Occupy Wall Street

george carlin

George Carlin

“But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard thirty fucking years ago. You know what they want? Obedient workers – people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork – but dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.

“And now, they’re coming for your Social Security. They want your fucking retirement money! They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They’ll get it! They’ll get it all, sooner or later, because they own this fucking place. It’s a big club and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the Big Club.”

–George Carlin

You say you want a revolution? Guess what. It’s here. Get out of the way.

Me and my old partner in chaos and confusion, the legendary Don Hickok will be heading down to merrie olde Manhattan this week to take part in the historic occupation of Wall Street. If life is to gain any meaning through the living of it, generally it’s a good rule of thumb to be where history is being made at any given moment.

That being the case, where else would you expect to find us? Looking through the window at at Rockefeller Center while the Today Show is being broadcast? I’ve got better things to do and better places to be thank you very much. As Chris Hedges put it so eloquently in a column posted on Truthdig this past Thursday:

“There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history. Either you obstruct, in the only form left to us, which is civil disobedience, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. Either you taste, feel and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. Either you are a rebel or a slave.”

“Either you are a rebel or a slave.” Well put. There is no in-between. Damn! Wish I’d said that!

It would seem that the white noise that has been spewing from the plutocracy’s castle-in-the-sky lo these 30 years has finally awakened the sleeping giant of the American Left. If they think they can put a stop to this revolution – through violence or intimidation – they obviously don’t know much about history. Revolutions are unstoppable. Just ask Tzar Nicholas the Second. Just ask King Louis XVI – 0r Momar Khadafi. Putting a halt to a revolution is about as easy as trying to stop the sun from setting in the west this evening. Best of luck to them.

tom deganIf you haven’t heard what is now happening in New York’s financial district, you are completely absolved. Although today marks the beginning of the third week of this protest, the so-called “liberal media” has pretty much ignored it. Had this been a hundred-or-so tea partiers picketing the offices of the ACLU it would have been a different story; the coverage would have been round the clock. But thousands of people have been descending on Wall Street since September 17 and – with the exception of the New York papers, MSNBC and a handful of other outlets – it’s like this isn’t even happening. But it is happening. The billion dollar hammer has hit the trillion dollar fan.

This should have happened 25 years-ago, but better late than never I suppose. The fact that it’s finally happening is good enough for me. What took us so long to get our act together?

Unlike the Tea party spectacle (which was created and financed by FOX Noise and the Koch brothers) this is a real, honest-to-goodness grass roots movement. It’s only a matter of hours before the right-wing scream machine puts out a statement blaming the whole thing on a plot cooked up by Rachel Maddow, Barbara Streisand, Ed Asner and the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Company. I can see Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh chartering several busloads of counter-demonstrators – “real Americans” – to come in and bust some commie/hippie heads. But in the long run, what is said or done to put this fire out will be akin to fighting an inferno with a bottle of Perrier water. This is for keeps, baby!

Since the voters of this country foolishly handed over the reins of executive power to a feeble-minded, failed “B” movie actor a generation ago, the rape and plunder of America’s financial infrastructure has been going on at full speed. Politicians of both parties rigged the laws in order to make the theft perfectly legal. That mournful chiming that is now emanating from deep within Wall Street is the death knell of the orgy that the plutocrats thought would never end. Americans are taking their country and their economy back. As my gal Rachel said the other night on her excellent MSNBC program:

“Rich people are not the reason for a good economy – they are the result.”

Dag nap it! Another great quote I wish I had cooked up!

It’s times like this that I wish I never left New York City. Still, getting down there is not too tricky. Brother Pete and I own an apartment on the northwest corner of 52nd Street and 8th Avenue and I can stay there for days at a time, at very little expense. If ever there was a time to be in the Big Apple, this is it. Come to think about it, I just might camp out with the protesters – roasting mickeys and singing campfire songs:

A hundred bottles of beer on the wall
A hundred bottles of beeeeeer!!!!

Sing around the campfire
Join the Campfire Girrrrrls!

tom deganThat ought to be fun.

You say you wanna revolution? Well, you know, we all wanna change the world. Get ready for some serious change, friends. Get ready to face the dawn. I’ll see you in Manhattan. This is gonna be REALLY cool!

Tom Degan
The Rant

Published by the LA Progressive on October 3, 2011
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About Tom Degan

Tom Degan is a fifty-four-year old video artist who in 2006 became so thoroughly disgusted at the state of America's national political dialogue, he decided to take time off to become a freaking civics teacher. He was born in Goshen, NY in 1958 and, after living all over the United States and Canada, moved back there in 1992. He is a high school dropout who in 1977 received an equivalency diploma (HEY, IT'S LEGAL!) He attended SUNY in Middletown, NY and in 1986 studied journalism at the New School in New York City. He is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and has worked as a truck driver, a radio DJ, and a metal worker... OK, he didn't ACTUALLY receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, but he DID get some kind of ribbon of sorts when he was in the Cub Scouts. He is the inventor of Cheez Whiz and lives off the royalties on the sales of that fine product. He loves children and little baby duckies. FULL DISCLOSURE: He didn't really invent Cheez Whiz. His address is: 2590 Rte 17M (PO BOX 611) Goshen, NY 10924 (845) 294-5714