Thursday 30 November 2006

music postlets

Thanks Jah-hovah for music!

first to report is that, from what we experienced in Seattle on 11/13, the Lee "Scratch" Perry west coast tour with Dub Is a Weapon this month did more for world peace than all the world's governments and their agents put together or even multiplied by each other

as we knew from listening to their shows on, diaw is spectacular

as we found out at the show, so is their sound system! it's good they do a seismic evaluation of each hall they play beforehand as unreinforced masonry would never survive that bass

it was easy to see why "scratch" chose to work with this krewe. in fact he looked *so* happy and comfortable with them, obviously feeling and loving the music they were making as was everyone else in the room. t'ruth and i are still riding the wave of I-nspiration Love and Brilliance that Scratch brought us!

Thanks are also due to Culture Yard for making it happen as it did. They put on shows continually, so those in the NW should definitely be aware of them


Of course there still must be some who haven't heard of hasidic reggae/hiphop vocalist Matisyahu yet.

If you are reading this then you would probably appreciate what this young man is doing, along with his band Roots Tonic. His shows on are a good place to start; while listening check out the jewschool interview.

Matis is still a new artist, and can be expected to continue to develop

We're eagerly awaiting this month's cd/dvd release "No Place to Be"

(...the DVD chronicles a Matisyahu concert in Tel Aviv, Israel, in December 2005, enriched with spontaneous performances on the streets of Jerusalem and interviews.Matisyahu is expected to tour extensively in 2007, but for now, the only shows on his schedule are a Dec. 13 gig in Washington, D.C., and Hanukkah run in his New York homebase on Dec. 16-17 and 19 at Hammerstein Ballroom.
--from )


On the subject of spiritual music:

everyone with an interest should view the documentary on the "Black President," the inventor of afrobeat, Fela Anikulapo Kuti entitled "Musique Au Poing/ Music is the Weapon."

Thinking back on it, a friend of ours at Tulalip had recently mentioned that in his family they preferred music dvds to cds

which got us thinking
it is good advice actually

and Music Is the Weapon was the first dvd that we aquired as a result of his comment

so much is conveyed in this document i won't spoil it: find and watch

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Monday 13 November 2006


Waving to people --
acknowledging that others exist around you

this is something that we have encountered as an aspect of country living that we hadn't noticed we were missing before

when our housemate Adelka was about 4 years old, she started playing "the stranger game", in which she would walk through the yard with a peculiar, abstracted expression on her face,

"stranger face",

affecting not to be able to see or notice anyone in the yard except perhaps for her "baby" with whom she was walking or "driving".

the components of "stranger" were,

  • to seem to be thinking about something or to be busily engaged in negotiating from point A to B
  • to be semi-magically "unable" to see all those whom one is in fact passing right by and whom one of course does see very plainly
  • therefore to pass right by others without acknowledging such or seeming to recognize their existence --an unnatural thing to do -- which she called "being a stranger-girl"
where we live and work, most of the people who drive past out produce stand are in fact our neighbors, whether we happen to recognize their cars or not. We arrived about 5 years ago, and of course as newbies we didn't know at first who was who in the area... Then as we started to realize, even if the stand might be the midpoint of a 40 mile commute for a passer-by, that person is still our neighbor almost just as much as the folks around the corner. Or if the passers-by might be travellers (=visitors, =guests) then all the more should we wave "hello" to them and show hospitality. So we started waving to everyone, if we weren't doing anything else with our hands at the time, or if we were then nodding or smiling or otherwise indicating (the obvious) that we could see them and they us, and (the not always obvious) that we are glad to share this environment with them, and that they are welcome to stop and enjoy the spot also

on one of the san juan islands (just out west of us) --well probably on all of them but famously so on Lopez -- everyone waves to everyone on the roads. it's just what one does. and when we were there i found that even though its an "empty custom" (maybe that's what i would have thought at one time) it really can make a visitor -- me for instance -- feel welcomed and not hated

when we came back from a trip out there i decided i would make a habit whenever possible of always waving, as a driver. it's actually pretty easy, since you've got a hand up there anyway. now i most typically flash either one or two fingers (nice fingers of course, like "one love" or "peace"), which looks like a decent wave at 40 or 50 miles an hour

i've noticed that waving really can change these brief encounters. not always, but frequently enough that i'm a convert to waving now. especially in our area, for example, there are many guest workers from mexico and central america, with or without documentation, and many of them feel really scared or squeezed or despised or other sad kind of feelings. boy they sure appreciate a smile and a wave sometimes. or kids too, whether they're 8 or 17 or in between, often feel marginalized and judged by adults. a smile and some kind of acknowledgement seems to mean something to the youths more times than i would've thought

