Easier Sung Than Done

Autumns End #1

Something we all need to be reminded of from time to time.  We as human beings have a habit of blowing things out of proportion and making them seem more important than they are. 

I want you to think about what makes you angry, frustrated, sad, hopeless.  It might be relationships, politics, health, personal economics/finances, business, religion, culture, media, the environment etc.   Nothing is off bounds.  Everything matters here.   I’m guessing there is at least one thing that immediately comes to mind for every individual.

Now. 

Let it go. 

Let it go now.

And yes, that seems easy; but it’s not, especially the more invested you are in the subject whether it’s emotionally, spiritually or intellectual investment.   

But do you think the tree in Autumn wants to let go of its leaves? Or that it’s easy.   And yet it does.  The tree feels the pain of separation with each leaf – sometimes a thousand times.  Year after year the tree will let go of its leaves.  The tree does not know what the future holds but it continues the cycle.  

So for all the things that seem so important at the time – in the long view – they are not important at all.     

They are about as important as a “pebble lying on a gravel road”.   So let it go.  Sometimes it’s easier sung than done.   I found that singing this song while I’m thinking of these things helps me keep things in perspective and remember what’s really important.

Maybe a nice practice would be to write down all these things than anger, frustrate (…etc.) you.  Then like Autumn leaves – burn them. Let the worries and cares turn to ash.  Then wash them away. 

Hey man, you don’t know what you’re missing
You count your curses and forget about the blessings
Don’t you think you should learn a little lesson
What are you waiting for?
 
Hey man, what makes you so special
Can’t seem to find the angels for the devils
Don’t you think that if you learned to love a little
You’d live a whole lot more
 
Let it go, let it go
This is smaller than you know
No bigger than a pebble lying on a gravel road
Let it go, let it go
Got to leave it all behind you
Give the sun a chance to find you
Let it go
 
Hey man, there’s no time for crying
You made your bed but don’t think its fit to lie inWasted on the ground when you know you should be flying
What are you waiting for?
 
How can a man not see
It seems so clear to me
You’ve just got to live and learn
Smile at the simple stuff
This road ain’t long enough
To miss a single turn

Tired of politics? Check this out!

So are you tired of politics and the media?   Well here are two fun videos.  Mashups of old movie stars dancing to contemporary tunes.    How many movies in the clips can you name?  

First up is the theme song from the movie Footloose. 

next how about some funk? 

we need more of this…

we need more laughter.

some favorite songs about laughing

I’m Gonna Laugh You Right Out Of My Life – by Sarah Vaughan

Funeral Tango by Jacques Brel covered by Scott Walker

Only Want to Laugh by Dusty Springfield

The Laughing Gnome – by David Bowie

Laughter by Bruce Cockburn

isolation


Isolation is like serving time

Except in this case I’ve done no crime

I choose to be alone to search my soul

To see if there is good in this heart with a hole

I had no control when I lived out there

My life became a nightmare

There is no love in isolation

All you have is your imagination

I live in a world created on my own

Contempt for the outside keeps me alone

Isolation is for me

The only way to be free

Isolation is liberation

When desperation is what you feel

Isolation is liberation

When desperation is what you feel

Isolate myself

Free myself

Isolate myself

Be myself

childhood past, present, future

Robert Mirabal is one of my favorite Native American songwriters. He grew up and still resides in Taos, New Mexico. I first saw and met him when I was in the music retail business. His original label had a showcase of new talent that I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend. Robert, and his brother Reynaldo, Mirabal made a permanent impression on me. Simply one of the most moving concerts I’d seen. His humility is real. This clip is from a PBS special called MUSIC FROM A PAINTED CAVE. The message in this song is powerful and perhaps more relevant today than ever before. Enjoy this track, LITTLE INDIANS. What type of mirror are you?

