photo by Sheri Dixon

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What's the Point? And Please Use Small Words- In Three Sentences or Less

Why is it so confusing for people, this "Occupy Wall St." protest?

Over and over again we hear, "But I don't understand. What's the point?"

Gee. I dunno.

The point is that our supreme court decided that corporations are people?

The point is that the banks and brokerages on Wall St. played with everyones' money with not a goddamn bit of oversight and when they lost it all the government bailed them out so "bad things wouldn't happen to the economy"? And then the banks didn't give it to people to stimulate the economy, they hoarded it like old ladies in a trailer park hoard cats and gave themselves big fat bonuses instead?

*or built more banks- just in Tyler there's a new bank on every corner there's not a chain restaurant or church*

The point is that capitalism without regulation is Social Darwinism at its worst- the very few do outstandingly well and the rest of us struggle?

The point is the bad economy is not because Obama is the president, or even because Bush was president or (god help me) because Reagan was president. It's because no one made Wall St. and the huge corporations accountable for anything- they couldn't, they'd all been bought, purchased, trussed up and gagged by them.

We have, ladies and gentlemen, a faux democracy.

Technically there is still one vote per person, but realistically those votes are not cast after careful consideration, but on the upswing of knee-jerk reactions- people love the easy answers, the black and white, the clearly marked lines in the sand.

Occupy Wall St. does not have the same visceral appeal as any Tea Party shindig.

What's the point? There are signs, to be sure- with every single word spelled correctly and with a message that's longer than a 15 second Super Bowl ad- there's one problem.

It's difficult to caricature-ize the people on Occupy Wall St. because save for a few topless chicks they look much like anybody on the sidewalk anyway- students, adults, children, senior citizens behaving rationally and...normally.

It's damn unexciting TV.

We need flash, extreme and instant recognition- that when we flip through the channels with a finger speed far surpassing anything any other part of our body can match we STOP, pause, the image bounces off the backs of our retinas and our brain says

Flag T-shirt + hat w/tea bags hanging from it + loaded and obvious sidearm + badly spelled message on a sign with Obama as (a nazi, Hitler himself, a cartoon with huge ears and/or an African native w/a bone through his nose) = TEA PARTY

Oh, surely I'm exagerating. Us tree-huggin' bleeding heart liberals tend to do that. Lets pause for a little musical interlude...shall we?

The Tea Party's got it going on. They've made themselves into instantly recognized characters. All they have to do when a reporter asks "Why are you here today" is scream "TO TAKE BACK AMERICA!" and everyone cheers.

Woe to the reporter who asks "Take it back from who?"

"From....them. The liberals. The socialists. The Commies. THE PRESIDENT IS A MUSLIN!!!" (wild cheers from the crowd)

As a comparison, lookit this video- the vast differences in the crowd members- I mean REALLY- there's not a sea of flag t-shirts or anything at all to give instant recognition- they just look like PEOPLE for crissakes.

Where are their ORGANIZERS???

What kind of "grass roots, ground up, for the people/by the people" movement can get off the ground without millions of dollars worth of corporate money for fancy fliers and posters and renting of halls and busing of people to rallies in professionally painted buses and covered no matter how pathetically attended by throngs of adoring media???

*Apparently this one can- Wall St. is fixin' to be joined in the next week or so by Occupy Dallas, Houston, Austin, Los Angeles, Chicago, Milwaukee and over 20 other metropolitan financial districts.

And the message, the reason, the POINT of it all is so simple a nine year old gets it.

Pretty good, kid- the Anti-Robin Hood analogy.

But not nearly as catchy or memorable as "Obama is a muslin who takes orders from Satin".

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