Via Weasel Zippers, every revolution reinvents some core cultural vocabulary to inaugurate its new consciousness. The French reinvented the calendar. These people have reinvented jazz hands, I guess. It’s as harmless as can be, but since all protests are ultimately an appeal to undecided voters, I can only imagine what the average blue-collar American will make of it. Who knows? Maybe hippie finger wiggles are just what the zeitgeist requires right now to catalyze the unemployed.
If you missed the Time poll today that the left is buzzing about, here you go. Fully 54 percent are at least somewhat favorably disposed to the protests on Wall Street versus just 27 percent who say the same about the tea-party movement. Philip Klein has a nice analysis of how Time loaded the phrasing of the question to get their desired result, but there’s more to the numbers than that. For one thing, there’s age. People have had two years to observe the tea party, warts and all, versus a month for OWS. As time goes on — starting tomorrow, maybe — their warts will come out too. Beyond that, OWS benefits tremendously by not having a concrete agenda. Much like their friend in the White House, they’re essentially a blank screen onto which you can project your fondest dreams. Are you one of the 99.99 percent of Americans who prefers the middle class to the rich? Well, good news: So does OWS. Do you happen to agree with literally everyone else in the country that America needs more jobs? OWS does too! How about those bank bailouts? Does it kinda sorta stick in your craw that we had to give banks lots of taxpayer money to keep the financial sector afloat? It sticks in OWS’s craw too. They’re so vague on particulars, in fact, that lately I’ve started to see posts online heralding the movement as some sort of cutting-edge Internet-age populist experiment which is “less about victory than sustainability. It is not about one-pointedness, but inclusion and groping toward consensus.” In other words, it’s not supposed to accomplish something, at least not right away. For now it’s just supposed to be, man.
Here’s Twinkles letting it be. If you missed this revealing post at the Corner earlier today about how the commune downtown is managing to feed itself, make sure to make time for it. The money quote: “We don’t know where it comes from. It just appears, and we eat it.” You’ll never see a summation of the entitlement mentality more twinkly than that.