wwsp albums on bandcamp!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Raw & Raucous Dream!

Yesterday's post about Nick Cave & Edgar Allen Poe reminded me that whitewolfsonicprincess performed one of Poe's great poems, "A Dream Within a Dream" as a r&r song. We did a demo of it, and recorded it a few months back on our little digital recorder at our rehearsal space.

It's raw & and raucous, and we totally swamp Carla, the singer, in the middle, but I do love the energy of the thing. And it was really fun to play...


Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Sum of Many, Many Parts

I agree. When it comes to creativity you are the sum of your influences.  This little scribbled note from Nick Cave captures it perfectly. You can hear all of these influences in his music... 2001's "No More Shall We Part," is on my all-time greatest list...

Postscript: I am a little bit surprised to see that Edgar Allan Poe isn't included in this note. I have always thought that Nick Cave is EAP reincarnated. If Poe were around today pretty sure he'd be fronting a band very much like the Bad Seeds...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I Choose to Go with the Light!

A very long-time acquaintance of mine shared a song lyric with me yesterday. A heavy conversation, and this lyric from Jim Morrison of The Doors: "No one gets out of here alive."

True, but bleak. It kind of thudded into me like a door slam.

Hours later, I was walking down the boulevard and a song lyric from Steven Patrick Morrissey of The Smiths just came bubbling out of me unbidden: "There is a light that never goes out..."

Hard to prove, but much more in line with the optimist (see previous post) in me.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Optimism is Radical!

I have been lucky to meet and know some extraordinary people in my life. One of them is Kris Cahill, a friend, an artist, a meditation teacher, and a dynamic spiritual force.

Love her post on "Optimism is a radical and spiritual choice." I too tend to be an "optimist."  Yes, I tend to see the cup half-full. I can also conjure up lots of cynicism, and pessimism - when I was the young, rebellious teen, or the moody existentialist, I could go as dark as anyone, but can't really carry it through nowadays.

A long life of meditation has really opened me up to the light, and all those moody dark poses seem pretty damn hollow to me now.

Sometimes I find myself having to work up the optimistic mind-set, sometimes it is a "choice," but that doesn't make it any less essential, no, maybe more essential. Certainly, to write a song, or monologue, or play, or performance piece, requires a bit of optimism - "This is gonna be good!"  

Yes, optimism takes "work, consciousness, faith and trust..." It is the good work for sure...

Monday, July 27, 2015

Hand in Hand

I think I read it in Helen MacDonald's book... a human hand is meant to hold another hand... we are social beings, made to share our lives... together...

There are the "dividers," the "judges" those who will try to form hierarchies, and form those little clubs of "us against them."

But we are human beings first... made to be in community with other human beings. Sometimes that comes through loud and clear. And when it does it is uplifting, enlightening, healing.

How do you hold onto that feeling, that overwhelming sense always, every day, every moment? Don't know. But it's something worth trying to do.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Developmental vs. Generational!

I like this from Malcolm Gladwell on the "limits of big data." And the difference between "developmental" and "generational" changes in people's behavior.

According to Gladwell:

Horror Movies are "developmental." Teens watch horror movies as a rite of passage. Horror movies change nothing. Destroy all the horror movies and "nothing would change." Horror movies didn't change the culture at large.

Alternatively Rap Music is "generational."  Rap music changed the culture at large from fashion, music, and race relations.

Hunh!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Neo-Folk-Pschedelic-Rock-Ensemble of Some Sort!

It's not often that our humble little band gets a celebrity endorsement. I mean, whitewolfsonicprincess is on the margin of the margins. But you know, that's OK! 

We do the work and let the chips fall where they may. Still when you do get an endorsement from someone like Lon Lennon, (John Lennon's long-lost cousin), well, there's nothing wrong with sharing with the world, right?

I like how he sums up our sound, no one else has said it better: "A Neo-Folk-Psychedelic-Rock-Ensemble of Some Sort." Brilliant! Thanks Lon! "All you need is Lon!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Giving...

