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David Ogilvy Continues to Teach Us – We Sell or Die

It still so true we should repeat it at the start of every new year.

25 Great Businesses Start-Ups You Can Launch for $500 or Less!

SHOESTRING START-UPS:
25 Great Businesses You Can Launch
for $500 or Less!

Gas prices continue to go up and that means costs for anything that travels and ships are also increasing. Inflation is on the move in just about every category of our lives. But there is plenty of hope to start a business on a low or even no budget. Entrepreneurs launch everyday on small budgets.

A shoestring startup may be the answer you’ve been looking for.

Unemployment in the U.S. is still more than 8% and many of  those millions of men and women have been out of work for a year and even longer. They may not be aware that you can start a small business on a part-time basis and pocket extra income every weekend, or go for the gold by starting a full-time venture. Even if you don’t have a lot of startup funds you can launch a business right at home. A shoestring startup may be the answer you’ve been looking for.

Entrepreneurs have a knack for knowing what niche needs filling. Don’t under estimate your ability  to come up with a perfect business idea. Take a look at your community. Is there a business that needs to be started? If you already have a job, you can test the small business waters with a shoestring start-up without leaving the comfort and security of a steady paycheck and perhaps even nice medical benefits. Maybe you can turn a hobby you love into a profit-making venture.

If you have been let go from a job during our troubled economy, perhaps you can turn that work experience into a small business. As you conduct your own due diligence research, you might find that there is already a business that caters to your proposed market. Analyze the existing business. Could you complete the task faster? Cheaper? Better? If after careful analysis, the anwer is “yes,” then you should prepare to take on the competition.

Thanks to  the Internet, it is possible to do research on just about any topic quickly and easily from the comfort of your own home or local public library. Do a search online to look for business ideas and inspiration. And if you choose a seasonal business, combine it with other businesses to round out a full-time fortune. Planning is key to your success.

Whether you want to pick up extra cash or start a full-time venture, a shoestring startup is for you! Here are 25 idea suggestions that can be started for $500 or less. The businesses are listed in no particular order.

  1. Pet Biz: Pets are a $50-billion industry just in the U.S. alone! Shouldn’t you be grabbing a piece of this pie? Start a pet sitting, walking, furniture, clothing, etc., venture
  2. Sell Wholesale: Find a product that clicks with our culture and buy it wholesale; sell it a profit point that brings in big bucks to you.
  3. Lawn Service: Everyone with a home loves a green lawn but often can’t get results or take the time to care for it.
  4. Window Displays: Every storefront has a window that could be your next moneymaking assignment. If you have a flair for design, consider offering this service.
  5. eBay: Check out your attic or basement or scout out yard sales in your neighborhood. There’s real gold to be found if you’ve got a good eye. Selling your finds on  the online auction site is fun and it’s easy.
  6. Blog for cash: Visit blogger.com and start blogging immediately. Sell ads on your own site or blog for others for money. Use social media to build revenue.
  7. Tailor: If you have sewing skills you can make a mint hemming pants, taking in dresses or taking out an outfit. Work at home or even piggyback on a neighbor or friends facility.
  8. Birthday Biz: Check out your neighborhood card, gift, plant and garden or balloon shop for ideas. Put together a few concepts and sell it as a package via your website.
  9. Delivery Service: Find businesses in your community that don’t offer delivery and ask them if you can start a freelance delivery service. It’s a win-win situation for both of you.
  10. Flea Market Entrepreneur: Become a professional flea market salesperson. You can keep your own job and just run your small business on weekends. Find an old table, and some goods to sell.
  11. Detailing – Boats/Cars/RVs:  People like a clean machine but don’t have the time nor the inclanation to get the job done properly. There are a number of products you can purchase  to make the job an easy one.
  12. Holiday Decorating: There are dozens of holidays throughout the year that offer decorating potential. Scope out restaurants, diners and other small businesses to see if they’d be interested in your work. Create a portfolio.
  13. Junk Removal: Plenty of people have junk around but don’t have a van or truck to haul it. This is where you come in and turn their trash into your treasure.
  14. Personal Assistant: There are plenty of lawyers, accountants, small business owners, local figures and more who need help with their email, shopping, organizing, etc. You can take on as many clients as you can handle.
  15. DJ: A mobile disc jockey business is a very lucrative career. You can work your own hours and party your way to to profits.
  16. Errand Service: There are plenty of businesses and individuals who need help with chores and errands and you can launch a service helping them get the jobs accomplished.
  17. Gutter Cleaning Biz: Every homeowner dreads gutter cleaning. Combine this business with a few other seasonal offerings such as raking leaves, garden and yard cleanups and you are on your way to success.
  18. Concierge Business: You can start your own concierge service right from your home. Local businesses can use your service as well as tourists to the area.
  19. Assembly Service: Have you mastered the little pieces from the IKEA box? Then you can start a business assembling furniture, gas grills, bikes, etc., for your customers. Big potential.
  20. Freelance Writer: If you have some talent as a writer, you can make money putting together anything from press releases to web content for a wide variety of clients.
  21. Digitize Movies: That old video is fading fast and your customers will be delighted that you will transfer the treasured memories to a DVD. Google the various ways you can do it, and place an ad in your local paper.
  22. Just Weeds: Weeds are everywhere and there are a number of small business owners who make a living just pulling weeds and cleaning up.
  23. Power Wash: If you have a power washer you can start a business cleaning homes, decks, etc., for your neighbors and clients.
  24. Garage Sale Organizer: There are garages all over the world that are full of items that could be sold. You sell it for the homeowner and pocket a commission. Fast, easy money.
  25. Herb Garden: People love to cook with fresh herbs but many don’t have the time to start a garden. Buy some pots and start growing. Set up the gardens for your customers.

