Last month we reported on what we were fairly certain was a parody, and no one’s disproven our hypothesis so far. But the line between parody and reality is almost nonexistent in 2011 America. Case in point, the idle hundreds who have decided to do their part for humanity by making Occupy Wall Street their full-time volunteer occupation over the last few weeks.
An axiom that any middle schooler should know:
-Humans create wealth by toil and exchange. That doesn’t mean that working and trading will guarantee you riches, but rather that you have to do one and/or the other to build anything of lasting value. They’re necessary conditions, not sufficient ones. Wealth doesn’t fall from the sky, nor from the hands of elected officials.
We found a website where Occupy Wall Street protestors have chosen to write their laments. There are hundreds of them, but once you’ve read a few you can create the rest from a template. Which would read something like “I willingly took on tens of thousands of dollars in debt without calculating the estimated payoff. This is rich people’s fault, for some reason. And I probably have a child. Feel sorry for me.”
Our sampling of the more erudite protesters begins with Roger “Buzz” Osborne, founder of proto-grunge legends the Melvins, who apparently ran out of money halfway through the gender reassignment surgery:
She’s apparently serious, or at least earnest enough not to pick up the irony in the opening sentence of her diatribe.
You were dumb enough to enter an “academic field” that even the dippiest Kardashian sister could have told you wasn’t going to lead to a job. No one forced you to rely on food stamps, nor WIC (that’s the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, for those of you too busy working to feed your kids to have kept tabs on which taxpayer-funded teats are out there for you to suck at.)
If these are literally the 99% – if only one out of every 100 Americans isn’t borrowing money she can’t pay back from people who had no choice in the matter for degrees with no utility – then it’s already over. Maybe we can start again in Antarctica.
Oh, you fatuous whore. You have the only fixed-rate adjustable-rate mortgage in history. Which is it? Fixed, or adjustable? You put “fixed rate” in quotes, which presumably means we’re supposed to take the term figuratively, but then why did you refer to it as such? Were you hoodwinked by a mortgage lender’s assistant whom you were too dumb to question? Did you make a six-digit financial decision armed only with your guile, too stupid to even bring along a representative who might know a little more about these transactions than you do?
Well, can’t your husband help take care of his 1-year-old and the baby growing inside you? What’s that you say? You’re not married? Never were? Two different fathers? Well, that’s not right. You shouldn’t be held responsible for your decisions.
“I can’t get a job, because I have no work history. I have no work history, because no one will hire me.” Taken to its logical conclusion, that would mean that no human has ever held, or could ever hold, a job. What is this “entry level” of which you speak?
Hey sister: I understand. My father drank and it made me an idiot. I mean, my being an idiot made my father drink. One or the other.
Or this one:
If borrowing thousands of dollars to go to school while spreading one’s legs and getting inseminated (by someone who didn’t stick around to help raise the kid) isn’t a sure path to self-sufficiency, we don’t know what is.
Or this one:
Her initial complaint is that in her chosen line of work, customers are mean to her. Yes, welcome to the adult world, but the logical inconsistencies here are all over the place. She “can’t” find a job in her field, yet “refuses” (as if ultimately it’s her decision) to work in “their evil industry”.
She doesn’t specify what the evil industry is, but she inadvertently brings up a point.
You know how not all protesters are lazy hippies, and not all Jews are cheap, and not all homosexuals are child molesters*, and not all Mexicans are illegals? Well, that kind of blanket stereotyping works just fine when you’re discussing “Wall Street CEOs”, who seem to be the casus belli of every single protestor.
Our dour young miss isn’t complaining about every company that’s headquartered literally on Wall Street. That would include the American University of Antigua’s college of medicine; architects Skidmore, Owings and Merrill; and any number of newsstand operators and hot dog vendors.
So what exactly is a “Wall Street CEO”, anyway? “Wall Street” is what they call a metonym. Wall Street is where the New York Stock Exchange is located, and thus the latter is often identified with the former. By its narrowest definition, then, “Wall Street CEO” should mean any CEO of a company listed on the Dow. Who exactly are those people? Here they are, with what they studied in college:
Microsoft – Steve Ballmer (mathematics)
Alcoa – Klaus Kleinfeld (economics)
Kraft – Irene Rosenfeld (Ph.D in statistics)
3M – Sir George Buckley (Ph.D in engineering)
AT&T – Randall Stephenson (accounting)
Boeing – Jim McNerney (MBA)
Not only has Boeing not received bailout money, the Obama administration is attempting to prevent it from building a plant in South Carolina and hiring thousands of skilled workers.
Caterpillar – Doug Oberhelman (finance)
Chevron – John Watson (economics)
Cisco – John Chambers (business)
Coca-Cola – Muhtar Kent (economics)
DuPont – Ellen Kullman (mechanical engineering)
Exxon Mobil – Rex Tillerson (civil engineering)
Hewlett-Packard – Meg Whitman (economics)
Home Depot – Frank Blake (unspecified bachelor’s)
Intel – Paul Otellini (economics)
IBM – Ginni Rometty (computer science/electrical engineering)
Johnson & Johnson – Bill Weldon (biology)
Travelers – Jay Fishman (accounting)
Pfizer – Ian Read (chemical engineering)
Procter & Gamble – Bob McDonald (engineering, West Point. Also a captain in the 82nd Airborne)
Verizon – Lowell McAdam (engineering)
Disney – Bob Iger (television/radio)
United Technologies – Louis R. Chênevert (commerce, production management)
Walmart – Mike Duke (engineering)
McDonald’s – Jim Skinner
This one’s awesome. He never graduated college, and we can’t even determine which one he attended, if any. He spent a decade in the Navy, got out at 27 and became a restaurant manager trainee. That’s right, his ambition was to manage a McDonald’s. (Not “manage McDonald’s”. Manage a McDonald’s.)
Merck – Ken Frazier (political science) (And Clay Matthews III was a college walk-on who became a Pro Bowler. It happens.)
JP Morgan Chase – Jamie Dimon (economics)
General Electric – Jeff Immelt (applied math)
Oh, and this is what we’ve building toward:
Bank of America – Brian Moynihan (history)
The one Wall Street CEO whose company might deserve the protesters’ wrath just happens to be one of only 2 with a confirmed liberal arts degree.
These people’s workplaces are easy to find, if not their homes. Yet the protestors choose to rally elsewhere.
Aside from Bank of America, which of these companies are keeping the 99% down? Is it Johnson & Johnson, exploiting our hopeless addiction to cotton in swab form by charging us an exorbitant 1¢ apiece for Q-Tips?
Or Hewlett-Packard and their insistence on undercutting and running every mom-and-pop neighborhood laser printer manufacturer out of business? Maybe it’s Pfizer, makers of Zithromax, which has saved many a hippie from a chlamydia or syphilis outbreak.
Whichever, the cops recently kicked all the protestors out of Zucotti Park, supplanting 9/11 as the NYPD’s greatest moment.
*All Catholic priests are, however.**
**Before you bombard us with hate mail, that was sarcasm. We’re exposing journalists’ habit of mentioning Catholic priests every time a pedophilia scandal arises, e.g. the completely secular Jerry Sandusky affair.
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