Tuesday, October 11, 2011

them damned protestors

You can tell when protests are having an an effect. My sole conservative friend - if I'm in doubt about an issue I never go wrong choosing the opposite side to him - is reduced to posting snide remarks about Occupy Wall Street on Facebook. True, he's the the kind of guy who sees nuns demonstrating for peace & calls them crazy liberals, it's that automatic. Not much in the Occupy movement for a winger to grab on to. Few hot heads, any screwball leftist placards obviously don't represent the sentiments of  the middle class majority.  It's tough seeing  a smart, good-hearted & in many ways wise man from a working class town side with  Wall Street & the super-rich,  I so much want him to be raging labor unionist, he has personality for it,  but he's hardly the first I've met like that.

I like him because of his good heart, & he's not much of an ideologue, it's mainly from the gut, & he has plenty of  it from his fondness for good beer & excellent Jersey subs (his wife is a good cook, too). Sometimes, late at night, he'll upload a photo from his basement hideout, the Post & Daily News spread out on the table, with a bottle of scotch, pack of Marlboros. Or a photo of a freshly unwrapped sub sandwich,   bottle of beer, & the scotch.  Still lifes as concise as an early William Carlos Williams poem, who resided only a few miles away from him & near the same Passaic River. He might add a Sinatra song from You Tube.

The demonstrations may lead to something, or not. In this area there's another  month or so of  decent weather, but then we'll see if only the hardier souls  make a special trip downtown to join the  24/7 campers.

This happens to be the 33rd anniversary of the death of my poetry mentor, Joel Oppenheimer. It's not a date I remember - I was reminded by his son. Joel would have been delighted by Occupy Wall Street, by the very  ordinariness of the people.

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