Dear Santa: My Son Won’t Leave Occupy Boston

An Occupier and his mother write letters to Santa Claus.

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Tuesday, Nov. 15th, 2011

Dear Santa,

I know it’s been awhile, but I’m writing from Occupy Boston because things are a little tense here tonight, after Mayor Bloomberg (a.k.a. 1% human/99% a-hole!) shut down Zuccotti Park. He grew up in Medford, for Christ’s sake! You’d think he’d have some compassion for the little guy. But there’s obviously something wrong with him; he’s a Yankees fan. Anyway, we’re all hoping that doesn’t happen here, and the police are still chill, but everyone’s a little on-edge, and since you came up in conversation tonight, I figured I’d write.

We were outside the food tent. That guy Larry accused you of unfair labor practices. He said your elves were like slaves. I said I didn’t think you exploited them. I said you probably paid them a decent salary, maybe even benefits and a 401K, and as far as jobs go, making toys sounds pretty sweet, despite having to live at the North Pole. Even that kid who wears a yarmulkah stuck up for you, saying you were obviously a pretty decent guy for a member of the 1%—just look at your record on diversity, what with Rudolph and his handicap and Herbie, that elf who became a dentist.

Speaking of which, my Dad wants me to stop what I’m doing here and apply to Dental School, which I don’t want to do, for several reasons. Remember that 70s movie, “Ten,” where the dentist is really rich and lives in Beverly Hills? Well, if I was looking into Kim Kardashian’s mouth and making bank, I might consider it, but as it is, I’d be drilling teeth for something like five trillion Kim Kardashian marriages before I even began to pay off my student loans. More importantly, though, for all the smack people talk about this movement lacking a coherent message, I honestly think we can change things for the better. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be sleeping on a traffic island and wondering if getting arrested was going to add to my already bleak job prospects.

Mom’s been pretty cool about the whole thing. She even came down to check it out and was totally amazed by how organized we are. She couldn’t believe the media, logistics and information tents, and of course she loved the library and the statue of Ghandi and stopped to read every sign and poster (which took about five hours). She even walked down the pathway through the middle of camp that we made out of shipping palettes, and she came back later to deliver trays of hot food (we’re not allowed to actually cook anything here). Mom said it reminded her of the Vietnam War and she seemed surprised that everyone I introduced her to didn’t reek of B.O. and weed.

Anyway, besides the stuff we need to keep the protest going—all the art supplies for making signs, food donations, etc.—what we really want are flashlights, batteries, and sleeping bags for 20 degrees and below.  Of course, I wouldn’t mind five minutes of privacy or a day without some burn-out from the 60s telling me about Woodstock, either. But most of all, I don’t want to get arrested. I’m only doing this because everything sucks so much and nothing’s going to change unless we do something about it.

Thanks, and Merry Christmas!

Josh

P.S. Sorry we don’t have a chimney for you to climb down, but the Greenway should make a pretty decent landing strip for the sleigh.

♦◊♦

Tuesday, Nov. 15th, 2011

Dear Santa,

I haven’t written one of these since I was a little girl, but I figure it can’t hurt, so here goes.

Our son, Josh, is part of Occupy Boston, and being a mother, I have some concerns. Actually, I’m worried. I guess it’s fair to say I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

The Mayor of New York shut down Occupy Wall Street today (honestly, what do you expect from a Yankees fan?) So far, the police and protesters in Boston have gotten along remarkably well, but it’s getting ugly in other cities, especially the West Coast, and I’m slowly spinning down the drain. The upside is that I’ve lost 25 pounds since the whole thing started. The downside is that a week’s worth of Klonopin won’t get me to sleep. I can’t bear the thought of Josh getting handcuffed and hauled off to jail. For one thing, he bruises so easily. For another, his father will refuse to bail him out and I’ll have to do it.

I also don’t love the idea of him sleeping on the street, especially now that winter’s coming. I’m sure he’s going to get pneumonia, and I’ve been obsessing over the L.L. Bean catalogue for the past two months. I spent literally all of last Sunday researching what people pack for an assault on Mount Everest, and allow me to point out: it’s not exactly available at Walmart.

I have to admit, though, the protesters are surprisingly well organized and fairly well equipped, and I admire their commitment. It’s just that I’m not exactly sure what it is they’re so committed to.

I went to visit the camp, and the place is literally hundreds of tents, all pitched practically on top of each other. (Josh swears it’s perfectly hygienic, but as far as I’m concerned, there isn’t enough hand sanitizer on the planet….) Anyway, there were signs calling for the end of the Federal Reserve Bank and protesting corporate greed. There were signs complaining about the influence of money in government. Then there was a sign calling for justice for the Palestinians, one pointing out that we can afford wars but not healthcare, and one suggesting that we do away with capitalism altogether, which, as we all know, didn’t work out so well for the Russians. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been surprised if there was a sign demanding abortion rights for extra-terrestrials.

As Josh’s father puts it, “I’d really like to support him, but I don’t really get what his point is.”

One thing I can say is that at least he stands for something, which is better than being one of those idiots who slept outside a movie theater in Los Angeles for the premiere of the new “Twilight” movie. (Not that it gets that cold in Los Angeles, either.) That’s why it really ticks me off when members of the 1% (See? Even I’m saying it!) accuse them of being a bunch of spoiled, lazy kids. It was everything I could do to bite my tongue the other day, when my boss said, “I’d like an indefinite vacation, too, you know.” A vacation for him is banging his mistress and brown-nosing clients on a fairway in Boca, not standing up for the little guy in Dewey Square.

Which brings me to my reason for writing this. I know delivering dolls and stuffed animals to children is more your forte, but there are a few things I’d really appreciate for Christmas.

I would love the Occupy movement to develop a coherent, definitive message and concrete, achievable goals, so that I can stop lying to the neighbors that Josh is on a semester abroad in Costa Rica. More importantly, I’d like for Josh not to get arrested or hurt in any way. And if it’s at all possible, I’d like to get just one decent night’s sleep.

Thanks, and Merry Christmas!

Josh’s Mom

P.S. What kind of wool is your suit made of? I’m planning on knitting him a hat and scarf.

Originally appeared at It’s My Life, Get Your Own.

Photo Credit: Tim Pierce / flickr

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Comments

  1. Tim Pierce says:

    FYI, the photo on this article is one that I took at an Occupy Boston rally (original at http://www.flickr.com/photos/qwrrty/6356961771/). Can you add a photo credit to Tim Pierce with a link back to the Flickr page? Thanks :-)

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