I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
August 13, 2017 - 11:36 a.m.
I'm starting to write about 10, that deserves a pat on the back. No? Nobody? Bueller? My back will remain patless.
I didn't leave the house yesterday so as to not do anything worth writing about so I could get back to Falcon Ridge but nobody told the world so I'll address the events in Charlottesville before returning to the happiest place on earth. That order is better for everyone's mental health.
My Gentle Readers do not need me to call out the horrors of the actions and minds of "Unite the Right." What I can do is share some thoughts and perspectives beyond the visceral revulsion.
The one reaction that I need to push back against is the idea that things have never been this bad. I grew up in the 60s as Jim Crow was being dismantled and the defenders of hatred and oppression fought change. The Southern Poverty Law Center has a page of Civil Rights Martyrs from 1955 – 1968; they range from household names Martin Luther King and Medgar Evers to those I've only known as "the four little girls," Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, to those whose stories I did not know at all.
While Trump's presidency has emboldened the hatemongers don't lose sight of what brought the Nazis, Klansmen, and other emissaries of hate to Charlottesville; it was not triumphalism, it was plans to remove the statue of Robert E. Lee. Even as the country was electing President Trump, for the first time since Reconstruction the South is confronting the legacy of the Civil War and slavery. For over a century, the men that made war on the United States in the defense of slavery, were treated as heroes. It was not even questioned. The tide has turned and those that still wish to honor them are in retreat. They are not motivated just by hate but by its close ally fear. They are marching with torches, they are killing, not because they are winning, not to maintain power, but because they are losing.
President Trump has responded disgracefully. He has not called out the terrorists that support him but has blamed "many sides." While his words are shameful their very shamefulness has done good. Republicans that have never been friends to Civil Rights are denouncing him. There is never the moment that we hope for where the curtain is pulled aside and everyone sees Trump for what he is and is repulse, but this has allowed more people to look in the direction of the booth where President Trump lies exposed. He castigated Obama for not saying "Islamic Terrorism" but President Trump refuses to acknowledge that the white supremacists are terrorists. No one is insisting that he calls them white Christian terrorists, he shouldn't call them white Christian terrorists, but he should call them terrorists.
I wrote of growing up during the Civil Rights movement but it goes back further than that. My father told of the Bund, the American Nazis, marching in Astoria, where he lived. They did not need to come from across the country, there were enough right here in New York City to stage a march. These weren't people that others called Nazis, they were people that called themselves Nazis, they saw Hitler as a hero. We will never eliminate hate. There will always be times when it becomes more visible but things do get better and there is so much more to the world than hate. So now I'll return to the other side of the coin, the one with peace, love, and understanding, the one with Falcon Ridge.
Friday night at the Budgiedome was one of our best sessions ever; Saturday's was just as good. The lineup was:
Emily MureSome of these are names familiar to Falcon Ridge regulars but others were new to most of the audience and one was new to me. I love when performers join each other, as you can see Emily joined Joe Crookston but SWaOH supported Villa Palagonia. I planned a segue, Martin finished with Consider the Oyster and Pepper & Sassafras started with Life of the Fruit Fly, I call it the invertebrate set. Sometimes the world works the way it should. I told Carolyn about this and she fulfilled my hope and get excited. I love having a friend that shares my love for songs about oysters and fruit flies. Carolyn, did you video the songs?
I suspect that I was the only one there that had seen Banjo Nickaru, that's Nick Russo and Bettina Hershey. They are a recent discovery of mine though I saw Bettina as part of a Fast Folk show at the Bottom Line 10 or 15 years ago. Bev is one of my best friends but this was her Budgiedome debut. People sang along. That's good or they would have had to listen to me. This was also Meghan's Budgiedome debut. We have no idea how we know each other. She has a song, Sing Louder good thing the Belligerent Neighbor was given ear plugs so she didn't keep him up. Su has been a friend of the Budgiedome for ages. Unfortunately, nature called as she was to begin and the place it calls is a quarter of a mile away. When I came back Andrew was playing. He came on Dan Rauchwerk's recommendation but I won't hold that against him. He's better than Dawes. No that's damning with faint praise, Andrew is good.
Rarely is anyone else around to hear it but as the Budgiedome Session ends on Saturday Paul sings the Budgiedome Anthem. I would join him but I don't know the words and I can't sing. Paul send me the lyrics so I can join you next year.
My plan was to finish writing about Falcon Ridge today but the real world intruded. Maybe my blogging bot will write a second entry today. Did you like the job it did yesterday?
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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