Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Friday, February 24, 2017

Two Exceptional Singers Take a Chance on the "Spirit of the Wind"



This evening for "music night" at The Wild Reed I share something very special: the recent collaboration of legendary singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie and Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq. Both women are past Polaris Music Prize winners, and the two teamed up to create the new recording “You Got To Run (Spirit Of The Wind)” as part of the second-ever Polaris Collaboration Session. The song debuted online this past Wednesday, February 22 (two days after Buffy's 76th birthday).

Notes the Polaris Music Prize website:

Sainte-Marie and Tagaq, who won the Polaris in 2015 and 2014, respectively, collaborated on the Sainte-Marie-written song “You Got To Run (Spirit Of The Wind),” presented by Stingray Music and generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. . . . The song was recorded in the fall of 2016 at Orange Lounge in Toronto with producer Jon Levine (Nelly Furtado, K’naan, Drake), and mixed by Howie Beck (Feist, Hannah Georgas, Jason Collett). It was inspired by champion dogsled racer George Attla, who competed in the first-ever Iditarod dog sled race in 1973 and was the subject of the 1979 film, Spirit of the Wind.

Tagaq and Sainte-Marie hope the message of “You Got to Run (Spirit of the Wind)” can affect listeners in a number of inspiring ways.

“It reminded me of growing up in Nunavut,” explains Tagaq. “Sometimes when things get difficult you have to pick yourself up, you can’t let things bring you down. You could take it to be an anti-suicide message. I really appreciate its powerful lyrics.”

Sainte-Marie wouldn’t be opposed to political candidates using it as a theme song.

“There are very important things going on in Indian country right now. This is a song I’d like to hand to any of our Aboriginal candidates who really are in a position, finally, to make a big difference,” said Sainte-Marie.


Inspiring words from both women, to be sure. . . . And I have to say that I love the energy and message of "You Got to Run (Spirit of the Wind)," and how, for me at least, this image of the "spirit of the wind" is all about the Divine Presence within and beyond us. . . . Oh, and I also love Buffy's spirited shout-out to Standing Rock towards the end of the recording!

I hope all who are reading this will enjoy and be inspired by this song too! . . .




. . . Down in a hole, you feel like
two different people in your soul.
You feel like a loser
until you see that as you bend
you learn to be
your own best friend.

And you learn how
and you learn when
to take a chance
on the spirit of the wind.

Hey, we've been down;
we've been so broken, been so low
that we've kissed the ground.
But you can see yourself a winner
beyond the money and the greed,
beyond the prizes of pure untested need.

And to be a champion is more
than luck and speed.
It's power and freedom
in the spirit of the wind.



Following is an episode of the Polaris Podcast featuring an interview with Buffy and Tanya discussing their collaboration.





Related Off-site Link:
Buffy Sainte-Marie Delivers New Song Collaboration with Tanya Tagaq – The Canadian Press via Ottawa Citizen, February 22, 2017).


For The Wild Reed's special series of posts leading-up to the May 12, 2015 release of Buffy's most recent album, Power in the Blood (which won the 2015 Polaris Music Prize), see:
Buffy Sainte-Marie and That "Human-Being Magic"
Buffy Sainte-Marie's Lesson from the Cutting Edge: "Go Where You Must to Grow"
Buffy Sainte-Marie: "Sometimes You Have to Be Content to Plant Good Seeds and Be Patient"
Buffy Sainte-Marie's Power in the Blood

For more of Buffy Sainte-Marie at The Wild Reed, see:
A Music Legend Visits the North Country: Buffy Sainte-Marie in Minnesota and Wisconsin – August 2016
Photo of the Day – January 21, 2017
Buffy Sainte-Marie Wins 2015 Polaris Music Prize
Congratulations, Buffy
Happy Birthday, Buffy!
Actually, There's No Question About It
For Buffy Sainte-Marie, a Well-Deserved Honor
Buffy Sainte-Marie: Singing It and Praying It; Living It and Saying It
Buffy Sainte-Marie: Still Singing with Spirit, Joy, and Passion
Something Special for Indigenous Peoples Day
Buffy Sainte-Marie: "The Big Ones Get Away"

