Youtube and Pandemic Video of the Day, France, Revolutionary War and Captain America?

 

There are a couple things and a couple places that historically enrage me.

You will find injustice and stupidity everywhere, but some places seem to have more than their fair share. Some places where the rule of law and government, is put in the hands of the most venal, and these miscarriages of not just justice, but of humanity continue to proliferate and occur.

The MOVE Bombing in Philadelphia comes to mind, the LA riots, sentencing mentally disabled children as adults in Florida and locking them up with Adults.

Ah Florida.

You bring to mind a quote from Henry the Vth.

And when I think of Henry the Vth, it is not the play I read that comes to mind, or the many film adaptations, it is a very specific film and performance. It is Branagh’s HENRY THE V. And there is this scene where he has just seen the bodies of the children that France killed in a sneak attack. He says, he seethes, “I was not angry till I came to France!”

The webpage will not show this image anonymously.

Often I have heard news dealing with Florida, and it rises in me that self same rage, and I think… “I was not angry till I heard of Florida!”

And again I am sure there are great parts to Florida, great people in Florida, however it seems rightly or wrongly, they are overshadowed by the… mad.

Though it could be argued that… considering who some people voted for in the last presidential election, that all of America is mad.

***

Perhaps one of the greatest warriors America has ever produced, perhaps he was right.

Perhaps he was right when he switched sides.

I’m talking about Benedict Arnold.

History only remembers him as traitor.

They forget that he was the one everyone looked to, Washington, Jefferson, Banneker all of them. He was the Captain America of his day.  Winning battle after battle, until at some point he saw a dichotomy between a colony seeking its Freedom from England, while ever more earnest about creating its wealth through a system of petty tyrannies, fiefdoms, slavery and impoverishment.

Ah Arnold, they have roughly used you.

Perhaps he was right.

An 1880 Bio of Benedict Arnold, By A Sympathetic Relative

 

All that to say, that video… riled me.

********

Now a bit more on that Henry the Vth quote:

“I was not angry till I came to France!”

That line has always stuck with me. What was said, and how he said it, and the enormity of the villainy to prompt such words.

However I don’t want people to confuse me  being moved by that line, with any problems with France.

I like France, I went through it when I was younger, on a trip from Germany to London than back down through France to Spain.

Map of Central Europe (General Map / Region of the World)

While some American media has this totally undeserved derision toward France, the truth of the matter is… there would not be an America without France. The 100 year war between France and England, actually being just a small part of a 1000 year rivalry between those Super-Powers of that age, and the battle ground of America, what we called the Revolutionary War, was simply, for those Super Powers, their Vietnam.

Britain was fighting too many wars on too many fronts, battles with Spain, and France and on their own shores, and now a treasonous colony to deal with, that was being supported by their enemies. It was too much.

America likes to think we beat Britain, that is not the case. No, more than Vietnam beat America. In both cases battles on too many fronts, at home and abroad, required that the super power relinquish their expansionist wars, to concentrate on maintaining the nation proper.

So yeah, while Henry the Vth rightfully raged against France at the Battle of Agincourt, for myself, and for I think any American who has studied even basic history, and appreciates (for all its horrendous flaws) the dream of America, well you have to thank France for there even being a nation called America. Much as Vietnam has China to thank for them not being annexed by the United States.

So historically a fan of France, though these days they are dealing, like much of Europe and the World, with the rise of a new form of colonialism and fascism, under the guise of big business supplanting the rights of the individual.

 

Woah, man. That post went all over the place.  🙂

Somewhere in all that rambling there is probably a point. Me, I’ll leave it there. With this last refrain…

  • Travel when you can.
  • Defend each other and yourselves when you must.
  • Find and spread joy where you may.

These are my only laws.

Oh, and deliberate cruelty is not forgivable.

In the words of Tennessee Williams and Blance Dubois. Deliberate cruelty is not forgivable.

The webpage will not show this image anonymously.

The webpage will not show this image anonymously.

Be well all.

And here endeth the rant. 🙂

 

-HT

 

Deal of the Day!

Trailer of the Day : Mark Amin’s EMPEROR (2020) and great Black History Month and All Year Long DVD and Blu-Ray Pickups!

