Hyphen magazine - Asian American arts, culture, and politics


Year-End Occupy Round-Up: API Edition

(Photo by Brian Nguyen/The Aggie, courtesy of boingboing.net)

There are occupations, and then there are preoccupations with occupations.

Here in New York, a preoccupied, post-occupation holiday meant a quieter-than-usual General Assembly on Christmas eve, the prelude to a holiday of charity and prayers at Zuccotti Park (Liberty Square). December 26 was the movement’s rather anticlimactic 100-day anniversary, which for me called to mind traditional Asian commemorations of births -- this fledgling, too, of uncertain duration.

I am certain, though, that it’s no flash in the pan. Since September 17, small somethings have changed: nights are colder and the tents folded up; "99%" replaces talk of bootstraps and perfect meritocracy; and taxation means the rich can pay more. We are post-encampment, unsure of what to occupy, having control now of only our minds and speech.

And so it is that a culture of occupation, an occupying mode is the crux of it, seeping into our very own Asian America. From protest and commentary to quarrel, farce, and artistic tribute, Occupy ______ is in some fashion here to stay.

Here’s a sampling of what it’s looked like so far:


2 comments

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LTE wrote 2 years 35 weeks ago

Ooops- correction

"Is racism any worse than disliking someone because they are fat or have a bad weird of humor?"
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Should be:
Is racism any worse than disliking someone because they are fat or have *a weird* sense of humor?
..
Mom always told me to just get by on my looks.

LTE wrote 2 years 35 weeks ago

Unoccupied Minds

I fail to see any point to the Occupy movement, they seemed to be a bunch of kids that needed to be burped. I am amused you couldn't really define it Ms. Kim.
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I did feel a certain sense of sympathy early on, but nothing I have read about these people seem to suggest they were really interested in the nuts and bolts of America's current problems.*
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I will grant, when you are young, it's fairly romantic to protest, beats getting an engineering degree with a specialty in electric wire insulation composition. Problems is, when you're 40, you look like a silly teenager while the guy designing wire insulation is making product people truly need. My bet is the Chinese will buy a lot more wire than books on social justice.
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The only people who make a good living from protesting are those who later on jockey for a tenured position at some university where they grind out endless papers saying nothing new while getting awards for saying it. It's rarely recognized the wire designer is the one paying the bills.
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If those poor put upons were complaining about the cost of education, maybe they should ask or demand to know why are they paying the salary of those who grind out endless papers that say nothing new.
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*- As for social justice, true social justice will occur only when the glass wearing, bucked tooth fat girl gets asked to dance by someone other than her father. Until then, it will always be about self and how one makes oneself look good versus the other guy and there is no group better at it than the left. Is racism any worse than disliking someone because they are fat or have a bad weird of humor? Why is one ism worse than another? I have asked a few of the paper grinder outters this question and have yet to get an answer.

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About The Author

Tammy Kim

Tammy lives in Brooklyn, where she writes, works as a social-justice lawyer, and teaches. She grew up in Tacoma, WA and was educated at Yale and NYU.

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