Sunday, October 15, 2006

Trading Places

I wonder what would happen if Eminem and Kofi Annan traded places. Maybe as President Bush is addressing the U.N., Eminem would leap up in an Armani and shove him aside, shouting: "Shut up, bitch! Quit clownin', daug, and sit yo cowboy ass down with Pong-yong or Ima cut them Dumbo ears offa dat Potato Head'n stuff'em in that piehole'n shut you'n little Jenna in my trunk, down a 1/5 of vodka and drive yo alcoholic asses off the Brooklyn Bridge," at which point Hugo Chavez would jump up and high-five him with a big smile, yelling, "Encore!” and urging all world leaders to read the lyrics of, “The Eminem Show.” Meanwhile, in baggy black Johnny Blazers and an off-white cotton pullover, a hooded Kofi Annan would stand upright before a raging Detroit crowd, clearing his throat and softly crooning, “Kim, my dear, I am partially responsible for- excuse me for a moment, could you please quiet down a bit? Thank you – Yes, Kim, I strongly recommend that we pursue definite measures in counseling immediately,” and instead of attempting suicide, Kim would rush to Detroit General where Dre committed Mr. Annan.

you can't take it with you

I lost my journal ('96-'05) - 22+ volumes. And although it may not be a big deal in the large scheme as the saying goes, I think I know what Mr. Irwin felt when he pulled that stingray's barb from his heart. But the past is just that, right? Yes, it's alive and no, it's dead. And Maybe a bunch of 20 somethings are howling with laughter and Heinies around some fire on Ocean Beach, taking turns reading and clowning parts of one of the books. Or maybe some stable hand is puzzling over starfish sketches I did of Indian cities at night from a plane descending into Delhi. Perhaps some suicidal schoolgirl cutting class is curled up on a bed, forgotten and alone, reading about that time on that bunk in Inverness when I wasn't feeling so hot. And maybe a word or line will save her at least till dinner, but who am I kidding? They probably met a quick and quiet dispatch at the bottom of some dumpster, noticed as much as a fish does a Mandela dumped into a river, as inevitable as a period. So I unintentionally created this blog so I could communicate with someone else so I can write this post which will likely be viewed as much as what those books are recycled into – maybe pencils to write more pencil material. Not necessarily pessmism but more focused awareness of what everyone eventually faces regardless of mindset. So I decided to keep this space not so much for display but to keep in touch with people about the globe, the tribe so to speak kind of like the ham radio set that Mark’s parents in the film, “Pump Up The Volume” give him to talk with his friends back East though he discovers he can’t reach them so he does this pirate radio broadcast to no one and nowhere special every night from his basement. I remember being taken with the idea, it’s kind of a cool thought to broadcast whatever you want whenever you want however you wish to no one or anyone wherever they may be. Or like setting a net down somewhere in a stream where fish or something theoretically can swim through. So I’ve never kept a log – always a private journal and always with me in wind and rain, writing in cars, buses, planes, trains, kitchens, trolleys, gardens, lawns, tents, standing and sitting, restaurants and cafes, street corners, barber shops, malls, escalators and stairs and elevators, parks, beaches, boats, theaters, schools – the books that carried and represented every place that I’ve been, seen, every thought and feeling I’ve felt and person I’ve known in those years even if not captured, a record of those years careening like a rickshaw through a Delhi night – a symbol of the moments, not of what anything could’ve been but just what it was, paper outside the head, of all that did happen to ground you in times when you questioned whether all the faces, the pursuits, place and encounters and occurrences were true, right? That they all must have meant something (and connected to something) but you never quiet figured it out, right? And not that you would or ever really did open the books, but that their presence held a hope and reassurance that, yes, it all really did happen and that perhaps they gave the appearance of raw material that could someday in someway give or hint at the answer, an answer, the one people whether they know it or not are always trying to find (if indeed there is one) as to what it’s all about. Or in the least something for that girl curled up on that bed… To give that feeling like, okay, it’s all here and sure the journal, blog, and whatnot are going back into the river but at least what you now have is something that makes that all not seem to matter too much, at least now. So I’m convincing myself that it is really all inside of me. Perhaps the journal pulls at that part of you that needs to get it out and perhaps the blog pulls at that part of you to write while knowing that, gosh, theoretically, any one could pop in at anytime though maybe no one, like my journals – so perhaps it’s all ultimately really in the doing. Did I enjoy putting the sand on the Mandela cuz we know where it’s going. Back to the beach boys, the stable hand, and the forgotten girl – I’d like to believe that the journals could have helped or bettered someone, but it was my life really – gone and here again – I see what matters, what remains, and that you can’t take it with you.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Columbus Day

It is attrocious that the U.S. government continues to endorse this butcher by celebrating a day each year in his honor. What example does it set for children?
Rather than recommending books and links that provide a truthful account of what actually ensued upon Mr. Columbus' arrival to North America, if you wish to know the truth, you will look for it and find it.

