Occupy Wall Street

by Bryan

Guy Fawkes masks for infants. You want to talk money? That’s where the money is. Spools of it. But no, down at Occupy Wall Street, the masks are only for the grownups. Discrimination! The babies have to be content with signs:

Aidan on the sleeping/protesting multitask tip

Oh yes, the blogger visited OWS this weekend. I came away impressed. First off, for a bunch of people packed into a space no larger than an indoor soccer field, they’ve had a pretty monstrous effect on the world. Second, for all the critics who have attacked their “organization” or lack thereof, they seem to be, if anything, overly organized: donate here, press requests here, drum circle over here. About that drum circle: laugh and stereotype all you want and you’re certainly within your rights. It is a freaking drum circle. But. The OWSters have been at it for six weeks now. They’re not watching TV. They’re not listening to the radio. They need something to keep them going. You have your iPod. They have drums.

The biggest surprise, to me, was how entrenched the whole thing was. People are straight-up living there, and while we’re at it, kudos to the owners of the park for not booting them, which they could do (SPORTS REFERENCE AHEAD) faster than the Patriots could give up a 40-yard touchdown. It really is a little society down there, an alternately angry and happy, but uniformly smelly, one.

Again: so what? While OWS isn’t quick to identify itself with Democrats, they’d be wise to do it. They could make the Democratic party into a one-issue party a la the GOP w/r/t taxes, or Kenan Thompson on SNL: Fix it. We don’t care how. Fix this nonsense. Here are our votes. Work to actually fix things, and the votes will keep coming.

There are, to be sure, people at OWS who feel betrayed by the Democrats and have no intention of doing this. Nor is that sentiment limited to OWS, as this Harlem church sign subtly indicates:

We have both types of speech: love and truth

That happened. And it’s happening all over the country. Obama’s taking it on the chin for something that is a lot bigger than just him. He wasn’t, the thinking goes, the one we were waiting for.

But he never was supposed to be. Maybe it was just an inspired flourish of campaign rhetoric, but “we” were the ones we were waiting for. We were supposed to be the difference. Electing Obama wasn’t the cure-all, but a first step. We spent way too much time being proud of ourselves and not enough time giving him the help that he needs. The system is screwed up, but there’s one way to change it: occupy voting booths. It’s what the GOP does best. If people can live through the winter in an outdoor park in New York City—and I fully expect them to do just that—you and I can make our way to the polls to continue to vote for change. It’s not rocket science. Let’s not make it out to be. The babies would laugh at us behind their little masks. That would be kind of creepy, actually.