Michael P. Ackley has worked more than three decades as a journalist, the majority of that time at the Sacramento Union. His experience includes reporting, editing and writing commentary. He retired from teaching journalism for California State University at Hayward.More ↓Less ↑
Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell which is which.
As far as we can tell, members of the “Occupy” forces can’t say exactly what they want to accomplish. Further, they can’t say how they plan to achieve economic justice or whatever else they hope for. Nonetheless, they plan to stay put until they get whatever their disparate factions want.
However, an undercurrent of organizational sentiment is stirring in this churning mass, and it seems to be saying that participants’ nebulous goals should be advanced by government. This presents the difficulty of allying themselves with institutions they believe to be in the pockets of Wall Street greed-heads.
There exists only one way of working through our existing institutions, and that is to participate in elections by campaigning and voting for acceptable candidates – a bourgeoisie process to be sure.
So, the occupiers are left with what amounts to a network of unwieldy sit-ins, linked by the Internet and flirting with the idea of greater organization – to handle the money they’re taking in, for one thing, and to meet the social welfare needs of participants for another.
Inevitably, they will become more and more bureaucratic, with committees on food, shelter, sanitation and the like. At the top will be a council of the whole. Let us suggest a name for it: “Supreme Soviet.”
The message is no message: Early on, we heard an OWS “leader” say that a unified message would obviate the movement’s purpose. If only the tea party would learn this lesson. Then it might have an impact in national politics.
Video English: Moderator Anderson Cooper hit a sour note at the start of last week’s GOP presidential debate when told the candidates to go to “your podiums,” of which there were none. However, there was a lectern for each participant.
This is the level of English we should expect of video “journalists,” whose all-too-common style was reflected in the behavior of Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Sen. Rick Santorum. The two seemed to have taken their cue from the television discussion format known in the trade as “everybody talk at once.” Afterward, video commentators gave the interrupting Ricks points for being “aggressive” and “spirited.”
Rumor has it the next debate will be moderated by Maury Povich, who plans to have a Mexican illegal alien walk out from the wings and say, “Mitt, don’t you recognize me? I’m your lawn boy!”
With any luck, a fist fight will ensue, burly bouncers will break it up, and Povich, eye glasses askew, hair mussed, will say breathlessly, “We’ll be back to talk about immigration, right after this word from Cialis!”
No shirt, no shoes – no clothes – no service? Public nudity is legal in San Francisco (as long as one is not in a “state of arousal”). However, one prudish city supervisor wants to ban nakedness in restaurants. He also wants naked folks to carry a towel to sit upon – for public benches and conveyances.
The supervisor behind the cover-up measure, Scott (we are not making this up) Wiener, says his proposal would represent “basic courtesy.” One might call it fundamental.