Looking for info on where I might find a showing of “The99percentfilm” I saw that an outfilt called “Participant Media” has the rights to it and are going to “air” it on Wednesday. With a name like that, I made the mistaken assumption that I’d be able to see it online. But no. They do the AJ America thing, and provide a link to see if my local cable company has the “Pivot TV” channel. No such luck. I’m on Comcast, the largest, in a major city, and no luck. So much for “Paticipatory” media.
I left this comment on their Facebook page:
so, for those of us who cant get the channel, why is it that Particpant Media isn’t distributing this filem online as well? Seems to fit the “People’s Media” concept in a way that cable TV seems to be unable/unwilling to do. Online is the ONLY way to get a “Particpant Media” that is truly paticipatory.
– see it in its context here
When are people (especially those seeking to get the word out from People’s movements), going to realize that the Cable companies and mainstream media are NOT our aliies? To direct us to “persuade our cable companies to carry the channel” are starting out on a dead end. What Al Jazeera English did at the beginning was to “JUst Do It” by going online and just doing the news on the street (as in the Arab Spring coverage that put them on the map). This audience of folks in America WAS their audience that put pressure on American Cable to carry their broadcast channel. But what has happened with the arrival of Al Jazeera America, is that we immediately get the AMERICAN version , which is to say, NO ONLINE coverage, and disconnection from the Al Jazeera English videos, including all archives. Incredible throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Al Jazeera is off the radar in America now. Their audience has been abandoned (the online, “Citizen Media” advocates, sick of the corporate hegemony over the information dissemination in this country. Now AJ would be viewers are directed to a “link” to look up their cable company and ask them to carry the “Cable Channel”. Old media at its most absolutely inane.
Some say “Occupy has disappeared”. That’s clueless. Others ask “Where is Occupy?” This has some definite answers. A lot is still happening. Occupying public spaces has been declared unlawful (and the “jury” is still out on that in terms of the way many American s think about public spaces and what they are for). But there are many other social/political spaces being occupied. OccupyHomes OccupySandy and Occupy-InsertCityHere are actively challenging and being present to local and national issues (Moral Mondays in NC pushing back vs Voter Supression efforts). So there’s no “absence” of Occupy. Carol Howard Merritt, who is one participant Monday night, wrote a Christian Century column “Where is Occupy” ( see here), and observes how the Civil Right movement , which came to national awareness through the Bus Boycott in Montgomery, grew and expanded BETWEEN the “big events” that are occasions for media coverage. If anything, our media today are even more devoted to the “flavor of the day” news coverage, and when “coverable events” like police pepper-spraying or clearing parks are “over”, then the “movement” is considered “absent” and “nothing to see here”, when those of us who remain involved know this to be illusionary on the media’s part. This are just a few of my thoughts going in, but this conversation has no limits. As we were saying as parks and public spaces were being cleared: “You can’t evict an idea”.
I’ve been making contacts with some people I know who are involved, as Christians and followers of Jesus, with Occupy. On Saturday I was made aware of a Christian Century article posted by Carol Howard Merritt (see it at http://www.christiancentury.org/blogs/archive/2013-09/where-occupy#.UisjD5CPmug.twitter )
It was an excellent recollection/where we are kind of piece that I consider important for all those who have been deeply hopeful about where the Occupy Movement might lead, and perhaps feeling a bit less hopeful or even disappointed at this point. Many of us feel that this is a “media induced” discouragement, based on the TV mantra that something needs “brodcastable, ratings grabbing headliner stuff like pepper spray and camp mismantlings, arrests, and “big events” to deem a movement “alive”. This is an illusion sold to us by our “action-packed” oriented media and culture.
Truth is, most movements are like the grass growing. Not too easy to get compelling video from that process, but the seeds bear fruit. Carol’s artcile draws some of those lessons from the Civil Rights movement that was identified as beginning from the Montgomery Bus boycott (but was happening for decades, even a century before that) and continued after, building a momentum and changing the way people reacted to issues of race. Even as MLK was in the midst of perhaps his biggest campaign and movement event yet (The Poor People’s March) , he was shot down in the process of continuing to mount the political pressure via a people’s movement. MLK had already “ventured out” in non-racial directions to a broader economic vision that was entirely about “the people” and not about just “a people”, and many in the black community didn’t think that was a good idea, and the powers at be were especially intimidated by that idea.
So let’s grab hold of some perspective on the process of change. Many of our biggest challenges have been a century long (or longer, and often are). This story that Occupy has brought to the national conversation of economic inequality and the 1% vs the 99% is itself an ancient story in world history. Let’s keep that in mind.