You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2011.

The President is planning to visit Paterson, NJ to view the storm damage.

But according to Dylan:

In Paterson that’s just the way things go
If you’re black, you might as well not show up on the street
Lest you wanna draw the heat

Remember the title?  Hurricane.

Pretty cosmic, huh?

LA Times

Press Democrat

It is the second pot-related killing on the Mendo coast this summer.

I was raised with KPFA, and every year on MLK’s birthday they would trot out the usual “the-popular-media-gets-King-wrong” themes – airing his more economically radical speeches, his stand against the Vietnam War, etc.  It’s not that I disagree with them, it’s just a theme that’s been repeated so many times in the same way I just kind of roll my eyes when I see them.  Yes, he had radical political positions.  He also took conservative approaches at times, often leaning towards his Andrew Youngs as much as his Stokely Carmichaels for advice.  And his “I Have a Dream” speech might seem almost trite after hearing it 500 times for those of us who weren’t even born when he gave it, but when you look at it and consider the context and the prose, the brilliance of the speech can’t be oversold really.  It was for a larger audience, but its scope was grand and the fact that it’s really the only speech that 95 percent of the public will remember, that takes nothing from its significance.

So I kind of sighed when I ventured over to Daily Kos this morning and read a title post:  Most of you have no idea what Martin Luther King actually did.

Well, I sighed and clicked on the link, and found that it wasn’t your typical lefty deconstruction of the watering down of King as distance lends sterilization of the message.  In fact, the post wasn’t about message.  It was about the actual accomplishment of King and the Civil Rights Movement – what it means to African Americans.   And why they bristle when we on the left, or even some younger African Americans, say that the “dream” was not accomplished.  That progress was temporary or exaggerated.  What is emphasized, even by the left, is the universality of the causes King represented, and the failure to obtain “true equality” or fully economically emancipate the African American communities.  The actual accomplishments are more significant to black people than to white people, and perhaps more to older people than younger.  The post was written by an African American.  This is the heart of the piece.

So anyway, I was having this argument with my father about Martin Luther King and how his message was too conservative compared to Malcolm X’s message.  My father got really angry at me.  It wasn’t that he disliked Malcolm X, but his point was that Malcolm X hadn’t accomplished anything as Dr. King had.  

I was kind of sarcastic and asked something like, so what did Martin Luther King accomplish other than giving his “I have a dream speech.”

Before I tell you what my father told me, I want to digress.  Because at this point in our amnesiac national existence, my question pretty much reflects the national civic religion view of what Dr. King accomplished.  He gave this great speech.  Or some people say, “he marched.”  I was so angry at Mrs. Clinton during the primaries when she said that Dr. King marched, but it was LBJ who delivered the Civil Rights Act.

At this point, I would like to remind everyone exactly what Martin Luther King did, and it wasn’t that he “marched” or gave a great speech.

My father told me with a sort of cold fury, “Dr. King ended the terror of living in the south.”

Please let this sink in and and take my word and the word of my late father on this.  If you are a white person who has always lived in the U.S. and never under a brutal dictatorship, you probably don’t know what my father was talking about.  

But this is what the great Dr. Martin Luther King accomplished.  Not that he marched, nor that he gave speeches.

He ended the terror of living as a black person, especially in the south.

That’s a taste, and it’s something we forget.  Something I wasn’t alive to see or hear about as it unfolded.  But it is not the grand message of a unified race that is the core of what he represented, at least not to the older generation of African Americans.  Read the whole very powerful post, right down to the postscript, which appeals to a little bit of perspective for bloggers:

PS.  I really shouldn’t have to add this but please — don’t ever confuse someone criticizing you or telling you bad things over the internet with what happened to people during the civil rights movement.  Don’t.  Just don’t do it.  Don’t go there.

Life has filled up my waking hours of late, but I expect it to taper off by mid-September.

Pretty cool.  Unfortunately most of the people who need it most will be without power.

Addendum:  I’m catching up on some news reading and came across this TPM article.  Eric Cantor doesn’t want to provide hurricane relief unless there are matching spending cuts.  No, it’s not from the Onion.  I wish it was.

There is ideology.  And then there is bats— f—ing obsessive crazy.

Second addendum:  Striking vid of flooding in Vermont.  Looks like Alderpoint last winter.

Astronomers have discovered a planet made of diamond.

De Beers’ worst nightmare.

They believe it to be the remains of a white dwarf star, and I guess any large round object orbiting a star which isn’t itself a star is deemed a “planet.”

Depicted is a theoretical denizen.

What: The San Francisco Bay Area’s HOUSE OF FLOYD performs the music of Pink Floyd at the Mateel
When: Saturday, August 27th, 2011 / Doors 8pm / Show 9pm
Where: Mateel Community Center
Tickets: At the door $20 / MCC Members $18

House Of FloydThe Mateel Community Center presents: “House of Floyd”…

The San Francisco Bay Area’s HOUSE OF FLOYD performs the music of Pink Floyd, and has gained a strong following for their unique ability to enthuse both the hard-core fans of the early adventurous Floyd and those who enjoy the songs and soundscapes that later brought them widespread appeal. They capture the essence of each of the various Pink Floyd eras from the formative Syd Barrett days, through the 70’s and the final post-Waters era.

In the Pink Floyd tradition, a HOUSE OF FLOYD concert incorporates sound effects, moving lights, lasers and video projection – including many of the original, legendary backing films used by Pink Floyd. The set lists on any given night might be from an actual Pink Floyd concert, or a custom HOUSE OF FLOYD mix, but always includes rarely heard live arrangements used by Pink Floyd in concert – as well as the occasional obscure pieces that never made it to vinyl and were unknown to all but the serious collectors.

HOUSE OF FLOYD affords the opportunity for those who never saw Pink Floyd to “get” what made those shows so extraordinary. Those who were fortunate enough to have seen Pink Floyd in concert, get the chance to experience it again albeit by a pretty exciting “surrogate band.” You may even see a giant inflatable pig!

All kitchen proceeds benefit the Animal Welfare Advocacy Center!

For more information and audio/video samples of this inspired and “Pink” dedicated ensemble visit:

Addendum:  By the way, if you check all of the main news agencies, cable and broadcast networks, and larger oft-frequented websites, you will find 112 ways to spell the General’s name.  But Rachel Maddow is reporting that rebels seized a passport today with the official Roman Letter spelling – Gathafi.  No joking.  I’ll find a link later.

A photo slide show of the aftermath of the (gasp!) 5.8 earthquake!

Addendum:  Was the quake “man made?”

Second addendum:  You’re all being very polite about my spelling of “devestation.”  Devastate.  Neither one looks right to me actually.

Third addendum:  Was the quake “God made?”.

Pat Robertson thinks so:

“But it seems to me the Washington Monument is a symbol of America’s power, it has been the symbol of our great nation, we look at that monument and say this is one nation under God,” he continued.

“Now there’s a crack in it, there’s a crack in it and it’s closed up. Is that a sign from the Lord? Is that something that has significance or is it just result of an earthquake? You judge, but I just want to bring that to your attention,” he said.

Think Progress has some stats and graphs, including this one.  When the success is measured merely by the women “taken off the rolls,” I suppose it looks like a winner.


August 2011