WhatThey Want

Take a tour round the NBC Nightly News website, or suffer thirty minutes of their evening program, and you’ll be left with more questions than answers. For twenty minutes of the show Brian Williams will display to you all the nasty things currently occurring in or around America. But the last short segment always praises some lone US individual doing something ‘good’ or unselfish, even if usually irrelevant, for some other lone US individual, or small group of US individuals. It’s all designed to make you feel it’s ‘Making A Difference’, even if, in the great scheme of things, it’s making absolutely no difference at all.[1]

Have you noticed how, whenever the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protestors come up in the media, (or, are deigned to be noticed by right-wing politicians) one of the key questions raised is: “What do they want?”

Recently, NBC Nightly News drew on the services of an ‘expert’ in the field to assess the potential impact of this large group camping out in a New York park, and elsewhere around the country. His assessment was that, ‘they needed to identify what it is they want’. They all seem, he said, to want different things.

What the f**k! No, they all want the same thing. They all want a fair and just society. They all want to stop being shafted by greedy wankers whose sole purpose in life is to rob the ordinary people of their hard-earned cash, so said greedy wankers don’t have to do a day’s honest labor in their lives.

They all want back their tax money that was given away, first by George W Bush and then Barack Obama, as so-called ‘bail-outs’ to a load of stinkingly-wealthy bankers whose immediate reaction was to pay themselves and their buddies obscene amounts of said tax money as ‘bonuses’ for doing sweet F.A., while congratulating themselves on how bloody clever they’ve been at swindling the government into giving them so much of other people’s cash.

They all want an end to the blatantly immoral practices of price-hiking and profiteering that puts profits before people.

Tonight, NBC Nightly News ran a segment explaining how a congressional investigation had revealed shortages in vital cancer drugs, caused by certain companies buying up these drugs at cut-price ($12 per phial), pushing up the price by creating a shortage, then selling them to cancer centers and hospitals at highly inflated prices ($950 a phial).

It doesn’t just happen with cancer drugs, such practices are prevalent throughout America and condoned by politicians, many of whom are happy to assist in pocketing the profits. It’s become ‘clever’ to make a buck (or, maybe, a million) at someone else’s misfortune.

“Fuck you, Jack, I’m alright.” I think I’ve written about that before.

One piece of ‘cheering’ news tonight, according to NBC, was recent action by the government to force cell phone companies to ‘inform’ their customers when they’re about to go over their monthly ‘limit’. Now, they’ll have to let you know if you’ve texted your boy/girl friend too many times, before charging you horrendously for daring to use their product too frequently. Anchor Williams was fairly brimming with public bonhomie as he cheerily passed on this news. Nowhere was there any suggestion the cell phone companies might, perhaps, simply lower their grossly inflated charges. Oh, no, that wouldn’t be American.

The good people occupying a New York park have had enough. They want an end to it. They all want an end to it. They want to live in a decent, fair, society. They want back their houses that the crooked bankers stole from them with worthless mortgages; they want some of the debt repaid that greedy finance houses imposed on them with credit card rates in excess of twenty-five percent, when the bank rate was 2% or less; they want to visit a doctor or a hospital without having to bankrupt themselves; they want to go to college and university without a lifetime of debt hanging over their heads; they want back the income stolen from them by racketeers and pension fund managers who bought out their workplaces for a quick profit then closed them down, or the corporates who sacked them and moved their factories to cheap-skate China.

Most of all, they want back the America, and its values, their fathers and grandfathers fought and died for in World War II.

What part of that does NBC and its ilk not understand?

[1] NBC Nightly News (No need for any date – it’s the same every night!)

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3 Replies to “WhatThey Want”

  1. The understand only too well, RJA, as you and I only know too well.

    Their puppeteers, of course, dance them to their corporatocracy/oligarchy tunes.

    I don’t have teevee thank Maude, but I can just imagine the phoney gravitas with which such statements are uttered.

    What do THEY want indeed.


  2. I haven’t seen Brian Williams’ show, and only catch snippets of others now and again, but can imagine how they’re all twisting themselves in knots trying not to acknowledge what’s really going on with OWS, so’s not to aggravate their corporate bosses.

    Nice piece, RJ! another of my favourite writers, Prof. David Michael Green in his piece “We Are Not Your Human Resources”
    He said of the silly “what is their message?” crap:
    “And if thousands decide to occupy Wall Street, what ever might one imagine is the reason they are there in particular? Because lower Manhattan has the best falafel stands?

    Still can’t figure it out, Masters of the Universe and talking head plastic media arbiters of American culture? How about this for a hint: The protesters keep chanting, “We are the 99 percent! We are the 99 percent!” What could that possibly mean?”

  3. Well, of course, throughout history, there have always been dissenting voices: malcontents, whingers who want to spoil it for everyone else (see latest post on my blog. And thanks RJ for encouraging me to write.)

    No social health programme? What better incentive for people to stay well?

    As for the unemployed – when they had jobs they were always banging on about wanting more ‘leisure time’. Now they’ve got it, and they’re still not satisfied.

    I think Charles Dickens’ Mr Bounderby had it right when he said they “…expect to be… fed on turtle soup and venison, with a gold spoon…”

    Must go – I need to buy some shares.

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