I know it’s difficult. I’ve talked with friends for hours about how amazing these #OWS kids are. Then I caught myself. These people are not children. However many years they’ve existed on the planet, they are conducting themselves as admirable adults. They are organizing, planning, educating and caring for each other, all with a little help—dare I say, love—from friends and strangers.
Imagine that! What an “innovative model”—or whatever other linguistic abomination the business class will try to label the empathy of #OWS. Their shitty euphemisms are understandable. They just can’t stand the thought that greed isn’t the core of human nature—as Ben Stein existentially concluded after his many years as an eye drop whore. Greed is simply the core of their nature. And guess what, fat brats aren’t most people.
These past few weeks have proven that conclusively. I mean, even the mainstream anchors and pundits are too wealthy to understand the reality of American unemployment in 2011. And besides, they don’t even know who’s down there occupying Liberty Plaza.
But I do. I went down there; I didn’t talk; I listened and watched. I instantly recognized these protestors. These are the kids—there’s that word again—that I used to tutor for the SAT, the kids I used to teach at Rutgers and other colleges, the kids who were put on the fast track to success by their ambitious Clinton-boom parents.
Every moment of their lives were scheduled, regimented. They had career goals in junior high. No joke: I once worked with a 14-year-old who had missed a perfect SAT score by 200 points, so he read every exam prep book in print—and then ordered some out of print editions—to make up the difference. He had to have that perfect score.
Another student, a freshman in college, had her career trajectory mapped out in a spreadsheet. There were five year plans. Ten year plans. The schools handed them planners on the first day of class.
We sold this nonsense to our children, and they bought it. They believed success was solely based on effort. They believed if they were simply the best, and they stuck to the plan, they would be rewarded when they graduated: a great job. Of course they believed that. Their parents, everybody, the entire culture sold them that fantasy.
Now we stand in awe of #OWS. Is it any wonder the hyper-organized kid culture of the ’90s produced this peaceful revolt in the face of rampant unemployment? Some, in the Ben Dry Eyes corner, crack jokes about the irony of #OWS technology, while the children of the Internet, the kids who grew up online, the new young adults who grew up connected with and talking to the entire globe, diligently produce and broadcast a new Rodney King tape every few days or so.
The whole world is watching indeed.
P.S. I have always been, and remain, the 99%.