The dirty, stinking hippies who make up the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York will see their “be-in” enter its second month this week, with participants still incapable of selecting only one thing to protest about and still in need of a shower and a haircut.
Meanwhile, pundits and other observers continue to struggle with how to portray the anti-corporate movement in terms that the American people can understand.
“They smell bad, and they don’t pick up after themselves,” said Fox News commentator Mike Huckabee.
“Most of the men need a shave, and the women are just plain ugly,” noted CNN contributor Erik Erikson.
“Many of them are soiled,” added Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report. “I’d personally give each one a good scrubbing in the bathtub if I could find a hazmat suit that would allow me to get close enough.”
Some who have watched the grassroots movement grow from a few hundred marchers to thousands of demonstrators in over 70 cities complain that the group can’t articulate its concerns in a few simple words.
“They talk about economic inequality, upper-class greed and the way that corporate money controls our entire political process,” said Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan. “What does that even mean?”
“Does anyone really not know what the basic message is of this protest?” asked civil rights lawyer and protest supporter Glenn Greenwald. “Wall Street is oozing corruption and criminality, and its unrestrained political power — in the form of crony capitalism — is destroying financial security for everyone else.”
“Ha, ha,” noted Noonan. “That’s too complicated.”
Noonan and others have said that the movement needs to articulate its message in simpler terms. Abuses of a long-entrenched hyper-capitalism that have resulted in a full-on attack of the middle and working class are hard to put your finger on, critics say.
“They could take a tip from Herman Cain and his ’9-9-9′ tax plan,” said Huckabee. “Pick some random numbers and say that these represent your stand on complicated issues. If nothing else, people can use them to play the lottery.”
“Better yet, pick a few key words,” added Noonan, a former Republican speechwriter. “I would suggest ‘grimy,’ ‘grubby,’ ‘filthy’ and ‘foul.’”
A few more-moderate observers have suggested that Occupy Wall Street protesters represent a movement with roots similar to the Tea Party. Both have anti-government tendencies and both have relied on widespread public frustration with a status quo they claim is not serving their interests.
“Whoa, there. I wouldn’t say that,” said former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who many regard as a spokesperson for the Tea Party. “Folks in the Tea Party not only wash their hair, but they also style and color it. Many of the women wear tasteful jewelry while the men are careful to keep their shirts tucked in.”
Palin stressed that good grooming was the foundation of America, and that the Founding Fathers would’ve had spiffy crewcuts “if they’d had access to modern hair-cutting technology.”
David Raphael, founder of the Light Party and one of the spokespeople for the protest, said that demonstrators represent the 99 percent of the American people who struggle to survive, while the 1 percent super-rich exploit everybody else.
“This is a holistic, proactive, educational new political paradigm party dedicated to health, peace and freedom for all,’” Raphael said. “We have formulated a practical, synergistic seven-point program which addresses and serves to resolve our current socioeconomic and ecological challenges.”
Raphael added that he was reluctant to assume the role of official spokesperson, noting that most of those involved prefer that the movement remain leaderless. He used the so-called “people’s microphone” — a system of loudly repeating what each speaker says designed to get around the city’s ban on sound amplification — to confirm statements he gave to reporters.
“I’m saying we need to set the agenda for a New America,” Raphael told bystanders.
“HE’S SAYING WE NEED TO GET A GENERAL, AND THAT WE NEED A NUDE AMERICA,” the crowd repeated.
“No, wait,” Raphael corrected. “I’ll say we’re making a common statement about government corruption.”
“HE SAYS WE’RE MAKING A COMMUNIST STATE WITH A VOLCANIC ERUPTION,” the crowd said.
“No, no, I’ll say instead that we’re anti-consumerist and we want someone to address the growing disparity in wealth, and the absence of legal repercussions for those who caused the global financial crisis,” Raphael continued.
“OUR COMRADE SAYS WE NEED TO BURN OUR DRAFT CARDS, BURN OUR BRAS, LISTEN TO COUNTRY JOE AND THE FISH, AND SLIDE AROUND IN THE MUD,” the crowd repeated.
“Oh, I’m just going to say ‘power to the people,’” Raphael finally said in exasperation.
“SOMETHING ABOUT A PEEPHOLE,” the crowd shouted in confirmation.