as U2 so eloquently put it...
"you've got to get yourself together - you got stuck in a moment and you can't get out of it."i'm doing MUCH better!first and foremost - THE BIGGEST THANK YOU EVER TO ALL OF YOU THAT REACHED OUT IN SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS TO HELP AND COMFORT ME! it never ceases to amaze me - i haven't even met so many of you, yet you are always there in such powerful ways! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!i feel like i owe a bit more of an explanation for my last post, as it looks like i may have come off a bit wrong. maybe not wrong, but...also, if anyone ever wants to email me, there's a link to do so in the bottom of my sidebar.to anonymous who commented in my last post - feel free to use that! i'd like to talk to you...ok. i've moved from being completely reactive to trying to nip this in the bud before it spirals more out of control than it already has.i stay at home with bebe, as my finding a job would basically leave us with enough money to pay for bebe to be in what amounts to a warehouse for children.i have no idea what all of these statistics are about, saying that unemployment is way down. lies lies and damn lies - as if there are jobs growing like trees.it disgusts me that the one thing that i care least about in the world, money, is causing all of this.i know it isn't "socially acceptable" to speak of such things, but then again, when i have i ever been socially acceptable? i hope that by talking about this, maybe someone will have an idea that i don't know about... here goes. we're in a spot now where we may lose our home through foreclosure - we are falling short income-wise, though we are only barely covering the basics. realizing how close we were to the edge a few days ago, sent me over the edge. "we are all a paycheck away" came home to roost. when i spoke to our lender, they said one late payment would result in foreclosure, that they won't work with us. we've thought of selling, but it isn't a seller's market and our house needs a bit of work to be able to get out of it what we've put in.i watched my mom really struggle when i was small, i remember there being little or no food in the house and moving a lot. the thought of bebe ever having to know what that was like scares me to no end. much of what has occurred now is really out of my/our control for the time being, which makes it all the much harder... i don't even know that i'd be so worried if it wasn't for bebe, ya know? it owuld be one think if it were just will and i, but...i've spent yesterday and today on the phone trying to figure out what our options are at this point. it looks like there are a few that we haven't tried yet. . re-financing isn't an option as of right now, but taking out yet another loan might be (though i have some serious questions about doing so). we're still hoping that the magical dream job will appear - it isn't for lack of trying, that's for sure. of course i know that so many in the world are in way worse of a position in life than we are - it makes me feel even more ridiculous for worrying/freaking out like i'am. so that's that.i'm working on it.
and i mean this with all of my heart when i say that knowing there are so many out there pulling for us in this tough time has made all the difference in the world while i've sat here and tried to figure out what is what. i don't know how i could ever thank you all enough! i'am touched by the outpouring that came that i never expected.
i have to take a break
things in karaland have gone horribly awry. i've not known this level of stress/fear/crying for quite some time. i'll take any change/happy/things-are-going-to-be-alright vibes to be spared by you, dear friends! AND THE BIGGEST of thank you's infinity to pam, melissa and sicily sue for helping me - with words, advice, and comfort.
i've always been such a believer that the universe 'does what it do' and it always works out for the best - that just in the nick of time, something always magically appears to set all well. i'm shaken to my core that i'm slowly losing that faith. me no like it. i'm working on it. i wish i could see the grand plan. i wish i could take my own advice of "you'll look back on this time in 5 years and say, OH! that's why all of that happened!" it hurts that i can't this time. i'm simply too drained to write anything of substance.
i'll be around, reading ya'all to maintain a sense of normalcy in the chaos. i just wanted to tell youse what was up, in case i don't post for awhile...
i shall return. you can't keep this kid down for long.
it's my blog and i'll cry if i want to, cry if i want to...
ok, so i'm not really crying so much as i'm having a moment. and it's not really so much as i'm having a moment, as i'm having moments that are magically running together to create something new entirely ... remember that existential crisis i mentioned aways back? well, here. we. go. it started in earnest a few weeks ago, although it is something that i find myself constantly struggling with. it is always in the back of mind, no matter what. it's just this time, it's different. more demanding of my attentions, more pressing then ever before.i promise that while this post has the potential to reach the epic-length proportions that why i speak out did, i'm going to do my bestest to keep this one short. (thanks, by the way, to everyone who actually read that one from beginning to end. i didn't realize how long it was until a few days later when i looked at my page! eek!)!but i digress. even though this post and that post are both closely tied. again, i digress. someone STOP me!so, anyway, this started a few weeks ago, while talking to island amazon on the tele for the first time, at long last. i'm not even sure of what exactly sparked it, but i started having thoughts about my wee little footprint in/on the world about how i try my hardest to walk the talk, but i still have massive shortcomings. everything that i deem to be "right" in my perspective is so damn expensive and difficult to come by on a day-to-day basis - not to mention completely inaccessible to the majority of the world's peoples. i do what i can, but i don't feel like it's nearly enough.
i was thinking about how nice it would be to grow my own food organically, to live off of the power grid, to be with my beautiful partner and bebe and friends in a place free from violence and war (a world in harmony!), to not have to have a car, to have elected officials actually listen to me/us, on and on and on. these are the dreams that fill my head. i feel lucky that i even have these dreams, simply based on where i happened to be born in the world and to whom i was born to. i feel selfish and ridiculous for even complaining -yet seemingly simple actions like buying even a drop of gasoline unsettles me.a few days later, i was still thinking about it all when i spy the jesus people with their pamphlets swooping down into my 'hood to tell me how awful i'am, and how i can be saved. i didn't answer the door when they got to me. i started to wonder if my activism is the same thing? am i just constantly pushing my world view down other's throats? are they hiding in their homes from me? who do you think you are, anyway!? then - oh. god. i'am that watchtower pusher. but different?
absolutely. horrified. by the thought.
of course, at that very moment , i looked out the window and who should happen to be driving by but the jesus car man... perfect. (the picture isn't really clear, but there literally is just enough room inside for him to squeeze in and drive. the passenger and back seats are piled to the ceiling with random stuffed animals and whatnot. LOTS of whatnot.) commence whirlwind of thoughts:i know that i have to sell myself out on some level to be a member of this society - it's just the least amount of doing so that i want to have to do to get by. i'm not doing enough in my own life to live as i envision - in the same breath, i feel trapped by societal and monetary constraints. i've grown weary of being re-active to corporations, government, industry, popular culture and evil doers (not theirs, ours) - yet, i have no idea where to even begin being pro-active given the severe damage already done. i have a government that is supposed to do my bidding, but doesn't. or do they? am i really that much in the minority? i'm surrounded by industry dumping massive amounts of poison into the environment - and they continue on, funded in part by me. simply because i'am here. am i perceived to be filled with self-righteous indignation? i know that i'am no better than anyone else...i suppose i could subscribe to a big cable package and instead fill my days with episodes of the real housewives of orange county, aspire to be one, and just throw in the towel.kidding.i know the answer isn't to just hole up and ride the proverbial storm out (i.e. sit around and wait to die), given my inability to keep my mouth shut and my uber-sensitivity to everything that surrounds me. i know i wouldn't be able to stay away for very long - there is no turning back once you know. but i don't want to be "that watchtower guy" that preaches "redemption" in kara-land either. in so many ways, activism "saved" me, becoming more involved in the world, educating myself, realizing my place/duty in it all, finding strength and peace through being actively involved. is activism really a mirror image of organized religion, an entity that i've never been able to get with? and if it is, what does that mean? am i nothing more than a hypocrite? i just don't know.
i thought if i got this all out of my head, something would miraculously surface.
i'm waiting...i do know this - we all have chosen a "side," someone/thing to pledge our allegiance to - be it god, money, survival or nature. we the people of the world have been divided and conquered - long before any of us were even born. and in the immortal words of bebe,
"me no liiiiiiike it."
