sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

October 30, 2011

Fashion and Style Pick-Me-Up: Can We Please Have More Fashion on Project Runway?

Filed under: fashion, society, tv — Tags: , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 11:03 am

And less drama.

Summer is barely over, but we had an outbreak of stomach flue.  A preview of the cold season, I suppose.  Anyhow, I was kind of tired of the whole ordeal, lying in bed and watching “Project Runway”.

What I like about shows like “Project Runway” or “Top Chief” is that unlike much of reality TV, I get to watch competent people showcase their trade.  Or at least that’s how Project Runway used to be.

I suppose nothing that happened this season was quite as bad as the last one when they got the very talented Mondo to confess a secret on national TV.

This year several contestants were obviously auditioning for bitch of the season.  Joshua McKinley won the part, and boy, did he deliver!  I have a feeling this wasn’t just an act, though.  Joshua cried in front of the camera about his mother who passed away from cancer a few years ago.  He won the Avant Garde challenge with an outfit resembling a tree with his mother’s initials carved into its trunk.  Using dead relatives to advance personal agenda is morally repugnant.  From a purely stylistic point of view it’s tacky.  Then we find out that Joshua moved to NYC and never went back to visit his parents.

The theme of the 9th season was beauty queen Cinderella.  Former Miss Trinidad and Tobago Anya Ayoung-Chee who learned to sew 4 months prior to entering the competition, won.  All season long Anya kept turning in nearly identical jumpsuits and flowing beachy dresses that didn’t require much construction.  Towards the end she did make a few looks labeled “urban”, once giving the judges a very literal interpretation of a raven.  She didn’t know how to make a pattern that works, so the model had to be sewn in.  For her second attempt to create something different, she got seasoned designer Bert to construct the dresses.  Other designers were noting that sooner or later her inability to sew will catch up (a nice set up).  Or that she’s never done a sleeve (one would think she’d be eliminated for lack of ability).

Project Runway Anya

Anya's raven. The shoulders imitating the wings and hem imitating the tail. The judges talked down other bird-inspired designs for being too literal. This oddly proportioned, poorly hemmed dress echoed an earlier one by Viktor. One suspects Anya resorted to folding the fabric on the bodice because she doesn't know how to do darts. This mother of all hot messes was topped off with gimmicky shoulders pads. The fabric has a nice luster, though.

Anya was the designer who challenged herself the least, not learning how to make patterns or work with different fabrics.  Not coincidentally, she is also the one who had grown the least.  One would think that after being chosen to present a final collection she’d go home, hit the books, and, well, learn how to do a sleeve.  It didn’t occur to Anya who went to the beach, bought fabric and waited for the shapes to “come to [her] while other designers worked.

At first the winner of the 9th season couldn’t produce a single piece.  She eventually turned up the same stuff, just to have something.  Michael Kors acknowledged that her collection was very one-note.  Heidi Klum mused that maybe she should have made a sweater.  Everyone agreed that she was good with prints.  Some of the prints she bought weren’t bad, but Kimberly Goldson executed far more compelling designs with prints and Viktor Luna created his own.  Both of them have a few more tricks up their  sleeves.  Anya won, and the audience loved it, voting her audience favorite.  But come on.

Project Runway Anya

V-necks galore. All season long the judges were talking up Anya's taste. They also said she was good at styling her models. The belt (that she didn't make) on the second model from the left made the look divine -- according to the judges, who evidently didn't think any of the dresses were slutty.

We are supposed to believe that Anya is a kind of idiot savant of fashion.  She doesn’t know how to sew, but she knows how to design and everything just falls in place.  Except that it doesn’t really work like that in dress making where real trendsetters adopt styles by choice, and much innovation comes from tweaking with patterns.  Anya came up with a few ideas that neither experienced designers nor advance amateurs would try — because they know they don’t work.  That doesn’t make her creative, it just means that she she’s doing something that shouldn’t be done in the first place.  The general public might buy into the idea that Anya’s style is good, but styles don’t last very long, usually just 3 years, and Anya is coming on the tail end of the flowing dress trend.  What comes after that is anyone’s guess, but cold Anya who was an instant BFF of Joshua was ready made for reality TV.

I have to admit I wasn’t too impressed with any of the designers this season.  Even then, finalists Victor Luna and Kimberly Goldson had some memorable looks.  Joshua learned to scale down his trashiness (not to say he’s no longer trashy).  Half of other contestants folded halfway through the competition.  Bert had never met a client he couldn’t satisfy, but I got the impression that he’s just happy to be alive.

The judges said, rightly, that Kimberly Goldson’s designs are sexy without being slutty.  She’s very much a woman’s designer.  I didn’t care much for her bubble butt skirt, but her collection had quite a few lovely, wearable pieces with a point of view.

