Friday, April 29, 2011

Thrones on the Finally Friday Freakout

These are The Dears. Dudes been performing for years. They have guitars and voices. They keep their clothes on as they sing. That is about as much as I know.

This is their song called Thrones.

We can make it to Friday afternoon folks. I know we can. Those that watched the wedding I can't speak for you; do the best you can.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Day After A Very Sad Day

It is the day after. You might have calmed down after at the asinine behavior of various members of the citizenry but I haven't. It isn't about Trump. It is about deep, well no so deep, racism.

I said racism and I mean it. Old time, connect the dots "Where is your papers, boy?" racism. My fellow miner at the j.o.b. had to keep reminding me that I was at work.

I couldn't listen to President Obama because it would hurt to hear him have to say those words. I dang sure couldn't keep listen to Trump because I was cussing after he made that statement of victory.

Hence the repeated reminders that I was at work.

I had to turn off my radio because the ass in the wine was ridiculous. Moving on to grades in school are we? Oxy is a low class nothing school? We have a right to know?

It should have said Negro?

Baratunde Thurston is a comic writer, techie and social media doer and thinker. This ain't about politics. This cuts to the bone of my, his and our collective citizenship. If you have not seen this video watch it.

I gotta take the pledge to back up on recommending people to listen to Nina Simone's Mississippi Goddamn. Really, it has become an ear worm that I am trying to shake and cannot.

I hope I am strong enough to stand up to the days to come and the idiocy that is now walking around in the name of taking my country back.

Now that we know how far back they want to go.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Drumtime in Pasadena or Where's My Bongo Baby?

It was a beautiful day. Temperature just peculating under cozy. Blue sky and dry pavement. Everybody was busting out of the cabin to do something even if it was just to take a walk.

Pasadena had a combo Art and Eco Street festival with information booth and all kinds of stuff. Me, I gravitate toward music and drumming. I also like seeing people do stuff without a power source other than actual community.

This is actually a good example of what people can do when you make learning fun and non-threatening. Yes, we can make music. True, some of them had a little problem with the 2/4 but give it some time. Some of the drummers were still in diapers.

The facilitator's name is John Lacques and this is what he does, get people to drum, use percussion and make with a joyful noise. If you would like more info check out his web site at

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Seeing and Not Seeing the Sign

Trying to work out a few thoughts. A few weeks back I was in downtown Los Angeles. Mass transit is so much better than it was when I got here. There was a transit infrastructure until the late 1950s when the push for freeways and selling cars became to great to ignore.

By the 1960s the trolleys were gone and bus service was an oxymoron. You had to be a broke or a moron to ride the system. In the 1980s I caught the tail end of that era when some of the drivers really hated the passengers and didn't care all that much more for the RTD.

Not kidding about the hate part. There was this one drive that had an elaborate sign system rigged on the fare box. It went something to the effect that I am the driver, not customer service. The fare is fifty cents, a transfer is 25 cents, step behind the white line and do not talk to the driver.

He meant it. You didn't ask him for nothing.

Red Line Train Station Sign
Time passes, court ordered mast transit reform begins a new phase. There are new non-polluting buses, underground trains and express routes. This is a good thing but looking at that sign makes me queasy.

The water damage is apparent. The concrete has a rust seam and the tiles have seen better days. I try to forget that I'm underground but I notice details like this all of the time. It looks solid but there are fissures.

The train stations are ok. They are kept well for the number of people that flow through it.

It is just that I remember that I put up a mighty verbal fight about stepping foot on an L.A. subway. I got over it because I needed to go some place quick that involved getting money.

I find money is an excellent motivator for me. I do map out the escape doors and pathways so I know I can get out and back up to the street if I have too. I ride the train looking at the pipes and the hidden doors. In case of trouble I'm not staying underground for nothing.

People are talking more and more about escape routes. The number of people blessing me is on the uptick. Normally this is not a problem cuz I need all the help I can get. However, I get the impression there is some kind of quota system in effect.

Something like how many of the heathens can be converted by May 21st, October 21st or an as yet undetermined day in 2012?

