More from the “Had To Happen” files

No societal phenomenon worth its salt escapes the rapier wit and jabbing mockery of Parker and Stone!

Fast and furious on the moneygrubbing heels of this little explosion of Occupy Wall Street Capitalism comes the penultimate harbinger of a movement mainstreaming — being the inspiration for an episode of South Park:

It was only a matter of time: South Park has something to say about Occupy Wall Street. On Wednesday night, Trey Parker and Matt Stone‘s Comedy Central series ran an episode titled “1%” that drew some topical humor and mild-to-moderate jabs from the ongoing #OWS protests sweeping the country.

The storyline is analogous, but its intent is clear.   And though some on the right were soiling themselves with excitement in feverish anticipation of a South Park episode that they hoped would slice and dice the 99%ers, the episode lampooned the 1% in equal measure.  (Though this is one time I wouldn’t have minded seeing them get the usual way more than their fair share.)

8 Responses to “More from the “Had To Happen” files”

  1. 1 fhg1893 Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Actually JJ, I think there were a lot more barbs thrown at the media than at either to occupiers, or the 1%.

    Media circus over 4 people. LOL

  2. 2 fhg1893 Friday, November 4, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Come to think of it, what’s your take on the “Occupy” movement JJ? I’ll tell you mine, not that I’ve followed it much.

    I think people have a legitimate point. When the money doesn’t flow, we all suffer, except of course, the upper 1%. Furthermore, the Securities and Exchange Commission is supposed to police Wall Street, but in reality it’s the most ineffective and ineffectual law enforcement agency ever. Wall Street pretty much gets away with everything, the SEC does nothing.

    However, Parker and Stone’s message resonates with me loud and clear. What do the occupiers really hope to accomplish? For one thing, in various places they’ve shoehorned a number of disparate political ideas into a one big messy conglomerate. The message is in danger of being lost under a huge mess of different causes. Second, peaceful protests by and large don’t work. The success of non-violent passive resistance is extremely context sensitive. It worked for Ghandi because he was able to effectively shut down an entire country. They allowed themselves to be arrested and filled the jails beyond capacity, they SHUT EVERYTHING DOWN – a bus couldn’t get from point A to point B because of all the people lying down infront of it. As far as I know, it hasn’t worked since! There could be a marginal impact, but this movement seems to be going mostly unnoticed with the exception of disproportionate media attention, as so accurately lampooned by Parker and Stone. Occupy the restroom! LOL! 🙂

    It’s gotten really silly that in a lot of places the media covering the protests seems to be outnumbering the protesters themselves.

    Also, Michael Moore. 🙂

  3. 3 JJ Friday, November 4, 2011 at 11:14 am

    It’s gotten really silly that in a lot of places the media covering the protests seems to be outnumbering the protesters themselves.

    What’s really weird is that for the first couple of weeks of these protests, the media pretty much ignored them. Nothing to see here, haha. Then they got obsessed with them.

    As for my take on it, well, it’s a little nuanced.

    Ever since the crash I’ve thought people should hit Wall Street en masse with pitchforks & torches, raid Goldman Sachs and the rest of the Swine Shops, and KICK ASS HARD. So I was glad when this Occupy Wall Street thing started — their message wasn’t that clear at first, but so what? Anyone who’s been reading the news for the last 5 years should know why they’re there. The thing that really impressed me about them was that they weren’t just a bunch of fringe cranks blithering anti-capitalist slogans — those were there too, but mostly it was just regular middle class people. That’s a real populist movement. That’s a movement that can succeed.

    Then there’s the Canadian version, which I’m not so impressed with. And I’ll just leave it at that since some of my fellow travellers just can’t abide a dissenting opinion, especially from someone who’s already got one(1) other dissenting opinion (guns). Someone called me a Teabagger at another site! 😯 😆

  4. 4 fhg1893 Friday, November 4, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Ouch! I can see why you’re not a joiner. Yours is not a road I’d like to travel.

    I have to agree with you about the pitchforks and torches after the crash. The US government had the moral imperative to let Goldman Sachs et al fail. If the SEC is THAT ineffective, fine, but when they get themselves into trouble, well… too freaking bad. “Aw your company is bankrupt because you made a shitload of stupid decisions? Well you got yourselves into this mess, you get yourselves out.” Sadly that didn’t happen, and the occupy movement is but a poor shadow of what proper outrage should look like. But that’s my take. I hope some good comes of this.

    But of course, that’s the American side where their grievances at least seem to make sense. In Canada well….

    There are some reasonable demands here. They’re unfortunately the vast majority. And then….

    Well… here’s a few highlights:

    “We demand that the banks be nationalized and limit interest payments to 1%”

    Ohhh kay… I believe that the Bank of Canada’s key overnight rate is what… 1%? And despite Carney’s desires to increase the rate, he hasn’t done that. I guess they mean on credit cards? But wait, it gets better.

    “The Board of Directors of the Bank of Canada and top tier management must now include at least 50% representatives for Labour/wage earners and the balance must contain a mix of academics as well as business people.”

    What is this? I don’t even. Do they even know what the Bank of Canada does?

    “The mandate of the Bank of Canada must now include the pursuit of low unemployment in addition to low inflation.”

    Apparently, they need the Bank of Canada to become the nation’s largest employer… How it’s going to make any money with what I’m guessing is a board stacked with 50% Union bosses they don’t bother to explain.

    “We demand that a “ministry of whistle-blowing” be created with the power to protect any whistle blower – corporate or otherwise from harm of any kind. We need to be able to safely call attention to injustice. Previous failed attempts to do this should be learned from.”

    A “ministry of whistle-blowing?” Why not just call it minitruth and get that kick-started?

