Tag Archive: Michael Moore

Mic Check! Discipline & Community in the #Occupy Movement

I laugh at people, some of whom make a profession of cooking up movements in GOP think-tanks funded by oil billionaires and dressing them up to look like popular uprisings, and how they’re desperately trying to characterize the Occupy Wall Street movement as rag-tag, losers jealous of other people’s success and living out some 60’s fantasy be-in. I don’t know what the Occupy movement will be, and whether in a year we’ll see its emerging direction as the work of genius or scoundrel. But I do know we’re watching something we haven’t seen before. And to the frustration of its targets, it’s not going away. Nearly a month now for New York, and as you know now in Trenton and Jersey City.

DCCC just made a pretty cynical attempt to list-build off the Occupy Wall Street movement, with a broad campaign directing Democrats to sign in with their email addresses, and deliberately ignoring the fact that OWS organizers hold the Democratic Party responsible for Wall Streets plunders, too, and not just the Republicans. GOP forces just want to wedge Dems apart and try to make protesters look ridiculous.

But they’re not ridiculous. Blessedly, they are not merely partisans of one political party trying to clobber another. And they are self-defining. Not even its allies, like AFL-CIO both nationally and in Jersey, are likely to define it. Nor should they.

One strong signal of OWS singularity is its organizational response to the stumbling block of rally communication. In New York and as #occupy spreads, participants often don’t have microphones. In fact, sometimes the presence of an electronic sound system requires permits to use that public space. But reclaiming public space is part , and that’s not something they always want to ask permission to do.

A solution: the human microphone. Somebody yells out “Mic check!” and the speaker is heard, in waves from the front to the back of the crowd. It’s fragementary, and it can be a little chaotic (see the Michael Moore ‘mic check’ video after the jump). But it requires discipline its detractors say the movement lacks. And the community cooperation is extraordinary. Moving, even.

Watch this video shot Saturday by Matt Sledge and featuring an Egyptian activist drawing comparisons between this intentionally leaderless undertaking, and the revolution that inspired it, Arab Spring.

Not Unlike Life Cereal, Mikey Likes Adler and Stender

Looking for some light beach reading for the three days that I will be spending in Wildwood Crest next week, I picked up Michael Moore’s “Mike’s Election Guide 2008”.

Sifting through the book while in the store, I discovered that, like most of his books, Moore beats up on both Democrats (unfairly for the most part – he just doesn’t get the fact that in a constitutional republic, even a legislative majority has limitations on what it can achieve) and Republicans (fairly).

The only difference between this and his other books is that this one is a lot shorter and smaller.  I guess he felt the need to cash in on this election in some way, shape, or form since he didn’t have a movie that would mobilize the right-wing and turn off independents.

By and large, it doesn’t seem like it will be worth the $13.99 plus tax that I paid for it, but one thing that I found somewhat interesting and disconcerting is that both John Adler and Linda Stender made his list of 30 House seats that the Democrats can win in November.

Feb 1: Screening of Michael Moore’s Sicko

Join the Bergen County Central Trades and Labor Council, AFL-CIO at 7:00 pm on Friday, February 1 as we host a special screening of the award winning documentary Sicko at Englewood Public Library located at 31 Engle St in Englewood, NJ. This screening is part of the AFL-CIO’s campaign to fight for a unique American plan for secure, high-quality health care for all.

Awesome Michael Moore movie, and a passionless Frank Lautenberg

Tonight, I saw the DC premiere of Michael Moore’s new movie, Sicko. At the event, I also saw and had a conversation with Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

First, the movie…Sicko was amazing. I don’t often tell people to go see movies, but go see this movie — and bring a couple of your nonpolitical or Independent friends too.

When I saw Al Gore’s movie, I went in thinking “Yeah, I support the environment” and left passionately considering myself an environmentalist. When I saw Sicko, I went in thinking “Yeah, we need to improve health care in this country” and left thinking “Holy cow – we need a health care revolution.”