Occupy Self / Occupy Wall Street E-mail
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 00:00  |  Written by Tonya Kay | Blog Entry

’We Occupy’ Sign from ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Encampment, New York City, photo by Rick TheisThere is a big difference between a production and an action. I make my living as a performer (with gratitude), so I know the designs of a production very well. In fact, I know them so well that I can transform a “nothing evening” at the wine bar with my girlfriends into a production.

A production entails getting noticed, communicating with a wide audience and (do not even think you are capable of altruism) a production is just for the fun of it. It's the experience of production that changes the individual.

An action is very different than a production.

Any sit down, stand up, rising up, speaking out, shouting out or acting out that gets us thinking about things that should be but aren’t (or were intended to be, but ended up being compromised) is an action. And anything that makes us feel like we matter and that we are important is a vital action indeed.

Sometimes our outward anger, directed productively at systems (that in my opinion need to be scrapped, rather than reformed), is a good way to start the action fires burning. Get together, make a difference, get mad, get riled up. But be smart about it.

Every witch knows that there are two things essential to make all that energy effective and the first is to direct it; that is, get together and focus it. As Rick Theis said in his most recent “Revolution Made Easy: How 'Occupy Wall Street' Can Change the World” op-ed piece, locate and start with a nonpartisan issue that we can all agree upon and can win with. Remember, as the Occupy Wall Street movement says, we are the 99%. That means there is only 1% actually resisting us. With the other 99% of us directing all this focused energy, we win.

The second and possibly even more potent way of intensifying the energy generated by the Occupy Everything movement is transmutation. Gather up the inspiration, the conversations and the revolution, and form it into a little stone that you can swallow and become. Remember, it doesn't matter how many encampments you set up, if you're just gonna go home and consume the shit that lines the pockets of the corporations that then line the pockets of the politicians we are all so disgusted with. I call this "Occupy Self."”

Firefighters have always been cool people. I was a NYC resident when 9/11 hit. I witnessed how the status of firefighters leapt from cool to highly noble—almost to gods and goddesses—in one morning. My vision is this: I wanna gift our politicians the possibility of gaining a status like the firefighters had. I don't want to shit-talk my country's behavior when I travel around the world. I want to genuinely respect and cheer my representatives. I know the spirit is in you too, politicians. I know you are in there. Decades ago, you began on your present path thinking, yea, I'm a good person, I'm a diplomatic person. I will listen and do what's right. But then you got tired and you got $$$ and you got star-struck; like young Hollywood actors, only yours is more dangerous and embarrassing. Because no actors pretend they were hired because they wanted to help the people live together happily, safely and in exquisite health. But you did. You started because you wanted to see us all live happily, safely and in exquisite health. I know you still have that feeling somewhere in you. Are you still alive in there? Where are my politicians who are part of "The People"?

People. People are the democracy, right? So if things have gotten out of balance, it's because only 57% percent of eligible voters turned out to vote in the 2008 presidential elections. Where are my people who know how a democracy is run? We are the mutherf***ing people! I'm no longer gonna say, “If you didn't show up to the polls, you should shut up.” I'm gonna say, ”What are you thinking!?” Some of us do want a democracy, but in 2008, 43% of us didn't feel like it! You know who you are and you are probably young, hardworking and possibly a racial minority, and you present a very different view of the system than what was represented. So you, more than anyone, I need to see next to me in line at the upcoming local polls. The democracy doesn't work right when it's missing people.

And tomorrow, when you rally and put on a production, I want 99% of the 99% to bring up how to Occupy Self. Here's how: The next time you're sitting in that fast-food line, pumping that petrol in your tank or buying shit at Walmart manufactured exclusively overseas, you send the revolution in to your Self. And get your picket sign out and get mad and get loud and start kicking shit around inside yourself until your Self gets it. Without this action, it's all just a production. As entertaining as the performance is, this ain't new or real. So get on the ride. And challenge your personal shit while you are helping those doofuses in Washington make their transitions to a lower-income, lower-consumption lifestyle, too.

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Additional resources:
Revolution Made Easy: How 'Occupy Wall Street' Can Change the World

Comments (6)add
Written by Tonya Kay , November 30, 2011
Thanks for sharing that, Don!

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Written by Don Carpenter , November 30, 2011
"Occupy Self" apparently has a few notable followers.

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Written by Tonya Kay , November 03, 2011
Thanks, Bob. I mean, Steve! And thanks, Don, for thinking this piece worth reading. Jake, I value renegade movements and I value anything that makes people feel empowered and gets them to speak up. At the same time, we all have to make sure we are pointing our energy at all the enemies. If we are mad because we see someone putting profits above welfare, then of course we should shout! But it's really our reflection of ourselves that makes us so mad. We are mad because somewhere inside ourselves we, too, are putting profits above welfare, health, community. Let's keep rallying to change the laws and the people in positions of power, but that could take some time - even quickly at a few months. The good news, if you wanna see immediate changes, rally against your Self. TODAY you can say no to profits over welfare when you turn down the plastic bottled water at the convenience store, switch off that commercial-laden television and pick up an author's book, go find a local farmer's market and say farewell for good to the breakfast cereals made by the corporations owned by the entities that own our politicians. Yes I do mean it - breakfast cereal, soda pop, plastic bottles, plastic children's toys, cheap clothing manufactured overseas, petro fuel in your gas tank. Wanna shout where it can definitely be heard? Shout at yourself in the fast food line. WHILE getting out there in the Occupy rally again tomorrow. Both are vital - productions and actions can change the world.
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Written by Jake , November 03, 2011
You come at this from a very important angle. Thanks for the insight. I hope some of the OWS protestors give your ideas some thought!
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Written by Steve the Kaleidoscope Guy , November 02, 2011
Well put Tonya....

Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights!
Bob Marley
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Written by Don Carpenter , November 02, 2011
Very powerful article, one of your finest! Sharing on personal and on the Occupy Jacksonville sites!

It's time to stop thinking and start DOING.

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Eco Tip

Stop requesting ATM receipts. Why destroy trees and add to the ATM tumbleweeds blowing around bank machines? Instead, check your balance on screen and write down that number and your withdrawal amount. More tips...

Eco Quote

Away, away, from men and towns, / To the wild wood and the downs, — / To the silent wilderness, / Where the soul need not repress / Its music. - Percy Bysshe Shelley, (1792-1822), "To Jane, The Invitation," c.1820  More quotes...