Labels: activism, existential crises, politics, religion
if any of you knew about this
and you've been holding out on me...A POX ON YOUR CASA(S)! go see
!if you register, you can even play with the other listeners in the journal and forum! weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
i wonder how all of the
human-activity-isn't-doing-anything-to-cause-global-climate-change'ers are going to explain away the following article?
i'm worried, REALLY worried that the u.s. response to this will be to go nuclear. this article also mentions utilizing more natural gas sources - but much like oil, these reserves are dangerously low... solar and wind power are the only ways to go. the burning of fossil fuels must cease to exist.
as far as raising fuel efficiency standards, that's nice and all as a quick fix, but the question of oil remains. it is going to run out. it doesn't replenish itself.
reliance, in the long run, on fuels made from what could be food sources may leave already struggling populations to go hungry.
we must approach this pressing issue with great care and thought. i wish i trusted big oil and the government enough to do so... but i don't. again, this is something that each of us needs to take action on in our own lives, in any way that we can. the "alternatives" that may be handed down to us stand to be watered-down versions of what really needs to happen.
In Climate Controversy, Industry Cedes Ground Support Grows for Caps On CO2 Emissions; Big Oil Battles Detroit By JEFFREY BALL January 23, 2007; Wall Street Journal The global-warming debate is shifting from science to economics. For years, the fight over the Earth's rising temperature has been mostly over what's causing it: fossil-fuel emissions or natural factors beyond man's control. Now, some of the country's biggest industrial companies are acknowledging that fossil fuels are a major culprit whose emissions should be cut significantly over time. A growing number of these companies are pushing for a mandatory emissions limit, or "cap." Some see a lucrative new market in clean-energy technologies. Many figure a regulation is politically inevitable and they want to be in the room when it's negotiated, to minimize the burden that falls on them. The broadening, if incomplete, consensus that fossil fuels are at least a big part of the global-warming problem signals real change in the environmental debate. The biggest question going forward no longer is whether fossil-fuel emissions should be curbed. It's who will foot the bill for the cleanup -- and that battle is heating up. Yesterday, 10 companies, including industrial giants that make everything from bulldozers to chemicals to electricity, joined environmental groups in calling for a federal law to "slow, stop and reverse the growth" of global-warming emissions "over the shortest period of time reasonably achievable." Tonight, President Bush, whose administration has rejected such caps as economically unacceptable, will deliver a State of the Union address in which he's expected to announce a bigger push for such things as low-emission alternative fuels. In the center of the regulatory cross hairs are utilities. They're the world's biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, the global-warming gas that's produced whenever fossil fuels are burned. Written one way, a cap would help utilities in the Southeast or the Midwest, which burn lots of coal, a particularly carbon-intensive fuel. Written another way, a rule would help utilities on the West Coast, the Northeast and the Gulf Coast. They use mainly natural gas, which produces lower CO2 emissions than coal, and nuclear energy, which produces essentially no CO2. Auto makers and oil producers also are worried about a potential cap, and they're lashing out at each other. The Big Three auto companies are making speeches and running advertisements calling on Big Oil to crank out more low-carbon alternative fuels such as corn-based ethanol. Big Oil, in its own speeches and ads, says the auto makers should build more-efficient cars. Lobbying on the issue is ramping up. The American Iron and Steel Institute, which opposes any emission cap, this month assigned an executive who had been working broadly on environmental issues to focus specifically on global warming. Some companies that oppose a cap argue it would raise their costs and hurt their competitiveness against rivals in developing countries such as China, where no cap exists. DuPont Co., the chemical giant, heartily endorses a cap in part because it figures it would help boost demand for energy-efficiency products the company makes. Entergy Corp., a utility that's also pushing for a cap, had a lobbyist in the room last week when Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, announced a carbon-cap bill. Entergy would likely benefit from her measure because the company's fuel mix includes a lot of low-carbon fuels. "It was a hand-holding, kumbaya moment," says Brent Dorsey, Entergy's director of corporate environmental programs. "Every company is going to be playing to their own strengths and weaknesses" in the regulatory battle that's breaking out over global warming, he adds. Among scientists, a broadening consensus has developed that fossil-fuel emissions are contributing to global warming; the debate has been over whether they're the main cause. In 2001, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations body that periodically assesses climate science, cited "new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities." In 2005, representatives of scientific societies from 11 countries, including the U.S., called the science "sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action." Still, uncertainties remain. Among them, the U.N. panel noted in its 2001 report, is the extent to which "natural factors" unrelated to human activity play a role in the rising temperatures. The U.N. panel is set to release its next climate-science report Feb. 2. Fossil fuels provided 80% of global energy in 2004, and they're on track to provide 81% in 2030, according to the International Energy Agency, a Paris-based energy watchdog for Western industrialized countries. Significantly curbing their emissions would require sweeping technological change, from more-efficient power plants and cars to the potential injection and burial of massive amounts of CO2 underground. Outside the U.S., many countries already have modest experience in emissions caps, thanks to the Kyoto Protocol. The treaty, which hasn't been ratified by the U.S., requires ratifying nations collectively to cut their emissions 5% below 1990 levels by 2012. Several Northeast states and California already have announced plans to impose emission caps of their own. And a handful of proposed federal caps are under consideration in Congress. The least stringent is one from senators led by Jeff Bingaman, a New Mexico Democrat. By 2030, it would raise gasoline prices 12 cents per gallon, according to a study issued this month by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and slow the rate at which U.S. coal consumption increases. The federal proposals differ in the structural details of the "cap and trade" system they would set up to regulate CO2 emissions. Under such a system, the government would set a ceiling on how much CO2 the U.S. economy -- or whichever sectors lawmakers pick -- could emit each year. It would ink a corresponding number of pollution permits, each entitling the bearer to emit one ton of the gas. Then, based on complex allocation rules it devises, the government would divide up the permits among companies. Those companies could buy and sell permits among themselves on a greenhouse-gas market like a Kyoto-related one already under way outside the U.S. Companies that decide it's too expensive to cut their own emissions enough to comply with their government cap would go to the market and buy extra emission permits from companies that ended up with more than they needed. The theory behind the market is to create an economy of scale that reduces everyone's cost. Other regulatory structures are possible, including a straight tax on CO2 emissions. Politically, a cap-and-trade system is more popular than a tax. Environmentalists like the severity of an absolute ceiling on the amount of CO2 companies can emit. Industry likes the flexibility of a market in which permits to pollute can be bought and sold. And cap-and-trade systems already are in use. The U.S. has had one for more than a decade to curb the