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THANDISWA!
 ”IBOKWE” ALBUM COVER (2009)
In 2009, I had the honor of creating the album cover for famed South African musician Thandiswa Mazwai. The image (which we collaborated on) is of African peoples marching and dancing, from urban slums and rural villages, assembling together atop a giant visage of Thandiswa herself. At the apex, their music and her music become one.
For Thandiswa, her music emerges from the experiences of the many diverse peoples of Africa, who then in turn people use her music to amplify their own hopes, aspirations and demands for a more just world.

The image is detailed, replete with a multitude of symbols that would be familiar to South Africans: taxi vans packed with people, clouds of smoke rising from the shantytowns, a diversity of tribal peoples performing medicinal rituals. Thandiswa herself is constructed of familiar symbols: people tilling fields of crops in her hair (i.e. “corn rows”) with cowry shells and facial markings representing her many cultural influences.
On the corrugated metal rooftops of the shantytown a line of graffiti quotes the South African Freedom Charter. It declares: “The People Shall Govern!”

This  image contains a deep personal dimension for me as well. As a young lad, I began my lifetime of creative direct action as part of the Anti-Apartheid movement, at age 16. As one small, local component of this global movement, our goal was nothing short of bringing down the racist, Apartheid regime in South Africa. At the time, Nelson Mandela was still in prison and the South African consulate, strangely enough, was actually located on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. Why? Because it was selling diamonds to wealthy Beverly HIlls widows in order to sustain the regime.  As young public high school students in LA, we learned non-violent civil disobedience tactics and used them to successfully shut down the consulate on numerous occasions, interrupting their international business. As part of this training,  we also learned the militant street marching that was an iconic part of the struggle, called the “Toyi! Toyi!”. You can see this dance depicted in the image on the back. 

THANDISWA!

 ”IBOKWE” ALBUM COVER (2009)

In 2009, I had the honor of creating the album cover for famed South African musician Thandiswa Mazwai. The image (which we collaborated on) is of African peoples marching and dancing, from urban slums and rural villages, assembling together atop a giant visage of Thandiswa herself. At the apex, their music and her music become one.

For Thandiswa, her music emerges from the experiences of the many diverse peoples of Africa, who then in turn people use her music to amplify their own hopes, aspirations and demands for a more just world.

image

The image is detailed, replete with a multitude of symbols that would be familiar to South Africans: taxi vans packed with people, clouds of smoke rising from the shantytowns, a diversity of tribal peoples performing medicinal rituals. Thandiswa herself is constructed of familiar symbols: people tilling fields of crops in her hair (i.e. “corn rows”) with cowry shells and facial markings representing her many cultural influences.

On the corrugated metal rooftops of the shantytown a line of graffiti quotes the South African Freedom Charter. It declares: “The People Shall Govern!”

image

This  image contains a deep personal dimension for me as well. As a young lad, I began my lifetime of creative direct action as part of the Anti-Apartheid movement, at age 16. As one small, local component of this global movement, our goal was nothing short of bringing down the racist, Apartheid regime in South Africa. At the time, Nelson Mandela was still in prison and the South African consulate, strangely enough, was actually located on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. Why? Because it was selling diamonds to wealthy Beverly HIlls widows in order to sustain the regime.  As young public high school students in LA, we learned non-violent civil disobedience tactics and used them to successfully shut down the consulate on numerous occasions, interrupting their international business. As part of this training,  we also learned the militant street marching that was an iconic part of the struggle, called the “Toyi! Toyi!”. You can see this dance depicted in the image on the back. 

 
TAX EVADERS
A national campaign for Tax Day that took place in 12 cities. An original video game was launched that allowed players to blast corporate tax evaders out of the sky, forcing them to return revenues to the people in order to keep society running. The game was projected onto the sides of buildings of those very corporations and the controls were handed to people on the streets passing by. Simultaneously, light brigades in many cities hit the streets to target specific corporations with their giant LED messages. The project was featured in the National Media and the game was a hit online. After people played the game, they were allowed to blast real tweets at the corporations’ accounts. Nearly 1000 twitter-bombs were sent over 5 days.
 
THE ACTION


 
GAME PREVIEW


 
PLAY THE VIDEO GAME
 

 
INTERACTIVE FEATURES
MEET ‘EM: Facts & Figures
BLAST ‘EM: Twitter Bomb Feature
TOOLKIT: Open Source Graphic Toolkit
SOURCES: Tax Data

 
TOOLKIT
Tax Evaders Graphic Toolkit


 
STREET ACTIONS
New York City
Baltimore, MD
Milwaukee, WI
Tampa, FL
San Francisco
Madison, WI
Dallas, TX
Seattle, OR

 
MEDIA COVERAGE


FORBES: Tax Evaders Video Game Sheds Interactive Light On Corporate Greed
Protesters had something to do as they gathered in 10 cities like New York, Baltimore, Seattle, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Tampa, Gainesville and Hawaii from April 10 through Tax Day, April 15. That’s because there were giant projections on the sides of corporate buildings like Citibank allowing them to use a Wii controller or Kinect for Xbox 360 to battle corporate greed virtually.
Gan Golan, coordinator of the national project, talks about what’s wrong with our current tax loopholes and how gaming can be used to raise awareness for important issues in this exclusive interview.
[Read Full Interview]

 


REAL NEWS NETWORK: Video Game and Tax Day Actions Target Corporate “Tax Evaders”
(An Interview with Gan Golan & Nicole Tichon)


 

 

MSNBC: All In With Chris Hayes
The All In with Chris Hayes team puts out a daily call to the Twitter and Facebook communities for the “awesomest things” they encountered on the Internet….Derived from “Space Invaders,” The Citizen Engagement Lab developed a new game called “Tax Evaders.”  The idea? Try to take out the corporate alien spaceships evading taxes they should be paying. Yes, let’s try to zap those aliens, shall we?
[See Clip]

 

ALTERNET: “Space Invaders” With a Twist — New “Tax Evaders” Game Makes Corporations Pay Fair Share
Paid your taxes? Mad that major corporations don’t? Play this game to let off some steam.
As Tax Day approaches, it’s important to remember who actually pays taxes in the United States — and who doesn’t.


 

CURRENT TV:
They seem to have come from another planet - it would certainly explain how little they care about the upkeep of this one.

Every Tax Day we watch as corporate Tax Evaders skim untold billions from America, M, while the rest of us actually pay for the upkeep of society.ENOUGH. This Tax Day, we’re teaming up with Citizen Engagement Lab and US Uncut on a new online project to take them down:as always let me say DEATH to the corporate-FASCISTS!!!

 

EUROGAMER: Tax Evaders is a fun browser game about corporate tax evasion:  Shoot down corporations and make them pay their fair share.
[Read Article]
 

GAMER HUB: Tax Evaders Video Game Projected Onto Buildings To Raise Awareness Of Corporate Greed
[Read Article]
 
TECH PRESIDENT: Two Ways to Fight “Tax Evaders” on Tax Day — In a Manner of Speaking
[Read Article]

 

INDIE GAMES: Tax Evaders - Google, Microsoft, Facebook, BP are no longer safe
"A fun arcade shooter with a message about corporate tax evasion. Players control a mob of citizens who shoot down evading corporate tax UFOs in order to ground them and have them pay their share of revenues. This allows the city’s school, park, train station, and more to be revitalized."
 
[Read Article]

BALTIMORE CITY PAPER: Tax Evaders! The Game!
"One of the more amusing lefty efforts on the National Budget to come across my email in a long while."
[Read Article]

 
COLLABORATION
The Tax Evaders project was a unique collaboration accomplished in only 3 weeks. To do so, a self-organizing network was formed between video game designers [MolleIndustria] Guerilla Projection Groups [The Illuminator, San Francisco Projection Dep’t, Greenpants Collective, The Backbone Campaign, Shine Guerilla Projection Squad], Light Brigades in 7 cities, Tax policy research organizations [Americans For Tax Fairness and Public Interest Research Group] and online campaign organizations [Citizen Engagement Lab, The Other 98% and US Uncut] and citizen-lead protest groups, like Occupy Wall St.

 

 

 

TAX EVADERS

A national campaign for Tax Day that took place in 12 cities. An original video game was launched that allowed players to blast corporate tax evaders out of the sky, forcing them to return revenues to the people in order to keep society running. The game was projected onto the sides of buildings of those very corporations and the controls were handed to people on the streets passing by. Simultaneously, light brigades in many cities hit the streets to target specific corporations with their giant LED messages. The project was featured in the National Media and the game was a hit online. After people played the game, they were allowed to blast real tweets at the corporations’ accounts. Nearly 1000 twitter-bombs were sent over 5 days.

 

THE ACTION

 

GAME PREVIEW

 

PLAY THE VIDEO GAME

 

 

INTERACTIVE FEATURES

MEET ‘EM: Facts & Figures

BLAST ‘EM: Twitter Bomb Feature

TOOLKIT: Open Source Graphic Toolkit

SOURCES: Tax Data

 

TOOLKIT

Tax Evaders Graphic Toolkit

 

STREET ACTIONS

New York City

Baltimore, MD

Milwaukee, WI

Tampa, FL

San Francisco

Madison, WI

Dallas, TX

Seattle, OR

 

MEDIA COVERAGE

FORBES: Tax Evaders Video Game Sheds Interactive Light On Corporate Greed

Protesters had something to do as they gathered in 10 cities like New York, Baltimore, Seattle, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Tampa, Gainesville and Hawaii from April 10 through Tax Day, April 15. That’s because there were giant projections on the sides of corporate buildings like Citibank allowing them to use a Wii controller or Kinect for Xbox 360 to battle corporate greed virtually.

Gan Golan, coordinator of the national project, talks about what’s wrong with our current tax loopholes and how gaming can be used to raise awareness for important issues in this exclusive interview.

[Read Full Interview]

 

REAL NEWS NETWORK: Video Game and Tax Day Actions Target Corporate “Tax Evaders”

(An Interview with Gan Golan & Nicole Tichon)

 

 

MSNBC: All In With Chris Hayes

The All In with Chris Hayes team puts out a daily call to the Twitter and Facebook communities for the “awesomest things” they encountered on the Internet….Derived from “Space Invaders,” The Citizen Engagement Lab developed a new game called “Tax Evaders.”  The idea? Try to take out the corporate alien spaceships evading taxes they should be paying. Yes, let’s try to zap those aliens, shall we?

[See Clip]

 

ALTERNET: “Space Invaders” With a Twist — New “Tax Evaders” Game Makes Corporations Pay Fair Share

Paid your taxes? Mad that major corporations don’t? Play this game to let off some steam.

As Tax Day approaches, it’s important to remember who actually pays taxes in the United States — and who doesn’t.

 

CURRENT TV:

They seem to have come from another planet - it would certainly explain how little they care about the upkeep of this one.

Every Tax Day we watch as corporate Tax Evaders skim untold billions from America, M, while the rest of us actually pay for the upkeep of society.

ENOUGH. This Tax Day, we’re teaming up with Citizen Engagement Lab and US Uncut on a new online project to take them down:

as always let me say DEATH to the corporate-FASCISTS!!!

 

EUROGAMER: Tax Evaders is a fun browser game about corporate tax evasion:  Shoot down corporations and make them pay their fair share.

[Read Article]

 

GAMER HUB: Tax Evaders Video Game Projected Onto Buildings To Raise Awareness Of Corporate Greed

[Read Article]

 

TECH PRESIDENT: Two Ways to Fight “Tax Evaders” on Tax Day — In a Manner of Speaking

[Read Article]

 

INDIE GAMES: Tax Evaders - Google, Microsoft, Facebook, BP are no longer safe

"A fun arcade shooter with a message about corporate tax evasion. Players control a mob of citizens who shoot down evading corporate tax UFOs in order to ground them and have them pay their share of revenues. This allows the city’s school, park, train station, and more to be revitalized."

 

[Read Article]

BALTIMORE CITY PAPER: Tax Evaders! The Game!

"One of the more amusing lefty efforts on the National Budget to come across my email in a long while."

[Read Article]

 

COLLABORATION

The Tax Evaders project was a unique collaboration accomplished in only 3 weeks. To do so, a self-organizing network was formed between video game designers [MolleIndustria] Guerilla Projection Groups [The Illuminator, San Francisco Projection Dep’t, Greenpants Collective, The Backbone Campaign, Shine Guerilla Projection Squad], Light Brigades in 7 cities, Tax policy research organizations [Americans For Tax Fairness and Public Interest Research Group] and online campaign organizations [Citizen Engagement Lab, The Other 98% and US Uncut] and citizen-lead protest groups, like Occupy Wall St.

 

 

THE MASTER OF DEGREES
GRAD STUDENT SUPERHERO - SHACKLED BY DEBT!

The Master of Degrees is a ‘working class hero’ who originally appeared in the graphic novel The Adventures of Unemployed Man but who has since leaped off of the page and into the real world, where he has become a symbol of popular resistance against the crippling effects of student loan debt. The character has been inhabited by at least 5 different people at different times and appeared in over 100 news articles. 
 
[Like]


"Forget the ballerina on the bull. The iconic image of the Occupy encampments is a Zorro-masked Gan Golan as the Unemployed Superhero, caped but grounded by a ball and chain marked STUDENT LOANS."
 SALON.com
…The costume contained the whole sprawling critique in one playful package: the recession, finance run amok, captured regulators, the betrayal and wasting away of the middle class. It was a comic book version of the message delivered by the Occupy kids who took a page from history and “did knowingly mutilate” their monthly student loan statements — from LA to DC like draft cards they burned.”  
 

CAMPAIGNS:
Beautiful Trouble: Tactic - Debt Strike!
Center for American Progress Report (front cover)

INTERVIEWS:
KPFK - Uprising! With Sonali Kolhatkar
CBS:  Tall and young, clad in a black cape and a black mask, he calls himself the “Master of Degrees,” one of America’s “millions of unemployed superheroes.”
"My actual degree is in urban planning and international development from MIT," says Master, showing me the papier-mache ball and chain attached to his belt.
"I’m fighting to free the next generation of students from debt slavery."
He says young people, like those in the Occupy Wall Street movement, have taken out massive student loans only to find they have no means to pay them back once they enter the workforce.
"The problem is that we’re having an entire generation of people who cannot choose to do work for social good"
"They can’t be pro bono lawyers, they can’t go teach in inner city schools to teach English, because they won’t be able to afford it. They’re going to have to be paying back their debt instead of actually investing their passion and their labor in renewing America as every generation of youth does."
But Master is a little more practical than his fellow protesters on Wall Street, which explains why he’s here at the Rebuild the Dream rally. He says there are policy solutions to these problems.
"We need to eliminate the corporate loan agencies that are gouging students." 
Still, Master says that beyond the policy goals, the meaning of this movement is, well, more meaningful. “I think what the kids on the street are asking for is for us to reevaluate not just our policies but our entire value system from the ground up,” he says. “They’re looking for a cultural change, more than just a policy or a political change.”
—————————————————————————————————
WTOP: The “master” also spoke about what reforms are needed in the country’s education system. ”I think we need to take the private lenders who are taking money from taxpayers out of the equation,” he says. “We need to stop treating education as a business.”