And what is love? Here are 5 theories. But maybe the great writer & poet Robert Graves says it best: "And love is giving, and giving, and giving... not looking for any return."

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Love, Grace, Compassion

Let's say something really, really bad happens. Like a tragedy or something. Makes you think about the important things.

Lots of things fall away. The day to day stuff kind of dematerializes. You can thrash around, looking for answers, but there are no answers.

If you have a vivid imagination, a sensitive constitution, you can live and relive the tragedy, and it can remake you. It does remake you. You make that new reality part of your being. It's hard. 

And then, what exactly are we left with? Not a lot. We don't have much in our arsenal - just love, grace, compassion.  That is all. The essential stuff. That is it. It has to be enough.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

To Heal is a Relative Thing

They tell us, "Time heals all wounds." Nice sentiment. A lie. Maybe a white lie, maybe a useful lie, but still a lie.

Probably should amend it to - "Most physical wounds heal." Think: if you lose an eye, an arm, a leg, "to heal," is a relative thing.

And then there are the psychic, emotional, spiritual wounds. Some of those never really heal. Maybe the wound can be managed. But some deep soul wounds just don't/can't heal. (See previous post on the "Wounded Child").

These wounds define us. We bump up against reality, and have to deal with the things of the world, and we endure. Sometimes the pain and suffering comes in waves. Lose someone very dear to you, and the loss is deep, so deep.

We carry on. We carry the wounds with us. Sometimes we are scarred, and sometimes there are just deep holes in our being. Maybe those holes can be windows or doors to a new understanding of our lives? We need to try to fill those deep, dark places with light, and love... but it's an on-going task.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Faux-Candidate, Malicious Anti-Body!

I think Trump is a joke. A faux-candidate. A result of our culture of bullshit. We have elevated a class of blowhards into the mainstream of our culture. We give them reality shows, and air-time on cable tv,  radio and the news. We talk about them, and belittle them, and marvel at their audacious stupidity. This culture of bullshit is a branch of our entertainment ecosystem. It's kind of pathetic, shows us to be shallow, hollow, and satisfied with cheap talk and faux-thrills. Nothing new there.

Trump has parlayed his halo of hot air into another career. "You're fired." When the time comes, should probably chisel that on his headstone, but then again, it will probably just read "TRUMP!"

I probably shouldn't waste brain cells on this guy. Or blog space. But I take my politics seriously. And Trump is so seriously ridiculous. At the same time, as Rick Pearlstein points out:

"Conservatives understand that the direction of human history is not on their side—that, other things equal, civilization does tend toward more inclusion, more emancipation, more liberalism. That is the great source of their anger." 

And Trump is a rich white guy who is channeling that anger. Usually Conservatives talk in code. When they say "welfare reform," we know what they mean, they want to punish "those people." When they talk "smaller government," or "balanced budget" we know they want to eliminate programs for the poor, for minorities, etc. When they talk "immigrants" they want to deny and deport.

Nixon's "Silent Majority." They never left us. They are white, angry, and in positions of power. Trump is saying what the silent majority understood you shouldn't say. Trump is shining a light on this dark corner of our country, our politics. So in that way, Trump is funny and maybe quite useful. He is sort like a malicious anti-body wreaking havoc on the body politic.

I am rooting Trump to not only implode, but to take down the GOP with him. That would be very cool, and very fitting.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Searching for the Calm Center in a World of Stress!

Stress. Right?! They have an Institute for it. We all suffer from it. It's our aquarium. In a way, don't we all suffer from PSTD to varying degrees? We all have witnessed military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or physical or sexual assault in adult or childhood.

Some of us only experience some of these things on a screen, or in our imagination. Still our minds take in the information and our bodies react. Our "Emotions Affect our Susceptibility to Burnout and Disease."

How do we combat this, protect ourselves? Can't live in a bubble. Maybe the Joan of Arc of Buddhism Meditation can help. She has taught "mindfulness" and meditation to members of the Military and Google. Finding the calm center. Search inside yourself!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Amy Winehouse - Just Another Wounded Child


It was hot & sticky here, so we went to a see a movie. Survival tactic! 

