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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


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October 24, 2011

I'll Take Pictures

Monday. Another sort of normal Monday morning, I guess. Stayed up to watch the Korean soap last night, wide awake, it was the only thing on (excuses, excuses), to bed at eleven, to sleep half an hour later, up before the alarm at five-forty five. OK. To breakfast and back in the usual routine, home now under an overcast sky. It was quite warm yesterday including the evening (at least it stayed overly warm here inside) but they're saying it will get into the high sixties today in Oakland, some ten or fifteen degrees cooler than it was yesterday. Sounds good to me.

Later. A short walk down to the post office to drop a DVD in the mail, returning to lie down for a while to see if I could manage a nap. Not enough sleep last night no matter how well I might have felt when I got up, we do learn over time, so a hot bath and then a two hour attempt that led to an hour's sleep. Up now a little dingy, but right after sleep dingy, I don't think it will last.

Guitar today, need to stay on the ball. I don't feel like going downtown to photograph the Occupy people, but it's still early and we'll see if the mood shifts. The sun is bright, the temperature decent at one in the afternoon, maybe some lunch over at the morning restaurant, maybe some lunch at the City Center, an obvious way to trick me downtown and while I'm downtown, well, a short walk over to City Hall to see what's up.

I thought yesterday they'd clear out the tents (one of these days) over a weekend or well after work with no one about, but then thought, given the political situation, maybe they'd want to do it in “broad daylight”, show that it was being done on the up and up.

I'm not suggesting that people should be setting up tent cities in front of city halls or financial institutions as the mood strikes, but there's clearly a freedom of expression issue here driven by anger and sympathy for it in the larger population from people who actually vote. Administrations national and local think about what they're up to when actual voters seem to be getting excited. Our system has deteriorated, but it's not yet out. I hope. So maybe something will come out of it, this Occupy business. It did in the thirties.

You equate this with the movement that led to the New Deal?

Nobody knows what this is, what it might become, but even Washington is watching. It doesn't seem to have rolled over the died the way many hoped. So we'll see and I'll continue to take the occasional photograph.

Later. Of course I got on a bus and headed downtown, thinking I'd have another cold chicken salad at Genji, which located beside the City Hall area in the Rotunda building, a small restaurant we frequented at APL. I knew through experience that when I got through the door I'd feel better in the outside air, that it would wake me up, and it did, it did. A walk through taking pictures, lunch at Genji, another very brief walk through again and then a cup of mocha coffee and a raspberry shortbread cookie to top it off.

I figure if you're going to be out in the storm taking pictures you might as well treat yourself well at some of the local watering spots. I'm a member of the Pictures and Local Watering Spots Photographers’ Association (PLWSPA, Ltd.). I know, it doesn't work, but then neither do we, deedle-dee-dee.

One note. There were a number of empty spaces where tents had been yesterday and the area seemed more cluttered with paper and abandoned stuff. A sign of something? Hard to tell, maybe they're getting down to the hard core as time goes along. I was asked again who I was shooting for, gave them an artandlife card, said I was shooting on my own and I had a web site. Another young guy looking pretty beat asked me again, as he had two days ago, had I taken his picture? No, I hadn't. That seemed to suffice. I hadn't, of course, but I might if the light were right.

Evening. It turns out I had enough photographs from yesterday and today to fill two sections, one for each day, which I've posted. Progress. While finishing I was listening to the Charlie Rose program on public television. I consider Charlie Rose more an establishment Main Stream Media program than not, where you'll get what amounts to the current approved lines of discussion on current issues, nothing too over the top, although now and again he'll surprise you. Tonight he surprised me.

The program included Paul Volcker, Federal Reserve Chairman before he was replaced by Alan Greenspan in 1987, discussing Wall Street and the current progress on what is now called the Volcker Rule, followed by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now and Chris Hedges, the author of Death of the Liberal Class among many others, Goodman and Hedges discussing the Occupy Wall Street movement, what it looked like and where it may be going.

None of these three are known for their establishment thinking - Volcker, Goodman or Hedges - and the program was more interesting for me for the fact they were appearing on the middle of the road Charlie Rose show. Maybe a major movement has indeed been launched and this thing in front of City Hall is a great deal more than it might initially seem. Certainly the Main Stream Media has shifted it's position. One can hope.

Meanwhile you'll take pictures.

Meanwhile I'll take pictures.

The photograph was taken Thursday at the Oakland Occupy Wall Street encampment with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 24-120mm f 4.0 Nikkor VR lens.