Greetings, fellow paranoids… Long time.
Yeah, I know I’ve been out of commission for a while… over two years, in fact. And I do apologize for that. But I’ve had my reasons. In preparation for the upcoming 2012 Mayan Apocalypse – aka the Rumble from the Yucatan Jungle – I’ve been ensconced in a network of caves and old mine shafts at an undisclosed location in southern Nevada. I can’t tell you exactly where – my bunker needs to remain uncompromised, thank you very much – but I can tell you this – it’s actually pretty damn close to Las Vegas. I may be an unabashed atheist, rabble-rouser and rabid survivalist, but even troublesome, self-deluded hermits need to take in the occasional Wayne Newton show and affordably-priced shrimp cocktail.
I haven’t had the luxury of the Internet – or running water, or conventional toilet facilities, for that matter. So forgive me, please, for being more than a little out of the loop. But on one of my more recent irregular visits to the surface world, a kindly Bingo afficionado from Ohio clued me in to a most interesting recent political development. Apparently, some crazy kids have Occupied Wall Street. Now, as a proud and out former Apocalypse Examiner, I figured this merited some further investigation. So, not so long ago, I crawled out of my comfortable little spider hole, dusted the red ochre sands from my Mac’s keyboard and, well, there I was… ready to be bitch-slapped by the Internet with some serious knowledge.
So. Occupy Wall Street. Occupy New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco… Hell, why not Occupy America? What is it, exactly, that these crazy kids want?
It’s generally understood that the true ‘message’ behind the movement has, so far at least, not crystallized – at least not into any catchy, easily-chantable slogans. As far as I can see, the reasoning behind these protests remains fairly oblique. However – and I can’t stress this enough – it’s all too obvious that these unwashed, urban campers are in search of the profound ‘change’ promised to us by candidate Obama way back when.
And who can blame them? As I understand it, ever since I went underground, the political climate in America has gone from bad to worse. The financial crisis continues to boil over, scalding millions of innocent, hardworking Americans. The dark forces of polarising division have kidnapped the Senate. Corporations are people now – WTF? – and good ol’ boy Rick Perry – Mr. Executioner himself – is, somehow, a relatively viable candidate for the Republication presidential nomination. It should be clear to one and all that the system is well and truly broken. And although any truly viable solutions for fixing said system are yet to rear their reasonable little heads, I think it’s fair to say that the Occupy movement is a valid one.
Though a little befuddled, its a movement that consists primarily of those who are sick to the gills of preferential treatment for the rich, concerned by the corporation-serving machinations of Washington and terrified by the thought of a rapidly disappearing American middle class. In actuality, these are concerns just about every American should share – or at least 99% of Americans, anyhow.
So I figured that the Occupiers would have a little support in the guise of my old friends the Tea Partiers – you know, those flag-waving, gun-toting ‘revolutionaries’ who were all the rage a few years back. After all, these two groups have more than a little in common – they’re both concerned with the actions of the current administration. Both are calling for some hazy, ill-defined sort of ‘revolution’. And both seemed to have been spawned in the aftermath of the much-maligned bank bailouts. Surely the Partiers and the Occupiers could be brothers in arms? The last line of defence for common American interests? Nope. Boy, was I wrong.
Turns out the Teabaggers, for the most part, can’t stand the new blood muscling onto their soapbox scene. On Fox News and a hundred thousand poorly-written blogs across the nation, the Occupiers are being characterised as nothing more than clueless, unwashed hippies. Their fight, apparently, is inherently wrong. It’s a socialist plot – un-American. But why? What’s with all the haters, yo?
It all boils down to just the same old sh$&. The Occupiers, you see, are primarily left-wingers. Disillusioned Democrats and independents, fed-up, exhausted Liberals. And Teabaggers represent the Right – i.e. the greedy, inherently racist ‘Capitalist’ homophobes who – it can be argued – kind of more or less got us into this mess in the first place. And before you go flaming me in the comments section, my Conservative pals, put down your Bibles and cast your petty little minds back to the last days of the most recent Republican administation. Try to remember who started this incendiary bailout business in the first place.
Go on. I’ll give you a little time to stew in your red-blooded juices.
For those a little (understandably) confused by the actual difference between these two movements – both which (ostensibly) seek to disrupt and reshape the nation’s current political structure – its actually depressingly simple. The Occupiers seek to represent the 99%. And the Teabaggers, slavishly devoted to their Conservative mouthpieces, are more than happy to pick up the slack for that all-important remaining 1%. They’re backing the ‘job creators’. Good luck with that, guys. Let me tell you, you’re gonna need it.
So, as much as I’d like to defend the Occupy movement as a profound, all-encompassing, cohesive reaction to the rampant, bloodthirsty forces of misguided American capitalism, it all boils down to the same old argument – Us versus Them. Liberals versus Conservatives. The far right against the far left, never to meet in the middle.
That being said – the Occupiers are trying to develop a new status quo here. They want an America where men and women are judged by the contents of their character, and not their wallets. Can’t blame ’em for trying, right? The Teabaggers, on the other hand, merely want to reinstate the same tired, greedy, hypocritical, blindingly white hate-machine that got us into this problem during those eight horrible, trickle-down happy, war-hungry years. Is that really something America needs? Another age of unbridled capitalistic excess? Another near-decade as the greater world’s punching bag?
Just try and remember that the next time you head to the polls.
There are now only 422 days left until the End of the World.