We saw the new Amy Winehouse Documentary.  As they say, "raw, vivid, heartbreaking..." You leave thinking, "What a waste." It's sad, a little maddening. Amy's story follows a familiar trajectory. You are left with one incredibly great record, "Back to Black," and her totally, amazing voice. Another shooting star, imploding on itself.

I thought of the "Wounded Child Archetype,"  (which is so beautifully and vividly explored by Susanna Barlow), it is one of the most compelling human archetypes in our culture - one that we all carry from lesser to greater degree.  Famous Wounded Children? Think: James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Kurt Cobain & Amy Winehouse. Wounded children who never grew up, and they used their pain as the source of their creativity.

This is a dangerous thing. Leads one to wallow in the pain, to worship at the altar of their wound. It's compelling, and attractive to others, because it's so honest. It's harrowing too. Leads the willful child to do what they want, when they want. If fame and success come, they end up feeding this little beast inside. The wound is insatiable. Swallows everything up.

The Wounded Child sees everything through the lens of the wound. The wound colors everything. These famous, wealthy people never really have to come to terms with the wound. They can't heal, instead they turn to sex & drugs to mask the pain. Which of course, just adds fuel to the fire.

Maybe these famous people are attractive to us, because we recognize the wounded child in us too? And we see these folks indulged, and secretly we'd like to be indulged too? Most of us have to grow up. We have to do our best to heal the wounds in our lives and move forward. You have to do the simple things of living.

I am always amazed that such talented, creative, charismatic people couldn't be saved by the creative work.  The work itself is not enough for the Wounded Child. The Wounded Child is too wrapped up in their own pain, their own reality, they can't fully embrace the things of the world. Can't really see the world and themselves with clarity. Ultimately, they only want to be loved, but they don't feel worthy, and can't really get enough love to carry on with the task, and the gift, of life.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Transporters


Yes, thinking about (see previous post) the magical, sacred nature of music. I can hear that raucous sacredness everywhere. I hear it in R&R, Hip-Hop. It doesn't have to be "devotional" music, to evoke the sacredness. 

Play the Beatle's "Revolver" or Dylan's "Highway 61." Or the Stone's "Exile." Or Patti Smith's "Horses."

Raucous and sacred. 

Lately I've been listening to Dead Can Dance's "The Serpent's Egg." It's a knockout. Released in 1988. It's from another place and time. And it transports you.

To another world. And that other world is evoked now. Is alive now.

I never realized that Lisa Gerrard sings in an "invented language." But it deepens the meaning for me. Yes, "speaking to God." Speaking in tongues.

A profound, wordless sound. That works on you. Enters you. Transforms you.

Another record that does that for me is Sigur Ros' 1999 release "Agaetis byrjun." Most of it is sung in Icelandic. I have no clue what Jonsi is singing about, which just makes it that much more profound. He throws in some gibberish too. More speaking in tongues!


Over the years I have listened to this Sigur Ros record more than any other record I own. I used to take regular flights to California and this was the sound that carried me in the clouds. It brought me  closer to "God." No doubt.

These are wordless wonders. Transporters.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Repetition Enchants the Brain!

If you play music, in a band, like I do, (whitewolfsonicprincess & The Telepaths), you know. And/or if you love music and listen to music, intensely, religiously, you know.

Music is a branch of magic. "The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it's a form of mesmerism."

I have marveled at how essential and all-consuming music has loomed in my life. From a very, very young age. Yes, indeed, music "enchants the brain."

I have lately wondered if other musicians/bands love to play music, and to rehearse as much as we do. They must. I find the process almost like a form of worship. It can transform a mood, a feeling, a day, a week. It can, and it will, transform you as a being.  It helps that we play with extraordinarily excellent musicians. It helps that everyone is committed to the work.

Yes, it's also rewarding to play in front of people, an audience, but it turns out that it isn't essential. The communication between the musicians, sitting in a room, working intensely together, establishing a secret, nonverbal relationship is an essentially rewarding phenomena. 

