Any time you see a poll of, say, the best third basemen of all time or the best guitarists or the best presidents, you will notice a bias in favor of the modern. Even among the most knowledgeable of fans, few know how Eddie Matthews stacks up against Ryan Zimmerman or how Les Paul compares to The Edge.
Even so, I must say the Occupy Wall Street movement may be the most stupid ever to take root in America. Protestors keep complaining about the dearth of media coverage. They should be glad. One day, when they’re sober and showered and trying to get a real job in the Washington they now so detest, they are going to want deniability on this.
It is absolutely mindless what is going on in New York and, increasingly, elsewhere. The main objection seems to be against greed. Sorry, but greed is never going to be outlawed. Why? Because we’re all greedy. Every single one of us.
Some want money. Some want fame. Some want safety for our families. Some want more booze or drugs or sex or standing in their communities. Some just want to sleep more. But whatever it is, we fight for it, fend off others who seek to take it away from us and do what it takes to obtain the object of our greed – our willingness to debase ourselves in direct proportion to the extent of our greed.
So what are the "occupiers" greedy for? Outrage. They love it. They revel in it. They can let out the most indefensible of human emotions – pointless, anonymous anger – and never pay the usual societal costs. They can be forever two-years-old: mad because they’re mad, loud because they want to be, in need of a change but refusing to lie down and let mom deal with the diaper.
They have no list of grievances – or of solutions. They just want to rail against something. The more obscure, the more unapproachable, the more ambiguous and amorphous and unspecific, the better.
Somebody sent me a list of “proposed demands” of the occupiers the other day. It was typical far-left claptrap – two of the 11 provisions called for a living wage, others for free college education, guaranteed employment and three annual visits from Santa Claus instead of the present one. I forwarded it to a friend who has been to New York to protest and said, “You down with this?” He wrote back, “These are lofty goals.”
It won’t catch on. Those goals are unsuitable – precisely because they are vaguely attainable. It’s unlikely Congress would enact many of these provisions, but it could. And that wouldn’t serve the occupiers’ interests at all.
They want righteous anger. Glorious rhetorical smiting of unseen enemies. They devote the whole of their intellectual energies to identifying new and ever more unreachable enemies. They aspire to the life of the greyhound – ever chasing the rabbit, never catching it. It’s the conglomerates, man. They control everything. They control the media, so you can never find out. Then how did they find out?
This enables them to blame Wall Street for everything from stagnant wages to global warming to political dysfunction. The Man controls government, so he keeps it riled up against itself - until he doesn’t. Then, it moves with lightning speed to enact his bought-and-paid-for agenda.
Proof? FOX News won’t cover them. Neither will the New York Times. And when you have no aims, nothing of any merit whatsoever to offer, then it is all about being covered. And why won’t the entire ideological gamut of American media film their every move? Perhaps because the occupiers have so little to say. Perhaps because their “protest” is so devoid of anything of any intellectual value. They don’t seek to solve any specific problem. They crave what the two-year-old craves – attention. For its own sake.
Don’t attempt to understand it. Don’t attempt to put it into a conservative v. liberal pigeonhole. Certainly, there is more sympathy for Obama among the occupiers than for the Tea Party, but to treat it as a “liberal movement” is to confer a level of substance and seriousness that simply isn’t merited.
Just ignore it – like you would any two-year-old’s tantrum. It says nothing. It does nothing. It means nothing. And as soon as the first real cold snap hits New York, it will amount to nothing.