Java Monkey Speaks finished with a bit of snark last night. The poet, “Gabriel,” had been sitting next to a loudmouth. Worse, the loudmouth was hitting on a lady. The loudmouth was boasting about how enlightened he was, by talking over poets. The fact that it was a warm evening, and the patio was open, made it worse.
“Gabriel” did not get to hear the performers. He was not pleased, and did what poets do. He wrote about the man who would not shut up.
Performance … on stage, or in the audience … is a tiny percentage of the JMS experience. Most of your time is spent listening to other performers. When one person speaks, the other people listen. Many of the poets are terrific, and if you don’t listen, you miss out. We don’t need to talk more. We need to listen more. This is true for the rest of the world.
One problem is that listening is seen as passive, while speech is active. Our culture values action. Even if you make the situation worse by speaking, many people cannot keep their mouth shut. The patio romeo did not seem to get this. The fact that there is a room next door, designed for conversation, did not seem to occur to this man.
Last summer, PG went to JMS. It was the sunday after Philando Castile, and Alton Sterling, died. PG had a conversation with “Gabriel” after this evening. “One of the other white men felt the same way. He opened his poem by saying that it was not his struggle, and it was not appropriate for him to speak. (Those were not the exact words.) PG spoke to him at intermission. He said to think about this… what if you were a black person, coming to read on a night with much black pain. You looked in the audience, and there were no white people to listen?”
Read your smutty poem is one result of that evening. java monkey speaks black white mix, americas bad week two black men, shot dead by police best thing for , white man to do is be there listen, not your struggle not appropriate, read your smutty poem shut up.
One issue is the limited amount of time available for speakers. JMS has an 11 pm curfew. Towards the end of the evening, performers should go up, read their piece, and sit down. When you are on stage, you are not aware of how long you are up there. PG was a couple of spots before “Gabriel,” and was wondering if he would get to perform. “Gabriel” wrote his poem in anger, after the patio performance. The poem will be better with editing.
At the end of the night, things seemed to work out. PG and “Gabriel” got to speak before 11pm. There will be other times where not everyone will get to speak, because someone else did not know how to listen. (And not just at Java Monkey.) The white savior complex is alive, well, and annoying. It is not known whether the patio dude impressed the lady. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
In the winter of 2003, it was obvious that America was going to war. Congress had voted approval, the modern version of a declaration of war. The troops. and supplies, were on the borders of Iraq, waiting for the order to go in.
PG felt the need to make a statement. There was no illusion that it would affect the overall decision to invade Iraq. However, PG wanted to go on record as being opposed to the folly to come.
It was a low risk act. In America, we have freedom of expression. This does not mean that the powers that be listen to the people. The only expression that matters is by people who pay the authorities. The people can say anything, but nobody in charge listens.
There were three representatives in Congress to contact. The two Senators were Saxby Chambliss and Zell Miller. The 4th district was represented in the House of Representatives by Denise Majette. She was new to Congress, having defeated Cynthia McKinney in the 2002 election.
The area that PG lives in is gerrymandered into different districts every ten years by the Georgia legislature. This is partly the legacy of the Voting Rights Act, which requires the voting districts in Georgia to be approved by Federal authorities. Today, PG is in the 6th district, represented by Republican Tom Price.
The letters are lost in hard drive crash fog. It started out with the phrase “you were elected to represent me.” Apparently, this left Zell Miller out. He has been appointed to finish the term of Paul Coverdell. Democrat Zell Miller was appointed by Democrat Governor Roy Barnes to complete the term of Republican Paul Coverdell. After this, Zell Miller gave the keynote address at the 2004 Republican Convention. This is what Georgia has come to expect from Zig Zag Zell.
The anti war letter was not great writing. It basically said that the invasion of Iraq was not a good idea. The letter did not address the tax cut. In a bizarre move, Congress approved a tax cut, with an economically ruinous war on the horizon.