pollution that causes acid rain, a regulation widely viewed as successful. Still, Steven Rowlan, director of environmental affairs for Nucor Corp., one of the biggest U.S. steelmakers, warns U.S. industry is in for a shock if Washington follows Europe and imposes a global-warming cap. The U.S. steel industry already has gotten more energy-efficient in recent years, he says, so it would be unfair to require it to make further emission cuts while its competitors in the developing world, where emissions are rising fastest, remain free from a cap. The steelmaking process itself emits large amounts of CO2. A smarter tactic, he says, would be for the U.S. to slap trade restrictions on developing-world steelmakers requiring them to meet minimum environmental standards as a condition for exporting their products to the U.S. "The biggest hammer that the United States has is its market," Mr. Rowlan says. "And that, more than anything we do domestically, will have the greatest impact on greenhouse gases." Nucor, based in Charlotte, N.C., is considering running ads to drive this point home. DuPont, on the other hand, is actively promoting an emissions cap. It thinks a cap would help its business. DuPont makes materials used in such devices as solar cells, wind turbines, fuel cells, and lightweight automobiles -- all of which are likely to be in higher demand in an economy in which CO2 emissions carry a cost. "We think there is a lot of market opportunity," says Linda Fisher, a former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official who's now DuPont's chief sustainability officer. But DuPont, based in Wilmington, Del., doesn't want just any cap. For one thing, it wants a cap that covers all sectors of the economy -- not one that's limited to utilities, as are some proposals pending in Washington. The more industries covered by a cap, the more potential customers for DuPont's environmental products. DuPont also wants a cap to award companies credit for past emission cuts they've made. DuPont already has invested to significantly cut its emissions. Utilities, for their part, are split on whether they want a cap -- and, if so, what kind. Where a utility stands on this issue depends largely on where in the country it sits. Duke Energy Corp., based in Charlotte, is the country's third-largest burner of coal, though it also has significant nuclear assets. It's pushing for permits to be distributed based on the amount of CO2 a utility has emitted in the past -- a system that would protect big coal burners such as itself. James Rogers, Duke's chairman and chief executive, notes that Duke already is assuming in its investment decisions that it will have to pay for carbon emissions. So it has begun investing in new plants that will burn coal more cleanly than today's plants do. He argues any cap should ensure adequate permits to utilities making such investments. "It's going to take several decades to bring this on," he says of the technology. "We shouldn't have an economic scheme that puts an undue economic burden on regions of the country that are reliant on coal." Given Duke's coal reliance, it might seem strange that Mr. Rogers has emerged in recent years as perhaps the U.S. utility industry's most outspoken proponent of a global-warming constraint. His position is a bit "awkward," he notes, because he also serves as chairman of the Edison Electric Institute, the electric industry's Washington trade group, which opposes any mandatory global-warming cap. He's set to speak on three panels discussing global warming this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Mr. Rogers, wearing his Duke hat, says he's just being realistic. He has concluded a cap is coming -- and that his shareholders are likely to do better if he can influence the details. "If you're not at the table when these negotiations are going on, you're going to be on the menu," he says. "This is about being at the table." Fighting Duke and other coal-burners are utilities such as Entergy. Based in New Orleans, it uses a lot of natural gas and nuclear fuel. Unlike Duke, Entergy wants permits to be distributed based on a utility's total electricity output -- a system likely to give low-carbon generators such as itself excess permits they could sell. Duke's Mr. Rogers says that would amount to a "windfall" for low-carbon utilities. "Even though they don't need allowances, they would get them, just because," he says. Entergy's Mr. Dorsey says his company isn't asking for a windfall. The permits Entergy would get amount to "a revenue stream that we will need to build a new nuclear plant," he says. Still, he allows, "because of our natural gas and nuclear, we will fare better than most" under a carbon cap. Auto companies also are jockeying to shape a potential carbon constraint to their advantage. They've been playing this sort of regulatory game for years. They already face a kind of carbon limit in the federal government's longstanding fuel-economy standards for cars and trucks, because vehicles that burn less gasoline emit less CO2. Those rules give auto makers extra credit for building versions of their conventional vehicles they've modified to run on either gasoline or ethanol. Very few of those vehicles actually wind up running on anything but gasoline. But the credits let the auto makers build more thirsty sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks -- the industry's bread and butter, particularly when oil was cheaper. Auto officials who declined to be named said the industry probably will accept some toughening of the fuel-economy standards. But in return, it may seek bigger credits for selling vehicles that burn less oil, including those that can run on ethanol. At the same time, auto makers want to ensure other industries get hit. In a speech last week in Detroit, Rick Wagoner, General Motors Corp.'s chairman and chief executive, said his company plans to build more ethanol-capable and electric-powered vehicles. But he also stressed "important roles for other industries, like oil and electric utilities, to name a few." He called for more tax credits and subsidies for alternative fuels. The oil industry itself is mobilizing -- including Exxon Mobil Corp., the Irving, Texas, oil giant that in the past has been outspoken in its questioning of global-warming theories. Scientific questions remain, says Kenneth Cohen, Exxon's vice president for public affairs, but "we know enough now -- or society knows enough now -- that the risk is serious and action should be taken." Exxon isn't calling for an emission constraint, but it's starting to talk about how it wants one structured if one is imposed. In November, Rex Tillerson, Exxon's chairman and chief executive, called in a speech for "steps now to reduce emissions in effective and meaningful ways." Then he listed two: boosting automotive fuel economy and cutting emissions from coal-fired power plants.
Labels: big oil, co2 emissions, global climate change, industry
the best state of the union address analysis
of the night award goes to my bebe riley! about 30 seconds into bush speaking, he raced over to the tele, turned the volume all the way down, looked at me and said:
"mommy! no like it poopy movie!"
his sense of foreshadowing is uncanny for a 21 month old.
it 'twas indeed the poopiest movie i've ever seen.
Labels: state of the union address 2007
ding dong the witch is dead, the witch is dead!
so my internet connection has been awful ever since the first ice storm hit a week or so ago. i hope it's the weather, but i'm afearin' it may be the modem. in any event - sorries for not being by more at everybunny's blogs! i've been reading when i can get a connection.
now about that dead witch...i won't be shedding any tears. i just hope they leave their creepy position papers and letters that they wrote to government types around here somewhere in cyberspace for future reference... that draft of rebuilding america's defenses was by far one of the more disturbing things i've ever read.the project for a new american century is no more. never thought i'd see the day. guess they completed their mission? got what they wanted? and just look at how wonderful and pretty the world is after all their hard work! way to go, kristol, et al!
or could they just be regrouping to form a new little club? hmmmm.....
i also just realized that it is blog for choice day.
here's my few cents. to me, it's simple. a woman should never ever be forced to be pregnant against her wishes, especially by a bunch of old white guys.
