Last night my wife asked me what I thought about the Occupy Wall Street movement. She very soon realized her mistake: Asking me to comment on a socio-political issue is like inviting Cousin Eddie from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation to come stay with you for a few days. To my credit, this morning as I was getting ready for work, my wife admitted that she wished she had written down my response, partially because it was poignant, and also because she fell asleep half way through, and couldn’t remember some of it. Here you go, Darling, down in print as much as I can remember.
First, for those of you who aren’t as patient (or as interested) as my wife, Here is the short version:
The Occupy Wall Street Movement is a pathetic gathering of spoiled rich brats (even the poor in America are rich compared to 95% of the 7 billion people on our planet) who are pissed because they think the American Dream means that they should be able to go to college for free and get a useless liberal arts degree and work 38 hours a week for a six-figure salary and have free healthcare. The problem is that the real American Dream (which our grandparents understood very well) says nothing about life being easy.
Now for the long version:
Basically I categorize protests into two types, Demonstrations and Disturbances. Both types involve a group of people who are united in a common cause to express their displeasure at something they feel inadequate alone to change. The difference between the two is that the people in a Demonstration are able to articulate what they want to change, and how it is to be changed. In what I call a Disturbance, the people don’t understand enough about the world we live in to even begin to understand what they want to change or how to get there. They use circumstances as an excuse to behave outside the generally accepted norms of society. The Rodney King Riots come to mind as a Disturbance.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is clearly, by my definition, a Disturbance.
Although it is impossible to characterize the 2,000 to 15,000 individuals involved in the protests, there are some generalizations that I think are fair:
1. They don’t know what they want
2. There is a tremendous amount of hypocrisy in the movement
3. The protestors don’t have a clue that their movement isn’t negatively affecting corporate America.
4. Protesting and camping out is a lot more fun than looking for a job or working
5. There seems to be a whole lot of coveting going on
6. There doesn’t seem to be much common sense in the protest
7. The movement is divided
8. The protestors are tenacious, and dedicated to the cause
9. Some of these folks really need to take a shower.
10. The protests seem to resonate with some segment of the US population
11. The protestors seem to LOVE Apple products
12. There seems to be a fascination with pooping.