Hold the Glimmer

Occupy the Glimmer

Posted on: October 20, 2011

“A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.”
-Mark Twain
 
 
Saturday October 15th, 2011 – I witnessed, along with Tracy and a couple of like-minded friends, twenty thousand people marching through the streets of downtown Los Angeles in protest against the harm we have caused one another.  I say we caused this harm because regardless of rich or poor, all of us have cosigned to these atrocities through continued inaction.  Inaction that may have finally come to an end.  How we got here is a long historical indoctrination, but the short version is that we lost sight of what is important.  At a certain point, we as a society began oversimplifying life and the challenges that come along with it.  We took for granted that the machine would continue to grind along for our benefit – never considering the resultant destruction of livelihoods, homes, and families.  We forgot that this city on a hill was built on the blood and sweat of prior generations, and dismissed their sacrifices as obsolete and inapplicable to us.  Now that we have seen the consequences of our own unbridled pillaging, there is finally a realization that the world cannot go on in this vain.  Every day more people are waking up to find themselves trapped in a mechanism that has married politics with economics, family values, and God – in a process so seamless that many have been duped into believing they have always been four parts of the same whole.  Whether directly or indirectly, it is our own selfishness and short sightedness that has millions of people across the globe gathering in solidarity.  Not just to point fingers, but also to challenge a system that has allowed for unconscionable grievances to human kind – to spark the fuse of change by raising pertinent questions.  On this day we joined thousands of people marching along, chanting in unison, “We’re fired up! We can’t take it no more!” while occupying the streets from sidewalk to sidewalk.  Demonstrators held signs supporting unions, student loan forgiveness, public works projects, nuclear disarmament, and most prominently – taxation of the top 1%.  Not to be outdone, my own sign read “Rebuild now? Or wait for the system to COLLAPSE?” with a couple of phallic caricatures thrown in for good measure.  My always clever partner, Tracy, held one that read “NEEDS ANSWERS” with multiple arrows pointing down at the crowd – but don’t tell anyone her mother assisted in making this show of radical leftism. 
 
The police, on hand to protect its citizenry, smiled as they looked on, and even joined the chants from time to time.  At one point, a megaphoned organizer proclaimed, “these officers are THIS close to taking off their uniforms and joining us!” as the crowd replied with a mighty roar.  Sadly, similar protests around the globe did not enjoy the same peaceful outcomes.  The ruling bodies in many cities and countries used the police as agents of obedience to quell the possibility of progress.  This is a tactic that has played out in favor of advancement in places like Egypt and Tunisia – but the 1%, in their ever assuming superiority, ignored reality.  The brave masses, more afraid of supporting the status quo than they were of physical harm, have exposed the illegitimacy of any establishment that uses violence to oppose new ideas and resolutions to long-standing problems.  Governments and corporations are scared of the power people have discovered, dismissing the first rallies when they came together in New York – directing the media to ignore the scenes caused on Wall Street.  Later, as foreign news sources broke the story, they had no choice but to lift their blackout.  As this movement grows and develops – they will attempt to absorb us and turn us into a new demographic to be cultivated and exploited – because in the end, all we represent to them is a dollar sign.  But money can’t be gained from people who have denounced the free market as too rich for our blood.  This is only the beginning of a realignment in perception that is spreading over the Earth.
 
In front of City Hall a community of tents is growing constantly as students, families, elderly and unemployed gather together to discuss potential paths to rebuilding a society that may function free of greed, hatred, and indifference.  Classes on economics are being taught on the lawns with the an eye toward creating a new system outside of the old box of capitalism/socialism/communism – an economy free of politics, and a government free from monetary influence.  One sign in particular, I felt, captured the true issue at hand, “Elevate your Consciousness,” because this movement is shifting the way we think about ourselves and each other.  I used to tell people that life is simple.  As I’ve grown older and more mature, I have trouble remembering why I ever laid such a claim.  Life is incredibly complicated.  Love is confusing, work is a struggle, and people do baffling things for seemingly no reason.  We neglect each other and create hardships, put up obstacles unnecessarily because our priorities are out of order – our eyes are distracted by life’s red herrings while the real opportunities slip through our fingers before we even realize they were sitting right there in our hands.  Brutally flawed, we make decisions incongruent with our own self interests – desire and ego consistently miscalculate our positions.  We foster regrets, try as we might to convince ourselves to the contrary, because regardless of how our brains shape reality – the heart will always want what it knows to be happiness.  Unfortunately, we lost sight of happiness and love – life became a game and money became the score.  In our incessant fight to gain ground on the rich, we forgot the people we hurt along the way.  The 1% used this against us to create a nation, a world, of divided bickering fools who aspired to become soulless and wealthy – just like their masters.  Now is our time to come together and use the power in our numbers to take back everything we handed over on a silver platter. 
 
We are the 99 percent.

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