Friday, October 7, 2011

Slackers of the World Unite

The best editorial I've yet read on the so-called Wall Street protests starts off:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men, women, and transgendered—and any other human who is able to elude the tyranny of work for a couple of weeks—are created equal. We gather to be free not of tyranny, but of responsibility and college tuitions. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that a government long established and a nation long prosperous be changed for light and transient causes. So let our demands* be submitted to a candid world.

I'd print the rest of it, but I actually have to get back to work. Because, you know, I have a job. One I earned. And if I do a crap job at it, I'll get fired. Because that's just the way things work in this world. Freedom or fairness; it's one or the other, but not both.

Anyway, go read the rest of it, here.


Jenny said...

Bwahahahahahahaah. your tag line made me spit out my coffee.

Well, God Bless them. I guess. They have a point, but they are not very well organized and I'm sure half of them barely understand what they're chanting about.

Cody's Ghost said...

Hey Dude! I'm Cody. I died of chronic inertia in 1997. I was a slacker. Those people are way below slackers, dude! I, at least knew how to surf!

Pam said...

Argh! I have purposely been ignoring them. But I kinda like the idea of protesting against banks. Very Woody Guthrie.

moi said...


Q: How many hippies does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: None. They can't agree on whether or not it's a carbon-neutral act.

Cody: Even your name is slacker! Whatever happened to just slapping a good, old-fashioned John-Bob-Bill-or-Mike on a kid and being done with it? Well, at least you don't spell it with a "K."

Pam: Hmmmm. Yes. Banks. And coffee shops. Those damn coffee shops are evil, too.

LaDivaCucina said...

Moi, being the Libertarian, I thought you'd be right with them! I'm glad they are there and glad it's happening as I'm so sick of those ignorant Tea Baggers getting media attention, they embarrass our country to the rest of the world. The point is, we ARE getting screwed by the corporate world and from what I've read, the protesters are more diverse than you would think. And now the Marines have joined in. I hope the protests DO initiate some change and frankly, am glad to see the alleged "slackers" doing more than most, which is whining and bitching.

moi said...

La Diva: Why, yes, I'm in favor of any protest against any mis-managed, tyrannical power, be it public or private. But I have yet to hear anything come out of these people that makes any sense. "Jobs are a right?" Uh, no. "From those according to their means, to those according to their need?" Shit, no. That's called theft. "Stop the greed!" By whom? Drop a shit load of money on any one of those kids and you think they'd give it away? Double shit, no. At least the Tea Party was able to focus and consolidate what they believed in and what they wanted. Are there folks among these protesters who actually have some common sense and some solutions? I'm sure there are. But all I've heard come out of their mouths are bromides they are incapable of following to a logical philosophical conclusion. En mass, they just come off as slackers.

To steal from the Beatles: I'm all in favor of a revolution. But where's the plan? And is it WORSE?

LaDivaCucina said...

It can't get any worse than it is already! And haven't the Republicans been blaming this administration about a lack of jobs yet block any initiative that has come to the table so far? The Tea Party signs and speakers have made claims that are scattered and downright untrue as well, just reading a few of their signs will get any educated person shaking their heads.

The power of corporations in this country is frightening and it affects all of us and our daily choices from the food we eat, the medical treatment we get even to the Internet pages we see when conducting a search, the music we listen to, the news we see on TV or read about in the paper. Because of this, in the land of the "free," we are getting fewer and fewer choices as companies merge and bigger and more powerful conglomerates are formed. I find that frightening.

And yes, if you make more money, you should pay more taxes! The middle class is getting squeezed out in this country and we are turning into a country of have and have nots.

These "slackers" come out of college with huge debt and slim chance of getting a job in their chosen field. Why is it ok for the Republicans to demand jobs but not these protesters? And why are Tea Baggers considered "patriots" and these protesters "dangerous?" Sorry, Moi, we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. :)

LaDivaCucina said...

PS: In the words of Gil Scott Heron: The revolution will not be televised.

moi said...

La Diva: I think we disagree only as a matter of degree. You know I'm no more a fan of the mainstream republicans as I am of the democrats. And that I agree that arguing politics is like spitting into a forest fire.

But I would ask you--and anyone else finding themselves disgruntled with the powers that be--to do one thing: whenever anyone on any side of the political spectrum makes a demand or states a premise, follow that demand and premise all the way back to its root and ask yourself: will this result in tyranny against my fellow human beings?

