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Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
Fatwah / February 27, 2011
By Eileen Jones


You know things are dire when I go to a protest rally. It’s one of the signs of the apocalypse, the one right before the seas turn to blood. I hate rallies. You stand out there feeling like a complete ass, while people around you chant “Hey-hey, ho-ho, corporate welfare has got to go.”

Whatever the thing is that’s being protested, see, you say it’s Got to Go.

This event was the insipidly-named “Rally to Save the American Dream” that went on yesterday in various cities across the USA. The intention was to give the thumbs-up to the Wisconsin protesters, encourage them to keep up the battle for collective bargaining rights. Also, presumably, to dig the trenches for the last-ditch fight to save the American working class, in spite of tea-party defectors who have already put out the sign saying “Welcome Corporate Overlords!”

But there’s got to be a better way than this. At the San Francisco rally, there was a cheap microphone that didn’t work, people yelling “we can’t hear you” at the back, old lefty warhorses trotted out to say the same things they’ve been saying for forty years in the same reedy tones, and mildly diverting signs done with marker on poster-board:

“Scott Walker is a Koch-Whore”

“Think Outside the Fox”

“Hitler Banned Unions”

“We Are All Cheeseheads Now”

“Gov. Walker Isn’t a Badger, He’s a Weasel”

“Tax the Rich (They’ll Be Okay)”

The worst of rallies is, nobody knows what to do once they show up. So they fall back on the toothlessly traditional. For example, the call-and-response routine that was old when Pete Seeger was young:

“What do we want?”


“When do we want it?”


Seriously, that was one of the things chanted yesterday. Also wanted: jobs, fair taxes, and, if I remember right, collective bargaining rights, which played hell with the chant rhythm. Nobody had rhythm at the San Francisco rally.

Crowd II

Embarrassing as hell, all of this, but y’know, squeamish avoidance is a luxury we can’t afford anymore.

The reason we who work haven’t all hit the streets at every increasingly sickening outrage in this country in the past ten-twenty-thirty years is a pretty simple one: it’s because we aren’t used to hitting the streets. We weren’t raised right. We’re out of practice. We don’t know the etiquette, or else we’ve seen the etiquette and we despise it. So we hang back, snarling and fuming, and the same small gaggle of protesters and rally-ers who go to everything show up again, chant “Hey-hey, ho-ho,” and make no impression. Live bodies is what you need at protests, millions of ’em, live bodies that show up and impress through sheer mass and brawn, and who look serious as a heart attack when the news cameras zoom in on faces.

But how to get them, when so many people are justifiably averse to looking like rally-twits, and won’t come out in the first place? In San Francisco, where people like to rally, they didn’t even fill the plaza in front of City Hall. It was maybe a third full, and it broke up quickly, with a lot of people drifting off to other rallies. There was one at Bank of America about something or other, and another just a block away, in support of Libyan protestors.

See? Not serious. People out making a day of rallying for a grab-bag of causes, wandering from one to the other like desultory attendants at a street fair—that cuts no ice with anybody.

Crowd VI

Personally, when it comes to protesting, I’m for glowering, fist-shaking single-mindedness, all-night amassing in darkness, ideally by torchlight, ferocious speeches, enormous colored banners carried by scores of people, signs with fists on them, and marching on things (cities, government buildings, corporate headquarters), preferably in clomping boots. Savage songs would be good too, only nobody sings anymore. In short, I’m for the no-Hey-Ho protest.

I realize some might consider the torches excessively old-school. Fine. Flashlights might be okay, if they’re that real eye-searing kind that are also big and heavy and look like weaponry. Just in case.


If we could get a new, formidable kind of protester in America, the kind that refuses to do mild-mannered chants and mealy little poster-board signs, we’d soon come up with better protest-rhetoric altogether. This bland, measured, excuse-us-please-we’re-rallying rhetoric is sadly inadequate. For example, here’s the statement put out by’s Justin Ruben:

Today’s massive rallies show that the middle class is not going to sit idly by while Republicans demand tax breaks for corporations and their rich friends and then turn around and say there is no money for police, firemen, first responders, teachers and workers. Today’s actions are just the beginning, and we will not rest until Republicans stop their attacks on the middle class.

If you read all the way to the yawn-inducing end, congratulations— is the org for you.

In our new Crazyworld, this org is considered scary and threatening by right-wingers, who mention it in tones of horror. And I guess we have to give MoveOn credit, they cobbled something together on the left, and kept it together, when nobody else would. But just imagine what a really tough org could do!

It’s just lucky for us that a lot of right-wing rhetoric is still oddly cautious and trembly too (though we make the same mistake they do—we think they’re far fiercer than they are). Here’s the call for a counter-rally in Lincoln, Nebraska, to face off against the “Rally to Save the American Dream.” It’s posted on a right-site called Grassroots:

OUR PLAN: We will gather on the Centennial Mall because we are NOT 
attempting to get involved directly in the labor union rally. I 
explicitly urge you NOT to do so as it will only lead to trouble. Our
 purpose is to gather together in whatever number chooses to show
 support for reforming collective bargaining.

Heavens to Betsy, it might lead to trouble.

So you see, they’re not even worthy adversaries yet. There’s still hope. We can get serious before they do. But first we have to get some practice rallying. Job One is to mass in public, get used to being massed with a purpose. Job Two can be figuring out what to do while massing, including how to get the microphone away from the hey-ho-ing rally-twits. We’ve got to grow into this thing, and grow fast. All you guys out there who like to talk tough? Log off, and take it to the streets. You’re needed out there.


Add your own

  • 1. Derp  |  February 27th, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Derpderpderp, harharhar! Ya call this protesting?

    Now let Derp tell all ya’ll niggers how is done!

    Ya see, when Imam Obama was elected Fox News and right-wing radio told us he was the devil and needed to be protested! He was gonna kill Palin’s baby and make us all suck on Stalin’s dick!

    And they went ON and ON and ON and ON about this 24/7! Derp derp! Coulter, Drudge, Limbaugh, Hannity, you name it, it was like they were all on message! An when we rallied we had LOTS of media watching us! And any media not giving sufficient coverage was deemed Commie faggotry!

    Now all ya’ll niggers don’t have leaders telling ya 24/7 what you need to think, breathe, live, eat and shit. Ya’ll just have a few liberal faggots prancing about saying, “oh dearie me, cha, corporations are evil and they keep raping us! I should go protest!” Ya call that motivation? Ya got more motivation each day to eat McDonald’s and watch badass crashes at Daytona like that recent haymaker with like a dozen motherfuckers and God, did ANYONE SEE THAT? IT WAS SO FUCKING AWESOME!!!!

    So until ya do have an almost state-like apparatus which tells millions of ya what to think, ya won’t have shit on us mighty and proud Tea Baggers, derp derp derp, harharhar!

    And Jon Stewart’s a pussy! Why would we right-wingers wanna let him turn is into pussies when being badasses let’s us fuck shit up in the government the right way that Jesus would want?

    Ya’ll can be a bunch of liberal pussy faggots pranching around “oh deary me, we need unions and must be polite” but us hardcore Tea Baggers? We’ll be busy kicking Obama’s ass, taking names, winning elections and continuing the glorious Reign of Reagan and Bush II! It’s good to be on the winning team, derpderpharharhar!

  • 2. MF  |  February 27th, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    The protest tradition is stuck with the crusty losers from the 60’s. Half the appeal back then was being able to stick it to their dipshit parents.

    Young people need to find a way to demonstrate how pissed off they are and make it their own.

    Seeing as teabaggers and rich people are almost all old, focusing our hatred on old goats would be a great place to start.

