People are frustrated. The news is abuzz with it. This past year has brought us stories of how ordinary people all over the world are getting fed up with those who seem to be making all the decisions that affect our lives.
Although the issues are not identical everywhere, big governments and big corporations have been making decisions which affect our livelihoods and the very planet. Power seems to be on the side of those with money. And those who run things seem to be more concerned with profit than with what is best for the world.
Frustrations have been bubbling over everywhere in the world. From the Arab Spring to the unrest in Russia and in Greece, to the rumblings in China and elsewhere and, closer to home, to the Occupy Wall Street movement in the U.S. that has spread across North America, big cities and small towns alike, the little people are beginning to say they have had just about enough.
Movements in the U.S. protesting this frustration have erupted from both the right and from the left of the political spectrum in recent history, as both the Tea Party movement and the anti-G-8 movement have testified. What's different about the Occupy Wall Street movement is that even people who are ordinarily not the protesting type -- the middle of the road types who tend to stick with the status quo -- are beginning to open their eyes to the evidence that can no longer be denied. It's difficult to argue that protests are the action of kooks when the economy is tanking and the bail-outs sponsored by government serve to only line the pockets of those who got us into trouble in the first place. Yes, the wheelings and dealings of the powerful are hitting close to home for the many.
Maybe things will improve and we will be looking back on these days with relief that it's over in a few years' time. But, again, maybe not. What's clear is that the divide between rich and poor has become deeper and unlikely to be bridged any time soon. The idea of the middle class may go the way of history if trends continue to go in the way they are headed.
Some people have looked at the absurdity of the present situation and used it to create satire. Though not funny deep down, it helps some of us to laugh to relieve the stress.
Here is a video from a quartet in Tamworth, New Hampshire. They have rewritten the lyrics of Handel's Alleluia Chorus to express the frustration they and so many others feel. Who said the Occupy Wall Street movement was the domain of big cities? Tamworth, New Hampshire is a town of 2556 people, small by many standards.