Category Archives: pleas

The Ellensburg Other ~ The Air Is Killing Us!

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Dateline Ellensburg, WA…

The local newspaper, The Daily Record, reported Thursday that Kittitas County is ‘working to address air quality’ in the area. The headline may as well have read that ‘the county is reckoning on commencing to beginning to start cleaning up the air here’. A smaller caption read ‘State, Local Officials trying to avoid federal involvement.’ At the bottom of the page, it is noted that Ellensburg has been ranked as one of the most polluted areas in the state since 2012.
Holly Myers, spokeswoman for the County Health Department, noted that if the federales send in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) they will measure pollutants properly, “If it (the EPA) measured for the lower health sensitive level, that would mean industrial permits would go down and it would be costly to business in the area.

A spokesperson for the Washington Department of Ecology, Sue Billings, says that if the EPA came in to fix the air quality ‘it would give Kittitas County a negative image…This kind of thing gets into the AARP and tourist magazines and the community gets a stigma…’

Let us condense the above information into a consumable ‘byte’…Kittitas County and Washington State health officials are ignoring a dangerous health issue for years because they value business over people’s lives.
Considering that all businesses run off the backs of people, taking the side of business on this issue is more than a little irresponsible.

When this writer moved to the county, we first consulted websites which give information to people who are moving or planning vacations, etc. Sperling’s Best Places said (and probably still does) that Ellensburg has air quality that is 98.5% pure!!! The officials are more concerned with glossing over the issue than the risk to community health…

VOTERS, remember names and be sure to vote against those who poison you.

So, what happens next?.…well, this blog gets sent to the AAA, the AARP, Bestplaces.com and all those other sites which trick people into coming here to be poisoned. Then we contact them to see where they got their information (call it lies) as regards the air purity here. We will report our findings.

Up until January 29, 2015, the County did not find it necessary to provide information concerning poor air quality. A particularly nasty day made local headlines on November 20, two days after the center city crematorium filled the two blocks surrounding the public library with noxious fumes. The thermal waves carrying the putrid smell could be seem emanating from the chimney of the funeral parlor – which is located in the center of the most populated area (duh) and in breathing distance of Central Washington University. How many parents are paying to have children come here to absorb carcinogens which may not form cancer cells until years after they graduate?

This kind of hiding from the government is unhealthy. It is as unhealthy as Vantage Highway, where reports of people incapacitated by breathing problems are reported weekly, if not every other day, in the Record. When the writer moved to the Burg, he developed a breathing problem after a month or so. Every morning, he woke feeling fine and, as soon as he opened his windows or stepped outside(into the air), developed a hacking cough that took hours to clear each morning. He stupidly attributed it to ‘hay fever’ and pollen from the world famous Timothy Hay grown here.

Speaking of the hay…it is shipped around the world because it is reckoned to be the best. Do the buyers know that it is steeped in fine particle pollution throughout the entire growing cycle? What does the fine particulate pollution do to the livestock it is fed to, way down the line?

So here in Kittitas, business is more important than people…and they admit it in the newspaper. You have to credit them for that much…but the tourist magazines need to hear about it for any action to occur, it would seem – talk about the Power of the Press!

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The Thing About Hank3 and Why You Need To Buy His Music

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Sideways-Swervers, Open-Nervers and Over-turners,

We posted this a while back and it has recently come to our attention that Ole’ Hank is not going to release any more records until you people start buying his others…in particular, the ones we pictured...A Fiendish Threat and Brothers of the 4X4…if you are fans and have been waiting for new tunes from the Hellbilly Joker, then tell your friends to click the Hank 3 Official tab at the top of the page and order it there…DO IT!!!

You should be able to find reviews of both records on this blog…read ’em!

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This one is for those of you who think ahead of the game. What we witnessed in the past few decades as american pop music sunk into a stinking slug-hole of stale stars singing shittilly. Hank3 made that same point as regards the country/western genre of american roots music. It was bad enough getting stuck with Achey-Breaky Heart being even described as country music…but to have to put up with the second generation spawn of talentless twits, the likes of Miley Ray Cyrus, is one indignity we prefer not to suffer. Billy Ray named her Destiny Hope Cyrus. We reckon ‘Miley Ray’ sounded a lot homier.

Just like those other blase’ “celebrities” before her who came through the Disney Mind Control Camp, TV-minded youths adore this young lady. Like the rest, she will likely be more well-known for being hospitalized than for any one song she…kaf, kaf…sang…?

On the other side of the coin ,you have somebody like Hank3 who remains largely unpromoted by the mass media and thrives by playing music and being a hands-on traveling man. He gets ignored by mainstream due to, as they said about Hank Williams, his attitude. Like he says, he doesn’t “do lunch.” Somehow, though, you can’t keep a good man down and a recent experience proved that.

Going for a walk yesterday morning, we saw a van in our parking lot with a “Hank3” sticker plastered prominently on the rear window. When we say the driver approach the van, we asked about the sticker and immediately made friends with ‘Will,’ who we are sure to see at west coast Hank3 concerts when his next record comes out. Will said he wished he could see Hank in the east, where he plays in bars and smaller clubs frequently. That is the only atmosphere we have seen him in, ourselves.

As we talked, Will mentioned Hank’s 2013 record Brothers of the 4X4. We expressed enthusiasm and then he told us about how he has a son, four years old, and when Will drives him someplace in the van, his son always makes him play Lookey Yonder Commin’, a rollicking, happy coon-treeing song and real slice of Americana. Think about that! Hank3 is known for his songs about drugging and boozing, women gone wrong, men gone worse, pills, thrills and his friends who have chilled…permanently. Here we have a four year old child influenced by this happy, tumbling song – which actually contains a lyric in which Hank cuts out the four letters of ‘fuck’ in the name ‘Bumfuck, Idaho!’ He sings, ‘Bum-BEEP, Idaho!’ We asked Will if he saw Hank do the song live and he affirmed to the positive so we asked if the audience yelled ‘fuck’ when Hank sang ‘BEEP’ in that song.

Will said, “No, but from now on, I am going to!”

And so are we! What we wonder, and is very likely, is if children all over the country are listening to Lookey Yonder Commin’? Maybe sharing it at school during music class sing-a-longs or while playing on the recess yard. Will they forget about it and rediscover it twenty years from now?

This is a free blog, if you see any typos live with it!

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Filed under culture, essays, music, pleas, pop music, related subjects, roots music

Obviously Pregnant???

devilTimid Readers, Please do not let the image of the devil scare you. We just post that to focus the attention on good things which have been turned to evil.
Like the Bible.
On Christmas Eve, Michael Hendrick reportedly attended a function to celebrate the spiritual holiday. The highlight was the host telling a story as it was described. The ‘story’ was the saga of the birth of Christ. It may have deserved a better designation than ‘story’but when the Bible is read from a Kindle or an I-Pad,  it stops being the Word of God.
According to the E-Bible, Mary was not with child as we have been taught these many years. No, now we learn that the Mother of the Christ was not ‘with child’ but she was obviously pregnant.
The first definition of ‘pregnant’in Merriam Webster is ‘cogent,’ meaning…: very clear and easy for the mind to accept and believe ~ or we can look at meaning One – having power to compel or constrain.. The word ‘obviously’ is not one which even appears in the Bible. The first known use of the word ‘obvious’ occurred in 1603…confusing? fuck, yeah!

So what are they doing to the message of the Living Christ which was put in text for good reason? We do not know. It is subversive and changes the way today’s so-called christians look at the scripture. A true Christian would protect the Word of God…what would YOU do?

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Somebody Blew Up America

THIS IS A FREE BLOG! DO NOT PAY FOR IT!!! TEACHERS ~ IF YOU WANT COPIES, WE WILL SEND THEM FREE BY REQUEST!

Amiri Baraka is Beat.
He walked away from the scene in Greenwich Village, where he edited literary journals Yugen, Kulchur, and The Floating Bear from 1958-65. Working with Hettie Cohen, Michael John Fles, and Diane Di Prima, respectively, the journals brought new works by new names. Featured writers included Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, Phillip Whalen, and Michael McClure. He co-founded Totem Press and was influential in the launching of Corinth Books. Yugen magazine was perhaps most significant as the platform for the “new” Beat writers, allowing their work to find a place in one of the first venues to give credulity to the movement.
A wise and controversially outspoken man, his views have kept him on the Outside, the Beat side. The U.S. Air Force discharged him after two years of service due to his belief in communism. In 1961 he was arrested for distributing obscenity after mailing copies of The Floating Bear, Issue Nine, to subscribers; and his presence at the 1967 riots in Newark, New Jersey, saw him arrested and severely beaten by police. It was also the year he changed his name from LeRoi Jones to Amiri Baraka. The charges against him were eventually dropped and much of his support came from the Beat community.
From Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note, his first book of poems in 1961, to his upcoming play, The Most Dangerous Man in America, he has stayed the course, worked and fought for his beliefs of an equitable society.
With the death of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., (who visited Baraka’s Newark home a week before his murder), he left the mostly-white Bohemian literary scene and the environs of the East Village to take up a more radical stance towards Black Nationalism. But despite his distancing himself from the Beats in the mid-sixties, Baraka read poetry and attended panel discussions at Beat-haven Naropa Institute through the 1980-90s, and remained friends with Ginsberg until Allen’s death in 1997.
More recently his poem, “Somebody Blew Up America,” brought an end to his New Jersey “Poet Laureate” post when Governor Jim McGreevey took umbrage to the poem’s questioning of the events surrounding the 9/11 destruction of the World Trade Centers. The “Who?’ of the exploding owl in the poem echoes the angst of Ginsberg’s voice in “Howl.” Having heard Ginsberg recite live from ten feet away, this writer finds both poems equally as exciting and important.
Baraka has been called “the triple-threat Beat.” His talent has brought him recognition and awards not just in poetry and prose but also in theater as an Obie Award winning playwright. A sampling of awards bestowed upon him include the PEN Open Book Award, the Langston Hughes Award, the Rockefeller Foundation Award for Drama, and National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim Foundation fellowships. Maybe one of the most bittersweet titles placed on him is that of the Poet Laureate of Newark Public Schools, which he received after Gov. McGreevey’s actions against him
Additionally, he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and regarded as a respected academic, having taught at the state universities of New York at Stony Brook and Buffalo, Columbia University, and other institutions. barakaimagec

