A word to the protesters in the Ukraine and Venezuela

Listen, I get it, OK, what you guys are doing over there is really important, right, and we’re all behind you here, one hundred percent, OK, I myself have witnessed several behind the scenes photos posted to reddit’s front page detailing exactly what’s going on over there in Kiev. Congrats on taking the presidential mansion, dude, that’s a huge accomplishment. Because it’s a fight out there, OK, and it’s a tough fight, so stick to your guns, and know that we stand with you over here in America.


But having said all of that, and I don’t want to sound like too much of a dick here, but your protest movement is nothing compared to what we’re living under on a daily basis over here. You think Ukraine riot police are bad? Try having your own government constantly spying on you. I’m not even kidding, my buddies and I took the 4 train to an Occupy event two years ago and there were like cops on every single car. And those were just the uniformed officers. Who knows how many bodies they’ve got watching us? Reading our emails? Retweeting our tweets back to the government?

Which is why what we’re doing over here is so much more nuanced and complicated – and ultimately more important – than what you guys are dealing with over there. Think about it. The Ukraine. Russia. The former Soviet Union. You guys have been dealing with overtly totalitarian regimes for ages. Now you’ve got a bunch of students holding a sit-in near your version of Tahrir Square. That’s cool, and again, stand strong brothers. But also again, that’s nothing compared to what we’re dealing with.

At least you’ve got an enemy to protest against. You’ve got the police. There’s the riot gear. Let’s protest. Let’s take over this mansion. That’s too easy. You know what we’ve got to do? We have to congregate at random spots downtown, right, and then the cops have like seventy-five percent of the street blocked off, so there’s not really a lot of room, and the hot dog guys are always on the other side of the barricades, so if you want a Gatorade, yeah, the cops will let you out to buy one, but they won’t let you back in. It’s fascism over here. But a subtle fascism.

Yeah, it’s so easy for all of you, in Kiev, in Venezuela, don’t think I’m forgetting about Venezuela, again, I’m very up-to-date in regards to everything that’s going on, you know, all of the stuff that the big media doesn’t want me to see. I’m seeing it all, right here on the Internet. And I’m telling you, you guys are like an Occupy farm team. Which isn’t bad, OK, I’m just saying, you guys are all like, “We’re on the front lines of the revolution!” and I’m like, we are the revolution, man. OK?

We’re like the birthplace of freedom, of democracy. Whereas you guys are getting your first taste of independence, we’re taking it back, right, we’re drawing a line in the sand. What happens here echoes through eternity, and I would argue that the protests in Ukraine, in Colombia, Latvia, right, you guys are all like field experiments. But over here there are real issues with serious consequences.

And what’s with all of the brute force? I was down at Zuccotti one day and this roving troupe of street dancers put on a quasi-experimental movement piece about violence and thuggery, the heavy hand of the state cracking down on the yearning voices of its citizens. It was powerful. Unfortunately the very nature of the piece prevents me from really giving a detailed description of what it was like, or the emotions it evoked in nearly everyone in attendance, including some police, I’m pretty sure I saw one cop tearing up. At least, I think it was a cop. It could have been a protester dressed like a cop, you know, making a statement. Or it could have been an undercover cop dressed like a protester dressed like a cop. You see? This is what we’re dealing with over here. Nothing is simple. Nothing is black and white. Not like in the Ukraine, where it’s easy, or in Caracas, where it’s even easier, good and bad, right and wrong. Over here, you just get lost in the maze, OK, and I’m talking both literally and figuratively, right, the figurative maze that is this ethical quagmire, and also the literal maze, the one that I was talking about before, with the police barricades and hot dog guys.

I’m just saying.