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Freeganism

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And if I must blogger say, it was 23 degrees on this night in the middle of December during that holiday season that I found myself on one of those twice monthly Freegan trash tours, also known as dumpster diving, in that city of New York last night, that usually take place after their meetings, this one being at the Sony Public Atrium on 55th Street and Madisoin Avenue. And after thatfreegan meeting, this trash tour group of about ten or fifteen people made its way ten or fifteen blocks toward what seemed like about 70th street, stopping at what seemed like 10 different spots of various supermarkets, coffee shops, deli’s and any other kind of food stores along the way. And it was said that this was a slow night, as usually food is found at every spot, or every other spot, more than one can carry, and on this night food was only found at two or three of these ten spots, with most of the food being found at the last spot of what seemed like a gourmet natural health food store at the end of the night as in those photos that find themselves posted above. And there is also to be a freegan feast a day later after this dumpster dive of that freegan food that was found, to be shared at someones home with everyone. And from what I know, these trash tours usually take place during the hours of 9pm and 11pm, during that two hour window of when the food is put out on the sidewalk or dumpster and thrown away to when the food is picked up by the garbage trucks to throw it away. And so what exactly is freeganism and dumpster diving?  Well, it has something to do with capitalism, consumerism and saving the world.  And according that freegan.info website, What is a Freegan?:

Freegans are people who employ alternative strategies for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed. 

After years of trying to boycott products from unethical corporations responsible for human rights violations, environmental destruction, and animal abuse, many of us found that no matter what we bought we ended up supporting something deplorable. We came to realize that the problem isn’t just a few bad corporations but the entire system itself. 

Freeganism is a total boycott of an economic system where the profit motive has eclipsed ethical considerations and where massively complex systems of productions ensure that all the products we buy will have detrimental impacts most of which we may never even consider. Thus, instead of avoiding the purchase of products from one bad company only to support another, we avoid buying anything to the greatest degree we are able. 

The word freegan is compounded from “free” and “vegan”. Vegans are people who avoid products from animal sources or products tested on animals in an effort to avoid harming animals. Freegans take this a step further by recognizing that in a complex, industrial, mass-production economy driven by profit, abuses of humans, animals, and the earth abound at all levels of production (from acquisition to raw materials to production to transportation) and in just about every product we buy. Sweatshop labor, rainforest destruction, global warming, displacement of indigenous communities, air and water pollution, eradication of wildlife on farmland as “pests”, the violent overthrow of popularly elected governments to maintain puppet dictators compliant to big business interests, open-pit strip mining, oil drilling in environmentally sensitive areas, union busting, child slavery, and payoffs to repressive regimes are just some of the many impacts of the seemingly innocuous consumer products we consume every day.

Is another world possible. Peace on earth and goodwill to all mankind.

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A Village Halloween Costume Ball

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And it’s that time of year yet again where another one of those holidays rolls around to where I can just recycle this blog post and post about that same holiday all over again.  And in all honesty, I find myself blaghing on this day because it is Halloween on this day again, and I found myself taking a bunch of photos at that Theater for the New City Village Halloween Costume Ball yet again in that city of New York.  And then there’s that annual Village Halloween Parade to be found in New York City on this day also.  And that day of the dead, when the dead come to life, or something like that, started out with that guy all lit up in lights for this Halloween night atPort Authority Bus Terminal in New York City, as in those photos that find themselves posted above, and it continued with people all dressed up, and lit up in Christmas lights and all kind of lights on this night.  And the costumes are always amazing to see on this day.  If only every day were Halloween, then we would be free to be who we want to be, I think. Happy All Saints Day.

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Bernie Sanders At A Tompkins Square Park Concert

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Okay, so as far as I know, Bernie Sanders isn’t really going to be at that May Day PUNK Show at Tompkins Square Park event May 1st. It’s just that with all this #Berniemania campaigning going on, and a bazillion and more Bernie Sanders rallies, concerts, subway rides, Victory Pow Wows, marches, parties, planning parties, brunches, canvassing, bus riding, actions, Bernstorming, presentations and more Berniemania events going on , and the debates and primaries just days away, I thought to put Bernie Sanders in the title of this blagh post just to catch your attention so that you can make it to that 1stTompkins Square Park concert of the year to be found in that neighborhood of the East Village to be found in that city of New York if you happen to be in the neighborhood. And Chris Flash and The Shadow had that  TOMPKINS SQUARE PARK (POLICE) RIOT 27TH ANNIVERSARY SHOWS in the park last year and a bunch of other riot reunion concerts at Tompkins Square Park before that.  Well what I kind of really meant was at leastDecorForU is planning to be there with Bernie jewelry and will be vending those Bernie SandersBlack Lives Matter, Occupy Wall StreetThe Shadow and Tompkins Square Park necklaces, key chains and magnets for one dollar each at this May Day event.  And in case you have been stuck in the stone age or hiding out under a rock or something, Bernie Sanders is running for president as part of those United States presidential elections 2016. And Bernie Sanders For President! And so back to that Tompkins Square Park Concert. And that Facebook event invite reads something like as follows:

May Day PUNK Show at Tompkins Square

Sunday May 1 at 2pm – 7pm in EDT

Tompkins Square Park
330 East 10th Street, New York, New York 10009

☆☆ FREE show ☆☆

Featuring:

• Comrades
• Jennifer Blowdryer
• Night Rite
• Pink Lips (featuring PeeWee of ICU)
• The Wurst
• Skitzopolis
• SPIKE Polite and Sewage NYC

Starts at 2pm and goes on ’till 7pm. Come and enjoy the performers and speakers in YOUR F**KING PARK!!