Campus Progress: “A dry speech is a missed opportunity,” the New York Times best-selling author and activist quipped during a panel at the Take Back the American Dream conference this week. The sessioncategorized art and culture in activism as more than just nice extras—they’re essential tools of engagement. Cultural and new media items cause emotional responses that make people, especially young Americans, want to listen to the message. 

“Undocumented immigrants, working mothers—their struggles are heroic,” Golan said. “We just wanted to show the realities of what is happening and give them the superhero treatment they deserve.” 


“People often think of arts and culture last,” Golan said. “But that cultural piece could be the center of your whole movement.”





A march on T1, the day that student loans in the US reportedly broke $1 Trillion.

Policy Mic:
Free Speech TV:

The Master of Degrees delivering a speech in Union Square. He asks: “How big are your balls… of debt?”
MEDIA: 


Above: an interview with Italian Vogue


The character has appeared in over 100 news articles. Here are a few examples:


NY Times
Boston Globe 
Daily Beast
Washington Post
 Washington Post 
 Washington Post
Washington Post
Wall Street Journal
 Seattle Post Intelligencer
The Nation
The Nation
The Nation
Huffington Post
 NPR 
 NPR  
WGBH 
USA Today 
LA Times 
FOX News
MSNBC
Christian Science Monitor I | II | III  
Wired
Newsday 
ABC 
ABCCBS
Chicago Sun Times 
Daily Herald 
Yahoo News
Politico 
After Ellen
Tech Crunch
Common Dreams

 

THE MASTER OF DEGREES

GRAD STUDENT SUPERHERO - SHACKLED BY DEBT!
The Master of Degrees is a ‘working class hero’ who originally appeared in the graphic novel The Adventures of Unemployed Man but who has since leaped off of the page and into the real world, where he has become a symbol of popular resistance against the crippling effects of student loan debt. The character has been inhabited by at least 5 different people at different times and appeared in over 100 news articles. 
 

Photobucket

"Forget the ballerina on the bull. The iconic image of the Occupy encampments is a Zorro-masked Gan Golan as the Unemployed Superhero, caped but grounded by a ball and chain marked STUDENT LOANS."

SALON.com

…The costume contained the whole sprawling critique in one playful package: the recession, finance run amok, captured regulators, the betrayal and wasting away of the middle class. It was a comic book version of the message delivered by the Occupy kids who took a page from history and “did knowingly mutilate” their monthly student loan statements — from LA to DC like draft cards they burned.”  

 
Photobucket

CAMPAIGNS:

Beautiful Trouble: Tactic - Debt Strike!

Center for American Progress Report (front cover)

INTERVIEWS:

KPFK - Uprising! With Sonali Kolhatkar

CBS:  Tall and young, clad in a black cape and a black mask, he calls himself the “Master of Degrees,” one of America’s “millions of unemployed superheroes.”

"My actual degree is in urban planning and international development from MIT," says Master, showing me the papier-mache ball and chain attached to his belt.

"I’m fighting to free the next generation of students from debt slavery."

He says young people, like those in the Occupy Wall Street movement, have taken out massive student loans only to find they have no means to pay them back once they enter the workforce.

"The problem is that we’re having an entire generation of people who cannot choose to do work for social good"

"They can’t be pro bono lawyers, they can’t go teach in inner city schools to teach English, because they won’t be able to afford it. They’re going to have to be paying back their debt instead of actually investing their passion and their labor in renewing America as every generation of youth does."

But Master is a little more practical than his fellow protesters on Wall Street, which explains why he’s here at the Rebuild the Dream rally. He says there are policy solutions to these problems.

"We need to eliminate the corporate loan agencies that are gouging students." 

Still, Master says that beyond the policy goals, the meaning of this movement is, well, more meaningful. “I think what the kids on the street are asking for is for us to reevaluate not just our policies but our entire value system from the ground up,” he says. “They’re looking for a cultural change, more than just a policy or a political change.”

—————————————————————————————————

WTOP: The “master” also spoke about what reforms are needed in the country’s education system. ”I think we need to take the private lenders who are taking money from taxpayers out of the equation,” he says. “We need to stop treating education as a business.”

Photobucket
Campus Progress: “A dry speech is a missed opportunity,” the New York Times best-selling author and activist quipped during a panel at the Take Back the American Dream conference this week. The sessioncategorized art and culture in activism as more than just nice extras—they’re essential tools of engagement. Cultural and new media items cause emotional responses that make people, especially young Americans, want to listen to the message. 
“Undocumented immigrants, working mothers—their struggles are heroic,” Golan said. “We just wanted to show the realities of what is happening and give them the superhero treatment they deserve.” 

“People often think of arts and culture last,” Golan said. “But that cultural piece could be the center of your whole movement.”

Photobucket

A march on T1, the day that student loans in the US reportedly broke $1 Trillion.

Policy Mic:

Free Speech TV:

image

The Master of Degrees delivering a speech in Union Square. He asks: “How big are your balls… of debt?”

MEDIA: 

Photobucket

Above: an interview with Italian Vogue
The character has appeared in over 100 news articles. Here are a few examples:
NPR
NPR  
ABC 
 
ART STRIKE! #nomorecuts
A CULTURAL INTERVENTION vs. THE “FISCAL CLIFF”
In collaboration with renowned Favianna Rodriguez (CultureStrike) and organizer Yosi Sargent (TaskForce), I helped design a campaign that brought artists together to fight against proposed cuts to Medicare, Social Security and other basic social services that were being considered as part of the ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations in Congress. 
Dubbed ART STRIKE! (#nomorecuts) dozens of artists contributed incredible works of art:



In addition I contributed my own simple image above: “Keep Calm and Tax The Rich" which was ultimately chosen by a coalition of organizations to be one of the images to represent the campaign. Rebuild The Dream and other national organizations then distributed it across the country, and celebrities like Moby and Mark Ruffalo tweeted it, and it subsequently garnered numerous national news articles and nearly 10 million internet hits. 
For more about the campaign, you can check it out here.

ART STRIKE! #nomorecuts

A CULTURAL INTERVENTION vs. THE “FISCAL CLIFF”

In collaboration with renowned Favianna Rodriguez (CultureStrike) and organizer Yosi Sargent (TaskForce), I helped design a campaign that brought artists together to fight against proposed cuts to Medicare, Social Security and other basic social services that were being considered as part of the ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations in Congress. 

Dubbed ART STRIKE! (#nomorecuts) dozens of artists contributed incredible works of art:

image

In addition I contributed my own simple image above: “Keep Calm and Tax The Rich" which was ultimately chosen by a coalition of organizations to be one of the images to represent the campaign. Rebuild The Dream and other national organizations then distributed it across the country, and celebrities like Moby and Mark Ruffalo tweeted it, and it subsequently garnered numerous national news articles and nearly 10 million internet hits. 

For more about the campaign, you can check it out here.




Fix The Debt, meet Flip The Debt

Flip The Debt is a creative response to the billionaire-funded organization calling itself Fix The Debt, a Wall St front group which sought to shift the national debate away from job creation and Wall Street Corruption, towards austerity economics and gutting social security, all in the name of avoiding the supposed “National Debt crisis.”

Click for Interactive Version.
We went down the site of the iconic “National Debt Clock” in midtown Manhattan only we brought our own “Corporate Debt Clock” to show where the real crisis was: corporations and the extremely wealthy finding ways to avoid paying taxes like the rest of us. 

The street actions involved seniors, workers, residents and activists, bolstered by an interactive on-line debt clock that showed in real time how much debt the 1% and Corporations owed America. 
Website
Facebook Page
Photo Gallery
Statement by Flip The Debt: 
An influential front group of Wall St. Corporations calling itself ‘Fix The Debt’ is demanding we cut social support programs like Social Security and Medicare in order to reduce the deficit. The funny part? Our deficit is so huge because these very same corporations - and the wealthiest 1% - have been rigging the rules to exploit loopholes, tax havens and tax cuts for years!
Can you believe:
Since 2001, we’ve stacked up a whopping $1 trillion in debt from Tax Cuts for the 1%.1
Another $1.3 trillion is from wealthy corporations like GE, Verizon and Bank of America, which pay little or no taxes.2
This corporate tax dodging adds up to $2.3 trillion stolen from the US treasury, and keeps growing by $100 billion a year.3
The combined bill for all this? Way more than the $1.6 trillion in cuts that Congress is debating.
The fact is we wouldn’t have to make these cuts, and we could invest in putting America back to work, if only they paid their fair share. So we say, rather than ‘fix the debt’, let’s ‘flip the debt’ and put responsibility where it belongs.
Hey 1%! Pay your damn taxes.

Fix The Debt, meet Flip The Debt

photo FlipTheDebt_FixTheDebt_logos_zpsd9c5306d.jpg

Flip The Debt is a creative response to the billionaire-funded organization calling itself Fix The Debt, a Wall St front group which sought to shift the national debate away from job creation and Wall Street Corruption, towards austerity economics and gutting social security, all in the name of avoiding the supposed “National Debt crisis.”

photo DebtClock_zps35ddd1b9.jpg

Click for Interactive Version.

We went down the site of the iconic “National Debt Clock” in midtown Manhattan only we brought our own “Corporate Debt Clock” to show where the real crisis was: corporations and the extremely wealthy finding ways to avoid paying taxes like the rest of us. 

photo march1_zpsc1239856.jpg

The street actions involved seniors, workers, residents and activists, bolstered by an interactive on-line debt clock that showed in real time how much debt the 1% and Corporations owed America. 

Website

Facebook Page

Photo Gallery

Statement by Flip The Debt: 

An influential front group of Wall St. Corporations calling itself ‘Fix The Debt’ is demanding we cut social support programs like Social Security and Medicare in order to reduce the deficit. The funny part? Our deficit is so huge because these very same corporations - and the wealthiest 1% - have been rigging the rules to exploit loopholes, tax havens and tax cuts for years!

Can you believe:

  • Since 2001, we’ve stacked up a whopping $1 trillion in debt from Tax Cuts for the 1%.1
  • Another $1.3 trillion is from wealthy corporations like GE, Verizon and Bank of America, which pay little or no taxes.2
  • This corporate tax dodging adds up to $2.3 trillion stolen from the US treasury, and keeps growing by $100 billion a year.3
  • The combined bill for all this? Way more than the $1.6 trillion in cuts that Congress is debating.

The fact is we wouldn’t have to make these cuts, and we could invest in putting America back to work, if only they paid their fair share. So we say, rather than ‘fix the debt’, let’s ‘flip the debt’ and put responsibility where it belongs.

Hey 1%! Pay your damn taxes.


VOICE OF ART
THE TAX DODGERS
In the latest episode, the Tax Dodgers play their very first game in Philadelphia, on Independence Day, against a team of everyday people recruited directly from the crowd, The 99%ers. Posing as major corporations like GE, Verizon and Bank of America, the Tax Dodgers rig the game to reveal what the US Economy has become… until their bribery, rule changing and flat-out cheating get them arrested by Ray Lewis, former Philadelphia Police Captain. The Yes Men’s Andy Bichlbaum tells how creative activism can break under-reported stories through the mainstream media blockade.
So, are you ready to play ball?
To see more: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Bonus!

VOICE OF ART

THE TAX DODGERS

In the latest episode, the Tax Dodgers play their very first game in Philadelphia, on Independence Day, against a team of everyday people recruited directly from the crowd, The 99%ers. Posing as major corporations like GE, Verizon and Bank of America, the Tax Dodgers rig the game to reveal what the US Economy has become… until their bribery, rule changing and flat-out cheating get them arrested by Ray Lewis, former Philadelphia Police Captain. The Yes Men’s Andy Bichlbaum tells how creative activism can break under-reported stories through the mainstream media blockade.

So, are you ready to play ball?

To see more: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Bonus!

A NEW SUPERVILLAIN IN TOWN!
BAIN: THE JOB DESTROYER!


GIANT SUPERVILLAIN ENDORSES ROMNEY FOR PRESIDENT



August 30, 2012
(New York City) - On the same day Mitt Romney delivered his acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, the massive supervillain known as “Bain” appeared in New York City to offer his endorsement.  
“I am Bain Capital, and today, I stand before you as proof that corporations are in fact people. Okay fine, maybe we are monstrous, cruel and sociopathic people, but still.”
The 13-foot-tall supervillain, famous from his appearance in the recent Batman films, recounted the long personal history he shared with the candidate, “For years, Romney and Bain made a killer team. Together, we slashed paychecks, busted unions, gutted the workforce, and killed jobs by the thousands. We squeezed the life out of healthy businesses and left them for dead.” To which he added wistfully, “those were good times.”
A member of the ominous “League of Shadiness” the ginormous speaker detailed how methods perfected at Bain Capital would be applied more generally during a Romney presidency: “Once we acquire this country, our first act will be to immediately fire all Americans. If you want to stay, you will just have to reapply for citizenship. Sure, individuals may suffer, but no question it will increase profitability over the long run.”
Throughout the speech, hecklers who worked at Bain Capital-owned companies interrupted the massive creature with boos. “It’s like all of us will be working at Dunkin Donuts,” said one protester, citing Bain’s history of creating low wage jobs with few benefits.  Others raised the issue of Romney’s avoidance in disclosing his tax returns.
Bain assured the protesters that the tax returns would ever come to light. “Trust me, you’ll have an easier time locating the Batcave than finding where we’ve stashed our profits. No. Seriously.”
While excited about Romney’s imminent speech at the Republican National Convention, Bain did reveal some disappointment in the others who appeared. “To my dismay, I wasn’t chosen to give the keynote speech.  It seems they already had a massive, bloated puppet to do the job. Damn you, Chris Christie!”
Finally, Bain addressed some of the criticism of the recent Batman film in which he appeared: “Now I know that some people felt the Dark Knight movie was way too long. Well, deal with it. That’s nothing compared to the long dark night you’ll experience once Romney is elected.”
In concluding his speech the supervillain prodded the crowd: “Why do you people always vote for the lesser evil? This time, just go all the way.”

