Follow the Monet

Posted by: Dan Beucke on October 21, 2011 at 3:36 PM

ows_fox.jpgAs the Occupy protesters spread out, the targets of their rage become increasingly specific. Planned protests today forced House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to cancel a speech at the Wharton School of Business. Later, sign-holders marched out front of the News Corp. annual shareholders meeting in Los Angeles (right). On Thursday protests shut down a Citibank branch in Washington, D.C. And earlier this week, crowds chanted outside Sotheby’s auction house and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Conservative politician and media outlet, check. Bailed-out bank, check. Temple of the fabulously wealthy, check. But what do museums have to do with income inequality? The offshoot group Occupy Museums posted a manifesto that explained:

The game is up: we see through the pyramid schemes of the temples of cultural elitism controlled by the 1%. No longer will we, the artists of the 99%, allow ourselves to be tricked into accepting a corrupt hierarchical system based on false scarcity and propaganda concerning absurd elevation of one individual genius over another human being for the monetary gain of the elitest of elite. For the past decade and more, artists and art lovers have been the victims of the intense commercialization and co-optation or art. We recognize that art is for everyone, across all classes and cultures and communities. We believe that the Occupy Wall Street Movement will awaken a consciousness that art can bring people together rather than divide them apart as the art world does in our current time…

Let’s be clear. Recently, we have witnessed the absolute equation of art with capital. The members of museum boards mount shows by living or dead artists whom they collect like bundles of packaged debt. Shows mounted by museums are meant to inflate these markets. They are playing with the fire of the art historical cannon while seeing only dancing dollar signs. The wide acceptance of cultural authority of leading museums have made these beloved institutions into corrupt ratings agencies or investment banking houses- stamping their authority and approval on flimsy corporate art and fraudulent deals.

Cantor earlier this month referred to “growing mobs” of Occupy Wall Street protesters, before elaborating to say they were “justifiably frustrated” with the economy. His talk, titled “A Fair Shot at the American Dream and Economic Growth,” was scheduled for a group of 250 Wharton students. When Cantor’s office learned that 500 to 1,000 protesters planned to show up, and the first 300 people in line would be let in, it canceled.

Reader Comments

VaGentleman

October 22, 2011 8:31 AM

Given the verified anti-Semitic/anti-Israel themes in these "spontaneous" demonstrations, Rep. Cantor's cancellation is a sensible reponse to a realistic threat. None of us are under a unilateral obligation to participate as props in the street theater of these useful idiots.
Three obvious questions: where are the authorities who would not let any ordinary citizen to get away with this conduct, why aren't they protesting before Congress whose laws created the financial mess (and continues to try and borrow more money) and why aren't these champions of liberty protesting in Cuba, et. al.?

calhou

October 22, 2011 1:32 PM

All valid points. Most of those on capitol hill who drove us over the edge are still there occupying postions of power and prestige above the unwashed mob. Where are the protests in front of congress or the whitehouse? This is really a battle being waged by totalitarian government forces against free enterprise. Forces who oppose freedom, responsibility and accountability. Someday you will only be allowed the pursuit of happiness as long as you don't have more than your neighbor - unless you happen to occupy a political position. This situation should be familiar to anyone from eastern europe or china...............

spongebob

October 24, 2011 5:46 AM

VaGentleman, what's Cuba got to do with anything ? Did Fidel impoverish the American middle class ?

Thinker

October 24, 2011 12:24 PM

Spongebob, what's reading comprehension got to do with anything? Get yourself some.

EFF Auff

October 24, 2011 11:58 PM

Dear VaGentlewomen;
Answer this for me. I recently bought a 2009, red Ferrari and I would like to know if you think the government can pay for my fuel costs in the form of a government-sponsored tax break like those rich pricks who get their private jet fuel costs subsidized? Never forget William Cooper....a true patriot. If Jesus were alive....he would slap you!!!!


EFF Auff

October 24, 2011 11:59 PM

Dear VaGentlewomen;
Answer this for me. I recently bought a 2009, red Ferrari and I would like to know if you think the government can pay for my fuel costs in the form of a government-sponsored tax break like those rich pricks who get their private jet fuel costs subsidized? Never forget William Cooper....a true patriot. If Jesus were alive....he would slap you!!!!


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March 13, 2012 10:21 PM

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sophiajames5

March 23, 2012 1:43 AM

Follow the Monet.What has it actually been like walking around Westminster during this week of collective shame? Awful – a collective loss of respect and self-respect. MPs can sense what the catering staff who serve them and the coppers who guard the gates must be thinking.
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sophiajames5

March 23, 2012 1:43 AM

Follow the Monet.What has it actually been like walking around Westminster during this week of collective shame? Awful – a collective loss of respect and self-respect. MPs can sense what the catering staff who serve them and the coppers who guard the gates must be thinking.
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About

"The Wealth Debate" is a running discussion of wealth, poverty, the economy and income inequality in the U.S. and the world. It was started shortly after the Occupy Wall Street movement sparked a global protest about the fallout from the financial crisis and money in politics. You can reach the editors, Dan Beucke and Mark Gimein, by email, or follow BloombergNow on Twitter to keep up with posts.

Analyses or commentary in this blog are the views of the author and or commentators, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloomberg News.

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