Comic book writer Frank Miller lashed out against the Occupy Wall Street movement on his blog last week. In a nasty screed, Miller called the movement "Nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists" and told the protesters to enlist against the real enemy, which he defined as Al-Qaeda and 'Islamicism.' "Wake up, pond scum," he demanded.
Wake up, Frank Miller.
The Occupy Wall Street protests are so much more than an "unruly mob." To anyone paying an ounce of attention, it is clear that the occupiers have taken to the streets to protest our rapacious financial system, severe income disparity, and corporate control of our government. They are not professional anarchists, but ordinary American citizens fed up with the corruption that has overtaken our society.
To grasp the lameness of Miller's slander, let's take a look at one of those so-called loutish protestors, a family friend named Vince Taylor. Vince turned 75 this year, and journeyed to New York a few weeks ago to be a part of the protests. One of the smartest people I know, Vince is a Ph.D. economist at MIT who worked for the Rand Corporation in the 1960s and later started a successful software business. Vince came with his own portable poster, which read, "Break up the Banks, End Corporate Personhood, 90% Top Tax Rate" on one side, and "75 and Disgusted" on the other.
The protestors I've met at Occupy Wall Street have been mostly young men and women who are passionate in their determination to change the way the country is run. If the Occupy movement does have a tinge of "Woodstock-era nostalgia," as Miller put it, why is this such a bad thing? At Woodstock, a generation came together in search of American values like freedom. At Occupy Wall Street, our generation is coming together to demand similar American values: a freedom from economic inequality.
To dismiss the occupiers as clowns and call their movement a "bowel movement" is to turn sound like a seven-year-old. If that's the best that Miller can do, he should stick to cartooning.