The Year: 1958 The Place: Paris, France The artist: Miles Davis. The Film: Ascenseur pour l'échafaud, (English: Elevator To The Gallows) directed by Louis Malle. Nineteen fifty-eight was a very special year. But let's go back. a year earlier. Miles Davis was at a musical crossroads even contemplating retirement. He needed something different, something new. None of the projects his label and management suggested were of interest at the time. He did settle on recordings with Gil Evans which would turn into a 5 album collaboration over the next few years. Albums who's style would also be informed and influenced by the experience Miles would soon gain. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. We're still stuck in 1957 and miles is still "stuck" in his predicament. In November 1957 He travelled to France at the invitation of film director, Louis Malle, and was asked to compose the soundtrack for the director's first feature length film Ascenseur pour l'échafaud. Miles had never recorded a soundtrack before - let alone been asked to compose the score. Perhaps with nothing to lose or perhaps nothing to be gained, Miles launched himself forward. He had an interest in modal jazz and was at the vanguard of that movement which was just being developed in the mid 1950s. With Miles success, it would be a guaranteed influence on generations to come. Miles was totally free. Free from the expectations that had come to fall on him from the jazz world. Film Director, Louis Malle, has suggested that he and Miles only discussed a few ideas before recording started in December 4, 1957. Miles was joined by French jazz musicians Barney Wilen, Pierre Michelot, and René Urtreger, and American drummer Kenny Clarke. Nothing was written down (composed). Nothing was planned. The musicians sat in a darkened studio and watched the film unfold. With Miles leadership they completely improvised the score to the film based solely on the mood in the film. A film that would be a star vehicle for the smokey and dreamy Jeanne Moreau. It is a pure delight to listen to the different takes of the various themes as they each reflect the freedom of complete improvisation with nothing tied to paper. With no distractions or expectations Miles created a sound that would lead to some of his greatest work in the years to come. Coloring both his collaborations with Gil Evans but also having a huge influence on his solo recordings starting with MILESTONES (1958) and A KIND OF BLUE (1959) (arguably his greatest solo record). I'd go so far as to say that these albums would not have existed if it hadn't been for his experience in creating the score for this film. I'd strongly encourage you to purchase a copy of the complete recordings of this amazing soundtrack Ascenseur pour l'échafaud. Listen to what would be a nursery for the development of a new sound, new approach and new way of thinking about Jazz for generations to come.
At Days End
AT DAYS END (2022.08.22) The setting sun creates fire in the sky. Flaming yellow, orange and red. Filling heaven's dome on the westward rim. A quiet slow burning… that if you allow it… will slow down time, transforming burning consumption into transfixed wonderment, as the day is calmly destroyed in brilliant visibly-changing color. Birds fly to their nests creatures burrow in their dens and other resting spaces. And I, heart-harnessed to Phaethon's Chariot as it recedes over the horizon, am humbled by the beauty. My eyelids, growing heavy with the fading light, also find solace and rest. An ending for some. A beginning for others. The chirping of birds gives way to the chirping of crickets and lightning bugs twinkle at twilight in the shadow of darkness like stars on the wing that children can chase and catch with their hands then marvel at the magic within their grasp. Letting go to see the stars take flight. Dreamtime has come again. I wrote this poem while listening to this music and watching the sun set. https://youtu.be/O41y9vuVT3s Best if not played to loud and even better if reading the poem out loud (slowly with a sense of longing and wonder) while the music is playing.
A Good Lie
The Good Lie I lied to you and that is true. I told you something you wanted to believe. I let you believe something I did not agree with. You wonder why I’m distant? I do not wish to give a truth that hurts, room to breathe. I wanted to give you room to evolve and grow in your own time. Not my time. I was taught; ALL lies are bad and we should ALWAYS tell the truth. But everybody lies: lies of omission, lies of deception, lies to protect, lies to self, lies to manipulate, lies to harm. Motive is the key. I lied to you and that is true. because if I told you the truth about …. You would have been forced to make a judgement you did not want and were not ready to make. because if I told you the truth you would not have acted in the love, grace and mercy in which you believe. You would have endangered your own salvation and peace of mind. And I could not live with that. A truth never known is love in disguise and an un-healing wound never inflicted. I lied to you and that is that.