Little Indians walking two by two
Three girls, one boy, losing faith with the world
Step by step, moving towards the end
Step by step, moving towards the front

Can you take them away
can you carry them away
Can you take them away
can you carry them away
Maybe they’re the mirror that reflects all

Can you take it away
can you kiss it away
Can you take it away
can you kiss it away
Maybe they’re the mirror that reflects all

Little Indian men, walking two by two
Lost and weary, losing faith with the world
One by one, moving towards their death
One by one, moving towards their death

Can you take them away
can you carry them away
Can you take them away
can you carry them away
Maybe they’re the mirror that reflects all

Can you take it away
can you kiss it away
Can you take it away
can you kiss it away
Maybe they’re the mirror that reflects all

(flute solo) ……….

Can you take them away
can you carry them away
Can you take them away
can you carry them away
maybe they’re the mirror that reflects all

Can you take it away
can you kiss it away
Can you take it away
can you kiss it away
Maybe they’re the mirror that reflects all

Little child walking all alone
Lost and lonely, losing faith with my world
Step by step, moving towards my end
Step by step, moving towards my end

Can you take me away
can you carry me away
Can you take me away
can you carry me away
Maybe I’m the mirror that reflects all
Can you take it away
can you kiss it away
Can you take it away
can you kiss it away
Maybe I’m the mirror that reflects all
Can you take me away
can you carry me away
Can you take me away
can you carry me away
Maybe I’m the mirror that reflects all
Maybe I’m the mirror that reflects all

euphemisms in popular music

Lyric euphemism.   Pop songs that have explored lyrical euphemism has always made me smile.    I think there is a fine art to language of which euphemism plays a role.  There are tons of songs in popular music that are some type of euphemism. For decades and decades musicians have skirted parental control with the use of euphemism.  But that’s just my opinion.    I’ll let you decide.   Let’s get the party started. How many euphemisms are there for your backside? More than I thought. LOL

Live Version

Lyric Version

 

 

Childhood……

This post was inspired by fellow blogger, Oannes.   He has been posting some wonderful songs about childhood.   Be sure to check out (and follow) his blog https://oannes.gr/category/other-musical-stuff/

For my own contribution I present Chuck Mangione’s title track from CHILDREN OF SANCHEZ which was also the soundtrack for the Mexican-American movie of the same name.

A passionate track that covers so many emotions.   While listening I can’t help but think about Children in the world in which we now live.    Are we teaching them to hate instead of love?   Are we teaching them to be afraid instead of accepting and courageous?   Are we teaching them to not trust anyone?   We adults set the example for these adults of the future.   Just what are we teaching our children? What kind of dreams are we giving our children? What memories will our children have?

This album is one of 3 favorite Chuck Mangione albums.   And I highly recommend it.  This title track is ambitious starting off with powerful lyrics sung by Don Potter. And then once your heart is softened the drums and horns come in full force to break it all apart. The lyrical verse is then repeated with Chucks Flugelhorn replacing the vocal and then again by guitar virtuoso Grant Geissman. There is a whole verse improvised around the theme by Chuck that is pure hopeful celebration followed by a lyrical reprise. By the end when that last drum and horn break forces it’s way into the song I find myself pumping my fist in the air in righteous agreement – wanting to shout “WAKE UP PEOPLE AND THINK OF THE CHILDREN!”

I recall how Native American tribes would plan not only for their children but for the 7th generation. We need to get back to that. It’s not too late. That seems to be a good lesson for our children and our children’s children….


Without dreams of hope and pride a man will die
Though his flesh still moves his heart sleeps in the grave
Without land a man never dreams cause he’s not free
All men need a place to live with dignity.
Take the crumbs from starving soldiers, they won’t die
Lord said not by bread alone does man survive
Take the food from hungry children, they won’t cry
Food alone won’t ease the hunger in their eyes.
Every child belongs to mankind’s family
Children are the fruit of all humanity
Let them feel the love of all the human race
Touch them with the warmth, the strength of that embrace.
Give me love and understanding, i will thrive
As my children grow my dreams come alive
Those who hear the cries of children. god will bless oh yes he will
I will always hear the children of Sánchez.

does this sound familiar?

Are the two videos describing things that we are seeing now?
The situations are different but the practices and results are the same.

