On the way to our morning hike, I played Democracy Now’s special on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The first part was a 20 minute excerpt from his 1967 “Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence” speech at NYC’s Riverside Church. In addition to being intrigued by Dr. King’s cadence — and the core thesis that “the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism” were (and still are) the greatest threats to our society — I was struck by this section (emphasis added):

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.

(Note: spoilers in them there links) We finished the sixth season of Superstore last night.

As a whole I think it was less funny than The Office (obvs. a high bar) despite copying storylines over and over, but more realistic as a workplace and satisfying from a class perspective.

I will say that Garrett’s final announcement was spot-on and a terrific ending.

 

The idea that deaths come in threes gets a boost this week. First Bob Moses, then today I learned that Bill Onasch (longtime labor activist and a Labor Party stalwart from Kansas City) lost his battle with cancer last month and that Richard Trumpka passed away yesterday. That freedom banner got a bit heavier.

Bob Moses, presente! I had the real honor to meet Moses in 1994 at the 30th anniversary of the Mississippi Freedom Summer.

Seems so sadly appropriate that the main way we celebrate this country’s birth is to blow shit up.

“… and I think about living in a place that’s chock full of History and devoid of memory. I think about how it’s impossible for a nation to have a conscience if it doesn’t have a memory.”

— Rayshauna Gray, “Chiasmus: A Narrative of Ascent” in Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology

Still the greatest zine title ever, that I’m reminded of in just about every good political discussion, was Rob’s: My Views Change Over Time.

There was a time — pre-parenthood, etc — that I loved making relational database systems. I can think of 3-4 really good ones I built with my fairly limited knowledge base.

Watching some Python demos earlier today made me curious if I could learn and apply that to web stuff. We shall see.

Listening to Lucero’s Nobody’s Darlings on the ride into work today and had forgotten how much I enjoy it. I think their latter work has taken some of the sheen off this stretch of theirs.

This is wholly unscientific but it strikes me that this album is part of a small group of stretches of 3-full-length-albums I’d call great or nearly flawless. Many bands have great records, and lots of make two in a row, but a three-peat of great records seems rare. The ones I could think of off the top of my head:

  • Hot Water Music – Fuel for the Hate Game / Forever & Counting / No Division / A Flight and A Crash / Caution
  • Lucero – Tennesse / That Much Further West / Nobody’s Darlings
  • Nirvana – Bleach / Nevermind / In Uetero
  • Songs: Ohia – The Lioness / Mi Sei Apparso Come un Fantasma / Didn’t It Rain

Lots of reasons I can think of for not more 3-album stretches: Great records or a pair are preceded or followed by just really good ones (e.g. Neutral Milk Hotel, Public Enemy); a band breaks up after one or two great ones (e.g. Slang, Bridge and Tunnel); I’m not as familiar with a whole catalog enough to identify a 3-peat but there probably is one (Sonic Youth, Unwound, Fugazi); puts out 3 great albums in 4 record stretch (Dikembe).

After quickly scrolling through my collection some obvious ones I missed (though still not comprehensive:

  • ConstantinesConstatines / Shine a Light / Tournament of Hearts
  • Jawbreaker – Bivouac / 24 Hour Revenge Therapy / Dear You
  • Richard Buckner – Bloomed / Devotion + Doubt / Since

There’s also probably a stretch of Kiss, Phil Ochs, PJ Harvey, R.E.M (though the song “Stand” alone might knock them out) and the aforementioned Fugazi, Sonic Youth and Unwound, but the point still stands.

Avett making a his first blackout poetry.

Someone is always in search of new ways to stretch out bedtime. So as I waited for him to finish another snack, I fooled around with making a blackout poem. I hadn’t seen him that intrigued in a non-computer thing in a while, so I let him work one out. I tried one about our idiot governor — and might try to make some political ones at work once my current project is done.