Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ten Reasons to Occupy this Shirt

A lightning bolt of inspiration struck my friend George recently, and he conjured up this shirt. In turn, he had about fifty of them made. They exist. Now we want to sell them. That's where you come in. Here are ten reasons to buy this T-shirt:

1. An inexpensive Oscar Wilde shirt makes the perfect gift for that one-of-a-kind literary hipster who strongly prefers not to wear a shirt likely to be seen on anyone else, anywhere, ever. (CAUTION: This hipster undoubtedly dislikes the term "hipster." Be judicious in your use of it. Don't toss "hipster" around all willy-nilly if you don't want any hurt feelings around the holidays. If you do, well, then bombs away!) Seriously, we have only a handful of these shirts on hand--fewer than 100--and we're not likely to produce many (or any) more.

2. Perhaps you or someone you love admires Oscar Wilde. The shirt offers a clever way to announce that love to the world. Alternately, you could go through life saying, "Hi, I admire Oscar Wilde. I truly admire Oscar Wilde. Oh how I admire Oscar Wilde." That works, too, though not as charmingly as this shirt.

3. The shirt's design also parodies the logo of a famous hot-dog and lunch-meat brand by infiltrating the logo with the name of someone who has nothing whatsoever to do with hot dogs or lunch meats. How's that for post-modern visual wit?

4. Perhaps you're a card-carrying, vegetarian PETA member, and you want the world to know that meat is murder and Oscar Wilde is not. (Trust us: the world knows that Oscar Wilde is not murder. But since when has stating the obvious counted as a strike against a good T-shirt?)

5. And perhaps someone you care about is a Morrissey fanatic with the love of Wilde on his or her side. This shirt makes the perfect armor for adversarial encounters in cemetries with people who may ally themselves with Keats and Yeats.

6. You believe in covering your body when you go out in public. We do, too.

7. You don't believe in giving your money to big corporations. Especially not now. You're excited by the Occupy Wall Street movement. You moved your savings from a bank to a credit union. You sent mittens to Manhattan to keep those occupiers warm. But, of course, those holiday gifts have to come from somewhere. Why not buy from the little guys? We're as little as guys come. So to speak.

8. I forget what eight was for.

9. You've never before had a word to describe reminiscing about the greatest sex of your life, and now you can say you're feeling lustalgic. (You're welcome.)

10. You or someone you know is a vegetarian literary hipster who loves Oscar Wilde and Morrissey, gets a kick out of tweaking large corporations whenever possible, believes in supporting small businesses, ponies up for PETA year in and year out, wears clothes, and enjoys remembering awesome sex.

So take a walk on the Wilde side. Order a shirt. And, if you'd like, we will gladly bundle a signed copy of my book of short stories (published this year by a small, independent press) with the shirt for $20, including shipping.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Challenge to Every Reporter in America

In light of recent police violence against nonviolent protesters across the country, it is time for our journalists to do their civic duty and act in the public interest.

This week, every reporter at every television station and newspaper in America (including--no, especially--student newspapers) should investigate how thoroughly armed their local, public police forces are. 

Will the police show up to peaceful rallies and demonstrations in full riot gear? If so, why? What weapons will they carry, and why? What exactly are these forces' policies and regulations regarding how they may respond to nonviolent (and even violent) protests by unarmed civilians? Are local police required to give their names and ranks to anyone who asks? If not, why not? When protestors are arrested, will they be treated humanely? Will they be given prompt medical care? 

And where are the good cops on this one? Why aren't our police forces policing themselves?

The American people have the right and need to know. We also have a responsibility to hold these publicly funded militias accountable. 


As a citizen of the land of the free and the home of the brave, I feel proud of those enacting nonviolent civil disobedience for the cause of economic justice. And I fear for them in the face of thugs who cloak their abuses in blue uniforms, flak jackets, and helmets with plastic shields.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Occupy: Police Violence Against Peaceful Protesters

I don't go to church, but I spent the sabbath putting together this...sermon? video:

The song is U2's version of Woody Guthrie's "Jesus Christ." Please share.