Kimberly Goldson

Cute little cocktail dress. The color is fun, but she should make it in black too. Note the asymmetrical back on the model in the background. I guess Kimberly didn't wait for the shapes to come to her, she created them.

The showstopper of the finale was this exquisite gown by Viktor Luna:

Viktor Luna

Did I mention that the print is his own?

It’s a bit hard to wear, considering that it has leather and tie-dye elements, but the vertical print is flattering, and proportions are just right.  His print is interesting without being busy.  I love how he combined the hard and artificial (leather) with the soft and natural (sunset in Mexico).  Viktor is the real master of his trade and should have been the winner.

I suppose this is not much of a pick-me-up, is it?


October 27, 2011

#Occupy Oakland Eviction-Related Gossip

Filed under: Bay Area politics, society — Tags: , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 11:49 am

Although I’m generally opposed to removing #Occupy protesters, I don’t want them in my own backyard.  I’m happy to see the revolution taking place right in the heart of Manhattan where it is extensively documented by the snarky NY Post, blogged, tweeted and recorded on i-everything.  Let them boil in their own juice, get progressively crazier only to be torn apart by bickering and bail out once it gets cold.

I was a bit concerned about #Occupy Oakland marching around Lake Merritt because, like many other parents, we’ve made plans to take our kids there Halloween weekend.  I was a bit relieved when Oakland police evicted the occupiers (see Zombie’s report and the Hot Air story).  But now Oakland’ ultra-lame mayor Jean Quan decided to let them back in, claiming that she wasn’t notified about the protestors’ removal from space no longer available to the general public. Evidently she doesn’t read papers or watched TV.

I hear while the removal was going on, middle-age punks with solid counterculture credentials that were hanging out at a trendy Oakland beer bar were most displeased with #Occupy Oakland.  Some commentators suggest ideology played no role in it; they were upset because they were inconvenienced.  Oakland hipster bars are situated near 14th and Broadway where the confrontation with police took place.  So said middle-age punks had nowhere to go once the beer bar closed at 10 pm.  I say they are right to be upset about the theft of public space.

Some punks got gassed early in the night.  Not because they were part of the protest, but because they happened to eat dinner in the area, and when they walked out of the restaurant, the air was saturated with tear gas.  They blamed #Occupy.  Not to say they were enamored by the OPD, but, nonetheless, they had nothing good to say about the far left movement.

Sounding dangerously close to a libertarian, one punk railed against ethanol subsidies.  I’m sure he’s still a good statist, he just thinks that the government should give money to him, not to Big Agriculture that burns food.

Apparently the dislike is mutual because, according to Zombie’s report, #Occupy Oakland had a caricature of a punk who “goes home and showers every day… and runs away when the cops come”.  Considering this display of bickering, it is no wonder that in this radical city #Occupy couldn’t organize more than a few hundred people.

Then again, perhaps they wanted to keep the crowd small but violent.  I’m sure there was a few peaceful people in the mix, but here is a video of the #Occupy mob surrounding a handful of cops and throwing objects at them, via Zombie:

If mayor Quan wasn’t going to stick with her decision to remove the protesters, why was she putting the policemen in harm’s way?  Mayor Quan’s policy toward #Occupy is not that different from Obama’s foreign “policy”.

October 25, 2011

“Free” Education and “Right to Work”, Soviet Style

Filed under: politics, Russia — Tags: , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 9:23 pm

Political Junkie Mom suggests that I share my family’s experience with free education and a guaranteed job, which happens to be one of the top #Occupy demands.  These demands are very Communist in nature; in fact, Soviet Constitution promised both.  So here’s a few anecdotes.

My great-grandfather Tsali was a successful dressmaker.  He owned a dress factory in Ukraine and another one in Poland.  Then the Bolsheviks came and took everything.   Although the government gave people jobs, Tsali swore he’d never work for the Soviets.  So he worked under the table, making clothes, doing what he did best.  Tsali believed that “the thieves” wouldn’t last long.  Well, they outlasted him.  He was still at the sewing machine when he was already in his 80s because, since he never worked for the government, he did not qualify for a pension.  Makes sense: if the government is also the employer, why should it pay for the retirement of competitors?  So much for the safety net.

Starting in 1918 Soviet subjects had their work history recorded in the Employment Record Books.  Upon retirement the benefits were calculated based on this document.  For the most part of Soviet history the government owned most of the means of production and trained workers.  While black market work was frequently a necessity, this kind of employment was often prosecuted, not to mention that it went unrecorded.  So only official government work counted towards retirement.

