Connect Slow Food and Cittaslow with the current buzzy Occupations and finally publicized raised consumer consciousness (I may just muster up the gumption to move my money into a local credit union instead of the big bank it's been in for my adult life). The push for locality and conscious consumerism is hard in ways; some of us have been showed the inconvenience and price tag of paying attention our whole lives. Yes, it takes time to make meals. It takes effort to know what's in season. But the kinds of sacrifices we should be making are far more rewarding than the injustices that we endure regarding our livelihood.
I've been seeing a commercial lately that seems cute enough to work for lots of people my age. But I now have a hard time even being able to see the sense in it, and I have a feeling more and more people are starting to feel the same way. It's animated and the narration throughout it actually says that you accumulate Stuff through your life in your tastes and documents, and that Stuff is what defines you; it's who you are. It shows others who you are. Through the spot the cute little animated characters have balloons of music notes, calculators, computers, whatever that are attached to their blue and pink heads at all times. The end of the commercial is as follows: "...what are you without your Stuff? Better yet, without your Stuff, who are you?" It's a scary concept to consider "within the normal bounds of American ideology". I mean, by that logic Ghandi was a total loser, and so were all those other minimalists. If you don't have Stuff, like say, you're a refugee mother trying to freakin' feed her children in the Somalian drought, well. You're nothing, I guess.
No, it's silly to think that. It may seem like a harmless commercial but ads are powerful propaganda. With this said, my thoughts for the Occupiers everywhere boil down to this. Remember that while we are constantly brainwashed, our political power is constantly revoked, and our voices are constantly trivialized, we also have more power and responsibility than we sometimes think. The demands we make for freedom and justice really must mirror personal loosening of the shackles of consumer bingeing. It's got a strong hold, but it's important to even just be conscious of the Power we have. Not only the angry, demanding power we have, but the Hardy, Durable Power we have to hunker down and make things work for the Winter that's ahead. It's one of the grand human and American values a large portion of us have forgotten. I'm not trying to be holier than anyone--I'm a wimp who rarely follows through on any of her grand decisions. But we gotta try to wake up. Wake up and smell the leaves, feel the shift, gather the family, and tally the store.