Yes, and the repetition takes you "out of time." Working in a room with others takes you "out of yourself." It is a sacred thing. Even if you are just banging out ugly, wanky garage rock, or if you are playing beautifully lyrical and rhythmic songs. Seems, really that the content doesn't matter so much. The form of the ritual is everything. Magic. A conjuring. Enchanting.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Trump - The Vapidly Smirking Id of America!



The next election for President isn't until November 2016. That's right. You are already sick of the campaign, right? A long way to go.

And right now the "front-runner" on the Republican side is Trump. Yep. That loud-mouth, racist, no-nothing, billionaire is front and center, and lots of the Republican voters are cheering him on.

You think it's a joke right?! It is. And it's not. 

Trump really is the smirking Id of our culture. A narcissistic, preening, pompous blow-hard. What he says pretty much makes no sense. He really has no coherent ideas, but he can generate lots of hot-air. He has lots to say, and our culture of stupid has given him a big megaphone. And really that's perfect for our Empire of Bullshit. Trump is the epitome of bullshit. Bullshit floats, bullshit flies.

You wonder just how his hair exists. And how does this man defy gravity. And rationality. And just how did he accumulate his wealth. His existence proves the point that wealth and intellect have nothing to do with each other. Dare I say it, he makes Bush II seem smart.

I can't really take this guy seriously. I can't believe he will last very long on the campaign trail. Doesn't he have to implode? Blow up like a dirigible? Will that thing on his head get disgusted and get up and leave? Maybe head to Tijuana, Mexico?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Rube Goldberg & Bullshit!

Batman vs. Superman. Another movie I won't bother to see. But I actually read the article on Grantland. And made it to the end. And came across this great line:

"This is less a piece of cinema and more the beginning segments of a Rube Goldberg machine that prints money." - Dave Shilling

And isn't that the dream of our grand entertainment complex? A money printing machine!

And then here's Ben Brantley on Penn & Teller: "It’s hard to hear a pop star’s hit record now without thinking of the technology that smoothed and sweetened the vocals, or to listen to a politician without imagining a team of speechwriters, or to watch special effects in an action movie without wondering about green screens. As much as we may be amused or even enthralled by such spectacles, it’s become a point of honor to know that they’re only illusions."

In other words - bullshit! We are swimming in bullshit!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

So Worth It!

It's an easy call. I'm with the "peacemakers." I admire Obama & Kerry and the U.S. negotiating team. There will be all the usual suspects against this nuclear deal with Iran. There are those who want war. Always. It's time to be optimistic and hopeful. Let's hear from the naysayers. They are loud and unrelenting. It's easy to sit on the sidelines, and criticize this effort. But I'm not one of them! It's hard to make peace, but so worth it!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Life & Reality - We Share it With All Things!

"Will they say he is a wise man?" Time and time again in my life, I have turned to Alan Watts. I mean, when it really comes down to it, his insights keep pinging back into my head.

"Life and reality are not things you can have for yourself unless you accord them to all others." 

And right there is so much wisdom. And if you accord all others (all sentient beings) with the same sense of life and reality, well, doesn't it lead to sympathy and empathy, and living lightly on the land with love for all others too? You think: "They are just like me." Connects you to everything too.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Doom Demographic!

Harbingers of Failure. The demographic of doom. Customers who are always at the front of the line for products destined to flop. The more they buy, the more failure is assured.

So these would be the folks who listened to Milli Vanilli, MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, drank New Coke, drove an Edsel, and a Corvair, played videos on their Betamax, loved Chevy Chase as a talk-show host, went to the movies to see Howard the Duck, Heaven's Gate, Ishtar, Lone Ranger and John Carter, and all the other movies on this list, voted for McGovern, Romney, Trump, and every other political loser you could name, got a no doc, sub-prime mortgage with no money down, etc.

I'm thinking they have their Apple Watch on right now. And they are streaming songs on Tidal, or maybe listening to music on Neil Young's Pono. Oh yeah, and don't forget they're wearing their Google Glass, surfing on MySpace, recharging their Jet packs, and polishing their virtual reality helmets...

