Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lack of Critical Thinking

The Occupy movement shut down three of the Port of Portland's terminals day before yesterday. For some vague notion that this is going to rectify problems with international trade, or that some bank has a piece of a shipping company, or to protect the dockworkers, or whichever, they stopped traffic coming and going into the gate(s) for the day.

Is it just me, that I am struck by the unthinking,  and selfish actions people will go to in order to make some arcane point? Four hundred dockworkers took a day off without pay. Dozens of truck drivers trying to deliver local products to the port were turned back at the gate, and they ate the fuel costs and payment for their loads.

That's a great Christmas presents for the blue-collar working folks, isn't it? Sorry, but we need to do this for the greater good and all, and if you can't make your rent or your car payment or swing that bottle of medicine for granny this month? Too bad.  We must all make sacrifices.

"Sorry for any inconvenience while we fix our Democracy," the sign says. "Inconvenient" is having to take a detour that puts you couple blocks off your route. Losing a days' wages or the delivery price for your trucking run hits the 99% everybody blathers about in the wallet. 

And you know what? It won't fix anything. Who are you trying to change? 

You think this is going to gain you friends and influence the working stiffs to see your point of view? The dockworkers and truckers were on your side, but this isn't the way to keep them there. It's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt, and stabbing somebody in the pocketbook who doesn't deserve it? Bad tactics.

Somebody needs to take a page from the Scarecrow here, and get a fucking brain. 


Jim said...

At this point, the entire Occupy movement has become a temper tantrum. They're whiny kids being taken advantage of by many different groups to promote countless agendas. Whatever is sold as "a good idea to make a statement" carries through...

And the local non-participants and governments have given them slack so far -- but that tolerance is wearing thin. They've blocked people from local businesses, perhaps unintentionally, but effectively. Some business claim to be losing thousands because their customers won't brave the Occupy crowd to get there... and that's without stunts like this one.

They need to get an actual purpose, accept that they've grown beyond some vague assembly, and move to achieve a goal. Otherwise, they're going to lose their voice in the confusion.

Scott said...

If you accept the idea of a ruling class - I do - it's not the wealthy per se, it's government bureaucrats - aristocrats who live under a different set of laws than the rest of us.

Joe said...

The problem I have with the movement is that it's not just one movement anymore. If the intent was to hit Wall Street or the 1%'ers, this ain't it. They were probably a group of anti-NWO, anti-globalization, or anti-whatever conspiracy Jesse Ventura is ranting about this week.

Until the OWS people get their act together, any group of wacko's can take cover behind the "Occupy" trademark.

Bill said...

Jim, I second that.

Anonymous said...

Amen brother.

Brett said...

I Googled "action without a clear goal" and guess what the number one result was. If you said Occupy movement, you get a gold star! What an enormous waste of energy and resources these people are. I would be very impressed with their resolve if they had any sort of clear intent with what they want to accomplish.

Dojo Rat said...

I've been reading a lot of political forums, and believe me there is a lot of self-reflection about the Port action.

Give it a chance, it's still in the growing pain stage...
And it may be the most signifigant political movement this country has seen since the Vietnam war.

Spring is around the corner.

Steve Perry said...

I'm not against the idea of protest, and as I've said, if you aren't upset about how things are going, you aren't paying attention. It's that the Occupy Movement is doing more damage than good by every measure I can see.

In the Sixties, the chants were easy: "Hell no, we won't go!" Or "One, two, three, four, we don't want your fucking war!" Or "We shall overcome."

"What do we want?"
"When do we want it?"
"Peace, now! Peace, now!"

The Occupy movement yells:

"What do we want?"
"Um. Ah ... I dunno ... "

You don't hunt ducks by pointing your shotgun at the flock and cutting loose. You pick a particular duck and lead it. There may be folks in the movement who know exactly what they want, but they sure aren't getting it across. We want to camp in parks and make a lot of trash and shut shit down!


Um ...

To get something done these days, you need a clear message and you need to stay on it. Maybe somebody will get to that, but meantime, they are shooting themselves in the feet. When an old hippie like me gets pissed off at them? They are missing the boat.

If you are alienating folks who might be on your side? Bad tactics. Somebody needs to focus, and this idea of we'll-all-decide-together and echo-speak-it-to-the crowd? Please.

Stan said...

OWS comes across as something designed by "talking heads." It's original statement, "We are the 99%," may have served a purpose, but the actions seen during the myriad, multi-state, mutations have alienated the rest of us "99%'ers".

It now sounds like a bad merging of Peter Finch's statement in "Network", ("I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!"), with Brando's response in "The Wild Ones", (when asked, "What are you rebelling against, Johnny?", he answers "Whaddaya got?").

As much as change, and maybe even revolution, is needed, the OWS groups are offering wonderful examples of how NOT to do it!

Shawn R. said...

I totally agree with you here, Steve. There's a lot that I like about the Occupy movement. But the Port of Oregon disruption only seriously impacted the "little guys". Even if it was aimed at the huge conglomerates, one day of disruption at one port in one country isn't even a blip on the 1% radar. It isn't even something the radar would pick up.

When they first were announcing it with such pride, my first response was to look at my husband with disbelief & say, "What idiot thought this plan up, & what were his buddies smoking that nobody said, Hold up, dude, this is actually kind of stupid."

My husband said pretty much the same thing.