The Sun-Sentinel's Gary Stein is FED UP. Fed up with you dirty no-good life-inconveniencing protesters! You just don't know how to protest properly! That is to say, you're not a proper protester and you will never get anything done because GARY STEIN SAYS SO.
And so, he took to his column to give you dirty protesters a schooling!
In Stein's mind, things don't change not because of a lack of protests, but because protestors today dress bad, and use the Internet, and do things that inconvenience people of Stein's ilk who just want to get on with their day of paying bills online and yelling at those damn dirty kids and their iPots and their MyFace and Twitbook to get off his lawn.
In Stein's day, protesters didn't inconvenience people, or cause a nuisance. Vietnam protests were done the right way! They wore clean clothes and stayed out of the way. THAT'S WHY AMERICA PULLED OUT OF VIETNAM BECAUSE PEOPLE DRESSED GOOD. But kids and their hippity hop music and their hackers are just a bunch of clueless slobs who don't know how to properly protest. Also, their farts smell bad. Unlike the Vietnam protesters back in Stein's day, whose farts smelled of lilac and cinnamon.
Let's take a gander at Stein's column more closely shall we:
I enjoy a good protest as much as the next guy.
Oh do you. Already we're off to a fantastic start where Stein tries to be all folksy by saying he enjoys protest the same way you or I say we enjoy a pumpkin spice latte.
Back in my college days, I even participated in anti-war protests.
This is the anti-protester 's version of "I'm not racist, I have many black friends!"
But the protesters back in the 60s actually got people on their side, whether it was Vietnam or civil rights or whatever.
Today's protesters think they can get the job done by being cute on social media and antagonizing people, as we've seen in South Florida and nationally.
People back in Stein's day LOVED protesters. I mean they loved the shit out of them! Did you know that no protester was ever shot in the face or vanished or beaten up or had dogs siced on them back then? IT'S TRUE! Protesters in the 60s were beloved by EVERYONE. They hugged and cuddled them and gave them warm soup in a thermos. AMERICA EMBRACED PROTESTERS IN THE 60s.
You know, like when California Senate's Fact-Finding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities said the then-UC Berkeley's president had "opened the campus gates to communists" when he allowed students to protest on campus in 1961.
And people definitely joined the side of civil rights protesters, like the over sixty or so Freedom Fighters who were arrested when they stepped off a bus in Mississippi that one time. Or, every single time. We forget.
The 60s was a magical place where people rode on steeds and protesters were met with love and whimsey!
After seeing the protests of recent weeks, I have a couple of suggestions for the protesters of today.
Don't be gutless. Earlier this month, we had some creeps called Anonymous who hacked into the city of Fort Lauderdale's website to protest regulations against the homeless.
Yeah, what courage on the part of the Anonymous. No names, nothing but a guy in a video wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, which a lot of protesters seem to like even though I'm sure they have no idea who Guy Fawkes was.
What did Anonymous accomplish?
Well, they really inconvenienced residents who wanted to pay bills, check beach conditions or search criminal databases. From all reports, we still have homeless people in Fort Lauderdale.
DON'T BE GUTLESS, PROTESTERS. SHOW YOUR FACE. Because if we've learned anything in this country, it's that the government and police agencies are nothing if not fair and completely reasonable when it comes to people wanting to be heard and justice to be done.
Oh, Stein knows you don't know who Guy Fawkes is! BUSTED! You're uneducated because you're on the Internet all day looking at cat videos and not allowing Stein to look up criminal records for his haughty articles about how young people today don't don't know who Guy Fawkes is.
A REAL PROTESTER IS AN EDUCATED ONE WITH GUTS. AND NOTHING BAD EVER HAPPENS TO THOSE TYPES OF PROTESTERS.
And how about the buffoons who went to Mayor Jack Seiler's house to picket and protest?
All of you folks, Anonymous and the rest of you, give protesters a bad name.
Don't bring traffic to a standstill for hours: Then we had the folks who were protesting for a good cause -- police brutality and discrimination against minorities. They were upset about the lack of indictments in cases in Missouri and New York, in particular.
