December 7, 2011

The National Conversation on Occupy

Have you been following the Occupy movements across the country? It’s so interesting how it’s the 60s of our age. Similarities but differences too.

I’ve always been interested in kairos, an ancient Greek rhetoric term that basically means right-time right-place. One of the things that fascinates me is why an issue will sweep the nation, when the problem has been around for years.

An example is Matthew Shepard. On one hand, about dang time, you know? It took this iconic death to prompt us to have a national conversation about it. But, on the other hand ~ and I say this in no way to denigrate what happened to Matt and the just cause surrounding it ~ that same year fifteen-year-old Daphne Sulk, also of Laramie, was beaten and stabbed to death by her 38-year-old boyfriend and her naked body was left in the snow near an interstate rest area, all because she wouldn’t get an abortion to cover up the child molestation. If that’s not an iconic image, nothing is.

Let me say that again: Women and girls are molested, raped, and murdered by their partners every day in this country (three to four a day for just the murder part), and we act is if it doesn’t matter and doesn’t happen. This is not to take away from the fact that men and boys are murdered but it’s hard to wrap your mind around the enormity of it. Sorry for the screed, but my God!

Anyway, my point is that the country was ready for the conversation, and that’s why it struck like wildfire across the nation. It’s kairos.

So, if you’ve been following the national conversation around the economy and the Occupy movements, here’s one you might want to read. It’s from a more personal point of view. I read the lovely Dear Sugar religiously every week, and this last letter was from a woman who was upset about her parents and her student loans ~ you’ll have to read it to get your take on it. But make sure to read the comments section, which evolved into a discussion of the Occupy movements. (Here’s another interesting NPR piece, too.)

Is the movement actually about the bad economy? Or is it about a feeling of helplessness? Or is it about expectations and privilege? Are times so much different now than “when I went to school”? Or is it about something entirely different?

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