  • 3. az  |  February 27th, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    “Today’s massive rallies show that the middle class…”

    There’s your problem. The middle class isn’t really a protest-worthy cause. The working class, sure, but with the middle class you just get a bunch of pansies worried about stupid shit like 401(k)s, college tuition, and mortgage payments. Dump the middle class (does it exist anymore outside tea party rallies?) rhetoric altogether and you’ll have proper class warfare and not “working inside the system works because the system works for everyone.” If you remember, stuff like the New Deal happened IN REACTION to socialists and communists in this country actually organizing a lot of angry people, not a bunch of pansies wanting moderate reforms.

  • 4. Dennis Redmond  |  February 27th, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    There’s one thing Americans must learn from the courageous, resourceful, and amazing people of the Middle East.


    For Tunisians, it was Ben Ali. For Egyptians, it was Mubarak. For Libyans, it is Gaddafi.

    Fellow Americans, our enemy is Empire. The monster has two heads: a $1 trillion dollar war-mongering, fear-spewing, repressive boondoggle called the military-industrial complex. And a $14 trillion dollar bailout scam called the Treasury-insco-Wall Street complex.

  • 5. Derp  |  February 27th, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Derpderpderp! If a bear shits in the woods and nobody’s around to smell it…. then did the bear really shit?

    Derp! No it didn’t! Ya’ll can’t accomplish shit and even if ya does nobody’s going to be there to see it! I was in a rally with just 6K teabaggers and we got like 100X the coverage and they even claimed we had 30K people there, derpderpderp!

    Face it, Corporate Media loves sucking on Republican cock and Republicans love sucking on Corporate cock! It’s like the Ultimate 69 in which nobody’s getting fucked in the ass- except for all you dumb hippy Commie liberal faggot nigger motherfuckers, derpderpderp harharhar!


  • 6. joe  |  February 27th, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I was there in Madison yesterday. I drove up on a bus with teachers, nurses and carpenters from Chicago. Ill write a dispatch when I have some time.

  • 7. Pascual Gorostieta  |  February 27th, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Road flares could sub in for torches in a pinch. Oh, and I agree. I was at a rally in support of planned parenthood and one of the pro-choice protestors called the anti-choice one morons, and a girl mumbled “That’s mean” I look to her and say “The gloves need to come off; there is a reason why abortion rights have been eroded for the past two decades. Sometimes you just gotta mean and angry.

  • 8. mcdouche  |  February 27th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    too much plastic consumed in society these days. it’s making your balls shrivel up.

  • 9. nathen  |  February 27th, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    i agree with MY sister! somewhat…

    having begun as a berkeley undergrad in 1983, i was just in time for protests vs south africa’s apartheid and reagan’s grenada invasion. there were three large disappointments during my participation:

    the leaders were hate-filled; the proceedings were boring; the goals were vague and distant.

    however, i think these traits occurred simply because, especially since the 70’s, americans have lived a relatively cush existence, and still have few local pains to really get furious about. but that will likely be changing soon.

    the greatly rising food prices that have fueled recent middle east protests more pleasing to sis, are likely symptoms of the same climatic/economic/energy/commodities crises that are predictably (club of rome studies 1976, etc) slamming humanity and the rest of planet earth at this time.

    when tough times truly hit america again, we won’t need to create more and better protestors. the fury, fists, and ferociousness will come naturally from our reptilian and limbic brains, bloodily refreshing the tree of liberty once again, for patriots and tyrants alike.

  • 10. Doug  |  February 27th, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    The reason protests were so big in the 60s was because if you were young and cool it was the place to get laid and find good drugs. It was a virtuous circle, and it attracted charismatic, interesting, intelligent people like Ken Kessey, Hunter S Thompson and John Lennon. They in turn attracted cool kids and attractive fun girls. Which brought in more interesting people, and so on.

    That culture is long dead. The only people girls you’re going to get with at a modern-day protest rally are aging flower-children who are probably lesbians anyway, or dumpy granola grad students who don’t shower or shave.

    The way to get laid with hot chicks and score good drugs in the America of 2011 is by working on Wall Street. The lifestyle is incredible, the women are beautiful and the hedonism is unending. You see dorky doffuses and shallow personality-less assholes get with girls they would have no chance to otherwise.

    It’s really a cultural change on two fronts. Society has become so much more materialistic that our heroes (and therefore the guys that get laid) are those with the biggest paychecks, instead of idealistic men standing up for their principles. Think Mark Zuckerberg vs Che Guevara. That’s not changing. Just look through pictures of the chicks you see at protests from the late 60s, now compare them to chicks you see there today?

    In short anyone who’s young and talented, charismatic, intelligent or beautiful can either fight against the system or join it. In 1969 it was a lot better deal to fight it and have a fucking blast while doing it, instead of working some dead-end job at GE or Honeywell where maybe after 40 years of hard work you could retire on a small pension.

    Today the choice is between wasting your time, reputation and career to hang out with a bunch of losers that babble on endlessly about gay animal feminist Inuit rights and listen to way too much Rage Against the Machine. Or you can go to Wall Street, where 25 year olds make 7 figure bonuses. Seriously, which one would you choose?

    “The system” has gotten a lot better at identifying the key people that could really cause problems for it, the ones who could really organize something dangerous and lasting, and assimilating them with offers they can’t refuse.

  • 11. peckerwood  |  February 27th, 2011 at 6:47 pm


    I’m with az on this one. I don’t want to go all Jim Goad on this (white people were never victimized on a level with nonwhites, and Goad, rednecks bear as much responsibility for their own poverty as “the man”! This comes from a kid who spent the first two years of his life in a trailer, whose had his accent commented on condescendingly or made fun of by middle class lefties, or been “othered” by the same in a benign way. I’ve got 11 generations of tape-worm ridden decadence behind me, so I got downhome creds, enough to call historically incorrect, Braveheart style victimization, maudlin b.s. when I see it)

    ….but let’s be honest.

    Social spending cuts are ok for the working poor but don’t touch middle class people’s entitlements or all hell brakes loose. I saw this happen in the 80s and 90s when factory jobs and everyone said smugly to roll with the changes. I told my dad at the time, they’ll keep on like this till the suburbs howl. Sure enough, when Indians started taking IT jobs, that’s when serious people started having serious discussions about this issue.

    My point with that is, where were these people for the 40 years or so working people got crapped on? These teachers ever go protest in front of Walmart? This kind of strikes me as the NPR version of “keep your government hands off my medicare!”

    I’d also be very curious to see the voting history of some of these teachers, many of them have pensions and are members of the investment class, albeit on a small scale. That’s got to affect their voting patterns. Moreover, how many of them were “concerned with security” or terrorism in 2004? In other words, how many voted for Bush. I’ve plenty of relatives who are educators, and I met plenty of Ed majors in College. That’s why I ask these questions.

    Finally, lets face it, at no time in human history have so many people lived to old age. Pensions when first implemented in Germany, and the US, were never designed with the idea that somebody would be on them for 30-40 years. All the moralizing aside, we are in unexplored territory here with this geriatric aspect to our society. Because of moralizing b.s. on both sides, and the right’s dependence on elderly voters, nobody mentions this.

  • 12. j8hy6g  |  February 27th, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Hi, I’m a certain 50-year-old man-boy who likes to think he’s an edgy Confederate, and I’m here to tell you the hard truth. The hard truth is that I’m trying to think of reasons why I shouldn’t support the unions, because I’m on the Kochs payroll. Give me some time to work up a good reason. H’m…should I blame it on Mexicans? Hold on, not sure if my masters in the Republican party will support that. Be back soon…

  • 13. Fissile  |  February 27th, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Okay, I have a better excuse for being too much of a sell-out pussy to support the unions. See, I blame cops and teachers for destroying the middle class. Yeah! How cool is that? I thought it up all by myself. Boy, am I original. I’m a tool, sure. And I troll for corporate masters like the Kochs. But still, well, yeah, I’m fucking sad. Shoot me. Otherwise, I’ll keep trying to blame teachers and cops for destroying the working class, when we all know it was the Republican corporate masters who destroyed them, and I’m just carrying their water now.

