Saturday, March 11, 2006

Why I Will Never Read Faulkner

I have always had my inclinations against Faulkner, and indeed I have only read one thing by him, a short story, and really have not felt bad at all about it. I have always declined joining in the Faulkner worship that so many have, highest among them Toni Morrison. Alas, I really never wanted to read any southern literature at all--but I have definitely come around from that, but still I don't feel compelled to become a Faulknerian. Now, I can see why Faulkner has never attracted my attention. Anne Braden reports in her book that Faulkner called out to the NAACP in a letter to Life magazine to "Go Slow" where segretation was concerned, to "Stop now for a time, a moment..lest by their haste they force all Southern moderates, including him, into the segregationist camp." Alas, I think Faulkner should have lost his penis for that one. Not only should he not be touted or read, he should have been castrated. Alas, further on the subject of Faulkner and his place in literature--it has always seemed to me that people fall into one of two camps--Hemingway or Faulkner. I have always been inclined to Hemingway. I can now definitely leave Faulkner for the crows.

Friday, March 10, 2006

When I was fifteen, I remember it very clearly, riding back in one of the family cars from my Aunt Carolyn's funeral, one of her nephews offered me a summer job writing for the local NAACP newspaper in his hometown of Minneanapolis, as he was the local head of the NAACP. As I lived in Alabama and knew nothing of Minneanapolis, I didn't take it. I should have.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

"The Progress Myth in Iraq"

Molly Ivins has a great assessment of Donald Rumsfeld's glorious assessments of the state of things in Iraq on Common Dreams!

First Iraq, Now Iran

I don't think I need to elaborate any further. Condoleeza Rice is a cow. Sadie Bell Deramus--you should have drowned her!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Hooray for Chloe!!! Winner of Project Runway!!!!Yea!!!
Keith Boykin has a good post concerning the offensive drag performer, Shirley Q. Liquor. Shirley Q. Liquor is a white gay male who dresses up in Black face, pretending to be a black woman and making various racist jokes concerning Black people. When I first learned of Shirley Q. Liquor, I was a bit indifferent to this performance, but I think it is time that this caricature ended.
Could Louis Farrakhan be a closet homosexual? That thought has occurred to me just recently. Alas, I do not think that the Nation of Islam should be using Malcolm X's picture or words on their website or anywhere in any context. Especially not Louis Farrakhan. I am still not convinced that he or any of the rest of them had nothing to do with Malcolm's death.
I think that the Anti-Defamation League needs to leave Claudette Marie Muhammad alone. She is not Louis Farrakhan and she has no need to apologize for him.
It shall be definitely interesting to watch the tiff between the United States and Iran. I thought North Korea was the one not to play with.

Serious Matters

In two horrendous moves, the Senate todayrefused to investigate or question Bush's covert wiretapping practices--leaving the Bush administration free reign to trample over the constitution and our very basic civil and human rights.The House, in its contribution to the ending of democracy, has just passed therenewal of the Patriot Act, making some of the provisions permanent. These are very dangerous times and the direction of this government is towards the dark days of McCarthyism, fascism, and the efforts to solidify the reign and control of white male and capitalist tyranny over this country and indeed over the globe.

I Am In Love With Anne Braden

"I have been told that the intensity of my feeling about segregation is neurotic. I have never denied that this may be so. I grew up in a sick society, and a sick society makes neurotics--of one kind or another. It makes people like those who could take pleasure in killing Emmett Till, and it makes people like me. The United States Supreme Court in its historic decision against segreation in the school outlined what segregation does to the Negro child. THe justices might have added some discussion of what it does to the white child. THere are many white "neurotics" like myself in my generation in the South--if that is what we are. The people who describe themselves as "saner" and more "practical" and more "moderate" tell us to wait, not to go too fast. But that is no answer. They may persuade some of us to take a slower course, but they can never convince us all. As long as segregation remains a face in communities all over the South, there will be people like us who are compelled to act."--From The Wall Between.

I have been reading Anne Braden's memoir the past couple of days and I have learned so much, been heartened and enlightened by it. She is an absolutely wonderful spirit. I am glad that I am able to connect with it at some level. Alas, I feel that her comments concerning segregation can most definitely be applied to many things.