These are just some suggestions to help you get started thinking how you could take some skills you may already have and turn them into money making businesses. Perhaps some of these ideas will start you thinking about other potential businesses you could start easily from home.

This posting is excerpted from an article that originally ran in SMALL BUSINESSES OPPORTUNITIES November 2012 .

If you decide to consider any of these money-making ideas or if you have the need and desire to start your own business, I would like to offer you a copy of my book HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE at a specially discounted price. This book will show you how to take your new start-up business to the next step. You’ll learn:

  • How to get Started
  • How to find Great Products
  • How to Make Your Business Profitable Right From the Start
  • How to Price your Product or Service for Biggest Profits
  • Secrets of Creating Winning Mail Order Ads
  • 14 Sure-Fire Check Off Lists that Guarantee You Huge Profits
  • and included in this newly revised edition Complete up-to-date information on How To use the Internet to Super Charge your Mail Order Business.

The book is guaranteed to provide you with an easy to follow roadmap to success in a business of your own or your money back!

The book is available from Amazon at its published price of $39.95 plus s&h but you can now save $10 and order it direct from the publisher for only $29.95. Send check or money order along with your name and address to SUPERIOR PRESS 333 N. Michigan Avenue Suite 1032, Chicago, IL 60601. Offer is good only in the U.S. Contact the publisher for details for shipments to other countries.

In 1942 Another Mail Order Millionaire Started From His Home

Diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1939, Norman Edmund was quarantined in a sanatorium, where he watched eight of his 10 wardmates perish from the disease, But he turned the gruesome experience to his advantage. Unwanted by employers, who feared the young accountant could still be contagious, Edmund started an Army salvage business in his New Jersey home.

At the time of Edmund’s retirement in 1975, the company had sales of about $10 million.

That business became Edmund Scientific, publisher of the famous Edmund Scientific catalog. The catalog—loved by science geeks for more than half a century—still sells you-build- it telescope kits, antigravity devices, solar-powered gadgets of all sorts, and goofy-yet-instructional items like a brew-your-own-root-beer kit. Edmund saw the catalog as a much needed tool for science education, particularly after the Soviet launch of Sputnik in the late 1950s.

