Article first published as Kanye West, Russell Simmons Walk Through the Occupy Wall Street Scene on Technorati.
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 found quite a few supporters in the Old World from Moscow, where rallies of the scale and duration are unimaginable to Berlin, where “politically motivated” arsonists have taken leftist ideals a touch too close to plain anarchy. A few nights ago I was listening to an emotional young man awfully excited about organising “Occupy London”. If he wasn’t drinking a perfectly shaken vodka martini in a distinctively understated upmarket bar in Mayfair, I would have taken his very well articulated arguments a bit more seriously.
Unfortunately, Kanye West didn’t really do much apart from blessing the protesters with his presence. He went 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 either. I am not quite sure the goals of people shouting “I am 99% and I have a voice” perfectly coincide with those of the 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, 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 well-educated, clever and sharp. May be if they weren’t distracted by the endless interviews, they would have time to formulate if not a strategy, than at least a list of core objectives. 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.