  • 14. Fissile  |  February 27th, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Can’t deal with the truth, can you? Of course the corporate kleptocrats and their Ratpublican pols killed off the middle class, that’s not in dispute, however, I was never one of there butt-boys. Fact is that most of the cops/teachers I know vote Ratpublican. Hell, most of the cops I know are married to teachers. Spin it all you want, but they’re getting the comeuppance they deserve, and I’m having a good laugh. And that’s the truth. But I bet you can’t deal with it. Oo, oo, it’s so painful this truth. Oo, I’m just imagining people going “Oo, this hurts too much, oo!” Damn, I’m fucking macho. My wife tells me so.

  • 15. Homer Erotic  |  February 27th, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    I can relate to what Doug said about the post-60’s left being losers. I was a college-campus radical leftist back in the 80’s, and that scene really was the idiot-loser collection-bucket for the alienated children of what Chris Hedges called “the failed liberal class”. I mean, they worked really, really hard to be the biggest out-of-touch-with-reality losers they could possibly be. But one day I was made to learn the hard way that those idiot-losers weren’t my friends and that I was an idiot-loser for aspiring to be one of them. The years following this realization were the most bitter of my adult life.

    So yeah, these were most certainly not the ones who were going to save us.

  • 16. Flaco the bad  |  February 27th, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    I’m with az and peckerwood, this is class warfare, there is no time for Jon Stewart fun and games.

    A famous passage from Che Guevara gives you an idea of what these protests are lacking:

    “Hatred is an element of struggle; relentless hatred of the enemy that impels us over and beyond the natural limitations of man and transforms us into effective, violent, selective and cold killing machines.
    Our soldiers must be thus; a people without hatred cannot vanguish a brutal enemy.”

    Try to imagine one protestor walking around with Lloyd Blankfein’s head on a stick, another with Robert Rubin’s, etc and you get the idea. Because this is the kind of protest we need.

  • 17. Dave  |  February 27th, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Yeah, I’m just so impressed by the sage wisdom of Mr. Derp. Oh, to sit down and discuss the finer nuances of his position concerning “faggot nigger motherfuckers”. I can only imagine. However, I wonder how one can reconcile their strong opposition to “pussies” while openly lauding their love for “hardcore Tea Baggers”. If Sire Derp would be so kind as to clear up this discrepancy I know we would all stand to benefit. One more thing, would you be so kind as to elaborate on how to “fuck shit up in the government the right way that Jesus would want”? You see, Jesus and I haven’t had much contact since high school, you know how things get. Lastly, I must point out Professor Derp’s ingenious way of expressing indignation through the art of typing in all caps. A trailblazer of this magnitude is something to be appreciated. I won’t be forgetting your collegiate teabags anytime soon. I’m converted. I now with your brave guidance “love sucking on Corporate cock” right there with you. Viva Fellatio!

  • 18. subzero  |  February 28th, 2011 at 1:00 am

    You don’t really think all the new crowd control weaponry that’s being developed is for warfare abroad, do you? Get a Euro-style demonstration going in the US and the powers that be will microwave your asses into submission.

  • 19. Mike  |  February 28th, 2011 at 1:18 am

    The IWW has colorful banners, rage, and some damn good songs.

    Also check out this letter from the CNT, perhaps the ultimate fighting union.

  • 20. SFT  |  February 28th, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Does anyone else think it’s a telling sign of the times that we basically just got a REVIEW of the protest, with sort of a dismissal? “Oh, you know, it’s a good cause, but you’re not really very interesting, you know, get some better signs…”
    Christ. Did you actually GO to the protests, Ms. Jones, or did you just scan what you could find on line and dash off a few thoughts for us? I’m glad to see people participating. I’d like to see more, but it’s very difficult to get people to actually leave their homes and TV/PC and go do something about it. Would you be happier if there were more felonies & property damage? I think the goal is to avoid that as much as possible, and go for dialog and positive action instead. This means a lot to most of us, I’m just wondering if you’re so privileged that you think it’s OK to sit back and critique, or if you just casually dropped this piece because you’re that unaware? This seems a little spoiled and jaundiced to me.
    Then again, I may be a Koch troll trying to find ways to undercut a piece that talks to people who know they should protest, want to protest, and have some post-60s self-conscious baggage to work through. If those people can be turned into protesters, the Kochs will be fucked. So, yeah, I might be with the Kochs. Might not.

  • 21. my talkative ringpiece  |  February 28th, 2011 at 2:03 am

    Funnier than hell. I read it too fast initially and instead of “while people around you chant ….” I got “white people around you chant….”

    Funnier than shit though. For one thing, the damn signs. Think fast, people. No one’s gonna read your damn War And Peace-epic sign. Keep it simple and fucking sweet. You see the camel jockeys over there with their sign? That red/blue dissociated artsy thing they did for Obama only it’s their loser, saying “NO HOPE”. See? That’s called simplicity and style. You will have to try damn hard to be as cool as those camel jockeys. Frankly, those camel jockeys shit on you. No “Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death” with them.

    Our next door druggie loser neighbor (Oh, not that one, the other one, there on the left) goes out and panhandles, holding a sign, by our Wal-Mart of course. I’ve never read his fucking sign; he thinks he’s paid by the word. If I ever have to panhandle (again) and decide to do so by ‘flying a sign”, I’m gonna make one that says “tl;dr” and then at the bottom of course, “god bless”.

  • 22. erik in manhattan  |  February 28th, 2011 at 2:26 am

    “… Or you can go to Wall Street, where 25 year olds make 7 figure bonuses”

    Doug is on the right track but plz tell me WHERE any 25yr old made a 7-figure bonus? 2010 bonuses were terrible. 25yr olds are working 60+ hrs a week, they are too tired to fuck. Do you mean upstairs traders? It’s possible I guess, but you would have to have brought in a shitload of revenue to have a big bonus pool. Where was this the case?

    Btw, if you are going to protest in NYC, dont carry a sign complaining about the bailout of banks, it was paid back with interest in 2009. If only we could do it more often….

    Of course, that’s a load of bullshit and when I say that the bailouts were paid back, I’m just a pathetic shoe-shiner for Wall Street billionaires. But I love shining shoes, even as a troller!

  • 23. Sir Eric Blair  |  February 28th, 2011 at 5:10 am

    Doug.. Doug.. Doug. Help me Doug, help me.

    I have been born right smack in the middle of this fucking system. I live in Manhattan (the nice part). My mother works for one of the largest banks in the entire world. She has worked on Wall Street for the past twenty years. My dad is a stay-at-home-bum who plays poker “professionally” from a pimped out LayzBoy chair. The bonuses (which have in fact receded these past few years) from my mom’s MegaBank have given us a..more than comfortable existence..

    The kids in the Highschool were the sons and daughters of real-estate moguls, diamond business kingpins (I’m not kidding), media mavens, and other operators of this country’s levers of power. But really the worst of it all were the annoying, obnoxious, SAT-obsessed, Mercedes driving Jew bitches.