The Russians were beating us,” recalls Robert Edmund, Norman’s son. “You had to get your people involved in science.” Norman Edmund died January 17. he was 95 and had enjoyed good health since beating TB.  He started his first company, Edmund Salvage, in 1942 at the behest of friends who worked at the Frankford Arsenal, an Army supply depot in nearby Philadelphia. Edmund began taking in surplus military equipment, tearing it apart, and selling the components, including lots of lenses for amateur photographers and for industry.

Edmund Salvage became Edmund Scientific, whose flagship was the scientific catalog. “Edmund scoured hundreds of magazines a month looking for products and ideas“,  Robert recalls, “As a kid, stacked up, the magazines looked like a skyscraper to me.”

Later, Edmund Scientific operated a retail store from its headquarters in Barrington, New Jersey, attracting science buffs worldwide. Salvador Dali, during a period of interest in optical illusions, stopped by to examine prisms and lenses, says Alex Husted, a grandson of Norman’s. “Norman would buy train cars full of war surplus to get binoculars, and you’d get all this other stuff you didn’t  want—motors, gear boxes, random lab equipment.” Much of it went into  a space known as “the mad scientist’s room.” An annual tent sale—people camped overnight to get first crack at the oddball offerings—would clear the stuff out to make room for new shipments.

At the time of Edmund’s retirement in 1975, the company had sales of about $10 million. Robert took over, expanding the optics business and manufacturing lenses in-house. In 2001, Robert had to break some news to his father. He had sold the scientific catalog to an educational company. “The  world  was changing,” says Robert. “People weren’t buying kits. They were finding their science elsewhere.” His father took it hard.

New owners have kept the catalog going. Edmund Optics, as the family business is now known, has grown to $120 million in sales. And Robert is eager to describe a grant program he started two years ago, giving $80,000 annually to fund promising ideas of the sort his father might have championed. There is one grant in particualr. It went to a Peruvian who had developed a rapid diagnostic kit for tuberculosis.

Norman Edmund, 1916-2012.

This article first appeared in INC. The Magazine for Growing Companies under the byline of Jeff Bailey.

It’s never been easier or more necessary in these difficult economic times where our unemployment rate seems permanently stuck at around 8% to consider starting your own business. No other business I know costs less to get started in than Mail Order and with the help of the Internet allows beginners to run their own businesses from anywhere.. It can be started part- time to help your family ‘get over the hump’,’ put some bread on the table’ and when the profits come rolling in, it’s easy to make it a full time career like Norman and his son Robert Edmund.

The book HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE contains all you need to know to make a go of this exciting and rewarding business. It’s sold on a complete money back guarantee of satisfaction. You can order it from Amazon for $39,95 plus s&h or as a reader of this blog direct from the publisher for only $29.95FREE shipping and handling. Send check or money order to SUPERIOR PRESS 333 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1032, Chicago IL 60601.

Who Knew Success Could Be So Easy!

Don’t Try to Be Good at Everything, but Be the Best at Something!

While many people dream of being good at everything, it makes more sense to focus on becoming outstanding at one thing instead.

On  the surface, it may seem appealing to have well-rounded talents. But  true success occurs  when you focus your energy on becoming  the best you can be in one specific area or at one particular type of skill.

When you do something you are naturally good at and enjoy doing, you increase self-confidence, boost efficiency, and earn a reputation as the go-to person for your particular talents.

It becomes easy and you will feel empowered and actually realize more happiness in life when you do things you’re good at and especially if those things interest you. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you focus on honing your own talents and skills:

  • Identify your strengths. Learn to recognize your talents  for what they are, and strive to develop skills that will enhance your strengths and add value to what you do.
  • Take note of what others say.Sometimes coworkers or  friends are a great resource to identify strengths, especially if you are constantly getting complimented on a talent or  skill you’ve yet to recognize.
  • Never talk yourself out of doing something because of a skill or expertise you don’t have. Rather focus on what you can do.
  • Let go of and accept your limitations. Don’t waste energy striving to improve your weaknesses. Instead perfect your talents and press on.
  • Practice makes perfect. Remember there is always room for improvement for everyone regardless of the skill level. The harder you work at something, the better you’ll become.

