I was working on a pamphlet when I saw the news. At the time, I thought the pamphlet was pretty important. It was to be distributed at the Occupy Wall Street protests. And it still may be. But when I saw the news, I knew my work day was over. It was as if someone had sucked all of the air out of me.
It's not like it was a huge surpirse. We all knew he was ill. But I thought he'd have more time. And in the back of my mind, I was secretly hoping that he would have a miraculous recovery, at least enough of one that he would be able to return to work, return to creating. I just refused to believe that he wouldn't. And it wasn't because I was eagerly awaiting the next Apple product, the next i-whatever. I'm not sure why it was, other than that I appreciated what he did and I love it when people create. He surprised and delighted us. He was a force for creativity in a world where there is much entropy and destruction.
And I feel much as I did in the weeks after the attacks on the World Trade Center. I feel that the balance of the world has shifted a tiny bit away from creation and toward destruction, and I feel the urge to counter that. One doesn't counter it by fighting the forces of evil, one counters it by being a force for good. I look at his face, and I am reminded of a teacher I once had. He was a man who tolerated no bullshit, who held everyone to the highest standard, and when I looked in his eyes, I saw something like what I see here. I can imagine him saying to me now "what the F*** are you doing with your life?" And when I look at the face in this picture, it is suddenly crystal clear to me that so much of what I do is a collosal waste of time. That I could be doing something much much better.
I will never erase politics from my life. It is a part of who I am, and I do think that I can contribute in that arena in a way that can make things better. But I spend way too much time on it these days, and at the expense of creative projects that are getting dusty on back burners behind back burners. I'm going to print out this picture of Steve Jobs and put it up where I can see it every day, where I can see his eyes boring into me, asking me "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And I'm going to start answering "yes" to that question a lot more than I do now.
So there are a few lists of demands and grievances from the Wall Street protestors floating around the Internet now. Those I've seen pretty much confirm what I've seen in the various clips of protestors that are circulating: That most of the protestors, while rightly outraged, don't have a clue about what caused the problems they are now outraged about, nor about what to do to fix them.
So here's my list. It's a lot shorter than the ones I've posted above, and I don't think it's because I've given the matter less thought than those folks have:
1. End the Federal Reserve and replace it with nothing.
2. Legalize competing currencies.
3. End corporate welfare, including all bailouts and subsidies.
4. Stop violating the First Amendment, and prosecute those officers and police officials who have violated the First Amendment rights of protestors.
Any other ideas? I'd like to include something about reimbursing people who have lost their homes, jobs, businesses, etc. because of the government-orchestrated boom and bust. But how would you even begin to even calculate all of that? And who would be doing the reimbursing? The taxpayers? Random financial institutions? I don't see a just way of doing this, but am open to suggestions.
Any ideas people send me that I like, I'll add to my list. And I encourage others to come up with their own lists.