"OWS is the match that lit the fire... attention must be paid."


My new best friend is Marty Weinstein, aka @LUCKYMW on Twitter. You can see his previous posts here, all worth a read, trust me.

He has more to say, I’ve invited him here to say it, and happily, he agreed (bolding is mine):


Patience wears thin. The toxic combination of caffeine and hyperactivity rule the social mindset. People wander down streets reading their telephones as if they were receiving secret messages from God, oblivious to city buses, other people, the blue sky. This connected world operates at the pace of a meth-addicted hamster on a spinning wheel. Typically intelligent and eloquent human beings now feel urged to be Shakespeare or Henny Youngman in 140 characters or less.

The theater of the mind has been trapped into performing these continual one-act plays, leaving little room for reflection or thoughful analysis. We worship the soundbite and the bullet point because they allow us more time to write the next text or tweet, to skim the next article, to indulge in the next distraction.

The result of this mind-numbing condition is a society that has run out of mental breathing room, and serious symptoms of ADD infect the way we operate as a community and how we participate in our own governance.

And so we end up where we are now, a collective of sleep-deprived death row inmates trying to soak up as much information as we can before the cyanide pill works. We don't see how futile this is until something or someone comes along to shock us back into humanity.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has already become a victim of perception. Attempts to label it have come from all sides in a lazy effort to pigeonhole it into a digestible political meme that can be judged quickly and either supported or opposed with a wave of the hand not holding the cellphone. The addiction to instant gratification forces a sloppy media to continue to demand demands. This is hilarious.

I won't deny that some really cogent long-form pieces have been written about OWS, but those are few and far between and can sometimes take the form of a doctoral dissertation on social disorder instead of sharp, reasoned, and most importantly, experiential analysis. 

OWS is the shock to the body politic that some of us have been waiting for over decades of American ennui. The question of its effectiveness is obvious to anyone with a still-functioning conscience.

OWS has constructed a monumental speed bump on the road of conventional process, it has shaken us awake from the fever dream  caused by over-consumption and narcissism. It has forced us to confront and question the nasty reality in which we've all been passively accepting of the status quo as the only option.

A new frame of reference has been created, it is now up to all of us to make a critical choice as to whether we'll sink back into our couches of quiet desperation or we'll summon the courage to actively shape our own destiny. OWS is the match that lit the fire, it's up to us to decide whether that fire will provide us with warmth and light, or whether it will burn down the house. For just this brief period of time in the long hallway of history, attention must be paid.