Previous artists highlighted by The Wild Reed's 'music night' series include:
Dusty Springfield | David Bowie | Kate Bush | Maxwell | Buffy Sainte-Marie | Prince | Frank Ocean | Maria Callas | Loreena McKennitt | Rosanne Cash | Petula Clark | Wendy Matthews | Darren Hayes | Jenny Morris | Gil Scott-Heron | Shirley Bassey | Rufus Wainwright | Kiki Dee | Suede | Marianne Faithfull | Dionne Warwick | Sam Sparro | Wanda Jackson | Engelbert Humperdinck | Pink Floyd | The Church | Enrique Iglesias | Yvonne Elliman | Lenny Kravitz | Helen Reddy | Stephen Gately | Judith Durham | Nat King Cole | Emmylou Harris | Bobbie Gentry | Russell Elliot | BØRNS | Hozier | Enigma | Moby (featuring the Banks Brothers) | Cat Stevens | Chrissy Amphlett | Jon Stevens | Nada Surf | Tom Goss (featuring Matt Alber) | Autoheart | Scissor Sisters | Mavis Staples | Claude Chalhoub | Cass Elliot | Duffy | The Cruel Sea | Wall of Voodoo | Loretta Lynn and Jack White | Foo Fighters | 1927 | Kate Ceberano | Tee Set | Joan Baez | Wet, Wet, Wet | Stephen “Tin Tin” Duffy | Fleetwood Mac | Jane Clifton | Australian Crawl | Pet Shop Boys | Marty Rhone


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Something to Think About . . .



Related Off-site Links:
Police Remove Last Standing Rock Protesters in Military-style Takeover – Julia Carrie Wong (The Guardian, February 23, 2017).
We Have to Keep Fighting: Water Protectors Vow Continued Resistance to #DAPL as Main Camp is EvictedDemocracy Now! (February 23, 2017).
Standing Rock is Burning – But Our Resistance Isn't Over – Julian Brave NoiseCat (The Guardian, February 23, 2017).
Standing Rock Faces Media Blackout During Militarized Operation to Clear Camps – Jihan Hifaz (The Real News, February 23, 2017).
Protesters Leave Dakota Access Pipeline Area; Some Stay And Are Arrested – Rebecca Hersher (MPR News, February 22, 2017).
Last Remnants of Dakota Access Pipeline Protest Camp Are Engulfed in Flames – Blake Nicholson and James MacPherson (Associated Press via Time, February 22, 2017).
Standing Rock Protest Camp, Once Home to Thousands, is Razed – Mitch Smith (New York Times, February 23, 2017).
DAPL Opponents Vow to "Rise" from Ashes of Oceti Sakowin and Keep Fighting – Lauren McCauley (Common Dreams, February 23, 2017).
Trump Administration Withdrew Legal Memo that Found "Ample Legal Justification" to Halt Dakota Access Pipeline – James Hill (ABC News, February 23, 2017).



Left: Police make arrests as they move through the Oceti Sakowin camp – February 23, 2017. (Photo: Angus Mordant/NPR)

Above right: Police officers and their armored vehicle approach the Last Child Camp at Standing Rock in North Dakota on February 1, 2017. In sharing this image on Facebook, Evan Greer wrote: "U.S. history condensed into a single photo," while Marshall Deerfield opines, "The Western world has never had a clearer view of itself and its war machine."(Photo: Ryan Vizzions)



Postscript: The following photographs were taken February 23, 2017 at Standing Rock's Oceti Sakowin camp by Reuters photographer Terray Sylvester. (For more images, click here.)








Updates: Water is Life: The Story of Standing Rock Won’t Go Away – Mark Trahant (Yes!, February 24, 2017).
Here’s How the Standing Rock Sioux Will Keep Fighting Dakota Access – in Court – Sabrina Imbler (Grist, February 28, 2017).
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Not Properly Heard in Pipeline Dispute, Says UN Official – Blake Nicholson (Associated Press via CBC News, March 3, 2017).
Keystone Pipeline Won’t Use U.S. Steel Despite Trump Pledge – Blake Nicholson (Associated Press via PBS Newshour, March 3, 2017).
Sen. Franken Seeks FBI Answers on Federal Attempts to Question Standing Rock Protesters – Allison Sherry (Star Tribune, March 5, 2017).
Leaked Documents Reveal Counterterrorism Tactics Used at Standing Rock to "Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies" – Alleen Brown, Will Parrish, and Alice Speri (The Intercept, May 27, 2017).
Opposition to Pipeline Construction Escalates NationwideEco Watch (May 27, 2017).
How Standing Rock Became a Spiritual Pilgrimage for Activists – Eileen Markey (America, June 14, 2017).
In Victory for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Court Finds That Approval of Dakota Access Pipeline Violated the LawDaily Native American (August 4, 2017).
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Files Brief Asking for Pipeline Shutdown During More Thorough Environmental ReviewStandWithStandingRock.net (August 8, 2017).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Quote of the Day – January 24, 2017
"It Is All Connected"
At Standing Rock and Beyond, Celebrating and Giving Thanks for a "Historic Decision"
Standing in Prayer and Solidarity with the Water Protectors of Standing Rock
Standing Together
Quote of the Day – August 19, 2016
Something to Think About – October 13, 2015
Words of Wisdom on Indigenous Peoples Day
Something to Think About – April 22, 2014
Threshold Musings
"Something Sacred Dwells There"

Opening image: The Other 98%.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Quote of the Day

One of those strange journalistic codes . . . demands that no newspaper describe Milo Yiannopoulos [right] as anything other than a "provocateur". He's not. He's not a provocateur, or a satirist, or a trickster, or a troll; he's an idiot. Milo has no sense for irony whatsoever; he's far too vain for the long, patient game of saying anything other than what he thinks. Look at his old columns for the Catholic Herald – since deleted, but nothing on the internet is ever really gone forever – and it's all drearily familiar: protesters are bad, the left are bullies, the media is biased, everyone's mean to me; all delivered without a moment of deftness or play, and all in the grim throttled tones of any mouldering and moribund conservative hack.

