# - The hashtag symbol is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages. It is useful in identifying trends, groupings or followings.
Occupy – To take or fill up; to engage or employ the mind, energy or attention of; to be a resident or tenant of; to take possession of; to hold.
* - In computer science the asterisk is used in regular expressions to denote more repetitions of a pattern.
The arising of #Occupy*, a collective everyperson, through which all manner of projections can be cast, opens the discourse to new possibilities and configurations. Arising out of nothing but a call to action, the message is in the medium. The simple message of equity and equality brings no wider attention until such time that the potential for something greater begins to spread across the medium and presses on the status quo.
Once noted, the social and cultural commentators and spectators show up and begin the drone of their interpretive work. #Occupy* is “chaotic, disorganized, adolescent, idealistic, 60’s nostalgia, anarchy, un-American, populist, anti-corporate, angry, frustrated, with unclear demands, having no coherent message…” and yet it has become an attractor.
The cynics, nay-sayers and pundits portend a steady decline of the viral meme, the movement co-opted by the latecomers, the inevitable devil’s bargain with the politicos, the beat down by the cops or the sad dwindle of energy as the weather worsens. Yet, if #Occupy* is truly calling forth new thought forms and modes of relatedness then the old forms dominating the discourse, the forms of exchange and valuation and the methods of modern democracy and organization will ultimately need to change.
The website of Occupy Wall Street states it is a “leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactics to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants.”
It is evident in their credo that they can open the discourse to any one, as an individual. By merely creating a link to the whole in cyberspace there is inclusion. Through interaction with #Occupy* a new code and language of progressive, integral thought can be amplified, one that is enacting rather than reactive, reflective rather than rhetorical. New memes and cultural metaphors are emergent, cynically viewed as utopian, experimental, adjunct or naïve, but now offering hope and redemption to those still clinging to sinking or fragmenting world views of archaic institutions and ancient prejudices.
#Occupy* is of the next generation. The “greatest generation” that saw the Great Depression, the war on fascism and the cold war have left their legacy and will soon be silent. The baby boomers, their activist progeny, have ridden the wave of demographic dominance but now find themselves on the inflexible end of a generation divide. Boomeritis has reached a cusp, a tipping point, and the conceits, indulgences, entitlements and excess of that generation have become the problems to fix. The most focal issue being addiction, be it process or substance, oil or power, money or influence.
#Occupy* is a cultural resonance, a feedback system, a vibe, to which an individual can contribute and from which each individual can sample, assemble, amplify and broadcast their own unique expression. However, the content is not the message. #Occupy* is not about the hallmark tales of addiction, the obsessive-compulsive madhouse rantings of dreary, frightened, little egos grasping for attention and fame. The hypostasis of #Occupy* is the openness, inventiveness and constant growing edge of human inter-relatedness and connectedness.
#Occupy* is self-organizing. There is no leader, no party line, no dominant lineage. Yet, if the radical democratic notion of e pluribus unum, one out of many, comes into play then this cycling, pulsing, emitting entity can take on an identity. #Occupy* is the open source, collaborative, integral common purpose of dreaming, contemplating, creating, inventing, systemizing and enacting a code of relatedness and exchange. The product of #Occupy* is emergent.
#Occupy* is not about traffic through a site and the receiving and transmitting of signals, the illusion of movement through the web. The most profound site within #Occupy* may be an empty space. If one sees self as a place and not a person then the essence of human expression is the integrity, dignity and self-sustaining presence in your space. Occupy your space. The choice could be to appear a busy, noisy, hectic street corner or a quiet, contemplative wayside garden. Any expression is valid. Each is integral to the whole.
#Occupy* is chaotic but chaos in its finest mathematical definition. Like any human endeavor the drama and pathos will draw attention but the underlying connotation of common humanity has the potential to draw more and more people together. Humanity has the capacity to leap in the complexity of their relatedness be it the advent of language, the making of art, the formation of collectives, the diversifying of role assignments or the use of social networking. Like an assemblage that moves from single hand claps in unison to group applause the change comes without expressed intention or the domination of any small group. It is emergent.
Welcome to #Occupy*