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Occupy: The Musical!

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OCCUPY WALL STREET
Melissa Jeltsen

Right now, all over the world, there are thousands of people who are gathering in defiant masses, huddled together in public spaces for the purpose of one thing only: to show their sincere disappointment in a system that has failed them miserably.

They are not wannabe hippies, living out some kind of Vietnam Bongo-Fest fantasy, and they are not rebels without a cause and a little too much X-Box on their hands. They are very real people with extremely pressing issues. The fact that they have come this far is substantial, and cannot be perceived as trivial, in the way that the quick-spin doctors of the television media would have us see it.

But, spin-doctors, like protesters, have one inescapable thing in common -- they are all human beings, and when they gather in formation -- whether it's to change a troubled world or to present that change as either threatening or insignificant -- there's always going to be someone who distorts the perception by acting out according to their own personal agenda.

This past week, we got to see the media's sweeping version of Occupy, which basically read like a vignette out of the movie, "Hair." You can already imagine the orchestra warming up to present the overture for "Occupy: The Musical!" on Broadway. This is the picture that was painted for us: hippies with bongos.

Then, there were the ones in politics, who purchased themselves some high-priced camera time so they could spin their own personal flare on the matter. And it was through their primping peacock stances and their yapping mouths that we were able to not only have our intelligence insulted, but, if we kept our TV's on, we could watch them invalidate our entire life.

I heard something to the effect of, "If they want to be rich so badly, why don't they just go out and get a job?" Another had the nerve to say, "Well, at least this protest will get them off their mother's couch." And lastly, the manipulative, "This pits Americans against Americans."

May I respond, please? Thank you.

"Go out and get a job." The other day, I was sent an automated rejection email, letting me know that I was not qualified for one of the many jobs I applied for. Interestingly enough, I worked for this company for over twenty years, taking a break only to recover from cancer. With my health insurance gone, no job, no government assistance, my life savings run dry and a child to care for, I think whoever made this statement needs to wake up and smell the reality of joblessness in America, today.

"Get off their mother's couch." I'm the mother here and the couch is my own. I don't know who is hanging out on their mother's couch, mainly because the majority of people I know are in the exact same position as me, and we're all in our fifties. So, don't tell me to get off my mother's couch when my entire life is consumed with trying to secure work so that I can raise my child in a safe environment where, if we so choose, we can relax on a couch!

"This pits Americans against Americans." Whoever said this knows exactly what he's doing. We're not supposed to think about this line, we're supposed to react with our gut. We're supposed to salivate compulsively and say, "Americans against Americans? No way! That's what Occupy is doing? Pitting us against each other? Hell no, we can't believe in that!"

Wake up, America. This isn't "Occupy: The Musical!" It isn't theater. And, if it was, we couldn't afford to buy tickets.

It's time to eat the rich, folks. Let's just hope they don't taste like bad chain pizza.