I had planned at the end of last week to write about what the top one-percent richest people, Wall Street banks and corporations in general want to hear from us – in the form of a greatest hits list in music and in movies. In light of the events of the past twenty-four hours in Oakland and in New York City, I’ve decided to go ahead with this list, Mayor Michael Bloomberg (hereafter known by me as “Mayor 1%”) included.
These folks want everything from us, like an abusive father and husband who wants his wife and children to smile, bruises and all. They not only want us to buy into their sick and ugly version of the American Dream, the one that favors them and their children over us and the planet. They not only want us to be quiet, to shut the heck up and take it prone without lubrication, all of this economic and political inequality. They want us to do the very opposite of protesting, to smile about all of this, as if we all happy little pickaninnies and Raggedy Anns’ and Andys’, all happy workin’ fo’ our all-wise and all-kind massa, the so-called free market.
And the three-term mayor of New York, Mr. 1%, has been involved in vilifying and actively cracking down on
the Occupy Wall Street movement almost from day one of these protests. He was for police brutality and suspension of First Amendment rights back when only a dozen or so brave souls began to gather in Zuccotti Park in mid-September. And why wouldn’t Mayor 1% be so active? He wholly represents everything that the Occupy Wall Street movement’s protesting. An overbearing, out-of-touch and out-of-time opportunist who’s rigged the political and economic system to his favor.
Well, here’s to you, Mayor 1%, you and the rest of the people you represent, the folks that will have all of us debt slaves from here to eternity. Here are the song you’re playing and movies you’re watching these days:
1. “Rock The Boat” (1974), Hues Corporation – note both the lyrics – like “don’t tip the boat over” – as well as the fact that the group named Hues Corporation wrote this first (or second) disco hit.
2. Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – the movie fits perfectly what Mayor 1% and Wall Street have wanted from politicians and protesters over the past thirty years. “Do what we say, take our dirty money to do our dirty deeds, or shut the heck up!” I guess Mayor 1% would be the emperor, or Darth Vader?
3. “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money)” (1987), Pet Shop Boys – the song embodies everything the one percent types like Mayor 1% stands for – and what he wants the rest of us to stand for as well. Except they haven’t “had enough of scheming, and messing around with jerks” – they are the schemers and jerks, of course.
4. Boiler Room (2000) – not the greatest film about Madoff-esque Wall Street scheming. But the Wall Street brokers and bankers can sit, watch and critique the bonafides of the film, to point out what the characters played by Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel and Ben Affleck all did wrong in getting caught.
5. The Devil’s Advocate (1997) – a dark, semi-horror (and for some, horrid) drama involving Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves as money and power-hungry go-getters. But get this. Mayor 1% hosts a dinner party with his other one-percent buddies, who dress like the movie’s characters. Mayor 1% dresses up as Al Pacino’s character, the Devil Incarnate. Then, they sit down and watch some of the film. Except they all think that Devil’s Advocate is a comedy.
6. “Out Of Touch” (1984), Hall & Oates – the top one-percent’s closing hit, telling the Occupy Wall Street protesters with derision, “You’re out of touch, I’m out of time.” The “out of time” part would either be about their ability to make money hand-over-fist in five minutes, or about them making that money before we notice another rise in economic and political inequality. Mayor 1%, though, would bring Darryl Hall and John Oates in to sing the one-percenter’s version of “Out Of Touch” to the Occupy Wall Street protesters.
It’s too hard to do a top-ten hits list for the top one-percent. Ten is too many for them to begin with, especially without an additional nine zeroes after that ten. And Mayor 1%, you’re officially worse than Mayor “a verb, a noun and 9/11” himself, Rudy Giuliani.