The Tea Party vs. Occupy Wall Street

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 7th, 2011

As far as Protest Movements go these Tea Party People can be Rather Boring

Everyone who follows the mainstream media knows that the Tea Party is nothing more than a bunch of radical racists out to raise hell and get into your face if you dare to disagree with them (see Glenn Beck on the Mall by Lexington posted 8/29/2010 on The Economist).

It is indeed both presumptuous and preposterous of Mr Beck to claim the mantle of Martin Luther King and the civil-rights movement for his own noxious style of politics. However, not seeing is believing: I saw no evidence at all of racism at this particular event. It was a good-natured, somewhat solemn, gathering of mostly white and well-to-do people from all over America who for some reason or other saw fit to respond to Mr Beck’s plea to show up to “restore” America’s honour. The main focus of the formal ceremony consisted of paying tribute to the country’s servicemen and veterans, of whom there were many in the crowd.

This was Glenn Beck‘s rally back in 2010.  Probably the most hated man in the Tea Party movement.  Those on the Left belittle and mock this man to no end.  Because they think he is dangerous.  Incendiary.  A racist of the first degree.  If so, where was the racism?  The radicalism?  The in your face anger?

As far as protest movements go these Tea Party people can be rather boring.

The Mark of a True Liberal is Being Generous with other People’s Private Property

So, yes, the Tea Party appears to be rather boring when they protest.  Can’t say that for the Occupy Wall Street people, though.  They’ve been pretty provocative.  Breaking the law.  Getting arrested.  And being really, really annoying (see For Some, Wall Street Is Main Street by Cara Buckley posted 10/7/2011 on The New York Times).

Panini and Company normally sells sandwiches to tourists in Lower Manhattan and the residents nearby, but in recent days its owner, Stacey Tzortzatos, has also become something of a restroom monitor. Protesters from Occupy Wall Street, who are encamped in a nearby park, have been tromping in by the scores, and not because they are hungry.

Ms. Tzortzatos’s tolerance for the newcomers finally vanished when the sink was broken and fell to the floor. She installed a $200 lock on the bathroom to thwart nonpaying customers, angering the protesters.

“I’m looked at as the enemy of the people,” she said.

I don’t recall the destruction of private party at any Tea Party rallies.

A sandwich shop is not a big corporation.  It’s a small business.  A Mom and Pop type store.  I don’t recall this demand on their list of demands.  Free access to use and destroy Mom and Pop stores everywhere for their exploitation of the working class.  All one or two that work for them.

Mothers have grown weary of navigating strollers through the maze of barricades that have sprouted along the streets. Toddlers have been roused from sleep just after bedtime by chanting and pounding drums.

Heather Amato, 35, a psychologist who lives near the protest area, said she felt disturbed by some of the conduct of the protesters. She said she had to shield her toddler from the sight of women at the park dancing topless.

I can’t understand why these people would have trouble getting a job.  Chanting and pounding drums at all hours of the night.  And girls getting so drunk that they let the Bobbsey Twins out in public.  (If you ever been on spring break you know you usually don’t see the girls come out until after vast amounts of alcohol have been consumed.  ).  If that doesn’t say responsibility and punctuality I don’t know what does.

The site of the protests, Zuccotti Park, is privately owned but open to the public. Melissa Corley, a spokeswoman for Brookfield Office Properties, which owns the park, said in a statement that sanitation conditions had reached “unacceptable levels.”

If you’ve never been to an outdoor concert let me clarify.  There’s trash everywhere.  And lots of pee.  Perhaps even some poop.  Sad to say I knew of a guy in construction that liked to leave ‘surprises’ for his coworkers.  In a trench.  In a dumpster.  In an attic.  He just thought it was funny.  He was eventually fired.  But I don’t think it was poop-related.  I believe he failed a drug test.

Several businesses said they had no choice but to respond to the influx of protesters by closing bathrooms.

Mike Keane, who owns O’Hara’s Restaurant and Pub, said that theft of bathroom soap and toilet paper had skyrocketed and that one protester used the bathroom but failed to properly use the toilet.

Both Ms. Tzortzatos, owner of Panini & Co., and Mr. Keane said that the protesters rarely bought anything, yet hurled curses when they were told that only paying customers could use their bathrooms.

Steve Zamfotis, manager of another nearby store, Steve’s Pizza, said: “They are pests. They go to the bathroom and don’t even buy a cup of coffee.”

Mr. Zamfotis said he closed his bathroom after it repeatedly flooded from protesters’ bathing there.

Stealing toilet paper?  That would explain some of the unacceptable sanitary conditions in the park.

