"American beliefs about the rightness of meritocratic ideals often leads to the belief that those ideals are what guides society. But research shows that a real commitment to meritocracy requires understanding that America hasn’t gotten there—at least not yet."
To read the full article and work with these ideas on this site, please sign in and visit Marianne Cooper - The False Promise of Meritocracy.
It's really terrible what democrats have done to black people and other minorities throughout history. Great reminder of all the injustice and intimidation they have faced.
Need to ask a favor, Grant. In many ways, this kind of post is more problematic than the frantic diarrhea profanity or other bomb dropping that is so common but easier to just remove. I've been avoiding direct engagement with you, often deleting my own replies on other posts because they sound condescending to me, and because I am super-swamped at the moment. I also, however, would really like to contribute to the movement on social media, in general, toward respectful, brief (if possible) exchanges which get at important information. For us to have an honest disagreement about something, I'd really appreciate it if you would begin with a clear statement that acts as an invitation to disagree, preferably relevant to the post and accompanied by a link to something reputable which supports your position, avoiding sweeping and stereotypical generalizations. For instance, (clear statement >) [I find Beto admirable precisely because he speaks eloquently in a way that is largely a departure from the racism and classism practiced for generations by all manner of politicians and parties.] Since the video is evidence that I would like others to see what I see in that regard, how would you feel about briefly addressing either the video or my position as though it were informed by hours of study and carefully reasoned, and then provide evidence that tempts me to change my position?
Hi Brandon, I will do my best to convey my position on this point although I am not as highly educated as you or eloquent a writer. As you mentioned Beto is an eloquent speaker - as was Obama. I find the democrat platform of "social justice warrior" problematic since throughout history democrats have been on the opposing side of social justice. The GOP being the original "progressive" party" hence the name "Grand Old Party" or the party of Lincoln (R) that moved to emancipate the slaves among other issues while the democrats fought to keep blacks as property. The democrat created KKK to intimidate newly freed slaves and white republicans alike (much like today's ANTIFA). The founder of the modern democratic party (Andrew Jackson) was responsible for the Indian wars and Trail of Tears. You have the Republican majority House of Representatives that passed the 15th amendment in 1869 with a majority 144 yeah's to 44 democrat nah's. The 19th amendment, women's suffrage was passed by the Republican party and greatly opposed by the democrats. Democratic President FDR and founder of the modern progressive movement was responsible for the Japanese internment camps and unlawful seizure of Japanese American's private property. Civil rights was pushed forward by the Republican party and once again opposed by the Democrats. Which leads me to the lie about the "Great Party Switch" Less than 1% of democrat politicians switched to the republican party. The same "Dixie-crats" that pushed racists agendas and fought to maintain segregation remained with the Democratic party. Even Hillary Clinton proudly proclaimed her affiliation with Gold Water. Robert Carlyle Byrd was a United States Senator from West Virginia for over 51 years and a Grand Wizard of the the KKK. From 1959 until his death in 2010, a member of the Democratic Party, Byrd previously served as a U.S. Representative from 1953 until 1959. Obama Praised Byrd as a role model and cornerstone of the modern Democratic party. There are 2 facts that mislead one into believing the "great switch" theory and that is the majority of the "Dixie-crat" south now does vote republican and the black vote switched from 15% Democrat in the 1930's to now 80% after the 1930's. This actually had nothing to do with politicians switching sides and more to do with FDR's new deal and the black population voting for the party that promised to give them more benefits and also the party with the least resistance since they were often physically threatened for voting Republican in the South. Wrapping up my point, I find it incredibly hypocritical that Democrat politicians use their own party's history of violence and racism to confuse voters. The numbers do not lie. Under Bill Clinton's Presidency Highest number of blacks imprisoned. Under Obama's Presidency highest black unemployment. Sure Beto is an eloquent speaker, but his words like every other democrat leader's words are empty. It is a distraction to mislead a well intended voter base while they continue their agenda of enslaving and segregating minorities, keeping them ever dependent on the government tit in exchange for giving up their freedom.
