I am in New York for a few days of mixed business and pleasure. When I mentioned to the trimgal that I would be dropping by the occupation zone, she insisted, "Don't you dare get arrested. You have to pick me up at the airport on Tuesday." I assured her I could behave.
I got to the Park at about 4pm, and walked around a bit, drinking in the chaos in action.
I have been reading on and off about the movement, and how decentralized, and even schizophrenic it was. Now that I saw the people gathered, it was reinforced twenty-fold.
I can understand why people, and reporters, and pundits and politicians are wanting to know, "What do you people want?" And it is clear to me, and anyone who visits the site, that the folks gathered cannot be easily categorized. Any single label applied universally misses the mark.
Based on signs and labels displayed, and positions advocated, I saw and heard:
Veterans back to WWII (OK, I did not specificallly see a Korean War vet)
Environmentalists practicing their passion
I will concentrate on the musicians, particularly the drummers.
My background is in high school marching bands. I was in a state champion band as a student, and then when I was a teacher a decade later, I also helped out with another state champion band.
It is not surprising that my taste in percussion is crisp, precise, and uniform. This is not what you get at OWS. You get a handful of drummers of different skill levels and styles. Others join in to express their joy in the drumming. Some lag behind the beat. Some cannot anticipate the transitions the group is making. An outsider searching for coherence and uniformity in the rhythmns produced would be sadly disappointed. Professional judges from Drum Corps International couldn't begin to understand what was going on using their background. And yet the drumming continues, and increases.
I leave analysis of the metaphor as an exercise for the reader.