After Mayor Bloomberg ordered the police to kick OCCUPY out of Zuccotti Park, Bill O’Reilly, the peevish talk show host, announced triumphantly, “Occupy is finished! Dead!” like it had been his personal victory.
O’Reilly is among those who feel threatened by OCCUPY, as other aging white males were by the 1960s youth movement, entirely left out, able only to stand aside and grind their decaying teeth in envy. It is the ancient battle of generations.
They are young. Their powers are growing. They will inherit the earth.
I am old. My powers are fading. I will die.
Le Combat Antique, in which two warriors, father and son, fight to the death.
James Joyce caught its pathos in Ecce Puer [Behold, a Boy].
Of the dark past / A child is born; With joy and grief /My heart is torn.
Calm in his cradle / The living lies. May love and mercy / Unclose his eyes!
Young life is breathed /On the glass; The world that was not / Comes to pass.
A child is sleeping: An old man gone. O, father forsaken, Forgive your son!
OCCUPY is likened to the youth movement of the 1960s which had three distinct objectives: Civil Rights, the Vietnam war, and sexual liberation. OCCUPY has expanded beyond its physical spaces and is now the air we breathe although its objectives are still undefined. Wall Street merely symbolizes the organized greed, financial predation, and multi-national rapine, that degrades our planet and debases our lives. History will one day more clearly specify what is now an inchoate yearning for a nation knit by love instead of split by hate. Love against hate is another ancient battle.
Splitting atoms release deadly energy and leave a residue of poison. But atoms can also fuse, releasing far more energy and no poison. If hate does not get us first, idealistic youth uncorrupted by age and pain, could bring us together. If only we would let them