Posted by: David | October 10, 2011

Occupation Foole

Yeah, I know, this was the title of George Carlin’s fourth comedy album. I’m sure I listened to it. I was a fan. Even went to a live performance at the Oakdale with my then boss. This was when I was in high school. I worked at a Pier One Imports store and the manager was also a Carlin fan. I’m sure that going to the Oakdale was his idea.  The early ’70s was when George Carlin really hit his stride. This choice of title is exemplary of my deflective wit. By half.

I mean for the real topic of this post to be the “occupation” of Wall Street. Not too keen on talking politics, but this subject is irresistible. I want to be filthy stinking rich as much as anyone and I spend a tenner a week to move myself toward that goal (lottery tickets). Again, my deflective half wit defeats me. Silently I cheer these Wall Street occupiers. Everything I’ve heard them say on TV or the radio rings true to my commie pinko heart. Aspiring to become one of them as I draw my weekly lotto, I despise the super rich and wonder why it is they feel that they should not share their fortunes with the world. Wouldn’t it be a better place if everyone selflessly shared everything with everyone else?

Paradise is exactly like where you are right now … only much, much better. (Laurie Anderson- from the song  Language Is a Virus )

Dad always told me the only way to win was to lie, cheat and steal. Presumably he meant that those practices would insure some level of success. And as all parents do, he added that I should do as he said, not as he did.  I’m sure that he was hoping for me to be even more of a success than himself. Not too difficult, since now he’s a one-legged, toothless octogenarian living in an apartment in his son’s cellar. He was born at the beginning of the Great Depression. Entertainment for him these days consists of activities like writing nasty letters to retailers that won’t sell him two right shoes as a pair. If only that was a joke …

Despite his tutelage, the 55 years I’ve spent here on Earth have been relatively pure bliss. Though an angry god would surely spew me and my lukewarmth from his angry mouth, my life has been on the whole quite successful. I’m not rich or famous, but my only visits to the hospital have been just that. Visits. Never broken a bone and I still have all my internal organs. Though I have an odd number of teeth, I’ve only had one root canal. I have a loving family, a great job, good health,  and some very good friends. Around the next corner disaster awaits with a vengeance. And Bruce Willis. I plan to bum a smoke from Bruce. We’ll banter in the most masculine way about just how raw a deal we both are getting in this scene …

But hey, this isn’t about me. It’s about the protesters occupying these various cities. Maybe they’d done the same thing back when the well-dressed thieves and all their wonderful financial “instruments” were playing their hideous music on the devil’s own jukebox. We were too busy crying about our shrinking retirement funds. Now all this protest has our conservative friends are in a twist to defend their “economic freedom” (new name for greed). Well we all know that freedom isn’t free. In other words, don’t direct your anger toward the successful, get your ass out there and stake your own claim. No matter how many burgers you have to flip to get there. These people will say whatever they have to in order to defend their right to hang on to more treasure than they could spend in their own lifetimes. And they’re correct. Not good, but correct. Should there be a line separating success from greed? How much is too much? Loaded questions …

It would not be such a big deal if our lives on this planet amounted to a zero sum game. But they don’t. Those same correct conservatives will cheerfully remind you that you need a little faith. But that kind of faith is just another attempt to win all the marbles. This is not a new problem. It’s the oldest problem. We know better. We’ve known better for thousands of years. We’ve painted ourselves into a corner. Do we really have humanitarian “values” or are we slaves to value itself? Earth is too big to fail. Who’s going to bail out the planet?


  1. I love your pinko commie post here.

    Thanks Maleesha. I like hearing this from a former Marine. 🙂

  2. I know some very nice, very wealthy people. But they aren’t the ones messing with my mortgage or spending a fortune to buy themselves a politician. They’re the ones endowing university chairs, funding charities and hospitals, and investing both time and money in their communities. I share a lot of the Occupiers’ feelings about money and corruption in politics, but I cringe when someone seems to be painting ALL wealthy people with the same broad brush.

    I’ve known some very nice wealthy people too. Please don’t count me among those painting any socio-economic stratum with a broad brush. If anything I wrote in this post made you cringe, I apologize, it was not intended. My targets are the careless and avaricious dogs eating dogs who buy into that “greed is good” crap. Business needs to return to more human, less corporate formulas, and stop devouring, crushing, and stamping the residue with its feet. Know what I mean?

