Hundreds of kids, retirees and union knockabouts showed up on Wall Street yesterday to celebrate a movement that is famous more for what it isn’t than what it is.
Judging by the numbers and the shrug with which Occupy Wall Street protestors were greeted on Monday, the group that claims to represent the 99 percent is suffering from a severe identity crisis.
Maybe the Guy Fawkes masks they wore were the first clue that they had no idea what or who they really were. They likely had no idea who Fawkes really was. Fawkes tried, but failed, to blow up the English Parliament.
The OWS protests petered out last year amidst disease, disagreements, crime, fist fights and the sudden realization that worldwide global warming was gonna result in a very long and very cold winter on the protest line.
Indoor plumbing, the protestors decided, was probably a great thing when temperatures dipped below freezing.
Plus, playing the bongos with cold hands in pursuit of free mortgages, free meals and free matriculation requires real dedication after all. How much dedication can you have when you aren’t willing to pay for your housing, your food or your education by the fruits of your parents’ labor?
Apparently just enough dedication to decide that skipping the anniversary date of the first Occupy protests is a great way of sticking it to the man.
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"We weren't talking about real things at that point," says Pete Dutro, a tattoo artist who used to manage Occupy's finances but became disillusioned by the infighting and walked away months ago, writes the Associated Press report titled 1 year after encampment began, Occupy in disarray. "We were talking about each other."
Maybe next time get someone with a background in finance to manage finance and leave the OWS tattoos to the tattoo guy.
A movement, just like a man, has to know its limitations.
The AP’s Meghan Barr puts it thusly: “Occupy is a network. Occupy is a metaphor. Occupy is still alive. Occupy is dead. Occupy is the spirit of revolution, a lost cause, a dream deferred.”
WHAT-ever. Occupy is nothing, zero, zilch.
How did writing like that end up on a major wire service? It’s not an editorial, nor yet a news report.
It’s more like newsletter writing by a first-year poetry major.
“The trouble with Occupy Wall Street, a year after it bloomed in a granite park in lower Manhattan and spread across the globe,” writes Barr, “is that nobody really knows what it is anymore. To say whether Occupy was a success or a failure depends on how you define it.”
OK, so for the kiddies, let’s define success as not pooping on police cars, not spreading infectious diseases, not leaving literally tons of garbage in public places, not engaging in assault- including sexual assault- and not causing property damage.
By that definition yesterday’s Occupy anniversary was a great success.
“Marchers set to dress as endangered polar bears,” writes the New York Post, “the rich ‘1 percent,’ and Captain Planet plan to block Wall Street intersections starting at 7 a.m. to delay the NYSE opening bell, according to OWS Web sites.”
Wall Street’s bell rang without a glitch, as it always does.
The only thing missing from the peaceful and productive OWS gathering were the armed Libyans shouting “Death to America, the great Satan who liberated us!”
Imagine how much more media attention the protests could have garnered, if after the Libyans shot and killed youthful, peaceful protestors, the OWS crowd could have appointed a committee to submit a written apology to the Libyans for being unbelievers.
Then at least, OWS would know what it really is: the personification and material fruits of Obama’s America.