I didn't watch the Romney-bot and His Familiar last night, but I did spend some time with the livestreamers, Nate Grant and the fellow from Occupy Tampa (forget his name, not that I ever actually knew it... names are so old-fashioned anyway), and as has been the case in the past, the protests and demonstrations, while relatively small, were boisterous and determined.
What was striking was that despite the one appearance of the platoons of Storm Troopers to protect the Westboro freaks from the Dirty Fucking Hippies, and despite numerous confrontations between police and demonstrators, and despite thousands of police on the streets (often far outnumbering demonstrators) there were almost no arrests, and as far as I could tell there was essentially no aggression from the police at all. They made their presence known to be sure, but they did not attack the protesters, did not try to kettle them and make mass arrests, and in some cases actually accommodated protest marches and demands to get closer to the Convention Center or to proceed on a route they had been barred from.
So far as I know, despite the news reports of "anarchists" and their "acid filled eggs," there were no pre-crime arrests either, no roundups prior to the convention in Tampa, and thus no martyrs to the Cause. Very different from the situation in 2008, in both Denver and St. Paul/Minneapolis, when the police were very aggressive, used gas and mass arrest and batons liberally, and where dozens were arrested for pre-crimes and thought crimes, and where some may actually still be under investigation or prosecution for things they didn't do and crimes they didn't commit during the Republican or Democratic National Conventions.
Have the Neo-Bourbons who rule us learned something?
For example, that -- perhaps -- the violent crackdowns on dissent which have characterized all large and many small protests (particularly Occupy) since the now-legendary Battles of Seattle during the WTO meeting in 1999 might-could backfire and develop, oh I don't know, sympathy for the Rebels?
No. Couldn't be.
I don't claim to know what happened to calm the waters in Tampa rather than roil them further. But instead of the extraordinary levels of official terror and oppression that we have witnessed over and over and over again in this country ad nauseum, the Tampa scene was laid back, efficient from the official standpoint, tolerant, deliberate, calm, and mostly festive.
The place was full of Anarchists who anarched all over the place, Black Blocs, too (well, semi-Black Blocs, it was hot and humid and who wanted to dress all in black for that?), there was much camaraderie, really striking the expressions of cooperation and solidarity, something that wasn't lacking in earlier protests but seemed to be somewhat less meaningful. It was obviously just as difficult in Tampa to reach consensus about actions and routes to take as it was anywhere else, and yet things seemed (from the view outside) to come together in the end very well, to the point where it seemed there was almost no internal conflict at all -- though of course there was, and plenty of it.
At last night's Final March, surprisingly, there was a pause at a well lit intersection where the assembled multitude sat down in the street -- there were by this time hundreds at least and possibly well over 1000 or more marchers -- and watched a musical play being given by a very talented troupe of actors. It seemed to be about God and Satan and the Occupy, but I only saw part of it, so I'm not sure. It was really well-done and clever, and some of the police who had been monitoring and shepherding the marchers came to watch; they seemed to be as delighted with it as the crowd. It's in Nate's videos below (he had to archive midway through), starting at about 1:55:00 in the first video and continuing in the second.
Video streaming by Ustream
Video streaming by Ustream
After Nate's stream ended, the Occupy Tampa stream became the Go-To livestream site, and this little event pretty much captured the spirit of the end of the evening:
Video streaming by Ustream
There you have it.
They did crown a giant papier mache head of His Romney-ness "King of the 1%" last night -- and that's ultimately what's going on.
I've pointed out in many previous essays that we are not witness to the End of Empire, we're witnessing the End of the Republic, not quite the way it happened in Rome ever so long ago, but not all that different from it either.
As the United States Government transitions from its more or less hopelessly anachronistic Republican form to its more and more secure Neo-Imperial form, the necessity for a monarch becomes paramount, and to me, that's what this year's presidential election is all about. Are we ready to go full-tilt monarch or not?
From the Monarchical perspective, Romney is a nearly ideal candidate, being suffused with money, first of all, and being an exemplar of the most egregious attitudes and actions of the moneyed elite in this country. He embodies what a Money-King should be and would be. His wife, no less, loves the pretense of Imperial Highness and has shown herself quite capable of dismissing the rabble.
The Obamas suffer by comparison, not behaving even remotely like Royalty, Michelle Obama even going so far as to appear on the television machine exercising to the point where she has to call out, "Can a First Lady get a towel?!" How outré.
Their very humanity under the circumstances is an impediment.
Our own role in this election is minor at best. I have little doubt that what with the active voter suppression under way and the jiggering of the voting machines sure to take place, the ultimate decision of who will rule from the White House has already been made by those who pull the strings. The mystery is only maintained to ensure a healthy bottom line to the media cartels. The remarkable convergence of the polls, such that the candidates are supposedly neck and neck is to me a key indication that we're being exposed to a Show, not a real campaign at all.
No matter what the decision is, we will have our King-Emperor no matter what.
Now to check the news....