Dayo Okeniyi in Emperor (2020)

This trailer came out of nowhere, but I loved it.

I’m not crazy about the poster tag-line, a ‘true legend’, while many true things with time become the stuff of legend, and many legends are stories that have outlived and outlasted the crumbling and burying into dust of all things, even concrete evidence, the putting together of those two words… ‘true legend’ , if not exactly an oxymoron, is just slightly inept marketing. You want to put those two together, try this… ‘in a time of imposed truths, he became in his own lifetime… a galvanizing legend’ .

Took me two seconds to come up with that, and I think it shows more thought than what their marketing department did. Call me guys if you need to fire them and get a better marketing presence, we’ll talk. 🙂 .

But that aside, a very good poster and a GREAT Trailer! If the movie lives up to it, it will be a blast.

As someone who just picked up the 2 season set of UNDERGROUND (almost sold out, so you may want to pick it up while you can, use the attached link) and who is a huge fan of the best in Pan African cinema such as SANKOFA, DARESALAM, HYENAS, GENESIS, I AM CUBA, CAMP DE THIAROYE  (also available courtesy of the attached links) this film definitely goes on my must check out list. Probably along with the WITCH:SUBVERSION one of the best trailers for the Month of February.

 

UNDERGROUND 2 season DVD

SANKOFA – arguably one of the finest, and both savage and beautiful films made, of a true Holocaust. Haile Gerima’s masterpiece. and the fact that this film is out of print, and does not have a Criterion or similar high-scale Blu-ray or DVD release, is only proof that we have a long way yet to go. Get a copy, you will thank me later.

Sankofa

 

 

Daresalam

DARESALAM – This is simply put, cinema at its finest. Get your copy, while you can.

 

I AM CUBAFor years this film was not available in the west, and then when I finally saw it, I think at a film festival, yeas ago, the camera work, in a time way before CGI, blew my mind. As a fan of David Lean, and Hitchcock and Welles and Fritz Lang, geniuses with the camera, this film was like a generational evolution. In an age before Steadicam adoption, the shots were absolutely mind blowing. When it finally was released on a quality DVD boxset, I rushed out and picked it up, and I told all of you to pick it up. For those new to this blog, back in the day, those who listened to me picked it up for $40. It is decidedly more than that, but still worth picking up, if you have the funds. A Masterpiece.

*************************

 

Quick rant, feel free to bypass this. 🙂

Here’s a tip you should know. Quality  non-hollywood  films about and by people of color, especially politically provocative films, have a tendency of not staying in print. And either dry up entirely on the secondary market, or explode in price before disappearing into private collections rarely to see the light of day.

I am never in a rush to pick up KNIVES OUT or 1917 or AVENGERS ENDGAME, because that is going to be there for decades to come. But when I hear about a THE GREAT WAR or EMPEROR or a DARESALAM or a BROTHER JOHN on dvd or Blu-ray, I can not race fast enough to purchase these movies. Haile Gerima, who I had the pleasure to interview back in the day, understood the importance of retaining positive images, and words, and movies, and music. That is culture.

And when the ability to view or hear or see these sounds and images, is at the mercy and whims of multinationals… culture itself is held hostage. And the people who depend on the reflective power of culture, to help define the width and the breadth of their aspirations, are likewise diminished.

And particularly today when so many are weaned on streaming, physical media is ironically both scarcer and yet more important and arguably esteemed and sought after, than ever before.

Because those in the know, understand streaming giveth and streaming taketh away, based on the uninformed whims of the lynchmob. You want your favorite film, available to watch when you want, and in the cut of the film you remember, there is no replacement for physical media. There just is not.

Here endeth the soap-box interlude. 🙂

You can take it, or you can leave it alone. 🙂
Either way, be well.

 

 

 

New Zealand Attack/Tragedy

First my thoughts and hopes go out to the victims of this cowardly, reprehensible action.

To those who committed it, to those who enabled it, to those like our Resident in Chief who are making excuses for it… you are as guilty as the ones who pulled the trigger.

See, this blind yet supportive eye our resident in chief (and too many who voted for him) would turn toward intolerance, and step to power on the backs of stupidity, ignorance, greed and hate… this is the outcome of such a policy of hate. This is your ‘wall’ made manifest.