    By simple social osmosis I’ve gotten quite a good taste of how this beast works, who the players are, who their parents are, what companies they work for, what they want to do with their lives, where they go for wine and cheese. The picture is equal parts grim as fucking fascinating. I can’t say to know many non affluent eastern seaboard Jews so I really don’t know what the rest of this country is like, but I pray it’s different, because these people just really are the worst. Addicted to either marijuana, cocaine, vicodin, adderall, or all of them – these are morally depraved, materialistically obsessed souls that really don’t know what to do with their lives besides pretend like they live in a bubble made entirely out of cash money. The prospect of this warm bubble ever being popped is very real but I don’t think its hit them just yet (or ever will). These kids not “bad” people per sey, I just don’t know if they’re really people at all. They are superhumanly sociable and hold themselves up with an heir of pomp dignity and superiority mixed in with youthful not-giving-a-fuck-about-others that result in I guess depressing caricature.

    The percentage of rich New York City kids who join fraternities is
    astronomical. These are well connected and well funded frats that boast impressive as fuck alumni lists. Go up to Michigan U or any other Midwest and Northeastern school, and those Sophomores driving their Dad’s BMWs to pick up their laundry…thats who I am talking about.

    These kids get out of school and walk into the family business – Bear, Morgan, Deutsche, etc. Their lives have been mapped out. Now if these people were interesting, if their consciousness expanded beyond gossip, weed, and brolove, then maybe I’d be there with them…happily and ignorantly walking towards a future of exploitation and shameless fun. But these people are really just shallow fucks, shallow fucks with money, that’ it.

    I witnessed kids who had the brain power of an MTV VJ get into Ivy League schools. I saw kids spend more money than some families make an entire year on college “prep specialists”, SAT “tutors”, and a few private dieticians thrown in here and there. I saw entire fucking dormitory building being offered to get slicked up bros into schools that initially laugh at their application, but upon seeing the fat paycheck that accompanies said application, welcome them with open arms.

    I myself ended up going to a prestigious liberal arts school in Ohio and promptly got kicked out for not understanding what the fuck people were supposed to do in college…because it sure as shit wasn’t to educate yourselves. By the way this school’s tuition is $50,000 per year.

    Leaving your poor poster confused as fuck. I’ve got laurels for sure. I’m wealthy, I’m Jewish, I’ve been to/and could go to top schools in the country, I’m attractive, and I’m from New York City. I’m prime meat for this beast. The only thing is I hate almost everything about it.

    Over the past eight months I’ve basically shut myself off from my world, refused to see my friends or anyone from my prior life. Not that I’ve banished them for all eternity but I look at this period as a detoxing time. I go to class, carry around my pocket Chomsky, come home, and try to get a grip on the fucking world before it blows up in my caviar-stuffed face.

    Where do I go from here?

    *Rereading this I realize I’ve come across as a hormonal teenager going through an identity criss – which is exactly what and where I am. Any help otherworldly friends?

  • 24. peckerwood  |  February 28th, 2011 at 5:22 am

    Sellout pussy? We aren’t all sellout pussies. But I am. I have a long post here that someone might find interesting, so here it goes:

    I shop, I eat Confederate. Goad’s Confederate and Celtic victimization are just a way for white man-boys to claim minority status. I was just giving my creds incase Goad claimed I was a suburban poseur. I call b.s. on him because I come from the same world and know he’s full of it.

    My point is the cops and teachers are touched. Chingiz Khan goes after all police officers. No, most cops I’ve known are closet cops, I’ve known were cops. The Middle Class is “fat cats”. This has never happened before, never in human history. So retirees were cute little pensioners. What I’m saying is that the Koch Boys want us using goons.

    I agree the rest of the country has nothing to teach to anyone.

    I’d remind Prussians I see no problems.

    But by all means keep walking.

  • 25. Kat  |  February 28th, 2011 at 5:28 am

    @ peckerwood,
    Hell yeah! I was wondering whether I was the only one thinking “where have you people been”? While I am heartened that the unions have started to push back, I can’t say that my feelings are tinged with a healthy dose of regret. Where were these people when the assault on the working class and poor was begun? There are a hell of a lot of former public employees in low level positions such as food service and cleaning staff that saw their jobs outsourced to private contractors. We know how that goes. Don’t get me started on welfare reform.
    Yeah, the attitude was get with the program and “reinvent” yourself through the magic of job retraining. Never mind that many of these jobs are some of the most necessary and will always need workers. Not to mention, I’m thinking that workers making a decent wage are more stimulative to the economy than some out of state corp sucking up the taxpayer money.
    I worked for the state during Bush’s ill fated campaign to stir up enthusiasm for privatizing social security. I cannot say that any of my coworkers were too fired up about this issue. They sure were buying the bankrupt line. I remember telling one coworker “don’t be so sure that your pension is any safer than social security”. Ha!
    So basically, I’m all for trying to pit one part of the middle class against the other part. That’s what I’m for. And when I see them getting together, I do all I can to spoil it. Because I love Republicans.

  • 26. Kat  |  February 28th, 2011 at 5:31 am

    Oh, and I’ll add– I’m at the protests, no matter how lame. I know the formula works something like this: 1000 union protesters = 1 tea partier as far as getting any sort of media coverage.
    I mean, what is the choice?

  • 27. Homer Erotic  |  February 28th, 2011 at 6:18 am

    @Fissle: I can relate to your bitterness about cops and teachers, but as I think I demonstrated with my own comments about college-campus radical-leftist losers, the reason society is in such a mess is because many heads have needed to be pulled out of many asses for a long, long time. I don’t feel the need to cling to this bitterness once any given group manages said cranial extraction, however belated!

  • 28. peckerwood  |  February 28th, 2011 at 6:40 am

    @peckerwood, 24

    I am not peckerwood and I wrote 24, but somebody should edit my stuff, it seems. Stay, exiled.

    I helped bring us Reagan, Clintonian Democrats, Bush II, Iraq, etc. I envy them their pensions, I resent this country’s history.

  • 29. John  |  February 28th, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Nice of you to let EA Hanks here:

    As Mark said,

    My heart bleeds for Ms. Hanks.

    Oh, and I don’t have a life, by the way–that’s why I keep trolling here.

  • 30. LIExpressway  |  February 28th, 2011 at 8:22 am

    “… Or you can go to Wall Street, where 25 year olds make 7 figure bonuses”

    Doug is on the right track but plz tell me WHERE any 25yr old made a 7-figure bonus? 2010 bonuses were terrible. 25yr olds are working 60+ hrs a week, they are too tired to fuck. Do you mean upstairs traders? It’s possible I guess, but you would have to have brought in a shitload of revenue to have a big bonus pool. Where was this the case?”

    If you have an Ivy league education, even in something useless like art history your set as far as employment is concerned. You will never know the lack of livable income(unless you are dumb).

    As for 7 figures, that’s crazy talk. Low six figures is totally doable and quite common. Worked at quite a few dirty firms were enterprising young men were pulling in 6 figures while they raped the general population.

  • 31. A Punjabi From Karachi  |  February 28th, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Alright you pussies, you collective of bickering bitches, I could give you a master class on how real protests are done in Pakistan, where they have to call out the army to machine gun a few thousand rampaging South Asian, but I’ll point you to THREE examples, all related to the exile:

    1) The riot sparked off by a report the Exile itself did, and that went crazy in our neighbour India, cause it fingered an oligarch who may have killed an important regional politician:

    TWO) Here is how your slightly pussy-ish neighbours to the north did it:

    THREE) Since you’re all white people, here is how REAL angry white people, with a mix of Afro-Arab did it in the home of Western Revolution, France:

    My recommendation, get the flares, make sure there’s billowing smoke (Paging Hollywood liberals for smoke machines – Hello!), try and scare up some tomboy-ish good looking chicks, if not convince some rednecks to bring their kids to the protests, and failing that WEAR MASKS AND HELMETS!

  • 32. solfish  |  February 28th, 2011 at 9:35 am


  • 33. Nihilo Zero  |  February 28th, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    I think the most laughable protest sign I saw was the one which simply read: “COMPROMISE”.

