Listen: it’s not like anybody’s storming the gates (or gated communities) and yanking CEO’s out of their beds, impaling their skulls on stakes and lighting them on fire while marching through ghost-neighborhoods of foreclosed homes.
We’re occupying Wall Street. (Or whatever the Wall Street equivalent is in towns from Temecula to Brussels.)….
Admittedly, of course, Occupy is a loaded term.
Native Americans, for example, whose ancestors were booted - or conned - out of Manhattan, may feel like the current residents – rich, poor or rapidly extincting middle class - are all occupying the place. But that’s a different story for a different day. (Though absolutely valid, and a generally unspoken of source of national shame, any day of the week.) As I heard, not two days ago, discussed by a small claque of earnest and stand-up souls at Occupy LA, outside City Hall. I had not thought of this before; but ideas, and food, were free for the taking. And everyone availed themselves.
When Americans of the 99% Tribe say they are occupying a place, what they are really claiming is not the real estate (though real estate, often of the soaking, underwater variety, may be at the heart of their collective cri de coeur.) What’s being occupied is not an external place – or not just – but an internal one. The spot inside us where molten anger bubbles up to I-Played-By-The-Rules-And-I-Got Screwed righteous fury that the Goldman Sachs-y guys (or equivalent thereof) made their own rules and made out and blew the banks up in the process, then got paid again when they got bailed out, then got back on their feet and bonus-ed themselves all over again. With our money. After our team lost pensions and future and health care and all the rest. And until now, we have acted like there was no recourse but to take it.
The generic Fox News-esque objection to Occupy? There is no coherency. Too many assorted beefs. Talk to fifteen full-timers, you’ll get fifteen reasons. Pissed off that more money is going to prisons than education? Come on down. Angry that America spends more on health care than anywhere in the world and all that money lands us a prestigious 37th place in mortality? See you there! Furious that you worked your a** off to get through college and can’t find a job filling burger orders because your pension-free grand-parents have filled all the slots?