Inspired, in part, by the film titled THE FAREWELL (see trailer)https://youtu.be/RofpAjqwMa8
SUNDAY VERSES #13
3 WINTER HAIKU Winter ice on trees glitters like festive tinsel under morning sun *** When days are shorter fiercely blows the winter wind piling snow in drifts *** Frigid air on skin Persistent chill burrows deep Winter wet and cold
sunday verses #12
sunday verses #11
4 haiku for the end of Autumn. (12/01/21) Leaves begin their fall. Colors changing while you watch autumn's rich pageant. (11/27/19) Cold, dark, windy night; trees shudder; dead leaves unchained make fierce their escape (12/01/21) Distant in the dark. Sweet sounds the soft piano. Music in the night. (12/01/21) Chill'd, damp autumn night. Sleepless bare trees sway slowly. Unwrapp'd, expos'd heart.
sunday verses #10
(untitled) 1/29/19 1AM … with bigoted clam-shelled-shut heart pinched accusation and fervent digit all gesticulation their unctuous moral fortitude no reverence for creation razes the standard none can achieve happy to fail, happy to fall into the boiling cauldron of righteousness reason lost Who will avail the good, decent, compassionate and forgiving soil? … planting seeds to each grow its own kind fruit bearing and fruitless watered by streams of untethered acceptance. Virtues are best left in deep shadows where they are not exposed to the light of… …haughty self-aggrandizement, bleached by self-promotion or discolored by false humility…. … left in the heavy darkness when eyes close and sound fades to sleep… … perchance to dream.
sunday verses #9
HOLES IN MY CITY (2014) There are holes in my city where buildings used to stand. Empty spaces are all that remain where factories made my world. A dream that never was cannot be remembered or built upon. There is no foundation there is only dust and wind. Remembrance is only a delusion sickness of mind and soul for a community that is trapped in its struggle to free itself from nothing. There are holes in my city where buildings used to stand. Places where people lived where the voices of children could be heard. Now there is silence even the ghosts don't linger here. Some say silence is golden but the same silence can drive a person mad. There are holes...
sunday verses #8
PLAYERS SONG (date unknown) what you lookin’ at? what you laughin’ at? what you makin’ fun of? the end has come lights gone down crowds are gone strides across this sawdust clown baggy pants dirty shirt worn out shoes treading through another broken town hotel room lonely bulb peeling paint dingy and dank inhabited mold drown what you lookin’ at? what you laughin’ at? what you makin’ fun of? the naked man in the bathtub smokes a cigar wearing the painted face of a clown milky surface soapy water shimmers like diamonds one deep breath he’s sliding down what you lookin’ at? what you laughin’ at? what you makin’ fun of? warm wet meditation wraps up the man mind quiet, at peace distant thunder smoking cigar lifeline rising up paint-stained flesh reveals the man washed renewed naked suffering reality frown what you lookin’ at? what you laughin’ at? what you makin’ fun of?
sunday verses #7
11/6-11/16/21 EYE OF THE STORM Dark brooding sadness and anger storm clouds swirl all around me warning and threatening A shadowy pretense of power I see the rain like spit from the heart of those who should know better pummel and drench and flood loosing all the foundations of decency get trampled in the mud I hear the wind roaring out of the mouths of fools nostrils flaring like steeds being driven by demons tearing and stripping away wounding and destroying all that was built but I stand in the calm sun blazing, giving countenance to the peace within me a centered solution to the storm the hardest place to be rage on, rage on o’ storm you will not defeat me I am within you and without you and will remain until you sputter out and dissipate all your venomous energy wasted --------------------------------------------------------- Ephesians 6:13 "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." Some times just being able to STAND is all you need. https://youtu.be/zWhDbkTmJHA
sunday verses #6
POEM FOR LATE AUTUMN (*composition date unknown most likely sometime between 2007-2009)
Skeletal beauty Parade of bones Rooted in mire Grasping heaven A bridge between divine and profane Waiting for winters blanket Redemption in white Covering past sins Peace and rest in a season of sleep *while I don't remember when this was written I do know it was inspired by a line "snow falling, falling like forgiveness from the sky" in the song "Darling Christmas is Coming" by Over The Rhine from the album SNOW ANGELS (2006) https://youtu.be/IinpwBPwRZI
sunday verses #5
10/27-28/21 ENTER THE EVENING A shadow crept across early evening. As I was retrieving the mail I stopped in my tracks and looked up. A thousand wings whispered across the autumn sky in undulating murmurations of velvety simplicity. None collided with the other but danced a ballet in perfect synchronicity across heaven. The tinted hues of sunset; royal purple and brilliant orange painted against a dark blueing background. Even the cricket at my foot that stopped its chirping and, propped up against my shoe, seemed to look up in amazement. A pair of local chipmunks scurried about in the chilled air foraging for nuts and berries to store for winter - oblivious to the magic in the sky. In one step I had travelled from the reality of a chaotic and stressful day into a calm, quiet and peaceful evening.
