October 1st, 2011 / 3:47 am
Behind the Scenes

This Is the Only Thing I Feel Like Posting About Literature Right Now

Your Facebook friends have probably already showed you the We Are the 99 Percent Tumblr, but here it is again. It’s PostFrankness instead of PostSecret. Camwhore angles repurposed for a who’s-there roll call in the deep effed.


  1. ryder collins

      finally, a post that ain’t all ironic hipster posturing. thank you, mike.

  2. Guestagain

      Hey America, how are all those MBAs and all that globalization workin out for ya?

  3. Mungscum

      I don’t understand this. I live in the Bay Area. I am a dirty punk. oi. All my friends are dirty punks. We all have jobs and places to live. So are we the 1%? 

  4. Lilzed

      student loans are sick. i am so glad i got out when i did. i can’t imagine what it must be like to be in an mfa program right now (not for student loan reasons, other reasons). it was hard enough trying to write poetry after the financial collapse. thanks for the dose of reality.

  5. MJ

      For real man. Like, a zillion thumbs up.

  6. MJ

      Did you read the signs? They have jobs. The point isnt having a job and a place to live… I’m not going to explain it to you. Do some thinking m’friend.

  7. Mike Young

      sounds like you have made decisions in and about your life that make it hard to relate immediately to some of the stories on this tumblr, and i’m with you on that.

      personally i make a choice not to have a car, not to have kids, etc. the dirty punk/gypsy lifestyle can be joyfully sustainable, and always has been. carl sandburg loved the accordion players by the river. of course: it helps to be young and able-bodied and healthy in an urban place like the Bay Area with lots of cool cultural resources, excellent public transportation, and america’s breadbasket for a babushka. but not everybody wants to (or is able to) live in those contexts, and that’s not unreasonable.

      i think a project like this 99% thing is about recognizing a large-scale collapse of the ability to lead certain kinds of lifestyles that shouldn’t be unreasonable: lifestyles that enable raising and feeding children and caring for the rest of your family and living in your own house and taking care of your body without the entire social infrastructure stacked against you like some impossible video game puzzle where a handful use their cheat codes to make it harder for everybody else.

      it’s totally cool if you don’t want to play the game—neither do i—and it’s even more reasonable to point out that the game represents a pretty elevated level of privilege compared to the rest of the world. but neither of those things really negate the fact—at least for me—that it kinda sucks to watch so many people right around you get the GAME OVER over and over.

  8. Mungscum

      Maybe the lesson here is don’t have kids.  

  9. Mungscum

      It does suck, i agree, but i don’t feel bad for these people.

  10. Roxane

      It’s easy to think you’re not part of the 99% if you’re not facing some of the dire situations you see on that Tumblr but you are. Most people are because we might have money, jobs, homes, but we have no security. You’re a dirty punk, great. Some day you might tire of that or you might lose your home or you might start a family or you might get sick or you might get hit by a car while crossing the street and then you might not be as comfortable as you are now. You don’t have to give a damn but I’m not clear on what you don’t understand. 

  11. Mungscum

      what is security exactly? i have faced dire situations in my life, as i’m sure all of us have, so please don’t assume i’ve had it easy. i’ve been to jail and i know what it’s like to feel fucked. i just don’t understand what these people want, the american dream or something?

  12. Roxane

      I’m not at all assuming you’ve had it easy. I’m saying that for many people in this country right now, they’re one catastrophe away from homelessness, staggering debt, hunger, or other symptoms of poverty. These people want to be able to work hard and live well and by well I mean a roof over one’s head, enough food, health insurance, basic comforts. That’s not just an American dream. That’s the dream for most people in the world. Survival shouldn’t be a dream. It should simply be the way things are. 

  13. Mungscum

      well said. i agree. 

  14. deadgod

      That will evade some of the pressure many other people experience.

      –but you’re going to “have” everyone else’s “kids”.

      The lesson is to criticize political economy practically.

  15. MJ

      Mike Young, everybody. Yes.

  16. Christoffer Molnar

      That’s a very sustainable philosophy.

  17. deadgod

      The target is appropriate, and the confusion and rage at having been betrayed by other Americans is eloquently made present.

      –but the ‘non-partisan’, they’re-all-equally-guilty tone that the Wall Street protests seem to be trafficking in – maybe my sense of them is wrong – is distressing, as is the wide-spread unconsciousness of electoral complicity by the middle class in the transfer of wealth from the middle class to the rich over the past three decades.

      How many of the 99% voted for Prop. 13 – cuz it’s my money – and for Reagan and thirty years of cascade-up Reaganomists?

