It’s like that children’s book, Everyone Poops. Seriously, it’s a natural thing. So where have these people been going?
Okay, so let me preface that this post is NOT one of an activist agenda. I am not here to sway anyone or vote “yea” or “nay” on the issue at hand. In fact, if you try to talk to me about “hot button” public and private sector issues my eyes will most likely glaze over and I will start asking for peanut M&Ms. I am here to talk about making your voice heard, from the comforts of your own home, with a toilette.
I am clearly an old fart before my time. While watching the Occupy happenings across the country (and world for that matter), the only things occupying my mind were: “Where do these people shower?” “God, it looks cold out there, they must be staying warm from the smoke coming out of that tent. Oh wait, that’s not from a campfire, nevermind.” And, “Are those trombone players out there? Do they have a band now?”
I am not here to rain on anyone’s parade. It is quite admirable to take a stand for one’s beliefs, or shake up the system (safely of course) to make positive changes in society. [Side bar – I would also like to commend our police men and women who really did an admirable job trying to keep things as non-violent at possible. Unfortunately, both sides had negative incidents such as the carting off of protesters and vinegar thrown in the faces of officers – that one really gets me!]. It just seems like there is a more comfortable way to get one’s message out.
As an objective observer from home, I noticed a common demographic among the population of the protesters. They were all mainly:
1) Twenty-somethings – Aside from a few older folks who looked like they accidentally stumbled into the campsite and stumbled out with a sweet hemp braid – they were all pretty young. Young people can take the elements. They haven’t realized yet that they just can’t survive without warmth, running water, and TiVo.
2) Caucasian – Not sure what this has to do with anything, just an observation – at least with the Occupy Boston movement.
3) When evicted from Dewey Square, these folks sent a message by making a small tent crowd surf, a la indie rock concert style.
Based on the above observations, it seems that police departments could have saved themselves some trouble of trying to forcefully remove these picketers. All they had to say was, “Hey, you guys need to vamoose. If you promise to leave, we promise a concert by Phish and free hacky sacks for all!” Done. No horrible back and forth between the movement and the men and women in blue. The physical pains on both sides may have been avoided.
So what now?
Well, I’m not sure if anything came of this sit-in. It seems that so much frost-bite and unnecessary sod (to the tax payers of Boston somewhere in the department of a million $$ to clean up after the movement) could have been avoided. Because I am 99% sure (see what I did there?) the individuals the movement were trying to target were slipping out the back door, hopping into their leather interior seat-heated cars, and driving home while texting and eating chicken wings. They could have cared less.
Once again, there has to be an easier way.
Below are some suggestions:
1) Mormons and Girl Scouts Do It Better – Go door to door Jehovah Witness-style. Camp out in front of your local grocer. Obtain signatures to get a bill going. When we lived in Texas, petitions were going around so that the people could vote on the sale of beer and wine at local grocery stores. Guess what? They got enough signatures, got it into the next election, and it passed. This has happened numerous times with other issues; however, I can only remember the one that allowed me to buy Pinot Noir at my Albertson’s.
2) Get ‘em where it hurts – in the Paper! – The government seems to be like one big paper party. I often wonder if our officials throw it up into the air and roll around in it Indecent Proposal style. Our nation has been conditioned to respond to the written word. If I may be so bold as to quote Public Enemy here, “When I get mad, I put it down on a pad.” Might I suggest doing the same.
3) Saddle up to drunk Uncle Larry at the next family Birthday/Bah Mitzvah/Thanksgiving – Chances are you know somebody, who knows somebody, who works with somebody who has a crazy Uncle Larry who works in government. Hand him some egg nog and your petition and see it off to the races…er…congressmen/women or voting booths.
Let me reiterate here, I am not here to start a movement. I am not a supporter of the Occupy Movement, but I respect their passion and why they feel things need to change. I am also somewhat of a political dullard.
With that said, if individuals feel things need to change in their communities, government, society, then so be it. But let’s do it peacefully and gently. That officer you’re spitting at, he is somebody’s father, brother, and son. That kid you need to handcuff, he’s someone’s son too.
So go ahead, stand up for what you believe in. And maybe grab a shower too.
P.S. – I’d like to give a shout out to my husband on this one. He often goes around the house spouting Public Enemy lyrics…maybe too often.