If the answer is yes, then it is an action that can never be justified, regardless of the means or the ends.

chickory said...

this is the situation as i see it: you have people who have correctly assessed that there is an unhealthy relationship between gummit and business -both legitimate and criminal. Unfortunately the occupy wall street crowd thinks the problem is capitalism, when the actual problem is a rise of fascism. Wall street is more than Gold in Sachs and Mordor Stanley. Its little start ups, niche businesses, good products and honorable companies with integrity. The protestors are absolutely correct in understanding that there is a 1% that lobbies and bribes and fixes laws to benefit themselves. Tas the rich is a great example. If you are a regular ol guy pulling in a couple 100 thou a year you are going to get it and but good. If you are bill gates, warren buffet and michael moore, you arent going to pay shite because your wealth is in a "trust" which pays you a salary..or its offshored or all the other ways the tax code favors the insiders. there needs to be a real revolution but it isnt about free booty. Its about taking away a structure that allows politicians to be bought and paid for. ANd when are we going to impeach Obama for:

1. killing a US citizen with a drone bomb without his constitutional right to trial?

2. fast and furious: guns to drug cartels in mexico so they could blame gun dealers in the usa for violence - it make iran-contra look like a bucn of nothing

3. having the most inept AG in us history. had he begun to prosecute the cheats and liars and nation destroyers at Chase, CIti, MS, GS et al we might have had some actual....HOPE

and I agree with Diva that college education is a huge rip off now - nobody makes you sign up for a loan - however -isnt it IRONIC how higher ed is just chock full of compassionate libs. its the one debt you cannot bankruptcy out of. kinda neat how that works out, huH?

Look at Michael Moore out there talking about capitalism and racism to the protestors. and when he finishes speaking, he returns to his exclusive lily white hood where he relaxes on giant piles of money. that the american left doesnt recognize the complete phoniness of their favorite icons is a mystery to me. as well as how they can face me or anyone else for voting in the nightmare Obama - wall streets/banking cartels favorite son.

get a game plan together. because the times? they are a' changin.

LaDivaCucina said...

Moi, don't you think that the fact that less and less entities are controlling more of what we see, eat, buy, etc. IS a form of tyranny? Don't you agree that our choices are getting limited. Even you feel it with music, the giant ClearChannel controls the content and has bought many radio stations across America. What about Home Depot pushing out family owned businesses in small towns? I think we ARE experiencing tyranny.

Oh hai, Chickory! You are one dark lady!

LaDivaCucina said...

I meant to say WalMart but same dif.

K9 said...

@la diva: you think a matter of fact accounting of the situation is "dark"? grrrrrrhahahahaha!

K9 said...,0,6431788.story?track=rss

for la diva. I got hundreds of bona fide stuffs to show ya if you want see real dark in action.

LaDivaCucina said...

Chickory, I agree with some of what you say but I think you are way off base on Michael Moore. He's a Michigander, like me, and is hardly what you'd call a lily white fat cat. To me, he's a rebel for stating all the things that no one, esp corporations, want to hear. I remember when the media blacklisted him a few years back. Good for him. And if he made some money out of it, good for him again, gives him more dough to keep uncovering more dirt that people need to know about.

And yes, I think your outlook is dark!

moi said...

Chickory: You got it, grrrrrrl. Here's another thing no one is talking about: what defines rich? The person who makes $250,000 a year with two teenagers he needs to feed, clothe, transport, and, in a few years, send to college? The business owner who pulls in a million dollars a year, but whose ass is on the line every day to keep 20-30 people employed? Or the bazillionare who worked her ass off for the past 20 years, employing people, generously caring for her family, her immediate family, maybe even friends and their family, spending money and contributing to the economy? Who makes those definitions and decides what to carve out of those hides?

La Diva: We ALWAYS have a choice. We can always walk away, or even change the way the game is played for ourselves. For instance, I know a woman who two years ago stopped buying high end clothing from retail shops and now only shops consignment, reusing, recycling, etc. I know people who eat well by choosing only local foodstuffs. My own father (a republican) made the decision 40 years ago not to give in to the tyranny of the internal combustion engine and made the bicycle is sole method of transportation. He's 73 and still goes everywhere on his ancient Peugot. These are folks who have made a CHOICE not to buy into what others are selling. WHY do we continue to buy into the myth that government can do for us what we're so much better off doing for ourselves? So long as the government dictates, even in the name of so-called parity and compassion, everyone ends up losing.

DeepBlue said...

I like your last reply to La Diva. It's all about choices. Yet I think your judgement is harsh and unfair. If you think that you owe your "good fortune" on your "choices" then I've misjudge you! You are sounding like a fascist to me!

You don't owe your success to your work or your talents and skills. You owe it only to luck!

