Friday, February 17, 2012

Top Ten Reasons I Have Never Attended an Occupy Oakland GA

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I've been a community ally of Occupy Oakland since October 25th. I've attended events and marches, spoken in favour of OO at two City Council meetings, donated to OO and the Bail Fund, and--despite my displeasure regarding 'Diversity of Tactics'--advocated for OO to anyone who'll listen.

But I have never attended an Occupy Oakland GA in person (though I've watched a ton via Livestream). Here are ten reasons why, in no particular order.

1. I've never been a member of any political organisation. I'm deeply uncomfortable with the concept of joining anything, even when there are no membership applications or dues involved. During the Thatcher era I thought about joining the Labour Party long distance from Oakland, but considering how things developed with Tony Blair I'm extremely glad I didn't. I just don't join things--the risk of betrayal and/or disappointment is too high.

2. Whatever I do in life, I am generally all in or not in at all. When I commit to something, my commitment is serious. I am clinically obsessive-compulsive and find it hard to walk a middle path, but that's what I've managed to do (so far) with OO. If I start going to GAs, I would feel the need to go to every GA and would feel horribly guilty every time I missed one.

3. I have a spouse who thinks I'm a bit of a loony for supporting OO. We've been married for 27 years and I'm not keen on getting a divorce.

4. I have a full-time job. Jobs take up a lot of time.

5. I have writing gigs and other outside commitments. These also take up a lot of time.

6. The hand signals creep me out. Especially the twinkles.

7. The human mic creeps me out. I don't like mindless recitation of anything.

8. I am a white middle-aged male socialist. You don't want/need any more of those at GA, do you?

9. I don't want to get shouted at by anti-non-violence advocates and I don't want to be tempted to shout at anyone, especially that guy who called Gandhi 'a misogynist prick'.

10. I don't like inhaling second hand smoke (of any variety).

11. BONUS REASON: I understand how things work in subcultures. If you weren't there at the start, you weren't there at all, and if you join now you're a poseur. Contrary to Poly Styrene, I am not a poseur, I do care, and I don't like to make people stare.

Are these legit reasons, poor excuses, or embarrassing cop-outs? You tell me!

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