Okay, I’ve been writing too much about politics lately. This is a site about arts and culture and the Occupy movement, and although I do my best to illuminate that discussion, it occurs to me I should… share something fun.
A couple of months ago, I was asked to write a Subway Monologue for the then-upcoming protests to mark the one-year anniversary of Occupy. I wrote this one, then things kind of went out of control on the personal side of my life, so I never got to perform it (or disseminate it). The idea was that we’d create performance pieces for subways and street corners as a way to get people who wouldn’t normally come to an Occupy meeting interested in events around the movement. Teams of two to three people–performer, leafleteer, and jail support person if necessary.
I’m putting this up under the spirit of the Creative Commons licenses. That means you can freely use it for non-commercial uses as long as you provide me attribution. If you want to tweak it to support your own Occupy event, feel free. If you want me to write something for you, maybe we can work something out. If this doesn’t make you motivated to do anything but chuckle and link on Facebook, that’s cool too.
(Enter The Radical. The issues: fifty something, in office clothes, not terribly fashion-conscious. )
Greetings from Occupy Wall Street. Good Afternoon Ladies an’ Gentlemen. My presentation is titled HOW TO STOP THE EMPIRE WHILE KEEPING YOUR SEAT ON THE Q TRAIN. My name is Larry for the next four stops.
Let me get everything out of the way. I DO NOT WANT ANY MONEY AND I AM NOT HUNGRY. Not today. IT IS OKAY TO MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH ME—the court-appointed psychiatrist said so. I don’t plan to talk about God. I DO NOT PLAN TO SING OR DANCE. I DEFINITELY do not plan to Pole Dance. (reaches into pocket, pulls out harmonica) I DO HAVE A HARMONICA. YOU LOOK LIKE NICE PEOPLE, SO I WILL NOT PLAY IT. YOU’RE WELCOME. (puts back in his pocket)
People like me have joined the Occupy Wall Street movement because we’re pissed off. About all kinds of things. But right at the moment, this train pisses me off. The MTA pisses me off. Anyone else have an opinion? I have friends from Europe, who visit me in New York and they ride the subways with me. And most of them try to be polite. But along about the second or third subway ride, they look around at the train, and the stations, and the crumbling unpainted walls and the rats rolling dice down on the tracks, and they say… well, they try to be polite, but they talk to me like I’m an infant…they say—why do people in New York PUT UP WITH THIS MESS?
We’ve been voting for some 40 years at least for mayors and governors and comptrollers and all the other elect-a-lizards and the subways don’t get better. Ridership is at an all-time high, but the same city that gave hundreds of millions in tax abatements and parking deals to the Mets and Yankees can’t even put up the money it used to add to the MTA’s budget. Heck, did you know that MadisonSquareGarden hasn’t paid property taxes since the Koch administration? That’s an extra fifteen million a year every year to help the Knicks blow the playoffs.
Now—Do you know how to fix this?
But it won’t get fixed if you get off this train and spend your evening watching the Real Housewives reunion. My friend is passing out information cards about who we are and what we do. On September 17, we’re asking for people’s help and participation. Come by—you’ll have fun. Namaste, Pax, Shalom, Salaam.