We Are the [Insert Number] Percent Who Occupy [Insert Location]

People engaging in sexual demonstration at OWS protest, Source: toddkinsey.com; Note: This photo replaces a prior image of a young male defecating on a burning American flag that toddkinsey.com erroneously attributed to OWS protestors. The male in question defiled the American flag at a 2007 anti-war protest.

Some have argued that the Occupy Wall Street protests are simply the left’s version of the Tea Party.

I could not agree more. Only Occupy Wall Street is a kind of bizarro Tea Party.

While the Tea Party represented a relatively peaceful protest against the government, Occupy Wall Street represents the chaos of an unfettered entitlement system run amok.

Where the Tea Party’s message could be succinctly summarized as “smaller government and lower taxes,” Occupy Wall Street seems to be an amorphous hydra – heads grasping in every direction with no common purpose. Ironically, the movement uses the conveniences of capitalism to organize against it.

Where the Tea Party honors and respects the American flag, Occupy Wall Street protestors burn and defecate on it (see the picture above).

Perhaps the only thing both movements share is their raw populist anger.

Source: Power Line via Facebook

Occupy Wall Street’s directionless mob continues to hold Woodstock 2011 in cities across the country. The crowd continues to make illogical and inconsistent demands like a guaranteed paycheck coupled with open borders. It uses corporate conveniences like iPhones to organize against the same corporate “overlords” who produced these devices.

But make no mistake, it is a real movement.

However, its values are more epicurean than altruistic. This is a movement fueled by the millennial generation, many of whom internalized the selfishness of their baby boomer parents. For these reasons, I simply cannot take the protests seriously.

In my opinion, the movement will end in violence, or when it starts to get cold, whichever comes first.

That said, a number of websites have sprung up in parody of, or reaction to the movement. These include Occupy Sesame Street and the 53%.

Occupy Sesame Street

Source: Tauntr.com

In homage to Occupy Wall Street, a movement called Occupy Sesame Street began with a “tweet by Brooklyn-based design studio, Demo. The tweet linked to a photo of Kermit the frog, urging the masses to ‘Skip Class!’ because ‘Radiohead is here dawg!'”. Humor site Tautr.com took the concept to the next level by creating a number of parody photos showing NYPD officers arresting various Sesame Street characters.

We Are the 53%

“Those of us who pay for those of you who whine about all of that… or that…or whatever.”

Source: the53.tumblr.com

On a more serious note, another group started a website in response to the Occupy Wall Street movement calling themselves the 53%. They are named for the percentage of the population that actually pays federal income taxes. Filmmaker Mike Wilson, creator of “Michael Moore Hates America“, maintains the page, and he claims the idea came from his friends Erick Erickson of Red State and Josh Trevino.

The movement is largely an online one, because to pay federal income taxes, you actually have to work. That said, the site is worth visiting, because it shows the other side of America that is incensed by people who abdicate personal responsibility, yet demand increasingly more services from the state.

Tea Party vs. Occupy Wall Street in Pictures

Todd Kinsey has a fantastic post today that compares the Tea Party protests with the Occupy Wall Street protests using pictures. The contrast could not be more profound. That said, don’t take my word for it – go see for yourself.

About Sean Patrick Hazlett

Finance executive, engineer, former military officer, and science fiction and horror writer. Editor of the Weird World War III anthology.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Business, Crime, Education, Finance and Economics, Leadership, Media, Policy, Politics, Social Security, Socialism, Taxes, Unions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to We Are the [Insert Number] Percent Who Occupy [Insert Location]

  1. james kelly says:

    Hi Sean, Please revisit Mr. Kinseys post. Flag/defecation photo not ows.

  2. Yup. Just saw he changed the source. Thanks for catching the update.

  3. Rick the Right-Winger says:

    I dont care whether its OWS or not – that punk is crapping and pissing on the flag!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The cops should lay a Rodney King beating on him.

  4. Vern R. Kaine says:


    This post made my morning. Some intelligence and some humor all wrapped in one. “Occupy Sesame Street” LOVE IT!!!!! Haha! And on a more serious note, I love the “We are the 53%” concept, too. Hope to see more of both and I’ll definitely go check things out there.

    As for OWS, it’s only their own arrogance that makes these OWS protesters want to believe (or try and pretend) that they represent us and our frustrations. Let’s also not forget that they’re being allowed to occupy private land through all this which also speaks to their level of arrogance and entitlement as well.

    A guy on “Red Eye” last night (of all places) made a point that I’d been saying before but was just reminded of again, that PROTESTS DON’T CUT IT ANYMORE, especially in a lawful society. Have they changed the G8’s agendas? Did the million Latinos in the streets bring about Immigration Reform? Did any change come from the BART mob?

    I’m with you – OWS is either going to have to get VERY organized to be taken even remotely seriously, or violent, and obviously I’m hoping for the earlier rather than the latter. Until then it’s just a bowel movement.