Bain and his secret service detail  on the anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, September 17. He attended the event just to see what all these ‘little people’ in the world were getting so upset about. 
————————————————————————————




















Bain Capital – one-part supervillain, one-part political statement – had perhaps the best costume at the entire 2012 comic convention.
- International Business Times




















Among the thousands of attendees at New York Comic Con’s busy showroom on Saturday afternoon, one costume stood out among the geeks, freaks, and costumed fans of pop culture. That masked man – one-part supervillain, one-part political satire – had perhaps the best costume at the entire 2012 comic convention.
We never learned the identity of the man trapped inside the seven-foot-tall beast with the oversized arms, a satire of the comic supervillain Bane from the Batman comic books series. But unlike Bain, who uses the “Venom” drug to give him temporary superhuman strength, the costumed villain “Bain Capital” is powered by companies, with a meter that shifts back and forth from “outsourcing” to “downsizing.” Obviously, the costumed character was meant to poke fun at Bain Capital, the controversial assetmanagement company co-founded by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Despite his scary eyes and enormous fists, however, Bain Capital was a fan favorite at NYCC 2012. Groups of photographers flocked to the hulking puppet as he slowly strolled the giant showroom floor, and several costumed attendees at a time would run up to pose with the “job destroyer” himself.

Bain and his personal secret service detail at the 2012 NY Comic Con
————————————————————————————-





















The now-famous and continually-terrifying Bain 15-foot puppet. - TruthOut.com





















———————————————————————————————


Bain in front of Bain Capital Headquarters in New York City. 




Bain delivering his endorsement speech in front of Bain Capital headquarters.
NEWS ARTICLES:
Huffington Post (slideshow): Bain Capital Protest Features Giant Bane Puppet Huffington Post (videos): Bain Capital Monster: ‘Ask Bain For Family Advice’ Bloomberg: Bain Meets BaneBuzzFeed: Bane Protests Bain in NYC NY Times: On Eve Of Romney’s Speech a Focus on Bain International Business Times: Occupy Wall Street Invades Comic Con International Business Times: Occupy Wall Street Returns To Zuccotti Park The Village Voice Vimeo: Watch Bane Endorse Romney in Front of Bain Capital Graphic Policy: Come Out and See the Massive Bain Supervillain Congratulate Romney Comics Alliance: Bane Vs Bain At Anti-Romney Protest In New York Private Equity Hub (Slideshow) Protesters Demonstrate in Front of Bain’s NY Office, Unveil “Super Villain Digital Times: Bane Protests Bain … SO META! Guardian UK: Occupy Wall Street protests return for one-year anniversary TruthOut:  Occupy Infiltrates Financial District With Creative, Decentralized Actions for First Anniversary VIDEOS:






Videos directed by Meghana Reddy and Anghad Bhalla. Starring comedian Negin Farsad.  Bain acted by Daniel Baez with voice by Gan Golan. 


MORE VIDEOS:


Tax Dodgers with Bain Capital
OWS S17 Bain Capital vs. Lady Liberty (with Rude Mechanical Orchestra)
Bain Capital Coming Through


PHOTOS:








Bain and security in Times Square on Election Night.

BEHIND THE SCENES: MAKING BAIN

The original concept design for the gian puppet

The foam construction in progress, by Conor Landeberger of Big Nazo Labs. 

Puppetry training at the OWS Puppet Guild studio. 


A NEW SUPERVILLAIN IN TOWN!

BAIN: THE JOB DESTROYER!

BAIN: Corporate Supervillain

GIANT SUPERVILLAIN ENDORSES ROMNEY FOR PRESIDENT

August 30, 2012

(New York City) - On the same day Mitt Romney delivered his acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, the massive supervillain known as “Bain” appeared in New York City to offer his endorsement.  

“I am Bain Capital, and today, I stand before you as proof that corporations are in fact people. Okay fine, maybe we are monstrous, cruel and sociopathic people, but still.”

The 13-foot-tall supervillain, famous from his appearance in the recent Batman films, recounted the long personal history he shared with the candidate, “For years, Romney and Bain made a killer team. Together, we slashed paychecks, busted unions, gutted the workforce, and killed jobs by the thousands. We squeezed the life out of healthy businesses and left them for dead.” To which he added wistfully, “those were good times.”

A member of the ominous “League of Shadiness” the ginormous speaker detailed how methods perfected at Bain Capital would be applied more generally during a Romney presidency: “Once we acquire this country, our first act will be to immediately fire all Americans. If you want to stay, you will just have to reapply for citizenship. Sure, individuals may suffer, but no question it will increase profitability over the long run.”

Throughout the speech, hecklers who worked at Bain Capital-owned companies interrupted the massive creature with boos. “It’s like all of us will be working at Dunkin Donuts,” said one protester, citing Bain’s history of creating low wage jobs with few benefits.  Others raised the issue of Romney’s avoidance in disclosing his tax returns.

Bain assured the protesters that the tax returns would ever come to light. “Trust me, you’ll have an easier time locating the Batcave than finding where we’ve stashed our profits. No. Seriously.”

While excited about Romney’s imminent speech at the Republican National Convention, Bain did reveal some disappointment in the others who appeared. “To my dismay, I wasn’t chosen to give the keynote speech.  It seems they already had a massive, bloated puppet to do the job. Damn you, Chris Christie!”

Finally, Bain addressed some of the criticism of the recent Batman film in which he appeared: “Now I know that some people felt the Dark Knight movie was way too long. Well, deal with it. That’s nothing compared to the long dark night you’ll experience once Romney is elected.”

In concluding his speech the supervillain prodded the crowd: “Why do you people always vote for the lesser evil? This time, just go all the way.”

image

Bain and his secret service detail  on the anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, September 17. He attended the event just to see what all these ‘little people’ in the world were getting so upset about. 

————————————————————————————

Bain Capital – one-part supervillain, one-part political statement – had perhaps the best costume at the entire 2012 comic convention.

- International Business Times

Among the thousands of attendees at New York Comic Con’s busy showroom on Saturday afternoon, one costume stood out among the geeks, freaks, and costumed fans of pop culture. That masked man – one-part supervillain, one-part political satire – had perhaps the best costume at the entire 2012 comic convention.

We never learned the identity of the man trapped inside the seven-foot-tall beast with the oversized arms, a satire of the comic supervillain Bane from the Batman comic books series. But unlike Bain, who uses the “Venom” drug to give him temporary superhuman strength, the costumed villain “Bain Capital” is powered by companies, with a meter that shifts back and forth from “outsourcing” to “downsizing.” Obviously, the costumed character was meant to poke fun at Bain Capital, the controversial assetmanagement company co-founded by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Despite his scary eyes and enormous fists, however, Bain Capital was a fan favorite at NYCC 2012. Groups of photographers flocked to the hulking puppet as he slowly strolled the giant showroom floor, and several costumed attendees at a time would run up to pose with the “job destroyer” himself.

image

Bain and his personal secret service detail at the 2012 NY Comic Con

————————————————————————————-

The now-famous and continually-terrifying Bain 15-foot puppet. - TruthOut.com

———————————————————————————————
image
Bain in front of Bain Capital Headquarters in New York City. 

image

Bain delivering his endorsement speech in front of Bain Capital headquarters.



NEWS ARTICLES:

Huffington Post (slideshow): Bain Capital Protest Features Giant Bane Puppet

Huffington Post (videos): Bain Capital Monster: ‘Ask Bain For Family Advice’

Bloomberg: Bain Meets Bane

BuzzFeed: Bane Protests Bain in NYC

NY Times: On Eve Of Romney’s Speech a Focus on Bain

International Business Times: Occupy Wall Street Invades Comic Con

International Business Times: Occupy Wall Street Returns To Zuccotti Park

The Village Voice

Vimeo: Watch Bane Endorse Romney in Front of Bain Capital

Graphic Policy: Come Out and See the Massive Bain Supervillain Congratulate Romney

Comics Alliance: Bane Vs Bain At Anti-Romney Protest In New York

Private Equity Hub (Slideshow) Protesters Demonstrate in Front of Bain’s NY Office, Unveil “Super Villain

Digital Times: Bane Protests Bain … SO META!

Guardian UK: Occupy Wall Street protests return for one-year anniversary

TruthOut:  Occupy Infiltrates Financial District With Creative, Decentralized Actions for First Anniversary



VIDEOS:

Videos directed by Meghana Reddy and Anghad Bhalla. Starring comedian Negin Farsad.  Bain acted by Daniel Baez with voice by Gan Golan. 

MORE VIDEOS:




PHOTOS:

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Bain and security in Times Square on Election Night.


BEHIND THE SCENES: MAKING BAIN

image

The original concept design for the gian puppet

image

The foam construction in progress, by Conor Landeberger of Big Nazo Labs. 

image

Puppetry training at the OWS Puppet Guild studio. 

ADVENTURES OF UNEMPLOYED MAN
A GRAPHIC NOVEL BY ERICH ORIGEN & GAN GOLAN

International Bestseller / One of the Best Reviewed Graphic Novels of the Year











"A BEAUTIFUL graphic novel, this really is a HIGH-QUALITY piece of work."- CNN.com














"Societal woes are deftly handled… The Adventures of Unemployed Man is a satirical look at politics, the economy and superheroes-though not necessarily in that order." - NY TIMES






"An ABSURDLY FUNNY VERY SMART TAKE ON THE ROOTS AND EFFECTS OF THE RECESSION." - SF CHRONICLE







"Exposes, with LAUGH OUT LOUD YET SOPHISTICATED WIT, the desperate situation many Americans find themselves in today." - USA TODAY






BEST NEW GRAPHIC NOVELS: “INGENOUSLY ILLUSTRATED and garnished with trenchant social commentary…FUNNIEST ECONOMIC PRIMER EVER WRITTEN.”- SALON.com






"PERFECTLY CONCEIVED IN BOTH TONE AND DESIGN. The Adventures of Unemployed Man is a perfect assessment of the economic difficulties in which many of us find ourselves."- POPMATTERS



INTERVIEWS:
KBOO Portland - Stumptown Comics Fest
KPCC Los Angeles - Patt Morrison
KPFK Los Angeles - Uprising Radio with Sonali Kolhatkar

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOOK, VISIT  THE OFFICIAL SITE

ADVENTURES OF UNEMPLOYED MAN

A GRAPHIC NOVEL BY ERICH ORIGEN & GAN GOLAN

International Bestseller / One of the Best Reviewed Graphic Novels of the Year

"A BEAUTIFUL graphic novel, this really is a HIGH-QUALITY piece of work."- CNN.com

"Societal woes are deftly handled… The Adventures of Unemployed Man is a satirical look at politics, the economy and superheroes-though not necessarily in that order." - NY TIMES

"An ABSURDLY FUNNY VERY SMART TAKE ON THE ROOTS AND EFFECTS OF THE RECESSION." - SF CHRONICLE

Photobucket

"Exposes, with LAUGH OUT LOUD YET SOPHISTICATED WIT, the desperate situation many Americans find themselves in today." - USA TODAY

BEST NEW GRAPHIC NOVELS: “INGENOUSLY ILLUSTRATED and garnished with trenchant social commentary…FUNNIEST ECONOMIC PRIMER EVER WRITTEN.”- SALON.com

"PERFECTLY CONCEIVED IN BOTH TONE AND DESIGN. The Adventures of Unemployed Man is a perfect assessment of the economic difficulties in which many of us find ourselves."- POPMATTERS

INTERVIEWS:

KBOO Portland - Stumptown Comics Fest

KPCC Los Angeles - Patt Morrison

KPFK Los Angeles - Uprising Radio with Sonali Kolhatkar

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOOK, VISIT THE OFFICIAL SITE

GOODNIGHT BUSH
Written by Erich Origen & Gan Golan / Illustrated by Gan Golan
"A brilliant parody of the children’s classic Goodnight Moon, built around the coming end of the worst presidency ever.”
FULL WEBSITE
Goodnight Bush: An Unauthorized Parody is a hilarious and poignant visual requiem for the Bush administration. In it we see a childlike George W. Bush tucked safely away in the confines of his own room with all of the toys he’s willfully destroyed, abused, or defaced. Complete with a quiet Dick Cheney whispering “hush,” this bedtime story lets us finally say goodnight to the disaster that was the last eight years.
Goodnight Bush was a breakout hit of 2008, and appeared on the NY Times Bestsellers’ List over 10 times. 
REVIEWS:
"You must get your copy of this book….A wicked, savage parody.” (Courier-Journal )"Goodnight Bush stands to become a popular American political parody.” (San Francisco Chronicle )"Seldom have an administration’s failings been set to such a lulling cadence." (Salon.com )"This might be one of the greatest works of fiction of all time ever—up there with the Bible, the Constitution, and those books about the blonde siblings who slept together in their attic." (BlackBook Magazine )

GOODNIGHT BUSH

Written by Erich Origen & Gan Golan / Illustrated by Gan Golan

"A brilliant parody of the children’s classic Goodnight Moon, built around the coming end of the worst presidency ever.”

FULL WEBSITE


Goodnight Bush: An Unauthorized Parody is a hilarious and poignant visual requiem for the Bush administration. In it we see a childlike George W. Bush tucked safely away in the confines of his own room with all of the toys he’s willfully destroyed, abused, or defaced. Complete with a quiet Dick Cheney whispering “hush,” this bedtime story lets us finally say goodnight to the disaster that was the last eight years.

Goodnight Bush was a breakout hit of 2008, and appeared on the NY Times Bestsellers’ List over 10 times. 

REVIEWS:

"You must get your copy of this book….A wicked, savage parody.” (Courier-Journal )

"Goodnight Bush stands to become a popular American political parody.” (San Francisco Chronicle )

"Seldom have an administration’s failings been set to such a lulling cadence." (Salon.com )

"This might be one of the greatest works of fiction of all time ever—up there with the Bible, the Constitution, and those books about the blonde siblings who slept together in their attic." (BlackBook Magazine )

From www.TaxDodgers.net
Occupy Wall Street “Tax Dodgers” in the Baseball Hall of Fame
To the mutual astonishment of both sports fans and political activists, The Tax Dodgers, Occupy Wall Street’s satirical baseball team, have just been put on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. 

The fictional baseball team features an “all star lineup” of  wealthy corporations who have used loopholes and lobbying to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. The list of “players” include General Electric, Bank of America, Verizon, Exxon Mobile, ConEdison, Wells Fargo and more. The team is accompanied by their own hula-hooping cheerleading squad The Corporate Loopholes. 

