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Nurse Ratched finds a new Occupation

By Michael J. Smith on Tuesday November 8, 2011 05:25 PM

There's a chap on one of my Lefty mailing lists -- call him Brunellus -- who belongs to that irritating but fortunately now rare species, the CP Democrat. (That's the original Brunellus at left, a far more amiable and intelligent creature than my mailing-list pest.) Comrade Brunellus is one of only two or three individuals, on all my mailing lists, whom I have listed in my bozo filter; his communications go straight onto the dungheap.

Today however I saw fragments of a Brunellogram quoted by another participant, and I was intrigued enough to do a bit of dumpster-diving. I'm glad I did. Brunellus had posted this astonishing piece in its entirely:

Occupy’s Asshole Problem: Flashbacks from An Old Hippie

by Sara Robinson

I wish I could say that the problems that the Occupy movement is having with infiltrators and agitators are new. But they’re not.

... It is absolutely OK to insist on behavior norms.... Being open and accepting does not mean that we’re obligated to accept behavior that damages our ability to achieve our goals. It also means that we have a perfect right to insist that people sharing our spaces either act in ways that further those goals, or go somewhere else until they’re able to meet that standard.

2. It is OK to draw boundaries between those who are clearly working toward our goals, and those who are clearly not. Or, as an earlier generation of change agents put it...

Oh, go read the whole thing. You'll be glad you did.

You'll love all the therapeutic/managerial turns of phrase -- 'behavior norms', 'achieve our goals', 'meet the standard', 'space', 'mission', 'empowered', 'confront', 'intervention', 'change agents' and of course boundaries, boundaries -- the word kept tolling dismally throughout the piece like a cracked bell.

Of course what it came down to, quite explicitly, was the ultima ratio pwoggorum: calling the cops, who we were told would consequently 'respect us more'. And of course it goes without saying that obtaining the respect of the cops should be a high priority for all of us.

My favorite line: 'It might make sense to create a large committee whose job it is to gather information [and] build cases against offenders'.

The author, we're told, is a 'senior fellow' at the 'Campaign for America's Future' -- which is to say, a Democrat. Clearly, her idea of an Occupation is a sanctimonious po-faced PC hellhole, lousy with petty tyrants and hall-monitors, like... like... like the Center For American Progress, or I miss my guess. A place where muffled sidelong sadism wears the stony mask of Tough Love, and the cadre are all police informants -- not just some of them, which is the more usual situation.

Can't make this shit up, as the man said.

Comments (28)

Happy Jack:

It takes a special breed of power monger to be willing to stand in a circle for a few hours haranguing a victim.

Is the circle created so they can splay their victim on the ground to produce a peace symbol?


The peace symbol would not be complete without a toilet plunger up the offender's ass. Fortunately, the cops can be relied on to provide that:


Al Schumann:

The last time I heard from Sara Robinson she was alerting us to the fascist menace of tea bagging Republicans. They were attempting a coup, if I recall correctly.

This is the kind of thinking that has to be browbeaten into us as children. Naturally you'd take a look at this situation and ask, "Who gets to decide who 'we' are? Who gets to decide what 'our' goals are?" But to any socialized adult it doesn't sound that ridiculous, for it is a part of everyday language, and the cultural signposts are obvious. 'We' are the ones who follow along with the loud, obnoxious and overbearing people who most people are afraid to take on for fear of upsetting that kettle of seething anger, the kind you've seen since you were a child. The kind that doesn't brook any sort of questioning. "Oh, you think there might be a different way? Well, you sound like a provocateur! Anyone disagree?" So basically what I'm saying is that authority sucks man!

Really Al, does a Tea Bagger fascist coup really sound that outrageous? I mean, have you even watched FoxNews???