We started by asking why he walked away from the Beat Movement, which gave him a vehicle to establish himself as writer/thinker/activist to a wider audience.
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Well, that whole thing [the Beat Movement], was very explosive, but remember that the whole Civil Rights Movement was intensifying. I got out of the service in 1957. The Montgomery bus boycott had gone on a couple years before. After they had successfully made them integrate those buses, they blew up Doctor King’s house. At that point, it really began to be clear this was the kind of struggle that was going on particularly in the south, at least for me, having been in the service for two years.
That was the point that it became clear… until they blew up King’s house and he says… you know, the black people showed up at his house with their rifles and said, “What should we do, what should we do, Doctor King?” and he said, “If any blood be shed, let it be ours.” So my whole generation reacted negatively to that and said, “No, it won’t be like that. If people are going to be shooting, they are going to be shooting back and forth.”
Malcolm X appeared at that scene with his whole idea about, you know, “You treat people like they treat you. They treat you with respect, you treat them with respect. They put their hands on you, send them to the cemetery.”
So a whole generation of black youth responded to that positively as a sign that Doctor King was indeed a normal man instead of some kind of a saintly non-violent kind of perseverant. During that period, the next years of 1958-1960… In 1959, Fidel Castro led that revolution in Cuba so I went down there the next year, 1960, to Cuba and met Fidel, Ché Guevara, and all those people. I also met the black activist from North Carolina, Robert Williams, who was in exile in Cuba because he had really been practicing a kind of a self-defense in North Carolina, a thing that actually ended up with him stopping the [Ku Klux] Klan – removing their hoods… and then he found out it was the State Police! Then they framed him for kidnapping a white couple and he went to Cuba to escape that kind of injustice, so I met him.
Anyway, that was the point – 1960 – when, while I had this kind of awareness of the Civil Rights Movement, I actually became much more directly involved in it. So, about 1965, when Malcolm X was murdered, I felt the best thing to do would be to get out of the Village and move to Harlem. I found that, for a lot of black people, that event made us take stock of ourselves and move out of Greenwich Village into Harlem. That was actually the point. I began the Black Arts Repertory Theater Company in 1965 at 130th Street and Lenox Avenue.

Who else was involved in the theater?

Larry Neal, poet, and Askia Touré, poet, those were two of the leading figures. Many people came to Harlem who were not already in Harlem, because they were attracted to the Black Arts Repertory School that we opened. We would send out trucks into the neighborhood every day… four trucks, one had graphic arts, the other had poetry, the other had music and the other had drama. We did this every day throughout the summer of 1965 so that created a kind of militant venue for Black Arts. They found that was desirable rather than having to submit to the continued racism of Greenwich Village.

The perception is that the Village was not so racist.

At that particular point, a lot of young black people felt it was better to move to Harlem to take an active kind of fighting stance against it, rather than to be isolated in Greenwich Village.

Taking action was better than writing about it or publishing work about it?

Right, absolutely… it was not only about the publishing; it was about actually being an activist in that community and on the street and actually making Black Arts relevant to the movement rather than simply commenting on it.

Do you feel that we are losing ground and giving back too much of what was gained then?

Absolutely! It is like one step forward, two steps back. The whole Obama campaign, the victory… on one hand has brought a kind of very sharp reaction. It is like after the Civil War – once the slaves were so-called “emancipated,” that’s when you get the Ku Klux Klan and the black “codes” and all of that strict re-segregation. Rather than ending slavery you got the whole segregation of the south and the whole dividing of the south into black and white even though they were theoretically free from slavery… but slaves were plunged into sharecropping and many times they couldn’t go anywhere. The white people in the south wouldn’t let them go until years after slavery was over. They started going north and west. You can read about that in a book called The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. She charts that whole immigration out of the south by my people.

Amiri BarakaThe Obama Administration… since the first election, racism feels more prevalent.

It’s a stirring reaction to that election. Now we have the Tea Party. The Tea Party is correspondent to the Klan. They appear… the whole takeover of the Congress and the House of Representatives certainly existed because of these kinds of racist incidents – whether Trayvon Martin in the South [Martin was shot in February 2012] or shooting Amadou Diallo in the Bronx [police in February 1999] or the various kinds of murders out in California. It’s a sharp reaction and it shows the reaction is not just against black people but even young white people, like those taken up with the whole Occupy Movement across the country. There is just widespread dissatisfaction in society as it is.