"We’re the best team that corporate money can buy," said a player dressed as GE. "We always win because we rig game, rewrite the playbook, and pay off the umpires."
The team’s uniforms feature lettering evoking the classic Brooklyn dodgers, circa 1957.  All players share the same number, 1%. 

MONEYBALL
While the project is clearly humorous, the issues they raise are no laughing matter. Tax Policy groups have estimated that corporate tax dodging costs the US $100 Billion a year, at a time when the country is being forced to consider budget cuts to basic services like health care, housing, education and social security. 
Wells Fargo commended the teams success: “We’ve consistently knocked it out of the park. And the roads, schools and hospitals.”
While the average tax rate for Americans is around 35%, some of the wealthiest corporations have found ways to avoid paying altogether. For example, General Electric paid zero taxes in 2010, and then still received over $3 Billion in refunds and rebates. This equalled a negative 45% tax rate. 

Watch video of Tax Dodgers at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. 
Another player, Google, offered his appreciation to fans:  “None of this would be possible without the support of patriotic, hardworking Americans. We would like to thank all of you for paying taxes to keep this great country running….so that we don’t have to.”

TAX DAY IS PAY DAY
The team formed in January and first performed to a crowd of Verizon workers in front the company’s headquarters in New York City. A week later they were in front of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, GE headquarters “to help celebrate their record-breaking achievements”.  Since then, the team has made several unannounced appearances.
On Tax Day, April 17, the Tax Dodgers attempted to enter Trump Tower, where Donald Trump was throwing a birthday party for Anne Romney and a fundraiser for her husband and presidential candidate. To honor the occasion, the team brought along their team mascot, a giant 7-foot-tall dancing baseball glove named ‘MITT’.  The smiles of the guests indicated that they initially thought the team was  hired entertainment, until the police did not allow them entry. Each of Mrs. Romney’s well attired guests then had to confront the team as they exited. 
The team serenaded the finely attired guests with a rendition of “Take Me Out To The Tax Game” as the team’s cheerleaders, the Corporate Loopholes, offered a choreographer chant: “Bermuda! The Caymans! Those are the best tax havens! Bahamas! Aruba! Too bad we can’t use Cuba!”
Later that same day, the team lead a march of 2,000 union members, which ended near the Post Office as people dashed in to file their taxes at the last minute. “We understand that for many people, Tax Day is not always happy day, since you have to make some sacrifice for the common good. But for us, Tax Day is pay day. Yeeehaw!”
The team then distributed envelopes to the crowd with ‘real money’ that contained an amount more than what GE, Verizon and Bank of America paid in taxes combined. Inside was a single penny. 
MVP AWARD
Last Sunday, the team appeared at CitiField before the Mets played the LA Dodgers. As the crowds assembled in front of the main entrance to the stadium, the Tax Dodgers presented an award to their star player, CitiBank, for it’s success in “stealing homes”. Citibank, a major recipient of over $45 BIllion federal bailouts, was recently fined $189 million for committing massive mortgage fraud. 
"For helping to make the economy DOA, we proudly present Citibank with the award for MVP." Said Goldman Sachs, Team Captain.  CitiBank then received a golden trophy in the shape of a homeplate, with the word ‘foreclosed’ attached it. 
GAME ON!
Afterwards, the 1% team went to Occupy Town Square in Jackson heights and challenged local residents to play against them in a live baseball game, where a “99%” team was picked directly from the audience. However, once the corporate team fell behind 5-2, a ‘donation’ to the umpire appeared to shift all the calls in their favor. Outraged, the 99% team as well as many spectators on the sidelines stormed the infield, locked arms together and ‘occupied’ home plate, preventing the Tax Dodgers from cheating any further. 
One  99% player elicited cheers when he yelled: ‘Corporate Tax Dodgers, we refuse to play your game any longer. We are calling you OUT!” 
—- 
The Tax Dodgers is a project involving several Occupy Wall Street groups, including the Performance and Puppetry Guild. The project was initiated in partnership with local unions, chief among them United NY. The team is launching their Kickstarter campaign soon, in order to raise funds to create more Tax Dodgers groups across the country.   If you would like to join the team - or play against them - visit: www.taxdodgers.net

Photobucket

From www.TaxDodgers.net

Occupy Wall Street “Tax Dodgers” in the Baseball Hall of Fame

To the mutual astonishment of both sports fans and political activists, The Tax Dodgers, Occupy Wall Street’s satirical baseball team, have just been put on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. 

Photobucket

The fictional baseball team features an “all star lineup” of  wealthy corporations who have used loopholes and lobbying to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. The list of “players” include General Electric, Bank of America, Verizon, Exxon Mobile, ConEdison, Wells Fargo and more. The team is accompanied by their own hula-hooping cheerleading squad The Corporate Loopholes. 

Photobucket

"We’re the best team that corporate money can buy," said a player dressed as GE. "We always win because we rig game, rewrite the playbook, and pay off the umpires."

The team’s uniforms feature lettering evoking the classic Brooklyn dodgers, circa 1957.  All players share the same number, 1%. 

Photobucket

MONEYBALL

While the project is clearly humorous, the issues they raise are no laughing matter. Tax Policy groups have estimated that corporate tax dodging costs the US $100 Billion a year, at a time when the country is being forced to consider budget cuts to basic services like health care, housing, education and social security. 

Wells Fargo commended the teams success: “We’ve consistently knocked it out of the park. And the roads, schools and hospitals.”

While the average tax rate for Americans is around 35%, some of the wealthiest corporations have found ways to avoid paying altogether. For example, General Electric paid zero taxes in 2010, and then still received over $3 Billion in refunds and rebates. This equalled a negative 45% tax rate. 

Watch video of Tax Dodgers at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. 

Another player, Google, offered his appreciation to fans:  “None of this would be possible without the support of patriotic, hardworking Americans. We would like to thank all of you for paying taxes to keep this great country running….so that we don’t have to.”

Photobucket

TAX DAY IS PAY DAY

The team formed in January and first performed to a crowd of Verizon workers in front the company’s headquarters in New York City. A week later they were in front of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, GE headquarters “to help celebrate their record-breaking achievements”.  Since then, the team has made several unannounced appearances.

On Tax Day, April 17, the Tax Dodgers attempted to enter Trump Tower, where Donald Trump was throwing a birthday party for Anne Romney and a fundraiser for her husband and presidential candidate. To honor the occasion, the team brought along their team mascot, a giant 7-foot-tall dancing baseball glove named ‘MITT’.  The smiles of the guests indicated that they initially thought the team was  hired entertainment, until the police did not allow them entry. Each of Mrs. Romney’s well attired guests then had to confront the team as they exited. 

The team serenaded the finely attired guests with a rendition of “Take Me Out To The Tax Game” as the team’s cheerleaders, the Corporate Loopholes, offered a choreographer chant: “Bermuda! The Caymans! Those are the best tax havens! Bahamas! Aruba! Too bad we can’t use Cuba!”

Later that same day, the team lead a march of 2,000 union members, which ended near the Post Office as people dashed in to file their taxes at the last minute. “We understand that for many people, Tax Day is not always happy day, since you have to make some sacrifice for the common good. But for us, Tax Day is pay day. Yeeehaw!”

The team then distributed envelopes to the crowd with ‘real money’ that contained an amount more than what GE, Verizon and Bank of America paid in taxes combined. Inside was a single penny. 

MVP AWARD

Last Sunday, the team appeared at CitiField before the Mets played the LA Dodgers. As the crowds assembled in front of the main entrance to the stadium, the Tax Dodgers presented an award to their star player, CitiBank, for it’s success in “stealing homes”. Citibank, a major recipient of over $45 BIllion federal bailouts, was recently fined $189 million for committing massive mortgage fraud. 

"For helping to make the economy DOA, we proudly present Citibank with the award for MVP." Said Goldman Sachs, Team Captain.  CitiBank then received a golden trophy in the shape of a homeplate, with the word ‘foreclosed’ attached it. 

GAME ON!

Afterwards, the 1% team went to Occupy Town Square in Jackson heights and challenged local residents to play against them in a live baseball game, where a “99%” team was picked directly from the audience. However, once the corporate team fell behind 5-2, a ‘donation’ to the umpire appeared to shift all the calls in their favor. Outraged, the 99% team as well as many spectators on the sidelines stormed the infield, locked arms together and ‘occupied’ home plate, preventing the Tax Dodgers from cheating any further. 

One  99% player elicited cheers when he yelled: ‘Corporate Tax Dodgers, we refuse to play your game any longer. We are calling you OUT!” 

—- 

The Tax Dodgers is a project involving several Occupy Wall Street groups, including the Performance and Puppetry Guild. The project was initiated in partnership with local unions, chief among them United NY. The team is launching their Kickstarter campaign soon, in order to raise funds to create more Tax Dodgers groups across the country.   If you would like to join the team - or play against them - visit: www.taxdodgers.net


VOICE OF ART
THE TAX DODGERS 
Executive Producer Pharrel Williams. Directed by Z.S. Grant. 
In Part 1, we introduce artist Gan Golan, co-creator of bestselling books Goodnight Bush and The Adventures of Unemployed Man, and follow his adventures in  guerrilla art street actions making giant puppets against the World Trade Organization in Cancun, Mexico, floating airborne banners on the  MIT campus, and leading a team of superheroes fighting powerful corporations as part of Occupy Wall Street movement. 

The adventure continues: | Part 2 | Part 3 | Bonus!
(Watch following episodes to see if the Tax Dodgers can make it into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, even though they’re a totally fake team!)

VOICE OF ART

THE TAX DODGERS 

Executive Producer Pharrel Williams. Directed by Z.S. Grant. 

In Part 1, we introduce artist Gan Golan, co-creator of bestselling books Goodnight Bush and The Adventures of Unemployed Man, and follow his adventures in  guerrilla art street actions making giant puppets against the World Trade Organization in Cancun, Mexico, floating airborne banners on the  MIT campus, and leading a team of superheroes fighting powerful corporations as part of Occupy Wall Street movement. 

The adventure continues: | Part 2 | Part 3 | Bonus!

(Watch following episodes to see if the Tax Dodgers can make it into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, even though they’re a totally fake team!)


VOICE OF ART
 THE TAX DODGERS 
In this second episode in the series, Wall Street’s least favorite baseball team “The Tax Dodgers” prepare their performance tactics for a big upcoming game. Citizens for Tax Justice illustrate the problem of corporate tax dodging, a former police captain fights against “corporate sociopaths,” and The Yes Men and Common Cause detail the corporate hijacking of the US political system through devious means.
Featuring The Yes Men,  Police Capt. Ray Lewis, Citizens for Tax Justice and Common Cause.
To see more: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Bonus!

VOICE OF ART

THE TAX DODGERS

In this second episode in the series, Wall Street’s least favorite baseball team “The Tax Dodgers” prepare their performance tactics for a big upcoming game. Citizens for Tax Justice illustrate the problem of corporate tax dodging, a former police captain fights against “corporate sociopaths,” and The Yes Men and Common Cause detail the corporate hijacking of the US political system through devious means.

Featuring The Yes Men,  Police Capt. Ray Lewis, Citizens for Tax Justice and Common Cause.

To see more: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Bonus!

SUPERHEROES vs. WALL ST.
THE EPIC SHOWDOWN! 

New York, NY - Once a group of sinister economic supervillains attacked Liberty Square, the heart of the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City, they were confronted by a team of Working Class Superheroes who rose up to challenge them. The epic battle then raged from block to block (through Trump Tower) and down to the New York Stock Exchange itself!
For the FULL STORY WITH PHOTOS




MEDIA COVERAGE:
Gothamist: Occupy Wall Street Protesters Become Heroes And Villains For Halloween
Wired: Unemployed Man is the Unofficial Superhero of Occupy Wall St. 
Bleeding Cool News: Occupy Wall Street Goes Cosplay  Policy Mic: The Occupy Super Heroes Fight Evil on Wall Street 
Comics Beat: Unemployed superheroes hit Occupy Wall StreetDem Underground: Large Photos 
VIDEOS:
NY Times: A Playful Occupy HalloweenAFP: ‘Superhero’ protesters take on Wall StreetPolicy Mic Interview with Unemployed Man

SUPERHEROES vs. WALL ST.

THE EPIC SHOWDOWN! 

New York, NY - Once a group of sinister economic supervillains attacked Liberty Square, the heart of the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City, they were confronted by a team of Working Class Superheroes who rose up to challenge them. The epic battle then raged from block to block (through Trump Tower) and down to the New York Stock Exchange itself!

For the FULL STORY WITH PHOTOS

STAND WITH TEXAS WOMEN
In solidarity with Sen. Wendy Davis and the courageous women of Texas who are taking a defiant stand against sexism, and for women’s reproductive health… July 8, the night before the “special session”  called by the GOP to end-run Sen. Davis’ heroically successful 11-hour long fillibuster, Light Brigades in Madison, Orlando, Dallas and New York City took to the streets to light up the struggle for justice. In collaboration with the 300 thousand member strong on-line organization Ultraviolet we displayed the hashtag #‎StandWithTXWomen to amplify the work of organizers on the front lines.  



EPILOGUE:
The images were sharedly widely on-line and to our great honor, Wendy Davis herself saw them and then sent them to all her followers on twitter. 

More images here: 
Flickr Photo Set 
NYC Light Brigade | North Texas Light Brigade | Overpass Light Brigade | Orlando Light Brigade

STAND WITH TEXAS WOMEN

In solidarity with Sen. Wendy Davis and the courageous women of Texas who are taking a defiant stand against sexism, and for women’s reproductive health… 

July 8, the night before the “special session”  called by the GOP to end-run Sen. Davis’ heroically successful 11-hour long fillibuster, Light Brigades in Madison, Orlando, Dallas and New York City took to the streets to light up the struggle for justice. 

In collaboration with the 300 thousand member strong on-line organization Ultraviolet
 we displayed the hashtag #‎StandWithTXWomen to amplify the work of organizers on the front lines.  


imageimageimageimage

EPILOGUE:

The images were sharedly widely on-line and to our great honor, Wendy Davis herself saw them and then sent them to all her followers on twitter. 

image

More images here: 

Flickr Photo Set 

NYC Light Brigade | North Texas Light Brigade | Overpass Light Brigade | Orlando Light Brigade

NEW DAY NEW YORK
Full Website

NEW DAY NEW YORK

Full Website

photo NDNY_1_zpse4134217.jpg

photo NDNY_2_zpsc39ea769.jpg

THANDISWA!
 ”IBOKWE” ALBUM COVER (2009)
In 2009, I had the honor of creating the album cover for famed South African musician Thandiswa Mazwai. The image (which we collaborated on) is of African peoples marching and dancing, from urban slums and rural villages, assembling together atop a giant visage of Thandiswa herself. At the apex, their music and her music become one.
For Thandiswa, her music emerges from the experiences of the many diverse peoples of Africa, who then in turn people use her music to amplify their own hopes, aspirations and demands for a more just world.