  3. However, it took too long to get going in the US, and now the cold will set in earlier there than here. And the movements are different as to motivation.

    Here it was started originally by the internet geeks to change copyright laws, but another much broader movement eclipsed that one and yet took direction and logistical support from its university educated founders.

    That second movement was vague as to purpose, was mainly against youth unemployment, but is now slowly trying to focus on the rigged mortgage contracts which however are the basis of the banking wealth.

    Imagine trying to reduce the value of all the houses sold, when there are about 1 500 000 unsold flats that will also end up on the books of the banks at 240 000 euros apiece!

    Yes, it did take too long. I’m thinking we were enthralled by the possible “hopey changey” stuff to which Sarah Palin shrewishly alluded. Better late than never.

    We don’t have to imagine the scale of this thievery. It’s real. Eventually all the empty homes will be bulldozed to make room for The Future.

  4. I am so ready for the peaceful revolution that is sort of hatching before our eyes– Greed is the most addictive of drugs. The greed addict needs more more more until he is forced to commit crimes to support his habit. (There have been a lot of crimes.) Time to Occupy Everywhere, because we could really use a democracy around here again.

    That link you included leads to the weirdest thing I’ve seen in a while, still laughing. Reminds me of people I know.

    I like your optimism! Glad you followed that link. You might enjoy some of Andy Foulds other Flash constructions.

  5. What is this obsession of yours with whatever you believe that a dogma is? Are you in the Middle Ages? More dangerous is witchcraft.
    So why don’t you focus on that.

    Witchcraft is also DOGMATIC. Dogma is the word I use to describe excessively stratified belief systems based upon axioms.

    You think I’m obsessed?

  6. I’ve been away, dealing with my own truths and fallacies and wanted to take a break from all that morose tedium. So I came here to see what you’ve been up to. Still brilliant, I see.

    Hope you’re well.


    Hi Laurie! Nice of you to visit. Your comment is awfully kind. 🙂 I’ve been neglecting your blog too I’m afraid, but have been enjoying the musical flashbacks you leave on Facebook. I am well, thanks, and somehow have resisted going completely bonkers. I wonder why. Maybe it’s this internet connection that’s somehow grounding out some of the excess electrical brain activity.

    Hope you’re well too.

  7. Been on the road without internet or I would have been by sooner. Great post. Hey, did you notice the similarities to the final scene in that documentary I sent you and the Occupy Wall Street protests going on right now? The times, they are a-changing. Just about every country on the planet is bankrupt; how does that ever work??? Oh to be a bug, bird or beast. They all manage to live debt free. 😉

    Hi Peter, definitely was thinking of you as this post materialized, along with that hypnotic film (Zeitgeist: Moving Forward). I can’t say I would call it a “documentary” though, more of a manifesto. A manifesto with which I agree.

    Soon, The Great Accountant will arrive. All debts will be forgiven. It will be like starting over …

  8. But a dogma is not a matter of belief. It is doctrine. The difference is very basic. I have had some, not very much, Catholic instruction, yet I have never been told what the dogmata are, and I have not looked them up.

    Now, if I wanted to become a religion teacher, I would have to find out. The Catholic church has always tried to exercise hierarchic control over what was being taught.
    Let’s all thank God and the Pope for that. Geeeez! Who would want to bow to voters that believe that Jesus was born in Jacksonville?

    HAH! Sometimes I can’t tell when you’re joking. I think now that you are. Your catechism would be indigestible. Thank God and the Pope that you’re NOT a religion teacher.

  9. I saw in the Washington Post that in Cleveland they are already demolishing houses, but from context I gather that they are old houses.
    Here, in Spain, the papers say the problem is worst on the coasts where there are thousands of new houses.
    However, I see the same thing here, around Madrid.
    I saw some of them, well built, expensive materials, high rise construction not cheap to demolish.

    Yes, I caught the end of such a story on NPR on my way home last night. It was a little startling. I’d been half-joking, but to hear that it’s really happening is disgustingly tragic. It brings to mind the doctrine of mutual assured destruction with which the Cold Warriors terrorized hundreds of millions of civilians and wasted unimaginable treasures building their awful weaponry. Hoarding and wasting, the mechanism of monetary motion … 😦

    • Now the latest: The Government is examining the possibility of giving residence permits to people who buy a flat for 160 000 euros cash. They say they are thinking of Chinese and Russian applicants. Rajoy is desperate. I do not think he ever understood the problem.