How do you feel about the Occupy Movement?

I think it’s a good idea. It is uncertain and uneven but still a good idea and many times there are too many people completely lacking in the experience, in social struggle, or just anarchism, walking around who believe in no kind of government and no kind of organized response but certainly who are opposed to blacks in politics and it is a very ragged kind of result that comes out of that – but still the idea is a good idea and whatever kind of result you can get from that, even though it’s going to be much less than it would be if it were organized, you still have to support it.
Part of the reason is that it’s like the Sisyphus Syndrome. The only thing that’s happening now is that, between the Republican force pushing to the right, to restore the kind of Republican rule to go to back to Bush, which had been more extreme – what is underneath this is an attempt to erect a kind of corporate dictatorship. Coming out of all these Republicans’ mouths, especially the Tea Party, is the whole question that government is too big, that government is the enemy. The enemy is the lack of development. The fact that poverty still poxes this country and the development is, so far, uneven without a gap between the little six-tenths of one percent of the wealthy and the rest of the people. This has grown bigger and, actually, since Roosevelt and the New Deal we were talking about closing that gap. We talked about creating a much more equitable society. Now even the middle class is feeling the kind of strains that the working class is feeling. So the only thing the republicans have done…I mean, look at the surplus that Clinton had, billions of dollars in surplus, George Bush got rid of it…in the couple of terms that Bush had, he got rid of it a couple of times. He got rid of it.
How? The war, certainly… 9/11 was, to me, just a door opening to exploit the Middle East.

Like the 2.9 trillion dollars that Rumsfeld announced was missing on the day before 9/11? He claimed they didn’t know what they did with it…

Right! They didn’t know what they did with it… the people who got it know what they did with it… (laughs).

Can any government be righteous?

I’m a communist. I’m a Marxist. I believe that, ultimately, people will become sophisticated enough to understand that they themselves must rule – not just some little, small elitist group of exploiters. That is what the struggle is for – to see if this society itself becomes equitable. It is going to be hard because we are going to have to go through this period of intensified corporate domination, this last ditch struggle and the fact that it is now a global economy. You see that the struggles on Wall Street have affected the whole world and the only way that they feel they can gain any kind of superiority is war. That’s when they can hire more workers. That’s when they can fill their coffers and that’s exactly what they want to do… war… and that’s the only way capitalism can remain balanced on two feet, so to speak, but it will never be secure. That’s the problem that the people of the world face, that they have to finally overthrow these governments. They have to overthrow the monopoly of capitalism. That’s the task that faces humanity if it is ever to be truly civilized. You can’t be civilized with capitalism. It is too elitist. Most people are up against it. Most people cannot ever get a real education. Most of us still live in slums. It is something that is destined to be destroyed that will be very difficult to destroy it in its last days.

Speaking of last days, what do you think of the FEMA camps and the things like the Georgia law that is in Congress to bring back the guillotine?Baraka book cover

Are you serious about the guillotine?

Yes, it is a bill in legislature. They say they are running out of the drug to kill people with. You also have the Social Security Administration buying thousands of rounds of ammunition lately and you have to wonder what they need that for.

That’s the penalty for moving towards a corporate dictatorship because these people, the republicans and the Tea Party and these people, they’re not talking about the government. They’re talking about the government. They are talking about straight-out rule by the rich. It may be a terrifying scenario but that is what is in the works unless the people can find the wherewithal, the understanding, and the organization to resist it.
Even in its ragged state, I would rather have the Occupiers than nothing at all. The problem is that, too often, the people in power are opposed to the Occupiers. That’s the problem, most of the people who are in these posts, these small bureaucratic posts, they are even acting against their own interests, not to mention the police and those who are charged with keeping the order – an order that does not even serve them! It’s a tragic situation. But I don’t know what Social Security would be doing with all those guns. I don’t know that.

“Somebody Blew Up America.” You were censored by the New Jersey governor for publishing and performing this poem. The media depicts others who have questioned the events of 9/11 as crazy.

I understand it, yeah. That’s it. You got it. All you have to do is open your mouth, like they say you’ve got freedom of speech – as long as you don’t say anything. The minute you open your mouth, then that’s the end of that. Then they attack you. It has certainly happened to me. It happens to all kinds of people… even somebody like Bruce Springsteen, when he first sang that song about “fighting the yellow man for the white man.” They silenced him for a few years but he managed to come back. It’s that way, if you talk to say anything. There is a long history of that, particularly (for) Afro-Americans, but everybody else, too.
Like that attack on the film industry in the fifties, to remove any taint of the Left from the film industry, the blacklisting of the whole film industry. The whole McCarthyism thing and the fact that, during World War Two, the United States’ closest allies were Russia and China, but after World War Two our closest allies were suddenly the same people we were fighting, Germany and Japan… figure that out! Then China and Russia became our worst enemies. Why is that? It’s because they wanted to cut loose any kind of sign of supporting socialism. Since China and Russia were socialist countries our struggle with these socialist countries, then, was to make sure they were opposed to that (socialism). Finally, Russia succumbed and China has been riddled with imperialist advance. Finally, this corporate America is what dominates and wants to make sure that monopoly capitalism and imperialism outlast anything.

