I got lambasted in comments on a post that I did a couple of weeks ago for daring to suggest that “Occupy Wall Street” was anything other than a spontaneous grass-roots gathering (OWS wasn’t even the subject of the post). But everything that I had read about OWS said that a group called Adbusters first put out the word way back in July of this year, telling folks all about this little shindig.
I understood where the commenters were coming from – after all, the OWS website insisted that they were a ” leaderless resistance movement”, and all of the major media outlets and progressive blogs were parroting this claim.
When people kept harassing me about what I said in my posts and my comments, I started doing some more digging, and found out some very interesting things about the people behind this “innocent” movement.
Adbusters was founded by a European-born gentleman by the name of Kalle Lasn, who currently lives in Canada. Mr. Lasn has never lived in the United States. He HATES capitalism in all of its forms, and he especially hates American consumerism. In his book, “Culture Jam“, he audaciously claims that he wants to “wreck the world”.
I guess Mr. Lasn – despite his stated contempt for consumerism, capitalism, and filthy dirty profit – realized that the kids on Wall Street are getting all of the glory (not to mention all of the donations), so he decided to set the record straight. I mean, there IS money to be made from all of this, after all….
So on October 7th, Mr. Lasn sat down with a reporter at The Tyee – an “independent daily online magazine reaching every corner of British Columbia and beyond” – and gave them a self-serving interview wherein he disclosed just how grass-roots this whole campout in the park – or as I like to call it, “Airhead Autumn”- really is.
It turns out that this really DID start long before September 17th:
…it all falls under a hashtag that began far from the pepper spray and mass arrests, in the offices of Vancouver’s own Adbusters magazine, as #OccupyWallStreet…..
Mr. Lasn and his cohorts have been attempting to stir the pot for over 20 years as it turns out, so he is positively GIDDY with the success of his latest campaign:
…..as the movement overspills Wall Street, he describes it as the most successful in the 22 years he and his magazine have been advocating “culture jamming,” which originally sought to subvert consumerism.
Adbusters came up with a poster design, which was designed to divert peoples’ attention away from the true meaning behind the protest:
….to me it was almost like an invitation, like if we get our act together then we can launch a revolution. It had this magical revolutionary feel to it, which you couldn’t have with the usual lefty poster which is nasty and visceral and in your face.
In this day and age, all revolutions must be tweeted, so a Twitter hashtag was developed (and really, guys – thanks for that; it gave conservatives some much-needed laughs….):
….the biggest brainstorms happened between myself and Adbusters senior editor Micah White, who lives in Berkeley. We were the two key people who got excited, and more and more excited, morning after morning, and eventually decided on that hashtag, #OccupyWallStreet…..
And no revolution would be complete without an official YouTube video – Mr. Lasn was delighted by the overtones of anarchy in the one that was released:
….Anonymous gave us that — I don’t know what you call it, that sort of anarchy cred. All of a sudden this organization that has this strange mystique to it, they’re saying, ‘Yeah, occupy Wall Street!’ That first video of theirs was quite a delightful little piece of videomaking.
And like all good Politburos, the elite planned on sitting up in their safe little offices, letting all of the work (and any eventual blame) be carried out by the gullible, the naive, and the expendable:
….we always thought of ourselves as the catalyzers, the people who set that meme, as we like to call it, in motion. And right from the start we decided that we’re not going to play a part on the street, that if our meme flies, if people love it, then we’re happy to come up with posters, and we did send them all kinds of handbills…..
It was rather nice of them to provide the kids with supplies, don’t you think?
These people have always been behind the scenes, directing the show, and those kids need to understand that this protest isn’t about THEIR demands; it’s about fulfilling Mr. Lasn’s desire to be relevant:
….I feel like this is the first time in the 20-plus year history of Adbusters that we really have a chance to pull something off….
It doesn’t sound like he is going to give up on this particular protest, because this time he and his friends are convinced that they are >>this close<< to finally seeing their dreams of revolution come to fruition.
