25
Oct
11

KEEPING OCCUPIED

I was going to post this on Friday but I wasn’t happy with it. Frankly, I thought it was stupid. I spent some more time on it over the weekend. Then I meditated on it for a while on Saturday which is really just code for drinking and barbecuing. Although even with like 14 beers and three quail burgers it was never far from my mind.

The “Occupy” movement has been fueled by something which doesn’t really have words yet. I think these are people who have been repeatedly let down by the very institutions they were raised to trust in. The government. The media. The bank. The workplace. Perhaps this is why it looks so chaotic and unorganized. That’s the point. Another organization or institution is not the answer.

Another striking thing about the movement is an apparent lack of any goals or demands. Everyone is participating in this for their own reasons and in whatever way they can. But, as a whole, there is no coherent aim or strategy yet. And why should there be? It’s a month old. Nothing a month old is coherent.

So, the other day when my landlord was yelling at me about my dog, I started daydreaming about what I would demand. Obviously, this is a very pie in the sky list. But, hey, I’m a very pie in the sky kind of guy. And I’m sure I’ve forgotten something which is why I invite all of you to add your own demands in the comment section. Or you can tell me how stupid this is.

So if someone handed me a magic wand and told me I could have whatever I wanted, after an orgy with the hosts of THE VIEW and the power to give Dick Cheney uncontrollable diarrhea by humming a few bars of the National Anthem, this is what I would ask for:

MY INFORMATION IS MY PROPERTY

Why am I the only one not profiting from my own personal information? There’s an entire industry out there based on personal data making billions each year. I want my info to be my intellectual property. If anyone is going to profit from it then it should be me. Every time my info is bought or sold I should get a check in the mail. My social security number, credit score and medical records should enjoy the same legal protections (and rigorous enforcement) as an episode of TRUE BLOOD or a new LADY GAGA album.

I WANT MY OWN TERMS OF SERVICE AGREEMENT

Everything comes with a contract be it credit cards or bank accounts or cell phone carriers, etc. If you read them you’ll see they basically force you to relinquish most of your legal rights and agree in advance to whatever fees they impose. If they have a right to impose a legal agreement on me for things which are often necessities then why can’t I demand that they agree to my terms as well? If Bank of America “has a right to make a profit” then so do I. There are a few fees of my own I would like to begin charging.

FORGIVE ALL STUDENT LOAN DEBT

Between the wife and I there’s no way we’re ever going to pay this back in full. Certainly not with penalties and interest and certainly not with the job situation we face now and for the foreseeable future. We’ll be carrying this debt around for years if not for good. If you want me to feel better about the future and start spending my money then I need to know that I won’t be crushed by this debt later. What’s more, if we can fork over billions to banks and corporations to stimulate the economy then why can’t we invest in the higher education of America’s workers for the same reasons? Right now there is a resolution in the House of Representatives that would do just that. Pass it.

STOP MAKING EVERYTHING OUT OF PLASTIC

Even if we stopped using oil as a source of energy tomorrow, we’d still have to keep sucking it out of the Earth to keep making plastic. I realize plastics are versatile and inexpensive and even necessary. But, I doubt there is one product on the shelves of Target or WalMart that doesn’t include some form of plastic. Or one toy in my kid’s bedroom. Or one product in my bathroom. And where does all this crap go when we throw it away or wash it down the drain? It goes here.

MORE POLITICAL CHOICES

A third party isn’t the solution but it’s a start. Again, there’s a deep cynicism towards the entire process. I wish more independents would run, unaffiliated with any party or organization. Of course I wish the system was designed to allow people other than the wealthy to run for office. And, as I said, it’s a very pie in the sky list.

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1 Response to “KEEPING OCCUPIED”


  1. November 2, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Can I just say what a reduction to search out someone who really is aware of what theyre speaking about on the internet. You definitely know the right way to carry an issue to light and make it important. More folks must learn this and perceive this facet of the story. I cant believe youre no more common since you undoubtedly have the gift.


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