When we do something we’re good at, we are naturally more engaged and fulfilled. While it’s true that strengths and weaknesses make us complete, it’s your strengths that make us successful.

WISE WORDS:

“If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.”

SOME MORE WISE WORDS from Ben Franklin:

-Light is the task when many share the toil.

-Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind.

-Never test the depth of water with two feet.

If you need an extra push to become successful, consider HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDRE MILLIONAIRE . It’s a book I wrote based on my many years of experience working with people just like you who were looking for a way to start their own business where they could experience success based on their own efforts. If you are tired of working for someone else, here’s an opportunity for you to stop worrying about losing your job and start earning an income where all the profits belong to you.

You’ll be surprised how rewarding it is:

  • To Get Started
  • How To Find Great Products
  • How To Make Your Product Profitable Right From the Start
  • How To Price Your Product For Biggest  Profits
  • Secrets of Creating Winning Mail Order Ads
  • 14 Sure-Fire Check off Lists That Guarantee Huge  Profits
  • Complete Up-To-Date Information on How To Use the Power of the Internet to Super Charge Your Mail Order Business

HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDRE MILLIONAIRE is available from Amazon at its published price of $39.95 plus s&h, or you can save $10 and order it direct from the publisher for $29.95 plus $3.50 s&h (Total $33.45). Send check or money order along with your name and address to: SUPERIOR PRESS 333 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1032, Chicago, IL 60601. Sold on a Guarantee of Satisfaction or Your Money Back.

Using Platitudes In Your Marketing Messages Can Kill You!

Well, not literally “you” but if you are in business for yourself or into blogging for fun or have to write sales letters for someone else’s business, using platitudes can kill your marketing.

Saying you’re different and then acting the same, smelling the same, tasting the same, looking the same and offering virtually the same product  and service, makes you a LIAR!

These words of wisdom come from Rich Harshaw and his very useful on line site Monopolize Your Marketplace.

When you use platitudes in your marketing, your prospects have no way to tell if you are any better or any worse than anyone else.

What’s a platitude? A platitude is “any words or phrases that are drearily commonplace and predictable and that lack power to evoke interest through overuse or repetition that are nevertheless stated as though they are original or significant.”

Words like–

  • High Quality
  • Great Service
  • Amazing Products
  • Been in Service for Over 20 YEARS

Words and phrases that fall smack dab into the platitude bucket do absolutely nothing to help you explain your value to the prospect, and worse, they actually hurt your credability with the prospect.

Why? Simple.

Regardless of how cool your product actually is or how revolutionary your service has become, when you advertise it using platitudes you sound like every other average product or service offering out there. You literally become a  duck in a sea of ducks in the pond quacking at the same  time and are indistinguishable to your prospect.

When building your marketing, you need to prepare your case as thoroughly as an attorney would prepare a case for court.

In court, the attorney’s case can mean the difference between freedom or incarceration. Between life and death. In your business, your case for your product or service means the difference between success and failure. Think about your marketing and advertising strategy this way: Your product or service is on trial. The consumer is the jury. You are the attorney…and you must educate the jury on all the relevant issues and prove to them that you offer the best value available…and it’s a life-or-death sentence. Your job is to define the relevant issues, come up with all the proof, all the arguments, all the evidence and present it in a way that the jury believes you. Remember, your prospects are the jury!

PLATITUDES WON’T CUT IT!

Ultimately, if you present your case for your product or service in a compelling and convincing way, you’ll build confidence with your prospects and bridge the confidence gap. They’ll feel like they’re in control of the decision. You’ll have business coming to you because you will have effectively separated yourself from your competition. Just like the jury draws the conclusion of guilt or innocence, so will your prospects. They’ll feel like they’d have to be a fool to do business with anyone else but you, regardless of price.