Any American citizen who is afraid of China and Russia needs to watch these videos and ask if we should continue down this path we are on. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should. These videos highlight two history lessons from America’s past. A dark history at best and a sinister dangerous chapter that should NEVER be repeated. But it IS currently being repeated with a 21st Century twist promoted by the President of the United States enabled by his republican supporters, spread by the media, a democratic opposition propagating dangerous alternate views. There is no balance. The deep cynicism of politicians in Washington is doing more harm than help. While Trump and his Republicans have ushered in the end of Democracy the Democrats are securing it. There is only foolishness on both sides. Surely the hunger for POWER, the FEAR, ANGER, HATRED, IGNORANCE and DISTRUST are the same.

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” – Matthew 12:25

When fiction becomes fact

The above video is from the US television series HANDMAIDS TALE. It is a dystopian fiction that proves Margaret Atwood was chillingly prophetic. Unmarked, unidentifiable secret police attacking protestors. A violent response to a nonviolent protest. People excercising their rights.

And now July 2019. Portland, Oregon. Can a “Gilead” made up of Trump supporters be far behind? A nation divided.

And what’s Trumps response? “We’re also looking at Chicago and New York”. He views ALL protesters (who aren’t protesting for him) as anarchists that must be squashed. He is wrong. He will find out what true anarchy is. He needs to remember what happened to Romanian dictator Ceausescu.

There is no way this ends well. And now he say’s he may not accept the election results in November if he loses. If there is any doubt from people around the world that the United States has fallen into dictatorship. I say, WAKE THE FUCK UP!

The American Nightmare continues.

Dig deep down from Planet X, yeah 
Thirteen ghosts in the devil's head 
Step right up and feel the fire 
Hardcore love of the never dead 

Call me the American nightmare 
Call me the American dream 
Call me your soul corrupted 
Call me everything you need 

Yeah, motherfucker 
Yeah, who do you love 
Yeah, motherfucker 
Who do you love, yeah 

Black boots stomp and penetrate, yeah 
Lust and death gone in your head 
Rat pack mind degenerated 
Thirteen ghosts sing the body red 

Call me the dark intruder 
Call me the haunted sea 
Call me your Monster Zero 
Call me anything you need 
Call me the American Nightmare 
Call me the American dream 
Call me your soul corrupted 
Call me everything you need 

Yeah, motherfucker 
Yeah, who do you love 
Yeah, motherfucker 
Who do you love, yeah 

Call me the American Nightmare 
Call me the American dream 
Call me your soul corrupted 
Call me everything you need 

Yeah, motherfucker 
Yeah, who do you love 
Yeah, motherfucker 
Who do you love, yeah 
Yeah, motherfucker 
Yeah, who do you love 
Yeah, motherfucker 
Who do you love, yeah

FUCK THE MASK!

The Mask is the law according to our State Governor. It is a law based on fear. Fear of becoming sick. Fear of making others sick. Fear of death. My conscience will not let me wear a mask. By not wearing a mask, “I quietly declare war on the State.”

I heartily accept the motto, ‘That government is best which governs least’; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe- ‘That government is best which governs not at all’; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. “

“When I converse with the freest of my neighbors, I perceive that, whatever they may say about the magnitude and seriousness of the question, and their regard for the public tranquillity, the long and the short of the matter is, that they cannot spare the protection of the existing government, and they dread the consequences to their property and families of disobedience to it. For my own part, I should not like to think that I ever rely on the protection of the State.”

“The authority of government, … can have no pure right over my person and property but what I concede to it. “

The quotes above are from Henry David Thoreau’s essay on Civil Disobedience. More important now than at any other recent time in our history. All of life is a risk. Another blogger recently posted a plaintive plea to “please wear a mask” stating that 1 in every 20 people may get sick if you don’t. Well to that I add. That’s still 19 in 20 that will not! COVID-19 is natures way of “correcting” the impact of the human population on the planet. Nature always wins.

Wearing a mask does NOT mean you will not die. Wearing a mask does NOT mean you will not make others sick. Wearing a mask does NOT mean you will not get sick. Wearing a mask does NOT mitigate your fear. Your fear of death, your fear of illness or your fear of the government gives you NO right to impinge on the rights of others who believe differently.