And in an increasingly connected global economy and global thought space, stupidity spreads. Especially when supported by fools in power.

America, has shown the world how to do mass murders of its own citizens by its own citizens, a genocidal and suicidal nation, that is infecting the rest of the world. The lack of laws to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of the deranged, and the addled, and the damned. A lack of laws to hold the firearm manufacturers and the estate of the culprit fiscally responsible for the lives and bodies destroyed, by a wanton act of cowardice.

America, steered by madmen, shows the rest of the world how to go mad.

The answer?

The answer to blood?

The answer to horror?

The answer to deranged madmen calling for insane walls rather than real gun control?

The answer to too many of you who actually voted for such lunacy?

The answer is simple.

The answer is to admit you have been wrong.

Wrong as an American, or a Brit, or a New Zealander or a South African.

Wrong as a Democrat.

Wrong as a Republican.

Wrong as someone who believes in hate.

Wrong as someone who believes in love.

Wrong as a Christian.

Wrong as a Muslim.

Wrong as a Jew.

Wrong as a Buddhist.

Wrong as a Nazi.

You have to question everything you believe is right, and everything you believe is wrong, and only then can you see clearly.

Because a fool and a zealot do not question.

And we live in a world of fools and zealots, who do not challenge the absolute good and the absolute evil they have mistaken for the world.

Monologues, Alan Moore said.

Monologues we have mistaken for the world.

A man walked into a holy place, and destroyed lives, for a monologue he had mistaken for the world.

For a fiction, a fabrication, that with but a moments thought to question, the absolutes of his insane plan, people dead would now be alive, and families broken would be whole.

We all want to be on the side of the angels.

Whatever angels we bend our knee to.

But the magic of the world, is it is constantly changing. And every day, every single day, we have to get up, and ask ourselves, are we good men, or bad ones. And every single day, the answer to that question, should be in doubt.

We should never wake up assuming we are on the side of the angels. Because that is the quickest way… to do the devils work.

The man who walked into that Mosque in New Zealand was absolute in his conviction, and that is what damned him. And that is what will damn us all.

Absolutes whether the quest for a wall, or the quest for lives, absolutes… fail. They fail, especially when the price is paid not by you, but by some one else.

I end where I begin.

My thoughts go out to the victims of the latest man, the latest system, of absolutes. You want to really make a difference, really stop these massacres? This is what you do.

If you are a staunch supporter of NRA, question it. If you are a staunch opponent of NRA, question it. Question your absolutes, honestly, because I believe reason, all effing evidence to the contrary, I believe reason ultimately wins.

I believe a man on a path of hate or a man on a path of love, can be the same horrible man, for lack of questioning.

The humility of doubt can save their souls. Can define their souls. Accepting nothing as absolute.

Wake up every morning asking yourself if you are a good person or a bad one, and answering it honestly. And that is how you stay out of… true evil. Avoiding Absolutism.

I’m not preaching anything to you, that I don’t do myself.

Everyday I wake up, I ask myself if I am a good man or a bad one, and the act of questioning, and the striving to be a better man, is a great way to stop from, gleefully, being… the worst of men.

That’s all I have right now.

Be well.

WEEK 5 of 2018! Best Youtube Video/Channel!

Kudos to CEREAL AT MIDNIGHT for some excellent content on his blog and Youtube videos. His Youtube video on COLLECTING MEDIA IN A DIGITAL WORLD….  absolutely essential viewing.

 

http://www.cerealatmidnight.com/

 

As someone old enough to remember the pre digital days and the coming of vhs and dvd and cd, those formats empowered the consumer. And these Millennials growing up to think physical media ownership is a burden, and the instant gratification of the cloud is the way to go, do not realize the power that they are relinquishing back to the studios.

Do not realize that the freedom to be free of physical media, comes at the cost of never being able to have a product that is not subject to being removed, or altered or banned, at any time.

Comes at the expense of having anything that you can actually own, without the oversight of gatekeepers.

VHS and DVD and CD, in fundamental ways started an evolution that empowered the consumer and got the market to cater to the consumer. Increasingly with digital (sans physical media) the conversation has returned to a one way monologue.

Consumers being dictated to, rather than catered to.

