A book can have more influence for being destroyed than having existed in the first place. This week isn’t the first time my books have been destroyed, but it’s probably the most significant. I’m honored to have been included in the reference section of the Occupy Wall St “People’s Library,” and honored for Life Inc to have been among the texts that librarians attempted to save with their actual bodies.
Remember, though, the People’s Library is less about the books sitting in the reference section at Zuccotti Park than the extended network of books being shared and read by real people in the real world. I brought 62 copies of Life Inc to the library. Two were put in the reference section, and the other sixty were taken and read by occupiers and visitors – under the provision that when they were done, they shared the text with others. Read, then pass it on.
Likewise, while the Occupation of Zuccotti and other places may serve as “reference” points, the real occupation is embodied by those of us in the real world who change our behaviors to reflect our values, and who stand up for what we believe in the conversations occurring all around us.
To this end, I’m supporting an effort to bring OWS into the world with us through simple armbands, buttons, and ribbons. Wearing light blue armbands with people drawn around them like paper dolls, a light blue ribbon in the shape of an O, or even a button like this one on CafePress, give us an opportunity to engage intelligently in conversations about what the NYPost calls “the mob,” and even to remember what we care about as we make choices throughout our day.