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My Art Student, Occupy Wall Street, and those Pesky Politicians

  • Posted on December 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm

I had a student recently create a work of art that really made me think about how easy it is to understand the 99% versus the 1%.  So many of the pundits that I have watched on television have said that the Occupy Wall Street group doesn’t have a clear message, or a spokesperson and this is why they won’t be successful in whatever they are trying to do.  That’s the media, the machine that is trying to douse the flames of this current movement.  I want to share the painting that my student created.  First of all, she is a seventh grader of Mexican heritage.  She recently moved away and I’m sad to see her move as I would love to have worked with her more to see what inspires her.  The painting was the result of an assignment I had given.  She was working with a group of students and they were learning about Pieter Bruegel.  I challenged them to create a small painting inspired by the artist they were studying but to put their own “twist” on it.  Yareli did not let me down.  Below you will see the piece that inspired my student and you will see what she painted.

Pieter Bruegel, The Misanthrope

She had to write a reflection statement about her artwork.  This is what she said, “My artwork is pretty good.  This project helped me know what colors can make a different color.  My artwork could have been better but I wanted it simple.  It’s a better version of the artist I copied from because now days it’s the poor who are being robbed and that brings more attention to the one looking at it.”

Her artwork can be seen so you can make a comparison between the two pieces.

Yareli's Artwork

I think it is interesting that so many pundits and politicians profess to just not understand the Occupy Wall Street group when a little seventh grade girl can see what’s happening in the world today!  Newt Gingrich even suggested some ridiculous idea about taking a bath and getting a job.  I think the politicians and the pundits have a pretty good idea why people are so fed up with the way things are run in Washington.  They are just trying to get us off topic by changing the subject to bathing and trying to make people think the Occupy group is just a bunch of hippies.  You know those pot smoking, sex driven, street people, that are dirty.  Most of us are tired of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer because of those Washington policies that favor wealth and corporations over living wages, education, and jobs.  There is always enough money for Wall Street bankers and private corporations tied to our military industrial complex but there is never enough for the little guy.

I, for one, am thankful for the Occupy Wall Street Movement.  It takes a lot of guts to go out and really protest.  I can write on my little blog and say some of what I’m thinking but these people really put themselves out there, day after day, taking the abuse for the rest of us.  I couldn’t believe the way those young college students at UC Davis were pepper sprayed.  The video that everyone has seen shows how abused they were by the campus police.  It was surreal to watch as the students innocently stayed calm in the face of real adversity.  It must have seemed like a torturous nightmare to them that the police would spray them over and over when they were being so compliant.

UC Davis Students from LA Now from the LA Times Blog

What prepared those young students for the ability to sit still like that?  These are kids that have grown up with computers and comforts that their parents might not have had but they are still able to reach down into the well of what is right and wrong and take a stand!  I commend them and anyone else that is out there trying to make a difference in this screwed up world where up is down and down is up!  It’s almost like we have reached the Land of Oz where nothing seems to make sense.  We are facing a nightmare with the richest one or two percent controlling the lives of the rest of us.  I would like to see a change in our government but I don’t see it happening.  Too many that have the power to make the change are living in the world of the 1%.  They don’t care enough about the rest of the people.  If they did, they would stop playing these political games and get something done to get this country moving again!

I was watching C-Span today and there was a woman on talking about tax breaks for making energy improvements to your home.  A guy called in about transportation and how we should be creating a high speed railway system across our country.  I couldn’t help but think about all of the jobs that could be made from such a move.  The other day I was telling my new trimester of sixth grade students that we don’t know what the jobs will be when they grow up.  A tech guy had been in the room fixing a computer.  I told them that twenty years ago his job didn’t exist.  I went on to say that if jobs continue to be so difficult to find that the people getting the jobs will have to be innovative, inventive, and creative.  Unfortunately, politicians are the same old, uncreative, uninventive lot that they have been for years.  While they are sitting in their ivory towers of inequity telling the rest of us how to live, the creative innovators are being silenced.  They are silenced by this class of lazy, stale politicians that only live for one thing, their own greed!  My last post I pondered why the choices for president are so damn bad.  Unfortunately, the 1% and 99% don’t have a lot in common, one is looking for a hand up onto the boat and the other is pulling the ladder up and saying the boat is full!  I think the politicians are already in the boat ready to set sail.

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