Ed Driscoll

'Our Advice is Simple: Ditch the Coke Nail'

Well, there’s a phrase you don’t hear at Human Events too often. But Lori Ziganto and Jenn Taylor offer some rather solid  “Advice for the ’99 Percent’ Movement,” including the unfortunate woman in the above photo, who writes:

I’m ASHAMED to be an american,
where I’m ANYTHING BUT FREE.

& I won’t forgive the men who LIED,
and took that right from me

THE TIME IS NOW.

We are the 99%.

Dear “american” woman,

Our advice is simple: ditch the coke nail.

Seriously, just hack that nasty thing off your pinky and don’t look back. And bear with us, this might seem unconventional, but consider giving up the coke habit too.

If you don’t have your heart set on a decent job while you’re waiting for The Revolution to outlaw money and usher in a resource-based economy, we suppose you can keep your coke nail. But honestly, if that’s your choice, don’t count on your skills as a lyricist to get you by.

Times are tough since the bottom dropped out of the single-verse, anti-American song parody market. Your use of a lowercase “a” in “american” was a nice touch, but you’ll never impress your friends in the 99 Percent Movement if you continue to brazenly flaunt your filthy cultural hegemony. Try swapping “american” for the Occupy Wall Street-approved demonym “USian” and watch your career soar!

As Daniel Foster writes at the Corner, linking to the cri de coeur from a self-described “tattooed gender outlaw who makes ‘queer electronic punk music'” at the HuffPo:

The great, and probably terminal, flaw of the Left’s various grievance-group “isms” is that they implicitly rely on a world in which trade-offs have been abolished. It isn’t just that Samson should be free to move to New York and consecrate herself to her “art.” It’s that she should be free to do that while enjoying all the benefits of her choice and suffering none of the consequences. What she wants is not the freedom to choose but the freedom from having to choose.

What sort of worldview makes this fantasy conceivable? Well, if I had to pick just one French term of art popularized by a 19th-century German philologist to describe the Occupy Wall Street set and its attendants, it would be Nietzsche’s Ressentiment. Why does good old English “resentment” not suffice? Why is the extra ‘s’ and fancy French pronunciation required? Well, resentment is about begrudging the success of your betters as a way to avoid self-reflection on your own failures. The Nietzsche scholar Robert Solomon described resentment as an “impotence self-righteousness” directed at your superiors, and contrasted it with anger (directed at your equals) and contempt (directed at your inferiors). But ressentiment is what happens when you take that impotent self-righteousness and define a whole morality of good and evil in terms of it, build a whole belief system out of it, build an ideology, a political movement — an occupation.

Nietzsche’s work is highly problematic, and has of course been misappropriated and abused for a hundred years, but I think he got this much right on. He was also correct to point out that out that the leaders of men, the successful few — you might even call them the one percent — are too busy willing, acting, doing, and accomplishing to bitch about their “emotional crises.” Contrast with the likes of Samson, who in a stream of consciousness puts all her resentment on paper — writes it all down for the world to see — drawing a line — a squiggly, irrational line, but a line nonetheless — from her insecurity about not being able to make coffee or wait tables or draw a steady paycheck, to the demonization of Wall Street. Seriously, the first paragraph of her piece is all about how ill-equipped and incompetent she is (I didn’t say it, she did!) and the clarion cry at the end is that all this constitutes “Another reason to come together. Another reason to occupy Wall Street. Another reason for change.”

If this is how the other 99 percent think — or rather, don’t — we’re done for.

And who knows? We may well be; we’ll find out next November.

Related: I’m not sure what all the fuss is about, if, as this protester inadvertently assures us, “there is no corruption” on Wall Street. But just to be on the safe side, “I think we should go back to a more tribal society.” (Language warning, needless to say):

[youtube 74tsTDefpw8]