occupy guy

"A member of Anonymous at the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York." Picture taken by by David Shankbone on 17 September 2011.

"A member of Anonymous at the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York." Picture taken by David Shankbone on 17 September 2011

On 26th September 2011 Noam Chomsky announced his solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement. The next day Cornell West addressed the crowd in person. And on 09th October Slavoj Žižek gave a talk at Liberty Plaza (formely Zuccotti Park). Not that I am much in synch with Žižek, but it’s the second time this year that I read something from him which made me applaud. Have a snippet from the transcript:

In April 2011, the Chinese government prohibited on TV and films and in novels all stories that contain alternate reality or time travel. This is a good sign for China. It means that people still dream about alternatives, so you have to prohibit this dream. Here we don’t think of prohibition. Because the ruling system has even suppressed our capacity to dream. Look at the movies that we see all the time. It’s easy to imagine the end of the world.

He is referring to movies belonging to the cyberpunk discourse, of course.
    “The Guy Fawkes mask—the symbol of the occupy-movement?”
    Journalist Hannah Beitzer asked this question yesterday in her article on the manifestations of the occupy movement in Germany [published in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, one of Germany's biggest transregional daily newspapers]. Well, certainly I am the first who wants to have the answer ‘Yes!’ Especially after my rant on Fawkes and the influence of 1980s British cyberpunk. And because I deem Alan Moore to be one of the most important writers of the late 20th century. So I sifted through a ton of pictures from the recent occupy events. My superficial impression is that Guy Fawkes is more often present in pictures by media professionals than by those of grassroots photographers. Nevertheless he seems to be round the world these days:

Guy Fawkes in Hong Kong on 09 October 2011

Guy Fawkes in Hong Kong on 09 October 2011


Guy Fawkes in Frankfurt (sporting Matrix shades ;-) on 15 October 2011

Guy Fawkes in Frankfurt (sporting Matrix shades ;-) on 15 October 2011


What I want to say … To all symbolic, media, and general anthropologists out there: The pool or repository of choice from which contemporary sociocultural phenomena draw their symbols is the cyberpunk discourse.

UPDATE: Already back in June journalist Matthias Heine has published an article in Welt Online sporting the headline Warum Demonstranten eine Offiziersmaske tragen [Why demonstrators wear an officer's mask], very much hitting the nail on the head—he even sufficiently hails the genius of Alan Moore.

hint to the article from Klaus Schönberger—tnx
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