Blogfriend Jack from a kindred disposition::

... [the good liberal] declares that violence itself violates the so-called will of the majority, a will he asserts but conveniently fails to demonstrate. This is to be expected from a social-compacter. He treats with riots as events which must be disavowed, and he waggles his finger at the very notion that those who are not toothlessly pacific could ever represent a valid approach to the depredations of the powerful. For [Michael] Moore, [Rachel] Maddow and other progressive gatekeepers, the majority exist to give their consent to the social contract. For liberals like Moore, "the people" and "the majority" serve a sacramental function. They give their holy, collective blessing to the state of society. When the rich and powerful become "corrupted," the people exist to signal to their leaders that a period of renewal and purification should be observed until the body politic has been restored to its true and blessed estate, reforms have been discussed and occasionally implemented, and a sacred balance has been struck between the consent vesting majority and those who have been given the holy duty of leading and shepherding them.

That is why, for liberals like Moore and Maddow (and especially those who serve as gatekeepers), the only appropriate action for the people, the only unfolding of events to which they ascribe any merit, is that which is symbolic. For Moore, standing at the gate with his hand on the handle, violence threatens that sacramental relationship between shepherd and sheep.



I picture a mid-Victorian progenitor of Ratched, fortressed within the rigors of a crinoline hoop-skirt, index finger pointed upward like a spire, and raising distinctions, as she needs must do, between the deserving and the undeserving poor.

The object is not to shame or blame. Instead, it’s like an intervention.

This will hurt us more than it hurts you. We speak in jest. Who says that we lack humor?

Everybody else simply stands in a circle around the offender, watching silently, looking strong and determined.

We regress yet even further in the annals of time. Mistress Prynne, you are acquainted with these good folk of Salem?

“I saw you smoking a joint with X and Y under tree Z this morning."

I saw all of them under a tree, S-M-O-K-I-N-G.

"We’re all worried about the cops here."

So we're going to be cops ourselves.

"And of course it goes without saying that obtaining the respect of the cops should be a high priority for all of us."

Stockholm Syndrome?

Oh but wait, I recall once in a thread here on SMBIVA where some fuckhead faithfully informed me that cops are working class folks keeping peace in the "rough parts" of town, and thus we should support them.

The cops are here to support the Status Quo Ante. If you like how things are now, then you support the cops, if you don't, then not so much.


Got it, Antonello. Becoming cops ourselves -- because that's really what we always wanted to be.

Well, I'm no expert on boundaries (eeeeww) or behavioral norms (spit), but I really do wish to hell OccupyDC would run the Paultard campers out with baseball bats and pipe wrenches. There's a clutch of Paultards camped at McPherson Square while, at the same time, the Ron Paul campaign's "Campaign For Liberty" ran a literature table inside the Americans For Prosperity shindig at the Convention Center. Talk about more irony than you can stand. But, aaaa-aaanyway, long story short: I'm not big on "norms" or "boundaries", but I wish OccupyDC would kick the goddamn' Paultards out. The frickin' Zeitgeist cranks are bad enough.

As far as the "information-gathering committee" and the traditional sucking-up-to-the-police contingents go... I believe the anarchists have a great characterization of that kind of behavior; they refer to it as "the cop inside your head".

I cited the "cop inside your head" principle at the first A16 organizing meeting I attended back in '00 when the facilitators brought up the Nonviolence™ Pledge (spit). The Rodney King beating was still fresh in my memory, and the TV images of police thuggery in Seattle had just been recently seared into my brain, so I sure as hell wasn't having any part of any goddamn pledge of Nonviolence™. I told them flat-out that I thought there was nothing noble or admirable about just sitting there and letting a guy in a helmet and body armor tear-gas, pepper-spray and club the shit out of me, and I was prepared to do whatever it takes to defend myself.

Let's just say they weren't exactly thrilled to hear that.

Fadduh Smiff sez on 11.08.11 @17:25:
You'll love all the therapeutic/managerial turns of phrase -- 'behavior norms', 'achieve our goals', 'meet the standard', 'space', 'mission', 'empowered', 'confront', 'intervention', 'change agents' and of course boundaries, boundaries...

I thought "empowerment" was a really righteous-assed term for about a month about twenty years ago; these days, whenever I hear someone use it, it takes all my strength to control my Fist Of Death.

Same with "change agent"; I want to beat the shit out of people who use that one, too. They should be made to wear a neon sign around their own necks, flashing I HAVEN'T HAD A SINGLE GODDAMN' ORIGINAL IDEA IN MY ENTIRE FUCKING LIFE.

