Occupy Wall Street Plus Halloween: My Cunning Plan for a Little Political Compassion
Great trick-or-treaters last night on my street. Some years we just get kids from the block. They're great. But last night we got spillover from the Halloween gala on Swiss Avenue a block away. When that happens, we get an even bigger window on the festival. Got me thinking. Check me on this.
Halloween on Swiss Avenue is its own very uniquely East Dallas kind of affair. People pile in by the van- and pickup-load from all over this part of the city. Homeowners put on special shows for them and provision themselves with enough candy for 2,500 to 3,500 sticky little hands per house.
The children and their parents form an enormous mass up and down the street. For hours the laughter of the children is like the roar of a crowd in a vast arena. But better.
Invariably, however, there is also a sadly biting edge in the event, because it is also a window on poverty. We had adults coming to the door last night without children. Some of them may have been collecting for children too little to carry their own bags, but I couldn't help suspecting that others may have been collecting candy that was to be food for themselves or somebody else.
I think that's probably tough to do. Embarrassing. Maybe even humiliating. You would only do it because you absolutely had to. I tried to hand the candy out to them in a way that was neutrally cheerful, but, you know. There was an underlying awkwardness.
So I had a great idea. Take the phenomenon on Swiss -- thousands of children in scary costumes going to the great houses for good-humored hand-outs -- and marry it a little to Occupy Wall Street. Think about it.
Next year Halloween will fall one week before the 2012 presidential election. So what if someone were to gather up great busloads of the poor on Halloween evening, 2012 -- I'm talking a mobilization of millions of people nationwide -- and drive them to places like Highland Park, Texas, or Highland Park, Illinois, to beg for treats?
Photos by Anna Merlan Again: Some of these people in front of Dallas City Hall are in costume. Some of these people are not.
Hey, all the kids should be Super Marios, firemen and princesses. I'm talking regular good old Halloween. If some adults want to come along without kids, just looking for a bite to eat, that would be swell too. The important thing would be the numbers.
Millions of the poor, paying a visit to the rich, just before the election. Human contact. That's all. Here we are. Lookin' at you. And all your stuff.
What do I think it would accomplish? I'm not sure. I just think it would be a good thing for the 1 percent to get a good close eyeball-to-eyeball look at the 99 percent and vice versa. It would be healthy for all of us to realize how physically close we are to each other. A hop, skip and a jump.
So what effect would it have on the election? Would it make all the fence-sitters in Highland Park vote for Rick Perry to protect them from the mob? Could be. But how many fence-sitters are there in Highland Park? I think they're going to be pretty much 100 percent in his yard anyway.
It might just go the other way. It might give people on the 1-percent side a good eyeful of the people on the 99-percent side. Wow. There sure are a lot of them. Just how hard can you push on the 99 percent and still be safe and secure on the 1-percent side? Maybe it's time for some mercy, or, as they used to call it, common decency. I believe that would be a vote against Perry.
Food for thought. Or candy, as the case may be.