FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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

November 12, 2018
Kerron Ó Luain
Poppy Fascism and the English Education System
Conn Hallinan
Nuclear Treaties: Unwrapping Armageddon
Robert Hunziker
Tropical Trump Declares War on Amazonia
John W. Whitehead
Badge of Shame: the Government’s War on Military Veterans
Will Griffin
Military “Service” Serves the Ruling Class
John Eskow
Harold Pinter’s America: Hard Truths and Easy Targets
Rob Okun
Activists Looking Beyond Midterm Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Mid-Term Divisions: The Trump Take
Dean Baker
Short-Term Health Insurance Plans Destroy Insurance Pools
George Wuerthner
Saving the Buffalohorn/Porcupine: the Lamar Valley of the Gallatin Range
Patrick Howlett-Martin
A Note on the Paris Peace Forum
Joseph G. Ramsey
Does America Have a “Gun Problem”…Or a White Supremacy Capitalist Empire Problem?
Weekend Edition
November 09, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Louis Proyect
Why Democrats Are So Okay With Losing
Andrew Levine
What Now?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Chuck and Nancy’s House of Cards
Brian Cloughley
The Malevolent Hypocrisy of Selective Sanctions
Marc Levy
Welcome, Class of ‘70
David Archuleta Jr.
Facebook Allows Governments to Decide What to Censor
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Zika Scare: a Political and Commercial Maneuver of the Chemical Poisons Industry
Nick Pemberton
When It Comes To Stone Throwing, Democrats Live In A Glass House
Ron Jacobs
Impeach!
Lawrence Davidson
A Tale of Two Massacres
José Tirado
A World Off Balance
Jonah Raskin
Something Has Gone Very Wrong: An Interview With Ecuadoran Author Gabriela Alemán
J.P. Linstroth
Myths on Race and Invasion of the ‘Caravan Horde’
Dean Baker
Good News, the Stock Market is Plunging: Thoughts on Wealth
David Rosen
It’s Time to Decriminalize Sex Work
Dan Glazebrook
US Calls for a Yemen Ceasefire is a Cynical Piece of Political Theatre
Jérôme Duval
Forced Marriage Between Argentina and the IMF Turns into a Fiasco
Jill Richardson
Getting Past Gingrich
Dave Lindorff
Not a Blue Wave, But Perhaps a Foreshock
Martha Rosenberg
Dangerous, Expensive Drugs Aggressively Pushed? You Have These Medical Conflicts of Interest to Thank
Will Solomon
Not Much of a Wave
Nicolas J S Davies
Why Yemeni War Deaths are Five Times Higher Than You’ve Been Led to Believe
Jim Goodman
We call BS! Now, Will You Please Get Over This Partisanship?
Josh Hoxie
How Aristocracies are Born
Faisal Khan
The Weaponization of Social Media
James Munson
The Left Has Better Things to Do Than Watch Liberals Scratch Their Heads
Kenneth Culton
The Political Is Personal
Graham Peebles
Fracking in the UK
Alycee Lane
The Colonial Logic of Geoengineering’s “Last Resort”
Kevin Basl
How Veterans Changed the Military and Rebuilt the Middle Class
Thomas Knapp
Election 2018: The More Things Don’t Change, the More They Stay the Same
Gary Leupp
Europe and Secondary Iran Sanctions: Where Do We Go Now?
Saurav Sarkar
An Honest Look at Poverty in the Heartland
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail