Yesterday, we wandered around the Government Center in Downtown Miami-- site of the Occupy Miami tent-camp-- and found ourselves, well, a bit underwhelmed by the protest scene.
By now, Occupy Wall Street and Occuoy Miami protesters must know that their critics in the right-leaning-- or even mainstream-- media are gonna paint them with an extremely wide, tie-dyed brush. There's no need to play right into their stereotypes.
We're with you in philosophy, Occupiers. So please, take our constructive criticism. Lay off the following activities.
Lying down. Seriously, if you're gonna maintain comparisons to the civil rights movement, stop with the power naps. Think MLK suddenly curled into a comfy fetal position and got a little shut-eye while marching Birmingham? We saw at least three "protesters" lying flat against the pavement yesterday at three in the afternoon. C'mon, Garfield: Either do that in the seclusion of your tent or chug a damn 5-Hour Energy.
Using expensive computer equipment. You do see how an $1,800 Apple laptop kind of undermines this thing, right? Maybe use a black marker to try to disguise it as a Dell. Or, again hit the Tent of Shame. How are you getting wi-fi in Government Center anyway?
Hoisting ironic signage. Nothing wrong with being pithy. But with every Hannity wannabe clinging to the accusation that OWS doesn't know what its goals are, what do you think they're going to feature on their footage-- signs that are succinct, specific and sincere, or signs like the one we photographed above? Steve Colbert didn't organize this one. This is real.
In-fighting. No jostling to be the one who talks to reporters, or shit-talking the other. No signs protesting people smoking cigarettes in camp. (Yes, we really saw such a sign.) What is this, a meta-protest?
Forming drum circles. This is hugely important. You might want to post a bouncer-type to shake down protesters before they enter camp for any percussive instruments. There should be nary a freaking maraca to be seen. This isn't the 60s anymore, and these days the whole country associates drum circles with skipping freshman lit, playing an off-kilter rendition of "Is This Love" on the bongos on a campus lawn, and then hitting the dorm room for a baked four hour cat nap. And you already have our insight on cat naps.
Twirling. Also, dropping psychotropics and trying to describe God. Basically, any activity that would be at home during Burning Man should be verboten at OWS events.
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Puppies. We love puppies, we do. But all the animals don't really help combat the notion of Occupy Miami as hobo encampment. And adorable puggles just don't scream The Iron Fist of The People (unless they themselves are carrying awesome signs). Also, this should go without saying, but: no kittens.
Generally milling around. You standing around chatting with your fellow protester all day about home-brewing techniques doesn't really strike fear the in The Man's heart. Just. Say. One. Thing. Like, scream a thing or two.