Why do you think people do not pay more attention to this?

The people who could make the most noise about it are afraid they are going to lose their whatever, their positions, afraid they are going to lose what they have. The problem with the great majority of people is that they are not organized and sometimes they don’t have the facts so they don’t know what is going on. It happens too often, even if you elect good people… like in Newark back in 1970, the first black mayor, the second black mayor. We haven’t had a white mayor in Newark since 1970… but then we get somebody like Cory Booker, the present mayor, who actually is sent here by corporate ventures to turn the whole advance, the drive to some kind of equitable city government, around. Now we are struggling against that. Now we have a situation where the mayor is trying to sell our water to private interests. It’s unbelievable. He is trying to sell the water plus about two thousand acres of land where we have the water.

Water is getting more expensive, like oil.

That’s what they want to do – jack the prices up and so this is an ongoing struggle. The largest corporation in Newark, which is Prudential Insurance, the largest insurance company in the world, they haven’t paid any taxes since 1970. One of their buildings is worth 300 million dollars a year in taxes. They were given a tax abatement in 1970. That was the “white-mail” they put on the new black city government, “Either give us a tax abatement or we are leaving.” That is not supposed to be eternal. I mean, you could give them a thirty-year abatement and it still would be over by 2000. We still have twelve years of twelve times 300 million dollars a year, we wouldn’t have a deficit… but they refuse to pay their taxes. They built an arena. They have the NCAA [basketball]; they have the Devils hockey team, which is an interesting idea for Newark. When they have all kinds of big events, they say we owe them money. They utilize our water. They utilize our police for security. We have to pay the police overtime any time they have an event and they say owe money.

Funny how all the venues are named after financial institutions these days, as opposed to names of great people.

That’s right. That’s just an indication of where everything is going. Everything is named after a bank or some other kind of corporation… even baseball stadiums. That’s absurd. Here everything is named after Prudential. (laughs)

Which medium do you find most useful in reaching people and motivating them?

The problem, again, is the control by the organizations. In the sixties, for instance, the whole emergence of abstraction and the corporations first fought against abstraction. That is the problem with the arts… it is like “freedom of the press”. You can have freedom of the press if you own a press otherwise you have to deal with a mimeograph machines and small distribution. That’s the way it is with all of the arts. That is the theater of grants. Somebody has to bestow that support upon the artist. Unless you really qualify, philosophically, to be in those venues, you are not going to be there.
I produced a play back in the sixties when I was perhaps unclear what I wanted to say, though they could deal with that to a limited degree. Back then it made it very, very difficult for me to get anything onstage. I have a play coming out in the spring about [W.E.B.] Dubois, called The Most Dangerous Man in America. That’s what the FBI called him. It’ll be a month run at a small theater on the Lower East Side.

You are accomplished and awarded in so many art forms… if you were to be remembered by one piece of work, what would you choose it to be?

I think the book on black music, Blues People, that I wrote… people still quote that and cite that. I think that is the most important one. People came out in 1963 and is the book of mine that is the most constantly-referenced. I think it was the most popular. I have had other works which had a great deal of (laughs) in the United States.
It’s about African-American music from Africa and how it developed in the United States. The seeds of that book came to me in a class I had with a man named Sterling Brown, a great poet who was my English teacher at Howard University. A friend of mine named A.B. Spellman who is also in the book, and who wrote a book called Four Lives in the Bebop Business, we had both finished class and he invited us to his house because we had some pretensions of knowing about the music. Once we were there, he showed us. He had this library with music, by genre, chronologically, by artist, and he told me, “That’s your history.”
In that kind of capsule statement what he was saying was that if you analyze the music, if you follow the music, you’ll also find out about the peoples’ history. So that’s what I did – tried to show how when the music changed it signified change in the status of the people and their condition. Everything about their lives has undergone some important change and the music is a result of the affect of the change. It goes to the earliest kind of music – the slave song, the early blues, the city blues, you know, the kinds of variations on that… like coming into the north and how it affected the music. It covers up to the 1960s.

You collaborated with The Roots about ten years ago… in hip-hop. Who are the most important artists or have been?