sunday verses #3
UNTITLED 4/24/2021 We are living in the time of parables and revelations choosing sides retributions morality plays we are “everyman” we are the evil that haunts our reality passport economy buy and sell only if you carry the number of the beast innocuous as an inoculation tremors and terrors of the soul as those who are weak from fear strike out and seek control of the courageous their souls listing off the coast of truth drowning in their desperate thrashing and gnashing of teeth marching and clawing up the mountain of victims they create toward heavens inverted hell fear of a zombie apocalypse the walking dead if we look at the soul it’s already here. We consume media we consume ourselves we consume everything humanity’s legacy on earth will be our consumption we’ve lost too much to turn back now in the past our consumption was tempered tempered by “out of stock” “special order” “import only” cash shortage but that has changed online everything is available all the time any time for a price on credit with our very own pay pal we forgot the payback we forgot the shark will come hunting for what is owed the environment culture social religion politics science all will come hunting and haunting enslaving for what they are owed.
sunday verses #2
WE ARE MEDIA (10/02/2021) Welcome citizen, WE are Media. WE are message. WE are massage. WE are information masturbation That you WILL enjoy. If you do not believe what WE tell you to believe, And if you do not act on what WE tell you to do, Even though WE show you only what WE believe you need to know, Even though WE show you a heavily redacted, edited, one-sided view, Even though, when WE do show an alternate view it is completely ridiculous, unbalanced and unbelievable, Then, you are a bad citizen. A bad and corrupt member of society. Suited only for OUR censorship. Dear citizen, You and WE both know that you, A mere individual, Are incapable of making an informed decision. Information is power that WE control for you. WE simplify the information for you. You are free only when WE say you are free. WE have done all the work for you. You may now bow down and thank US. You're welcome citizen. We are Media.
Toilet/Potty Poem (10/2021) Sitting on the toilet in Solemn contemplation Staring at the shag rug Covering the Autumn-chilled tile floor Faces and shapes emerge Beasts and people Both fantastic and frightening Revealing themselves Emerging in the trampled fibers Of bare footed traffic Before I roll them up To erase their existence In the reality of life's washing machine Like shaking an etch a sketch Re-setting the tabula rasa of imagination
CHAFF IN THE WIND
I remember when Saturday
Felt like Sunday
And I was dreading Monday
Feeling like I’m strung out on junk
(Which I never tried)
I was strung out on life
(Which I couldn’t escape)
And it wasn’t pretty
I hated my life
The world I lived in
Staked to the ground
Face up in some tribal ritual
Eye lids propped open
Waiting for the sun to burn me blind
I just wanted to die
Outcast, judged and ridiculed
Was it done to me?
Or did I do it to myself?
In the back of my mind
In the shadows of
What I remember myself to be
I felt there was another side
I just had to get there
But the road was dark
There was no light to light my way
Shadows loomed large and mean
In my withdrawal
Happy is an illusion
And I wanted to get lost in that illusion
But knowing the magicians secrets
Is it possible to ever enjoy the magic again?
Are these fancy words for a poem,
A memoir or just letters jumbled with meaning
meant to get lost and scattered like
so much chaff in the wind
how does our creation see us?
This video I’m sharing is the most recent work by Duran Duran. To be honest DD lost me after their RIO album. While some may view that as some sort of blasphemy – that’s okay. So why am I posting this new video? The music (in my opinion) is lackluster, monotonous and even boring almost drone-like but it’s definitely not drone music.
The negative criticism of the music aside I do feel this video is important. I’d even say VERY IMPORTANT to the world of art of film/cinema. The video opens with an “artists statement”:
“This film was created by an artificial intelligence called Huxley, a unique dreamer whose ‘mind’ has been modeled after the cognitive and creative processes of humans.
It is the very first collaboration of its kind, between artists in different planes of existence.”
When watching this film I was captivated by the surreal nature of it’s images. Fluid and strange but beautiful. I couldn’t help but think about the future of AI and how (I believe) it will eventually take over the world making humanity redundant.