And that will get worse if we let physical media as a companion or alternative to ‘in the cloud’… disappear. Because we have sold a new generation on a lie that privacy and physical ownership is a burden, that takes them too much effort… to preserve.

Much as our media and politicians are selling them on this idea that Liberty and Democracy and Civility… are likewise burdens that take too much effort… to preserve.

So yeah give CEREAL AT MIDNIGHT some patronage, especially that video. It currently has about 500 views, it deserves to have 5 billion.

My All Over the Place Rant… Beware, there be Dragons here

It’s 0330 dark of the morning and I’m listening to Disaster-Piece’s IT FOLLOWS film score on CD (not something I would particularly recommend if you are in the house by yourself at this time of night), and I’m thinking…we are all adrift in the fields of the Lord.

That’s what I’m thinking.

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And I’m thinking of Carlos Castaneda and a Yaqui Indian called Don Juan and truths and fictions, and how the one becomes the other and the other the one.

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I’m thinking of the quality of person that would have actually voted for Resident Trump and be not ashamed.

I think the clinical term would be somewhere between fool and sociopath.

I’m thinking of seas relatively unspoiled by man, and islands far from this benighted shore.

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I think…

I think there are other worlds…

but this one is not quite done with me.

I think of duty and honor and truth and justice and loyalty, words co-opted by the venal to keep a nation of young men killing and dying and being mutilated and maimed for the 1%ers’ Dubai pleasure nations.

I’m listening to track 9 of IT FOLLOWS, the stereo panning in my Avanti Headphones, is working for me. Left, right… left, right. My brain relaxes, and formulates something beyond questions and answers.

It is a truly brilliant album, to accompany one of the standout horror films so far this 21st century.

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I’m thinking I can’t get down with media lynchings, especially by a notoriously untrustworthy and historically lynching obsessed nation as America. So the more they tell me to demonize anyone, whether a Cosby or Simpson or insert famous Black male target of the day, the more I have to question it. In a world full of evils to fight, it’s funny to me how the press never tackles the evil that really controls and infects their viewers lives.

Like the evil of Pharmaceutical companies that are getting rich selling you not ready for human use drugs that have more dangerous side-effects than the conditions they are created to combat. “Oh you have acne, oh use our product, but oh, it might sterilize or kill you. Heehee… but we told you up front so we’re not liable.”

No you pieces of offal, that’s not how it works, if someone buys a hamburger from me and it is laced with arsenic, that may make them very sick or kill them, that’s called attempted murder. Even if the burger was a good tasting burger, did its advertised job, side effects of food poisoning and possible death are not acceptable or allowable risks to eating a hamburger.

So that burger is not ready for human sale or consumption and is recalled, pulled from the market.

The pharmaceutical companies instead market you these not ready for human usage products, and lawyer up against their products being filled with arsenic.

The actions that would get an individual arrested for attempted murder, these companies are using to get rich on the sick and desperate . Now that is something the press should for 3 decades be raging against. Not a suspect celebrity murder case, and not an even more vacuous charge of sexual assault.

So when the press avoid the crimes of their rich corporate sponsors and overlords instead to pile on with, ‘what Black celebrity can we pull down today’, well that’s a train I’m not going to board, and that is a Dachau I’m not going to populate.

There are lots of racist cops walking around free that have committed worse crimes than either Simpson or Cosby have been accused of. There are lots of you judging them, Cosby, Simpson,… that should be wary of casting that first stone.

Simpson I don’t care about, except that the fact of a white owned media embroiled in demonizing him over 2 decades after his acquittal shows clearly the new face of lynch mobs. We have young men and women coming back from parts of the world we didn’t even know we were still fighting in… damaged, and having damaged, for reasons that stink of lies, and true evil, and rather than the press demonize the real monsters that fill our nightly news with blood, they want to waste energy on cases that in the scheme of things while significant to the families of the victim and the families of the accused, to the larger body of society, are not of import.

As far as Cosby, Cosby I was raised on, and in a world that would have you be less, he was one of the ones breaking barriers and opening doors so that a whole generation of young Black men and women could be more. There are very few people drawing breath on this planet that can claim to have done the good that Bill Cosby has done, and if you can not equal a man’s good, you are unfit to judge his evil.

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If he committed a crime, that is to be determined in a court of law.