Labels: pnac, william kristol
why i speak out
i think that we all have our reasons when we do, why we do. sometimes, we've just had enough. sometimes, getting it out is only way to keep ourselves from turning back on
ourselves. and sometimes, you've learned the hard way what silence can do - not just to self, but to others. there are two kinds of people in the world - those that will say nothing and hope that someone says it for them, or those who speak at every opportunity when they see that something is amiss. ok. three. there are also those that want to speak, but are afraid. ok. maybe four - those who don't even know what to say...i want to preface what follows with this - whatever has happened up to this point in my life has made me who i'am today. so be it. you may feel inclined to say that you're sorry - but that isn't what this is about. this is more about taking that and doing something in the name of human evolution and change. for each other. as ani difranco says, "this world owes me nothing. we owe each other the world."
i want to talk about fear and silence and lies. the deafening kind of silence that can destroy you. the fear that others instill in us. the lies that keep it all going...
“People are so isolated, and so alone, and so suspicious, and so competitive with each other, and so sure that they are about to be conned by their neighbor, or by their mother, or by their sister, or their grandmother. What's the use of having fifty percent of the world's wealth, or whatever it is that you have, if you're going to live this pathetic, terrified life?” ~arundhati roylie... there is something wrong with YOU if you experience any of the following things, in no particular order.fear. anxiety. depression. happiness. yes, even happiness. i've lost count at the number of times that someone asked with a sneer, "what're you so happy about? i want some of what you're on!" yes, somehow, i manage, in the face of all the horribleness to achieve a level of happiness. and i laugh. a lot.i took an online quiz the other day, just for kicks, knowing that i would have whatever dis-order the drug company who sponsored the quiz was making a drug that could cure me.do i ever feel sad? do i often cry? do i sometimes have a lot of energy and then sometimes do i not? seriously. uh, yeah, i do! there's a WAR going on, for crissakes - one that is KILLING a whole lot of people and destroying a country or two for no good reason. there is talk of more invasions into other countries, which will result in even more blood spilling. the founding document of my country is being shredded. people all over the world are hungry, though there is enough food for all. AND there are all of these faceless, nameless people out there that want to kill me because i'm an american. or destroy me because i'm a woman. some are foreigners, some are here. whatever. i could go on, but you know already.there was even an option for me to print my results out and take a copy to my doctor for proper diagnosing. please.all i could think was, of course i feel a mixture of these things regularly. because i'am alive. because i'm living in a country that uses fear as tool on many, many levels - a contrived fear that in and of itself creates depression and anxiety AND combines it with doublespeak - hey! you are different and special! BUT in order to live a relatively peaceful existence, you are to conform and look exactly like everyone else, say what everyone else says, talk about television shows ONLY - or, at very least, aspire to be this ideal. because all of things that we should never do to harm one another are said to be bad and illegal, yet nothing is ever really done to stop those things from happening in the first place.turn on the t.v. and quickly flip through the channels- you'll see what i mean...
is something that i became intimately acquainted with at the age of 4 when my innocence went for a long walk and never came back. he was an old man. someone that was trusted. mommy always felt bad that daddy didn't have anything to do with us, and thought that this male presence in my life would be good for me. he was a caretaker for the property we lived on and rented. the three times that i went with him to Feed The Animals And Look At The Garden would indelibly change me. he told me if i ever told, that he would hurt my mommy - that it was a secret. do you know how to keep secrets?the day my mommy accidentally drove a sickle into her leg while ridding our yard of weeds - the day that there was blood EVERYWHERE - in the kitchen by the phone that was left dangling after mommy called for help, making a sticky red trail into the the bathroom tub that seemed to be covered, mommy's flip flop shoe that had to be thrown away when we got home form the hospital... i thought that she had found out the secret somehow and now she was hurt because of me...the fourth time He came to take me to play, i told mommy no, that he scared me - and i ran and hid under my bed. he never came back. when mommy would ask, i'd say i didn't like him. i never told the secret. she never knew.that's when i started grinding my teeth in the night when i'd sleep. and sleepwalking. and feeling very anxious and sad. and having horrible nightmares that lasted into my twenties. i felt this way - intensely - for years. 19 of them, to be exact.fear.i carried this secret with me, wrapped away like the dirtiest thing i could ever imagine until i just couldn't anymore. the year that i was voted class clown in high school, i was driving home each day thinking of the easiest way to end it all - suicide. a semi-truck in the other lane would find me considering just turning the steering wheel a few inches to the left. it would be over like that. i began drinking heavily on the weekends.fear and self-destruction.i was all over the place in my head, and no one had any idea. i would cry for hours and then laugh for just as many. it was chalked up, i suppose, to being a teenager.then my rape. a frat boy that repeatedly told me we wouldn't do anything that i didn't want to do though my repeated saying of no. he didn't stop. and the moment that i realized he wasn't going to, i froze. i left my body and watched it happen from the corner of the room. then i ran again, this time hiding in my car, after he got up and left the room.
i can talk about these things now openly because of the many many brave others who came before me to speak up. one such person is an inspiration to me today. sicily sue has written at great length about her own experiences. her latest post is here. she is still fighting, still feeling, still speaking her truth, no matter how horrible it gets.
but i digress...
