Lee Camp: “The revolution will not be minimized”
October 12, 2011 3 Comments
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.
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?
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?