Archive

Faith-based Presidency

Great article in the New York Times Magazine called Without a Doubt, about Bush's religiousness and how it has effected his administration. Pretty scary stuff.

Hanging out with Indybay

Today started with a disaster that happened with one simple mistake that could have potentially been tremendously costly. I picked up my iBook rather quickly and forgot it was plugged in, and evidently the shear force was enough to damage the power adapter's plug. So it wouldn't charge the computer. At the time I didn't know whether it was the adapter or the jack on the computer. If it was the adapter it would have been 80 bucks to replace; if it was the jack, there's no telling how much it would have been to repair, and who knows if there would have been time before I have to leave town on Monday. I was freaking out and furious with myself for such a stupid blunder, starting to panic and wondering what I could do.

I decided to go over to Postal Station 40 where some Indymedia folks live that I met the other day. I knew that Ali had a powerbook and by plugging in his adapter I could at least test to see whether my problem was with my adapter or my computer. When I got there I found out the possessive verb was definitely past tense for Ali - his powerbook had been stolen 2 days ago! Someone had snuck in through the adjoining yoga studio somehow and grabbed it. He was bummed big time about it, of course, but, he still had the adapter, and obviously it was of no use to him now, so he gave it to me. I plugged it in and the iBook started charging! I was in luck, doubly so. I felt horrible to be benefiting from Ali's misfortune, and what a bizarre coincidence. But given that both unlucky events had happened, it was some sort of strange good luck on my part. I was saved from a world of hurt by his even bigger world of hurt.

I hung out for awhile there and then I went with Ali and Liam to distribute the new issue of Faultlines around town. Faultlines is the Indybay newspaper which comes out monthly. We dropped off little piles of them at cafes and stores around the Haight and the Mission, and went downtown to bring them to striking hotel workers, because there's a front page article about the strike in this issue. It felt great to show our solidarity by bringing them this media that reports on their situation, and see their faces light up when they saw the story. Some even recognized people in the photo. They've been locked out for 3 weeks now and continue to picket every day.

Now tonight, in about 2 hours, I have my screening of the Bolivia videos at ATA. I feel pretty exhausted after running around delivering papers, and I still need to print out some recent news stories about Bolivia to have on hand at the screening, and do some other preparations, and eat dinner. whew. well, wish me luck....

Eugene Chadbourne and Peace and Voting

I've been a fan of Eugene Chadbourne's music for about 15 years now. He recently played in Portland and reminded me that of the 10 or so times I've seen him play he has always been amazing. He had a profound effect on my guitar playing and musical conciousness, and I've always admired the way he was very political while at the same time exploring the outer limits of freely improvised music. His work swings between psychedelic noise-freakouts to hilarious, biting, satiric commentaries on war and politicians. ( a great example of this is his recent song "New New New War War War")

So I was unsurprised but very pleased to see his article in the current issue of Signal to Noise Magazine, which has a cover topic of "The Artist's Role in Waging Peace."

Eugene's written some other great essays with political or social relevance. This one is cool for the perspective he offers as a citizen and artist who is getting on in years, because he looks back on his life and all the presidental candidates who have run in elections and lost or won that he remembers, and who he and his friends and family voted for or against.

Then he says:

I mention all this... to establish the history I have experienced as well as provide a backdrop for stating that I see differences between all these people. I talk to people that don't, though, some of whom are really wondering if they should vote at all. The present compelling arguments to the effect that all politicians, all rulers of all countries, are total motherfuckers. However, as for them convincing me that I should be giving up the act of strolling down to the nearby recreation center and voting for various public offices, from sheriff to president, I'm sorry. Voting is something I would really miss, just like the political side of my music.

[...]

It is a concern, although not really a surprise, when the type of people that read or write for a magazine such as Signal to Noise express skepticism about the process of voting, based on these kinds of issues. Surely there is a difference between John Kerry and George Bush II - surely there is, if we are expected to understand the difference between two guys who both play free jazz on the alto saxophone!