  5. Scott Erb says:

    Ah, Napoleon, by making the French tricolor a symbol of reverence rather than just a battlefield marker he helped create the notion the flag is some kind of secular sacred object. But more seriously in anything this big you can cherry pick positive or really negative moments, that says little about the movement as a whole. I doubt it will lead to violence, but it will likely lead to change. It’s also driven by the same anti-establishment ideals that drive the tea party (my blog post today). I also think you underestimate it, focusing too much on a few images and demands than what it really represents. But we’ll see — politics is certainly if anything increasingly interesting.

    Vern, I think you’re right about protests in general. I think this is a movement that is going to be more broad and lasting, and its impact will likely be diffuse. The hippy movement morphed into money earning yuppies, but the changes they brought to US culture and society altered the social context in a fundamental way. So…it’s too early to tell for sure, but I am fascinated by this (as I was by the tea party).

    • Vern R. Kaine says:

      Fascinated as well, Scott. Even though I don’t identify with them (beyond sharing in their frustration a bit) I’m still very interested in seeing how this all goes. Other than that, my day goes on.

    • Fair enough. The left has been doing the same thing with the Republican Party by painting everyone with the same brush based on two hecklers in the audience at one debate. That said, I don’t think these folks have a platform other than “More.”

  6. Scott Erb says:

    Being on a college campus and listening to students react, as well as seeing some organize to create local protests, I disagree that they don’t have a platform. Many have very well thought out critiques about the political and economic policies that have led us to where we are. However, they don’t have a unified platform. Some lean libertarian, others are moderate, some have a more radical critique of where power lies. They tend to share a sense that this country has taken a wrong turn, and they’re generation is facing being the first to inherit a future that is less secure and prosperous than that of their parents. They see how financial market manipulation helped lead to this crisis, as the gap between rich and the middle class grow. They also have experienced the loss of good jobs, and believe its time to take a stand. I see that as positive, they’re engaging in civil society. They may have no unified platform, but they’re also not mindless, and I haven’t heard anyone wanting more for themselves — it’s actually driven by a desire to turn around a country they see heading the wrong way. Agree or disagree with their goals, it is exciting to see a new level of engagement by young people about the state of the country.

    • Moe says:

      Scott, the guys here probably know that I too see deep parallells with the tea party – no policy stuff, just a sense that ‘something is wrong’. You meniton ‘some lean libertarian’ which of couse is true – there are anarchists, marxists and who knows what else mixed in, somthing that always happens. But the libertarian part is interesting to me, because increasingly I notice libertarian and left on the same side of certain issues, not on a lot, but still it’s fascinating. Maybe it’s always been there and I never notcied before.

      • Something is definitely wrong, it is just difficult to put one’s finger on it. Globalization is a huge factor. Government policy is another. For that matter, so is the very success of capitalism. We need fewer workers to produce more goods. Demographics are also a contributing factor as the population ages and entitlement costs rise. Furthermore, we also have dwindling natural resources as China and India indistrialize. The financial contagion unleashed by exotic derivatives also helped spread the effects of irresponsible behavior by some (greedy consumers, mortgage brokers, bankers) to everyone. As a result, the country needs to delever, which will take a lot of time. Add a system with short term election cycles and you have perpetual gridlock.

        Did I miss anything?

        • Vern R. Kaine says:

          “Did I miss anything?”
          Perhaps a voter base that latches to bumbersticker catch phrases combined with a government (and Fed) that lacks any true transparency?.

        • Moe says:

          I’d say you left out special interest lobbying which affects legislation and frightens office holders into keeping in line (if htey want those campaign donations). Citizens United for instance is an open invitation for more of that.

          We all hear about reps and sens who have to maintain offices off campus where they spend a few hours each day phoning donors. I heard a guy last cycle say that he has to start fundraising each time the day after his election. That’s a lot of time not doing the people’s busienss!

          The electoral reforms we need will probably never happen. They’d either be deemed unconstitutional (limit money for instance) or couldn’t be legislated by officals who would be affected. The very fact that something over 90% of incumbents are routinely reelected also says something is wrong.

      • Vern R. Kaine says:

        Moe, my aunt is probably about as left-wing as they come. I asked her to just watch one of the Republican debates, and guess what – she immediately fell in love with Ron Paul to the point that every time he was talking, she was clapping!

        You’re right – there are similarities between (practical) Libertarians and the far left. I think they both want a level playing field but that they just have different ideas on what a “level playing field” truly is.

        • Moe says:

          Vern, I haven’t missed a single debate! I liked the table set up last night and the intelligent questions.

          I like Paul too. I liked Barry Goldwater. I like Chris Christie. (I actually voted for Goldwater, but then I was very young and had a crush on him.) What these three have in common is candor. It’s refreshing. People are hungry for it.

    • Scott, I don’t doubt the frustrations of these students. I’m frustrated too. My point is that organizations without missions ALWAYS fail.

  7. Pingback: Occupy Wall Street: Understanding the Movement | Reflections of a Rational Republican

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