Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Call to Arms Embracing

My version of facebook tonight is loaded with clips and quotes about the movement to occupy Wall Street and its spread to other cities around the country.  "Something's happening here, and what it is..." is very exciting.

           Only a month ago, I heard someone from Vermont mention heading down to participate and offering to carry donations to help the protesters.  A veteran of Viet Nam era rebellion, I commended his effort, proud to see someone so willing to take a stand, and went about my day.

            Currently, too swept up in my own drama and healing, I admit ignorance as to how this protest started, but am thrilled to see the commitment many are making to see it continue, transforming it, it seems, into a movement.  Like a spark and a wildfire, the streets are alive with voices clamoring for change--not so very different as what we saw in Egypt, Tunisia and even Libya, and yet very different to see it on our own shores and hear the slogans shouted in our own language.
            The plutocracy is all too nervously aware and so it is inaccurately reported by the mainstream press.  On cue, the flock, with their eyes closed, bleat silly jokes about "the Flea Party," even as they scratch at their own itches.
            The argument that the 1% can no longer have 50% of the income and be supported by the rest of us adds up to a lot of cents jingling very true to me.  Wall Street represents ridiculous wealth in the hands of a few and there are finally some among the rest of us fed up enough to shout "NO".

            Thus far, I am not aware of big names and famous people at the head of this.  No one particular voice has stepped up like a Lech Walenca to represent the body, but those many, many more gathering, moving and shifting, showing up to add their voice and going home to their families, are powerfully more eloquent. While the mainstream press focuses on spoiled youth, dirt, debris and festivities of fun for welfare abusers, from alternative sources I see articulate people of differing ages and colors, and across cultural and economic strata, a union of angry souls who love their country and want to see us do better for ourselves, each other and the rest of the world.
            "The times they are a-changing..." and this is not some idealistic movement of left-over love from the Sixties, but very real today and with a broad scope of well-spoken points.  It is full of Americans who have bought into the Dream with their hard earned sweat and blood of student loans and mortgages with none of the jobs left that had been promised to pay for them.
            "Enough!" they cry because they are not content to live their lives anesthetized and subdued by the entertaining sexploits of reality shows and bigger-than-life sports stars who are still just kids with candy in a store.  The 90% (there are 9% who are still doing pretty damned well) who struggle every day are tired of just having the cake and no chance to enjoy it.  Something is rotten in the state and there are finally some citizens beginning to make a stink about it.

            As one who scrambled himself silly and ultimately had to sell his modest home out of a sub-prime mortgage, I applaud the voices that are rising.  As one who sends out countless resumes without the slightest response and knocks on doors only to hear "please, send us your resume online," I have noticed at every level, we have accepted the notion that it is okay to answer only the emails that can help us out, ignoring all the rest.
            Even in Vermont, where it is celebrated that we all know our neighbors, the headlines last month gushed about the out-pouring of kindness for strangers in the wake of disastrous hurricane damage as if surprised that we would stop to help each other.  Still a part of the problem, I shamefully justify my own pitifully small contribution to the cleanup by citing the effort it continues to take just to heal and take care of myself.
            As life goes forward, there are many who predict apocalyptical results for those who join in and help each other as well as for those sheep turning a blind eye who do nothing but make silly jokes and/or "earn" lavish incomes.  Amidst the joy and celebration of the inauguration of our first non-white President, I feared not much would actually change.  Perhaps my fear made it so. 
            My inaction is a more likely a part of the cause.
            As voices rise on Wall Street and march down more and more Main Streets (remember that phrase?) across this great country, my hope is refreshed, my commitment to join hands and become a part of something important revitalized.
            What can you do to help?
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