So don’t give me your false short-sighted narratives espoused by the media, politicians and religion. The real heroes are those who are immune, asymptomatic and recovered because they are the future of the human race. In short, I REFUSE to live YOUR fear.

*if you “like” this post you either didn’t read it or your agree with it. I prefer the latter.

Happy Birthday Maher Zain

Maher Zain born 16 July 1981.    A singer/songwriter who’s music can be described as  inspirational pop and many classify as R&B.  Born in Tripoli, Lebanon his family emigrated to Sweden when he was 8 years old.  His music has a strong muslim influence but don’t let that throw you off.  He sings mostly in English but also mixes in Arabic, French, Turkish, Malay and Indonesian.   He is also known to release different versions of the songs in each language.  He releases his recordings on the Awakening Music label.    His videos are powerful connections between lyric, sound and image.   He finds commonality in his faith where so many try to find difference and separation.    I find that many of they lyrics could be appreciated by Christian, Jews, Buddhists.   If his videos sometimes seem political it is simply because he takes an event as the core topic of the story/message he is trying to spread.   It is not a politics of separation but, instead, a politics of unity, exploring commonality in the human experience.  Songs of social justice and conflict.  Here are several videos.   I hope you enjoy.

His newest video in remembrance of the Bosnia Genocide that began 11th July 1995.


Nearly every year he releases a different video celebrating the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. Here is his video for Ramadan 2020. ANTASALM (You[God] Are Peace) – an encouragement in a year of great difficulty.

A song addressing Racism in this summer of racial unrest.

A song dedicated to mothers.

Love Will Prevail – An emotional take from 2013 of the tragedy that is, continues to be, Syria. As we confront ongoing violence around the world – let’s look to our own communities – will we let love prevail?

Another Ramadan video (this one from 2013) – exploring spiritual longing, community and celebration.

Finally. A message that I think is more important in these times of unrest, outrage and deep offense. I think there is a time for everything. We need to have conversations not just telling but also listening. We need to change the things we have the power to change and let of the things we cannot change. There are great harmonies in the song and it makes me think how letting go can promote harmony.

YouTube – love it/hate it

So I have a real Love/Hate relationship with YouTube. And the extremes are so great. There are times I find myself cursing at YouTube. It’s algorithms are absolutely useless and – in my opinion – should be able to be customized by the viewer/subscriber.

I use YouTube one of two ways. #1 – I check on my subscriptions to see if anything warrants my curiosity and attention. #2 I search for what I want to see.

YouTubes “HOME” page and “TRENDING” page are absolutely useless to me and the greatest source of aggravation. I hate them and if I could hide them I would. As it is I just ignore them.

Why do those two pages cause me such grief. I’ll start with trending. The videos on the trending page are determined by the lowest common denominator and do not reflect quality, artistic merit or anything that could seriously be considered newsworthy or valuable. Even the different categories are basically drivel. They are just showing you what is currently popular. I HATE popularity – as any of you who have already read my “Mobius Faith” page (describing my blog) will be able to deduce. So that’s it for “Trending”. Useless drivel!

The other page is a little more complex. Your “HOME” page is things that YouTube recommends to you based on your viewing and search habits. They will push things through to you that they think you will watch. In otherwords they are creating “click-bait”. This is simply the most frustrating page of them all. While I learned a long time ago to ignore the “TRENDING” page it took me a while to get to that point with the Home Page. Again, the algorithms are completely out of whack. What is most maddening is that if you watch a video – YouTube will assume you will want to watch that video again and every other video like it so they push it to your HOME page. For me this just clutters my home page with things I have no interest in – basically I’ve watched the video I wanted now I don’t want to watch more of the same – I want to move on. For example. You watch an a video by The Stray Cats (from their VEVO channel) YouTubes algorithms will push more of that exact same video that maybe someone on a different channel has uploaded. They will also push every Stray Cats VEVO Channel video to your home page. Now it’s been said that you and I have some control over the algorithms by clicking on the menu icon beside each video (the three little dots lined up vertically) where you have the option to click on “Not Interested” and “Don’t Recommend Channel”. If you click on “Not Interested” it will ask you “Why?” Where you get the chance to click on “I’ve already watched the video” to “I don’t like the video”. From what I can tell none of the above options really does any good. They only give you the illusion of control – YouTube is still in control. You will still get thousands of useless recommendations and channels and that you are not interested in and do not like.

