The Occupation of Wall Street – a beginning

When people in other countries rally in protest, many of us somehow feel as though we stand with them.  As far removed as we may be, when they decry their governments and peacefully demand change we applaud them.  When they are physically attacked, we demand accountability. They garner our support as they exercise their rights to demand democracy, equality, and all the things we like to think we stand for. When talking about “state controlled media” in other countries, we accept that these broadcasts are biased. We know what propaganda is, and when we look elsewhere – or in history – we see how effectively it can be used. So then why, when those same protests happen here in our own country, are we so quick to dismiss them as a small group of 20-something, disorganized, dirty hippy, nothing-better-to-do college radicals – who can’t even agree on what their demands are? Why do we feel we are immune from the same bias of state and media? If we are actually democratic, shouldn’t we – at the very least – hear what they have to say?  Do we honestly believe we have nothing to legitimately protest? Have you happened to notice that the bulk of network ‘news reports’ on the movement read strangely more like angry, dismissive editorials than, well, news? That instead of simply providing facts, they want to make sure they tell you how you should feel about it?  I hope you’re paying attention. No matter what political party you hate the least, as Americans we can usually agree that our government – the country itself – is...
Laughing Through September 11th – a postcard from the pile

Laughing Through September 11th – a postcard from the pile

Courage is not a derivative of violence, it is an act of love. We tend to forget that. With the 10-Year Memorial circus of September 11th now behind us, I’ve been wondering what exactly people were thinking during all those dramatic moments of silence. More this year than ever before, we have been saturated with articles, events, memorials and protests.  While each of us struggles to find meaning from that day a decade ago, it’s far too easy to just say ‘enough already’ and turn back to our day jobs and sitcoms until next year.  Memories and grief, theories and conspiracies abound. To make everything more complicated, a day that was once an actual tragedy is now constantly hijacked to serve the purpose of whatever politician or commentator has grabbed the microphone to attempt to win favor from our confusion. Perhaps though, as an alternative to the extremes of fighting, fear-mongering or simply trying to forget, we have the opportunity to really move forward from our ‘Day of Remembrance’ – to carry that remembrance back into our everyday lives without the heaviness of mourning or political rhetoric. Perhaps it’s finally time to follow our moments of silence with action and dialogue – action that sets a positive example and dialogue that values speaking and listening.  It’s time to act, because any shrink worth their salt will tell you that healing does not happen while we stand in silence. The word itself – remembrance – has enjoyed a substantial amount of celebrity over the last few years as the politically correct buzz word for 9/11. It’s the inevitable result of...
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