I don’t know if you all have heard about it yet, but this Occupy Wall Street thing sounds like a pretty big deal. Recently, the little protest that just won’t go away hit the one month mark, and over that 30 day period, the movement spread to over 100 cities in the United States and made its way to 1,500 cities globally. It’s spreading as quickly as the disease in “Contagion,” except this isn’t as boring and I’m not out $20 for a movie ticket and snacks.
The protestors of Occupy Wall Street are blaming Wall Street for creating an economic collapse that has caused one of the greatest recessions in recent history. Frankly, I don’t understand that part at all. Why would anyone be mad about a recession? I don’t know about you all, but recess was always my favourite part of school! Anyways, this movement also has something to do with fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process. At least that’s what I read one time on a website somewhere or something.
To put it simply, this growing movement seems to be about promoting Economic Justice. So what does that mean exactly? Well, I don’t know. I guess it depends partly on how you define “Economic Justice,” and seeing how I failed most of my vocabulary tests in elementary school, I’m probably not the right person to talk to about what defines “Economic Justice.”
But, I will say this: I feel profoundly inspired by this Occupy Wall Street movement. There’s something authentic and motivating and hopeful about a leaderless, people-powered movement. Granted, I have not once protested at an Occupy Wall Street location, but come on, who has that kind of time? I’m a busy guy with moves to make and tricks to turn. I do the best that I can do, you know? (Translation: I honk when I drive by—you’re welcome, protestors!) Plus, most of the people at these protest sites look like they haven’t showered since before labour Day, and who wants to volunteer their time to be around that stink? Not me.
The rhetorical device of Occupy Wall Street is this juxtaposition of the 99% versus the 1%; more specifically, it’s this notion that “99% of the population” is standing up to the “1% of the population” that is controlling the distribution and management of our nation’s wealth. You often hear people say, “It only takes a few people to ruin it for everyone else,” and with this Occupy Wall Street stuff, that is certainly the case. (Other examples of this idea: farting in elevators, people talking at the movies, AIDS.) But, generally speaking, when it comes to most things, this idea that a few people sour things for the rest of us is nothing more than a myth, an exception rather than the rule. In fact, my belief is that it is much more likely that 99% of people are actually making things worse for the 1%.
For proof of that, look no further than Facebook.
I love Facebook. Jesse Eisenberg—oops, I mean, Mark Zuckerberg—has given me the ability to do so many things that I never would have been able to do without Facebook—like, stalking (I mean, befriending) super-hot girls that I’d never have the courage to talk to in person. Listen, I’m not going to be one of these people that pretends like Facebook is the bane of my existence. It is not. The problem with Facebook isn’t Facebook. Rather, it’s the people on Facebook that make Facebook such an unpleasant experience. It’s that case of the 99% (probably you) ruining it for the 1% (me). And, if I’ve learned anything from Occupy Wall Street, it’s that I don’t have to stand for that, it’s that I should protest against the actions that I deem tyrannical (and the ones I’m going to describe definitely are tyrannical), it’s that I should try to grow a beard or something because the homeless-look is so in vogue right now.
Thus, the united 1% will commence Occupy Facebook.
Occupy Facebook is a people-powered movement that will fight against the nonsensical, the annoying, and the unessential nature of every Facebook post, action, and tendency from the 99% that disenfranchises the 1%. At its core, Occupy Facebook is about profusely enforcing a modest list of demands that the 1% has created.
Simply put, we’re sick of the 99% making us feel so loathsome about Facebook every time we log-in and see their stupid faces and stupid posts. Below are our demands (and explanations) for the 99%.
(Before I start: Dear 99%, I hate you, like, a lot.)
1. Parents that are obsessed with their kids, get off of Facebook – Let me be the one to break it to you: nothing about your kid is profound. Look, most people do maybe three noteworthy things in their entire life, so the chances that your son or daughter has done something worth glorifying on Facebook has a smaller chance than me getting struck by lightning while playing the lottery as I’m having sex with Natalie Portman. That thing he said in the car the other day wasn’t funny. I’m not impressed that he learned how to walk or that he learned how to talk or even if he got straight A’s on his report card. I’ve literally done all of those things, but you don’t see me bragging about it via Facebook like some cocky little punk. You should know: the only thing I care less about your kid is seeing Facebook posts about your kid.
2. Facebook is free—quit complaining about the “changes” – I’ll never understand why people act so indignant about the changes that Facebook periodically bestows upon us. The changes aren’t even disorientating; at the most, the changes are mildly inconvenient. People have raised more hell about Casey Anthony and the changes to Facebook combined than any cause that has ever actually mattered. I’m simply appalled that so many people have the gall to complain so feverishly about a free service that they are in no way obligated to use. I seriously think some of you only use Facebook to complain about the new changes on Facebook.
3. Stop posting your daily itinerary – I have never once cared about the itinerary of someone’s day. I don’t care what “muscle-day” it is at the gym. I don’t want to know that you’re going to dinner at 7:00, studying at 8:30, and then bleaching your butthole from 9:45 to 10:00. There’s a certain decorum that comes with telling people about your day, and I don’t know if you know this but most of it should go in a private, designated place instead of out in the open where everyone can know how much your life truly stinks—it’s called a day-book or a calendar or a suicide letter.
