|Image © Weinstein Group|
Saturday, January 25, 2014
I am not a fan, at all, of country music. The Dixie Chicks have always been “marketed” in the country music genre. They have transcended their own marketing label. Those girls can play some acoustic instruments, their musical skills drive their music well into the range of pure excellence. The lead singer was born to sing, a voice of power, passion and independence. These ladies make really great music.
They were in fact among the most popular, best selling women musicians in history.
Then the lead singer, in the UK, said on stage that she was “embarrassed” that George Bush was from Texas, being a good Texas citizen herself. The audience applauded, as well they should.
The American right went bat shit crazy. Country music radio stopped playing their music, right-wing religious fanatics burned their cd’s….and within a few months their public careers were more or less destroyed.
No one stepped up for them at the time, that I recall.
Fast forward to twenty fourteen.
I do not have enough pages or time to detail the vile, fundamentally enraged and insane words spoken against US President Obama. I will not repeat any of them here. Every reader has heard them or read them.
Just this week, the invective left me feeling I should apply for combat, hazardous duty pay for listening to and reading the portfolio of the GOP and its supporters. It is dark and dirty work.
I think we need to bring back the Dixie Chicks. Apologize to them. Maybe they could then reward us by releasing a new CD.
I miss the Dixie Chicks. I was irritated by their name and the publicity they got for the things they said when they first showed up in the national media, some years ago. But then I listened to one of their concerts. I was riveted by the deep exploration they were doing of emotion and life’s experience. They don’t do love songs, they do songs about passing through hell and coming out whole on the other side. And they do it with music executed with real mastery, elevating their instruments into vessels of transformation.
Why the Dixie Chicks are gone and Rush Limbaugh, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, FOX News and John Boeher are not only still standing, they are thriving and becoming quite wealthy. An insipid little man, one Mr. D’Souaza has actually made nearly fift million dollars in his books about how much of a socialist and Kenyan anti-colonialist Obama is….and he is just one minor example of the wealth and success spewing invective against women, veterans, minorities, gays, and the middle class….all have become suspects, takers, addicted to government handouts and blah, blah, blah…..
In my 65 years of life I have never seen anything like it. And these masters of invective are getting rich, getting elected, and writing policy that affects every American, everyday.
Writing about it, being offended by it; honestly it seems impotent. Invective is the new normal. Over the last year the World Journey of the Four Directions Unity Bundle itself was attacked and marked by a “new age” hate group in a fact free series of accusation and condemnations. It is comforting, in some measure, to realize that most reasonable people are not affected in their daily lives, in their choices and work, by hate speech. Reasonable people do not look to hate groups and trash-talking GOP actors for their information….yet the fact remains that this army of haters makes money and attracts supporters all over the world. They cannot be stopped. The internet has given them new power, new opportunities…and that will continue to be the case.
The question then become a challenge to spirit, to intellect, to daily expectations about what can a reasonable person actually do in the face of these dark clouds so integrated into public discourse.
We could bring back the Dixie Chicks. Somebody must know how to do that.
In the Cloud (not that one, the other one)
Monday, January 06, 2014
In 1975, Rom Williams and Jack Coler, Special Agents of the FBI, and young men both, were ambushed and murdered by Leonard Peltier and other accomplices at Pine Ridge American Indian reservation.
The FBI, through its retired agents program, has created a moving video tribute to these two men. We find out how handsome and charismatic Ron was, how much Jack loved his family and nature. It is a moving and relevant portrait of their lives, narrated by friends and family members. Speaking for myself, it is very moving and relevant to see these tow men as the human beings they were. personalities in conflicted historical events are often lost, their lives and humanity eclipsed by arguments and details of the tragedy that took them from the human family.
As a representative of American Indian religious and spiritual values, I share with their families and colleagues the honorable lives they lived and share their sorrow in the murder and senseless behavior that took place on American Indian land.
The men who took their lives are criminals and cowards. On that day they disgraced the American Indian community by their thoughtless rage. Leonard Peltier has somehow managed to hijack society's interest and concern about American Indians. Over the years he has worked to create a mythology that he is somehow a hero to American Indians. He is not. We are all ashamed of him. I have never met another American Indian who believes his story or who respects him. He should never be, and will not be released from prison.
If you visit the Ed Woods project, the link is here, (No Parole Peltier Association) you can study the detailed history and facts about the circumstances of Peltier's crime, read about his many incriminating statements, follow all the legal arguments and appeals that keep him in prison for the crime of first degree murder. This is the best source right now for the facts of the case and real time updates about the legal arguments. Peltier has a web site of course, filled with pleads for money that no one knows what it is used for. It is the digital crying stone for a coward. Mr. Woods is a retired Special Agent In Charge of the FBI. He was the senior agent in charge of the investigations of the FBI in the region that includes Pine Ridge. Pine Ridge is a federal American Indian reservation housing members of the Lakota Sioux tribal nation.
About this video, Mr Woods said this, "The following video, prepared by the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI allows us now to know them as real people, as honorable human beings that left a void well beyond those who knew and loved them."
The link for the video is here. Please take a moment to find out about the lives of these two fine young men and share it with others.
Ojibwe Wabeeno Jessakid
Keeper of the Sacred Pipes of the Eastern Gate
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