makes me sick.
Naw, we don’t need feminism. Sexism doesn’t exist. Blah, blah, blah. WTF?!
I guess you’d probably call this great marketing. They probably just wrote it so that we’d bitch about it. CAPITALISM!
GOOD: What is cARTographyTO’s overall philosophy?
cARTographyTO: We believe that it is sometimes necessary to reclaim public space from persistent and predatory private interests through non-violent and non-destructive creative tactics. We believe it is important to remain active and engaged with the city around us and we aim to raise awareness and generate discussion about our public spaces.
We think these structures should be removed entirely, but failing this, that the structures should be drastically redesigned: Ads should be removed and useful information should be an integral part of any “Info” pillars. In many cases, the art pieces that cARTographyTO installed were maps of the surrounding neighborhood—the contributor’s personal take on the area, its composition, complete with wayfinding tips.
Full interview here
When people refuse to buy something, or buy product B instead of product A for what they believe to be political purposes, they might affect the bottom line of a company. They might even provoke that company to make changes to their products or practices. That’s great! But what they’re also doing, and what is so dangerous about telling young people that “voting with your dollars” is the most important thing they can do, is leaving the bulk of the power in the hands of those companies. This limits our own power—our power to create and to innovate and to call for new opportunities and experiences—to the power to consume (or not consume). It takes all of our experiences and lives and wants and needs and desires and possibilities and puts them into a dollar, ultimately conceding that yes, the best we can do is give other people our money and hope for the best.
Telling people to “vote with their pocketbooks” reinforces the idea that money and power are irrevocably intertwined. We shouldn’t look to those among us who have the most disposable income or the biggest advertising budget or the largest market research team to be setting the tone of our cultural landscape. We should be setting that tone ourselves. Not all of us have money, but all of us have voices, and it would do us well to encourage young people to develop and strengthen their voices rather than wait until they have enough money to be counted (a day that, for many, will never come).
Another reason why people need to stop acting like product (Red) or individual consumer choices can make substantive changes to greater structures of global power. It doesn’t make sense. They. Just. Want. Your. Money.
When we vote with our dollars, those with the most dollars get the most votes.
How do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?
- Bell Hooks
I’m kind of an extremist in that I believe everyone is making decisions based on the state of their body (how neurons are wired in the brain, what behaviors release dopamine, how the physical health of the body is affecting mood, etc).
I think we need to encourage healthy behavior, but our cultural ideal of “personal responsibility” is nothing more than a band-aid that ignores the biological realities of decision-making in human beings.
In order to change people’s behavior on a national or global scale, we need to better understand what physical, mental, emotional, AND environmental factors create unhealthy behaviors.
Even an “emotionally healthy” (however we define that) person would steal a loaf of bread to feed her kids - poverty is an environmental factor that makes crime completely logical.
Do you ever wonder what internet trolls’ home lives are like or what issues might be revealed if they went to a therapist?
In high school, I thought my suicidal friends were just seeking attention, because when I was feeling down I could just will myself to feel better. It wasn’t until I became clinically depressed many years later (thanks, as it turned out, to food allergies which caused unpredictable physical pain and anxiety) that I was able to understand that a lot of the time, it isn’t possible to fight the physical state of your body in order to “just get over it”.
These are just a few examples. YES I think we should encourage healthy decision-making, but we also need to teach the skills required to do so - and before we do any of that, we need to build a society that provides for everyone’s basic needs and focuses on rehabilitation rather than punishment.
This sentiment keeps popping up around the web. I think this version is a more productive angle than some others, but still risks becoming a red herring because of its finger-wagging attitude. I explained my position about the worst versions of this meme a few months back.
If I were to remake this graphic (and maybe I should), I would phrase it in the positive: “Things that become possible if Occupy succeeds”. One of which being, depending on the definition of “succeed” is the eradication of global poverty.
I think it’s important to note in this conversation that those with the most resources are the best hope of those without. I don’t believe in the trickle-down theory of laissez faire economies, but I do believe that if the first world countries can really “get it right”, we could much more easily lift those in the third world.
If our time, money and emotional energy are always tied up in our own fucked up lives, how can we help others?
Gladys and Randy - Homeless in Seattle
More mind-opening insights on the real lives of real homeless people. This one caught my eye - I’m always interested at how different I react to attractive [nay, incredibly attractive] and young homeless people.
I try to be open and compassionate towards everyone, but even I have gut reactions. My reaction is always “what are you doing here?”. It’s far too easy to see dirty older men as just faceless homeless (which I try not to do) - but it’s when you see women and people you find attractive that I think you’re forced to realize that homeless people are PEOPLE. No matter what they look like or how they act.
It’s ugly, but it’s true, and I think it’s actually helpful to acknowledge this response, even though I’m ashamed of it.
As the example of Homeless Hotspots demonstrates, charity is most often merely a band-aid that treats the most egregious failures of neoliberal economics without addressing the fact that poverty is endemic to that system. Charity justifies and reinforces privilege, while making the “haves” feel good for alleviating the very problems they are complicit in creating.
Early childhood is also the time when the brain is the most plastic, and most open to change. Kids are laying down tracks that will last the rest of their lives, about gender, about everything.
So every experience a child has - and you know the younger the child, the bigger the effect - the first time they speak, they learn to walk, they learn to talk, they laugh, they cry, they fall down, they run - everything affects their brain on a neurological level, strengthening some neurons at the expense of others.
So when children play in gendered worlds, and are only exposed to the ways, styles and experiences that are attributed to their sex, it has an impact on them. And when they’re exposed to a broader range of styles and experiences, that has an impact, too.