You may ask, “So, what if I decide to delete my history”. OMG then the cycle starts all over again and anything you clicked on above like “Not Interested” (for any reason) and “Don’t Recommend Channel” is deleted and – you guessed it – you start the cycle all over again of have stuff pushed to you that you’ve already seen and disliked or chose some other option previously mentioned. So the best option is just to ignore the “HOME” page – Like “TRENDING” it too is completely useless and more aggravating.

All that complaining aside. I do like that I can search and find anything I’m looking for on YouTube.

Musings on Prayer

Recently I’ve been thinking about prayer and how religious organizations are capitalizing on and exploiting peoples weakness during the corona virus to convert new believers, claims of healing, surviving etc.

Yesterday I just started to write down some thoughts in my journal.

It doesn’t rain because you pray, The sun doesn’t shine because you pray. Disaster doesn’t spare you, your friends or family because you pray. Yo don’t recover from illness because you pray. You don’t enjoy good health because you pray. Your enemies don’t suffer because you pray and you don’t suffer because others pray.

You created God and now you’re unhappy with your creation. What was once the domain of religion is now the domain of science. Still you refuse to believe.

Again, those are just some preliminary thoughts to be fleshed out sometime in the future.

I am a H-U-G-E fan of Nick Cave (the musician). A few months ago I subscribed to his “Red Hand Files” newsletter where once a week he answers a fans question. Questions range from the banal (favorite books?, favorite protest songs? etc) to the more serious (how did you cope with the loss of your son? and in April “A prayer to who?”)

He had some very interesting thoughts on prayer which I want to share.


Dear Patrick,

The act of prayer is by no means exclusive to religious practise because prayer is not dependent on the existence of a subject. You need not pray to anyone. It is just as valuable to pray into your disbelief, as it is to pray into your belief, for prayer is not an encounter with an external agent, rather it is an encounter with oneself. There is as much chance of our prayers being answered by a God that exists as a God that doesn’t. I do not mean this facetiously, for prayers are very often answered.

A prayer provides us with a moment in time where we can contemplate the things that are important to us, and this watchful application of our attention can manifest these essential needs. The act of prayer asks of us something and by doing so delivers much in return — it asks us to present ourselves to the unknown as we are, devoid of pretence and affectation, and to contemplate exactly what it is we love or cherish. Through this conversation with our inner self we confront the nature of our own existence.

The coronavirus has brought us to our knees, yet it has also presented us with the opportunity to be prayerful, whether we believe in God or not. By forcing us into isolation, it has dismantled our constructed selves, by challenging our presumed needs, our desires, and our ambitions and rendered us raw, essential and reflective. Our sudden dislocation has thrown us into a mystery that exists at the edge of tears and revelation, for none of us knows what tomorrow will bring.

In our hubris we thought we knew, but as we bow our heads within the virus’ awesome power, all we are sure of now is our defencelessness. In the end this vulnerability may be, for our planet and ourselves, our saving grace, as we step chastened into tomorrow. Released from our certitude, we present our purest offering to the world — our prayers.

Love, Nick

To check out and subscribe to Nick Caves THE RED HAND FILES – click this link. https://www.theredhandfiles.com

Let’s Stay Together

Canada Geese mate for life. This pair refused to tell me how long they’d been together but based on their observed behavior – I’d guess they weren’t newlyweds. LOL
Let's Stay Together

music theme for summer 2020

Do you ever pick a theme song to get you through the summer? I do because the music feels cool no matter how hot the temperatures may get.   I started doing this in 2003.   That first year the album was THE THORNS – with their songs “Runaway Feeling” and “I Can’t Remember”.