The responses to the letter are attached here. Denise Majette gave a thoughtful reply. She did not say “I agree with you” in so many words, but it is clear she is not gung ho about killing Iraqis. Miss Majette said, and PG agrees, that once the war begins, the debate should cease.
Saxby Chambliss sent two replies. Both talked about how well the war was going, and how wonderful it was to be killing people in Iraq. It is a good question whether his staff read the original letter from PG, which opposed the war.
In the 2004 election, Denise Majette ran for the Senate. Zell Miller chose to retire, and his seat was up for grabs. Republican Johnny Isakson won the Senate seat. Cynthia McKinney made a comeback, and won the fourth district House seat.
Saxby Chambliss was re-elected in 2008, and retired in 2014. The conflict in Iraq continues to this day. It is a disaster. The withdrawal of American combat troops did not end the civil war. Currently, Iraq is the scene for combat operations from the Islamic State military force.
The financial burden of the war has been immense. The military depends on contractors for many basic services, at increased cost to the Asian war financiers. The National debt has been increasing by a trillion dollars a year. Revenge for nine eleven, directed at a marginally responsible country, has been horribly expensive. Pictures for today’s entertainment message are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. This is a repost.
John Lewis is the latest target of Donald Trump’s uncontrolled personality disorder. The congressman said something the PEE-OTUS did not like.
@realDonaldTrump Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to…… @realDonaldTrump mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad! The response came at 8:50 AM – 14 Jan 2017.
The fifth district is based in the city of Atlanta. While there are sketchy neighborhoods, overall the city is booming. Mr. Lewis, one of the heroes of the cival rights movement, has represented this district since 1987. Mr. Lewis is greatly respected in Atlanta.
PG saw John Lewis in action once. The 72 year old Lewis was a participant in the 2012 Gay Pride parade. He did not ride in a limousine. Mr. Lewis walked the sidewalk, shaking as many hands as he could. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.
A word of the year short lister is coulrophobia, the fear of clowns. While searching for the pronunciation, google suggested “coulrophobia treatment.” There was a video, Lady is scared to death of Clowns, and numerous websites willing to help. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.
Healthtopia suggests “Exposure therapy with Relaxation methods… Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).” Ehealthwall states “Statistics shows that one out of seven persons has Coulrophobia or has a fear of clowns.” Their suggestion is “Gradual Exposure Therapy, Relaxation therapy, Free association therapy. Persons who have been dealing with Coulrophobia are suggested to consult a psychotherapist and recommended to undergo session that they call as free association therapy.”
Alive and Well Online: “Hypnotherapy Hypnotherapy helps to reprogram your subconscious “programs” that may be part of your fear. When these programs are “de-bugged” the symptoms of Coulrophobia often are minimized. However, some people don’t like the feeling of loss of control in allowing someone else to play with their personal “software”. Hypnotherapy is save and works fast. … Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) NLP is basically the study and practice of how we create our reality. From the NLP viewpoint, a phobia is the result of your programs or “constructs” that you have created that don’t work very well. With NLP, these constructs are revealed and “re-programmed” so that the Coulrophobia is minimized and often eliminated. Usually the interventions are quite rapid and effective.” There is a helpful disclaimer.
NoBullying.com takes an aggressive approach. “In order to prevent an episode that ends with you totally embarrassing yourself if you should happen to see a clown while in a public place, here are some tips that might help. Close your eyes and take long, deep breaths. Imagine that you are sitting on a relaxing beach where no clowns are present. Remind yourself that the clown that triggered your episode is not real and is only a ploy to scare—or entertain people. … Applaud yourself if you were able to successfully avert a full-fledged attack. “
If you type “word of the year” into google, you will get results. The first page has three dictionaries weighing in, and several repeat entries. A few new stories report a fourth contest. “Searches related to” turns up a fifth. This is enough. Pictures for this report are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
Oxford Dictionaries gives the top spot to Post-Truth. “The compound word post-truth … seems to have been first used in this meaning in a 1992 essay by the late Serbian-American playwright Steve Tesich in The Nation magazine. Reflecting on the Iran-Contra scandal and the Persian Gulf War, Tesich lamented that ‘we, as a free people, have freely decided that we want to live in some post-truth world’.” The OD shortlist: adulting, alt-right, Brexiteer,. chatbot, coulrophobia, (rare extreme or irrational fear of clowns) glass cliff, hygge, Latinx, woke.