We. Have. All. Been. Lucky.


I wouldn't consider those walking on Wall Street as slackers or hippies... I doubt this is going to get anywhere either!

We don't seem to realize that we are the ones who make those "bad" rich people wealthy by bying all the things they sell and that we don't absolutely need.
But if we don't buy things, there will be less demand and companies won't need to make goods so they'll have to lay out employee who won't then have money to buy things...

This is much more complicated than any of us, who think ourselves SO good and SO wise, can understand!

But then... I'm seeing all this from outside!

moi said...

DeepBlue: Luck certainly plays a part in life, I wouldn't disagree with you there. But we all have the choice to get up in the morning and face the day with purpose and optimism or face it by, well, not facing it. Do you think we're all so genetically pre-programmed inside that some of us are meant to succeed and others to fail, based solely on some kind of cosmic roll of the dice? If so, there's your fascism right there.

My political leanings, such as they are, are ANTI-fascist. I'm in favor of rocking the boat, challenging the status quo, and most importantly, putting the civil liberties of the individual above the dictates of a controlling government. But again, what's the plan? To simply "demand" without solution is childish.

And you wisely point out an essential problem facing human existence: we are a material people. Without invention, creation, and sales, what are we? We must make, buy, and sell, or we have no economy. Then again, what does it lead to?

I'm fascinated by the fact that those protesting in this instance are protesting on the one hand AGAINST rampant materialism, yet on the other demand that those who achieve a certain material reward for their efforts either be punished for it or be forced to "distribute" it to those who do not have. If, as you suggest, rewards are achieved through blind luck and not hard work, then we can justify taking from those who have and giving to those who do not. Again, check your definition of fascism, for that is exactly what is being proposed by these folks.

Complicated, yes, but why not try to at least understand it and untangle one of the essential problems of being human?

DeepBlue said...

The fact is I do agree with you! The thing is that I (I'm gonna talk only for myself here), I am lucky to have develop the reflex to wake up every morning and, as you say it so eloquently, face the day with purpose and opportunism.

But I've not always been that way. So I don't judge people who can't approach life the same way we do. Not everyone can do that. It's more than "just a question of choice" in that particular matter.

I do believe that all the demonstrations won't bring any substancial changes. I've seen this before; I've even been part of such demonstrations in the past.

The majority of those walking all over the place these days have fondamentally tried the best they could to make their life work. They have worked as hard as you and me.

If I make 90$ an hour for a job I "earned" and pay only 9$/hrs the lady who comes every week to clean my big mansion, what does't that say? Her work is not as important as mine?

That lady is working maybe 50 hours a week and still can barely make ends meet with three kids to feed and take care, living in a small crappy appartment with very little help at all and while being judged and rejected by her family. Maybe she didn't make the wisest choices in her life, but should we punish her for that and make her life desperate and by the same token, limit the horizons of her kids right on the onset.

And I, with my 90$/hrs, my big mansion, my three cars, my huge wardrobe that could dress 100 people, the fancy meals in fancy restaurants paid by the company, the all paid business trip in exotic countries, staying in first class hotels... (of course that is NOT my personal case...)

I'm not saying that all the people waking in the streets are in the same situation as that cleaning lady.


DeepBlue said...

I've been lucky to be surrounded by people who loved me and accepted me for who I am with my fragile mental condition. Otherwise, I'd be homeless today.

As early as in the late 80's, I decided to walk away from the materialist society by leading a simple life: I've never owned a car, I never got fancy clothes or furnitures, I never travel all over the world, I don't have a big 50" plasma tv... GOD! I don't even have a cell phone!

I put most of my money away (i.e. in the bank) which grants me today with a decent life. Did I "earn this? I admit I've made choices that have worked for me... so far!

Does this garantee me that I will always make the right choices? Who knows one day I won't find myself in the ditch because of cirsumstances I was unable to foresee.

There is disgusting inequity in our respective countries today. Yes, the demonstrators are disorganized, their claims are unrealistic and not well-documented enough.

We must also be careful with the media coverage of these events and keep in mind that those medias are owned by those who are targeted in those demonstrations, so I doubt their impartiality. In fact I just don't trust journalism anymore!

All we want is for everyone to be treated with respect and dignity. That is basically the fondamental claim of the demonstrations.

You may think you have "earned" all that you have, but I will always disagree with you on that point. What set me off is the condescendence that I felt you showed toward your less fortunate fellowman and women.

It is not because I made the best of my own misfortunes that I shall consider myself "better" than those who didn't, even if they couldn't for lack of good will!