. . . Milo is fading fast: he's with us now, but not for long. And soon he can go back to being what he always was: another bloviating dunce obsessed with his own importance, one more whiny voice in the vast chorus of the dull.

– Sam Kriss
Excerpted from "The Sad Truth About Milo Yiannopoulos"
VICE
February 22, 2017


Related Off-site Links:
After Underage Sex Comments, Milo Yiannopoulos Loses CPAC Invite and Book Deal – Maquita Peters (NPR News, February 20, 2017).
Milo Yiannopoulos Resigns from Breitbart Amid Underage Sex Comments – Tom Kludt (CNN, February 21, 2017).
Conservatives Shocked to Discover That Milo Yiannopoulos is a Terrible Human Being – Pam Vogel (Media Matters, February 20, 2017).
Here’s What You Need to Know About the Milo Yiannopoulos-Michael Flynn Connection – Michelangelo Signorile (The Huffington Post, February 21, 2017).
Why Conservatives Fell for Milo Yiannopoulos – Matt Lewis (The Daily Beast, February 20, 2017).
The Rise and Fall of Milo Yiannopoulos – How a Shallow Actor Played the Bad Guy for Money – Dorian Lynskey (The Guardian, February 21, 2017).
The Milo Yiannopoulos Debacle Tells Us Some Terrible Truths About the Right – Kali Holloway (AlterNet, February 21, 2017).
Milo and the Mainstream – Branko Marcetic (Jacobin, February 23, 2017).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Quote of the Day – February 7, 2017
On International Human Rights Day, Saying "No" to Donald Trump and His Fascist Agenda


Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Profoundly Troubling and Tragic Indictment

.


. . . and an Opportunity for Transformation


Jim Morin's "Devils' Bargain" (above), depicts House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump making a deal as they shake hands. It's a powerful political cartoon, wouldn't you say?

I'll come back to it in a moment, but first I want to explore the events and actions that inspire it by sharing the words of a writer I greatly respect and trust – my friend and fellow blogger William D. Lindsey.

William (pictured at right) recently shared via Facebook an erudite response to a February 15 Salon article by Heather Digby Parton. In this piece, Parton examines the "unhappy choice" facing congressional Republicans as they and the rest of the country watch as the Trump White House "spirals into crisis."

Writes William:

As Heather Digby Parton rightly suggests, with GOP leaders, it will be their agenda – not their country [that they'll choose]. She writes, "Allowing a president to blow up the world is a small price to pay in exchange for tax cuts for the wealthy, am I right?"

With Republicans at present (and for some years now) it is all about – and only about – accountability to their corporate masters, to the 1% and their agenda of destroying government as a check on their rapacity, rolling back taxes, and robbing the rest of society to put more wealth into their already chock-full pockets.

GOP leaders showed us just how much they cared about the country through their relentless, barbaric attacks on the Obama administration for two terms, and their refusal to govern – to be ethically aware adults.

As they engaged in those attacks, they maliciously, deliberately spread lies among the stupidest and meanest segment of the population, people who have no inkling of how they are being used by the 1% as they vote repeatedly against their own economic self-interest in order to score points against the gays, women, immigrants, African Americans, liberals, intellectuals, etc. This deliberate, malicious creation of a culture of outrageous lies disguised as news has brought our democracy into crisis, and it's not apparent it can recover, now that those stupidest and meanest among us have, at the behest of the 1% put the ultimate con-artist-cum-traitor in the White House.


In exploring the dilemma that congressional Republicans are facing, Parton highlights a recent New York Times piece by Jonathan Martin and Matt Flegenheimer in which they observe the following.

[T]he Republican-controlled House and Senate seem to have made a collective decision: They will accommodate – not confront – [Trump's] conduct as long as he signs their long-stalled conservative proposals on taxes, regulations and health care into law.

“There’s a widely held view among our members that, yes, he’s going to say things on a daily basis that we’re not going to like,” said Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the third-ranking Senate Republican, “but that the broad legislative agenda and goals that we have — if we can stay focused on those and try and get that stuff enacted — those would be big wins.”


Which of course bring us back to this post's opening image – "Devils' Bargain" by political cartoonist Jim Morin, an image that serves as a profoundly troubling and tragic indictment of the state of political affairs in the United States in 2017.


And yet . . .

And yet I remain committed and hopeful.