In the Soviet Union government work was not just a right, but a duty.  From time to time subjects were legally not allowed to be unemployed.  My grandmother Vera was a nurse, educated in Imperial Russia.  She married my grandfather and decided to be a homemaker.  From time to time, when this kind of arrangement was illegal, she had to return to government work.

Soviet propaganda

The plate features a page from an Employment Record Book with inscription above "Those who don't work, don't eat". Soviets attributed this Biblical proverb to Lenin. Vigorous propaganda campaigns urged citizens to work for the government.

My uncle was a straight A student, graduating from high school with “gold medal”.  That was an equivalent of American valedictorian.  He aced his college entrance exams.  Unfortunately, he wanted to study nuclear engineering, and Jews were not wanted in that field.  He had to chose a different major.  Racial discrimination is what happens when free market forces are not in place to assure that the most qualified individuals will rise to the top.  When the government owns schools and places of employment, bureaucrats’ (and Politburo’s) prejudices reign.

That Soviet universities didn’t charge tuition doesn’t mean that they were free.  To guarantee admission to many prestigious schools, prospective student’s parents had to bribe somebody.  This typically excluded engineering schools because towards the end of the Soviet era engineering lost its luster.  Engineers who often worked in large collectives and for the government clients were not in a position to take bribes.  The profession was still popular among more proud, modest and intellectually-minded people, in part because the hard facts of math and physics remained unaffected by the Party decree.  And so my parents were engineers.

In the 70s and 80s some engineering majors started playing rock-n-roll, and were summarily kicked out of their government-guaranteed jobs.  A few others found that they’d rather — the horror! — be janitors and watchmen and play rock-n-roll in their spare time than be stuck at the drafting board because that was the kind of clean desk job they were allotted.  I wouldn’t call it funemployment.  Here is Boris Grebenshchikov, the lead singer of the seminal Russian rock band Akvarium who himself was kicked out of work with “Generation of Janitors”:

Of course, the government use the threat of unemployment to control behavior in many other ways.   For instance, my uncle who was denied admission to the school of his choice for being Jewish, also lost his job after applying for an exit visa.  He found another job, to be sure, just not the kind of job he’d want.

It’s worth noting that in the past two decades many Soviet-educated engineers did very well for themselves, finding employment abroad.

If a society is going to try to guarantee employment and free education, it has to surrender control of both employment and education to the government.  In the Soviet Union, bureaucrats and party hawks had undue power over college admission and job placement, and government-guaranteed right to work often morphed into mandated government work.  All in all, the Soviet Union wasn’t the kind of society where one gets to play all day just because the government provides.  Most of the #Occupy types are exactly the kind of people Communist society has no use for.

October 22, 2011

Style and Fashion Pick-Me-Up: RIP Moammar Gaddafi

Filed under: Middle East, politics, Russia, taste — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 9:13 pm

Dictators are a peculiar bunch, and Gaddafi’s peculiarity was fashion.  He started on the safe side to be sure, but that’s not uncommon among absolute rulers.

gadhafi and friends

Gadhafi and friends.

Hard to tell, but I’m pretty sure he’s already wearing eyeliner.

The old drag queen was notorious for aging poorly.  Here is an account of one plastic surgery that’s just too entertaining to pass:

It was well past midnight when the Brazilian surgeon says he was escorted deep inside a bunker in the Libyan capital.

His assignment: to shave years off Moammar Gadhafi’s appearance by removing fat from his belly and injecting it into his wrinkled face. The Libyan leader also got hair plugs.

“He told me that he had been in power for 25 years at that time, and that he did not want the young people of his nation to see him as an old man,” Dr. Liacyr Ribeiro recalled. “I recommended a facelift, but he refused.”

The secretive four-hour procedure in 1995 was done, at Gadhafi’s insistence, with local anesthesia because he wanted to remain alert. Midway through, the Libyan leader stopped to have a hamburger.

Gadhafi was worried a facelift would be too noticeable, so he opted for the less radical procedure, the plastic surgeon told The Associated Press.

“I warned Gadhafi that the effects of the operation I performed would last for about five years, that it had an expiration date after which the skin would sag and the wrinkles would reappear,” Ribeiro said.

“He said he would call me if he needed me to come back,” and about five years ago there was such a request, but Ribeiro had a family obligation. “They never called me again,” he said.

At the time of the surgery, Gadhafi was 53, but Ribeiro said he looked at least 10 years older. A photo taken at the time shows the smiling doctor posing next to the Libyan leader, who wore a white suit, floral shirt and had pronounced wrinkles crisscrossing his face and neck.

After the procedure, “he looked like a 45-year-old man,” the doctor said.

Ribeiro insists he is speaking out now only to provide insight into a man about whom little is known, and certainly not to boast.