  • 34. Doug  |  February 28th, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    @erik in manhattan

    There are people in their mid-20s making $1m+. Probably hardly any at the investment banks. If you want to make a shitton of money you have to move to hedge funds (or even better prop shops). And also be damn good. That’s also an essential ingredient. For all its faults Wall Street is a pretty heavy meritocracy, at least when it comes to the “big-swinging dick” positions.

    If you’re interested in making a lot of money early go to the quant side, high-frequency trading particularly. At an unnamed hedge fund I’m fairly familiar with a few of the people who set up the high frequency unit and graduated undergrad in 2004 or 2005 have been pulling in $70m/yr. In HFT world the standard setup is 10-30% of the profit on essentially riskless, strategies that require no capital because they start and end the day without holding any positions. So you get a $20m/yr strategy… do the math. Since HFT didn’t exist 5 years ago basically, a 25 year old has basically as much competitive skill and experience as a 50 year old. Even at a lot of the more aggressive HFT prop shops are guaranteeing $200k+/yr for 22 year olds straight out of undergrad.

    To a lesser extent this is true of stat arb, volatility arb/dispersion, market making and fixed income arb. The problem is you’ll top off early, basically reaching your peak by 30. If you go the fundamental route, private equity, long/short equity, distressed debt, global macro, it’s a much longer career buildup. You won’t be worth shit till you have 10+ years of experience, but then you can build up some truly massive funds which you can extract giant overpriced management fees on.

    The quant game’s much more about pure intelligence. It’s basically the world’s most competitive zero-sum game. You’re competing (both in strategies and to get hired) against mostly math/physics/comp sci. PhDs and Math Olympiad/Putnam winners. The fundamental world requires high intelligence, but is also a lot more about reputation, social smoothness and street smarts. Pedigree matters a lot more too.

    @Sir Erik Blair (guessing this is the same person)

    I’ll proceed assuming your goal is something close to mine: get in, make a fuckload of money, get out. I sympathize I grew up outside the Wall Street sphere of influence and got in through the back door. So you already have a leg up on me with your connections. I’ve dated girls and befriended a lot of people who grew up in manhattan and the scene is as ridiculous as you describe. And as out of touch as you think with the “real world.” I would never live here or raise a family here long-term. Most of this country really is a shithole, so don’t move to bumfuck Mississippi, I recommend Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Denver or Austin.

    Anyway back to practical career advice: if you’re really good at math get a masters degree in physics, math, econometrics or comp sci. from a really good school. But I’m guessing your comparative advantage is in connections not math. In which case, if you can go Ivy go there, otherwise go to a liberal arts school over a state school. 1) bulge banks and especially boutique firms seem to like liberal arts schools more and 2) you’ll meet more people with rich, connected parents who can help you at a liberal arts school.

    After you graduate try to get a position at a tier-1 bulge bank or specialized investment bank. Network like hell when you’re in school. If you can get trading, take trading, but you’ll probably have to take I-banking. If you can get a big-name hedge fund over a bank (like Bridgewater, DE Shaw, Paulson, Tudor, etc.) take that, but you’ll probably have to take a bank. If you can’t get a position at a tier 1 firm, don’t take positions from a lower-tier firm, it will blacken your resume. Whatever you do don’t take any back office position. No matter what, you will be back office forever. If it even hints of back office, don’t take it.

    Go back to get an MBA (not a JD, you will be locked in to being a corporate lawyer if you get a JD, unless it’s a joint JD-MBA from a tier 1 school). Network like hell while you’re there. Lever your friends’ connections, your parents’ connections, and your friends’ parents’ connections. Get a job at a tier 1 firm, probably in banking, because there won’t be an opportunity for trading straight out of school.

    Work at banking for 2-3 years, network like hell, and also work like crazy. Having an adderall prescription might help. Try to switch over to either sell-side trading (not trading sales, make sure its an actual trading position where you’re running a book). Be fucking good at running your book, work like hell, network like hell. If you can’t make money at a sell-side bank where the game’s rigged in your favor then you’re fucked. If you can’t make money trading switch over to sell-side research and get under a prestigious research analyst.

    Now switch over to an analyst-track position at a major hedge fund. If you can go straight from I-banking to an analyst track position without doing sell-side trading do it, but the opportunity probably won’t be available.

    Once you’re an analyst at a major hedge fund, try to get into a portfolio manager position as soon as the opportunity arises. Now it doesn’t matter being a a top hedge fund. If you can become a portfolio manager at a smaller fund take it. Once you’re a PM somewhere for several years and don’t have a shitty track record you can pretty much guarantee $5m/yr for as long as you want it.

  • 35. Kyesh  |  February 28th, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    The best protest I ever saw was at Krasnopresnenskaya near the American Embassy after fucking NATO forces back in 1999 started carpet bombing Belgrade for reasons still unclear. Thousands of people were there: babushki, really hot dyevs, a few skinheads but mostly ordinary Russians. I said I was American but nobody seemed to care that I was, in effect demonstrating against my own country. One guy, I later heard, had a grenade launcher that malfunctioned as he tried to shoot something into the embassy. Too bad he missed. I could have paid him to aim at a certain window.

  • 36. fuckall  |  February 28th, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    @Sir Eric Blair

    Life swap? I’ll gladly laugh at your imbecile friends’ insipid jokes, come to their gaudy parties (and eat *all* the cocktail shrimp), and suck the New York Jew banker dick with the ferocity of an EF5 tornado – all for a pittance of a 7-figure bonus. No, really, I totally will.

    Meaning and purpose in life are not difficult to find, the hard part is the means. Sounds like you have the means, so stop whining and buy yourself a one-way ticket anywhere tropical, poor, and malaria-ridden. (personal recommendation: Liberia) I promise, in 3 months your life will be as full of richness and significance as your body will be of parasites.

    Once you spend a week vomiting up organs that you didn’t even know you had, due to some god-awful tropical disease – you will attain a state of rare Zen-enlightenment accessible only to the rare Buddhas. I swear, the tropics are the best cure for the first-world malaise that all you of you pale, plump, whining, yuppie babies seem to suffering from nowadays.

    No thanks needed. Just leave me the keys to your Manhattan apartment, when you go.

  • 37. Henry  |  February 28th, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Good advice from Punjabi. And great pictures, too.

  • 38. gary  |  February 28th, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    HEY,…the reason why the protests of the sixties were so big was not the drugs or hippie chicks,athough good perks…it was the draft.start drafting all people right out of high school and college and i assure you the protests will not be small nor polite..ordering young people to get killed or maimed in some distant jungle or desert has atendency to get them pissed off..i know i was

  • 39. Mike  |  February 28th, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Sir Eric Blair: Have you read, “Lost in the Meritocracy”? It’s more about a prole student in the Ivys and his impression of the vapid upper class, but I think it will resonate.

    Also, there is nothing stopping you from becoming a class traitor.

    I recommend some works that focus on the classical owners/workers class analysis.

    As well as some that focus on the emergence of the coordinator/professional class.

    Once you are informed, get organized:

  • 40. Mark  |  February 28th, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Eric Blair hates everything about being rich except being rich. That’s probably the best he can do. As Dr. Dolan demonstrated, you don’t want to be poor.

  • 41. Sir Eric Blair  |  February 28th, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    So I guess the answer is to stop navel-gazing like a whiny bitch and go out and join the great American paperchase?

    That wasn’t very inspiring at all

  • 42. az  |  February 28th, 2011 at 7:12 pm


    I mean more like no longer thinking of yourself as middle class unless you own substantial assets and make at least close to 6 figures. I just think it’s time to realize that the American Dream is over and it’s time to wake up and pursue your actual interests and not those of the subprime middle class we’re told we can become. And hell, maybe if you do, others will realize how stupid they’ve been and do the same.

