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image Scott Olsen
 

Mack

Triple grandma-fucking damn.

Rack

What’s eating you?

Mack

The financial district is occupied. It’s so crowded that it took an hour for me to get to my bank.

Rack

Why do you have to go all the way to the financial district to go to the bank? There’s a branch right down the street.

Mack

Yeah, but I like the old building downtown. This branch here is so dull and pre-fab. It looks like a funeral home built in the 70s.

Rack

And the one in the financial district?

Mack

Very old-school. Lots of marble and dark wood. It makes going to the bank like visiting an adventurer’s club in 1901.

Rack

Really?

Mack

Yeah, you expect to see a huge fireplace with elephant guns and on the wall next to photos of guys in pith helmets greeting native chiefs in the Amazon valley.

Rack

Lots of people downtown, huh?

Mack

Yeah. A bunch of people are “occupying” the park there, where all the banks and shit are. They even have tents set up. They should “occupy” a shower somewhere.

 
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Rack

What did you need to go to the bank for?

Mack

To cash my unemployment check.

Rack

So you went downtown to cash an unemployment check, which you need because you were laid off from your job.

Mack

Yup.

Rack

AND, you’re pissed off that your way to the fancy branch of your bank was blocked by people protesting the greed of Wall Street and the financial sector, which caused the U.S. economy to tank and you to lose your job.

Mack

I don’t know what they were protesting. Maybe the price of Phish tickets. Who cares? Those smelly hippies are nothing but a scrotum itch.

Rack

You know, Mack, a lot of people would say you look like a hippie yourself. You certainly have the hair and fashion sense for it.

Mack

At least I know my way around a bar of soap. The B.O. at that place was vomitous.

Rack

Are you sure that it wasn’t you? You smell kind of rank to me.

Mack

Thanks, pal. For your information, I showered yesterday. Or was it the day before yesterday?

Rack

Water cut off again?

Mack

Hey, I told those idiots I’d pay them by Friday. What the hell’s a few gallons to a utilities corporation? They’re a monopoly, for crying out loud.

 
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Rack

Well, that’s just it, isn’t it? Times are tough, and some people have decided to do something about it.

Mack

Do what, go camping in a public park? What’s that supposed to accomplish?

Rack

Among other things, it’s a reminder of the desperation a lot of people are experiencing.

Mack

Who needs to be reminded of that? It’s not like I can make myself unaware that I don’t have a job any more than you can forget that you have a big nose.

Rack

Wow, you never let that go, do you?

Mack

Ha-ha. Sorry.

 
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Rack

The activists are also angry that the cretins that have caused all of this misery go unpunished. In fact, it seems as if they’ve been rewarded for all of the random destruction with bonuses and, in the case of those few who did lose their own jobs, golden parachutes.

Mack

“Golden parachutes;” that sounds like something that would hit the ground pretty fast. I don’t think people put enough thought into these clichés.

Rack

Think of it as gold-colored, not truly made of gold.

Mack

Gotcha.

Rack

There are other issues, too. A lot of young people today are strapped with student loans that they can’t repay because there are no jobs lucrative enough to make that possible.

Mack

So they blame the banks? They should have thought more about it before they took out the loan.

Rack

It was the same banks that drove the economy over the ledge that issued these loans. See, all of the greed and malfeasance is interconnected.

Mack

I went to high school with a Mel Feasance.

 
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Rack

The corporate media has been screaming about taxes and regulation since time immemorial, but you have to go to the foreign and alternative media to get some measure of truth about the damage Wall Street does to Main Street. The protests prove that Lincoln was right; you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

Mack

I had a shop class in high school with a Tim Immemorial. He always used to hog the lathe.

Rack

Okay, fine, don’t take this seriously. But stop complaining about people who actually doing something to make life better for the people like yourself.

Mack

What the hell are those protesters doing that’s going to help me? They’re ridiculous. If anything, they just make themselves and their cause look silly.

Rack

The purpose of a protest is not to make the protesters heroes to anybody. The purpose is to get in the way of normal life, to make certain issues un-ignorable.

 
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Mack

Aren’t you the one who’s always saying that more people should be involved in politics? Isn’t it a better use of their time to push for policies and legislation to punish the guilty and help the innocent victims and get people back to work? Why aren’t they doing that instead of prancing around in costume in the park?

Rack

That needs to be done too, but not necessarily by the same people. One person’s role may be to raise hell and another’s may be to offer a smart pathway out of the hole we’re in. The same people shouldn’t be doing both jobs.

Mack

Maybe, but they’re putting the cops in a tight spot. What are you do if it’s your job to clear the park when the protesters refuse to leave? They’re forcing these guys, who just want to keep the peace, to get rough.

Rack

When did you get a crush on the police? That’s new.

Mack

No, I’ve always been a supporter of the police. Except, of course, when they’re issuing parking or speeding tickets or getting all petty about pot possession.

Rack

Okay. Well, you’re right.

Mack

Huh? What did you say?

Rack

I said that you’re right.

Mack

Really? This is Mack you’re talking to.

Rack

I’m as surprised as you are, but I agree with you. The police are just normal people trying to do right in most cases. But so is everyone else in this country. The protestors have shown a willingness to risk getting pepper sprayed, clubbed and dragged off to jail. City officials and police in some cities have used any means necessary to get the protestors off of the street, and yet they’re still losing. The protestors keep coming back.

 
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Mack

Why do the police have to deal with this moose shit? It isn’t fair.

Rack

Because it’s their job. No, it isn’t fair. Neither is Scott Olsen getting shot in the head by the Oakland Police Department. Again, the purpose of these things is to be inconvenient for the powers that be, including the powers that control the police. And when you consider how desperate the situation is in this country, there is no alternative. No, fair has nothing to do with any of this, for anybody. That’s kind of the point.

Mack

Well, what’s going to happen? Are the hippies going to save us all?

Rack

Nothing will save us but us. All of us. We have to stand up to the powerful forces arrayed against us, plant our staffs in the ground, look them in the eye and say, “You shall not pass!”

Mack

Geek.

Rack

This geek was about to help you with your water bill, but now I dunno…

 
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Mack

The water bill I’ve got covered. What I need is a lift to work.

Rack

Work?

Mack

Yeah, I gotta part time gig. Off the grid.

Rack

Doing what?

Mack

Selling weed to hippies downtown.

Rack

I shouldn’t be surprised.

Mack

Hey, if you’re going to get an underground job, you may as well get one that’s recession-proof.
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