Everything is So Wrong

October 4, 2011

Hi. I have to talk about the Occupy Wall Street protests. I didn’t want to because I don’t want to give them any more attention, but I just have to.

First, I want to post an image of what the latest headlines are for BBC (the international news source I respect and go to):

oh look! Kim Jong-Il's grandson has a Facebook! That's big news.

I scrolled down a little just to make sure:

Looks like pale people need to spend more time in the sun.

Do you see Wall Street protests anywhere in there? In case you can’t read the screenshot, the answer is no. They’re somewhere on the website, yes, but it’s certainly not as newsworthy as, say, the protests in Syria or apparently the announcement of the iPhone 5. (This, I’m sure, is another reason OWS is against the corporatocracy, which they all tweet on their iPhones.) Nowhere on the website says what they want to achieve, no goals listed, no demands. There are some supporters who have suggested demands, but the organization will not ask for anything. If you have no end goal, then what the fuck are you doing?

Before I really get started, I wanted to address the idea that this is has been compared to the events taking place in the Middle East, specifically Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt. Sure, if you really want to make the argument, our democracy has become a bit of a corporatocracy. But do you know what was going on in Egypt? Mubarak had been in power for 30 years, assuming power after Sadat was assassinated. The disparity between the rich 1% in Egypt versus the other 99% is that the 99% in Egypt lives on less than the 99% here in the US. Up until January 25, people were afraid to say anything against Mubarak and the government. Here we constantly hear, see, and read a variety of opinions about our government on every media platform possible. And haven’t you noticed that there’s been absolutely no media allowed to cover the Syrian protests for months? Do not compare the occupation of Wall street to the revolutions in the Middle East.

My first suggestion: take all your money out of the major banks – Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo – and invest with smaller community banks and credit unions. How many people “occupying” these cities have accounts with these banks? You really want to bring down the corporatocracy? Stop feeding it money. In case you haven’t noticed, this is something I’ve been preaching for a very, very long time. I’ll address you more directly: Dear Occupy Wall Street, please march to the nearest BofA, Chase, and/or Wells Fargo, and have everyone close their accounts with these banks.

Also, why is it that they’re so willing to accept donated food? If the occupiers want to fight the system, why not buy food from smaller restaurants in the area? Even from NYC chains? Why ask people to buy you food and send it to you? Most likely people will buy you cheap food, which is processed by the big chains. And furthermore, why aren’t you personally stimulating the economy? If you want to change the system, why not do it with your dollar? Clearly you do not understand the language of corporatocracy.

I think one of the best illustrations of what I’m trying to tell you is this documentary Beer Wars. 95% of the beer industry is dominated by the 3 major corporations: Coors, Miller, and Anheuser-Busch. Even the precious “working class” Pabst Blue Ribbon is owned by Miller. The film is all about being an informed consumer. So what are you doing on Wall street? Are you telling people how to invest their money? Are you informing them of the power of their dollar? No. You’re camping out on the streets and not contributing to the economy.

Do something productive, or is that too square for you?

UPDATE 10/5/11: I’ve been proven wrong. BBC thinks that the Wall Street march is almost as important as Steve Jobs’s death.

there it is.

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Everything Is Never As It Seems

January 13, 2011

My roommate’s friend stayed with us for these past couple of days. She grew up around Philadelphia, lived in San Francisco, and now she’s traveling around the world until she decides what to do next. She’s got a camping backpack and a couple other bags and that’s it.

It used to be a lifestyle I wanted to pursue, partially because my ex-boyfriend was similar: he grew up in DC, and before attending NYU, he lived in San Francisco for a year and traveled a bit. I wanted that hippie, bohemian, nomadic lifestyle. I wanted to travel around the world and meet random people and make art and live a colorful life, like Auntie Mame (which I watched last night).

There are a lot of choices I’ve made that led me away from that dream. I left NYC. I left the Bay Area. I walked away from some amazing job opportunities and comfortable lifestyles, and for what? To follow an Army boy? To have a job completely unrelated to art? To live nowhere near my family?

