“But this isn’t an indie film that’s supposed to leave you questioning Kanye’s existential crises or Jay-Z’s untouchable likeability. This is “Watch The Throne,” and the only way to end the show is with “N——- In Paris”… five times in a row. The previous record was four times in Miami, but Atlantic City was treated to five. And yes, that s—- was cray.”—
Among the most effective chants of the O.W.S. protesters has been a simple message: “The whole world is watching.” The chant is powerful because it is true. This is the age of the smartphone and the live-feed. And so, in New York on Monday night—or rather, at one o’clock on Tuesday morning—when Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly deployed thousands of cops to clear O.W.S. out of Zuccotti Park, they did so under the deepest cover of darkness, and they forbade the press from seeing what they were doing.
The N.Y.P.D. descended on the park with deafening military-grade LRAD noise canons and several stadiums’ worth of blinding Klieg lights, and while they worked, they drove journalists steadily back further and further from their area of operations. (Even the airspace over southern Manhattan was closed during the raid to prevent news helicopters from filming, making a mockery of claims, by the mayor and the police, that they were keeping reporters at bay for their own safety.) A number of journalists who attempted to stand their ground, identifying themselves to the police and insisting on their long-established legal right to work, were treated like protesters—roughed up, shoved, put in choke holds, pepper-sprayed, and otherwise manhandled, and at least seven reporters (including four who’d sought refuge in a church, and one from the New York Post, which has been calling for such a police operation against O.W.S. for weeks) were among the nearly two hundred and fifty people arrested during the crackdown. So was a City Councilman, Ydanis Rodriguez, who was taken into custody blocks from the park, and bloodied in the process.
The paramilitary-style eviction of O.W.S. from Zuccotti park was not our Guernica; it wasn’t our Tiananmen Square, nor even our Tahrir Square—as Nicholas Kristof of the Times, and many other commentators not so firmly in the media mainstream, have suggested. Thankfully, the Occupy encampments across America, and the state power arrayed against them did not represent anything like the forces of revolution or of oppression that we’ve seen in those foreign uprisings. That is precisely what makes the police violence that has become such a common spectacle so troubling: protest is an essential American democratic tradition, and you don’t have to support the protesters (or oppose the dismantling of their camps) to condemn its forcible stifling.
Of course there have been piecemeal incidents of violent criminality (vandalism and assault) by protesters; and, in confrontations with police, some have fought back. But the conduct of the overwhelming majority of Occupy activists has been highly disciplined in its adherence to the rigors of nonviolent civil disobedience. So why have we had to watch police—who are our employees, operating in our name— slamming anddragging unresisting men on the street, kneeling heavily on people’s heads while binding their wrists too tightly in flexicuffs, and pepper-spraying already captive women in New York; billy-clubbing peaceable demonstrators and dragging them brutally around by their hair when they offer their wrists to be arrested in Berkeley; and tear-gassing and flash-banging them at Occupy Oakland? […]
In a democracy, a mayor who believes he can shut down the press at will is not defending public safety; and a mayor who believes the police can be unleashed to manhandle the citizenry without answering for it cannot claim to be on the side of law or order.
My perfect date night: I pick you up. In my Kia Sorrento. You get in. There’s candles in the car. You go, ‘…Is that dangerous?’ and I go, ‘Yes—but I like danger.’
We go to your favorite restaurant, and we have a fantastic meal. We come outside and we see my car’s on fire. You go, ‘Aziz, your car’s on fire. Aren’t you upset?’ I pull out a bag of marshmallows and I go, ‘No. I knew this was gonna happen.’
“I don’t make music for niggas who don’t get pussy. I don’t. If you have a frustrating time with women, and you just spend your life hating on everybody, I’m not for you. I’m not for you. You’re an overly aggressive, bitter-ass dude that only wants to listen to Only Built 4 Cuban Linx and some shit that was incredible while you were in your prime.”—(via aldoushuxtable)