Saturday, October 29, 2011

Occupy the media – we now have the talent and tools

 

As the Occupy Wall Street movement grows it will transform. It is the John Brown to the institution of slavery, as Occupy Wall Street is to the present economic and political system—an upset to a lousy collective behavior and rules that benefits a few and renders the rest a quiet desperation. It’s the result of rapacious workings of Capitalism, laissez faire capitalism, without restraints that treats labor and our environment as magical resources willing to take all using its unsustainable ideology of greed.

But like John Brown, a wrench gets thrown into the machinery, and the institution of slavery, a horrifically cruel and demeaning economic system, things don’t often go as planned. Some things are so rotten they have to die. John Brown’s uprising at Harpers Ferry; the greatest fear of the South that those they had suppressed for so long would rise up, put that simmering indignation on another level. Not even a century of bad decisions by landowners and even the Supreme Court could make an inherently bad system thrive. It took the Civil War to end slavery—but it shouldn’t have.

John Brown and Fredrick Douglas are part of Rochester, NY’s history. And now in that vein Occupy Wall Street has come to Rochester, NY:

32 Occupy Rochester protesters arrested after group refuses to leave downtown park | Democrat and Chronicle | democratandchronicle.com Rochester police arrested 32 people taking part in last night's Occupy Rochester rally in Washington Square Park downtown. Officers used a bullhorn about 11:20 p.m. to inform protesters that they were in violation of city ordinances and gave them 15 minutes to pack up and leave. About 100 people had marched through downtown Rochester on Friday and about 150 occupied the park as part of the nationwide movement. While a good amount of people left shortly after the police deadline, about 70 people remained in the park just before midnight.  (October 29, 2011)  Democrat and Chronicle |

One of the conundrums of the Occupy Wall Street movement is mainstream media’s inability to characterize it coherently. Mainstream media is looking for ‘what Occupy Wall Street wants.’ But what Occupy Wall Street wants is to have mainstream media’s slavish devolution to the plutocrats gone. Though, there are some media that do get what’s going on and you ought to check them out daily: Democracy Now!

Part of the Occupy Wall Street transformation must come from our relationship to our environment. We have let Capitalism rape the environment too long, by (without even paying for it) poisoning our drinking water, taking fossil fuels from the ground and putting the greenhouse gases into our atmosphere and warming it up. Check out this great essay about Occupy the Environment:

“The Occupy Wall Street Movement reflects a growing realization that our Democracy has been usurped by corporate power that drowns the voices, votes and concerns of average Americans. While the corporate hijacking of our democracy has been made clear for most Americans in the realm of finance with the Wall Street collapse and bailout, there is an analogous, but lesser known corporate hijacking of environmental policy. As a nonprofit environmental attorney, I have been very concerned about the growing power of corporations to railroad existing environmental laws and to prevent new environmental safeguards. I wrote in The Huffington Post about my fears that the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United would further tip the balance toward corporate interests in exploiting our natural resources and away from protecting those resources for this and future generations. In that article, I stated that the Executive Branch was our last remaining hope for environmental protection, but recently that branch seems to have thrown in the towel too. I regret to say that we are witnessing a greater corporate impact to democratic decision-making and related threats to our environment than I had feared when the Citizens United decision came down.” Occupy the Environment

Sounds impossible to occupy something as vast and as troubled as our environment, but it’s not. Change the media so the real consequences of using our environment for our economy are revealed. RochesterEnvironment.com has been doing this for over a decade. You can create your own media in your own community and do the same. Here are some thoughts on how that might be done:

