In which I buy a house and ramble about anarchy - Tactical Ninja
Oct. 3rd, 2011
09:15 am - In which I buy a house and ramble about anarchy
Today I will spend more money than I ever have in my life before. The funny thing is, I don't actually do anything, it's all about solicitors running around with briefcases and some magic button that has to be pushed and I just sit there and await a phone call that says "Come get the keys!" (and the swipe card). It's all a bit exciting. Tonight I'll probably have a minor freakout like "OMG I AM SO FAR IN DEBT HOLYCRAPHOLYCRAPARGH!!" and by tomorrow I'll be all "Right, so about that balcony vegie garden.."
At some point I have to get another swipe card since the Youth of Today will also need to be able to get in. I'm told this involves talking to the BodyCorpManagerOfDoom. I don't wanna. Clearly I'm not over his being a dick about not giving me the last lot of info I needed, but maybe he'll be nicer now I actually own the thing. I hope so.
Apparently that's what the Cake Tin is called these days. For those who don't live here, Wellington's sports stadium looks like a giant cake tin. Vis:
It's actually called Westpac Stadium because it's sponsored by Westpac (Australian bank). Only, since the Rugby World Cup is all about protecting its corporate sponsors, of whom Westpac is not one clearly, the 'Westpac' name has been taken off the sides. So now it's just "STADIUM".
Yes folks, this is what your tax dollars are paying for.
"But hang on, don't the corporate sponsors pay for that?"
Maybe, but if that's the case, how does NZ end up with a projected $500million deficit on this event? And in case you're going "Wow gee that's an old link Tats", have a look at this one that was published on Friday, saying that tourists aren't spending anywhere near fast enough to meet the predictions of how much NZ would get out of this.
On the upside of the RWC, the only impacts it's had on me personally have been the instability in Firefox caused by the app I installed to screen out rugby comments on Twitter, and having even more people ask me for directions. The tourists have actually been pretty good, and I'm mostly managing to avoid NZ rugby fans. There have been a few more "Ew don't step there" moments than usual, including one where someone had taken a dump on the pavement just down the road from my work. Overall though, it's been better so far than I thought it'd be. And there's only a week or so left of it in Wellington.
I've been thinking about the anarchy thing. It's a label that's being bandied about around the #Occupy movement because it's essentially leaderless. It's a label that was applied to the group that organised the protest I attended on Saturday. People seem quite keen to use it, but I think it's a bit wrong.
Anarchy, according to Wikipedia, means the absence of a recognised state. It follows that anarchists would be those who advocated for the absence of a recognised state. I didn't see anyone on Saturday doing that and I'm not seeing many people involved in the #Occupy movement that are expressing those sentiments. I'm seeing a whole bunch of other agendas expressed, including some that are just "I don't know what the hell's wrong I just know it's wrong", but there's virtually nobody out there saying "FUCK YEAH NO GOVERNMENT!"
So I would like to point out that being unhappy with the way the current government is running things and being willing to stand up and say so does not in itself make one an anarchist. I'm certainly not an anarchist. I'm more of a socialist - I want more government and to pay more tax, and for education to be free due to said taxation, healthcare to be free due to said taxation, welfare to be a right that comes without strings due to said taxation, and a government that gives a shit about how we're all in this together. And I fail to see how this can be construed as being an anarchist just because I protest.
I can see how the anti-police sentiment expressed by some at Saturday's protest could be detrimental to the overall acceptance of the activity - but that's not anarchy either. There may have been some anarchists in Saturday's protest but I did not see or speak to anyone who claimed to want no government. There are a lot of things that could be said about those people (and are being said) - but I think any application of the label 'anarchists' is misguided. Likewise the #Occupy movement is not an anarchist movement.
Self professed anarchist.
That up there? That would be me, showing my age. *cough*
Anyway, speaking of the #Occupy movement, this weekend there was an interesting carry-on on Brooklyn Bridge, in which it appears protestors were netted in and then systematically arrested. I haven't seen final numbers but the estimates are around 500. Not having been there, I have no idea what actually happened. The police are saying the protestors went on the road when they shouldn't so they were obstructing traffic, and the cops stopped them. I find myself wondering how long it would have taken to clear the bridge had the protestors not been netted in and arrested. Maybe an hour? As it was, they were there all afternoon.
Meanwhile, the New York Times gets snapped out doing retrospective spin:
And in World of Warcraft, the Oompa Loompas of AIE show solidarity by occupying Ironforge:
And it seems North America's largest industrial union, the United Steelworkers' Union (850,000 members) has also announced its support for #OccupyWallStreet. And it isn't just Wall Street anymore. There are movements springing up all over the US, and as far as I know there is also one in Greece and one in Chile. I was told this morning there's likely to be something happening here in Auckland on October 15th. That's a Facebook link so I can't access it, but if you're interested, go have a look.
So my questions to you all today are: How many people have to be involved in this movement before people stop acting as if it's still only rich white students? How many have to be arrested before it's not treated like some kid's party? How many unions have to back them before their cause is seen as valid? How long do they have to camp there before they are seen as serious? And how many other cities/countries have to take up the cause before those who actually agree with them stop sneering at them for being the only ones that stand up?
Finally, I'd like to provide feedback to the organisers of Saturday's protest, based on the discussion here and in other places about what put people off, what could have been done better, etc. Remember, we all agreed with the point of the protest, it was the attitude that created problems. If we want protests we aren't embarrassed to be a part of and they want the support of less extreme people, it can't hurt for some feedback to be presented. Anyone else want in on that?
To those who asked to see the Anonymous essay, I haven't forgotten - I'll post it later today. Last chance to be in on that.
Yesterday I got email from my current lecturer telling me she hopes I'll do postgrad study because "you seem to have a knack for research." I am squeeing over this vote of confidence. And on Friday, I was contacted by the guy I've been doing research assistant work for, asking me to do some analysis work for money, and offering me a writing credit on the result. To which I go "My name? On a thing? Hell yes!" And it's actually in my field too! O.o
(i'm still not sure why it's good to have your name on a thing but i do know it's good so yay!)
Right, I'm off to go obsessively refresh my bank account to see if I bought a house yet.