I must admit, I really don’t understand the impetus behind the “Occupy” movement spreading across our nation. And, I obviously had no idea how passionate people are about it before I tweeted/ facebooked my conversation with my daughter about it:
I found her flippant, 14-year-old-typical remark to be absolutely hilarious. My followers? Not so much. The fallout from this posting is still rolling in and, while I’m still getting questions and a slight, short battle erupted on my FB page, I’m still not impressed with the whole “Occupy” thing.
One of my followers sent me an email:
Just noticed a tweet you made re “Occupy SLC in Pioneer park” and your daughter commenting upon how they must smell?
I hope she understands how corporate greed is destroying the planet and of how those people are working so hard to influence change. I’m sure she was just joking though but wanted to make sure of that?
I imagine you are like me in that you don’t like to hear people you admire being ridiculed. Not that they were in this case of course
And my response:
Thank you for your response. I do not feel as though you criticized my daughter. This topic, apparently, is a heated topic here in Utah. I had no idea, until I tweeted that, what was going to come at me. The whole “Occupy” movement makes no sense to me, so she’s as aware of it as I can teach her to be. See… while I COMPLETELY admire and respect and support the views of those who are “Occupying”, I do not agree with the way they are going about it. As I see it, having a bunch of people sleeping in tents around the nation for weeks on end as “protest” to the greed on Wall Street is not, in my opinion, the most effective way to go about invoking change. In a way, I view their tactics as futile and believe there is a better approach to changing this nation’s policies – although I am the first to admit, I have no idea what that could be. I believe it was Ghandi who once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” They are not really BEING the change they want to see. They are camping out in the parks. I am willing to admit that maybe I do not understand ALL that they are doing and maybe I don’t have the whole story about their approach. It is also really possible that I am missing the bigger picture and that I really have no idea WHAT their point is, but as I see it, I’m not sure how camping in tents in public parks is “proving their point” (whatever it is) OR how it is going to get policies to change. Those who make the policies are most likely not at all moved by hordes of “hippies” – as they are being judged to be – sleeping out in tents and looking generally “lazy” – as they are also being judged to be. As I see it, their approach is ineffective. In the end, what positive change are they being???
I think that pretty much sums up how I think/feel about the “Occupy” practices, thus far.
Now, as I see it, those who are “active Occupiers” are the middle class who are enraged by the ultra-rich who have everything. An article in the Salt Lake Tribune said as much… (go here to find the article that is linked to the awesome picture I’ve used for this post…) I imagine that in every state where there is an “Occupy” home base, there is also a homeless population. I was told yesterday that, in New York, they have “big money” that people have donated to the cause and it’s banked in some independently-owned small bank in NY and that, in NY, they’ve also accumulated a warehouse full of donated food for the “Occupiers.” From what I gather, that food and money is only in support of the “Occupiers.”
Now, as this photo so aptly captures, here in Utah, we’ve had a homeless population “issue” for a hell of a lot longer than this “Occupy” movement has been around. I am going to boldly assume that most, if not all, of those “Occupiers” in Salt Lake were the very people who turned their noses up at “the homeless” and were some of the people whose favorite stance was, “Get a job, ya bum!” I can assume this because the “middle class” has historically been offended by the “lower class” AND the “upper class” because the “middle class” is the group of people doing all the work and paying the cost for everyone. Perhaps, having their living quarters neck-to-neck with the very population upon which they can look down has changed their point of views. One can hope for that, but really… what good are they doing/being, by having a prolonged camping trip in a public, downtown park???!
Here in this great “free” nation of America, we are supposed to all be equal. But, that has never really been the case. And, all that aside, if all this money and food that is going to support the “Occupiers” were actually put to productive use, maybe we could see a change. I guess – and I’m willing to hold space for this to happen – that, due to this nation-wide camp out, there could be eventual change in the policies and practices of our nation’s financial powers and that the homeless population “problem” could also be solved at the same time. Yes. Maybe it could all happen like a beautiful Hollywood movie with a grand, sweeping, orchestral musical finale and glorious sunset to boot, but I just can’t see how putting money and food behind these “Occupying” people is getting anything productive done.
I’m really willing to admit that I don’t know a whole heckuva lot about this and that, perhaps, I know just enough to get people riled up and find myself in the middle of a shit storm. Yeah. I know. Bring it on. Enlighten me. Educate me. Help me see this “Occupy” movement as something other than the idiotic, futile, wasteful, greedy plan that I currently see it to be. The thing is, with what I do know and with I see and with what I feel and with what information I have received from other realms, this ain’t cutting it, people. And, yes, I do not have the slightest clue on a better way to “solve” our nation’s problems. All I do know is, there has got to be a more effective way.