I’m not a political person. I hate politics, actually. I’m jaded and disillusioned and am of the opinion that what happens in Washington rarely actually effects my daily existence. But just because I’m indifferent to political parties and bureaucratic bullshit, doesn’t mean I’m oblivious as to what’s happening in the world.
America is in a recession. We’ve been stuck in a downward financial slide for the last three years mainly because of bad bank deals, a growing debt and insanely greedy and rich people who just want to get richer. The Occupy Wall Street movement, started in New York in September, is a direct reaction to people finally trying to fight back. Rolling Stone contributing editor Matt Taibbi has been on the front lines at Zuccotti Park and finally brings some rational thought and coverage to the movement in the latest issue of RS. Here’s my favorite except, that distills what so many are feeling:
“We’re all born wanting the freedom to imagine a better and more beautiful future. But modern America has become a place so drearily confining and predictable that it chokes the life out of that built-in desire. Everything from our pop culture to our economy to our politics feels oppressive and unresponsive. We see 10 million commercials a day, and every day is the same life-killing chase for money, money and more money; the only thing that changes from minute to minute is that every tick of the clock brings with it another space-age vendor dreaming up some new way to try to sell you something or reach into your pocket. The relentless sameness of the two-party political system is beginning to feel like a Jacob’s Ladder nightmare with no end; we’re entering another turn on the four-year merry-go-round, and the thought of having to try to get excited about yet another minor quadrennial shift in the direction of one or the other pole of alienating corporate full-of-shitness is enough to make anyone want to smash his own hand flat with a hammer.”
Pretty much sums it up. Right now, life in America for 99% of the population is about surviving and coping. Things won’t get better overnight and I don’t think the Occupy Movement will accomplish much in the long run. For right now though, I agree with Taibbi in the idea that we shouldn’t try to over analyze the protests or project what will happen or stereotype all involved as dirty laid-off hippies.
A lot of people are frustrated and fed up. They have chosen to exercise their right to free speech and for once, others are paying attention. So while part of me can appreciate the optimistic idealism of the protestors standing up to The Man, the other part of me knows that The Man doesn’t give a shit and will keep running our country the exact same corrupt, capitalistic, and catastrophic way its always been.