Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Outcrafting the Opposition

Justin Krebs, Living Liberally

Bill O'Reilly claims he has beaten back the dark forces that declared war on Christmas.  Despite his best efforts, he may be surprised to find what a pack of proven progressives are saying about "his" holiday.


Witness the gathering of Crafting Liberally that took place last Sunday in New York.  Far from the heathen celebration you might imagine among self-identified liberals getting in touch with their handiwork, these quilters, jewelers and assorted other crafters were looking forward to Christmas.  Lisa, teaching the art of folding an origami crane, even suggested using her creations as tree ornaments.

Is it any surprise that liberals enjoy the Christmas season?  Giving, sharing...changing course (Scrooge), finding one's heart (the Grinch) -- lessons Bush and Cheney would benefit from.

And after all, what neocon ever gave a damn for a Middle Eastern boy born to a poor unwed mother?


Liberals should never run from Christmas just because O'Reilly wants to claim it.  This season is too full of strong symbols to cede to the other side. 

But we don't need to out-argue him...we just need to out-craft him.

On this last night of Channukah, and in the full swing of the seasonal spirit, Happy Holidays.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Drinking Liberally Shot Of Truth: One Stitch at a Time

by Justin Krebs

Pick up your knitting needles and let's get political.

If that command sounds to you as though it suffers from multiple-personality disorder, than you might not want to check out Crafting Liberally, the newest project of Living Liberally, which debuts Sunday afternoon in New York City.

If, on the other hand, you want to get crafty with your comrades, stitch together some solid progressive narratives, and prove that liberals aren't afraid to work with their hands, then welcome to the club.


We could get all high-minded and make some claim that Crafting Liberally is an homage to Betsy Ross, but we're actually just taking a community-building phenomenon that's already happening around the country and crafting a political identity around it.  To cite just one well-known example, the Stich-n-Bitch network, which hosts groups around the world, is just one reminder that people want to be social.  People are already gathering as they work on ther quilts and their scrapbooks...because working together is better than working alone.

While we'll spare you the obvious clever lines about quilts and scrapbooks as metaphors for America, there is something truly progressive about these groups.  It's not just that company is nice (though it is) - you learn from your peers, share tips and resources and help reaffirm for each other that this activity is an important part of your life.

And if we believe that a progressive agenda will move forward when our politics are fully integrated into our lives, then we need to bring liberal conversations not just to blogs and bars...but to sewing circles as well.

This is the first gathering, organized by New York activist (and crafter!) Claire Silberman...but who knows how else it will grow?  We'd love to hear your ideas on what other crafts we want to be sure to include, what other activities we should infiltrate with liberal charm, and what you plan on making at the first CL meeting.

Now get out there and start promoting democracy...one stitch at a time.