Sell Me a Suit, Cut off my Hair and Send Me to Work in Tall Buildings? NOT!


A hot saturday afternoon of playing tunes and guitar, and a slew of photos arriving in my Google+ inbox reminded my of an old John Hartford elegy, “Going to Work in Tall Buildings.” For those who may not remember, John was the accompanist to Glen Campbell in the Goodtime Hour about 40 years ago, during my “formative” days. This is a mild exhibit of Hartford’s subtle subversive nature.

A person (a recently discharged marine) I met a few weeks ago in Missoula as he was hitchhiking across America to the Occupy Wall Street demos, finally arrived and will be feeding some live updates back. His photos as he entered the Wall Street district were foreboding. I hope he sends me more good stuff, so I can give folks a street-level view of the happenings.

These are the the tall buildings where the raveling and unraveling of our financial system’s catastrophes takes place. This is where the people that control the fate of our country’s political and economic future might clash. But just maybe it won’t be those that live and work in tall buildings that get to make the final determinations on our future. Maybe it will be those who take to the streets, and eschew working in tall buildings.

Here’s what Nathan Scheider at Truthout had to say about the fledgling movement yesterday:

A lot of what you’ve probably seen or read about the #occupywallstreet action is wrong, especially if you’re getting it on the Internet. The action started as an idea posted online and word about it then spread and is still spreading, online. But what makes it really matter now is precisely that it is happening offline, in a physical, public space, live and in person. That’s where the occupiers are assembling the rudiments of a movement…

What’s actually underway at Liberty Plaza [at Wall Street] is both simpler and more complicated: music making, sign drawing, talking, organizing, eating, marching, standoffs with police and (not enough) sleeping. It’s a movement in formation…

Ted Actie, who lives in Brooklyn and works for On the Spot, a minority-owned talk-show production company, called on the protesters to speak more directly to the communities around them. “You do so much social networking,” he said, “you forget how to socialize.”

Those barons of finance might do well to come down out of their gilded towers and do some socializing with the rabble down below. Otherwise, they may find that their president–and maybe their next president–can no longer stand between the pitchforks and the doors barring entry to tall buildings.

Lyrics after the jump:

Goin’ to Work in Tall Buildings
By John Hartford

Someday my baby, when I am a man,
and others have taught me
the best that they can
they’ll sell me a suit
they’ll cut off my hair
and send me to work in tall buildings

So it’s goodbye to the sunshine
goodbye to the dew
goodbye to the flowers
and goodbye to you
I’m off to the subway
I must not be late
Im going to work in tall buildings

When I’m retired
My life is my own
I made all the payments
it’s time to go home
and wonder what happened
betwixt and between
when I went to work in tall buildings

So it’s goodbye to the sunshine
goodbye to the dew
goodbye to the flowers
and goodbye to you
I’m off to the subway
I must not be late
Im going to work in tall buildings

So it’s goodbye to the sunshine
goodbye to the dew
goodbye to the flowers
and goodbye to you
I’m off to the subway
I must not be late
Im going to work in tall buildings

  1. They did bring the paddy wagons in and arrest people tonight (it’s 8:30 p.m. here as I write).

    I caught a live feed here:

    I’ve been following this thing as it got started probably back in May or June. Live feeds, online pics and what little news coverage there is all show a wide variety of people – it’s not a bunch of hippies although not covering the thing certainly contributes to that kind of image.

    There’s a core group that camps out down there. There are others well networked, that are going in in shifts…and then daily unemployed people from around that huge commutable area come in every day to join the protests.

    If I didn’t have a job, I’d be there. It’s an important statement that needs to be made. I’m glad for those there doing this important work.

  2. JC

    Here’s some pics from tonight,

    Basically a police state.

  3. JC

    Arrests on the 20th.

  4. JC

    And more police brutality yesterday.

  5. So glad you posted this. I have been following adbusters and occupywallstreet. Some info and pictures here;
    Here’s hoping that this occupation will not be kidnapped by the “liberals” and that they will not “suck off the energy into electoral politics”. Live blogging over at

  6. JC

    And more police brutality as peaceful protesters are corralled and pepper sprayed.

    • For the that miss it? Here’s a slow motion with the officer highlighted as he walks up to the pen from a distance – maces – and then walks away.

    • ANOTHER perspective. Apparently even one of NYPD’s own was appalled at his fellow officer’s actions:

      Reports today that 100 officers called in sick.

      Then there’s this video, via actor Alec Baldwin’s twitter feed – NYPD randomly grabbing people and slamming them to the ground and arresting them:

      • lizard19

        participation of police in acting as foot soldiers bashing heads and macing non-threatening people already enclosed by plastic netting should not be taken for granted by the un-indicted criminals on wall street.

        that’s encouraging news, j-girl, thanks.

  7. There were reports early this morning of a PBS reporter being arrested last night and held for 9 hours after attempting to interview a female protester who was maced.

    I can’t find any links.

  8. lizard19

    not only is mainstream corporate media blacking this out with it’s very obvious non-reporting, but there has been some internet censorship as well, with twitter and yahoo.

    “Those who disrupt the free flow of information in our society or any other pose a threat to our economy, our government, and our civil society.”

    Hillary Clinton, January 21st, 2010

    is Hillary going to hold a press conference condemning Twitter and Yahoo for posing a threat to our economy, our government, and our civil society?

    or will she prove, yet again, why US politicians have ZERO credibility.

  9. those who depend on corporate control and corruption of our government will stop at nothing to maintain that control.

    corporations are not patriotic. they do not love this country or any of the ideals of freedom it stands for. maximizing profits is a ruthless endeavor which annihilates the competition. if the competition is we the people, then we the people had better get our game faces on. because wall street plays for keeps.

    expecting tolerance from a servile government corrupted by the influence of multinational corporations hell-bent on suppressing any real liberty is not realistic. but neither is a disorganized violent revolution against the most lethal militarized nation on earth….

    the only solution is economic. the beast must be starved and a peaceful boycott by people to no longer feed the beast is necessary. we must pull our money out of big banks and invest in local banks that build jobs in our communities. we must stop supporting those companies who control our government. stop paying and rewarding those who poison our country with corruption.remember the first rule of capitalism….

    if they run out of money, they die. . we need to stop giving it to them. and never mind wal-mart. wal-mart is small potatoes compared to the bankers on wall street. those guys depend on our insurance payments, mortgage payments, and credit card payments to survive. cut off their oxygen, and they will suffocate.

    invest locally. join insurance cooperatives. switch your mortgage to local lenders. cut up any credit cards you have and stop feeding them.

  1. 1 The Power Of What’s Not Said, What’s Not Shown, What’s Not Known « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] makes a good point in the comments of his post. the comment was in response to some links I provided about Twitter and Yahoo trying to suppress […]

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