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Friday, October 14, 2011

An Open Letter to a Yuppie Belltownian on the Occasion of Occupy Seattle

Posted by on Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 4:06 PM

From the electronic mailbag:

Dear Yuppie Belltownian,

You know who you are—with a popped collar, and the mental capacity of a goldfish—sorry, goldfish.

When you saw me at the art walk you obviously took a look at how I was dressed, and the fact I was spending money, and thought you’d found a like-minded individual. You thought, she’ll totally be impressed by my humorous commentary on the “lazy kiddos at Westlake Plaza.” You explained to me that if the kids spent as much time submitting job applications as setting up encampments that they wouldn’t have to be there.

First, you are an idiot.

Second (and I’m sure given the affectionate way with which I started this correspondence, you will be shocked to learn this), I wholeheartedly disagree.

People are not jobless because they are lazy, or want to be living on the margins of society. In fact, try being poor. Really...

It’s like having a full time job: standing for hours in food bank lines hoping that they don’t run out of resources before your turn, making a dozen phone calls to see who might have winter clothing for your kids, figuring out how to turn the fifty cents you have into $2.50 for a bus ride to a job interview.

I’m surprised it doesn’t make you feel patriotic that people are doing something about it. Finally, Americans are occupying the streets of a country they have a right to occupy: their own.

These are not just the First Hill Freegans evolved from their ex-hippy parents dying for something to stand for, either. These are not the self-titled “Ave Rats” that have rebelled from moneyed families. These are teachers, caregivers, your former neighbor that who was bogged down with one medical bill too many after her car accident, your friend who fell behind on mortgage payments after paying for his brother’s funeral. This is your sister that went to that private liberal arts school she’d dreamed of since the age of 8—the one you encouraged her to attend—and is now haunted by [student loans] every month now that she has her degree.

How did we get like this? When did college start being something you spend years paying off? Did we forget that life sentences were meant for prisoners, not education? When did people start have to start choosing between paying their light bill or paying their rent? Choices like that ruin pretty much anyone’s credit, but if you receive Section 8, a missed payment of either could get you evicted. And then you’re homeless, so... fuck! Yet some people (you) still find it abhorrent that we have entire generations “living off the system.”

You know what, Yuppie B? Many people in Washington State who receive cash assistance from the government actually have jobs. They’re underemployed, or they receive minimum wage, which makes them eligible for these programs. It looks to me like the problem is not people being unmotivated, but instead the lack of access to sufficient wages.

Who is going to run whatever bro-dude corporation you work for with a high-school education? Who is going to buy whatever you’re pushing without the disposable income that comes from employment?

I’d like to make one suggestion. Next time before you open your silver-spoon mouth, read a fucking newspaper.

(well, Tough love,)
Amelia I.


Comments (28) RSS

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Will in Seattle 1
There are still newspapers?
Posted by Will in Seattle on October 14, 2011 at 4:13 PM · Report this
Yeah well I didn't notice a difference between the people at Westlake before the occupation and now.

And moreover people don't realize that half of the 99% consists of republicans and tea party people who probably disagree with the occupy demands.

Lastly, I also don't understand how these people have enough time to be protesting. I tried to go but I had work the next day and i'm not about to lose my job.
Posted by anal smith on October 14, 2011 at 4:16 PM · Report this
"I’m surprised it doesn’t make you feel patriotic that people are doing something about it. Finally, Americans are occupying the streets of a country they have a right to occupy: their own."

People keep using the word "occupy" like it's actually meaningful in the context of these protests.

These protests aren't "doing something" any more than the Iraq protests did. People in New York came up with a scary-sounding name and all of a sudden this is more than just another Seattle protest that goes nowhere because this time it involves attempted squatting.
Posted by The CHZA on October 14, 2011 at 4:17 PM · Report this
fuck it. turn the goddamn park into a vegetable garden. tear up that cement, and start bringing in some real bullshit to fertilize with.

then we can reclaim the viaduct for camp shelter, and there wouldn't be so many folks talking about A JOB? rily? aren't you just hungry and cold and futureless?

i only work because i don't have the strength to be homeless.

fuck all this living wage shit.

make food and shelter and love. don't make money.
Posted by MustFindOffGridHippy on October 14, 2011 at 4:17 PM · Report this
Hell Yeah.
I volunteer with a legal aid program, and oftentimes when I talk to the people that come in desperate and nearly put out on the street, I can identify those moments in life where chance made the difference between our lives. Any person who thinks otherwise is a fool - the circumstances of one's birth are a matter of luck, and determine so much.
If only Yuppie B hadn't been born to stupid to understand.
Posted by McStudent on October 14, 2011 at 4:18 PM · Report this
JF 6
Christ. That might as well have been me you just told off.
Posted by JF on October 14, 2011 at 4:19 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 7
@2 actually, in recent polls, most of the former Tea Party membership agrees with the Occupy critiques.

Try turning off Faux News.
Posted by Will in Seattle on October 14, 2011 at 4:22 PM · Report this
so, i take it they didn't make a date for coffee?
Posted by philosophy school dropout on October 14, 2011 at 4:41 PM · Report this
merry 9
Nicely put, Amelia!!
Posted by merry on October 14, 2011 at 4:51 PM · Report this
Zebes 10
Thanks, Amelia. If all those chumps saying the Occupy protesters have "no purpose" could speak with an articulate person such as yourself on the matter.
Posted by Zebes on October 14, 2011 at 4:55 PM · Report this
JF 11
@10 Who is going to listen to someone who starts off by insulting the other person?
Posted by JF on October 14, 2011 at 4:57 PM · Report this
Tingleyfeeln 12
@5, thank you, from someone who did not grow up privileged and fights the consequences of my origins every day. Wish me luck in never needing your services.
Posted by Tingleyfeeln on October 14, 2011 at 5:02 PM · Report this
It is kinda suggestive of Occupy Seattle lately that this nice person who got dissed decided to not respond vigorously in the offender's face, choosing instead the higher path of signing her full name to a beautifully written cri de coeur emailed for publication in a blog the offender almost certainly does not read but the writer's friends all do.

