I admit, some days I don't like the way the world works. I had a decent childhood but faced some very serious matters that I still deal with, sometimes to distraction, today. I wish I could change that. But I can't. I can live above it, beyond it, outside of it, but I cannot change what happened. And sometimes, that pounds on me, as it does many. All I can change, really, is myself and my perspective on things, and try to have some influence on others.
I am a wanton rebel, in part. I managed to avoid jail as a youth, and that was, trust me, quite notable during several chapters of my youth. Not proud of it. I do get a devilish grin thinking about some of those misspent hours, now and then. But I wouldn't form my life around those things.
There is a part of me that is pulling for the #OWS people. No, not to bring down capitalism or remain in smelly park camp sites for years, and such pathetic madness: The message hidden in the Marxist, road-blocking, smelly park benches, long-term campout, public bowel movement, stupidity of it.
In a less abrasive way -- one that doesn't include RIOTS in Rome and snotty American pukes blocking people's way to work in NYC -- I hope some element of the Occupy Wall Street movement WORKS -- that it gets something across to the idiots these people helped put in charge in the U.S. (Obama! Pelosi! Frank! Jackson, Jr!).
But, that's the problem with "the Left" -- or what I call Modern American Liberals/Left (MAL, if you wish -- "MALcontents" if you're silly about it), isn't it? The way the least practical of them think and how they promote their message, it's downright incomprehensible. And, inexplicably, the least intellectually vibrant seem to get to the front of the camp. (I mean Pelosi?! How can anyone pay attention to her comments for any length of time and not think she's a drip?!)
Much of what I've seen of the Occupy [City Name Here] movement is, for me, kinda like watching a bad movie shot in (for example) Russian: I see what's going on, and while I cannot understand a word, it looks about as vacant as my Russian vocabulary. I would still root for the protagonist if I have to sit through it. Or, I'd feign illness and go somewhere else.
These same people who are in the #OWS crowds NO DOUBT make fun of the Tea Party movement, yet don't they see just how close their complaints are, but for one major thing: who they blame? There are of course other things that separate these groups, like the Tea Party encourages people to read the Constitution while the Socialist Party of the USA is passing things out at #OWS events. But the big difference is who they blame for the current economic troubles.
They both blame powerful groups. The government is mostly to blame on the Tea Party side, and Wall Street is obviously to blame on the other side.
One group -- the Tea Party -- was brewing in 2008-09 and moved to work within the system, and those in the establishment trying to wrangle cats (such as Dick Armey's FreedomWorks and the Tea Party Patriots). (Disclosure: I identify with the Tea Party's simple, ACTUAL agenda -- as opposed to the creepy, crude, shallow claims the left project onto them.)
The other -- the "Occupy" movement -- seems to think they have it ALL FIGURED OUT, and they can change the ENTIRE system by having droning conversations in parks, and visiting billionaires' neighborhoods. Oh, and holding riots in Europe. Most events, from New Zealand to Britain, were peaceful, happily. (But still lack a point that is actionable in a global economy and digital world, where credit, contacts and education are, reasonably enough, important.)
I find it frustrating, then, that the groups are both angry about state and business collusion that worsened the economic collapse, allowed big business bailouts and provided everyday people foreclosure-fest 2008 (and 2009, and...). They are both angry about those things! That's common ground!
The Tea Party was called terrorists, radicals, and the like -- and utterly mocked as "astroturf" by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and called "tea baggers" by so many people it's not possible to list them. This, despite the fact they worked to be very orderly, they were respectful of areas they were gathering in, were calm and collected (unless they were actually attacked, physically, as they were several times, by "union thugs" and politicians' staffers), and left places as clean as they entered them. Well, by comparison to the OWS activists, that IS RADICAL!
Then there's the OWS activists. They aren't so much dangerous because they are capable of violence to try to make their scrambled point, as in Rome on Oct. 15, but because they assume so many things. It is as if their imaginations are fully in chanrge of their perceptions of reality.
They have behaved, quite literally, as the brainwashed members of a cult -- a long video from the Occupy Atlanta kick-off on October 8th showed that weirdness (watch from 1:27 on till you get too bored to keep it up). Business and life have use for imagination, but it's work to turn that into something functional. Just ask an engineer who's worked on a car design, or an aircraft. Ideas are easy.
The OWS activists are fighting a form of fascism, but sadly, I believe it is a "fascism" from inside, that they are listening to and accepting things that are crushing their spirits and leaving ruin in their own misused minds. They seem think they can imagine or talk inconsistencies in the economic system to death, or fight the system with park meetings and shouting at bank buildings. How's that like the Tea Party? It isn't. I wish it were.
If the clutter that thrived in D.C. and New York City, and the droning of Atlanta, the riots of Rome, all subside, something meaningful may come of #OWS. I mean REALLY meaningful. Not geeks getting lucky with some hot hippie babes or making new Facebook friends, but something that is, in the cheesy words of the guy these folks seem to have voted for, Obama: they will provide a "teachable moment." That "moment" isn't gonna happen for the world at large from the back seat of a police cruiser, though.
So, wake up, children, and realize that common sense was way ahead of you on the anti-consumerism thing. The best way to reject "consumerism" is to choose to not buy stuff. You can do that at home, or even out with friends, believe it or not. No need to sleep in clumps in a park, toss garbage all over the place, repeat EVERYTHING other people say (how can this even be done by otherwise happy humans?!), call cops names, or take a dump in public.
If you're anti-capitalist, though, such as Adbusters truly appears to be, then you're going to be hating it in life. If America were purely capitalist, it would be a wasteland. It isn't. But it drives the economic thinking, for the most part.
I imagine -- but only IMAGINE -- elements of OWS and Tea Party movements getting together. I cannot even imagine it, though, till the bratty, spoiled, acting-out crazies leave the OWS as it was shown in NYC, Boston, Atlanta and probably other locations. There are kooks who also identify with the Tea Party, sure, but they are not the majority. I've seen no proof of it. In the OWS examples I cited, however, there are examples of uber-creepiness.
There's kids who are sure that Santa's coming this Christmas. Not in spirit, but there are kids who believe Santa Claus is really going to arrive with presents. Who am I to tell those kids otherwise? I wouldn't do that to kids. The belief in Santa is awesome -- even if I don't have it, I wouldn't want others to lose it.
I hope Santa comes, kids. I truly do!
As for getting rid of the crony capitalism, ending big-business bailouts, and creating good jobs, there we have lots of agreement. Can't we work from there? The Tea Party terrorist radicals agree with you there! Just stop calling them "tea baggers", for everyone's sake!
(Clarification: being stuck in that commune is not good.)