Art Critic Takes on ‘Noxious Vibes Emanating’ from the Ultra-Rich ‘1 Percent’

December 20, 2011
Holland Cotter
Lee C. Bollinger, President of Columbia University and chairman of the Federal Reserve (left), presents the 2009 Criticism prize to Holland Cotter of The New York Times. via

nytimeslogo.jpg( New York Times art critic Holland Cotter’s year in review piece on Sunday opened with an awkward metaphorical shout-out to the lefty park-squatters of Occupy Wall Street and an excoriation of the “noxious” 1 percent: “Complacency Butts Up Against Game Changers.”

There was a lot of painting on view in Zuccotti Park this fall, in the form of Occupy Wall Street protest posters, free for the taking. And there was a lot of painting on the walls of New York art galleries, most of it post-M.F.A. eye candy with hefty price tags. The physical distance between Lower Manhattan and the Chelsea art zone is short, but the mental and moral gap felt immeasurable. The park was about light-on-its-feet, change-the-game politics. Chelsea — leaden and inbred — was about cash and caution.

True, art-worldlings did at least adopt one thing from the Occupy Wall Street movement: a new identifying label for the source of particularly noxious vibes emanating from art fairs, V.I.P. galas and museum boardrooms: namely the 1 percent. But why, you’ll ask, dis the ultrarich? Haven’t they historically been the primary bankrollers of great art?
Sure, except we’re not getting great art. By and large we’re getting high-polish mediocrity. You had really, truly, desperately need to believe in the perpetual wondrous newness value of contemporary work to conclude that the New York gallery season just past was anything more than a long flat line, with month after month of young artists rehashing yesteryear’s trends and veterans cannibalizing their own careers.

On July 22 Cotter revealed his suspicions of free-market capitalism in his review of an exhibit of Soviet and post-Soviet art: “Free-market capitalism brought its suppressions and exclusions, as artists discovered. Among other things, some felt, it undermined the purpose and value of art.”

I would agree… large public works are done best by totalitarian structures… and this is what is considered to be art. These same totalitarian structures have such contempt for Hollywood or Theme Parks, but that is where capitalism’s expression comes from and if you step away from the academic egos you might realize that the majority of great 20th century culture (THE CINEMA YOU ART FAG! …and maybe COMIC BOOKS) comes from Capitalism and not movements of large populations dedicated to a structure like a Pyramid or Murals on Ghetto walls.