I have Octavia Butler's Parable of the Talents on my mind and it is kinda like looking and not looking at that sign. Good people will do bad things and worse people will raise them double or nothing.

Then again, I fully expect just another day. Except for the cracks and fissures.

Friday, April 15, 2011

It Is Friday at 5:28 a.m.

My brain is mush. I'm supposed to be writing, creating and researching things for other posts. I want to. Really. And then thoughts of paying taxes, filling out forms, getting dressed, remembering not to order fatty foods at lunch and all of the grown-up things I am supposed to do.

It is a frigging drag man.

When does the fun stuff kick in? I mean, doing stuff for the joy of it without boundaries or time limits? When does the part where you have the time and energy for the kind of expansive thinking that embraces you so you can spark it up?

I don't blame my brain for wanting to go on strike. It is just that I need it to get dressed and go to work. Promising my brain the weekend is no longer enough.

The back-up system has taken over but it is clear that only limited tasks will be handled in the order received. I'm screwed.

It is gonna be a long day.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Andre Coleman - Citizen Journalism Session Part 3

This is the last exerpt of Andrea Coleman's presentation at the 2011 Citizen Journalism Session.

It is a meeting place that all bloggers, reporters and journalists can stand in agreement.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Poetry and Cookies at Altadena Library

For those of you that are inclined to munch as you read literary works there is a Poetry and Cookies reading at the Altadena Senior Center on Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 2pm in the afternoon.

Alene Terzian is the Altadena Poet Laureate so that will be good for a poem or two. The usual suspects will be slinging along word for word and hopefully new folks too.

The event is free but bring cash money for the purchase of chapbooks, particularly the 2011 edition of Poetry and Cookies, and other assorted goodies.

The festivities take place at the Altadena Senior Center: 560 East Mariposa Street in Altadena, CA. It is National Poetry Month so if you can't make this event there are a bunch more in the pipeline.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Andre Coleman - I'm A Reporter

I made a mistake yesterday in that my rant about my feelings about bloggers and journalism should have been in a separate post from the actual recording. So I'm just going to err on the side of caution and just let the video speak for itself.

This is the second video of my recording of Andre Coleman's talk at the 2011 Citizen Journalism Speaker Series. Andre Coleman is a reporter/journalist with the Pasadena Weekly.

There are things I agree with Mr. Coleman and things I don't. The truth is I have to acknowledge that I have very strong feelings about newspapers, journalism and blogging.

I invested a lot of nickles, dimes and quarters in purchasing newspapers. I've invest a lot of time participating in blogging and community building. Which is why I have said and continue to say I'm not a journalist.

Unless I record that once in a lifetime video in which case "Yes, I am and pay me."

One of these days maybe I'll whip up a post on the 10 Things Journalists Need to Get Straight About Bloggers and New Media. I'll be able to write that post once I finish removing a number of bias cut logs in my eyes.

This could take a bit of time.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Andre Coleman - Intro to Citizen Journalism Session Part 1

Update April 5, 8:29PM - Folks I need to make it clear that I made a mistake in not separating my remarks from Mr. Colman's video. Unlike Dogbert's pappy, I do not take down posts once I've written and published them. There was a better way to write this post.

In hindsight, you should have seen what I ditched. Never tweet when angry and never post when your fingers are moving faster than your brain.

Original Post

I am a blogger. I am also a writer. I do a lot of stuff actually so I really don't like labels. But let's say for the moment that I am a blogger. I have to say I'm a little touchy about current blogger/journalist relations.

They suck.

I have had a few days to think about the citizen journalism session. The Pasadena Community Network has weekly meetings on Tuesday nights. The focus of the meetings is to develop journalism skills that can be applied to blogs, web sites, mimeograph reporting or how ever you want to do it.

There is also the Pasadenan which is also citizen driven content with an editor and staff moderating the content. That is cool. Works for me. I have no objection to anyone development better writing or reporting skills.

It is getting better but there is a long road to the junction of peace. This is reporter Andre Coleman speaking at the March 29, 2011 Citizen Journalism Speaker Series that was held at the main branch of the Pasadena Library. Mr. Coleman write for the Pasadena Weekly.