It changed a great deal from the early hip-hop of the 1970s, which was just a field called “rap.” Hip-hop is actually a kind of a category that includes different aspects of it all… the DJ, the rapping, graffiti, break dance. Rap, particularly, changed a great deal from the 1970s. The early rappers were much more conscious of making a social statement of protesting the kind of conditions they lived in and that black people lived in. It was really a kind of urban journal type thing, like Afrika Bambaataa from the South Bronx. Then, later on, people like Kurtis Blow and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
RunDMC was a period of development of that was put together by the guy (named) Russell Simmons, who then became rap’s biggest entrepreneur.

Do you think people like Russell Simmons can be as well-accepted and still keep an edge?

People have to sort that out themselves and find out how those kinds of ties (either) support what they are doing or obstruct it. They might just change what they are doing or what they thought and come out with something that may not be as important as what they were doing before. It depends on how you deal with relationships with those institutions and organizations.

Can you tell more about your new play?

The play is about W.E.B. DuBois, when he was about 83 years old and was taking a very activist position against nuclear weapons and everything, including going to conferences in Europe to protest nuclear weapons. He was indicted as an “agent of foreign power,” being a “father” of books. He had just run for political office, he and a man named Vito Marcantonio, a lawyer who was really the last Italian communist in the U.S. Congress. Anyway, when DuBois was indicted because he was in a peace organization [he was chairman of the Peace Information Center, formed in 1950], they had the trial in Washington, DC, and Marcantonio defended him. He was the lawyer.
It was a drawn out trial but finally he won the case because it turned out that the chief witness against him was, in fact, the man who had invited DuBois to join the peace organization. So the thing was overthrown but DuBois was prescient enough to understand it. that he said, “Now the little children will no longer see my name.”
After that they took his passport and tried to keep him from traveling. Then in 1958, the Supreme Court overthrew that ruling and gave him back is passport so he was able to travel throughout the world… Europe, Russia, China. He had been invited to edit Encyclopedia Africana by Kwame Nkruman, who was the newly-elected Prime Minster of Ghana. He went there, declared his membership in the Communist Party and he died in Ghana on the day before the March on Washington, which was started by Reverend Martin Luther King, so it’s a real cycle.

That covers a lot of territory.

It is going to be mainly the drama of just before the indictment… and how they prepared for this trial. The main part of the play is the trial itself, and the rest focuses on his travels around the world, particularly Russia, China, and Ghana. That should be out in spring of next year.

Did you have a personal relationship with Malcolm X?

I met Malcolm one time, after he had his house in Long Island firebombed and he was moving around Manhattan. I saw him, actually, with a man named Mohamed Babu at the Waldorf Astoria, where Babu had a room. We met into the wee hours of the morning. That was the only time I actually talked to Malcolm.

You and Lenny Bruce were often mentioned in the same news stories and seem to have been crucified at the same time.

I didn’t know him. Like I said if you speak out and identify with any kind of activism you are going to get jumped. That’s it – and you can’t expect any other thing to happen.

Did you like his act? Were his racial routines funny to a black person?

Sure, at the time. What was relevant is that he was trying to be for real, to bring some reality to America and make a commentary on America and that was the point. Given the content, he was attacked for profanity and obscenity and all those things.
At that time, I was arrested for sending obscenity through the mail [for] publishing The Floating Bear. In one of them I had a play of mine in there or a short story… whatever, and an essay by William Burroughs. [The material deemed obscene consisted of “The Eighth Ditch” an excerpt from his novel, From the System of Dante’s Hell, and the Burroughs’ poem, “Roosevelt after Inauguration”].
This stuff that happened to Lenny Bruce was common, given that situation, because that is when that whole attack was common when you tried to do that – you were met with some kind of withering charges. I defended myself in court by reading the decision on [James] Joyce’s Ulysses and certainly that won the decision for me… (laughs).

~
The 1934 Supreme Court decision to lift the ban on Ulysses opened the doors for the publishing of many literary works besides those published by Baraka. Joyce’s book was used in the defense of novels Lady Chatterley’s Lover and The Tropic of Cancer. The works of Amiri Baraka have, similarly, pushed open doors for new generations of creative minds to pass through.
Mr. Baraka was open and generous with his time. He still reads poetry in performance and we encourage you to see him if you ever have a chance. If you want Beat, he is more real than all the recent movies about the “usual suspects.” He is a living literary treasure and his work should be celebrated by all freedom-loving Americans and World Citizens.
Watch for his new play, The Most Dangerous Man in America, in spring and pick up a few of his books while you are waiting. He is the real deal and he speaks more sense than any other public figure that comes to mind.

Salute him and enjoy his work

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Free Book by Michael Hendrick, “Last Notes From a Tumbleweed Bastard: East to West” – Crazed Author Gives It Away!!!

widmark

Literate Readers,

Our excuse for being away this time is that we have been busy…as usual for the past year or so…

To keep it to the short blog form, we are pleased to announce that a member of our LNTB blog staff is releasing his first of three books in October just before Samhain.  It shall be printed by the Sheradin Press, prestigious publisher of the Paris Review, Cornell University Press and many other upscale publications.