The following is the script of a piece I wrote and first performed a couple weeks after 9/11 during a reflexive resurge of patriotism and when there was an unspoken understanding that it was unacceptable to criticize the U.S. or its government at that time.


I will wear your white feather
I will carry your white flag
I will swear I have no nation
But I'm proud to own my heart
My heart, this is my heart -
We don't need no uniforms, we have no disguise,
Divided we stand, together we'll rise

- Marillion (White Feather)


Why I Want To Fly The U.S. Flag, But Can't


I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't

Because it stands for a place that enslaved my African-American brothers and sisters

and has left them with a legacy of institutionalized racism thicker than jet fuel

(which I feed every single day).

Because it represents the cultural genocide and unwritten history of African-

Americans longer than the missing blackbox tape of every plane that has ever crashed.

Because it stands for a country whose African-American prison population is nearly the population of Kuwait and who has given them more protection than Rodney King.

A government whose criminal "justice" system is responsible for more
African-Americans having lost their right to vote than civilians who lost their lives at Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined
times three.

Still, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because it stands for states that try kids as adults
But deny them adult rights.

Nonetheless, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because it stands for a place that is responsible for the deaths
Of more of my Native American brothers and sisters than the
Holocaust and the Genocide combined
times six.

Because it symbolizes a country that broke more treaties with them than
Floors that fell in both World Trade Centers.

A government that forced them off their lands
Including the one upon which the Pentagon is built
Into mobile concentrations camps called reservations.

Still, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because it represents a country of institutionalized sexism
That denies equal opportunity and power to the sex that gave life
To every person who died on September 11 and their loved ones
Including me and you.

And not even the women under the Taliban can make me forget that
U.S. women have less power than U.S. men.

Still, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because of all my homosexual and bisexual brothers and sisters
Who face institutionalized homophobia and
Who probably never would have been allowed aboard the F-15 fighter planes
Patrolling D.C. skies or onto the ships now in the Persian Gulf.

Yet I still want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because it represents religious acceptance in a country that
Officially celebrates only one religion.

A land that needs a first lady, a shooting, or an election to put
Education on the national agenda.

I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because of all of my non-white, non-male, non-Christian, and non-heterosexual
Brothers and sisters who are excluded from the "liberty and justice for all" part of the flag as the U.S. continues to celebrate a day each year in Columbus' honor.

Still, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because of the institutionalized xenophobia and
My Mexican brothers and sisters who have died since
Clinton's Operation Gatekeeper Program
Numbering more than double those who died on Flights 11, 77, 93, and 175.

Still, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because it represents a country that walked out of a
World Conference on racism-

A government that invests more in its financial stock
Than in the human stock of my disenfranchised Palestinian
Brothers and sisters.

I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because it represents a government that
Kills the same number of my
Civilian Iraqi brothers and sisters
Each month through sanctions as those who
Died in New York on September 11,
Starving its children for oil over a blood-stained tablecloth of
Democracy.

Karma? Had it comin.'
Self-damned by a dam of ignorance
So thick it took
3,000 + lives to dent it
and maybe World War III to defend it-
so now then,
what do you call it when an assassin accuses an assassin?

And such shock streaks the state when
Bedouin blazes set in Kuwait
Spread to NYC to DC to every town and city
Climbing flagpoles faster than firemen-

Good Morning, America!
And you wake up
And you realize
And you realize
And you realize
That a Saudi person is no less than a
U.S. person than an
Iraqi person than an
Afghani person than a
Rwandan person than a
Serbian person than
Any person anywhere -
That the human swallows the national cuz
Distance is no longer
Miles and borders but
Heartbeats-
That now
the political is personal.

PSST!
ask not what your country has
Done
but what you can do to
Others . . .

I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because it represents a government that will send its children over 3,000 miles away
Only a week after over 3,000 of them have died.

And though my sorrow could fuel a missile from here to Afghanistan
I cannot fly the U.S. flag because it represents a
Cowboy president who threatens to leave innocent, impoverished brothers and sisters
"dead or alive" to get one man.

