Wednesday, October 19, 2011
OWS and My Son
I was trying to ignore “Occupy Wall Street”, but I guess it’s not working.
My adult son, whose name is Sky, posted on Face Book a link to a survey that asked “Do ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Protests Represent Your Views of the Economy?” The first choice was “Maybe. I am not even sure what they want.” That would be me. I did know enough, however, to have already discerned which side my radical, latter-day hippie son would have taken. Generally, we don’t discuss such things.
Then I noticed that Sky had changed his name on Face Book to “Occupy Sky”. I rolled my eyes when I saw it. And I sighed. It’s my own fault, I always tell myself. After all, I did raise him as a radical, latter-day hippie. But why couldn’t he have continued to follow in my footsteps when I turned my back on that lifestyle and political and philosophical viewpoint? Why couldn’t he have followed me into the brave new world of political conservatism and religious orthodoxy? In other words, why couldn’t he also become a conservative Republican Catholic?!
I won’t pretend to be knowledgeable about OWS – the issues, the politics, the economy …none of that is quite up my alley. (I would rather save the liturgy and thus save the world.) But I do know this: it irritates me. And it irritates me even more because my son is one of “them”. Wanna know why? I’m so glad you asked!
Well, against my own better judgment, I did watch a video of OWS folks in Oakland who had some pretty stupid things to say about the redistribution of wealth. And that made me think of Sky. You see, Sky doesn’t have a “regular” career or job, but he does have an alternative sort of livelihood and is productive in it; and he lives within his means. He doesn’t have credit card debt, and his monthly expenses are minimal. I admire him for that.
BUT…while he rides the “capitalism is bad” band-wagon, he takes full advantage of it. He has a close friend whose wealthy parents are in the habit of giving their son about $15,000 per year…just because he’s their son. This young man shared his “wealth” with others, including Sky. Because of the generosity of his friend, Sky has been able to make two trips to Europe, as well as a trip through some other parts of the world. And the generosity of Sky’s friend was only made possible by the generosity of the young man’s parents…who had achieved their financial success through “the system” – the bad, bad capitalist system that takes advantage of EVERYONE.
Besides that, Sky periodically asks me for money for business enterprises he’s involved in. And I periodically don’t give it to him because: a) I don’t have it; and/or b) I don’t think it is a fitting place to put my money. And it strikes me as odd that he even has business enterprises! But of course, they are all “alternative” things, so that makes them good. (Eyes rolling again. To be fair, though, some of them have seemed to me to be “good”.)
As I have said: this irritates me. I would like Sky and other OWS people to use consistent, logical, and integrated thought in defining their outlook on this stuff.
But wait…if they were using consistent, logical, and integrated thought…well…I don’t think they’d be occupying Wall Street.