Tag Archives: Within the movement

Occupier + current system + social media = ?

20 May 2012: The police crack down pretty hard on the Occupiers in Chicago today during their Anti-NATO protest.

I found this photograph moving around Facebook and I thought I’d post it.  I thought the Occupy protests were winding down, but based on this chaos, I’d say I was quite off the mark.

The focal point of the image is the young man guarding himself against a police officer, as well as on the overwhelmed and scared woman with the camera.  I feel like this image represents three main elements of the entire Occupy movement really well.

The young man represents the generic Occupier: the recent college graduate, possibly a hipster, who feels the need to stand out against the current regime and say that he doesn’t approve of the current status quo.  His hands are up to shield himself against the night stick, but the look on his face isn’t necessarily one of fear.  There is determination there, a confidence that comes out if you stare a little longer at him, and you can see that he isn’t just going to defend himself against the police officer, he is willing to take him on.

The police officer is not only representative of police presence and the issues that have come out of that during Occupy, but the illustration of faulty government itself.  The police are supposed to protect citizens, just as the government is supposed to benefit the people, but clearly the police were not protecting anyone but themselves in Chicago today, and clearly the system is not working for the governed because groups like the Occupiers and the Tea Partiers exist.

Finally, the woman with the camera represents media, more specifically social media.  Before social media took off, people heard about things like this through news articles or segments done by professionals.  Ideally, the news is supposed to be unbiased but it rarely is.  Now, with social media, people who were actually there in the moment can show their own evidence to anyone they want at lightning speed for free.  With these kinds of resources, the moments like this will always be available to the public and the truth will never be forgotten.

The Occupier, the current system and social media. Put them all together and what do you get?  Based on this photo, a real Charlie Foxtrot.



For Equality and Human Rights?

From books like Common Sense to the Common Laws, equality–or lack thereof–has driven many revolutions and movements. The Civil Rights Movement was about equal treatment for all races; the Brown Berets strove for equal treatment of the Latino race; the Women’s Rights Movement strove for gender equality and the list continues. The catchy phrase of Occupy Wall Street is “We are the 99%.” What they want to get across could be anyone’s guess but from photographs, the easiest conclusion is that 99% of the United States populations is struggling to make ends meet in some way or another (although it is usually monetary).

What they believe in are citizen rights. Citizen rights are differentiated from human rights as the right “to work, just pay, a standard of living adequate for health and well-being, including housing and medical care, social security and education.” Human rights, as defined by Feinberg, are “moral rights of a fundamentally important kind held equally by all human beings, unconditionally and unalterably.” Human rights are ideally universal and should remain the same throughout the globe. This is not the case and it is visible on every news channel in the world. This is the primary motivation of the movement according the the photograph and the interviews, is for the moving of citizen rights to be human rights.

This is a huge thing and it makes sense why some would call those in the movement “entitled“. That’s the theory basis of it. If we were to look at the movement as a blob. Which it isn’t and that’s where psychological motivation comes into play. But to interview every single person–as the Handbook of Motivation and Cognition suggests–is nearly impossible and there are always chances that people will lie about their real reasons.

As more articles come about about possible motivations for Occupiers (members of the Occupy Wall Street Movement), I will try and connect them with research done about human motivation. There are false articles and misinformation all about but theories are proven.


Music and the Brain

So I have been trying to find some way to show the enormous impact of music within the OWS movement. Over the course of this semester it has certainly proved to be a more difficult task than I thought. The truth is music itself has not played a large role within the movement, but it has so much to do with the little things, that make the big things possible. Let me explain.

Way back in 2000 Time Magazine featured an article by Michael D. Lemonick who wrote about “Music on the Brain”. Additionally he brought up several great points that are worthy of some thought and discussion when considering the role of the arts within the movement. Below is an excerpt from this article:

“As for music’s emotional impact, there is some indication that music can affect levels of various hormones, including cortisol (involved in arousal and stress), testosterone (aggression and arousal) and oxytocin (nurturing behavior) as well as trigger release of the natural opiates known as endorphins. Using PET scanners, Zatorre has shown that the parts of the brain involved in processing emotion seem to light up with activity when a subject hears music” (Lemonick).

This is an incredibly important discovery. Music literally has a direct effect on the brain, whether we want it to or not. Throughout the movement celebrities have written pieces expressing their take on the movement, people have written parody songs to poke fun at the movement, and people for centuries have been protesting with the help of songs and chants, all sung in unison. Music has been used in the OWS movement and in protests throughout time to, quite literally, make their voices heard. Maybe music has a little more to do with the movement than we thought.