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1. What gave you the idea to start the blog (and how did you come up with the great name for it)?
A few weeks ago I was at the OWS protest in Times Square and noticed a cocker spaniel wearing a “tax the big dogs” cape. I thought it was adorable and immediately asked the owner if I could take the dog’s photo. That was the first time I realized pets were at these rallies too, and they weren’t getting much attention from the mainstream media. It seemed like missed opportunity.
The next day I scoured the web and discovered there were other cute OWS pet/baby photos on sites like Flickr. I even found the same dog I already photographed. There were just enough out there to get a blog started, and I hoped for fan submissions to keep it alive. That’s exactly what happened just a few days later. Nice to see it’s catching on! Unfortunately, I don’t have the time or money to travel around the globe taking photos at protests, but I would love to if it were a viable option.
As for the “Awwccupy” title, I’m a professional copywriter so wordplay is something I do every day. And I’ve spent enough time on sites like Tumblr and Reddit to know “aww” is a common reaction to cute animal or baby photos. It didn’t take long to come up with that name.
2. Are you a participant in the protests yourself? If so, do you have a pet with you?
I wouldn’t consider myself an active participant in the live protests, but I definitely support their right to be there - especially with their pets.
3. What do you think of the community down at the Occupy protests?
There’s no doubt this nation has room for improvement. I commend the protesters who camp out there every day for taking immediate action, rather than staying at home and doing nothing at all. If you look at past movements, it’s pretty clear that this could eventually lead to positive change.
If I had to make one criticism, it’s wishing the overall OWS message was a little more focused. Right now a lot of different people want a lot of different things. Hopefully a single-minded message or plan of action will materialize soon and create a tangible result. Not everyone’s going to get exactly what they desire right away, but we can take smaller steps that will lead to something bigger.
4. Are there more dogs than cats or other pets at the Occupy protests?
Based on what I’ve seen and the photos fans are sending me, there are definitely more dogs than cats (and other pets) at these protests. It makes sense, because dogs like to follow their owners wherever they go and enjoy being outside with other humans. I would love to see more cats and other random pet (or baby) photos at protests, but right now dogs are leading the charge.
5. Do you have other favorite Occupy Wall Street-related Tumblrs and/or memes? Other favorite Tumblrs in general?
I’ve seen everything from funny memes like Occupy Sesame Street to more serious blogs like We Are the 99 Percent. Personally, I thought the most compelling and effective OWS blog was We Stand With The 99 Percent. It’s great to see the “1%” acknowledging the overwhelming economic disparity and standing up for the rest of us. I would like to believe if I were wealthy I would do them same thing.
As for other tumblr blogs in general, these are some of my favorites: Laughing Squid, Best Roof Talk Ever, Whatevs, Catasters, When The What, Animals With Stuffed Animals, Julia Segal, This Isn’t Happiness, and The Daily What.