whatever i had thought i was holding together shattered instantaneously after i was raped. i knew i needed help. had it been all the rage to hand me a bunch of meds back then, i'm sure i would've qualified given the criteria that exists today. but it wasn't, at least not with my therapist. he was amazing. when our time together came to an, it was when i left for college - only to find that much of what he had helped me through still wasn't put to rest.on my own for the first time, my self-destructiveness did creep back in. so did fear. so did anxiety. so did depression. working in restaurants didn't help with the cash i had on hand. i drank to erase it all, to forget. i drank every night that i wasn't working to the point of passing out. i did this for years. after taking a horrible tumble down some bar stairs and messing my arm up but good, i decided that i needed to stop drinking. i did. a whole lot of things fell into place around that time. synchronicities. i realized that i needed to re-channel this negative energy into something positive before it destroyed me. to focus it where it belonged and to stop blaming/beating up myself for what others had so viciously done to me. i became active. i began to piece together, as best as i could, where exactly this all was coming from. and while i feel those emotions still, fear/anxiety - they aren't even near as intense as they once were.i'm telling you all of this because i seem to be surrounded by people that think all of this deviant behavior on the part of the culture, society and government at large is normal - a reality that must just be lived with. and today, if you can't take it, if you begin to exhibit symptoms (a body and psyche's way of telling you that something is WRONG), there are pills for that.i defy that. and this administration's brand of fear pales in comparison to what i have known and lived with.don't get me wrong - there are very real reasons to be afraid. they just typically aren't the threats that we're told about. there are also very real reasons to feel anxious and depressed. they surround us. the problem is this for me - that by only medicating - here comes the broken record - the emphasis is removed from those creating the problems we face and only focuses on the end result that really isn't even a lasting solution. it sends a messed up message that the trouble lies in us. for me - no amount of pills will ever change what is inherently wrong in a culture in which sexual abuse and rape are still allowed to happen, where the use of force is smiled upon. where violence reigns supreme. the pills may actually do more harm in numbing one to the point of inaction - not to mention that no one has any idea how the chemicals will affect anyone long term. but the bottom line is this - nothing can make right the act of killing to show that killing is wrong. there is nothing noble about bombing a country simply because they've bombed you. we should be far past the days where weaponry and force and violence are used as means to settle international and personal disputes.meanwhile, there simply are too many of us carrying pain in this culture, paying penance for the misdeeds of others.and i'm back to fear.in the past 6 months, things have been awfully strange 'round here. our neighbor awoke at 3 a.m. to find a random man standing in his kitchen. he ran out when the dog came after him. they said he was some "homeless" guy. how they know that, i'm not sure. maybe he was just looking for warmth? for food? maybe he was there to cause the resident bodily harm. who knows?this summer, there was a prowler making his way around our house, trying to gain entrance into our back yard on several occasions. same deal, who really knows what he was up to?the businesses up the street have also been targeted in the way of hold-ups and late night break-ins.while taking walks with bebe, i have been cat-called and verbally assaulted on more than one occasion by a group of men that come to get a meal at the church across the street. they wait out on the front steps until it's serving time. it doesn't take much to reawaken old wounds and fears and i feel far more vulnerable with a little one at my side. my heart starts racing. and then i immediately think, "hey! this is my street too! this is crap that i should ever feel this way in or near my home!"so lets just assume that all these men were/are up to 'no good'. perhaps instead of hand-wringing, we could instead address, truly address these issues of homelessness and poverty that are spurring these acts. the old ways aren't working and nothing is being done to help get to the root of why these things happen.on a larger scale, i think we all know that something is horribly wrong, on every level of our existence. people are suffering and being exploited - the same people that make our clothing, that pick our food, that enable us to live these incredibly wasteful lives, compared to the rest of the world. they are suffering. the planet is suffering. every last one of it's inhabitants are suffering. and the ironic thing is that a good many of us are suffering in turn. then you add war into the equation and the idea that leaders are sending people off to die for the most bogus of reasons...if one doesn't feeling the strain from time to time, perhaps even daily, then something is wrong.the kicker is - it doesn't have to be this way, yet we go on and chalk it up to reality. but is it? is it really?it doesn't have to be this way.
so i speak out and i always speak my mind, for better or for worse. here, there, everywhere. i can only hope that it makes a positive difference...
i speak for that little girl inside of me that couldn't. that wouldn't. because i can. and i will. i believe in freedom. with every inch of me. i won't ever be feared into silence again. i simply can't take the chance that silence could destroy me...
“the state can’t give you free speech, and the state can’t take it away. you’re born with it, like your eyes, like your ears. freedom is something you assume, then you wait for someone to try to take it away. the degree to which you resist is the degree to which you are free…” - utah phillipsthe target market of those with ability to create change is too busy collecting each new edition of girls gone wild and believing that someday those that control the wealth will part with their money and they'll get a big chunk. they may even believe that the american dream isn't a myth. whatever. this is what they do instead of actively participating in this so-called democracy and using their voices. perhaps it is fear that keeps them self-medicating with everything but the issues we're faced with. perhaps they even believe the lie. but our voices are one of the few things that we have. they are ours alone. and often times silence can and will destroy. history has shown us that it can even kill.i clipped this out of the newspaper many years ago, as it immediately struck me as one of the most powerful things that i had ever read. it is still taped to my computer, all torn, ratty, and yellowed. i can't throw it away. i found it before i began to use my voice. it has been with me a very long time...When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out. Martin Niemöller
***trying my hardest not to throw stones and failing at this time, kara
Labels: fear, lies, rape, sexual abuse, silence, speaking out
the cruelest months
my hunny bunny (a.k.a. will) wrote a blog post (!), replete with one of his poems... i'd say this calls for a guest blogger day here! enjoy!
The Cruelest Months
There is a material distinction between the greyness of a snowy morning and just about any other kind of overcast day. The sky, a brittle, sapless, bare-bark brown. The very air blending into a frostbitten malt of near-stillness and henna smears of tire slush.
Here it is, a week past the New Year. Already, I feel the chafe of tenuous resolutions. And yet, this morning I shrug into layers of t-shirts and sweat shirts, gloves, stocking-caps, hoods, and trundle out into the grey daybreak. The driest scrunch of compacting flakes beneath musical feet. Houses hunkered down against the cold. Thoughts, surrounded, pelted upon, born away into swirling white.
The neighborhood stirs later than usual; its usual bustle hibernating beneath three days of sleet, icy rain and snow flurries. No one out but me and a bundled man urgently walking his dog, the occasional car carrying some intrepid self-starter off to slave in the towers of glass and steel – someone's got to keep the engine of commerce churning…someone, not me.
Up until a couple years ago, I hated to see winter come. I shrunk form its oppressive, looming encroachment - other than a few, brief holiday weeks, pools of warm light staining the early-dusk between October and December 31st. But something in me has begun to thaw in regards to winter.
Winter has its own smells: the incense of the coffee maker, a cold front purity squeezing impurities from the air, leaving only crisp, lucid breath. It has its own sounds: the quilted muffling of salubrious pursuits, the creak of constricted timbers. And yet, fibers and materials grown friable beneath a fleeing sun, seem somehow more mature and less frivolous.
With each inch of snow, with each glacial sheet of ice, my fellow travelers seem to surrender more of the streets to me. Two of the finest nights of the year, Thanksgiving Eve and Christmas Eve. Even before the conclusion of midnight mass, the streets are a ghost town, the bar stools nearly empty, the hours - my hours - solitary and comfortable. (note: Sunday nights prove delightful nights to go on the town for a similar reason).
Some have suggested that I might be more comfortable living in the countryside. But, while I would appreciate a thinning of the ever-present press of humanity, I fear that I am not a creature of the great out-of-doors. It is a horrifying place filled with rustling leaves, shadows, murky streams and the distilled essence of all that remains unknown (if you haven't, I suggest Music On The Hill by Saki, aka H.H. Munro). Yet, I do fantasize, at times, about what it might have been like to live at a time when there were, simply, less people on the planet.
Down to my bones, there is a fondness for the corporealness of urban brick and mortar, neon, and smoky bars. I want people around; I want to feel their pulse and hum in the sidewalks; I want them breathing behind the walls of their homes. I simply do not want them out when I am about. In recent years, I find particularly engaging that scene in 12 Monkeys when Bruce Willis emerges into the winter-scape of a New York City reclaimed by the artic and the wild beasts.
One thing: I do find it odd that we celebrate the fiction of the January 'new' year. We all know in our heart of hearts that the New Year commences with the first blade of grass erupting from the earth.
