Saturday, December 22, 2012

Learning Adventures In Love and Revolution (the album)

Hello My friends,

As I write this I smile because we have just lived through the infamous December 21st, 2012. The changing of the Mayan calendar, interpreted by some to mean the end of the world. Now it is just 13 minutes past December 21st but the world has not yet ended. People on the otherside of the world realized this hours ago. But then again, I didn't really think the world was going to end and neither do you. On a side note, did anyone actually think the world was going to end. Like, the world, In physical reality. This seemed to be a perception found only in the media. The only apocalypse that might be happening, is experienced by the monocultural monopoly of mythology. From the warnings of global warming changing our behaviors and attitude towards the environment to technology transforming the way we interact to each other, to travel mixing and meshing culture and mythology, this seems to be how the world is changing to me. Most of you would probably agree. A friend of a friend said it best, when he said, "It will be business as usual, just on a more spiritual plane." To which I would add, and 'that does not mean there won't be turbulance'. Beyond that, I think this is an opportunity for change. Even if this change cannot be scientifically measured the belief in change can create a potential for success. And to return to the Maya, from what I've read the Mayan interpreted this date to signify the changing of an era based on astrological observations. So it was an end of one era which necessitated the beginning of another.

I wonder if their interpretation was made under a full moon. Because December 21st, 2012 was a weird date for me. Holding Vegan Liver props for a Staged Play. Performing new musical material at a Solstice Party as a man in a wheel chair runs over my feet and i trip on cords, to yule ceremonies burning fire and singing songs on the corner downtown across the the street from friends protesting with tents at the local free speech plaza. I came home tired and smiling.

Thus, as I write this newly born into the post December 21st reality, I am going to use this 'changing of the era's' meme as an opportunity to live on a more spiritual plane. To be more patient, aware in the moment, to ever better love my family and support them in the ways they need support. To be more disciplined and to be more humble. To gently stamp my carbon foot print as I  dance to the rhythms of nature. To stay true to these words. To realize my dreams.

As one manifestation of the realization of my dreams, I am excited to announce that I will be releasing my first album, "Learning Adventures in Love and Revolution" on March 1st. This album is a tapestry of stories and symbols that weave a coming of age journey. Specifically it's my journey through love and revolution. Each song represents a archetype and learning lesson in a journey towards, and now i feel pretentious typing this but, enlightenment. The ultimate and for me, the seemingly neverending quest. Travelled by a alien white trash turned hippie hop family man activist MC. A true Master of Ceremony who Moves a Crowd with a Message to Communicate. Sonically it is a fusion of golden era hip hop with funk, spoken word and tribal music.

It has also been a journey to make the album, which seeds were sprouted in the spring of my post college life. I graduated a month after the great recession hit and reacted by taking my 2,000 dollars in savings and spending it on a train trip around the country, performing poetry mostly for free, and visiting friends. After meditation sessions, odd nights out with street kids, psychedelic explorations, visiting family putting the fun in dysfunctional, unknowingly arriving in New Orleans just in time for Mardi Gras, and many hours on trains, while reading Kahlil Gilbran and Joseph Campbel I started to conceptualize an album. But first I had to live the album, and learn enough about music and recording to make the album.

So it is an album inspired by break up's and make up's with my partner, unemployment and losing repeatedly at the Seattle Poetry Slam, recording verses endlessly as my friend, the producer Sickamore Sounds, had me practice my craft of rapping. It is inspired by working as a gardner for a shaman cutting flowers and rapping as beez buzz boxed. It is inspired by becoming a father. It is inspired by learning about commitment with my partner and by disciplining myself to be as conscious and positive and productive as I can be. It is inspired by finding community. It is inspired by Occupy and a year and a half of passionate activism. It is inspired by KRS-One, Joseph Campbell, A Tribe Called Quest, Rage Against the Machine, Michael Meade, K'naan, Atmosphere and Aceyalone, Brother Ali, and Jay Z, Noam Chomsky, Gandhi, Cornell West, Bob Dylan, Saul Williams, Andrea Gibson, Hafez, James Brown, that random person on the corner, my friends, my family, the news, and the great life spirit- you can call it whatever you want.

