Thursday, February 16, 2012

Occupy the Hamptons Doesn't Occupy Common Sense

That grim looking fella to the left of this photo is right. We are the 99%. Especially us here at Hamptonyte Blog. We have all the requisite 99% problems: unemployment, disenfranchisement, disgust with corruption, irritation at the continued illusion we call the American Dream. Hell, we practically started this blog along similar sentiments.

We can't be so cynical as to criticize a small group of protesters holding up signs in a community that is veritably empty during the winter months, and sure to have them lined against a wall and executed arrested during the summer. Despite the usual Hamptons media eye-rolling these protests often create, we're pretty much on their side. We sort of admire the fact that reminders of the greed and corruption that plague our Republic will not be escaped when these creeps from Wall St. head out here on Memorial Day. For that we thank this small band of flies buzzing into the luxury ointment.

But we can't get on board their recent decision to occupy HarborFrost. It just doesn't make any sense. Simply pulling into the 7-11 parking lot, where a lot of the HarborFrost attendees parked, it was visibly evident by the lack of BMWs, Mercedes, and Audis, that many of us jumping into the frigid water were in the 99% and are most likely attending to take our minds off the struggle we endure daily.

I recognize there will always be some degree of shouting at the choir, but the last thing anybody wants to see at a festival, is a group of sober-faced grouches standing there with signs, reminding us how fucked we are change needs to take place in our capitalist system.

The occupy movement needs just a tad bit of PR in this spot. They already have policed themselves when it comes to individual members' behavior. Here's another instance where they should do so. Nothing makes the average person, liberal or otherwise, more turned off to a movement than when the movement doesn't know where or when to land its blows. The perception many walked away with during HarborFrost is that a bunch of sign-wielding, friendless shut-ins, with nothing better to do on a Saturday, attempted to hijack a fun event by drawing attention to themselves. The operative word "themselves." Not the movement. Or the message. Such is the importance of PR in this circumstance. The protest had absolutely no relevance to the festival, except for the fact that hundreds would be gathered in one spot. From a PR perspective, this screams the protestors want attention, more than they want to inform the public of an injustice. Now, if the festival was paid for and sponsored by Goldman Sachs or Lehman Bros., and the soup being served was made from the ground up bones of unemployed Americans who went into default on their mortgages, that would be a different story.

I'm often reminded of a great line in Oliver Stone's Jim Morrison biopic The Doors. The entire movie script is pretty much Jim Morrison wandering around being profound and prophetic, and waxing philosophical over every little thing. But there is one little line, when Morrison has just recorded one of his uber-intellectual, drippy, philosophical poems. He stands up from his session and says: "C'mon let's get some tacos."

Note to Occupy the Hamptons: Sometimes even Jim Morrison knew when to give it a rest!


  1. The very 1st sentence makes me question the validity of this entire article.

  2. Criticizing the very first sentence of this article makes me question the validity of your sense of humor.

  3. Ah you think it's funny calling women "fellas", do you?

  4. I think it can be, when it's executed to brilliant perfection. But I'm beginning to sense that the ill-placed severity employed in this comment thread is the same ill-advised and ill-timed severity in which Occupy decided to crash a public festival.

  5. I can truly understand why you have all of three followers. Your execution is far from perfect, your humor sophomoric and your sense of self worth overinflated.

    Good day and good luck to you.

  6. Okay, but I'm counting you as my fourth follower.

  7. P.S., I'm going to ignore the irony of an Occupy the Hamptons member dissing my three followers, when there are only about 6 Occupy the Hamptons members.

  8. Dear Mr Sandman, The "fella" in the photo is me, a 70 year old woman. I'm neither homeless nor jobless, but comfortably retired in the Hamptons. Lucky aren't I? HarborFrost was the perfect occasion for us to reach out to those who, like us, want to make this a better world. There was no crashing or shouting, we didn't block sidewalks or get in anyone's face. We added color and information to a cold overcast day in Sag Harbor. Why get so upset over six people quietly carrying paper signs? You may be over-reacting.


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