Occupy Seattle, whither goest thou?
Posted by gloomy gus on October 14, 2011 at 5:07 PM · Report this
Clearly you said none of this to him in person. Sucks to be the one carrying a grudge.
Posted by mint chocolate chip on October 14, 2011 at 5:12 PM · Report this
Oh, gee, an enormous sense of entitlement (check). Whining about what other people have (check). Whining about what she doesn't have (check). Whining that someone else won't pay her bills (check). Amelia, dear, first off, you need to understand that YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO ANYTHING. I guess your parents, intending to do well, instilled this in you, but the sad truth, dearie, is that YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO ANYTHING. You can spend the rest of your life being bitter about that (and you most apparently are), or you can get a fucking life, work like the rest of us, and make a life for yourself. Ask yourself, Amelia, dear: WHERE ARE ALL THE IMMIGRANTS, AND WHY AREN'T THEY AT WESTLAKE? You know why, honey? BECAUSE THEY ARE WORKING THEIR ASSES OFF AND MAKING A LIFE FOR THEMSELVES. They're not waiting for someone else to do it. Take your sense of entitlement and piss off, girl. Might do you some good to spend a few years in the Peace Corps in a developing country to understand what you really have.
Posted by Boo hoo, poor me, nobody will pave the way for me!!! on October 14, 2011 at 5:15 PM · Report this
I overheard a guy say, "They're out protesting because the can't manage their money, made dumb choices and now they all want handouts." So I said, "That was the banks, not the protestors."
Posted by Subdued Excitement on October 14, 2011 at 7:33 PM · Report this
This dude so does not remember your conversation Amelia. I respect your passion, and you obviously have thought a lot about your beliefs, which is cool. But you should realize that just because someone disagrees with your political stance does not make them a bad person, just as if someone agrees with you it makes them good. My wife and I have opposite political beliefs yet are very much in love. We should not be so judgmental of people, we should love and respect everyone.
Posted by _db_ on October 14, 2011 at 7:47 PM · Report this
@16 That was everybody.
Posted by _db_ on October 14, 2011 at 7:48 PM · Report this
We are all in this together guys......
Posted by _db_ on October 14, 2011 at 7:49 PM · Report this
Not that I disagree with the movement, but isn't she doing the same thing he is, generalizing about a group of people.
Posted by Democrat1234 on October 14, 2011 at 7:54 PM · Report this
chimsquared 21
bjc, will you marry me?
Posted by chimsquared on October 14, 2011 at 8:06 PM · Report this
balderdash 22
I'm surprised at how many self-righteous cunts (forgive the un-feminist term; it's chosen for effect on the recipients, not for its social context) comment on Slog in all the threads concerning #Occupy.

Fuck yeah, Amelia. Your name is kinda like America and I reckon that's a happy and just coincidence.
Posted by balderdash on October 14, 2011 at 10:14 PM · Report this
This is a real question, not a sarcastic rhetorical question:

When someone graduates with $40K+ in college loan debt, were they thinking about that when they took those loans out? Were they CERTAIN they'd be able to pay them off?
Posted by sarah70 on October 14, 2011 at 11:25 PM · Report this
Well, some people are broke, homeless, and jobless because they're drug addicts or have mental problems. I'm surprised you didn't run into them during your time in Belltown,
Posted by madcap on October 15, 2011 at 5:23 AM · Report this
Sir Vic 25
@23 First, double that amount to 80k and you'd be current. Also, it wasn't just a single loan - often more like 10 separate ones that are later combined.

Second, kids have been told since 1st grade that the only way to be successful is to go to college. NOT going to college was never an option. Unfortunately, that dream/myth was sold to them by a generation that enjoyed largely subsidized educations, before the insurance behemoth started driving prices through the ivy tower roof.

In short, they got duped.
Posted by Sir Vic on October 15, 2011 at 7:58 AM · Report this
Yes, and I'll bet a bunch of his friends did Teach for America which, in Seattle, took jobs from fully-trained and certified teachers so his friends could "teach for awhile" and then leave and get their jobs at Goldman Sachs.

Because TFA has enormous resources for after TFA recruits are done and I'm pretty sure Goldman Sachs and all these other entities would not do this if they weren't expecting these "best and brightest" to come back into the fold.

These are the people who want to run our country and it's crazy town.
Posted by westello on October 15, 2011 at 9:26 AM · Report this
Tingleyfeeln 27
@25 for the win! The worst thing to happen to higher education is when it became nothing but a tool for career development. Yes, it is more practical to get a "useful" degree, but when getting higher education, one should take some time to enrich themselve's, both in the classroom and extracurricularly.
Add to this problem our societies various attitudes about blue collar work. We belittle people who do this work, and that belittlement has grown worse over the years. Of course, those who in the past who performed manual labor have earned much of this belittlement (think Archie Bunker and the hard hats who beat up hippie protesters in the 60's, or my dad who threw me out of the house for refusing to get a haircut).
Between our societies over-promotion of college, and unflattering view of blue collar workers, no wonder there is a shortage of skilled trades people.
And that's just one of the icebergs many tips.
Posted by Tingleyfeeln on October 15, 2011 at 2:48 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 28
If you want change, vote for it, but not for a politician that just claims to want change, like last time.
Posted by KittenKoder on October 15, 2011 at 6:42 PM · Report this

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