Posts tagged activism
Posts tagged activism
From an interview I did in October 2004. This question and answer has particular relevance to me because I see the same things happening in this country that I saw happening in the 1980’s, only now the mass media in this country is almost completely controlled by people with a ve$ted intere$t in maintaining the status quo. Even if you don’t agree with me, you should still seek out some news sources from outside of our country so that you can gain a different perspective on what’s happening here and abroad.
Q: You also went to Nicaragua in the early eighties to gain some new experiences, would you tell us something about that time and if it changed your views on certain things and how do you see the political situation in the U.S. in the moment…?
A: My trip to Nicaragua changed me forever. It made me realize how few material possessions a person needs to be happy and it put me back in touch with the values that living in a consumer society can deaden in you, basic human values like caring about your neighbor. I realized that the U.S. government has been bought by corporate entities that have little regard for Americans and even less regard for the rest of the world. Their sole concern lies in expanding their control over the economic systems of the world. Countries are either to be exploited for their natural resources or else they are markets for goods that are produced elsewhere and controlled by the corporations. These corporate entities only have one natural enemy and that is a well-informed citizenry focused on self-determination. As an American taxpayer and a corporate consumer, I am complicit in my own government’s efforts to block other people’s movement towards self-determination. That’s what my experience in Nicaragua taught me. I think we Americans need to get serious about taking back our country and making it responsive to our needs and goals. What’s happening in America right now could happen anywhere when people get too complacent.
Time to Occupy! If Barron’s told the truth, this is what the new cover would look like. We don’t need News Corp - we create our own media.
There’s a scene in the film “The Devil Wears Prada” where the fashion editor character played by Meryl Streep explains to a young intern that the frumpy blue sweater the intern is wearing is actually a shade called Cerulean Blue, chosen by a designer for a haute couture collection a couple of years prior which eventually made its way down the fashion food chain to the store where the intern bought it, thinking it was just a pretty shade of blue. Everything the intern thought she knew about fashion and even her own style of dressing was actually pre-determined by someone else, a tastemaker or a manufacturer, who decided which colors and styles would be deemed ‘fashionable.’ That’s another reason why making your own clothes to suit your own taste is so damned subversive. That scene struck a chord with me and the memory of it helps me keep my head high when I’m about town in my homemade frocks.
Another film that made me want to behave differently and which I heartily recommend is a documentary called The Corporation. It gave me more insight on the stranglehold big companies have on our way of life. Before I saw this movie, I made certain assumptions about corporations. I trusted in business ethics and the legal system to protect us from corporate greed. Boy, was I naive. I now see that a corporation is a legal entity which has all the rights and none of the responsibilities that keep greedy individuals in check. A corporation’s only reason for existence is to create profits for the shareholders, so anything that cuts into corporate profits is subversive, by my estimation. Hence the idea for Destroyers of Mass Production. D.I.Y. does not have the Corporation Seal of Approval.
Just because we can’t all be out in the streets protesting doesn’t mean we can’t engage in some small subversive, creative acts of rebellion everyday.
My father used to justify his aversion to politics by saying that all leaders were corrupt, that no matter who won the election the poor people of the world would ultimately lose because politicians would always be in the pocket of the wealthy. He thought that big corporations were the secret hand that really pulled the strings behind the governments of the world.
In the early 1980’s, I went to Nicaragua to work with the people there and to learn about the changes that had taken place in that country after their revolution. Living there for a short time, I saw firsthand what my own government was doing to these impoverished people in the name of “defending our nation” against the threat of creeping communism. It really opened my eyes to the way our media and our government worked hand in hand to spoon feed the U.S. public the “official story.” I began to feel overwhelmed by the power of the invisible hand that my father had talked about.
I don’t know when it happened to me, but I slowly started to adopt my father’s hopeless and cynical view of politics. I still voted, signed petitions, and played my share of benefits, but for many years I had the feeling that any meaningful change was beyond what I could hope for. I can’t afford to have this attitude anymore. I won’t allow myself to go along with business as usual without kicking and screaming and raising a fuss.
Thomas Paine wrote, “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” It has been a long time since I dared to hope that we could change the world. It’s time for involvement. Maybe we can’t change the world overnight, but if enough of us get involved, we can change the direction of this country and that’s a start.
“The deeper I got into crafting and sewing, the more I found that there was an alternate universe of people who were defying the mainstream consumer culture by making their own clothes, music, media and art. Before I got into crafting, I never thought crocheting or sewing your own clothes could be subversive, but now I realize that it takes the means of production (and consumer cash) out of the hands of big corporations that mass produce and mass market. Anything that cuts into corporate profits is subversive, by my estimation.” - Alice Bag, 2007