A couple reasons why I’m on the sidelines with the Occupy Wall Street movement. 

Mid-October 2011

Ok, so I’ve been so busy making music and wrangling the new digital content it generates and getting shit done and generally running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I haven’t been able to pay as much attention as I would want to the burgeoning “Occupy Wall Street” movement, or the “American Spring”, as I’ve heard it alternately called.

In what scant “free” time I’ve had available recently, I’ve been relying on my citizen journalist friends/ bloggers to keep me at least somewhat up to speed with this movement, which looks like something I would actually get involved in (EXTREMELY unusual for me!), but haven’t due to the forementioned reason and one more: we’ve already lived through the nightmare of Chi’s A number (that’s what you get as a green card holding resident alien here) being flagged due to a legal SNAFU (a felony/reduced to misdemeanor domestic violence incident he got himself into within a few months of his arrival in California from Tokyo), resulting in him being detained and interrogated (in English, which he does not speak or understand) at immigration inspection at LAX every time he has tried to get back into this country after going somewhere, usually back to Tokyo to deal with the sort of business stuff that tends to pile up when you live overseas.

This went on for years, and I had to spend a lot of time and effort in a very frustrating process to make it go away.  Sometimes it seems as if I spend all my time and energy dealing with the insane amount of bullshit Chi seems to generate just by existing, but I digress….Digressing further, my take on Chi being detained repeatedly at the airport, which in my opinion was due as much to his slovenly appearance as the DV criminal record, is “Dude, the immigration authorities are under a mandate to keep people like you out of this country – they’re just doing their job!” And unusually well, I would add.  Anyway, after three years of endless bullshit — phone calls, letters, etc., to Washington DC, and lunch breaks from day job spent at DHS in downtown L.A. — I finally got the red flag removed.

Getting back on topic, when I found this post by one of my favorite music journalists in my RSS feed this morning, I thought we should get out to Occupy L.A. with our instruments (they’re acoustic so can be played without having to drag along cumbersome, unwieldy sound gear), and inspire the occupiers with some of our occasion-appropriate tunes, and maybe even invite listeners to write lyrics for them.  As soon as I thought that, I realized that Chi would never go for it.  He has expressed dismay and suspicion of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement ever since its inception, and decried the judgment of the occupiers, especially those getting arrested, for the grief they will face every time they try to go anywhere.  They’ll have a red flag alert attached to their passport number due to the arrest, and that will louse up every trip they take for years to come.  Oh well…. maybe I can participate online, as I cannot afford yet another protracted administrative ordeal.

Back to the post referenced above, when I read it, I felt positively blessed to be among the approximately 50% of American households that have a full-time professional job and owe taxes (and are not receiving some sort of government aid), even though I don’t know where I’m going to find the money to pay the taxes I owe since the income from the full time professional job does not quite completely cover our month-to-month household overhead, the Panache Orchestra is just barely operating at or near break-even, and Chi apparently has no plans to contribute to overhead.  I just asked him nicely if he could pay for the cat food last week since I was tapped out from paying for our tax prep, and he threw a fit….