I remain committed to carrying it on; "it" being the passionate embodiment of hope, awareness and love in a world dominated by political and economic systems that far too often heap contempt on such qualities and their embodiment by individuals and communities.

And I remain hopeful in this endeavor, this journey . . . and take heart from many sources – from the music of Buffy Sainte-Marie to my involvement in local justice and peace actions; from the creative endeavors of contemporary visual artists such as Courtney Privett to the ancient words of wisdom and beauty of those who have gone before us on the mystico-prophetic path.

Another source of hope and inspiration for me is Sikh activist and filmmaker Valarie Kaur (right) who believes that the troubling and tragic times we're living through comprise a moment to seize, an opportunity for transformation.

“What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb? What if our America is not dead but a country that is waiting to be born?” Kaur asks.

Writer Miles Kampf-Lassin believes that one month into Donald Trump’s presidency, we may well be witnessing the type of transformation envisioned by Kaur. It's a transformation writes Kampf-Lassin, that is "being made in the streets and among the grassroots of America."

I close by sharing an excerpt from Kampf-Lassin's February 17 In These Times article, "The Mass Protests of the Anti-Trump Resistance Are Starting to Win. Here’s How." May you find it as encouraging, hopeful, and energizing as I do.

___________________________


The nationwide Women’s March on January 21 was likely the largest demonstration in U.S. history. Since, major cities have been overtaken by daily protests against Trump and the GOP’s agenda.

More mass marches are planned for the coming months, including a March for Science on April 22, the People’s Climate March on April 29 and an Immigrants’ March on May 6. Members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, have had their phone lines, emails, offices and town hall meetings flooded by incensed constituents.

Dozens of grassroots political groups have formed, including the fast-growing Indivisible, focused on citizen lobbying of lawmakers, and Swing Left, founded to support progressive candidates running in 2018. Existing left organizations have seen their memberships swell, perhaps most remarkably the Democratic Socialists of America.

Divestment campaigns such as those targeting investors in the Dakota Access Pipeline are gaining steam, using direct economic pressure to influence policy.

Despite the lack of singular leadership, a protest movement has rapidly developed, one unseen in recent history. It’s showing no signs of slowing – and scoring real victories.

. . . [Yet] so far this new protest movement has been primarily oppositional, responding to attacks posed by the new government. Any program to win power must also set out a bold vision of a different kind of society, one focused on the needs of working people that serves as a true alternative to the type of racist and corporate-dominated agenda currently being carried out.

If we are to see a “new birth” of this country, it will require not just a common enemy, but common principles and objectives that will advance equality and freedom, guiding the current upsurge of activism from marching in the streets towards implementing progressive policy that cuts to the heart of a fundamentally unequal economic and political system.

Yet, it is becoming clear that the shock of seeing Trump elected president – and shake the foundations of our democracy – has quickly moved beyond outrage into mass, coordinated protest.

Rather than simply asking, “can he do that?” Americans are more and more starting to ask themselves, “can we do that?” This is the form of inventive thinking, awakened by resistance to a demagogic leader, that can begin to chart a new direction. The next steps are up to us.

– Miles Kampf-Lassin
Excerpted from "The Mass Protests of the
Anti-Trump Resistance Are Starting to Win. Here’s How
"
In These Times
February 17, 2017


Related Off-site Links:
Out of Darkness, Light – Conor Lynch (Salon, February 18, 2017).
Learning to See in the Dark Amid Catastrophe: An Interview With Deep Ecologist Joanna Macy – Dahr Jamail (TruthOut, February 13, 2017).
Ayahuasca, Meditation and Activism: On Cultivating the Mindful Politics of Love – Adam Szetela (Salon, February 18, 2017).
It’s Bad: The First Month of the Trump Presidency – Michelle Goldberg (Slate, February 17, 2017).
The For-Profit Presidency, Month One – Robert Weissman (Common Dreams, February 20, 2017).
Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A., and the Republican's Bargain with Trump – Amy Davidson (The New Yorker, February 17, 2017).
Republicans, Where’s the Backbone? – Bill Moyers and Michael Winship (BillMoyers.com, February 20, 2017).
Beyond Cynicism: Why the GOP Made Peace with Trump – William E. Scheuerman (The Daily Beast, February 15, 2017).
Republican Congress Members Face Tide of Protest in Home Districts – Alan Yuhas (The Guardian, February 12, 2017).
Donald Trump, the Republican Party and Their Supporters: Where Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds – Allen Clifton (Forward Progressives, February 19, 2017).
This Isn’t Just Trump. This Is Who the Republicans Are – Dave Johnson (People's Action Blog via Common Dreams, February 18, 2017).
Resistance Is an Act of Love – Katie Painter (Extra Newsfeed, February 14, 2017).

