Oct 10, 2011 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
A grass-roots movement protesting greed and corruption on Wall Street is sweeping the nation.
Here in the Salt City, a group calling itself Occupy Syracuse set up camp on Oct. 2, in Perseverance Park, at the corner of Fayette and South Salina streets in the center of downtown’s financial district.
On Tuesday evening, Oct. 4, some four-dozen folks turned out to listen to speakers castigate capitalism and government complicity. A sign prominently posted next to a blue tarp near Centro’s main bus stop pleaded for “Jobs Not War.”
Redhouse rants recalled
A couple years ago one of America’s most outspoken folksingers, Georgia-born Chris Chandler, appeared with his pianist and his videos at the Redhouse in downtown Syracuse to perform bits such as “9th Ward New Orleans” which critiques the federal government for its lack of response to Hurricane Katrina. Later Chandler astounded an audience at Shifty’s Tavern by jumping atop the bar as he ranted against corporate malfeasance.
His spoken-word piece, “Something’s In the Air, But It’s Not on the Airwaves,” as recorded on his “American Storyteller” CD weaves 1960s Vietnam War protest music with commentary about the Iraq war. But this month he updated it to focus on the Occupy Wall Street movement. Here it is:
‘Something’s in the Air’
If you, oh mighty 1 percent, did not want us to take to the streets you should not have put us out on the streets. You have invaded this country and won in a corporate takeover of government. And you, oh mighty 1 percent, are now the leaders in your newly formed Corpocracy.
You have won – to the point we should change our name in honor of the victors. We should change our name from the United States of America to The Bank of America.
Our so-called elected officials have been reduced to the role of doddering greeters at The Great Wal-Mart of China.
I say, “Tear down that Wall (Street), Mr. Bernanke!”
It is you, oh mighty 1 percent of this country, that has raked in record profits while refusing to pay taxes by calling yourselves job-creators. Yeah, you are creating jobs alright…in Third World countries.
No, you are the Job creators – as in the book of Job.
You’re making your wager with the devil – creating doubters among the righteous by destroying our possessions and turning our social safety-net into a hammock for yourself.
You call yourself corporate citizens, but I will believe in corporate citizenship when I see a corporation rotting in prison. If I perpetrated the crimes you commit, that’s where I would be.
Some say tax the rich. I say jail the rich
So, yes, there are people in the streets. It took nearly a month for the media to notice at all. But if you put half a dozen Teabaggers in Cincinnati on a street corner holding an “Obama is Hitler” sign, FOX News acts like it’s a Republican Woodstock.
They start singing:
“By the time we got to Islamabad
We were half a million strong,
And everywhere there was wrong and incarceration.
And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky,
And they were turning into dollars
Above our nation.”
But these are not Sixties protesters. There is a big difference. Sixties protestors were brought up in the brand-loyal 1950s. Those kids were major consumers…They queued up to buy groovy Carnaby Street “Mod Gear” and “Wear Your Love Like Heaven” cosmetics.
Today’s protester does not buy anything. They won’t shop at the Gap, they run Wal-Mart out of town – hell, they won’t even go to Starbucks.
Oh, before the Berlin Wall fell, we loved to talk about how the Soviet Union would broadcast only the songs of the state and we romanticized that it was our radio broadcasts wafting in from West Berlin that tore down the wall.
Yet now, the cell phone’s in the other hand.
There is a new wall running down divided America. And it is American radio that is being manipulated by the agenda of the state because the state has become indistinguishable from the corporation – which needs sponsors more than it needs an electorate.
But I am warning you, there is something in the air, and soon it will be the peoples’ webcasts tweeting in from someone named anonymous that tears down the wall, and this time it will not be the Berlin Wall that falls – it will be Wall Street!
Cardiff Giant resurrected
Syracuse artist Ty Marshal will unearth his Hypertufa replica of the legendary Cardiff Giant on Sunday, Oct. 16, in Lipe Art Park on West Fayette Street. Not sure exactly when the big boy will be dug up, but the day-long festivities also feature live music by bluegrass band Diamond Someday at 11 a.m., and Uncle Joe & The Rosebud Ramblers at 1 p.m.
The Giant will remain on display daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Oct. 23. To enter the tent where the giant lies in repose, it’ll cost 25 cents, the same price that was charged by farmer William Newell after he “discovered” the original petrified giant on Oct. 16, 1869, on his acreage south of Syracuse.
“The project’s focus defines a lineage to Central New York’s history as a creative community,” Marshal said. “It explores how religious fundamentalism has affected modern culture, and sheds light on the origin of pop culture in the U.S., and how arts and culture serve as an economic engine.”
Even if you can’t make the unearthing Sunday, check out Marshal’s marvelous video at syracusecardiffgiant.com/. It’s gloriously photographed, perfectly paced, has well-integrated historic photos and is infinitely informative. Its attendant commentaries on capitalism and fundamentalism are absolutely mind-blowing.
The original gypsum giant, considered one of the greatest hoaxes in American history, is now displayed at the Farmers Museum in Cooperstown.