But a man’s falling down does not erase his standing up, including the many times he stood up for a castigated people. So to take arms against him now is beyond ungrateful, it is cowardice of the highest order.

To let yourself be so crudely used, in this war of Black and White.

Now transitioning to another rant…

Why is local autonomy in nearly every walk of life being replaced by autonomy of these very few companies and oligarchies and families.

Once a blockbuster movie meant not only the studios did well but the regional independent local theater did well. These days theaters are mostly studio owned, so we have this incestuous chain of the studios getting paid in every part of the process, and local economies are obliterated by it. Reduced to only the most minuscule piece of the proverbial pie.

AVENGERS makes a billion Dollars, I don’t really care.

I care that it is or isn’t a good movie, but do I care if a Billion dollar studio make more millions and billions? Not in the least.

As it stands now these studios such as Disney and Fox and Warner Brothers (pieces of larger snakes) should have been broken up years ago and their anti-competitive and local economy suppressing monopolies ended decades ago.

The best thing that could happen to America is a nation where all the Disney Properties, most of which are over 50 years old went into the public domain where they belong so everyone can legally make money off of them and be enriched by them.

An America without the endless shadow of Disney and its lie of family values would suit me fine.

The album is over, the clock has moved on, and my rant…

My all over the place rant… ended.

For now.

“Come back and throw stones later, Mother will be more receptive”

—LION IN WINTER

FALL OF THE CITY / American Election Results! Hillary wins at the Polls but loses due to the bs Electorial College?! That’s Nonsense!

You expect me to rant, I’m not goint to rant.

Except to say I did my part, I voted for the candidate who actually had some experience both on the national and international stage, ie the candidate who wasn’t Trump.

First it is sad that in a nation of 322 million people, these are the two individuals that rise to the largest seat in the nation and the world. Sadder still that anyone would vote for Trump, much less in any numbers (That being relative since only about 125 million people voted in total. Not great numbers in a nation of over 300 Million). And yet more direness, that again the popular vote which is obstensibly what we are fed is this Nation’s great Democracy in action, loses to the backdoor shenanigans of the Electoral College (Clinton beat Trump by over 200,000 votes). A stop gap measure created for just such a reason, to muddy the waters, and make the will of the many, subbordinate to the desires of the few.

I guess I am going to rant.

This is a talk show president of an apathetic and ignorant population that chooses based on sound bytes and media bias rather than on the record/resume of the individual. Whatever else you say for or against Hillary Clinton, she is an experienced and tested politician on the national and international level.

Even the 2nd Bush, at least was a Governor first. Trump has never even been a mayor, he lacks any diplomacy. He’s a walking talkshow host. Who now… due to a, from my vantage, very suspect election day voting process, and the fuzzy math of the Electoral College has been granted the most powerful seat in the world.

And he is going to use it to make himself and his friends richer, by making the poor, poorer. That is absolutely his agenda. If you make under $300000 and voted for Trump, you are worse than an ignorant, fool… you are a slave.

You are a nation of masterless men… seeking a master. In Archibald MacLeish’s great FALL OF THE CITY, he forewarned against days like this , a whole population  ‘seeking to be free of the burden of their freedoms’.

The people invent their oppressors: they wish to believe in them.
They wish to be free of their freedom: released from their liberty —
The long labor of liberty ended!
— Archibald MacLeish, “The Fall of the City”

If I was a foreign nation looking at this election, I would see… opportunity. An America that eschews moving forward for the familiarity of moving back. That seeks division over unity, and hate over hope. An America that is ready to fall.

http://www.wnyc.org/story/86853-the-fall-of-the-city/

 

I can not control the ignorance of the led, or the machinations of their leaders, all I can do is prepare, enlighten, and support those better voices of our nature and our America. All I can do is define America not as those resources and liberties the venal waste, but those individuals who against the odds seek, preserve, and uplift what is best and noble.

But I think in this Trump coup, is the impetus for the formerly apathetic to get involved, to turn around this ship of corruption that is America, beginning with eradicating this Electoral college idiocy.

The end?

No, this is the beginning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Suffer Fools

People forget.

People forget what their job is.

Our job is to stand between the darkness and the light…. and hold the line.

People forget.

That’s why we have these clowns and fools running for the most powerful office in the land, and poised to take it.