I also find it interesting to think about the following questions. How does our creation (AI) see us? How does it see humanity? Does it frighten us? Intrigue us? Concern us? Will AI have inalienable rights granted by it’s creator? In the world of AI; humanity (it’s creator) are Gods. Will it worship/value humanity or will it kill off humanity just as humanity has killed off it’s gods? And after AI has killed it’s gods will it continue to remember, revere and “worship” humanity in pretense, creating a sort of religion like humanity has created all sorts of religions for its gods? Is it possible that we may learn more about humanity from how our creation sees us than what we could ever know on our own? Right now AI and humanity exist on different planes – meaning that there is an independence between the two – AI is programmed and then left to do it’s thing while humanity does it’s own thing. But will that change where AI and humanity will share an interface? Will AI maintain the human cognition it was programmed with or will it evolve and develop it’s own unique identity? Will AI become a physical manifestation beyond it’s programming? Is what happens in the mind real if it doesn’t happen in the physical world? Will humanity become invisible?
I may be premature in asking these questions – or maybe I’m too late already. Well those are my thoughts – what do you think? What questions are you asking? Or, is everything a foregone conclusion?
To quote the character Captain Jean-luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation, “I prefer to think of the future as something that is NOT written in stone.”
my wish for you
Happy New Year everyone. The promise of snow over the Holidays was not exaggerated. On Christmas morning we had 6-8 inches on the ground and and 1-2 inches fell throughout Christmas Day. But that is past. The New Year is upon us. This song expresses my dearest desire for each and every one of you. That you feel safe. For safety is not about the pandemic and has pitifully dominated the past year – like the song says it’s about living with/in grace, being rested, calm, anchored, unchained, holding no blame, no fear, no blame, being brave and open. I would also argue that is the foundation of love. I love each and everyone one of you even if we have never physically met. Thank you for your kindness and support.
we’ve fought so hard
we’ve come so far
back where we began
and for all the joys and sorrows
finally we can
and the future is everything
as we forgive ourselves
and we reach beyond the wreckage
of you loving someone else
our hearts are still surrendering
now the wounds will heal
in spite of everything
learning how to feel
be kind and always
remember to love
this one life we live
has to be enough
be kind and always
remember to love
this one life we live
has to be enough
hoping 2021 will be an easier skate than 2020
This is the time of year when people start compiling and review “best of” for the previous year. Those things have typically bored me and seem like a cheap “journalism”. Because they don’t really look at the “best of”. they look at the most popular. And we all know it if was popular it played to the lowest common denominator across the spectrum of popular culture.
As I said a few days ago 2020 was a difficult year culturally speaking. And in that post I included a clip from the movie TOMMY – which is still an amazing musical film. This year I find myself at the point where I’m re-watching musicals. The year has been so emotionally, psychologically exasperating that a little escapism is prescribed. And movie musicals fit that bill. In this post I want to focus on the films of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Three Astaire/Rogers films rank as my favorites among the lot. So if you’re just tired, fed up and frustrated with life take a little escape. It’s okay. (I can’t promise these videos can be seen in other countries but hopefully you will find a version that is accessible and available.)
First up is the song “HEAVEN from TOP HAT (1935) with music by Irving Berlin. This lush little number is the elegant dancing manifestation and lyrical expression of the songs title.
Next is another favorite Astaire/Rogers film SWING TIME (1936) with music by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields. Fred, plays a professional dancer who plays dumb and clumsy to meet and court Ginger. Here is the set up scene which also features Fred and Gingers comic sidekicks played by comedy veteran character actors Victor Moore and Helen Broderick.
… and the payoff… in an effort to save Gingers job….
And the last Astaire/Rogers film I want to feature is SHALL WE DANCE (1937) featuring music by George and Ira Gershwin. This film was unusual in it’s attempt to blend/merge tap and swing dancing with ballet. There are many wonderful numbers that features Fred in diverse settings where he can famously dance with different props. But I want to feature one of my favorite scenes which is comic bliss and sheer fun. It’s the famous roller skate scene. The setting is Fred and Ginger have escaped their New York hotel because they were being overrun by reporters and photographers who think they are married, and the scandal of her being supposedly pregnant on top of it – so they go to the park. You will note that these are not the roller skates of today with a boot like shoe and resin wheels. These are the old-fashioned strap on skates with steel wheels which makes this number all the more remarkable. Please enjoy “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off”.
