Monday, February 28, 2011

Music Monday- The Unwelcome Guest

So yes, I decided to stay home this weekend.  And while I'm looking at pictures this morning of well groomed crowds out at state-capitols and large cities around the country in solidarity today I'm glad I did.  We have a short attention span in America and really it looks like everyone wanted in on this latest photo op.  I'm beginning to believe the words "The revolution will not be televised"  are truer than ever because anyone doing anything to change in one direction or the other will be too busy to be on t.v. or any other sort of a camera.  Busy, thinking, changing and doing.  It's the changing part I think that people are missing though, we're getting pretty good at doing.

Anyhoo, anyone heard anything about Arizona lately?  We have at Subversify. There was this article this week discussing Arizona House Bill 2582  come by and take a look. There's still work to be done and people are continuing to be marginalized.  

It has me thinking, a revolution of any sort in our country is going to be a dicey and difficult thing to accomplish, our country is just too bloody big.  There are too many states that can and will do too many different things.  And just like any other county our military which the federal government relies upon to "keep the peace."  is made up of citizens.  The problem is they come from all over the country and their real, heartfelt allegiance is hard to figure.  We saw this problem in the civil war when brother was pitted against brother and Union soldiers defected to the Confederacy and vice versa.  How much bigger we have become since then. And how many different loyalties and separations are being born in the hearts of each person.  It's hard to account for.  

I don't think we'll see a revolution of the sort that we saw in Tunisia or Egypt which is why I think headlines like "Is Wisconsin our Egypt?" are just stupid. No it's not, it's our Wisconsin.

But it may be time to think about our country being smaller.  Just maybe....

In anycase I spent Saturday walking the streets of my town, just getting out and seeing how people were feeling here.  It had snowed a couple of days before and Saturday it was sunny if crisp, but the sun in the early spring always brings people out.  Usually it brings smiles too.  However not this Saturday.  People were on-guard.  There were glares, suspicious glances at street peddlers.  Off handed cussing with families in the car by overworked and aggravated fathers.  In our own neighborhood there has been a rash of burglaries and down the street there is a rumor that some guy in some car keeps trying to pick up kids from around the school.  No real description is given, which to me is indicative of just fear.  Fear produced by the ongoing parade of media and the very real problems around job loss and poverty. 

Anyway when thinking about the unrest we have here, the inability to help our own, to elect officials who want to be helpful or even to recognise the good from the bad, I thought of this song, penned by Woody Guthrie and put to music by Billy Bragg and Wilco. 

The Unwelcome Guest.  -It may be that we need some outlaws just now, and not the kind from t.v., the real ones-

To the rich man's bright lodges

I ride in this wind

On my good horse, I call you

My shiny black Bess

To the playhouse of fortune

To take the bright silver

And gold you have taken

From somebody else

And as we go riding

In the damp foggy midnight

You snort, my good pony

And you give me your best

For you know and I know

Good horse 'mongst the rich ones

How oftimes we go there

An unwelcome guest

I never took food

From the widows and orphans

And never a hardworking man I oppressed

So take your pace easy

For home soon like lightning

We soon will be riding

My shiny black Bess

No fat rich man's pony

Can ever overtake you

And there's not a rider

From the east to the west

Could hold you a light

In this dark mist and midnight

When the potbellied thieves

Chase the unwelcome guest

I don't know, good horse

As we trot in this dark here

That robbing the rich

Is for worse or for best

They take it by stealing

And lying and gambling

And I take it my way

My shiny Black Bess

I treat horses good

And I'm friendly to strangers

I ride and your running

Makes my guns talk the best

And the rangers and deputies

Are hired by the rich man

To catch me and hang me

My shining black Bess

Yes, they'll catch me napping one day

And they'll kill me

And then I'll be gone

But that won't be my end

For my guns and my saddle

Will always be filled

By unwelcome travelers

And other brave men

And they'll take the money

And spread it out equal

Just like the Bible

And the prophets suggest

But men that go riding

To help these poor workers

The rich will cut down

Like an unwelcome guest

Friday, February 25, 2011

Planning for the Revolution

One of the biggest blocks I am blaming for my lack of writing lately is overload.  I know in some ways it's a cop-out  I could after all be focusing on my ongoing and dust collecting collection of fantasy which actually screams at me from time to time. 

And if your fantasy characters have never screamed at you, you must be a more focused writer than me,  mine tend to knock me awake in the middle of the night and bid me to get out of my cocoon of warmth in order to tend to their stories.  Honestly they are contributing to their own neglect by keeping me up at weird hours shivering at my desk, but that is besides the point.  I COULD be writing them, they have not much to do with overload, but I'm not.


