Occupy Christmas: Young Fir Trees Oppose The System

13 Dec
A budding revolt.

A budding revolt.

A Special Report By Grimm Report Chief Conifer Correspondent,
Jocelyn Koehler
http://teamblood.org | @jocelynk414

When most people think of a fir-tree, they really picture a Christmas tree: perfectly shaped, with bright green needles, covered with lights and sparkling ornaments. Regardless of one’s religion, that image is familiar and ubiquitous—celebrated in songs and stories for hundreds of years. It is also currently under threat from a seemingly unorganized but determined force.

Tree lots throughout the world have simultaneously shown signs of being occupied this season…but not by perfect little fir-trees. Instead of tidy lines of spruce, pine, and cedar, many tree lots are now filled with much scruffier examples of evergreen. Misshapen, discolored, and asymmetrical trees have discouraged customers from buying, which has unexpectedly driven up demand for artificial trees. Indeed, “acceptable” live trees are now hard to find and very expensive. Lot owners are furious, demanding that some authority step into maintain the viability of this multi-million dollar industry.

“Consumers expect a certain image,” said a spokesman for the Holiday Tree Association, a trade group representing tree growers and dealers. “They want a tree to be quiet, neat, and beautiful. You can identify a perfect Christmas tree because it looks so happy to be in the house, all decked out in garland and lights. It’s literally waited its whole life for this moment, this brief moment of perfection. That’s what people pay for! How am I supposed to sell a tree that’s all wind-driven and has lost half its needles already?”
No one questions the reality of the occupation. But who or what is organizing it? Could the trees themselves are opposing the traditional system by joining in a sort of arboreal sit-down strike? At lots everywhere, needles fall onto the ground in patterns that resemble the words of Antonio Gramsci, or more often, Karl Marx. New York City vendors also reported finding David Harvey quotes on the slushy pavement, particularly at those lots close to CUNY.
The epidemic is spreading like wildfire, on the internet as well as on the streets. A series of tweets from Twitter user @RealTannenbaum illustrate the occupiers’ reasons for action:
“Pls RT! Trees are living things, not commodities! #OccupyXmas”
“So called ‘traditional decor’ objectifies conifers and teaches the lesson that trees only exist for the human gaze. 1/2”
“Such a view is short sighted, damaging to plant society & destroys a huge number of young trees just beginning to put down roots. 2/2”
“Don’t live for others, @HCAfan. Live for yourself. Only by breaking the consumerist cycle will fir trees be safe in the future!”
“.@ClovenPine: Be strong! We must oppose a system designed to destroy so many of those who participate in it. #OccupyXmas”
@RealTannenbaum has no avatar, nor were DMs or @ replies responded to. If this is indeed a leader of the movement, he/she/it is elusive. There are many signs that the phenomenon is a true grassroots effort, though. Following an anonymous tip, your correspondent traveled to an upstate tree farm, and was soon embedded with a unit of spruce (by dressing all in green and working hard to stand in one spot).
The tree farm is a pastoral wonder, a 100-acre lot on a sloping, snow-covered hillside. From a distance, the trees look just like the perfect Christmas tree. But on closer inspection, individual variations and flaws become apparent on nearly every plant. The Occupy Christmas movement may be enduring, if the ideals reach as far as these rural places. On the surface, one hears only the breeze and the calls of birds. Yet by listening very hard, another sound begins to emerge, like a whispering wind in the boughs: “Conifers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your tinsel!”

2 Responses to “Occupy Christmas: Young Fir Trees Oppose The System”

  1. Sunrie 12/14/2013 at 7:43 pm #


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