Speaking of poop, this reminds me of another poop anecdote.  The same guy who told me about that construction worker had some port-a-johns on job site.  Apparently he pissed off some workers.  After which they, too, didn’t use the toilet facilities properly.  They didn’t lift the lids.  They just pooped on them.  Some people protest in strange and mysterious ways.  Which is what I’m guessing happened here.  Either on the toilet seat.  Or, perhaps, on the floor.  And that reminds me of yet another poop anecdote.  I knew a lawyer who did that once.  He was angry at his landlord.  So he pooped in the stairwell.  I guess that showed her.  Just like these protestors showed this restaurant owner.

Kira Annika, a spokeswoman for the protesters, wrote in an e-mail that she had not heard of such complaints. “We were under the impression that the local business community appreciated our patronage and the attention that we give them,” she wrote.

Still, in a widely distributed pamphlet, “Welcome To Liberty Plaza: Home of Occupy Wall Street,” participants were given explicit instructions on where to find relief.

“After you’ve dined,” the pamphlet reads, “feel free to refresh yourself in the restrooms of neighboring businesses like Burger King and McDonalds without feeling obligated to buy anything.”

A manager of the Burger King in question said he had no trouble with the protesters, though a maintenance worker at the McDonald’s, Deon Cook, said that in recent days he had been forced to clean the bathroom every five minutes.

How generous they are with other people’s private property.  The mark of a true liberal.  I’m sure they would be just as generous with their own private property.  And welcome strangers into their homes to use their toilets.

Yves Delva, a manager at a nearby Modell’s Sporting Goods, said sales had been brisk for sleeping bags, sweatshirts, hand warmers sweatpants and goggles — that last item presumably bought to protect the eyes from pepper spray, which has been used by police officers in response to the demonstrations. “We’ve been profiting,” Mr. Delva said.

Well this is strange.  This is capitalism.  And these are products of corporations.  I guess they’ll surrender their principles when it gets cold and wet.  Probably even be willing to go back to their parent’s house.  To a warm, dry bed.  And heat.  Once the temperatures fall.  And the rainy season sets in.  One thing for sure.  They ain’t the protestors their parents were.

The Problem with the Occupy Wall Street people is that they are not more Tea Party-Like

And it’s just not me saying this.  Even one of their supporters says this (see Tea Party Lessons for the Left by Michael Tomasky posted 10/4/2011 on Yahoo! News).

But now comes Occupy Wall Street. Is the cosmic score about to be evened? Maybe. But paradoxically, only if this new left protest movement embraces some crucial lessons from the Tea Party movement—and if it outgrows certain impulses from 1968 that continue to loom large in the left’s imagination.

… To succeed, it would have to model itself on 1963, not 1968. And I’m not confident that any left-wing protest movement today can understand that.

What do I mean? In 1963, we had the March on Washington. No one threw anything. There were no drum circles. The protesters of 1963 said to America, “We are like you; in fact, we are you.”…The protesters of 1968 said to America, “We are not like you; in fact, we hate you…”

What changed, between 1963 and 1968? This: In 1963, protest was undertaken for the purpose of winning. By 1968, protest became a carnival of self-expression. Winning was the stated goal, but deep down, emotionally, it wasn’t really the goal: sticking it to the man was. Imagine that the SCLC-led protesters of 1963 had indulged in self-expression, and ask yourself whether they would have succeeded. I think I need say no more on that.

So these protesters are getting it wrong.  They’re protesting for the fun of protesting.  Not for some deep underlying philosophical principle.  It appears you can summarize all of their grievances and demands with one word.  PARTY!  Sort of the way it was in 1968.  I guess.

And this is where today’s protesters need to steal a page from the Tea Party activists. I beg, plead, implore, importune: Get some spokespeople out there for the cause who are just regular Americans…

The genius of the Tea Party movement lies entirely in the fact that its public faces were, by and large, regular Americans. How many stories did we all read about the homemaker from Wilkes-Barre and the IT guy from Dubuque who’d never been involved in politics in their lives and never thought they would be until the Tea Party came along? These people resonate with other Americans: “She’s my neighbor; he’s just like me.” That gave the Tea Party movement incredible force and made the media take it seriously, and making the media take you seriously is, alas, at least half the battle in our age.

The OWS movement is part of the way there. The “We Are the 99 Percent” trope is powerful. It is true. But the movement has to prove that it really is the 99 percent. It has to win middle America, and the way to win middle America is to be middle America. For all the Seattle-ish longhairs down in Zucotti Park—whom the mainstream media and the right wing will undoubtedly highlight—there are, to be sure, homemakers in Wilkes-Barre and IT guys in Dubuque who sympathize. Find them. Put them out there. Get them on cable.

