See http://philosborn.joeuser.com/article/412425/Occupy_Earth for the background for this thread, which is becoming ridiculously long and cumbersome. In summary, it deals with an attempt to launch a quid pro quo between a small group of listener subscribers to the Pacifica FM station, KPFK, and the local Occupy movement. In exchange for votes to put them on the Local Station Board, which would require a lot of Occupy people to become subscribers at minimum $25 - and the deadline for that is now passed, BTW - we of Occupy would get some kind of airtime, program, something... Note that KPFK is already providing a lot of Occupy coverage and the Station Manager, Mr. Duncan, has told me personally that he is in favor of doing something along those lines anyway. So, all said, this is a classic tempest in a teapot, it appears, altho it could have been nasty, as illustrated by what HAS happened, closed meetings with secret deliberations, people (myself) being blocked from attending, deleted Facebook threads, and more...
First, In response to a critique from another Occupy member who was at the semi-GA a couple Sundays ago in Irvine, I stand by my report. Other people may remember things differently, and of course I stated that I assumed that the discussion that was ongoing about deleted threads had to do with me, but I stated that that was simply my assumption, which may very well be wrong, but I have a fairly clear memory of the major points thereafter. Various people including Linda and Diana attempted to break in on George's endless monolog without success, as he responded by shouting over them. This went on for most of the ~2.4 hours that I was present.
I finally left and went to the nearby Sprouts to get groceries for the next week, and it appeared that the meeting - not a GA, as none of the normal protocals were followed - was still ongoing as I drove back from Sprouts, although it was getting dark by then, so I couldn't see details in passing. So, perhaps, and this is my fave paranoid theory of the moment - one of several - the whole point of this meaningless exercise was to wait me out. Someone else just commented on FB on a discussion concerning the deal cut in secret apparently by the closed KPFK/Occupy subcommitted - a discussion that allegedly occurred at a GA. I thought I had made all the recent GA's, but don't recall any such discussion. Maybe it happened after I left? Since the Sunday meeting was not actually a GA, I'm not sure what significance any of it had. Maybe I missed one and didn't notice? Meanwhile, I still don't know what we are supposedly committed to.
I was informed that one of the participants reported feeling like they were "hypnotized" by George. This is possible. It could explain why everyone just let him go on endlessly. See Dave Elman's classic "Explorations in Hypnosis" for details. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Elman) Or, in Rand's "The Fountainhead" she gives a detailed example of how a sociopath hypnotizes his victims into sacrificing their own interests and doing his work for him. Or, as documented in "Born for Love" or Baron-Cohen's "the Science of Evil."
Not that I'm saying George is a sociopath. I like George and I think he has potential for doing great things. But anyone can use the techniques, consciously or just from natural instinct, and the net result is that they become like Gods to their followers, who have lost their critical faculties.
I gave Roy Tuchman of the "Something's Happening" show a brief heads up as to what may be coming down. I told him that we may be heading for another "Clair Spark episode," (those in the know will know what I'm saying) and he wailed in response, "Oh GOD!"
I've since taken a look at the "Grassroots KPFK" site, which is the group that we are seemingly in bed with. Everything sounds great on their statement of principle, until we get to the Spanish language section... Mind you, I'm an internationalist in the vein of George Orwell and have NOTHING against Spanish language, which I wish I knew more of. And, certainly, when appropriate, specific programs at KPFK dealing with issues that are being slanted or misrepresented by the mainstream media, should be done in both English and Spanish. Or Mandarin, or Farsi, or Russian, etc., if appropriate and within means.
However, even the major Spanish media in the U.S., according to a report on NPR recently, has decided to switch to mainly English-only. Why? Because most of their audience wants them to! Most people of hispanic origin are learning or have learned and certainly want their children to learn good English, as a first language. Spanish-only programming is only intelligable to a segment of the population, far less than a majority, and thus it excludes not just most caucasian English original speakers and most blacks in SoCal, but also most Persians, Russians, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc., etc., etc. I.e., the insistance on a block - a HUGE block - of time devoted to Spanish-only programming borders on racism and is opposed to the heart of the Pacifica Charter.
It is EXCLUSIONARY!