Last Notes From a Tumbleweed Bastard: East to West by Michael Hendrick will be released in Ebook format but a number of hard copies of the journal-sized book will be free for the asking…depending on who asks, and how nicely! If you would like a copy, you can send a request here.

If you want to send Mr. Hendrick a couple bucks for postage, we are sure he will appreciate it.

The volume is a mix of flash fiction and poetry. Half was written along the Eastern Seaboard of the USA and the other half, entirely in the State of Washington during the past year, Hendrick’s first year there. There will be more to come. We asked about the subject and the author was characteristically obstreperous.

“What’s in it?” he laughed, wiping cider from his chin, “I’ll tell you what’s in it. I paid a buck a book for the fucking saddle stitch binding, damn it! I hope they appreciate it when their ‘print on demand’ books start coming unglued in ten years, the ungrateful bastards!…and for free, what in fuck am I thinking? Hell, it’s easier for them to let you push them downstairs in a wheelchair than it is to get them to read a book. Maybe if it’s free, they will read it!”

Don’t be put off by the churlish reply since he does refer to himself as a ‘bastard,’ too…but he has a point, which is that we all need to encourage reading more in ourselves and others. How can you know what is really going on if you do not read?

If you want a copy, get your name in. We will have an email address as well as snail mail address for you to send your requests.

We hope you take advantage of this offer…and do tell your local librarian!!!

liberrian

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The Law, Automatic Weapons and Dead Children at Schools

P1000909Gentle Readers,

We do not want to muddle the message this time so, simply…

If it were not for police and law enforcement agencies in the USA, there would be no legitimate reason for automatic weapons to appear anywhere except military training installations and at war.
Why do police need automatic weapons? Perhaps to kill more tax-payers more quickly. Do police departments possessing automatic weapons ever engage in fire with criminals, using these weapons? In all towns and cities? Really?

If they were not available here to buy, they could not be used by criminals as justification for the police to own them. Why do we rarely hear automatic weapon fire in news videos of domestic police action? If an officer spends hours a week at a target range, why not shoot a perp with a regular gun? That would takes skill…like the type of skill used to shoot somebody in the leg as opposed to in the back when they run…they DO get paid to train at shooting.

Why do they need automatic weapons…really….(the border police can use hand grenades and landmines…they would be much safer for the nation and we are sure the would enjoy watching the videos).

A grim thought for the weekend and sorry for that…but we thought about this before and lately have been reminded…

All Best, Bloggerinos!

this is a free blog so typos are often found within…

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Storage Whores ~ How ‘Sell’-ebrities Devalue Our Treasures

Storage-WarsGentle Readers,
While we enjoy ‘reality tv’s’ foray into the collectibles business, we can’t ignore how they are stealing money from us while we watch them. Reality is now defined by scripted episodes, sort of like professional wrestling only with antiques.
Antiques Roadshow, the premier PBS series on collectibles, presents real opinions by real auction experts who tell real prices on items that any of us may own. We find this to be very interesting and helpful. The once-respectable A&E Network gives us Storage Wars, the once-believable History Channel doles out Pawn Stars (and obviously does not ‘fact check’ stories Rick Harrison tells suckers, er, customers about their soon to be lost valuables) and TruTV, among the most audacious channels, shows Hard Core Pawn.
The premise is the same for all three – somebody makes a mint while somebody else gets screwed. Yes, it sounds like Washington, DC.
Nonetheless, in efforts to lowball the poor stiffs who feed them, items which once held value to us are picked apart, scoffed at, niggled over and usually sold at a huge loss to the poor nitwit who sells it. The other two take place in pawn shops while Storage Wars follows collectors who buy storage bins and sell the priciest items within. If you have watched these shows for a few seasons, you may have noticed that prices are going lower on all the items. Even when figuring out how much an item from storage is worth, a leather jacket will be said to be worth ten dollars. We know damn well they cost more than ten dollars, even used…unless you are very slick and crafty at getting bargains.
On a recent episode (recent to us, anyway) of Pawn Stars, Harrison talked a customer out of a vintage cap gun/holster collection. The seller wanted $250 and ended up taking $65 for the collection of guns and holsters. Last year, we found some old cap gun holsters in out stuff while moving and put them on Ebay, not expecting much. We had three holsters with no guns. One holster had the buckle ripped off and another was missing the gun sheath. We sold them for $350, all together. That was OUR reality!

Do you get the idea?
Our Superman lunchbox with thermos from the sixties used to sell for over $800 to collectors. Thanks to Ebay, the set has fallen to under $500. If anybody finds one on a ‘reality show,’ the reality will be that the price goes down.
Remember…all those idiots on Duck Dynasty grew those beards just for the show!

this is a free blog. as such, expect some typos….
thanks for reading!

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Who Sent the Private Investigator To Check Us Out??? Where Is Old Snarly?

Gentle Readers,

This message is not really for you.

