Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Occupy Pittsburgh Praising Sheriff, Moving On

This we learn in a press release just like anyone else:

It’s become apparent that the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department is not coming. We have, in this instance, seen a severing of the control corporations and the 1% are accustomed to having over our public spaces and officials. BNY Mellon has not been able to force our elected Sheriff, William P. Mullen, to disavow himself from his role to protect democracy and suppress the free speech rights of Occupy Pittsburgh. We know that Sheriff Mullen does this at risk of being in contempt of court, and we appreciate and applaud his informed judgment and willingness to stand up for the rights of his constituents.

This afternoon at 5:30 pm, Occupy Pittsburgh will rally and make statements for the press at People’s Park. Afterward, they will march away from the encampment site. (OccupyPgh Media Team)

The introductory quotation by Mark Twain selected for this news release is particularly apropos.

Based on my experiences so far with the local Occupy franchise, I find it a little difficult to believe that 100% of the remaining occupants are going to be on board with declaring victory and marching away this evening, at least not without any surprises. Difficult but not impossible.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Let's Get it Over with...

Occupy Journalism: Don't Just Believe Everything You Hear and Are Told

So much I'd rather be writing about -- maybe better suited to the sign-o-sphere.

But in regards to what sorts of things can actually be learned with "thermal imaging cameras"...

If that's not plain enough, there is a sequel here and more in-depth article here from the Guardian. Even Glen Beck's the Blaze is backing off.

We can honestly appreciate the sentiment behind trying to alienate Occupy Pittsburgh as thoroughly as possible from its natural allies -- the 99%, whomever is watching Ch. 2 -- in order to suppress widespread popular support before the curtain rises on the eviction. In the interest of keeping the law enforcement situation manageable.

Also appearing in the same tactical parlay:

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who watched Marty’s video, says it’s time for the camp to go. But he’s also heard what Marty has been told – that hundreds of reinforcements may be called in from Washington, D.C. to repopulate the camp. (KDKA)

It's unclear from that phrasing whether or not the Mayor heard that alleged rumor from Marty Griffin, just then, along with the watching of his thermal video.

And it's debatable whether these two busloads of out-of-town occupiers will be anything like these two busloads of out-of-town atheists besieging Ellwood City. Which did not exist. But boy, did passing around those thinly sourced rumors really "stir things up!" Who doesn't like chaos and misinformation?

Unfortunately, people tend to be taken in by these little games generated at the intersection of politics, ambition and and psy-ops:

“Obviously, this tape shows it, nobody’s been there for a long period of time,” Ravenstahl said. “If a large number of people all of a sudden show up, I think it really shows you what the Occupy folks are all about. (ibid)

Aw, no! Aw! Ouch! That phrasing was unfortunate. Maybe the quote was really painfully extracted. The implied inclination towards a sweeping negative appraisal is frustrating, though once again -- media / political gamesmanship was at play.

But let the record show, in the war between Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Occupy Pittsburgh, it was the mayor who threw the first swing. Let it be a brief war.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Civic Milestones: A Historical Aside

Now this is an elegy!

Now, the [Civic Arena] has been replaced by a soulless structure akin to the Soviet era, devoid of Pittsburgh personality and character. The upper levels, covered in siding, show that the architects did not know that Pittsburgh is a vertical city and that our buildings, seen from the surrounding hills, must be interesting from bottom to top. She never had that problem. (Trib, Joseph Sabino Mistick)

One could add, the old steampunk mother ship and its attendant parking lots reeked of history and of a history that is signally unfinished. It will be spellbinding to watch the debris and dust settle!

Lighters, please!