Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wily Wednesdays - Link Costume

No time for anything new this week, so I'm adding an oldie from 2007. The Legend of Zelda is probably one of my favorite games ever, and that year to make my nerdy dreams come true. I sewed the tunic and the hat, and the belts are stitched together with wire (Kyle offered his invaluable help with the wire sewing). The sword's a stainless steel replica and the shield is made of wood--both have surprising heft to them. A blue ocarina is in the pouch, and I can play all of two songs on it. The boots and gloves (with a little modification) were a lucky find from the thrift store. Overall, it was a fun costume to piece together, and gave me an excuse to display some of my nerd gear.

Monday, October 17, 2011

OWS is not about partisan politics

At first it seems great that some supporters are claiming that Occupy Wall Street is the liberal version of the tea party. We finally have our own reaction to the injustices we've been observing and experiencing, and it feels empowering to be part of a growing movement that echoes our ideals. But it's not accurate.

On the other side of this movement, we have critics who want to frame this uprising as yet another battle in partisan politics. I even see some honest confusion, which is not surprising in our highly polarized government, of people who align themselves with the republican party and are trying to group the OWS supporters with democrats. This projection is filled with flaws, and it only divides us when we should be working together.

And on the flip side, when OWS criticizes the current administration, that doesn't mean we're endorsing the GOP in any way. I'm happy that conservatives are embracing the movement, but this isn't about attacking democrats, so please don't use it an an excuse to validate your own party.

While I still fall pretty hard on the progressive end of the political spectrum, "democrats vs. republicans" is not what this is about. Occupy Wall Street is a nonpartisan movement, based on principles rather than party affiliation. I don't think I can stress that enough. Many people want to stick to their political tribe, viewing allies and enemies as we've been conditioned to do under this failing system.

The truth is, the overwhelming majority of us are on the same side. OWS transcends partisan fighting, and should. This pressure has been intensifying for decades, and both parties have their share of the blame.

So what are those principles? What has led not only the U.S., but the entire world to stand up and shout injustice?

  • The gross difference in wealth between the top 1% and the rest of the country's citizens.

  • Corporate greed and the ways capitalism has failed us, the remaining 99%.

  • The incredible power and influence that corporations have over our government.

  • Corporate personhood

  • Using taxpayer money to bail out the banks when other more vital institutions need the help.

That's just to name a few (I particularly like the Declaration of the Occupation that New York put together). It remains to be seen where this movement will take us, but my one bare-minimum hope is that people start waking up and realizing what's happening to them. The greed and influence of Corporate America may survive, but at least people will see the ugly truth.

I also want to stress: the best way to understand OWS is to actually attend a General Assembly (find one near you). Witness direct democracy with your own eyes.

UPDATE: A complete, thorough list of demands has just been formed, and you can view it here. Well worth the read.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wily Wednesdays - Halloween FSMs and Tree

It's time for another batch of mini FSMs -- the Halloween collection! (You can go here and here to see its previous incarnations.) I love these little dudes. I can't help it.

For some reason I felt compelled to make a display for them, so I built a tree out of wire and polymer clay. This took way longer than the FSMs themselves and became a project in itself, but still worth it. Details on its construction after the break.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Message Is Not Complicated

One of the louder complaints that I hear from the media and even friends and family is that the purpose of Occupy Wall Street remains unclear. Here, former congressman Alan Grayson explains, in less than a minute, what this movement is all about. Please don't buy into the propaganda of folks who are intentionally trying to muddy the waters with confusion.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Occupy Seattle

I'd just like to take a moment to say how excited I am that the Occupy Wall Street movement is finally gaining momentum. Yesterday afternoon I participated in the march against the war in Afghanistan (it's chilling to think about how long this has been going on) and then attended the Occupy Seattle General Assembly. The country's finally starting to wake up...and it's inspiring to see people gathering in solidarity. I'm glad I was able to witness what's happening locally, because I honestly had no idea where we stood.

Occupy Seattle is, in fact, getting organized. They've divided tasks into work groups (legal, media, communication, food, supplies, medical, etc.) and are plowing ahead with a direct democracy style of making decisions. Since PAs and bullhorns aren't allowed, we communicated "human microphone" fashion. As Kai pointed out, things were settled about as quickly as in any conversation in Old Entish, but I still loved the way it brought us together and really made us listen to each other. I'm impressed with what they've managed to accomplish, and I plan to attend future assemblies.

We are the 99%! I encourage you to get out there and show your support!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wily Wednesdays - Día de los Muertos

Each Wednesday this month, I'll be adding a little something to get into the Halloween spirit. This week was a small project inspired by the Mexican Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Found a simple, plain, paper-mache skull at the craft store, and I couldn't resist taking one home and sprucing it up.