      He, like many others, imagine that a State is like a family, and so, if there are debts, these have to paid up before we can spend again etc = moral reasons to understand the debt problem. But the State seen as a family is a metaphor, a poetic thing, whereas a State is a mental construct and works more like a company than a family, and a company does SELL its debts etc etc.

      I heard a story on the radio the other day saying that if Greece or Spain abandon the euro the whole EU construct will evaporate. What do you think of this?

  10. Well, and as to me as a religion teacher, let me not forget to tell you that I have spent about 100 hours on Ratzinger in the last 12 months and about 50 and counting on Kaufman Kohler (Jewish theology). I also did maybe about 50 on JPII.

    Since you read large amounts of everything, you might think that e.g. 100 hours isn’t that much, but that was time saved and set aside, actual study time, not coffee table reading.

    Guess what! A complete change of mind. I think I might actually like a religion class taught by you. If some insane desire to take such a class ever took hold of me …

    Only an illiterate would consider the amount of reading I do as “large”. It’s pretty much all coffee table reading. And our Blessed Internet.

  11. And I saw that “greed” word again. I don’t read Yahoo news, but was told that they summarized the M15 movement as directed against “greed”. I thought that was the latest and sleekest nebulizer. This comes from the same place as “sharing” and “compassionate”.

    AFIK the movement is against recent developments in banking so complex that it cannot be supervised except by paid compinches.

    It is not greed. It is know-how. That is why it is difficult to fight or even to resist.

    Deadly accurate comment. As with know-how, good intentions are also difficult to fight or resist.

  12. On teaching you religion:
    I think I could be a very good teacher, but my problem is that I have always disliked good students and as to the bad ones, well, just can’t stand them.

    So? In case you need a religion teacher, please feel free to put an ad in the local newspaper here or anywhere else.

    Or look for something on the internet?

    Then you would not be able to stand me. No problemo, will never be looking for a religion teacher. Google is all I need. 🙂

    • LOVE THIS–> “I have always disliked good students and as to the bad ones, well, just can’t stand them.”

      oh what a teacher you would be. FEAR the parents.

      Yeah, cantueso is real hoot. I like students myself. For the most part. Which makes working at a college sorta fun most of the time.

  13. Latest development on the meltdown:

    Let’s say you have been a supplier to the city government for the last 4 years.
    At one point, 3 years back, the government stopped paying you but you continued supplying by raising the prices a little in return for that interest-free credit you feel obliged to give the City. Ok?

    Now you are running out of cash like many other people. The City, too, is no longer able to get credit from the bank, because the banks are being watched by the New York Times etc.

    The following solution has just been cooked up:
    Coerced by the central government, the banks must offer the small suppliers an interest-free credit for work done prior to April 30, 2011.

    I.e. instead of the City, you yourself are now liable for that credit. Out of your assets and maybe by selling your house you will have to pay the bank for work you did under City contracts…….

    (I am not personally affected by this story.)

    Me neither. My mortgage is almost paid off. However, my retirement funds are eroding. When I stop collecting a paycheck, my “Social Security” and pension income should be just enough to cover my property taxes. Reverse mortgage here we come …

  14. I never heard about reverse mortgage, but will look it up.
    The property taxes here were abolished some time ago, maybe because of the bubble which made property prices go up fourfold and more.
    But there is a Big Bang looming who knows how far ahead. The Euro is breaking up. It is impossible to find true information about it. I think the relevant people spend 40% of their energies preparing for the salvation operationa and 60% on getting ready for what is always refeered to as Lo Impensable, The Unthinkable.
    And it is the second possibility which can’t be talked about publicly, so that the first (and remote) possibility takes up all the news.

    I can’t wait to read your words on reverse mortgages.

    Yeah, we all await the big bang of el mundo terminado.

  15. I forgot about looking up these ” reverse mortgages”.

    I think that they’re a method of liquidating your real estate equity in a scheduled way so as to zero out before death arrives. But what do I know?

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