Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lemony Snicket and 'Occupy Writers' (For Kids!)

Sure, you can drag your kids to your local "Occupy Wall Street' protest, but will they really learn anything about the issues? Probably not.

The fact is, the issue is so complicated and the protests so convoluted that trying to explain it to an 8-year-old might not be the easiest job in the world. Lemony Snicket, the pen name of author Daniel Handler, has created a series of videos to help make sense of it all from a child's perspective.

Handler has also created 'Occupy Writers' a web site devoted to helping writers support the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement both domestically and around the world. The site posts the names of authors who support the movement and encourages them to visit the movement and put pen to paper to write what they see in whatever form they wish.

I have written before about the power of the written word to influence global events. It seems there has been no more important moment in history for writers to take up the cause of the Common Human in support of equality and fairness for all.

Written in Snicket’s trademark black comedic voice, the observations range from the instructive to the cheeky: “People who say money doesn’t matter are like people who say cake doesn’t matter — it’s probably because they’ve already had a few slices,” he writes.

As kids continue to watch the Occupy Wall Street movement unfold around the world, Snicket isn’t the only one trying to teach them what anti-capitalism means.

Some parents are instructing kids by taking them to the scene of the protests. Kirby Desmarais told parenting blog “The Stir” that she took her 18-month-old daughter Georgiah to Wall Street, carrying a sign: “This child can’t afford health care,” because she thinks kids can reinvigorate the protest. Desmarais is just one of many moms who belong to the subset movement, Parents for Occupy Wall Street. On Columbus Day, more than a dozen children spent their day off helping out at Wall Street.

Click here to read about Occupy Writers and Handler's efforts.

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