Has my life gotten too predictable? Evidently. This morning the barista at Jimmy Bean’s made my one-shot decaf large low-fat latte without my asking. On the other hand...I was driving home from Oakland and a billboard reminded me of the “________ for dummies” books. I idly wondered if anyone had written “Ventriloquism for Dummies.” When I got home I looked on the internet and someone had—not a how-to, of course, but a memoir by a comedian. I love the internet. I also love my innernet, that pulls up such idle thoughts and casts them up on the beach of my consciousness so I can then look them up on the internet.
                                                    Looks even better as a blue-on-black t-shirt
Went to a new (to me) cafe Sunday to see the Sing Out for Single Payer Health Care Road Show, a brainstorm of Annie Feeney and a damn good show. It’s going up the West Coast; go to Annie’s website for the schedule. And if you don’t live in a big or small town in Oregon or Washington (this tour is going places I’ve never heard of), go to her website anyway to hear my favorite song of the day, “We’re Nursing As Fast As We Can,” a hilariously sad-but-true song by Joan Hill. The cafe is 33 Revolutions. It’s an LP record store as well as an organic-food cafe, fairly new, on San Pablo in El Cerrito. They welcome meetings and concerts.
Next Sunday, another concert, a tribute to a great guy no longer with us:
Sunday, July 12: A musical tribute to Lee Goland, with Marcus Duskin (of Folk This!), Blackberri ("Eat the Rich!"), Bernard Gilbert, Ian Butler, Mark Silverman, & more. La Peña, 3105 Shattuck, Berkeley (nr. Ashby BART). 7:30pm, $12. www.lapena.org, (510) 849-2568.
Bernard Gilbert on Lee Goland:
“I’m a godless prevert commie and I smoke mari-ju-wanny: I just got a bad attitude.” That, in his own words, was Lee Goland, who wrote short, scathing, often hilarious songs about current affairs (and, where possible, his current affairs) and sang them at every opportunity through the decade of the 1980s and beyond. He would go to hearings at City Hall on homelessness, poverty, and rent control and, in the public-comment section, present testimony in the form of a custom-written song, often a parody of a pop or country tune, rich in blasphemy and name-calling.”
A week from Thursday, from 7:30 to 8:30 PM, I’ll be doing a program of songs and stories at Strawberry Creek Lodge, the co-op senior housing complex. It’s free. Drop me a line at nancy(at)sisterschoice.com in case I need to put you on the guest list.
So this morning I’m reading an AP story on ethnic unrest in Western China between the Han Chinese who have recently moved into the area in large numbers and the Muslims who have lived there much longer. And I quote:
“Years of rapid development have failed to smooth over the ethnic fault lines in Xinjiang.
“Ethnic Uighurs (pronounced WEE-gers) have watched growing numbers of Han Chinese move into the region, one of China's fastest-growing, where oil and gas industries make up most of the $61 billion economy. Trade, wheat farming and sheep herding has given way to plantation farms of cotton and sugar beets and natural resource extraction.”
You can imagine who is profiting from the plantation farms and resource extraction.
Memo to the Associated Press: That should be “Years of rapid development have exacerbated the ethnic fault lines in Xinjiang,” not “...have failed to smooth over...”
Which is why I like to get my news from the more conscious folks at TomDispatch, this time an excellent article on the switch to an “all-volunteer” army as a reaction to the growing dissent among the draftees in the Vietnam war. But even in today’s army dissent, though quiet, is growing.
©2009 by Nancy Schimmel
This CD has Anne Feeney’s most famous song as its title cut: “Have you been to jail for justice? Then you’re a friend of mine.”http://www.annefeeney.com/
Tuesday, July 7, 2009