The image is detailed, replete with a multitude of symbols that would be familiar to South Africans: taxi vans packed with people, clouds of smoke rising from the shantytowns, a diversity of tribal peoples performing medicinal rituals. Thandiswa herself is constructed of familiar symbols: people tilling fields of crops in her hair (i.e. “corn rows”) with cowry shells and facial markings representing her many cultural influences.
On the corrugated metal rooftops of the shantytown a line of graffiti quotes the South African Freedom Charter. It declares: “The People Shall Govern!”

This  image contains a deep personal dimension for me as well. As a young lad, I began my lifetime of creative direct action as part of the Anti-Apartheid movement, at age 16. As one small, local component of this global movement, our goal was nothing short of bringing down the racist, Apartheid regime in South Africa. At the time, Nelson Mandela was still in prison and the South African consulate, strangely enough, was actually located on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. Why? Because it was selling diamonds to wealthy Beverly HIlls widows in order to sustain the regime.  As young public high school students in LA, we learned non-violent civil disobedience tactics and used them to successfully shut down the consulate on numerous occasions, interrupting their international business. As part of this training,  we also learned the militant street marching that was an iconic part of the struggle, called the “Toyi! Toyi!”. You can see this dance depicted in the image on the back. 

THANDISWA!

 ”IBOKWE” ALBUM COVER (2009)

In 2009, I had the honor of creating the album cover for famed South African musician Thandiswa Mazwai. The image (which we collaborated on) is of African peoples marching and dancing, from urban slums and rural villages, assembling together atop a giant visage of Thandiswa herself. At the apex, their music and her music become one.

For Thandiswa, her music emerges from the experiences of the many diverse peoples of Africa, who then in turn people use her music to amplify their own hopes, aspirations and demands for a more just world.

image

The image is detailed, replete with a multitude of symbols that would be familiar to South Africans: taxi vans packed with people, clouds of smoke rising from the shantytowns, a diversity of tribal peoples performing medicinal rituals. Thandiswa herself is constructed of familiar symbols: people tilling fields of crops in her hair (i.e. “corn rows”) with cowry shells and facial markings representing her many cultural influences.

On the corrugated metal rooftops of the shantytown a line of graffiti quotes the South African Freedom Charter. It declares: “The People Shall Govern!”

image

This  image contains a deep personal dimension for me as well. As a young lad, I began my lifetime of creative direct action as part of the Anti-Apartheid movement, at age 16. As one small, local component of this global movement, our goal was nothing short of bringing down the racist, Apartheid regime in South Africa. At the time, Nelson Mandela was still in prison and the South African consulate, strangely enough, was actually located on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. Why? Because it was selling diamonds to wealthy Beverly HIlls widows in order to sustain the regime.  As young public high school students in LA, we learned non-violent civil disobedience tactics and used them to successfully shut down the consulate on numerous occasions, interrupting their international business. As part of this training,  we also learned the militant street marching that was an iconic part of the struggle, called the “Toyi! Toyi!”. You can see this dance depicted in the image on the back. 

 
TAX EVADERS
A national campaign for Tax Day that took place in 12 cities. An original video game was launched that allowed players to blast corporate tax evaders out of the sky, forcing them to return revenues to the people in order to keep society running. The game was projected onto the sides of buildings of those very corporations and the controls were handed to people on the streets passing by. Simultaneously, light brigades in many cities hit the streets to target specific corporations with their giant LED messages. The project was featured in the National Media and the game was a hit online. After people played the game, they were allowed to blast real tweets at the corporations’ accounts. Nearly 1000 twitter-bombs were sent over 5 days.
 
THE ACTION


 
GAME PREVIEW


 
PLAY THE VIDEO GAME
 

 
INTERACTIVE FEATURES
MEET ‘EM: Facts & Figures
BLAST ‘EM: Twitter Bomb Feature
TOOLKIT: Open Source Graphic Toolkit
SOURCES: Tax Data

 
TOOLKIT
Tax Evaders Graphic Toolkit


 
STREET ACTIONS
New York City
Baltimore, MD
Milwaukee, WI
Tampa, FL
San Francisco
Madison, WI
Dallas, TX
Seattle, OR

 
MEDIA COVERAGE


FORBES: Tax Evaders Video Game Sheds Interactive Light On Corporate Greed
Protesters had something to do as they gathered in 10 cities like New York, Baltimore, Seattle, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Tampa, Gainesville and Hawaii from April 10 through Tax Day, April 15. That’s because there were giant projections on the sides of corporate buildings like Citibank allowing them to use a Wii controller or Kinect for Xbox 360 to battle corporate greed virtually.
Gan Golan, coordinator of the national project, talks about what’s wrong with our current tax loopholes and how gaming can be used to raise awareness for important issues in this exclusive interview.
[Read Full Interview]

 


REAL NEWS NETWORK: Video Game and Tax Day Actions Target Corporate “Tax Evaders”
(An Interview with Gan Golan & Nicole Tichon)


 

 

MSNBC: All In With Chris Hayes
The All In with Chris Hayes team puts out a daily call to the Twitter and Facebook communities for the “awesomest things” they encountered on the Internet….Derived from “Space Invaders,” The Citizen Engagement Lab developed a new game called “Tax Evaders.”  The idea? Try to take out the corporate alien spaceships evading taxes they should be paying. Yes, let’s try to zap those aliens, shall we?
[See Clip]

 

ALTERNET: “Space Invaders” With a Twist — New “Tax Evaders” Game Makes Corporations Pay Fair Share
Paid your taxes? Mad that major corporations don’t? Play this game to let off some steam.
As Tax Day approaches, it’s important to remember who actually pays taxes in the United States — and who doesn’t.


 

CURRENT TV:
They seem to have come from another planet - it would certainly explain how little they care about the upkeep of this one.

Every Tax Day we watch as corporate Tax Evaders skim untold billions from America, M, while the rest of us actually pay for the upkeep of society.ENOUGH. This Tax Day, we’re teaming up with Citizen Engagement Lab and US Uncut on a new online project to take them down:as always let me say DEATH to the corporate-FASCISTS!!!

 

EUROGAMER: Tax Evaders is a fun browser game about corporate tax evasion:  Shoot down corporations and make them pay their fair share.
[Read Article]
 

GAMER HUB: Tax Evaders Video Game Projected Onto Buildings To Raise Awareness Of Corporate Greed
[Read Article]
 
TECH PRESIDENT: Two Ways to Fight “Tax Evaders” on Tax Day — In a Manner of Speaking
[Read Article]

 

INDIE GAMES: Tax Evaders - Google, Microsoft, Facebook, BP are no longer safe
"A fun arcade shooter with a message about corporate tax evasion. Players control a mob of citizens who shoot down evading corporate tax UFOs in order to ground them and have them pay their share of revenues. This allows the city’s school, park, train station, and more to be revitalized."
 
[Read Article]

BALTIMORE CITY PAPER: Tax Evaders! The Game!
"One of the more amusing lefty efforts on the National Budget to come across my email in a long while."
[Read Article]

 
COLLABORATION
The Tax Evaders project was a unique collaboration accomplished in only 3 weeks. To do so, a self-organizing network was formed between video game designers [MolleIndustria] Guerilla Projection Groups [The Illuminator, San Francisco Projection Dep’t, Greenpants Collective, The Backbone Campaign, Shine Guerilla Projection Squad], Light Brigades in 7 cities, Tax policy research organizations [Americans For Tax Fairness and Public Interest Research Group] and online campaign organizations [Citizen Engagement Lab, The Other 98% and US Uncut] and citizen-lead protest groups, like Occupy Wall St.

 

 

 

TAX EVADERS

A national campaign for Tax Day that took place in 12 cities. An original video game was launched that allowed players to blast corporate tax evaders out of the sky, forcing them to return revenues to the people in order to keep society running. The game was projected onto the sides of buildings of those very corporations and the controls were handed to people on the streets passing by. Simultaneously, light brigades in many cities hit the streets to target specific corporations with their giant LED messages. The project was featured in the National Media and the game was a hit online. After people played the game, they were allowed to blast real tweets at the corporations’ accounts. Nearly 1000 twitter-bombs were sent over 5 days.

 

THE ACTION

 

GAME PREVIEW

 

PLAY THE VIDEO GAME

 

 

INTERACTIVE FEATURES

MEET ‘EM: Facts & Figures

BLAST ‘EM: Twitter Bomb Feature

TOOLKIT: Open Source Graphic Toolkit

SOURCES: Tax Data

 

TOOLKIT

Tax Evaders Graphic Toolkit

 

STREET ACTIONS

New York City

Baltimore, MD

Milwaukee, WI

Tampa, FL

San Francisco

Madison, WI

Dallas, TX

Seattle, OR

 

MEDIA COVERAGE

FORBES: Tax Evaders Video Game Sheds Interactive Light On Corporate Greed

Protesters had something to do as they gathered in 10 cities like New York, Baltimore, Seattle, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Tampa, Gainesville and Hawaii from April 10 through Tax Day, April 15. That’s because there were giant projections on the sides of corporate buildings like Citibank allowing them to use a Wii controller or Kinect for Xbox 360 to battle corporate greed virtually.

Gan Golan, coordinator of the national project, talks about what’s wrong with our current tax loopholes and how gaming can be used to raise awareness for important issues in this exclusive interview.

[Read Full Interview]

 

REAL NEWS NETWORK: Video Game and Tax Day Actions Target Corporate “Tax Evaders”

(An Interview with Gan Golan & Nicole Tichon)

 

 

MSNBC: All In With Chris Hayes

The All In with Chris Hayes team puts out a daily call to the Twitter and Facebook communities for the “awesomest things” they encountered on the Internet….Derived from “Space Invaders,” The Citizen Engagement Lab developed a new game called “Tax Evaders.”  The idea? Try to take out the corporate alien spaceships evading taxes they should be paying. Yes, let’s try to zap those aliens, shall we?

[See Clip]

 

ALTERNET: “Space Invaders” With a Twist — New “Tax Evaders” Game Makes Corporations Pay Fair Share

Paid your taxes? Mad that major corporations don’t? Play this game to let off some steam.

As Tax Day approaches, it’s important to remember who actually pays taxes in the United States — and who doesn’t.

 

CURRENT TV:

They seem to have come from another planet - it would certainly explain how little they care about the upkeep of this one.

Every Tax Day we watch as corporate Tax Evaders skim untold billions from America, M, while the rest of us actually pay for the upkeep of society.

ENOUGH. This Tax Day, we’re teaming up with Citizen Engagement Lab and US Uncut on a new online project to take them down:

as always let me say DEATH to the corporate-FASCISTS!!!

 

EUROGAMER: Tax Evaders is a fun browser game about corporate tax evasion:  Shoot down corporations and make them pay their fair share.

[Read Article]

 

GAMER HUB: Tax Evaders Video Game Projected Onto Buildings To Raise Awareness Of Corporate Greed

[Read Article]

 

TECH PRESIDENT: Two Ways to Fight “Tax Evaders” on Tax Day — In a Manner of Speaking

[Read Article]

 

INDIE GAMES: Tax Evaders - Google, Microsoft, Facebook, BP are no longer safe

"A fun arcade shooter with a message about corporate tax evasion. Players control a mob of citizens who shoot down evading corporate tax UFOs in order to ground them and have them pay their share of revenues. This allows the city’s school, park, train station, and more to be revitalized."

 

[Read Article]

BALTIMORE CITY PAPER: Tax Evaders! The Game!

"One of the more amusing lefty efforts on the National Budget to come across my email in a long while."

[Read Article]

 

COLLABORATION

The Tax Evaders project was a unique collaboration accomplished in only 3 weeks. To do so, a self-organizing network was formed between video game designers [MolleIndustria] Guerilla Projection Groups [The Illuminator, San Francisco Projection Dep’t, Greenpants Collective, The Backbone Campaign, Shine Guerilla Projection Squad], Light Brigades in 7 cities, Tax policy research organizations [Americans For Tax Fairness and Public Interest Research Group] and online campaign organizations [Citizen Engagement Lab, The Other 98% and US Uncut] and citizen-lead protest groups, like Occupy Wall St.

 

 

THE MASTER OF DEGREES
GRAD STUDENT SUPERHERO - SHACKLED BY DEBT!

The Master of Degrees is a ‘working class hero’ who originally appeared in the graphic novel The Adventures of Unemployed Man but who has since leaped off of the page and into the real world, where he has become a symbol of popular resistance against the crippling effects of student loan debt. The character has been inhabited by at least 5 different people at different times and appeared in over 100 news articles. 
 
[Like]


"Forget the ballerina on the bull. The iconic image of the Occupy encampments is a Zorro-masked Gan Golan as the Unemployed Superhero, caped but grounded by a ball and chain marked STUDENT LOANS."
 SALON.com
…The costume contained the whole sprawling critique in one playful package: the recession, finance run amok, captured regulators, the betrayal and wasting away of the middle class. It was a comic book version of the message delivered by the Occupy kids who took a page from history and “did knowingly mutilate” their monthly student loan statements — from LA to DC like draft cards they burned.”  
 

CAMPAIGNS:
Beautiful Trouble: Tactic - Debt Strike!
Center for American Progress Report (front cover)

INTERVIEWS:
KPFK - Uprising! With Sonali Kolhatkar
CBS:  Tall and young, clad in a black cape and a black mask, he calls himself the “Master of Degrees,” one of America’s “millions of unemployed superheroes.”
"My actual degree is in urban planning and international development from MIT," says Master, showing me the papier-mache ball and chain attached to his belt.
"I’m fighting to free the next generation of students from debt slavery."
He says young people, like those in the Occupy Wall Street movement, have taken out massive student loans only to find they have no means to pay them back once they enter the workforce.
"The problem is that we’re having an entire generation of people who cannot choose to do work for social good"
"They can’t be pro bono lawyers, they can’t go teach in inner city schools to teach English, because they won’t be able to afford it. They’re going to have to be paying back their debt instead of actually investing their passion and their labor in renewing America as every generation of youth does."
But Master is a little more practical than his fellow protesters on Wall Street, which explains why he’s here at the Rebuild the Dream rally. He says there are policy solutions to these problems.
"We need to eliminate the corporate loan agencies that are gouging students." 
Still, Master says that beyond the policy goals, the meaning of this movement is, well, more meaningful. “I think what the kids on the street are asking for is for us to reevaluate not just our policies but our entire value system from the ground up,” he says. “They’re looking for a cultural change, more than just a policy or a political change.”
—————————————————————————————————
WTOP: The “master” also spoke about what reforms are needed in the country’s education system. ”I think we need to take the private lenders who are taking money from taxpayers out of the equation,” he says. “We need to stop treating education as a business.”