I hope that this discussion will not devolve into a competition hinging on seeming more eloquent, and I truly appreciate your measured and thoughtful response. For the better part of a century, the Republican Party had reason to be proud of contributing to gains in the area of human rights, while Democrats compounded their shame. See https://www.thenation.com/.../when-republicans-really.../ for answers to most of your points. Both (all) parties continued to participate in the status quo loving cultural warfare, however, that enslaved persons of color in all but name. Then the Democrats passed the Republicans, if a racing metaphor is appropriate, in the tumble toward helping us become a more representative democracy. This continues to be pushed by the growth of voting blocks of working people struggling against voting restrictions and gerrymandering to secure even a percentage of the opportunities their white peers enjoy--both to be heard and make a living/future for their children. But, where racism is a more deeply rooted illness, the width of systemic injustice is more visible at the level of class. Working people of every description will eventually drive human rights together as we make common cause with people who do not look or sound like us but share the intentionally perpetuated suffering that supports the ultra-wealth of the very few. Also see https://www.washingtonpost.com/.../no-longer.../2015/04/08 What was at one point a party interested in a free republic is now the primary source of enslaving and segregating those now no longer in the minority, keeping them ever distracted from the unregulated corporate catheterization that government Of The People was established to resist. You are right that freedom is the cost, because "the poor" (now including what is left of what once were middle income earners) must contend with more polluted air and water, de-funded schools, imprisonment and less-than-minimum wage jobs, continually shrinking access to healthcare, and are left swinging on the front line every time there is a disaster, even when it is not obviously associated with wealth-industry-driven climate collapse and multiplied by profit-driven planning. Everyone in a seat of power (including me, and Beto O'Rourke) is responsible when the life of any being is sacrificed to increase the power of another. I believe he knows this, and will speak to the changes we need to survive as a species, which the political parties of short term gains are paid to ignore or in the habit of minimizing.thenation.comWhen the Republicans Really Were the Party…
If you don't accept my evidence, or my obvious biases are too distracting based on what you've been told and come to believe, you might look to any of the thousands of rather loud ex-Republicans (like Tobin E Threadgill, for instance) who are not liberal softies and will be happy to return to the GOP when it is no longer tossing children on the altar of astronomical short term gains for the very few..
Not just true of "Trump Supporters", who are not a monolithic group, but also true of those who allegedly object to but do not remove him. That widespread often subconscious agreement is why he is still operating, and may survive the felonies of which he has obviously been a part. For "traditional order" substitute "mythology" and you have a more evocative felt sense of the Belief, the #mythopsychology that leads not to "ignoring corruption so much as [being moved by] the kind that really matters" to you. That is why he has Reganesque teflon. He shrugs off rational objections because he is an avatar of the god in the pantheon of #Americanism that demand use of the word "traditional" when referring to the power over specific others that is granted by racist and sexist norms.
"The answer may lie in how Trump and his supporters define corruption. In a forthcoming book entitled How Fascism Works, the Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley makes an intriguing claim. 'Corruption, to the fascist politician,' he suggests, 'is really about the corruption of purity rather than of the law. Officially, the fascist politician’s denunciations of corruption sound like a denunciation of political corruption. But such talk is intended to evoke corruption in the sense of the usurpation of the traditional order.'
Fox’s decision to focus on the Iowa murder rather than Cohen’s guilty plea illustrates Stanley’s point. For many Fox viewers, I suspect, the network isn’t ignoring corruption so much as highlighting the kind that really matters. When Trump instructed Cohen to pay off women with whom he had affairs, he may have been violating the law. But he was upholding traditional gender and class hierarchies. Since time immemorial, powerful men have been cheating on their wives and using their power to evade the consequences.
The Iowa murder, by contrast, signifies the inversion—the corruption—of that 'traditional order.' Throughout American history, few notions have been as sacrosanct as the belief that white women must be protected from nonwhite men. By allegedly murdering Tibbetts, Rivera did not merely violate the law. He did something more subversive: He violated America’s traditional racial and sexual norms."
Nobel Laureate Gives Jon Stewart Some Bad News About the American Dream
Joseph Stiglitz with Jon Stewart provided by Craig Zelizer on PCDN...
+Gallery10 Thicke "Blurred Lines" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJ6YGabx7xs http://swipelife.com/2009/05/kastyn-reid-for-vanity-fair-italy/#!prettyPhoto ...
Greetings (soon to be "Howdy")!
For the mythopsychology geeks in the crowd
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Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin ryu (TSYR) seminar at Aikido of Berkeley with Toby Threadgill, Kaicho
Aikido of Berkeley hosts the Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin Kai dojo under the direction of Ash Morgan Sensei. The history of seminars we have hosted is below. Kaicho Threadgill's seminars are usually open to the public (and free to AiBerk, Free Aiki, and Golden Bears Aikido students) on Friday night, a morning and afternoon session on Saturday, and Sunday morning. Sunday afternoon is usually a Kai-only class to cover specific areas of interest.