So if I understand this correctly, the problem with the answer to the Tea Party, the Occupy Wall Street people, is that they are not more Tea Party-like.  They’re not as polite.  As law abiding.  As clean.  As respectable (you don’t see many bare-breasted women dancing at Tea Party events).  So they need to be more like this.  And less like themselves.  More like respectable grownups.  And less like overindulgent children.  Who have but one thing on their mind.  PARTY!

The Tea Party Respects the Rule of Law and Private Property Rights

Occupy Wall Street is not the Tea Party.  For the Tea Party is interested in the Rule of Law.  The Constitution.  They are concerned that the nation is drifting too far away from the intent of the Founding Fathers.  Those guiding principles that have made the United States that shining city upon the hill.  The ultimate destination for emigrants everywhere.  Whereas the Occupy Wall Street People want bigger government and more free stuff.  And, of course, they want to do one other thing.  PARTY (see The Left’s Pathetic Tea Party by Rich Lowry posted 10/4/2011 on National Review Online)!

In the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Left thinks it might have found its own tea party…

This is a sign either of desperation to find anyone on the left still energized after three years of Hope and Change, or of a lack of standards, or both. The Left’s tea party is a juvenile rabble, a woolly-headed horde that has been laboring to come up with one concrete demand on the basis of its — in the words of one sympathetic writer — “horizontal, autonomous, leaderless, modified-consensus-based system with roots in anarchist thought.”

The Right’s tea party had its signature event at a rally at the Lincoln Memorial where everyone listened politely to patriotic exhortations and picked up their trash and went home. The Left’s tea party closed down a major thoroughfare in New York City — the Brooklyn Bridge — and saw its members arrested in the hundreds.

The Tea Party respects the Rule of Law.  And private property rights.  That’s why they’re not pigs when visiting other people’s property.  They don’t poop and pee wherever they want.  Disrupt traffic.  Or get arrested.  I mean, if you had to have either the Tea Party people or the Occupy Wall Street people be your next door neighbor, who would you choose?

What was remarkable about the Right’s tea party is that it depended on solid burghers who typically don’t have the time or inclination to protest anything. Occupy Wall Street is a project of people who do little besides protest. It’s all down to a standard operating procedure: the guitars, the drums, the street theater, the age-old chants…

The New York Times quoted one Occupy Wall Street veteran telling a newcomer: “It doesn’t matter what you’re protesting. Just protest.” That captures the coherence of the exercise, which is a giant, ideologically charged, post-adolescent sleepover complete with face paint and pizza deliveries.

Again, I think we can sum up their grievances and demands with one word.  PARTY!

Now it’s Time for Them to Stop Thinking about Themselves and Just go Home

There’s an expression that goes like this.  Don’t sh*t where you eat.  A vulgar expression, yes, but it’s kind of apropos.  It means you don’t have sex with someone at work.  Because if the relationship goes sour, as they almost always do when you fool around at work, it can become very awkward around each other after the break up.  Which can be very unpleasant.  And strain the working relationship.

Now the ‘having a job’ part of this analogy has nothing to do with the Occupy Wall Street people.  It’s more of a literal meaning.  If you’re trying to win the hearts and minds of the people around you, well, you can’t go pooping all over their private property.  Nothing says ‘I hate you more’ than an unwelcomed poop.  And strains the solidarity relationship.

Of course, these indiscriminate poopers don’t care about anyone but themselves.  They protest not for an overriding principle.  But to get free stuff for themselves.  And, of course, to PARTY!  That’s why they have long overstayed their welcome in this neighborhood.  Now it’s time for them to stop thinking about themselves.  And just go home.

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LESSONS LEARNED #42: “Romantics often don’t have a clue about what they romanticize about.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 2nd, 2010

From Underwear to Fashion Thong

Nowadays, underwear is more of a fashion statement.  A thong rising out of a lady’s low-rise jeans with a tramp stamp above says, hey, I like to be sexy.  It doesn’t say go ahead and enjoy that bran muffin.  Unless you carry wet wipes in your purse.

Disgusting things happen under our clothes.  Being mammals, we poop and pee.  Sweat.  And get dirty.  Most of us shower daily.  And use deodorant.  We didn’t always.  But we always pooped, peed, sweated and got dirty.  And probably always will.

As we entered more modern times, we started to wear nicer clothes.  Clothes that weren’t so easy to wash.  And were expensive.  We weren’t bathing all that often yet.  So we came up with an idea of how to keep all our bodily filth off of our spiffy new clothes.  Underwear.

