GPOY Occupy Spring edition

Queen Anonymous

Queen Anonymous

I! AM! The… oh waitaminit. Where’s my goddam hoodie? That’s better. All together now

I! AM! THE 99%!

HOODIE UP in solidarity with Trayvon Martin and all young people who have been targeted, hurt, or lost their lives as a result of racial profiling.

Trayvon Martin was a 17-year-old African American high school student. He lived with his mother and older brother, and wanted to to study aviation. He was visiting his father in a gated community in Sanford when he was shot by the neighbourhood watch captain, George Zimmerman. Trayvon was wearing a hoodie, on foot and un-armed; he had been to the store during a break in the NBA game to get Skittles and iced tea. Prior to shooting him in the chest, Zimmerman had called the police to report Trayvon’s “suspicious” behavior (walking while black??) and insisted on pursuing him. Police have not arrested Zimmerman because he claims that he killed Trayvon in self-defense, under the protection of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Police also did not contact Trayvon’s family and registered him in the morgue as John Doe, in spite of having his cellphone in their possession when he was pronounced dead.

For full story – http://www.democracynow.org/2012/3/20/walking_while_black_florida_police_resist

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The hoodie is a symbol of how we are NOT subject to the same treatment, how some of us have to expect violence and negligence, not safety or protection, from institutions like the police because of systemic racism. In spite of how common and “trendy” the hoodie is, it retains associations with “danger” and “criminality” when worn by people of colour, especially those who are perceived to be poor/of lower economic class and therefore “not belonging” in particular areas.

Cultural racism means that mainstream society feels entitled both to treat people of color on the basis of racial stereotypes (which erases one’s individual character) AND to have ready access to people of color’s personal/private identities at all times (which makes one’s individual body hyper-visible).

Racial profiling in the form of policing, surveillance and incarceration affects many youth of color in the Lower Mainland from Arab, Muslim, South and/or Southeast Asian communities, and especially Indigenous and Black communities, who are already over-represented, with growing numbers, in Canada’s prison system.

Visit http://icouldbetrayvon.com/

STAND UP AND REMEMBER.
MAKE YOUR STORIES HEARD.
HOODIE UP.

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Links to check out:

Video of parents of Trayvon Martin speaking http://is.gd/unCRaG

Video w/Brian Jones http://is.gd/S6ZKHQ

http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/comments/a-young-black-man-being-late

http://www.urbancusp.com/newspost/the-bullet-next-time-an-open-letter-to-my-unborn-black-son/

http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/03/koritha_mitchell_living_with_lynching.html

http://globalgrind.com/news/michael-skolnik-trayvon-martin-george-zimmerman-race-sanford-florida-photos-pictures

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/trayvon-martin-news-7552519?src=soc_fcbk

http://racismschool.tumblr.com/post/19758690223/the-million-hoodie-march

http://www.npr.org/2012/03/24/149245834/tragedy-gives-the-hoodie-a-whole-new-meaning&sc=fb&cc=fp

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2012/mar/21/trayvon-martin-shooting-911-call

Dress! Code! In! Force!

Hoodie up!

Hoodie up!

About these ads

catch you on the flip side

the flip side of this.

The flip side of the ability to wield physical beauty for political gain is…Occupy.

DSCN5495

Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy, but this just isn’t his best look. It isn’t anybody’s. The only things that could make it worse are Crocs and perhaps an ostentatiously large murse.

And much as it kills me to admit it, the look hasn’t changed in twenty, count ‘em, twenty years.

I was reading (and strenuously disagreeing with) Kurt Anderson’s article in Vanity Fair about how styles have not changed in the last twenty years. I was thinking “how could anyone get it so wrong?”

And then I saw this.

1992, people. 1992.

God, we’re old.

Occupy Children’s Literature!

Where's Waldo's Job?

Where's Waldo's Job?

Oh Waldo! You’re such an adorable, accessible, Zeitgeist-defining dude. Tall and gangly in your cute watch cap and your dorky prison shirt, how is it you pass unnoticed (and un-reported-to-police) among us? Waldo, you are our Zelig, the physical embodiment of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Only in 2012, you’ve got lots and lots of company.

What if Wonder Woman Were a Disney Princess?

Wonder Woman kicks ass, takes names, brings home the bacon, and fries it up in a pan. And no you can't have any.

Wonder Woman kicks ass, takes names, brings home the bacon, and fries it up in a pan. And no you can't have any.

Now THIS is an avatar of feminine power we can all support. Sure, she may have taken jobs away from the odd dashing prince or fairy godmother, but now they can find new, rewarding careers as ghost writers for her autobiography, fan club presidents, or personal assistants. Win/win/win!