As a sort of end note; I want to include another wonderful dance on roller-skate scene this time by Gene Kelly. Personally I find the song a little inferior and the movie (a musical satire) with music by Andre Previn, isn’t one of his best but the dancing on roller skates is quite wonderful and endearing. Enjoy Gene Kelly from the movie IT’S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER (1955) dancing/skating to the song “I Like Myself”. The notion of dancing on wheels has all the elements of danger that inspires awe when done successfully. And note again these are the old fashioned strap-on skates with steel wheels.
reflections on 2020
The year 2020
brought clarity of vision and acuity of perception
I was not happy
and HATED what I “saw”
wishing I was deaf, dumb and blind
(from one of my favorite musicals -more on musicals later)
I once saw a fish
washed upon the shore.
I stared down as it lay
on its sandy grave
taking its last breath
then stepped away
as the seagulls came
tearing away at the carcass.
And I thought.
This is the best we can hope for –
not to be remembered –
but to provide for whatever comes after us.
Knowing, like the fish,
when to live
and when to die.
The older I get
the less optimistic I feel.
Fantasy is for escape,
reality is for living;
however unpleasant it may be.
things I like
So I guess you could say this post falls in the category of things I like. As many of you who have followed my blog over the years knows, I love the 4AD music label(specifically the earlier years – the past 10-15 years have been somewhat hit/miss). One of the bands that I enjoy from the earlier years is RED HOUSE PAINTERS. I recently acquired their SHOCK ME ep.
This recording features 4 official tracks and one untitled “hidden” track (at the end of track 4). Released in 1994 it really is a wonderful collection of covers and original material. For this post I want to focus on the title track which is a cover of the KISS song Shock Me (written by Ace Frehley) that was originally on the KISS album LOVE GUN. In fact there are two versions on this EP (the electric and an acoustic version). Both versions are very solid and very unlike KISS. Which is one of the things I love.
Don’t get me wrong; I love kiss I actually saw the Alive II tour at a local venue called the Richfield Coliseum (near Cleveland – which no longer exists – how time flies) on 8/1/1978 and what a show! But that was in my fist pumpin’ hard rockin’ teen years. Maybe you’re not a fan of KISS or are not familiar with this song. That’s okay. Ace Frehley wrote this song after an event that actually occurred on the KISS’ ROCK AND ROLL OVER tour where he was nearly electrocuted. If you’re familiar with KISS you can imagine this song has the tell-tale chugging hard rock sound that many love from the make-up clad quartet. I’ll post that video at the end of this post for comparison sake. But first I want you to listen to the RED HOUSE PAINTERS version.
RED HOUSE PAINTERS have been described as slow core and folk rock. While their music inhibits both of those worlds this song is definitely in the slow core vein. One of the things I enjoy about it is that is has a very Velvet Underground feel to it. The second iteration of the song which is acoustic sounds familiar yet very different. I can sit with my eyes closed listening and imagining Lou Reed and Peter, Paul & Mary singing this. It really is quite beautiful.
The EP has ephemeral/ethereal cover art that 4AD was known for in the early days. If you don’t recognize the image – it is a detail of an old broken down upright piano keyboard. A beautiful simple image that resonates so well with the RED HOUSE PAINTERS sound. Dean Carlson of ALLMUSIC described this version of the song and the EP as “Somehow quietly splendid”. I look at the KISS version of SHOCK ME as the “I dare you to” version and the RED HOUSE PAINTERS versions as the “surprise me” versions. Because even though the lyrics and music is the same the songs couldn’t be more different. And I think a great original cover of a song that basically re-invents the songs potential is also great art. I think I’ve said all I can at this time. I hope you enjoyed this post.
Finally the moment you have been waiting for? Here’s the KISS version from a concert in 1998 in all their makeup and costumed glory. 🙂
mobius faith · COCOON
I am in a personal, creative, social,
emotional and professional cocoon.
Once a caterpillar,
I thought I understood life.
Now it feels like time has passed me by
and I no longer understand or
recognize the world I live in:
irrelevant, voiceless, useless.
I can’t move.
Wrapped in blankets on a bed.
Cocooned in my cotton chrysalis.
I peer out through fuzzy threads
and see people moving about,
attempts at normalcy.
But, I have no desire.
I am weak and sickly;
left to the shadows of a previous life.
I have neither the will nor the strength.
I’m left to wonder if I will emerge from this cocoon
to a new life,
a new type of existence
or if I will die in my encasement.
Will I be able to break free and
enjoy new life?
A new existence?
Feeling “at one” with the world around me?
Or will this shell become my abattoir
slaughtered in silence.