Seriously, you guys -- and you know who you are -- the early '90s called, and they want their cheesy socio-political buzzwords back.

Ugh. Who wants to read himself in comments?



"Empowered" is the worst. It suggests the whole range of benefits which accrue from having the, er, enhanced position in an unequal relationship, but elides all the ways you have to do that inequality to get those benefits.

Over Corrente way (and please don't get me wrong, they're honest, good and earnest people) there's this whole long discussion about how the "black bloc" types are spoiling the purity of the Occupy thing with their hateful refusal to get with the consensus.

That's the problem with the GA, consensus sharing democratism what seems to to out of college tweaked minds: it rejects one model of ownership of others in favor of an ultimately less honest one. The naked power relationship between an oligarch and his prey animals has the virtue of a reduction in mystification.

With democratism, on the other hand, you get the same core of centralists and other people with control issues, but hiding behind a bunch of bromides and platitudes which confuse what's really going on.

And that's what is taking place within the Corrente discussion of how the filthy pot smoking yutes with their profanity and hoods ruined Oakland: their chief complaint is that they didn't respect the presumed ownership of the movement by the General Assembly, and that in operating independently of a central committee, they had failed to ask for permission from and seek the approval of he so called leadership of the people's court, to go about doing disruption of the police raid.

Fucking democratism is just another way to re-package social property as a function of a ruling elite.

There's certainly any number of valid complaints about bad tactics and worse timing, but the undercurrent of propertarian claims on the actions of others is enough to provoke a strong disgust.


cp democrats ???

is sarah robinson manifesting the webb line ??

yes isolate the extreme right is the webb line
and anti fascist alerts fit that bill ...i guess

but cone hat sadism...sam webb ???

yes ublic schools are run by these types

but my dear old gus hall CP remnant ???


I doubt that Sara is CP -- as you note, the phraseology is all wrong. But I'm pretty sure my man Brunellus is.


anti black block

soft hoof trot hysterics


lu lu :

" They are objectively agents provocateurs"

ah "objectively"

lu lu
"But the fucking black bloc only does their bullshit when the masses are mobilized, thus allowing the bourgeois press to write about all the “violence” and turn the criminal into the victim, and the victim into the criminal. "

"These scumbags are parasites. At least the Weathermen had the guts to pull off their “days of rage” bullshit on a day when there was no mass mobilization. The black bloc are a bunch of pussies by comparison"

pussies ??

why lu lu
your skirt is flying

now for some serious clashing greek style :

"have you written anywhere of the street battles between the KKE and the anarchists in Greece?"

" I’d be curious"
curious ??

" to know your take on a hyper-Stalinist Communist Party combating violent anarchists bent on killing communists. Do you take a side? Is there anything to learn from that mess?"

well lu lu has a lesson for us anyway

"This is just a sad commentary on the failure of Marxism to develop a powerful party in Greece."

" Politics is dominated either by reformism (CP, SP) or ultraleftism of the worst sort."

" .. some soul-searching from the anarchist left in Greece after bank workers were killed in a fire ignited in one of their adventures. Not sure how much further they have advanced "


more lu lu:

"We will only know who the cops are after capitalism is overthrown in the USA and we have access to the police files. My guess is that the bourgeoisie has spent millions keeping the black block afloat"

" A tiny band of white boys in masks will not “bring down Capital”. Most of them will be living lives of quiet desperation 10 years from now with nagging housewives and mortgages, remembering back fondly about the time when they were free spirits throwing rocks and starting fires. Many men their age will be remembering their spring vacations in Fort Lauderdale in the same spirit"

".I absolutely advocate attacking provocateurs whether they are on the police payroll or are carrying out the cop’s agenda unconsciously. If this kind of shit was attempted during the antiwar movement, UAW marshals would have grabbed these punks by the scruff of the neck and kicked their ass around the block"


united agin the war
had red hat para cops

yip eeeeh

good guys that fulfilled
pinko girlie men's
fantasy acts of virility

frankly that sort of intermural
hall monitor phoney tough stuff
nauseated me

save it for the cops pal

or a nice pitched fight
among pro and con pink lecture crashers

push and punch time
between us and the infernal sectarian other

that's fun stuff
a dust up between outfits
but as well a dust up totally among
the motley multitude
of commited comrades


misogyny alive and well.