Merriam Webster gives the prize to Surreal. The MW short list: revenant, icon, In Omnia Paratus, bigly, deplorable, irregardless, Assumpsit, Faute de Mieux, feckless. To see the short listers, you have to click on the arrow. After feckless, the next stop is 9 Christmas Words with Surprising Histories.
Dictionary.com gives us Xenophobia. “The word xenophobia is actually relatively new, and only entered English in the late 1800s. It finds its roots in two Greek words, xénos meaning “stranger, guest,” and phóbos meaning “fear, panic.” In lieu of a short list, links are provided to What Character Was Removed from the Alphabet? and What’s the Grossest-Sounding Word in English?
Collins Language gives the WOTY prize to Brexit. Rounding out the top ten: Hygge, mic drop, Trumpism, throw shade, sharenting, snowflake generation, dude food, Uberization, JOMO.
American Dialect Society honors Dumpster Fire as the WOTY. In a rather wonky press release, ADS lists contenders in a few categories. WORD OF THE YEAR: dumpster fire, woke, normalize, post-truth, #NoDAPL, POLITICAL WORD OF THE YEAR: deplorables (basket of), nasty woman, Pantsuit Nation, post-truth, unpresidented, DIGITAL WORD OF THE YEAR: fam, Harambe, tweetstorm, SLANG WORD OF THE YEAR: fire, receipts, woke MOST USEFUL/MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED: chip, gaslight, normalize, turn up MOST CREATIVE: -exit, facticide, gynotician, laissez-fairydust EUPHEMISM OF THE YEAR: alt-right, fake news, locker-room banter, small/tiny hands WTF WORD OF THE YEAR: bigly, cuck, cuckservative, pussy, yuuuge, HASHTAG OF THE YEAR: #blackgirlmagic, #NoDAPL, #OscarsSoWhite, #pussygrabsback. ATTITUDE OF THE YEAR: liberal elite nonsense ADS prejudice.
American Name Society (Promoting the study of onomastics) is a sibling organization of the ADS. “Aleppo was chosen the Name of the Year for 2016 by the American Name Society at its annual meeting in Austin, Texas on January 6, 2017.” Other winners include Personal NOTY Drumpf, Fictional NOTY Hamilton, Trade NOTY (tie) Brexit, Uber.
It has been a strange week for a David Bowie fan. On Friday, I was looking for a rerun to post, and was reminded that January 8 was his birthday. (Along with Elvis and Shirley Bassey) I put up a piece about Mr. Bowie, and fashioned a poem out of his song titles. Aquarian Drunkard reissued a collection of the “best and most interesting Bowie oddities”. A new album was released, with a lot of comments about how strange it was. Strange is something Bowie fans turn to face.
On Monday, I woke up. Go on the internet. MSN news says that David Bowie has died. This is surprising. I know what people are going to talk about for a few days.
I typically download the new wtf podcast on Monday. The show is “supported” by Columbia records, presenting David Bowie’s new album “Blackstar.” Marc Maron gushes on about how ” DAVID BOWIE I LOVE DAVID BOWIE. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” The single is called “Lazarus.”
The timing of the whole thing is bizarre. Was this planned? To release a puzzling new work on your sixty ninth birthday, and then die two days later. With the master media manipulator involved, prior planning cannot be ruled out. Or was it just a parting shot of synchronicity? We will never know.
