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Granite Point Mountain Lodge

the Occupy movement. Three out of the eight people present hadn’t heard of “Occupy Wall Street,” and the one who knew the most, second to me, only knew it because he lives with me. I attempted an inspiring speech, based on various blog entries I’d read, about the importance of participation. I held the interest of one person for about thirty seconds, and then conversation enthusiastically moved on to “things we were afraid would come out of the toilet when we were kids.” Oh well. If I were going to be an effective local spokesperson for a movement I’d only read about, I’d have to admit some things up front. Among those was the fact that, prior to early October 2011, if you’d asked me what city Wall Street was in, I would most likely have said Washington, DC. I remain inexcusably ignorant of North American geography east of the Mississippi. Also, my life has changed remarkably little since or because of the socalled financial crisis. I live comfortably enough in a place where seasonally fluctuating income is common, and am partnered with someone whose stability is a regional abnormality. I’ve avoided most of the generational anxieties that sparked the Occupy movement, having

CIRQUE

Kalani Woodlock

perpetually low expectations for paid work to result in fulfillment and a resulting contentment with the mosaic of short-term odd jobs that have made up my “career.” And yet, electronic media has this strange way of convincing me that I am or could be a part of something when really, I’m just consuming information, rabidly following one link to another, and the end result is a feeling similar to having just “accidentally” eaten an entire bag of potato chips in 30 minutes: headachy and overwhelmed and mildly ashamed. In the midst of what some labeled the “American Autumn,” Troy Davis was executed in Georgia, after years of effort by activists to overturn a questionable murder charge. In my haze of media consumption, I read an essay by Roxane Gay, who wrote that “ambient intimacy is the connectedness we feel when we participate in social networks…It is comforting to be part of that intimate community, to be reminded—we are alone but we are not.” Yes, I thought, it was indeed comforting to feel that others were as engrossed in the national drama as I was, even as the real world community I was a part of focused

Profile for Michael Burwell

Cirque, Vol. 6 No. 2  

A Journal for the North Pacific Rim

Cirque, Vol. 6 No. 2  

A Journal for the North Pacific Rim

Profile for burwellm
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