The recent Occupation Toronto protests initially occured without much comment, but as the days grew shorter, so, it seems, did the tempers of several of my facebook friends and occasional readers of this blog. And so, gentle reader, here is my attempt to make sense out of the anger and vitriol expressed over the last few days. I appeal to you to help me understand, weak man that I am.
1) Words such as "anarchy" and "revolutionary" were used to describe the Occupiers. Anti-Occupation signs accused them of being whiners, spoiled kids with no future prospects, burned-out hippies, homeless and insane. A bunch of losers and misfits.
Gentle reader, you must be right. That would explain all the molotov cocktails hurled at passers-by during the Occupation. And youth with no future prospects? Well, what do they have to complain about? Recent statistics show that 80% of young Canadians have jobs. Shame on the nearly 20% who don't because jobs are being shipped off to China or are being done by automation. Adapt or die, slackers !! Homeless and insane? Surely, they have nothing to complain about either, especially in this tropical paradise where all you need to do is sleep out under the stars on a warm beach and pick bananas or oranges from the trees. Life is good, so why complain?
2) The Occupation destroyed local business.
Right on, reader !! Around St. James Park is the veritable hub of Canadian enterprise. There is a Starbucks, a Coffee Time, an Indian restaurant, and several pawn shops. Oh yes, and we must not forget that bastion of capitalism, the Anglican Cathedral Church of St. James. The Church will need years to recoup the financial losses from the Occupation.
3) The critics dispute the 1% vs 99% numbers.
Well, my friends, you must be part of the 1%! Your economic future is secure because of your hard work, superior intelligence, family connections, and good fortune. Those in the 99%, who struggle to keep their jobs, keep a roof over their family's head, afford their kids' education, try to keep their cars on the road with climbing gas and insurance prices so they can do a job that pays less and less in real purchasing power and might just disappear when their boss learns what they pay workers in China, are completely ignorant of the macro economic realities of the times. Thank goodness, though, you understand completely.
4) The Occupation was illegal. There is no camping on city property.
Right again, gentle reader. We frown on illegal activities such as camping on city grounds .... and also fighting in hockey, parking in disabled parking spots even though noone in the car is disabled, not scooping after your dog poops, possessing more than 30 grams of weed, illegally downloading favourite songs or movies or software, having open bottles of alcohol in your car, and shooting Osama Bin Laden. I assume, since you were outraged at the Occupiers' flagrant violation of the law, that you agree with me that the above activities must be stopped at once, to the fullest extent of the law!! Right? Right?
5) The Occupation couldn't be taken seriously. It was disorganized and sloppy looking. Who was in charge? What was their message?
Again, gentle reader, you have hit the mark. After all, an activity that was supposed to promote democracy should have been rigidly controlled, supervised, with all actions under close scrutiny by the powerful leadership of the "occupier bosses". Their message was unclear because it was unscripted and untested in a focus group. These Occupiers ... what a bunch of losers! They should learn how to lead a democratic movement like the federal Conservative Party: or maybe Rob Ford: now THAT'S democracy.
5) The Occupation churned up St. James Park. Now the taxpayer is on the hook for thousands of dollars to rehabilitate and clean up the park.
Absolutely correct !! My, you are unbeatable in any type of debate !! And, by that logic, I'm sure you are now ready to join my campaign to end the violent activites of football and soccer in all city parks. These terrible activities cost taxpayers untold thousands of dollars each year fertilizing, cutting and weeding the grass: not to mention the cost of putting the lines on the field. But you are with me, aren't you? Imagine the howls of anger from all those unionized parks and rec workers when their lazy-ass jobs are yanked out from under them. And, while we're at it, join me in outlawing family picnics in G. Ross Lord Park or on the Beach Boardwalk. Who do these people think they are? How dare they use our public land for their personal use! Bastards!
6) The park is public land. Citizens couldn't use St. James Park during the protest.
Aha, you have the right of it !! That explains why I haven't seen you over the past several months: you were in St. James Park, enjoying the serenity and peace of that green oasis. But, of course, when the Occupiers, who claim to be members of the public, set up camp in the "public" land, municipal by-law officers arrive ready to evict them from "municipal property".
Hmm.... I'm confused, gentle reader. Help me on this. Just who, exactly, owns public land? Ah, I get it now. YOU own the land!! And, because of this, you are perfectly in your right to call in the police ( and are willing to pay their overtime, don't forget ) to evict these trespassers !! Thank goodness you're here !!
I'm glad we had this little dialogue. My mind is now at peace. The next time there is some type of social upheaval and people take to the streets or parks to voice their concerns, I'll look for your comments on facebook and elsewhere to help me to understand the RIGHT way to do things.
Thank-you so much !!!