The Just Protester reminisces about the happy days of the Occupy Movement and freaks out about his present while watching too much TV
Just Protester Trevor, welcome back to The Sewers! You’ve been missed.
Hi, thanks, what’s going on?
Good, thanks. How are things?
Yeah, you know, have you watched Wolf Creek?
I don’t think so. Is it like Dawson’s Creek?
What? Ha! Jesus fuck, what?!
What the fuck? Haha, no, it’s not like fucking Dawson’s Creek. Oh fuck, this was like the most ridiculous show ever! Remember the theme song? Oh fuck haha!
So what’s Wolf Creek?
It’s a show about a total psychopath killer, and he’s fucking Australian too. I feel like going to Australia.
Yeah, it’s good, you should watch it.
Alright. So how have you been? Last time we talked you said you’re taking some time to think things over.
Oh, and did you watch High Maintenance?
Heard about it.
It’s really good, you should watch it too.
It’s like, you can’t say it’s an allegory to anything, but each episode encapsulates some sort of human condition, y’know? I mean if by human you mean a person that lives in New York, I guess. But it’s still cool.
Oh have you seen Dark?
I see you’re still on your time off from the blogs and everything.
I’m still doing my editing and everything, y’know. Even if my name’s not always up there, I’m still there.
Last time we talked you said you wanted to think about finding a way to dedicate your time and efforts to bring forward the revolution.
For sure, yeah.
Okay you can drop the judgmental ‘hmm’ thing, alright? I didn’t come up with anything, okay? Yet.
No, it’s not. It’s shit. It’s fucking bullshit. I’m a fucking loser.
Oh fuck you.
Come on, you’re not a loser, you’re just taking some time off, and that’s alright.
You know the Time Traveler dude? I’ve been having this thought lately, thinking like, what if now I’d travel to past-me, like, I’d be future-me and I’d go see who I was like five years ago, y’know? Then past-me would start asking me all these questions, like what are you doing in 2018, Trevor? What’s your life like? What the fuck would I have to say to past-me? What the fuck would I say?
Tell him about Wolf Creek?
Fuck you, I fucking hate you.
I’m just trying to cheer you up.
Seriously, what the fuck would I say to him? That I’ve been lying on the couch in my underwear for the past two months, eating crap and watching stuff that grab my attention for several hours, then I fall asleep and it all fades into oblivion? I mean what would I tell him? That it was all meaningless, that his strong belief in change and activism can be so easily buried under momentary entertainment, that doing nothing is actually more gratifying than doing anything, anything at all? That life is just a repetitive day-after-day and the best thing you can do is entertain yourself while days pass?
Hey now, some days are like that, don’t let it get to you like that. I bet you if Lenin had Netflix, surely he’d spend a few weeks staring blankly into a screen.
I’m not a Leninist, y’know. And no he wouldn’t, he’d at least read Marx or Proudhon.
Have you read them?
For sure, yeah.
So there you go.
Yeah so what good did it do that I read them? I read Hardt and Negri as well, they’re fucking awesome.
And Multitude, yeah. But I was so drunk I forgot most of what it said. It was back in the Occupy Movement days when we used to get drunk and read this stuff, it was like going to the bar, reading communist writings, y’know, it was the best communal leisure time ever. And we’d talk about it all night long, till suddenly there was full sunlight out, we didn’t notice it creeping up on us, just like we didn’t notice the years to come were creeping in on us, closing in on us. Yeah, happy days.
Who’s this ‘us’ you’re referring to?
Y’know, friends and comrades. People I met late in the afternoon and by midnight became my closest friends, people I’d take tear gas for, people I’d go to jail for. And most of them disappeared in the last couple of years. Just like I’m starting to disappear, I guess.
What made them disappear?
I dunno, life took hold of them I guess. Disillusionment, I guess.
The revolution was just an illusion?
No, it’s real. I’m saying maybe our ability to bring to it was an illusion. I mean how do you convince people who are comfortable living in this capitalist society, that they’re in fact uncomfortable? How do you invoke solidarity within people who are comfortably surviving? I think deep down ninety percent of midclass in the US and what you’d call the first world know they’re one misstep, one miscalculation, away from poverty, away from falling down under. But that doesn’t make them feel solidarity with the poor, with the real proletariat, no. it causes the opposite. It makes us not wanna see and not wanna hear, precisely coz we know how close it is, how it can be us, and it will be us, eventually. We’re so focused on surviving and failing to acknowledge our own exploitation, that we don’t want to see it at all when it’s so apparent among the precarious sector, y’know? And I mean without solidarity –
How do you envision solidarity?
Y’know, everyone fighting side by side, y’know. I mean it doesn’t mean everyone’s gotta be the same, or think the same, but there’s gotta be this understanding that we’re in it together against the powers that are inhumane, that are of the capital. And it’s gotta be nonpartisan, y’know?
That’s what you’ve been trying to do on your blogs, raising this solidarity.
Yeah, yeah, but it’s not, I mean it doesn’t work. Coz of the way social media is built like an echo chamber. Coz of fucking identity politics. Coz when you open your mouth to speak you’re like immediately categorized, it’s fucking frustrating.
But like when you believe in the revolution, like I do, you have like a larger vision on things. Like you’re thinking maybe now just isn’t the time. Like the stage isn’t set. And you kinda have to believe that eventually it will be –
As in materialist determinism –
For sure, that kind of thing, but it’s like, saying this is like, in a way, waiting for other people to do somethings, y’know?
Well you can’t do it without other people, can you?
For sure, but what if it never happens? I mean you can see the world just being slowly destroyed, very slowly, so you hardly notice, but you can see it happening without enough people rising or doing anything. I mean it’s happening already. Life’s too comfortable. Too comfortable for those who can resist, and unbearable for those who can’t. so what I should do, I guess, is make myself uncomfortable. Which I’ve been doing by reading a lot of stuff and writing, but I guess that wasn’t enough.
So how do you get uncomfortable?
I dunno. I don’t think I know how to make myself really, really uncomfortable. This is such a first-worlders conversation, y’know?
You can only assume the position you’re in.
Yeah I guess.
Leave us with something revolutionary.
Uhm, I dunno. I guess reflection and knowledge don’t cut it. I think there’s too much reflection. Maybe we should think less, you know? Think less and do more, that’s it. That’s revolutionary.
Well that might be considered irresponsible in some context –
I don’t fucking care what it might be considered.
Fair enough. Just Protester Trevor, we wish you happier days, and we congratulate you here and now.
Thanks, I guess.