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Classy warfare

BY BEAU ELLIOT | OCTOBER 11, 2011 7:20 AM

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"Soon," an Iowa Public Radio reporter cheerily informed us early Monday, "you won't have to drive a car to reduce pollution emissions."

Who knew?

Call me naïve, but I, being one of those anti-American, pointy-headed liberals, have generally believed that driving a car (the vast majority of cars, anyway) does not exactly reduce pollution emissions.

Oh, well. Maybe one of these days, we'll learn that there is no such animal, vegetable, or mineral called climate change and, as Woody Allen's chracter in Sleeper discovered, smoking is actually good for you.

That's the way this society seems to be moving.

So along those lines, you'll be ecstatic to know supermarkets that introduced the self-check-out counters in the last decade are beginning to pull them out, because self-check-out doesn't work — customers have problems that entail a human check-out person, which rather negates the whole point — and some customers cheat when they check themselves out (get your mind out of the gutter).

Who could have foreseen this? Human beings might cheat?

Never.

And human beings might prefer another human being at the check-out counter as opposed to dealing with what is basically a computer?

Because we're all in love with our computers, aren't we? They never screw up or crash, and when we're down in the dumps (wherever the geography of that might be), they sing to us in lyrically soft, cooing voices.

HAL, are you listening? HAL? HAL?

Well, this isn't really a listening society. Listing, perhaps.

So thank God (or Darwin or whoever) for the Occupy Wall Street movement.

If that's what it is and not merely a momentary flash of hope — call me cynical, but I've seen plenty of flashes of hope crash into stubborn "reality," which usually turns out to be people with money getting what they want, when they want it. (Being a Boston Red Sox fan, I've also seen plenty of flashes of hope crash into stubborn reality, which so often goes by the name of the New York Yankees. Sad, but true. Maybe my computer will lyrically coo to me instead of crashing — there's that word again — when I try to save.

(You have to admit, crashing when you're trying to save is not a bad description of the Obama administration.)

One of the things I like about the Occupy movement is that the national media pretty much ignored it at the beginning, and it grew anyway (according to one report, NPR, that great liberal devil, didn't mention Occupy Wall Street for its first nine days).

What I like even more about Occupy is that the guys in suits started getting nervous, and I'm always amused by that, not being a guy in a suit. And, naturally, I love it that the Republican response to the action was "class warfare." That's the knee-jerk conservative shtick whenever it appears as if the people might band together and do something that runs counter to the wishes of people with money.

I'm especially amused that Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential-nomination candidate who often seems to be running against the Mitt Romney of the past, jumped into the "class warfare" game. This is a guy who is quadrupling the size of his $12 million California vacation home.

What? Twelve mil doesn't buy you a big enough mansion? (And did the Mitt check out the documentation of all those construction workers, as per Republican orthodoxy?)

Then there was House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Tea Party supporter, calling the Occupiers a mob and bashing them for "the pitting of Americans against Americans."

The Tea Party, of course, never did anything like that.

I'm going to have to ponder that. Just don't call me preoccupied.

So, go Occupiers. And remember, you won't have to drive a car to reduce pollution emissions.

Or something.


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