The various critiques of capitalism asserted by Occupy Wall Street are brave and vital and arguably self-evident, but nothing new. I have well-thumbed copies of Marx—and Chuck Palahniuk, for that matter—that confirm as much. What is very much new, primal and steaming is the anger at a system which has demonstrably failed, but to which no alternative seems permitted; at hideous realities which are enforced upon us all, at our own expense, without mandate; at the idea that there is a certain way in which the world does, or does not, ‘work’, that the only choice is between playing the game and becoming economic carrion, and that those who fail to recognise that are no less than doomed.
At a glance, Amanda Palmer is a talented singer with a respectable cult following and a degree of fame; unconventional, but unremarkable. Yet in the context of a post-recession music industry as dangerous and unpredictable as any dying animal, which was already bleeding money to online piracy and subscribes to the same circus logic as the one percent that has driven people to the streets, Palmer has toppled titans, made water run uphill and proven to her own satisfaction that 1 + 1 = 3.
Now, the question of the hour is: Can others do the same?