So why is the album not going to be released til March 1st? Well, There is still work to be done. I have 90% of the vocals recorded and most of the songs are in the final stages of mixing and mastering. The album artwork is done but the organization of materials is not complete. I still have to pay for the album to be manufactured. Also, I want to put polished premium intention in to the album release event. I spent a few years, learning about and practicing music, and a year recording this album, Now I need to learn how to perform it. Also, I have a good amount of performance experience, but new material, especially material I cherish, needs to be developed on stage before it can get the proper performance it deserves. Also, I need to find the tribe of people who like my music. I am pretty well known as a performer in local activist circles but I believe that this material should be heard by many different kinds of people. So I will spend the next two months performing at various venues, developing the material on stage, and blogging and vlogging (video's), sharing each step as I finish the journey of releasing my album.

Thank you for reading this.
Peace, Love, Joy, Wisdom...

PS. Learning Adventures In Love and Revolution, coming soon..:)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Flu Season is here and I've found a War Worth Fighting

I used to think that I was a pacifist. I've given speeches and wrote poems about the travesties and casualties of war. I've cried while thinking of martyred pacifists like John Lennon and Mahatma Gandhi. I've held signs decrying gas tanks filled with blood and screamed 'Peace' while marching with protestors in the streets.

No More. I'm no longer a pacifist. This does not mean that I support the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nor do I think we should go to war with Iran or Syria, or anywhere else targeted by the military industrial complex. Quite the contrary, I do not support the Vietnam War, any imperialist war, or even the war on drugs. Bluntly spoken, I think all of these wars are the result of greedy weapons makers hustling ignorant and aggressive do-gooders into fighting each other.

However, I do support meaningful war. In fact, I'm writing this article from within a war-zone. Fore some kind of bacteria or virus, some kind of invading enemy is wreaking havoc on my body- runny nose, fever, sore throat, aching muscles, fatigue, war is hell.

But do not despair my comrades. For this is a war I am intent on winning. In fact, I have been making significant gains to restore health and order to the holy land I live in. And in case you get bombarded with symptoms of a similar sickness. I want to share my strategies for survival so that we may both be victorious over these enemy invaders.

First off: secure the perimeters and contain the enemy. Stay inside, we don't want to encourage enemy advances by sneeze spreading them through our collective territory. Also cleanse your hands of the enemy in hot soapy water. Next in order: Recruit and support the troops. Vitamin C will act as a vehicle for propaganda encouraging the production of white blood cell soldiers. Once we have recruited the troops, we need to hype them into a frenzy. Zinc will do this as studies have shown that zinc increases white blood cell production and encourages the cells to fight more aggressively. Now, it is time to deploy one of our secret weapons: Vitamin E, which enhances the production of B-Cells, the immune cells that produce antibodies that destroy bacteria. Finally we need to maximize the amount of energy that the bacteria fighting white blood cells have, go to bed. Sleep. Rest.

Okay so you can't sleep. Your miserable-It feels like the enemy has got you by the throat and has stuffed your nose with snot. Gargle some salt water to combat the enemy in the throat. The salt water via osmosis will dehydrate the bacteria causing the throat swelling to diminish. Highly acidic drinks such as apple cider vinegar and lemon juice will also be hostile to bacteria in the throat. Now to de-snot the sinuses, stand over a pot of boiling water, throw some lavender and cloves into the water, these are decongestants. Then burn out the enemy with cayenne pepper and drop some garlic bombs on those parasitic party-poopers. It hurts, I know. Make the pain feel good. Imagine the enemies burning to death. To calm the fires in your mouth, pour some honey into your throat. You deserve some sweetness. Plus, honey is anti-bacterial and great for soothing sore throats.