Gallant Knights no Doubt had Skid Marks in their Armor

People are fascinated with medieval court life.  Dashing princes.  Gallant knights.  Fair maidens.  Chivalry.  The stuff of fairy tales.  Every little girl dreams of having Prince Charming sweep her up onto his steed and gallop off into the sunset.  If you brought these people into our modern world, though, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere near them.  Their stench would make you want to vomit.

Modern people would not believe how bad this stink was.  Of course, back then, when everyone stunk, it didn’t smell so bad.  Stink is, after all, relative.  Someone would have to stink a lot worse than you for you even to notice their stink.  But filth is absolute.  So we started to wear underwear to keep the skid marks off of our fancier outer clothes.

Even the dashing ladies and gentlemen of 19th century America were still pretty smelly.  They didn’t bathe every day.  And they didn’t wash their outer clothing all that often.  But they tried to do like mother said.  And wear clean underwear.

Clean Underwear is as Good as a Shower in the 19th Century

One of the finest military memoirs ever written were those of General Ulysses S. Grant.  He would advance to command all Union forces during the American Civil War.  One time, his army was advancing so quickly that his baggage trains couldn’t keep up.  And with no baggage, he had no clean underwear to change into.  For many, many days.

Back then you wore clean underwear when soiled.  Today, you shower.  And if you don’t have clean underwear, you still shower.  Some may turn dirty underwear inside out to wear.  Some may go commando (not wear any underwear).  But we wash to keep our outer clothes clean.  We don’t depend on underwear alone to do that job.

Because of that, our underwear got smaller.  Instead of covering our entire bodies, most wear it to just cover our naughty bits.  Or enhance our naughty bits.  Like a piece of ‘floss’ running up a lady’s butt crack.  And some even go without.  We have come a long way.  With underwear.

Drinking the Water you Poop in will Give you Cholera

With going poopies, too.  Before modern toilets, we pooped into a bowl.  If we were in an upstairs room, we would just dump it out of a window.  If we were wealthy, our servants would empty our chamber pots for us in the morning.  They’d fill a large tub full of our waste and then trudge it down to the river.  In early New York City, the Hudson River received many a tub of poop throughout any given day.

Convenient, yes, but we also did something else with rivers.  We drew our drinking water from them.  And the interesting thing about our poop?  It’s not potable.  You drink it and you get sick.  It took us a while to figure this out, though.  And during a cholera outbreak in London, we did.  Well, John Snow did.  With an able assist from the Reverend Henry Whitehead. 

The Broad Street well drew drinking water from an area of the Thames River with a high concentration of human waste.  In those days, people had cesspits under their houses.  They collected their poop in them where it would eventually dissolve into the ground.  And into the ground water.  To keep them from overflowing, they’d sometimes transport some of the waste to, you guessed it, the Thames River.   Ergo the cholera.

Smell that Smell

You ever work in a sanitary lift station?  Smell that fragrant odor as it wafts up to you from an open manhole?  If you have you know what I’m talking about.  And how it buckled your knees the first time you smelled that smell.

We take a lot for granted these days.  Like smells.  And the lack of them.  Because once upon a time, we didn’t have sewers.  We had cesspools.  And open gutters for our waste to flow in.  Down to a river.  Now that’s a special odor.  And few today can really appreciate it.  Unless they’ve worked up close and personal in one of our waste water treatment systems.

A little more than a hundred years ago, that odor permeated some of our bigger cities.  And it was everywhere.  Where our kids played.  Where we cooked our meals.  Where we ate them.  It was with us when we slept.  It came out of our pores.  It was horrible beyond belief.  This stink.  Made by the gentry of high society.  Those beautiful people we romanticize about.  Like Scarlet O’Hara.  Dashing princes.  And fair maidens.  Of course, there was an upside to this foul stench.  It concealed our vile body odor.

Screw the Past

There’s a lot to being human that is disgusting.  And the farther back you go, the more disgusting we were.  The fact that a woman can wear a thong or go without underwear these days says a lot about how far our hygiene has advanced.  We can wear less and we’ve never been cleaner.  Or smelled better.  You can romanticize all you want about those quaint, charming days before the 20th century, but you can’t beat the here and now. 

We’re clean.  We don’t stink.  Our cities are clean.  And they don’t stink.  We have flush toilets.  And safe drinking water.  And if you want to find a cholera outbreak these days, you have to go to a third world country.  Call me new-fashioned, but give me the here and now and “screw the past” (to borrow a line from Perfume by Sparks).

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