Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Work Song

I have never posted this before, and just realized it! My deepest apologies! Its one of my very favorite pieces of music, originally written by jazz trumpeter Nat Adderley. My parents' band also played it. Everybody played it in the 60s, at some point.

As regular readers know, I loved the late, great Mr Mike Bloomfield, and his Chicago blues-guitar sounded just phenomenal here.

Work Song - Paul Butterfield Blues Band

Sunday, May 26, 2013

March Against Monsanto

Yesterday was a day of Global Resistance against corporate behemoth Monsanto. Here in Greenville, we had one of the largest political demonstrations in recent memory, with participants from all over upstate South Carolina and beyond. Nobody likes a bully! There were protests in 52 countries and 436 cities.

Photos of our local action below (as always, you can click all photos to enlarge). Feel free to copy and share!

It was a gorgeous and lovely spring day, and marching through Falls Park, surrounded by natural beauty, was the perfect backdrop. THIS is what we are trying to save.

March Against Monsanto page is HERE.

Note: The last two photos are of my fabulous radio co-hosts, Double A and Gorgeous Gregg. Make sure to check us out on Occupy the Microphone. Friend us on Facebook and follow me on Twitter! :)


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Eyes of the World

Eyes of the World - Grateful Dead (studio version)

According to the invaluable ANNOTATED GRATEFUL DEAD (linked above), by way of Deadhead Scott Robertson:

"You are the eyes of the world" is a translation of the noted Buddhist practitioner Longchenpa's practical guide to the tantra (The Jewel Ship: A Guide to the Meaning of Pure and Total Presence, the Creative Energy of the Universe, byang chub kyi sems kun byed rgyal po'i don khrid din chen sgru bo). It was translated by Kennard Lipman and Merrill Peterson and published by Lotsawa of Novato, CA. I believe the change in name occurred after the last publication date of 1987. The song itself obviously held importance for the folks involved in its production for part of [Robert] Hunter's lyrics are printed opposite the title page. After reading the text the relationship becomes very clear since it instructs the reader how to experience pure presence. How many times at a show did I feel that...
I chose the studio version for the multiple sweet, sublime guitar solos. Just like a mountain breeze.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

#WhenIseeaObamabumpersticker brings out the vicious, good Christians

(you can click all Tweets to enlarge)

As many of my regular readers know, I have nearly been run off the road several times for my (old, obsolete) Obama bumper stickers... and I did not even vote for Obama in 2012 (voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein instead). Nonetheless, those scary bumper stickers remain, because I refuse to be intimidated, and my car is old besides (but paid for!). Thus, when I saw the Twitter hashtag #WhenIseeaObamabumpersticker (excuse bad grammar, but what did you expect?), I admit that I reacted very strongly to the right-wing, racist bullies who came out of the woodwork to trumpet their bullying... the kind of bullying I have been dealing with for 5 years now.

Not surprisingly, they are damned proud of themselves.

When called on it, haha, it's suddenly a 'joke'--although at least some of them admit they are dead serious.

I know that the people who have repeatedly tried to run me off the road, tailgate me dangerously on interstates while shooting the bird, etc, are/were VERY serious, and not at all joking. And as they angrily pass me, they often show me their Dubya/Romney/anti-abortion/pro-NRA/anti-gay marriage (et. al.) bumper stickers as well--just in case there is any question WHY they feel moved to behave like maniacs.

Needless to say, I have never tried to run any of THEM off the road, nor flip them off, nor in any way act like a goon simply because they disagree with ME. Nor would I. But then, I am not a bully, and I have never understood the psychology of bullies. They really would have been quite at home in the old Soviet Union, which jailed all dissenters. They value ideological lockstep.