isn't this "common knowledge"? that it could be anybody on any given day who might truly appreciate even a glimmer of recognition. the thing for me has often been that i become aware of it too late if at all, which is where making a habit of greeting everyone (basic manners right? unfortunately compulsory schooling got me too) seems to really pay off

even i do the same with other animals now, which turns out to make the same kind of sense as acknowledging the humans around! what do ya know? and i'm experimenting with plants, rocks and "locales" too

i would suggest that habitually playing "the stranger game" leads to depression and a lowered quality of life. the "down", down-cast quality that we see on the faces of vancouver and seattle -ites is both an indicator of their cut-offness from all the others around and the environs, and of the effects of being cut off.

straight up: city folks don't just look sad, they actually are

Hey brother! Hey sister! what's happening?

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Saturday 11 November 2006

Mormon Film and Video

A lot of folks seem to be enjoying the HBO series Big Love at the moment. It is a great series, on par with other HBO dramas like The Sopranos etc.

It's set in a Mormon world (somewhere called Utah? wouldn't mind seeing more Utes around), focused on a family whose generally-Mormon yet heterodox religious doctrines and lifeways (which include polygamy) seem to be abhorred by the Mormon mainstream, and therefore they hide their actual beliefs and practices.

The show is fascinating, and of course it's because the Hendricksons and their situation end up being very relatable after all... i think it spurs many viewers as it has us to reevaluate ideas of family and of how we are and ought to be living...I don't mean whether we should add more people to our marriage! the show turns out to be about the same challenges of relationship and communication and values that any other drama might be about

I'm aware that the show is not popular with most Latter-Day Saints, partly because it might be presenting favorably stuff that they don't agree with, and partly because the Hendrickson's LDS friends and neighbors, coworkers and employees might be seen unfavorably.

Well are you willing to have your mind opened and see how great these folks can be? then let me help you out by suggesting that you investigate the many very worthwhile Mormon movies that have come out in the last few years. You never heard of Mormon cinema? Yes it is another conspiracy keeping this information from you. Check out my blogspot neighbors at

I think the main thing we notice with these films is that they begin with the premise that human beings have a lot in common, and that it's natural and healthy to want to help each other (rather than from, what seems to have become considered in Hollywood the only believable premise, namely that all characters are ultimately opposed to each other, and that 'drama' is the struggle of all of them against each other). The result is movies that really are worth the time of watching them, and viewers are left inspired and thankfully unslimed

These movies got us picturing an interfaith spiritual film festival, where movies like these would be seen alongside ones like Dzongshar Khyentse's and even sincere agnostic films like the great new Stranger than Fiction

The majority that make it our way come from HaleStorm entertainment
We haven't seen all of their movies: maybe half have come to our Hollywood video, which capriciously sends movies to some and not other stores based on some, eh, racial profiling they do or something. And not everything we did see was memorable...We did especially enjoy The R.M., The Singles Ward, The Best Two Years...

We've developed a real agape love for Kirby Heyborne!!
hey buddy!

and no doubt you will too if you see a couple of his movies...

Perhaps the greatest Mormon movie yet watched by us still is God's Army, by Richard Dutcher (shown here filming Brigham City.) Dutcher wrote, directed, and stars in God's Army, an intense drama -- alright: Mormon-intense, for you overworldly, desensitized types. Even though the film is proselytizing and judgmental (probably qualities of Dutcher's, and notably not true of any of the other movies mentioned here), still it's a must-see for anyone who really likes movies and moviemaking, and as an example of the auteur movie. God's Army established the possibility and inspired the flood of Mormon film fun which followed ...

Try to watch that one and then the hilarious The Work and the Story, which is totally referencing God's Army

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Thursday 9 November 2006

People Want to Test Your Urine

A friend was telling me about taking a pre-employment pee test today...

She said:

Everytime I feel like a criminal too. I know the reasons why, but they don't let you flush the toilet (which is such an impolite thing to do), they hold your purse (heaven forbid you are a woman who needs to bring in some necessities with her) and they just overall practically are over your shoulder while you do this.

Of course i do support everyone doing what they feel they need to do in life...sometimes one may not have a choice. Gotta pay the bills!
But for myself i've had to decide that i will never voluntarily share my body chemistry statistics with an employer.

