Occupy Wall Street Field Trip
So I went down to check out Occupy Wall Street's Liberty "Zuccotti" Park and I have to admit, I was a little disappointed with what I saw. Maybe I hit it at an off time. Some things were definitely interesting, like the library and people who were "doing things" - handing out pamphlets, holding signs, making art. Some people though, were just being really gross. I don't think that's what Occupy Wall Street creators had in mind. But I could be wrong.
Sure, one man's gross is another man's awesome, I guess...? But I had hoped to see a little more protesting and a little less Grateful Dead show parking lot action. I'm surprised I didn't see people with their fingers up in the air, "miracling" global change, though that would have been pretty funny, and some form of protesting.
What I saw there was what I grew up with as a kid in Maine, going to catch Phish shows. Lots of dreadlocks on white dudes, teenage runaways with no idea what to do next with their life, and
people getting high. I get it, they may be lost, confused, unable (or interested) in finding work. They're taking a piece of what was taken from them. And I have so many gripes, too. I have a worthless college degree. But I also made a lot of mistakes and bad choices because I didn't really have the guidance I could have used, and I wouldn't have probably listened, anyway. But regardless, I'm a protester, I'm one of the 99%, I'm a supporter. However, when I saw trampled flowers in the garden, it struck me as really fucked up, coming from a group of so called caring individuals.
Maybe I'm getting old, but the whole thing was upsetting to see. Maybe what I saw was exactly what I was supposed to witness.
Intrinsically, I feel that Occupy Wall Street is a good thing. I saw a cartoon online that showed on the left, a jail cell full of protesters with a sign that said "People arrested for protesting at Occupy Wall Street", next to it was an empty cell with a sign that said, "Bankers arrested for destroying the global financial system". I was moved by the cartoon ten times more so than the actual protest.
It made me remember the power of art and music, and why I trudge on, and do what I do. I'm so much more useful to the world writing demented and sometimes insightful songs than I am behind a desk at an office, a worker bee helping some rich guy to get richer. No thanks. I'll take seminal success (or is it semen-al?) and just making ends meet.
I am hopeful that between Occupy Wall Street and the artists and people out there working for change, change will happen, though realistically, I just can't see how it's possible.
I say this, because, the thing I took away most from Occupy Wall Street was the dreaded feeling I've had ever since I was old enough to understand things: Everything is messed up, and the flaw is not just within the system, but within humanity.
And how the hell are we supposed to fix that?