Who, you might ask, are “they”? Oh, just your usual rogue’s gallery of folks who are always hanging around on the fringes of society or in the faculty lounges of elite college campuses everywhere, constantly jonesing for anarchy:
….it takes old people like me and theoreticians like Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, who are writing for our next issue, and people like David Graeber, the anarchist, and Saul Newman, the guy who recently wrote a book about anarchism.
It takes all kinds of people to launch a revolution, but the cutting edge is young people who put their asses on the line….
Again with the peasants taking all the risks – nice, huh? Somebody might want to remind these kids that in most revolutions, “cutting edge” is an all too LITERAL thing…..
Goodness gracious, this has all succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, so now they are eager to take the Fleabag Circus of Anarchy on the road:
…we know there’s going to be another big moment Oct. 15 when the people in Europe start getting their act together. And then now we are sort of strategically trying to up the level and see if we can’t pull off something even crazier than Occupy Wall Street, whether we can pull off a sort of global Tahrir moment.
I know it sounds kind of grandiose, but it seems like on Nov. 3 and 4, when the G20 meet, it is possible to have millions of people marching around the world, all demanding one thing….
And what is that one thing that everybody wants? Why a tax, of course! (Newsflash, kiddies – it’s always about money. ALWAYS.)
…we believe that one thing could be the Robin Hood tax. The Tobin Tax, what we’re calling a one per cent tax on all financial transactions….Let’s slow down fast money with a Tobin Tax, and we feel that over the next one month we may be able to instigate a global movement where the young people of the world stand up and say, ‘We want to have a Robin Hood tax.’
Got that, kids? That 1% that you’ve been chanting about all this time?
It’s a tax.
You have spent the past few weeks sleeping out in the elements, living in filth and squalor, fighting for your right…..to turn the United States monetary system into the equivalent of the European Union. Viva la Revolucion!
…. for the last 20 years we’ve been talking about cultural revolution and we’ve launched various campaigns….
And you lucky kids are the ones who are finally going to make these idiots’ dreams come true! (Wise up, guys, you’re being played.)
It is kind of funny how Mr. Lasn never gets around to telling anyone who is going to collect this tax, what it’s going to be used for, and who is going to be in charge of deciding what it will be spent on. Ah, well – as they always say, the devil is in the details…..
And once the American economy is completely ruined, Mr. Lasn envisions….well, he’s not really sure about that, either; all he knows is that something has to change:
…we decided in our brainstorming sessions that regime change in America wouldn’t be like regime change in Egypt, obviously, because it’s a totally different kind of a situation….
….some kind of a soft regime change was necessary there. So we felt, to put it succinctly, that a Tahrir moment for America was in the cards, was definitely possible….
Theoreticians and pundits say now, people I talk to, that ultimately this Tahrir moment that happened in Egypt, that it ultimately will apply more to first world countries and to young people all around the world, that soft regime change may actually be the great achievement of what Tahrir taught us.
I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t think we need any more “theoreticians and pundits” brainstorming, trying to bring about regime change in America; the clowns of academia who have been trying to “fundamentally transform” this country for the last 3 years have already screwed things up enough, thank you very much.
I guess since he didn’t grow up in this country, Mr. Lasn doesn’t realize that “regime change” in America happens peacefully every 2 years….
….at the ballot box.
[Cross-posted at Koch’s Tour]
[Update 10/13/11]: Thanks to NiceDeb for linking this article (and there are more links at her site about this same subject)! Check out her site – she does a GREAT job of turning over all of the rocks (and she really IS nice; we got to meet a couple of months ago!).
[Update 10/16/11]: Thanks to RStacy McCain for linking me over at his site; be sure and check out his hilarious post about a Craigslist ad, and please drop some dough in his tip jar to send him to Las Vegas to do what he does so well – on-site political reporting! (or to Auckland to be the future US Ambasaddor to Vanatau for his man, Herman Cain….)