Like many of us I've been tracking the 99% ers on Wall Street and now across the country. I believe one of the better columns about the movement comes from Paul Krugman of the New York Times. He pretty much sums up the way I feel which doesn't mean he is empirically "right" but right for me. I'm not trying to start a debate or political blog but it has been on my mind lately as I am not a 1% so that must mean I'm the other.
I am the 99% but our family is only suffering from the normal credit card debt, plunging home values and worries about paying for long term issues like college and short term ones like snow tires and new gutters. It should be noted, however, that it seems perfectly normal that our family of 4 (with a good job) had to leave Los Angeles in order to afford a safe home and good schools for our children. There really is no middle class safety in big cities and that is just sad.
That said the most telling point in the piece is there seems to be a consistent lack of focus on what exactly can be done.
"A better critique of the protests is the absence of specific policy demands. It would probably be helpful if protesters could agree on at least a few main policy changes they would like to see enacted."
I'm glad there is a bold move progressives can get behind without apologies but I feel a little defeated about what I can do. Is dragging my kids out at dinner time to the front of the Wells Fargo really the best use of my time and effort? I'm not sure it is, but believe me, Wells Fargo will not be getting my money for much longer. Anyone have a good referral for a credit union with online bill pay?
So aside from moving my money from the big banks that I feel are holding our economy and political process hostage, I am going to take control of my own holiday "supply AND demand". I am going to focus on keeping as much of my holiday spending in the pockets of independent shop owners and artists. I am also going to work on creating smaller works that are below $100, some well below. It might be an illusion but it makes me feel a little more in control in a crazy world, during a crazy time. I invite you to join me.
If you are a local artist who would like to have their work (priced below $100) featured here, let me know. I only ask in exchange for the promotion that you take the money you earned and spend it at an independently owned store or working artisan.
If you are shopping from out of town, we have plenty of amazing crafts people that will deliver to where you are! Better yet, support our hotels and restaurants and come visit! We are a small town of gifted artist, (check out ASIF for small affordable works) and we love celebrating the holidays. Where else can you get a Cornish Christmas or Victorian Christmas Celebration in the beautiful foothills?
If you have ideas on how to flesh out this plan better, I'm open to them. I really would like to keep it loose. I'm not saying you have to make your own candy canes but perhaps buy them at a locally owned franchise instead of a corporate union-buster, (I'm looking at you, Target. I love you dearly but you're a little out of control.)
I'm only asking you to consider putting 99% of your Holiday money in the pockets of the other 99%.
I'm starting my shopping now because I think it will take a little more time. I'm looking forward to exploring what my fellow creatives have to offer at a thoughtful pace instead of the last minute mad dash to the mall.
I already feel a little less stressed just making this commitment.
To start it off, here is a painting I did of Molly right after we rescued her.
"Black and White Mutt We Love"
12" x 16"
Acrylic on Paper Canvas (you'll need to frame it)
$35 Free Shipping in the US.
For more Dog Art from a local (and my sister) and news about a local "do'er" who is going to Occupy Wall Street, visit DogArtToday.com.