black holes and gray matter. in one thousand tangos.

             

"[I]n my opinion there is no greater example of Washington politicians and K Street lobbyists working against our future prosperity than in the treatment of student loan debt. To be clear, this problem existed even before the crisis; families have been taking on crushing debt to help the kids get ahead for a few decades, as the cost of school has far outpaced inflation. It’s just come to a painful head now: graduates with no jobs, or low paying jobs are justifiably panicked that they will never be able to get the loans paid off. Meanwhile, many well-meaning parents who only wanted to help their kids by taking out loans for college, are now laid off, or in new jobs that pay less. Yet where’s the relief for these borrowers, who took out loans so their kids could compete in the workplace, or better yet, we collectively could compete in the global marketplace? Far from relief, here’s what we have: a bankruptcy system that does not allow student loans to be discharged. Many other debts can be discharged, but not student loans. Look, we want a society where everyone strives to repay their debts. That’s clear. But to single out education loans as the one type of debt that our system specifically prohibits from standard bankruptcy is flat-out wrong. We bail out the banks, but offer nothing to American families that borrowed to become more educated and competitive?”

— Suze Orman endorses OWS

Wall Street Protest Shows Power of Place | NYT

 
THE ever expanding Occupy Wall Street movement, with encampments now not only in Lower Manhattan but also in Washington, London and other cities, proves among other things that no matter how instrumental new media have become in spreading protest these days, nothing replaces people taking to the streets. […]
We tend to underestimate the political power of physical places. Then Tahrir Square comes along. Now it’s Zuccotti Park, until four weeks ago an utterly obscure city-block-size downtown plaza with a few trees and concrete benches, around the corner from ground zero and two blocks north of Wall Street on Broadway. A few hundred people with ponchos and sleeping bags have put it on the map.
Kent State, Tiananmen Square, the Berlin Wall: we clearly use locales, edifices, architecture to house our memories and political energy. Politics troubles our consciences. But places haunt our imaginations.
So we check in on Facebook and Twitter, but make pilgrimages to Antietam, Auschwitz and to the Acropolis, to gaze at rubble from the days of Pericles and Aristotle.
I thought of Aristotle, of all people, while I watched the Zuccotti Park demonstrators hold one of their “general assemblies” the other day. In his “Politics,” Aristotle argued that the size of an ideal polis extended to the limits of a herald’s cry. He believed that the human voice was directly linked to civic order. A healthy citizenry in a proper city required face-to-face conversation.
It so happens that near the start of the protest, when the police banned megaphones at Zuccotti Park, they obliged demonstrators to come up with an alternative. “Mic checks” became the consensus method of circulating announcements, spread through the crowd by people repeating, phrase by phrase, what a speaker had said to others around them, compelling everyone, as it were, to speak in one voice. It’s like the old game of telephone, and it is painstakingly slow.
“But so is democracy,” as Jay Gaussoin, a 46-year-old unemployed actor and carpenter, put it to me. “We’re so distracted these days, people have forgotten how to focus. But the ‘mic check’ demands not just that we listen to other people’s opinions but that we really hear what they’re saying because we have to repeat their words exactly.
It requires an architecture of consciousness[.]”

Photo: Central Park protest against the Vietnam War, 1967

Wall Street Protest Shows Power of Place | NYT

THE ever expanding Occupy Wall Street movement, with encampments now not only in Lower Manhattan but also in Washington, London and other cities, proves among other things that no matter how instrumental new media have become in spreading protest these days, nothing replaces people taking to the streets. […]

We tend to underestimate the political power of physical places. Then Tahrir Square comes along. Now it’s Zuccotti Park, until four weeks ago an utterly obscure city-block-size downtown plaza with a few trees and concrete benches, around the corner from ground zero and two blocks north of Wall Street on Broadway. A few hundred people with ponchos and sleeping bags have put it on the map.

Kent State, Tiananmen Square, the Berlin Wall: we clearly use locales, edifices, architecture to house our memories and political energy. Politics troubles our consciences. But places haunt our imaginations.

So we check in on Facebook and Twitter, but make pilgrimages to Antietam, Auschwitz and to the Acropolis, to gaze at rubble from the days of Pericles and Aristotle.

I thought of Aristotle, of all people, while I watched the Zuccotti Park demonstrators hold one of their “general assemblies” the other day. In his “Politics,” Aristotle argued that the size of an ideal polis extended to the limits of a herald’s cry. He believed that the human voice was directly linked to civic order. A healthy citizenry in a proper city required face-to-face conversation.

It so happens that near the start of the protest, when the police banned megaphones at Zuccotti Park, they obliged demonstrators to come up with an alternative. “Mic checks” became the consensus method of circulating announcements, spread through the crowd by people repeating, phrase by phrase, what a speaker had said to others around them, compelling everyone, as it were, to speak in one voice. It’s like the old game of telephone, and it is painstakingly slow.

“But so is democracy,” as Jay Gaussoin, a 46-year-old unemployed actor and carpenter, put it to me. “We’re so distracted these days, people have forgotten how to focus. But the ‘mic check’ demands not just that we listen to other people’s opinions but that we really hear what they’re saying because we have to repeat their words exactly.

It requires an architecture of consciousness[.]

Photo: Central Park protest against the Vietnam War, 1967

coketalk:

Maybe it’s my kink showing, but I’ve got a thing for those ziptie handcuffs that the police have been using throughout the occupation protests.
I’m fascinated by them, not just as objects, but as their potential to be a symbol. They are ‘single use only’ instruments of oppression — cheap, wasteful, and violent — and of course, they come in pink.
In a disposable plastic society, a pair of ziptie handcuffs couldn’t be a more fitting representation of the banality of evil, and if it were up to me, the wide-eyed shape of those loops of nylon would become an appropriated logo for everyone who’s fed up with living in a police state.

Currently.

coketalk:

Maybe it’s my kink showing, but I’ve got a thing for those ziptie handcuffs that the police have been using throughout the occupation protests.

I’m fascinated by them, not just as objects, but as their potential to be a symbol. They are ‘single use only’ instruments of oppression — cheap, wasteful, and violent — and of course, they come in pink.

In a disposable plastic society, a pair of ziptie handcuffs couldn’t be a more fitting representation of the banality of evil, and if it were up to me, the wide-eyed shape of those loops of nylon would become an appropriated logo for everyone who’s fed up with living in a police state.

Currently.

(via sashafrerejones-deactivated2013)

©2011 Kateoplis