While you have the honey out. Why not make some tea? Steep echinacea, ginger, cinnamon stick, chamomile and thyme for 15 minutes. Then add some lemon and honey. The echinecea is heavy artillery as the ginger soothes the pain and the cinnamon fortifies the immune system. Try sleeping again, this time elevate your head to reduce pressure on your sinuses. Remember, rest is best.

IF YOU STILL CAN'T SLEEP, TRY MAKING LOVE. Yes, that's right, get your 'hippie' on and 'make love, not war.' Studies have shown that men and women who make love at least once a week have higher levels of immune-system molecules called immunoglobulin A, which wall off mucous membranes from invaders-than celibate individuals. As an added benefit, the sweet friction of physical exertion may cause enough fatigue for you to finally sleep.

And if you must fight dirty and use cough syrup, as they say, 'all is fair in love and war'.
Get some rest and then make a big batch of homemade chicken noodle soup to pave the road to recovery. Most importantly, do not lose faith, one day Peace Shall Come.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

To Vote for Stein or Johnson and What is the Role of the Federal Government in Our Lives?


So I've been thinking...

I have a question I want to ask you. What should the role of the Federal Government be in our lives?  I'm thinking about who I want to vote for President. So far I'm leaning towards Gary Johnson, although I still might vote for Jill Stein as I greatly respect her and her ideas. (And for the record, out of the candidates who are likely to win, I would much rather have Obama than Romney. I loathe Romney and his one percenter fat cat big banker backers.)

Johnson represent libertarian philosophy which minimizes the place of the federal government in our lives. It says that people can take care of themselves better than the government and that the flow of the free market is best when it comes to managing our economy. Here is a link to his website to learn more about him and his ideas:

Stein on the other hand, wants a 'green new deal' sort of a FDR approach which says the federal government is 'of, by, and for the people." With a Stein approach we can think of the government as our helper, our protector, and most importantly, 'we the people' make up the government. We are all part of the government. Here is a link to her website to learn more about her and her ideas:

So we have two distinct directions, and I'm not sure which way I want to go. In ways, I feel like this debate is playing out on national level, as Obama and Romney both represent more mainstream and muddy watered down versions of the same ideas that Jill Stein and Gary Johnson represent.

I'm reminded by the words of Martin Luther King Jr who said,

"Communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social, and the Kingdom of Brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of Communism nor the antithesis of capitalism but in a higher synthesis."

But unfortunately, no candidate running represents this type of synthesis between two idealogically opposed directions for our country. And when it comes to voting, I can only cast one vote for one candidate.

What do you think?

Monday, October 8, 2012

An Experiment in Fundraising

Hello Y'all,

It is nice to reconnect with y'all via this blog. Thank you for reading this. So, what have I been up to lately? Getting ready to MC the Community Alliance of Lane County Cornocopia Celebration. Also I will be performing at Occupy Eugene's One Year Anniversary! Progress is being made on my album. I met with a friend last week who is designing the album cover. Also stayed up til 3 on Friday night and 1 am last night mixing songs and working on beats.

But what I want to tell you about now, is my experiment in grant writing. As some of you might now, I have been collaborating in the creation of the Eugene Philanthropy Network. Our idea is this: we as the people need to take care of each other. In an era of budget cuts and social deterioration, we hope to build a framework within Eugene that creates a resilient community.

Our first action is one October 15th as we have organized a project to fix some potholes in sidewalks of the Whiteaker District, and if time and energy are permitting, we will also do some guerilla gardening on this day. Why fix potholes? Well we have been told that the Whiteaker neighborhood council has applied for a grant three times to try to get money to fix some potholes. Every time they have been denied, so we as concerned citizens are choosing to take matters into our own hands...

Also, we are building a bicycle generator and that is the topic of this blog. Below is a document that I wrote last week and sent off for a 500 dollar grant to help build this bicycle, I wrote the document in MS Publisher which doesn't convert to this blog easily so I have saved the file as a JPG which makes it black and white instead of color :(  Nonetheless, I'm excited for this opportunity to build a mobile media machine. Please contact me if you have any questions, thoughts, or if you would like to contribute. We also will be launching an indie go go campaign so stay tuned.