If the idea of starting your own business  that you can operate from home from anywhere in the world then give some thought to MAIL ORDER. With the power of Internet to sell your product or service on line, it doesn’t matter if you live in Wyoming or Pennsylvania, in Canada or Italy or if you prefer to run your business from the Bahamas, then mail order is for you.

Take advantage of my special offer to readers of my blog to order my book HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE today. It’s sold on a money back guaaantte of satisfaction, available from Amazon at the published price of $39.95 plus s&h or direct from the publisher for only $29.95 plus $3.50 s&h (Total $33.45) Send a check or money order for $29.95 plus $3.50 (Total $33.45) to: SUPERIOR PRESS 333 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1032, Chicago, IL 60601

5 Reasons Why Businesses Fail!

Terry Thomas is a direct marketing specialist. he has owned his own business since 1987 and publishes the innovative and provacative newsletter, Mail Order Marketing News. Terry’s article on why mail order businesses fail ran originally in HOME BUSINESS MAGAZINE

My book HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE addresses these same problems but Terry summarizes the 5 most common reasons and they are:

  1. Poor or Non-Existent Business Plan
  2. If you do not know where you want to go, how can you ever expect to get there? Many times I’ve seen people with good ideas never get them to market due to lack of  a clear, easy-to-follow business plan. You must clearly define your goals and objectives and develop a plan on how you are going to reach them. This includes projections for sales, income expenses and overhead. Without a detailed  business plan you’ll end up wasting a lot of time and effort and will never realize the true potential of your endeavor.

  3. Poor Cash Flow
  4. The most important aspect of any business is maintaining a positive cash flow. Without a positive cash flow, your business cannot survive, at least not for very long. You may have one month where you do a huge amount of sales, then have two or three months with less revenue  than expenses. If you do not maintain the cash flow from the sales in  the first month you will not be able  to survive  the following months. Cash flow cannot be overstated. It is the single most important factor to  sustaining a business. Perform realistic and accurate cash flow projections so that  you have enough cash resources to fulfill your business plan. Don’t guess here, realistically forecast your revenues and expenses so you’ll know how much money you’ll need to operate. Then make sure you have enough coming in.

  5. Thinking That Selling One Product Will Make You Rich
  6. It’s no secret, the key to success in any mail order business is to sell products to repeat  customers. The mistake many people make is thinking that if they can come up with one “killer product” and sell it to enough people, they will become rich. This is short term thinking and is not how you build a successful business. You must look for products that will be wanted and needed by the same customer who bought your first product. This is not as hard as it  sounds.

    For Example:
    Consider Apple computer who will not only sell you an iPad or iPhone device, they have a whole stream of other products and services to sell you such as music, movies, games, apps, iCloud and more. Or just think of hamburgers and how many ways people can prepare a hamburger. Now think of McDonalds, its not the greatest hamburger in the world but the genius was to realize that hungry people want food fast. Find a simple service that people value and they will return to use it over and over again. Apple and McDonalds are Billion Dollar Businesses built on a simple idea executed exceedingly well.

  7. Unrealistic Expectations
  8. To succeed in business, you have to be realistic. If you think that you are going to become rich in one or two months, you are most likely not being very realistic. You must be willing to stick  to a plan and slowly build your business. You must also have realistic profit expectations. For example, if you are selling something that is automotive related, you obviously have a huge potential market. Don’t say to yourself, “If I only get one percent of the market, I will be rich”. Instead strive to sell 10,000 units of the particular item within the first three months. By setting specific goals you are more likely to be realistic in your expectations.

  9. Giving Up Too Soon

If you truly believe in what you are doing, there is never a reason to give up. If you want your own business, do not expect it to make you rich overnight. Start slowly, and part time, if you have to and do not quit a job until it is fairly clear your business will succeed.

