Saturday, October 8, 2011
A Movement of Thousands and a Movement of One
One thing that pleases about the Occupy Wall Street crowd is that, for a change, people have something other than geese, to vent frustrations upon. And in this case, some of the targets are better placed and more appropriate.
But, I am still confused with the actual number of those targets and the specific goals of the protesters.
Last night, I spent some time on the Occupy Wall Street FB page and read some of the articles and posts to try and get a better feel for it. (26) Occupy Wall St.
Perhaps I am dense, stupid or old, but I still don't have clear understanding of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
There is obviously a lot of anger towards corporate America, the banks, Wall Street, lobbyists, politicians, hedge funds, the media, Capitalism and the super rich. (I am glad my personal grievances with the powers that be are a little more confined and directed.) It seems a bit exhausting and overwhelming to grieve and protest so many different things.
There is little doubt that many of the grievances are well founded and legitimate.
I do believe that most politicians are beholden to and in many cases, "bought" by corporate interests and lobbyists.
I also believe there is too much power, corruption and secrecy in government and lack of transparency (as we learned all too well with the massacres of the geese and almost total lack of community notifications and input).
But, from there the Occupy movement seems to get murky and its specific goals, nebulous.
Are they looking to take down our entire form of government? Or, just tax the rich more?
There is a lot of emphasis on the "99% (regular folks) vs the 1%" (super rich.).
But, the super rich aren't just corporate CEO's, bank and Wall Street executives, or hedge fund operators.
They're also movie, music and TV stars, most celebrities, Plastic Surgery doctors, and successful athletes.
What about protesting Hollywood, Yankee stadium or a Cosmetic Surgery clinic?
Remembering back on the various movements of the 60's, most of them had particular focus, whether it was to protest the Viet Nam war or to champion civil and women's rights.
This seems to be about everything from workers rights, to union rights, to senior rights, to student rights to the evils of Capitalism, corporate America, Wall Street and mass media.
Like a grab bag of grievances and it seems one simply picks their favorite.
Unfortunately, I don't personally feel part of the 99% or 1% as my particular grievance (goose massacres) doesn't seem to be included in the grab bag of complaints -- nor am I super rich.
At some point, I believe the Wall Street occupiers are going to have to focus and direct more and come up with some specific list of actual goals or targeted boycotts.
Right now, the movement appears to be successful in attracting thousands of participators and those with a grievance or frustration about something.
But, that isn't good enough.
The weather is nice now and it might be fun to camp out with others in a city park who have similar beefs with the status quo. Its like a whole new adventure, similar to rock climbing in the Rockies or participating in a Triathlon.
But, a month or two from now things will change and its not going to be quite so much fun to camp out in freezing temperatures, wind and snow. Media will die down and move on to celebrity weddings or the Super Bowl.
Occupy Wall Street will need to get their act better together before that and begin to focus on actual and more defined, "winnable" objectives.
What's "new" in this culture becomes old very quickly.
Even the most ardent protestors of the 60's moved from, "The Times They Are a Changin'" and "San Francisco" to "Saturday Night Fever" and "You Light Up My Life" in the 70's.
Only the most committed and most focused stay on for the long haul through all the political wrangling and setbacks before eventually achieving real and lasting change (if in fact they do).
For my part however, I am still focused on my particular grievances and quests. I am thinking about checking out different areas of Central Park today in effort to find the family of five geese who were at Harlem Meer last week (but since flew or were chased away) -- or, any geese at all.
As some poster said on a goose article site this past week: "Who knew there were goose lovers out there?"
Who knew, indeed?
Well, there's at least one in New York City. -- PCA