And well, my future prediction of doom & flop, when it opens in theaters, they will all be marching off to Ant Man! "Oh my God, the little guy is coming, secure the picnic basket!"

These are the customers who always, always buy the wrong thing at the wrong price. An extraordinary contingent of doom-bringing beings!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Prog Rock - Good Hair!


Yes, well, "Prog Rock" has been on my mind lately. I think it's because we have been binge-watching "Game of Thrones." It's the show where, as an acquaintance said, "everyone dies." Yes. And any character that shows a hint of innocence or happiness, gets squashed, humiliated, beheaded, raped, skewered, disfigured, burned, dismembered, hanged, or punished in some grim, and very dramatic manner.

We are talking very charismatic, beautiful, and talented actors, most with British or Australian accents, enduring all the slings and arrows of an outrageous fortune. For some reason, it's all quite entertaining. I mean, why is it entertaining? Maybe there's something enjoyable about watching young, beautiful, perfectly proportioned people with better hair than you, suffer terribly?

Why Prog Rock? Many of the male characters look and dress like Prog Rock musicians from the late 70's. I see members of Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Rush transported to the lands of George R. R. Martin. Prog Rock refugees, teleported to another time and place.

So I was happy to stumble upon Rolling Stones "50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time." Seems so "top of mind." Maybe I'm not the greatest prog rock fan. I have only owned and played 10 of these albums.

But their #1 is definitely my #1 - Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon." In fact, I just played the thing in it's entirety, earlier this week. I do think it's a flawless masterpiece. One of the greatest albums of all time. 

So I'm with the critical consensus on that one, although if pressed I might say that Floyd's "Wish You Were Here," is actually my favorite. I also own and enjoyed Genesis, Jethro Tull, King Crimson, Emerson Lake & Palmer. But I missed most of the others on the list. But you know, for sure, almost all of these bands had great hair, and they could play their instruments. And many of these albums were "concepts." Mind-bending, heady stuff! And pretty damn entertaining too.

Friday, July 10, 2015

A World Thicke with Suckers!

You hate to kick a guy when he's down, but really, I pretty much hated the guy when he was flying high too. So the swing of the pendulum actually seems pretty damn appropriate. Sometimes you "get what you deserve." They call that Karma.

So seeing Robin Thicke swimming around in his own sea of misery, seems oh so appropriate. Read the GQ interview and it's clear Thicke and Pharrell Williams did pretty much rip off Marvin Gaye. 

And they did make a video which, as Thicke so eloquently tells it: "Hey do you think this is degrading to women? Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I've never gotten to do that before. I've always respected women."

What a douche. 

You wonder if all those people who bought the single, would like their money back? I always thought "Get Lucky" was the better song. Give me two silent French Robots and Nile Rodgers any old time!

This is hilarious. One of Thicke's friends on Thicke: "I gotta be honest with you buddy. You're kind of playing yourself. You look like a sucker."

And all those people who bought the single, watched and shared the video - suckers too!

As an antidote to the sucker-ness: 

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Querying the Godhead!

Querying the Godhead. The Ancient Greeks had "The Oracle of Delphi." They thought it was the omphalos - the navel of the world.

We are too modern and smart for that. We know there is no center, no navel. Everything is everywhere. We have "the Cloud." And the great Google. Which is basically the mind of humanity, all the wisdom, all the stupidity, all the cat videos, porn, etc. out there to be queried and discovered with a couple clicks.

This morning I'm in a "metaphysical" state of mind. Yesterday's post reminded me that money is fiction.

And I go to the Godhead and start querying the big questions on my mind...

Is reality real? Maybe. Maybe not.

Is consciousness a hallucination? Maybe. Maybe not.

Are dreams "real?" Yep.

Do we "lose consciousness" when we sleep? You bet.

What does my future hold? Going forward you can address me as "Your Majesty," and "Your Excellency!"

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Money - A Shared Hallucination

Money. In a way it's a shared hallucination. Or a living dream. We all buy into the reality and importance of money. And we use it as the life-blood of much of our human activity.

The value of money is something we conjure up. We all choose to live by it's codes and rules. But really it is just paper, numbers in a computer. As J.S.G. Boggs has shown you can make up your own money. You can call it art. And trade it for goods. Money is also an act of imagination.

So yes, back to this Greek Crisis. Wouldn't it be great if for once, the money lost? For once the common people won? Wouldn't it be great if it wasn't the bankers, the money folks, the "very serious people" who got bailed out, but just the regular people who were given a break?

Yes, maybe sometimes the little guy wins! Wouldn't it be nice? Someone said, it would set a bad example to bail out the Greeks. I think what they meant is that it would set a "good example!" Maybe we could all affirm that though we believe in the power and glory of the almighty $ sometimes people, and their lives, actually are more valuable, more important than cash.

For once. Real people over cash.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Simple Answers to Complicated Questions

I'm not an economist. I read Paul Krugman (famous political progressive) who did win a Nobel Prize for Economics, and I also read Marginal Revolution which seems to look at economics from a "Libertarian" perspective.

That's about it. Not that good with $. Or balancing my checkbook. Almost all my activities, the things I love to do with heart and soul, don't really pay very well. So I guess, it's safe to say that money and I have an arm's length relationship.

So who am I to wade into the Greek Debt Crisis? The Euro thing? Grexit?

Not that qualified. But here goes anyway. I see it as a complicated situation with a simple answer. All my sympathies are with the people of Greece. It's an easy call - the common folk in Greece vs. the Moneylenders?

What would Jesus do? Hah! He'd toss the money-changers from the temple. That's my take too. Give the Greeks a break. Forgive the debt. Give the country a clean start.

The accountants will have move some zeroes around on a spreadsheet. Big deal. Maybe some banks and hedge funds and other financial big-wigs will have to take a hit. So what!?

I value people over money. Every time! Next question?

Monday, July 06, 2015

"A Freak on Vacation!"

I had an interesting (at least to me) dream last night. I was sitting chatting with a friend who I hadn't seen in quite a long time. I told her the truth, that it was great seeing her, and I marveled at all the wonderful things that filled up her life - children, job, yoga, all her creative endeavors.

She smiled and said to me: "I am a freak. And I'm between jobs. I start a new job next week."

I said in reply: "Wow. That's great. Yes. You are a freak. A freak on vacation!"

Sunday, July 05, 2015

"The Most Important Thing in the World."

"The most important thing in the world." Whatever you are doing that's how you should approach what you are doing. Right? Even if you know what you are doing isn't the most important thing in the world. Or probably not. Right?

You are this little being. In the world. It's a big rollicking, raucous place. Most of the world, and the beings in it, don't even know you exist. This shouldn't really bother you. As Jerry Seinfeld reminds us, being a drop in the ocean is just fine.

So yes, maybe just a tiny drop. But your drop-ness is pretty damn unique. It's all you got, so you should just go with it. Give it your all. Make your own existence important, and the things you do, what you choose to do, and choose not to do - important. Yes, important. The most important thing in the world… as if...

Saturday, July 04, 2015

The Dead are No Longer the Dead, Long Live the Dead!



I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade. I mean, I have been a long-time Grateful Dead fan for many, many years myself. But when they say, that this weekend's Grateful Dead Celebration here in Chicago is the last stand for the band, well, I must dissent. The band ceased being "the Dead" when Jerry Garcia's heart stopped beating in 1995.

Let's say this is the last stand for "The Brand!" Bands come and go, but the brand dies hard!

You want to glory in the Dead? Go back and listen to their studio masterpiece "American Beauty," or check out "Live in 67" or "Europe 72" or those many, many hours of live shows they recorded over the years.

What an amazing group. Always improvising. Every show an experience, and experiment. They had a lightness of touch. Garcia's guitar technique, beautiful, melodic, flowing, surprising, rambling, always changing and morphing.

The Dead were never "heavy" they had a lightening-like brightness about them. I saw them once at Alpine Valley in Wisconsin. Made the trip with a car-full of women. I was the designated driver, so I was pretty clear-headed for most of the trip.

The Dead were joyful. Long rolling jams. Two drummers, Garcia, Weir and Lesh just the best intuitive musicianship imaginable. I remember it all as a joyous afternoon, winding into a hushed and beautiful night. It was a carnival. The Dead Heads were kind of like a roving tribe of happy heads.

So yes, celebrate the Grateful Dead. Give a great send off to Weir, Lesh, Kruetzman, Hart, but don't pretend that they are the Dead. Jerry Garcia, Captain Trips - all the music flowed through that man, he was the heart, the soul, the alchemist, the magician, and he was a one of a kind, an American Beauty, totally irreplaceable!

Friday, July 03, 2015

Hope for a Better America!

Tomorrow is the 4th of July. We celebrate the birth of America. Fireworks. BBQs. The birthing of the country is still very much on my mind lately. Recent events, highlight long ago events. The birthing is also an evolving.

Some of us want to "go back" to simpler times. Those folks are deluded. There never were simpler times. Times always have been difficult. The difficulties are always changing. And we are always evolving - as human beings, as societies, culturally, physically, psychically.

For some of the lucky ones, our early lives may have seemed simpler, more innocent, but that's because we were children, doing children things. As soon as we "grew up" we realized that that innocent state was a bubble. A false paradise. Welcome to the world Bunky!

So change. And more change. You can go with the change, or change with the change. Anyway, I am not the first to point out that our country was born from slavery and genocide. The states rebelled against a King, benefited from the economic engine of human slavery, and decimated the native people who lived here.

So that's part of America, a big part of it. And that old history is still very much alive today. Check out the "paragraph on slavery that never made it into the Declaration of Independence."

And then check out the latest headlines over the last few months. There is a continuum.

And as the great John A. Powell points out on Krista Tippet's program On Being - "Race is like gravity, experienced by all, understood by few."

And we must remember that slavery is not the history of black people, it is a history of America, of all of us, of white people and brown people too. All people. And genocide is not Native American history, it is history of America. A history of white people. A history of those who suffered and those who caused the suffering.

Love this - 3 reasons the American Revolution was a mistake! If we didn't rebel against England, slavery would have ended sooner, the genocide may not have occurred, and our system of government would have been better. So when we celebrate the 4th, we celebrate a fatal misstep!

And those wounds never quite heal. There is no way to erase them. They are always with us. So when we celebrate the birth, we celebrate death too. And remember the injustice and pain. And honor those who have fallen. And hope for a better America tomorrow.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

The Right's War on Women, and Gays...

I found this article by Amanda Marcotte to be totally eye, and head opening. There are the Ayatollahs of the "hard right" in America - think people like Santorum, Huckabee, Douhat, and others of that ilk.  They are hostile to "marriage equality," and it never made sense to me. But if you think of their opposition as just one more data point in a broader fight against the empowerment of women, then you can discern a coherent "world-view." It's backward, and retro, and anti-equality, and anti-woman and totally against the forward movement of the progress towards human rights, but it is coherent.

The hard right sees "traditional marriage," as a way of harnessing women. Keeping them at home, raising children, being totally subservient to men. It's a view of women and children as "property." So old world, so retro, so wrong. 

So this new conception of marriage, where any two consenting adults can tie the knot, irregardless of sexual persuasion, whether they intend to raise children or not, marrying for love, or companionship, kind of destroys that old conception.

Woman are further emancipated, Gay folks too.

It's a good thing. A necessary thing. And the Ayatollahs of America's hard right have been over-ruled!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Days of Heaven to Magic Mike

It's hard to believe, but it turns out that the "Magic Mike" saga all started out with an impressionable 14 year old boy watching Terrence Malick's masterpiece, "Days of Heaven." And having a certain epiphany. 

“Someone went into the world with a camera and observed and had a point of view,” he says. “It just felt like anyone could do anything in movies. If you could do something like that, you could make anything that was in your mind.”

And that's the story of popular culture. Right there, in a nutshell.

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