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Improvijazzation Nation - Issue # 46
You were young but old enough to have read the newspapers, to have turned in "current events"; where the child in school looked for truth in the news, and tried to say something about a statement printed on cheap newsprint.
There was the picture: men standing on a balcony, pointing...
The picture didn't make sense, couldn't make sense... the headline stated that Martin Luther King Jr. had been shot, like Kennedy, only different.
The photograph didn't make sense, You could not tell who they were pointing at, was it the killer? Saint Martin? Their hands were pointing, trying to find truth in the air with their fingers, to help themselves understand that he was gone. Another fighter, speaker, a leader of empowered peoples, a great prophet of peace, all of that in one man and more, gone.
But you should have known then that newspapers were not there to help understand the truth. That search would have to be trusted in the men and women that would become missing... like Martin, Sister Diana Ortiz, who they tried to make missing, but she would not go away.
That picture and its memory haunts me today as I remember a time in life when the shackles of lies and repression were shaking free, where truth (at least the search for it) was coming out of a deep sleep. Those days known as the '60's, that others, even ten years younger than I struggle to understand. They seem to believe it was all about sex and drugs and rock and roll...you know, the stuff that newspapers sell...
The corporate news loves it that our youth can not comprehend the '60's. Loves it that the truth has been obscured, and will stay lost in the myriad lenses of history. They love it that even those of us who were there have been bombarded beneath mountains of falsity, have become confused in the race to keep up with the facts and the rent.
"Keep 'em runnin'."
They love it that their constant barrage of imagery has confused the young ones, who often stand in fear of culture, or in search of meaning in our postmodern identity. The onslaught lies keep them praying for money (their promise of security) and resisting a commitment to culture, because making a choice about money is easier than searching for the truth in art, a sermon, a handshake, an election...
So one can see the confusion and all that came with that photo even today. That headline photo of those men, crouching and pointing with their fingers. Those beautiful, yet terrified dark-skinned men, crouching. The corporate giants no doubt loved that photo: "Direct hit!" "Now we can keep them niggers running!"
Perhaps it's true. His death, and the death of so many others, have left us running. Running for sanity as the streets get more and more crowded. Running for sleep as the night fills with nightmares. Running for truth in the midst of so much corruption.
You can read corporate news forgetting to talk about Viet Nam, Bosnia, Iraq, (America's death solution to "repression", but what could be more repressive than murder?) or the death of Saint Martin. As if yesterday was something they created, and could take away easy, like tossing burnt toast.
One sees the posed homage to MLK, but rarely Malcom. One sees the Memorial Day gestures... One reads though the falsity of it, because every day is memorial day when truth lies cold on the altar and the death of freedom - a freedom from repression, from fear, and from corporate slavery - along with the death of Martin Luther King Jr. is what we all must mourn today.
Phillip Greenlief - Oakland, 01/15/01
"Trolley Cars & Freight Trains" copyright 2001@Mort
Trolley cars & freight trains.
Colorful carousels at night.
Clowns, tramps, hobos & kids
Where has freedom and
uncondemned laziness gone?
Work, work, work and no play.
Damn Mother Goose &
Damn Jack & Jill.
They should have played,
up that hill.
instead of fetching,
a pail of water.
"Index Cards" copyright 2001@Mort
Are there any index cards,
To find out,
where we left off?
To begin anew.
with, maybe a map.
Some route, some insight,
That we may never suffer,
a loss again.
Or at least win a round or two.
Before we go down for the count.
"Rampart Seas" copyright 2001@ Mort
Rampart Seas must part.
Hallowed trees turn to rot.
Man turns to ashes.
Eternity does not begin, nor end.
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