Written by Healther Foley
Dear Occupy Boston,
Hey guys, what’s up? Kind of a little PR nightmare you’ve got on your hands, huh? Two million in overtime for the BPD, hundreds of thousands in damage to the Greenway, not to mention all those commuters you annoy the bee-Jesus out of every morning and night. I know this isn’t news to you, but you’re kind of a polarizing group. Now I’m not going to get into politics (because politics are tricky and I’m just a girl) but I do think I can help you in the battle of public approval. I’m the first to admit, I don’t know much (I’m not what you would call ‘book smart’), but for some reason people seem to like me. Weird right? I seriously have no idea why. Even people I don’t like usually like me, so maybe I can help you. After hours and hours of research and inward reflection (who am I kidding – one google search and two glasses of wine) I’ve come up with a few ideas to get you some positive hype and maybe even new supporters, read on!
First of all you need a decorator, your campsite looks like a refugee camp. Come on folks, the camp setup is your first impression, and we all know how important those are (um, hello they based a deodorant commercial on that very idea, it was a deodorant commercial, right?) How about color coordinating your tents? Most of them are probably neutrals anyway right? Maybe spruce them up a bit. Middle America seems to love a wreath on the front door, so hang some wreaths on your tents! And string white Christmas lights – they’re so pretty and it’s not like you’re paying for the electricity, LOL.
You need a slogan. “Donna Martin Graduates” (90210), “Stop the drilling, stop the oil” (Saved by the Bell), a good protest needs a good slogan people can chant. What can I chant at Occupy Boston? “We’re not really protesting any one thing in particular, but in general most of us would like to see less corporate influence in politics?” So how about something short and sweet like “We have no need for corporate greed” or “We won’t shower ’til there’s an equal distribution of wealth and power”?
Get a little selective people. Here’s the problem when you don’t have a concrete outline of what specifically you’re protesting, any nut job with an ax to grind joins ‘the cause’. I seriously saw a sign protesting food vendors today. This one vendor claims he was there first and all the other food vendors should beat it. So pick a cause and kick out any wackos protesting Harrison Ford replacing Alec Baldwin as Jack Ryan (I know I can’t be the only one still upset about that).
How about a good old-fashioned protest song? ‘Imagine’, ‘This Land Is Your Land’, ‘War’, these are jams that people can get behind. Ask a socially conscious artist to pen something for Occupy Boston, but please no Kanye. I love his music but he’s awfully talented at thunder stealing and making everything about himself.
Speaking of celebrities, you should probably find a likable one or two to support the cause. Penn Badgley (who?), Mark Ruffalo (meh) and Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins (Holy left wing, Batman!) are not going to bring in any fresh blood. Who should you ask? Tom Hanks. Americans love Tom Hanks! He died saving Matt Damon for crying outloud! He works for tons of charities, narrated ‘Boatlift’ which is a movie about mariners evacuating about 500,000 people from Manhattan on 9/11, and he’s worked tirelessly for the preservation of American history and to honor WWII vets. He even gave Conan O’Brien his nickname. We eat this kind of crap up with a spoon! Also try to get Sophia Vergara, is there anyone who doesn’t like her?
I’m going to try to say this delicately; you might want to do a little image consulting. Am I not being clear enough? How about this – put the pretty people (if you’ve got any) up front, hide the hatchet faces in the back and tell them to never go in front of any cameras under any circumstances. Maybe even let the pretty people go home to shower, and maybe even head over to Macy’s to get a makeup application. Trust me, it can’t hurt. I know this sounds harsh, and shallow, but let’s be adults about this – good-looking people are more likely to get positive attention. Homely people are more likely to get a mug full of pepper spray.
So there you have it Occupy Boston, you’re welcome. While I don’t expect you to take my advice seriously or follow all of it, just remember I tried to help (part of the solution, something, something). And just remember, if you listen to nothing else I’ve said, you’re in America and here in America we like pretty people better (as any of the moms on ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ would tell you). Power to the people!