Thursday, May 3rd, 2007
In other news, it appears that R. Kelly was so moved by the Virginia Tech tragedy, he wrote a song and is dedicating 100% of the profits to the Hokie Spirit Memorial fund. While I initially found this commendable, I was then treated to a sneak peak at some of the lyrics in his tribute song: “Rise Up.”
“Rise up, when you feel you can’t go on, rise up, and all of your hope is gone, rise up, when you’re weak and you can’t be strong.”
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the next verse, in which he will undoubtedly rhyme “fire” with “desire.”
The victims and their families deserve better than this trite, cliche’ ridden publicity stunt.
Thursday, April 26th, 2007
whatever became of local radio??
what has the loss of local radio to clear channel and the like – what has that done to the fabric of the country?
has the death of local radio, fueled by big business and the internet… what has that done to community?
Friday, April 20th, 2007
10 reasons to forgive Cho Seung-Hui
I have been trying to get my arms around this tragedy all week. I think this is the best I can do. So I now post this open letter to the misguided soul whose place in the world will forever be remembered by his inability to come to terms with it.
Thursday, April 12th, 2007
‘Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be.’
‘Call me Jonah. My parents did, or nearly did. They called me John.’
‘Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.’
‘I really wonder what gives us the right to wreck this poor planet of ours.’
‘I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.’
‘I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can’t see from the center.’
‘Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.’
‘People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order so they’ll have good voice boxes in case there’s ever anything really meaningful to say.’
‘Still and all, why bother? Here’s my answer. Many people need desperately to receive this message: I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.’
‘The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.’
‘The year was 2081, and everyone was finally equal.
We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap.’
‘To whom it may concern: It is springtime. It is late afternoon.’
‘What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.’
‘Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?’
Wednesday, April 4th, 2007
Are you sure that's him? the cop asked.
He was a real cowboy, this one.
Sure I’m sure
I’ll never forget that face.
It was true.
The stark, wide eyes of fear like amazement.
A bewildering sense of power and control within them
And the terror of wielding it
Chaos and consequences
cracking like thunder.
Just a squeeze away.
Scott carried the bank-drop in a brown paper bag
Cash and credit card receipts from the store
A mild December morning
The city yawned.
2 blocks to go.
Past the bagel shop
Christmas trees lined the sidewalk
As we walked past we laughed about our boss
Whom we dubbed: the Grey Ghost
He was always materializing out of nowhere
When we least expected it.
And suddenly a man with a gun materialized
out of the Christmas trees.
We didn’t expect that either.
Bright eyes of fearful determination; afraid.
There was a pause as silence
rolled over us like a wave.
I remember thinking:
This isn’t really what it appears to be.
Give me the fucking bag.
The man waved the gun like a crucifix
In an arc
as if we were vampires.
First towards me then Bernardo.
My eyes locked on the weapon.
Criss-cross pattern on the handle
I tried to find a flaw, but it looked real.
Heavy with the weight of bullets.
Let go of the fucking bag.
Benny’s face was drawn tight.
I could see the seriousness of all of this in his flat gaze.
The spark of mortality glittered like a diamond
out of the blackness of his eyes
paralyzed in the moment of uncertainty.
The gun then settled on Scott.
Before it moved to his chest,
then found its way to the slight dimple
at the base of his throat.
The Gunman shouted for the third time.
We heard him
but for us, time had stopped
there was nothing for us to do but float in the limbo of disbelief
Give me the fucking bag.
Scott didn’t care about the bag or the money in it.
We were all shocked into astonished immobility.
Both of Scott’s arms were locked tight around the bag.
My jaws, Bernardo’s small fists, Scott’s arms.
The gun moved again
Now just under Scott’s chin.
Beneath his close-clipped salt and pepper beard.
His head tilted back under the pressure.
Its movement seemed to say:
The gun is real. Feel how real it is?
Your life is the distance between this hollow barrel and a pointed copper tip.
It’s waiting in the chamber.
At that moment I thought:
Scott is going to die today.
I saw the deep brown of Bernardo’s imploring eyes
Over the outstretched arm of the gunman
A flannel sleeve of brown and beige and cream.
Benny spoke softly and with a calmness that defied.
Scott. Give him the bag.
In a swift motion with his free hand, the gunman tore the bag away
out of Scott’s arms.
It took him three good pulls to free it.
The third pull ripped open the paper sack as it came loose.
Bundles of cash in rubber bands bounced on the sidewalk
The remainder of the bag and its contents were in the arms of the gunman
As he turned and fled down 79th street
A flap of brown paper waving loosely behind him as he ran.
