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Ditch the Coke Nail: Advice for the ’99 Percent’ Movement

Profiles in cowardice and laziness.


My mother is drowning in debt so I can earn a degree that offers NO FINANCIAL SECURITY. I am the 99%

Dear Shameless in Seattle (or somewhere similar, most likely),

So, your story is that your selfish desire to study underwater basket weaving, Klingon, and queer musicology is drowning your mother in debt? Ever hear of a little something called shame? Or do they not teach that in your overpriced, masturbatory degree program?

Hey, jackass, how about giving a rat’s arse about your own mother? She should drown in debt so that you can continue with your unmarketable studies in navel gazing? What’s more, you’ve clearly mastered the art of being totally self-absorbed and no further studies in that concentration are necessary. Kudos, Doctor of Entitlement!

We’d bet cash money that you are totally against water boarding terrorists, but drowning your own mother so that you can mentally polish your bishop is hunky-dory, huh? You are a terrible son and a terrible human being. Man up, stop sucking at mommy’s increasingly shriveled teat, and get the hell off her lawn. If you want to study something with no financial security—say, tree-climbing or Oprah studies—do it on your own dime, leech.

And cut your hair; it looks absurd.


I bought my house on a “fixed rate” mortgage.  My payments go up every 6 months because of adjustments in interest and escrow payments.  I’m afraid that I won’t be able to afford my house soon.  I am the 99%

Dear Math is Hard,

We’ll break this down rather simply for you. Because, evidently not only is math hard, but reading is not fundamental to some:

a) That’s not fixed rate, idjit. If there are adjustments, then that means it is, you know, an ADJUSTABLE rate.

b) The people who did read their loan documents and pay their mortgages, as willingly entered into, should also pay for you because you were too lazy to read and comprehend your loan docs? But the house was so purty! Oh, look! A shiny!

Guess what, Ms. Math is Hard? Plenty of people could not qualify for a fixed rate standard mortgage and somehow managed to understand that their income would not magically increase via unicorn farts and fairy dust every six months to cover increases due to an adjustable rate.

THEY RENT.


I’m ASHAMED to be an american,
where I’m ANYTHING BUT FREE.

& I won’t forgive the men who LIED,
and took that right from me

THE TIME IS NOW.

We are the 99%.

Dear “american” woman,

Our advice is simple: ditch the coke nail.

Seriously, just hack that nasty thing off your pinky and don’t look back. And bear with us, this might seem unconventional, but consider giving up the coke habit too.

If you don’t have your heart set on a decent job while you’re waiting for The Revolution to outlaw money and usher in a resource-based economy, we suppose you can keep your coke nail. But honestly, if that’s your choice, don’t count on your skills as a lyricist to get you by.

Times are tough since the bottom dropped out of the single-verse, anti-American song parody market. Your use of a lowercase “a” in “american” was a nice touch, but you’ll never impress your friends in the 99 Percent Movement if you continue to brazenly flaunt your filthy cultural hegemony. Try swapping “american” for the Occupy Wall Street-approved demonym “USian” and watch your career soar!


I’m a college senior with $40K of debt. There are no jobs in my feild. My toughest decision now is whether to sell drugs or my body. I am the 99 percent.

Dear Crime Conundrum:

Evidently, your ‘feild’ (sic) is not English. We won’t even bother trying to explain to you the idiocy of knowingly and willfully spending $40,000 that one cannot afford on a degree that is worthless. That idiot ship has sailed. For now, your pressing problem is which criminal enterprise to enter into. If bound and determined to go the, you know, illegal route to solve your self-inflicted problems, it is clear that you’ll need to go with the former; selling your body does not appear to be a viably profitable option.


I am 20 years old and upwards of $275,000 in medical bills from this last year due to a condition I was born with. I can’t get insurance because of a “pre-existing condition.” I will die before America wakes up. I am the 99%.

Dear Walking Dead,

We can see by your peeling, flaking manicure that you’ve been pinching pennies to get those overwhelming medical bills paid. And cutting your own bangs too! That’s a great start, but you could save hundreds, even thousands of dollars a year by limiting yourself to just one coat of red latex paint on your lips each day. Ka-ching!

