Here is the first page of the pamphlet I’m working on to explain Forward Funding and its futility. I tried to keep it short and concise, this page is to set up the core basics: what were we doing before Forward Funding, and what the State and the MBTA were actually agreeing upon. Also, this digital image is bigger than actual size. I’m looking to improve this page if anyone has anything to critique, I’d love to hear from you. Keep in mind that this is only 1 of 5 pages to the pamphlet.
The second page will be directly right of this page, and I’m still considering what to put on that page. Considering that I already have a larger space (4 pages wide) to compile statistics that visually convey the failing financial structure (with graphics, rather than numbers alone)… what should be put on side 2?
It can be a timeline, it can be another set of bullet points, it can be a graphic, it can be a chart; it can be a list of the overconfident predictions that were made in Forward Funding, it can be a list of the direct effects of the policy… I’m open to ideas and would love input!
Foreigners weren’t the only ones nodding. This article mirrors my sentiment so perfectly, and that’s comforting after so many years of being seen as a traitor by some in my family. If one criticizes America, then they must hate it and they should move somewhere else and contract malaria.
Even in middle school, I was starting to notice that American society was kind of fucked up. I was, and still am, a history nerd and I dove into researching details, and I would butt heads frequently with my family over values (as well as drive them crazy with history lectures…)
When I was grounded for things like unknowingly standing in the way of my grandfather’s view of the television during a football game, and told countless times that “I should’ve known” things I hadn’t encountered yet or that were impossible to know (like what someone was thinking), I was becoming acquainted with misplaced entitlement and blind self-absorption, and EVEN WORSE… how it’s not only socially acceptable, but expected.
Usually, I couldn’t convince my family that foreigners do not wish they were American, nor do they actively ‘hate’ us… nor do they necessarily live in destitute squalor. That, in fact, many of them think that America’s average living standards are shameful. Here’s a snippet from ‘The 10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America”.
The system is stacked heavily to allow people of talent and advantage to rise to the top quickly. The problem with the US is that everyone thinks they are of talent and advantage. As John Steinbeck famously said, the problem with poor Americans is that “they don’t believe they’re poor, but rather temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” It’s this culture of self-delusion that allows America to continue to innovate and churn out new industry more than anyone else in the world. But this shared delusion also unfortunately keeps perpetuating large social inequalities and the quality of life for the average citizen lower than most other developed countries. It’s the price we pay to maintain our growth and economic dominance.
Depression and anxiety disorders are soaring within the US. Our inability to confront anything unpleasant around us has not only created a national sense of entitlement, but it’s disconnected us from what actually drives happiness: relationships, unique experiences, feeling self-validated, achieving personal goals. It’s easier to watch a NASCAR race on television and tweet about it than to actually get out and try something new with a friend.
Not only are we emotionally insecure as a culture, but I’ve come to realize how paranoid we are about our physical security. You don’t have to watch Fox News or CNN for more than 10 minutes to hear about how our drinking water is going to kill us, our neighbor is going to rape our children, some terrorist in Yemen is going to kill us because we DIDN’T torture him, Mexicans are going to kill us, or some virus from a bird is going to kill us. There’s a reason we have more guns than people.
Despite the occasional eye-rolling, and complete inability to understand why anyone would vote for Bush, people from other countries don’t hate us either. In fact — and I know this is a really sobering realization for us — most people in the world don’t really think about us or care about us. I know, that sounds absurd, especially with CNN and Fox News showing the same 20 angry Arab men on repeat for ten years straight. But unless we’re invading someone’s country or threatening to invade someone’s country (which is likely)… most people don’t think about us much. They have jobs, kids, house payments — you know, those things called lives — to worry about. Kind of like us.
So, I’m working on a project that will explain the MBTA’s finances visually, using info graphics, to facilitate public education on the topic. I’m visualizing a pamphlet with about 4 to 5 sides, half the size of a piece of printer paper, there will be a fair amount of text along with designs and graphics, I am hoping to frame the crisis in a way people can actually comprehend it, in plain, brief language. Probably using quotations straight out of the MBTA’s own reports, the writers put together surprisingly biased reports and clearly share the sentiment of the Boston Fare Strikers.
Here are my collections of quotes and figures that could be useful, and I’d like more if there’s something missing.
The visuals will be relatively easy for me, but I am struggling with creating any designs before I know what the actual content of the pamphlet will be. I know that Forward Funding will be a major part of it. I need input, I’m trying to pick out information that will be the most valuable, the most shocking. What variables can I show side by side to evoke a reaction. Are there trends that I should make sure to include, and are there any trends that correlate with others? What if I took a certain variable, and shrunk it into currency that the average worker can fathom; or are there variables I can stack to present something else?
I’m also certain that there are figures that are important that I haven’t included yet, I need all the ideas I can get!
This is more from that article that I thought made some good points regarding misconceptions about the movement and addresses some reasons the movement isn’t in the mainstream spotlight anymore. It’s a pretty long read, so this is just a bit of it. More than a week ago, I posted a section from the same article about the mainstream media’s smokescreen over Occupy.
Lack of ‘space’
The real stumbling block for the Occupy movement is also the reason for its success: space, or now, the lack thereof. Understanding the significance of political space and Occupy’s inability to recapture it reveals why the movement is having difficulty re-gaining traction.
Americans have become so enmeshed in the transience of work, life, housing, play, finance and the proliferation of virtual spaces that it is easy to forget taking collective action in a shared physical space is how social change happens from below. Take the labour movement. The history of industrial workers’ struggle starts with the insight that capitalists are their own undoing, by amassing workers in a common space - the factory - where they become aware of their common interests, as well as their potential power to stop the machinery of capital. The same is true of student movements. The shared educational space can unite students around common grievances and goals. And for the civil rights movement, black churches played a pivotal role.
Now, Occupy Wall Street differs in that it appropriated a private-public park and reconfigured it as a political space. It was a manifestation of the central concept of the Occupy movement: there can be no political democracy without economic democracy. Its potency sprang from the same source as the Arab Spring, Spain’s Indignados and the Wisconsin labour uprising - peacefully liberating public space and governing it through participatory democracy.
Twilight at Dewey Square, Fall 2012… sigh.