OWS Reads

Our founding editor, Jeff Sharlet, has two new articles out on the Occupy Movement:  at Bookforum and at Rolling Stone. Here’s an excerpt from the former:

I’m not sure when I first felt that joy, but I know when I named it for what it was: one night lying on a sleeping pad beneath a thin blanket, hemmed in by my just-met friend Austin, a teacher of autistic children who leaves the park for work every day at 7:30 AM, and his girlfriend and her girlfriend, reading my newly acquired copy of The Pagan Rabbi by the yellow sodium light of the city’s permanent illumination. Purists call that light pollution, but filtering through the feathery leaves of Zuccotti Park’s honey locust trees, it was lovely. More than lovely; bathed in its amber glow I felt like one of five hundred little Christs, if by “Christ” you’ll allow me to refer not to divinity itself but to one of its more wholly human representations, Andres Serrano’s 1987 photograph Piss Christ. Appreciating what’s happening in Zuccotti Park requires a mental shift akin to the one necessary to see Piss Christ—an image of a plastic crucifix submerged in a glass of the artist’s own urine—as not blasphemous but beautiful. And I don’t mean ideologically beautiful—a baroque idea one admires for the complexity of its inversions. I mean gorgeous, breathtaking and breath-giving at the same time.

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