    Doug, you remind me of a community college accounting professor I had before I dropped the course (by not paying for it.) Though besides career advice on how to become CFO and then CEO he also explained why the economy has been the way it’s been in the past 30 years. And that was because once it became easier to outsource and subcontract, it made sense to have overhead be at 500% of direct labor costs and not ~150% because you were basically doing economic planning for your company and your “partners in China” to sell products to the American middle class more efficiently than domestic producers, allowing you at the same time to destroy the means of income for that middle class. At the same this created a worldwide middle class layer instead of one focused entirely in America. Now that there’s nobody to buy the stuff we sell, they just want to downgrade us to the level of Chinese factory workers and make stuff for the worldwide middle and upper classes, which is what all the teabaggers want anyway (as long as it’s not them running the machines).

  • 43. Flatulissimo  |  February 28th, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Doug @34 – Damn, spending your 20s-30s in the manner you outlined sounds hellish. If I had been born into money and tried to follow that path I would have eaten a bullet before I was 28. Luckily, I’m a poor peckerwood myself, so I was in a band and spent my 20s touring and getting drunk instead. I’m even poorer now, but it sure sounds like the better option.

    Az @ 42 – “I just think it’s time to realize that the American Dream is over and it’s time to wake up and pursue your actual interests and not those of the subprime middle class we’re told we can become.”

    You are right, of course, but as Peckerwood mentioned @11 above, “rednecks bear as much responsibility for their own poverty as “the man.”

    For her “retirement” (ha ha) my mom got a job at the WIC office so she and my dad could have health insurance. This is in the pure BFE redneck hinterlands. The pay is so low that most of her co-workers probably qualify for WIC themselves even while they are employed by the agency.

    But, even given the shitty state of the regional economy, she can’t even bring up the idea that maybe it might be a good idea for the rich to pay a little more in taxes or something like that, or she gets called a socialist by her co-workers. The same co-workers that are poorer than dirt, yes they totally buy the “anything that is not predatory capitalism is socialism” brainwashing. It is really amazing, beyond the level of “keep your government hands off my medicare.”

    These people are one paycheck away from sleeping in their pickups, already dependent on the local food banks and churches, but by gawd those rich people like the one’s Doug described EARNED their money and the gub’mint shouldn’t take it away! They are also racist, Xtian, and everything-phobic. I’m afraid all the worst of the stereotypes are totally true. I too as a young peckerwood offered a sympathetic ear to Goad’s views but I find it harder and harder not to hold my own people in contempt. They are so willing to believe the propaganda rather than their own lying eyes that I really don’t see how they could ever bring themselves to acknowledge the truth. I realize it is a bullshit conservatard brainwash tactic to blame the poor for their own poverty, but they make it real hard not to.

    So, we’ve got the working class with a (justified) grudge against the middle class for looking down on them and leaving them hung out to dry as their lives were destroyed. And you’ve got the middle and liberal classes with a (justified) disdain for the ignorance, stupidity, and racism of the working class.

    Hard not to think that they deserve each other.

  • 44. woody  |  February 28th, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    What happens on this blog if I say that government union employees are lazy scum organized by jew agitators, with the help of jewish banksters for the purpose of pitting working class blue collar against taxpayer subsidized government employees, who aid and abet the invasion of North America by third world marxist mestizos, and those same government union employees demand that we treat mestizo invaders as equal, inspite of the failures of union teachers to teach the kids of mestizo invader anchor baby twits a small vocabulary of english.

    Maybe a civil war would clear a few government employees out of the way, and those of us who follow along with such could finally put a bullet into the Soros’ and Kochs and Rockefellers and Rothschilds.

    Teachers are encouraging stupidity. America is lost. Good riddance America.

  • 45. Mike  |  March 1st, 2011 at 2:01 am

    41. Sir Eric Blair

    Did you read my post? #39?

  • 46. FOARP  |  March 1st, 2011 at 3:40 am

    “So I guess the answer is to stop navel-gazing like a whiny bitch and go out and join the great American paperchase?

    That wasn’t very inspiring at all”

    Newsflash, asshole, being rich (and for 95%+ of the population, “rich” means a salary in the mid-to-high 5-figures) is good. I’m in my 30’s, I’ve had money, and I’ve been without money, and having it is better than not having it.

    If you’re waiting for some revolution to come along and lift you out of your misery, well, you’re out of luck. It won’t happen, and if it did you wouldn’t like the results.

    If being rich in the US doesn’t work for you, go live somewhere else. I’ve lived in China, Taiwan, and Japan, and I’m now working in Poland in patenting. Life stays interesting, I travel regularly and meet interesting people, and I’m far enough from the place that I was born in (a mining village in Lancashire) not to feel too restricted by it.

    But don’t kid yourself that you’ll find some kind of spiritually nourishing lifestyle just by dropping out and being poor (I mean really poor). Rich is better, plain and simple.

  • 47. Doug  |  March 1st, 2011 at 4:45 am

    Someone has mistaken me for this dickhead Marcus Halberstram. It seems logical because Marcus also works on Wall Street and in fact does the same exact thing I do and he also has a penchant for Valentino suits and Oliver Peoples glasses. Marcus and I even go to the same barber, although I have a slightly better haircut.

  • 48. Jyp  |  March 1st, 2011 at 5:14 am

    Hey, for what it’s worth, I’m with The Nerd on this thing.. I won’t believe shit until I see a good rock fight.

  • 49. David  |  March 1st, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Wow this comment’s section could compete with New York times!

  • 50. Flaco the bad  |  March 1st, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Anyone who decided to protest by taking a chainsaw and using it to chop off Lloyd Blankfein’s head would be literally “doing God’s work” by ridding the world of this blood-sucking parasite.

  • 51. SirEricBlair  |  March 1st, 2011 at 10:44 am


    Let’s be buddies in real life. As long as you clean up after yourself ill toss you my condo keys and BMW X-series no problem. You seem like you could play the part.

    Just throw me a one-way to a third world country of your choosing and we’ll reconvene in a year and turn it into a reality show. You game?

  • 52. Doug II  |  March 1st, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Someone has mistaken me, Doug II, for Doug the Wall Street prick, and they mistook both us Dougs for that dickhead Marcus Halberstram. Someone else mistook Marcus for that shithead Joe Cassano. And all three of us for that prick, Angelo the Weasel. It seems logical because we all work on Wall Street and in fact we all do the same exact thing, a slight variation of the exact same thing as everyone else on Wall Street, which, in this case, involves using credit default swaps to bet against retard schmucks with Down syndrome, with a hedged side bet CDO-squared against schmucks with Alzheimers. (These bets are all fully hedged with AIG, as well as 100 percent backstopped by the Fed, and the ultimately the schmuck US taxpayer.)

    And like me, Marcus-Doug-Joe-Angelo and all the 25-year old guys have this penchant for Valentino suits and Oliver Peoples glasses. We even go to the same barber, although I have a slightly better haircut than any of them.

  • 53. Homer Erotic  |  March 1st, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    @Woody: What happens is that I ask you, if you’re something more than just a bitter troll, to click the link in my screen-handle and read what’s written there. Apologies for linking to Daily Kos, as I know it’s just a big ol’ circle-jerk over there, but every now and then the circle-jerk produces some worthwhile spooge.

  • 54. SirEricBlair  |  March 1st, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Floarp, point taken.

  • 55. Victorvalley Villain  |  March 1st, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    A great way to gauge a crowd is to start up a “No Justice, No Peace.” chant and then see if you can’t morph into “No Justice, No Peace, Fuck.The.Po.Lice.”