Peace, Love, Joy, Wisdom...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Summer Scrawlings (Notes from the Diary)

Hello Beautiful People,

I must apologize for not writing my blogs as avidly as I used to. What can I say? Summer is busy when you live in the rainforest. Us from the Northwest, we spend 8 months a year indoors, staring through rain splattered window panes. Then summer arrives and we just wanna go outside. Go to Festivals, go camping, go fruit picking, go swimming, go, go, go.

Speaking of life on the Go. Doesn't it seem like life is moving faster now than it ever has before? I don't know anybody who is bored anymore. That seems like a fad from the 90's. that we have left behind. Nobody talks about slackers anymore. slackers are like dinosaurs.

And how do we integrate with life moving so rapidly. It seems like every month, every week, every day, presents us with life changes and challenges. Learning lessons, and growth. Numerous times throughout the summer I have gotten ideas for writing blog entries. But alas, before I have time to process the learning adventures that would constitute a blog entry, I am presented with more profound experiences to try to process.

Therefore, as the summer winds down, and in an hour break between work and parenting, I am flipping through my diary and finding fragmented writings from the summer to present here and now (and I promise that within a week, I while present a more formalized and well thought out blog.)

(Sometime Early May)
- "Lately I've been thinking about feelings. Yes, I am a thinker. But life is asking me to feel. Yesterday I went to a workshop. The workshop was on gift economics. I came expecting to dive through numbers and statistics, theories and proofs. Instead, the instructor asked us to hold hands with strangers and share stories. It was kind of new agey, kind of fluffly, but undeniably a powerful experience. It's as if, in order to change the world, first we must change our hearts.
That's all good, but when you are a thinker like me. That is challenging. Matters of the heart come hard to me.  I must admit, I would rather not dive into the deep waters of feelings, but it has become unavoidable. As I lay in bed tonight and talked to my partner, she shared who inner fears and hopes. After many minutes, she finally asked me, "How do you feel?" It was extremely hard for me to tell her, that I do not feel comfortable sharing my feelings with anyone, especially someone I know and love. (For some reason it is often easier for me to share my feelings with a stranger than someone I know.) The truth is, I know that this is not the healthiest way to live. In order to live in the new world, the world we are creating, I must learn to feel, to open my heart and share the most beautiful and ugly truths that I have. And this process is going to be hard, I know, but in order to create a better world, I must learn to have the courage to change. So I'm thinking about feelings. How can I express myself? With you, with my friends, and especially with my partner?"

(Sometime in June)
-So recently on Facebook, I saw a post that said, "People need to wake up." Below it someone commented, "I'm awake, now what?" I would like to create a list, probably through google docs in which numerous people can contribute, and we can compile a huge list with resources for making the world a better place. Would this help? Sometimes I feel like all the answer have been written, we just need to turn thoughts into actions. But how do we organize actions, large scale actions, when so much of modern life is dis-empowering to the individual?

(Late June, I was asked to perform at Oregon Country Faire. This experience presented numerous thoughts and learning lessons.)
-Manifesting is real. There is a power to create your destiny. The first time I went to Oregon Country Faire, I stood in the audience and watched an MC and I said to myself, "Next Year, I'm going to be on that stage rapping. I don't know how I will make this happen, I don't know anyone in town, yet this is going to happen."
Now, one year later, I find myself getting ready to go on that stage, and I'm grateful, and I'm scared, and I'm excited, and....

