“Sitting It Out—In Which the Students Lead the Way and the Police Use the Spray”

The Battle in Seattle

Receive a 50% discount on this title at http://www.fulcrumbooks.com. Use discount code OCCUPY at checkout.

Today’s blog is an excerpt from The Battle in Seattle by Janet Thomas. Thomas has written plays about abortion, sexual abuse, nuclear war, the Vietnam War, and the war against the environment, books about hostel travel in the West, and she’s been editor of a magazine about spas around the world. She lives and teaches on San Juan Island in Washington State.


There is a great irony behind the North American and European protest movement against the World Trade Organization: the students are protesting both the physically impoverished lives of those who are exploited in the name of profit, as well as the way in which corporate culture spiritually impoverishes their own lives.

Critics are quick to point the finger at students who are so privileged that they have nothing better to do but bite the hand of the system that feeds them. What the critics don’t understand is that’s precisely what the students are trying to do, because the system feeds them nothing but crass commercialism. And they are fed up with it.

In her book No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, Naomi Klein chronicles this rising tide of frustration and rebellion among younger people. And she includes herself: “What haunts me is not exactly the absence of literal space so much as a deep craving for metaphorical space: release, escape, some kind of open-ended freedom.” This gilded age of high-tech wealth has produced a wave of youthful revolutionaries who want to get back to meaning, to mystery, to metaphor. To them, freedom means more—and less—than money. It means individual and personal experience, free of corporate definition.

To those of us who are more than a few years out of high school and college, this is not an easy reach. We already got defined—by the freedom of individuality in the ’60s, by the tragedies of the Vietnam War, by the threat of nuclear war in the ’70s and early ’80s, and by the giddy explosion into capitalistic consumerism in the mid-80’s. We have no way of knowing the depth to which this legacy of consumerism has hollowed out experience for our young people. They were born on the cusp of consumerism, and they are finding out what’s on the other side. Just as we looked over the dark edge of war, nuclear arms, and communism, they are looking over the dark edge of the advertising age into consumer-driven capitalism, and they don’t like what they see or what they feel. They are following the money to find out why. And money talks.

[…] What’s not getting lost on this rising generation is that much of the profits go not only into the pockets of a few, but into the actual creation of a corporate-induced value system, a lifestyle of consumption that is dependent upon the deprivation of others. “I think more and more Americans are realizing that our privilege, and our lifestyle, means that someone else is suffering,” says Seattle activist Vanessa Lee.

[…] Nike, Disney, Wal-Mart, Adidas, Liz Claiborne, and other companies with visible identities are relatively easy to identify. It’s the corporate ethic in its less easily identifiable form that breeds the more systemic threat: the politician who rides into office on a wave of corporate experience, promotes and supports free-trade laws, and then returns to the corporate marketplace to reap the benefits when the stint of “public service” is over; the military arms sales to foreign countries that don’t identify the corporations that benefit so grandly from the sales; the flowers in the marketplace that are grown abroad on corporate-owned farms that still use deadly pesticides that impact the health of poorly paid workers. Neither the guns nor the flowers have labels. Tracking down the origins of the things we buy has become a complex and confounding challenge. Even when we do know where things were made, we don’t know how or at what price to the laborers. And we are addicted to our ignorance.

Excerpt © Janet Thomas. All rights reserved.


To read more of what Janet Thomas has to say, check back around this neck of the woods this Thursday for another excerpt from her book The Battle in Seattle. And don’t forget that you can receive a 50% discount on this title at http://www.fulcrumbooks.com by using the discount code OCCUPY at checkout!


Ode to Dani, a Blogging Genius

The first time I met Dani, she was sitting on a table, combat boots swinging above the carpet, talking about how she shared a New York City apartment with ten people while she did an internship in the city. I was a Denver Publishing Institute student at the time, and between her comments and those of the two other marketing girls, their words were gold. Since I landed the marketing internship here at Fulcrum, Dani has become more than my immediate supervisor—she has been my teacher: someone who always has an insightful and unique perspective and is a pure marketing guru. This past week, she broke the news that she’s moving on to be the marketing manager for The GLBT Center of Colorado . I’ll miss seeing her Green Lantern coffee mug in the cubby next to mine, surrounded by posters of superheroes and zombies, and looking up obscure websites and movie trailers after she disappointingly shakes her head because she’s the only one in the office who has heard of them.

"Becauseof her bright blue hair, we made friends everywhere we went."