My Thoughts

First of all I support anything a person can do to make their writing better. Many bloggers take workshops, online classes and actively work on developing their skills. I am not a journalist but I do make use of some of the classes and webinars at Poynter's NewsU. Special shout out at the great tutorials at the Knight Digital Media Center.

Good writing and reporting transcend labels.

I do not hate reporters and good journalists. I was raised in a newspaper town with two major newspapers and six or seven alternative newspapers. It truly saddens me that we have lost a huge chunk of the respect and the importance we use to hold for newspapers in this country.

I have people around me that use that term blogger as a pejorative. (Not referring to Andre Coleman. I have other real world examples that like to point with pride the ink in their veins.)

Many of these people are ex-reporters, current reporters and soon to be ex-reporters that do not apply their training to find out what is happening with contemporary bloggers and technology.

You want to lump me in with the fat guy sitting naked at his keyboard? Go for it. That just shows ignorance. That is not a good thing for journalists to display but if that is what you want to do why should I stand in your way? But I am not the one that put the shiv in the back of newspapers.

Newspaper management did it to themselves.

Newspapers in the 1980s and 90s did not want to pay attention to people outside of their chosen proven money demographic. They did not court the next generation. They totally did not get the beginnings of early on-line communities or the Internet.

If you do not talk to me or connect with me in some way why should I buy your product or service?

Some of the current silly rabbits in newspaper management and related media companies think all they have to do is take a person previously known columnist and change the word to blogger and then people will come a running back.

Many in the industry blame bloggers for stealing content from their newspapers yet provide links to stories and want people to tweet the news story. However they don't want others to summarize or add additional context to a news story that omitted an important perspective.

News management wants bloggers to promote newspapers but you don't want us reading your content.

My admittedly limited understanding of the corporate news management perspective is that I should pay for content I do not read or cannot use, such as sports, that I should be grateful that said content exists and that I should not want or need to have any further communication with those that generate said content.

Oh, and don't tell anybody else where I found the content that does not interest me on account they might read it too.

Tell me again why I want to have a relationship with newspapers?

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Poetry In Plain Sight - Rex Butters

Rex Butters is a poet and jazz reviewer in the Los Angeles area; at least that is what the 'Tubes tells me. I had the pleasure of recording one of his poems that appeared in issue #49 of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly.

This is Rex's poem, Giving Myself the Finger

Doing a little digging I found out how Rex got started contributing jazz reviews for All About Jazz. I found other poems by Rex at Vscorpiozine called Little Sister Going Down and a poem of his called American Nero on OMEGA, Online Journal of Literary Arts from 2006.

It is National Poetry Month so do your duty and at least read, listen or view a poem and let it stay with you a while.

Friday, April 01, 2011

A Movie Called Poetry on the Finally Friday Freakout

Back in my waning days of watching television I did try to get into some of the Korean televisions shows. They had more stuff going on in ten minutes than an American soap opera would have in a week. I gave up cuz you do need a cheat sheet to get a grip on the characters, culture and the speed at which shenanigans happen.

What lead me to the Korean television shows what that I saw a Korean movie that moved about the same speed but I knew what was going on because I was witnessing it as it happened. I've forgotten the name of the film; it was a long time ago.

This is to say that I stumbled into this trailer for the movie Poetry. There are a couple of stories here, I can tell. I'd lay dollars to donuts it isn't the one I think it is.

It is National Poetry Month, by the way. I'm sure Mr. Campbell and associates have got events lined up and I expect a video or two will be generated on the topic.

These movie clips reminds me that poetry can dig very deep into a person soul if you let it. It is still a one to one transmission method. You have to find your poem or poet. Not easy in a wham bam so long Sam world.

It is still possible. Poetry can be like holding out for your one true love that may or may not show up.

We keep going but we need attention. A poem can do that for you; provided you with a reason to keep going or understand why. This movie was released in 2010 so finding it might be a challenge. Finding an English subtitle version even more.

If you find out where it is please let me know. This film seems to need attention. Just like poetry.