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Peeks and Piques! OCCUPY!

By Raymond J. Steiner
ART TIMES July/ August 2012

OCCUPY YOUR MIND! If you’re having the urge to “occupy” someplace why don’t you – please — take some time to spend it in thought? Don’t know about most of you “out there”, but I for one am getting a little tired of seeing hordes of humanity, carrying (sometimes even wielding) signs and jousting with police lines, demanding their “right” to “occupy” this street, that park, some several city blocks — wherever — so that they can crowd out others and drown the space with noise. I can only hope that such obnoxious behavior results in something more than my disgust with the many ways my fellow humans are able to come up with new ways to annoy others. Surely all that energy could be put to better use? I mean, if you don’t want to get up off your butt to find a job (not as difficult as most make it out to be), why not sit quietly someplace – preferably someplace that does not belong to others who have to maintain and pay taxes on it – and occupy your mind? Who knows what alternate routes you might uncover there that will not only answer your needs but are far better – certainly more civil ­— than discommoding others? The mind is a marvelous place. Believe me! Just think of the things that creative people have brought into our lives — things that they found tucked away in the folds of their brains and uncovered only through introspection. And all the while they were cogitating — occupying their minds — they rarely got in someone else’s way. Oh sure … we can all come up with times when an other’s preoccupation (i.e. “occupying their minds”) caused us to have to repeat our request or question. “Hey! Anybody home?” But the momentary annoyance can hardly compare with hours of the screaming, shoving, fulminating and club-swinging attendant upon most of the occupying demonstrations that the media loves to share with us over our evening meals. I mean, there are other ways to “occupy” — for example someone recently sent me a 2-minute you-tube video of a Copenhagen Flash Mob in which a group of classical musicians staged an impromptu “occupation” at the Metro, filling the space with lovely music that brought smiles to all and annoyance to none. Some time ago, someone else sent me a similar video of a dance group suddenly coming together and performing a rehearsed “number” at some large rail terminal. Both of these “occupations” — and I am sure some of you can come up with similar examples  — were surely the result of people taking the time to first occupy their minds before acting out their desires in public. Look, I know you have a beef; so do I — a great many, in fact. But I manage to air mine in this bi-monthly editorial — which you can read or not. Your choice. In fact, I like doing it so much that I’ve made it possible for others to “occupy” these pages … if you ever have a sharable thought, complaint, or gripe about art, send it to our ‘Speak Out’ section. Come occupy our space — you’ll reach a helluva lot more listeners on our website!

Raymond J. Steiner
(Visit my blog at rjsteiner.wordpress for more “Peeks & Piques!”)