That's Not My Sign
Two Girls Sitting On a Wall
The Audio Engineering Society convention was this past weekend. On the way to a meeting after the show, Tony and I stopped by the "Occupy Wall Street" extravaganza. Our first sight was actually a sound - drums, drums, drums, and no premonition of a bass solo. We got there well after dark, so none of the crowd pictures are worth reproducing. That's OK - you've seen them in the media. Zuccotti Park was larger than it appeared in my imagination, and more crowded. The first encounter was with a couple of college-age girls sitting on a wall. They were holding signs, but the sign I focused on was on the wall by their legs. Its exhortation had to do with repairing Social Security. This made me wonder: What's wrong with it and how would the apparent owner of the sign repair it? Social Security just offered me a raise of 3.5%, and that, in addition to the great satisfaction of having the government send money to me, made me skeptical of any changes. I put her to the question: "What would you have done to change it?"
Her answer: "That's not my sign." Petitioning the girl next to her, I received the same answer. The owner of the sign didn't turn up, so I guess I will keep my January raise. But the first girl did respond that she was on Social Security (disability) and so was her mother. The girl was having difficulty repaying her student loan, and "they" were after her mother, who had cosigned the loan.
Support the People's Library
The stories I've been reading, mostly in the Wall Street Journal to be sure, don't have a very sympathetic take on the pullulating masses crowded inside the periphery of the demonstration area. From my brief encounter with the "demonstrators," I got a different impression: The occupiers are budding entrepreneurs! Maybe they don't know what they want, but those who have something are selling it. In just a quick walk through the park and back around the periphery, I found what appeared to be an "official" photographer and at least two libraries.
|One was selling, or at least attempting to sell, used, presumably donated, books for several dollars each. I assume that this People's Library accepted books from the People and then sold them at an infinite mark-up. In contrast, the library in my community sells used books for $1, or a lot less during the annual sale. I guess there's a lot more overhead in Zuccotti Park. For example, I read that there is a "percussion tax" of 50% on tips, so perhaps they must split the fees with the amorphous organizers.|
Get Your Picture Taken At the Faire
I just walked past without inquiring as to the price or even if there was one, so I may be tarring them with a capitalist brush unfairly. The sign to the right in the full-resolution photo reads "Ban Fracking Now." The dot over the "i" in "Fracking" is a cute candle flame.
Don't Forget To Vote!
If you're reading this years after Ron Paul and Barney Frank are political footnotes, the argument for this ticket is that they're both against the war. Another (mine) is that with four first names on the ticket, how can you not have a warm opinion about at least one of them?
Unless, of Course, You're Rich and It's Raining
I said to Tony as we were walking to our final evening destination, without a trace of sarcasm, and without any disclaimer, "God bless America."