly the regime deals with it, and the respect to which it is accorded.  

      The police were not sent to swarm or forcibly vacate the offices of Goldman Sachs.  

       Seven hundred protesters were arrested while peacefully walking over Brooklyn Bridge on October 1–how many white-collar, Wall Street lawbreakers have been arrested for their role in crashing the economy?  

      I don’t know about you, good reader–but it’s enough to really make me think.  About priorities.  And loyalties.  And to what and whom deserves my respect, allegiance, support, time, and cash.  

     Consider:  what values does OWS preach, and what do they embody and practice?  

     Now: what about Bloomberg, the Fed, and the financial institutions that did this?  Yes, the ones who charged you $6 in fees today for using the ATM at the drugstore, said you didn’t need a fixed-rate mortgage (when you still had your house), and kept your young son in Iraq for two tours more than his contract stipulated.  What values have you seen them demonstrate?  What priorities?  

     OCCUPY WALL STREET THIS THURSDAY!!!  If the cops don’t do it, WE WILL!

     I will be there to march across Brooklyn Bridge.  I’ll follow the rules and I have no intention of antagonizing law enforcement–but I am prepared to be arrested.  Arrest, for doing this, carries no stigma for me.

    Their respect and esteem are no longer prizes that I covet.  

7:00am — Shut Down Wall Street
We will gather in Liberty Square at 7:00am, before the ring of the Trading Floor Bell, to prepare to confront Wall Street with the stories of people on the frontlines of economic injustice.
3:00pm — Occupy the Subway
We will gather at 3:00pm at 16 central subway hubs and take our own stories to the trains, using the “People’s Mic”. Details here.
5:00pm — Take the Square, Festival of Lights on Brooklyn Bridge
At 5:00pm thousands will gather at Foley Square in solidarity with laborers demanding jobs to rebuild this country’s infrastructure and economy. They will encircle City Hall and march across the Brooklyn Bridge, carrying thousands of handheld lights, as a festival of lights to celebrate two months of a new movement to reclaim our democracy.
Resist austerity. Rebuild the economy. Reclaim our democracy.

Occupy Wall Street VI (Re-Occupy Liberty Square)

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TyRANTosaurus Margo!

Under order from the Mayor, the NYPD raided Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park) last night at 1 AM and forced everyone to evacuate, arresting many.  

As of 6 PM this evening, OWS is re-occupying the Square.  I visited after I got off work.  There were thousands of OWS and many, many police.  The air was electric; full of tension.  

If I have any local readers:  it is imperative that you join the strike THIS THURSDAY!

Here are a few photos–sorry, not great–no time to edit and cull yet.  

Evicting OWS is NOT ALLOWED!!!

Fuck! My phone blew up– OWS might have to move again!  I gotta hit the bricks, good reader–I’m sure you understand–more pics to follow…

If Not Now, When?

Occupy Wall Street V (Get Martin Luther On Its Ass)

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TyRANTosaurus Margo!

What a fantastic poster!

N17 Direct Action

      A fellow I know who’s been attending a lot of the OWS protests is optimistic about the movement’s potential to make policy change. I, however, remain skeptical.  There is no doubt that the movement has gained incredible momentum.  A slew of thoughtful journalism pieces have finally emerged about it–check out this piece at The Atlantic Magazine’s website and another at The New York Review of Books.  About fucking time.  The condescending attitude of the press toward OWS has really rankled me–not sure why, since I never had any reason to expect they would treat us any differently.  I’ve stopped being polite about defending OWS.  The other day, someone asked me, “What are you protesting, really?  What are you trying to stop?  GREED?”  

      Sorry, asshole, I know what a CDO-squared is.  How about that?  And what’s wrong with protesting greed?  Disgrace and public shaming are effective mechanisms of social control.  You would realize that if you had even rudimentary powers of observation.  

      I’m sick and tired of hand-wringing.  I personally do not object to the use of force–in fact, I feel absolutely pitiless.  I disagree with the Right about many things, but they are absolutely right when they say that the Left is destructive.  The Left is destructive.  Destruction is its essence–destruction and the ceaseless urge forward, toward some idealized future (The Right goes the other way–backward, a return to some idealized past).  

       Some things deserve to be destroyed.  

       Occupy Wall Street.  Take it, seize it, appropriate it, scrutinize it, investigate it, abolish it, humiliate it, pick it apart, break it and put it back together as it should be.  Get Martin Luther on its ass.  People say, oh, it’s a huge institution, it can’t be changed, but that’s bullshit.  Like all institutions, it is comprised of individuals.  They have name and addresses.  

Joe Bageant is Dead

    I just learned that Joe Bageant is dead.  He died back in the Spring.  I feel badly; I should have known this sooner. See, everyone, that is what happens when you don’t show up for life–but never mind, excuses are cowardly.  

    I’ve always admired Bageant’s work, especially his earlier essays.  They were a big influence on me when I was writing political opinion pieces for the school paper.  He and I exchanged a few emails when I was an undergrad.  I think it’s really awesome when older people make themselves accessible to young people.  Mr. Bageant was very approachable, and I know it wasn’t just because I’m a girl because my email addy wasn’t gender-specific.  

    I am grateful to all of my teachers and mentors who helped to cultivate my intellect.  I really miss them; the pain of their loss was excruciating and traumatic.  But it’s my fault they aren’t in my life now.  As always, I am the one who terminated contact.  Basically, I terminated myself.  Now that I’m here again, maybe I could get them back…?  While they are still running around on Spaceship Earth, unlike Joe Bageant?  

      Go to Bageant’s website and read all his stuff.  He’s insightful and can be very funny.  The fellow has a gift for metaphors–consider this quote, snatched at random:

If you hang out much with thinking people, conversation eventually turns to the serious political and cultural questions of our times. Such as: How can the Americans remain so consistently brain-fucked? Much of the world, including plenty of Americans, asks that question as they watch U.S. culture go down like a thrashing mastodon giving itself up to some Pleistocene tar pit.

      HAHAHAHA thrashing mastodon in Pleistocene tar pit!!!  Too funny.  I love you, Mr. Bagaent.  I did not quite have a Dad-crush on you, but I would have liked to have been your friend.  Thanks for all the essays and your kind response to my emails.  

    P.S.  I am serious–whenever one of my intellectual heroes (or even favorite authors) dies, I always kick myself for not sending fan mail when I had the chance.  Off the top of my head, I missed the boat with Edward Said and Kurt Vonnegut.  Why?  Isn’t not as if I didn’t KNOW that they were old and that people die, after all.  

    I gotta write to Robert Hughes and that guy who wrote The Arms of Krupp.  That was a really good book.