UPDATE: Why Republicans Dutifully Defend Trump's Most Ridiculous Lies – Paul Waldman (The Week, March 27, 2017).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Carrying It On
Andrew Harvey on Radical, Divine Passion in Action
Called to the Field of Compassion
Seven Principles for Living with Deep Intention
In the Wake of Trump's "Catastrophic" Election, Phillip Clark on the Spiritual Truths That Will Carry Us Forward
On International Human Rights Day, Saying "No" to Donald Trump and His Fascist Agenda
2000+ Take to the Streets of Minneapolis to Express Solidarity with Immigrants and Refugees
"The Movement of Love and Inclusion Has Just Been Unleashed"
Let's Hope So
"It Is All Connected"
Move Us, Loving God

Opening image: "Devils' Bargain" by Jim Morin.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

2000+ Take to the Streets of Minneapolis to Express Solidarity with Immigrants and Refugees


Earlier today my friend Richard and I participated in a solidarity rally and march with and for immigrants and refugees.

Organized by the Twin Cities-based Anti-War Committee and co-sponsored by the No More Deportations Campaign of Minnesota, the event was very inspiring and drew over 2,000 people.

In the lead-up to the march, the Anti-War Committee shared the following via social media.

Join us to demand the end of the Trump administration's racist Muslim ban, to say 'No Wall on the US-Mexico Border,' to demand that Minneapolis and St. Paul remain 'Sanctuary Cities,' and to say 'No New U.S. Wars.' We will rally in Powderhorn Park and then march on Lake Street to send a loud message of solidarity to our immigrant sisters and brothers. We particularly want to show our support to all the families whom are affected by Trump's Muslim ban and by the increasing militarization at the US-Mexico border. . . . No Hate and No Fear! Refugees are Welcome Here!




Following is the report from Minnesota Public Radio News on this afternoon's rally and march.

Supporters of refugees and immigrants marched through Minneapolis this afternoon to protest proposals of President Trump.

The march attracted around 1,000 people, according to Minneapolis Police. It started at Powderhorn Park, and traveled along Lake Street between Chicago Avenue and Bloomington Avenue – closing the street at times, before returning to the park.

Protesters carried signs that read "Resist" and "No More Deportations," and chanted as they marched.

They protested Trump's proposed border wall with Mexico and his proposed temporary ban of refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The protest went from 1 p.m. to around 3:30. Minneapolis police report they made no arrests or responded to any calls related to the protest.










Following is Miguel Otárola's Star Tribune news story on today's rally and march.

More than 2,000 people marched from Powderhorn Park along E. Lake Street in Minneapolis and back again Saturday afternoon to show support for immigrants and refugees in the face of President Donald Trump’s views and proposals.

The march, organized by the Anti-War Committee and the No More Deportations Campaign, featured speeches, chants and signs in both English and Spanish. A number of causes were represented, but the most prominent was support for refugees and immigrants.

“We’re trying to keep the pressure up,” said Misty Rowan with the Anti-War Committee. “We’re not going to let this go. We’re not going to forget.”

The group of marchers stretched at least two blocks, diverting traffic as they moved onto Lake Street, where they walked past several businesses run by immigrants. The crowd, which was peaceful and enjoying the sunny day, included many families and children, who were asked to march in front.

Sabry Wazwaz, with the Anti-War Committee, led the chants from the bed of a pickup truck, including, “This is what democracy looks like!” and “Together we stand, together we fall. Together we say, ‘No ban, no wall!’”

The march moved west on Lake Street and turned around after reaching the Midtown Global Market near Chicago Avenue. Minneapolis police helped guide the marchers and redirect traffic.

Community members, passers-by and people working in the Lake Street businesses took video of the march on their smartphones, and many chanted along in support.

Heather Cornwell, who lives in southwest Minneapolis, took her 12-year-old daughter, Wendy, to see the marchers along Lake Street. Cornwell adopted Wendy from Colombia last year, and said she wanted her to see the power of unity.

“It’s exciting to see all the voices coming together,” Cornwell said. “I want her to grow up in a country that is supportive of an immigrant culture.”

The Anti-War Committee helped organize a march on Jan. 31 that drew at least 5,000 people to downtown Minneapolis. The large numbers who came out then led the group to organize Saturday’s march, Rowan said.

“It doesn’t end with protests,” she said. “We want people to help with support work for these families that are being attacked right now.”

Last Saturday, more than 2,000 people marched from downtown Minneapolis to the University of Minnesota in another show of support for immigrants and refugees. Similar demonstrations have taken place across the country since Trump’s inauguration.








Related Off-site Links:
Up to 2,000 Join Minneapolis March to Support Immigrants and Refugees – Miguel Otárola (Star Tribune, February 18, 2017)
Supporters of Refugees and Immigrants March Through Minneapolis – Peter Cox (MPR News, February 18, 2017).
Minnesotans March Against Racist Muslim Ban and Attacks on ImmigrantsFight Back News, February 18, 2017).
Pope Francis to Activists: Stand with Migrants, Do Not Deny Climate Science, There is No Such Thing as "Islamic Terrorism" – Michael J. O'Loughlin (America, February 17, 2017).
ICE Detained Close to 700 Immigrants in a Five-Day Nationwide Raid – Jorge Rivas (Fusion, February 13, 2017).
Eight People Flee U.S. Border Patrol to Seek Asylum in Canada – Christinne Muschi (Reuters, February 18, 2017).
The Mass Protests of the Anti-Trump Resistance Are Starting to Win. Here’s How – Miles Kampf-Lassin (In These Times, February 17, 2017).