He goes on to talk about Kerry's past as a Vietnam veteran against the war, and says

... the existence of [Vietname Veterans Against the War] was one of the most important developments in turning America against this horrifying war... perhaps Kerry will revisit this important contribution to our society on a grander scale if he gets elected... if not, we are going to need a hell of a lot of musical relief. I'm ready.

Eugene Chadbourne and Peace and Voting

I've been a fan of Eugene Chadbourne's music for about 15 years now. He recently played in Portland and reminded me that of the 10 or so times I've seen him play he has always been amazing. He had a profound effect on my guitar playing and musical conciousness, and I've always admired the way he was very political while at the same time exploring the outer limits of freely improvised music. His work swings between psychedelic noise-freakouts to hilarious, biting, satiric commentaries on war and politicians. ( a great example of this is his recent song "New New New War War War")

So I was unsurprised but very pleased to see his article in the current issue of Signal to Noise Magazine, which has a cover topic of "The Artist's Role in Waging Peace."

Eugene's written some other great essays with political or social relevance. This one is cool for the perspective he offers as a citizen and artist who is getting on in years, because he looks back on his life and all the presidental candidates who have run in elections and lost or won that he remembers, and who he and his friends and family voted for or against.

Then he says:

I mention all this... to establish the history I have experienced as well as provide a backdrop for stating that I see differences between all these people. I talk to people that don't, though, some of whom are really wondering if they should vote at all. The present compelling arguments to the effect that all politicians, all rulers of all countries, are total motherfuckers. However, as for them convincing me that I should be giving up the act of strolling down to the nearby recreation center and voting for various public offices, from sheriff to president, I'm sorry. Voting is something I would really miss, just like the political side of my music.

[...]

It is a concern, although not really a surprise, when the type of people that read or write for a magazine such as Signal to Noise express skepticism about the process of voting, based on these kinds of issues. Surely there is a difference between John Kerry and George Bush II - surely there is, if we are expected to understand the difference between two guys who both play free jazz on the alto saxophone!

He goes on to talk about Kerry's past as a Vietnam veteran against the war, and says

... the existence of [Vietname Veterans Against the War] was one of the most important developments in turning America against this horrifying war... perhaps Kerry will revisit this important contribution to our society on a grander scale if he gets elected... if not, we are going to need a hell of a lot of musical relief. I'm ready.

More tour pain

Organizing this screening tour of the southwest continues to be a big pain in the ass. There are a host of reasons. Email problems on both sides, lack of equipment, contacts, experience... I'm starting to think it was a mistake to even try. If it comes together, will it even be worth it? I'm even thinking of calling the whole thing off, it's such a mess. Although I know that some people in Arizona and New Mexico have been putting time and effort into helping me out and I would hate to let them down. But I still have zero, that's NO, confirmed shows set up, just a bunch of maybes.

Right now it looks like:

  • Nov 6 - Albuquerque
  • Nov 7 - Santa Fe ( still need a projector)
  • Nov 12 - Flagstaff ( still waiting to hear from Flagstaff Activist Network)
  • Nov 13 - Tempe ( waiting to confirm from Be-in-the-Know film series )
  • Nov 15 or 16 - Tucson (waiting to hear from Walt at Arizona IMC)

    But I don't really know if ANY of those will really happen.

    Tonite is the show here in San Francisco. It will be my litmus test. However, I'm not sure what the test will mean. If it's successful it will encourage me to do these other shows. At the same time if it's REALLY successful maybe I won't NEED to do any more Bolivia fundraising and I won't NEED to do the other shows. However, I doubt the latter. I will be happy if 30 people show up at ATA tonight.

    In a way I just want to cancel the tour and go to Guadalajara instead, y apprendo mas espa

  • Connections

    Yesterday was a day of making contact or almost-contact with people, here in San Francisco, across the Bay, and elsewhere. I got a call from someone at the Flagstaff Activist Network, which I've been trying to contact for 2 weeks about doing a show in Flagstaff. Later I met some bay area indymedia people at their cool collective dwelling, which used to be a huge postal station. Then I met some cool people at the Longhaul Infoshop in Berkeley when I went there to watch the documentary "The End of Suburbia" -- which is an amazing and very disturbing look at the fact that the world is running out of oil and we (as in, the "developed world") are going to need to start learning to live very differently. Then I got a call from another bay area indymedia videographer. Then I found out that rabble is in town and wants to meet. And I heard from a friend of a friend who is helping me set up a show in Santa Fe.

