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“Zuccotti Lung” Sickness Sweeping Through Occupy Wall Street

So this phrase now exists:

With wintry weather poised to swoop into the cramped outdoor quarters of Occupy Wall Street protesters, it may not be long before more campers catch what’s being called Zuccotti lung.” That’s what demonstrators have dubbed the sickness that seems to be spreading among them at an unpleasantly high rate these days: “It’s a real thing,” Willie Carey, 28, told the New York Times.

Other words and phrases in the article: “respiratory viruses,” “norovirus,” “winter vomiting virus,” and “tuberculosis.”

Doctors are trying to circulate through the park, treat the ill, and inoculate the still healthy. But progress has been uneven because many of the Occupy Wall Street people are feverish cranks who think that vaccinations are a “government conspiracy” to undermine the 99%’s glorious vanguard. Sexually transmitted diseases are of course also spreading, and some protesters are even suffering hearing damage from the drum circle. One wonders how much of this is really necessary for creating the “vibrant brand of urbanism” that the Washington Post laughingly declared Occupy centers have become.

You’d really think either the professional activists who are behind the protests or the closet ACORN activists who are pitching in would have stocked the medical tents with penicillin. Maybe there’s a working group or five on it, or maybe Chavez can send them some.

Rape and rape coverups haven’t been enough to get officials to intervene in the Lord of the Flies dystopias that various protesters have set up. But if Occupy Oakland is getting shut down on account of people dying – in that case by gunfire – then having a convulsing, vomiting petri dish in the center of Manhattan might finally force Bloomberg’s hand.

And while all those crimes and dangers might seem substantive to us, obviously the Occupy movement’s real is messaging. That’s why “framing is everything” liberal leading light George Lakoff has written a guide to protesters who want to reach Middle America. It repeats almost verbatim the notoriously incoherent and anti-scientific drivel that constituted his previous work, but who knows? Maybe the protesters can reframe their rape cover-ups as “community solidarity,” and their anti-vaccination craziness as “freedom from health.” Convinced yet?


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