Two Sad Occassions

There are so many deaths these days. Good people are dropping like flies. Gordon Parks, famed director,photographer, and social critic died at the ripe old age of 93. Parks was an amazing person, best known for his major motion picture,Shaft, one of the first in Hollywood directed by an Afro-American. Also, the actress, pioneer, and social activist Dana Reeves has died. This is a terrible loss as she fought for so many years for the life of her late husband, Christopher Reeves, and championed the cause of paralysis and spinal cord injury through the Christopher Reeves Foundation after his death. What is worse is that her children are young. What will happen to them now?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

No Comment

I will not even say what I saw in the Union today.

Good News-UpDate

I have learned from Professor Kim's News Notes that Corey Maye, the man wrongfully convicted and railroaded onto death row in Mississippi for shooting a police officer, will recieve a hearing on his petition for a new trial on June 20th! This is great news! Please sign the petition on this blog to exonerate Corey Maye!

Time to Impeach Bush

Tonight I watched most of the forum sponsored by Harper's Magazine and featuring Rep. Johhn Conyers that called for the impeachment of George Bush. I must say I was quite astounded. Firstly, the audience for this forum was packed--I believe at least 1500 people must have been there. Secondly, great comments were made all around by former Congresswoman, Elizabeth Holtzmann, Democrat of New York, who participated in the successful impeachment of Richard Nixon and by John Conyers himself. I was very inspired by the dialogue tonight. I think this movement is starting out small, but it is starting out strong and with the leadership of Rep. Conyers and those allied with him, I believe that Bush can be impeached, or at least censured and held accountable for his violations of the United States contitution and of the Geneva Conventions. God Bless John Conyers. He is truly a man who stands with integrity!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Ballad of Joe Hill

Paul Robeson

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night
Alive as you and me
Says I, "But Joe, you're ten years dead,"
"I never died," says he, "I never died," says he.
"In Salt Lake, Joe, by God," says I
Him standing by my bed,
"They framed you on a murder charge."
Says Joe, "But I ain't dead," says Joe, "But I ain't dead."

"The copper bosses shot you, Joe,
They killed you, Joe," says I.
"Takes more than guns to kill a man,"
Says Joe, "I didn't die," says Joe, "I didn't die."

And standing there as big as life
And smiling with his eyes
Joe says, "What they forgot to kill
Went on to organize, went on to organize."

"Joe Hill ain't dead," he says to me,
"Joe Hill ain't never died.
Where workingmen are out on strike
Joe Hill is at their side, Joe Hill is at their side."

"From San Diego up to Maine
In every mine and mill
Where workers strike and organize,"
Says he, "You'll find Joe Hill," says he, "You'll find Joe Hill."

Jacob's Ladder

Paul Robeson

We are climbing Jacob's ladder
We are climbing Jacob's ladder
We are climbing Jacob's ladder
Brothers, sisters, all

Every rung goes higher and higher
Every rung goes higher and higher
Every rung goes higher and higher
Brothers, sisters, all

We are dancing Sarah's circle
We are dancing Sarah's circle
We are dancing Sarah's circle
Sisters, brothers, all

Every round a generation
Every round a generation
Every round a generation
Sisters, brothers, all

We are climbing Jacob's ladder
We are climbing Jacob's ladder
We are climbing Jacob's ladder
Brothers, sisters, all

In Other Surpeme Court News

The Supreme Court, following its trend of moving further and further to the right, ruled against NOW late last month in Scheidler vs. National Organization for Women, Inc., denying NOW damages awarded by a lower court and stating that threats or acts of physical violence against abortion clinics fell outside of the interpretation of the Hobb's Act, the act that brought about RICO(Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act)-which states that extortion or physical violence for the purpose of extortion are illegal.So in other words, abortion protestors who are affiliated with organizations and who commit acts of violence or who threaten acts of violence against abortion clinics,their staff,or their patients, cannot be held accountable for denying abortion clinics to conduct business. Oh what a message.

What Else Can We Expect?

The Supreme Court issued the ruling today that in order for colleges and universities to continue recieving federal funding, they must allow military recruiters on their campuses. This court has moved fundamentally to the right--and I believe it is a definite and clear reflection of this country's mood as a whole.This means that people's rights and freedoms will be trampled on because "the people" will it,not necessarily because of dictatorship or otherwise. I do believe that people are goaded and people are misfed information and lied to, but I do believe that these conservative, right-wing values are at the core of this country's makeup--which is why this country is going straight to hell. You cannot build a country on white supremacy, imperialism, and religious dogma and then expect freedom and respect for all humanity to grow out of it. Nor can you expect it to be anything other than militaristic. That said, there is a legacy of progressive struggle here--and I believe that it will win out. I believe that the progressive elements that exist within this country will rise up and make something new out of what will have fallen apart. I believe it will be something new, something better, and I have hope for it and for the future.

