What is Calvinball?

What is OWS? Good question. Much like the BP oil spill, you don’t care so much as to what happened only that its been going on for a really long time and why hasn’t someone plugged that hole yet? OWS is a project. A project where the end goal is economic and social reform, apparently, I’m not exactly sure from what to what but this is what they have to say: “the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members.” http://www.nycga.net/resources/declaration/

Okay, I can get behind that. Global policy is an international affair, governments work together all the time, organizations with a well oiled administrative structure do much better, be it business or government, hell its not about Kobe or Shaq, it’s about Kobe and Shaq. OWS has even gone out of their way to prove this radical theory, Eat, OWS, by asulkin (hey that’s me!) presents a comprehensive view of how the OWS movement feeds itself and how that logistics effort is based upon relationships between local growers and protesters and how they both support each other. Local protesters by giving away their hard-earned livelihood for a chance to stick it to corporate businesses that corner the market, and the OWS protesters by eating and getting arrested. See, that’s teamwork. Not to mention that the entire OWS food service program is well equipped, well staffed, and well supplied based on the relationships they have created and the organizational structure they impose.

 They go on to say, “that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors” Absolutely, couldn’t agree more, the system they must be referring to can be nothing other than the socioeconomic-political system of America, yeah that system. And apparently that system is “corrupt.” Like, Pakistan corrupt or just like Charlie Sheen corrupt? (Yeah I don’t know which one is worse either) Whatever, corrupt has a negative connotation so lets just leave it at that. The socioeconomic-political system of America is corrupted and it is the duty of the individual to stand up and shout nay! I’m fairly certain someone a lot more important that whoever wrote this declaration said the same thing a bit more elegantly about 250 years. But standing up for your rights and the rights of others is good so no complaints here.

 Here’s when it gets a little murky. The following passage is from the OWS mission statement: “[W]e hope to see a realization and celebration of human potentiality, of freedom and justice and liberty; a celebration of their realization, a realization through celebration, a reverent jubilee of resistance.” Funny enough the next sentence is, “But what does this mean?” That is a fantastic question. First of all, good use of alliteration, “reverent” and “resistence” no seriously, great job. The eighth grader inside me is Absolutely Astounded at your Admirable Attempt at elocution.  In layman’s terms I suppose it means everybody’s supposed to get riled up and feel the freedom and liberty because those to things are definitely not the same. From who/what are we being liberated from? That is of course addressed on the next page with very specific words like “authority” and “they” and “the West.” Based solely on YouTube (OWS According to YouTube) you’d think they were fighting tooth and nail for socialeconomic-political reform hoared by the NYPD who apparently is trying to beat the protest to death. Those bastards.

 OWS is a lot like Calvinball. Calvinball, for those of you who never had a childhood, is a game invented and played by Calvin and Hobbes, a comic series done by Cartoonist Bill Watterson about an adorably devious little boy who seems to be good at everything but math, and his pet stuffed tiger. Together they play Calvinball, a game you will never play the same way twice and you make up the rules as you go along. That’s unfortunately all I can tell you so go read the comic. OWS seems to make up the rules as they go along. There is no central leadership, there is no direction are implied goal. They have a very well organized general assembly where any issue can be brought up and discussed, but to what end? Neither Calvin ball nor OWS seem to have an ultimate goal. Or if they do, they sure as shit cant verbalize it without taking power away from their goal-less movement.

 OWS is a state of mind. It’s a well-organized protest against complacency in America. “Resist and oppose…subordinating authorities…We ask that you realize the boundless potential of the unfettered individual…We have too long accepted, with a numb smile and dull glaze…these entrapments.” They don’t provide a list of specific institutions or rules or organizations that they despise nor do they have a specific endgame, they are in the business of selling a frame of mind to a consumer who they believe to be in a self-imposed socioeconomic-political coma. They want to know that people care about what’s going on around them.

 OWS is a lot like Calvinball. It’s not about winning, it’s about playing.



One response to “What is Calvinball?

  1. Pingback: It’s whatever you want it to be | Occupy Wall Street Analysis

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