      How many of the 99% voted for Sticky Newt’s Contract on America in ’94, Nader in ’00, or sat out ’04, because they can’t tell the difference?

      How many of the 99% are easily persuaded by the nostrums of fiscal ‘conservatism’?

      How many of the 99% believe in libertarian infrastructure?

      How many of the 99% have rallied and/or voted Teabag?

  18. Guestagain

      deadgod, you’re blaming the electorate as a cloak for making the partisan leftwise ideological argument, the facts are that American politicians (left and right together) conspired to destroy the housing market and export the industrial sector, thereby moving the country from a manufacturing to financial base. Sub-prime mortgage lending was a legislative gift from the left (Dodd/Frank) that somehow construed mortgage lending as a basic human rights issue. The unregulated bundling and hedging of bad mortgages as AAA rated securities was an exploding cigar from the right. The competitive and revenue pressures on business from over-regulation, taxes, and labor on the left ($60/hour for running a punch press?) led to the unregulated export of jobs to locations where industry could be reset to the 19th century by the right. The public and private revenue streams that previously supported a more or less self-sustaining economy are no longer here in any combination and both sides were in government making policy the entire time.

  19. deadgod

      The working-poor-families-can’t-and-so-shouldn’t-buy-a-house-over-thirty-years class-warfare meme is disturbingly popular as an explanation for our ‘current’ crisis.

      Dodd-Frank, as written, encouraged mortgage lenders to lend money for homes at prices not ginned up by irrational lending and at repayable interest.  The argument that those working families should pay rent to cover a landlord’s mortgage and other costs for thirty years, rather than their own mortgage for the same period, is both (arithmetically) irrational and (politically) immoral.

      The reason so many loans were “sub-prime” was not Dodd-Frank and not working families who’d intended to live in those homes for thirty years and repay those loans.  From the CEOs to the branch loan officers, banks knowingly made loans a)  at absurdly high ‘market’ values (that those banks were entirely complicit in fabricating), and b) with balloon and other repayment gimmickry unforeseen and unrepayable by those families.

      A workable progressive idea was hijacked by the banking industry–which is today pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into convincing folks like you that working lower-middle-class families should never, ever, ever stop paying landlords’ bills.


  20. deadgod

      It’s true that a Dem prez – in the clammy mitts of Dickie Morris, where he was driven by that idiotic ’94 sit-out by the Left – took down Glass-Steagall; financial deregulation is no “exploding cigar”–it’s a WOMAD (weapon of mutually-assured destruction).

      Every time a business fires a worker in America and hires one ‘overseas’, that business is firing a family of consumers.  For forty years now, the fiscal ‘conservatism’ that magnifies quarterly and annual statements beyond any remotely rational proportion has been killing – not just manufacturing in America – but America’s capacity to consume.

      The working-stiff-hating argument that something called “unions” ever caused workers to be ‘overpaid’ is inaccurate:  the boss isn’t throwing away $n/hour on “labor”; the boss is putting $n/hour into her/his consumer’s pocket.  Strong unions are essential to capitalistic ‘self-sustenance’.

      (If you want to talk about executive over’compensation’ – well, okay.)


  21. Guest

      A majority of them, obviously. It’s how they manage to exist.

  22. deadgod

      Guestagain, here’s how partisanship actually sorts itself:  there’s no doubt that Democrats – and progressive decision-making – are compromised by Big Money; Republicans and ‘conservative’ decision-making are not.

      Do you understand how this “difference” is effective?

  23. deadgod

      Poorly indeed.

      Hey Guestagain, how’s that incontinent ‘moderation’ working out for you?

  24. deadgod

      What do you mean?

  25. Guestagain

      It’s working out great for me, I highly recommend it. I don’t see that liberalism or conservatism is working out for anybody though, except our mafiosi politiicians and their paymasters (banks, unions, etc.)

  26. Guestagain

      like the song goes – money changes everything

  27. deadgod

      That’s how an empirically and logically challenged ideology – like that of fanatic ‘moderation’ – “work[s]”:  imaginary self-sufficiency.

  28. deadgod

      that’s a ‘no’ then

  29. deadgod

      [By the way, we’re both misnaming the device that opened the door to “[s]ub-prime mortgage lending”.  “Dodd/Frank” was the financial-regulation bill passed in 2010–a late response to ‘the sub-prime crisis’.  The legislation we’re referring to is the Community Reinvestment Act of ’77 (Carter!), and, more particularly, the changes made to it in ’95 (Dickie Morris/Sticky Newt).]  Here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_Reinvestment_Act .