Most often the public seminars include the practice of jujutsu body dynamics and movement, principles of timing, connection and initiative, internal strength building (how and why), and application of Nairiki (internal structure power generation) as part of overall technique.
Upcoming 2018 Seminar - August 24-26
Full Seminar $175.00 or $60.00 per session as long as limited spaces (30 per session) remain. Register by completing the online form at https://goo.gl/forms/FqZQlFi7zOjlc7UJ2. An overnight stay in the dojo can be arranged. Your registration is guaranteed when you register, fill out our waiver at https://goo.gl/forms/yHQlWnyHmswrIH2F2, and we confirm receipt (by email) of the full amount received.
For information contact Brandon email@example.com
November 10-12, 2017 at Aikido of Berkeley - Downtown
August 12-14, 2016 at Aikido of Berkeley - Downtown
May 17-19, 2013 at Aikido of Berkeley - Downtown
March 23-25, 2012 at Aikido of Berkeley - Downtown
September 16-18, 2010 at Aikido of Berkeley - Bay View Dojo
This website is owned by Brandon WilliamsCraig, aikido 5th dan founder and Dojo Cho of Free Aiki Dojo and Golden Bears Aikido at UC Berkeley, who became a provisional TSYR student under Eric Winters in 2014, Ash Morgan in 2015, and joined the Kai by keppan on August 15th, 2016.
Thanks to Rachel Aviv - The Trauma of Facing Deportation for this essential framing of the true cost of Othering. - ed.
"In Sweden, hundreds of refugee children have fallen unconscious after being informed that their families will be expelled from the country."
Not just in Sweden. There is somatic clarity here, tremendous psychological evidence, and a colossal lack of political will on the part of adults with power around the world to do what is clearly best for children and, thus, for humanity. The Golden Rule is called that for a reason. If you were the child, the refugee, the Other in the story, fleeing a life of fear, how would you want be treated?
"For nearly two decades, a political question—What should we do about migration?—has played out through the bodies of hundreds of children. The number of new cases of apathy declined in 2006, after the Migration Board took a more lenient approach, but the illness is still being diagnosed in dozens of children. Last year, some sixty children lost the ability to move and to speak. There is now universal consensus that the children are not faking, but no one knows why the illness is particular to Sweden. I spoke with more than twenty Swedish doctors who had either treated apathetic patients or written about them, and none of them had an explanation; most were hesitant to even propose a hypothesis. Björn Axel Johansson, a child psychiatrist at Skåne University Hospital, in southern Sweden, who has treated twelve apathetic children, told me, “I’m not convinced that this is only happening in Sweden. Maybe it’s only being documented and discussed and published in Sweden?”
Imagine that you are having an experience, for instance, the reading of these words. It is not possible to separate how you have the experience from the experience itself, because "experience" denotes, at least, what happened plus the way that it happened, as you remember it. It is not only possible but compelling, however, to imagine the elements of an experience as though they were separate, especially since they are variable. If you read this sitting down, for instance, it will always have been read seated, but you can imagine different ways of reading it, for instance, while standing.
If you imagine, in addition to reading while standing, that you are on an urban light rail car with a bunch of people around you, jostled by the car's movement, occasionally looking out the window, thinking alternatingly about what has just happened and what might happen next, you can see the tip of the proverbial iceberg of the myriad variables that are packed into "experience". All factors have an impact on the other variables, a few of which are recorded by your memory, which is far from comprehensive or exact. You will only ever be able to recall a few of the factors that you noticed and embodied as experience.
You are imagining every time you encounter anything, creating a fiction of inseparable thought, feeling, sense that becomes part of your "soma"--the biological and intangible complex that is You, and which cannot be recalled in a way that is identical with what happened, despite having been profoundly shaped by it. Precise representation is not possible, at least because comprehensive re-presentation of all relevant factors is not possible in a system as complex and dynamic as experience. Memory is notoriously unreliable and creatively dynamic, and assertions are always experimental proposals, no matter the authoritative terms in which they are couched. Just being conscious of something guarantees a selective frame through which experience will be filtered, in which meaning will be assigned and beliefs created, and on which behavior will then be based. Consciousness itself then, at least fundamentally, is a process of fictionalizing and embodying reality. Overlapping sub-categories of fictional consciousness emerge somatically, psychologically: fantasy, reasoning, narrative, and other ways of ordering experience becoming styles of selective imagining, meaning-making, and behavior.