    “We demand Canada pulls out of the SPP – the “Security and Prosperity Partnership” – the military and economic harmonization between Canada and the United States. Canada must remain sovereign.”

    Okay. Canada must remain sovereign. Fine. I wonder how we’re going to do that without a military?

    “We demand a majority of the defense budget be redistributed to health, education and housing.”

    This one is a real head-scratcher.

    “We demand that “none of the above” be an option on all electoral ballots.”

    What? Why? What will that accomplish? Isn’t that the same as simply not voting? Also, not voting is cheaper.

    “We demand – as Bertrand Russell suggested – there be two police forces – one to prove your guilt and another to prove your innocence”

    As if the cops didn’t already have too much power, you want to create more of them? And how are police going to prove a person’s innocence? That’s why we have the presumption of innocence written into the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as a crucial protection against state-power. Sadly, we threw that essential right under the bus with C-68, the Firearms Act, and it’s status remains UNKNOWN to this day because of it. Adding a second police force seems likely to add MORE reverse onus, not remove it!

    But here’s where we get to their real meaty demands.

    “We demand the repeal of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. All synthetic drugs, and hard drugs (including cocaine and heroin) must be distributed by perscription through a pharmacist.”

    Just what we need… the government sanctioning of the most addictive, life-destroying substances known to human kind, and no, I’m not talking about 420 here, nor am I on a moral crusade against it. As if heroin, a drug that so conditions the nervous system to feel absolutely NOTHING, that going off of it renders the SLIGHTEST stimulation, the normal stimulation of the nervous system that exists in all human beings just by existing on the Earth EXCRUCIATINGLY painful, FORCING the addict to get more, and more and more of the drug just to be able to get out of bed wasn’t bad enough, I’m guessing this list would include things like THE BIG SCARY ONE: Phencyclidine. PCP. You know, four year old kid on the phone, “Daddy ate my eyes” Angel. Fucking. Dust. This is EXACTLY what Canada needs, cannot wait one more second, yes. Let’s have the government sanction the prescription use of a drug that causes the most horrifying psychotic episodes known to human kind.

    As much as I’d like to see more drugs become controlled like alcohol, the evidence shows that a lot of us just can’t be trusted to keep it under control, and all of us will end up having to pick up the ridiculous medical bills for a small, stupid segment of the population. Plus, you just know that some asshole is going to try to abuse this and try to sell this stuff to a group of 5 year old children. Accepting this demand will by definition mean that this behavior won’t be a crime. I know I seem like a big-squishy Libertarian, but I go teeth and claws on people who hurt children, or who would put a child who cannot yet make their own decisions into harm’s way like that. Age of majority? Fine. If you’re gonna fuck yourself up on smack, fill your boots. At least have the courtesy to do yourself in from the comfort of your own bedroom, and don’t expect our help when you suddenly realize that this wasn’t such a good idea in the first place. We knew that, and if you’re too stupid to figure it out for yourself, well, that’s just natural selection at work. I’ll be happy to nominate you for a Darwin Award, and you can be a warning to the next ten generations that a drug that seriously fucks with your nervous system is usually a bad idea. But if you do ANYTHING to hurt a child, I can’t help the overwhelming feeling of wanting to END YOU as painfully as possible, preferably in as many pieces as possible.

    Sorry, angry rant over.

    There’s more to it, but I’m sure you can read it for yourself. I think I still have some residual anger from one particularly stupid idea.

  5. 5 JJ Friday, November 4, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    OMG, you had to post that thing! Bwahahaha! Thanks for the Friday night laugh. That pdf confirms everything I suspected about the Canadian version of the Occupy movement. With a few exceptions (and I do mean a *few*), their List Of Demands reads like a goofy, economically-illiterate adolescent daydream.

    These are frighteningly super-big-government people. They seem to like the idea of using the state’s coercive power to BAN everything they don’t like. Ban this, prohibit that, WTF?

    One of my favourites was their demand to make the CBC “immune from budget cuts” by making it commercial free. Huh? I don’t follow this logic at all. The more it relies on gov’t funding, the less “immune” it is to cuts. Selling commercial time gives it a small measure of independence, so this makes no sense at all.

    After reading through all those demands I have to wonder: where do they think the money to fulfill their demands will come from? Scary 😯

    Oh well, I’ll try reading through it again, without laughing out loud this time.

  6. 6 JJ Saturday, November 5, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Hmph. Having another look at this document in the harsh light of day.

    My only comment so far is fuck, it’s hard to read. Instead of putting “we demand” 59 times, wouldn’t it be better to just put “we demand” once at the top in a larger typeface (maybe Helvetica Bold) and then list the demands in bullet points in smaller type? Plus, a little more white space would be nice, and maybe a small, tasteful graphic somewhere to break the monotony and keep the reader’s eye traveling down the page…

    They need someone with copywriting/marketing skills.
    If any occupiers are reading, I’m available for $25/hour… but for you guys, I’ll make it a gift at $20/hr.

  7. 7 JJ Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 7:53 am

    fhg – update – There’s a rumour going around on Twitter that this list is a hoax. Maybe, maybe not. Some of the ideas are wildly stupid, and some (not many, but some) make actual sense, so I’m more inclined to think it’s real. A hoax would have 100% goofy ideas, rather than just 99%.

    99%!!? 😯

  8. 8 fhg1893 Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Well JJ, one group from Occupy Vancouver came out and said, “no, these aren’t our demands. These are from a splinter group” or something to that effect.

    So, I don’t think it’s a hoax per say. I think it’s more of a case of not really having clearly defined objectives, and trying to shoehorn every hard-left political idea into one big messy jumble. Seems to me it’s a bit like this:

    So I have to agree with you, again. The US movement seems to make some sense, though I’m not as optimistic about them achieving anything as you are.

    The Canadian version however…

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