I’m going off the beaten path of mommy blogs and into the realm of politics to talk about someone else’s wayward children for a minute.
I kind of ignored the “Occupy” movement, except for the occasional news snippet here and there, because they have no discernible point to their escapades, except to get noticed and try to convince people that living in a tent in the middle of the city will crumble big business and bring the rich people to their knees. Also, they made me mad.
Like toddlers, they don’t have the emotional maturity to understand that their big, angry tantrum — or seemingly level-headed attempt to hold their breath until something happens — will not, in fact, result in rich people giving all their money away (or the government forcing them to) or big businesses closing their doors. Sure, it’s annoying. They’ll get some backlash from the people whose attention they want. But, inevitably, they will be ignored and left on the ground to finish their tantrum (or come to after passing out from lack of oxygen), and they will have to move on with their lives — because everyone else has.
Should their tantrum become violent enough, they will endure punishment that might hurt them in the short term. They may need to be escorted out of the public place to be dealt with elsewhere. They might have to be grounded for a while until they meet the terms of punishment (jail time, community service (hah!)).
There were some businesses in New York, in the epicenter of this whole fiasco, who had to close their doors to Occupy protesters — specifically, bathroom doors. Occupiers would use the restrooms and trash them, and small businesses — who had so far been kind in letting them use their facilities — could not afford to maintain such repairs, and the Occupy Wall Street movement was not about to offer the money to fix the damage. Instead, Occupiers threw hissy fits because someone was restricting what they believed they were entitled to. Disgusting!
And now, Occupiers in Seattle (and several other port cities) are impeding commerce (and keeping middle-class, blue-collar workers from earning their wages), because they don’t like . . . stuff. They don’t like people to have stuff! Buying stuff only makes other people rich, and IT’S NOT FAAAAAIIRRRRR! WAAAAAAH!!!
I was driving through Tacoma the other day, coming back from my husband’s battalion Christmas party, and I passed the little Occupy Tacoma encampment. There were a bunch of tents nestled behind some wrought iron fencing, probably in what used to be a little green area for university students and pedestrians. It almost looked like the whole thing was fenced in, but I couldn’t get a good look at it, since I was driving. There were signs all over the fencing, and one of them I wish I could have taken a picture of, because it was so incongruous with the backdrop of tents in the middle of an urban area, and my perception of reality. It said, in big, bold, black letters: “This Is What Democracy Looks Like”.
I immediately thought, “If this is what Democracy looks like to you, I don’t want to live there!” The Democracy I live in (which isn’t really, truly a Democracy, but a Representative Republic, or whatever) lets us live in a heated house purchased or rented with money we earned and saved (that we can give or keep at our discretion, except for that which the government borrows interest-free every year), buy our own food and clothing (that we can share, give, or keep at our discretion), and peacefully protest our government. It also lets us make as much money as we can through industry and service. It allows us to be individuals, with power over our own lives (ideally — that benefit seems to be shrinking as the Nanny State grows).
I’d really hate to experience their version of Communism! Besides, if the Occupy movement was really rallying to improve Democracy, they would have traveled to Washington D.C. like the Tea Party did last year. Only, they would have had more news coverage, because they would have stayed, gotten out of control, and would not have cleaned up after themselves.
Now, the Occupy Tacoma group is actually pretty well-behaved, as Occupy groups go. But I’m picking on them, because . . . it’s Tacoma. It’s not even a really nice part of Tacoma. They should have gone and camped out on the doorsteps of the fancy condos a few miles north, if they really wanted the rich people to notice them. But, I guess this encampment is conveniently close to a coffee shop, the Spaghetti Factory, The Rock Pizza and Brewery, the Tacoma branch of the University of Washington, a couple big hotels, and a couple of museums and a convention center. And the Port of Tacoma, which really doesn’t house any legislators or policy makers, unless you maybe possibly count the courthouse a few miles away. It’s possible they also want the attention of people coming and going on the junction of Highway 509, because that’s where I saw it for the first time.
I decided to look up the Occupy Tacoma movement, because I was curious about what their particular “goals and objectives” might be. Here is their website: occupytacoma.org, and their Facebook Page (featuring the American peace gesture, which I always thought was hilariously identical to the British flip-off).
So I perused their site a bit, and came across this: “Needed at Occupation Park”. There are so many laughable invalidations of their movement in that list, alone. Someone is going to have to go to a store and purchase those items, resulting in someone profiting from this movement. Hello, irony! And there are three brand-specific products asked for directly, and several products that will end up benefiting very large corporations, because those are not things that can be manufactured by small, local businesses. They’re even endorsing Big Oil with their need for plastic shelves, serving gloves, and propane, among other things! Several of the items are also not sustainable products, and probably made in other countries. They are advertising the exact opposite of what they’re protesting (and Occupy Seattle’s needs are even worse)!
I’m going to offer some advice (which is also applicable to much of the Green movement) that they probably didn’t think about, because they’re probably not in the habit of thinking (that would be too hard, yo): If you really want to impact big business, and you really want to send them a message and show the filthy rich that people are capable of living without material wealth, then move to the wilderness and start some communes. Then, obey every law of the county/state/country while living off the land and sharing everything equally among all members of the communes. Find and clean your own water sources, and create your own electricity, transportation, and internal economy — and, remember, everything plastic benefits Big Oil, so no plastics, natural gases, or charcoal filters, unless you mine it and refine it yourself (so you might want to recruit an engineer who has seen the error of his ways in getting a college education and trying to make some money in our bourgeoisie economy). Contribute nothing to the businesses you detest so much (not even to Big Pharma, which makes the vaccines and medicines that will keep communal diseases at bay!), and produce nothing that would bring you a profit, either, except in traded goods and services necessary for survival (as long as you accept nothing created by corporations, or even moderately-wealthy local businesses).
After you succeed at making self-sustaining communities that are truly self-sustaining, where everyone is equally wealthy (or not) and the community is unmarred by greed or corruption, THEN you go out into the urban areas and preach the joys and benefits of living for yourself — and the evils of big corporations and material wealth. But while you’re proselytizing and protesting, don’t buy anything or consume anything made by large corporations, try to live off the good graces of others, and don’t break any laws. Take your protests to the capitals, where (and when) the legislators meet. Be peaceful, and — for goodness sake — have a point!
Only then can you be taken seriously as a movement spearheaded by adult reason and non-contradictory messages. Or, more importantly, you’ll learn that equal wealth for unequal productivity is more unfair than the “fairness” you used to believe in.
Besides, without all those basic survival skills — or no one with the time and resources to take care of you — should our economy collapse and become the moneyless “equality” that this movement wishes it to be, you will be the first to self destruct and eat each other.
(I was going to try to review an article taking up a tab on my browser for days now, but I’ll have to make that Part 2 of this topic, and write when I’m not dealing with actual children at the same time.)