Monday, October 17, 2011

927 Let's You and Him Fight

927 Let’s You and Him Fight

In 1981 Eric Berne’s book “Games People Play” was a best seller and it put “transactional analysis” on the cultural map.  One of the games Berne named was “let’s you and him fight.”  That’s where a woman sets things up so two guys fight over her and she walks off with a third guy.

This is what’s being played with some of those who want to escalate “Occupy Wall Street” into a bloody urban battle.

Let’s (you guys) break some windows.  Let’s (you guys) break some heads.  Not to say that would be all bad.  But you don’t much hear that stuff from people on the scene.

Here in central PA a few years ago, we had public disturbance over a football game.  Pretty big by local standards.  Everyone around here called it a “riot.”  It wasn’t.  People who used the term -- and that’s everyone from the cops on up and on down -- have never been in or near a riot. Distance changes perception -- both ways.

This space has long said that people who weren’t in New York or Washington on 9/11/01 don’t get the Trade Center or Pentagon attacks.  Distance again.

And those of us who aren’t in one of the more than 100 locations playing (reluctant?) host to Occupy Wall Street and its offshoots and siblings can see the situation in several ways.

We look at the police handling of the protesters in New York and it seems more violent than it might actually be.  Or we look at the protesters themselves and say “they don’t know what they want, they don’t know anything and they don’t have a plan.  They’re just a bunch of shaggy, scruffy college students.”  Neither of these perceptions is necessarily true.


A third way of looking at all this is “let’s you and him fight.”  We’ll come down on the side of a “third guy.”

Good will come of the protests.  But blood will be spilled.  Righteous corporate income will be sacrificed along with the nefarious profits that should be destroyed along with the people who take rather than earn them.

In point of fact, most of us are being screwed, which is nothing new.  Unscrewing requires a reexamination of one of the basic axioms of American business:  “Profit and growth ueber alles.”  Nothing wrong with making a profit, and growing.  But how much and how much?  And in what way and on whose back?

Wall Street’s answer to this has been “you don’t understand the wonderful things we do for you.”  Oh, yes we do.


Herman Cain’s tax plan?  He calls it 9-9-9.  Should be nein-nein-nein.

--Another one bites the dust:  ABC cancelled the remake series “Charlie’s Angels” almost as fast as NBC cancelled “The Playboy Club.”  Guess viewers just aren’t into pretty girl nostalgia.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2011

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