    The thing with the 2010’s vs. the 1960s is that chanting “Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh” today just doesn’t make a lick of sense anymore. Though the ISO seems to think that the PSL/WWP (A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition) is trying their damnedest to work up a catchy pro Gaddafi chant.( )

    With out any luck at I have tried to start a few chants myself: “A phrase recited, should never be repeated.” and “Three.Word.Chant.Three.Word.Chant.Three.Word.Chant.”
    But leftist protesters just don’t make for good ironic hipsters. Maybe I should try to get the Tea Party folks to try their hands at chanting something other than “USA!USA!USA!”

  • 56. exploitedtimes  |  March 1st, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Yes, these rallies are lame. Read Chris Hedges if you want to hear a succinct plea to do it right. One thing that I keep reading, including here, is about these so-called layoffs of police and firemen. I’ve never been saved yet by a fireman or woman and I won’t go off too much here, but nor have I ever met one that didn’t retire at 50 with FULL pay (or 90%)and bennies for family til death, half of every month off and bored off his ass to the point of having a second job just to keep busy, with money coming out his ass. And I know many of these, not just one. No tears for firefighter jobs. As for cops, this is just bullshit. Law enforcement, including surveillance and prisons, has been a steadily growing industry in the US since 9-11 and is a huge stock play. Not enough cops? Tell that to a black man in the US. One more, as for these pussy rallies you see out there, don’t forget that if media described unemployment is 10% and really 20%, that still leaves about a quarter billion Yankees still employed, mostly by the man, sitting in front of the TV every night like the pussy hypocrites they are. They won’t rally; they ARE the core of the US, bred by and for the corporations these rallies are supposedly there to defeat. Rally on and dream on.

  • 57. Victorvalley Villain  |  March 1st, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Also, Eileen, it suck that the town that brought us “Workers rights are hot.” flash mob couldn’t come up with a better action to support the Madison workers.

  • 58. Derp  |  March 1st, 2011 at 2:49 pm


    Derp derp derp! Wanna know more about gay niggers? This’ll teach you everything there is to know, derp derp!

  • 59. Ramona  |  March 1st, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Torches are only good if you;re gonna actually torch something.
    How ’bout laser pointers ? If enough of them are focused at a particular banker’s window, will it explode ?
    Just wondering….

  • 60. jack kane  |  March 1st, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    What the fuck is this about going to Wall Street? What are you guys, vampires? Isn’t the eXiled about going into extremes to avoid participating in the rat race? Fuck Wall Street, Madison Avenue, Big Pharma, and the other parasite-infested shitholes. Watch Bill Hicks again, the part where he rants about the ad biz.

  • 61. az  |  March 1st, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    @43 if they like fucking themselves then who cares? Let them do it until they decide to stop, just don’t be condescending about it. Besides, rednecks though they spread after the de-industrialization of the 80s aren’t the whole working class, just the one that predominates in rural areas. Think more rust belt and less Bible belt. It’s really about choices: either people want to realize that they and everyone else has to work for a living or they can keep participating in the “work hard so your kids don’t have to” ponzi scheme. This isn’t about taxing the rich, it’s about how we can fix the situation we’re in, which is much more complicated than tax policy and labor rights.

  • 62. my talkative ringpiece  |  March 1st, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Sir Eric Blair – We don’t believe you. Go shoot some Zionists for us then we’ll believe you. Or go help out some Palestinian kids with their limbs blown off etc by your countrymen, then we’ll believe you.

  • 63. Flatulissimo  |  March 1st, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    @61 – “if they like fucking themselves then who cares?”

    Because, in their misguided attempts to fuck themselves, they fuck everybody who shares the country with them. I don’t want them dragging me down with them.

  • 64. Dave  |  March 1st, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    @ 58
    well played, Derp

  • 65. smedly  |  March 2nd, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Your problem is that you’re poorly informed. You should’ve gone to the US Uncut event targetting BofA if you wanted what you say you want: originality, pointedness, militancy, etc.

  • 66. Ludd  |  March 2nd, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Good article!

    Some positive inspiration for better rallies:

    I heard same shit about other rallies around the country. It’s sad state we’re in. We need more class war ideas, honestly. AFL-CIO bureaucrats, Democratic politicians and MoveOn are scared of class war because they know they are on the wrong side. That’s why they say “middle class” so much – we’re all middle class, right?

  • 67. Martin MacKerel  |  March 2nd, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I’ve been to many a protest. However, I do have one rule: I never join in the hey hey ho ho chants.

    Occasionally I rejoinder with one of my own:

    Hey Hey
    Ho Ho
    HeyHeyHoHo has got to go!

    The BofA protest earlier in the day was much better.

    B of A
    Doesn’t pay
    Taxes in the USA

    That got a lot of attention from passers-by.

    When the cops came:

    We support the cops!
    Chop from the top!

    Apparently we also got the branch to close early.

  • 68. jamestown  |  March 2nd, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    these comments have devolved into what protest chants we think have a better ring to them. fuck us it’s all over, lets move to McDonalds Island.

  • 69. Tommo  |  March 3rd, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I’m part of an anarchist collective and we absolutely dread having to go to rallies. We rock up to them from time to time to provide an alternative view to the Marxists, but under no circumstance do we try to hijack the event with phony by-the-numbers ‘this is what we’re fighting for’ speeches that always wind up with the promise that joining the party will ensure social change. Before I became an anarchist, I was in a Marxist group. We used to get people to sign petitions, but with no real intention of ever actually sending them. Instead they’d remain at the office to be used as contact lists. I know that this, and many other sneaky tricks, are still in use.

  • 70. Tommo  |  March 3rd, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    And by the way, the best chant I have ever heard was when one such Marxist leapt up with a speech on how socialism will free the tie-dyers of Kathmandu or something, the crowd started chanting ‘longer chains, bigger cages’.

  • 71. Homer Erotic  |  March 3rd, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    I’m on vacation from work this week, so I took a bus to Madison today to see if things were still going strong on Capitol Square. A few days after that huge rally of 100K people, today was just the usual suspects indulging the usual lameness in front of one of the entrances to the now blocked-off Capitol Building. I decided it was time to head back to Milwaukee when some homely-looking Sixties retread went up to microphone to read a poem she had written about a state senator who had made some derogatory comments about the demonstrators. Really quite dismal.

  • 72. Fred  |  March 4th, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Why is my life such a joke??? What should I hate? What should I know? What should I think? Please tell me. Please fucking please! I need you guys. No wonder I have been such a moronic losers all my days, all I’ve been doing is sucking up to rightwing billionaires and posting on people’s sites about how they cannot lead or organize protests or even protest worth crap. See look at me. You see how I’m protesting right now? Sitting in trailer home? It’s called tele-protesting, they way of the future man. I can be like on 100 different no brains liberal sites protesting at the same time. This is the way of the future, man. Ever see “lawnmower man”? That’s what I am and I’m coming to destroy all you liberals! Beware!

  • 73. CensusLouie  |  March 5th, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Yeah, one of the biggest detriments to protests for a while has been “tourist protesters”, the fucks who are just in it for “the experience, man” rather than being dedicated to the actual cause.

    Tourist protesters include:

    -Anyone who dresses up in costumes

    Whether it’s PETA in catsuits or Tea Partiers in colonial garb, if you see costumed peeps at your protest, KICK THEM OUT!

    -College age kids

    Nothing makes people seriously consider an issue like being presented with a worldview by kids going to school on their parents dime who have never had a meaningful life experience. Stoners or young republicans, KICK THEM OUT!

    -Aging hippies

    Is anything sadder than grey hairs trying to hold on to 60s hippie culture? Nobody is going to take you seriously if the cameras get a look at these guys. KICK THEM OUT!