It's an unreasonable invasion and an affront to my rights. If the employer's concern is that you should do your job well, then that's very easy for those in charge to evaluate without such demeaning charades

Even if they would let me skip the test... no, it's a nightmare world where people even think up such doodoo

Anymore if i'm applying for work and the idea comes up i tell them straight off that spying on the body chemistry of citizens is a horrible idea, and i go tell whoever's in charge that also (if poss.) It is horrible! But it's fun to speak the truth

These fetchers (scuse me) will keep handing us these cups as long as we keep peeing in them!

Maybe labor unions are a good idea

And it's not going to end with your job y'know. The school district where we currently live (Burlington, WA.) insists on putting any highschoolers who want to do any extracurricular activities thru the same thing. Then from there i'm sure they don't think there's anything wrong with scanning the kids' myspace pages (which they also do) to see if they've "violated" any of the ... i can't go on !

Of course truth and i could never put our kids in any u.s. school system that cares so little for the Bill of Rights

i also won't fill out any employment applications, but that's because i thought back on it and all the jobs i've had that sucked used applications to hire, whereas all the good jobs i've had (some with a lot of responsibility) either preferred a resume or they just hired me on the spot. General rule: a business that uses a standard application form to hire is not worth spending time at.
Plus i hate writing in those little boxes! i think it's hazing

basically in those times when i may want/need a j.o.b., i look for local businesses that seem to have integrity, a mission that i can relate to, and a healthy workplace culture
life really is too short ... can't spend any more moments than absolutely necessary in a dead environment

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Tuesday 7 November 2006

Continuum Concept / Unschooling

(I'm testing the process of posting via email with this post
also: shift+click on all the links here intil i get this figured out...)

The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff is a book which i was fortunate enough to be turned on to years ago ... it's "about" child-raising, and i still have no children of my own but no matter, it's one of the most change-producing books i've encountered this book...

Unschooling (that links to Grace Llewellyn's page) is such a natural consequence of getting the continuum perspective ...
truth and i have been unschooling ourselves from the moment we knew what
it was!

Here's some links to get a feel for the subjects

the Continuum Concept


("I believe that school makes complete fools of our young men, because
they see and hear nothing of ordinary life there."
--Petronius, Satyricon

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Monday 6 November 2006

Scratch's West Coast Tour

just received the following from Dub Is a regarding the tour with the Upsetter, the Admiral, Lee "Scratch" Perry! all the dates and details are on their website with links etc (text version below)

they should be great shows; diaw is the best reggae band on the continent at the moment. check out live shows at

(here begins the epistle from diaw:)

I. . West Coast Dub Massive, rejoice! Dub Is A Weapon kicks of two weeks worth of shows with the original dub scientist, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, with two nights at the Independent in San Francisco tomorrow night. The man himself has arrived safe in sound already, so these shows are sure to go off without a hitch:

Nov 5 and 6, 2006 - San Francisco CA - The Independent
628 Divisadero
San Francisco, CA
Doors at 8:30pm

Nov 7, 2006 - Los Angeles CA - House of Blues - Sunset Strip
8430 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA
Doors at 8pm

Nov 8, 2006 - San Diego CA - 4th & 8th
345 B Street
San Diego, CA
Doors at 8pm

Nov 9, 2006 - Santa Cruz CA - The Catalyst
1011 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA
Doors at 8pm

Nov 11, 2006 - Portland OR - Crystal Ballroom
1332 West Burnside
Portland, OR

Nov 12, 2006 - Vancouver BC - Richards on Richards
1036 Richards Street
Vancouver, BC
Doors at 8pm

Nov 13, 2006 - Seattle WA - Neumo's
925 East Pike
Seattle, WA
Doors at 8pm

Nov 15, 2006 - Salt Lake City UT ]- The Depot
400 W South Temple
Salt Lake City, UT

Nov 16, 2006 - Boulder CO - Fox Theatre
1135 13th Street
Boulder, CO
Doors at 8pm

II. Dub Is A Weapon will be finishing up the year 2006 with a special show at the Lion's Den in NYC on December 22nd. We're lining up some extra special guests for this show, so NYC dubheads can expect a truly rocking evening of heavyweight vibrations. Stay tuned for details...


Saturday 4 November 2006

Day of the Dead

here at the start of the winter feasting dancing and storytelling season...

all of us norteamericanos "should" adopt and celebrate the Day of the Dead; there are some bigass holes in our world and that holiday could help
this is a very deep festival and worthy of consideration

at there is a fascinating description of the way in which All Saints day is celebrated in Haiti...

ruth and i have been kept away from our local graveyard for a few days with radical work-demands and rainstorms

but tomorrow we'll go and spend some time with some of the Incestors from our watershed, Friday and Mary Cornstalk at their resting place in the Bow cemetary

I'll find a good picture of the two of them in life and post it here...

unschooling report:

check out calicomm 2004 ; we studied this for our dopeness module

more to follow of course...