UPDATES: New Trump Deportation Rules Allow Far More Expulsions – Michael D. Shear and Ron Nixon (New York Times, February 21, 2017).
Homeland Security Unveils Sweeping Plan to Deport Undocumented Immigrants – Alan Gomez (USA Today, February 21, 2017).
Trump is Set to Introduce a New "Muslin Ban." This One is Nonsense Too – Greg Sargent (Washington Post, February 21, 2017).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Historian: Trump's Immigration Ban is a "Shock Event" Orchestrated by Steve Bannon to Destabilize and Distract
Something to Think About – January 29, 2017
On Holocaust Remembrance Day, James Martin Labels as "Appalling" President Trump's Plan to Demonize Immigrants
"It Is All Connected"
Something to Think About – January 20, 2017
Something to Think About – January 13, 2017
On International Human Rights Day, Saying "No" to Donald Trump and His Fascist Agenda
Rallying in Solidarity with the Refugees of Syria and the World
A Prayer for Refugees

Images: Michael J. Bayly.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Love is My Guide


I honor my integrity and the integrity of others. I am guided by love. I allow myself to feel the love that is guiding others. Like the earth, I enjoy seasons of renewal. I forgive shortcomings and failures, arrogance and shortsightedness. I allow such human foibles to be dissolved in the graceful flow of life ongoing. Life is a river which flows through me, washing me clean of judgment, cleansing me with the waters of compassion. I allow life to be both tender and clear. I choose the longer view of wisdom over the more short-lived satisfaction of being "right."

– Julia Cameron
Excerpted from Heart Steps:
Prayers and Declarations for a Creative Life

p. 102-103


See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Choice (and Risk) That is Love
The Many Manifestations of God's Loving Embrace
Love as "Quest and Daring and Growth"
Quote of the Day – October 5, 2010
Getting It Right
Like a Sure Thing
The Longing for Love: God's Primal Beatitude
Love as Exploring Vulnerability
The Art of Surrender
The Gravity of Love
To Be Held and To Hold
To Know and Be Known
"I Want You to Become a Part of Me – Each to Become a Part of the Other"
In the Garden of Spirituality – James B. Nelson
Passion, Tide and Time
Quote of the Day – September 11, 2012
Love is Love
Love at Love's Brightest
Dew[y]-Kissed
What We Mean by Love

Image: Subject and photographer unknown.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

He Persists, Too!



Writes Mina Haq in the February 10, 2017 edition of USA Today:

Mitch McConnell had no idea that when he shut down Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren this week, his words would become a rallying cry for women everywhere.

After the Senate majority leader interrupted Warren’s recitation of Coretta Scott King’s 1986 letter against Jeff Sessions, he defended himself in terms that promptly flooded social media.

“Sen. Warren was giving a lengthy speech," McConnell said. "She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

And so #ShePersisted was born.

. . . Twitter user @CourtneyPrivett incorporated the phrase into a drawing that went viral. She drew a woman facing dozens of all-too-common insults, with the words “Nevertheless, she persisted,” written and underlined at the bottom.




The image garnered more than 1,000 retweets and more than 7,000 likes on Instagram. Twitter users responded to the image with feelings of understanding, frustration and gratitude. . . . After popular demand, Privett drew a male version of the image targeting toxic masculinity.


And in sharing this "male version" of her drawing on Facebook, Courtney Privett (right) said the following.

I was asked to do a male version. My hands are shaking so my lines aren't great. Like in my #ShePersisted drawing, the comments here are said by both men and women, and many of them begin in early childhood. Also like the first one, I ran out of space.

This is for my son, who loves to dance and should never be shamed for that.


Thank you, Courtney, for both of your powerful drawings!


Related Off-site Links:
How #ShePersisted Became a Feminist Social Media Rallying Cry – Mina Haq (USA Today, February 10, 2017)
At the Women’s March, the Men Mattered, Too – Petula Dvorak (The Washington Post, January 22, 2017).
Toxic Masculinity is Killing Men: The Roots of Male Trauma – Kali Holloway (AlterNet via Salon, January 22, 2017).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Something to Think About – February 8, 2017
"The Movement of Love and Inclusion Has Just Been Unleashed"
Integrating Cernunnos, "Archetype of Sensuality and the Instinctual World"
The Trouble with the Male Dancer
Rockin' with Maxwell
Engelbert Humperdinck: Not That Easy to Forget
A Fresh Take on Masculinity


Thursday, February 09, 2017

Aristotle Papanikolaou on How Being Religious is Like Being a Dancer



Aristotle Papanikolaou has a fascinating and insightful piece in the February 2017 issue of The Christian Century in which he writes about how he teaches theology to his undergraduate students at Fordham University.