Campus Progress: “A dry speech is a missed opportunity,” the New York Times best-selling author and activist quipped during a panel at the Take Back the American Dream conference this week. The sessioncategorized art and culture in activism as more than just nice extras—they’re essential tools of engagement. Cultural and new media items cause emotional responses that make people, especially young Americans, want to listen to the message. 

“Undocumented immigrants, working mothers—their struggles are heroic,” Golan said. “We just wanted to show the realities of what is happening and give them the superhero treatment they deserve.” 


“People often think of arts and culture last,” Golan said. “But that cultural piece could be the center of your whole movement.”





A march on T1, the day that student loans in the US reportedly broke $1 Trillion.

Policy Mic:
Free Speech TV:

The Master of Degrees delivering a speech in Union Square. He asks: “How big are your balls… of debt?”
MEDIA: 


Above: an interview with Italian Vogue


The character has appeared in over 100 news articles. Here are a few examples:


NY Times
Boston Globe 
Daily Beast
Washington Post
 Washington Post 
 Washington Post
Washington Post
Wall Street Journal
 Seattle Post Intelligencer
The Nation
The Nation
The Nation
Huffington Post
 NPR 
 NPR  
WGBH 
USA Today 
LA Times 
FOX News
MSNBC
Christian Science Monitor I | II | III  
Wired
Newsday 
ABC 
ABCCBS
Chicago Sun Times 
Daily Herald 
Yahoo News
Politico 
After Ellen
Tech Crunch
Common Dreams

 

THE MASTER OF DEGREES

GRAD STUDENT SUPERHERO - SHACKLED BY DEBT!
The Master of Degrees is a ‘working class hero’ who originally appeared in the graphic novel The Adventures of Unemployed Man but who has since leaped off of the page and into the real world, where he has become a symbol of popular resistance against the crippling effects of student loan debt. The character has been inhabited by at least 5 different people at different times and appeared in over 100 news articles. 
 

Photobucket

"Forget the ballerina on the bull. The iconic image of the Occupy encampments is a Zorro-masked Gan Golan as the Unemployed Superhero, caped but grounded by a ball and chain marked STUDENT LOANS."

SALON.com

…The costume contained the whole sprawling critique in one playful package: the recession, finance run amok, captured regulators, the betrayal and wasting away of the middle class. It was a comic book version of the message delivered by the Occupy kids who took a page from history and “did knowingly mutilate” their monthly student loan statements — from LA to DC like draft cards they burned.”  

 
Photobucket

CAMPAIGNS:

Beautiful Trouble: Tactic - Debt Strike!

Center for American Progress Report (front cover)

INTERVIEWS:

KPFK - Uprising! With Sonali Kolhatkar

CBS:  Tall and young, clad in a black cape and a black mask, he calls himself the “Master of Degrees,” one of America’s “millions of unemployed superheroes.”

"My actual degree is in urban planning and international development from MIT," says Master, showing me the papier-mache ball and chain attached to his belt.

"I’m fighting to free the next generation of students from debt slavery."

He says young people, like those in the Occupy Wall Street movement, have taken out massive student loans only to find they have no means to pay them back once they enter the workforce.

"The problem is that we’re having an entire generation of people who cannot choose to do work for social good"

"They can’t be pro bono lawyers, they can’t go teach in inner city schools to teach English, because they won’t be able to afford it. They’re going to have to be paying back their debt instead of actually investing their passion and their labor in renewing America as every generation of youth does."

But Master is a little more practical than his fellow protesters on Wall Street, which explains why he’s here at the Rebuild the Dream rally. He says there are policy solutions to these problems.

"We need to eliminate the corporate loan agencies that are gouging students." 

Still, Master says that beyond the policy goals, the meaning of this movement is, well, more meaningful. “I think what the kids on the street are asking for is for us to reevaluate not just our policies but our entire value system from the ground up,” he says. “They’re looking for a cultural change, more than just a policy or a political change.”

—————————————————————————————————

WTOP: The “master” also spoke about what reforms are needed in the country’s education system. ”I think we need to take the private lenders who are taking money from taxpayers out of the equation,” he says. “We need to stop treating education as a business.”

Photobucket
Campus Progress: “A dry speech is a missed opportunity,” the New York Times best-selling author and activist quipped during a panel at the Take Back the American Dream conference this week. The sessioncategorized art and culture in activism as more than just nice extras—they’re essential tools of engagement. Cultural and new media items cause emotional responses that make people, especially young Americans, want to listen to the message. 
“Undocumented immigrants, working mothers—their struggles are heroic,” Golan said. “We just wanted to show the realities of what is happening and give them the superhero treatment they deserve.” 

“People often think of arts and culture last,” Golan said. “But that cultural piece could be the center of your whole movement.”

Photobucket

A march on T1, the day that student loans in the US reportedly broke $1 Trillion.

Policy Mic:

Free Speech TV:

image

The Master of Degrees delivering a speech in Union Square. He asks: “How big are your balls… of debt?”

MEDIA: 

Photobucket

Above: an interview with Italian Vogue
The character has appeared in over 100 news articles. Here are a few examples:
NPR
NPR  
ABC 
 
ART STRIKE! #nomorecuts
A CULTURAL INTERVENTION vs. THE “FISCAL CLIFF”
In collaboration with renowned Favianna Rodriguez (CultureStrike) and organizer Yosi Sargent (TaskForce), I helped design a campaign that brought artists together to fight against proposed cuts to Medicare, Social Security and other basic social services that were being considered as part of the ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations in Congress. 
Dubbed ART STRIKE! (#nomorecuts) dozens of artists contributed incredible works of art:



In addition I contributed my own simple image above: “Keep Calm and Tax The Rich" which was ultimately chosen by a coalition of organizations to be one of the images to represent the campaign. Rebuild The Dream and other national organizations then distributed it across the country, and celebrities like Moby and Mark Ruffalo tweeted it, and it subsequently garnered numerous national news articles and nearly 10 million internet hits. 
For more about the campaign, you can check it out here.

ART STRIKE! #nomorecuts

A CULTURAL INTERVENTION vs. THE “FISCAL CLIFF”

In collaboration with renowned Favianna Rodriguez (CultureStrike) and organizer Yosi Sargent (TaskForce), I helped design a campaign that brought artists together to fight against proposed cuts to Medicare, Social Security and other basic social services that were being considered as part of the ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations in Congress. 

Dubbed ART STRIKE! (#nomorecuts) dozens of artists contributed incredible works of art:

image

In addition I contributed my own simple image above: “Keep Calm and Tax The Rich" which was ultimately chosen by a coalition of organizations to be one of the images to represent the campaign. Rebuild The Dream and other national organizations then distributed it across the country, and celebrities like Moby and Mark Ruffalo tweeted it, and it subsequently garnered numerous national news articles and nearly 10 million internet hits. 

For more about the campaign, you can check it out here.




Fix The Debt, meet Flip The Debt

Flip The Debt is a creative response to the billionaire-funded organization calling itself Fix The Debt, a Wall St front group which sought to shift the national debate away from job creation and Wall Street Corruption, towards austerity economics and gutting social security, all in the name of avoiding the supposed “National Debt crisis.”

Click for Interactive Version.
We went down the site of the iconic “National Debt Clock” in midtown Manhattan only we brought our own “Corporate Debt Clock” to show where the real crisis was: corporations and the extremely wealthy finding ways to avoid paying taxes like the rest of us. 

The street actions involved seniors, workers, residents and activists, bolstered by an interactive on-line debt clock that showed in real time how much debt the 1% and Corporations owed America. 
Website
Facebook Page
Photo Gallery
Statement by Flip The Debt: 
An influential front group of Wall St. Corporations calling itself ‘Fix The Debt’ is demanding we cut social support programs like Social Security and Medicare in order to reduce the deficit. The funny part? Our deficit is so huge because these very same corporations - and the wealthiest 1% - have been rigging the rules to exploit loopholes, tax havens and tax cuts for years!
Can you believe:
Since 2001, we’ve stacked up a whopping $1 trillion in debt from Tax Cuts for the 1%.1
Another $1.3 trillion is from wealthy corporations like GE, Verizon and Bank of America, which pay little or no taxes.2
This corporate tax dodging adds up to $2.3 trillion stolen from the US treasury, and keeps growing by $100 billion a year.3
The combined bill for all this? Way more than the $1.6 trillion in cuts that Congress is debating.
The fact is we wouldn’t have to make these cuts, and we could invest in putting America back to work, if only they paid their fair share. So we say, rather than ‘fix the debt’, let’s ‘flip the debt’ and put responsibility where it belongs.
Hey 1%! Pay your damn taxes.

Fix The Debt, meet Flip The Debt

photo FlipTheDebt_FixTheDebt_logos_zpsd9c5306d.jpg

Flip The Debt is a creative response to the billionaire-funded organization calling itself Fix The Debt, a Wall St front group which sought to shift the national debate away from job creation and Wall Street Corruption, towards austerity economics and gutting social security, all in the name of avoiding the supposed “National Debt crisis.”

photo DebtClock_zps35ddd1b9.jpg

Click for Interactive Version.

We went down the site of the iconic “National Debt Clock” in midtown Manhattan only we brought our own “Corporate Debt Clock” to show where the real crisis was: corporations and the extremely wealthy finding ways to avoid paying taxes like the rest of us. 

photo march1_zpsc1239856.jpg

The street actions involved seniors, workers, residents and activists, bolstered by an interactive on-line debt clock that showed in real time how much debt the 1% and Corporations owed America. 

Website

Facebook Page

Photo Gallery

Statement by Flip The Debt: 

An influential front group of Wall St. Corporations calling itself ‘Fix The Debt’ is demanding we cut social support programs like Social Security and Medicare in order to reduce the deficit. The funny part? Our deficit is so huge because these very same corporations - and the wealthiest 1% - have been rigging the rules to exploit loopholes, tax havens and tax cuts for years!

Can you believe:

  • Since 2001, we’ve stacked up a whopping $1 trillion in debt from Tax Cuts for the 1%.1
  • Another $1.3 trillion is from wealthy corporations like GE, Verizon and Bank of America, which pay little or no taxes.2
  • This corporate tax dodging adds up to $2.3 trillion stolen from the US treasury, and keeps growing by $100 billion a year.3
  • The combined bill for all this? Way more than the $1.6 trillion in cuts that Congress is debating.

The fact is we wouldn’t have to make these cuts, and we could invest in putting America back to work, if only they paid their fair share. So we say, rather than ‘fix the debt’, let’s ‘flip the debt’ and put responsibility where it belongs.

Hey 1%! Pay your damn taxes.


VOICE OF ART
THE TAX DODGERS
In the latest episode, the Tax Dodgers play their very first game in Philadelphia, on Independence Day, against a team of everyday people recruited directly from the crowd, The 99%ers. Posing as major corporations like GE, Verizon and Bank of America, the Tax Dodgers rig the game to reveal what the US Economy has become… until their bribery, rule changing and flat-out cheating get them arrested by Ray Lewis, former Philadelphia Police Captain. The Yes Men’s Andy Bichlbaum tells how creative activism can break under-reported stories through the mainstream media blockade.
So, are you ready to play ball?
To see more: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Bonus!

VOICE OF ART

THE TAX DODGERS

In the latest episode, the Tax Dodgers play their very first game in Philadelphia, on Independence Day, against a team of everyday people recruited directly from the crowd, The 99%ers. Posing as major corporations like GE, Verizon and Bank of America, the Tax Dodgers rig the game to reveal what the US Economy has become… until their bribery, rule changing and flat-out cheating get them arrested by Ray Lewis, former Philadelphia Police Captain. The Yes Men’s Andy Bichlbaum tells how creative activism can break under-reported stories through the mainstream media blockade.

So, are you ready to play ball?

To see more: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Bonus!

A NEW SUPERVILLAIN IN TOWN!
BAIN: THE JOB DESTROYER!


GIANT SUPERVILLAIN ENDORSES ROMNEY FOR PRESIDENT



August 30, 2012
(New York City) - On the same day Mitt Romney delivered his acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, the massive supervillain known as “Bain” appeared in New York City to offer his endorsement.  
“I am Bain Capital, and today, I stand before you as proof that corporations are in fact people. Okay fine, maybe we are monstrous, cruel and sociopathic people, but still.”
The 13-foot-tall supervillain, famous from his appearance in the recent Batman films, recounted the long personal history he shared with the candidate, “For years, Romney and Bain made a killer team. Together, we slashed paychecks, busted unions, gutted the workforce, and killed jobs by the thousands. We squeezed the life out of healthy businesses and left them for dead.” To which he added wistfully, “those were good times.”
A member of the ominous “League of Shadiness” the ginormous speaker detailed how methods perfected at Bain Capital would be applied more generally during a Romney presidency: “Once we acquire this country, our first act will be to immediately fire all Americans. If you want to stay, you will just have to reapply for citizenship. Sure, individuals may suffer, but no question it will increase profitability over the long run.”
Throughout the speech, hecklers who worked at Bain Capital-owned companies interrupted the massive creature with boos. “It’s like all of us will be working at Dunkin Donuts,” said one protester, citing Bain’s history of creating low wage jobs with few benefits.  Others raised the issue of Romney’s avoidance in disclosing his tax returns.
Bain assured the protesters that the tax returns would ever come to light. “Trust me, you’ll have an easier time locating the Batcave than finding where we’ve stashed our profits. No. Seriously.”
While excited about Romney’s imminent speech at the Republican National Convention, Bain did reveal some disappointment in the others who appeared. “To my dismay, I wasn’t chosen to give the keynote speech.  It seems they already had a massive, bloated puppet to do the job. Damn you, Chris Christie!”
Finally, Bain addressed some of the criticism of the recent Batman film in which he appeared: “Now I know that some people felt the Dark Knight movie was way too long. Well, deal with it. That’s nothing compared to the long dark night you’ll experience once Romney is elected.”
In concluding his speech the supervillain prodded the crowd: “Why do you people always vote for the lesser evil? This time, just go all the way.”

