Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Prepping for Occupy Charleston: This is what cynicism looks like

Coddled campers begin protest in Brittlebank today

Posted by Chris Haire on Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 5:08 PM

The Occupy crowd has a chant they like to repeat. It's got a good rhythm. You can dance to it.

You may have heard it. It goes a little something like this: "Tell me what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like."

Well, if that's the case, judging by a newly posted video of an Occupy Charleston march this past weekend, democracy looks an awful lot like a tour group, wandering the street of the Holy City trying to find Rhett Butler's house.

Of course, I'm a cynical bastard. You should judge it for yourself.

But before I do, I'm trying to get myself in the proper mood for the start of tomorrow's Brittlebank Occupation, which begins at noon and runs for 99 hours.

I've been thinking a lot about George Orwell's Animal Farm and Pink Floyd's Animals.

I've been thinking about lines I want to use. My favorite right now is: I've got 99 problems, but the rich ain't one.

I've been thinking about materialism and the politics of greed and how that greed works both ways and how the Buddha instructed us to let go of our cravings. They only cause us pain.

I've been thinking about Bob Dylan's "Ballad of the Thin Man." The refrain stands out: "Something is happening here/ And you don't know what it is/ Do you, Mr. Jones?" I can't decide if I am Mr. Jones or if the Occupiers are.

I've been thinking about how old hippies have latched on to this movement like a mid-life-crisis middle manager latches onto a convertible or his 20-something ad min in the supply closet.

I've been thinking about how many of these protesters will one day find themselves living in a gated community or paying dues at a country club.

I've been thinking about how the coming winter will affect the Occupy movement. Will they be able to survive their Valley Forge moment or will they just go home?

I've been thinking about how Brittlebank Park is a really lovely place to camp for a few days.

I've been thinking about how all the donations that the Occupy crowd has received — the food, the blankets, the socks — and how it could have been given to families in need or starving children.

I've been thinking about how Occupy Charleston has asked for "solar-powered landscape lights, tiki torches, food, firewood and a generator," as if they are throwing a my sweet 16 bash out on Folly Beach.

And I've been thinking about bourbon. Lots and lots of bourbon.

Anyhow, here's the promised video of the Occupy Charleston march.

Occupy Charleston Solidarity March by brandonfish

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