Saturday, October 1, 2011

(empo-tymshft) Looking like your potential supporters in 2011 - and 1968

I will confess that I haven't paid a great deal of attention to "Occupy Wall Street" - I've been much too busy on a personal level, trying to decide what to do if my bank starts charging debit card use fees. But this little unsolicited suggestion has gone viral. Here's how it begins:

Guys, listen. Here's the deal.

I love you guys with every shred of my hard-left leaning heart. But I think you might be doing something wrong. Here is one thing that can help you.

Tomorrow, wear a polo and khakis

Seriously. polos and khakis. Every time you guys DO finally get some [EXPLETIVE DELETED] press, it's a scrawny dude with dreads in a ratty t-shirt. You're going big here, dress it. Tomorrow, Polo shirt and Khakis.

Why? Because you need to get the right-leaning equivalent of me on your side.

Read the rest here. (This is the Reddit thread, by the way, which has a wealth of comments.)

When I first read this, I flashed back to another "change your dress" episode from many, many years ago. Perhaps you've heard the phrase Clean for Gene?

Many young people were drifting in 1968. Some found a new sense of hope and purpose through the candidacy of Eugene McCarthy....

McCarthy's Wisconsin campaign office in Milwaukee was packed with college students and recent graduates like Susan Speer. They were eager to help prepare for that state's primary on April 2....

College students from throughout the country showed up in large numbers to work for McCarthy in New Hampshire and Wisconsin. They cut their hair and shaved their beards, inspiring the slogan "Get Clean for Gene."

Now here's the part where I extrapolate whatever I'm writing about to the business world. And yes, it extrapolates well. Some businesses - Ben & Jerry's comes to mind - take great pains to make sure that their corporations appear attractive to their potential customers.

Sometimes it seems like other businesses, such as the aforementioned banks and the similarly-nickel-and-diming airlines, couldn't care less.
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