Wednesday, October 12, 2011

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?


Anonymous said...

I used to go to Zucotti Park every day and have lunch. Now I just sit on a bench staring at traffic because there's no place to sit anymore that's not a dirty sleeping bag.

Shanna P. said...

I think it's really great what they're doing. I like to bring them donations of books and food when I can. But I do get that there are a lot of hangers on just grubbing up the place.

Steven Wills said...

Police have totally barricaded the Wall Street area. I understand why they don't want protesters on Wall Street. All it takes is one angry, perhaps drunk or high person with a rock and total mayhem ensues.

Inge said...

You are an intellible and stand up almost public person, Jessica. Dont put the protest down, there is plenty of corporate oddballs to do that.

And we all need to cope with some Greatful Dead-show parking lot grossness, its good for the immune system.

No, but seriously, I dont know, Im asking I guess, I see whats happening in NY from afar (Norway), but it seems really, really important, what is going on. And I agree, I cant see just how change is supposed to happen, but lets run with it, right?

(sais the worker copywriter bee making some old fart rich)

P.S. I saw this just now: amazed

Jessica Delfino said...

Ha, funny Inge, yes, there is some truth to that :) It IS important, for sure. I just wish that everyone really understood just how important it was and treated it like the very important movement that it is! I also fear, as I mentioned, that the real flaws are with humanity in general, and that makes for a challenging "repair". Loved that YouTube link, thanks for sending that.

HxC said...

Very honest post here. I was wondering if you could take a quick picture of me standing in front of the protests- whatever- I want to put it on myspace page so this lefty babe I'm courting thinks I'm down.