We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
There are many small ways of being quietly and undramatically herioc in life, short of going into combat. It's heroic, in a sense, for an agoraphobic to go to the store, for a drunk to go to AA, or for a man to do an unpleasant job his whole life to take care of his family.
Why is a month-long slumber party in a public park more heroic or newsworthy than getting up daily and going to work? “I’ve been here a week and I’m lovin’ every minute of it,” a jagged-toothed, self-described vet leaning against a planter in Zuccotti Park told me on Sunday. One of the biggest decisions that he and his fellow occupiers have to make each day is whether to eat vegan or to scarf down some saturated animal fats in the Dunkin’ Donuts that regularly make the rounds, thanks to the bounteous food donations that pour into the park on an hourly basis. (The most critical decision, of course, is which local establishment to invade for your sanitary needs.)
I am deeply concerned about a risk for obesity and constipation among these heroic protesters. Read the whole, amusing thing, and realize that this is a sort of lark for these people, a vacation from real life, party time in the guise of socio-political importance.
Love this part: "Henry, a delicate, doe-eyed anthropology and interdisciplinary-studies major from the University of Alabama, came up to New York a week ago with the blessings of his professors, 'You can be rich, but you shouldn’t try to get richer, because you make people poor by getting richer.'”
Just... wow! Maybe Mrs. Henry should switch to an economics major.
What percentage of the protestors have children, do you think? Who depend on them for support, I mean. How many of them think the 60's were romantic, and want to have causes of their own to feel good about?
It is perhaps unfair to belittle a person's cause on that basis, but these things are tied in to the OWS message, so it's at least germane.
Parenting is not the only route to adulthood, but it has served as the main one for generations. People have fewer children and later, now, and I think that demographic trend will continue. With a volunteer army, no children, and no job, what will nudge them toward adulthood?
For too long we have believed that adulthood either happens or it doesn't, and the tests in early life reveal whether we will embrace the role of grownup or not. But I think we are seeing that adulthood must be prompted by life events. The tests of late adolescence do not merely reveal maturity - they also help create it.
We've always thought that theory had some value - now we are finding it was more important than we previously estimated.
Assistant VIllage Idiot
Heroism in brief episodes of combat is admirable.
But not as admirable as parents who willingly dedicate the majority of their lives and sacrifice their freedom, to protect and educate their children.
When I think of what is heroic, I recall Robert Heinlein's oft quoted description of Rodin's Sculpture The Fallen Caryatid with Stone:
"This poor little caryatid has fallen under the load. She's a good girl - look at her face. Serious, unhappy at her failure, not blaming anyone, not even the gods... and still trying to shoulder her load, after she's crumpled under it.
But she's more than just good art denouncing bad art; she's a symbol for every woman who ever shouldered a load too heavy. But not alone women - this symbol means every man and woman who ever sweated out life in uncomplaining fortitude until they crumpled under their loads. It's courage... and victory.
Victory in defeat, there is none higher. She didn't give up... she's still trying to lift that stone after it has crushed her... she's all the unsung heroes who couldn't make it but never quit."