There you have it, my top five reasons why mail order businesses fail.

If you want to succeed, you should have a detailed business plan, realistic expectations, enough cash flow to maintain your business, and a group of products or services that can generate repeat sales to a strong, satisfied customer base, and finally keep at it.

DO NOT GIVE UP! You never know what tomorrow will bring, but if you give up, it cannot bring success.

Interested in HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE. The book is available on a complete money back guarantee of satisfaction. You can order it from Amazon for the regular price of $39.95 plus postage and handling or direct from the publisher for only $29.95 plus $3.50 for first class postage. Total $33.45. Order from SUPERIOR PRESS 333 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1032, Chicago, IL 60601

Social Media Marketing Fails To Provide Measurable Value To Advertisers

How do I know that? JUST FOLLOW THE MONEY. Traditional media such as television, radio, magazines, newspapers, out of home, card decks and direct mail are by far the choice of most successful companies when it comes to where they allocate the largest portion of their advertising dollars. And now a new study reported by Steve McClellan in the Nov. 18, 2011 MARKETING DAILY article bolsters that truism. Steve’s report follows.

STUDY: SOCIAL MEDIA FALLING SHORT ON CUSTOMER LOYALTY; TRADITIONAL METHODS ENCOURAGED

“While much of the marketing community is focused on sealing better relationships between brands and consumers via social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), a new study from Pitney Bowes suggests that their efforts would be better spent in other areas.

New study found social media to be one of the least effective engagement techniques

In fact, the new study—based on a survey of 5,000 consumers in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany—found social media to be one of the least effective engagement techniques for encouraging customer loyalty for larger and small businesses alike.

The survey found just 18% of the respondents believed that interaction with a larger company or its brand on social media would encourage them to buy from that business again.

Social media approach was deemed even less effective for smaller businesses

The social media approach was deemed even less effective for smaller businesses, where just 15% of those responding said it would encourage their loyalty to a company.

These findings will give decision-makers pause for thought, the report stated. Businesses can be forgiven for getting swept away by the hype of surrounding social media and wanting to invest in such activity as soon as possible. But results show that those businesses tempted to lead with such techniques find themselves out of step with consumer thinking.

Conversely several other techniques are far more likely to resonate with consumers and encourage them to do repeat business with companies. They include:

  • a home-delivery option
  • having a say in products and services
  • control of channels and frequency of received communications
  • a choice of channels to contact a company

In each case, nearly half or more of the respondents said those tactics were preferred and effective for small and large businesses alike.

All of these practices are aimed at increasing brand loyalty and retaining customers, the Pitney Bowes survey summary states. However, sophisticated social media and Web interaction can be time-consuming and expensive and outcomes are difficult to measure. Businesses are quickly having to learn the ‘customer dance’ when to lead and when to follow—if relationships are to be nurtured.”

Starting your own business has never been easier or more necessary with the economy continuing to spin out of control and men and women continuing to be laid off in large numbers and not being able to find jobs that pay a living wage.

Take advantage of my current offer to receive a copy of HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE for only $33.45 and that includes postage and handling. The book is always sold with a guarantee of satisfaction or your money back.

Send a check or money order in the amount of $33.45 payable to SUPERIOR PRESS along with your name and address to: Superior Press 333 N. Michigan Ave STE 1032 Chicago IL 60601 and I will promptly ship the book.

