For weeks now, I’ve been haphazardly following the Occupy Wall Street events across the nation, not really sure how I felt about the cause. My initial feelings toward the Occupiers were of criticism for what I assumed to be the usual gutterpunks and djembe pounders, waving their fists at The Man, demanding generalities. Some would argue that I’ve just described the Occupy movements to a T, and they might be right. Who knows.
Little by little, though, my thoughts on the Occupiers collective efforts have softened a bit.
I had a conversation with a relative over the Thanksgiving holiday, and, passionate as he is about such things, this person proceeded to recite the usual reasons why the Occupy movement is useless, an aimless waste of time.
“What are they fighting for?” “What do they hope to accomplish?” he asked repeatedly.
After monopolizing much of the conversation, I changed the subject to something else. Afterward, mulling over his vehement opposition to basically everything, I came away thinking that whether or not Occupy embodies a unifying cause is beside the point. People are pissed off. That’s the cause, and frankly it’s great to see. We should be pissed off.
A few days later, I received a text from a friend who recommended Matt Taibbi’s masterful piece in Rolling Stone on Occupy Wall Street.
Sums up, I think, the feelings of not just Occupy sympathizers but the majority of us dulled by the impending arrival of what Taibbi so eloquently describes as “another turn on the four-year merry-go-round, and the thought of having to try to get excited about yet another minor quadrennial shift in the direction of one or the other pole of alienating corporate full-of-shitness [that] is enough to make anyone want to smash his own hand flat with a hammer.”