i don’t have a lot to add to the post-#mayday commentary about what happened (or didn’t). some people are still really into #occupy. some people are over it. some people can take it or leave it.
(and if you are still wondering what exactly HAS #occupy accomplished? visit http://occupydidwhat.tumblr.com/ - you might be surprised.)
i’m with those who think it is probably more important as a cultural movement than a political movement. i hope #occupy is changing how people -Americans in the Land of the Free in particular – interact with their world – what they expect, what they want, what they see as possible.
for me personally, even though I have not been that directly involved, #occupy has proven a lot of what i assumed i knew about social movements, but it has taught me more about what i don’t know, and where i am weak in that regard – in really understanding and not just assuming things about the current dynamics of law, justice and politics, and then that intersection with my world of art and the creation of meaningful experiences (not just entertainment, catering to artificial mass taste). so much of how the world works now is unnatural, nonintuitive, not what it seems – we get sold values and the definitions of what things are or should be just as readily as you are sold a can of Coca Cola. the way things are framed, how they are defined and by whom (especially the by whom) create our perception and experience of the world.
we all know this – it’s part of becoming an adult, realizing that almost everyone is trying to sell you something, and not just person-to-person. that capitalism has produced a systemic, institutionalized, government-sponsored snake oil culture industry, influencing everything from what you eat and where you shop to who you vote for and how you feel about all of it.
but what is harder is figuring out what to do about it – and that is where i have really struggled with #occupy on a personal level. how to join and fight in a way that feels right, that uses our talents and desires and makes us feel empowered and engaged and excited and productive in our own way. not all of us want to take to the streets and fight the riot police. not all of us want to work tediously in committee meetings or court rooms. some of us just want to #occupyart:
“The marches are very powerful and motivating for anyone who begins in the march,” said 27-year-old librarian Jeremy Bold. “For passersby, they see people who are very vocal and angry.”
“Personally, I don’t like labels,” said 25-year-old musician Dotan Negrin. “So I don’t consider myself part of Occupy Wall Street. I’m not a protester.” Negrin has been travelling the country with a musical project called Pianos Across America. He has driven and dragged his upright piano as far as LA, Seattle and Chicago to play in open spaces and welcome people into the the performances. For the past few months, he’s been playing in Union Square Park, which has become something of a second home for the occupiers.
“I always play Union Square, so I figured I might join them,” said Negrin.
His goal in life, he said, is to “try to do something really extraordinary while trying to make the world a better place.”
“That’s my sort of protest,” he added.
YES to that. yes.
and i do know that Occupy has space for this. that if you build your own movement, it will be supported. it’s one of the great things about decentralized models. everyone can play. i think that is what makes it strong. but i have still struggled to find my voice here, through no fault but my own.
i still support #occupy 100%, and believe that we all do need to fight what is going on in the U.S. — that complacency and entitlement are social evils and killing us. i might not be in the streets, but i have put a lot of energy into this and i need to let myself stop feeling guilty – and peer pressured – to participate in #occupy in ways that don’t feel comfortable for me. i wish the same for everyone else out there who is interested and supportive of the movement, and that we all find a way to fight the good fight in our own ways.
(use the #ows tag to see all previous posts)Filed in art, culture and random linkage | Tagged with #occupyart, #occupywallstreet, #ows, capitalism | Comment (0)