Tag Archives: Occupy Wall Street

Debt Resistor’s Operation Manual.

An interesting project. 


For May Day

Dear friends and family,

Tomorrow’s May Day. Historically it commemorates a strike that took place in Chicago in 1886. Those workers were fighting for an 8 hour work day then but the fight, essentially, was for time. Time to be. Time to breathe. Time to talk and think and share. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that work, ambition, and outcomes drive our lives forward today. In some cases we work or are worked excessively. While we’re paid in money for this (though in many cases not enough, and sometimes way too much) we pay for it with our thoughts, feelings, and bodies. These priceless aspects of ourselves–the very things that make work possible at all–are consumed with work, and we suffer. Others suffer. This is a necessary suffering, of course. But it is suffering nonetheless. The struggle with that feeling is the worker’s struggle, and all of us participate in it whether we like to think about it or not. So take the day tomorrow. Take it for yourself. Take it to appreciate everything you have that you can’t sell. For everything you won’t sell. Your heart, your mind, your freedom–whatever those mean to you. If you don’t want to leave work, find a group of people after work to talk to. Go somewhere public. A park, a statehouse, a courthouse. If you don’t want to go somewhere public, just hear yourself think for a second. Take out the headphones. Turn off the computer. Hide your cell phone. Turn off the television. Turn off the lights. Hold someone’s hand. Breathe in. Breathe out. Feel your heart beating. You’re alive, for God’s sake. Celebrate it.

In solidarity,

The Reason America Won’t Change (with thanks to W.H. Auden)

In Europe the rich man and the poor man were thought of as being two different kinds of men; the poor man might be an inferior kind but he was a man: but here the poor man was not, as such, a man, but a person in a state of poverty from which, if he were a real man, he would presently extricate himself. The newly arriving poor…were treated by their predecessors, it seems like freshman by upperclassmen, i.e, subject to a process of ‘hazing’ so as to toughen their character and stiffen their determination to rise to a position of immunity.–W.H. Auden, Preface to Anzia Yezierska’s Red Ribbon on a White Horse

The reason America won’t change
because 1%  of people own everything
is because our country is like high school
the poor are like freshmen
and they see the seniors
who get so many privileges
just because they worked hard for a little while
and waited and suffered
the unpleasantness of beginning
with the hope of someday achieving
the promise
for freshmen it’s graduating
and senior skip day and prom, etc
and for the poor it’s wealth
it’s having that 1%
it’s being a king
because ours is the only country
where anyone can be a king
–not everyone, that’s statistically impossible–
but anyone that wants and suffers
can make it to senior year.

Why would freshmen ever give up
the chance to be seniors?