Yes, it's populated with scenesters who want nothing more than to have a conversation topic at the next hip party. Yes, it's populated with extremist youngsters who think that idealism and pachouli are enough to get anything changed in this nation. Yes, it's populated with hippies, rogues, silly people, militant leftists, pissed off conservatives, and people with nothing better to do.
But it's populated. And that's the damn point. For the first time in my generation, organized protest has the potential to affect much needed change in this nation. Forget the WTO and G8 protests, where angry rioters hurl bottles and rocks for photo ops. Forget the Iraq War protests which were mainly just reactionary leftists screaming in the street because they hated Bush. This cause actually matters. It actually affects ALL of us. And it's actually being handled in the most appropriate way possible.
If you're confused at all about what Occupy Wall St. (and the ensuing Occupy Everywhere) movement is about, watch Alan Grayson explain it in less than two minutes in a way that I wish had been explained a month ago:
When the protesters yell "We are the 99%" (in reference to the fact that only 1% of our nation's population holds 99% of the wealth, while the other 99% of the population... Well, don't), they're talking about you. They're talking about your family. They're talking about your co-workers, friends, acquaintances, and even your enemies. They're talking about Democrats, Republicans, Green Party and Tea Partiers.
Not the upper echelons of those ranks, who run and control everything and have confused some of their followers (especially in the Republican and Tea Party ranks) that they represent their interests. They don't. They represent a system by which they vote themselves pay hikes every year without fail. They deregulate industry and promote glut and piracy of our Treasury. They avoid paying their fair share of the fees it takes to run this country -- the country THEY run.
The 99%? That's me and you and everyone you know. Unless of course, you're fantastically wealthy, in which case I completely don't believe you, because I'm certain no one fantastically wealthy reads blogs, much less mine.
When I hear Tea Party friends of mine jokingly mock the Occupy Wall St. folks by exclaiming "I am one of the 1%!" I want to smack them in the face with a hose filled with sand. Not only are they wrong, they're utterly brainwashed. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I LOVE being the bearer of reality, and the truth is, if you're not one of the 1% in this nation that owns all the wealth, YOU'RE NOT ONE OF THE 1% IN THIS NATION THAT OWNS ALL THE WEALTH.
The saddest thing in the world is a person who has been convinced of a lie so huge, they think it can't possibly be true. It's one of the rules of the con: the bigger the con, the easier it is to pull because no one believes a con that big can work.
If you turn off your tv and radio, quit reading political blogs and just observe the state of this nation for a while, you will see that there are hungry people in our nation unable to work -- not because they are lazy, but because there are no jobs. Our national wealth has been plundered. And it's not Obama's fault. It's not even Bush's fault, who passed the bailouts in the first place. It isn't even Clinton's fault, who enabled the federal subsidization of mortgages and deregulated the lending industry to enable the subprime crisis.
It's our faults. Because we trusted the wrong people, and we keep believing their bullshit. And that's what the Occupy Wall St. movement is about -- stop believing. Stop allowing it to take place. Show the nation that the rest of us are fed up and we won't take it any longer. It's the storming of the bastille; the ACTUAL Boston Tea Party (how's that feel, wing nuts? To know that Liberals are embodying the spirit of the movement you claim to be based on, because you're too busy poking fun at them and hating black people in power? And yes, I fucking hate you. I hate the Tea Party. I have made this no secret. If you want to know why, just look in the mirror until you're as sick of looking at yourself as I am of hearing your rhetoric and barely-justified bigotry).
So why am I not out protesting? Because I'm more useful elsewhere. I employ web developers and artists who are making a living from my efforts. I produce content that (I hope) provides a release and escape each day, week, and month from the mundane, the oppressive and the painful. I make a terrible political tool, because I get too worked up and loud to be actually effective.
And what about it don't I support? Well, for one, there is an aspect of entitlement and ownership to the movement that I find a bit annoying. A buddy of mine, Rob, got bullied by Occupy Wall St. protesters who felt like they owned the park they were stationed at. Some of the attitudes are smug and annoying. But by and large, the fact that there's even a movement to be smug about warms my heart. The age of slactivism is over. People are actually DOING instead of TALKING. And it makes me proud to be an American.
But I support Occupy Wall St. And I believe the cause is sound. So, there you go. That's what I think about it. Glad you asked?