Occupy Wall Street Gets A Book Deal And A TV Show In Just 1 Month — Should It?
12:25 pm, October 25th | by Hillary Reinsberg
And just like that, Occupy Wall Street gets a book. And a TV show. These, the same people who complained of not enough media coverage just one month ago — which is just about as old as the movement is itself.
The book, Occupying Wall Street: The Inside Story of an Action That Changed America, which will feature a series of essays and inside accounts, could be published as early as December — just three months into the protests, according to Daily Intel. It’ll of course be written before that. And just a few days ago, we learned that MTV has already put together a True Life: I’m Occupying Wall Street episode for air.
Exactly one month ago, protesters (and Michael Moore) were complaining about the lack of media coverage being given to the protests. In all fairness, the protests have spread across the country and even across the world in that time.
But also in all fairness, it has been just over one month. A little over 30 days.
Much attention as of late has been given to the young, “underemployed” generation that so many of the protesters downtown and across the world belong to. The “millenials” (of which I am defined as a member, to be clear) are criticized for their narcissism, their highs expectations for success, their entitlement. They’ve also been targeted for their obsession with fame, with being known to the world. A 27-year-old New York magazine writer called her peers the “screwed, coddled, self-absorbed, mocked, surprisingly resilient generation.” An obsession and expectation for immediate satisfaction is a theme that also gets brought up.
Now, a book and an MTV reality show don’t speak for the hundreds of thousands of people now participating in the protests and calling for change. But as public products for the world to see, these things — especially just one month into the whole story — don’t do much to argue against those aforementioned accusations. Whether the book is good or bad, the TV show insightful or ridiculous, they do evoke an obsession with narcissism and instant fame.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Occupy Wall Street’s greatest tool has perhaps been its ability to promote and share its message. To make it instantly famous. To broadcast and livestream and live tweet every thing.
At the same time, it brings up something interesting about the people they’re protesting against — the people and companies we often write about here at Mogulite. Wall Street, hedge funds and the like are quite the opposite of the fame-and publicity-obsessed. (Money-obsessed, maybe, but not YouTube-obsessed.) Tweeting about the company, even if it doesn’t divulge corporate secrets, is frowned upon. Remember the Goldman Sachs elevator Twitter account? Goldman didn’t like that very much. But also, inherently — some things have to be kept secret. Deals at investment banks have to be kept private, largely for legal reasons — hedge funds or traders could make illegal inside trades were the information made public. So it’s part of the culture. That’s also not good or bad, but different.
An oft-repeated refrain from Wall Streeters has been that the protesters “don’t understand” what goes on in banks. Banks also don’t publish books or star on reality shows one month into their history.
Perhaps that was a bit harsh. Comparing a movement and an industry is like comparing apples and oranges, or apples and firetrucks, even. But the difference in attitude about publicity and instant attention is something that varies between the two. And it’s something worth thinking about, whatever side you fall on.