“Gadhafi is not looking very good these days,” said Ribeiro, noting that the 68-year-old leader has appeared jowly in recent appearances, his skin puffy, loose and deeply creased. “To let potential patients know that I operated on him would be counterproductive.”

One suspects the colonel wore his trademark sunglasses to hide the hot mess around his eyes.

gadhafi sunglasses

If not a facelift, he should have had lip augmentation.

The photo above was snapped in Belarus where Gadhafi visited his fellow dictator Alexander Lukashenko.  In nearby Russia he looked decidedly Biblical with his earth-toned robes.

Birds of a feather

With Russian shadow Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

A pop of royal purple donned for a hand-in-hand walk with Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak.  Note Mubarak’s tie.  Ties are never worn by Islamists who consider them too Western.

gadhafi mubarak

East meets West... or something. The bodyguard on the left is a bit hefty.

You think it was easy to be Gaddafi, but it wasn’t, it’s really wasn’t.  The robes have to fit just right, and require multiple adjustment, sometimes on the UN podium.

Gadhafi robes

Careful there: Make sure the folds don't cover the map of Africa pin.

Speaking of accessories, the feather-like object of unidentifiable purpose, the gold-trimmed cap, the map of Africa; it’s all there:

gadhafi accessorises

Oh, and the robe is is looking like it's made of a costly fabric. Living high!

Gaddafi’s style is the kind that elevates the onlooker, that makes him think.  Consider this curious juxtaposition of hippie tie dye and national flags.  What is the message here: World without borders or nationalism?

gadhafi fashion

And what do we make out of the checkered hat? Very intellectual, he.

Well, hippies are not opposed to third world nationalisms, no matter how murderous, so perhaps there is no contradiction.  But just when it’s decided that Gaddafi was a die hard African patriot, he turns out to be a multiculturalist.  Here he is, channeling Rasputin, but in a slightly more disheveled than the Mad Monk, with a goatee, and, for some reason, on his trip to France:

gadhafi rasputin

This hat with a pair of designer sunglasses, what do you think?

In wearable art department we have this marshal caftan, worn in Italy, accessorized with a picture of a Libyan nationalist fighter of some sort captured and killed by his Italian colonial masters.  Dissertation idea alert: Sartorial expressions of temporal and spacial reality of post-colonialism in pre-liberation Libya.  If the last sentence doesn’t sound like English — well, it’s not.

gadhafi fashion

Sharp! I'm sure this outfit was duly admired at Trinity United.

The high end upholstery look below could serve as inspiration to the oddly monochromatic Restoration Hardware.

gadhafi curtains

Way more fashion forward than the guard.

And who do you like better, the gentlemen who can blend with the curtains or alleged “Palestinian students”, presumably female, caught protesting Gaddafi a few months ago?

Islamists protesting Gadhafi

How quickly they forget...

Although occasionally his outfits did seem a bit over-designed,

gadhafi fashionista

Knots, and shreds, and stripes -- oh my!

this fashionista knew how to strike the right chord with an elegant white suite, accessorized with a simple black map of Africa (what else?) and a sheer shroud, also black.  He could model it, too.  In the photo below, Moammar’s picture-perfect absolutist hand wave reveals the see-through nature of the fabric.

so elegant gadhafi

Sharing the stage with Barack and Ban.

And oh boy, could he to rock a dress-down look!

casual chic gadhafi

Olive military shirt with a green map of Africa and a simple gray shawl -- in case it gets chilly in the late pm hours. All that against some sort of desert hippie background and, of course, spotting a pair of styling shades.

I originally thought about doing a different pick-me-up, but there was only one Colonel Gaddafi, and the occasion of his all too timely death should deserves a fashion special.

While the tyrant sat in his hole in North Africa, Russian hipsters, most likely of National-Bolshevik extract, held several rallies in his support.  This young participant holds a poster proclaiming “Peace to the world!” and “Oil to the people!” (could be translated as “Oil to the nation!”)  “Peace to the world!” was the slogan plastered on every other tall building in the late Soviet days, probably because Soviet Union never invaded its neighbors or or displaced nations.  “Oil to the people” is reminiscent of Lenin’s “Bread to the workers, land to the peasants, peace to the nations!”

Russian Nazi hipster

I wear my sunglasses in the rain: The fact that he got the right color umbrella (Libyan green) would fill the late colonel's heart with pride.

October 20, 2011

Some Watchdogs

Both the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the ADL recently released statements on anti-Semitism in the Occupy movement.  Mathew Knee at Legal Insurrection comments:

There are two major organizations in the Jewish community tasked with certifying people, things, and movements as anti-Semitic or not: The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Simon Wiesenthal Center/Museum(s) of Tolerance.  Sometimes, they differ, owing largely to the fact that the ADL’s leaders vote Democrat while the Wiesenthal Center’s leaders, primarily being Orthodox Rabbis, are generally thought to lean Republican.