-Hello, so my name is Plaedo and I'm here to make the world a better place, and yes, I will say that with a smile on my face because I'm a philosopher of play. And I think, if we can take the energy from these festivals, the community, the playfullness, the love, and infuse that spirit into the everyday reality we all share, we can change the world...
...We've all had pain, and we all know that pain does not feel particularly good. Therefore we can look at others experiencing pain and we can imagine their pain based upon our experience. And from this shared experience of pain, we find the well springs of compassion, which is the key to healing ourselves, our relationships and the world...
...Today's revolutionaries look like you and me. (They probably look more like you than me.) They are in our schools, they start businesses, they are even found in our government. THey look at the world and say I believe in a world way better than this one. And everyday they work towards this goal through countless small gifts of service and acts of courage. For whenever someone gives a gift of service, and helps a stranger or speaks out against a corporate or government imposed injustice, it sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, crossing each other, they build currents that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and injustice. I know, that many of you are working towards sustainability, justice, and compassion, and of course fun. So I thank you, all of you, the everyday hero's..."

(So I performed at Oregon Country Faire, a dream come true, but It wasn't my best performance.)
-How the Fuck could I have Fucked Up This Performance! FUCK! I'm usually so on top of my game! FUCK, I can't believe I forgot some lyrics to one of my oldest most performed songs. I suck...

-The seasons of the soul have changed, it is now time to try to adapt. Yet it's hard, been questioning my life recently. Like, why was I born? Life is such a challenge, it's exhausting. Why do I have this need for love and approval from others. Life would be so much easier if I didn't worry about performing and sharing my soul via art. Yet I can't not do art. What The Fuck? It's a compulsion, an addiction, words keep coming. I have to keep writing, keep performing, even if it causes myself pain. This is my predicament. This is my story, and of course, nobody can abandon their story. Well, I guess they can through suicide. And I've taken pills, I've tried to kill myself and got scared, because years ago I watched this Robin Williams movie "What Dreams May Come" and the person who committed suicide was sent to purgatory. So that's what keeps me alive? A silly superstition from a movie. Well, that and my family. Each day I come home from my unsatisfying job and they greet me with smiles and love, when you are depressed, it is almost unbearable. But, GOD I LOVE THEM. I guess, I must keep living and loving. And I must continue performing...

(In July, I started to reflect upon the past year, and the fact that Occupy Eugene as a movement, as an organization, was dieing. This was a serious grieving period for me. As I spent the previous year intensely involved in the Occupy uprising, and now the wave was receding back into the waters of life. I was asked to write an intro for a photography book about Occupy. I wrote the following essay for the book (although this essay will not be published in the book. I ended up writing another essay and you will have to get the book to read that essay:) )
-Flipping through the faces in these pages, I see a group of individuals who had been living their lives strangers to each other. A group of individuals, who cared about the world, who wanted justice, who could see where the system was broken, who dreamt of another, better world. Despite our commonalities, we were strangers nonetheless.
And then Occupy came. What started as a call for solidarity from Occupy Wall-Street, erupted into a national protest. Filling a void within each of us that became, occupied. In Eugene an assortment of the 99 percent gathered to answered this call. First there was an assembly where we practiced non-hierarchical consensus building. Nobody could anticipate, nor did we try to anticipate, what would come out of all of this. All we really knew was that we were ready for change and that we were going to have a march.
And so we marched 2,000 strong serpentining through the streets. Then with gusto and conviction, Occupy Eugene's protest camp was built. We had our protest camp for only 68 days, but for those of us who lived it, it was possibly the busiest, most exciting time of our lives. In that disproportionate flash of time we organized, protested, argued with each other, shared ideas over meals, educated ourselves, raised awareness about issues, talked to the media, negotiated with police, and publicly attempted to create our grandest vision for a better world with an extremely humble reality. Through all of this, strangers were linked into allies, unlikely friendships were formed, romantic relationships were realized, and a community was born.
Looking through these pages I see the hope, pain, possibility, and passion that has united us in this righteous adventure. Through Occupy Eugene many people realized that they were not alone, many people found roles in a community, many found dignity within themselves. Many found empowerment to succeed and support to cope with failure. And many, learned that their calling was elsewhere and moved on. Nevertheless, it is through the power of community that Occupy Eugene has been able to evolve into an organization and into a culture. As I write this and Occupy Eugene approaches it's one year anniversary, Occupy Eugene moves courageously into the future and continues to work for social, spiritual, and economic justice.
Regardless of what the future holds for Occupy Eugene, regardless of Occupy Eugene's effectiveness as a force for systemic change, the undeniable and incalculable, power of the community that formed around Occupy Eugene will ripple for many years to come. For many of the people photographed in this book, that sense of community has made their world a better place.