Further, I noticed that when I checked out several of these people's self-descriptions... virtually all of them claim to be BIBLE-BELIEVING CHRISTIANS! Do you believe that?!? (well, of course you do) They trash the poor while claiming to believe in the Messiah who said Blessed are the poor and the poor we always have with us. The Messiah who said, as ye do to the least of these, so have you done to me. The One who said, The Last shall be first. When I dared comment on this gross theological discrepancy, they found it amusing and re-tweeted me. HAHA!--this bitch expects me to actually LIVE WHAT I CLAIM TO BELIEVE, IS THAT FUNNY OR WHAT?!

Yes, I suppose it is.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Knuckleheads of the world, unite!

Above: Blue Ridge Christian Academy.

My grandfather, the Christian Scientist, frequently used that expression when confronted with anti-science dolts. I immediately knew it had to be the title of this piece.

I can do no better than to simply quote my local newspaper, the Greenville News, about this latest horror.

And to the rest of Blogdonia, Tumblr, all points of the internet and beyond, let me underscore it: SEE WHAT WE PUT UP WITH AROUND HERE? This is why I often do not take your intramural lefty-theoretical squabbles seriously. In these parts, we are still dealing with the freaking Scopes trial.

The title of the Greenville News account is Blue Ridge quiz ignites firestorm, accompanied by the coy subtitle, Furor brings attention, but possibly salvation. This is a cute example of how the Greenville News always tries to have it both ways. As is evident in the article below, this phrase could refer to 'salvation of the school itself'--which was ready to go belly-up financially... OR it could mean, literally, the way to Salvation with a capital S. (article is credited to Lyn Riddle, staff writer)

Which meaning is intended? You decide:

It was labeled “4th grade science quiz. Dinosaurs: Genesis and the Gospel.”

Eighteen questions. The first four were true or false.

The earth is billions of years old. A lopsided pencil mark circled false.

Dinosaurs lived millions of years ago, another circle: false.

It went on from there, testing students on the beginning of the world according to creationism, the belief that the literal interpretation of the first book of the Bible explains it all. Both were marked correct.

Before long, the quiz was posted on the social news website Reddit, unleashing a firestorm of criticism on Blue Ridge Christian Academy, a tiny private Christian school in northern Greenville County.

In what board chair Joy Hartsell says shows God is at work in the world, the controversy may be what saves the school from closing.

About six weeks ago, parents were told that the school would close May 31 because the founder and major donor would no longer make up the loss in operating expenses, said Diana Baker, the director.

“We may have found the path to get the money,” Hartsell said Friday.

So far, about $10,000 toward the $200,000 needed to stay open next fall has been received and more checks arrive in the mail every day, Baker said.

She said she received a $3,000 check on Thursday.
Cue my grandfather's phrase, the title of this blog post.

Fundies to the rescue! Knuckleheads of the world, unite!

The rest of the article makes it clear that the sheltered and ignorant denizens of Blue Ridge Christian Academy have never even seen Reddit before. Someone obviously unleashed the "DIAF" meme, which made them hyperventilate and call the sheriff's office. Do you believe? If I had called the sheriff every time someone online wished a nasty death on me... well, the Greenville County sheriff would be permanently camped out in my kitchen.

But yes, pick a fight with stupidity and then howl when the world takes you seriously, as I have said numerous times, is the usual fundamentalist technique.

Your thoughts?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The sparkle of your china

Just returned from the local March Against Monsanto meeting. This event will be nationwide on May 25th.

Next meeting before the event will be at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery, next Thursday at 6pm, yall come. In the meantime, please support Vernon Hugh Bowman in his fight against Monsanto's legal abuse.


As promised on the air today, here is the link to today's show. I started out a little jumbled, since we had some technical issues (we weren't in our usual studio and the acoustics were somewhat off), but I changed microphones, finally got going and tried to make some sense. Our first subject was the confrontation between trans activists and an anarchist group called Deep Green Resistance, while they were selling feminist books at the Law and Disorder Conference at Portland State University this past weekend. I react pretty strongly to defacing books or otherwise rudely rousting politicos at a table because it has happened to me many times; harassed by bikers at outdoor festivals for lefty literature, jeered at by fundamentalists at Occupy, and so forth and so on (in fact, I wrote about one such incident HERE). So, I asked, what IS hate speech and how should we handle it? One's person's hate speech is another person's Gospel (literally!), so what should we do in a pluralistic society that values the First Amendment?

