Sunday, October 23, 2011

Remembrance of All Things Must Pass

Sunrise doesn't last all morning
A cloudburst doesn't last all day
Seems my love is up
And has left you with no warning
But it's not always be this grey
- George Harrison, "All Things Must Pass, 1970

You say you want a revolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world
- John Lennon

My Brother Tim - Self-proclaimed Hippie, Golden Gate Park SF
I haven't been down to Zuccotti Park - ground zero for the "Occupy Wall Street" protests.


I have two reasons.
  1. I don't want to get arrested and
  2. I am just not sure about what the protests mean.
Just last night I was watching the New York City News and saw Arlo Guthrie describing the protests as the new "Summer of Love". 1967 all over again.

I'm not convinced. That is not to say that I don't agree with the protests. But "Summer of Love" revisited? I don't think so.

"The Occupy Wall Street" movement has come at a time when the Summer of Love generation people are nearing retirement. I just read that the Massachusetts Legislature is considering a bill to create a vehicle registration plate for baby boomers at a charge $30. The New York Times editorial asks defining generational image will be: "A peace sign, maybe. Or a tie-dye T-shirt, a mushroom or a mushroom cloud (boom!), a bong, 'ME' in flowery script ..." etc. etc.

Are the Boomers the new flavor of the month? I suspect this is the case.

But while I support the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters, I have to wonder about their lack of agenda.

I remember the "Summer of Love". At the time I thought it was all about free love and protesting against the war in Vietnam. The more radical protesters wanted control over their university curriculum. Weird eh?

Yes the "Summer of Love". was essentially middle class and it's people were mainly middle-class kids, enrolled at university. Dropping out.

After all, if you weren't at school/university, what else could you "drop out" from? I suspect the working-class kids were too busy earning a crust.

The "Occupy" protests are comparatively classless. Protesters include a more representative cross-section of people. Not only the modern-day equivalent of flower-children dropping out of Berkeley, Melbourne University, Columbia, but community college kids, the unemployed, actors, singers, ex-hitch-hikers to Iran. I have to wonder, will reality TV show people be the next to join? Oh, and of course there are the Baby Boomers, the retired ones at least. For once again, "T-ttime is on our side ..."

I've watched TV interviews with protesters. The press is unforgiving and I am sure the reporters have deliberately picked, in many cases, the inarticulate. Sure, the protests are about Wall Street greed. But what do we want and when do we want it?

I'm yet to be convinced.

My current stand is that I support the protests. But until I REALLY know what they are about, I prefer to remain,

an Armchair Occupier.


Anonymous said...

Dear Armchair Occupier.
I concur......but, watch some demagogue try to articulate their opinions/feelings. Wonder who will try to corral them as a movement. It may be very difficult as I think what most are feeling is the frustration of not exercising at least some control over their future/lives. And I don't think much can be done until our country produces more than just financial manipulation. Gotta make 'stuff' the world wants.

Anonymous said...

I think the protesters mean when they chant "We are the 99%",that they clearly feel unrepresented by our Congress who respond only to the wealthiest 1% whose money guarantees their re-election.
So theurgently needed regulation of Congress and the banks, ie Wall St, ought to get you up out of your armchair!

Anonymous said...

Beware of unintended consequences. Just remember the butterfly in the Amazon causing a hurricane.

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