Still, most everyone in the office has known Dani much longer than I, and so I’m posting a few of Dani’s best blogs, moments, and memories from her coworkers. If any of you have anything to say to Dani, be sure to post below!

Our warehouse manager, James Ruiz, on his favorite Dani moment: “I think the first time that I saw her come in with blue hair comes to mind. I still remember Bob’s face when he caught a glimpse. Up to that point I thought I was the only rebel here, with four tattoos, but she showed me up with that wild hair! That young lady will go places, and I wish her all the best!”

Karla, our accounts receivable manager, wrote, “Dani is a very unique individual. It was fun waiting every morning to see what tights she would have on or what color her hair would be. It made the day interesting. She has a great personality and is very talented.”

Finally, Katie, our marketing manager and publicity extraordinaire, had a few memories and photos to share: “Along with being my colleague, Dani was also my roomie in NYC for BEA this past May. Together, we ventured into the Big Apple (In the middle of the night, Dani arrived at the hotel room from another show on the West Coast and scared me half to death. We were both exhausted and only half-grunted at each other before collapsing into a fourteen-hour sleep.) to man our BEAUTIFUL booth, meet Tyra Banks , eat and drink very well, ride the carousel in Central Park, go shopping at H&M, and visit the Met. Because of her bright blue hair, we made friends everywhere we went, and I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for our NYC memories. Maybe someday we’ll meet up there again…Best of luck, Dani! Make us proud! ”

What’s Scarier than Halloween? Never Experiencing It.

As an editorial intern, I get to work with amazing coworkers and get a real hands-on experience developing manuscripts, proofreading, and reviewing acquisitions submissions. But here’s a little secret about me: I’ve never been trick-or-treating, yet I’m a pumpkin-carving mastermind. At the Fulcrum office, Marit, my cubicle buddy and editorial intern partner in crime, and Dani, of marketing and sales, are busily organizing their Halloween plans, filled with parties, costumes, cute puppy getups, pumpkin-carving designs, and candy treats for trick-or-treaters. Unfortunately for me, I’m currently 40,044 feet in the air flying to Atlanta, and for the twenty-fifth year in a row, I’m missing out on all of the Halloween festivities.

Yes, I’m twenty-five years old, today to be exact, and I’ve never had an official Halloween of sugar, scares, and Goodwill-assembled costumes. It all started when I was born. My mom is a Halloween hater, no way around it. (I’d love to say that she is just a disliker, but no, it’s an all-out abhorrence, and I have never gotten to the bottom of this mystery.) Mom discouraged Halloween joy from my very beginning. When I was brought home from the hospital, friends and family were asking what my little baby Halloween costume would be. Oh, no. Not happening. No daisy-petaled headband or orange pumpkin onesie; not even a baby jumper that says BOO in felt lettering. As I got older, trick-or-treating was out of the question—with the exception of a nice evening drive to the nursing home, and if Grandma and Grandpa were up for it, we’d drive half an hour to their house for watery pumpkin pie or stale sugar cookies in the shape of ghosts. Yes, I was deprived. When I headed off to college, I was certain I’d finally get to experience all my Halloween dreams.


This is my next project... maybe (credit:rockingfacts.com)

But when Halloween arrived that first year, my friends were busy dressing up and putting on loads of black eyeliner, and I, instead, was putting on my tuxedo/penguin suit, decked out with my bowtie and nonslip shoes. I drove off to work the annual Halloween banquet put on by Mayor Schmitt. (Sigh). The mayor had the same party every year, and I worked it every year. No haunted houses, no crazy costumes, no giant bags of candy, not even a single cavity…

But I did do my best to participate in the festivities that weren’t forbidden. Mom couldn’t find a reason to hate pumpkins, so, with desperate creative juices flowing, I became obsessed with all things pumpkin: homemade pumpkin pie, brownies, cookies, crispy-baked pumpkin seeds, pumpkin-patch hunting, and of course good ol’ pumpkin carving (my favorite). One year, I won the high school pumpkin-carving design contest, and today I proudly display my numerous creepy, crazy, overly detailed, dilapidated pumpkins on each step of my front porch. Yes, having five pumpkins glowing out into the street might seem slightly fanatical, but I gotta do something to make up for years of sugar deprivation!