bash the bitch for wanting a little order. must remind you of your mothers, wives, girlfriends, whatever.

occupy turning into port authority circa 1979, including now sex assaults.

time for mike to take out the trash.

viva la revolucion.



a part of the struggle where we
indy leftists can join with a chunk
of the institutionalized class forces
as well as god forbid jack asses elements


"all my mailing lists"?

no wonder you post here so infrequently these days

tending to your lists it would seem

that is
when not sailing in season
the lower hudson

like a
dauntless dutchman in either case


u fatuous gotcha-nik

this site's genderful gathering
is collectively impervious
to the tedious spic and span catechism
of male venalities
concocted by identity politics
thirty five years ago at least

taking pot shots
from a high book depository window

an oswald for the diffident left

HAHAHAHAHA!!! Op you son of a gun!


An earlier generation of change agents? Personally I use E-Z Pass.

Heh, owen. Oswald suffers for that association. Unfair to so tar a great, bad man.

Paul Alexander sez on 11.08.11 @19:43:
Really Al, does a Tea Bagger fascist coup really sound that outrageous? I mean, have you even watched FoxNews???

I don't know about Al, but I've sure as hell watched me some Fox News lately. They're way better than the Daily Show.

Jack Crow sez on 11.09.11 @07:19:
Over Corrente way (and please don't get me wrong, they're honest, good and earnest people) there's this whole long discussion about how the "black bloc" types are spoiling the purity of the Occupy thing with their hateful refusal to get with the consensus.

That's one of the things I've always admired about the Black Bloc'ers -- their refusal to bow to consensus tyranny.

Right after NineEleven™ the Mobilization For Global Justice held a general meeting to decide whether or not to go on with the planned World Bank/IMF mobilization -- the biggest mass mobe in DC since Vietnam, had it come off -- or to cede control of the streets to right-wing goons and fascists. From all accounts, the consensus to cancel the mobe was repeatedly scuppered by members exercising their "block" option, until the facilitators became frustrated by ignoring the blocks and declaring a consensus decision to cancel the fall mobilization. Luckily, the ANSWER Coalition -- love 'em or hate 'em -- had the balls to go on with their part of the mobe, shifting their focus from economic globalization to anti-imperialism and the opposition to anti-Muslim hatred and the destruction of civil liberties.

Rocky Rococo:

Mike F.

I am not unsympathetic to your point about the Paulbots, and Zeitgeist. However there are ways of doing things, and better ways of doing things.

Let me suggest this. Run a little Cointelpro style black-op of our own, to create friction and then outright hostility between the Paulbots and the Zeitgeists. Keep upping the disinformation ante to get them to run each other out, while the rest of us sit by and slowly shake our heads in feigned disappointment at the wonderful opportunities for unity so cavalierly thrown away.

Yours in loyal service to Cross and Crown,

Rocky Rococo

Rocky Rococo sez on 11.10.11 @02:06:
Let me suggest this. Run a little Cointelpro style black-op of our own, to create friction and then outright hostility between the Paulbots and the Zeitgeists. Keep upping the disinformation ante to get them to run each other out, while the rest of us sit by and slowly shake our heads in feigned disappointment...

Damn, dude. That's fucking diabolical. I love it.

Too bad the "leaders" at OccupyDC probably wouldn't go for it. They'd probably blow it off with some mumbled rationale about "diversity of tactics".

Back in the Seattle/A16 days, "diversity of tactics" was always the favorite dodge of the MGJ/Global Exchange types when they wanted to defend the passive Nonviolence™ which was achieving jack shit while, at the same time, dissing the anarchist factions who preferred to take it out of the Machine's ass through physical asset and property destruction.

I'm not a window-smasher by nature, myself, but I won't deny that I did the happy dance every time I heard that a Niketown or a Starbucks or a Bank Of America branch got a good sound bricking.

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