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The Tale of Two Hats. . .
I found it intriguing that during his inauguration speech Trump spoke of bringing jobs back to the USA and of buying American made goods. So, in response to that directive, I decided to investigate if the inauguration swag being sold on every street corner was made in the USA?
In stark contrast.... the vast majority of these were hand-made in America. I only found one person actually selling the "pink pussy hats".
To me, this illustrates that perhaps both “sides” do share some of the same values with each other. Do you think we should be "buying American"?
UPDATE: Apparently all "official inauguration swag" is made in the USA but alas I couldn't find any in DC at the end of January.
Trudy (pictured on the right) and I traveled to DC to participate in the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st, 2017. Trudy is 84 years young and one of my best friends.
One of the hardest parts leading up to our trip, was trying to figure out what our sign(s) should read. After much debate and suggestions from friends, I opted for "Fear Less" and Trudy's side of the sign read "Speak Up".
Trudy's parents were Jewish immigrants. All of her mother's family were killed in the Holocaust. I think this influenced her choice of words and fuels her need to make sure we are acting thoughtfully and compassionately to those around the world who are suffering in other countries.
"Fear Less" has become my mantra for 2017. It feels like there is so much fear surrounding us that it is easy to slide into the depths of despair. Fear of what might happen blinds us to the beauty that IS happening here and now.
For me, the beauty of January 21st was that by all accounts it was the LARGEST WORLDWIDE protest in the history of the planet and to the best of my knowledge there was not one arrest. (If I am wrong about this, please fill me in.) To quote Trudy:
In an attempt to explain the tremendous success of the Women's Marches all over the country and the world, comments like "that's because women were in charge" don't really tell the whole story. In our view, the credit goes not only to women, but to the amazing number of men; the wonderful diversity of color, of ethnicity, of generations. In DC, where we were, considering that three times the expected numbers attended, it was more like a "shuffle" than a march; people packed so closely that it was rife for frustration. But unbelievably, not only were there no arrests; there were not even skirmishes, impatience or unkind words! It was a beautiful spectacle of creative hats and signage and compliments/chatting being exchanged.......it didn't matter if one could see the stage during the rally or even hear the speakers....the dynamic energy during the entire day was extraordinary!
It was an honor to be a part of peaceful history in the making.
My very first textile job was designing pajamas for Karen Neuburger (KN). One of my first assignments was to create an "election print" for the 2000 election. I was told that they wanted 3 prints that were identical except that the color and the animal would change. They wanted a donkey, elephant and eagle (for the reform party). It ended up being a huge PR campaign with all the candidates and their wives getting complimentary pajamas of their parties. KN also sent pjs to our local female Senators. I was told that Barbara Boxer liked them so much she purchased a pair for every woman in the Senate! They even were worn in Chicago down Michigan Ave in a "get out the female vote" parade. I don't know if the President of the United States ever slept in his pjs or not.
It's hard to believe that was 17 years ago (design was done in 1999)! What a wild and crazy journey this has been.
I hope EVERYONE reading this will vote in next month's election!
The More Things Change. . .
When I took the exam to get my CBEST back in the early 90's the essay topic I had to write about was "The more things change, the more they stay the same."
Last night I watched the Academy Award winning 1982 movie Gandhi. In it, Gandhi's wife, Kasturba Gandhi states:
"There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness."
Wow. More than 30 years after the movie and perhaps 100 years after the words were uttered and that still rings true. When Kasturba said it, she was referring to the British landowners who were pushing the cotton farmers into debt. The British left India and the chemical (and seed) companies moved in.
Today, it is estimated that an Indian cotton farmer commits suicide every 8 hours. Here's a 5 minute video that explains the situation in more detail. A longer movie worth watching is Bitter Seeds.
Gandhi spoke to the humanity in us all. . . I wonder what it will take to hear the message this time around ? Are we destine to keep exploiting people and planet or will we eventually wake up to the reality that we are all much more deeply connected than we realize?
I must say that I feel really happy that Harmony Art supports organic (non-gmo seed) cotton farmers in India. It makes me feel connected to this bigger story we are all writing together. Individually we may feel insignificant but together we are mighty. Gandhi taught us that too.
I don't get it.
I avoid talking politics. I don't watch the news. However, I am so perplexed about what is going on in Washington I can't keep quiet at the moment. I just don't understand it.
I keep trying to wrap my head around it. Your business is about to default on its loans. . . you decide to give all of your employees a paid vacation? I don't think even the worst business owner would decide to do that. [Debt ceiling limit reached + furloughs with back pay = nonsense.]
My friend Karl tells me they are trying to make a bigger point. I'm sorry the only point I see is that they have NO common sense. Seriously. Who does that? It is mind boggling that these are our "leaders". Ok, I'll jump off my soapbox. I just had to get that off my chest. May sanity (and smart business/government decisions) prevail.
New Greed Alert potential images
My first attempt at flash animation! Here are the "new" and not confirmed symbols for the GreedAlert.org aka CloseTheLoop.org consumer education project. I welcome your feedback.
Let Truth be Told
If you are like me, you try to avoid talking politics with most family and friends. However, from time to time you still receive emails of political nature. I have made it a habit of doing my own due diligence on all political emails to determine what is fact and what is fiction. There is a lot of decisive rhetoric these days and you really can't believe everything you read. In my vetting of these emails I have become a frequent visitor to a couple of very useful web sites. FactCheck.org and PolitiFact.com are two sites that do the heavy lifting (aka research) and let you know the truth behind the politics. Both sites I highly recommend. They are unbiased and focused on exposing the truth. I like that. I am especially fond of PolitiFact's truth-o-meter. If a pundit or politician is really lying they get a "pants on fire" rating. . . . sometimes you gotta laugh to keep from crying.
While hiking with my friend Karl recently he said, "It's never been easier to spread misinformation." I countered, "Yes, that's true, but it has also never been easier to get access to the truth."
Founder of Harmony Art organic design.