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Tea parties. God love ’em. They’ve been all the rage in draconian democracies for centuries. An institutional practice of impeccable charm which sweeps away the chasm separating the haves and the have-nots more readily than honey glazed reforms. In a world steeped in lazy fare economics and gold colored fiats speeding about with no reserves, it may very well be the grand ole tea party that saves a sinking democratic ship. The parties themselves are extraordinarily colorful. So many shapes, so many themes. Some are intimate; others a public affair. A few are raucous; others caucus. And there’s always details to attend to. Devil or no, there must be details. There’s venue, platforms, silver, and china to consider. Tariffs and taxes. Free trade or fair trade. Black tea, green tea, biscuits or scones? Late tea, brunch tea, afternoon high tea. They’re all swell but it’s this high tea that proves most interesting in the revolutionary occupation brew-haha.

In the civilized tradition of breaking down other civilizations, there is a little something on the side kind of tea party. It’s not spoken of in polite society but it’s not for nothing it’s known as high tea. The great Anglo-American who found the fathers, Esq. John Adams, wrote of it in his diary.

This day learned that the Caucas Clubb [sick!] meets at certain Times in the Garret [name omitted: right to privacy case pending], the Adjutant of the Boston Regiment [google it]. He has a large House [class warfare in play], and he has a moveable Partition [secret society] in his Garrett, which he takes down and the whole Clubb [sick!] meets in one Room. There they smoke tobacco [Psssh. Right.] till you cannot see from one End of the Garrett to the other. There they drink Phlip [mixed drinks of unknown substances] I suppose …”

According to Adams (who’d never lie – he was a president), these high powered man-about-town teas were secret caucus clubs which met certainly (at tea time) in dark, smokey rooms of very wealthy homes to phlip, drink, plot, and smoke opium. (Those smug men of Versailles pulled this little move, too.) Adams, known for his passionate proclivity toward exposés of immorality and debauchery (per his dislike of the French), and his risky, though principled, defense of outcast reds occupying public squares (per the Boston massacre hysteria), is waving a flag for those keen enough to read between the lines. It is a warning; beware the opium fueled super pacts of secretive tea parties. Adams – the family values poster boy of 18th century America who resisted French seduction as robustly as he resisted British taxation (unless districts were redrawn) – would not attend such happy teas. He was clearly an Occupy Boston sort of guy.

There are no revolutions left to be had. The spaces have all been taken.

What then should we make of the gypsy occupation of occupying what is left of the empire? Evicted from the tea parties they’ve taken to the streets, the parks, the commons. Clearly they are a collectivist band of nomadic opium consumers. They wander aimlessly from place to place with strange incantations, peddling wares (in the statist gypsy tradition – probably stolen), reading tea leaves, and begging for change. They are inconvenient, unpredictable, messy, and a serious bummer to civilization. Are they revolutionaries of great consequence? Probably not. They mask their identities and ask for so little. Not even a pound of flesh do they demand. They only want 1%.

©RCiuffo 2012

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