A funny thing happened on the way to the General Assembly. It was the first time I had attended such a meeting at “Occupy Portland, Oregon,” the local protest corresponding to the “Occupy Wall Street” protests in New York City. The protests had already been going on for a couple of weeks and it was the first opportunity I had to spend any time at one. I attended principally because I was interested to learn more about the concerns of local protesters and how the protest was being organized. As someone interested primarily in listening, I didn’t speak, and I learned more than I imagined I would, on an unexpected subject—democracy, and how it differs in application when utilized as an organizational tool, as opposed to idealized as a panacea. Two encounters in particular at this meeting have given me much to consider on this subject, and have shaped my thoughts concerning the nationwide “Occupy” movement as a whole.
A Humble Proposition
for preventing the unemployed in the United States of America, from being a burden on their country, and for making them beneficial to the public
It is a melancholy object to those, who walk though the great city of New York, or travel to nearly any other city in this great nation, when they see the parks crowded with unemployed youth, veterans of combat, and aging drug users, granola crunchers, and brassiereless females, all in soiled, malodorous clothing and harassing every passerby (Roberts et al.). These people instead of working for their honest livelihood are content to employ all their time complaining about the accomplishments of others and beg for debt relief while they thieve and rape for want of work and love (Lomax), or they may indeed leave their dear native country, to fight as terrorists against civilized society (Vermillion).
Three hours later than planned, after a 6-hour flight and a hurried drive through the suburbs of Boston, I finally arrived in Salem, Massachusetts to find the media team nearly ready for the event that had been anticipated jokingly as perhaps “the most important political event of the year,” (Bernstein) and would later be called “the best fake presidential debate Massachusetts has seen in a generation” (Carioli). I donned my newly fitted black tuxedo with a red bowtie and matching pocket square, and sat down at a table on stage next to a man in the process of fastening a boot to his head. It was Halloween weekend, but the boot was not exactly a costume. Hearing the excited cheers of audience and members of the media team, Vermin Supreme acknowledged that this trademark fashion accessory brings more media attention than any of his other antics.