When I heard that Fulcrum is putting on a Favorite Ways to Enjoy a Pumpkin contest, I was so excited—my time to shine! So although I’ll be on a plane, missing Halloween yet again, I’m thinking up my next big idea. The girl who has never experienced Halloween (and who’s only had a few lousy Tootsie Rolls and expired Bazooka Joe Bubble Gum from the nursing home) is looking for a challenge. I’ve had plenty of fun-filled pumpkin experiences, so all you competitors, look out! I may even send a photo of my next carved masterpiece all the way from Georgia.

Jessica Engman is the editorial intern at Fulcrum Publishing. She moved from Green Bay, Wisconsin (yes, she’s a Packer fan) to sunny Denver, Colorado in July 2011. Jess loves Disney movies, mornings, and spends way too much time at coffee shops. She is working to build a career in book publishing.

Tweet us @FulcrumBooks, tag Fulcrum Publishing on Facebook, or reply to this entry with your favorite ways to enjoy a pumpkin to enter for a chance to win a copy of In Search of the Perfect Pumpkin by Gloria Evangelista. The giveaway ends on October 31.

Dia de Los Muertos at the Denver Botanic Gardens

The original Day of the Dead movie poster—If you're like me you're spending this weekend watching zombie films. (Credit: United Film)

Tomorrow, Saturday, October 29, the Denver Botanic Gardens is hosting a celebration for Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. That’s the traditional Mexican celebration in honor of departed souls, not the Romero film or, for that matter, its far inferior 2008 remake.

At the Botanic Gardens Dia de Los Muertos, there will be face painting, sugar-skull and papel picado (“perforated paper”) making, as well as flamenco dancing and live music.

Details from the Denver Botanic Gardens’ website:

Date and Time:
Saturday, October 29, 5–8 p.m.

$8 Adults
$7 Member Adult/Student/Senior
$6 Child
$5 Member Child
Come in costume and painted skeleton face and receive $1 off admission (you must purchase tickets at the door the day of the event to receive this discount).
Buy tickets online. Limited tickets available—get your tickets today!

Entertainment and Activities
 (included in admission):

Mitchell Hall
5–6 p.m.: Aztec dancers
6–7 p.m.: “Dancing Across Cultures”
7–8 p.m.: “Mariachis San Juan de Colorado”
Gates Hall
5:30–6:30 p.m.: Spanish guitar and Flamenco dancer
6:45–7 p.m.: Mexican loteria “bingo” game #1
7:15–7:30 p.m.: Mexican loteria “bingo” game #2
Lobby Court (5–8 p.m.)
Face painter
Photo booth
Interpretive signage
Sugar skull display from different regions
of Mexico
Traditional altar
Gates Garden Court (5–8 p.m.)
Sugar skull workshop
Papel picado workshop
More crafts — TBA
Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory Balcony
5:30–7:30 p.m.: Storyteller provided by El Semanario
Helen Fowler Library Foyer (5–8 p.m.)
Professional pumpkin carving – Carving Día de los
Muertos images

I hope to see some of our readers there!

Pumpkin Wars

It’s almost time for Halloween, boys and girls! It’s that very special time of year when we get to cast off the shackles of sartorial convention and embrace the thespian in us all. Or, as Sue Sylvester puts it, it’s “that day when boys dress like girls and girls dress like—” well, you get the picture. Add to this an abundance of pasties, puffs, candies, and chocolates, two healthy dollops of the macabre and the supernatural, and a wild saturnalia or six, and you have one of the most bizarre, hedonistic celebrations America can claim.

In other words, my favorite holiday.

I love the costumes. I love the candy. I shriek like a goosed parrot every time I go into a haunted house or hear a ghost story, but deep down I love the creeptacular too.

Sometime between birth and second grade, Halloween ceased to be a single day for me and gradually became its own season, one that did not truly start until my sister and I had picked and carved our pumpkins. For most children, carving pumpkins is a fun, straightforward event that begins in the pumpkin patch and ends with grinning (or leering) jack-o’-lanterns proudly displayed on porch steps. My sister and I, however, made a point to never do things simply if there was a more convoluted method to be had.

In my family, picking a pumpkin was not so much a selection process as it was a competition between sworn enemies to nab the perfect specimen of pumpkin-ness. My sister and I entered the pumpkin patch like drag racers armed with wheelbarrows. Bolting down the rows of squash and gourds, we set our sights on the orange prizes and piled our carts high. Trash talk—such as eight- and ten-year-olds could invent—was common.

“My pumpkin’s bigger than your pumpkin.”

“Well, my pumpkin’s prettier than your pumpkin.”