Because of my appreciation for dance, I find the following excerpt from Papanikolaou's article of particular interest. Perhaps you will too!


I try to lead students away from overbearing überstructures designed to force people to think a certain way or think they are never doing enough. Instead, I lead them toward an understanding of being religious that has to do with formation of the person to be in a certain way – a being that is in communion with the divine. Being religious is less about agreeing to certain propositions or following certain rules, and more about transforming one’s mode of being in the world. Being religious is very much like being an artist.

Because Fordham has a special BFA program with the Alvin Ailey School, I use dance as an analogy. I ask the students whether someone who has studied dance but has never danced “knows” dance as well as someone who has trained as a dancer. They immediately and instinctively answer that the trained dancer knows more about dance. I then try to lead them to articulate what this knowing entails, if it’s not simply reading books about dance and attending performances. A dancer must submit to a regimen of training that usually begins with basic practices that must be mastered to the point where they are performed without thinking. This training is done under the tutelage of a teacher, who has been through the training. The student of dance then progresses to more advanced practices, still under the guidance of a teacher, struggling to integrate techniques of dance into their very being as a dancer.

All this training is usually done within an institutional setting, where there are clear hierarchies, boards of directors, politics, a community of dancers that don’t all like one another, dancers who are more concerned with their ego than simply dance for the sake of dance. And yet, in the midst of all this ugliness, there is a tradition of formation in dance that is passed on from generation to generation. It is time-tested, and through it one may emerge as a dancer, but it could not have been formed without institutionalization. It’s only by submitting to this tradition that one can lead oneself to a kind of performance where a dancer is not aware of the audience, is not dancing to the audience, but is dancing simply for the sake of dance. This is the kind of performance where the dancer doesn’t control the choreography; rather, the choreography and all that it attempts to express has seized the dancer. Those capable of this kind of performance are usually the saints of the tradition of dance. They don’t attempt to reify the past, but they add to the tradition while always remaining within it. This kind of performance could never be possible without submitting to the training, and it’s only through the practices of the tradition that one can hope to be this kind of dancer.

Being religious, then, is about being in a way that embodies the divine presence, and working toward being available to the divine presence in and through religious practices and tradition. Being religious is not a set of rules one must follow or a bunch of propositions to which one must assent; it is first and foremost an art form, an expression of beauty that is also truth and goodness. The rules and propositions of the tradition – and every tradition has its rules and propositions – aim at the production of the person as a work of art.

– Aristotle Papanikolaou
Excerpted from "How I Teach Theology to Undergrads"
The Christian Century
February 6, 2017




See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Soul of a Dancer
The Art of Dancing as the Supreme Symbol of the Spiritual Life
Yes! And of "Soul Dancers" Too
The Purpose of Art
The Potential of Art and the Limits of Orthodoxy to Connect Us to the Sacred
The Naked Truth . . . in Dance and in Life
The Church and Dance
Move Us, Loving God
"Then I Shall Leap into Love . . ."
Unique . . . Yes, You!
The Premise of All Forms of Dance
We All Dance
And as We Dance . . .
"I Came Alive with Hope"

Image 1: Alexandre Riabko in John Neumeier's 2000 ballet, Nijinsky. (Photo: Holger Badekow)
Images 2-3: Craig Hall. (Photographer unknown)


Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Something to Think About . . .

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Related Off-site Links:
Senate Republicans Silence Elizabeth Warren Over Coretta Scott King Letter on Jeff Sessions – David Smith (The Guardian, February 7, 2017).
"Nevertheless, She Persisted" Becomes New Battle Cry After McConnell Silences Elizabeth Warren – Amy B Wang (The Washington Post, February 8, 2017).
Read the Letter Coretta Scott King Wrote Opposing Sessions’ 1986 Federal Nomination and That Got Sen. Elizabeth Warren Silenced – Bill Chappell (NPR News, February 8, 2017).
"It Made Me Feel We Were Back in the 1950s": Coretta Scott King Memoirist on the Silencing of Elizabeth WarrenDemocracy Now!, February 9, 2017).
The GOP’s New War on Women: Mitch McConnell, Elizabeth Warren and the Newly Empowered Sexism of the Right – Amanda Marcotte (Salon, February 8, 2017).
 The Silencing of Coretta Scott King is an Act of Systemic Racism – Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II (The Nation, February 8, 2017).
Mitch McConnell Inadvertently Coined the Latest Feminist Catchphrase: “She Persisted” – Christina Cauterucci (Slate, February 8, 2017).
Silencing Elizabeth Warren Backfires on Senate GOP – Eric Bradner (CNN, February 8, 2017).
13 Iconic Women Who Nevertheless Persisted – Jenavieve Hatch (The Huffington Post, February 7, 2017).