Since experience becomes understood in particular styles, it may be difficult to parse when considered by being filtered through an unsympathetic narrative. It may cause confusion and dismay, for instance, when a group of people share an understanding that is very different from one's own, based on their imagination of shared narratives, and then believe what they imagine, perhaps even literally, and then behave and create a particular culture which presupposes that their narratives are authoritative. This dynamic is not only problematic in the religious and political realms. It colors all interactions shared by all participants in any system, because individuals are by definition both similar to and different from each other, and must make choices to navigate the pulls and pushes of resonance and dissonance.
The Scientific Method, for instance, emerges from a rational narrative in which theories (informed guesses) about reality are reduced by experimental elimination until only facts remain in the form of processes that others can verify. But no way of configuring experience can escape the system in which it operates and by which it is delimited. No matter how exhaustive, even the entire, tremendously powerful catalogue of facts derived and categorized by rational thought cannot approach the scope that consciousness as a whole encompasses: imagination turning experience into meaning by working through fictions to discern and creatively apply what is literally and metaphorically true to life.
It is helpful to think of the process of consciousness outlined above in terms of "mythology", and of "myth" as a narrative which configures consciousness as though a particular way of thinking were operational in the world to which the mythology applies. One of the essential benefits of mythological study is that it both questions and supports belief by explicitly promoting consciousness of fundamental fictionality, or mythicity. In this context, the phrase "The Myth Of Science", for instance, does not suggest that science is false, which is demonstrably not the case, but suggests that Science operates within fictions, an example of which might be the idea of its own supremacy in defining Truth. Working with Science mythically allows consciousness of a fundamental ambivalence in knowing anything, an epistemological humility which then makes the true mission of research, for instance, more likely to succeed. If one is aware just how powerfully framing a process as scientific makes all outcomes sound authoritative, then it becomes more straightforward to avoid plunging into the mire of scientism and thereby conduct scientific work authentically, dividing experience into helpful but non-ultimate categories, such as placing in opposition the reproducibly factual and the unreproducible and falsifiable, minimizing the chance of making what is unproven sound like fact.
When I began by suggesting that you imagine having an experience, I merely proposed that you become conscious of the way that you have always experienced everything. I make the proposal because the process has proved helpful to me, at least when I have been willing and able to uncover my beliefs and the ways in which they are extruded as behavior as I co-create the world of my daily life. Sometimes the narrative-belief-behavior vector is easy to uncover and influence. Most often some part of the process is more deeply complex than I can fully imagine, and requiring a more extensive frame, in this case the use of the idea "soul" or "psyche" on which "psychology" is based. Psyche-logic implies that making meaning of complexes requires the acknowledgment that "deepest" imagining is unconscious--cannot be uncovered, operates with autonomy--is a "realm" governed by its own powers, and exerts highly variable but universally extensive influence throughout humanity. This reasoning, and the behavior of writing and publishing it, reflects my belief in the mythology of depth psychology.
Give up shock, "surely not", and "it's just politics." Believe the narrative and agenda being #Trumpeted with each twit. This administration is the opposite of American, uses tactics which are illegal and immoral, does not represent conservatives, and this phase in our civic life must end. Now. We must not build this darkest world, culture, and future.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/06/04/trumps-ambassador-to-germany-is-making-a-fool-out-of-himself-and-the-u-s/ - Anne Applebaum of the Washington Post
Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, just told Breitbart News. “There are a lot of conservatives throughout Europe who have contacted me to say they are feeling there is a resurgence going on,” he said. “I absolutely want to empower other conservatives throughout Europe, other leaders. I think there is a groundswell of conservative policies that are taking hold because of the failed policies of the left.” Note the context: Grenell was speaking to Breitbart, the website whose comment section was the original breeding ground for alt-right white nationalism. Grenell was very clear that the kinds of “conservatives” he admires are not the ones in Angela Merkel’s centrist Christian Democratic party, which is currently ruling Germany in a coalition with centrist social democrats (authors, presumably, of the “failed policies of the left,” the same policies that have made Germany the strongest economy in Europe). On the contrary, the one politician he named — “I’m a big fan” — is Sebastian Kurz, a center-right politician who has criticized Merkel, borrowed language from the radical right and currently rules Austria in coalition with the Freedom Party, a nativist, pro-Russian and anti-pluralist party.
* Photo: Bernd von Jutrczenka/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
The Short Version
Please contact me right away to schedule anything that needs to happen in June or July, including time together, so that I may attempt to follow up and make arrangements. There are many things with which we could use some help, given capacity and availability. If we don't make contact before August, I will also look forward to seeing you when next we meet, wherever that may be. If you’d like updates about Peace Practices, Conflict Done Well, and my other adventures in teamwork and social justice, please be sure to subscribe at http://abcglobal.net/Find_Us and follow https://www.facebook.com/brandonwilliamscraig/.