Also, that choker you’re wearing may be a tad too tight. Surely if you had adequate blood flow to your brain, you’d remember a little something called ObamaCare. You remember, the Affordable Care Act that your tear-stained, self-mutilating emo hipster buddies think doesn’t go far enough toward destroying American health care and increasing medical costs for millions? Well, it now provides subsidized coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions in all 50 states.

Sure, having insurance won’t make you a rock star of the 99 Percent Movement. But on the off chance you’re willing to drop the beleaguered victim shtick, Papa Government is here to help. Bonus: it’s funded to a great extent by the tax dollars of all those eeeevil Wall Street types.

We’d tell you to turn that frown upside down, but, uh, it would look pretty much the same.


I AM AN UNEMPLOYED PRINTER REPAIRMAN WITH $87,000 IN STUDENT LOANS. I MAKE ENDS MEET BY CLEANING THE BATHROOMS AT RYAN’S STEAK HOUSE.

I WAS FORCED TO MOVE BACK INTO MY MOM’S BASEMENT, AND I CANNOT AFFORD TO FEED MY CATS BECAUSE THEY WON’T TAKE FOOD STAMPS FOR CAT FOOD. I AM THE 99%. OCCUPY WALL STREET

Dear Walking Stereotype,

Dude, your mom’s basement? That cannot be true. When we first read your plea for advice, we were certain that it must be fake. It’s like you took two stereotypes of total loser slackers personified and smooshed them together. Mom’s basement. And cats. For whom you want food stamps. Do you dress them in little outfits, too? All fancy boy and dandified and such?

What’s worse, back into your mom’s basement. Did she have your Star Wars sheets at the ready to put back on what we are certain is your twin bed? Clearly, nothing larger is necessary; you aren’t going to score with the ladies in Mommy’s basement. With your cats. Who are the only pussies you’ll be seeing any time soon.

While it seems to be to your credit that you did not squander away money and get yourself into debt for an attempted ‘career’ in, say, jazz flute, it is a bit confusing as to how one possibly has $87,000 in student loans for printer repair school. Ever hear of Devry or ITT Tech?

On the plus side, well done on that whole printing out your 99% screed instead of scrawling it out in nearly indecipherable writing like the rest of your fellow travelers. You’ve managed to keep your own printer in excellent repair!


I am over $250,000 in debt for house, car & student loans.

$160,000+ $5,000 + ≈$100,000 (My PhD Mr + AS Me)

We spend over $18,000 paying down debt each month and less than $100 a month on food

This needs to change!

We Are The 99%

Dear Starving in Scarsdale,

How will you ever endure the hungry days and sleepless nights until your $250,000 debt is paid in full? It’s gotta be, what, 14 whole months of $18,000 payments until you’re debt free? That’s 14 months of wiping with toilet paper instead of hundred dollar bills. Oh, the humanity! Tiny violins would be the soundtrack of your life (if only the tiny violinists didn’t collapse in giggle fits when they read your story).

Of course, very few people will actually see your story now that it’s been deleted from the We Are The 99 Percent Tumblr. But who can blame them? The 99 Percent Movement is a very exclusive club comprised of just 99 percent of the population. It’s not like just anyone can show up at Zuccotti Park and join The Revolution. Clearly your six-figure salary (or substantial savings) and $18,000 a month debt payments don’t make the cut. Optics are a bitch, huh?

Still, we’re happy to give you some advice. It’s what we do.

Reward yourself and spend another 500 bucks a month on food. You’re part of the 53 percent — you earned it. Maybe even send a few vegan pizzas to Zuccotti Park to get back in the good graces of the Occupy Wall Street slackers? You’ll still have that debt paid off in around 15 months, and maybe if you feed them, the oh-so-edgy revolutionaries will tolerate your harrowing tales of unbearable suffering.

Just don’t feed them after midnight. Or get them wet. It doesn’t end well.


OUR LOVE IS ETERNAL BUT we need a secure home I need adequate mental healthcare. He needs adequate physical. We are the 99% ….We are both artists who largely survive on SSD/pending SSI. These allotments get us by, as we live frugally, but put us in the poverty level. He was born with a physical disability due to a birth trauma, & I’ve been diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder. We live in an abandoned coffin factory that has been converted to a livable and affordable housing space for artists….