“That’s not a pumpkin.”

“Yes, it is.”

“It’s white. Pumpkins are orange.”

“It’s a ghost pumpkin, duh. And besides, you can’t even lift your pumpkin, so mine’s better, so there.

Though bitter rivals in the field, once our chosen pumpkins were in hand (and loudly touted as the Best Pumpkins Ever), my sister and I always joined forces in order to plan the best way to lobotomize them.

Insert evil laugh here Photo credit: Doctor Dan on Wikimedia Commons

Our parents never let us cut the tops off ourselves (hyperactive children + pointy objects = bad idea), but that didn’t stop me from laughing like a mad scientist when the lids were finally removed and the pumpkin brains exposed. Pointedly eschewing the spoons our parents had left out for us, my sister and I would fill our hands full of pumpkin innards and parade the goop around the kitchen, trying to smear the stuff on each other and bellowing “Guuuuuuuuuts!” like pumpkin zombies.

Eventually, we would remember why we had cut open the pumpkins in the first place and get down to carving them. In this I was always at a disadvantage, not for lack of skill (though that was admittedly scanty) but because, somehow or another, I always managed to pick the thickest pumpkin in the entire patch. (To this day, I have yet to pick a pumpkin that did not turn out to be denser than a steel bunker. I have come to believe that pumpkins, in general, must have some sort of gourdish vendetta against me.)

My kit of dinky kids’ carving knives were never a match for the thick shell, so I usually resorted to hacking away at the inside with a spoon while my sister tried to hide her smirk. She could smirk all she wanted. I had my perfect pumpkin, and now Halloween could begin.

Marit Hanson is the (other) new editorial intern at Fulcrum. Hailing from that bastion of snow and Scandinavians—Minnesota—she is a Wikipedia addict, chocoholic, and faithful advocate of all snark.

Like this?

Make sure to check out Gloria Evangelista’s addition to the Halloween canon, In Search of the Perfect Pumpkin.

Better yet, enter Fulcrum’s In Search of the Perfect Pumpkin giveaway and win the book in time for Halloween!

And for some truly impressive pumpkin carvings/designs, check this out.

WTO Meets Occupy Wall Street

The Battle in Seattle

Receive a 50% discount on this title at http://www.fulcrumbooks.com. Use discount code OCCUPY at checkout.

Today’s blog is by Janet Thomas, author of The Battle in Seattle: The Story Behind and Beyond the WTO Demonstrations and Day Breaks over Dharamsala: A Memoir of Life Lost and Found. Thomas has written plays about abortion, sexual abuse, nuclear war, the Vietnam War, and the war against the environment, books about hostel travel in the West, and she’s been editor of a magazine about spas around the world. She lives and teaches on San Juan Island in Washington State.

In November 1999, 60,000 people poured out of nowhere to occupy the streets of WTO Seattle on behalf of global social, environmental, and economic justice. It was a week of shock and awe when farmers, union workers, students, teachers, pilots, economists, environmentalists, faith leaders, indigenous people, office workers, human rights activists, writers, musicians, artists, turtles and the rest of us showed up from the far reaches of the planet. We stunned the world and one another. Nobody saw it coming. There was no social media; there were no smart phones; cell phones were few and expensive; and the Web was not yet research-reliable.

The organization of WTO week was pocketed away in various corners of concern—all centered around the impact of the growing corporate monopoly over the resources of our planet and the lives of its people. There was a two-day teach-in about the impacts of corporate domination with scholars and policy makers from all over the world. There was a forum on the global corporate war system and another forum on the corporate impact on global health and the environment. The expanding use of genetically modified foods and the invasive nature of genetic research was a major concern. So was the corporate takeover of food production and farming. Back then, Starbucks was part of the problem. Their bottom line came at the expense of farmers in South America, held hostage by the corporate coffee bean, who could no longer grow food for their families. Organic, shade-grown, and farmer co-op coffee was not yet in the cup. In India, farmers were forced to grow cotton on their land while their families went hungry. They still are, and the suicide rate of Indian farmers, through the ingestion of the agricultural chemicals that were supposed to make their lives better, is an ongoing tragedy. Follow the food and you eat your way right into the greedy reaches of agribusiness, where a dollar reigns and a human life is disposable.