A Terrible Loss

Anne Braden, a civil rights activist, humanitarian, and journalist, passed away today. Braden came to the forefront of the movement for equality when she and her husband sold a home that they purchased, in a pre-arranged plan, to a Black couple in Louisville, Kentucky. The Bradens suffered horrendously at the hands of the power structure--as the home which they purchased in the test case was bombed and later her husband, Carl, was tried and convicted of sedition for their efforts surrounding their civil rights and humanitarian activism. This is a great loss.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Utterly Disturbing

The AP has just today broken the story of the government's, with a sort of gentlemen's agreement between the judicial and executive branches of government, have completely prosecuted, tried, and sentenced people in the courts in absolute secrecy--an act which totally disregards and dismisses the provisions of the 6th amendment to the U.S. Constitution which guarantees all people the right to a fair,speedy, and public trial. According to the AP story,each year since 2003, the number of cases held in secret have grown--with 11,508 cases being tried in secret in 2005, 12.6 percent of all cases tried last year. These cases range the gamut from "war on drugs, anti-terrorism efforts, and other criminal matters," according to AP. This phenomenon is absolutely disturbing, indeed chilling as this means that anyone, including U.s. citizens may be picked up--on drug related charges or a variety of others--and be charged, tried,convicted, and sentenced with no public knowledge whatsoever.

This is undemocratic, this is immoral,illegal, and an absolute abuse of power and authority on the part of the powers that be.It is fascism with its truest face showing. Kafka wrote about this in "The Trial." Alas, these are the very kinds of activities for which world condemned Saddam Hussein and other tyrannical leaders. There must be an outcry. There must be protest. This cannot be allowed to continue.

You Belong to Me

Carly Simon

Why'd you tell me this
Were you looking for my reaction
What do you need to know
Don't you know I'll always be your girl
You don't have to prove to me you're beautiful to strangers
I've got loving eyes of my own

You belong to me
Tell her you were fooling
You don't even know her
Tell her that I love you

You belong to me
Can it be, honey, that you're not sure
You belong to me
Thought we'd closed the book - locked the door
You don't have to prove to me that you're beautiful to strangers
I've got loving eyes of my own
And I can tell - I can tell darling
Tell her - tell her that I love you

You belong - you belong - you belong to me
Tell her you were fooling
Tell her she don't even know you
Tell her you were fooling
I know you from a long time ago, baby
Don't leave me to go to her now
You belong to me.

I Am Learning New Things

The conceptualization and actualization of the panopticon is something that derives out of the twistedness of phallocentrism and Patriarchy. Alas, what I have become aware of, through reading Foucault's Discipline and Punish is that this panopticon is a very intricate and finely put together system of the all seeing eye: Public institutions in todays society all serve as instruments in the panopticon--they all serve to gather information on the public at large and individuals in general. These institutions include churches, hospitals, police precints, libraries, schools, charities, courts, parishes, state bureaucracies, police records, and places of work, etc. They all gather information and they all gather information which is used by the state. This is nothing new, but as I read Foucault's analysis, the picture became clearer.

When You Get Caught Between the Moon and New York City

Christopher Cross

Once in your life you find her
Someone that turns your heart around
And next thing you know you're closing down the town
Wake up and it's still with you
Even though you left her way across town
Wondering to yourself, "Hey, what've I found?"

When you get caught between the Moon and New York City
I know it's crazy, but it's true
If you get caught between the Moon and New York City
The best that you can do ......
The best that you can do is fall in love

Arthur he does as he pleases
All of his life, he's mastered choice
Deep in his heart, he's just, he's just a boy
Living his life one day at a time
And showing himself a really good time
Laughing about the way they want him to be

When you get caught between the Moon and New York City
I know it's crazy, but it's true
If you get caught between the Moon and New York City
The best that you can do .....
The best that you can do is fall in love

When you get caught between the Moon and New York City
I know it's crazy, but it's true
If you get caught between the Moon and New York City
The best that you can do .....
The best that you can do is fall in love

A Good Morning

This morning I ran across a copy of June Jordan's "Poem About My Rights." I love that poem. June Jordan is God and God is with us! Also, I saw Arthur on television. Arthur and Arthur II are among my favorite movies. Great stuff.