  • 74. Derp  |  March 8th, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    New link, old one got deleted, derp derp!

    This’ll help you find it next time them youtube fags delete it! Try to avoid spoilers in the summary because it’s an awesome movie, derp derp!

  • 75. Hacksaw  |  March 24th, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    This is a joke right? You want better protests and you can’t keep the CENTCON artificials off your comment section. Have you liberals really gotten this low.

    You aren’t going to beat the Koch brothers, Beck’s Mormon mafia, or the neo-nazi tea baggers with all this limp wristed stuff. First off you need to focus on one issue that will bring in the independents and true conservatives. For God’s sake stop harping on Bush, Cheney, Obama, unions, abortion, feminism,the environment, political parties or any of the old standbys. The enemy is the too big to fail bankers and corporatist, Walker and the rest of the Koch bribed stooges don’t give a crap about the unions. They care about deflating wages, the reason they are after the unions is to make it easier to deflate your pay.

    Focus on how the TBTF bankers and corporatist have declared war on the middle class and have been prosecuting that war for over a century now. Don’t go to places like Madison to protest, focus on New York and DC. March on Wall Street, chant, jump you fuckers and wave signs saying, don’t wait for the fuckers to jump, throw their ass out the window. Block all the exits to the Goldman Sachs building and don’t let anyone out. When in DC make signs saying things like, Republicans and Democrats, If you took the TBTF bribes we are going to run you out of here. You guys are on defense, you have forgotten, the best defense is a good offense. This guy has it figured out, read and learn. By the way, the next day after this transcript hit the web on a financial services blog a congressman named Jason Chaffetz sent a letter to Attorney General Holder demanding he send the FBI to investigate Stephen Lerner as a terrorist. If you really want to protest and make a difference here’s how you do it. If you aren’t ready to go to the wall then shut the fuck up and take the fucking the TBTFs are giving all of us.


    SPEAKER: Stephen Lerner. Speaker at the Left Forum 2011 “Towards a Politics of Solidarity” Pace University March 19, 2011

    Speaker Bio: Stephen Lerner is the architect of the SEIU’s groundbreaking Justice for Janitors campaign. He led the union’s banking and finance campaign and has partnered with unions and groups in Europe, South American and elsewhere in campaigns to hold financial institutions accountable. As director of the union’s private equity project, he launched a long campaign to expose the over-leveraged feeding frenzy of private equity firms during the boom years that led to the ensuing economic disaster.

    It feels to me after a long time of being on defense that something is starting to turn in the world and we just have to decide if we are on defense or offense

    Maybe there is a different way to look at some of theses questions it’s hard for me to think about any part of organizing without thinking what just happened with this economic crisis and what it means

    I don’t know how to have a discussion about labor and community if we don’t first say what do we need to do at this time in history what is the strategy that gives us some chance of winning because I spent my life time as a union organizer justice for janitors a lot of things
    It seems we are at a moment where the world is going to get much much worse or much much better

    Unions are almost dead we cannot survive doing what we do but the simple fact of the matter is community organizations are almost dead also and if you think about what we need to do it may give us some direction which is essentially what the folks that are in charge – the big banks and everything – what they want is stability

    Every time there is a crisis in the world they say, well, the markets are stable.
    What’s changed in America is the economy doing well has nothing to do with the rest of us

    They figured out that they don’t need us to be rich they can do very well in a global market without us so what does this have to do with community and labor organizing more.

    We need to figure out in a much more through direct action more concrete way how we are really trying to disrupt and create uncertainty for capital for how corporations operate

    The thing about a boom and bust economy is it is actually incredibly fragile.

    There are actually extraordinary things we could do right now to start to destabilize the folks that are in power and start to rebuild a movement.

    For example, 10% of homeowners are underwater right their home they are paying more for it then its worth 10% of those people are in strategic default, meaning they are refusing to pay but they are staying in their home that’s totally spontaneous they figured out it takes a year to kick me out of my home because foreclosure is backed up

    If you could double that number you would you could put banks at the edge of insolvency again.

    Students have a trillion dollar debt

    We have an entire economy that is built on debt and banks so the question would be what would happen if we organized homeowners in mass to do a mortgage strike if we get half a million people to agree it would literally cause a new finical crisis for the banks not for us we would be doing quite well we wouldn’t be paying anything.

    Government is being strangled by debt

    The four things we could do that could really upset wall street

    One is if city and state and other government entities demanded to renegotiate their debt
    and you might say why would the banks ever do it – because city and counties could say we won’t do business with you in the future if you won’t renegotiate the debt now

    So we could leverage the power we have of government and say two things we won’t do business with you JP Morgan Chase anymore unless you do two things: you reduce the price of our interest and second you rewrite the mortgages for everybody in the communities

    We could make them do that

    The second thing is there is a whole question in Europe about students’ rates in debt structure. What would happen if students said we are not going to pay. It’s a trillion dollars. Think about republicans screaming about debt a trillion dollars in student debt

    There is a third thing we can think about what if public employee unions instead of just being on the defensive put on the collective bargaining table when they negotiate they say we demand as a condition of negotiation that the government renegotiate – it’s crazy that you’re paying too much interest to your buddies the bankers it’s a strike issue – we will strike unless you force the banks to renegotiate/

    Then if you add on top of that if we really thought about moving the kind of disruption in Madison but moving that to Wall Street and moving that to other cities around the country

    We basically said you stole seventeen trillion dollars – you’ve improvised us and we are going to make it impossible for you to operate

    Labor can’t lead this right now so if labor can’t lead but we are a critical part of it we do have money we have millions of members who are furious

    But I don’t think this kind of movement can happen unless community groups and other activists take the lead.
    If we really believe that we are in a transformative stage of what’s happening in capitalism

    Then we need to confront this in a serious way and develop really ability to put a boot in the wheel then we have to think not about labor and community alliances we have to think about how together we are building something that really has the capacity to disrupt how the system operates

    We need to think about a whole new way of thinking about this not as a partnership but building something new.

    We have to think much more creatively. The key thing… What does the other side fear the most – they fear disruption. They fear uncertainty. Every article about Europe says in they rioted in Greece the markets went down
    The folks that control this country care about one thing how the stock market goes what the bond market does how the bonuses goes. We have a very simple strategy:
    · How do we bring down the stock market
    · How do we bring down their bonuses
    · How do we interfere with there ability to be rich

    And that means we have to politically isolate them, economically isolate them and disrupt them

    It’s not all theory i’ll do a pitch.

    So a bunch of us around the country think who would be a really good company to hate we decided that would be JP Morgan Chase and so we are going to roll out over the next couple of months what would hopefully be an exciting campaign about JP Morgan Chase that is really about challenge the power of Wall Street.
    And so what we are looking at is the first week in May can we get enough people together starting now to really have an week of action in New York I don’t want to give any details because I don’t know if there are any police agents in the room.

    The goal would be that we will roll out of New York the first week of May. We will connect three ideas
    · that we are not broke there is plenty of money
    · they have the money – we need to get it back
    · and that they are using Bloomberg and other people in government as the vehicle to try and destroy us

    And so we need to take on those folks at the same time

    and that we will start here we are going to look at a week of civil disobedience – direct action all over the city
    then roll into the JP Morgan shareholder meeting which they moved out of New York because I guess they were afraid because of Columbus.
    There is going to be a ten state mobilization it try and shut down that meeting and then looking at bank shareholder meetings around the country and try and create some moments like Madison except where we are on offense instead of defense

    Where we have brave and heroic battles challenging the power of the giant corporations. We hope to inspire a much bigger movement about redistributing wealth and power in the country and that labor can’t do itself that community groups can’t do themselves but maybe we can work something new and different that can be brave enough and daring and nimble enough to do that kind of thing.

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