Oddly enough, it was all for love. I moved to Atlanta with nothing but my savings account. I knew no one, I had no job, no connections, nothing. I just moved here because I’m 22 and in love. It’s certainly not what I dreamed of doing, and it’s not what I thought I wanted to do, but here I am. And life is good when you have love. Except for when it lives 400 miles away.


Holy Moly Me Oh My

June 25, 2010

I can’t believe my last post was last Friday. It seems like months since I last said anything. The Film Festival came to a close tonight, which was amazing. If you get a chance to watch Presumed Guilty on POV/PBS, do it. The film follows the story of an innocent man in jail in Mexico, and explores the flaws and injustices of the Mexican penal system.

But more importantly, at this moment, I have 6 days and 12 hours until I leave NYC. I was thinking about that today. I went to MoMA to see the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit, and then to Le Pain Quotidien for a pot of coffee and coconut macaroons, and while sitting at the communal table drinking from my bowl of coffee (yes, a bowl), I realized just how short my time here has been. Four years of my life – four significant years – I’ve spent in NYC. Whether or not I’ll come back…who knows.


Maybe Someday My Dreams Will Match Up With My Pay

June 18, 2010

It’s been a long day, and tomorrow will only be longer. But I just have to say a few words about the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, because it’s really incredible.

I’m currently a consultant with the film festival, and I’ve seen a good number of the films. Tonight I saw Camp Victory, Afghanistan, which follows the events that unravel over three years as the US National Guard tries to help train the Afghan Army to bring stability to the country. I hadn’t realized how little the media actually covered regarding the rebuilding of this entire nation. And furthermore, I had no idea how complicated it is. I mean, I always knew how complicated it all was, but seeing things happen and listening to the struggles on both sides…it’s eye-opening.

After I saw Camp Victory, I spent some time with the Youth Producing Change filmmakers. Seeing them all here from all over – Afghanistan, Kenya, Texas, Slovenia, L.A., Brooklyn – and watching them interact has been priceless. It’s so great seeing youth engaging in arts and human rights and activism and wanting to learn more. I love it. I love it all. It always gives me hope to see young, peaceful youth trying to live a good life and share themselves with others.

Anyway, that’s what I wanted to say. If you’re in NYC, come out to the festival. It’s the best $7-$12  you’ll spend this summer. (well, one of the best.)


Short Things

June 12, 2010

A short list of things I don’t want to forget and may explain later.

1. Talking about Buffy makes me want to re-watch Battlestar Galactica.

2. I’m angry that there are people in the world who are anti-choice, and make it their lives’ mission deceiving women for no one’s benefit.

3. The BSG soundtrack is so good.

4. If it weren’t for art, science wouldn’t know how to think outside the box.


Imagine This

January 19, 2010

Today I thought “Hmm. I’ve been so busy with preparing for school that I haven’t had time to even think about another blogpost.” But I found something in the final hours of the day. I read another article on human trafficking at Change.org, but this time it was an apology to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for our lack of progress. As much as I usually enjoy Amanda Kloer‘s articles, I found this one particularly useless and painful to read. Yes, there are many who believe racism is dead in the US because now we have a black president. Yes, the Golden Globes were a clear example of our seemingly frivolous ways of spending money here while many besides Haiti across the world suffer. And yes, this article in the San Jose Mercury News may be a feel good piece about teens making a difference in the Bay Area.

But these are not things to apologize for. Read the rest of this entry »


3rd Stone from the Sun

January 5, 2010

Recently I read this post about why white people make movies like Avatar. I found this amusing because I was wondering the exact same things while I was watching. The actress who plays Neytiri is black. The actor who plays her father is Native American, and the actor who plays her love interest is also black. The main character is white. I’m sure Cameron didn’t overlook these details. I loved Avatar. But really, why couldn’t the Na’vi people be played by white actors?
Read the rest of this entry »