Feb 09, 2012 Neil Benjamin Jr. Uncategorized
The Occupy movement, for good or bad, has etched a place for itself in American history by grabbing our attention with demonstrations, rallies and outspokenness.
Mainstream media covers it with abandon, giving the people a platform to get their points across. If you think about why Occupy has been on the minds of most of us, you’ll understand they are doing it for a good cause, as corporate greed has hit a new level of grossness.
It was met with excitement when a press release was sent out last week announcing that some of the originators of the movement from Occupy Wall Street were coming up to Syracuse from the Big Apple on Feb. 8 for a march. It said there will be a demonstration starting at 2:30 p.m. in Perseverance Park, followed by a bevy of activities.
It’s 2:30. Nothing.
Now it’s 2:45. Nothing.
At 3 I ask one of the Syracuse Occupiers where the Wall Street folks are.
“They’re eating lunch,” he said. “Not sure when they’ll arrive.” He also mentioned the bus arrived in Syracuse the night before, and the occupants were all somewhere in town.
At 3:15, it was apparent those on their trip to Syracuse don’t have a knack for punctuality.
Finally, after freezing for more than an hour, at 3:45, a giant green eyesore of a bus finally pulled into the lot behind the park, prompting the crowd full of reporters and television crew members to let out a faint sigh of relief.
As the riders on the bus exited one-by-one, the stench of moldy feet and unwashed clothing kicked me right in the crotch.
At that moment, it all dawned on me. I saw firsthand why a lot of America doesn’t take the Occupy movement seriously.
First, most of those involved dressed like they were homeless. They stood around, chatting, chain smoking and sharing stories of corporate greed while never once giving an idea as to how to get what they want accomplished. If you want those in power to notice you, I suggest taking a trip to the laundromat before you go out in public.
Second, the signs those protesters had in hand appeared written by a 3-year-old. Grammatical errors took second fiddle to misspellings, most notably “niether.” Newsflash: Those corporate heads paid attention in school, which is a big part of where they are today. If you can’t spell simple words on your signs correctly, you look like an idiot. And who wants to listen to what an idiot has to say?
Third, and most importantly, take your stuff seriously. The press release did exactly what Occupy wanted — it attracted the press. There were newspaper reporters, television talking heads and news crews that showed up to give coverage to the event, and the people known as the brains behind the operation couldn’t be courteous enough to show up on time? I was completely offended that I took so much time out of my busy day to stand around by the bus station waiting in the cold for the circus to arrive. None of the Syracuse Occupiers had any answers. Clearly, this event was not well organized.
It was a big mess. There was no sense of urgency on the Occupiers’ side, leading me to believe many involved are doing it because it’s the “it” thing to do. Give it up guys. You attempted to hold a public demonstration that was pieced together with absurdity.
The irresponsibility shows exactly what the Occupy movement is lacking, which is a leader, a competent leader, at the top.
And remember, this is America. Just as some are allowed to sleep in tents outside of Wall Street, holding demonstrations and hogging the media’s attention, others are allowed to work their way to the top of the corporate ladder and make as much money as they can. It truly is a free country.
The thought behind the Occupy movement is wonderful. Let’s face it — greed can take over and make people do weird things. By bringing this to our attention, we now have an idea as to what needs to be done to level the playing field for everyone.
But if you can’t take your own stuff seriously, then why should we?
Neil Benjamin Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.