OWS IN MY SIGHTS
As an old lady on a limited and rapidly diminishing income some think I should be joining the OWS. Not doing that, don’t want pepper spray filling in my wrinkles. And some words about that at a bit later in this cranky post. First, some other cranks about OWS.
Crank one, the youth of today in the USA don’t know how good they have it. My income is falling. Much of what I saved and invested is now gone, thanks to the economic crisis. Soon I will have to move in order to pay rent as well as eat something other than cat food. I shop at the Dollar Stores, the Thrift Stores, and look for bargains at the super market. But I know with all my fluttering (I have atrial flutter) heart, I am in the top 1%. I am so grateful, good tears often fill my eyes. If you are reading this you are also in the 1%. Be grateful.
99% of those occupying Wall Street are also in the top 1%. Watch the news, look at those protesting. 99% have warm clothes, many have rings and things adorning their bodies, all look well fed, most carry cellphones. , finally lots are using lap tops. Makes me really cranky that a few probably make more begging than I get in my monthly Social Security check. Makes me crankiest that the protesters do not always practice what they preach. I saw one tape where a 99% homeless mentally ill man was beaten up and thrown out of Zuccotti Park. By the way the police were not the ones beating the man up.
By the way, few of us practice what we preach.
Crank number two: Labels are easy to apply and usually false. Reading this rant, you might immediately think Tea Party or Cranky, selfish old Republican. I get that all the time particularly if I post a counter view. Posting to rightist groups I am seen as a bleeding heart liberal. And that old lady shoe fits best. Crank report: Liberals are just as guilty of labeling me based on what I post. This despite pointing out, my main goal is to give voice to the other side. Haven’t you noticed that on issues the liberals favor almost all comments are from liberals while on the conservative posts almost all comments are from conservatives. Also if you haven’t noticed in addition to being cranky, I am also contrarian. The one goes with the other.
Those who know me well, know I label myself “Bleeding Heart” In that role, I worked on Wall Street, well, half a block from it.where Broadway ends. I slapped the rump of the Wall Street Bull, my little protest against excessive greed, fairly often on my way from the subway to my desk. I did not work for Wall street, but for a mental health agency, one of many in that area. If I were still employed, I’d have to run a gauntlet of abuse to get to work and do good, fighting in my way for the 99%. I’d be too easily labeled a greedy, selfish, money grubber.
Labels seek to simplify thinking. Needed for computer files, real files; dangerous applied to people and life.
People are complicated and sorting out the good guys from the bad guys or gals is not easy. Overthrowing the whole system, which some call for, will also overthrow much good and hurt many do-gooders. And that brings me to:
Crank number three: Violent protests are not helpful. Violence brings out the police and the police feeling attacked are not going to worry too much about who in a mob gets peppered sprayed. Which is why I won’t be at any Occupy demonstrations. I feel sorry for my fellow old one, who got pepper sprayed –not in NYC, but Seattle. I suspect she was collateral damage for those eager to provoke and make bad guys of the police. And it made a great picture for protesting police brutality, but was it police brutality or fear of an angry, chanting crowd? For all I know the picture could even be faked. (I could crank for a hundred million years about mis-information and those who so quickly believe what they want and I would never breath that sigh of relief cranking usually provides.)
AND YES, I know the picture is real and it does appear she was peaceful. An alternate story, probably true than just heartless police, was that the police were being surrounded and felt threatened. If you know anything about mental health, even just psycho-babble, you should know fear diminishes thought. Police deal with life and death situations and if scared enough go on automatic protective mode. Apologies if that seems to make excuses for the police, however, they are far from all bad guys or gals. Police are only people, people with families, children, good intent, bad apples, and as much desire as any other person to stay alive. Once again labels hurt.
To me another sad part of the violence has been that for the most part the ones hurt have been small business men and women and their employees. I used to eat in some of the restaurants or off the push carts that have been mobbed by threatening protestors demanding free food. Not helpful and destroying small businesses. Exactly the opposite of what needs to happen if one wants to reform big business and allow the little guys to get ahead.
Finally, violence is not what Gandhi or Reverend King taught. Remember the words Non-Violent? I do. I was there during the Civil Rights Movement. Then the police tried to provoke or acted without provocation. Moreover, not just the police, but most of white folk raised in the South also acted vilely. Not Bad Apples, part of a bad culture and upbringing and some say the left over scars of having lost the Civil War. Norman Rockwell’s picture of Ruby Bridges walking the gauntlet of hate, is a sad reminder of how humans far to often hate the other.