This year with everything that’s happening culturally, politically, globally it just feels like a nonstop hurricane.   I choose to sing and dance.   Most people think these things are just about feeling good, joy, celebration etc.   But you can also sing and dance in protest.   And that’s my mindset this year.   So my theme song for 2020 is “Dance In The Hurricane” by Toya Willcox.   I listened to Toya occasionally back in the 1980’s when she was just starting her career.   In addition to music she is a gifted actress and author.  She never really broke big here in the United States.  I lost track of her over the years.    I recently re-discovered her with her new remastered collection, when she recorded with a band simply called THE HUMANS.   I started doing some googling and reading and found that somewhere after I stopped listening to her she married Robert Fripp –  yes, that Robert Fripp, of KING CRIMSON fame (**see note at end).   Now my curiosity was piqued and started seeking out her most recent music.   She just released (in 2019) a remastered edition of her last studio album IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON QUEEN (2008) re-imagined w/bonus tracks (a deluxe 2 disc set).    I listened to a couple of snippets on YouTube and thought “Oh what the heck”… and I bought the album.   It blew me away.  One song, especially, just grabbed me in the fiercest way – its ideas and the driving rock sound.   “Dance In The Hurricane”  features some narration by Robert Fripp. Its an encouraging and powerful song to be listened to repeatedly during difficult times.

Here’s a snippet of the lyrics:

“…Don’t write my rules,
Love your life, Dance in the Hurricane…Only heaven knows how life will write your song. Be loud, be heard, be proud…”

[chorus] “I danced in a hurricane with the god who has no name, I had to run or face the pain, hold on to love, and learn to trust again…”

Final line in the Lyrics – “One constant law remains, if the light goes out dance again.

So I dare you to DANCE!
DANCE IN THIS HURRICANE!! Let this song be your dynamo to re-charge your soul battery so your light can shine again.

Another great track from this 2 disc set is the track, “Sensational”.

(** I don’t know if you’ve followed them at all but since the lockdown Toya and Robert have been posting “…Sunday Lunch” videos that are weird, quirky and just good fun like when her and Robert dress up in bee costumes…. or when they dance Swan Lake in their back yard. Just a real hoot and a holler!)

America’s trouble with racism goes back to the beginning.

Very few people around the world, and even fewer American’s know how far back the systemic racism goes in the United States  –  where attention spans limit any thorough reading of the US Constitution.    For most American’s. Their knowledge of the Constitution Of The United States is a piece of yellowed paper with hard to read writing that is somehow supposed to be important.

But the United States Constitution is a very important part of our history and needs to be understood – and, I would suggest, needs updated.  Because it has not been updated or understood it has allowed for any old jackass, like the president of the united states, to interpret it as he wishes and even use it as a weapon to justify his own racism.

Racism has existed in America before and ever since it became the United States of America.  It is actually a part of the US Constitution.    Don’t be shocked – slavery was part of the “national” economy when the Constitution was drafted.   And I suppose that is where the trouble starts – when humans are viewed as products because of the color of their skin to be sold and traded at the will and whim of whites.

During the US Constitution Convention of 1783 – which was created to frame the government by creating constitutional guidelines. During the convention something happened that became known as the 3/5ths compromise.  The article under debate was relating to taxation and representation.    Many states wanted representation  to be reflected by the number of people in each state and taxes determined by property (i.e. the more property the higher the taxes).    While many southern states liked the idea of increased representation because of their slave population they objected to the notion of being taxed for their property  since black and brown slaves were considered property which meant not only higher representation in congress but higher taxes also.

There arose what became known as the 3/5th compromise which allowed southern states to be taxed on only 3/5ths of their slave population.   So this effectively denied humanity to 2/5ths of the slave population. That is like saying to every single black and brown person, “You’re not allowed to do ‘this’, or ‘that’ because you’re only 3/5ths of a human being.   “You’re not even a complete human being”.     That is outrageous!!!!!!

