Saturday, April 7, 2012

Book Review:Every Time I Check My Messages, Somebody Thinks I'm Dead: A Memoir of Occupy Wall Street

Everytime I Check My Messages, Somebody Thinks I'm Dead is an excellent book written by occupier Daniel Levine. This is the first book by Mr. Levine, a journalism student who graduates this year, in 2012. The book covers what life was really like in Zuccotti Park during the occupation from Sept 2011 through Nov. 2011. Its a very humorous depiction, but educational depiction.. The story is a compilation of Levine's blog entries.

Every Time I Check My Messages covers the various players and participants in occupy wall street. Initially, the originally occupiers tended to be a group of well educated people. They were typically concerned about things such as high student debt and if they would ever be able to pay off their student loans. At this time, the mainstream media had little interest in covering occupy. However, after the Union Square and Brooklyn Bridge incidents, this news spread through the internet like wildfire, bringing in other players to occupy in large numbers. One such player was the number of reporters who came to the park. Levine gives several funny accounts on how we spoke to them. Levine was the info desk person at occupy, so it was his job to educate people on what occupy was. So he was, at least in the minds of some reporters, an undeclared expert. But being an undeclared expert means you attracted some pretty unflattering attention. The agent provocateurs honed on him as well. Apparently they wanted an intelligent person on their side to subvert and dismantle occupy's structures. Levine wasn't interested and politely declined. Along with provocateurs you had undercover NYPD and other undercover agents as well. Apparently they were easy for Levine and other protesters to spot. And of course, there were the disgruntled and just plain crazy. There are plenty of only in New York moments with the things the mad did. Indeed, the crazy provide the comic relief for occupy and probably for the police officers as well. Overall, this book is a refreshing, first person account of what really happened from someone who wasn't at occupy as a reporter, but from someone who lived there. Its intimate view of occupy shows the challenges the movement faced in the past, and faces going forward. Those interested in this book can click on the image of it on this site.

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