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
-Bertrand Russell

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

November 20, 2014 - 1:04 p.m.

Drums Along the Barrow Street

I had a total brain glitch this morning and was wondering what I was going to write about. I totally forgot that I did something worth writing about last night. It really isn't easy not having a brain.

I make a lot of self-deprecating humor. That's because I only mock people I love to their faces. I had to add the last part, I mock a lot of people. But the point is that I mock myself because I know I won't get mad at me. If I make a joke at your expense to you it shows I feel there's enough mutual affection to get away with it. You should hear what I say to Dan. But of course he deserves it. I mean how can you respect anyone that hate's Dylan and loves Dawes?

Last Night I went to the third Amigos Family Dinner at the Greenwich House Music School. I missed the first one. There will be one more in December. More on that latter.

It's a concert/workshop at the school with a pot luck dinner first. My plan was to pick up Popeye's before the show but I kept getting delayed so I didn't have time. then there was not much for me to eat there. Next month I have to figure something out. Could I serve cold buffalo wings? Is that done?

Each month there is a theme. It seems that the theme of the themes is things that don't belong with folk music and folk music.. Last month it was horns and this month drums.

It' led by The Amigos. Each month the bring in a special guest. This month it was "Percussion Wizard Jake Goldbas." As a 15-year-old skinny Jewish kid his parent registered him in a Puerto Rican social club who took him to the Island where he learned Afro-Caribbean drumming. Oh Ghanan drummers taught at his high school. You know the usual.

What makes this special is that it's participatory. We weren't the audience we were part of the band. Each of us was given a percussion instrument.

Yes they trusted me with a doumbek. No good can come of that. I am rhythmically challenged. But I'm also someone who can be paralyzed with anxiety but has no problem with humiliating himself in public Why can I overcome that fear?

This was actually my second African percussion lesson, I joined Cadence Carroll's lesson at Falcon Ridge once.

For the first song Jake divided the audience in two and gave each side a different rhythm. So yes we started with the distraction of having half the room playing something else. That wasn't the tough part of me. No what was tough was the person near me that had no sense of timing. Taking part in this sort of thing teaches me I'm not as bad as I think I am. I hang out with musicians so of course I suck compared to them but put me in with other people and there are plenty worse than me. I discovered that sacred harp singing. But I do have focus on shutting the people worse than me out. I was lucky that the women sitting next to me was very good. Turns out she is a classical violinist. After we got the beat down the Amigos sang a song to it, Jambalaya.

Jake did a great job and I didn't totally embarrass myself. Nobody asked me to stop. I loved being in the band. I wish I could really play.

On one song the Sam asked if I had my kazoo. I did. And guess what I played it again. This time it wasn't a solo but I didn't play it sotto either. I kazooed with one hand and drummed with another. I am an official multi-instrumentalist.

I did not get many pics as I was playing. I got one before the show and one during.

There was only one thing wrong with this show. I was alone in the audience. I sent some FB invitations out to my drummer friends but none were there. So I am working now on getting some of you out there next month.

As you can see it's on December 10 and is a Dance Party! Come on you know you want to go to that. I need someone to dance with. Of course I think it's square and line dancing so it' not an issue. But still, come. There will be other kinds of dancing too.

I didn't have anything to eat at the pot luck and was hungry so I did something stupid. I ate at Five Guys down the block. They are overpriced and the only thing good is the fries.

I started my trip home on the . I don't use the Christopher Street stop often.. This was the first time I looked at the murals on the platform wall.

I love that they put art on the subway and that they continue to put new art on the subway. It's civilized.

I was going to write about something uncivilized, the recent events in Jerusalem, but it's late and I'd have to write a lot to do it justice. I'll just make a quick point here that I think is not appreciated. I often criticize Israel. Destroying the home of the family of murderers is still wrong. The family did not commit the murder.

But the entire story around it reminds me of something remarkable that Israel has done since the occupation began that they seem to never be credit for. The holiest site in Judaism is the Temple Mount. The temple itself was destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans. The same mount is the third holiest site of Islam. That's based on the story in the Quran that Mohammed traveled to the furthest mosque, Al-=Aqsa in Arabic to ascend to heaven. Nowhere does it say it was in Jerusalem but it came to be associated with the mosque there. It is the third holiest site in Islam. When it was under Arab control Jews were not allowed on the mount. They were kept from the Wailing wall, the retaining wall of the mount, the only remaining structure of the temple. When Israel captured Jerusalem in the Six Day War Did they throw the Muslims out and make it a Jewish only site? No. They immediately put the Mount under Muslim control and banned people of any other religion from praying there.

OK so instead of my writing about the violence and people condoning the violence and others calling for my violence I'll just link to a great article in the Times that says so much of what I want to say, In Jerusalems War of Neighbors, the Differences Are Not Negotiable

It's totally ridiculous to say that if they all played music together they'd work things out. Things don't work that way. But the wonderful thing is that when you are playing it feel that way. It's a strange and beautiful world.

OK now it's late and I have to eat.

I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.

Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
Wise Madness is Now In Session - May 28, 2018
The NFL and the First Amendment - May 27, 2018
On The Road Again - May 26, 2018
Oliver the Three-Eyed Crow - May 25, 2018

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Horvendile November 20, 2014
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