Thus the United States Constitution Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3 states:

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”

Now there was some good news to follow but it didn’t come until after the Civil War – and frankly, by then the damage had been done. Generations covering 80+ years had viewed people of color as “not entirely human”. The good news came in the form of the 14th amendment to the US Constitution which completely reverses the 3/5th compromise and states the “whole” number of people will be counted. So people of color were declared by law to be “whole” persons again.
Not that they needed white politicians to tell them that – but it did afford them the same protections as white people. So why do I say the damage was done? Well peoples minds were not that easily persuaded and by 1877 slave states started subverting the new law and actively sought ways to disenfranchise people of color. And that has been going on even into the modern era. Today people of color have been disenfranchised from property ownership, disenfranchised from voting because of all the voting district gerrymandering by politicians, Disenfranchised from education, career opportunities and economic success. There MUST be reparations. Reparation will be difficult for everyone. But putting it off because it will be difficult is not a sufficient excuse. The longer we wait the harder it will become. It will require a political will to change tax law, economic law, police law, credit law, and major criminal justice reform.

More than ever before we need to use the popular quote by John F Kennedy (which he stated about going to the moon) and apply it to reparations:

“We choose to …, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.”

Where are our leaders with the political will to make this happen? It makes me angry to hear politicians deny the widespread systemic racism that exists.   They are afraid – and they should be – because we live in a time of tyranny.   And we must overthrow tyranny.

A great quote commonly misattributed to Thomas Jefferson (But no one knows for sure who first said it):

“When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

ALL LIVES MATTER

Police In America

Welcome to America and the end of the world. Home of police terrorism.
The days of the “friendly neighborhood cop” are long gone.
I can’t believe I’m sayin’ this – but like N.W.A. says – FUK DA POLICE
They need to be held accountable for their crimes and stop hiding behind badges.

“Maybe it’s time to get uncomfortable”

I know many people with similar stories.

It’s time to acknowledge the problem!
Nina Simone – I WISH I KNEW HOW IT WOULD FEEL TO BE FREE


It’s time to build up people of color and ALL people.
Nina Simone – TO BE YOUNG, GIFTED AND BLACK

It’s a human thing. To die by disease is one thing, to die by the hands of another person is reprehensible and UNACCEPTABLE.

“I can’t breathe” (a poem)

“I CAN’T BREATHE!”

The long long night in America
violence, hatred & anger
200+ years overdue if you ask me
and not in the least surprising

“I can’t breathe,” “I can’t breathe!”
The fires of protest burn brightly
and the media focuses on the event
not the root that caused this burning bush to grow

Another black man dies
in police custody
“I can’t breathe,” “I can’t breathe!”
each word like bullets fired from a gun
verbal shots ring out
while 3 cops pin a black man down
one brutally kneeling on the neck
and a 4th stands by complicit

It isn’t enough to suppress the black and brown man
his black and blue soul suffering
under the weight of white oppression
and the poison goes to the very top Mr. President

racism given a badge
There is no honor here
It’s not courage that carries a gun and uses force
only a white coward dresses in blue
and cynically claims
“I’m only doing my job”
when they crush the life
out of a black man already subdued
“I can’t breathe,” “ I can’t breathe”

If we are surprised by the violence
we should be ashamed
If we are shocked by the brutality
we shouldn’t be

If we do nothing
We are complicit
“Please, please, please,
I can’t breathe, please man.”

And another black mans soul
ascends to heaven to early.
“Please, please, please,
I can’t breathe, please man.”

I wrote the above poem in reaction to the brutal killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police and the nationwide protests and violence that followed 5/31/2020. 

4 essential tracks for this time in America:
The Last Poets – HANDS OFF!


Gil Scott-Heron – HOME IS WHERE THE HATRED IS

The Last Poets – RAIN OF TERROR

War – SLIPPIN’ INTO DARKNESS

Bonus Track – From the film SLAM starring contemporary poet Saul Williams.