Now that the Democratic leadership is embracing OWS, and it does look like ADL Director Abraham Foxman dares not to challenge Occupiers:

We are seeing some individuals holding anti-Semitic signs at the “Occupy Wall Street” rallies, and some videos posted on YouTube from the rallies have shown individuals expressing classic anti-Semitic beliefs such as “Jews control the banks” and “Jews control Wall Street.”  While we believe that these expressions are not representative of the larger views of the OWS movement, it is still critical for organizers, participants and supporters of these rallies to condemn such bigoted statements clearly and forcefully.

There is no evidence that these anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are representative of the larger movement or that they are gaining traction with other participants.  However, history demonstrates time and again how economic downturns can embolden anti-Semites to spread malicious conspiracy theories and promote stereotypes about Jews and money. As a consequence, these statements must not be left unchallenged.

Simon Wiesenthal’s statement has a bit more teeth:

…Unfortunately, the hateful fringe of the Occupy Wall Street Movement is now also coast-to-coast, though you might not know it from the mainstream media. Today’s hate propaganda from the New York protests has gone viral. This includes placards identifying “Wall Street Jews” as “Hitler’s Bankers,” and angry shouts of “Kill/Screw Google Jews.” According to anecdotal evidence, the conspiracy banter that the 9/11 attacks were a U.S. government and/or Israeli plot is also popular among some protestors.

From Wall Street to LA’s City Hall now comes a copycat wave of street posters including one with the headline “End the Fed Spigot” under which are pictures of missiles and Stars of David bombarding innocent victims. Another pseudo-learned poster tells us: “Humanity has been colonized by a Satanic cult called the ILLUMINATI . . . Masonic and Jewish bankers who . . . control the purse strings [and] are conspiring against us. They have orchestrated TWO WORLD WARS and are planning a THIRD.” We are told that it’s “Humanity VS. The Rothschilds”. Protester Patricia McAllister, who says she works for LA Unified Schools exercised her First Amendment Right thus: “I think that the Zionist Jews, who are running these big banks and our Federal Reserve, . . . need to be run out of this country.”

For almost 200 years, blaming the world’s economic woes on the Rothschilds or Wall Street or Jewish bankers has been “the socialism of fools”—and mother’s milk of every demagogue from Hitler to Henry Ford to the Internet bloggers who still insist that Goldman Sachs’s secret Zionist high-command cunningly engineered the 2008 global financial collapse. Of course, toxic hate is not the motivator of most protestors, many of whom are suffering from or sincerely concerned about real economic hardship. Yet history shows the danger of lunatic fringe ideas spreading from the periphery to the center of a tumultuous movement…

Rabbi Cooper who issued this statement goes on to allege racism among the Tea Party, as they saw in birthers, which they felt was disavowed by political leaders that came out of the movement.  Cooper called on OWS to similarly reject the anti-Semitic fringe.

I take an issue with characterization of Occupy anti-Semitism as a fringe phenomena.  First, the Occupy movement is so small and incoherent it’s fringe only.  To be sure the guy with bad teeth and “Hitler’s Bankers” banner is no commie.  But there are plenty more examples, and the far left parents who bring their kids to Zuccotti Park don’t mind them photographed in front of that sign, and friendly photographers go out of the way to snap that shot, and Huffington Post approvingly features the picture on its pages.  I wrote about that one before.

OWS anti-Semitism

The Occupy movement is not so much a political force as counterculture ritual.  People join this movement to express themselves: take off their bras, beat on drums or forgo washing for weeks.  Evidently they are accepting of wackier forms of self-expression, including anti-Semitsm and racism.

Both Cooper and Foxman need to pick up the phone and call the Canadian Jewish Congress because that organization can explain that anti-Semites are at the root of the Occupy movement.  Occupy is the brainchild of a Canadian publication called Adbusters that apparently thinks that anti-Semitism is hip and fresh and all.

Adbusters recently ran a picture of Israeli Prime Minister meant to look subtly evil (pallid skin, eyelids same color as lips, too much flash on his forehead) with the words “Can you trust this man with nuclear weapons?”

Adbusters anti-Semitism

Why, yes!

In 2004 the publication ran a story “Why Won’t Anybody Say They Are Jewish?”  They printed a list of prominent “neocons” with asterisks next to Jewish names.  Some commentators noted that at least they didn’t use yellow stars.  But it’s the 2010 comparison of Gaza Strip to Warsaw Ghetto that earned them the condemnation of the Canadian Jewish Congress and got them banned in some bookstores.