How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the OWS Protests

That’s the headline to Matt Taibbi’s article in the current issue of ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE. Last week’s post was from a conservative columnist who writes for FORTUNE MAGAZINE. It’s only fair for a progressive view–and there’s few as good as Matt Taibbi. He alone is well worth subscribing to one of my favorite magazines ROLLING STONE. Herein are excerpts:

“I have a confession to make. At first I misunderstood Occupy Wall Street. The first few time I went down to Zuccotti Park, I came away with mixed feelings. I loved the energy and was amazed by the obvious organic appeal of the movement, the way it was growing on its own. But my initial impression was that it would not be taken very seriously by the Citibanks and Goldman Sachs of the world. You could put 50,000 angry protestors on Wall Street, 100,000 even, and Lloyd Blankfein is probably not going to break a sweat. He knows he’s not going to wake up tomorrow and see Cornel West or Richard Trumka running the Federal Reserve. He knows modern finance is a giant mechanical parasite that only an expert surgeon can remove. Yell and scream all you want but he and his fellow Franksteins are the only ones who know how to turn the machine off.

That’s what I was thinking during the first few weeks of the protests. But I’m beginning to see another angle. Occupy Wall Street was always about something much bigger than a movement against big banks and modern finance. It’s about providing a forum for people to show how tired they are not just of Wall Street but EVERYTHING. This is a visceral, impassioned, deep-seated rejection of the entire direction of our society, a refusal to take even one more step forward into the shallow commercial abyss of phoniness, short-term calculation, withered idealism and intellectual bankruptcy that American mass society has become. If there is such a thing as going on strike from one’s own culture, this is it. And by being so broad in scope and so elemental in its motivation, it‘s flown over the heads of many on both the right and the left.

The right-wing media wasted no time in cannon-blasting the movement with its usual idiotic clichés, casting Occupy Wall Street as a bunch of dirty hippies who should get a job and stop chewing up Mike Bloomberg’s police overtime budget with their urban sleepovers. Just like they did a half-century ago, when the debate over the Vietnam War somehow stopped being about why we were brutally murdering millions of innocent Indochinese civilians and instead became a referendum on bralessness and long hair and flower-child rhetoric, the depraved flacks of the right-wing media have breezily blown off a generation of fraud and corruption and market-perverting bailouts, making the whole debate about the protestors themselves—their hygiene, their ‘envy’ of the rich, their ‘hypocrisy’.

The protestors, chirped Supreme Reichskank Ann Coulter, ‘needed three thing: showers, jobs and a point’. Her colleague Charles Krauthammer went so far as to label the protestors hypocrites for having iPhones. ‘OWS’, he said is Starbucks-sipping, Levi’s- clad, iPhone clutching protestors (denouncing) corporate America even as they weep for Steve Jobs, corporate titan, billionaire eight times over’. Apparently because Goldman and Citibank are corporations, no protestors can ever consume a corporate product—not jeans, not cellphones and definitely not coffee’—if he also wants to complain about tax money going to pay off some billionaire banker’s bets against his own crappy mortgages.

Meanwhile on the other side of the political spectrum, there were scads of progressive pundits like me who wrung our hands with worry that OWS was playing right into the hands of assholes like Krauthammer. DON’T GIVE THEM ANY AMMUNITION! we counseled. STAY ON MESSAGE! BE SPECIFIC!. We were all playing the Rorschach-test game with OWS trying to squint at it and see what we wanted to see in the movement. Viewed through the prism of our desire to make near-term, within the system changes, it was hard to see how skirmishing with cops in New York would help foreclosed-upon middle-class families in Jacksonville and San Diego.

What both sides missed is that OWS is tired of all this. They don’t care what we think they’re about, or should be about. They just want something different.

We’re all born wanting the freedom to imagine a better and more beautiful future. But modern America has become a place so drearily confining and predictable that it chokes the life out of that built-in desire. Everything from our pop culture to our economy to our politics feels oppressive and unresponsive. People want to go someplace for at least five minutes where no one is trying to bleed you or sell you something.

I think I understand now that that’s what the Occupy movement is all about. It’s about dropping out if only for a moment, and trying something new. It doesn’t need to tell the world what it wants. It is successful for now, just by being something different.”

These are only excerpts from Matt’s excellent article in the November 22nd issue of ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE. To read it in its entirety, pickup a copy or better yet become a subscriber. I’ve been hooked on their political reporting for 25 years and with age, year after year, it only gets better.

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