Why was I born in a relatively peaceful and loving environment and not in some gutter in Calcutta? All this thing about all men being created equal is pure bullshit!

And it has nothing to do with "good" and "evil". I don't think that wealthy people are evil. Some people walking on the stree will perhaps learn the shortcomings of their actions and start questioning their life like I did some 25 years ago and make better choices for themselves.

I hope I'm making any kind of sense here. Sorry for the long comment. I wanted to send it through email but couldn't find your adress and we're allowed only 4,096 carachters in comments, thus the twin comments here...
Have a great day

moi said...

DeepBlue: I'm not sure what I said that made you think I have a condescending attitude towards those less fortunate than I. I am not a member of the leisure class, nor do I make anywhere near $90 an hour. I run a small business, help run a household, care for elderly parents and a niece, volunteer in my community, and donate to various charitable endeavors every year. Normal, every day stuff. And if someone is in need, all they have to do is ask me for help, and if I can, I will.

Absolutely, there are people who, through no fault of their own, are dealt a shit hand in life. And I know that there are individuals and various charities and organizations in this country that excel at helping those people. Our government run organizations being the LEAST helpful (and I say this out of years of frustrating experience).

Do some of these protesters have some real grievances? Yes, they do. It IS a terrible thing when a middle class family where both parents work hard and do what is expected of them can't make ends meet. It IS a terrible thing when certain corporations and financial instiutions bilk the taxpayers and then receive the kind of bailout afforded only to those who can keep our government in power. But these particular folks are aiming their arrows at the wrong culprits. And their solutions are worse than the disease. And you can't tell me that there aren't among some of these folks, those who choose to remain victims and blame everyone for their lot in life but themselves. A person unlucky enough to have been born in Calcutta? THAT'S a victim. But to a middle class family in the United States of America? No, sorry, I don't buy it.

So how did you arrive at your decision to walk away from a materialistic life? Sounds to me that it came after careful thought. That it came as a choice you made (no one held a gun to your head, God did not ordain it) and that, as such, you earned something for yourself: life on your own terms, without bitterness or whinging.

It seems to me that if we accept the premise that the vast majority of us out there have no control over our impulses, our thoughts, our behaviors, and our outlooks, then we are essentially saying that human beings are first and foremost victims of our circumstances. That sounds awfully grim to me.

DeepBlue said...

I promise to keep it under 4,096 characters this time! ;)

Free will! A double-edged blade!

Again I have to say that I agree with your statement. Yet, I itch! And the more I scratch, the more it itches. So I'd better leave it there!

Thanks for putting up with me!

czar said...

Damn. I missed this one.

Buzz Kill said...

Although it's really deep in here, I'll wade in for just a second. You said, "I'm in favor of rocking the boat, challenging the status quo, and most importantly, putting the civil liberties of the individual above the dictates of a controlling government. But again, what's the plan? To simply "demand" without solution is childish."

Well said and the crux of the problem with this Occupy Wall Street crowd. We'll just have a Woodstock here in Manhattan until we get what we want - free everything from the rich because they obviously stole everything they have. That's communism in my book. This country has turned in to the biggest economic and political disaster in history. I don't have any answers because I'm not smart about things economic, so I'm not protesting. But I will vote and hope there are some people left in politics that are still patriots.

moi said...

Jon: You're welcome to come 'round and chat anytime.

Czar: It's probably for the best.

Buzz: Yer back! Yay! I've been thinking about this further, especially regarding this solution business. Solutions are only necessary when there are problems. So I guess the real question here becomes: what, exactly, are the problems these folks are outlining? Again, I'll bring up the Tea Party (and also qualify that I'm by no means a fan of them, either). But at least they identified a true blue problem--a government that has overstepped its Constitutional bounds in a number of ways--and outlined a solution: replace the government with members that are going to act responsibly. And then went about ousting long time incumbents in favor of new blood.

By contrast, these Wall Streeters outline problems created by government mismanagement and schenangians and yet at the same time insist that the solution is . . . more government! Madness!

Furthermore, they insist they remain free to live their lives unfettered by a host of what they consider highly conservative social mores, yet are perfectly okay with setting similarly draconian rules and regulations in the economic arena.

Double madness!

Bottom line:

Fascism: "We have figured out what the answers to life are and therefore will require that everyone live by those answers. Those who do not, who seek other methods and live by other tenets, will be punished."

Libertarianism: "We recognize that what works for one person may not necessarily work for another and that we are all free to live our lives as we see fit, so long as doing so does not infringe on the life, liberty, property, and pursuit of such of someone else."