Thursday 2 November 2006

Coronation Day

Coronation Day Greetings to all our friends and family!!

a blessed and joyful Coronation Day to all our friends!

this day we celebrate the eternal triumph of the Most-I thru-in all creation, in time and in timelessness!!

2nd November 1930 was the date of Emperor Selassie-I's coronation

(image from

Marcus Garvey wrote the following for the November 8, 1930 edition of his Jamaican newspaper, The Blackman:

Last Sunday, a great ceremony took place at Addis Ababa, the capital of Abyssinia. It was the coronation of the new Emperor of Ethiopia -- Ras Tafari. From reports and expectations, the scene was one of great splendor, and will long be remembered by those who were present. Several of the leading nations of Europe sent representatives to the coronation, thereby paying their respects to a rising Negro nation that is destined to play a great part in the future history of the world. Abyssinia is the land of the blacks and we are glad to learn that even though Europeans have been trying to impress the Abyssinians that they are not belonging to the Negro Race, they have learned the retort that they are, and they are proud to be so.

Ras Tafari has traveled to Europe and America and is therefore no stranger to European hypocrisy and methods; he, therefore, must be regarded as a kind of a modern Emperor, and from what we understand and know of him, he intends to introduce modern methods and systems into his country. Already he has started to recruit from different sections of the world competent men in different branches of science to help to develop his country to the position that she should occupy among the other nations of the world.

We do hope that Ras Tafari will live long to carry out his wonderful intentions. From what we have heard and what we do know, he is ready and willing to extend the hand of invitation to any Negro who desires to settle in his kingdom. We know of many who are gone to Abyssinia and who have given good report of the great possibilities there, which they are striving to take advantage of.
The Psalmist prophesied that Princes would come out of Egypt and Ethiopia would stretch forth her hands unto God. We have no doubt that the time is now come. Ethiopia is now really stretching forth her hands. This great kingdom of the East has been hidden for many centuries, but gradually she is rising to take a leading place in the world and it is for us of the Negro race to assist in every way to hold up the hand of Emperor Ras Tafari.2

Lion of Judah monument in Addis

(following text from Imperial Monuments of Ethiopia:

The Lion of Judah monument stands in the square in front of Addis Ababa's train station.
The golden colored statue of the Lion of Judah in its complete glory stands on a black granite pedestal which is decorated with relief portraits of Emperors Menelik II and Haile Selassie I, and Empress Zewditu, as well as Ras Makonnen. It marks the foot of the city's widest avenue, Churchill Road, which has the impressive Addis Ababa City Hall at its other end.
The Lion of Judah statue has a very interesting history. Erected in 1930 just before Emperor Haile Selassie's coronation, it was looted by the Italian occupiers in 1935 and taken to Rome, where it was erected next to the Vittorio Emanuelle monument. During the 4th anniversary celebrations of the proclamation of the Italian Empire, Adolf Hitler chose to visit Rome, and attended the celebratory parades alongside the fascist dictator Musollini and King Victor Emanuelle III.
In the parade were numerous subjects of Italy's African Empire, including a young Eritrean named Zerai Deres. Zerai Deres was marching with other parade members carrying a ceremonial sword with which to salute the King, the Fuhrer, and Il Duce at the grandstand. As the parade marched past the Vittorio Emanuelle monument, Zerai looked up and saw, to his shock, the golden Lion of Judah, the symbol of the ancient monarchy to which his ancestors had long owed aliegence, erected as war booty in the heart of Rome.
It was too much for him to bear, and he promptly drew his sword and with tears of anger running down his face he fell on the first Italian officer he could find. He killed and wounded numerous Italian military officers before he was killed. Zerai Deres is "lionized" to this day as a brave Ethiopian patriot.
The monument remained in Rome for several decades, and was finally returned to Addis Ababa after long negotiations in the 1960's. When it was re-erected in its square the day it arrived, the Emperor was present in military uniform to salute, and to pay tribute to Zerai Deres.
Following the revolution in 1974, the Dergue regime decided to remove the statue once more as it was a monarchist symbol. However, the elderly war veterans' association members appealed to the Dergue to consider the memory of Zerai Deres and his sacrifice that was inspired by this very symbol. This act saved the statue and it stood it all its Imperial glory right through the Dergue era, and continues to stand today.

All thanks and praises to His Imperial Majest-I, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah!

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