In case you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘jumping the shark’. It describes the moment in the history of a TV show where the popularity and salience of the show are irrecoverably in decline*. It’s derived from an episode of ‘Happy Days’ where the Fonz gets on some water skis, clad in his signature leather jacket, and proceeds to literally jump over a shark.
I’ll preface the rest of this with the following: I don’t like Occupy Wall Street. I love the idea of separating politics and money and bringing reform to the system. But I have no taste for much of anything they do to make that point.
With Occupy Wall Streets decision to ‘Occupy’ the subways they have jumped the proverbial shark.
The goal of this occupation of 16 subway stations, from what I gather, is to talk to people, tell their stories of why they’re protesting, etc. (not shut down the subways as some news agencies have reported) It seems that while Occupy Wall Street is in touch with the vast majority of people with their main point of getting money out of politics, they’re wildly out of touch with New York City.
Maybe these people forgot what it’s like to ride the subways since they’ve been camping in the City for two months.
Maybe you, reader, aren’t aware of what it’s like to ride the subways in New York.
Luckily for you I frequent the subways and can shed some light on what it’s like.
Here’s a detailed breakdown:
- Start above ground with your desired subway station entrance in your sights
- Walk towards said entrance
- Walk down the stairs
- Arrive underground
- Wait for train and…
- Ignore fucking everything around you
- Get on train
- Repeat step #6
That’s how a typical subway experience goes. That’s not an exaggeration.
Part of the unwritten code of the subway is not to talk to anyone. If someone talks to you and says anything outside of, ‘hey where do I get off to get to ___?’ or the like, you assume that person is a lunatic or is at the very least is going to shank you.
Case in point:
I know the picture is a bit blurry, my bad, but notice the guy in the foreground obeying the unwritten code of subterranean travel by ignoring everything…including the harpist and me taking the photo. This was not taken in a moment out of context to the situation, nobody paid attention to that guy.
What does ‘occupying’ the subways accomplish?
Yes, I get it, you’re poor and have no job and your favorite band just broke up but maybe you shouldn’t have spent $2.25 to be ignored by people who are just finishing their work day who completely don’t care about your problems and just want to get the hell out of the subway without being bothered by a possible shank artist?
Even if people get over the fear of being stabbed by you, what are you to gain from telling a person that will forget you once fresh air hits their lungs?
This whole thing is becoming a contest to see how far people can go before they:
A) get arrested
B) coax a cop into violently arresting them so they can put it on the interent
C) get a shout out from Keith Olbermann because they got violently arrested and posted the video on the internet
As mentioned by our own Scott St. John, the media is increasingly covering everything but the reason for the protests.
Maybe these people (the whole lot of the occupy movements) can take a cue from effective protests of the past and convene on Washington, where the country is actually governed from and work to affect change that way. They obviously have the time and have clearly mastered the use of public transportation. They can have story time on the way down.
See The Fonz jump the shark here
*Happy Days didn’t technically go into decline at that moment, it lasted 7 more seasons, but for some reason that concept is attributable to that episode. So if OWS recovers, decides to be productive, create a clearer message that doesn’t lend credence to some of the extremist, nihilistic or anarchic views and gains ground, I’ll still be right.