On N30, that iconic day in November, I found myself walking on the streets of WTO Seattle behind a small group of peasant rice workers from Japan. They were wearing their white peasant garb and couldn’t speak much English, but they sang their rice-worker songs and were euphoric in their gestures of delight at the communal affection and appreciation on the streets. They were being seen and their song was being heard. They were recognized, acknowledged, and respected for the integrity of their lives and their struggle.

I was walking by myself in the midst of the crowd on the streets of Seattle that day and those Japanese peasant rice workers embraced me with their joy and jubilation. But why were they there? Answering that question became the seed, metaphorically and otherwise for my book The Battle in Seattle: The Story Behind and Beyond the WTO Demonstrations.

Growing rice in Japan, as with grapes in France, is rooted in generational farming. Many families participate, each taking care of their own rows, each preserving their own seeds from year to year—seeds that adapted over hundreds of years to small bits of land and to the hands that carefully farmed. But because Montsanto identified the genetics of their seeds, the farmers were no longer entitled to own and cultivate them. And the seeds they were forced to purchase came complete with terminator genes so they couldn’t be saved from year to year. And so began the end of economic justice, the end of generations of culture, the end of safe rice, and the end of a vibrant and viable future. Theirs was a unique story on the streets of WTO Seattle—as was every story on those streets that week. What wasn’t unique was the human spirit rising in embrace of what was just and fair for humankind, and for all sentient beings, including this living, breathing planet.

Author Janet Thomas

The phrase of the week was civil society. To be civil is to be most of all respectful. A civil society is a respectful society. It honors deep democracy, where the integrity of an individual life is honored. It is fair. It recognizes and celebrates differences and unique ways of being in the world. It doesn’t quantify everything, bottom-line everything, weigh and measure the worth of a human being by a stock portfolio or bank account. Civil society is the bedrock of the future. Corporate society is anathema to civil society; its global domination means the end of our unique and individual stories—whether we are peasant rice farmers in Japan, teachers in Manhattan, or longshore workers in Long Beach.

The Occupy Wall Street movement is an outpouring of civil society. The media might wring its corporate hands over the lack of specifics and solutions, but civil society knows what’s right and what’s missing: the fundamental human right to a meaningful life for everyone on this planet. Everyone has a story and their story matters. Follow our individual, family, cultural stories and they lead to everything that’s right and everything that’s wrong with our world. Civil society knows the difference; corporate society doesn’t have to. This is where the line is drawn in the sands of global society. When 99 percent of us occupy the Wall Streets of the world, those simple words, right and wrong, come to life like those peasant rice workers on the streets of WTO Seattle. They mean something. So do we all.

Related articles

5 Reasons Why Interning Is Better than Working at a Restaurant

We’ve all heard the stereotypes concerning internships. About how they’re free-labor, waste-of-time, refill-your-boss’s-coffee-cup types of jobs. If they’re even jobs, because oh wait, we’re not really getting paid. Still, while some of these internships might warrant the stigma, I haven’t had that experience. As an admittedly terrible waitress (I can charm you all meal, but I’ll likely forget to bring the butter, and your refill, and oh, that’s Sprite and not water?!? I’m so sorry, I’ll get you a new one.), I’ve had much worse experiences. Aside from the while not getting paid enough money to eat and pay rent issue, here are the top 5 reasons why interning for a publisher like Fulcrum is a much better gig.

  1. Working = being a book and Internet nerd, not talking to myself as I stress over if I remember what side you wanted with your meal (which I could have sworn I wrote down.) I basically get to read interesting and intriguing books, and then share them with you on the Internet universe. Being on Twitter and Facebook is where I’m supposed to be, and not where I’m spending my time instead of working on my seminar thesis. (Which is a random example and nothing I would have ever dreamed of doing while in school, of course.) That’s a pretty sweet deal.
  2. I get my coffee, no one else’s. I also drink it, never forget the cream and sugar, and best of all, don’t have to juggle six plates and cups and spoons to get it to my desk. The best part? It all fits in this handy thing called a giant mug that could happen to have a meowing cat, a flower pattern, or the name of some obsolete literary journal on it to make you feel smart. So much more interesting. Also, I’ve never been afraid of tripping while carrying it to my desk.
  3. There is no nametag, no introducing myself thirty times a day, and no sixty-year-old man looking blatantly below my chin to remember my name later for when he needs to holler for more bread. (This actually does happen.) And while my email account is intern2@fulcrumbooks.com (Send me a note!), I don’t feel like Dr. Seuss’s Thing 2. If someone I talk to here doesn’t know my name, they’ve fooled me. (It’s Stacie, by the way.)