In what might be a new move for celebrity deaths, sex scandal rumors emerged. A lady named Lori Maddox claims that Mr. Bowie “devirginized” her. Miss Maddox was underage at the time. Some people think that this incident makes Mr. Bowie a terrible person, whose artistic output should be ignored. One made the inevitable comment “As someone who sees White stars get a pass for things that celebrities of color get crucified for.”
I learned a long time ago to separate the performer from the performance. I also apply this rule to David Robert Jones. (David Bowie was a stage name. The legal name was never changed.) In 1976, there was an interview, where the artist said “Don’t believe anything you hear me say.” While the creative/marketing genius can be enjoyed, there was always a bit of coldness behind the mask. Some press reports say that this softened as the years went by. In the end David Bowie was human. Ziggy Stardust was a character played by an actor. Does it matter that they were a Cracked Actor?
It is ironic that David Bowie played Andy Warhol in Basquiat. Both combined creation of art, and the marketing of art product, into a seamless unit. The two did not have a good first meeting. “Remember, David Bowie was not a big star. He was just some guy off the street as far as Andy Warhol was concerned. They found a common ground in David’s shoes. David was wearing yellow Mary Janes and Andy had been a shoe illustrator, which David knew so they began talking about shoes.”
This would have been in 1971. Mr. Bowie discusses his adventures in between songs of this show. There is another story from that first tour: “I think that must’ve been part of the Mercury Records publicity tour in early 1971, Gus. Ted Vigodsky, if I remember correctly, brought Bowie by The Great Speckled Bird’s offices on North Avenue where Moe Slotin and I met him. Bowie was dressed in an ill-fitting gingham dress and looked something like a gaunt, poverty-stricken woman in one of those Walker Evans photos from the Depression. He informed Moe and me that he was gonna be the next big star in rock-n-roll. It took all of our will power not to laugh in his face. This was before anyone in America had heard of him and he had no records out yet (“Space Oddity,” a hit in England in 1969, was not released in the USA until 1973). Six months later Moe and I realised we had completely underestimated him. I had forgotten Charlie had called you about interviewing him.” Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
David Bowie is 69 today. Elvis is ageless, and Sarah Palin is obsolete. This Bowie tribute is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.
A webpage called CaptainsDead had a download of a David Bowie concert. (It is here on “A Portrait In Flesh” (Full show L.A. Sept. 5th 1974)) Most Bowie live recordings are pretty dull. While the Thin White Duke is renowned for his concerts, they tend to be live events, that depend on staging and costumes as much as music. This show, from 1974, is different. Focusing on material from “Diamond Dogs”, the sound he produces comes close to matching the studio sound.
The next move for Bowie in 1974 was the “white soul” sound of “Young Americans”. He is moving in that direction in this show, even while he lingers in the glitter apocalypse. This tour included a stop at the Fox Theater, the first Atlanta show for Mr.Bowie. On the way to Florida for the next show, the truck with the sets and costumes crashed into a swamp full of rattlesnakes. The show in Tampa was performed in street clothes.
Maybe it is time for a Chamblee54 tribute to David Bowie. It is six am, and PG has stumbled into a job. The time and energy required to write new material is not always available.
The first album by David Bowie that PG heard about was “Hunky Dory”. At the time, Mr. Bowie had generated some buzz by admitting that he fancies blokes, or some uber british expression for being queer. In time, this would be seen as more publicity stunt than brave confession. The RCA debut got some good reviews, but not much else.
The next year produced “Ziggy Stardust”, a concept album. At about this time he did a tour of the United States, with costumes and onstage antics that generated even more publicity. More and more people started listening, some in spite of his outrageous image, and quite a few more because of it. He broke up his band, the spiders from mars, and announced his retirement. The band, according to reports, learned about this while standing on stage behind him. Mr. Bowie, for all his genius, is not always a nice man.