Now the police are trained to resist the impulse to strike out, and it seems from what I watch that the protestors are the ones being trained to provoke. Brings me to Crank number four.
Crank number four: Youth don’t respect the lessons of those who have gone before. Some youth read this hoping for humor. And I am tagging this humor, and if you have read this far, you can shout out to me “Liar, Liar, panties on fire.”
This is more crank than humor. Does that make me wrong? Which comedian used to say that? Onward about lessons from the past.
Throughout most of recorded time it has been accepted that the world advanced because “Dwarfs stood on the shoulders of giants” (Latin: nanos gigantium humeris insidentes). And if you don’t know what that means, it refers to using past knowledge in your efforts to expand knowledge. Most know it as a quote by Issac Newton, a 16th century scientist considered one of science’s brightest stars. His quote, “If I have seen further it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.”
Over the years of my life, I have watched the giants be replaced by dwarfs and now depair because dwarfs are leading dwarfs.Now the giants, Gandhi and King, have been pushed aside, and violence is standing higher.
Not that I blame the youth. Mainly, I start my list of blame with Hollywood gurus and television magnets who knew the young were their main source of revenue. Some are the really rich and powerful 1%ers. And some showed up at the protests. Richard Simmons, are you giving all but 10% back? Always follow the money. A cranky aside–I read that there are a group of OWS who are raking in the cash and sleeping in fancy hotels while appearing to be among the 99%. Could be mis-information but probably has some truth.
Back to making money by turning parents into buffoons. As a grandparent, I am often invited to watch movies designed for the little ones. How to Tame Your Dragon was one I watched twenty billion times. Okay only ten by last count. It is one of my grandson’s favorites. Love the main message–love tames even dragons, take time to put aside fear so you will know the heart the feared one.
Hated the subtext. Parents, even kings needed to be set straight by a poor misunderstood child.
But oh does that message sells. Over and over and over again. Think of the parents on most sitcoms. I loved Something About Raymond, but not how the grandparents are portrayed.
Probably this makes me cranky because I am near the bottom of the downhill slope, soon to be 75. when I am seen at all it is mostly as a tiresome, gas putting forth dinosaur, best ignored.
In the interests of being fair, the old ones in Pixar’s Cars 1 which I have also seen a hundred, zillion times, get some respect. Mater is old and rusty, but like me still huffing along, trying to do a bit of good at least most of the time. Hope that continued in Cars 2 but don’t know. Dwindling funds have curtailed visits back East where my video addict grandson lives.
Ignoring wisdom of the ancients, means re-inventing the wheel over and over and over again. Very tiresome and a sad waste of youth’s creative energy. Moreover keeps the world from improving and moving forward. Cranky old folk know at the end of the line what matters most is having made the world better. Old wisdom is there to be challenged, corrected, but should never not subject to instant dismissal.
We old folk will be avenged, however. Time is on our side. The youth, who don’t see or hear us, will before they know it turn, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty and more. Not one will really want to die young and leave a good-looking corpse. The Force, Forces, God, Goddesses and Modern Medicine willing and they survive, before they know it, they will become tiresome, gas putting forth, dinosaurs the young they spawned will ignore.
Know I will not be here to see, but the thought comforts and when on the downhill slope you settle for what you can get.
Finally, want to read a Crank from the right about OWS violence? Probably not, but you can get one here. Click Here. Could be mis-information, but as I know every large group has its bullies willing to be violent. Also know most humor, more than a few rants usually have some grains of truth midst the false.
One final thought and half a crank: I know with all my heart most of the young and not so young in the OWS movement only want to do good. and do not want violence, but are seeking some form of control on excessive profiteering; these do not want violence and have no interest in overthrowing the government. However, one rotten fish in a barrel of fresh rots the rest.
PS. Know this is the second time I am posting this. Wordpress removed it from Post a day, despite at least one other person raving to me about it. I think someone at Word Press doesn’t like Cranky Old Ladies and want to keep this one invisible. Don’t let that happen, like, share, comment. Even if it doesn’t make me visible on Word Press’s Post a Day, it will make me make me less cranky, earn my husband’s gratitude, make my heart flutter happily, make you a do-gooder and that is good for your health.
Stay strong and out of mobs surrounding or being surround by the police.