Month: May 2013

Keep Ya Head Up

Keep Ya Head Up, by Tupac Shakur
Little somethin’ for my godson Elijah
And a little girl named Corinne
Some say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice
I say the darker the flesh then the deeper the roots
I give a holler to my sisters on welfare
Tupac cares, and don’t nobody else care
And uhh, I know they like to beat ya down a lot
When you come around the block brothas clown a lot
But please don’t cry, dry your eyes, never let up
Forgive but don’t forget, girl keep your head up
And when he tells you you ain’t nothin don’t believe him
And if he can’t learn to love you you should leave him
Cuz sista you don’t need him
And I ain’t tryin to gas ya up, I just call em how I see em
You know it makes me unhappy (what’s that)
When brothas make babies, and leave a young mother to be a pappy
And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our women
Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it’s time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women
And if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies
That will hate the ladies, that make the babies
And since a man can’t make one
He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one
So will the real men get up
I know you’re fed up ladies, but keep your head up
Keep ya head up, ooo, child things are gonna get easier
Ooo, child things are gonna get brighter
Keep ya head up, ooo, child things are gonna get easier
Ooo, child things are gonna get brighter

Aiyyo, I remember Marvin Gaye, used to sing to me
He had me feelin like black was tha thing to be
And suddenly the ghetto didn’t seem so tough
And though we had it rough, we always had enough

I huffed and puffed about my curfew and broke the rules
Ran with the local crew, and had a smoke or two
And I realize momma really paid the price
She nearly gave her life, to raise me right
And all I had to give her was my pipe dream
Of how I’d rock the mic, and make it to the bright screen
I’m tryin to make a dollar out of fifteen cents
It’s hard to be legit and still pay the rent
And in the end it seems I’m headin for the pen
I try and find my friends, but they’re blowin in the wind
Last night my buddy lost his whole family
It’s gonna take the man in me to conquer this insanity
It seems the rain’ll never let up
I try to keep my head up, and still keep from gettin wet up
You know it’s funny when it rains it pours
They got money for wars, but can’t feed the poor
Say there ain’t no hope for the youth and the truth is
it ain’t no hope for the future
And then they wonder why we crazy
I blame my mother for turning my brother into a crack baby
We ain’t meant to survive, cuz it’s a setup
And even though you’re fed up
Huh, ya got to keep your head up
Keep ya head up, ooo, child things are gonna get easier
Ooo, child things are gonna get brighter
Keep ya head up, ooo, child things are gonna get easier
Ooo, child things are gonna get brighter

And uhh to all the ladies havin babies on they own
I know it’s kinda rough and you’re feelin all alone
Daddy’s long gone and he left you by ya lonesome
Thank the Lord for my kids, even if nobody else want em

Cuz I think we can make it, in fact, I’m sure
And if you fall, stand tall and comeback for more
Cause ain’t nuthin worse than when your son
wants to kno why his daddy don’t love him no mo’
You can’t complain you was dealt this
hell of a hand without a man, feelin helpless
Because there’s too many things for you to deal with
Dying inside, but outside you’re looking fearless
While tears, is rollin down your cheeks
Ya steady hopin things don’t all down this week
Cuz if it did, you couldn’t take it, and don’t blame me
I was given this world I didn’t make it
And now my son’s getten older and older and cold
From havin the world on his shoulders
While the rich kids is drivin Benz
I’m still tryin to hold on to my survivin friends
And it’s crazy, it seems it’ll never let up, but
please… you got to keep your head up

Lyrics from metrolyrics.com

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THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN!

The Magnificent Seven, by The Clash

(a.k.a. “the only band that matters”)

This song is from the album Sandinista!, the title referring to the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, with its catalogue number, ‘FSLN1’, referring to the abbreviation of the party’s Spanish name, Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional.

One of my Cal professors once said they made this album as lengthy as they did— it contains 36 songs, effectively containing 3 albums in 1— because they wanted it to be an album for the working class (i.e. an album for those that probably didn’t have a lot of money to use on leisurely expenses such as music), and they aimed to piss off their record label (which they indeed accomplished, selling what could have been 3 separate albums for the mere price of 1—What record company wouldn’t be miffed?!) According to Rolling Stone magazine, “The triple-LP package was a deliberately anti-commercial gesture. It sold for less than most double albums, and Columbia took the loss profits out of the group’s royalties and tour support funds.”

This album was:

– Recorded in Jamaica, London, and New York.

– Released in 1980.

– Voted album of the year by the Village Voice.

– And contained the first ever UK rap record, The Magnificent Seven.

