Wanker of the Day: Richard Cohen

Richard Cohen is at it again. I read him so you don’t have to. Today, he is here to defend the honor of the Occupy protesters against charges of anti-Semitism. But once he is done setting the record straight on that score, he wants to make sure that no one accuses him of having any sympathy for the dirty hippies who are smoking dope in Lower Manhattan. You are going to love this stuff.

Occupy Wall Street has become an event for its own sake, a destination for the aimless. It is something that occurs on countless iPhone cameras, a tourist attraction with the usual vendors, the usual zaftig young women doing the usual arrhythmic dance, somehow missing the beat of many drums. The nostalgic scent of pot wafts occasionally through the air, and I feel so much younger. This, I’m sure, will bring an end to the Vietnam War.

Fat, stoned chicks who can’t dance. That’s what these protests are about. (By the way, CabinGirl beat me in Scrabble recently by using ‘zaftig’ for a triple-word score). Cohen has visited the OWS protests twice now, so he’s an expert on their views.

On a given day, I decide that Occupy Wall Street is about nothing and then I decide it is the Herman Cain campaign in aggregate, just a media event that has captured the flea-thoughts of many Americans. Then I decide it is an incoherent articulation of anger at the institutions that have failed us, including — by way of both self-pity and self-flagellation — the media. It seems, above all, a conspiracy to have left-leaning writers make jackasses of themselves by imparting grave and grand meaning to what is little more than a vast sleepover.

I like his use of the word ‘flea-thoughts.’ That’s very nice. I can see that Cohen still shares my initial impression of the Wall Street protests, which was that it was a tired and doomed exercise that distracted the left from the battles in Washington. But these protests have proven to have staying power and they’re adding franchises in new cities on a regular basis. They seem to have a little more significance than your average sleepover. In Oakland, the police seem particularly hostile. Why are they tear-gassing what is little more than a vast sleepover?

Also, too, Mr. Cohen forgot to complain about the patchouli.

16 comments for “Wanker of the Day: Richard Cohen

  1. October 27, 2011 at 5:44 am

    You were cheated.

    “Zaftig” is not English.

    Check the rules.

  2. October 26, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    wants to make sure that no one accuses him of having any sympathy for the dirty hippies who are smoking dope in Lower Manhattan.

    How much you wanna bet that Cohen uses medicinal marijuana for his MS?

  3. NMP
    October 26, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    “But these protests have proven to have staying power and they’re adding franchises in new cities on a regular basis.”

    I agree with you for the most part, but I have to laugh at this because it sounds like the typical person born after 1975 that has no historical perspective.  This movement is less than two months old.  By what historical standard could you in all seriousness say it has proven to have staying power?  Staying power is a movement of mostly poor, disenfranchised, southern, black, domestic workers and laborers walking several miles to and from work everyday for an entire year.  Then a movement born from that year long boycatt that had to incumbate 10 more years until the passage of the civil rights act. Seventy years passed between the Seneca Falls Convention and the passage of the 19th Amendment.  That’s staying power.  OWS hasn’t had a test of staying power–yet.  

  4. October 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    You allowed zaftig  in scrabble? Its not english!

  5. October 26, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    On Cohen (and why, oh why do we bother?):

    I have nothing against boomers per se. I’m married to one, for goodness sake. But I’m just young enough to have missed the ’60s entirely, evn as a kid (it didn’t help that I spent a lot of my childhood in South Carolina, where for white people the ’60s never happened). And I have spent the last 35 years listening to boomer figures in the media comparing every left-of-center protest to the ’60s, usually in order to belittle the protest, belittle the ’60s, or both. Boomers I know in real life moved on a long time ago. What is it about people like Cohen that they can’t let go of this tired trope?

    Most people in OWS weren’t in the ’60s; neither were their parents. Maybe their grandparents were. These folks are creating their own thing. But boomer narcissism, at least in the corporate media, seems perpetual.

  6. October 26, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Just this morning my local cable news show (NECN) had a feature about playhouses of the obscenely rich — children’s playhouses, custom designed and built, starting in the five figures and going well into the six, luxurious mini-mansions, fully furnished.

    At segment’s end, one anchor commented to the other something like “Well, now we know what the one percent are spending their money on”; both managed not to let their eyes actually roll; and they went on to the next segment.

    The reality of the dichotomy is taking root in people’s minds.

  7. October 26, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Oh yeah, and those so fresh so clean plutocrats are having a wee bit of trouble keeping their big shitpile respectably behind close doors:

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/sleight_of_hand_uy96iNSbW99JHMRnbxgvfL

    Hey, they can always get the Fed to clean it up. What else are federal authorities good for if not to deal with or not deal with your inconvenient externalized messes.

  8. October 26, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Off topic but not really:

    GSachs Director charged with insider trading

    What do you know, big people who smell so nice and live just exemplary lives of moral probity, and geez who would never sit around smoking pot and fornicating (not in public certainly) with all the right furniture and cars, sometimes have to answer a few questions before a grand jury. I’m staggered. The FBI discovered a little corner of it’s jurisdiction over corruption in the Financial sector.

  9. October 26, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Patchouli: The older I get the more that scent makes me gag. It’s hard to believe I spent a decade in my youth inhaling that aroma and LIKED it. Aging alters sensory perception–I think that’s a fact.

    But, on topic: I felt the same as you when OWS got started but I feel a growing sense of excitement and optimism over its evolution. Yet my dread grows apace. As it gains momentum, I’m afraid we’ll get a Kent State or a Watts Riot… an event that brutally suppresses or discredits… or both.

    Also: The “they-were-throwing-rocks” defense from the Oakland police for using tear-gas is a real blast from the past. For many years, I kept a tear-gas canister as a souvenir from an event where we were standing around, peacefully singing “We Shall Overcome” when we got attacked. The local newspaper coverage was a total fabrication, a narrative of angry youths being subdued by stalwart public protectors. Maybe iPhones and YouTube will make a difference this time…

    Yeah, I’ve got this feeble flame of hope I keep shielding from the hard winds of reality.

  10. October 26, 2011 at 10:27 am

    He forgot to mention Birkenstocks for the trifecta.

  11. October 26, 2011 at 10:09 am

    You know, this didn’t happen at my last sleepover.

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