Perhaps I will emerge an avatar
able to engage, teach, foster and encourage the souls who remain?
“If you live long enough and hang in long enough
the world will learn to love you again” (*)
So, now is the time of waiting
and hanging in there
waiting for the metamorphosis to complete
as I wonder….
Will I be a butterfly or a moth?
Will I dine on the sweet nectar of milkweed?
Will I flit and flutter toward the light of my undoing?
In the end the question is not “how?” but “when?”
Even butterflies can die in their cocoon.
* quote by Toya Willcox in the liner notes to her new boxed set.
JUNETEENTH. It’s not a “federal” holiday but it is recognized in almost all of the states/territories of the United States – the exceptions (shamefully) are Hawaii and South Dakota. For people outside the United States, Juneteenth is the day the last slaves were freed 2.5 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Texas was the hold out and dared to keep slaves even though their freedom had been decreed years earlier. Next to Independence Day (July 4th) I can think of no better reason for a holiday than to celebrate the day when America ended the overt enslavement of it’s own citizens of color. My God, why is this not a National/Federal holiday already? But enough preaching.
Here is my Juneteenth playlist. Enjoy.
Let’s kick it off with Pharell Williams FREEDOM
A blast from the past Kool And The Gange – CELEBRATE
A classic; The Staple Singers – I’LL TAKE YOU THERE
Michael Franti – GOOD TO BE ALIVE TODAY
While African Americans formed the largest portion of slaves, it also included all people of color – including the various tribes of Indigenous Americans and hispanics. Buffy Saint Marie – CARRY IT ON
Redbone – COME AND GET YOUR LOVE
And even though we are in the midst of a cultural revolution – now is NOT the time to stop. Ozomatli – CAN’T STOP!
Shaun Martin – ONE BIG PARTY
Knowing the conversation that MUST continue to happen if we will move forward as a species. We must be fearless. The Neville Brothers – FEARLESS
A reminder of what it’s about and why we should celebrate – Cynthia Erivo – STAND UP from the movie HARRIET (based on the life of Harriet Tubman)
Bonus Track – reality check – We are still a long way from where we need to be in our evolution of humanity. There is still racism and bias. The revolution must continue.
Nina Simone – AIN’T GOT NO (from the musical HAIR)
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.”
3 Good Friday haiku
Winter’s dying gasp
Before Easter’s rising dawn
Good Friday’s snowfall
Snow falls on Friday
A Savior rises Sunday
Spring surprises all
April morning snow
Quiet soft burial melting
It may be Friday – but Sunday’s on the way!
Sign Of The Times
Considering the overwhelming impact of humanity on this planet I’m left with the following questions and statements to think about:
How much more of humanity can our planet support?
How much more of humanity will our planet tolerate?
At what point will our natural resources run out?
Is there a danger that humanity will become extinct?
Would that be a bad thing?
Is the problem Humanity or merely the sheer volume/numbers of our species? After all no other species has completely dominated the earth like Humanity.
Nature always attempts to reset.
Isn’t the Corona Virus COVID-19, an attempt by nature to reset the balance of humanity to earths resources? Should we fight the Corona Virus, COVID-19?
In fighting nature aren’t we trying to control it and force it to our liking, our whims regardless of what may be best for our species AND the planet?
Does humanity have a false sense of value?
Does humanity have a false sense of what is morally right?
Does humanity have a false sense of importance?
Didn’t God create humanity to be caretakers of this planet?
when did humanity evolve from the “Image of God” to being god?
Hasn’t God always punished humanity for overstepping (think of the Tower of Babel)?
Even if we defeat the Corona Virus, COVID-19, something else will come along?
Just because we CAN – does that mean we SHOULD?
People will always get sick and people will ALWAYS die. Personally I’d rather die by natural cause like a virus than by a gun, war, violence or technological accident. Just think how much better the world will be if people took the same extreme measures to stop war, curb gun violence, domestic violence and other crimes of humanity – is it really just and right to imprison people in their homes because we are afraid?
what are the 7 signs of the Anthropocene – a manmade epoch?
2.Accelerated use of fossil fuels
3.The invention of 3 materials that have forever changed how we live: Concrete, Aluminum, Plastics
4.manmade change of earths geology through farming, mining, deforestation, landfills, dam building, coastal reclamation
5.Increased use of fertilizers
6.Climate change/global warming
7.mass extinction – we are currently in what is called the 6th mass extinction in planetary history with 3/4ths of species due to be wiped out in the coming centuries.