The Magnificent Seven was inspired by the growing hip-hop scene in the U.S. and Joe Strummer actually wrote the words on the spot. One of my most favorite lyrics (probably of all time) besides “Italian mobster shoots a lobster,” is “Vacuum cleaner sucks up budgie!,” which apparently came from an actual news headline in England around the time this was recorded. Read more about these *MAGNIFICENT* lyrics here.

 

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN:

Don’t you ever stop
Long enough to start
Take your car out of that gear

Don’t you ever stop
Long enough to start
Get your car out of that gear

Ring! Ring! It’s 7:00 A.M.!
Move y’self to go again
Cold water in the face
Brings you back to this awful place
Knuckle merchants and you bankers, too

Must get up an’ learn those rules
Weather man and the crazy chief
One says sun and one says sleet
A.M., the F.M. the P.M. too
Churning out that boogaloo
Gets you up and gets you out
But how long can you keep it up?
Gimme Honda, Gimme Sony
So cheap and real phony
Hong Kong dollars and Indian cents
English pounds and Eskimo pence

You lot! What?
Don’t stop! Give it all you got!
You lot! What?
Don’t stop! Yeah!

Working for a rise, better my station
Take my baby to sophistication
She’s seen the ads, she thinks it’s nice
Better work hard – I seen the price
Never mind that it’s time for the bus
We got to work – an’ you’re one of us
Clocks go slow in a place of work
Minutes drag and the hours jerk

“When can I tell ’em wot I do?
In a second, maaan…oright Chuck!”

Wave bub-bub-bub-bye to the boss
It’s our profit, it’s his loss
But anyway lunch bells ring
Take one hour and do your thanng!
Cheeesboiger!

What do we have for entertainment?
Cops kickin’ Gypsies on the pavement
Now the news – snap to attention!
The lunar landing of the dentist convention
Italian mobster shoots a lobster
Seafood restaurant gets out of hand
A car in the fridge
Or a fridge in the car?
Like cowboys do – in T.V. land

You lot! What? Don’t stop. Huh?

So get back to work an’ sweat some more
The sun will sink an’ we’ll get out the door
It’s no good for man to work in cages
Hits the town, he drinks his wages
You’re frettin’, you’re sweatin’
But did you notice you ain’t gettin’?
Don’t you ever stop long enough to start?
To take your car outta that gear
Don’t you ever stop long enough to start?
To get your car outta that gear
Karlo Marx and Fredrich Engels
Came to the checkout at the 7-11
Marx was skint – but he had sense
Engels lent him the necessary pence

What have we got? Yeh-o, magnificence!!

Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi
Went to the park to check on the game
But they was murdered by the other team
Who went on to win 50-nil
You can be true, you can be false
You be given the same reward
Socrates and Milhous Nixon
Both went the same way – through the kitchen
Plato the Greek or Rin Tin Tin
Who’s more famous to the billion millions?
News Flash: Vacuum Cleaner Sucks Up Budgie
Oooohh…bub-bye

Magnificence!!

FUCKING LONG, INNIT?

 

Sources:

theclash.com

wikipedia

rollingstone.com

“Patriarchy Subjugated Your Biology”

One of my most fave songs… with substance!

“Make U Fly” by Zion I and the Grouch

(ironically, the female vocals are unnamed, but I thought it sounded like sexy songstress Esthero, and I was right!)

Enjoy!

A Shout Out to the SAHM on Mother’s Day

A while ago I liked this page on Facebook called the “Rabid Feminist.”

Until one day they put up a guest post from someone stating how SAHMs (that’s “Stay-At-Home-Mom,” in case you weren’t hip to the acronym) were undermining the goals of, and strides made by, feminism. Apparently, in the eyes of whoever wrote the piece, and the moderator of this site, if you were a SAHM you were by definition not a feminist, and furthermore holding all of women’s lib back, negating much of the gains made by feminism— because you decided to be a SAHM.

I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I quickly looked to the comments below.

Relief! All of the comments were ones of anger, upset, and disappointment.

I myself posted something to the effect of: “Shame on you for trying to shame any woman that chooses to be a SAHM. Not only can being a SAHM be one of the most profound feminist acts of all, but to disparage any woman for making that choice is what is really anti-feminist.”

Yes, I am a “Strident Feminist” as Caitlin Moran would say, but that most certainly does not mean looking down on any woman just because she decides to be a stay-at-home-mother. That is a decision made by her, and/or an agreement decided upon by her and her partner, end of story. And hell, much love and power to those women! We all know that whether working outside the home or not, being a mother is a full-time job, but the way I see it, being a SAHM could encapsulate a very philosophical, free-thinking, creativity-inspiring, radical foundation for thinking and learning. One of my teachers once said that the Ancient Greeks—those great minds of the past (who stole most of their good ideas from the Middle East and Africa, according to him)— didn’t learn by sitting in a classroom in which all of learning was broken up into separate disciplines, but rather, they just had conversations (*ahem Socratic method*). This makes me think of all the things—concepts, ideas, ways of thinking and seeing, etc.—that could transpire between mother and child in a SAHM situation. What a classroom! Not to mention eschewing one’s place within the whole capitalist scheme of the workforce could be seen as a radical/ feminist move in itself, too.

