TEA & TWO SLICES: On The Globe And Fail And Over-Extending Ourselves At Christmas

November 11, 2011.

by Sean Orr | The Globe & Mail says few tears are being shed for the crumbling Occupy movement. If it was doomed to fail, why are they so desperate to pen it’s eulogy? Why wish for violence? If it’s all just a fairy tale, why are they giving it so much column space? Do they feel threatened? Do they think these wacky leftists are going take away all their toys? Whatever the answer might be, they’re resorting to all the usual tropes: fomenting fear, reducing a movement to a few soundbites, ignoring the very real and very practical demands that have been raised (Robin Hood Tax, opposition to the Tory crime bill and electoral reform), and talking of rats and overdoses as if they’re rarities in this city. They call the campers’ ideas and ideals Utopian when all they are really asking for is a return to the roots of capitalism. If the Occupiers are hanging themselves with their own rope, why, then, is the media waiting with nooses?

And if nooses fail, try needles: Saboteurs Scatter Dirty Needles Around Perimeter of Occupy Ottawa. AS disgusting as this is I just had to laugh! 400 dirty needles? That’s like if every camper there shot up a hundred times in one night.

The best arguments in favour of the #occupy movement are found in the business section: Don’t forget America’s debt drama, TD warns. Ergo, to all the pundits arguing that we don’t have the same crisis because Canadian bankers are more conservative and that the protests are therefore misguided, remember that “this is an enormous fiscal drag that runs the risk of stalling economic recovery” and that this was said by one of your own.

Exhibit B: Why Stockbrokers Shouldn’t Guarantee Client Accounts Against Losses. “In some cases, the broker may be in cahoots with the promoter and is getting illegal kickbacks for placing the stock with his clients. This is clearly dirty business”. Your Honour, I rest my case.

Developmentally disabled teen stuck in jail because of lack of services. This in the year 2011? For fuck’s sakes, Canada. Get it together.

Canadians warned not to overextend themselves on holiday shopping. Wait. I’m confused. Do you want us to consume or not? Isn’t our entire thingy hinged upon our ability to shop like cray cray at Christmas?

Whining about whining: Best Place on Earth — for smug, whining do-gooders. On one hand it’s like, yeah, the asshole children of hippies have ruined everything, and now instead of Robsonstrasse, there are, like, six Starbucks. But then, on the other hand, it’s like, he was too romantic about Manhattan, as he was about everything else, and look at the Granville Strip, and be careful because you sound like Tom Cruise in Magnolia, and also this is why we can’t have nice things.

Favourite name in the news today, brought to you by Liam Ford: “Daniel-Robert Gooch, president of the Canadian Airports Council”.

Extra credit: Waste Coast – Mad Dog.

  • Darcy McGee

    Occupy movements are failing of their own accord, in part because quite a few of them have *no sense of self.* They’re simply aping what they see elsewhere.

    You might have heard of a little publication called Adbusters. They commented on it:
    Oh wait…Adbusters *initiated* the Occupy ideal. If they’re talking about problems, maybe there actually are problems?

    Not that you’d notice: just keep reposting articles with your little sarcastic comments.

  • http://seanorr.tumblr.com/ Sean Orr

    I’ve been equally as critical as supportive towards OV, and I’m not sure how you managed to turn this into an ad hominem when I’d be the first to admit that I could probably name my column “reposting articles with little sarcastic comments”. I think that is a fantastic link and echoes true with OV, as I was writing about in the next T&TS: http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2011/11/11/occupy-vancouver-media-release-reveals-a-very-divided-camp/

  • Marvelous Miss Maeve

    Re: Occupy Vancouver

    I too am getting ticked off about the strange relentless amount of publicity over what the protesters are doing or not doing. While I applaud all efforts to keep them safe, I just want someone to explain why 3 men died in a tragic rooming house fire on Pandora Street last year despite countless safety violations cited by the City.

    Why were these men and countless others not afforded the same level of care and protection being provided at OV ? If I was younger and fitter I would be down there at OV with my little sign —protesting about slum landlords raking in profits at the cost of human lives –just like I did in 1970

    Every good battle must be fought more than once. That is a quote and if I was younger and fitter I might be able to remember who said it

  • Erin

    The people who criticize OV as being useless, aimless and fading, clearly have not checked things out for themselves. I’ve walked down to the Art Gallery a few times when the encampment was still there, and sure, it seemed like nothing was going on besides the odd musician performing and a few squeegee kid-types lurking about… but that’s because so many people were off in their subcommittees and discussion groups. The more I’ve spoken to people who have been active in these subcommittees, the more clear it is to me that there are many people who are trying to change their ways of being, their understandings of the world, and their ways of connecting with each other. They’re educating themselves about privilege, experimenting with consensus-building, and learning to operate non-hierarchically. They’re actually *doing* it– they’re “being the change they want to see in the world.” But this is all invisible for those who aren’t doing their research. Where are the journalists who are sitting in on these committees? Is driving by the VAG and pointing at dirty tarps enough for today’s journalistic standards? Those who scoffed at the encampments and accuse the OV of quickly becoming obsolete have no clue what’s really going on.

  • http://seanorr.tumblr.com/ Sean Orr

    Well said. At the same time, one does need to have an existing awareness of how the media will distort the message. I’m sorry but lighting fires, sacred or otherwise- and declaring themselves autonomous are just poor optics. And so we respond in kind with cliches: ‘Wall Street is just an address’, or ‘you can’t evict and idea’. We dig in. We know this will be a long process. It won’t be overnight. We camped out to get noticed, now we start drafting policy. Now we start formulating our vision. It won’t be easy. But like grassroots themselves, it will be long and dirty.

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