Funny Thing Happened to Me on the Way to the Bank...by Daniel R. Hirtler on 10/11/11
I noticed a private security guard stationed outside the offices of Merrill Lynch this morning when I went out for my coffee. He was dressed like a City of Ithaca Policeman in a dark blue uniform. I wondered about it; I thought maybe it was one of the parking attendants for the garage, just hanging out in front of Merrill Lynch while on break; I looked close enough to determine, this morning, that was not the case.
I had to run an errand late this afternoon, and I was surprised to see the security guard still stationed outside the doors of Merrill Lynch. My cynical side observed that Merrill Lynch was certainly doing its part to curb unemployment in protecting itself from the violent Ithaca mobs who were looking to cause Merrill Lynch's destruction. It occurred to me to use Facebook to air that cynical thought.
I got most of the way home before I realized that a picture would be a compelling addition to my Facebook Post, so I walked back to take a picture of the rent-a-cop in front of the building with Merrill Lynch's sign directly above his patrol. He saw me as I was trying to get a good composition for my photo, and he immediately went inside of the building. I could see him talk to the receptionist, all the while peering at me through the open blinds. I really wanted that photo, so I waited for over half an hour for him to come out. The security guard didn't come out of the building while I was there, although he also never left his position looking out through the glass.
There were a couple of young people who were interested in what I was doing, and they were amused when I told them about the the scene I was experiencing. They thought posting on Facebook was a good response.
However, while I waited, as I occupied my time posting to Facebook, and while I was waiting for the security guard to emerge, I was approached by a slick man in a cheap dark blue suit and dark Ray-Bans, who wanted to know what I was doing. I told him I was taking photos. He asked me what I was taking photos of, to which I replied that I wasn't going to answer his questions. He persisted, asking me why I wouldn't answer his questions. I told him I wasn't going to talk to him, and he eventually left. I did think the police were going to be the next to come, but they did not.
I do have to say that my cynical thought has blossomed into a resentment about choices. One imagines that the rent-a-cop is an insensitive reaction to the Occupy Wall Street Protest, particularly insensitive in Ithaca, where there is no real pent up anger against this issue in the street. It underscores that things may well have gotten to the place where true class warfare with real violence may be the only way the people who have been sucking our society dry for the past 30 or more years will give any ground to the society at large. Can you imagine the Occupy Wall Street Protest being any more civil and pure of heart than it is - it is a positive miracle; and a positive miracle shining on all the robber barons and their minions. They would do well to respond in a gentle and just way.