Because people forget, the American people forget that we are suppossed to hold the line between the darkness and the light,

And that line does not suffer fools.

 

ligottivignettes

My musings on the world brought to you by today’s Book of the Day :
The Agonizing Resurrection of Victor Frankenstein by Thomas Ligotti

Holiday Gift Guide : 5 BEST COMEDY Albums of ALL TIME & The Final Word on Bill Cosby!


From Redd Fox to Bob Newhart to Bill Cosby to Eddie Murphy, here are the best comedy albums of all time:

wonderfulness

REDD FOXX UNCENSOREDuncensored

THE BUTTON-DOWN MIND OF BOB NEWHARTbuttondown

IN LIVING BLACK AND WHITEdickgregory

EDDIE MURPHY COMEDIANeddiemurphycom

BILL COSBY WONDERFULNESSwonderfulness

If you have to start with one album, start with Bill Cosby’s WONDERFULNESS, just hilarious. Now I know it’s popular because of the controversy to demonize Bill Cosby. Here’s my first, last, and best measure on Bill Cosby, it is a line from a Sam Peckinpah movie… “When you side with a man, you stick with him and if you can’t do that, you’re like some kind of animal.”

When I was a kid growing up in the 70s and 80s it was Bill Cosby who defined so many of the opportunities and enjoyment and broke so many of the barriers to pave a way for a young, punk kid like myself and millions of others to dream bigger, aspire better.

From an accomplished college sports figure to a ground breaking televsion actor in the beloved ISpy series to a world acclaimed commedian to a producer of kids’ television shoes (FAT ALBERT!), to a great, classic series of 70s movies, to a really groundbreaking 80s television series,to a civil rights and human rights fighter, and economic fighter…. the accomplishments of Bill Cosby are staggering for any ten people, but that he fit all this into one life… is the stuff of legend. To call him a Renaissance Man is apt.

Is he guilty or innocent of these accusations?… That’s for a court of law to decide rather than this televsion lynching the American Mass Media has been fond of with prominent people of color. This assassination by media is out of proportion, by a generation grown and raised on the tearing down of idols.

Guilty or Innocent, a man’s falling down must be weighed against his standing up. And if many of us presume to not have committed the perceived sins of Bill Cosby, neither have those same rock throwers committed the triumphs and the groundbreaking accolades of a Bill Cosby. We are none of us Saints, and most of us Sinners, but I posit that the good Bill Cosby has done, is larger and grander than the good his detractors have done.

You want to stand in judgment of a man’s evil, then you have to be capable of also judging or equaling his good, and none out there speaking against Bill Cosby have fought as tirelessy as Bill Cosby to make the world better… and Cosby has made the world… for punk kids like myself… better.

I heard the comedian Sinbad, a man who knew and learned from Cosby, state the same, he can not judge on some strangers’ accucations, but only on how Cosby impacted his life. And for Sinbad, and myself, and generations who grew up in a world precipitously devoid of opportunities for people of color, Cosby’s impact is overwhelmingly to the good. Cosby always used his talent and his resources to carve out such opportunities for others.

And now because of suspect accusations, that if true hints at someone who needs counseling over incarceration, all that good is what…. forgotten? Made Moot? You strip him of honorary titles? Really?

Here is the secret to those of you misguided enough to think that way… the price of greatness is sometimes perilous and steep. The soldier we thank for his service is back from blowing off some kids face, the president we applaud… has rained down fire on civilian targets, the sports figure you idolize is an adulterer and flawed father…. none of us are saints, and most of us are sinners, and the best we can hope to do is weigh a man’s good and his bad, and decide which part of that equation touches us the most and be ruled by that.

How you view the soldier with blood on his hands, depends on whether you are close to him or close to those he killed. In an imperfect world it’s the best we can do…side with those who have sided (if only tangentially) with us.

As a young kid turning into a young man, Cosby gave me the gift of laughter, of hope, of options, of the pleasure of seeing TV change into something more representative of the ethnically diverse nation it was supposed to speak to. So I can only judge him based on that, his personal failings beyond that are perhaps for those close to him or affected by them… to be offended by. And if criminally liable for a court to determine, however, where this shouldn’t be played out is in trial by media.