Instead I'm blaming overload.  And I think it's a solid scape goat.  Take for example the article I submitted last week on Bradley Manning.  I thought I would do a quick update on what the fuck is going on with his case and quickly found myself down a swivving rabbit hole with no end in sight.  There was just SO MUCH to cover.  And that's just one story.  Never mind that it led to me posting an erroneous picture of him that I had to retract.  (Thank you very much and I'm not being snide, I mean it.  Thank you.)  It also brought to my attention numerous organizations that are trying to do good works and working against the tide like which if I had time I would love to ask more questions of.  Especially given they had their Paypal acct. frozen, then unfrozen all within a 24hour period due to their diligence in getting the word out about abuses and the buckling behavior of Paypal. 

Paypal is another place that deserves some investigation.  Those online bankers who when they started seemed so Internet friendly but buckle so quickly to government pressures as well as other special interests.  Who the hell is Paypal and what are they going to do with everyone's banking info...have you thought about that? 

Then there's Wisconsin.  I'm intrigued and confused and conflicted about the whole thing.  I need to know more.  And so do you really.  We all do.  Edward-Yemil Rosario did a nice little write up this week comparing the situation to bad porn at Subversify you should come by and read it.  But lately I  have not been impressed with unions.  Nobody else I know is either.  This stems from the fact that unions in California are doing exactly nothing that I can tell other than collecting undeserved money and giving out slightly discounted tickets to Disneyland.  In fact when I asked someone if they wanted to go with me to Sacramento to cover the "let's show allegiance to Wisconsin demonstration" (I made name up, I'm sure there's an official name but I'm feeling lazy) I was told, "Hell no, fuck the unions, they have not answered any of my letters from the past 5 years." 

I tried to explain this had nothing to do with unions here, but rather the fact that Wisconsin's governor is an ass. And maybe we should be supporting unions that DO want to do the right thing.  Anyway I'm terribly unclear about the union involvement altogether, which in part is why I wanted to go.  We'll see. I spent the last two weekends in Sacramento and I'm not sure I want to go down there again this weekend.  And no it was nothing as exciting as covering or writing about anything.  It was all about service.  Community and individual. 

Which I think is another hold up.

There is too much to do.   Too many people need help just with fecking food.  Hell, I carried 500lbs of beans back from the state capitol to feed the hungry.  Are these hungry people going to be stopping work to support something in Wisconsin?  Should they be?  I don't know the answer to that.  I really don't.  I just feel grateful to not have to worry about where my meals are coming from and have an opportunity to give to others.  I can't imagine what it's like to have to chose, do I strike now?  Or hang on because my family is hungry. 

And all this is just my little corner or the world.  The bigger picture is we have growing unrest across the globe which is the harvest of the seeds we have planted.  Really, we shouldn't be shocked, but we like a show so we get lots of shots of shocked and crying people.  But why aren't we prepared for this? 

Which in a way helps me with my dilemma...Maybe instead of marching on the state capitol of California,my time would be better spent at home, heading out to farmer's market with my $50 which is what gas would cost to get down there and making some soup and planning my garden.  Because when all these marchers come home, whether they win the fight or not, they're going to need to eat.  And someone has to plan for that.  Might as well be me.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Song Saturday - Gotan Project

It's not saturday here yet. I know that, I didn't lose track of days. (this week)

However I shall be super busy tomorrow and right now I am just perusing music...and gathering stories, and dreaming.

Which brought me to this song, which is like a dream...

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

AIDS ad a Fail

So I really wasn't thinking about sex today, now I'm going to have to use my new ap that the Vatican okayed to say some hail marys or whatever...maybe some flogging....

Damn it! No the flogging definitely will send me back to the phone ap for more repentance...Now I see how that works.  Smart Catholics!

Anyway what I'm really doing today is searching about for subversive businesses, history, ads things like that for an upcoming article.  -BTW if you have any favorite subversives let me know I will be happy to have a look at them.

In any case I came across this french ad which I think was meant to illustrate how dangerous sex can be.  Why am I left feeling like danger may be just what the doctor ordered?  Is it me?

It is isn't it?

Damn it! Where's my phone?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Song Saturday, Sephardi Music-The story of Judith

This song Saturday I was inspired by my interview with Clara Engel to revisit sephardi music. This song also connected with a quote I came across today "Men are natural warriors but a woman in battle is truly bloodthirsty"-old Scottish saying. Anyway enjoy the biblical story of Judith set to song.