Legislative Influence (2011) by Shepard Fairey
I believe in the Occupy movement. If for some reason you don't know what I'm talking about, here's a quick run down. About a month ago people started to camp out day and night in lower Manhattan to protest corporate greed, and express their disgust with the current economic and political situation. They called themselves Occupy Wall Street, #OWS in tweet speak. Since their sentiments spoke so poignantly to the general malaise that seems to have griped our country since the 2008 crash and subsequent bailout, the movement quickly spread to other cities. Recent financial catastrophes have finally exposed the risky investments corporations were making in the name of short term greed, the growing divide between the richest 5% and the 95% of the rest of us, and the impotence of a government essentially bought by lobbyists. If you are even remotely aware of this situation, it's hard not to be a little upset.
Or, maybe you don't really care. Okay. Well please indulge me, and let me explain why I care. In a different era of America, the idea that you could afford an education, a car, a home, healthcare, and retirement, all the basics for a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. However, in this era of America I know far too many friends and family that haven't had this opportunity. I know smart kids, who didn't finish college, because they couldn't afford it. I know loving mothers, who had to file for bankruptcy, because their job was outsourced and they can't find a new one. I know young adults with college degrees that are still stuck in part-time internships a year after graduating. I know families with two adults working full-time that still can't afford to own their own home. I know young adults, who still live at home, because they have so much debt from college. Once upon a time America was at the forefront of eradicating these social issues. What happened? Well, towards the end of the 1970s, a new trend of economic deregulation became popular, and in turn, deregulation in general got popular. This progressed exponentially through the 1980s, 1990s, and suddenly we ourselves the current predicament. Shame on us. We've done better, and we can do even better.
The next step after caring, is acting. I could give you a lot of quotes along the lines of "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country", or "first they came for the communists, but I did not speak out...then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out", but this segment by The Daily Show sums it up far better.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
Basically, if you're unhappy with the system enough to complain about it, why wouldn't you also take action? You don't have to join the Occupy movement, if you don't entirely agree with it, but you really ought to do something. Personally, I generally agree with OWS, and appreciate their growing power. My action is to occupy.
Unfortunately, my concern for these problems, my passion for the Occupy movement is so great that no single post can do it justice. This post is pale and paltry. More will probably follow in my best attempt to compensate.
Occupy Together website