(And now it seems like the process of life and death has completed. As Summer ends and fall starts. I'm ready to lay Occupy as it was to rest, I'm ready to continue pursuing my artistic ambitions. I'm ready to feel, to use my heart as a compass, to change costumes and continue to do community organizing, and I'm ready to finish my album and start booking more shows. I have recently gotten a new job, which is actually more of a profession. I will be doing sales for Brew Dr. Kombucha. This pays better and offers better hours. I think it will supplement my art nicely. I have begun to learn computer programming and I look forward to helping Kindista (research Kindista it's an awesome tool to facilitate the emerging gift economy.) In the next few weeks I will be rolling out a marketing campaign to promote my new album. Thank you for reading these summer scrawlings. Stay tuned for more details on my journey. I Love You.)

Peace, Love, Joy, Wisdom...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Birthday Wish ;)

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

It is with the deepest pleasure I write these words... I will be performing at the Oregon Country Faire! I hope you can come see me at the Spirit Tower at 3 PM, and at the Rabbit Hole at 1:30.

Just one year ago, I stood in the crowd at Oregon Country Faire and watched MC's perform on stage and I thought to myself, 'Next year I will be on stage.'

I had yet to perform in Eugene. I had no fans and was unknown to the community. And Oregon Country Faire is a one-of-a-kind freak flag flying, fire dancin, Ren Faire on acid listening to bands influenced by the Grateful Dead, hoola hoopin, whoopin, whootin, hollorin, vendors bringin dollars in, dancin, livin, lovin, laughin, affaire. An Institution. A Right of Passage. A classic festival in the tribal survival.
My chances were slim.

So I stayed up late practicing. I woke up early to practice. I worked for minimum wage and saved my tip money in a piggy bank to buy equipment. I went back to work, made plans on my lunch break. I had my plans fail.

Yet through the grace of God and good luck, I serendipitously slipped into a situation far more sweet than I could have ever imagined.

Part of this success is due to my hard work, but I would be lying if I didn't get credit to all these angels who invested time, money, and most importantly belief, into me. So I thank those people. I thank you who are reading this.

I think many people believe in me because I have based my career off of performing socially, politically, and spiritually uplifting speeches, poems, and songs for free in our community, mainly with Occupy but also with other activist organizations. It is my pleasure and my purpose to do this. Now an abundance of opportunities are being presented. Gigs are popping up in unexpected places, over the summer I will be performing with artist and helping teach workshops for youth around our community. And I feel  it is time to elevate my projects up a notch. To go to the next level.

So I'm going to keep practicing, keep improving. And I humbly ask you to help me. In order to succeed and to give back to the community more effectively, I need the right equipment. I need a PA system. A good one small enough to move around easily and large enough to do justice to the type of music I make, electronic tribal hop music.

Will you pretty please with sugar-on-top help me by donating, any amount, whatever you can. Click on the link below to be connected to my paypal account:

Peace, Love, Joy, Wisdom...

Friday, June 1, 2012

Joyous Activism on the Streets and Plaedo Weaving His Thread through the World Wide Web

Hello Beautiful Awesome Amazing Cool People,

 So it's been a while since I posted a blog. But it's not because I have been neglecting my Learning Adventures in Love and Revolution. Quite the opposite in fact, I have been in the studio, my lab, my basement my spaceship. I have a blog titled "Thinking about Feelings" That I hope to publish next week. Big things are on the horizon. The learning adventures are in all likelihood going to become increasingly more profound and intense. Are ya ready? I think I am? There's no turning back...