Sound erupted around us
The world reeled us back into its noisy vortex
A passing taxi’s tires jarred a manhole cover
Pigeons fluttered up to the sky from the steps of the church
The squeal of breaks and the smell of diesel as a bus slowed
Car horns bleated in the distance down Broadway
Subway trains rocketed through the station below and shook the sidewalk under our feet.
Bernardo knelt to collect the bundles
Scott yelled something and then gestured for me to follow him.
Jesus. I thought.
We chased the thief.
There were two of them now: gunman and accomplice
Another had come out of the Christmas trees to slow us down.
But he had no gun. His empty hands waved to us not to follow.
It made all the difference.
I heard Scott continue to yell something
But I could only make out bits of it.
...at least see what direction he’s...
I reluctantly followed.
The image of the gun was still fresh in my mind.
I was much faster than Scott
But I ran behind him anyway.
A red Lincoln screeched to a halt at the end of the block
Then raced away.
Scott was out of breath
He turned and we began running back to the store
This time I was ahead of him.
As we ran Scott repeated a set of numbers and letters
I scribbled them as best as I could
on my hand with a grease-pen from the front pocket of my deli-coat
Twenty minutes later we observed the red Lincoln
from the back of a police car
In a crowded intersection of flashing red lights from police cruisers
and unmarked cars pulled up on the curbs and sidewalks in disarray.
We identified the gunman.
Yes. That’s him. That’s the motherfucker.
Then on to the precinct in Washington Heights.
Reports were typed and filed
by the cop with the slight drawl and snakeskin cowboy boots
You’re lucky, he said.
...if you had been armed, or in this neighborhood, they would have just shot you and taken the money.
The cowboy could see our satisfaction
Glaring at the gunman in the cell
Ashamed and foiled.
I often wonder if he wished he had pulled the trigger
or was happy he had not.
It feels good when you get them doesn’t it? The cowboy said.
You know what?
It feels even better when you get them after they’ve fired a few rounds at you.
Back downtown, the store was busy with the Christmas rush.
There was much to be done
But I needed a moment.
I sat in the basement on a cardboard box of canned lima beans.
I flipped through the pages of my book
trying to make sense of it, to escape into the pages of Faulkner,
but I could not stop the cinema of scenes.
It was going to be the best Christmas ever.
Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007
i remember the first time i went to cbgb’s. suicidal tendencies headlined. i can’t remember the other bands. but walking in it was really packed. it was dark and smoky and scary and as i looked to my leftÂ and saw joey ramone and jim jarmusch sitting at a table. up to the front there were no tables, just that dance floor and lots of mohawks andÂ i think a slam dance pit had already formed. i was scared but i kept walking as the music was hitting my straight on. i got to the where the slam circle was and I saw the people at the front not slamming were picking the slammers up as the fell down. I looked around at all the “scary” punks and realized they weren’t so scary after all. they were all like me and were just there to hear the music and commune with their fellow punks. i suddenly felt part of something.
Friday, January 12th, 2007
ATLANTA (AP) — A body was found in an airplane wheel well after a Delta Air Lines flight from Africa landed in Atlanta on Friday morning, airline spokeswoman Betsy Talton said.
The flight had left Dakar, Senegal, more than nine hours earlier. It landed at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
No additional details were available pending an investigation by federal and local law enforcement.
Friday, December 29th, 2006 This one is fitting.. Back to Ian MacKaye for some more words of wisdom from Revolution Summer era (1985) Washington, DC…
Â End of a Year by Embrace
I don’t like parties
They avoid the truth
In search of a good time
We smile avoid
Put it off, maybe
It will go awayCome together, divide by ages
We’re always talking thought
But nothing changes
It’s the end of a year…
There’s another one coming
There will be no victory
No progress made
If we do not stand apart
From the enemy
Oh weak foundations
That we’ve laid
Melt with the years
You are nothing
We don’t move forward
We distance ourselves from
We justify it with cheap cliches
We’re just scared of dying
Words are not enough
Thursday, December 21st, 2006
its been quiet on the active listening front lately… here are the lyrics to the best christmas song in recent years, the song ‘if you were born today’ by the minnesota band low.
if you were born todayif you were born today
we’d kill ya by age eight
never get the chance to say:
joy to the world and
peace on the earth
forgive them for they know not what they do
blessed are the meek and
blessed are the humble
blessed are the ninety and nine
deny the flesh
deny all that’s evil
tonight you’ll deny me thrice
if you were born today
we’d kill ya by age eight
never get the chance to say…
Time, I absolve myself of your vow to vanquish me.