May I let my voice be a clarion call. I will use these words for justice. I will use these words for truth. And humour.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

 

What shall we name this dead bird?

This has just been a rough week, and now I find this while constructing my garden fence....

Thursday, April 6, 2017

 

Meet the body of the Punk and Pink Beast


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

 

Link to the Elusive Responsive Imaginarium Youtube Video




Tuesday, March 7, 2017

 

Proposal for High-Speed Electric Rail System for North America

So, seriously, it's not one bit shocking - but absolutely abhorrent - that our nation's leaders are pushing more individual transport automobiles, and more fossil fuels, when we are at over 400 ppm of CO2, when we could and SHOULD be switching to something more sustainable, and more kind to the current generation of humans as well as to future generation.

Here's the proposed map.


With gratitude and blessings,
Joel


"If the artist does not create, the world suffers."
 -Paul Robeson

"a small change in awareness or perception can create a ripple effect, nudging the aesthetic and emotional life of a whole city in a new direction" -unlistedbelgrade.wordpress.com

Friday, October 7, 2016

 

 

So here are the lyrics

A rough sketch-up of the song Mail to Mom



Lyrics, typed and legible:

Mom you know I love you
And you know I always will
I'm sitting here and wondering
How distances are filled

I am such a busy angel
I have plans to fill twelve lives
You made me add one more and then
I feel divine blood rise

[chorus]
I have a thousand, thousand, thousand, thousand,
Thousand things to do
Instead of doing them
I feel I must respond to you

I'm up at 3 a.m.
Because you sent a racist joke
By email to white family/friends
I don't know that you know

I've sat on this a week
I have been praying for our hearts
How to read the riot act
Be faithful on my part

[chorus]

I woke because I had a dream
With Donald Trump indifferenting*
My son arrived with android parts
He'd cried, pulled wires, turned eyes to art

Then I recalled an incident
The farm front room of old
My grandma called them [archaic slang for brazil nuts]
At four years old, it crushed my soul

[chorus]

So I show up at the rallies
Joining #BlackLivesMatter (you don't answer)
The damage makes me wanna rampage
We are not the fancier dancers anyway

[chorus]

+++

(*indifferenting = actively being unconcerned regarding appeals for redress of injustices and changes of behaviors)

Chords and lyrics scrawled in chickenscratch.  Words in this initial version are (c) to me, I suppose.


For the full context, this song is a response to a joke going around on email about a billionaire, public housing, and a black family.

The book I mentioned at the beginning of the video is Learning to be White, written by theologian and minister Thandeka, with a summary here and here, available for purchase here.

The draft of the my email response included:


I had a tiny chuckle, but then... Just.  No.  

First, I love you, and I always will. 

And I'm feeling SO truly exhausted trying to work against the tide of systemic racism and white privilege still being regularly leveraged into subtle or overt power plays.  Despite being exhausted, I am choosing to respond to this because silence can be interpreted as complicity and I can't be complicit to this, or else the many hours I volunteer each week toward achieving racial equity gets lost in a slurry of mushy integrity.  To see this email in 2016, even from you, disappoints me, because these email jokes circulating among whites serve to normalize our broken (systemic and interpersonal) state of race relations.  I want our nation and world to be whole, and this works against that goal, instead of serving it.  Despite the multi-dimensionally fouled-up and divided state of our nation and this world, I want to invite you to begin with a vision of social wholeness.

But this "joke" needs to be addressed as part of that vision.  The latter half of this joke has so much energy in it, that from my perspective, it is obviously seeking to "wink, wink" it's way into re-asserting white supremacist culture.

The phrase "public housing vacated by a black family" has so many implications.

A few:
1. The Obama family have been living on the taxpayer dole, as if being elected president didn't also confer residence at 1600 Pennsylvania to all of the previous presidents.  Nobody would've made the statement that the Bush or Reagan (or Clintons, even) were living in public housing.
2. This grossly reinforces the trope of black families living in public housing.  We get enough of that on TV media, and any time this trope is just glibly put out there, it entirely ignores a history of oppression and mass incarceration which have been destroying black families since the drug war ramped up in the 80's, and of all of America's history actually.
3. While this is supposed to be funny, gentrification (in which developers encourage wealthy folks to move into neighborhoods formerly poor) is a really ugly deal and has gotten much worse in the last few years.  Really near where Stephanie and I lived in Oakland, the situation for working-class families and elderly people is becoming dire, with triple the number of formerly-homed people now living in tents under bridges, many who've been priced out of rentals in their life-long neighborhoods by people with luxurious amounts of wealth.
4. Given Donald Trump's obvious appeal to the brazenly racist (and now xenophobic) Southern strategy, and his characteristically indifferent constitution-be-damned statement the other night suggesting that 'stop and frisk' should be implemented upon 'the bad people' in Chicago, to even consider him taking the place held by the Obama's is the profanest of insults.

To everyone reading, I encourage reflecting on what kind of social state you want to leave for your grandchildren and descendants.  Each of us who are white have a choice to make: to either affirm and entrench the privileges we get just for appearing in the skin we live in, to ignore the privileges while continuing to benefit from them, or to recognize them and work against them.  This is a truly difficult effort because it requires deep self-examination, and re-formation of self in relationship to others.  Seeing ourselves in this way is often very uncomfortable and sometimes quite painful, but not anywhere near as painful as seeing your child gunned down dead in the street.  

In case the connection between this joke and daily police shootings of unarmed blacks isn't clear, this joke suggests a second-class status upon black people.  It's easier to kill somebody when you perceive them as less-than or sub-human.  Implicit biases have have been drubbed into each of us, including police officers.  Try this test to find your score -- I was not pleased with my own results, but they're an indicator of decades of inculcation through the media and the culture I swim in: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

I've likely belabored my preaching well beyond the simple point of "racism stops with me," and I do so because I thought I've been argently clear on where I stand on justice issues: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10154266186911077&id=747121076  So it confuses me that you included me, unless you wanted this joke affirmed, weren't thinking sensitively about the impact a joke like this might have on people who read it, or were hoping I'd engage with an extended diatribe.  I'd actually prefer that the forwarding of messages like this grind to a halt among such circles, rather than just choosing which people are not "safe" to send to.

If you'd like to learn ways to work as a white person for racial healing, here is one place to start: http://www.showingupforracialjustice.org/


Love,
Joel



Friday, November 27, 2015

 

First post since age six

Lots of pics have been uploaded to FB, should probably cross-post here.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

 

Didn't preach today.

My first opportunity to preach at a Christian church, and the snow got all kind of crazy prohibitive for travel....


Thursday, September 11, 2014

 

Sunflowers and Morning Glories in a Hyperboloid Garden


Monday, March 3, 2014

 

Test from 2nd acct

testing

Monday, December 23, 2013

 

Long long long long tine coming

Finally, my music bench is done.  Just needs a little milk paint.....


Saturday, November 2, 2013

 

On yesterday's walk


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

 

Inspiring Post on Slashdot.org re: government overstepping and the possibility for large positive changes

I think this post speaks volumes on the importance of attitude.

The author of that post has a regular blog, quite inspiring, on post-scarcity culture.

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Friday, October 11, 2013

 

Ty govt


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