Spring is here, summer is coming. It is once again the time for festivities, fun, friends, and joyous activism. Here in Eugene, we are re-starting the Kesey Square Revival, a project to create open space in the downtown square of Eugene, Oregon. Our goal, is to create culture, to allow for art and friendships to be created and cultivated. So Every Friday from noonish to darkish, come on down and hang out. In relation to this project is the Merry Pranksters Re-incarnated (working name), and our goal with this project is to go out and participate in joyous acts of rebellion- street theater, poetry, direct actions, flash mobs, guerilla gardening, acts of service, chalk art, performance arts, and other ideas that I have yet to be thought up. We will go out to unconventional and populated places- the mall, campuses, government offices, city hall, the bus station, bars, and other yet undiscovered places and shake up the status quo for that is the only way for a ego or collective conscious to grow. We hope that this community building, that this culture of service and love becomes more and more effective. It is time to broaden the tactics that Occupy uses in our movement.

 I will also be participating with Garden Goat and others in Eugene to help raise awareness about Garden Goat getting their instruments stolen by the OLCC, which we call the Fun Police. Click here to read the story. Well We can't let the fun police ruin the party. A rock band entertains, that is their job, they use instruments to do their job. Imagine a cop trying to do their job without a gun or a trash collector doing their job without a garbage truck. So we are going out tonight to have fun, drink spirits, and find inspiration to demand justice. Garden Goat, like other independent musicians, work hard and save for a long time for their equipment and we can't let them lose their instruments because they were hired to play a party that might or might not be illegal. I encourage fellow Eugenians to make it out tonight to the first Fundraiser for Garden Goat. Click Here for more details.

There are also many cool artistic developments in my own personal career. Lets start with the big news, I got featured and placed on the cover of Punk Globe Zine. A well respected Zine that has been around since 1977. The interview was fantastic and I encourage y'all to read it by clicking HERE And in other news, I have been working hard on both my album, which will be out in August (official album announcement will be coming shortly) and developing my website. Here is a link to my website.

I'm so excited for all of these developments. This is going to be epic, it's going to be like 1968, except with the wisdom learned from 1968. Anyway, I hope you check out my online projects and my music. And if our paths cross on the street, I hope we can kick it for a bit, maybe trade a rhyme or two.

 Peace, Love, Joy, Wisdom...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

We Our Part of Martin Luther King's Dream- A speech given January 14th 2011.

(Context: Sonic Boom Productions Organized a Martin Luther King Jr tribute, Occupy Eugene Fundraiser, a documentary showing and a rave, all in one event. On facebook there was a robust discussion about the legitimacy of the event. Some had argued that the event was a disgrace to Martin Luther King Jr. While others had argued that Martin Luther King was a symbol of peace and love, and peace and love were some of the idealized goal found in rave culture. Meanwhile, I just wanted to do two things: try to speak with the passion and cadence of MLK, and somehow connect all of the diverse elements of the event into a nice little speech. This is what I performed.)

Hello Beautiful people,

So tonight, we have a tribute to Martin Luther King, a Occupy Eugene Fundraiser, A documentary showing, and a rave. All here, all tonight. And the event is called, “We Have A Dream.”

Martin Luther King had a Dream, we all know that. But what I'm here to tell you is we are a part of his dream. Look at the world we live in: top selling hip hop rapper, Eminem is white. While our president, Barack Obama is black. We have integrated so much since the 50's. Just think, when Martin Luther King said he had a dream, black people couldn't even sit in the same part of a restaurant as white people. An African American's couldn't sit at the front of a bus, or even look a white person in the eyes without risk of being hung in his yard. We've came a long way, Since then. Now white people and black people can get married, Latino's and native American's can get married. Yes we've come a long way, indeed.

But we got a long way to go...Look around, there aren't many black faces at this tribute to Martin Luther King. Somewhere in this town, a group of African Americans are probably sitting in a room that probably doesn't have many white faces, and they are probably having their own tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. At the last Eugene city council meeting an african american professor spoke before the council asking to not be profiled, to not be followed home by the police, to not be stereotyped. 

