The New Brickburners

    Most of us should be supporting the protesters involved with the Occupy Wall Street actions. If not taking to Lower Manhattan streets, breaking our arches and straining our voices alongside them.

    Naturally money compels the protest’s basis. One would’ve preferred more purely motivated impulses. Yet as the late Reverend Ike preached, “Money makes the world go round.”

    Since life and death barely budge us from our daily numbness, it must be money.

    After all, our nation insufficiently roused itself against the needless Iraq invasion. We’ve shown growing indifference in our just, though prolonged, Afghan excursion.

    Instead of rightfully demanding single-payer health care, those segments of our society who’d benefit most from its implementation were its hardiest detractors. Dummies.

    Rather than repair America’s finances, politicians of every bent bleat about ignoring the debts we’ve incurred. They remain blithe about future provisions, insisting everything we’ll ever want can be attained with painless sacrifice.

    Isn’t “painless sacrifice” an oxymoron?

    Completing the oblivious cycle, too many Americans prefer received wisdom over verifiable science regarding the environment. Mother wit better than empirical data? In that case, Rick Perry ought have hired a Comanche medicine man to have performed a rain dance to scare up drought-ending, fire-dousing soakers over the summer.

    Making a big show of prayer alone fell short. As usual.

    So it is heartening to see the manifestations roiling America’s main financial district. It means somebody finally got off the collective couch.

    As always, younger Americans, people whose vision mostly remain unhampered by material myopia, are inveighing against the country’s top heavy concentration of wealth. In an earlier age, those having compiled great fortunes would’ve been occasionally confronted by brickburning, rabble-rousing agitators. Hopefully on the brief walk from gilded portal to phaeton door. Such challenges barely scrape the consciousness of current titans they’re so insulated.

    While I should be moved to join the masses of those working to pillory our rapacious financial system, I can’t. Sharing the background of tens of millions of age-specific Americans, I don’t have it in me. The task requires fervor. My Baby Boomer segment has very little.

    Looking back I wonder what may ever shake us.

    A true end Boomer would blame our parents for this deficiency. I prefer giving them a backhanded compliment.

    Having endured the Depression and World War II, the generation that came of age then wasn’t going to settle for resumption of its previous existence. They hadn’t suffered, truly sacrificed, or died in order to resume measured lifestyles.

    They not only desired better for themselves, but improvements for theirs who followed. Therefore, unlike any generation before, ours was catered. Everything conceivable to make our lives more fruitful, softer, less like our elders, we got. Often gift-wrapped.

    Of course providing so much bounty spoiled us. Yes. That is a generalization. So’s this: when we came of age social strife was waning and the easy availability of plenty reduced toil towards material rewards into givens.

    The day we attained majority age, legal segregation had ended. Communal discrimination was retreating. The genders saw themselves with less rigidity. Inventiveness transformed our pace thereby rearranging priorities..

    And instead of doing right by curtailing all Fortunate Sons’ deferments, the ruling class chose wrongly by ending the draft for we who followed.

    Naturally all that petting robbed us of significant motivation and determination. Comfort is our drug. Addiction to ease and goods shields us from contention. Aren’t we overly sensitive enough to complain, incessantly, about our excesses? About the problems behind want and having and getting then the ultimate dissatisfaction of true emptiness?

    We also lack strength to cast off our comfort monkeys. We jones at the slightest inconveniences. Great. We’re junkies without track marks. Unless you’ve succumbed to ink and gotten tats resembling track marks.

    This void in ourselves prevents us from confronting our dilemmas. Rather than developing discipline, we’ve developed attitudes confirming the disposability in our lives. Or better, replaceable with those newest, shinier devices and accessories because longevity is just another word for what’s fashionable … this instant.

    As Occupy Wall Street has gathered greater force, the right’s more intellectually disinclined commentators obsess on the picayune. Leave it to Fox News and its conga line of tiny Goebbels to hone on the activists’ hygiene. Their clothing or lack thereof. Or the occasional one foot off the sidewalk onto the street which becomes a major act of civil disobedience. Like faulty reasoning firming dishonest ideology, it’s all inevitably compared to Sixties movements.

    The last is a lazy grasp at appropriating another Boomer segment’s honest sentiment against injustice. That earlier era’s protestors strove for a worthwhile America. Our contretemps is about money and achieving then maintaining a higher living standard. Regarding the second, the scolds have missed what’s truly important: the Occupiers’ evolving points.

    Like it or not, see it or not, hear it or not, they’re addressing our complaints, those of the now lax and fearful middle class. Rather than stagnate over the last 10 years, the middle class ought have prospered and swelled. Instead, our due has been diverted into further plumping the privileged.

    Put simply enough for the dimmest No-Bama, freeloading Tea Party boob, “money goes where money is.”

    Should greed and dismissal continue unabated, there will be no future for anybody at any level. No matter how many guns owned or bodyguards hired.

    Left unchecked, today’s imbalances risk all our tomorrows.

    The Occupy Wall Street people are focusing on basic economic unfairness. Which helps my age group because again we’re accustomed to others carrying our water. If we didn’t get outraged during the late aughts bank bailouts and the exposure of rigged investment practices, shouting skinny kids wearing skinny jeans won’t rouse us either. Which it really should because some rogue trader, nefarious hedge fund chief or crooked brokerage firm is doing his, her or its utmost to skim our rightful piles for their own profligacy.

    This week may be the start of maximal attention for Occupy Wall Street. There’s been a disconnect between police and media reactions. The blues have responded as if Emma Goldman and Bill Hayward are whipping up shit-stirring, bomb-tossing, anarchist hordes. The responsible press, however, seems to have been waiting for a Kardashian sister, Snooki or Jersey Housewife to wander by before legitimizing this event.

    Fortunately, our society has become so docile there won’t be calls for revolution. Our system is safe … and unresponsive. The best we can request is advance towards greater equitability. The kind that’ll pass broadcast standards & practices and be televised or available later for downloads.

    If the video gods have any sense of humor, Rage Against the Machine will provide the soundtrack.

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