Kanye West, Russell Simmons Walk Through the Occupy Wall Street Scene
Kanye West and Russell Simmons are the latest celebrities to support the Occupy Wall St. movement. After a month of demonstrations, the protests have spread across the United States and also found supporters in the Old World too. From Moscow, where rallies of such scale and duration are unimaginable to Berlin, where “politically motivated” arsonists have taken leftist ideals a touch too close to outright anarchy. A few nights ago I was listening to an emotional young man talking excitedly about organizing “Occupy London”. If he hadn’t been drinking a perfectly shaken vodka martini in a distinctively understated yet upmarket bar in Mayfair, I would have taken his articulate arguments a bit more seriously.
Unfortunately, Kanye West didn't really do much apart from bless the protesters with his presence. He wandered through the crowd, posed for the cameras and drove off without saying a word. Russell Simmons’ tweet “I love how sweet and tolerant he was to the crowd” doesn’t suggest much democratic bonding took place either. I am not quite sure that the goals of the people shouting “I am 99% and I have a voice” perfectly coincide with those of a man clearly representing the other 1% but who knows? After a month of protests, the rebels are yet to formulate their demands.
Many argue that the movement needs celebrity support to draw attention. Left-wing dignitaries like Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore and Tim Robbins certainly make headlines but they may be doing more harm than good. The media frenzy costs the protesters one thing they certainly do not have: time. Some of them come across as well-educated, clever and sharp. Maybe if they weren’t distracted by endless interviews they would have time to at least formulate a list of core objectives if not a comprehensive strategy. Occupy Wall St is trending, but, all trends eventually wind down. Whatever the modern Dreamers have to say, let’s hope they say it before another reptile escapes from the Bronx Zoo and the world moves on.