(As published in The Leavenworth Times, November 1, 2011.)
Note – I may have gone too far with “mob rat”. “mob stooge” might be a better term.
What if your job was – to protest? To be a part of the Occupy Wall Street mob. What would your daily duties be? What equipment would you need? How would you live?
I call it a job if you’re paid to do it. Glenn Beck (irritatingly right most of the time) said on Fox News Friday that some of the mob members are being paid several hundred dollars a week to lead the mob by example. OK, it’s a vast left-wing conspiracy. But let’s just concentrate on you, the typical mob rat. Let’s say you aren’t being paid, you joined on your own.
You, the mob member, probably aren’t a deep thinker. Since the movement has no declared goals other than to whine at certain realities — corporations operate for profit, and therefore must be greedy; some people are paid more than you; big government may have to shrink and cut your entitlements. Some might recognize that mob action can’t do much about those things. But that’s not you.
How were you recruited? Probably, by looking at a website, such as OccupyWallStreet.org. Or possibly by Facebook, from a friend. All you needed to know was provided: your slogans, the time, the place, the fuzzy goals. You were already angry at the world, you thought this was the way to rage at it. So, you made up your mind to travel to New York.
What equipment did you need? A bedroll, possibly a tent. Warm clothes. Sun block. Money or a credit card, to travel. A few foodstuffs. Cardboard, sticks, markers, and tape to make signs. A like-minded friend or two to go with you.
When you get there? Find an open space to camp out. Pitch your tent. Make a sign with something like “**** the rich!” Call home on your cell to see if mom can send more money. Sing songs or talk until very late. Finally, lie down and sleep on the hard ground.
What happens each day? You get up. Build a fire, or better, join someone else’s. Breakfast on whatever is available. Around nine, follow the leaders (the ones with the bull horns, perhaps) to this day’s hangout point. Stand around, in the group, waving your sign, all day. If anyone comes by, engage them in conversation. Annoy them. Impede their progress. Call them Capitalist Pigs, or something similar. Hope it doesn’t rain. Have a candy bar for lunch, or more – maybe some sympathizer will bring pizza and soda. Talk with your fellow mob rats. Laugh. Yell. Sing. If there’s a nearby port-a-potty or public toilet, use it as needed. If not . . . what the Hell.
When darkness comes, back to your tent, the songs, the campfire, the hard ground.
The next day, the same thing, perhaps a different protest place, such as Times Square. Hope you don’t get arrested. Or, maybe, you hope you do. That might be a hoot.
It’s a great life. It makes you feel as if you’re accomplishing something. What, you don’t know, but it beats working or going to school.