Carolers' message was loud and clear
On Thursday I decided to journey down to the Rogue Valley Mall to try and begin some of the Christmas shopping that I was in desperate need of starting (I am not one of those dingbats willing to camp overnight out front of Best Buy to save $50 on a flat-screen HDTV).
I was bouncing in and out of Macy's, Penney's, Kohl's and all the other national chains trying to find something to catch my eye that I could haphazardly wrap (I'm a man — it is the best I can do) and proudly hand to my girlfriend as a sign that I do actually listen when she talks to me and that I care enough to take the time to find her something other than my prerequisite offering of a gift card. So obviously I was little prepared, and quite frankly taken aback, by a group of about 15 people who decided to smack me and my troublesome buying habits in the face while I innocently munched my recently acquired soft pretzel.
Apparently — and I may be a bit of a sleeper on this — Medford has its own version of that pesky Occupy movement that has been stirring up the nation with its outlandish calls for our government to stop being so corrupt.
I had little time to swallow as this group of diverse individuals (one of them looked like she couldn't have been more than 19, another looked like Santa Claus, and did I really just see a guy with an NRA hat standing next to girl wearing a pro-choice shirt, without his gun pointed at her?) converged under a banner they had just flung over a second-floor railing and started singing reworked versions of Christmas songs dedicated to Wall Street and the politicians they influence.
It was a peaceful, boisterous demonstration and the tongue-in-cheek nature of it was not lost on myself, the 200 or so other shoppers who crowded with me to see what all the commotion was about, or the protesters themselves, who expressed their opinions gleefully (if not always in tune) and gave the hardworking security folk no problem as they were escorted (still caroling, I might add) out of the mall and back into the foggy, cold night from whence they came.
I closed my mouth and swallowed the chunk of pretzel thath I had forgotten was in there during the madness, rubbed my eyes a bit, shook my head, and turned to follow the happy little group of protesters right out of the mall. I may not be courageous enough to stand up with these folks while they take on a system we all know has become corrupt and beneficial to a select few, but I can at least heed some of their advice and take my money elsewhere.
Guess what, honey? I got you something. It's American made, bought from a local mom and pop right here in Medford, and just your size. What's that? Yes it is a good pretzel, and yes, you can have some of it. Unlike our corporations, I share.
Richard Capp lives in Medford.