There is more to all of this, obviously. If you want to connect with me, move the work I do forward, or read more and deeply into what is happening now, I cannot ask sincerely enough that you stay within my circle of friends:
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This probably won't surprise anybody...
SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) - "Forty-six percent of people living in the Bay Area say they plan to leave it in the next few years,...according to a survey from the Bay Area Council. Last year, that number was 40 percent. People say housing costs and traffic are the reasons they want to leave...24 percent said they would move within California, and 61 percent said they would leave the state altogether."
This is the door to the dystopian sci-fi soon-to-be reality (available on every screen around you) in which actual humans are reduced to irrelevance, the juice of life is electric and for sale at an increasing price, and attention is drawn only by habit to what is fake and flashing. Why would anyone want a shift that dramatically increases the influence of faux people, perhaps until they are the model of what everyone tries to be like? Those are the very traits that [are] so attractive to companies: “They’re much easier to control...It’s a more efficient way of controlling the message" and, I would argue, "their target audiences."
"[Those] of sense often learn from their enemies. It is from their [fauxs], not their friends, that cities learn the lesson of building high walls and ships." - Aristophanes
For more, sign in to check out FAUXS - Fake Human Influencers - Artificial Yes - Intelligence No.
Renewing Earth: From Anthropocentrism to Ecocentrism
The task of renewing Earth belongs to Earth, as the renewal of any organism [even the church] takes place from within. Yet we humans have our own special role, a leading role in the renewal, just as we had the dominant role in the devastation. We can fulfill this role, however, only if we move our basic life orientation from a dominant anthropocentrism to a dominant ecocentrism. In effecting this change, we need to listen to the voices of Earth and its multitude of living and non-living modes of expression.
We should be listening to the stars in the heavens and the sun and the moon, to the mountains and the plains, to the forests and rivers and seas that surround us, to the meadows and the flowering grasses, to the songbirds and the insects and to their music especially in the evening and the early hours of the night. We need to experience, to feel, and to see these myriad creatures all caught up in the celebration of life.
Extinction Is Forever
We especially need to hear the creatures of Earth before it is too late, before their voices are stilled forever through extinction occurring at such a rapid rate. Once gone they will never be heard again. Extinction is forever. The divine experience they communicate will never again be available to humans. A dimension of the human soul will never be activated as it might have been. None of the wonders of the human can replace what we are losing. . . . We have lost sight of the fact that these myriad creatures are revelations of the divine and inspirations to our spiritual life.
Wonder, Beauty, Intimacy
Our inner spiritual world cannot be activated without experience of the outer world of wonder for the mind, beauty for the imagination, and intimacy for the emotions.
Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community, ed. Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim (Orbis Books: 2014), 77-78.
There is always a struggle for control of shared identity. This is normal and entirely appropriate. A part of a whole body which feels insifficiently represented certainly has a right, and may have an obligation to demonstrate the change they require, resist practices and structures they believe to be ill-advised, and protest in a way that refrains from harming fellow-creatures.
Most change movements either do or do not receive suport from a group perceived to be "mainstream", after which significant culture-shift does or does not actually occur. As one of the markers of mainstream shift has frequently been the support of more "conservative" people who are both religious and comitted to democracy and the freedom of religion, I would like to ask that you propose to your congregation a move toward solidarity with those who explicitly and publicly object to racism in the cultural insitutions of the United States. Furthermore, I ask that you spcifically tie your faith to the demand to end racism, especially if you are Christian, as is required by the deeply understood and unwavering compassion that is the undisputed central tenant of our faith.
Finally, as our Republic shines only insofar as it remains the land of the free, I ask that you place your hand over your heart and join me in upholding patriotism itself as an unwavering commitment, not to a party or leader, but to a Dream in which every person is lifted up by the restorative justice and determined compassion of their fellows so that no parent need fear for their child, officers of the peace may once again be celebrated for their daily heroism, immigrants may once again feel our shores to be sanctuary, and all those in leadership maybe judged solely on their selfless commitment to public service above their personal interests.
Thank you for planting the seed for having the church participate in taking a knee during the national anthem. M.O. and I have discussed this and have some thoughts to share. Neither of us like the idea of doing this inside the church. Both of us are uncomfortable, er, anti having anything to do with flags/nationalism/patriotism inside the sanctuary. For both of us that's a big no-no. We do think it is important for religious people to take a stand by taking a knee. Proposal: let's have an interfaith game. Soccer, flag football, softball, whatever. We open with the national anthem sung by a combined choir where everyone takes the knee. We get to play, sing, and take a stand/knee together in an appropriate context. Let me know what you think.
Totally legit response. These concerns are a big reason I asked for prayerful consideration. What you are proposing sounds awesome, and I'm all for it, and would take a while to organize, and mostly loses the power of the statement being made by significantly pink mainstream Christians. We might miss the moment when the larger culture-shift could use some religious people buy-in to expand the #takeaknee symbol from Sports to the nation. What if our video statement were shot on the stairs in front of the church, people coming out after worship and creating a choir all taking a knee and placing a hand over their hearts, or linking arms (if they prefer) to reclaim principled patriotism all the while obviously keeping it out of the sanctuary and on the street?
As often is the case for me, your eloquent way of expressing ideas requires my own "translation" before I can digest what you said. The way you spoke before church was much simpler, concrete and easy for me to follow. That said, I'd like to echo what someone else said on FB re keeping patriotism and flags out of sanctuary. I support doing an action on the steps. And, I don't like putting my hand on my heart when nationalism/patriotism is the issue. So that image is difficult for me. Just thoughts for the discussion.
With all this talk of #TakeTheKnee, I could not help and think about being in grade school.
I grew up in a rather conservative area for California, in eastern Kern County. I remember in school that the Jehovah's Witness classmates would not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. Some of them would get crap for it but I admired them for being committed to their faith *and* practicing their Constitutional right to remain seated. In this country, they have the right to practice their conviction.
This protest within the NFL, and now in other professional sports leagues, is not about the flag. It never has been about the flag. It is about police brutality and racial inequality in this country. Some are offended because of the sacrifice the troops make, and you're right -- this is about the fact that our men and women in the service go out to protect the freedoms we claim to have while in reality they are compromised and undermined by the system to put POC in a disadvantage. These athletes, like the Jehovah's Witnesses, have the right to practice their conviction, remain seated, and bring awareness to the ugly reality.
And you know what? The Early Christians would be rolling in their graves to see Christians today exploding over this. Followers of the Way have no business in Nationalism through swearing allegiance to the empire or by displaying the flag in our houses of worship. And as we sung this morning at St. John's Cathedral, "In Christ there is no east or west, in him no south or north; but one great fellowship of Love throughout the whole wide world." Rant over.
- The anthem itself. Celebrating war, drenched in racism... I don't feel that I can in good conscious sing The Song of Peace (This is my song, O God of all the nations) in church, and then walk outside and sing the national anthem.
- I don't think the National Anthem should be played before games anyway. It's mostly empty, habitualized patriotism. So in regards to my previous email, and with more consideration, I'm a much bigger fan of taking a silent knee.
- Is a photo of people taking a knee just as powerful as a video with a song?
- I don't know what "pink mainstream Christians" means? Churches have been leaders in the NFL boycott already (see 'Blackout') link below.
- Kap first took a knee over a year ago. I'm slightly confused by what feels like sudden urgency. I'm also happy that people care and want to support/participate in taking a knee and fighting oppression.
- Messaging: clarity is needed on what the action/s are and why. What does it mean, and what are you/we trying to say or achieve?
- I strongly encourage you, if you haven't already, to visit Kap's website. The knee and off-field actions go hand and hand. Taking a knee and doing nothing else is an empty gesture.
- Another idea: use this moment as an opportunity to join together to take a silent knee as a kick-off to a call for some kind of action/s inspired by the blackout or Kap's mission statement.
Tracking the Kaepernick Effect:
- Boycott the NFL (no games, no fantasy football, no jerseys, no nothing).
- Commit one to two hours during the NFL season that you would have spent watching games to mentoring young black boys and girls.
- Spread the word to others.
- “Take a knee” in prayer at 6 a.m. each day.
Stated mission: "The mission of the Colin Kaepernick Foundation is to fight oppression of all kinds globally, through education and social activism."
Huston is now a star. This Berkeley City Ballet ad is truly compelling, and did you know that they are inviting boys to take their very high quality classes for free?
It is time for some everyday heroism! Perhaps you are a decision-maker who wants Oakland to be a place where small businesses can actually survive, and knows of a place they can and should move to have a shot at thriving again. Do you speak Korean and English and find yourself able to help with getting the facts straight in order to tell their story to English-only speakers? Are you a journalist , or do you know a journalist who would want to fit this story in the super-important larger narrative? Are you involved in property, law, or both, and able to help them pro bono to explore their options thoroughly? Do you know anybody who might fit the descriptions above or have some other gift to offer these good folks in crisis?
Thanks for acting now! Please do any/all of the following:
- Add your name to the many at https://www.gofundme.com/henrysgallerycafe (with or without a donation) to let Jung know he is not isolated, then share with your networks asking that they act now.
- Like/share/RT/etc https://twitter.com/bdwc/status/888109817625157632 and https://www.facebook.com/lynettemcelhaney/posts/1364593910321149
- Go eat there, take friends, and tell them about the support they are getting but can't see/feel.
- Keep asking in public the questions (above) that will help them find the help they need.
San Francisco Chronicle columnist Otis R. Taylor Jr. appears Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @otisrtaylorjr
Emailed via http://www.sfchronicle.com/author/otis-taylor/
I truly appreciate your decision to report on Luan's bookstore. The story is most helpful in that it provides evidence that Oakland decision-makers' support for "revitalization" is lackluster at best. In reading it, I wished that you had noted that their efforts are devoted mostly to big-dollar interests (like the new monster high-rise going up at 17th and Broadway), rather than increasing the traffic and financial infrastructure support that small businesses actually require to flourish. May I ask that you do a follow-up in that direction, and report about the perfect storm of crises that are about to kill another pillar of the community in Oakland? https://www.gofundme.com/henrysgallerycafe
Ripe: Ensemble With Juice
I am newly planted and just peeking through my own leaves. Though I have been following Ragged Wing Ensemble for years, I've always kept a distance, cultivating my own concerns. Now I am on the inside. As the new Communications Director, I am amazed at what I find, inundated with the juciest creative fruit possible, and not just the fruit but the secret making of that bounty, a creative community process that is ready to be shared with multitudes but is, for the time being, savored by only a local few. I go to sleep and wake up with the taste of it on my lips, knowing that a secret like this cannot keep, nor should it.
There are times when a group of people is ripe. When circumstances consipre to yield a bumper crop, a tipping point when conditions are perfect for growth, anticipating a harvest of creativity that is culture-changing, leaning like a fruitful branch bends toward a deeper grounding and more humane understanding of what living can be. Ragged Wing Ensemble in Downtown Oakland is beautifully ripe, and needs your hand to reach out and pluck and share the available bounty. It needs patrons in seats and small donations, but it is profoundly ready, in a way that even most insiders cannot know yet, for the deepest and most sutainable kind of support--big giving from the heart--the expressions of hope and appreciation that make institutional growth possible.
It almost doesn't matter how you reach out. Just bump the branch with a casual donation in the final days of the current campaign, or seed the fertile soil with a significant amount or money and time. Share with your friends and the world the power and generosity of passionate creativity in a world growing more mean and grasping. Whatever you decide: act now. Don't wait. The birds and bugs of Bills will be buzzing and binging. Don't assume that somebody else will put up what is so sweet. It cannot be preserved because it is Alive and must be shared now. The company is preparing the Fall season...seeds need water that only you can provide...to harvest even more original work that brings out the best by working creatively through the thorniest of issues. That is what our era seems to be starving for, and it is in your hands to support runaway creative integrity today and through the upcoming season.
It is my great pleasure to announce that i am now the Communications Director for an essential theater company, Ragged Wing Ensemble, which has established a flourishing creative community in Downtown Oakland, called The Flight Deck, that is home to several other theater companies and organizations. The Flight Deck is also home to Association Building Community, for instance, which continues to offer my Peace Practices curriculum in the heart of Oakland and in schools and professional environments around the SF Bay Area.
I call this creative community "essential" because their continued existence and work is a success story that can inspire anyone. They ignore the odds against them, and rely on creativity and solidarity to make the everyday world a more humane and generous place to live together. Any theater, all theater has unique potential to work this way in the world, but these people continually bring the potential of theater to life, and I'm in love with them, so please allow me to gush for a moment.
Someday, the powerful and rising alike will agree that the Ragged Wing - Flight Deck community has moved from hopeful experiment to institution, a jewel in Oakland's crown, like Chicago's Goodman, Houston's Alley, or the Dallas Theater Center. That transition to sustainability could happen something like this: more and more people from around the Bay Area open their hearts, wallets, and networks to Executive Diretor, Anna Shneiderman, and Artistic Director, Amy Sass, to ensure that the throngs who already launch their creative work at the Flight Deck will continue to do so. So many more people of every age, level of capability, and from every possible background and orientation will benefit from working with or near this innovative company. For many, they will find here the very first opportunity to unfurl their ragged wings, initiating creative and sympathetic explorations of human dilemmas and being. The companies at the Flight Deck do the impossible but essential work of waking us all to the world and skins we live in; and they do on a tiny and always tenuous budget. You know the story, and how it usually ends.