(There will be info tables, band merch, and the latest issues of the SHADOW and Time Warp on sale, as well…)

We’ll have a real coooool time ☆

And No Police State Girl is planning on singing that No Police State song at this all things No Police State and more event also. And it seems that more performers and speakers will be added to that show as that May Day day nears. Squat The World. Housing is a Human Right. And what if anything, does this have to do with a No Police State.  Have a great Bernie Sanders, May Day PUNK Show at Tompkins Square concert day and more. Hope to see you there.

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Occupy Art Went To Figment NYC

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And if I must blogger say, FIGMENT NYC was awesome. And that ferry boat ride that one takes across the water to get to Governors Island and all of its art, art and more art, well that was even more awesome to see New York City and all of its harbor views. And those one hundred and more art projects and art installations, performances and more that found themselves on Governors Island on this Figment NYC day, well they were even more awesome. And so this Figmentevent seems as if it wants photos, photos and more photos and colors, colors and more colors to be added to this post. And so Occupy Art Show was at Figment on this day and some of those photos from this Occupy Art Show find themselves posted above. And even more photos from that Occupy Art Show and FIGMENT NYC on this day find themselves posted in my Occupy Art Show @ Figment NYC Facebook event invite. And the Occupy Wall Street People’s Puppets were there on this day also. And if I would have known that, I would have Occupy Wall Street People’s Puppets went over there to see their show also. And so Figment NYC has come to an end this past weekend. And with that, that Occupy Art Show @ Figment NYC has came to an end as well. And so Figment is off to San Diego, Boston, Toronto, Washington D.C. and even more cities as well in all its Figmentness. And on this day finds itself as Occupy Wall Street Day 997. And Occupy Wall Street is still moving fast, well sort of. Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Art Worldwide.

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Occupy Art Was @ Left Forum

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Well that Occupy Art Panel at Left Forum at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in that city of New York that I blogged about a week or so ago happened a few days ago. And according to Left Forum, this was their best conference to date. And from what I saw during my time there, despite a panel speaker being missing in action who did not make it to that Occupy Art panel on this day, it was Paul DeRienzo of Let Them Talk who saved the day with his squatter history slide show for the few people who were in attendance. And that slide show was all things squatting and art. And if it wasn’t for Paul and his slide show, that “There will be a slide show presentation of Occupy artwork as well as Lower East Side, NYC Lower East Side Squat History zines” part of Occupy Art’s panel description would have just been false advertising and may not have happened. And so how did the rest of that Left Forum conference go on the last day of their three day conference one may ask, maybe? Well those photos above speak for themselves and a picture can tell a story, or something like that. And on this day finds itself as Occupy Wall Street Day 990. Have a great Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Art day and more.

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HOWL!

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And so I just happen to have one of those 1st Annual FEVA, Federation of East Village Artists, HOWL! Festival of East Village Arts The HOWL! Souvenir Books lying around that I must have gotten from Tompkins Square Park years ago, that park that finds itself somewhat infamous for that 1988 Tompkins Square Park Riot that had squatters, the homeless and everyone in between running to and/or from the police that had something to do with a curfew in that park that finds itself in the Lower East Side now called the East Village for real estate marketing purposes maybe, in that city of New York.  And so this souvenir book is really cool with its East Village culture of life and history in that neighborhood during those times. And along with that Long Live The Lower East Side poem that finds itself in this book, here is another one of the many poems and photos that finds themselves in this book also that I thought interesting to post on this blog. Free the land. Squat the world.

1966/2003

the Lower East Side/ the East Village
ethnic neighborhood/style magnet
Ukrainians, Poles, Puerto Ricans and Blacks/ -, -, – and – 
flocks of babushkas/clouds of green ringlets
strung our junkies/tranced out tourists

burned out buildings/luxury ghetto
shoebox apt $217 a month/shoebox apt. $2175 a month
there goes the neighborhood/ there goes the planet
obvious potheads/invisible alcoholics
serious yippies/secret yuppies 
the Peace Eye Bookstore/Barnes and Noble
pierogis/ raw food
xerox magazines/online entities

“US out of Vietnam!”/”US out of Iraq!”
age of innocence/age of experience
embrace the beautiful stranger/embrace the ghostly clone
acid dreams/health club mornings
who was I then?/what am I now?
(the view from the tarry roof goes on and on)

dancers in the streets/students in the dorms
danger and mystery/crowding and noise
Filmore East and the Dom/great choice of multiplexes
Leshko’s/Leshko’s
angel-headed hipsters/angel headed hipsters
free love/free anytime minutes
many little mom and pop stores/one big NYU

BUT STILL: 
the Lower East Side/ the East Village
one and the same poets and painters and musicians/musicians and painters
and poets
free to be me/free to be you

 FREE TO BE ME BEING YOU

-Michael Brownstein’s latest book is World on fire. Open City Books 

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