Back in Stein's day, protesters would NEVER disrupt traffic or inconvenience regular folks and interrupt their lives. NEVER!
Unless you think shutting down major highways, and inconveniencing people for hours -- and doing it for several days -- is a great way to get the public to support you.
Protesters shut down I-195 during Art Basel in Miami last week.
In Broward, protesters blocked off parts of Broward Boulevard, Federal Highway and Las Olas Boulevard, bringing traffic to a halt.
"People here are angry," said Verhonda Williams, an attorney who organized the Broward event.
She posted her protest call on Facebook in the morning, and got over 100 people to join by late afternoon.
And what did it accomplish?
Nothing except making people angry. People who might very well be sympathetic to the cause.
Let me say again -- blocking streets and highways for hours is a lousy way to protest.
Yes...you're accomplishing nothing by stopping traffic and keeping people from getting home to watch Netflix or see who gets cut from The Voice.
How dare you inconvenience the lives of people to make your voice heard for an hour about people who died unjustly at the hands of police, who happened to get away with it without even a trial of some kind.
Sure, the families of these dead people are suffering inconvenience of their own and minorities live their daily lives afraid they might get shot and killed because a cop mistook the sandwich in their hand for a gun. BUT THAT'S NO REASON TO KEEP THE REST OF US FROM GETTING HOME TO WATCH A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS FOR THE 67,849th TIME!
Also, these protests are keeping Stein from getting home to watch Jeopardy! And you know very well he WILL get the Daily Double correct if it's about Guy Fawkes! Unlike you protesters of today who do nothing but make old white people super mad. YOU WILL CHANGE NOTHING!
Don't be total slobs: People liked the Occupy Wall Street protesters for awhile, until they started turning towns into pig sties.
Don't be slobs, protesters! Dress nicely. Wear a tie and a suit and put on some Bruut like me!
Because the 60s were nothing if not clean. In no way shape or form did any of the 1960s protesters ever smell bad or have long dirty hair. Pfft.
If protesters want to really get something done, here's how.
LISTEN UP, EVERYBODY! MIDDLE-AGED WHITE GUY WHO KNOWS WHO GUY FAWKES IS IS ABOUT TO TELL US HOW TO DO THIS PROTESTING THING THE RIGHT WAY!
You want to protest police or government, do it at city halls or at police stations.
Yes, by all means. Do it where no one will notice you and where you're 89 percent more likely to get arrested. And in no way would Stein write a column about how all you protesters managed to get done was not allow the police out of their stations to go arrest people.
In other words, do it where it will get the least amount of news attention as possible. Because all blocking traffic for miles does is get the news vans and news choppers out there and force the News Plex Team to talk about the protests first because our society is so lacking in empathy that it needs to be startled out of its daily routine to notice that people are dying at the hands of the government and the government is doing the exact opposite of stopping it from continuing to happen.
Do it at government meetings.
Yes, do it where you'll likely be heard. Like government meetings.
Like when advocate after advocate after advocate spoke at Fort Lauderdale commission meetings and implored the leaders not to pass the homeless hate laws just before the leaders went ahead and passed the homeless hate laws.
I'll go out on a limb here and say the majority of those protesting in South Florida last week didn't vote in the most recent election.
If there's one thing Stein is great at -- besides being a perfect protester and knowing all things Guy Fawkes -- it's presuming he knows YOU.
You don't know who Guy Fawkes is and you didn't vote. GARY'S SO ON TO YOU.
Yeah, stopping traffic and making noise gets attention on TV. In a negative way.
Protests are supposed to be positive experience for everyone! Like a Sandra Bullock movie! Or a ski trip to Colorado!
It's not going to win people over.
At least, it won't win over this former protester.
And in the end, that's all that really matters, protesters. You're just not going to get Gary Stein on your side.
Not until you dress nice, stay out of the way, and stop using the internet. And, of course, learn who Guy Fawkes is.
Remember, remember the..... perfect 1960s protests where nothing bad ever happened and all were welcomed!