The ADL and Simon Wiesenthal Center need to do better research.

UPDATE: Occupy LA organizers refuse to denounce rabid anti-Semitism, via Legal Insurrection:

October 18, 2011

Occupy Parenting

Nothing like a cute little blond girl to sell a political message.

Occupy child abuse

These tots couldn't wait to go to Occupy Philadelphia.

The stroller on the right is $500, and the Occupy movement urges followers to shlep their kids.

Just don't stumble into poop, bug-a-boo.

Just don't stumble into poop, bug-a-boo, and you'll be all right.

What kind of parent brings his child to a pigsty like Zuccotti?  Why, this kind:

Some hippie families are toting kids to the wild Occupy Wall Street protests — including one 13-year-old boy who carries a stack of quarters in case he has to make a jailhouse phone call and a homemade solution that washes pepper spray from the eyes.

“The people I ended up sleeping next to were druggies. Someone was trying to put a cigarette out on my face, and I had to roll over,” said the teen, Luca Rozany, who arrived at Zucotti Park after riding 12 hours with his grandfather and best childhood pal from their home in Asheville, NC.

The boy said they thought about leaving — but because of the cops, not the junkies.

That’s interesting.  Judging from their recruitment site, Parents for Occupy Wall Street is hugely concerned with safety.  They claim that they create a family only area, and do hourly head counts with… police.  I don’t question the need to sequester the kids –although they’ll no doubt see enough x-rated activity even when all precautions are in place — but I find it odd that Occupy parents run to NYPD for help.

Luca showed off his arm, where a friend’s cellphone number and a Legal Aid number — in case he needs a a lawyer — were scrawled with permanent marker.

“He’s learning life lessons,’’ said his grandfather, 73, who goes by the name Weezel.

Life lessons, like how to pick open handcuffs.

Occupy child abuse

Me, I want my children to manage their finances and know what kind of people to avoid.

“His mother is an activist; his grandparents are activists. His grandmother has been arrested many times. He’s well equipped to deal with this.”

I’m rooting for little Luca to rebel against his family’s fanaticism.

The elderly protester drove Luca and Mikah Peneghar, also 13, in a pickup loaded with produce donated by farmers near Asheville, where Luca’s mom runs a vegan restaurant.

Luca’s mom regularly goes to protests and other activist activities with her family, Weezel said, including to a months-long stint in Nicaragua last winter to teach the kids about hardship.

“My mom thought we were becoming typical middle-class, spoiled children,” Luca said. “We went down there to get a culture shock.”

For a true culture shock try spaghetti with meatballs.  Or visit Taxes.

Abe Karl-Gruswitz, 34, of Essex County in New Jersey, and his daughter, Beatrice, 6, also stayed overnight at the park Saturday.

“She was the one who wanted to do it,” Karl-Gruswitz said. “She knew what was going on here. It’s like a big party.”

Stay-at-home dad Karl-Gruswitz, whose wife’s accounting job brings home the bacon, doesn’t fear for his daughter — but said if he did, ”it wouldn’t be the people I’d be concerned about; it’d be the police.”

Well, the organizers beg to differ.

Beatrice, with a cute brown bob and a toothy grin, had no complaints about her time on the sidewalk — except that “it was hard to get to sleep because my dad was talking too much.”

See, she’s the one who wanted to do it, but its her dad who was so exited, he wouldn’t shut up.

hippy brainwash

Abe Karl-Gruswitz and daughter spend a memorable night inhaling excrement at Zuccotti Park.

I’m going to say this young lady is camera shy… or else she’s a product of public school education:

“Let’s go see the drums!” says Mary Salen, who came up from her home in Pennsylvania along with her husband and five of her nine—count em—nine children. The youngest, Izzy, 6, was splayed on her shoulders. Ellie, 12, carried a sign touting women’s rights. Asked what concerned her about women’s rights, she replied, “I don’t want them taken away.”

Either way, if I were Mary’s mom, I’d feel awful about embarrassing her.  While the girl’s statement was not bad for an Occupier, a 12-year-old should be able to form a few coherent sentences about her pet cause.

During Columbus day family sleepover 50 parents with children showed up at Zuccotti Park.  Plenty of opportunities to get your baby photographed against the background of two lunatic statements, at least one of them held by a racist.

OWS child abuse

I wrote about this photo before.

Occupy parents understand childhood development:

Another member of the group, Abigail Kramer, came with her 4-year-old son, Dyami. “This was a chance for my son to see that people still have hope to create something better,” she said. “The system was broken with duplicity and there’s a huge lack of accountability. The liberal left didn’t have a voice and that was unbearable.”

