November 12, 2011
Jay-Z and His T-Shirts

I’m seeing some tut-tutting around the blogosphere over this:

To our knowledge, Jay-Z has not been to Occupy Wall Street, or any other Occupies across the world. Yet he was recently seen wearing a t-shirt that read “Occupy All Streets,” with the W in “Wall” crossed off and the S added. His clothing company, Rocawear, is about to start selling said shirts. None of the profits, thus far, are scheduled to go back to Occupy Wall Street.

It seems to me we’re missing out on a teachable moment here.

Here’s the thing. You pay Jay-Z for a t-shirt, and whaddya get? You get a t-shirt. You’re supposed to get a t-shirt, ’cause you paid for it. That’s what we used to call “business.”

Compare and contrast with the way our Wall Street friends operate. You pay for a house and wind up with nothing. You pay for retirement and wind up with nothing. You pay for an investment and wind up with nothing. That’s what we used to call “fraud.”

But now it’s what we call “business.”

I suppose it says something about the woeful state of this country that mere hucksterism and crass exploitation seem more straightforward and honest than the institutions that currently control our national policies.


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Posted by Kurt Weldon at November 12, 2011 02:35 PM
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Beautiful, just wonderfully said.

It's typical of the late stage of empires to concentrate activity in the financial sphere, which invariably leads to fraud and chicanery. A positive frame would be that it's a success story for the country that as the empire dies we're able to produce marketing geniuses and hucksters from every segment of society.

Posted by: Chuck Dupree on November 13, 2011 12:17 AM
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