Occupy Wall Street Protesters Cleared From Zuccotti Park

November 15, 2011

(h/t EYE)
(ABC) More than 100 people were arrested after New York police dressed in riot gear made a surprise early-morning visit to clear out Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, the main camp of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Although authorities had planned to let the protesters back in after a clean-up — without their tents and tarps — a judge apparently issued a restraining order prohibiting reentry.
Protesters were ordered to leave the park at 1 a.m. Tuesday, on the two-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which quickly spread to cities across the country and globe.
In a press conference Tuesday morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that the protesters and their equipment had become a health and safety hazard and they were preventing others from using the privately-owned park.
“The First Amendment doesn’t protect the use of tents and sleeping bags,” Bloomberg said. “Now they will have to occupy the park with just the power of their arguments.” The mayor said the city would review the judge’s order and decide when to reopen the park.
According to New York’s Deputy Police Commissioner for Public Information Paul Browne, 70 arrests were made at the park. Coupled with earlier arrests on Broadway north of the park, more than 100 protesters were taken into custody.
The final group of about a dozen protesters removed from the park were chained to each other and to trees. Emergency services officers used portable power saws to sever the chains.
NYPD surrounded Zuccotti Park with officers in riot gear and broadcast by bullhorn the order for protesters to vacate the park, which was soon lit up with flood lights. Reports indicated police said they would arrest anyone who refused the order to leave.
Police were seen pouring into the scene from all directions and sealing off the park. Officers backed by additional vans drove protesters north up Broadway away from the park.
In one instance there was a scuffle with police, and one person was arrested after some objects were thrown.
At least two brief violent clashes were reported north of Zuccotti Park, while two arrest wagons were filled with protesters at Broadway, about two blocks north of the park.
At the park, the tents, street furniture and any possessions protesters refused to move were dismantled and tossed into dumpsters and open-topped city garbage trucks. Workers moved in with steam cleaners and other equipment to clean the park.
A number of downtown New York street corners were packed with protesters standing chest to chest with helmeted police armed with batons.
New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Chief of Department of the NYPD Joe Esposito were on the scene supervising police, while hundreds of officers began to gather north of the park in lines, ready to march downtown.
By 2:30 a.m. only a handful of protesters remained in the park, although hundreds were gathered in pockets nearby. Protesters who vacated Zuccotti Park marched up to Foley Square, approximately 10 blocks north of City Hall. That group was soon forced north by police and broken up into scattered groups that were effectively dispersed.
A flyer that was handed out to protesters read: “The city has determined that the continued occupation of Zuccotti Park poses an increasing health and fire safety hazard to those camped in the park, the city’s first responders, and to the surrounding community.
“You are required to immediately remove all property, including tents, sleeping bags and tarps from Zuccotti Park. That means you must remove the property now.”
The flyer indicated that protesters would be allowed into the park “after a few hours” when the park has been cleaned, but they “will not be permitted to bring tents, sleeping bags, tarps and similar materials.”
The following tweet appeared at approximately 1:20 a.m. ET on the NYCMayorsOffice Twitter feed, which is the official Twitter of the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg: “Occupants of Zuccotti should temporarily leave and remove tents and tarps. Protestors can return after the Park is cleared. #ows”
“From the beginning, I have said that the City had two principal goals: guaranteeing public health and safety, and guaranteeing the protesters’ First Amendment rights. But when those two goals clash, the health and safety of the public and our first responders must be the priority,” the statement from Mayor Bloomberg read.
“That is why, several weeks ago the City acted to remove generators and fuel that posed a fire hazard from the park … We have been in constant contact with Brookfield and yesterday they requested that the City assist it in enforcing the no sleeping and camping rules in the park. But make no mistake — the final decision to act was mine,” Bloomberg said.
The Occupy Wall Street movement issued a statement an hour after the police action at Zuccotti Park began.
“Supporters and allies are mobilizing throughout the city, presently converging at Foley Square. Supporters are also planning public actions for the coming days, including occupation actions,” the statement said.
The Occupy Wall Street protesters had reportedly planned to cause a massive disruption in traffic on the streets of lower Manhattan Tuesday in an attempt to delay the opening of the New York Stock Exchange.

Commander in chief of Occupy Wall Street

November 8, 2011
Guess Who?

Cornell West? (I think so, not sure)

Van Jones Praises Occupy Wall Street
Van Jones Praises Occupy Wall Street
Elizabeth Warren

the next woman to get the police
to extradite your ass to Washington State

(Richard Baehr h/t Docs Talk) For three years after college, U.S. President Barack Obama was a community organizer on Chicago’s South Side. In September, his former green jobs czar, Van Jones, who left the White House after his radical background and views were exposed by Glenn Beck, promised that America would take to the streets in October, expanding Occupy Wall Street to a mass movement around the country. The president’s adviser, Elizabeth Warren, who helped form the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau and is now a U.S. Senate candidate in Massachusetts, claimed she created the intellectual foundation for Occupy Wall Street, remarks she has since backed away from a bit as the movement has turned violent, and others have challenged her proclaimed role. Democratic members of the House and Senate, and the president himself, have shown some affection or sympathy for the growing movement, and certainly for its message of the 1 percent versus the 99%.Since the Republicans took back control of the U.S. House, the president has led the charge with the mantra of “us (the great majority of Americans, asked to make sacrifices due to reduced federal spending) versus them (the rich and the corporations, who need to contribute more through higher taxes).” The president’s message has been divisive and stark — that the choice facing the country was whether to continue tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, corporate jet owners, oil companies and hedge funds, or to hire police, firefighters and teachers. Put simply, the president’s message was public need versus greed. The facts that the top 1% pays 38% of the income tax burden, and that its share of the tax burden has been rising faster than its share of national income, are not allowed to get in the way of the inequality demagoguery. The president’s proposals call for a top income tax rate of 45% on wages, interest and dividends, a top capital gains tax rate of 24%, a 2.5% Medicare tax, plus state and income taxes (as high as 10% in some states). The near 60% marginal tax rate would be almost double the top combined rate established 25 years ago by former U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s agreement with then New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley.

