Thursday, December 8, 2011


As Occupy Wall Street and its myriad offshoots wind down for the winter, its presence has excited a sector of the economy that's been in the doldrums ever since gasoline hit two dollars a gallon. That sector is the domestic tourism industry.

One of the things we've learned from the Occupy Wall Street crowd, aside from civil unrest being a great way to get your face on TV, is that once you've become feared and encamped in a public place, no one wants to move you. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles issued several mild requests asking the protesters of Occupy Los Angeles to leave but few chose to heed his pleas. On November 30 he summoned the courage and threw them out. Likewise, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York tried all manner of cajolement over weeks to get Occupy Wall Street people to exit Zucotti Park. Finally, on November 17 he had to pull them out like a bad tooth. These scenes were repeated in city after city with eviction notices being backed up by police truncheons.

Now this may seem like the Occupy movement has been sent packing and in a way it has but it also means that the many civic centers, town plazas, and public parks where demonstrators milled about are deserted and ready for Re-Occupation!

Look, we've had many Occupy franchises operating like Occupy Wall Street in New York, Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy Baltimore, Occupy Boston, Occupy Houston, Occupy Albuquerque, etc. etc. etc. Through the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, and who-knows-what an entire recreation system has been inadvertently created. With a little tweaking we have the start of the new Occupy America Travel Reservation Network where, with a few clicks of the mouse, you'll be able to contact whatever city you want to visit and reserve a coveted downtown spot for your camping gear.

Of course, you'll want to book your destinations early. Some towns and cities fill up faster than others and at certain times of the year. For example, Occupy Phoenix may be great in the January but you may not want to be there in August. And who doesn't want to be in Occupy D.C. in springtime when the cherry trees are flowering?

Now there are many advantages to traveling under the protest banner of Occupy America. Some of the great deals include never having to clean up after yourself before you leave like you might have to in a state or federal campground. When the visitors at Occupy Los Angeles were cleared off in November, they left behind 30 tons of garbage. And get this, they didn't have to pick up a thing! Same with the 70 dump trucks of trash from Occupy Portland's campsite and 26 loads they hauled away from Occupy Wall Street's Zucotti Park. All the clean up done by grateful local municipalities glad to see them go. Is this a great country or what?

Also, you get round-the-clock security. The police are always stopping by to check things out and see how things are going. Sometimes they even go undercover and dress like an Occupy tourist just to satisfy themselves that no one is in any danger. Sweet, huh?

But, as an Occupy America traveler, you do have to act the part. You can't just pull up to some city in your Winnebago, plug your TV into a wall socket, roll out the recliner, and start enjoying yourself. No, you need to have a cause to protest against while you're there and the equipment to make yourself heard. Otherwise people might think you were a homeless person or, worse, a Tea Partier.

Get in the spirit, put batteries in the bullhorn, make a tie-dyed T-shirt or, better, break out the cardboard and write a message on it outlining your outrage against your favorite outrage. Maybe you wan to complain about the lack of bicyclists on the road, or about the outrageously high price of dog shampoo at the pet store, or, the one concern that has so many Americans up in arms these days, the use of chicken as an ingredient in the pepperoni of frozen pizzas. Chicken? What the hell are these people trying to do? Poison us?

So, for the traveler, Occupy America stands to take the stress out of vacations. And when you get down to it, isn't that what at least 99 percent of us want?
by © Clyde James Aragon
from "Full Frontal Stupidity" -
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