Sunday, October 30, 2011

Unhappy Halloween: Recalling Last Year’s Tricky “Treats”: The Ghastly Ghosts Lurking In PR Messages From Atlantic Yards To Zucotti Park

(Above: A new monster in the pantheon for Halloween?)

Halloween is upon us. So it seemed like the right occasion to recall the gruesome details of the scarifying PR packages the New York Times and CNG's Brooklyn Paper dumped on the doorsteps of Brooklyn residents one year ago for Halloween weekend.

Deliver Us From Ghosties and Ghoulies and Long-leggedy Beasties . . .

It was the first Halloween weekend after the publicly-protested groundbreaking of the Bruce Ratner/Mikhail Prokhorov (Barclays) basketball arena spearheading the Atlantic Yards mega-monopoly land grab. On their doorsteps Brooklyn residents found two promotional packages for the Ratner/Prokhorov arena: One was a “CNG” (“Community Newspaper Group”) “Brooklyn Tomorrow” magazine with a “Barclays Bounce” cover; the other was the New York Times Sunday Magazine with the Russian Oligarch and basketball team owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, on the cover conspicuously palming two basketballs in his enormous hands.

I guess that makes Mikhail Prokhorov a new sort of Halloween monster!

There is more Noticing New York coverage of the Prokhorov/Ratner haunting we received that Halloween, set out as part of a broader discussion about why we probably ought to be scared out of our wits by how the skewing of wealth in this country, together with increasing privatization of the traditional elements of public speech (including but not limited to public spaces and streets in which to speak), is contributing to severe imbalances in our public dialogue. (See: Saturday, October 22, 2011, Occupy Wall Street and the Banks- Messages From Bonnie & Clyde, “They’ve Got Too Much Money”: Ownership of the Public Forum by the Wealthy?)

As a bonus, when you read that article you’ll learn about the Garrison Keilor/Raymond Chandler impression done by the reporter theoretically covering Mr. Prokhorov as he tells us about how he got up close to some stage-prop models hired to be ogled . . . .

. . . and Things That Go Bump In the Night (Jay-Z?)

The imbalance of the money-fueled PR assault has inspired Noticing New York to respond with some corrective images. (See: Wednesday, October 26, 2011, Longing For Correcting Images to Jay-Z’s Hip-Hop Hype and Ratner’s Atlantic Yards “Strategy of Distraction”.)

I guess you could consider the phantasmagorical imaginings you see here more in that vein.

Mikhail Prokhorov costume, anyone?

Tales Told Around the Campfires In OWS’s Zucotti Park

(Occupy Wall Street protesters above)

Also to add zest to your Halloween celebrations this season, there is another good Noticing New York-worthy spooky story: Did you know that Occupy Wall Street protesters are not just demonstrating in Zucotti Park, they are actually performing an exorcism of the corporate ghosts of yore? That’s according to: The Ghostbusters of Liberty Plaza- chronicling corporate misbehavior (and how to research it), October 6th, 2011 by Phil Mattera in Dirt Diggers Digest brought to us by the folks at Good Jobs New York.

(Above, Bettina Damiani from Good Jobs New York, Greg LeRoy, Executive Director of Good Jobs First, and Elizabeth Bird, also with Good Jobs NY delivering copies of Mr. LeRoy's book "The Great American Jobs Scam" to the Occupy Wall Street library.)

In his apprehension-inspiring little narrative Mr. Mattera describes with almost morbid delight the chilling details of how the ominously named Zucotti Park, once more appropriately named Liberty Plaza, has not always been owned by Brookfield Properties but was instead belonged to a series of prior owners; U.S. Steel, USX, Merrill Lynch, Olympia & York, who, ill-fated all, strangely suffered or succumbed, as if oddly cursed, to various vexing maladies of capitalism. Mr. Mattera’s postmortem of their corporately cadaverous fates is well worth the read.

Zombie Developer, Anyone?
Still need creepy costume ideas? Text that explains the image above can be found at: Tuesday, June 23, 2009, Atlantic Yards, Metaphorically Speaking.

Oh, and looky here! Somebody across the pond seems to have liked this suggestion. The article is from November 2010 and the signs are all about the 1% and the 99%. Seems the Irish got out in front of the Occupy Wall Street folks here in the States.

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