My biggest problem in trying to figure out Occupy Wall Street was trying to figure out Occupy Wall Street.
Like Will, prior to going there myself, I struggled with the idea that OWS protesters simply refusing to leave Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan could change what they said they sought to change. I also looked for the Clearly Defined Set of Goals™ so many continue to demand as a teacher does a homework assignment.
It is now evident not only how embarrassingly easy it is to figure out why they’re upset, but also that they were never going to make it so simple for a media many of them consider complicit with the Wall Street bankers and American financial system they vilify.
Will’s post earlier this week about the shell-game characteristics of the U.S. banking system immediately came to mind yesterday when I saw the latest Ill Doctrine video from my buddy Jay Smooth: hip-hop deejay, general purveyor of wisdom and Maddow-dubbed genius.
Jay employs the same three-card monte metaphor, but not solely in reference to the Wall Street bankers running the scam. He thanks the Occupy movement for exposing the “ringers”: the folks who observe the rigged game along with the public, pretending to be objective observers – but who are actually elemental to the hustle:
So naturally, if we stand next to the game and start telling everyone that the game is rigged, the ringer is gonna flip on us and start doing everything they can to make sure nobody listens to us. They’re going to tell everyone we’re a bunch of losers who are just hatin’ because we don’t know how to play the game; we’re a bunch of card-game-hating socialists. They’re going to do everything they can to discredit us so they can protect that game that they’re so invested in. And it feels that’s what we’ve been seeing all month with Occupy Wall Street.
Accepting Jay’s thesis, I wonder whether the OWS protests will first bring about change not on Wall Street itself, but among the ringers.