Occupy World // Oct 15

On Saturday, Oct 15, 2011 I went to Times Square with my boyfriend Greg and Leslie Stem (who brought some great noisemakers).  I felt as strongly about going to the protest rally as I do about voting.  The proliferation of occupy manifestations around the world is necessarily a mercurial process … therefore it doesn’t have to cleanly articulate its purpose.  It is an example of deliberative democracy that very clearly begs systemic change, while showing the many faces and amplifying the diverse voices of those underserved by the current system.

So, from Occupy Wall Street and its reverberations around the world on October 15th to the site-specific  #OccupyCB2 (Manhattan’s Community Board 2) with an outcry to save St. Vincent’s Hospital, a template is emerging for public deliberation.  As a New Yorker, it is easy to embody the duality of the urban space that can host both a Wall Street of two dimensions (fortified thruway-cum-tourist photo-op and carnival tent of smoke-and-mirrors by which colossal disparity masquerades as Pareto Efficiency) and the plugged-in global dissenters who have successfully occupied that street, both physically and emblematically.

Perhaps I can best explain what I mean by cobbling together a few passages from America, a book by Jean Baudrillard:

“In years to come cities will stretch out horizontally and will be non-urban (Los Angeles). After that, they will bury themselves in the ground and will no longer have names. Everything will become infrastructure bathed in artificial light and energy. The brilliant superstructure, the crazy verticality will have disappeared. New York is the final fling of this baroque verticality, this centrifugal excentricity, before the horizontal dismantling arrives, and the subterranean implosion that will follow.”  (Jean Baudrillard, America)

“It is a world completely rotten with wealth, power, senility, indifference, puritanism and mental hygiene, poverty and waste, technological futility and aimless violence, and yet I cannot help but feel it has about it something of the dawning of the universe. Perhaps because the entire world continues to dream of New York, even as New York dominates and exploits it.”  (Jean Baudrillard, America)

“Why do people live in New York? There is no relationship between them. Except for an inner electricity which results fom the simple fact of their being crowded together. A magical sensation of contiguity and attraction for an artificial centrality. This is what makes it a self-attracting universe, which there is no reason to leave. There is no human reason to be here, except for the sheer ecstacy of being crowded together.”  (Jean Baudrillard, America)

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