I went to the Occupy Philly rally yesterday (full disclosure: I was on my lunch break from my job, one that I love and I’m damn proud to have) and was inspired to see solidarity among my peers who are frustrated at the state of the economy. They chanted, “We are the 99!” in reference to 1% of the population controlling a disproportionate amount of the U.S. wealth. I read the New York Times today that stated that although we’ve gained 103,000 new jobs, unemployment is still at 9.1%.
Yesterday I also stumbled upon JD Samson from the electroclash band Le Tigre talk about her take on the economy and what it means to be an artist. Here’s a successful, alternative singer questioning the American Dream while coming to terms with the harsh reality of making money. Samson says, “if I need to, I’m ready to get a job, go to work in the morning, get a paycheck once a week, go to the dentist, get a check-up, bottom out to a boss and appreciate music without being worried that I can’t keep up.” It’s not selling out, it’s about security.
I refuse to get overly cynical about the times that we’re living in. However, I sympathize with my generation who came from comfortable families and were raised in the suburbs and believed that they could be anything they wanted to be and who now feel jaded and betrayed. Perhaps we’re coming of age in a time when the nation itself is starting to realize its own shortcomings and trying to search for something real after a time of exuberance and prosperity. I don’t know the answer to the $14.8 trillion national debt. I’m busy trying to figure out how to get myself out of personal debt.
It’s all enough to make you want to stay in your bedroom and stream movies on Netflix while eating nachos, and I love me some nachos. Everyone needs to escape from the state of things because if you dwell on it for too long it all just seems so futile. I take solace in the fact that we’re all in this together, as Samson said, “I know the economy is failing, but I think it is important to remember that it is failing for everyone.” Seeing the group at Occupy Philly and watching the news clips of Occupy Wall Street it’s clear that we’re all together.
Now back to Netflix and nachos…