Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving and Complaintsgiving

These are tough economic times, so it can be hard to get in a Thanksgiving mood. Nevertheless, most of us do have a lot to be thankful for. Personally, I'm thankful for good health, my job, the roof over my head, the food in my stomach, the support of friends and family, and the fact that my student loan debt isn't overwhelming.

I'm also thankful for two other things that I managed to capture in one picture the other day: the Occupy Los Angeles camp at Los Angeles City Hall, and Spring St.'s new literally and figuratively green bike lane:

LA City Hall west steps and Spring Street bike lane.

Which brings me to the idea of Complaintsgiving. It's an idea I have for a new national holiday. Basically, on Complaintsgiving the tradition would be for everyone to make a formal complaint. You could write or call an elected representative, organize or attend a protest, or inform a corporation of your displeasure about one of its practices. It would be a huge day of civic engagement and venting. We could hold it on election day.

I'm not holding my breath on this Congress taking me up on my new holiday idea (or any good ideas), but that shouldn't stop us from celebrating our own versions of Thanksgiving and Complaintsgiving more often. Thanksgiving reminds us of all we have, and how we should put our problems in perspective because things could be worse. Complaintsgiving reminds us that things could be better, and if we're not willing to raise our voices, like the people at Occupy LA are doing, even if it's cold and wet and risky, we shouldn't expect much improvement.


  1. Thanks, I'm sure taking it was much easier than making that plastic octopus though :)