Sex, Drugs, and Public Health

December 18, 2011

Occupy Xmas !

Filed under: Uncategorized — cbmosher @ 6:07 pm

Guest Blog by “Anonymous

So, I chastised myself, Ghandi would have taken the blow and not responded. I admire him because he was little and frail and non-violent before his tormentors. I emulate him: a better man than I, but I’ll bet he was never stuck in a Department store in a predicament like mine.

I was tired and hungry and had to go to the bathroom. Actually, I had been struggling against my inner body’s desire to empty itself for more than half the day – an unforeseen conflict between the urgencies of Public Health and commitment to my Action – when, like some malevolent Santa Claus, this agent of the Millionaire State broke from his ranks. He hid his identity behind a cowardly layer of black: right down to leather gloves (paid for by us taxpayers) which so completely covered him that I couldn’t even guess his ethnicity. His face, like all the others lined up menacingly before me, was hidden within a black helmet and opaque shield. As if he had stolen a one-way mirror from the set of some mid-day cop show to cover up his identity.

He came straight at me, club in right hand, pepper spray in the left. What do YOU want for Christmas, little boy? No one in the Movement had thrown anything other than words, so I wasn’t expecting this. And with all the cell phones filming my Action (a very creative and brilliant Action, I must say) I figured You-tube phobia would keep the cops civilized.

But no. He swung. I twisted and ducked. Whack. Right across my shoulder blades. The blow threw me against one of those white synthetic Department store beards they trot out to dress up their mannequins and employees every Shopping Season. You know, to make you think it’s the North Pole, even in Miami.

I expected the small crowd to howl and boo at such Gestapo tactics, but beyond the pain, I heard a cheer. Perhaps someone from the crowd is rising to my defense? I hoped. The cop towered over me – big, brave cop: menacing this skinny dissident who was chained in place and couldn’t run – and began to scream at me from behind his mask. His voice was distorted by the echo within his helmet and face shield:

“Go home – – – get a job – – – take a bath – – -“

My innards spasmed at the last words, awakened by visions of the inside of a bathroom. That just increased my suffering on behalf of Free Speech and the struggle against Crippling Consumerism.

Ghandi, I reminded myself. He must have endured worse. Be strong.

“No one wants you here – – – “ the Darth Vader voice echoed, “ – – – unlock yourself and get out!”

He raised his club again. I cringed forward, away from the coming blow, but Santa pushed me back, right into its pathway. The wooden stick sliced thru the Department store air, thick with nauseating perfumes.



The stick hit me in the mid back and set my kidneys to vibrating and my intestines to spasming. Santa, animated now by the bully-cop, pushed against me. Against my bladder.

“You Son of a Bitch!” I yelled at both of them. “This is a non-violent Action, you idiots! Free Speech. Don’t attack me. Attack the corporate millionaires who are fleecing you for Christmas!”

And immediately I felt chagrined at my outburst.

“Last chance,” Darth Vader warbled within his camouflage. “Unlock yourself and leave Santa alone.” He raised his stick. And aimed the can of spray.

Bright lights appeared. I looked toward them. TV cameras within the crowd. Four hours earlier, I’d actually been hoping they’d show up, but now things were piling up. First, Department Store Security, then this SWAT team, and now my own body beating on me from the inside.

And inexplicably, the crowd had turned against me. I was fighting for their Freedom. The Freedom of Buy Nothing Day. Freedom from the brainwashing of non-stop Consumerism. Freedom to tell millionaires that you won’t be feeding them any more of your hard-earned cash. But the crowd was cheering the cop.

I struggled to endure it in silence. Like my hero.

Then, from deep within this gloom of pain, I heard someone shout a word that cheered me enuf to raise my head and smile for the cameras.

“Liberate!” someone yelled. They said something else, but a rumble in the crowd drowned it out.

The cop backed away.

Redemption, I thought.

“Liberate Santa!” someone in the crowd echoed.

Wait. Liberate who?

“Liberate Santa!” several voices cheered. “Liberate Santa!” and it took on a chant like some damned football game.

That’s when my inner body’s failsafe mechanisms failed. It was a weird yin / yang feeling. Viscerally, it felt good. A relief. Psychologically, it was a defeat.

“Liberate Santa! Liberate Santa!”

I dug into my pocket, pulled out the key, and opened the lock. The chain binding me tightly around Santa’s waist fell to the red carpet. Santa stood up before I could, dumping me from his lap onto the Department Store floor.

The TV cameras moved in. Hovered over me. Whirred as they drank in my disgrace.

I got to my feet, moving carefully to avoid further embarrassment. The crowd was already disbanding.

The cop who had attacked me unsnapped his chinstrap, and pulled off his helmet. He was a blonde woman, thirty-ish. Attractive, actually.

“Sorry I had to hit you,” she said. “That was actually a very ingenious move – the chain and all. You probably caught Santa by surprise.”

“Yeah. Him and all his corporate masters,” I replied, a little bit proud again.

“But I had to do it. I have kids, you know. Two of them. Had to do it for the kids.”

“Sure. The kids.”

“You smell funny. Are you O K ?”

“It’s nothing a bath and change of clothes won’t fix.” I scrambled to change the subject. “What do your kids want for Christmas?”

“Oh,” she got animated. “Jason wants a Modern Warfare 3 for his X Box, and little Jessica, she likes the classics.”

“ ‘Classics’ ?”

“You know. Barbie. And her stuff.”

“All made in China,” I said, backing away a little so she didn’t have to smell me so acutely. “By child labor, probably.”

“China? I’d hoped to buy only things made in the U.S. this Christmas.”

“Good luck with that,” I said. And then I started my exit from the Department Store. I walked slowly, carefully, and tried to stay toward the walls, away from the shoppers. My Action for this day was done. But I agonized that my outburst had damaged the Movement’s greater story.

I wonder if Ghandi ever felt this way?

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