The children—dozens of them at first, then hundreds—gathered in downtown Manhattan on September 17 to change the world. For better or worse, they’re still there. They may even be multiplying.
Many of them, especially the girls, seemed too young to have so much facial hair. Many…if not most…if not all…of them who huddled together to denounce “corporate greed” seemed unemployed: Unemployed street poets, unemployed performance artists, unemployed interpretive dancers, unemployed bongo drummers, unemployed Gender Studies grads, unemployed placard-makers, unemployed graphic designers, unemployed social-media directors, and unemployed soup-makers. It was a diverse group of people who were all fully involved at being unemployed. If employed at all, it was obviously not in professions that require periodic showering and rudimentary grooming.
They came vowing they would “Occupy Wall Street,” but Wall Street wouldn’t let them, so they regrouped in a nearby park. Their ongoing near-occupation was a carnival atmosphere of mutual understanding and unforgivable aromas: There was group yoga, pillow-fighting, face-painting, meditation, banner-unfurling, ukelele-strumming, drum-beating, and—who knows?—maybe even some didgeridoo-playing, communal foot-rubbing, and a circular round of anal candling to top it all off.
There were celebrity visits from washed-up screeching beluga Rosanne Barr and the perennially aggrieved Susan Sarandon with her communist breasts. Cornel West showed up and proudly displayed his woolly hair, gleaming buckteeth, and scholarly eyeglasses. Michael Moore appeared on TV and voiced his support for the protesters, saying that some people were eating more than their fair share of the pie—and if anyone should know, it’s him.
Still, it took a while for things to catch fire: For nearly two weeks as the protesting faithful patiently ran around in their underwear or sat in the lotus position gently stroking their pet rats while chanting anti-capitalist slogans, the new global revolution’s numbers barely seemed to eclipse a couple hundred.
Last Friday, the movement caught a break: A false rumor spread that mega-selling English band Radiohead would appear to play a free concert in support of the protestors, causing an influx of scruffy-headed politi-hipsters to the Wall Street area.
The chanting, marching, bongo-banging, and ritual Protesting of Everything Unfair continued on Saturday. One group stomped across the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan in defiance of genetically modified food, crossing paths with a group marching the opposite direction against poverty. Protesters eventually flooded the bridge, blocking traffic. Police shut down the bridge and started arresting people.
At last count, the NYPD detained over 700 mostly young protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge this Saturday. The mass arrest of politico-teenyboppers started grabbing the top headlines. The left had finally found the Angry Mob movement it had craved. Arianna “Woman of the People” Huffington power-Tweeted that the movement is a “welcome reminder that, for angry Americans, the Tea Party is not the only option.”
OK, you scraggly radical goofballs. You have your “movement” now. You have your Night of the Long Goatees. You’ve been waiting for this, right? You sat in envy of the “Arab Spring” ever since it started last winter, so now you have your “American Autumn,” at least for now. And not only in New York—you got busted protesting outside the Bank of America in Boston, you did your little dances and barked your little chants outside the Federal Reserve Building in Chicago, and you even occupied a band shell in Boise, Idaho. You’re even encouraging people to occupy “The Hood” and, shucks, the entire globe!
So what in the name of Friedrich Engels is all this about, anyway?
As with the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street is a big circus tent hosting a hodgepodge of disparate recurring themes—many that appear sensible, many that sound wacky, and not all of them reconcilable. But whereas the Tea Party agitated largely against Big Government, the bogeyman here is Big Money—specifically corporations and “the rich.”
The occupiers posit a hyper-simplistic class war that pits “the 99 percent” against the soulless, evil, everything-raping greed-pigs nestled in the top percentile of wealth, eating pre-peeled grapes and slurping up the proles’ blood just to be dicks about it. (It seems that only months ago, the prog-bots were framing the struggle as being the “98 percent” against the top “2 percent,” but apparently the 98th percentile has switched sides.) According to the Occupy Wall Street website:
We are all races, sexes and creeds. We are the majority. We are the 99 percent. And we will no longer be silent.
On Friday, Occupy Wall Street released its first official list of grievances. On Saturday the “hacktivist” group Anonymous, sounding like Robert Duvall’s psychotic Lt. Col. Kilgore in Apocalypse Now, issued a statement urging protesters to “Savor the smell of tear gas, savor the feeling of pepper spray. Rejoice to your bruises and your tears.” Anonymous also taunted the amorphous “Wall Street”:
We are crowding your streets, we are filling its veins. This might be painful, but you will not open your eyes so we are being forced to dilate them….Can you hear the defiant beating of our drums? Keep trying to belittle us pundits, you lap dogs of the elite. Keep trying to sum up this movement in a sound byte. This is a cultural crisis, and you are simply too stupid to understand it.
Way to charm everyone’s socks off, you mischievously anti-consumerist situationist digital dilettantes!
I am definitely too stupid to understand how corporations steal anything from me. Unless they’re receiving government subsidies, I’m not forced to buy anything they produce. Not like I’m forced to pay taxes. And it’s the government, not the corporations, that claims a monopoly on violence. Only the government can throw you in jail and call it “incarceration” instead of “kidnapping.” I’ve never seen a corporation claim the exclusive right to wage war, but that’s the government’s reason for getting out of bed in the morning.
So I tend to believe that Washington, DC did more harm to the economy than Wall Street did. If forced to choose between the government and corporations, give me McDonald’s every time.
The whole “Occupy Wall Street” thing was launched in July when consumer-culture-hating Canadian magazine Adbusters ran an ad asking whether America was “Ripe for a Tahrir Movement.” Adbusters founder Kalle Lasn seems to hate all things American and love all things global. He openly endorsed “Not just a carbon tax, but a global across-the-board pricing system.” Adbusters also hosted a “One Flag” competition to design a flag symbolizing “global citizenship.”
Over the past decade, Adbusters Media Foundation is said to have received over $300,000 from the giant progressive golden calf known as the Tides Foundation, which in turn has received millions in donations from culture-busting globalist currency-meddler George Soros’s Open Society Institute. Adbusters is also said to have received an additional $176,500 “from organizations associated with…George Soros’s Democracy Alliance.” The US Day of Rage site, another agitant in the Occupy Wall Street movement, has also allegedly received Tides Foundation cash injections.
Just as I believe that most people who attended Tea Party rallies were sincere, I’m willing to cut the same slack to these corporation-hating hipster doofuses who clogged the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday. They’re frustrated and feel that the powerful don’t listen to them. Good for them.
But despite their sincerity, they may become the unwitting tools of those who love the idea of world government more than they claim to hate the idea of American capitalism. And no corporation on Earth could ever truly imperil the well-being of “the people”—all 99 plus 1 percent of them—more than a one-world government.
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