  • Social networking the environment Many of you may not remember a world without the Internet. Now social networking has revolutionized the net—a communications medium that has already radically changed how we interact. Books, newspapers, and maybe even websites may become passé. Spreading the news will never be the same. And while social networking is probably responsible for an incredible increase in environmental awareness, it is not a replacement for environmental journalism. It may actually increase the marginalization (putting it on the backburner) of environmental issues. My concern over the popular platforms -- that easily allow its members to throw lots of information (texting, photo sharing, forwarding news links, audio, video, anything digital actually) at each other -- includes several issues. First, too few corporations mediate too many individual’s ability to communicate. You create an environmental group, for example, but no one can join unless they are a part of the platform. Or, the platform goes down and everyone is silenced. Or, the programming goes awry and heaven knows what happens to your personal stuff. Maybe those corporations won’t like what you’re saying. more...
  • Kill Your TV! When you're in a hole, stop digging: Stop listening to the same media that misinformed you about the Iraq War and the dangers of Global Warming! Why do most Americans say they are concerned about the environment (at least in some polls), but don't vote for candidates with strong environmental records. Why do we continue to living our destructive, non-sustainable way of life (the United States has only a fraction of the world's population and uses 25% of the fossil fuels) despite all the evidence that it going to be a terrific cost to future generations? Is it because Americans are especially selfish or dense? I don't think so. I think the answer to most of our environmental problems is that we really don't get it; we don't understand the depth of our environmental problems because most of us are still trying to inform ourselves about the world in the same old way that led us to the state we are in--our environment on the brink of disaster. (By the way, if you think this last statement is an exaggeration, it's an indication that your listening to the same deluding media.) more...
  • Thoughtful Feedback Seemingly, online media has opened itself to a plethora of mindless rantings by those without even a crazy ideology to spur them on. I speak of feedback on online news sites that are unmonitored and unfiltered so any nutcase with a computer, an Internet connection, and only a modicum of sense is allowed to write responses to local news stories online. You know what I’m talking about: follow any online article that offers reader’s responses and you’ve probably long since avoided those parts of the articles because it’s a vast wasteland of craven lunacy. This is a tragedy because the medium where we get our news is moving to the Internet where interaction between the media and its readers is critical and will add greatly to our Democracy. more...
  • Environmental groups pick up where the media falls down The public is more aware of the importance of environmental issues because environmental groups are helping to connect the dots. Left to their own, the media only publishes environmental stories when something happens that their editors think will grab the public’s attention and bring in more money. more...
  • A Question: Mainstream Media and Climate Change News Recently, I’ve come across on the Internet environmental scene speculations that the mainstream media refuses to connect ‘extreme’ weather events like the increase flooding in the West, Hurricane Katrina, droughts around the world, to Global Warming. Global Warming does predict that there will be more extreme weather events, including not so much more hurricanes (for example) as most intense hurricanes when they occur. more...
  • Media Responsibility As I live and Breathe: Just when you think the media has become so Objective in their reporting that somehow they think they can stand outside of our environment and simply report on the decline of our environment, you read a story like this. Major Kudos for News 8/FOX Rochester. The movement is growing. The pubic and even the media is realizing that we cannot stand aside while that which keeps us alive, our environment, is in serious jeopardy - just check out some of these Rochester Environmental Issues. Hopefully, more and more mainstream media will recognize their innate responsibility as our informers, who have been protected with a special privilege under the US Bill of Rights, to inform us on the state of our environment—so that we may have the information we need to make informed choices about that which matters most. more...
  • Media Priorities Hannah Montana made it to Rochester during an almost blizzard and out again. I don’t know who Hannah Montana is, but I’m glad she made it safely to and from Rochester. I know this because the local news was saturated with this topic all weekend. I could not find, however, a story about the climate talks in Bali, where the US dragged its feet on coming to an agreement with the rest of the world on curbing Global Warming gases. more...
  • Stop Big Media & Stop Global Warming In just five days, the Federal Communications Commission plans to open the floodgates of further media consolidation across America. If FCC Chairman Kevin Martin gets his way, your community will be inundated with even more mass-produced celebrity gossip and infotainment, and less local reporting and quality journalism: more of the the junk news that is making us sick. more...
  • About changing your media I believe in this day, when mainstream, corporate media blurs and spins important environmental information that we need to survive because of their specific ideologies and their shareholder’s economic interests, we have to change our media. We have to change how we get our media and the sources we use to inform us of what’s going on. If the media we are accustomed to has mislead us or chooses on an unsound basis which stores we shall listen to and which they want us to ignore, then we have to change. There’s no shortage of new and old media out there. And by “out there,” one of the main conduits for finding out what exactly is going on in our environment is too surf around the Internet for trusted news sources, which can come from other countries, other industries, other groups—voices that don’t appear on our television or radios (Or, maybe they do, but we could not reach them except for the power of the Internet). more...

No comments: