(Written en route from NYC to Shanghai 10/26/11)
What’s up world? So daaaaaamn, split this blog up into three (four if you count the SYHME blog) scheduled to post every four days while I’m in China & Taiwan, since I’m on a transnational flight to SHANGHAI right now…Heck, I got 8 hours left on this flight, but I’m assuming you’ve got other things to do than to read my blogs all day, all at once, lol….
So I’ma say it. When I first heard about Occupy Wall Street, I did feel irritated. My most hated is when protests are completely vague and unfocused. I feel like it’s so easy to rail on how awful the world is in general WITHOUT having the proper information. I’ve been a part of plenty activist and poetry circles where folks seem pretty short-sighted in that there is so much “we’re against this, we’re against that” — that there ain’t anything that we’re for AND if we were given the power to choose and decide that very day, I’m not sure we would know what to do with that power.
With great power comes great responsibility, yes?
A big thing for me at this point in my life is just becoming as informed as I can be and understanding all of the forces and factors involved and understanding what is influencing the decision-making – so I can be clear on what I’m saying but also to prepare for a day when I AM in decision-making positions including and beyond the spheres of influence that I’ve got today.
Just 99% vs. 1% was not enough for me. I didn’t get the messaging. Not really. Not to say that I’m not FOR social equity and corporate responsibility, because I absolutely am. I had many a convo with folks who said, “But the beauty of this movement is that it ISN’T single issue, so it can’t be solved and put away.” Um, okay. For me, still more irritating than exciting to get me onboard. I agreed with the sentiment from the get-go, but for a mobilization – I just wanted more.
For ex., if this were about overturning Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission re: unlimited contributions by corporations to political candidates – I would be down there every day. If this were about ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and closing Guantanamo Bay, I would be there in a heartbeat. If this were about ending the stop-and-frisk policy in NYC which profiles young black men (nearly 400,000 last year alone which accompanies NYC’s first dip in the black population in decades), I would be there and ready to get people behind it. Or ending exec. bonuses for the corporations who got gov’t bail-outs, I’d be behind it…but when you tell me that it’s about EVERYTHING…or nearly everything that’s bad about the United States. Well, that’s just not as motivating for me.
I wouldn’t go for that in a poem, so why in a mobilization either? When folks write poems like that, I honestly feel like they haven’t thought about those issues that hard. Specificity, precision, your sense of personal priority – The world is fucked up. What else is new? Where to start? Where to begin? What’s your personal stake and responsibility in this miasma that we’re all a part of?
Kells the Poet