The Occupy Wall Street website was down for a number of days—I don’t know why and there has been no mention anywhere of an interruption—but I checked moments ago and it is once again live. Even with progressive news sources such as RT America and MSNBC, it is easy to lose track of the movement and be misled to believe that it is dying out.
It is not. Even though the protests only began in September, they are already going down in the history books, as it were. New York University will be offering a for-credit undergraduate class next semester, entitled “Why Occupy Wall Street? The History and Politics of Debt and Finance.”
Despite minimal coverage by the mainstream media, the OWS movement is continuing to grow. It is true that encampments all over the country have been evicted; what’s less reported on is the fact that those spaces have been re-occupied by even more protesters. There are so many people involved now—not just misfits and burnouts—that in many areas the police have become powerless to evict them even from abandoned buildings, much less outdoor public spaces.
You have to take your news where you can find it. I try my best to keep you abreast of what’s going on, but Secret Laboratory is just getting started. (If you’d like to contribute or join our editorial staff, surf on over to our Submissions Page for more details.) I’ve found that of all the hundreds of “Occupy” websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds, the original OWS site is still the best; besides that, I highly recommend We Are The 99%, where you will find a list of invaluable and stunning facts (not to be confused with the 99%’s stories on Tumblr, although that is a must-see site as well).
Okay, where was I? It’s been a couple of days since I sat down to write this column and a hell of a lot has happened—some things more important than others. December 7 marked the seventieth anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a day which continues to live in infamy. Yesterday, December 8, was the day John Lennon was shot and killed thirty-one years ago; it would also have been Jim Morrison’s birthday, among others.
The saddest news of the day no doubt has to do with yesterday’s tragedy at Virginia Tech. A 22-year-old kid—not even a student—named Ross Ashley shot and killed an unsuspecting policeman, Deriek W. Crouse, who was married and had five children. A short while later, the gunman took his own life as a sheriff’s deputy closed in on him.
As much as I rave and snarl about the Nazi-mentality of cops, it’s important to remember that although there are a few bad apples in every bunch, the majority of peace officers in the U.S. are just people trying to support their families the only way they know how—and nobody deserves to be murdered just for showing up at work.
So, our condolences go out to the family of Officer Crouse.
In other news, it is rumored that the fabled tax break for the middle class will go through after all; however, it hasn’t been determined how or even if it will be paid for. With just a couple of weeks left to go, we’re all waiting and holding our breaths.
Here’s an interesting one: a Dutch architect has designed a South Korean housing complex that is supposed to give off the illusion of living in the clouds; unfortunately, it leaves a bad taste in many people’s mouths—and I’m sure you’ll see why when you study the photo to the left.
Getting back to OWS for a moment, it seems that even fake encampments are met with resistance from New York City officials. Law & Order set up a “Moccupy” or “Fauxcotti” camp in preparation of filming an upcoming episode; however, they were forced to tear it down because they lacked a permit—and besides, it just attracted real hippies and crusty jugglers, said a spokesman for the Mayor’s Office. Right. And who needs that kind of riffraff?
Not me, Jack.
The weekend is upon us and I plan on spending my Saturday hanging Christmas lights, drinking Old Milwaukee, and eating raw cookie dough from Papa Murphy’s—which it turns out really can make you sick, according to an article on MSNBC’s website. As for the beer … well … Will Ferrell loves the stuff so much that he’s dedicated himself to making free commercials for them.
Welcome to the weekend.
Here’s your wisdom:
John T. Schmitz is the editor & publisher of Secret Laboratory; he is the founder of Maple Hills Press and has also freelanced as a writer and photographer, contributing to various local and international publications. Mr. Schmitz lives in Minnesota with his wife, Megan, and their two children; he is the author of four books.
E-mail Mr. Schmitz at firstname.lastname@example.org.