I'm disappointed the LA Times decided not to highlight blogtown super commenter Todd Mecklem. His punny humor is just what LA needs.
I can't believe we pathetic commenters here got called "commentators" -- totally unwarranted.

Dave J's analogy comparing Occupy to "student govenment types from high school" seems totally off the mark. I guess I've just never heard of a high school where student government types protested a fascist police state on campus. Student government types are future glad-handers, politicians, and Leslie Knopes of the world. And Occupy isn't protesting the police response to it; it arose in response to much deeper and more widespread problems.
And I see Dave J also can't spell "Gandhi."
Don't forget it was that fighter of Truth, Justice and the American Way - Todd - who found that article first!
As for Sarahfina's comments, I can understand where you're coming from, though the drum circle comment is a tired red herring. Your insistence on quickly achievable policy solutions to our problems strikes me as a little naive, frankly. I know you'll probably take offense to that, but I and many other activists I know have spent decades lobbying legislators to do the right thing and make real change happen, both politely and insistently, and look where it's gotten us. Obama has been allowed to completely betray his base of grassroots support, who believed that he stood for real change, simply because mainstream politics shuts people out, and we haven't made our voices heard loudly enough yet. Registering Occupy as a political party would be a huge mistake. The dominant political parties (the twin wings of the pro-corporate party) effectively control everything, and the system will not allow the advantages of influential corporations and the super-wealthy be taken away through the ballot.
There can't be a sustained political uprising in this country without protests that make some people late to work (filming TV shows here routinely does the same thing) and, yes, they will include a lot of the drum circle types. There's something of much more long-term importance going on here, though, but don't expect results right away. Movements take years to build. But you don't seem sympathetic to the need for some disruption, and I don't think I can convince you.
As for the conversations you had in which you were called a dumb suburbanite, I can't comment because I wasn't there, obviously, and don't know everything that was said.
Hey geyser - the LA Times already wrote the article, OK? Too late for consideration.
Frankieb, I'll take geyser's realist optimism over your kneejerk crotchety cynicism -- it's barely more clever than that Beaverton spambot.
C&B, Hey, as a Obama supporter still, I find myself in the uncomfortable position of being a realist as opposed to my usual pessimism. I never thought the guy was gonna part the seas or change wine into water, as many here obviously believed.
Gee, it actually never occurred to me that Andy from Beaverton is a spambot. I mean, he reasons like a broken machine, but he (it?) at least manages to form semi-coherent sentences. Although his main problem seems to be reading comprehension: he gets weird ideas from a few words in a Google search, clearly never having read the actual article. Like a MACHINE would...
I've made it...big?
L.A. had to put up with me for 15 years, Chundy. I'm no longer allowed south of the Grapevine. (I'm not gonna wine about it, though.)
*facepalm* I pity people who want to stick their heads in the sand about the overlaying issue. Educate yourselves:…
Don't these anti-protester protesters have jobs?
@geyser - You seem pretty smug and your avatar is wearing a hat so I'll keep it brief:

You're assuming that because I'm annoyed by Occupy that I'm not an activist . And that you are. And that you're going to explain to me what activists do and think. That's kind of silly.

You also explain to me that I'm naive because I expect instant policy goals. In fact, it's the opposite of that. Policy is achieved through many means, protest being one of those means, and it takes a long time in some instances to see the effect of policy. The economic crisis is likely to have had its roots in the deregulation of the financial industry during the Regan years - it takes awhile. What *I* think is naive is to expect to see the effects of any policy Obama has made, immediately. If that is what you expect (since you're declaring his tenure a failure) then let's look at some easily demonstrable benefits to the Progressive agenda that we can attribute to Obama, like an end to the war in Iraq and the repeal of DADT. I've seen about 20 "Abolish corporate Personhood" signs at these protests. Who wants instant gratification?

Lastly, the condescending demeanor in your comment has been in evidence with a lot of Occupiers I've spoken to. It makes educated Liberals like myself unsympathetic to your protest.

P.S. Drum circles are not a red herring. They don't exist to throw me off of the real issue. They just exist and are annoying and I witnessed them every single day that I saw the camp which was most days that the camp existed. Protests are symbolic and drum circles evoke the worst aspects of that symbol. I don't like them. That is my right.
Thank You!
I never assumed you're not an activist. Where did I imply that? I never tried to "explain" to you what activists do and think. Nothing I said is smug, and I resent your characterization of my intents. I'm just trying to respectfully disagree with you and give you my perspective on why a different tack is needed.

I also never said that everything Obama has done will turn out to be a failure, but yeah, his first term overall was a significant failure and a betrayal of his base of support. But I don't blame Obama alone for that. I think people like us didn't do enough to give him the push of support needed for it to be politically feasible for his administration to act on priorities that helped get him elected. On the other hand, there is a real shortage of venues for people to meaningfully assert themselves to large-scale issues, which is where sustained occupations and direct action have come into play. That's my view of it; I'm not presuming to "explain" to you.
You clearly were already angry about all kinds of things surrounding this movement before I commented, so I think you're projecting my "demeanor." I reread my comment and see no condescension. If it is there, it was entirely unintended. Again, I don't think I can convince you of anything.
Obviously it's your right not to like drum circles, but not every element--every sign or costume--within a protest needs to symbolize the protest as a whole. It's a mass movement, so you can't point to a few things you don't like within it and snarkily refer to them to dismiss the whole. That's what I see the "drum circle" comments being used to do. And it is a red herring. It's politically irrelevant. If drum circles symbolically represent the worst about Occupy, then I'd say that's pretty good. Also irrelevent is the comment about my avatar. Who's being condescending and smug now?
@Sarafina: Bravo!

1. Most of us in Sarafina's camp are absolutely irritated with Occupy. There are a lot of tax dollars going to dealing with the Occupy movement. Although most of us realize that Democracy is messy, we tend to feel that the Occupy movement has a lack of respect for the rest of us. It feels less about protesting Wall St. and more about ego. In the last week it seemed to devolve into a direct challenge to the police - it seemed to become an egotistical movement that said "GFY, you know you can't do $%!* because we all have cameras".
2. I'm using "us" above to at least speak to Sarafina and I (and a handful of folks I've spoken with that share sentiment) as Liberals that are tired of the Occupy movement, and tired of being yelled at whenever we oppose the movement. I've posted a few times here and received responses that can best be characterized as negative. The only other group that I've seen more aggressively dismissive of opposition are FOX republicans.

But to use a phrase you used above, "I don't think I can convince you of anything."
You received negative responses on a comment thread? That's to be expected. I certainly do not yell at anyone just for disagreeing with me.
Please name a popular movement that achieved social change without costing anyone any money or inconveniencing anyone. Sit-ins, boycotts, occupations, and the like always have always presented disruptions. That's the whole point. People use complaints about these inconveniences as ammunition against their perceived political opponents, just like people on the Right screeching about protestors blocking traffic on bridges for five minutes. Never mind that the same delay is caused every time a boat needs to pass below.
The notion that it's all about ego is pretty much impossible to prove or falsify, so no way (and no point) to debate it.

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