Busted? There's an app for that
Got your packing list for the Occupy protests this weekend?
Comfortable shoes -- check.
Local tap water in BPA-free bottle -- check.
Witty protest signs -- check. (In the running for best of the protest signs: "Only Boehner's Tears Trickle Down".)
And don't forget your arrest app.
The hardware and software that summoned crowds to Tahrir Square in Cairo, to Green Square in Tripoli and now to the centers of New York, Los Angeles and other American cities have created one more "must" for the urban protester's kit:
The "I'm Getting Arrested" app.
According to the review by CNET, "it lets you quickly notify your family, friends and crack legal team (if you have one) with a single tap of your finger" -- which may be all you can manage in handcuffs.
From there, you can sit back in that patrol car, relax and wait for the bail bondsman.
The Android app, says CNET, can also be "a great shortcut for sending any kind of message in a hurry." All it lacks, says the review, is Twitter and Facebook support.
I think the Occupy people have a great point to make and a great message to impart. Plutocracy is the operating system for the freakishly rich; it is not a system that belongs in this country.
Nor is plutocracy a political system ruled by a Disney cartoon dog, although there are cartoonish elements to it. The New Yorker's cartoon bank has an entire category for "money," like one showing corporate officers answering questions at a shareholders' meeting and one muttering to the other, "This is the part of capitalism I hate." Yeah, the part where you're accountable to the public. I'm sure they also hate that part in China, a nation with capitalism but no democracy.
I'd suggest a few tweaks for the "Arrested" app, like adding to the "alert" list some newspaper, radio and TV reporters.
And, like the ghoulishly funny iPhone app that lets you take pictures of your friends and alter the images into the zombie version of them, the Android "Arrested" version could instantly show you what your mugshot will look like.
-- Patt Morrison