The continuing saga of one girl’s quest to cut through the red tape. Read previous posts HERE.
Confession: I’m not really sure what to make of this whole Occupy movement. It’s confusing. It’s like that loopy, unpredictable distant relative: I wanna love it, but it ain’t easy. You’d think a chick like me who bitches about bureaucracy would be on week ten of living in a tent and hoisting picket signs that say, “We are the 99%” and all that, but it’s just not so. And I’m not sure why. Well, I’m a little sure why. Patchouli. Patchouli and poetry slamming.
Hit the Jump to read more about The Elf’s serious anthropological study of excess, pepper spray and the exorcism of daddy issues…
“Seriously people I’m not making this stuff up. I research it, like an anthropologist of excess…”
When the whole Occupy thing started the energy was exciting and the anti corporate greed/anti bureaucracy vibe was right up my alley. I “liked” Occupy LA on Facebook (always a totally strong political statement, clicking the LIKE button then going about your day). I Tweeted about it — another deft political action. When my mom innocently and shrewdly asked me, “Well that’s great honey, but I just am not sure exactly what they want,” I giddily blurted: “To end corporate greed!” As soon as I said it I felt a wee bit silly, but who doesn’t want to end corporate greed? Well, besides the CEO of Sallie Mae and oil tycoons and corrupt doctors and pharmaceutical giants and Dick Cheney and Goldman Sachs and lots of people who sail around on ginormous yachts with walls made of stingrays and bath knobs that cost $40K a piece. Seriously people I’m not making this stuff up. I research it, like an anthropologist of excess.
But back to the point-ish. Back to patchouli. In the Occupy honeymoon phase I trekked to downtown LA by car — not foot — to check out City Hall, unsure what I’d find but hoping for focus, intelligence, possibly a peek at my secret crush, Tavis Smiley. Maybe it was an off day but what I saw was some bad poetry slamming that had nothing to do with corporate greed and everything to do with the poet’s daddy issues. I smelled patchouli — always a warning sign. People were giving and getting free massages. Seriously? I’d love a free massage but I’d feel dumber than a $40K doorknob doing that at an anti-greed protest. Where was the voice of awesomeness? I love my city but… maybe it was in New York on that day.
Miley’s Occupy Remix…
Occupy tents versus stingray-lined yachts. Honestly, I don’t really want either side of that coin. I don’t understand either side of that coin, do you? Most of us are in the middle, and some of us are protesting and do actually have something to say — but they don’t always have the microphones. Michael Moore? Embarrassing. Tim Robbins? Oy vey. Kanye in gold chains? Oof. Miley Cyrus?? Let’s have a moment of silence please. There are a lot of smart, focused people out there protesting and that’s to be admired. And hell yes letting the banks know it’s not OK to rip us off is much needed. It just seems like at this point, the message has been sent… but that message now needs a leader and some concrete plans. But who am I to judge? I’m not claiming to be Cornell West. I’m just a girl typing stuff for your amusement.
To be damn honest I feel bad for the small business owners losing money because their shops are blocked and their toilets flooded by dehydrated poetry slammers. Maybe it’s just that big movements like this become a bureaucracy in-and-of themselves at some point. The dude who owns the little bodega that’s blocked by a zillion protesters probably has to deal with bureaucracy and paperwork to replenish his supply of toilet paper and Powerade. And obviously pepper spray happy cops ain’t OK — they could channel that anger into writing citations to people for lame poetry slamming though. I’m cool with that. Makes more sense than writing a citation for a parking meter that expired thirty seconds before you sprinted to your car and twisted your ankle and begged the meter maid for mercy. But I guess it’s not a perfect world. Most of us will probably never cover our yacht walls in stingray hides. Thank the lord for that.