The reader has probably heard of the Occupy Wall Street movement, a wide ranging coalition of protesters who have taken to, as the name suggests, occupying New York's financial district. But this is not about Occupy Wall Street, this is about Occupy Sesame Street.
But in getting to Occupy Sesame Street, I get to sneak some other generalizations in. First, I want to talk about The Tea Party. The Tea Party is a supposedly conservative movement, but while its politics might be conservative, The Tea Party is, (in my view), culturally an outgrowth of the social attitudes of the 1960s. The Tea Party is very much an outgrowth of the attitudes of The Baby Boomers. Foremost of these attitudes are the beliefs that individual autonomy is the most important thing, that the individual is an actor in a special crux in history, that institutions are by nature corrupt (often accompanied by various conspiracy theories against them).
People of my generation are a little bit more skeptical. Baby Boomers of any political or social persuasion tend to get an idea believe it is a magic bullet to everything. People of my generation have heard all of these ideas before, ad nauseum. We know what Godwin's Law is. We don't believe in magic bullets or simple ideas. And for that reason, it has been hard for people of my generation to unite around a single idea. Even self-professed leftists are by now well past the point of cynicism on the idea of simple remedies for social ills.
But, when push comes to shove, there are many people who want to do something about it. I am skeptical and cynical about the Occupy Wall Street movement, because I wonder what the real motivation and endgame is to the protests. But however nebulous "our" voice is, the pendulum has to swing towards it being heard.
And so now finally we get to what Occupy Sesame Street is. Occupy Sesame Street is a meme, carried along by twitter, Facebook and other such spreaders of internettery, where the slogans and issues of "Occupy Wall Street" are parodied by applying them to the characters and situations of Sesame Street, the children's program.
So far, the most popular phrase and image is "99% of the Cookies are consumed by 1% of the Monsters", accompanied by a picture of Cookie Monster. Actually, so far, there hasn't been quite as much wit as there could be in the rephrasing of Sesame Street's tropes towards politics. But that isn't the point.
The point of this is, that while "Occupy Sesame Street" is meant to be a parody of the slogans of "Occupy Wall Street", it is probably being mostly carried out by people who are either neutral or favorable to the "Occupy Wall Street" movement. Even while pursuing a goal, our generation is going to indulge in pop culture references, irony and self-mockery.
And all of these are reasons why we will probably, eventually, win, because our generation can be flexible in its thinking, while the politics of an older generation are now as turgid and long-winded as Ayn Rand's prose.
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