So We got a long way to go, since change comes slow. Martin Luther King had a dream, and we are attempting to fulfill his dream. Have y'all heard of the Poor People's Campaign? In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King and a group of fellow activist, began organizing the poor people's campaign which was designed to address the issues of economic justice and housing for the poor in the united states. So they created a list of demands called the Economic Bill of Rights. Their plan was to get a group of protestors to gather in Washington DC and demand that President Lyndon Johnson and Congress help the poor get jobs, health care, and decent homes. (And when I think about the recent debates over health care and the surge in foreclosed homes, I am reminded that change comes slow.)

Sadly, before this march actually happened, Martin Luther King Jr was tragically assassinated. May he rest in peace and may we have a moment of silence to honor him.

But even though Martin Luther King was assassinated, the people marched on. They camped on the lawn of the national mall. They set up tents and shacks and it was wet and cold, and miserable, yet they occupied for six weeks chanting "I Am Somebody". Yes they occupied Washington D.C. And now we are occupying cities across the united states.

And tonight we are occupying a dance floor. Now some say this rave is a disgrace to Martin Luther King. That he wouldn't condone a rave. And that maybe true, I don't know about that. But I do know, that Martin Luther King was a believer in community. And tonight a community will be born as the people on the dance floor learn to work together.  If this is a movement, we have to be able to move together. As Emma Goldman once said, “If I can't Dance I don't Want to Be A Part of Your Revolution.” Tonight lets share a groove and fill our tank of love so that we may be loving servants to society. For Martin Luther King believed:

"If you want to be important-wonderful. If you want to be recognized-wonderful. If you want to be great-wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That's a new definition of greatness.

And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love. And you can be that servant."

So tonight we dance. Tomorrow we rest. And on Monday. On Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday, we serve. Fore if we want to truly honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, we should partake in the MLK National Day of Service. In this community, every year, we are provided a plethora of opportunities to serve. Go google 'National Day of Service, Eugene Oregon', look in the Eugene Weekly calendar, look at the University of Oregon website. Find an opportunity, and on Monday, Serve.

And beyond that, if we really want to fulfill the dream of Martin Luther King, the dream that we are living, we must serve on more than one day. We must serve everyday. Everyday, we must wake up and ask ourselves, what “Am I doing to make the world a better place?”

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Occupy City Hall-Celebration of Democracy (Morale Speech)

Context: so this was a little speech I wrote on the fly to present before our Occupy Eugene General Assembly in front of the city hall. On this date, we practiced our form of direct democracy and horizontal organization in front of the city hall, and then during the city hall meeting we came in and let our voices be heard on local issues.)

Hello Beautiful People,
Now I know it's cold outside tonight so I thank you.
Your willingness to brave the cold weather is proof that you care
about this world we all share.
Your presence here is proof that you are dedicated
to contributing to the creation of a better society.
When I went to my first General Assembly
and I saw a large group of people practicing
direct democracy and horizontal organization,
I knew this was a movement I would be proud to be a part of.
Because at our purest moments
we are a group of people
who work more for each other than for ourselves.
In an age, when most people can't afford health care,
in which many of the people who can afford health care,
spend hundreds of dollars a month on health care that doesn't cover
the ordinary normal situations in which most people see a doctor;
we seek to offer free medical services.
In an age, of rising tuition and unmanageable student debt,
we seek to offer an occupation education
Where you can get a GSD, a get shit done, degree from the school of hard knocks.
In an age, where neighbors are strangers, we offer free food and free friendship.
In an age of the Patriot Act and the NDAA, we celebrate free speech.
So I say, lets celebrate democracy, lets celebrate dissent,
lets celebrate the power of the majority
listening to the wisdom of the minority
Lets celebrate working together!
We can call it a declaration of interdependence.
And even if you disagree
with everything I just said.
I still thank you for being here
to participate in this process we call history...

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