The Occupy Movement has garnered a reaction from almost everyone around the world. Hippies and the like grabbed a few necessities and headed on down to their local parks to have their voices heard. The one percent and Fox News simply roll their eyes and claim there’s no validity to the movement. There’s the in between that aren’t quite sure where they should stand. There’s the indifferent. Then there are the supporters of either the ninety-nine percent or the one percent. If you’re Jay Z, however, you grab a Rockawear t-shirt that reads “Occupy All Streets” and slap a $22 price tag on it, where the proceeds will in no way benefit the movement that it references. Brilliance? Maybe not so much!
Jay Z should have conducted a simple research study or sought out a focus group before executing on this idea. It was simply in poor taste. After the Tea Party opportunity passed him by, he must have decided that he wouldn’t let another chance to ride the fame off of a movement pass him by. He was obviously, “watching the throne”, his own throne that is. Who references a movement yet donates zero proceeds to the cause or an Occupy-Movement-approved cause?
Unexpectedly for Jay Z, the “Occupy All Streets” t-shirts didn’t go over so well. It generated tons of publicity, but it wasn’t flattering to say the least. So, the t-shirts quickly went off sale on the Rockawear website. Hopefully, a lesson was learned: useless products for profit spinning off of meaningful non-profit ideas yield ninety-nine problems.
Hopefully, people won’t get too caught up in attacking Jay Z too much. While he is a very wealthy man and an opportunist, he isn’t the biggest of our problems. We have bigger individuals to hold accountable over the following: wars for profit, corporations with record profits doing massive layoffs, corporations deep in our Congress, corporate lobbying, and banks being bailed out by us. One of the commenters, Stan Chaz (contact us if you would like us to remove your comment!), on the Wall Street Journal put it best:
“Some people worry about t-shirts. I am concerned about what has happened to this country that I love so much. America USED to work. The people had work. The system worked. Hey, EVEN the Congress used to work (sometimes). God knows, it was far, far, far from perfect -but at least we all had some share in the struggles AND the rewards. But somewhere along the way, we lost our way. Because now we have an economy and a political system that seems to work only for the rich. What they call “trickle down economics”….leaves most of us out in the cold cold rain. We need to get back to what America was, and what it should be, and what it can be. Occupy Wall Street is no longer just a place called Zuccotti Park – Zuccotti Park is everywhere. You can beat us and arrest us and tear-gas us, you can try to “permit” us to death….but you can’t kill an idea. You can’t keep down a people’s hopes and dreams for a better life…..a life with dignity and freedom….for us, and for our kids. More power to Occupy Wall Street, as it spreads to every town and city – because OWS is us, and for us, and by us. It comes up from the grassroots, and it lifts us up in turn. With OWS America has found it’s voice, and that voice demands fairness and justice -for ALL. This land IS our land! AND WE WANT IT BACK! We want our LIVES back! We want our FUTURE back! But it’s more than just words…. it’s more than just politics…. it’s your LIFE, and how you want to live it. So why not take some time, find a quiet place somewhere, and consider this: Each of us has only one brief life….one chance….one roll of the dice….and many choices. It’s time to choose….to risk…and to act. If not now…then when? If not you, then….who? You DO have the power my friend….and the choice is yours. Don’t let your dreams die.”
Perhaps what we take away from this is that we should just make our own t-shirts at home!
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