November 18, 2011
"If there has to be a bloodbath, then let's get it over with."
--Ronald Reagan (Governor of California), cited in the San Francisco Chronicle, early morning edition, May 15, 1969
"But when you talk about destruction, don't you know that you can count me out (in)"
"I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member"
I've been bouncing back and forth occaisionally into the Occupy Wall Street foray over the past couple of months... most recently the other day. OWS is certainly my ballywick. Afterall, I'm a New Yorker, been burned by the economy, and struggling to keep up with payments on my bills. The bereft middle class... once "middle" middle class and not plummeting towards the bottom. Plus, my punk rock dissident background certainly makes me exhibit 1-A for this movement.
Except... I don't feel part of it. I don't know if it's the drum circles, my age or just the daily hassle of trying to keep the Nomad's heads above the rising red tide. Christ, I wanna see the redistribution of wealth (especially if it means I can get some). And I'm all for hanging the bankers and fuckers that have helped make this "too big too fail" scam a reality. But from what I am seeing at OWS, I do know this... about 40% of the folks down there are legit. The other 60% are assholes. Yeah, assholes. The types that are co-opting this movement by just being violent troublemakers. Scenesters, hipsters and douchebags. They'd be protesting free beer, clean air or whatever else they could.
I fully understand why the NYPD mobilized and got rid of the tents and generators. You've pretty much got a bunch of people who decided to move-in to a privately owned park permanently with no motivation for any sort of hygiene or public responsibility. And they spend the day making it hard for their working brethren to get back and forth to their cubicle hells. What if they moved across the street from YOUR house or job. Add to this NO ONE taking ownership or control and a whole lot of combustible dynamics (not the least of which were gallons of kerosene and gasoline for generators). Plus inherent violence (yeah- for real) and you've got the makings of an incendiary holocaust down there. Anarchy is a wonderful concept- until someone loses an eye.
I know in a lot of cities the police and "authorities" have been completely out of control, but here in New York, the City and the NYPD have shown remarkable restraint down at "Liberty Park". They are faced everyday with the lower elements deliberately provoking them into reactions. Mayor Bloomberg has been a great leader through this... showing maturity and consideration.
It's a shame that so many of the demonstrators fail to understand that (and refuse to emulate it).