I remember one particular grey morning over a pitcher of beer at the University of Kansas Student Union (this was before the puritans – all for our own good, of course – decided that 3.2 beer posed a threat to the collegiate mind and body). Two friends and I explored T.S. Elliot's declaration of April as the 'cruelest month,' the poets Millay, Whitman and Frost chiming in. Why do novelists like C.S. Lewis bemoan "Always winter..." while so many poets seem drawn to it? Could it be that poets tend to be mostly alert organisms constructed of exposed nerve endings? Elliot tenders a possible explanation:
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow…
As we age, mature in our wineskins; learn to think for ourselves, maybe we grow less inclined to surrender to the rapid, painful explosion of life. Maybe we find more comfort in the slowing, in the less biting numbness of winter. Maybe we surrender more to our poetic inclinations.
I have always been out of step with many of my peers – maybe even something of a contrarian, at odds with so much of the prevailing culture. And here again, even as global warming promises to fulfill my childhood lust for eternal summer, I find a thawing in the permafrost of in my attitude toward the southern solstice months. I hope and pray that the polar bears of these, my new inclinations, don't drown far out to sea, no ice upon which to rest.
OK, a poem:
The moon flashes its Cheshire grin
above powdered sugar streets.
Cathedral trees hallelujah wave,
bebop snapping icicle fingers.
inside out, outside in Down the center of the lane,
frost-bit conversation clears its throat,
shoes cold-front trudge on home
humming a dry tune.
A lone, insomniac window
kitchen glows, up late over coffee
outside in, inside out Visions of a ripe tomato sun,
fruit swelling on the vine,
lazy with time wasted,
a simple winter's dream away.
Labels: guest blogger
remembering dr. king
but first, i want to remember someone else, some that very well may have been responsible for the heights to which the great doctor eventually did soar. e.d. nixon . to me, they are indelibly connected; i always think of nixon when i think of king - AND rosa parks... there's a back story there that has somehow disappeared from the history books.i must insist that you go read about him if you don't know who he is. the link above will take you there. here's just a snippet taken from the link:
At that same time Nixon and members of the Women's Political Council began looking for a way to challenge the discriminatory seating practices on Montgomery's buses that a local ordinance required. He rejected several potential plaintiffs–one because she appeared to lack the fortitude to see the case through, another because she was an unwed mother, a third because her father had drinking problems–before Rosa Parks, the elected secretary of the Montgomery NAACP, was arrested on December 1, 1955.
Nixon went to bail her out after a family friend called to tell him she had been arrested. Nixon felt certain, based on his years of working with Parks, that she was the ideal candidate to challenge the discriminatory seating policy, Even so, Nixon had to persuade Parks to lead the fight and only succeeded in doing so after she conferred with her mother and husband. Nixon arranged for Clifford Durr, a local white lawyer, to represent her. Nixon then called a number of local ministers to organize support for the boycott; the third one he called was a relatively young and newly arrived minister, Martin Luther King Jr., who asked for time to think about it. By the time King called back Nixon informed him that the meeting had already been arranged to meet at his church. Nixon, who was unable to attend because work took him out of town, took precautions to see that no one was elected to lead the campaign until he returned.
as for dr. king, well, i'm going to let his timeless words speak for themselves. enjoy.There is nothing more dangerous than to build a society, with a large segment of people in that society, who feel that they have no stake in it, who feel that they have nothing to lose. People who have a stake in their society, protect that society, but when they don't have it, they unconsciously try to destroy it.
We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.
- It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important.
We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobile rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to mankind
- Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.
Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don't have to have college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.
- Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and for justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important.We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. And the leaders of the world today talk eloquently about peace. Every time we drop our bombs in North Vietnam, President Johnson talks eloquently about peace. What is the problem? They are talking about peace as a distant goal, as an end we seek, but one day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means. All of this is saying that, in the final analysis, means and ends must cohere because the end is preexistent in the means, and ultimately destructive means cannot bring about constructive ends.
- Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must ever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. World peace through nonviolent means is neither absurd nor unattainable. All other methods have failed. Thus we must begin anew. Nonviolence is a good starting point. Those of us who believe in this method can be voices of reason, sanity, and understanding amid the voices of violence, hatred, and emotion. We can very well set a mood of peace out of which a system of peace can be built.
- When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative.
I submit to you that if a man hasn't discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live.
- The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.
- All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.
- The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and, therefore, brothers.
- I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.
- Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
- Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
- ...And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. So I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man.
- Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
- Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.
- The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Labels: dr martin luther king jr, ed nixon, montgomery bus boycotts, roas parks
existential crises has been trumped, though i'm seeing that they are closely tied. i know i should probably calm down before i write this - but this is gonna be all knee jerk, baby. all the way.anthony, who shall be referred to as Rain Cloud Over My Parade from here on out, has hipped me to some revolting developments in the my comments section of a previous post: I hate to say "I told you so", but this quote is in a Yahoo news story today, from tonight's 60 Minutes interview:President Bush said he has the authority to act no matter what Congress wants."I fully understand they could try to stop me from doing it. But I've made my decision. And we're going forward," Bush told CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview to air Sunday night."He's the guy who's got to decide how to use the force and where to deploy the force," vice president Dick Cheney said. "And Congress obviously has to support the effort through the power of the purse. So they've got a role to play, and we certainly recognize that. But you also cannot run a war by committee.""They're convinced that the United States will pack it in and go home if they just kill enough of us," Cheney said. "They can't beat us in a standup fight, but they think they can break our will."
go back and read that again.THIS IS A PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT IN A DEMOCRACY SPEAKING - NOT SOME LUNATIC DICTATOR IN A FAR AWAY LAND!!!! isn't THIS EXACTLY WHAT BUSH WAS TRYING TO RID THE WORLD OF IN KILLING SADDAM HUSSEIN? ISN'T THIS EXACTLY WHAT HE RAGES ON ABOUT WITH IRAN AND SYRIA AND NORTH KOREA? it is such a fine line, friends. such a fine line.they are going to do WHATEVER THEY WANT the rest of us that fund them be damned?!?what?!?! i'm holding every single person that voted for this regime responsible. i'm disgusted and sick. i've lost any ounce of tolerance i had left today. WAY TO GO!!! what the hell is the matter with you, america? NO ONE WANTS THIS!!!! WHERE IS MY GREAT COUNTRY? this is supposed to be a country where WE decide what THEY do - NOT the other way around! and as for options?* congress can decide not to fund him. great. so he pulls funds from somewhere else instead.* congress can attempt to pass a law to bar him from going forward. great. won't be enough votes to pass it.*we impeach bush. great. we're left with "i don't care who dies we're going forward" cheney? impeach him too?
i wish i had more faith in the democrats - that they will actually somehow do something to stop this insanity, but my faith in them was crushed long ago - and so far, nothing has been done that makes me think it won't be more of the same. i expect no serious boat rocking. democrats, prove me wrong. please. CUT THE PURSE STRINGS AT LEAST!
so now what? NOW WHAT?welcome to what it's like to live under a dictatorship. what do all of you freedom loving neo-con "i want the least amount of government interference possible" supporters have to say for yourselves now? YOUR leader has turned into what you most despise. HE ISN'T GOING TO LISTEN TO ANYONE! he doesn't care what you OR i think.
i'm on the edge of my seat, waiting to see how you'll spin this one.
