Protesters raise awareness, body odor

My awareness has been raised.

Here’s what I know: most of the world’s people live in poverty, sweatshops are just plain awful, nature is on the run, unions improve working conditions, women are oppressed, people of color are oppressed, killing animals to eat them hurts the animals, children should be educated, people should live in houses, people shouldn’t be executed at random, news media that are owned by corporations are biased in favor of corporations, democratic governments and non-democratic governments should act democratically, and this University is our University.

I’m also aware, this weekend, that most of the problems in the world are linked to our institutions – the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, for instance – and our way of life, capitalism.

I’m aware. I’ve been aware for a few weeks now because of all this activity, and I shared some of my new information with a friend of mine. He had also been made aware.

I already knew there was suffering in the world, he said. I just didn’t care.

Now that I think about it, I knew all this stuff before too. It’s true I’d never seen it demonstrated in puppet form or had it chanted at me, but I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that the world is full of unnecessary suffering and ugliness. I’m from LA, after all.

Anyway, since I was aware, I also decided to mobilize. I went out and walked around.

People gave me leaflets. According to the leaflets, I should support both isolationism and globalization (a nicer globalization though). I should reform the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and I should smash them.

People chanted, sang, played drums and danced. I didn’t chant, sing, play drums or dance – it was hot and humid, so I was too irritated to do anything like that.

I also didn’t chant because I don’t care for any of the chants. More world, less bank. What does that even mean? It’s one thing to say you want more world, but where are the plans to get it? Are we annexing the moon? Defrosting Canada? What?

Now I wonder if I should have joined in. Maybe if I’d also chanted, or if I’d joined a dance or two, something would have happened. A friend asked me to hold her sign; the sign said Stop Corporate Greed and had a picture of a stop sign, and I wouldn’t hold it. Hours later, as I write this, corporate greed goes on unabated. I just paid $1.15 for a Coke at CVS.

People were constantly asking me to join any number of human chains, and I wouldn’t do that either. As I write, much of the world remains imprisoned, chained, if you will, by the powers that be.

People also asked me to take copies of communist and socialist newspapers. I didn’t. Now it’s late in the evening, and capitalism prevails, not just in the heart and mind of 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez, but everywhere.

Yeah, so, maybe I didn’t mobilize so much as watch other people mobilize.

I don’t want to mock the protests or the protesters anymore because people take these things very seriously. It’s like religion or historic preservation in that sense. Actually, I’d just rather not talk about these protests anymore.

You know what I like? Television. We’re getting close to those May sweeps, so it’s about to get really good.

I saw a preview for this one movie on NBC. It’s called The 70s. It picks up where last year’s The 60’s left off. That was all about people getting swept up in protests. It was just like today when . nevermind.

You know what I like? Chinos. I just got two new pairs, flat front. Pleats, you understand, are 15 minutes ago, according to People magazine. So I just walked up to the GAP… oh jeez.

There’s just no way around this. I’m paralyzed by awareness. It’s all stuck in my head, like Sisqo’s Thong Song.

Since I’m suffering – not as much as most of the world’s population – I’m curious to know what’s going to happen now. As far as I know, not only do the World Bank and IMF continue to exist, they’re having meetings as planned. In addition to those two institutions, the U.S. government, capitalism, patriarchy, racism and meat-eating go on unchecked.

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