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I'm trying not to get caught up in the OWS furor too much. Even though I am one that thinks there needs to be more economic equity as well as some sort of reckoning for the jackwagons that purposely caused most of this economic misery.

The biggest effect OWS has had on me since it started is that it has turned many of my online friends into raving conservative lunatics. Many of my acquaintances are in the food business which tends to attract people with a strong work ethic and even stronger opinions. Chefs, I have found through experience, tend to be fairly apolitical, but conservative in social viewpoint. There is usually a strong streak that views the unemployed and poor as somehow lacking in character,and motivation. Quite a few of my long-time friends view OWS with outright disgust and hatred. They feel the campers are dirty hippies who should pull themselves up by the boot straps and get a job. They should quit whining and blaming others for their problems. And if a job only pays a third of what they made before unemployment, then by God they should get three jobs. Looking at it from the myopia of the food industry, my chef friends see plenty of work available. There's always a need for dishwashers, waitresses, pot washers, utility people, line cooks, etc. All at an average 9 to 12 bucks an hour wage. The theory is that if most everyone is working 12 hour days then there won't be time to worry about how shitty things are.

Quite a few bandy the name Ayn Rand about and hold up the banner of objectivism, but resist discussion about its inherent flaws and lack of real world benefit for anyone but the 1% they cling to as the engine driving the 53% who have good paying jobs. Its used basically as an excuse for decrying social programs to help the poor and unemployed. Also, its a high falutin' way to hate on poor people and look like your the smart person in the room. Many chefs harbor low intellectual self esteem and often spout Nietszche,Mann, Rand,Sartre, Marx and Lenin with no real in depth understanding beyond the surface snippets and quotes that might help them win an argument on Facebook. Quite a few of my buddies remind me of the Otto character Kevin Kline played in "A Fish Called Wanda" - cunning, clever, ruthless and with a hugely over-inflated view of themselves as intellectuals. This is not to say they aren't good people and fun to be around, but this whole OWS thing seems to have struck a common nerve with them, and the result hasn't been pretty. There is no empathy, there is no open-mindedness,there is only complete and utter contempt. I've had to block many of my friends on Facebook for the duration. Friends I've known for 10-15 years. People who've seemingly decided overnight to hate anyone associated with OWS (and to diverge a bit here) anyone who says the least positive thing about the Obama administration. Its really jarring when folks you've known that long start saying these people need to be threatened, they need to be rounded up into internment camps for traitors, they need to be shot. I'm sorry - even though I've known you forever - you've lost your mind and I need to leave you behind.


Nov. 5th, 2011 09:27 pm (UTC)
It's hard to be of like mind when the other has lost their mind.

Greed and narcisism are core elements of the corruption and decay of our society. When you combine that with the requisite short sightedness required of corporations, it's a recipe for global catastrophe.

I know that sounds all Chicken Little, but there is a problem in the sky and it isn't my imagination.

I too avoid people with starkly different (read "conservative") viewpoints even when they within familial boundardies. Some people were never taught how to share their toys when they were impressionable children and that has morphed into something rather unsettling now that they are adults and in positions of power.