Labels: bush, congress, democrats, dictatorship, surge in iraq troops
poets and musicians and war - oh my!
As I've often told Ginsberg, you can't blame the President for the state of the country, it's always the poets' fault. You can't expect politicians to come up with a vision, they don't have it in them. Poets have to come up with the vision and they have to turn it on so it sparks and catches hold.
our friend forrest whitlow is featured on neil young's anti-war music site. we took bebe to see him play friday night - you KNOW he was dancing and singing along! at one point, he escaped and made his way to the guitars behind forrest. when will got to him he was strumming away, saying, "riley do'ed it! riley do'ed it!" ah, my little future music maker...
in any event - i wanted to share forrest with you all too. he's one of the most talented and prolific songwriters that i can think of, and i'm honored to know him. not to mention, he's a really great guy to boot! what follows are links to two of my favoriteofalltimeinifinity tunes:
earthmoverhomeland securityas an added bonus, here's an interview that yours truly did with forrest a few years ago - and a few pictures:Forrest Whitlow recently released Sunrise In Reverse; his 6th CD of original music. For over six years, Forrest has played his music to the crowds at Prospero's Up Close & Personal concerts. He consistently has good crowds, and we have - frankly - sold more Whitlow CDs than any other musical act. We thought it was high time to sit down and let him tell you a little about himself.
Kara: Is Forrest Whitlow your real name? It's the perfect rock n roll name!
Whitlow: No it's a nickname given for getting a nasty finger fungus when I was growing up in the hills of Kentucky...of course it's my real name!
Kara: Would you change? To what? Why?
Whitlow: Not a chance. I worked hard to overcome the nicknames, the jokes, the ribbing growing up, like "Four", "Wedgehead", "Woody", "Trees", "Whit", "Frosty", not to mention "Gump" - I was named after Forrest Gump ya know. Yeah, I guess if I had to, "Frostie" would be it.
Kara: What is in your CD player right now?
Whitlow: Sunrise In Reverse by me - sorry, it's truly is in there and I should be sick of listening to it. But I'm not, and that's a good sign 'cause I've been intimate with this project for over 5 months now, going over and over it, listening to it over and over.
Kara: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Whitlow: A red bellied sap-sucker...as well as Mighty Mouse...Super Man...and especially AquaMan.
Kara: You are/have been a member of a book club (philosophy, I think you said). If you were allowed only one book, what would it be? Why?
Whitlow: The Gay Science by Frederich Nietzsche. It's a beautiful literary anti-system of philosophical aphorisms that ask questions, make you grapple, and invite you to question the status quo and create your own existence by testing this or that theory via living it out. If it doesn't where it matters, then it's a failed philosophical system. Nietzsche was a very good poet. Some of his poetry is in there as well. And Gay can also be translated Happy… and I wonder why, 'cause life is or should be a great adventure of experiment.
Kara: Is there anything you are hiding - from someone, from the police, from yourself...?
Whitlow: I am a law abiding citizen, most of the time. Most of the time in public I hide the fact that I have no friends by paying folks to be my entourage, my friends. In reality, it's their job. But people think I'm really popular in Wichita and Prague. I'm hiding from my debts...too much self indulgence with hiring friends and making records that no one buys. It's an addiction. I'm alone really. and when the money's gone and I have no more friends or songs then it'll be check out time - just kiddin'.
Kara: What's your sign?
Kara: What are your top 3 influences musical or otherwise? Why?
Whitlow: My philosophy professor in college who taught me that learning was a dialectical process. It was as much of how I interpreted the philosophy I read, my reaction, my critique as it was a philosopher telling me that it's this way and no other. Basically to think for myself and not be scared, to give my opinion in class or in a paper and come up with something of my own rather than just regurgitating the lectures word for word. Long answer...he was the coolest.
Neil Young 'cause he carved his own path, took his influences and made the most out of them, wrote from his heart, from what he observed, with great passion and is such a maniac on guitar, so visceral. His music makes you feel.
Dad was the hardest working man in the farming business. Still can put in a pretty good day. Smart man. Very creative - you have to be in order to farm. He gambled and won most of the time. One with the earth. Now there's a hero for ya. I love my dad. Funny thing is, all this stuff with farming he did to put us kids through school, I doubt he ever thought or thinks about it in a spiritual philosophical way. Artist? Yes sir. Very wise man though taciturn. Kara: You changed produces & engineers for Sunrise, even spent a lot of $ to have it mastered by some guru in NYC. Why? Did it work? Whitlow: We'll see if it worked. It worked if it sells - bottom line, baby! I think it sounds awesome. Whether it was worth the cost of the mastering (which, for the guy I got, I got a pretty good deal...cause Clarke knows people if ya know what I mean). I don't know, really. My ears are blown. I can't tell. We'll let the public decide. So, please, please paaaaaaaaaaaleeeeeeeeeeeeez! buy my the CD.
Kara: This CD is something of a departure for you. It's more, well, political. What sent you in that direction?
Whitlow: You get subjects out of the way on past records. So that's part of it. There was mental/creative space for a new subject, a new sound. Me and my friend, each week, would meet and talk about the political climate since 911 really (and before), but it just became time to write something musically with more of a message. I can be very political, very crusade-ish in my songs. Still, I don't like to write so provincially and specifically that the song is tied to a time period and becomes obsolete. I try to make most of my songs timeless. Nor is it not overtly about bashing this person or that person - really... It's about the climate we have all created. Bush had to happen or someone like him. I don't like him at all. The cool thing is to put in the subtle messages (or not so subtle) "you're no soldier, you're a monster." Or the refrain of another song, "the good ole USA". People that don't really listen to the lyrics closely will probably interpret the latter as "our country rocks! Yeah!" But that's not what the song is at all - we are big bullies in the world. And we critics benefit presently from it as much as do the proponents of 'the Bush-Nation'. So I guess I'm rambling to say: someday there will be no such thing as Homeland Security and we will have all contributed to it happening. Actually, it is inevitable, empires crumble, and pride comes before the fall. I know it's cliché man…but…
Kara: Ken Kesey once told Alan Ginsberg that it wasn't the politicians duty to envision the future, it was the poets duty to conceive it and to talk about it with such passion as to set the world on fire. Do musicians have a similar responsibility?