    May I take your order?

  1. I get to dress like… a girl. There is some strange man laughing at the corporate headquarters of the restaurant where I work. Somehow, he has convinced thousands of women across the United States to wear little boy’s white collared shirts and ties. Not only does it take me minutes of my life (that I will never get back) to button up the opposite way I’ve been buttoning shirts my entire life, but I look like I wanted to be a male 1920s silent film actor for Halloween. All I need is a bowler hat and a nice mustache. Exhibit A: Imagine this man with bangs, and that’s me at the restaurant.
  1. I’m one step closer to what I actually want to do. Not that bringing your calamari isn’t at the top of my list of life goals, but I think I’m going to stick with what I know: Books, Blogs, and…social media networking. (There’s no smooth B-word for that, unfortunately.) I guess what I’m trying to say, lovely readers of this blog, is appreciate your servers and your interns. Most of us have to be one (for better or worse) so we can do the other. Oh, and please be careful. Those plates really are hot.

PS: To anyone who may or may not know my name…my name is actually Diana, so if you call me Stacie, I’ll know that you not only don’t know my name, but you also didn’t read my whole blog post. [Insert evil laugh here.] I’m not your average intern.

Diana is the new marketing intern at Fulcrum. A recently relocated Hoosier, she spends her time searching for bike paths, reading classics, making milkshakes, and pretending to know everything about the Midwest. She’s also a good cook and, as mentioned, a terrible waitress.


Like this? Try these…

A slightly more vengeful intern: http://internspills.blogspot.com/

Want to read some rants and outrageous stories? Go here: http://bitterwaitress.com/forums/blog.php

For if you’ve lived in the mountains too long: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midwestern_United_States

All Hail the Noble Pumpkin

You could win this very book. Yes, you.

There’s still time to enter our In Search of the Perfect Pumpkin giveaway. Tweet us @FulcrumBookstag Fulcrum Publishing on Facebook, or reply to this entry with your favorite ways to enjoy a pumpkin to enter for a chance to win a copy of In Search of the Perfect Pumpkin by Gloria Evangelista.

Giveaway ends on October 31, so there’s plenty of time to find the perfect pumpkin!

As part of all things pumpkin, this fabulous pumpkin fry bread recipe from The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook by Richard Hetzler is a great way to use to leftover pumpkin pie puree:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon corn or canola oil, plus more for deep-frying
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
¼ cup finely diced uncooked butternut squash

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a whisk to blend. In a small saucepan, heat the milk over the low heat until warm. Stir in the 1 teaspoon oil. Gradually stir the milk mixture into the dry ingredients to make a thick dough. Stir in the pumpkin puree and butternut squash until combined.

On a floured board, divide the dough into 6 pieces. Form each into a ball. Cover the dough balls with a damp towel and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Roll out each ball into a disk about ¼ inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut an X in the center of each dough disk.

In a Dutch oven or deep fryer, heat 3 inches oil to 350°F on a deep–fat thermometer. Fry the dough one piece at a time until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Keep warm in a low oven while frying the remaining disks. Dust the hot fry bread with confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon or serve with warm maple syrup.

We’ll Miss You, Brynn

It was a sad day at Fulcrum, as we said goodbye to our sales assistant, Brynn.

She is one of the best.

Brynn’s dedication, kindness, and top-secret superpowers made her an essential part of the Fulcrum team. She will be missed by all, and we wish her the very best in her future endeavors.

Cheers to Brynn!

For our readers, a selection of Brynn’s greatest hits (blogwise):

Cooking at Home with the Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook

Uncompahgre Peak—A Journey in Photos

Wednesday Hiking Inspiration

Wednesday Outdoor Inspiration

Colorado Fourteeners Giveaway Contest

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

“It is not the big dramatic things so much that get us down, but just being Indian, trying to hang on to our way of life, language, and values while being surrounded by an alien, more powerful culture.” —Mary Crow Dog, American Indian activist

The idea of replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day occurred in 1977, at a UN-sponsored conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on discrimination against indigenous populations in the Americas. But it wasn’t until 1991 that activists in Berkeley, California, convinced the Berkeley City Council to declare October 12 a “Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People.” Since then, there has been a growing movement to appropriate Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. States including South Dakota, Hawaii, and Alabama (but not Colorado) have changed the holiday’s name, and many more cities have taken similar action.

