This is the internet and I realize that a lot of you out there are going to feel compelled to add your voice to the ongoing discussion about Occupy Wall Street in my comments section. Internet comments are like retard magnets and quite a few of my articles seem to draw the absolute dregs of internet commentary. I’m talking worse than Youtube comments. So I’m just going to put this on front street and you can absorb it or let it wash over you. I DO NOT GIVE A FUCK WHAT YOU THINK OF OCCUPY WALL STREET. Personally, I am a huge supporter of the entire Occupy movement. I do not see it as a vague and muddled message. Growing movements don’t come together around vague and muddled messages. If you fail to see what’s going on around you and you can’t understand what’s happening on the streets down there in New York and Oakland and DC and everywhere else that protesters are sitting in, being abused by the cops, then that is your problem.
If you happen to be a sensible American who has had it with policy being influenced by huge corporations and banks, or if it bothers you that the very people who ruined our economy so spectacularly have been given tax money paid by you and I so that they can keep their banks alive and still post record profits you’re going to want to have a look at this. There are people on the ground in the Occupied cities who endure regular police brutality and the general change of the seasons just to make sure that nobody goes home until this shit is resolved and they need help in a logistical sense to make sure that no one starves or freezes to death. Plenty of people in a position to front some cash and deliver the goods are doing what they can and among the latest to join the fray is Matt Pizzolo of Halo-8 Entertainment.
Pizzolo explains that since the face of the resistance, the Guy Fawkes mask (actually a symbol Anonymous has been using for quite some time), came from comics, immortalized in Alan Moore’s absolutely sweeping comic book saga of rebellion, V For Vendetta, then the story of Occupy Wall Street ought to be told in similar format. To this end, he has pulled together a stable of artists who will tell that story through various artistic expressions in a series of comics called Occupy Comics. With people on board such as: Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead), Joseph Michael Linsner (Dawn), Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night), Darick Robertson (Transmetropolitan), Douglas Rushkoff (one of my favorite media-theorists) and Amanda Palmer (Dresden Dolls, aka Neil Gaiman’s wife) not to mention many, MANY more. This is a really gigantic project and these are just the names on the list that jumped out to me.
This isn’t just a cash grab by Halo-8, though. That would be incredibly sleazy not to mention wholly uncharacteristic of Pizzolo’s organization. There are obviously costs associated with the production of a comic. The contributors are pros and need to be compensated. There are filmmakers documenting the comic’s production, servers to host the digital copies of the comics, an eventual hardback compilation of all the work. These people need to be paid. Ultimately, according to the Occupy Comics website, these people will turn around and donate all of the money they received to the Occupy movement to buy shit like food, clothing, heaters and other essential survival equipment but for right now, they have to collect a little bit of cash. In the end, their donation becomes tax-deductible, so you can see the incentive. Pizzolo guarantees that it’ll be a transparent process. Occupy Comics is a strictly not-for-profit venture. According to Pizzolo:
I’m hyper aware of the need to keep things transparent,”said Pizzolo. “Halo-8 is only lending support because it can, but ideally third-party accounts will send all revenue directly to the fund–and I’d love for an indie publisher to step in. I don’t want this getting muddy and the more checks & balances the better. The idea is to keep hard costs as low as physically possible and all other revenue goes directly to the protesters.
Occupy Wall Street has been an inspiring movement. I’ve been a jaded and cynical asshole for the last 12 years. This country didn’t so much as lift a finger when the Bush Whitehouse all but mailed us each a baggy of Karl Rove’s feces to show its utter contempt for us. I was convinced that we would continue to allow all of these assholes to just do what they wanted. Who would have the balls to hit the street and start pushing back if they hadn’t by now but Occupy Wall Street has given me a tremendous amount of hope. It turned out that there was a tipping a point after all. Two months on, hundreds arrested, some severely injured by our very own police, worsening weather conditions, endless media criticism, pre-dawn evictions from the encampments; The Occupy movement has adequately demonstrated that it isn’t going anywhere. It reorganizes and changes to suit the times. We are presently looking at the most significant political movement of our lives and at this point it’s either join the protest or get the fuck out of the way.
I am the 99%.
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