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.