And an extra big thank you for all the leftovers that you sent back with me. Being a full time protester/activist/citizens journalist/blogger keeps one busy but it sure doesn't pay very well and it will be nice to take a week off of the ramen noodle and hot dog diet I have been on.
Like with all holiday get togethers were you have a mixed group of friends and relatives, there will be highs and lows in the conversation, especially at a time when the neo-conservative movement has polarized the citizenry to such a grave extent. One such moment came on Christmas Eve, when 'Phil' a very likable young man began speaking on the subject of the Occupy movement. Phil and his wife 'T' both had a few statements to make that evening on the same subject, and as I didn't want to counter them at the time and possibly start a argument, I let things drop. Until now that is, after the holidays is in my opinion, a better time for discussions of this sort than during the actual holiday. Especially since we had three holidays being celebrated simultaneously.
The traditional Christmas was of course occurring, as well as the older celebration of the Winter Solstice and Phil and T with the kindling of the Menorah. So much to keep in balance at times like this and with everyone being thoughtful of others faith, I decided to postpone any arguments until now.
You see Phil brought up a point I have not heard in awhile, and was somewhat surprised to hear coming from a U.W. student. Phil said basically, that he shared some concerns with the Occupy movement going on in all cities across America right now. But he was very concerned about the 'image and tactics' of Occupy. This sort of staggered the room and of course a period of uncomfortable silence ensued. His stance was basically that of disagreement with dirty hippies and bums looking for handouts from neatly dressed men in suits.
Occupy is not about handouts Phil, it is about receiving a fair wage in compensation for the labor that is the one and only backbone of our consumer driven economy. When the wealth all flows in one direction, labor is being abused and that causes suffering of those who labored to produce the wealth. When the wealth all flows in one direction, and then sits in gilded vaults of the overly-prosperous, the consumer driven economy is severely threatened.
Money, like the air we breathe, must circulate and flow to keep the system healthy and functioning. If 1% of the population is able to bottle up 80% of the oxygen, disaster is certain to follow. Now perhaps that I have boiled it down to this simple analogy this will make sense to the mind of a business major like yourself Phil, even though you said that all business majors graduate with an A or B average, as the diploma's for business are basically sold to whoever can pay for them.
And on the matter of image and tactics, the 99% don't have the money to buy lobbyists to buy politicians to represent us. That is because we are hard working people who are more devoted to our lives and our families than we are to greed and the hoarding of riches. It is a matter of basic humanity really. So we can not use the same tactics as the 1%. Also we are unable to match the image (still not sure why this even matters) of the 1%. Yes they look good in those custom fitted suits with Armani labels and the Rolex on the wrist, but what part of this makes them good human beings?
These are the uniforms of those who would destroy the system's of capitalism and democracy, in the mad dash they have going on to obtain vast power. Money is nothing but power at a certain level. Money as in $400,00.00 dollar 'special donations' to the NYPD to beat and mace students, religious leaders and women and children at OccupyWallStreet. It is about the substance of the argument, not the window dressing.
Our relatives met Phil back in Europe about seventy years ago. My relatives were very well dressed, I mean they looked sharp as can be. Your relatives looked like bums. Does that mean that my family was good and your family was bad? Your relatives were dressed in rags and filth, covered in disease and vermin. That is because my relatives did that to them. My relatives once again, looked really good. They were dressed in woolen great coats and black leather. They wore dress belts and emblems and jack boots, and they stood very tall on the piles of ashes from the crematoriums. What I am trying to say is that image and reality are very different things, and the more handsome image is not necessarily the one we want to promote. Sorry to bring that up but it pertains directly in many ways to what we are dealing with today. It also mirrors many of the tactics and policies being initiated by Scott Walker.
Anyway it was great to see you again 'T', it has been far to long, likewise Phil is someone that I am glad to have met and I wish you both all the best in life. I just hope that you can find some time in your very busy lives to step back and take a look at the big picture. For it is in the 'big picture' and 'in the long run' that we begin to really see the patterns taking shape here. All that is happening now has happened before. After the Civil War and after the stock market crash of the last century we witnessed the corporate powers trying to grab all of America for themselves at the expense of the millions upon millions of decent hard working people that created all that wealth that made America great in the first place.
Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it my friends. And I personally have no desire, nor do I see any benefit for the greater good, in repeating mistakes from our history that came at a terrible price. That is why we fight for a better future for all Americans. Solidarity forever my sisters and brothers, and please don't drink and drive this coming New Years Eve. We need you all alive and free to aid the recall effort as it closes in on 1,000,000 signatures here in the badger state.
On Wisconsin! FORWARD!!!!