    So, I feel good, connecting, and seeing connections start to bear fruit.

    Jon Stewart Rocks

    Well I guess this may be old news, but if you haven't seen it yet it's worth the bandwidth to check out Jon Stewart's brutal exchange with CNN Hosts
    of Crossfire. So totally awesome, like something you just dream all your life of seeing someday on national television, where somebody in the media biz somehow slips through the armor and just explodes with the truth. I wonder if he's suffered any career repercussions....

    San Francisco Overcrowding

    So I'm up early way before my host and I go down the street to the cool caf

    Two Secrets About the Mexican Economy

    Yesterday I flew to San Francisco and immediately found out about a screening of videos by Alex Rivera at Galeria de la Raza, in the Mission. Alex does amazing work that is mostly concerned with immigration and border issues. It's very informative and hard-hitting yet really humorous at the same time.

    There was really good discussion afterward, with lots of really informed and thoughtful comments from the audience. It's great to just drop into town and be surrounded by such great people and work.

    The last piece was a longer documentary work about Mexicans living in the U.S. who not only send money back to their home towns (remittances) but who organize in order to pool larger amounts of money and do public works in those towns. One group in New Jersey organized and funded the building of a baseball stadium in a little town in the state of Pueblo.

    In the discussion afterward Alex said that remittances total about 15 billion dollars, which is second only to oil in Mexico's economy!! My friend Jos

    plans

    One day to go and I'm off away from home for a month. The planning and the wrapping up stuff here has been driving me crazy, as I think I've already blogged.

    Anyway, here is my schedule so far:

    October 16 Saturday
    : fly to San Francisco.
    October 17 Sunday: a friend's wedding.
    October 21 Thursday: Screening the Bolivia videos at ATA.

    Then on the 24th I hook up with the Juarez Caravan:
    October 24 San Francisco, CA: 7-9PM, New College of California, Cultural
    Center, 766 Valencia St, San Francisco
    October 25 Santa Barbara, CA: 6PM, Event at La Casa de la Raza, 601 E.
    Montecito, 805/965-8581
    October 26 Los Angeles, CA: 6-9 pm, UCLA Public Policy Building, Room #1246,
    Parking: Next to Lot 3, contact: ccjohnso@ucla.edu or 310-709-1864
    October 27 San Diego, CA: 2PM: Protest at the Mexican Consulate, Downtown
    San Diego, India Street.1549 India Street, SD 92101 619-231-8414. 7-10PM:
    World Beat Center,2100 Park Blvd, 92101-4752
    October 28 Phoenix, AZ: 7PM Phoenix College Theater in central Phoenix, 15th
    ave and Thomas Rd, joseph2627@yahoo.com, 602/665-2450
    October 29 Tucson, AZ: 6PM, Armory Park Senior Center, 220 S. 5th Ave,
    520/770-1373, kat@derechoshumanosaz.net
    October 30 Tucson, AZ: 8:30AM, St. John's Church Parking lot to San Xavier
    Mission, Caravanistas will participate in Dia de los Muertos Border
    Pilgramage with local human rights groups. Caravan then travels to El Paso.

    October 31 - November 5 - Delegation to Juarez and Chihuahua City

    Then my tour of the Bolivia videos starts:
    nov 6 el paso -> santa fe
    nov 7 or 8 show in santa fe???
    nov 9 show in albuquerque at Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice.
    nov 11 flagstaff show ??
    nov 13 phoenix show?
    nov 14 tucson show ??

    Then I think I'll fly back to portland from Tucson. I was thinking about L.A. but decided I don't want to go to L.A. I'll be lucky if I get all these dates figured out.