In 1974 there was an album, “Diamond Dogs”, about the decadent urban life in the scifi future. A stage show based on this album…the source of the download mentioned above…marked a return to the concert stage. The next year gave us “Young Americans”, and the year after that “Station to Station”. Every year was a different sound and vision.
Meanwhile, the artist was not doing so good as a human being. According to all reports, he was doing mountains of cocaine. (There is a story of going to meet the parents of Ava Cherry, one of his girlfriends. He shows up at 3am, and does coke on the dining room table.) There was an interview in Playboy (or maybe it was Rolling Stone ) where the first thing he says is, don’t believe anything I say. He went on to say that he admired Adolf Hitler. Have we mentioned the physical appearance of David Bowie in 1975? He looked like he was dead, and nobody bothered to tell him. (By contrast, in recent photo collections of rock stars, Mr. Bowie looks pretty good for a man who is 69 yo.)
This was the era of Rocky Horror show. At one point, Riff Raff sings (Tim O’Brien wrote the show, and gave himself some darn good lines) Frank n furter, it’s all over, your mission is a failure, your lifestyle’s too extreme.I’m your new commander you now are my prisoner we return to transylvania prepare the transit beam While this may not have been directed at David Bowie, he took the hint.
We interrupt this David Bowie tribute with an emergency announcement. A person, reputed to be an entertainer, was seen using the n word on facebook. The screen shots have disappeared, and all we have is the word of the accuser. More details will be available as soon as anyone is interested.
David Bowie saw himself at a dead end, and possibly a dead life. He moved into a little apartment in West Berlin, on top of a garage. Brian Eno offered his assistance, and a series of electronic albums was the result. The next few years saw rock and roll, dance music, and finally, crap. PG bought a Bowie album in 1984, the first time he saw it on sale, and was immensely disappointed. The last David Bowie album that PG got was a free cd that was given to people buying a magazine.
Around 1981, MTV was born, and radio was suddenly obsolete. A visual artiste like David Bowie was a natural for video. Unfortunately, many of these videos are not available for embedding in blogs. Ashes to Ashes was a staple of early MTV. Boys Keep Swinging , off the “Lodger” album, is a return to the gender bender Bowie of younger days.
David Bowie continued to do tours, and PG got to see two of the shows. In 1987, something called the “Glass Spider Tour” came to the Omni. (In a later interview, it turns out Mr. Bowie was extremely unhappy during this tour, and close to suicide at some points.) The Glass Spider was this mass of lighting effects that hovered over the stage, and was used to best advantage during “Scary Monsters”. The show featured Peter Frampton on guitar, and had a pack of dancers. (One apparent female took her drag off during the finale.) A good time was had by all.
In 1990, another retirement tour came to the Omni. This one had movies projected on a screen behind the stage, and featured guitar hero Adrian Bellew. The night had the feel of a contractual obligation. David Bowie is too professional to give a bad show, but this one did not have the fire of “Glass Spider”. PG had a new set of contact lenses, and his eyes were painfully dry most of the night.
This David Bowie Death Day tribute is a triple repost.
Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Tag some others who might enjoy this. You can’t use the band I used. Try not to repeat a song title. It’s a lot harder than you think! Re-post as “my life according to (band name)”Pick your Artist: David Bowie
Are you a male or female: The Bewley Brothers
Describe yourself: Quicksand
How do you feel:Always crashing in the same car
Describe where you currently live: Life on Mars
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Width of a circle
Your favorite form of transportation: Queen Bitch
Your best friend is: Young Americans
You and your best friends are: Kooks
What’s the weather like: Changes
Favorite time of day: Eight Line Poem
If your life was a TV show, what would it be called: Scary Monsters
What is life to you: Panic in Detroit
Your relationship: Fame
Your fear: Sound and Vision
What is the best advice you have to give:Somebody up there likes me
Thought for the Day: Hang onto yourself
How I would like to die: Ashes to Ashes
My soul’s present condition: Moonage Daydream
My motto: Andy Warhol