I’m sorry to bring it to you Ms. Kramer, your 4-year-old doesn’t understand abstract concepts like “hope to create something better,”but he does get “poop” and “stinks”.   My 4-year-old cries when she doesn’t like the smell.  You can relax, though: grown ups like me can’t understand your “hope to create something better” either, and we’ve had a liberal left President for 3 years now.

OWS child abuse

No he doesn't.

The “brain” behind Occupy family sleepovers is a woman named Kirby Desmarais.  Kirby, who runs Parents for Occupy Wall Street and poses with her 18-months-old for the media, got glowing reviews from a mainstream sites like The Stir and Forbes.

Non share-right picture removed.  It can be found in this editorial.

Babies and toddlers don’t need much, but one thing they do need is consistent routine and a regular bedtime.  So who will squat with an 18-months-old next to a drum circle?  Probably an anarchist hipster parent who never prioritized a routine to start with.  I went to Desmarais’s blog to find this love letter:

Baby G,

Your sleep schedule has always been crazy, you really sleep and wake when you please so we really never know what our nights are going to look like.

Desmarais is a noted co-sleeper, or somebody who sleeps with both her husband and her children in the same bed.  Co-sleeping has been a hot topic in parenting for a few decades, and Demariases was quoted on several wealthy hipster mom sites.  These lovely pictures of her 6-months-old illustrate her blog:

Non-share-right picture removed by request of the owner.

Non-share-right picture removed by request of the owner.

To prevent SIDS parents are advised to put their babies on their backs and remove all pillows and padding from the cribs.  Many moms worry themselves silly once babies start rolling on their tummies — and we shouldn’t.  But 99% of American mothers would cringe when they see these pictures.

To maintain a stable routine parents need to adjust to their babies’ needs.  Not this one.  Desmarais drags her baby to shows and lets bands sleep over at her house.  In fact, she is trying hard to be a non-mainstream, proudly proclaiming on her blog:

I’m Kirby. He is Mark. She is Georgiah. And we’re the least traditional family you’ve ever met.

I dunno, Kirby.  I’ve been around the block a few times.  You are an ordinary crusty chick.

From FAQs:

Are you and Mark Married? Did you plan G?

Strange, nobody ever asks me those kinds of questions.

Evidently, Desmarais, who’s been estranged from her birth family for many years, gave birth at home with only a doula for a medical practitioner.  If a doula can be counted as a medical practitioner.  Doulas are neither licensed nor qualified to deliver babies.  Their job is to comfort the laboring mother, not to identify and handle complications which may arise.  Lucky for Desmarais, she had a quick precipitous birth, which, she says, was “magical”.  Homebirth hippies and Hollywood celebs always have “magical” births.  Because they are better than you and me, the unwashed (or washed?) 99%.

Desmarais says she can’t afford health insurance for her kid, who, I gather, has a per-existing condition.  She runs a record label, and, she says, her husband works two jobs.  I happen to know parents who run record labels, and they are all gainfully employed.
It’s pretty amazing that mother of a child with a pre-existing condition doesn’t make it a priority to get health insurance.  Desmarais needs to trim her ego and get a real job.  Or use some feminine charm and get her husband to provide for the family.  These days Starbucks offers health insurance, but getting a job there, again, would require some ego trimming and quitting at your cool coffee shop.  In other words, the couple has to rethink their lifestyle and forgo the dreams of rock-n-roll glory.
Although I’m sure she loves baby G in her own way, Desmarais is a far cry from conscientious mom who cares about her daughter’s future.  She’s a selfish woman who values her status above her child.  She went to Zuccotti Park to meet other hippies and for future bragging rights, not out of concern for baby G’s well-being.
Parenting is a task for grown ups, for independent and self-sufficient people who can provide stability and security for their kids.  Occupy parents use kids as props to demand conditions under which they will never need to grow up because Big Government will provide for them.
OWS child abuse

Another one of them willing participants. Save his future, call child protective services.

UPDATE: A man arrested at Occupy Seattle for flashing children (h/t Big Government).

UPDATE: Linked by Legal Insurrection — Wow!  Many thanks to Professor Jacobson.

UPDATE: Drunk 11-year-old at Occupy Missoula.

October 16, 2011

This Is What an Authentic Leftie Political Movement Looks Like

Filed under: politics — Tags: , , , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 12:50 pm

We’ve been there before.  Not at Woodstock or Altamont, actually, because those were only a few days long and tucked away from cities, but in San Francisco with the Summer of Love, which, if we trust George Harrison, was a bunch of ugly, disoriented kids.  Now we have an Indian Summer of Love brought to you curtsey of OWS.