Whitlow: When i wrote "homeland security" i felt a tiny bit like the Biblical prophet Jeremiah who went around talking doom and gloom, preaching the end, and that folks need to repent, mend thier ways before it's too late. Well, "homeland..." was kinda this feeling of being a prophet and it wasn't really a pleasant thing to paint some macabre scene of a world, an empire, us, blindsided by some lethal chemical onslaught. it's all symbol. i have no idea obviously how things will fall. prosperity may continue for many years to come. but hubris is a breeder of contempt...and history tells us that WE will be the meat and bread that feeds another empire one day. There's all kinds of music. Some of us musicians are also poets or ministers or philosphers and occasionally these things have to be said. other times it's total self-indulgent bullshit. but that's okay too. i try not to take what i say as some serious statement...it's just words and a guit-fiddle really. oooooooop.
Kara: Sunrise in Reverse is your 6th collection of original music. Out of all these songs you've written, do you have a favorite song? Why?
Whitlow: As Lou Reed might say, "that question sucks! Why would you ask me a question like that?" Ok, I'm a nice guy, sooo… The funnest song to play, and a fave all the way around is a tune called Ever Had off the first CD. That tune rocks both solo and with a band. On the Fly is the best song lyrically, musically that I've written, I think, but not always my favorite to play.
Kara: If you could work with any musician, living or dead, who would it be? Why?
Whitlow: I would seriously love to work with my friends of the past: do a record, play the old music again. Like Rick Gray (as far as I know, Rick is still alive). Like Todd Wiseman - great bass player. And Rechelle Malin - her voice is so wild and it fits perfectly with mine most of the time. That wasn't the answer you were expecting, but they all are the shit...if they are motivated.
Famous? It would be intimidating, but I'd love to have Ben Keith from some of Neil's solo albums play pedal steel on some of my stuff. It would be very cool to one day get to play a show or do a record with Stan Sheldon - a great guy with a ton of rock and roll wows to lay on ya. He was big time, and yet you meet him and he's just a normal, humble dude. And sure, I'd love to sit around a fire with Amie Mann, Beck, Paul Westerberg, Neil Young and trade songs. Do a song circle. I bet they'd be totally cool about it.
Kara: How many times have you be nominated for something by The Pitch or other KC organizations? Have you ever won? What's wrong with those guys?
Whitlow: I've not won anything ever. But being nominated is cool. There've been a few nominations. And the Pitch has been good to me. Very good. Jason Harper is a really cool guy. He seems to genuinely enjoy covering the music scene. And I appreciate the press I've gotten from Andrew Miller. Anyway, it's all an illusion, a fun game, recognition. You still, have to go to the toilet alone though, and endure your own shit. What?
Kara: You've been touring in Wichita, Des Moines Omaha and other regional markets - how's that going?
Whitlow: Very fun to travel. BTW, I've been through Des Moines, but I swear I've never touched a guitar string while in that town, swear! I've been fortunate to hook up with Borders Books/Music and they buy my CDs in bulk. I get to go to their stores and promote them and try and sell them. It's a pretty good deal. And they really like the new CD, so I'm gonna get that one out too. I'll be all over town, in St. Louis stores, Wichita, Omaha..........and wherever else I can fit in a weekend. Des Moines?
it's all i've got right now, as i'm in the throes of an existential crisis... how dramatic of me, huh? more on that later... most likely tomorrow.
Labels: anti-war, forrest whitlow, ken kesey, neil young, new music
it's my blog and i'll cry if i want to, cry if i want to...
ok, so i'm not really crying so much as i'm having a moment. and it's not really so much as i'm having a moment, as i'm having moments that are magically running together to create something new entirely ... remember that existential crisis i mentioned aways back? well, here. we. go. it started in earnest a few weeks ago, although it is something that i find myself constantly struggling with. it is always in the back of mind, no matter what. it's just this time, it's different. more demanding of my attentions, more pressing then ever before.i promise that while this post has the potential to reach the epic-length proportions that why i speak out did, i'm going to do my bestest to keep this one short. (thanks, by the way, to everyone who actually read that one from beginning to end. i didn't realize how long it was until a few days later when i looked at my page! eek!)!but i digress. even though this post and that post are both closely tied. again, i digress. someone STOP me!so, anyway, this started a few weeks ago, while talking to island amazon on the tele for the first time, at long last. i'm not even sure of what exactly sparked it, but i started having thoughts about my wee little footprint in/on the world about how i try my hardest to walk the talk, but i still have massive shortcomings. everything that i deem to be "right" in my perspective is so damn expensive and difficult to come by on a day-to-day basis - not to mention completely inaccessible to the majority of the world's peoples.
i was thinking about how nice it would be to grow my own food, to live off of the power grid, to be with my beautiful partner and bebe and friends in a place free from violence and war (a world in harmony!), to not have to have a car, to have elected officials actually listen to me, on and on and on. these are the dreams that fill my head. i feel lucky that i even have these dreams, simply based on where i happened to be born in the world and to whom i was born to. i feel selfish and ridiculous for even complaining -yet things like buying a drop of gasoline can drive me crazy.a few days later, i was still thinking about it all when i spy the jesus people with their pamphlets swooping down into my 'hood to tell me how awful i'am, and how i can be saved. i didn't answer the door when they got to me. i started to wonder if my activism is the same thing? am i just constantly pushing my world view down other's throats? are they hiding in their homes from me? who do you think you are, anyway!? then - oh. god. i'am that watchtower pusher. but different?
absolutely. horrified. by the thought.
of course, at this moment , i look out the window and who should happen to be driving by but the jesus car man... perfect. (the picture isn't really clear, but there literally is just enough room inside for him to squeeze in and drive. the passenger and back seats are piled to the ceiling with random stuffed animals and whatnot. LOTS of whatnot.) commence whirlwind of thoughts:i know that i have to sell myself out on some level to be a member of this society - it's just the least amount of doing so that i want to have to do to get by. i'm not doing enough in my own life to live as i envision - in the same breath, i feel trapped by societal and monetary constraints. i've grown weary of being re-active to corporations, government, industry, popular culture and evil doers (not theirs, ours) - yet, i have no idea where to even begin being pro-active given the severe damage already done. i have a government that is supposed to do my bidding, but doesn't. or do they? am i really that much in the minority? i'm surrounded by industry dumping massive amounts of poison into the environment - and they continue on, funded in part by me. simply because i'am here. am i perceived to be filled with self-righteous indignation? i know that i'am no better than anyone else...i suppose i could subscribe to a big cable package and instead fill my days with episodes of the real housewives of orange county, aspire to be one, and just throw in the towel.kidding.i know the answer isn't to just hole up and ride the proverbial storm out (i.e. sit around and wait to die), given my inability to keep my mouth shut and my uber-sensitivity to everything that surrounds me. i know i wouldn't be able to stay away for very long - there is no turning back once you know. but i don't want to be "that watchtower guy" that preaches "redemption" in kara-land either. i just don't know.
i thought if i got this all out of my head, something would miraculously surface. i'm waiting...i do know this - we all have chosen a "side," someone/thing to pledge our allegiance to - be it god, money, survival or nature. we the people of the world have been divided and conquered - long before any of us were even born. and in the immortal words of bebe,
"me no liiiiiiike it."
but it doesn't mean that we can't evolve together, right?
Labels: existential crises, life, politics
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