OCCUPYING WALL STREET
Have you ever been to Wall Street? It is impossibly small and difficult to navigate as it is.
A few weeks ago a small throng of protesters assembled there to rail against greed, avarice and people with high salaries. They intend to stay there until their demands are met. What are their demands, exactly? Well, they don’t actually have demands. They just don’t like the people who were already occupying Wall Street, the ones with occupations. Let me say straight away that I don’t like stockbrokers any better than they do, because even when I buy high and sell low, they STILL make money, and that pisses me off. I don’t know what a hedge fund manager is, but if they are the ones with those long spines and beady little eyes, I don’t like them any better. I don’t like the fact that people can buy on margin, using some poor sap’s money (mine) to make a losing investment.
There is a certain type of people that is attracted magnetically to a protest that doesn't actually have a goal. You know who I'm talking about: People with a lot of earrings through their nose, mouth, eyebrows (although not ears). If they drink a glass of milk next to you stand two feet away so you don't get soaked when it leaks through all the frigging holes.
The vegetarian type who would eat rhubarb or cauliflower just because they are supposedly edible. By the way, can a vegetarian eat horse radish??
The ones who express themselves through "body art." I like to ask people with a lot of ink, "What is your absolute WORST tattoo?" And see if I can get them to admit that they might have evolved since they let a fat guy with a beard etch a picture of Pebbles Flintstone onto their ass.
People who were a little too weird to get into PETA.
These are the type of people who go around chaining themselves to things. I chained up my bicycle in Atlantic City and it was gone in two seconds, but you could chain up these people with a feeling of complete safety, even at Oriental Avenue, where you cannot extract a penny of Monopoly rent money.
Crowd control is difficult now because you have to be pleasant and not hurt anybody’s feelings or else it's bad PR for the Mayor. They don't use water cannons anymore, even though I bet they would be quite effective- chicks HATE getting their hair wet. I was at a pool party where the kids had super-soaker squirt guns, and I dispersed after the very first salvo was fired. Then again, if you turn the entire demonstration into a wet T-shirt contest, would anyone leave? I say let the cops cuff everyone together by their nipple rings.
They call themselves the 99 percent, referring to the idea that one percent of billionaires in this country (actually about 380K per year qualifies you) control about 50 percent of the wealth (actually about 35 percent). I first thought this somehow had to do with one percent milk. I do not qualify to be in lofty financial elite, but we do live fairly comfortably, because we can afford pillows in every room. Also we do not need to use crude oil like the poor people do, and we use only refined sugar. I stick my pinkie finger out when I drink tea, but only because my fingers don’t fit inside the handle.
Leave it to Americans to organize a huge action to protest something that every single one of them would secretly like to be a part of. It’s like me organizing a protest against Dana Delaney. If she happens to come to my sit-in and crook her finger at me, I may have to leave in a hurry and turn my bullhorn and clipboard over to you. But that’s a big “if.”
Occupy Wall Street? How about occupying your time more constructively? They don’t really seem to want to have a purpose. But I'll give them one anyway:* How about we save the American Political System with just one rule: a campaign budget limit of two million dollars (or whatever you like that's not more than the GNP of small countries), the same for all candidates. Spend it on TV, tours, whatever you like. That would level the playing field, although you would need a slight slope for drainage, hobble the big business contributions and get rid of the two-party model. A two-model party is a different story. Let voting blocs form as they will, and align differently on different issues. Spend all those wasted campaign billions on something useful like luxury resorts in the Mediterranean and first-class airfare. And let's not invite ANYONE who eats kale!
I don’t know what this Twitter revolt will ultimately accomplish. But I do know that there seem to be WAY too many people with too much time on their hands. I have a funny feeling that the unemployment rate will soon be approximately 99%. I also know that those in the top 2 and 3% are not pulling their weight at the protest. Further, I know with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY that this will all result in me NEVER again finding a parking space downtown.
Incidentally, in 1685, New Amsterdam Director-General Peter Stuyvesant oversaw the building of the wall for which Wall Street is named. It was built to keep out the Indians, which is ironic since now you can’t find a cab without them. He also presided over laying out Broadway, but if it was supposed to keep out the broads it didn’t work. Stuyvesant was known as “Old Peg Leg” after he lost part of his right leg to a cannonball during an attack on Saint Martin in 1644. We were in Saint Martin four years ago, but we didn’t find anything.
*I don’t do a lot of politics; there are people even more annoying than me for that.