Shame on those schools and organizations quick to pull bestowed honors based on the lip service of media’s mob.

“When you side with a man, you stick with him. And if you can’t do that, you’re like some kind of animal.”

So that ends my rant and stance on Bill Cosby. His albums are still hilarious, and his achievments… still achievements.

Here endeth the lesson.

Who is behind the annoying, jingoistic Anti-Iran ads? Saudi Arabia? Security Firms? Bought Representatives?

I watch as little advertiser sponsored TV as I can.

Between pharmecutical companies that are pimping drugs with side effects worse than the ailment, to ads for adult diapers and racist chicken pushing colonel mascots, Network television is islands of creativity (sometimes brilliantly creative, GOOD WIFE, ARROW, BLACK LIST, AGENTS OF SHIELD, AMERICAN NINJA, SHARK TANK, all phenomenal shows) unfortunatley surrounded by sewage filled seas. It’s not worth swimming through that crap to get to the excellent content.

Which is why I’m grateful for the streaming options of Roku, and Netflix, and Amazon Prime to name a few. 99% of my watching, thankfully, does not involve commercials or Network television.

However on one of those 1% times venturing into Network TV land, I came across one of the worst ads I have yet seen.

Fear Tactics and misinformation, and ignorance and stupidity, masquerading as concern and level headedness.

I’m talking of course of the rash of Anti-Iran ads, sponsored by a mysterious sounding organization called “American Security Initiative”.

Well who or what is American Secuity Initiative?

Glad you asked.

Well it seems what you have is a cabal of suspect eggs, all in bed to mislead the American people into yet another avoidable crusade. Saudi Arabia is one of the main backers of American Security Initiative.

Saudi Arabia has for decades enjoyed a favored nation status, one of the only Arab nations to have such a status, and this proposed deal, bringing their historic enemy Iran to the table, threathens that status. It is in the Saudi Arabian interest (some believe) to continue to hold their oil reserves over America’s head, and have bought american Senators and Congressmen selling off large tracts of America and American interests unimpeded. Plus they would profit from a war on Iranian soil, in the same way they profited from the Iraq conflict.

Saudi Arabi, using ads about Iraninan attrocities as a guise to push America into comitting attrocities on Iranian soil. Attrocities that will breed the one thing no one needs… endless war.

At least no one sane needs a war with Iran. The security firms and contractors and military industrial complex see the opportunity to make billions supplying arms to blow up Iran, then make more billions getting the contracts to rebuild and reorganize a devastated nation.

So yeah, Anti-Iran ads, and Saudi Arabian backed lobbying groups, and bought republican senators and democrat congressmen, and commercials by euphemistically entitled smokescreen organizations like American Security Initiative spells one thing…. bad.

We must not be so easily swayed into conflict, by those who care for American Lives, only in the profit generated by the losing of them. Iran is arguably no friend of America, but arguably they don’t need to continue to be an enemy.

And the distinction of friend or enemy should perhaps not be defined or chosen by a nation that has grown rich, in direct proportion to how poor their bought American representatives… have made the American people.

Here endeth the lesson.

Church Shootings, South Carolina, President Obama, and Podcasts


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There is a line I quote a lot, but it’s because like many quotes, it’s a truth in it that endures, and is applicable to many. And it is definitely applicable to me.

I’ll quote it here again…

“You writers live too much out of the world.” –Graham Greene’s THE THIRD MAN.

Here’s the thing about the world, there is always some new atrocity the 24 hour news cycle is waiting to feed you. Someone’s misfortune that, with crocodile solemnity, they are eager to spread before you like some banquet, some forbidden feast, for you to put your snout in and snuffle.

I know people who make a home in-front the TV when the latest atrocity breaks, and they ‘tsk’, and ‘cluck’, and they make the expected exclamations of “horrible” this, and “what’s this world coming to” but you get the feeling it is more rote than real.

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That ‘real’ left town many atrocities ago, and they have yet to notice that what remains is something that watches for reasons less altruistic than information, and more hungry than concern.

I can’t do the 24 hour news cycle. I gave up on networked TV a long time ago and haven’t looked back, or particularly missed it. Too much of CNN or Insert News Station here, and I have to get away, I have to move, I can’t watch people suffer.

