Lee Camp: “The revolution will not be minimized”

In early 2010, the resident king of satire, Paul Provenza, released a book he intended as a tribute to his fellow comedians – and political activists – that he called “Satiristas“. It was a chance to read in-depth interviews with household figures such as Billy Connolly and Roseanne Barr, the brains behind the Upright Citizens Brigade and Bill Maher; but mostly, it shed a much necessary light on up and coming faces like Lee Camp’s, who introduced his own interview by recalling his one-off interview on FoxNews as follows:

“FoxNews invited me on to do a few jokes commenting the primaries.  I don’t even know how they found me, but my first thought was to say no, because I’ve watched that festering pile of propaganda wrapped in the American flag spew its poisonous eggs into the brains of average Americans for twelve years. Watching the flag flapping behind a Fox “news” program – that’s desecration.  But my second thought was, why not do it once and burn that bridge – just fucking set the thing on fire? That might be fun and interesting.”

Such was our introduction to Lee Camp; and since then, Lee has become, through his stand-up shows and his excellent podcast, Moment of Clarity, an inspiration, a voice speaking clearly among vast political white noise, a call to action, ceaselessly delivering an incredibly empowering message to a nation disenchanted with the very same values they thought they were supposed to embrace. Watch his harrowing, apathy-destroying speech on the Occupy Wall Street movement: “Occupy Wall Street is a thought revolution – and it won’t be minimized.”

You’ve made repeated calls for a revolution, or at least the end of social and political apathy on your podcast Moment of Clarity. Do you think OccupyTogether has the potential to become a lasting movement? 

Well, I haven’t called for a physical revolution because I feel like that’s not possible in our current police state. Anybody doing something violent will be locked away for a long time. Not to mention that I don’t believe violence is the answer anyway. So I’ve called for something akin to a thought revolution or at least a significant change in our societal paradigm. And yes, I feel OccupyTogether is that movement. I think it will be lasting and I think the very least it will do is force Obama, and the left, to start ACTING like they’re on the left. The White House has done jack shit to regulate Wall Street and stop the 2008 collapse from happening again – which will result in more economic terrorism. And I know economic terrorism sounds like an extreme term, but else do you call it when giant corporations turn to the people of a country and say “Give us close to a trillion dollars or we will destroy your way of life. Those are your options.” Anyway, yes, I feel people are getting sick of the rich controlling and legislating the other 99%. That’s why this will last. That’s why the OccupyTogether movement is not leaving.

How do you explain that even the non-Rupert Murdoch owned media took so long to focus on the movement? You’d think people would capitalize on the extraordinary fact that an organized mass of people identified the root of their problem and tackled it, almost literally. 

Maybe I’m more cynical than you but what else would you expect from the corporate media?? Look, this type of popular movement is VERY scary to them – “them” being both corporations and the rich. And let’s face it, almost everyone at top of the corporate media, including the anchors, is in at least the top 5% if not the 1%. So they ONLY want to defend their way of life. Furthermore, who are their sponsors? Giant corporations. So basically they go through a standard operating procedure during something like this.
A) IGNORE IT for as long as is humanly possible. See if it will go away by itself
B) RIDICULE it – talk about how it’s only a small group of disorganized and confused youth. Make it so that other people won’t want to join in because it sounds like it’s only freaks and drug addicts.
C) MISUNDERSTAND IT – Create some meaning for it that’s easier to understand and fits in your standard paradigm. “It’s the left answer to the Tea Party!” — Actually, no, it’s not. …And now we’re seeing-
D) Try to commandeer it for your own purposes. We see the corporate left saying it’s a movement against republicans. We see the right saying it’s people showing their anger towards Obama and his lack of job creation. But I think this movement is different. This one won’t be co-opted. This one won’t be hijacked by corporate talking points.
About yesterday’s burst of extreme police brutality against protesters: do you think the movement will always face confrontation with law enforcement, or is there a way to gain policemen and firefighters’ support for the cause? someone highlighted NYPD was “one lay off away from joining OWS”.

I think we should always TRY to work with the PD. The truth is – they ARE us in a lot of ways. However, I also think we need to be aware that they are being controlled by the rich. JP Morgan Chase just gave one of the largest donations ever to the NYPD. Bloomberg is in charge of them. It’s the rich who pull the strings. And unfortunately they are often so brainwashed during these types of things that they’ll simply enforce ridiculous laws. I know activists who may soon go to jail for 2 months for merely sitting peacefully in their state capital building. Not fighting back. Just sitting peacefully. How sick is that? The rich and pillage our futures and dreams and high five a cop on the way out. But a broke 20 year-old who has a peaceful sit-in to try to save her family’s jobs at the factory is sent to jail. It’s enough to make you vomit.

What do you make of CNN’s Erick Erickson response to the movement, “We are the 53%“? Will it gain momentum and become a real threat to OccupyTogether? 

I don’t know, but those who don’t know it’s bullsh** were probably Tea Partiers to begin with. The laughable part of it is that I bet you nearly 100% of those with jobs at occupyTogether pay their taxes. Who doesn’t pay their taxes? Corporations and the incredibly wealthy. GE paid zero taxes last year. BofA paid zero taxes. Billionaires have massive tax shelters and loopholes. I hope Mr. Erickson realizes that there will be very few of the top 1% in his little party because they are CERTAINLY not paying their taxes.

What does OccupyTogether need to become a lasting, changing, unavoidable force in politics, especially in the looming election year? 

It just needs numbers. It needs more and more people to wake up out of their iPhone-induced zombie-ism and stand up for themselves. I beg of you – get off the couch. The rest of us are already out here. And it may be cold by temperature but we’ve got more energy than you can believe.

Bloomberg was pretty straightforward when he said he feared the London riots would spread to the streets of New York. Obama, however, simply said he “understood” what OccupyTogether was about and clearly mentioned the discontent rose from the consequences of financial deregulation. Do you believe those are more than empty words? And from that – do you believe Obama should be primaried? 

From what I’ve read and heard Obama caved to the interests of Wall Street. They funded his campaign in large part and they have a lot of power. He would have to prove to me and the people that those are not empty words. And yes, I think he should have a primary challenger. Let him prove he deserves this job back. Let him prove he has the balls (or tits – I don’t wanna be misogynist) to go after a financial system that is drunk on greed and power. So far he has failed to show those tits. 
Read more about Lee Camp on LeeCamp.net // Follow him on Twitter // Add him on Facebook // Subscribe to Moment of Clarity on YouTube

About K
bastard banshee. devious lawyer. Lucille Bluth. probably jetlagged.

3 Responses to Lee Camp: “The revolution will not be minimized”

  1. Old Jules says:

    Those folks aren’t out there in support of any political party or they’d be saying so. Which makes it necessary for the power-elite to attempt to pigeon-hole them. If the winds of history are blowing there’s plenty for the power-elite to be concerned about. Which isn’t the same as saying anyone’s going to like what comes out the other end.

  2. Pingback: “Once I spent a day or two there I understood that something massive was happening” « OISC

  3. Pingback: the Grand Old Party: no longer grand, probably still old, seeking help « OISC

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