The story now unfolding on Wall Street doesn't star a dynamic up-and-coming trader, or a veteran hedge fund manager. The stars of this year's drama don't work in a Wall Street bank. Many of them don't have jobs at all because of Wall Street banks. If they convinced Oliver Stone to write a new film about the fallout from the "greed is good" culture he'd glamorized and demonized in the 1980s, he should call it Occupy Wall Street: Hate Is Good.
Hate is a dangerous emotion. Many people fear and avoid it by any means necessary. In droves, they try to wish the hate away via The Secret, and transform negative thoughts and emotions into shiny, happy ones by the unseen-yet-all-knowing universal force called the Law of Attraction. The protesters on Wall Street are using hate as a tool. They're tapping a force called the Law of Revulsion about greed and unchecked regulations. They're manifesting disgust, and sending it into the universe. The universe has responded by spreading their message around the globe.
The 99% movement is the healthiest reaction to the Great Recession in the last three years. It's using negativity to achieve a positive goal. The culture message that preceded it was to put on a happy face and stay positive -- or else. You can lump The Secret positivity hokum along with government promises of rapid economic recovery. Pretending that everything is fine does not make it so. If hate and anger are justified, then they should be felt and expressed. What we're seeing in Zuccotti Park, Times Square, San Francisco and London is a rejection of passively hoping, with love, that things will magically work out on their own. Protesters are demanding that the villains of Wall Street are held accountable for their crimes against humanity. Thousands of former wishful thinkers have turned into self-actualized, unapologetic haters. Because of it, they're making a real impact.
My new memoir It's Hard Not To Hate You is about how I moved from an "it's all good" fearful mindset, to an honest and empowering, "actually, it's not good, and I'm pissed." I had excellent reasons to be angry. I was in the midst of a devastating health crisis -- with the bills to go along with it -- and a recession-caused career crash. Like many women, I feared my own anger, and thought giving into it was a moral failing. But the real moral failing, as I came to appreciate, was being afraid to let the hate out.
Force of habit, I resisted justifiable anger. But then the habit, dam-like, broke. I simply couldn't fake it anymore. I raged when appropriate, and made an Enemies List of the people who'd screwed me over. It felt like dropping a burden I'd carried for twenty years. Expressing anger didn't reduce me to ash. The negative emotions didn't come and get me in my sleep. I was a better, healthier person for counting my enemies as well as my blessings. Some enemies don't deserve forgiveness or understanding. They need to know the harm they've done.
People around the world are watching and applauding Occupy Wall Street because they agree the hate is healthy, justified, authentic, and worthy. Hate on. Occupy on. This is the best movie about Wall Street I've ever seen. I don't want it to end.