Aside: I used to warn radical feminists that their eagerness to call everything (such as porn) 'hate speech' would some day come back to bite them in the ass, and here we are.

Increasingly, I am puzzled by trans activists' fixation on radical feminists (whom they call 'radscum'). Why not focus on fundamentalist right wingers who are far more numerous and say the same things? More to the point, the radscum do not seek to deny GLBT equal rights or try to keep folks from transitioning; they just argue (endlessly, relentlessly) about the physiological and social meaning(s) of "woman" and "female". The Christian fundamentalist Republicans think trans people should be forced to use their birth names on their drivers licenses and if they don't, locked up in mental institutions and/or arrested for fraud. Who is worse? And who has more power to enforce their prejudices?

Why not go after the REAL scum?

I'm ready when you are.


Today's blog post title comes from Steely Dan's excellent album, COUNTDOWN TO ECSTASY (1973).

As I continuously plow through Shantideva's The Way of the Bodhisattva, I just keep thinking of the lyrics.

Would you take me by the hand
Would you take me by the hand
Can you show me
The shine of your Japan
The sparkle of your china
Can you show me
Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva
I'm gonna sell my house in town
I'm gonna sell my house in town
And I'll be there
To shine in your Japan
To sparkle in your China
Yes I'll be there
Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva...

Bodhisattva - Steely Dan

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sums it up

(you can click to enlarge... distribute widely!)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Collective security for surety

Last year, I wrote a piece called On the Future of Small Blogs... which turned out to be fairly prescient. Blogs like mine are closing shop right and left, even as the number of feverishly-self-involved Tumblr-blogs, which I admit I don't really get, expand exponentially as we speak.

Even though I don't get Tumblr, I do understand the reason for it (see link to last year's meanderings). It is a totally ungoverned, anonymous, proudly-mean place, like Reddit. When there are too many 'gated communities'--as the late genius JG Ballard often reminded us--people become hungry for chaos. And the stronger the gates, the more toxic and damaging the chaos will be.

The internet keeps splitting into more and more subcategories, subdynasties and sparkly-new social media sites ... I am reminded of the end of THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, in which our beleaguered protagonist realizes he is not going to die after all, but will instead get smaller and smaller and tinier and tinier... until he is microscopic. But he will still be here. I feel the exactly same way as a blogger.

The last line of the movie is every old-school bloggers cry into the night: I... STILL... EXIST!!!!


Lately I've been enjoying the fabulous Dubatomic Particles on Sunday nights.

Sharing the words of the prophet. He was right, you know.

Rat Race - Bob Marley and the Wailers

When you think is peace and safety:
A sudden destruction

Collective security for surety
Don't forget your history
Know your destiny

In the abundance of water
The fool is thirsty


PS: Speaking of small blogs, linking my friend Virgil's new blog. Wish him your best!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Resurrection of Mark Sanford, and other scary tales

I did not blog about the special District 1 congressional election between our embarrassing former Governor (and Nikki-Haley-discoverer) Mark Sanford, and Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, because I found the subject distressing and depressing. And of course, I already knew Sanford would win the reddest of red districts in the reddest of red states.

I found it depressing (but oh so predictable) that the best the Democrats could do was present a comedian's inexperienced sister and her Hollywood-fundraisers. Without question, the most entertaining events in the race (besides our fabulous radio shows making fun of Appalachian Trail Marky) were 1) when Larry Flynt endorsed Sanford, which was a genuine hoot, and 2) when Colbert-Busch got mouthy during the debate (or at least what passes for mouthy in the low-country).

At left: Our Green Party candidate for District 1, Eugene Platt, a photo I took at the Green Party convention in 2010.