On this Indigenous Peoples’ Day, this blogger intends to spend some quiet meditation honoring indigenous resistance and to contemplate how to best confront current injustices. For our readers, I’ve linked to some great posts and articles on the history of Christopher Columbus and on Indigenous Peoples’ Day below:

Blueness has a great post on Admiral Columbus at The Daily Kos. From the post:

What is known is that when the Admiral stepped ashore on Hispaniola, he brought Original Sin to the New World. The policies he pursued there exterminated that island’s people, the Taino. Every one.…

Today,’ the Taino survive in the shape of one’s eyes, the outline of one’s face, the idiom of one’s language.” All the rest is gone.

From Hispaniola, the Admiral and his works brought destruction too to all the native peoples of all the rest of the Americas—north, central, and south.

And to replace the falling bodies of the Taino, who died extracting gold and silver for him, the Admiral birthed the transatlantic slave trade, bringing to the New World in bondage people from the place where people were born.”

Racialicious has posted “An Open Letter to Urban Outfitters on Columbus Day,” in which Sasha Houston Brown writes:

“I doubt that you consulted the Navajo Nation about using their tribal name on sophisticated items such as the “Navajo Hipster Panty.” In fact, I recently became aware that the Navajo Nation Attorney General sent your company a cease and desist letter regarding this very issue. I stand in solidarity with the Navajo Nation and ask that you not only cease and desist selling products falsely using the Navajo name, but that you also stop selling faux Indian apparel that objectifies all tribes.

Urban Outfitters Inc. has taken Indigenous life ways and artistic expressions and trivialized and sexualized them for the sake of corporate profit. It is this kind of behavior that perpetuates the stereotype of the white man’s Indian and allows for the ongoing commodification of an entire ethnic group. Just as our traditional homelands were stolen and expropriated without regard, so too has our very cultural identity. On this day that America still celebrates as Columbus Day, I ask that do what is morally right and apologize to Indigenous peoples of North America and withdraw this offensive line from retail stores.”

There’s also a great excerpt from Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States on Christopher Columbus at the Manifest Destiny blog. From the excerpt:

“When we read the history books given to children in the United States, it all starts with heroic adventure—there is no bloodshed—and Columbus Day is a celebration.

The treatment of heroes (Columbus) and their victims (the Arawaks) the quiet acceptance of conquest and murder in the name of progress-is only one aspect of a certain approach to history, in which the past is told from the point of view of governments, conquerors, diplomats, leaders. It is as if they, like Columbus, deserve universal acceptance, as if they—the Founding Fathers, Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy, the leading members of Congress, the famous Justices of the Supreme Court—represent the nation as a whole. The pretense is that there really is such a thing as “the United States,” subject to occasional conflicts and quarrels, but fundamentally a community of people with common interests. It is as if there really is a “national interest” represented in the Constitution, in territorial expansion, in the laws passed by Congress, the decisions of the courts, the development of capitalism, the culture of education and the mass media.”

Last year, on the Republic of Lakotah site, Glenn Morris and Russell Means did a great piece on why AIM opposes Christopher Columbus Day and Christopher Columbus celebrations. And today, the site has a great post calling out Occupy Denver and asking them to integrate Native peoples and methods into the Occupy movement. From the post:

“We have been waiting for 519 years for such a movement, ever since that fateful day in October 1492, when a different worldview arrived—one of greed, hierarchy, destruction and genocide.

In observing the “Occupy Together” expansion, we are reminded that the territories of our indigenous nations have been “under occupation” for decades, if not centuries. We remind the occupants of this encampment in Denver that they are on the territories of the Cheyenne, Arapaho and Ute peoples.  In the U.S., indigenous nations were the first targets of corporate/government oppression. The landmark case of Johnson v. McIntosh(1823), which institutionalized the “doctrine of discovery” in U.S. law, and which justified the theft of 2 billion acres of indigenous territory, established a framework of corrupt political/legal/corporate collusion that continues throughout indigenous America, to the present.

If this movement is serious about confronting the foundational assumptions of the current U.S. system, then it must begin by addressing the original crimes of the U.S. colonizing system against indigenous nations. Without addressing justice for indigenous peoples, there can never be a genuine movement for justice and equality in the United States. Toward that end, we challenge Occupy Denver to take the lead, and to be the first “Occupy” city to integrate into its philosophy, a set of values that respects the rights of indigenous peoples, and that recognizes the importance of employing indigenous visions and models in restoring environmental, social, cultural, economic and political health to our homeland.”