Occupy America

I have no idea how much the wheel has turned and whether or not it’s fashionable to love or hate the Occupy Wall Street movement (that is, if you’re a Leftist. The wheel on the Right just oscillates between mockery and hatred) but I’ll tell you right now that this:

just made my heart swell. Even if it all crashes and burns tomorrow, if Halliburton’s stormtroopers descend from CitiBank’s black helicopter fleet and turn Zuccotti Park into a mass grave, at least we can say we did not go gently and made some attempt to remain human beings and not corporate cattle.

It’s embarrassing to me that, if I had kids and they, in an improbable happily ever after, asked me, “Daddy, what did you do to fight against the plutocrats?” my only response would be, “Well, Daddy had some MySQL queries that needed fixing, so he read about it on Twitter.”

I have a good job. I have a house. I don’t have crushing debt. According to the American System, I should shut up, keep my head down, and be thankful. I should consider my situation as solely the result of my hard work, moral upbringing, and strength of character. Maybe, maybe…if it’s Christmas or something…admire the “energy” of those “kids” at OWS. But I’d like to be out there, alongside them, doing my part to at least try to get this country back from the Corporatocracy. Alas, my fingers and heart write checks that my legs and ass seldom even try to cash.

Here’s the difference between OWS and, oh, let’s say the Tea Party. The latter’s message was, essentially, selfish. Don’t tread on ME. Don’t tax ME. Don’t Socialist Kenyan Birth Certificate Guns George Soros ME. In the Tea Party’s ideal outcome, god help you if you’re not exactly like them. OWS is fighting for you, even if you’re not one of them. (And there’s a little bit of hope that the Tea Party is starting to figure this out.)

I don’t care that there isn’t a “tangible goal” or a one-line manifesto that can be easily mocked and dismissed. I don’t care if there’s a titanic corporate machine already in place, designed specifically to chew up movements like this and shit out Big Macs. What’s worse, trying and failing, or not trying at all? Or — not only not trying but just jadedly deriding those who are trying for being too naive to realize they’ll fail?

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2 Responses to Occupy America

  1. Jake says:

    Well said, Dave. Bravo.

  2. Zhu Wuneng says:

    Yeah, totally. I keep saying that if I weren’t in China right now, I’d be there occupying…Which, of course, is very easy to say. I’m not occupying a park here in China right now, and god knows they could use a movement like OWS; but in the US there has to be at least some semblance of democracy, here they don’t go in for that.

    Interestingly, I haven’t heard even one substantive criticism of OWS except that it’s ideologically uncertain (I was in Seattle in ’99 right after the WTO protests and can well believe it, lefties have an annoying tendency to try and mix issues when they should be keeping an eye on the ball); everybody seems to come back to some kind of bullshit about “dirty hippies” or “rich kids with ipods”, which, even if it was true, has no bearing on anything. Jesus, are ipods even a rich kid thing anymore?