I was disappointed by the the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests. Not because the OWS kids (and regardless of age I don’t think of them as adults) oppose my politics. I’m used to being in the minority. I often have great respect for differing viewpoints. But OWS was just so astoundingly pointless as to give pause.
The OWS people could have accomplished so much more doing virtually anything else. Had they been flipping burgers, doing needlepoint, fishing, or planting vegetables they’d have something to show for it. Instead they engaged in self gratification. OWS was a massive public circle jerk that the media played like it was real. Poor form!
We’ve all seen stupid people doing stupid protests but we lack a word to describe it. Something to differentiate between a true nascent revolution and a bunch of bored narcissists.
So I’ve coined phrases to identify protests that are “hobbies” and those that are “serious”.
Hobby Protest – noun: A form of protest where participants engage in theatric activities for the joy of the experience itself and not necessarily for the advancement of their goals (if they have any).
Serious Protest – noun: A form of protest characterized by groups of people who have a serious grievance and are determined to get what they want. Serious protests are undertaken only by people who have exhausted other attempts to gain their objectives.
In part II I’ll explain why I think OWS was a different animal than other, rarer, and more dangerous “serious” protests.
I would suggest a different division;
1) Goal protest; a protest intended to achieve certain political or related goals; as the residents of Keene New Hampshire protesting the city council’s decision to purchase a warlike armoured vehicle for the police.
2) Moral Superiority Protest; a protest designed to display the moral superiority of the protesters, usually by demanding the impossible or the ridiculous; as anything PETA has ever done anywhere.