Wall Street protests get larger, media images of protesters get shallower

As coverage gets heavier, protesters start to look like cardboard cutouts, not people with just motives.

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Editor’s note: On November 13, 2011, the following corrections were made to this article: The gender of @Korgasm_, the reference to her as “Anon” was changed to “person”, the language “pressing for more confrontation with police” was struck, and "organize" protests" was changed to "document".

After a month filling up parks, marching in the streets, annoying cops, videoing each other and posting it all to Twitter and YouTube to make it real, while fast approaching the expiration of their permission to protest, the OccupyWallStreet protesters are still going strong.

The longer the protests go on, the most cities the protest spreads to and the more media coverage the original sit-in gets, the less we see about the people actually doing the protesting. Despite acres of personality-profiling media coverage during the past weekend especially, the image of the protesters seems to become more one-dimensional all the time.

The flood of media covering the protest may have been particularly heavy this weekend because it was a beautiful fall day in the Northeast and (presumably) every reporter with any chance at all of talking an editor into paying travel and hotel bills for a reporter and a +1 flew to New York to cover the gritty protest story for a couple of hours before enjoying a most-expenses paid holiday weekend in the Big Apple.

The picture most send back is of either vapid, trust-fund hipsters, generically leftist communist anti-capitalists or granola-crunching grannies, grad students and academic anarchists with no job and no plans to find one.

They're not.

They're not any one thing. They're mismatched, awkward, intent, focused, chaotic, control-freaky, mostly young with some old, some non-conformist, some all-too-conformist, some are hackers some are users.

They don't share one set of goals to accomplish with the protests. They don't share one set of ideals to promote or dogma to follow.

They're just depressed or angry or sick of feeling taken advantage of by banks, financial services companies, the companies they work for. They're sick of not doing anything about the growing gap between ultra-rich and ultra-poor and the chasm into which the middle class has fallen, to be crushed by costs that grow and opportunities that shrink. They're sick of what they think of as the establishment saying, in the voice of Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain – if you don't have a job it's your own damn fault.

They feel left out and they resent it; not always with as much justification as some of you would like, probably.

Photo Credit: 

Videorgasmix via YouTube

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