The International Writers Magazine:Wall Street
For a writer who has long lamented in this space the tendency of the younger generation to forsake three-dimensional life in favor of dopey little consumer toys and games, it’s a bit of a dereliction not to have visited the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Zuccotti Park “to get my fair share of the views”, as the Rolling Stones once put it.
Anyway, I don’t feel so bad. Even filmmaker Michael Moore, who tried to serve a citizen’s arrest warrant on Goldman Sachs for his documentary “Capitalism, A Love Story”, has made himself scarce down there. In my case, while I am an unconditional supporter of the movement, I enjoyed quite enough riotous behavior as an original denizen of the deep during the 1960’s to retain any residual “nostalgie de la boue”. How many tons of drugs, gallon jugs of cheap Gamay wine, cases of Sothern Comfort, truckloads of beer do you have to consume; stinking, drunken awakenings on public sidewalks, trampled underfoot by mobs of other kids after an all-nighter waiting in line for concert tickets or at outdoor music festivals; how many cases of crab lice, scabies or venereal disease as a result of having it off with stinking, infected slags on bedbug-ridden mattress in derelict crash pads; how many split heads and tearful pukings as a result of confrontations with the security apparatus should one be expected to endure? I had all that and more. Actually, given the extravagant incontinence of my past behavior, I can scarcely believe that I am still alive. As my attorney, Ron Kuby, once admonished me, his face swollen and red with rage over an assault I had been charged with committing (and this guy is himself a radical), “It’s a miracle you’re not in jail!”
I live uptown now, but I am still motivated to write a really great seemwinder of a speech to deliver down at Zuccotti Park, if the muses would inspire me to compose something really incendiary and artistic, like Anthony’s eulogy of Caesar, which incited the Roman mob to mutiny and rage. What happiness!
Maybe next week.
||In the meantime, the Wall Street Journal is carping about the insalubrious chaos taking place there. They didn’t lance the same accusations against the Tea Party excesses of a couple of years ago. That movement was transported in air-conditioned motor coaches, the activists being catered and paid per diem stipends by agents of the banking and insurance interests intent on derailing the health insurance legislation and guided from talking points artlessly redacted by Dick Armey and Carl Rove.
It’s the old joke about a comedian who tells the only guy in the audience who’s laughing, “Why don’t you run around the room and pretend you’re a crowd”. This is the same gang that sent a mob of clean-cut Republican rioters into Miami city hall in 2000 to disrupt the Florida recount. All of those rioters were later rewarded with jobs in the Bush administration, which worked so assiduously to bring our nation to its present chaotic state.
I don’t believe that we’ll be hearing too much about the idiot Tea Party going forward. They pretty well shot their load over the health insurance issue, and the opinion surveys show them having a detrimental effect on the Republican Party heading into the election, which should lead to the money drying up. Sarah Palin has gone to ground after Gabrielle Gifford got shot in the face by one of Palin’s adherents, and whacko Michelle Bachmann is pretty much marginalized. All that’s left for the nut jobs to hang onto is the pizza guy, Herman Cain whose signature 9-9-9 tax plan sounds like a Monday Night Football Godfather’s Pizza takeout special. I believe that the Republicans, who are desperate to win at any cost so that they can get back to stealing everything in sight, will go with Romney for no other reason than that he is the only Republican prospect who doesn’t appear to deserve being locked up with Pee Wee Herman, Cheech & Chong and Jim Carrey in Timothy Leary’s LSD nut job asylum. How’s that for an endorsement!
Menacing as Occupy Wall Street may seem to the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, it pales in comparison to the rioting taking place in the board rooms of the corporate sector. An examination of that ecosystem is like turning over a muddy rock and poking the exposed life forms with a probe. Yuck! Anywhere you care to look, it’s an abomination. Where do you care to begin? Rupert Murdoch? Old news. Raj Rajaratnam of Galleon Hedge Fund and his fifty thieves, who were convicted of rampant insider trading? Yesterday’s papers. This week’s choice little amuse-guele is the resignation of Olympus Corp. chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa after his board was revealed to have funneled billions of dollars of corporate money into invisible offshore entities, all of which money subsequently disappeared (in the Cayman Islands), ostensibly to acquire start-up companies which were later found to have been worthless. The British CEO who uncovered the massive fraud, Michael Woodward, was summarily dismissed for “[acting on] his own without consulting others” and prevented from speaking on the record at an Olympus board meeting.
Regardless of what happens, that money is unlikely ever to be recuperated or the Olympus board to face civil charges or a grand jury. Not like the 19 New York Police officers indicted last week for fixing parking tickets for well-connected citizens, including one police constable, José Ramos, who was also indicted for selling drugs because he owned an interest in a couple of hole-in-the-wall Hispanic barber shops in Washington Heights, where his store manager was discovered to have been dealing dime bags of reefer out of the back room. Big deal. Try to control the extracurricular activities of your Hispanic employees!
These indicted cops had no choice but to go along with a program that existed long before they were born, and so notoriously corrupt that people died in a nineteenth century riot on the steps of city hall between rival police unions fighting for control of the police department. Refusing to fix a ticket could get you shot in the face, which is what happened to Officer Frank Serpico when he refused to accept his share of precinct bag money. I certainly don’t have any sympathy for the police, I don’t care which country. As this educated hooker once put it to me, “You have to be a special kind of asshole to be a cop.” But these New York cops are being hung out to dry, taking it in the neck for a system of corruption that extends from the boardrooms of Wall Street down to the trash disposal facilities on Staten Island, which also represent big bucks.
Mayor Bloomberg is totally justified in maintaining an indulgent policy with regard to the recent green shoots of discontent pushing up through the macadam surface of Zuccotti Park like the rose that broke through the asphalt sidewalk in Spanish Harlem. The roots of this discontent are too robust to be swept away by a freaking weed spinner. You only have to look at the demonstrations in Europe to note how small the American protests are by comparison. The only thing that is keeping the American public quiet is that Obama has opened the sluice gates of the money supply and flooded the system with liquidity. Dry up that source, as the Republicans are advocating, and the Capital Mall in Washington will be packed to capacity, maybe just in time to greet the Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the health insurance legislation. If an equivalent mob had been mobilized to gather there in 2000, maybe the Republican-majority Supreme Court would have hesitated to throw the election to Bush with such alacrity.
How do you reform a system of human brutishness that has thrived since we parted company from our simian progenitors in the trees of Africa? What the hell do I care! Me, I’d be happy to get my hands on my share of the spoils and retire to a tequila-soaked beach on the Mayan Riviera. I am not even writing for today’s audience anyway, but for future reference, assuming any of this stands the test of time, which is doubtful.
Nevertheless I’d like to thank any Hackwriters readers who showed interest in the stories of mine that the editor has been kind enough to publish over the years. My only consolation from his shutting down the site is that all of the nasty, destructive concepts that I have been permitted to express under my real name will be expunged from cyberspace. Sam is the nicest person I never met. I don’t even know what he looks like, OK? But he is a charming individual, a talented writer and editor and a paradigm of restraint and good taste. I believe he should be encouraged to set up a Facebook account so that his admirers and fans, who are legion, may continue to follow his career with significant interest.
© Dean Borok November 1st 2011
See also Sucker Punch