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Occupiers Have Work to Do Before Their ‘Kent State Moment’

You really expect fantasies about hippies being massacred to be more of a Fox News thing.

by
Frank J. Fleming

Bio

October 19, 2011 - 12:00 am
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Have a cause people can get behind. Where being more clear about your goals can actually hurt you is if your message is awful and people don’t like it. I mean, what’s your biggest triumph so far? Keeping Zuccotti Park from being cleaned? People are upset about a lot of things right now, but I don’t think one of them is that there are too many clean parks.

You guys really need to aim for causes that are a bit more popular. So far, the few somewhat coherent people in your movement are the ones pushing ideas like socialism and talking about how much they hate America and want violent conflict — basically the same ideas of the people our military usually shoots. So be at least a little to the right of America’s enemies if you want to make your movement popular. If the people at Kent State had been protesting that America didn’t have enough people rounded up in gulags, it probably would have been considered less tragic when they were shot.

Have people actually affected by the problems be part of your protest. Once you have a coherent message that people can get behind, try to have people in your protest who are actually affected by the problem. Right now, OWS seems to consist of mainly white college students — i.e., people without any actual problems whatsoever. The most they can complain about is having huge college loans they can’t pay — which is more their fault and the fault of the college that sold them a worthless product. The banks that made those low interest loans are actually kind of the victims in this.

With Kent State, the students protesting were those who would be at risk of being drafted after college if the war continued, so they had things to be upset about that actually affected them, which made them more sympathetic than those yelling about stuff because they have nothing better to do (i.e., hippies).

Be less… weird. What’s with all the arrests? And I read that someone defecated on a cop car? And your human microphone and your “twinkles” and “down twinkles” hand signs? To most Americans, you’re like a bunch of weird aliens. The worst case scenario is that National Guard opens fire on you and everyone is like, “Oh. Good. Finally.” You don’t have to have all the values of average Americans to gain their sympathy, but at least try to act like you’re of the same species as them.

* * * *

So those are my tips. Once you follow them, then you’ll be ready to try to gain the country’s sympathy by getting the National Guard to shoot you. There really is no better way to gain popular support than to die for your cause, and while you’re facing down those guns, just know that there are people like Deutsch sitting in newsrooms supporting your sacrifice. So once your movement is ready, cause enough ruckus to get the National Guard to respond and then throw some rocks at them and hope for the best/worst. What do you have to lose?

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Frank J. Fleming is the author of Punch Your Inner Hippie, coming November 11th, and the science fiction novel Superego, coming later this year, blogs at IMAO.us, is a writer for the creative agency Emergent Order, and wants you to buy his book.
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