But still, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because of my Arab-American, Muslim-American, and Sikh-American
brothers and sisters who are getting shot at, killed, and terrorized by U.S. patriots
just like my Japanese-American and German-American brothers and sisters before them-

Odd, no ever assaulted me for sharing the same religion and ethnicity as
Timothy McVeigh. Funny how I wouldn't have felt safer then donning a turban and growing a beard so no one suspected me of blowing up another federal building like all White Trash do. Or maybe you'd feel safer putting me in an internment camp, or porting me back to Francoscottydeutschland or wherever the hell I came from-

I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
When it's called the "American" flag
Out of respect for my brothers and sisters in Canada, Mexico, and all over South America

I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because I won't wave a backstage pass when
Half the world is on the streets.
Because it's the U S flag
And I hurt for those who died and their loved ones not because they're
U.S. citizens, but because they're my
HUMAN brothers and sisters.

I want to fly my flag-
I want to fly my flag dammit
But I can't- I can't look into the stars, the eyes
of screaming Vietnamese mothers and children
fooor the laaaand oof the-
screaming eyes of a Sikh-American shot dead in Arizona
aaaand the hoooome ooof thhe-
wide eyes of Arab-American Berkeley High students
staying home from school for three days because of phone threats
braaaaaaaaaavve!
the eyes of Japanese-American elders seeing it all happen
A GAIN-

I want to fly my flag
But I can no longer pretend I've been dreaming with my eyes open-
I want to fly my-
But it doesn't represent the love and support I have for
All beings
And reminds me of how much I feed what I despise-
Because it could stand for a place that is so much more than what it
Is -
Because it has the power to live up to what it
Claims to represent,
Not because it has to, but because it
Should.

God bless America?
God bless himself can no one else be blessed.

I want to fly something-
I want you to know how I feel just by looking at me
But there is no flag for this
I cannot raise it when it stands for a
lady who has lowered her torch and
Spread her legs for
oil.

Yes, America is OPEN FOR BUSINESS -
I cannot wave with pride a flag that represents a country where
widespread compassion hits only when another
earthquake does.

I cannot fly it
Because of the things this country has
Done
and is
Doing
to its own people
and other peoples
Under this flag.
Because it doesn't represent what it stands for,
What I stand for
And even when we, and I mean "we the world," most need to stand together
I cannot fly it because I will never forget all that has been done in the name of
This flag
And I will
not
perpetuate violence by
playing the victim
And re-dividing the w/ o/ r/ l/ d,
because I can,
And forgetting my part-
Because it reminds me of everything I do to you everyday
To separate us. and to dominate you.
because I can.

I want to fly my flag
but can't
cuz sometimes the mirror stares deeper than the t.v. glare
without hearing that I'm either FOR the enemee or should
salute the bloody reflection of my face wherever I go-
cuz a well divided against itself cannot pump-
cuz all flags lead to me- E Plunocal
Unum.

I want to fly it but I
Can't.
And though oil may drown these words today
I will not let what the flag should stand for
Ripple away unspoken on a half mast ~



least we all own our hearts ~

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Lyrical Call and Response Game

Here's how it works. When you visit this posting and after that the most recent comment left under it, write some lyrics that come from the top of your head in response to the previous lyrics. Also, include the artist/author with each set of lyrics and the song title (if you can).
This game is a conversation between people. However, instead of traditional statements and responses, each response must be in lyrics that come from the top of your head.

Game rules (designed not to limit freedom but to make it more fun):

1) Lyrics must come only from the top of your head.
2) Lyrics can come from any source, style, or time period.
3) Lyrics must be (in your judgement alone) a response to the previously
submitted lyrics, in langage, meaning, or tone, however you interpret it.
A continuation, extension, or response to the previous lyrics.

The game will end at Midnight (U.S. Midwestern Standard Time) on January 1, 2007.
The winner will have submitted the greatest number of entries by that time.
And, for you goal oriented folks, the winner will have a song written for them
by myself with the lyrics posted on the blog by Midnight (MST) on January 10,2007.

Before giving some examples of call and response lyrics, I would just like to let you know
that I am the Master of this game and no one in the world can beat me. Of course, I'll win, but lest any of you suffer from the illusion that you can unseat the King, well, you're welcome
to humor yourself. - And if, understandably, no one responds to me, then I win! (and, of course,
remain the Master :-) You can tell anyone, anywhere at all to play.

Example:

"Oh thinking about my yesterdays. It was something plain to see. We were restless and wild and free."

- Bryan Adams

"I am free, free falling."

- Tom Petty

"Falling in and out of focus up side down."

- Marillion (Living with the Big Lie)

"Go ask Alice when she's 10 feet tall."

- Jefferson Airplane

Okay. So basically just respond to the previously posted lyrics
with what you have. Imagine if the whole world walked around
for a day talking only in lyrics. Call and response. Cheers.