For previous Wild Reed posts on women who "nevertheless persist," see:
Vanessa Redgrave: Speaking Out
Glenda Jackson on the Oscars, Acting, and Politics
A Third Oscar for Glenda!
A Music Legend Visits the North Country
Buffy Sainte-Marie: Singing It and Praying It; Living It and Saying It
The Inspiring Brigid McDonald
The Inspirational Polly Mann Turns 90
Amy Goodman and the “Sacred Responsibility” of Listening
"The Movement of Love and Inclusion Has Just Been Unleashed"


Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Quote of the Day

What makes Milo Yiannopoulos [pictured at left] so vexing to the left and successful among young people on the right is the way he manages to utilize his “deviant” sexuality as a political asset rather than a liability. Milo’s rhetorical and aesthetic strategies are manifold: he adopts the argot of science and history in support of his claims about the supremacy of Western culture, but simultaneously asserts that we live in a “post-fact world.” He mocks the offended sensibilities of leftists who protest his campus appearances, yet uses the language of assault to characterize himself as an embattled champion. He effortlessly pivots from ridiculing his targets (fat people, Muslims, feminists) to asserting that his insults are in fact efforts to save these people from their brainwashing. If all else fails, he whips out a cock joke.

While there are parallels to be found between Milo and historical and contemporary fascist figures interested in homoeroticism, he remains singular: an ultra right-wing pundit with a high-femme persona who is nonetheless largely embraced by a political bloc synonymous with contempt for homosexuals and feminine men. Understanding the sources of his appeal is crucial to developing sophisticated insight into the way alt-right media – now the sanctioned news of the White House – uses spectacle and irony to persuade, bewitch, disrupt, and overwhelm the public.

. . . The problems of Milo’s paradoxical position – sex symbol to a political movement that alternately embraces and repudiates him – remains unresolved, and that is the way he likes it. Milo denies his membership within the alt-right, but is perhaps the movement’s most visible proponent. To maintain his celebrity, Milo has to stay outrageous, desirable, and singular. Though he sells a shirt on his web store with the line “Milo in Training,” for his magic to work there can be nobody else like him on the alt-right. Adopting an identity coherent with his political ideologies would spell the end of his career.

– Daniel Penny
Excerpted from "#Milosexual and the Aesthetics of Fascism"
Boston Review
January 24, 2017


Related Off-site Links:
Meet Milo Yiannopoulos, the Appealing Young Face of the Racist Alt-Right – Jack Hunter (The Daily Beast, May 5, 2016).
The Sad Story of Milo Yiannopoulos: The Trump Troll with Daddy Issues – James Kirchick (Tablet, June 1, 2016).
Milo Yiannopoulos and the Gay Fascist Sophisticate – Park MacDougald (New York Mag, July 21, 2016).
Openly Gay White Nationalist’s Midwest Tour Hits a Few Snags – Andy Birkey (The Column, December 5, 2016).
Everything You Need to Know About Milo and the Alt-Right in BerkeleyIt's Going Down, January 31, 2017).
A Yiannopoulos, Bannon, Trump Plot to Control American Universities? – Robert Reich (Common Dreams, February 5, 2017).
There Must Be Free Speech, Even for Milo Yiannopoulos – Matthew d'Ancona (The Guardian, February 6, 2017).

UPDATES: Larry Wilmore Schools Milo Yiannopoulos: “Go F*ck Yourself” – Marlow Stearn (The Daily Beast, February 18, 2017).
After Underage Sex Comments, Milo Yiannopoulos Loses CPAC Invite and Book Deal – Maquita Peters (NPR News, February 20, 2017).
Milo Yiannopoulos Resigns from Breitbart Amid Underage Sex Comments – Tom Kludt (CNN, February 21, 2017).
Conservatives Shocked to Discover That Milo Yiannopoulos is a Terrible Human Being – Pam Vogel (Media Matters, February 20, 2017).
Here’s What You Need to Know About the Milo Yiannopoulos-Michael Flynn Connection – Michelangelo Signorile (The Huffington Post, February 21, 2017).
Why Conservatives Fell for Milo Yiannopoulos – Matt Lewis (The Daily Beast, February 20, 2017).
The Rise and Fall of Milo Yiannopoulos – How a Shallow Actor Played the Bad Guy for Money – Dorian Lynskey (The Guardian, February 21, 2017).
The Milo Yiannopoulos Debacle Tells Us Some Terrible Truths About the Right – Kali Holloway (AlterNet, February 21, 2017).
The Sad Truth About Milo Yiannopoulos – Sam Kriss (VICE, February 22, 2017).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
On International Human Rights Day, Saying "No" to Donald Trump and His Fascist Agenda
"Can the Klan!"
Reclaiming and Re-Queering Pride