We are dropping the editorial ‘us’ in parts to make it less confusing. We think Cynthia Oldsnarly may have sent them.

On Friday, a private investigator named Kellie showed up at our Motel. She checked in with no luggage or purse, wearing a short-ish white dress and stylish hair and nails.
She came out of the front desk office and wandered the parkinglot aimlessly for an hour and then went to her room, near mine, when I came out on the balcony to see which room the possible hooker was going to visit.
As it turns she kept obviously spying on me, looking through the open spaces of a luggage rack on a car parked between us.
So, I decided to STARE at her to let her know she was not un-noticed. This prompted her to come over and up the steps to the balcony, where we sat drinking and chatting…about me…all about me…she said she would be gone in the morning and i watched her leave on foot, no luggage or purse, just a copy of Beatdom we gave her to read…

She kept me up talking about myself until 3am. We did not talk adult topics or any such shit…so why do people spy? why do they lie? why do they not be real in 2014????

funny thing is…we hide nothing, as all you kind readers know…and any import given to us is undeserved, since we are morons.

best from the staff!

*tis is a free blog…if you see typos, live with it or contact us about our exclusive paid blog!!!!!

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Cancer On My Sole

cancersole

We have started another blog to deal with a more specific topic.

We will still post here but invite you to read Cancer On My Sole, http://www.cancersole.wordpress.com, if you are interested in cancer and surviving it.

Thanks!!!

 

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On Occupiers, Marijuana Activists and Voting

fatfuckGentle Readers,
We offer our apologia for sticking the ugly mug right at the beginning of this blog but we hope to shake some sense into a couple people, maybe.

We don’t know where the Occupiers are right now but bet they will be back when the presidential elections come into view. That is their first mistake. Why are they waiting to make a statement? Who is their leader? We welcome the answers to any of these questions, seriously.
We should be hearing from them all the time, if they have a real message, right?
Last time around, NYC police allowed them to stay in the parks until after elections and then started macing and beating them. Yesterday, a few people held a silent smoke-in protest at the town hall in Sussex, NJ. New Jersey passed medical marijuana legislation when Governor Jon Corzine signed the bill to make it legal the day before Gov. Chris (Cartman) Christie, took the office. On signing the measure Corzine noted, “I have enormous gratitude to the people of New Jersey for this decade of opportunity to serve.” He left the state with a gift, something the people want, the Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act.
In the Garden State, sixty percent of residents polled recently said they would not mind if a neighbor grew marijuana. The survey, conducted by Quinnipiac University, showed that forty-eight percent of registered voters backed the idea of recreational marijuana use and an equal forty-eight percent would vote against it.
The problem with NJ folks is the same as the problem the Occupiers have. It could be fixed, easily. Put on your thinking caps. In NJ, voters under thirty years old make up only ten percent of those registered. And consider this…nationally, between 1996 and 2012 the non-Hispanic White share of the voting population decreased by over eleven percentage points. This information comes from the US Census. Who do we usually see at protests against the ‘system,’ as it is vaguely referred to? Well, let’s see what kind of people are in this photo…vote

What we are taking from all this is that young people need to REGISTER TO VOTE. All people need to, if you are allowed. Just take NJ as an example, a petrie dish, if you will for this little example. With half the voters against marijuana and half for it, all it would take to make it legal would be for all of the people who want it to go and register to vote.
Dig?
Once you do that, do not wait until the big election in two years. Start sending your message as soon as possible. Start small with local elections. If somebody is campaigning in NJ for the position of County Dogcatcher and Christie supports him, vote for the other candidate. DO NOT VOTE FOR ANYONE. USE YOUR VOTE TO VOTE AGAINST THE BAD GUYS. When Christie’s choice for Dogcatcher loses, it sends a message. It goes up the line. We would suggest voting out all incumbents to neutralize the Lobbyists who really run the country, too.
For all the tricks, all the games, all the brainwashing and mind-control that goes on, one thing that cannot be fought is the power of the mass vote. We are trained to think we do not count. What can one vote mean? Especially the vote of somebody who has been beaten down…What good can one vote do? That is exactly why power brokers like Christie have citizens by the balls. We are so used to being told that we do not count, that we do not even bother. That is how the bad guys win.
Bad guys? While half the people approve of MMJ in NJ, here is what ‘The Girth With No Mirth’ had to say, “To me, it’s just not the quality of life we want to have here in the state of New Jersey and there’s no tax revenue that’s worth that.”
We like NJ but go tell the people in Bayonne and Fort Lee about quality of life. It is not so pretty there. Where is the quality of life for the people in NJ prisons for possessing marijuana for medical use? Where did Christie hide his last package of Hostess Ding-Dongs?
Who knows? These rhetorical questions can hang there forever unless somebody takes action.
Please go register to vote and keep up with any and all local elections…for you own good and for the good of us all!

This is a free blog so typos are to be expected!

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