Bain and his secret service detail  on the anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, September 17. He attended the event just to see what all these ‘little people’ in the world were getting so upset about. 
————————————————————————————




















Bain Capital – one-part supervillain, one-part political statement – had perhaps the best costume at the entire 2012 comic convention.
- International Business Times




















Among the thousands of attendees at New York Comic Con’s busy showroom on Saturday afternoon, one costume stood out among the geeks, freaks, and costumed fans of pop culture. That masked man – one-part supervillain, one-part political satire – had perhaps the best costume at the entire 2012 comic convention.
We never learned the identity of the man trapped inside the seven-foot-tall beast with the oversized arms, a satire of the comic supervillain Bane from the Batman comic books series. But unlike Bain, who uses the “Venom” drug to give him temporary superhuman strength, the costumed villain “Bain Capital” is powered by companies, with a meter that shifts back and forth from “outsourcing” to “downsizing.” Obviously, the costumed character was meant to poke fun at Bain Capital, the controversial assetmanagement company co-founded by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Despite his scary eyes and enormous fists, however, Bain Capital was a fan favorite at NYCC 2012. Groups of photographers flocked to the hulking puppet as he slowly strolled the giant showroom floor, and several costumed attendees at a time would run up to pose with the “job destroyer” himself.

Bain and his personal secret service detail at the 2012 NY Comic Con
————————————————————————————-





















The now-famous and continually-terrifying Bain 15-foot puppet. - TruthOut.com





















———————————————————————————————


Bain in front of Bain Capital Headquarters in New York City. 




Bain delivering his endorsement speech in front of Bain Capital headquarters.
NEWS ARTICLES:
Huffington Post (slideshow): Bain Capital Protest Features Giant Bane Puppet Huffington Post (videos): Bain Capital Monster: ‘Ask Bain For Family Advice’ Bloomberg: Bain Meets BaneBuzzFeed: Bane Protests Bain in NYC NY Times: On Eve Of Romney’s Speech a Focus on Bain International Business Times: Occupy Wall Street Invades Comic Con International Business Times: Occupy Wall Street Returns To Zuccotti Park The Village Voice Vimeo: Watch Bane Endorse Romney in Front of Bain Capital Graphic Policy: Come Out and See the Massive Bain Supervillain Congratulate Romney Comics Alliance: Bane Vs Bain At Anti-Romney Protest In New York Private Equity Hub (Slideshow) Protesters Demonstrate in Front of Bain’s NY Office, Unveil “Super Villain Digital Times: Bane Protests Bain … SO META! Guardian UK: Occupy Wall Street protests return for one-year anniversary TruthOut:  Occupy Infiltrates Financial District With Creative, Decentralized Actions for First Anniversary VIDEOS:






Videos directed by Meghana Reddy and Anghad Bhalla. Starring comedian Negin Farsad.  Bain acted by Daniel Baez with voice by Gan Golan. 


MORE VIDEOS:


Tax Dodgers with Bain Capital
OWS S17 Bain Capital vs. Lady Liberty (with Rude Mechanical Orchestra)
Bain Capital Coming Through


PHOTOS:








Bain and security in Times Square on Election Night.

BEHIND THE SCENES: MAKING BAIN

The original concept design for the gian puppet

The foam construction in progress, by Conor Landeberger of Big Nazo Labs. 

Puppetry training at the OWS Puppet Guild studio. 


A NEW SUPERVILLAIN IN TOWN!

BAIN: THE JOB DESTROYER!

BAIN: Corporate Supervillain

GIANT SUPERVILLAIN ENDORSES ROMNEY FOR PRESIDENT

August 30, 2012

(New York City) - On the same day Mitt Romney delivered his acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, the massive supervillain known as “Bain” appeared in New York City to offer his endorsement.  

“I am Bain Capital, and today, I stand before you as proof that corporations are in fact people. Okay fine, maybe we are monstrous, cruel and sociopathic people, but still.”

The 13-foot-tall supervillain, famous from his appearance in the recent Batman films, recounted the long personal history he shared with the candidate, “For years, Romney and Bain made a killer team. Together, we slashed paychecks, busted unions, gutted the workforce, and killed jobs by the thousands. We squeezed the life out of healthy businesses and left them for dead.” To which he added wistfully, “those were good times.”

A member of the ominous “League of Shadiness” the ginormous speaker detailed how methods perfected at Bain Capital would be applied more generally during a Romney presidency: “Once we acquire this country, our first act will be to immediately fire all Americans. If you want to stay, you will just have to reapply for citizenship. Sure, individuals may suffer, but no question it will increase profitability over the long run.”

Throughout the speech, hecklers who worked at Bain Capital-owned companies interrupted the massive creature with boos. “It’s like all of us will be working at Dunkin Donuts,” said one protester, citing Bain’s history of creating low wage jobs with few benefits.  Others raised the issue of Romney’s avoidance in disclosing his tax returns.

Bain assured the protesters that the tax returns would ever come to light. “Trust me, you’ll have an easier time locating the Batcave than finding where we’ve stashed our profits. No. Seriously.”

While excited about Romney’s imminent speech at the Republican National Convention, Bain did reveal some disappointment in the others who appeared. “To my dismay, I wasn’t chosen to give the keynote speech.  It seems they already had a massive, bloated puppet to do the job. Damn you, Chris Christie!”

Finally, Bain addressed some of the criticism of the recent Batman film in which he appeared: “Now I know that some people felt the Dark Knight movie was way too long. Well, deal with it. That’s nothing compared to the long dark night you’ll experience once Romney is elected.”

In concluding his speech the supervillain prodded the crowd: “Why do you people always vote for the lesser evil? This time, just go all the way.”

image

Bain and his secret service detail  on the anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, September 17. He attended the event just to see what all these ‘little people’ in the world were getting so upset about. 

————————————————————————————

Bain Capital – one-part supervillain, one-part political statement – had perhaps the best costume at the entire 2012 comic convention.

- International Business Times

Among the thousands of attendees at New York Comic Con’s busy showroom on Saturday afternoon, one costume stood out among the geeks, freaks, and costumed fans of pop culture. That masked man – one-part supervillain, one-part political satire – had perhaps the best costume at the entire 2012 comic convention.

We never learned the identity of the man trapped inside the seven-foot-tall beast with the oversized arms, a satire of the comic supervillain Bane from the Batman comic books series. But unlike Bain, who uses the “Venom” drug to give him temporary superhuman strength, the costumed villain “Bain Capital” is powered by companies, with a meter that shifts back and forth from “outsourcing” to “downsizing.” Obviously, the costumed character was meant to poke fun at Bain Capital, the controversial assetmanagement company co-founded by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Despite his scary eyes and enormous fists, however, Bain Capital was a fan favorite at NYCC 2012. Groups of photographers flocked to the hulking puppet as he slowly strolled the giant showroom floor, and several costumed attendees at a time would run up to pose with the “job destroyer” himself.

image

Bain and his personal secret service detail at the 2012 NY Comic Con

————————————————————————————-

The now-famous and continually-terrifying Bain 15-foot puppet. - TruthOut.com

———————————————————————————————
image
Bain in front of Bain Capital Headquarters in New York City. 

image

Bain delivering his endorsement speech in front of Bain Capital headquarters.



NEWS ARTICLES:

Huffington Post (slideshow): Bain Capital Protest Features Giant Bane Puppet

Huffington Post (videos): Bain Capital Monster: ‘Ask Bain For Family Advice’

Bloomberg: Bain Meets Bane

BuzzFeed: Bane Protests Bain in NYC

NY Times: On Eve Of Romney’s Speech a Focus on Bain

International Business Times: Occupy Wall Street Invades Comic Con

International Business Times: Occupy Wall Street Returns To Zuccotti Park

The Village Voice

Vimeo: Watch Bane Endorse Romney in Front of Bain Capital

Graphic Policy: Come Out and See the Massive Bain Supervillain Congratulate Romney

Comics Alliance: Bane Vs Bain At Anti-Romney Protest In New York

Private Equity Hub (Slideshow) Protesters Demonstrate in Front of Bain’s NY Office, Unveil “Super Villain

Digital Times: Bane Protests Bain … SO META!

Guardian UK: Occupy Wall Street protests return for one-year anniversary

TruthOut:  Occupy Infiltrates Financial District With Creative, Decentralized Actions for First Anniversary



VIDEOS:

Videos directed by Meghana Reddy and Anghad Bhalla. Starring comedian Negin Farsad.  Bain acted by Daniel Baez with voice by Gan Golan. 

MORE VIDEOS:




PHOTOS:

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image

image

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Bain and security in Times Square on Election Night.


BEHIND THE SCENES: MAKING BAIN

image

The original concept design for the gian puppet

image

The foam construction in progress, by Conor Landeberger of Big Nazo Labs. 

image

Puppetry training at the OWS Puppet Guild studio. 

ADVENTURES OF UNEMPLOYED MAN
A GRAPHIC NOVEL BY ERICH ORIGEN & GAN GOLAN

International Bestseller / One of the Best Reviewed Graphic Novels of the Year











"A BEAUTIFUL graphic novel, this really is a HIGH-QUALITY piece of work."- CNN.com














"Societal woes are deftly handled… The Adventures of Unemployed Man is a satirical look at politics, the economy and superheroes-though not necessarily in that order." - NY TIMES






"An ABSURDLY FUNNY VERY SMART TAKE ON THE ROOTS AND EFFECTS OF THE RECESSION." - SF CHRONICLE







"Exposes, with LAUGH OUT LOUD YET SOPHISTICATED WIT, the desperate situation many Americans find themselves in today." - USA TODAY






BEST NEW GRAPHIC NOVELS: “INGENOUSLY ILLUSTRATED and garnished with trenchant social commentary…FUNNIEST ECONOMIC PRIMER EVER WRITTEN.”- SALON.com






"PERFECTLY CONCEIVED IN BOTH TONE AND DESIGN. The Adventures of Unemployed Man is a perfect assessment of the economic difficulties in which many of us find ourselves."- POPMATTERS



INTERVIEWS:
KBOO Portland - Stumptown Comics Fest
KPCC Los Angeles - Patt Morrison
KPFK Los Angeles - Uprising Radio with Sonali Kolhatkar

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOOK, VISIT  THE OFFICIAL SITE

ADVENTURES OF UNEMPLOYED MAN

A GRAPHIC NOVEL BY ERICH ORIGEN & GAN GOLAN

International Bestseller / One of the Best Reviewed Graphic Novels of the Year

"A BEAUTIFUL graphic novel, this really is a HIGH-QUALITY piece of work."- CNN.com

"Societal woes are deftly handled… The Adventures of Unemployed Man is a satirical look at politics, the economy and superheroes-though not necessarily in that order." - NY TIMES

"An ABSURDLY FUNNY VERY SMART TAKE ON THE ROOTS AND EFFECTS OF THE RECESSION." - SF CHRONICLE

Photobucket

"Exposes, with LAUGH OUT LOUD YET SOPHISTICATED WIT, the desperate situation many Americans find themselves in today." - USA TODAY

BEST NEW GRAPHIC NOVELS: “INGENOUSLY ILLUSTRATED and garnished with trenchant social commentary…FUNNIEST ECONOMIC PRIMER EVER WRITTEN.”- SALON.com

"PERFECTLY CONCEIVED IN BOTH TONE AND DESIGN. The Adventures of Unemployed Man is a perfect assessment of the economic difficulties in which many of us find ourselves."- POPMATTERS

INTERVIEWS:

KBOO Portland - Stumptown Comics Fest

KPCC Los Angeles - Patt Morrison

KPFK Los Angeles - Uprising Radio with Sonali Kolhatkar

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOOK, VISIT THE OFFICIAL SITE

GOODNIGHT BUSH
Written by Erich Origen & Gan Golan / Illustrated by Gan Golan
"A brilliant parody of the children’s classic Goodnight Moon, built around the coming end of the worst presidency ever.”
FULL WEBSITE
Goodnight Bush: An Unauthorized Parody is a hilarious and poignant visual requiem for the Bush administration. In it we see a childlike George W. Bush tucked safely away in the confines of his own room with all of the toys he’s willfully destroyed, abused, or defaced. Complete with a quiet Dick Cheney whispering “hush,” this bedtime story lets us finally say goodnight to the disaster that was the last eight years.
Goodnight Bush was a breakout hit of 2008, and appeared on the NY Times Bestsellers’ List over 10 times. 
REVIEWS:
"You must get your copy of this book….A wicked, savage parody.” (Courier-Journal )"Goodnight Bush stands to become a popular American political parody.” (San Francisco Chronicle )"Seldom have an administration’s failings been set to such a lulling cadence." (Salon.com )"This might be one of the greatest works of fiction of all time ever—up there with the Bible, the Constitution, and those books about the blonde siblings who slept together in their attic." (BlackBook Magazine )

GOODNIGHT BUSH

Written by Erich Origen & Gan Golan / Illustrated by Gan Golan

"A brilliant parody of the children’s classic Goodnight Moon, built around the coming end of the worst presidency ever.”

FULL WEBSITE


Goodnight Bush: An Unauthorized Parody is a hilarious and poignant visual requiem for the Bush administration. In it we see a childlike George W. Bush tucked safely away in the confines of his own room with all of the toys he’s willfully destroyed, abused, or defaced. Complete with a quiet Dick Cheney whispering “hush,” this bedtime story lets us finally say goodnight to the disaster that was the last eight years.

Goodnight Bush was a breakout hit of 2008, and appeared on the NY Times Bestsellers’ List over 10 times. 

REVIEWS:

"You must get your copy of this book….A wicked, savage parody.” (Courier-Journal )

"Goodnight Bush stands to become a popular American political parody.” (San Francisco Chronicle )

"Seldom have an administration’s failings been set to such a lulling cadence." (Salon.com )

"This might be one of the greatest works of fiction of all time ever—up there with the Bible, the Constitution, and those books about the blonde siblings who slept together in their attic." (BlackBook Magazine )

From www.TaxDodgers.net
Occupy Wall Street “Tax Dodgers” in the Baseball Hall of Fame
To the mutual astonishment of both sports fans and political activists, The Tax Dodgers, Occupy Wall Street’s satirical baseball team, have just been put on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. 