Dear Unfortunate Looking Twilighters,

By “live in an abandoned coffin factory,” we can only assume that you of course mean “live in an abandoned coffin, period.” Your love is eternal only because you are clearly UNDEAD. We are perplexed as to what you are demanding; you are already living (or unliving, being amongst the undead) on the public dole. Perhaps you are demanding “free” health care for your schizo-affective disorder? (Schizo-affective? You’re joshing! Who’d have thunk it?!)

In which case, let me point you to one of the heroines of the anti-capitalism Left: Nancy Pelosi. Perhaps one can’t get newspapers nor cable access in a coffin, so we’ll fill you in. There’s this thing called ObamaCare and Nancy Pelosi said that it is specifically for “artists” like yourselves. In fact, she said that a main goal in providing health care on everyone else’s dime and to the detriment of the economy as a whole was to make sure that y’all “artists” didn’t have to do anything pesky like actually work. See?

“We see it as an entrepreneurial bill,” Pelosi said, “a bill that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations because you will have health care.”

Sadly, there must be some loophole that excludes vampires. I suggest a march. Perhaps add a Vampire Equality amendment to your list of demands and the banning of all holy water and garlic.


I am a 38 year old divorced woman working part-time with no medical insurance.  I dropped my $10K deductible government policy last year because it didn’t seem to make sense to continue paying premiums for something I couldn’t afford to use.  I have a 20-year history of minor & major depressions & recently diagnosed myself with diabetes while treating my cat for it.  I last saw a doctor & my dentist in 2008.

My younger brother committed suicide at age 28, due in part to the lack of appropriate medical care & insurance.

We are both part of the 99% & we are not alone.

Dear Diabetes Dilettante,

We’re truly surprised your marriage didn’t work out. Any woman with no medical training who can use a cat’s illness to diagnose her own diabetes is quite the catch. A real keeper. Even the great Wilford Brimley needs to buy diabeetus testing supplies.

You’re a veritable medical magician! (And seriously, how are you single? It boggles the mind.)

We’re sure dozens of human diseases could be diagnosed by the average Joe if only he knew how to read the cryptic signs in every purr and meow. You owe it to the 99 Percent to share your talents with the world. If you don’t, why, you’re no better than the greedy Wall Street fat cats.

And really, there’s nothing insane about this skill of yours at all, so don’t let anyone tell you you’re nuts. They’re just jealous.


When I was 17, I chose to attend an affordable state school in a village close to home even though I had been accepted to 2 “Ivy’s” and many of my friend were attending prestigious Universities around the country. My parents, who worked blue collar jobs, could not provide much support for my education so I chose state school knowing that I would have to pay the debt in full. I worked two jobs through college to make ends meet and networked constantly my junior and senior year to try to find work after school. The Monday after graduating with my “useless” communications degree, I started as an intern in IT at a local college, making minimum wage  doing work that was not related to major, but work nonetheless. After a year of showing up on time and doing my job, they hired me full time and I was awarded affordable health benefits and a retirement fund. Two years and no raises later, they offered to pay for my MBA through their program at the business school. In 2010, I bought my first car, a new toyota corolla with money that I’d saved for almost 5 years. In 2011, I bought my first house on my own after living on my own since college in a shared apartment — a $72K, 1 bedroom condo with mortgage payments that were affordable, even with my low income. Shortly after, I finished my MBA and I was promoted into a higher paying job that allowed me to make larger payments against my debt while continuing to live a modest life. I do not live with a great deal of luxury, but my life is the result of constant forethought and planning to secure comfortable means to live by. I do not not now, nor have I ever relied on anyone else to pay my way through life.

Dear Subversive Infiltrator,

How in the hell did you sneak in? This does not suit. You with your subversiveness and your infiltrating–how can the slacker whiners continue their mewing when you demonstrate the horrifying traits of personal responsibility and a good work ethic?

Not buying things that you can’t afford? Not leeching off your parents and driving them into debt? What kind of dark magic is this? You must be one of those evil Wall Street Fat Cats in disguise. People shouldn’t have to, you know, act responsibly and pay their own way. People shouldn’t have to succeed on their own merits nor plan ahead for their own futures. How can the 99 percenters tweet stuff about The Man ™ keeping them down from their oh-so-hip iPhones and such if you are speaking all truth to power in their FACE?

Fascist.

Written By

Follow Jenn Taylor on Twitter at @JennQPublic and read more of her work at Pajamas Media, JennQPublic.com and That's What She Said.

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