Most people in SoCal can at least follow along in English. Only one block of people can typically do the same regarding Spanish - or any other 2nd language. This ought to be obvious. Yet this, while it is down the list in the "Grassroots" document, is perhaps the core issue. I ran for the station board twice and almost made it on the 2nd try - within a handful of votes. I was told afterwards that the thing that cost me the election was my position opposing Spanish-only programming - which I knew at the time, but I'm not going to LIE.
Note that I expressed total support for online translations or alternate programming in whatever languages - starting with Spanish, of course - that we could get volunteers to handle. That's only consistent with the Charter, and I note that it hasn't happened, as far as I know, even though anybody could have spearheaded the effort from the group that now calls itself "Grassroots," and KPFK would have been ecstatic to have supported the effort, I'm sure. That nothing of the sort happened relates to the real goals of this group, I think.
I think that the Spanish-only position is the tip of the iceberg. During my campaign to get on the LSB, I heard many mentions of the term Aztlan from people who I associate in my mind with this present group, as in, the mythical homeland of the natives who became the Aztecs, meaning California and more, as I understand (I don't claim to be an expert on any mythology). The core group that I ran into at every turn during my LSB campaign were committed to a very strident anti-anyone other than "natives" position, including somehow "taking back" California.
This was quite explicit, even though it flies in the face of the desires of the vast majority of Hispanic people, who left their homelands, often at great expense and risk, to escape from repression and "become Americans," meaning integrating with the main culture and its lofty spoken ideals of inclusion and justice - not that the U.S. has always followed them, to be sure, but it is still a vast improvement over most of the globe, including Mexico and much of central and south America. And most Americans support the ideals of the nation's founding, despite our corrupt politics.
But then there was the adulation of Marxism, which I got the distinct impression trumped the song and dance about "Aztlan." How many people try to get INTO Cuba? Even today? Or any of the former Soviet bloc, back in the day? But that's a whole other topic. Suffice it to say, my impression back then was that most of the same people were also Marxists. This is not the worst thing in the world to be, but it does often have consequences in terms of how political action is framed - as in an ever-present class consciousness, and the seemingly invariant committment to making every conflict worse, which appears to logically follow from the Marxist version of the Hegelian Dialectic.
Under class analysis, every conflict reflects the internal contradictions of class struggle. And if you assume that, then you will prepare for it, as in starting out with secret meetings and sending uncomfortable threads on Facebook down the Memory Hole, in the name of the greater reality of the dialectic. How else do these inherently non-productive events make any sense? In fact, you may consider it your MORAL DUTY to push conflict in the name of an ultimate "synthesis." That this take on things means constant struggle and stress and conflict is just part of scientific determinism. That it tends to attract people who succeed in such environments, such as sociopaths, is too bad, especially when it results in mass executions and Gulags.
But, dropping back to the thread before my take on Marxism, their total miscalculation of their own roots by what appears to be the now "grassroots" became overwhelmingly evident during the huge rally against Bush's immigration law, when reportedly half a million people protested in downtown LA alone. The radicals were certain that a "people's LA" was next. WRONG. They totally failed to grasp the essential committment to the democratic, pluralistic ideals of America by the overwhelming majority of hispanics living here. Sure, they would protest an injustice (and more power to them!). I think we should open the borders, personally. But when they saw all those Mexican flags - and I warned the organizers here in Santana that this would happen - their support for anything further evaporated, along with the support that had been evident from the general American public. I.e., they shot themselves in the foot.
Learning NOTHING, various radicals who I saw regularly at various groups then boasted openly about how they were going to take over the port of LA and bring everything to a screeching halt until their demands were met. Didn't happen. People have more intelligence than these self-styled revolutionaries give credit.
Anyway, that appears to be what we - Occupy - are getting committed to. A package deal done in secret, which is perhaps the only way that such a thing could be hatched. But I welcome diversity of opinion and culture. I'm happy to see "grassroots whatever" taking part.
However, we at Occupy can cut our own deals, and when we vote for the LSB, I hope that people will consider the value of KPFK as a truly important voice and the need to keep it independent, along with the goals of the Occupation. Sure, let's listen to the "Grassroots" group, when and if they ever come forward publically with their plan, and then we make up our own minds to vote for them or not. How we deal with this may have an impact on how well the Occupation is perceived both at the station in the aftermath of the LSB vote and by the general public.