With polls showing the Democratic base dispirited and upset with the president for concessions to the Republicans in the debt ceiling compromise on deficits and federal spending, it should have been no surprise that the Occupy Wall Street movement was created to energize the Left, and make sure that its message of rising inequality (and the need for higher taxes on the rich and more redistribution) drove the debt ceiling/ deficits/federal spending debate off the front pages and cable news shows. Not surprisingly, the national media reports on Occupy Wall Street have whitewashed the ugliness (the rapes, thefts, violence, bad hygiene and anti-Semitism), giving full throat to the cause that the rich are getting richer, and the masses are stuck in place, and it is all the fault of the evil Wall Street bankers and other corporate villains. The liberal op-ed columnists have been busy releasing studies that purportedly show that rising inequality is suppressing jobs growth (the issue on which the president’s clear lack of success for the past three years is his greatest campaign vulnerability), and bad for the nation’s collective psyche. Presumably, class warfare and taking it to the streets are an elixir for the national mood.

OWS protesters construct a large, women-only tent to guard against perverts.
OWS protesters construct a large,
women-only tent to guard against perverts.

When the Tea Party became a national phenomenon in 2009, largely in opposition to the healthcare reform effort and rapidly rising federal spending and deficits, the media focus was very different — quick to spot any evidence of bigotry or threats of violence by the party, and to highlight the lack of racial diversity among its members. The Tea Party message was of course, viewed as unimportant, since it challenged the liberal/Keynesean consensus. It is also true that when older, white Americans rally to a cause, their group identity alone makes their cause less important than one with more colors among the membership.
In recent weeks, it has become more difficult for the media to completely ignore some of what is going on at various Occupy Wall Street sites. The multiple attacks on women in Zuccotti Park has led to the creation of a women-only tent, with female security personnel, to stop the groping, harassment and rape that have been going on fairly routinely for weeks. The national media would probably prefer to blame Herman Cain for these attacks.
The Occupy Boston group found time to occupy the Israeli Consulate to protest the latest failed flotilla effort. Occupy Oakland trashed a good part of downtown, as its protest turned violent. Occupy Atlanta may be in bed with the Nation of Islam. In Chicago and Washington, D.C., Occupy mobs interrupted conferences to spout their messages of class warfare.
That a far-Left movement is hostile to Israel and prone to violence and disruption should not come as any great surprise. The Occupy Wall Street movement has become in a sense a tapestry of much of the Obama coalition: unions, college students and professors (the Marxist-spouting philosopher kings of the movement), racial minorities, the homeless, and other walking wounded on the street. This is Obama’s real army, a big part of the grand coalition that carried him to victory in 2008 and that he needs again next year. As the president prepares to withdraw from Iraq this year and possibly Afghanistan next year, one gets the sense that the former community organizer may be more comfortable serving as commander in chief of this “army” now occupying the streets of cities across America, an army broadcasting the same class warfare message he delivers in a suit and tie.

As Crime Skyrockets in NYC, Bloomberg Focuses on Gun Control … in Virginia

October 30, 2011

Hey wasn’t the Holocaust nice? would of been nice if the Jews were for gun rights… then they might of had a chance. yeah that’s right… they don’t teach this in schools because it is offensive to Mommy and Daddy Socialist Yenta Jews, but the fact is that most of us were dumb asses and thought the state would protect us.

(Jammie wearing fool) With the NYPD tied up babysitting the Wall Street “occupiers” and crime spiraling out of control, the pipsqueak mayor of New York has decided to focus on the issue most important to New Yorkers. Gun control in Virginia. Is this guy for real?

Mayor Bloomberg is crossing state lines – and opening his wallet – in his latest salvo in his war to keep guns off city streets.
Bloomberg has donated $25,000 apiece to the campaigns of six Democratic candidates for the Virginia state Senate who share his strict beliefs on gun control, officials told the Daily News Friday.
The deep-pocketed mayor, who drew the ire of the Virginia attorney general when he ran gun stings there five years ago, will travel to Old Dominion to campaign for the candidates next week, the officials said.

It might be better if Bloomberg focused on rapist control in Zuccotti Park. One Virginia resident summed it up nicely.
“He’s an arrogant bastard who shouldn’t be meddling.”

(image: Colossus of New York (1958))