The fictional baseball team features an “all star lineup” of  wealthy corporations who have used loopholes and lobbying to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. The list of “players” include General Electric, Bank of America, Verizon, Exxon Mobile, ConEdison, Wells Fargo and more. The team is accompanied by their own hula-hooping cheerleading squad The Corporate Loopholes. 

"We’re the best team that corporate money can buy," said a player dressed as GE. "We always win because we rig game, rewrite the playbook, and pay off the umpires."
The team’s uniforms feature lettering evoking the classic Brooklyn dodgers, circa 1957.  All players share the same number, 1%. 

MONEYBALL
While the project is clearly humorous, the issues they raise are no laughing matter. Tax Policy groups have estimated that corporate tax dodging costs the US $100 Billion a year, at a time when the country is being forced to consider budget cuts to basic services like health care, housing, education and social security. 
Wells Fargo commended the teams success: “We’ve consistently knocked it out of the park. And the roads, schools and hospitals.”
While the average tax rate for Americans is around 35%, some of the wealthiest corporations have found ways to avoid paying altogether. For example, General Electric paid zero taxes in 2010, and then still received over $3 Billion in refunds and rebates. This equalled a negative 45% tax rate. 

Watch video of Tax Dodgers at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. 
Another player, Google, offered his appreciation to fans:  “None of this would be possible without the support of patriotic, hardworking Americans. We would like to thank all of you for paying taxes to keep this great country running….so that we don’t have to.”

TAX DAY IS PAY DAY
The team formed in January and first performed to a crowd of Verizon workers in front the company’s headquarters in New York City. A week later they were in front of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, GE headquarters “to help celebrate their record-breaking achievements”.  Since then, the team has made several unannounced appearances.
On Tax Day, April 17, the Tax Dodgers attempted to enter Trump Tower, where Donald Trump was throwing a birthday party for Anne Romney and a fundraiser for her husband and presidential candidate. To honor the occasion, the team brought along their team mascot, a giant 7-foot-tall dancing baseball glove named ‘MITT’.  The smiles of the guests indicated that they initially thought the team was  hired entertainment, until the police did not allow them entry. Each of Mrs. Romney’s well attired guests then had to confront the team as they exited. 
The team serenaded the finely attired guests with a rendition of “Take Me Out To The Tax Game” as the team’s cheerleaders, the Corporate Loopholes, offered a choreographer chant: “Bermuda! The Caymans! Those are the best tax havens! Bahamas! Aruba! Too bad we can’t use Cuba!”
Later that same day, the team lead a march of 2,000 union members, which ended near the Post Office as people dashed in to file their taxes at the last minute. “We understand that for many people, Tax Day is not always happy day, since you have to make some sacrifice for the common good. But for us, Tax Day is pay day. Yeeehaw!”
The team then distributed envelopes to the crowd with ‘real money’ that contained an amount more than what GE, Verizon and Bank of America paid in taxes combined. Inside was a single penny. 
MVP AWARD
Last Sunday, the team appeared at CitiField before the Mets played the LA Dodgers. As the crowds assembled in front of the main entrance to the stadium, the Tax Dodgers presented an award to their star player, CitiBank, for it’s success in “stealing homes”. Citibank, a major recipient of over $45 BIllion federal bailouts, was recently fined $189 million for committing massive mortgage fraud. 
"For helping to make the economy DOA, we proudly present Citibank with the award for MVP." Said Goldman Sachs, Team Captain.  CitiBank then received a golden trophy in the shape of a homeplate, with the word ‘foreclosed’ attached it. 
GAME ON!
Afterwards, the 1% team went to Occupy Town Square in Jackson heights and challenged local residents to play against them in a live baseball game, where a “99%” team was picked directly from the audience. However, once the corporate team fell behind 5-2, a ‘donation’ to the umpire appeared to shift all the calls in their favor. Outraged, the 99% team as well as many spectators on the sidelines stormed the infield, locked arms together and ‘occupied’ home plate, preventing the Tax Dodgers from cheating any further. 
One  99% player elicited cheers when he yelled: ‘Corporate Tax Dodgers, we refuse to play your game any longer. We are calling you OUT!” 
—- 
The Tax Dodgers is a project involving several Occupy Wall Street groups, including the Performance and Puppetry Guild. The project was initiated in partnership with local unions, chief among them United NY. The team is launching their Kickstarter campaign soon, in order to raise funds to create more Tax Dodgers groups across the country.   If you would like to join the team - or play against them - visit: www.taxdodgers.net

Photobucket

From www.TaxDodgers.net

Occupy Wall Street “Tax Dodgers” in the Baseball Hall of Fame

To the mutual astonishment of both sports fans and political activists, The Tax Dodgers, Occupy Wall Street’s satirical baseball team, have just been put on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. 

Photobucket

The fictional baseball team features an “all star lineup” of  wealthy corporations who have used loopholes and lobbying to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. The list of “players” include General Electric, Bank of America, Verizon, Exxon Mobile, ConEdison, Wells Fargo and more. The team is accompanied by their own hula-hooping cheerleading squad The Corporate Loopholes. 

Photobucket

"We’re the best team that corporate money can buy," said a player dressed as GE. "We always win because we rig game, rewrite the playbook, and pay off the umpires."

The team’s uniforms feature lettering evoking the classic Brooklyn dodgers, circa 1957.  All players share the same number, 1%. 

Photobucket

MONEYBALL

While the project is clearly humorous, the issues they raise are no laughing matter. Tax Policy groups have estimated that corporate tax dodging costs the US $100 Billion a year, at a time when the country is being forced to consider budget cuts to basic services like health care, housing, education and social security. 

Wells Fargo commended the teams success: “We’ve consistently knocked it out of the park. And the roads, schools and hospitals.”

While the average tax rate for Americans is around 35%, some of the wealthiest corporations have found ways to avoid paying altogether. For example, General Electric paid zero taxes in 2010, and then still received over $3 Billion in refunds and rebates. This equalled a negative 45% tax rate. 

Watch video of Tax Dodgers at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. 

Another player, Google, offered his appreciation to fans:  “None of this would be possible without the support of patriotic, hardworking Americans. We would like to thank all of you for paying taxes to keep this great country running….so that we don’t have to.”

Photobucket

TAX DAY IS PAY DAY

The team formed in January and first performed to a crowd of Verizon workers in front the company’s headquarters in New York City. A week later they were in front of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, GE headquarters “to help celebrate their record-breaking achievements”.  Since then, the team has made several unannounced appearances.

On Tax Day, April 17, the Tax Dodgers attempted to enter Trump Tower, where Donald Trump was throwing a birthday party for Anne Romney and a fundraiser for her husband and presidential candidate. To honor the occasion, the team brought along their team mascot, a giant 7-foot-tall dancing baseball glove named ‘MITT’.  The smiles of the guests indicated that they initially thought the team was  hired entertainment, until the police did not allow them entry. Each of Mrs. Romney’s well attired guests then had to confront the team as they exited. 

The team serenaded the finely attired guests with a rendition of “Take Me Out To The Tax Game” as the team’s cheerleaders, the Corporate Loopholes, offered a choreographer chant: “Bermuda! The Caymans! Those are the best tax havens! Bahamas! Aruba! Too bad we can’t use Cuba!”

Later that same day, the team lead a march of 2,000 union members, which ended near the Post Office as people dashed in to file their taxes at the last minute. “We understand that for many people, Tax Day is not always happy day, since you have to make some sacrifice for the common good. But for us, Tax Day is pay day. Yeeehaw!”

The team then distributed envelopes to the crowd with ‘real money’ that contained an amount more than what GE, Verizon and Bank of America paid in taxes combined. Inside was a single penny. 

MVP AWARD

Last Sunday, the team appeared at CitiField before the Mets played the LA Dodgers. As the crowds assembled in front of the main entrance to the stadium, the Tax Dodgers presented an award to their star player, CitiBank, for it’s success in “stealing homes”. Citibank, a major recipient of over $45 BIllion federal bailouts, was recently fined $189 million for committing massive mortgage fraud. 

"For helping to make the economy DOA, we proudly present Citibank with the award for MVP." Said Goldman Sachs, Team Captain.  CitiBank then received a golden trophy in the shape of a homeplate, with the word ‘foreclosed’ attached it. 

GAME ON!

Afterwards, the 1% team went to Occupy Town Square in Jackson heights and challenged local residents to play against them in a live baseball game, where a “99%” team was picked directly from the audience. However, once the corporate team fell behind 5-2, a ‘donation’ to the umpire appeared to shift all the calls in their favor. Outraged, the 99% team as well as many spectators on the sidelines stormed the infield, locked arms together and ‘occupied’ home plate, preventing the Tax Dodgers from cheating any further. 

One  99% player elicited cheers when he yelled: ‘Corporate Tax Dodgers, we refuse to play your game any longer. We are calling you OUT!” 

—- 

The Tax Dodgers is a project involving several Occupy Wall Street groups, including the Performance and Puppetry Guild. The project was initiated in partnership with local unions, chief among them United NY. The team is launching their Kickstarter campaign soon, in order to raise funds to create more Tax Dodgers groups across the country.   If you would like to join the team - or play against them - visit: www.taxdodgers.net


VOICE OF ART
THE TAX DODGERS 
Executive Producer Pharrel Williams. Directed by Z.S. Grant. 
In Part 1, we introduce artist Gan Golan, co-creator of bestselling books Goodnight Bush and The Adventures of Unemployed Man, and follow his adventures in  guerrilla art street actions making giant puppets against the World Trade Organization in Cancun, Mexico, floating airborne banners on the  MIT campus, and leading a team of superheroes fighting powerful corporations as part of Occupy Wall Street movement. 

The adventure continues: | Part 2 | Part 3 | Bonus!
(Watch following episodes to see if the Tax Dodgers can make it into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, even though they’re a totally fake team!)

VOICE OF ART

THE TAX DODGERS 

Executive Producer Pharrel Williams. Directed by Z.S. Grant. 

In Part 1, we introduce artist Gan Golan, co-creator of bestselling books Goodnight Bush and The Adventures of Unemployed Man, and follow his adventures in  guerrilla art street actions making giant puppets against the World Trade Organization in Cancun, Mexico, floating airborne banners on the  MIT campus, and leading a team of superheroes fighting powerful corporations as part of Occupy Wall Street movement. 

The adventure continues: | Part 2 | Part 3 | Bonus!

(Watch following episodes to see if the Tax Dodgers can make it into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, even though they’re a totally fake team!)


VOICE OF ART
 THE TAX DODGERS 
In this second episode in the series, Wall Street’s least favorite baseball team “The Tax Dodgers” prepare their performance tactics for a big upcoming game. Citizens for Tax Justice illustrate the problem of corporate tax dodging, a former police captain fights against “corporate sociopaths,” and The Yes Men and Common Cause detail the corporate hijacking of the US political system through devious means.
Featuring The Yes Men,  Police Capt. Ray Lewis, Citizens for Tax Justice and Common Cause.
To see more: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Bonus!

VOICE OF ART

THE TAX DODGERS

In this second episode in the series, Wall Street’s least favorite baseball team “The Tax Dodgers” prepare their performance tactics for a big upcoming game. Citizens for Tax Justice illustrate the problem of corporate tax dodging, a former police captain fights against “corporate sociopaths,” and The Yes Men and Common Cause detail the corporate hijacking of the US political system through devious means.

Featuring The Yes Men,  Police Capt. Ray Lewis, Citizens for Tax Justice and Common Cause.

To see more: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Bonus!

SUPERHEROES vs. WALL ST.
THE EPIC SHOWDOWN! 

New York, NY - Once a group of sinister economic supervillains attacked Liberty Square, the heart of the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City, they were confronted by a team of Working Class Superheroes who rose up to challenge them. The epic battle then raged from block to block (through Trump Tower) and down to the New York Stock Exchange itself!
For the FULL STORY WITH PHOTOS




MEDIA COVERAGE:
Gothamist: Occupy Wall Street Protesters Become Heroes And Villains For Halloween
Wired: Unemployed Man is the Unofficial Superhero of Occupy Wall St. 
Bleeding Cool News: Occupy Wall Street Goes Cosplay  Policy Mic: The Occupy Super Heroes Fight Evil on Wall Street 
Comics Beat: Unemployed superheroes hit Occupy Wall StreetDem Underground: Large Photos 
VIDEOS:
NY Times: A Playful Occupy HalloweenAFP: ‘Superhero’ protesters take on Wall StreetPolicy Mic Interview with Unemployed Man

SUPERHEROES vs. WALL ST.

THE EPIC SHOWDOWN! 

New York, NY - Once a group of sinister economic supervillains attacked Liberty Square, the heart of the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City, they were confronted by a team of Working Class Superheroes who rose up to challenge them. The epic battle then raged from block to block (through Trump Tower) and down to the New York Stock Exchange itself!

For the FULL STORY WITH PHOTOS

STAND WITH TEXAS WOMEN
In solidarity with Sen. Wendy Davis and the courageous women of Texas who are taking a defiant stand against sexism, and for women’s reproductive health… July 8, the night before the “special session”  called by the GOP to end-run Sen. Davis’ heroically successful 11-hour long fillibuster, Light Brigades in Madison, Orlando, Dallas and New York City took to the streets to light up the struggle for justice. In collaboration with the 300 thousand member strong on-line organization Ultraviolet we displayed the hashtag #‎StandWithTXWomen to amplify the work of organizers on the front lines.  



EPILOGUE:
The images were sharedly widely on-line and to our great honor, Wendy Davis herself saw them and then sent them to all her followers on twitter. 

More images here: 
Flickr Photo Set 
NYC Light Brigade | North Texas Light Brigade | Overpass Light Brigade | Orlando Light Brigade

STAND WITH TEXAS WOMEN

In solidarity with Sen. Wendy Davis and the courageous women of Texas who are taking a defiant stand against sexism, and for women’s reproductive health… 

July 8, the night before the “special session”  called by the GOP to end-run Sen. Davis’ heroically successful 11-hour long fillibuster, Light Brigades in Madison, Orlando, Dallas and New York City took to the streets to light up the struggle for justice. 

In collaboration with the 300 thousand member strong on-line organization Ultraviolet
 we displayed the hashtag #‎StandWithTXWomen to amplify the work of organizers on the front lines.  


imageimageimageimage

EPILOGUE:

The images were sharedly widely on-line and to our great honor, Wendy Davis herself saw them and then sent them to all her followers on twitter. 

image

More images here: 

Flickr Photo Set 

NYC Light Brigade | North Texas Light Brigade | Overpass Light Brigade | Orlando Light Brigade

About:

Following: