Saturday, July 26, 2014

"The Fault, Dear Brutus......."

We used to be explorers.

Somewhere along the way, it became more important to look inward than outward, to be self absorbed, self interested, self aggrandizing, self serving, to fixate on building newer and bigger and more grandiose stadiums to watch grown men play games instead of fixing our eyes on the next star and the one after that and the one after that , to bail out greedy and/or incompetent corporations and banks and other businesses instead of sailing out to places and spaces yet to be discovered, to give up looking up with imaginations filled with possibilities and take up keeping up with Kardashians.

To turn our backs on our better angels, as our vision became, and becomes, ever more myopic with each passing day.

Rather than seek out the next horizon, because that's what we do.

Or used to.

We used to be explorers.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"...A Long Time Ago, On Some Memorial Steps Far, Far Away....."

Had a train of thought that went a little off course.

Earlier today, I wrote a piece that ended up over on my media blog, Phelpsounds.

The gist of that essay was my enjoyment of the CNN Original Program, "The Sixties", produced by Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman and Mark Herzog.

One episode in particular, though, flipped my "talkback" button and had me logging on to lay it down.

Somewhere along the way, said train took a different track and ended up being an opine as regards "critics" and the presentations of their profession.

Here's a link to that piece.

Feel free to ride that particular club car to its conclusion.

Meanwhile, back to the original point of departure.

The fifth installment of the 10 part documentary is entitled, "A Long March To Freedom" and is, in my humble o, one of the best video/audio histories of the civil rights movement I've seen.

Crafted in a viewer friendly style, but compelling enough to take what, after fifty plus years. could rightly be described as somewhat dusty history and make it all worth the time to watch and listen and, in my case, re-visit.

The segment of the program dealing with the period from 63 to 65, especially, including the iconic I Have A Dream speech at the Lincoln Memorial and the brutal, venomous hatred that resulted in the death of the three young civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi in 1964, found me both moved again by the power and poignancy of those difficult days, but, now, today, by a feeling of irony, even a little sadness.

And thinking a little about legacy.

No sermon, no preaching, no long peroration in the spirit of Dr. King or any of his contemporaries.

Simply an observation from a now sixty-ish, middle class white guy who lived through those years and has both the benefit, and disadvantage, of hindsight.

And thinking a little about legacy.

The courage and sacrifice it took to walk streets and highways knowing that insult was certain, injury was likely, death was easily possible.

The bones and hearts and lives broken in the effort to simply afford one race of people the same respect as other races of people.

The sweat, tears and blood shed in that cause.

And now, fifty plus years later, I find myself moved again in an older, hopefully wiser, way by those sacrifices and that courage.

And thinking a little about legacy.

From Rosa Parks to Martin Luther King to Vivian Malone to James Hood to Medgar Evers to  James Meredith to Malcolm X to Coretta Scott King to Myrlie Evers to three little girls in a Birmingham church on a Sunday morning..........


Nicki Minaj.

Kanye West.

Chris Brown.

Thinking a little about legacy.

Very little.