 

The Carnival Is Over

carnival is over

Outside the storm clouds gathering
Moved silently along the dusty boulevard
Where flowers turning crane their fragile necks
So they can in turn reach up and kiss the sky

They’re driven by a strange desire
Unseen by the human eye
Someone’s calling

I remember when you held my hand
In the park we would play
When the circus came to town
Look over here

Outside the circus gathering
Moved silently along the rain swept boulevard
The procession moved on, the shouting is over
The fabulous freaks are leaving town

They’re driven by a strange desire
Unseen by the human eye
Someone’s calling

The carnival is over

We sat and watched
As the moon rose
For the very first time

carnival of rust

Carnival of Rust

To breathe the name
Of your savior
In your hour of need
And taste the blame
If the flavor should remind you of greed
Of implication, insinuation and you will
Till you cannot lie still
In all this turmoil, before red cave and foil
Come closing in for a kill

Come feed the rain
‘Cause I’m thirsty for your love
Dancing underneath the skies of lust
Yeah feed the rain
‘Cause without your love, my life
Ain’t nothing but this carnival of rust

It’s all a game
Avoiding failure
When true colors will bleed
All in the name
Of misbehavior
And the things we don’t need

I lust for after no disaster can touch
Touch us anymore
And more than ever, w hope to never fall
Where enough is not the same it was before

Come feed the rain
‘Cause I’m thirsty for your love
Dancing underneath the skies of lust
Yeah feed the rain
‘Cause without your love, my life
Ain’t nothing but this carnival of rust

Yeah feed the rain
‘Cause I’m thirsty for your love,
Dancing underneath the skies of lust
Yeah, feed the rain
‘Cause without your love, my life
Ain’t nothing but this carnival of rust

Don’t walk away, don’t walk away
Ooh, when the world is burning
Don’t walk away, don’t walk away
Ooh, when the heart is yearning
Don’t walk away, don’t walk away
Ooh, when the world is burning
Don’t walk away, don’t walk away
Ooh, when the heart is yearning

digging in the dirt

Diggin In The Dirt

Something in me, dark and sticky
All the time it’s getting strong
No way of dealing with this feeling
I can’t go on like this too longThis time you’ve gone too far
This time you’ve gone too far
This time you’ve gone too far,
I told you, I told you, I told you, I told youDon’t talk back, just drive the car
Shut your mouth, I know what you are
Don’t say nothing, keep your hands on the wheel
Don’t turn around, this is for realDigging in the dirt
Stay with me I need support
I’m digging in the dirt
Find the places I got hurt
Open up the places I got hurtThe more I look, the more I find
As I close on in, I get so blind
I feel it in my head, I feel it in my toes
I feel it in my sex, that’s the place it goesThis time you’ve gone too far
This time you’ve gone too far
This time you’ve gone too far,
I told you, I told you, I told you, I told youDon’t talk back, just drive the car
Shut your mouth, I know what you are
Don’t say nothing, keep your hands on the wheel
Don’t turn around, this is for realDigging in the dirt
Stay with me I need support
I’m digging in the dirt
Find the places I got hurt
Open up the places I got hurtDigging in the dirt
Stay with me I need support
I’m digging in the dirt
Find the places I got hurt
Open up the places I got hurt
I got hurtDigging in the dirt, to find the places we got hurt
Digging in the dirt, to find the places we got hurt
Digging in the dirt, to find the places we got hurt
Digging in the dirt, to find the places we got hurt

glory & consequence

Glory and consequence

I’m more afraid of living
Than I am scared to die
I’m more afraid of falling
Than I am of flying high
Every moral has a story
Every story has an end
Every battle has its glory
And its consequence
I’m more afraid of loving
Than I am of being scorned
But I will keep on trying
Though I have been forewarned
Every moral has a story
Every story has an end
Every battle has its glory
And its consequence
I would rather me be lonely
And you have someone to hold
I’m not as scared of dying
As I am of growing old.
Every moral has a story
Every story has an end
Every battle has its glory
And its consequence

lovers in a dangerous time

Lovers In A Dangerous Time

Don’t the hours grow shorter as the days go by
You never get to stop and open your eyes
One day you’re waiting for the sky to fall
And next you’re dazzled by the beauty of it all
When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time

These fragile bodies of touch and taste
This vibrant skin this hair like lace
Spirits open to the thrust of grace
Never a breath you can afford to waste

When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time
When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time

When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Sometimes you’re made to feel as if your love’s a crime
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight
Got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight

When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time