Now they are chanting, cult-like, after High Priest Zizek, apparently, registering their approval for bestiality:

I don’t think they are actually for bestiality.  The Milgram experiment and Stanford prison experiment showed that individuals are capable of blindly following authority figures.  And so Zuccotti Park occupiers thoughtlessly regurgitated whatever drivel the oft-cited guy with a PhD threw at them.  This phenomena is known as anarchy.

And now they are threatening violence.  Check out this racist tweet threat (via Conservative Hideout):

OWS violent threat

Or this thoughtful middle age gentlemen:

ows marxist

How's that for a message?

Or this young lady:

call for violence occupy

And spitting on a member of the Coast Guard (via PJ Mom).  When lefties tell you that they are not anti-troops just anti-war, don’t believe them.

And now they are crying for help:

This monologue is crying out for a companion video, so enjoy:

I’m amazed it took a few weeks for the criminal element to turn up — the cameras were probably some kind of deterrent.

OWC media

I get the impression that if one is at OWS and doesn't want to take a picture of certified nut, he'll be taking a picture of photographers.

Then again, while the cameras are rolling, some are not too shy to take a dump on a cop car (via King Shamus):

ows obscene

I must be with the 1% that doesn't defecate in public.

Always eloquent, and so considerate, he’ll bring his own handcuffs:

When words fail... as always.

Always ready to overdose in some family’s backyard.

But even a broken clock is right twice a day, and so even OWS have good ideas:

ows is right!

I think I might just do that.

And bad ideas from Occupy LA:

It only works if you are hot female

Any luck, buddy?

Some of those doofuses managed to breed with each other, hence child abuse:

Subversive power of capitalist entertainment.  Go Disney!

I spot Ariel on her tiara. One short meltdown, and the doe-eyed Disney mermaid is yours. I bet her parents won't stop talking about the "art" she makes.

Oh, and, of course, there are the racists the major media sweeps under the rug.  As documented by Zombie and Ringo’s Pictures:

Paulistas at OWS

And whose poster could that be?

OWS LA anti-Semitism

Also in LA.

Oh, and this educator, via Reason, via Instapundit:

Incidentally, American Nazis support Occupy.  I mean — doh! — they don’t like the Jewish banksters like any other guy.  I actually saw their website, and I’m not going to link to it.  I’m not sure it’s fair to say that those are fringe elements.  First, the movement is too small to have fringes.  Second, the movement seems to embrace everyone.

Apparently the types who live in tents in city parks for weeks on end have plenty of time to find the inner goddess:

the smelliest cult of the 21st century

If Zizek doesn't fill that void...

Some are planning a trip home:

Occupy Wall Street

Demands met already?

They will go home soon, once it gets cold.  I hope it stays warm long, though, because Democrats will have to keep placating the far left and express some sort of understanding of the “root causes”.  The longer the occupation lasts, the more meltdowns we are going to witness.  This movement is bait for crazies.  People who have lives to live don’t squat in parks, the lumpen “proletariat” does.  And they’ll sit there, egged on by cameras, stewing in their own juices, and getting crazier by the hour.

I’m glad the worst of the protests are in a residential neighborhood of New York City.  It’s the kind of deep blue area where people need to observe what happens in real life utopias.  NYPD should arrest demonstrators who get out of hand, but let them stay until the cold sets in.

The occupiers are, of course, the polar opposite of  the Tea Party.  The Tea Party message was personal responsibility and small government.  The occupiers demonstrate that they can’t control themselves and, therefore, need Big Brother to look after them.  Imagine all the people who didn’t know that they are not supposed to live in their own refuse.  I love the fact that it took a threat of eviction to get them to clean up; they are just like bratty kids.

Of course, there are always people who can’t take care of themselves.  A shrink I knew would always say that only people who self-medicate get addicted to drugs like heroin.  I’m not sure it’s true.  But a good deal of occupiers do, in fact, need psychiatric evaluation and mandatory treatments.  It’s a proper role of government to step in here.

He-he, ha-ha!

Sure last weekend some Democrats and unions tried to astroturf a larger movement out of this freakfest.  But that was last weekend.  Now it’s becoming clear that this is not going to end well, and Bill Clinton is triangulating and telling them to shape up.  Perhaps some of the occupiers are paid for, or whatever, but what we are observing at Zuccotti Park is authentic far left culture.

And sure Soros gave money to Adbusters, the magazine that organized the protest, but that only goes to show that George Soros is wealthy.  I too was once a beneficiary of the billionaire’s largess.  I was working for an organization of the type to which he donates, so we were funded, in part, by his monies.  The irony of it is that it was in the early 2000s, and this was one of the few places in the Bay Area where Zionism was welcome.

Soros gives to Adbusters because it’s a slick little glossy and because, he figured, they will somehow serve the larger leftist cause.  He should be more cautious with his handouts.

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