I’m old school that way.

I believe in heroes to rescue maidens, and Knights to slay dragons. And I’m fool enough to believe we can all be heroes… all of us. In small ways, and personal ways, and local ways.

But the 24 hour news cycle inundates you with a world’s wrongs, many wrongs too horrific and large and endemic for you to change.

So there becomes a war within you between the desire to change what you can, and the 24 hour news cycle that indoctrinates you, numbs you to a world beyond your time, or means, or scope to change… a news cycle that tells you “relinquish hope, relinquish the idea of days without horror, relinquish the lie of action, be a spectator, be a consumer. Live in the world we give you, the way we give it you.”

And reduce all your rebellions to a tsk here, and a shake of the head there. That’s what the 24 hour news cycle says to me if I watch it too long.

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I have to pick my battles. I have to pick my fights. I have to narrow my atrocities. And some days I have to have no atrocities at all. It’s the only way I can live without rage all the time.

I have to have the courage to change the things I can, the strength to accept the things I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Not being a part of the 24 hour news cycle, using the Internet to consume news in my time in my way, means sometimes, if I’m embroiled with my life, and the people in it and around it, the real news, then I may not consume another man’s definition of the news… for days on end.

I find I’m a better man for not being suckled every moment on the teat, and rage, and hate, and horror of Rome the metaphorical. I find I’m a better, calmer man, and people find me a calming, even soothing presence, and it’s because the nightly news is not on the back of my eyeballs when I look at them, I look at them without the media’s biases or fears, I do not fall asleep to Rome’s tirade, and I do not wake to her gnashing.

And that has made all the difference.

I think too many, especially the young, who not yet having learned the value of their own life much less anyone else’s, internalize Rome’s madness, drink deep and long of it, and adopt the American past time of mass murder; as if it was no more than a fashion you could put on. Killing for hates handed down to them like ill fitting suits, and reasons not understood by them, killing with no real sense.

No real sense.

Not understanding really, that killing is easy, but the hole it leaves is large, and affects so many. That every life… even the most paltry, took a million million miracles to breathe air into, and you can never know how even the most unworthy life, might, if no more than via tangential fate, give us a painter or poet or astronaut or hero. And with one bullet you can unwind innumerable tomorrows, kill innumerable tomorrows, and we are all the poorer for all those doors closed. All those lives changed. All that unneeded pain, piled upon all our souls.

We are all… by these atrocities, broken and put back together, broken and put back together, broken and put back together. But each time there is less of us, and less of us, and less of us.

Until, we are so removed from every step we took toward the light, we find ourselves mad, hopeless animals, penned in a coliseum, screaming for the fall of blood. Our souls are fragile things, that can bloom or wither, depending upon what they are fed.

So resist the 24 hour news cycle. Resist assumptions. And seek out things that will feed the better angels of your nature.

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You might find the link below, a thing for feeding your soul. I did.

I must first state I am not a President Obama apologist. As an Independent I have taken him to task for what I feel is the dismantling of Liberties, and his paying back his corporate backers by selling generations of Americans into debt, to bail out a stock market comprised of companies that should have been allowed to burn.

That said, even with those we disagree… we must find that common ground where we can, so if we can not agree with their choices, we can at least perhaps understand the making of those choices.

If we can relate to each other as more than ‘them and us’, see politics as less bloody warfare, and more people all honestly looking to make their home, their neighborhood, and their nation better… if we can see ourselves as tied by our commonalities first, then our differences become strengths rather than sticking points, ripping our nation and our world apart.

So I ask you Republican, You Democrat, You Independent, You Man, You Woman… to listen to the following pod-cast.

And take away from it, the parts that will make you better.

I was feeling such insufferable rage in the wake of the Church Shooting and what I saw in the media’s handling of it… However, I listened to the below pod-cast, and the easy grace a President of the United States brought to a moment devoid of all grace… and I could breathe again, easy deep breaths. And I could see beyond the pumping of my own rage.

A long term fix? No.

But only death is long term. In life we must take the fleeting moments of grace when we can find them. And use that grace to empower us to end atrocities one person at a time.

You might find in the below pod-cast something hopeful.

WTF_-_EPISODE_613_PRESIDENT_BARACK_OBAMA.mp3