Huh. Well, having followed this rather obsessively for more than a week now, I have to say that's not the video I see posted and tweeted and shared over and over again. Maybe the views it's getting are partly *because* it's so out there? Honestly, of all the photos and videos and interviews and tweets I've encountered so far, this would be at the fringe of the messages I'm hearing from Occupy Wall Street. The Paulistas turn up all over the place - along with 9/11 Truthers - but I suspect as time goes on and things solidify, they'll probably end up feeling less comfortable at Occupy gatherings, rather than more.
But, y'know, anything could happen, I guess.
Also, before we get too carried away with the whole Tea Party + Occupy Wall Street scenario (e.g. this), maybe it's worth looking at some history. In the 1920s & 30s, there was a similar explosion of activism in the streets, which was just as diverse as today, with similarly blurred distinctions between left wing (socialist, communist, anarchist, etc) and right wing (national socialist, fascist). It was messy and confusing and its consequences (politically an socially) were complex but immense.
I think it's asking a bit much to expect anyone to sum up what's going on in simple good-bad terms, or to make sense of it in a single column. What's happening is an explosion - with all the chaos and confusion that implies. But it's an explosion of discussion and thinking and ideas, as much as anything else.
I feel more compelled right now to dive into the chaos and engage than I have in years. It's a moment of openness and potential and possibility - in stark contrast to the rigid hopelessness of the last 20-30 years. And that's exciting and fills me with hope - for all the confusion and fear it also provokes.
When people take to the street, things are always messy and confused. Actual politically engaged democracy-in-action tends to get like that.
God knows, if you sampled the views of a random selection of people in street protests during the 1960s or 1930s, you'd get a fairly similar sense of messy confusion. Or, for that matter, Tahrir Square earlier this year.
Actually, I quite like CUPcake. I might start calling my wife that...