Eugene Platt, the only US military veteran in the race, was not even allowed to participate in the congressional debate at (infamous military college) The Citadel. So much for all that military-solidarity crap they preach down there.

My redoubtable radio co-host, producer and consigliere, Gregg Jocoy, wrote a great article about Platt and the empty-suits offered by the two major parties. The title of the article sums up the whole dilemma-- The Hidden Candidate: South Carolina Voters Chose Between Inexperience and Disgrace.

Platt, an elected member of the James Island Public Service District Commission, was also a special guest on our show, OCCUPY THE MICROPHONE.


We have also been discussing other horror stories on our show, such as the recent nightmare up in Cleveland featuring Ariel Castro, that has captured the attention of the nation. Undoubtedly, this horrific crime will be one that most news outlets will be revisiting multiple times, since it seems too unbelievably awful to be true.

I also hope to blog in depth about the trial of now-convicted murderer Jodi Arias, later in the week...I am especially interested in whether she is sentenced to death. I can't think of the last time a young, thin, pretty, smart, middle class white woman actually received the death penalty; I challenged my radio-listeners to come up with an example, and no one has been able to do so. Karla Fay Tucker might qualify, but she was not middle-class, and the uniquely-grisly nature of her crime seemed to guarantee that she would be an exception. (Speaking of horror stories, people are always particularly freaked out by ax-murderers.)

I do think it is fascinating that Arias' designated defense witness, domestic-violence-expert Alyce LaViolette, was internet-mobbed on Amazon (of all places), where they were peddling her book. This was enough to cause LaViolette to take an emergency break from the trial due to a 'panic attack' brought on by all the online viciousness. This event was then the subject of a hand-wringing post on HuffPo, by an anthropologist who reduced the whole thing to 'bullying'... um, no. Leave it to another expert to get it wrong.

The outrage over LaViolette's rather embarrassing fawning over Arias (while providing multiple excuses for inexcusable behavior) was a symptom of the public's ongoing disgust with 'experts' who explain away evil and try to make it palatable and understandable, when it simply isn't. If LaViolette is going to do that shit on the taxpayer's dime (and attempt to sell a book in the process!), she has to be ready to face the consequences. No sympathy from this quarter.

More on Jodi to come, I promise.


And keeping with our general horror story theme: Yesterday was Confederate Memorial Day!

Above, the door to the offices of SC Works, which is in McAlister Square (also the location of WOLI studio, where we broadcast our show). I commented on this 'holiday' at length on the air, and read THIS POST about my Confederate ancestor, Thomas Hatcher.

He deserted the Confederate army, and I am so proud of him.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Kent State Remembered

Kent State student John Filo's Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of Mary Ann Vecchio discovering the slain Jeffrey Miller.

Originally posted here on May 4, 2008. (I read it on the air yesterday on our radio show, Occupy the Microphone.)

43 years ago on April 30, 1970, Richard Nixon announced that military operations would be expanding into the neutral, peaceful country of Cambodia, which had the bad fortune to share a border with Vietnam. Viet Cong insurgents were said to be hiding in the mountains of Cambodia. (In fact, the USA had already been conducting a secret bombing campaign, unbeknownst to the general public, engineered by Nixon and his butchers, named Alexander Haig and Henry Kissinger.) These illegal, immoral, reprehensible acts were the acts of criminally insane men, who had just realized they were losing their filthy, insane, extremely expensive war.

The result of this announcement was demonstrations on many American college campuses over the next few days. Nixon had promised to end the war, and proved to be a liar. The anger of the youth who would fight this war was palpable. At Kent State University in Ohio, demonstrators burned down an ROTC building. It was never known if this was deliberate or just an act of vandalism that got out of hand. Ostensibly due to this event, Governor James Rhodes declared Martial Law on the campus of Kent State University and sent the National Guard onto the campus. He also held a press conference in which he made famous inflammatory statements: "They're worse than the brownshirts and the communist element and also the night-riders and the vigilantes," Rhodes said. "They're the worst type of people that we harbor in America. I think that we're up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America."

