The Tale of A Lazy College Tuesday

She was hanging out at the all-male “Purple House” one lazy college afternoon. Most of the guys were out of the house so it was just her and two of her closest college buddies. They were sitting together on the couch in a dilapidated living room that was kinda trying to be decent and also kinda looked like no one gave a damn. Interesting blend.

She and B smoked a little weed then just sat there watching Next Friday. Nothing important was being accomplished that day. Before she knew it J was walking through the door talking mad fast about this hip hop dancer he’d found on YouTube.

They ended up sitting on the couch for what felt like hours watching every single video this guy ever put out. They were totally mesmerized.

By this time it was getting dark outside so more people were showing back up to the house. Beers were being drunk. The TV was taken over. Yeah, the guys were home for sure. All of a sudden the comment was made, “Yo, lets bust out the Nintendo 64.”

Agreement erupted from the group.

She decides to exude her influence. “Ok, but let’s play 007-Goldeneye and I bet not one of you can beat me. Any mode, any player, any level. I’ll destroy you all.”

At that, the guys start wrestling for which 3 would get a controller to go up against this formidable female. They all believed she was full of crap and didn’t stand a chance against them, but never expressed a word of it.

Little did they know…

Less than 15 minutes later all but 1 guy still stood against her. The other two had given up in frustration, muttering something under their breath about how long it had been since they played. No one had eliminated her even once. The last bro standing had already died about 20 times in the game but still, he played on. Perhaps his ego was the type that needed a slow death.

They decided to go into the cave level on proximity mines. Yes, she knew this was the easiest way to finish him off…but he didn’t know that. No need for him to suffer.

He had decided that if he was killed one more time before he got his first kill, that was it. He would quit immediately. Two minutes into the game he was ended by a series of well place proximity mines. And with that, the controller was thrown across the room. “This is shit”, was loudly proclaimed in anger and the house unenthusiastically exclaimed, “Damn, she wasn’t kidding about being good”, in unison as if rehearsed.

Yeah. She liked that.

As she was packing up to leave in the glow of her unilateral killing spree, T walked up to her somewhat sheepishly and said, “Sorry about your car. We can do something about that.”

She walked outside to see the front left corner of her car smashed in from T backing in the driveway without looking carefully.

Ironic.

Luckily, T wasn’t one of the guys she just destroyed in the game or he would be a legit next level sore loser. No, he was just inebriated.

Moral of the story = Don’t drink and drive, kids. But always beat boys at 007.

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The Tale of the 99 Percent.

Ahhhh, the good ‘ole days of the Occupy Wall Street movement. “Yes, those were the times”, he reflected back to himself.

When it all started in 2011 it was everywhere on the news. As much as he wanted to ignore what was happening or make stupid jokes about how “they’re all just a bunch of hippies or leftists” it was nearly impossible for him to stay in that frame of mind. These people were saying what he had been thinking for the majority of his adulthood thus far. The only real difference between he and these people in New York City was geography. He lived as a broke college student in the southern United States, watching the events unfold with both hesitancy and the growing belief that their message was actually like, really important, and like, profound.

As the movement grew he noticed every walk of life participating; people in suits, homeless, college students, interns, elderly, hippies, conservatives, liberal…basically every kind of person. It wasn’t a matter of “republican vs. democrat” it was consolidated wealth vs. everyone else; the 1 percent vs. the 99 percent; greed vs. fairness. People knew something was wrong with our economic and political system, but for a long time it was hard to know what exactly the issue was. This was the first time when it appeared that people were catching on to more than just what the nightly news had taught us. In fact, most of these people were no longer listening to the nightly news at all. They were studying their own lives and coming up confused. They went to university for 4+ years, only to leave with $40k+ in debt and enter a job market that was limited with income potential minimal. The housing bubble had burst a few years previous and we watched our government absorb the fault and failures of major companies that caused the issue in the first place, creating a bill that we were responsible for. Many of these protestors were working 40+ hours per week in jobs they were over-qualified for and still barely getting by. It didn’t make sense.

He began to watch the online live streams of passionate speeches made in the middle of Wall Street’s financial district, a.k.a. the Zuccotti Park and became utterly convinced that this movement was actually speaking up for him. It represented all of us, minus 1 percent. At the movement’s height 30,000 people demonstrated in or around Zuccotti Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, Union Square, and Foley Square. And that was only NYC. Across the nation and then across the world hundreds of Occupy protests emerged. It was beautiful to watch.

Inevitably, without clear leadership and a strong plan the movement slowly began to get infiltrated by anarchists or a general sense of lethargy. Police had had enough in most of the cities where “occupiers” were taking their stand and the protest was all but forgotten by March 2012. Undoubtedly, some amount of awakening took place throughout the world but nothing large enough to enact effective change to the economic or political structures that favored the extremely rich.

Not until he watched what happened on November 8, 2016.

The Occupy movement may have gone underground and quiet but it never stopped being the heartbeat of so many Americans. The election of Donald Trump is unlikely to be claimed as the desire of the movement, but in a way it is a clear result of what was being argued. The irony of irony’s in the situation is that a “1 percenter” is now trying to become the hero of the “99”. It looks silly at times, and almost downright unbelievable to him, still to this day. Yet, as awkward and uncomfortable as the Occupy movement was at its inception, it began to make sense more with time. Perhaps this President will too?

He holds his breath and continues to watch like everyone else.

This year will be the 7th anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Things are beginning to change and perhaps the scales are on their way to becoming more balanced. Yet, what he can’t help but think is that without a more socially active citizenry, a Congress that includes more of whom relate to and can accurately represent millennials, and a general overhaul of what is societally accepted when it comes to the wage gap and big, legacy businesses, the 99 will continue to suffer. Wow, what a run on sentence.

So let’s do something. It doesn’t have to be an “us vs. them” scenario anymore. Let’s just come to the table, listen to each other, learn the concerns and needs of each group and resolve this incredible inequality. Or hell, just stop being so damn greedy you 1 percenters. He may be an idealist but he, like many millennials, believes that there is a way forward that doesn’t mean anyone has to lose.

Let’s just freaking do something and stop waiting for someone else to.