4. Stop posting so many damn pictures – This demand almost deserves its very own protest, so I’ll try to keep it as brief, but as exhaustive as possible. There’s a new movie starring Justin Timberlake coming out soon. (OMG! HOT! I KNOW!) It’s called “In Time,” and its premise is simple: in the not-too-distant future, the ageing gene has been switched off, and to avoid overpopulation, time has become the currency and the way people pay for luxuries and necessities. Each person is given a set amount of time, and once they use up all of their time, they die. What I want to do is carry that premise over to the number of pictures that someone is allowed to post on Facebook.
Everyone is given a set number of pictures that they’re allowed to post on Facebook, and once they have used up all of their allotment, say 300, they’re not allowed to post any more pictures. (In other words, no more having 2,342 pictures of you by yourself in front of a mirror, ladies.) The lower number the better, in my opinion, but we’ll hammer out a working figure once we’re further along in the Occupy Facebook movement. Besides this general rule, here are some other sub-demands:
A. Unless you’re Donald Duck, a Mighty Duck, or an unabashed slut, do not post any pictures of you making your lips look like a duck’s bill. (This is similar to the kissy-lip face, which is also another demand of Occupy Facebook.)
B. Stop photoshopping quotes onto pictures. At what point did pictures become so unaffecting that we needed to put quotes on them? Was that around the same time people started keeping up with the Kardashians? (Honestly, I hope the Mayans were right.)
C. Girls, put some clothes on. Call me old fashioned, but I remember when you used to have to buy a magazine to look at pictures of promiscuous (slutty) looking girls.
D. Guys, put your shirts on. Contrary to your delusional self-image, you do not look like a badass. Here’s some free advice: unless you’re rivaling Arnold Schwarzenegger, circa 1970, you should probably take down that picture of you flexing in the mirror. Also, if I can see a John Mayer or Dave Matthews poster in the background of your pictures, that’s not really a good indication of you being a badass either.
E. Stop posting pictures of you holding money. A general rule of thumb: if the amount of cash is so small that you can hold all of it in both of your hands, it’s not impressive enough to take a picture of and then post on Facebook. Like they said on the Facebook movie, a billion dollars is cool, not your cashed $500 pay-check from working two weeks at McDonalds. You’re not some “cool” rapper or a gangster or a drug dealer. If by some chance you are, go out and get a real job and help stimulate this economy; then, be a grown up, get a damn bank account, and put your money in there like a fully-functioning member of society.
F. I have a general understanding of what you look like in real life, so photoshopping your teeth pearl white, colouring out that blemish on your forehead, and standing in a way that makes your body appear more voluptuous isn’t really doing yourself any favours. Frankly, I don’t know why anyone would post a lot of photoshopped pictures on Facebook. To me, that person drastically increases his or her chances of having people lament, “That person looks substantially better in pictures than in real-life.” Personally, I pride myself on being remarkably unphotogenic. That way, I’ll always exceed peoples’ expectations when they see me in real-life for the first time. (If you’re wondering, I too have no idea why I haven’t been given some sort of lifetime achievement award for my brilliant worldviews.)
5. Stop pawning off clichés as you being someone who is funny or profound – I hate to do this, but I’m caught between a rock and a hard place. This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you, but I’m not going to beat around the bush here. Most people on Facebook use more clichés than you can shake a stick at. Granted, everything happens for a reason, but learning to not use clichés certainly isn’t rocket science. With this, I’m just giving you a taste of your own medicine. You may think this is a ridiculous demand, but just remember, at the end of the day, no one ever said life was fair.
6. Have some fundamental understanding of the written English language – It’s simple: know the proper usage of there/they’re/their, to/too/two, your/you’re, its/it’s, than/then, who’s/whose. I’m not being a grammar-nazi. These things are important. There are rules that need to be followed. This isn’t Vietnam.
7. Leave your relationship successes/troubles off of Facebook – At first, I wanted to make this demand: “If you’re in a relationship, get off of Facebook.” But, I was afraid that Facebook would then evolve into a creepier, darker, more sadistic version of eHarmony. Anyways, the point is: I don’t want to hear how awesome your boyfriend/girlfriend is, nor do I want to hear how upset you are about breaking up with your boyfriend/girlfriend. I’m remarkably indifferent about my own relationship history, so what makes you think I’m interested in hearing how hard you cried last night before you went to bed or how happy you were when your boyfriend surprised you with flowers? (Spoiler alert: he probably brought you flowers, because he felt bad about posting that video of you all having sex online.) It’s best if you just keep it simple: it’s OK to post that you’re in a relationship with somebody, but please, do not post anything about your significant other past that, because I can’t think of anything more boring than a monogamous relationship between two people or the subsequent break-up that is absolutely going to happen.
My hope is that you’ll feel compelled to join Occupy Facebook. I encourage you to share this piece of Occupy Facebook literature with the masses: tweet it, email it, share it on Facebook. Do anything that you can to get the word out. There’s at least one action you can take to draw attention to those that are part of the 99%. Whenever you see someone disregarding the demands of Occupy Facebook, comment on their post—”I’m part of the 1%. You are part of the 99% #OccupyFacebook.” (And you may want to throw in a link to this somewhat manifesto for good measure.)
I’m not quite sure what Occupy Facebook will become, but the idea is that it will expand into something much larger than I could ever envision. I’m not the figurehead of this movement. I’m just a simple man with a dream—I want to get the conversation started on how the 1% can fight against the 99%. How Occupy Facebook evolves from here is totally dependent upon you all and your support. Be on the right side of history, people, and join this monumentally important movement. (If you don’t, I’ll never talk to you again.)