Besides, it’s not like those off-the-shelf Disney Princesses turned out so goddam well.

Hipster Ariel will self-harm if she doesn't get a goddam beer already

Hipster Ariel will self-harm if she doesn't get a goddam beer already

Which brings me to a slight rant, not for the first and surely not for the last time.

Have you been to the GA lately? No? Been to any populist movement of any kind recently? Even a City Council meeting? And seen? These girls? (and they’re always girls, you know?) Who really, really want to make the world, like, a better place, and, huh, oh, just want everyone to FEEL oKAY about it, okay? Okay?

You know?

“In case you hadn’t realized, it has somehow become uncool to sound like you know what you’re talking about? Or believe strongly in what you’re, like, saying? Invisible question marks and parenthetical ‘you know’s and ‘you know what I’m saying’s have been attaching themselves to the ends of our sentences? Even when those sentences aren’t, like, questions? Declarative sentences, so called because they used to, you know, like, declare things to be true, as opposed to other things that are, like, totally… not?” -  Taylor Mali

Yes, our movement is a tentative one. It is conditional. It is not sure it should be out so late on a school night, and it doesn’t want to run into its boss at the GA. “If there ever was a time it would be now,” says Third Eye Blind in their Occupy anthem, and that’s as conditional a statement as was ever shoehorned into a revolutionary theme. Ambivalence is the precondition of all Occupiers, but we needn’t let it paralyze us. Let’s get okay with uncertainty, with backlash.

Kids, girls, poke your heads out of your scarves for a moment, unturtle thyselves, and listen to me:

If everyone feels safe and supported and comfortable about what we are doing then

WE ARE DOING IT WRONG.

Hipster guys for whatever reason don’t seem to insist that everyone feel okay about things, so I’m leaving them out of this rant although I’m sure to rant on them sometime or other, if only for their choice of novelty facial hair. It’s the girls (and yes, only some of them but enough that it’s led me to conclude this is a problem with the hipster worldview per se and not just two or three girls who bug me) who really want to change the world, who realize that to do it you need to step up into a position of action and power and who, once there, turtle themselves into their scarves, stare at their pigeon toes and hold up the GA while everybody gets “okay” with things.

Girls, you’ve got halfway there. Once the spotlight is on you, remind yourself this isn’t a photoshoot for Tumblr. This isn’t an audition for Suicide Girls (think about that name).

This is your chance to change the world, our REAL chance to change the world, and it requires more courage than anything any of us have ever done before. It is okay to fear. There is plenty to fear. But fuck “fierce.” Become fearsome.

Hold your heads high when you facilitate a GA. Shut down the randos; empower the change artists. When you’re stacking, own your power, because the power of the GA flows through you; you are a vessel of democracy at that point. Feel it. Live and breathe it.

And then lay it on an unsuspecting world.

Weekend Roundup: SOPA, Harper, Hipsters, Canuckistan, and Wikileaks

Prime Minister Stephen Harper Sez Welcome to Canada's beautiful tar sands

Prime Minister Stephen Harper Sez Welcome to Canada's beautiful tar sands

And how was YOUR weekend? Canuckistan’s Glorious Ruler posed for a picture with some cuddly Alberta wildlife, while his obedient servants created a website apologizing to the world for the mortifying homunculus who sits, slavering, atop Parliament.

We messed up.

We know you look to us as one of the last great strongholds of common sense in a swirling sea of crazy on this big ol’ crazy planet of ours.

Decriminalized marijuana, same-sex marriage, our peace keeping force, universal health care, education, our stance on environment, human rights, and religious freedom made us look pretty darn awesome.

Now we’re realizing that those things that made us awesome are being taken away from us, and it’s not just us Canadians who are paying the price.

Turns out some of us thought it would be a grand idea to put this fucking guy in charge.

Well, actually, it wasn’t so much that we put him in charge as it is we failed not to.

We goofed. We took our stick off the ice. We pulled a real boner. For that we apologize.

But, hey. 2015 is just around the corner. Hopefully, we’ve learned our lesson, and we’ll do better next time.

We’d better, assuming he doesn’t pull a coup and off the Governor-General, and I wouldn’t put it past him or his alien leaders.

In related news, at least now we can live tweet the defeat of democracy as it happens:

The government of America’s hat announced it will repeal a 1938 law that prohibited citizens from publicly posting election results before all polls closed across the country. Since social-media sites feature real-time discussions, it has been nearly impossibly to enforce the rule despiteElections Canada’s hardline stance.

Someone who’s suddenly not having a great weekend is Greyhound bus driver Donald Ainsworth, who kicked 13 OccupySD protesters off his bus just for supporting Occupy. He thought he’d show them.

Then we did this:

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