The next chapter in this story must be Lift Off. We are due for a cultural renaissance, a developmental transformation, a next step into flight, rising up from the deck of organizational birth, wings shaken dry in the sun so that everyone around can point to and participate in beauty nearby, local and mature artistry, name and proudly claim admirable friends, and invest time and treasure in building a city and people ready to be known for rising up and taking wing.
Ragged Wing Ensemble is proud to welcome to The Flight Deck a new Communications Director, Brandon Williamscraig. In 2015, he brought his Peace Practices project and non-pofit, Association Building Community, to live at The Flight Deck, and has stepped into the rather difficult to fill shoes of Lisa Drostova, who will continue to be a beloved part of our creative community. Brandon brings a twenty year career in the professional regional theater, a Ph.D. in psychology and mythology, many years of leadership, communications, and development work in the nonprofit sector, as well as an internationally recognized, all-ages communication curriculum, called Peace Practices, that teaches children and adults Conflict Done Well through aikido, improvisation, and facilitation. Please welcome and help him spread the good word about our work together!
A thought experiment and creative fiction/ritual of resistance to "That's Just The Way Things Are"
What if a well-known design team, known professionally as The Creator"™, contacted you and asked you to join them for an interview? What if, surprising you with an offer of full partnership, they recommended that you study some of their work and influences while making your decision, at least a collection of ancient stories and current tropes, significant images and songs, earlier relationships and projects that changed their way of working together?
As you look into it, you discover that they have been asking a huge number of other people across the globe to work together for years following a hidden agenda to morph daily life as we know it to fit their social change agenda. Faced by you with this information, they present results from hundreds of years of study: neither giving in to nor fighting popular obsessions seems to work, simply causing compulsions to become more entrenched. Few people seem to take the team up on their offer, because the only way to keep up with them is to identify as Creative and collaborate to make truly and deeply beautiful changes, both individually and collectively, so that that way of doing things becomes a new habit.
If you decide to go the distance, how will you stay relevant alongside your new colleagues as the design team continually innovates? What would your daily creative rituals look like, if all of this were true?
"Emotions are not something that happen to people, but rather, emotions are constructed in our brains" seems to dodge the autonomy of soul, the work of metaphorical gods, but "often with much more nuance than we readily acknowledge" opens the door again to multiplicity in this very interesting recording. You may be interested, in particular, in the sense of certainty about brain as network--no function belonging exclusively to any particular region, but almost always tracing the interaction of several. - Brandon WilliamsCraig
Emotions Are a Construct of the Brain, Says Psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett
Imagine that you’re driving South on 101 when you see blue and red highway patrol lights flashing behind you. Do you feel worried? How about anxious, horrified or scared? According to psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett, emotions are not something that happen to people, but rather, emotions are constructed in our brains, often with much more nuance than we readily acknowledge. Feldman Barrett joins us to talk about how emotions are made, the link between language and feelings and why assigning emotion to facial expressions has negative effects on everything from childcare to the justice system.
Lisa Feldman Barrett, distinguished professor of psychology, Northeastern University; author, "How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain"
In the rich imaginal ground that is the winter holidays, I give you one of my favorite and most lucid senior colleagues, Dr. @Mary Watkins:
"[Knowledge] picks an argument where there is no need. Myth speaks about an imaginal reality using aspects of his material reality. Her statements are not meant to be mere literal, concrete descriptions and opinions about this world. She wants to convey her reality. When he takes some aspects away from her, she must chose others. The more he denies her expressions the more she must use his own words. Though he can discredit her means of expression and make her look foolish to his friends he cannot destroy that which she seeks to express. His inability to distinguish between the concrete level of the symbol and what the symbol refers to leaves him open to her use. It leaves her totally misunderstood. She hides in what and how he studies and her reality begins to come from his own mouth, although he does not hear her inclination.
In our confusion we, as students of Knowledge, have tried to separate the scientific from the metaphorical, matter from spirit, behavior from psyche, the real from the imaginal. They pretend to yield, and in so doing trick us. They have not separated at all, these lovers. What we find flowing down our sinks is our awareness of our participation in myth at every moment of our being in reality, of psyche in our every action. We mistake our confusion for straightforwardness and clarity. What we have packed away in those boxes is not the imagination and the mythical but our recognition, acceptance and conscious valuing of it."
She has most generously provided access to her book, Waking Dreams (where this quote appears on page six) here: