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October 7, 2011

My Favorite #OccupyWallStreet Photo So Far

My title was: Anthony “Pepper Spray” Bologna meets Jesus.  Go ahead, click it.

(photo: Paul Weiskel caption: Police arrest a man in New York City, during an Occupy Wall Street march, on September 25, 2011. The officer at right has been identified as Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna, who appeared to have pepper-sprayed several peaceful protesters in a number of videos found on YouTube. The NYPD has launched an internal probe into the allegations.)

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  • Anonymous

    Good picture of Tony Baloney. Compare the facial expressions: his, the guy under arrest, the guy with the guitar, and the cop in the middle.

  • glenn

    The blue-shirt cop in the center of the frame is amused. “Oh boy, check this out!” And I love the peace sign fingers showing over his shoulder.

    Who/what is the Jesus-guy focusing on – he’s interceding. His eyes are almost imploring someone, but who? You could almost imagine he’s raising his eyes to the heavens. Is that his guitar, way to the left? Is he naked?

    Bologna almost jumps out of the frame, he’s wheeling to confront the photographer. Lots of coiled energy here.

    The heavy-set cop to the left is appalled, like this is all getting out of control.

    The fellow who’s being detained is stoic, blank, resigned. He’s surrendered. His posture, face and hair remind me of paintings of he martyred St. Sebastian.

    Really cool photo, captures such a spectrum of emotions.

  • Thomas

    I’ve been wondering if the Occupy movement didn’t see the greatest challenge to its message this week in Steve Jobs’ death swamping the media landscape, and not just because it took attention away from the protestors vs. cops drama. It seems that much of the criticism of the protests I’ve seen is couched in this language of “these smelly hippies feel entitled to wealth that isn’t theirs, they should stop blaming other people and go make something of themselves,” just the rigid brand of individualism that erupted around Jobs’ death. 

    Here all of a sudden was the official counter narrative to the anti-corporate protests, the story of a self-made billionaire and creative genius CEO, a titan of industry and force for good, a mercurial and passionate artist, a great man of history who, by diligently tinkering in the garage and following his heart, changed the world, created fortunes, found the American Dream. And in doing so he set an example for us all, and left this world at peace with himself and beloved by the people.  His motivational speeches, magnetic personality, and uncompromising vision all lauded in the most effusive language, and set to music in multimedia expressions of gratitude.  

    In the struggle to occupy political territory, the violent cops may be less of an obstacle than the dearly departed Jobs, whose talent for weaving countercultural messages into corporate triumph made him a patron saint of unfettered capitalism.

    • omen

      it’s not an american dream when the system has incentivized shipping jobs overseas.

    • Anonymous

      You’re absolutely right, Thomas. At present this is a problem. But it’s a problem that can be transformed into an opportunity. Will we allow corporate interests and their media tools to co-opt the image and identity of the deceased Steve Jobs? This guy might have sold out later — whole ‘nother question — but his earliest, best years were spent challenging corporatocracy. And his entire life was spent promoting creativity.

      Might be salutary for those in a position to do so (BagNews perhaps?) to raise the public’s visual awareness of Jobs’s long-haired, hippy-dip, counter-cultural beginnings. Like when he stood so long in his bare feet selling Apple I’s at conventions that he finally had to go to soak them in a men’s room toilet. (Read the book Apple Confidential — out of print, I suspect, but certainly still accessible.)

      Point? What’s happening now with Wall Street and affiliated movements is what the young Steves were doing. They weren’t overtly political, but they did challenge the corporate establishment. I would dearly love for Wozniak to ensure that perspective is at least part of the mosaic we’re seeing. Not to intrude or distract, but see that full justice is done.

    • bks

       Jobs did us all a big favor by erasing Sarah Palin’s cockteasing act.


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  • omen

    if it’s not overt corporal punishment the police are dishing out, it’s a tangential form of abuse like this:

    we have all gotten so used to this kind of mistreatment that we hardly even notice it anymore.

    there is no good reason protesters should be denied tents. they’re being treated like garbage. getting by like this can’t be good for their health. these kids shouldn’t be denied a basic level of dignity everyone of us should be afforded. if you look at this big picture, the protesters are being flogged for being poor.

    this predates back to seattle and beyond. we collectively, as a society, have tolerated “authorities” beating the crap out of progressive activists (who’ve done nothing to provoke it) and treating them like dirt for merely exercising their first amendment rights. tea party demonstrators didn’t get treated this way. oh, there might be a week long of tut-tutting, but then nothing gets done. it needs to STOP. if we let the ruling elites to continue to push the envelope in denying us rights, one day we are going to wake up to a full blown police state. let’s not be like the frog in the pot, realizing too late the water is in a full roiling boil. like a bully, violence from the oligarchs will only escalate until we push back.

     - call bloomberg’s office to complain and leave a voice mail :(212) 788-1400
     - nyc police complaint line  : (718) 735-0611

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  • omen
    • glenn


  • Momly

    John the Baptist behind him is not too happy about it….

    Or maybe that’s Peter?

  • Earl Mardle

    Momly. That was my first thought as well. The naked? guy is not Jesus but John the Baptist.

    That changes Glenn’s comment. John is imploring but the arrested Jesus is quite calm and inwardly focused. He is not struggling nor is he afraid; he knew this is where it would lead and he is now going along for the ride to wherever it takes him next.

    Great pic.

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  • Thomas

    The media frenzy over Jobs’ passing, with the ritual (and breathless) retelling of his and Apple’s stirring origin mythologies, was essentially an enthusiastic endorsement of the status quo. The Occupy message may yet gain wider media favor, but I really think they lost the week.

  • Anonymous

    And, ironically, Jobs (capital “J’) both shipped jobs (lower case “j”) overseas and sheltered company cash there.

  • omen

    the economist richard wolff points out that all the start-ups that populate silicon valley, ones where the founders act as their own board of directors in deciding how to run the business – wolff reminds people this is actually a marxist model.

    republicans praise this kind of entrepreneurism without recognizing it for what it is.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe so, and I definitely respect Wolff and would love to follow his line of reasoning. (Thanks for the h/t!) But I’d hate for public discourse to get distracted by loaded terms like “Marxist.”

    Right now [especially in this BNN context! :-) ] I think we should focus on trying to make sure the image of Jobs that’s impacting the public imagination is one that complements the current movement rather than denigrating and distracting from it.

    The overall problem this weekend is headlines and focus. And the immediate problem is the bobble-head charade that will begin in just a few hours. If anyone here knows any way to … Hopeless, I guess.

  • Anonymous

    I hadn’t thought of syndicalism for a long time (despite its being such a cool-sounding word!). I recollect it as a social/political movement that began in the 19th century, but I’ll have to refresh my memory. So little time, so many books. :-(

  • omen

    i offered the wolff observation as a personal aside or interesting trivia. not for inclusion in some campaign.

    another term, however, that warrants attention paid is syndicalism. because its ethos echoes what is being practiced by the ows movement. one of their organizers wrote a book entitled horizonalism. detailing her experience in argentina where these tactics were honed.

    the documentary the take exemplifies the kind of outcomes this movement has already achieved.

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