Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Camping and Occupying

Over the past two weeks, there have been several violent Occupy episodes around the US.  Some minor....some more significant.  The DC cops came out and hinted that they were prepared now to ratchet up the 'tough-cop' level, because of various issues.

Years ago....I had a discussion with a Army NCO who had done numerous maneuvers, deployments, and camping trips while serving in the Army.  In his mind, there were four distinctive stages of "camping-out".

The first was the initial 72-hour period where it felt like a Boy Scout Jamboree.  You were excited.  Tent-city went up quick.  You got up early in the morning and could have this wonderful fresh smell in the air.  Things tended to work well in that initial period.  

By the fourth day.....some issues start to develop.  The free coffee provided isn't that great.  Food isn't as good as the initial period.  This period runs for about five days.  The walk to the shower facility each morning isn't that pleasant.  The toilet facilities are becoming less sanitary.

Around day eleven, you move into an odd week.  Your initial clothing has been washed now, and their deployed cleaning situation isn't as good as your own washer at home.  The food is awful.  You start to complain about the guys in the tent who snore.  You have daily arguments in the tent about personal issues that you'd normally never discuss.  Some folks start missing their boyfriends, girlfriends, wives, husbands, or whatever.  This is usually when you sneak off for a night....buy an illegal six-pack of beer and smoke a dozen smokes by some tree.  You've lost your real desires for this camping trip between day eleven and day twenty.

So around the third week....the thrill of this camping experience has worn off.  When the First Sargent has directed folks to get involved and guide this crew to do a stupid act simply to keep them busy.....you start to slow down and get stupid.   You dislike the whole crew, the whole brigade.  Your clothing isn't ever fresh.  Your food is lousy.  And your belief in this whole deployment is started to fizzle a bit.  If this is an exercise.....you simply count the days on a calendar until you can leave.

I gaze over to the Occupy crowd, and I kinda see the same behavior now.  The fun isn't there anymore.  It's cold at night.  You've had your fill of this business now after four weeks.  You'd like to sleep in a real house.  Your love interest is now becoming a daily thing on your mind.

When does Occupy end?  You'd like to have a calendar and a magic day.....but you don't have that.  And some idiot is talking about standing your ground until November of 2012.  Your frustrations are mounting. Your hostility toward cops and regular people is doubling up every single day.  You consume beer and weed now on a daily basis.....just to lessen the frustration.

And somewhere there....you are beginning to question every single day now.