You're reading Eliza Gauger, right?
I stayed up all night, holding my breath as my baby slept, watching live webcams from Occupy Oakland, just a year ago. I remember how loud the helicopters were. How crazed the scene was on the webcam. People--people who don't live in Oakland--asked me if I'd go to the protests, if I'd take my kid their. As if seeing the police beat the fuck out of people would be good for his development.
But mostly I remember how the full force of the local media turned on the Occupiers. On our local NPR talk show, police and local "experts" came on to talk about the protests and just lied. They lied through their teeth about everything. It was disgusting and made the flaws in our system all the more apparent. When the media absolutely refuses to do basic fact-checking then all the power rests with the Authority.
Anyways, read Eliza Gauger. No one is capturing the economic hellscape our generation is rolling into (because of Boomers and Republicans and people who think taxes are illegitimate while simultaneously bitching about high tuition) like she is.
the only grownup in my immediate sphere who knew about this was my father, who emailed me to say he wasn’t hearing about it on the news, and that he found this extremely worrying and totally unprecedented in his experience. he knew where we were and what we were doing because i kept him as informed as i could, and he noticed that there was a vast and screaming silence from mainstream media and even semi-mainstream media, noticed it and pointed it out to me. my father—and my mother, who was a hellraising radical in her day—are the exceptions. everyone else, i’ve had to convince.
and it does feel like we’re ghosts. sitting at a fancy gastropub in a gentrified small city in New York State, talking to a 40-something and a 50-something respectively, meeting faintly quizzical looks as i described the gas clouds and the broken bones and the way we had to warn people with children at a peaceful protest to leave as soon as they could, because we saw the grenade launchers on the Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies. the way the pigs shot a gas grenade into an open apartment window and how street medics had to FIGHT the man who came running out into the street, panicking and confused, to treat his burning eyes and mouth and nose.
i’m pretty sure they just didn’t believe me. they summoned me up in an amusing seance and i appeared in a cloud of pneuma to belch ectoplasm and rattle my chains, and i was just as quickly dismissed, sent back to our plane, where all is fear of flying robot death, panopticon, poverty, illness, slavery, and where every time i see a police cruiser i get tunnel vision and start to hyperventilate.
one bubbly and wonderful older liberal lady told me my health insurance woes were over come November, because “Obamacare”. ghostbong just enrolled in obamacare, because you know, you get fined otherwise. so he has health insurance now. it kicks in just as soon as he’s spent $12,000 on medical bills, himself.
it is infuriating, sure. but it’s also intensely tragic. as a generation, we simply do not have parents. we have ghostly after-images of people who cared for us in childhood, who lied to us lavishly without knowing they were lying, about college, about buying houses and cars, about the police, about military intervention, about the social order. i think the easiest way to cohabit with them, to forgive them, is to remember the comparative fairytale they grew up in, and not to resent them too much for trying to tutor us in the ways of righteousness: the lessons they learned riiiiiight before everything went to hell.