How was your May Day? Mine was all right. Actually, that’s not true. It started off left, turned right, stayed right, and then went left again. I went to an OWS protest, sent out some charity T-shirts for Andrew Breitbart’s family, appeared on Red Eye, and performed at a benefit for the OWS legal defense fund.
There were rumors OWS was going to take over every bridge going into Manhattan, so I went to the Williamsburg Bridge at 8AM. Nobody was there, so I went back home and waited for an hour. Still nothing. By noon things were in full swing and a brass band was marching across the bridge with about 500 people in tow. The plan was to block the bridge and stop people from going to work, but it took so long to get their act together, everyone was already at work. Many wore suits to parody the real businessmen who had crossed the bridge actually going to work three hours earlier.
About 100 cops escorted the protestors and I asked one of them why people were marching. “I have no idea,” he responded. “I don’t even think they know what it’s about.”
When we got to the center of the bridge, the crowd stopped and refused to move. I overheard one guy in a suit he had clearly never worn before say, “We got the bridge.” He and his friend seemed surprised their plan had worked. Nobody could possibly get by. At this point, a woman behind me on a bicycle began to panic. “I have to get through,” she said aloud. “I have to hand out flyers at Bryant Park!” She and two others on bikes were on their way to occupy the park, but they couldn’t get through their own roadblock. A bearded gentleman from the group began to flip his bike upside down so the bike seat was on the top of his head. “You gonna do it?” the first girl asked. “I’m gonna do it,” he responded. Then both nodded and went into battle against their own occupation. They plowed through the crowd, pushing people out of the way. One of the girls even said, “I have a meeting!”
You know what’s nuts? I liked it. They are way off-base about many things, but their hearts were in the right place. While their peers are playing video games and masturbating to pictures on Facebook, these kids are out there trying to figure out the world.
Around two in the afternoon I finally got to my office, where my punky 19-year-old intern from Staten Island helped me send out Andrew Breitbart “SO?” T-shirts we are selling for charity. I got into a minor argument with my coworkers about blowing off an entire day for all this crap. Then I headed to the Red Eye set.
When the cameras came on, we discussed the day’s OWS activities, specifically the young Ohio anarchists that were caught allegedly plotting to blow up a bridge. The kids were mocked as they should be. But I defended OWS in general and said we’re all ignoring the fact that terrorism works. In my homeland of Canada we still cower to French demands, and it all goes back to bombings the FLQ did in the 1960s.
I told the panelists that despite Breitbart’s screaming at OWS, he once confessed to me that he loved basking in their rage. He said, “I love these people” while undulating his arms like he was at a rave. He loved it because he believed yelling and arguing and getting your hands dirty is what brings people to the truth. The panel looked at me like I was mentally ill.
The further irony was I had to leave early to go to an OWS benefit called “99 Comedians for the 99%.” The crowd was treated to 99 comedians doing one-minute sets for the OWS legal defense fund.
My set was going well until I told the audience they would have loved Breitbart. They assumed I was joking and burst into hysterical laughter. “I’m not kidding,” I said sternly. “Sure he screamed at the OWS kids, but in a strange way he actually loved them.” As I tried to explain, the lights shut off and I was ushered off the stage. I had probably gone over my one-minute limit.
As I got off stage a comedian in a gray wig and ill-fitting suit said, “You weren’t kidding, right?” I said I wasn’t and he asked, “How old are you?” I told him I was 41 and he said, “I’m 37. I understand that he was probably an awesome guy. Kids today don’t get that. They can’t think outside the box.” We both agreed that we couldn’t think outside the box either at that age, but it’s the dogmatic youth who become the enlightened old dudes.
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