FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Happening Here

Because something is happening here
But you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones

~~Bob Dylan’s ”Ballad of a Thin Man”

Something is happening here, this movement called Occupy.

It’s the 99 percent vs. the 1 percent.  Seems overwhelmingly easy, like bowling pins targeting the ball instead of the reverse.  Picture it—the pins flying up the lane to knock the ball into the gutter.  Of course, the ball always has had the momentum and muscle.  It still does, but the oink-oink greed of the filthy rich, controlling our political system, our choices, our very existence, has become intolerable.  So much so that people, finally, have awakened from a stupor of illusion.

The 1 percenters exact an elevated status without regulation.  They believe it’s their due for generating huge profits despite criminal behavior, like the banking crisis of credit default swaps that ruined the economy and resulted in taxpayer bailouts.  Plus, there are nonfinancial companies among the 1 percent. They, like the bankers, use their money to influence policy.

And the 99 percent, well, obviously, that’s the multi-level majority (duh).  It encompasses people, like me, with a comfortable income, a home without a mortgage and, therefore, not rented from a banker, a car unencumbered by payments, health care that’s outrageously expensive but, at least, in place, and other resources, including the extra to purchase a bottle of wine when I make the decision either to celebrate or to wallow briefly in sorrow.  Yes, I, too, am among the 99 percent.  I just live closer on the spectrum to the demarcation separating us from the 1 percent.

Then, there’s the other end, the trail of squalor, a long line of blood, sweat, and tears.  Those residing at the lowest plane have lost their jobs, their homes, and their health coverage—any connection to personal security. At another or nearby echelon are college graduates who have little chance of attaining a position reflecting their major.  Or no opportunity for a career with benefits, the fulfillment of a dream, and no way to pay student loans.  Add the growing number of military veterans who are realizing that deployment to kill is one of the biggest shams in the history of scams.  That they are honored with words like “sacrifice” and “service to country” yet return to broken promises from the “deciders” who pull war’s devastating trigger.

So, I’m wondering about the quantities, 99 and 1.  What if this change that’s definitely happening here, despite cold winter months and the belief of the uber-affluent that wealth power is greater than the will of the people, shifts to 50 percent vs. 50 percent?  Or 20 percent vs. 80 percent?  Is there any level of racial injustice, poverty, or inequality that is acceptable?

I hope not.  I hope that no child goes hungry.  That no parent has to agonize over the untreated illnesses of their children.  That no one has to choose between food and medicine.  Or worry about shelter from the storm.

The occupations in cities all over this country may sputter at times, ebb a little, but they will flow and surge.  Agendas will continue to emerge, depending on the locations, but the message of solidarity, that the system is broken and must be built with a new foundation and manufactured with innovative parts, made in the USA, is clear:  a demand for dignity, human rights, and equality.

Thank you, young men and women at Occupy Wall Street for propelling this movement.

Because something is happening here.

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore, Maryland.  She can be reached at:  missybeat@gmail.com.

More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

August 10, 2020
Gerald Sussman
Biden’s Ukrainegate Problem
Vijay Prashad – Érika Ortega Sanoja
How the U.S. Failed at Its Foreign Policy Toward Venezuela
Daniel Warner
Geneva: The Home of Lost Causes
Mike Hastie
The Police Force Stampede in Portland on August 8, 2020 
Jack Rasmus
Trump’s Executive Orders: EOs as PR and FUs
Rev. William Alberts
Cognitive Without Conscience
David Altheide
Politicizing Fear Through the News Media
F. Douglas Stephenson
Is Big Pharma More Interested in Profiteering Than Protecting Us From Coronavirus?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Money Plague
Howard Lisnoff
Revolutionaries Living in a System of Growing Fascism
Ralph Nader
Donald Trump is Defeating Himself
Lynnette Grey Bull
The Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women Human Rights Emergency is Not a Photo-Op for Ivanka Trump
Victor Grossman
Some Come, Others Go
Binoy Kampmark
Death From the Sky: Hiroshima and Normalised Atrocities
The Stop Golden Rice Network
Why We Oppose Golden Rice
Michael D. Knox
After Nagasaki, the U.S. Did Not Choose Peace
Elliot Sperber
A Tomos 
Weekend Edition
August 07, 2020
Friday - Sunday
John Davis
The COVID Interregnum
Louis Yako
20 Postcard Notes From Iraq: With Love in the Age of COVID-19
Patrick Cockburn
War and Pandemic Journalism: the Truth Can Disappear Fast
Eve Ottenberg
Fixing the COVID Numbers
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Every Which Way to Lose
Paul Street
Trump is Not Conceding: This is Happening Here
Robert Hunziker
The World on Fire
Rob Urie
Neoliberal Centrists and the American Left
John Laforge
USAF Vet Could Face ‘20 Days for 20 Bombs’ for Protest Against US H-Bombs Stationed in Germany
Andrew Levine
Clyburn’s Complaint
Kavaljit Singh
Revisiting the Idea of Pigou Wealth Tax in the Time of Covid-19
Paul Ryder
Here Come the 1968 Mistakes Again
T.J. Coles
Fighting Over Kashmir Could Blow Up the Planet
David Macaray
Haven’t We All Known Guys Who Were Exactly like Donald Trump?
Conn Hallinan
What’s Driving the Simmering Conflict Between India and China
Joseph Natoli
American Failures: August, 2020
Ramzy Baroud
Apartheid or One State: Has Jordan Broken a Political Taboo?
Bruce Hobson
The US Left Needs Humility to Understand Mexican Politics
David Rosen
Easy Targets: Trump’s Attacks on Transgendered People
Ben Debney
The Neoliberal Virus
Evelyn Leopold
Is Netanyahu Serious About Annexing Jordan Valley?
Nicky Reid
When the Chickens Came Home to Roost In Portlandistan
Irma A. Velásquez Nimatuj
The Power of the White Man and His Symbols is Being De-Mystified
Kathy Kelly
Reversal: Boeing’s Flow of Blood
Brian Kelly
Ireland and Slavery: Framing Irish Complicity in the Slave Trade
Ariela Ruiz Caro
South American Nations Adopt Different COVID-19 Stategies, With Different Results
Ron Jacobs
Exorcism at Boston’s Old West Church, All Hallows Eve 1971
J.P. Linstroth
Bolsonaro’s Continuous Follies
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail