October 10, 2016 at 3:22 pm (contemplation, creative writing, culture, education, environment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, issues, life, Native Americans, nature, people, poetry, politics, relationships, religion, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: #NoDAPL, Columbus Day, current events, Defenders, Elegy for Paradise, history, Indigenous Day, poem, poetry, RT News video, Standing Rock
Sweet water ripples
falls fruit ripe
lush was paradise
color flows out of the world
what words for this loss
life flows out of the earth
tiniest to largest creature vanishing
words cannot serve this loss
sky closes saturated with human waste
homo sapiens self harms
collateral damage in excess
all life flows out of the earth
In the sixties,
In a Catholic school,
Thou Shall Not Ask:
“Where are all the Indian People?”
On your knees in the corner,
Another pink slip home.
“Where are all the Indigenous People?
At Standing Rock defending the Water, Earth and Sky.
September 10, 2016 at 4:32 pm (culture, education, environment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, Indigenous People, issues, journalism, Lakota, life, living, music, Native Americans, nature, people, politics, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: "PTSD", #NoDAPL, Bakken, climate change, Democracy Now, Enbridge, environment, gas, history, Lightning Cloud, music, nature, news, North Dakota, Oil, Pipeline, protectors, song, Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, TechN9ne, video, Water is Life
Tech N9ne ft RedCloud -“PTSD” #NODAPL
For extensive media coverage Democracy Now!
Lyrics are posted on YouTube.
September 9, 2016 at 1:59 pm (books, culture, education, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, issues, journalism, politics, Uncategorized)
Tags: Attica, Blood in the Water, books, civil rights, Heather Ann Thompson, history, horror, human rights, NY Time Book Revies, prisons, racial issues, reading, video footage
Encountered Thompson’s work via Democracy Now! ‘s coverage of the anniversary of the uprising at Attica. I remember Attica If you don’t, you’re in for a bone chilling reality check.
I have not yet read Thompson’s work but there is an excellent review by Mark Oppenheimer:
NY Times Book Review
August 19, 2016 at 3:26 pm (books, culture, drama, education, entertainment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, films, history, life, movies, politics, quests, random, relationships, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: American Experience, books, Daniel James Brown, documentary, history, integrity, Olympics, PBS, rowing, The Boys in the Boat, The Boys of '36
It’s Friday and everyone is itching to chill out so I’ll get right to the heart of this post: Treat yourself and read The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. This is a true story of HEART–true character, “boys” who were men whom current athletes can not match on any level. Yes, I have seen the 2016 Olympics and found them sorely wanting. In a time when ego and individual effort is all the rage it’s impossible to even imagine that a group of nine “boys” could swing like none other. I knew nothing about rowing until I read this book. I knew more than I wanted about the Nazis. I knew about the Depression and the Dust Bowl. I knew about Jesse Owens. But I knew nothing about this incredible rowing crew. Swing is now more than a style of Jazz and dancing for me. It’s not often that I re-read a book but I’ve read the race scenes several times because they’re so damn exciting. Nothing I’ve seen –ever– in the Olympics can compare.
For the romantics there’s even a love story. Actually there’s a lot of love in this story.
The Boys in the Boat
Much thanks and appreciation to PBS’s American Experience episode The Boys of ’36 which turned me onto Brown’s book.
The Boys of ’36 Chapter 1
Watch, read and be uplifted.
M-I-B = Mind In Boat ~~ rowing mantra
May 2, 2016 at 6:09 pm (art, creative writing, culture, education, environment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, journalism, life, living, publishing, random, relationships, searching, thinking, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: American, books, Chernobyl, cities, City By City, death, disaster, exploring interconnectedness, Francine Prose, history, Keith Gessen, libraries, library, life, Nobel Prize in Literature, nuclear energy, oral history, reading, Russian, searching, Stefan Bollman, Svetlana Alexievich, unplugged, urban landscapes, Virginia Woolf, Voices from Chernobyl, women, Women Who Write, Women Writers, world wide web, Writing
An interesting thing happens when you unplug from the world-wide web–time expands. Yes it does indeed. Time expands in the sense of all the things you can explore OFFline. Consider what happens when you forget your cellphone and you don’t feel the need to answer every ringtone like Pavlov’s puppies. Oh the freedom from the ring, from the keyboard connected to social media, and everything in the info universe. It can be very liberating–and you realize just how much energy, effort and time you’ve been putting into communication technology. Having been almost constantly online since BEFORE Facebook and twitter were even imagined I discovered a real big break from it all was in order. It’s been the kind of break where I’m on the verge of needing to upgrade my cellphone so that it will ‘work’. Aside from personal connections I have not missed the world-wide web much. I don’t enjoy reading books online–but I adore reading. Writing online has its pros and cons. I’ve discovered that the best way to deal with writer’s block is to actually write with a pen/pencil on paper. Yeah, it works. According the research I suspect it’s because more of your brain is stimulated by using your fine motor skills when using a pen than with using a keyboard. Oh and there’s never a problem with power outages or viruses or hitting the wrong key and sending everything into nowhere-land. Yes, being offline has been very good for my writing. It’s also been good for reading, exploring music, and cooking. Virtual cooking leads to virtual food and that’s inedible no matter what it does to your salivary glands.
When you’re exploring books offline in a library setting interesting things tend to happen–to me anyway. For example, an oversize book cover featuring Virginia Woolf’s profile draws your attention to Stefan Bollman’s Women Who Write, a book of profiles of women writers. Reading Francine Prose’s introduction raises the question of what other women have won the Nobel Prize in Literature since the book’s publication. The answer to this query leads to 2015 Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich’s Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster. I currently do not know where else you can read anything like this in English. Which leads in turn to the translator, Keith Gessen who is the co-editor of City By City, Dispatches from the American Metropolis. The essays therein present diverse perspectives on the American urban landscape–and they’re anything but boring.
I heartily recommend all these books for your reading table or tablet. Warning: Voices from Chernobyl may break your heart with its love stories. What happens to people who know nothing about the downside of nuclear energy when things go terribly wrong? This is an intensely personal record of what happens. Considering the world in which we live we owe to these people to at least make ourselves aware and informed. Because Blue Skies do not mean all is hunky dory in the radioactive universe. Note: this is also a National Book Critics Circle Award winner for General Nonfiction.
~Virginia Woolf’s profile
~Women Who Write by Stefan Bollman, Francine Prose
~Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich
~Translator Keith Gessen
~City By City, Dispatches from the American Metropolis edited by Keith Gessen and Stephen Squibb
Please do feel free to share wherever these dots lead you.
Thanks for engaging here. Your time, energy and virtual presence is very much appreciated–more than ever before.
About Svetlana Alexievich:
Women Who Read Are Dangerous~~(select translation):
October 13, 2014 at 6:37 pm (books, culture, drama, education, entertainment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, humor, Indigenous People, issues, journalism, life, living, Native Americans, people, politics, quests, random, relationships, satire, searching, thinking, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: art, Buzzfeed, Colorado, Columbus Day, creative writing, Democracy Now, dialogue, dramatic dialogue, education, exploring interconnectedness, fact, history, Howard Zinn, Indigenous People, internal monologue goes external, Issues, journalism, lie, media, Mexican American Studies, mind control, Native Americans, Noriega, poltics, protests, Sandro Botticelli, satire, Writing, Young Turks
~In 1482, Columbus sailed the ocean blue~
He was Bad News for the Taino People ~
But some people don’t want to think about that reality.
Because then they’d have to learn a new history.
~Ooops–but isn’t history supposed to be true and honest?
Depends on who is using which facts to support which version of what happened.
~Are you saying people manipulate facts to suit their own agendas?
Me? Why would I ever say something like that? It might be politically incorrect, and we can’t have that, can we?
~Hmm, but what’s Politically Correct for one group isn’t necessarily PC for another group. And people do have a tendency to abuse PC everywhere in order to create conflict and sometime even abuse other people who had no intentions of abusing anyone. There’s been some very rough irony involved in demands for PC over the years.
No way! Who would do something like that?
~Who doesn’t? Come on, look at the conservative media, the scared shitless media, the controlled media, the alternative media, the foreign media, the underground media, the social media–everyone spins everything to suit their vision of reality, right?
Do you think that’s what pissed off those high school kids in Colorado so much that they pretested in the streets about changes in what history would be taught?
~What do you think?
I’m not sure yet. But–I do recall what happened in Arizona with the Mexican-American Studies program being shut down because it presented a different viewpoint of history than what the TPTB wanted taught in schools.
~Hey, are you saying there’s a conspiracy to teach lies in American schools?
Look, I don’t go in for conspiracy theories. But I don’t think this is a coincidence either. Maybe it’s just like minds acting out in similar ways. Or not.
~ Like minded people, right. Ah ha.
Lie. Lie. Lie.
Deny lying and lie some more.
Because if the truth is known the people might rebel.
There’s a very good chance they’ll refuse to be cannon fodder.
They might even learn other languages in order to talk to the rest of the world about issues that affect everyone.
Howard Zinn on Honesty In History
Humor ~~ Warning! Contains Sarcasm, Irony and Questioning of Authority
If you’re still in the dark about the history curriculum issue in Colorado:
As for the Mexican-American Studies Program in Arizona, check this out from Buzzfeed’s David Noriega:
Am I spinning the facts? Me? No way. Why would I do something like that?
A few of the many Italian things I really like:
Friendly Italian people
Sandro Botticelli, artist ~ http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/botticelli/
~~No, I’m not going to talk about the Pope or the Vatican. One should never discuss religion. It’s very Un-PC. Or it used to be. I’m not sure anymore.
September 27, 2014 at 6:27 am (books, culture, education, entertainment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, Indigenous People, Native Americans, people, politics, publishing, random, thinking, Writing)
Tags: Alaska, Aleuts, American history, An Uncommon History of 1776, Beavers, book review, books, Claudio Saunt, Creeks, Cuba, history, reading, West of the Revolution, Writing
One minute book review:
Why is it that people on one side of the globe think they have a right to the land of the people living on the other side of the earth?
Oh right–they’re all a bunch of greedy egocentric egomaniacs who are only interested in how to turn a profit. Yeah, I knew that.
Of course there’s genocide, racism and missionaries spreading misery in spades–but, there’s also the beaver trade and the Cuban connection too in West of the Revolution wherein Claudio Saunt fills history buffers in on what was going on elsewhere in North America during that war for some colonies’ economic independence from merry old England. This is an darkly entertaining and easy read with odd maps, chapter notes notes and a very strange illustration depicting beavers in action on page 129. Saunt offers some very disturbing stories about human behavior on the part of everyone and a decided lack of brotherly love. Yeah, forget all the first Thanksgiving propaganda, it’s a no go in Alaska with the Russians and Aleuts. And Jesus Christ, what is it with the damn priests and their bad habits on west coast and the southwest? Some things just never change no matter what century you’re digging around in. I suppose that’s because human behavior doesn’t seem to be evolving for the better anywhere. I could, and might do, an in-depth review of this recent new book–but right now I’m settling for two thumbs up review mind mode. Why? Because I learned a few things, like why the Creeks tried so hard to get some real trade going with Cuba. They understood their dire economic situation quite well. As for the Indians doing business with the Hudson Bay Company and others ~~ well, they could teach Wall Street a thing or two about insider trading of a certain sort.
And then there are those beavers and their dams . . . .
May 2, 2014 at 6:22 am (culture, entertainment, exploring interconnectedness, history, living, music, people, politics, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: Bear, business, culture, greed, history, Johnny, labor, Lisa, living, living wage, May Day, Maypole, money, music, people, politics, profit, random, workers
Bear selected May Day as a subject for this round of music. Admittedly I’ve fudged on some of the music here. I reserve the right to revise at will. Until then Labor is the issue. Unless Bear had another kind of May Day in mind–as in the Maypole kind of May Day. Hmm. Anyway back to Union ordeals. Workers just don’t get much respect when it comes down to the bottom lines.
A few income figures of interest to a few Americans–well, to everyone who is not one of the 894 people who have more income than 99.99% of the rest of the people.
There are reasons people gather in unions in order to get a living wage–a main one is that many employers don’t like sharing the profits. The operative word here is greed. Or am I missing something?
McDonald’s Cheats Employees
May Day In Chicago
Walmart Gives Food Stamps Applications to Employees ~~ OOOO so that’s how low the Waltons go.
Which Side Are You On?
LEPOCO Peace Center
The Most Dangerous Woman In America
Ani Difranco and Utah Phillips from the album Fellow Workers.
And another kind of May Day~~~~ Mediaeval Babes Summerisle , The Maypole Song
Let’s see what Bear has lined up…..
March 27, 2014 at 5:10 am (art, contemplation, culture, entertainment, exploring interconnectedness, films, history, issues, living, movies, music, people, photography, politics, random, relationships, thinking, Uncategorized)
Tags: Addinsell, america, Baltimore, bearspawprint, Bellini, Berlin, Big City Life, Brazil, cellos, Chicago, Christy Moore, cities, city, City Life, City Music, City of Angels, City of Chicago, culture, Dan Fogelberg, Fogelberg, France, Germany, history, Ireland, Kent Ohio, Kent State, Kent State Shootings, lfe, love, Mattafix, music, National Guard, Neil Young, Ohio, Paris, Paris Nocturne, people, photographs, photography, Poland, poltics, President Nixon, Raining in Baltimore, random, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Redlight King, Rio de Janeiro, romance, Samba de Janeiro, Springsteen, The Counting Crows, The Piano Guys, The Streets of Philadelphia, Under the Bridge, urban landscapes, video, Warsaw, Warsaw Concerto, Wiseberg
City Music ~~
There are all kinds of tunes about urban landscapes. A multitude of activities takes place within city landscapes. Everything is reflected in music in all genres.
Redlight King ~ City Life
Where would we be without some serious city angst?
Raining in Baltimore ~ The Counting Crows, August and Everything After <<– A most excellent album with nary a ‘miss’ among any of its songs. Well worth listening to en toto.
Anyone in the market for some higher education history? Universities and colleges are small cities within cities and towns. Hence, the inclusion of Ohio.
In Kent, Ohio, Non-violent students encountered the National Guard’s fully loaded guns.
Ohio [Kent, Ohio location of Kent State University] ~ written by Neil Young, performed Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Kent State Shootings historical information including list of the dead and wounded: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_State_shootings
The shootings led to protests on college campuses throughout the United States, and a student strike, causing more than 450 campuses across the country to close with both violent and non-violent demonstrations. A common sentiment was expressed by students at New York University with a banner hung out of a window which read, “They Can’t Kill Us All.” On May 8, eleven people were bayonetted at the University of New Mexico by the New Mexico National Guard in a confrontation with student protesters. Also on May 8, an antiwar protest at New York’s Federal Hall held at least partly in reaction to the Kent State killings was met with a counter-rally of pro-Nixon construction workers (organized by Peter J. Brennan, later appointed U.S. Labor Secretary by President Nixon), resulting in the “Hard Hat Riot“.
Samba de Janeiro ~ Bellini —-Dancing in the streets aka it’s time for a flash mobbing to work out some stress. Yes, you too can dance at your pc. How can you resist?
Warsaw Concerto by Richard Addinsell ~ Dangerous Moonlight. Ah, a little history, a little romance, a little movie making….
Warsaw Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
Performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Moshe Atzmon, Conductor
Cristina Ortiz, Piano
A lot of people in cities dream of being elsewhere. Sometimes survival forces people to strange places.
City of Chicago ~ Christy Moore
It’s about time for some cello joy. Right? Definitely.
Berlin, Germany ~ Original song for 12 cellos and a kick drum by The Piano Guys.
If you click-through to listen at YouTube you’ll find a great deal of information about the creation of the song and the locations in the video.
“Berlin” written by Al van der Beek & Steven Sharp Nelson (A PianoGuys Original Composition)
For some reason this song wandered into my brain-maze and loitered long enough to act as a prompt for this musical ‘theme’ round.
Red Hot Chili Peppers ~ Under the Bridge ~City of Angels
Okay, I confess, the video images convinced me to include this made for a film song by The Boss.
Bruce Springsteen ~ The Streets of Philadelphia
In the mood for romance in Paris? Or just ready to rest your feet?
Paris Nocturne ~ Dan Fogelberg & Tim Wiseberg
from their 1978 collaboration album
“Twin Sons of Different Mothers”
The lyrics, the images and the tone just wouldn’t go away, so this tune is here.
Mattafix ~ Big City Life
You’re invited to share your city songs at will.
I wonder what cities Bear has been exploring : Careful, it’s intense, http://bearspawprint.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/koyaanisqatsi/#comment-13603
March 23, 2014 at 4:49 pm (books, contemplation, culture, education, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, films, history, issues, journalism, life, living, people, politics, publishing, random, relationships, searching, thinking, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: 1971, activists, anti-war, Betty Medsger, Book, Book TV, books, civil disobedience, civil liberties, culture, dissent, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, FBI, government, Heist, history, inspriration, interview, Issues, J. Edgar Hoover, journalism, law, legal, living, media, New York Times, news, non violence, NSA, people, politics, Politics and Prose, protest, random, Retro Report, review, rights, secrets, subversives, survelliance, The Burglary, The Discover of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI, truth, video, Vietnam, war, William Davidon, Writing
The New York Times
“There are certain points in history where a society goes so wrong, and there are certain people who will say, ‘I won’t stand for that . . . I will risk career, life, limb, family freedom . . . And I will take this risk, and I will go and do it.”
Betty Medsger’s book about the 1971 burglary of the FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania isn’t about a cheap thrill ride of robbery for adrenaline kicks and profit, though it was a crime with a huge payout–the truth. The burglary committed by a crew of non-violent peace activists assembled by a physics professor, William Davidon, confirmed the suspicions of anti-war activists that they were being unlawfully spied upon by their own government because they were exercising their right to dissent — and that thousands of other people were being illegally spied upon because they were considered subversives according to one man, J. Edgar Hoover. People didn’t have to commit any crime or even speak about committing treason to get their names put on a list of folks to be rounded up and jailed in the event of some national emergency. If they were liberal, if they were black, if they espoused anti-war sentiments, if they were writers, artists, then they were candidates for warrantless, indefinite detention without due process under the law–as far as Hoover was concerned. The Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI’s theft of FBI records brought into the light of day the term COINTELPRO–and a lot of very very illegal activity by the FBI as it committed crimes against the American people with impunity. Such crimes included destroying the lives of innocent people by deliberately framing them for crimes they didn’t commit, celebrating such wrongdoing and refusing to turn over evidence that proved their innocence in any wrongdoing. Hoover’s secret FBI didn’t give a damn about truth, integrity, civil liberties, or the law. It existed to create paranoia and fear in the population at large in order to control everyone. It refused to protect and uphold the Constitution of the United States and the law. It was a criminal entity from the top on down with a few exceptions.
If this is striking a contemporary current events cord with you, that’s not an accident.
If you’re expecting an anti-war tale rife with hippies, drugs, sex and rock and roll music, look elsewhere. The people who broke into the FBI office in Media were not a bunch of hooligans. They weren’t looking for money. They were searching for evidence. These were people who raided draft offices in order to destroy the effort to conscript young men for the war machine then stayed to be arrested by the police in order to take responsibility for their actions. These were people deeply invested in ethical behavior and education who wanted the death and destruction in Vietnam to stop. They were people committed to the civil rights movement. Betty Medsger’s book provides varied personal portraits of the burglars, each dependent upon how much personal information they were willing to share, of the Media burglars. There’s a range of backgrounds and experience among them which provides some sense of the breadth of the range of people involved in the anti-war movement and what inspired them to become activists.
If you have no clue about the short and long-term importance of this burglary and the context in which it occurred, don’t fret, Medsger will fill you in. She provides notes and a very useful bibliography for further reading. While this is a very serious book about very serious issues which are very relevant to the here and now, it’s also very very accessible and readable. It gives life and breath to events by creating connections with real humans thinking hard about the world we live in–and how we live in it. What are the responsibilities of those who are free? What does it mean to have the right to dissent without fear of retaliation in a society that claims to be free? What are you willing to do to protect your civil liberties? Who wants to live their lives in fear of being arrested because of their ideas?
Betty Medsger’s book raises all sorts of interesting issues for serious conversation while stressing the important role ‘ordinary’ people play in creating the world in which we live our daily lives. If you think one person doesn’t have a lot of influence in the power plays then consider J. Edgar Hoover the Head of the FBI versus William Davidon, a physics professor with an idea.
Who is reading everyone’s mail? Who is collecting phone conversations? Who is creating files on everyone? Why?
Who has the Hoover virus? What is to be done about it?
The Burglary site –>> http://www.theburglary.com/
Betty Medsger ~ The Burglary (note, her part does not run the full hour of the video)
Published on Mar 21, 2014
http://www.politics-prose.com/book/97… Betty Medsger talks about her book about the previously unsolved burglary of an FBI building in Media, Pennsylvania. Recorded on March 16, 2014.
Founded by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade in 1984, Politics & Prose Bookstore is Washington, D.C.’s premier independent bookstore and cultural hub, a gathering place for people interested in reading and discussing books. Politics & Prose offers superior service, unusual book choices, and a haven for book lovers in the store and online. Visit them on the web at http://www.politics-prose.com/
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