On May 4th, a demonstration was scheduled for noon. There were about 2000 people gathered for the demonstration, and about 1000 troops on campus. For unknown reasons, the Guard decided to break up the demonstration, and ordered the crowd to disperse. They were met with rocks and flying debris. The Guard responded with tear gas, and it was on.

I have read multiple versions of what happened next. Several facts dominate these versions: the kids were returning the tear gas cannisters (which do POP loudly like guns when they go off) and the Guard seemed very confused and didn't know what to do. At one point, none seemed sure of which direction to advance, but advance they did. At 12:22 PM, after guardsmen had advanced to the top of the hill near Taylor Hall and the parking lot, they turned and fired. They commenced firing for 13 seconds and fired 67 M-1 semiautomatic bullets. They wounded nine students, and murdered four in cold blood. Only two of these four students, Allison Krause and Jeffrey Miller, were actually demonstrating against the war. The remaining two, Sandra Scheuer and William Knox Schroeder, were merely changing classes.

No one knows who gave the order to fire, if anyone did.

The kids in the National Guard were the same ages as the kids on the campus. These kids were all facing the same reality--the males of both groups were trying to avoid going to war. One group could afford college and the other could not, but could somehow get into the Guard. There is no question there was significant class hostility directed at the college kids by the Guard; the males in the Guard were closer to actual combat in Vietnam, although William Schroeder attended Kent on a ROTC scholarship and may well have intended to become an Officer himself.

From this incident, we learned that even the pampered children of the middle class were expendable. We learned that totalitarianism can erupt quickly and suddenly, particularly in small, contained areas where there exists considerable class hostility, panic, and loaded weapons. We learned that the Governor of Ohio was a fascist and a murderer, as was the President and his henchmen, all of whom nodded approvingly at the murders at Kent.

The lines were drawn very clearly, especially for me. I woke that morning in Ohio, to see that my state was all over the national news, all over the newspapers. We had various Moments of Silence for the next week. Everyone seemed to know someone involved. My grandmother cried and explained to me that these students were exercising their civil rights, and had been shot for it. "You have to remember this," she told me.

In the subsequent lawsuits, the families received an average of approximately $63,000 per student.


Ohio - Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Thursday tunes

A variety of old tunes, excavated from Daisy's dusty memory vaults.

Listen to this woman's pipes! Outstanding! This is from Melba Moore's Tony-award winning performance in the musical "Purlie" in 1970. She was also in the famous hippie musical HAIR (both stage and movie versions). I am guessing this is from the TV broadcast of the Tony Awards, since this is also the year she won the Tony.

I Got Love - Melba Moore


Listen to this woman's pipes! Outstanding! From the TV special "A Concert Behind Prison Walls" hosted by Johnny Cash, taped in 1976 in the Tennessee State Prison, and first broadcast in 1977. (On piano is Andrew Gold, writer of "Thank you for being a friend"--which you've heard at the beginning of every "Golden Girls" episode.) I do passionately love this weepy ballad, but I confess, I associate it with too much drinking. I'm sure I'm not the only one! (Written by Libby Titus and Eric Kaz.)

Love has no pride - Linda Ronstadt


Nice 70s classic rock anthem from Canadian band April Wine.

Roller - April Wine


Decades ago, I heard that this extraordinary song was written by "a blind guy dressed like a Viking, who walks around New York reciting his poems"--which is not something you readily forget. Like many legends, it turned out to be true; his name was Moondog, and a documentary about his life titled "The Viking of 6th Avenue" is currently in production. I can't wait to see it.

In the meantime, enjoy:

All Is Loneliness - Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company


Even all the awful violins cannot ruin this lovely 60s melody from Jimmy Webb, sang beautifully by Glen Campbell. (He also plays the lovely guitar break, showing off his celebrated session-musician chops.)

Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell