How to argue with your family about Occupy Wall Street this Thanksgiving

A friendly family from Flickr who undoubtedly always get along.

Whether you support or despise the Occupy Wall Street movement, chances are you’re going to get into a fight about it this Thanksgiving with some relative you barely know. That’s just the nature of the holiday!

However, we here at Metro are nothing if not helpful. Here is our guide to fighting smarter — not harder — about the Occupy movement this holiday season.

If you disagree with the protests

Remember to impugn Wall Street protesters’ looks and dress first of all. Dirty people don’t have ideas worth listening to. (Don’t forget to include antiquated insults to ’60s protests movements.) Critique the protests’ tone, which is the most important thing in an argument.

Call the protesters out on carrying around consumer electronics. It’s hypocritical for someone with an iPhone to want stronger regulations on banks.

Remember that not one of the people protesting has a job. Call them lazy. Compare their work ethic unfavorably to your own. Assume that any graduate without a job must have majored in Eastern European Yak Studies. Ignore any historical trends that might make graduating from college in the 1970s different from graduating college in the 2010s. Ignore the irony in telling a a group protesting massive nationwide unemployment to get jobs.

Say you don’t know what the protests are about, but you know you don’t like them.

If you agree with the protests

Whatever you do, sound as self-important as possible. Don’t be afraid of comparing the Occupy movements to the global Arab Spring. That time a cop was mean to you was relatively the same as the abuse suffered in Tahrir Square.

Bring everything around back to you: Your student loans, your lack of job prospects, your unpaid internships. Don’t try to connect the grievances of the Occupy movement to the problems faced by people aren’t white or middle-class. Focus on the injustices brought upon you by the system. Don’t explain what the system is.

Complain that the cops never pepper-sprayed anyone in the Tea Party.

Talk about feeling betrayed. Talk about how you were sold a bill of goods by your parent’s generation, who promised riches and rewards if you would just follow the rules. Ignore your own complicity with the system. Ignore the irony in protesting a system simply because it didn’t pay out what you feel you were owed.

There! Now that you’ve both gotten that out of your systems, everyone can have a pleasant Thanksgiving. How ’bout those Packers, right?


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