I've been watching Occupy Wall Street since before it began. I actually toyed with the idea of driving to NY and joining them – which would be my first time back in NY since I was a whore there. But, no, I need to stick to the writing for now.
I'm sending them psychic support and energy though.
Watching the media response, there are a number of reasons to find it lacking, but one response in particular really irks me whenever I come across it. It's the old, "Do they have any solutions to offer, or are they just there to complain?"
That one always drives me nuts. It's a hackneyed management cop-out, a way to get people to shut up while seeming to put a positive spin on managing expectations. It's like: "if you can’t put out the fire, I don't want to hear there is one." It's management by sticking your head in the sand.
I get that it's about getting the whiners off your back, but it also shames those with valid concerns into keeping their mouths shut. It's simplistic, an assumption that if a problem is too complex for one person to see a solution to it all by herself, the problem is not worth knowing about. It implies that only "the smartest" have a right to say what's wrong, and it completely ignores the fact that most problems in a system aren't ever really solved until you get input from everyone involved.
Some of us see how things work (or fail to), others see how to make them work better. And usually it's some unobtrusive element of a system that has the key to the solution – the element that never gets included because the only ones allowed to point out the problem are those with enough hubris think they already have the answer.
It's not just lazy and willfully ignorant, it's dangerous. I’d like to dock everyone a point every time they say it. That's my opinion of that dictum in general.
Specific to Occupy Wall Street, it's ridiculous. It's connected to the other dumb media response "What's their message? They don't seem to have a unified message."
It's the same thing – the system is not working. It's not working for the planet and most of the people on it. The message is – you guys at the top who think you control things, quit managing by sticking your heads in the sand. Stand up and listen – this is not working. And then start taking other perspectives into account and deal with it collaboratively – and I don’t mean with the usual group of your cronies. I mean with the people this is not working for.
The message is – the system has to change. Pick any piece of it, it doesn't matter which, it's all a piece of the same big puzzle – it all has to change.
Change will not be a simple fix – which is what you all are addicted to. It won't be easy and it won't take hold if it just protects your status quo. And you won't have input into it if you keep playing willfully ignorant.
The message is: pull your head out of the sand, or soon you'll be buried in it.
I wish I could say that to all the corporate leaders out there defending their own blinders.