Lastly, I would like to share that a while ago a SAHM friend of mine took me out for coffee, paying for both of us, and when I later told a male friend, “Oh, I met up with so-and-so this morning and she bought me breakfast, how nice, la la la….,” he responded,

“Well, her husband bought you coffee. She doesn’t work, so it wasn’t her that bought it.” I said, “OH SHE WORKS ALRIGHT. She just doesn’t have a “traditional” capitalist job, getting paid by a corporation like what you’re thinking… but OH… SHE WORKS. And SHE EARNED THAT MONEY and she bought me my coffee!”

So hopefully that clears the air on what at least one feminist thinks about the SAHM. (But we all know I’m not the only one)

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, mother-in-laws, single fathers, stepmothers, mothers-to-be, foster mothers, male-mothers, and anyone else doing the work of “mothering” out there. I’m a fan of your work.

“Schools Kill Creativity” – a TED talk

Have you heard of TED talks yet…?
Being that this is one about education, creativity, and what is considered to be intelligent &/or valuable, you know it’s pretty much one of my favorites.

On this subject I have to share that while I went through the “traditional” academic experience, earning my B.A. and going on to law school (though I did not continue on with law), my husband is my polar brain opposite. While I began my academic career at community college and thought, “This is awesome!,” my husband started community college and thought, “This is dumb. I don’t care about any of this… Why am I here?”

He went on to attend the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute where he flourished, with perfect attendance, and perfect grades, at the top of his class.

His brain can understand, compute, and work with numbers, math, technology, and mechanics in ways that mine just can’t. Not to mention, he is the one that (in the midst of my college career, no less- in 2008) explained the economic meltdown to me, in terms that I could actually understand. Moreover, if I’m being perfectly honest, I had to learn critical thinking (to a certain extent) in college. As presented in the following video, my educational upbringing did not foster creativity, nor was I encouraged to think critically. I was raised, like many of us (especially being that my first 7 years of schooling were in Catholic school), to accept the information that was being given to me, at face value, and to not really think critically or analyze anything, but rather, to just memorize. I mean, really, isn’t that a lot of what education in this country is these days? It’s not critical thinking and analysis— it’s the banking concept of education.

I questioned things, to be sure, and my stepfather is really the only person throughout my upbringing that fostered this. [He was born in a small Louisiana town in 1930, a huge fan of the Romantics (think: Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson), preferring spirituality to religion, and always willing to talk to me about art, religion, music, books, and movies, any time of day. He had me reading Voltaire at age 8. I’ll never forget him pulling a book from the shelf and saying, “You know I think you’ll really like this one. It’s called “Candide.” Read it, enjoy!”]

But save for that, like I said, my educational upbringing was lackluster at best. I later went on to skip class constantly while in high school just to be in the music room, where I would sit and write songs, play my guitar, and hang/jam with other musicians like myself.

Contrastingly, my husband was inculcated in the world of critical thought by his parents and and all the other parents that taught at his co-op school throughout his childhood. His ability to just naturally think outside of the box never ceases to amaze me. For example, recently we were watching TV when this cereal commercial comes on, the voiceover stating, “People who choose _____ tend to be healthier than those who choose other cereals!” (or some such nonsense) and my man just remarked, “Yeah, and I’m sure that’s because those people are probably making a whole lot of other healthy decisions regarding lifestyle and diet, too.”

So there ya go. In spite of my learned intellect, I’m not always above seeing past everything the way he is. He is, without a doubt, the smartest person I know. And higher learning had nothing to do with it. With all of that said….

Please watch, and enjoy.

http://www.ted.com/playlists/77/new_to_ted.html

PLAYING FOR CHANGE

“Playing for Change is a multimedia movement created to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music.”

PFC is all about promoting peace and humanity through the unifying media of music.

Coincidentally, my cousin with whom I was recently reunited through Facebook, (we haven’t seen or spoken with each other since we were 13), posted this song on Facebook and I just thought that that was so cool.

After all, she lives in Buenos Aires (and has her entire life—my mom is from Argentina and half the family is still there). So here I am, up in the Bay Area, having only heard of them through my sister who also lives up here, and hardly ever encountering anyone else that has heard of them. And then there is my cousin— in Buenos Aires—who has heard of them, and is introducing others to them, just as my sister up here in the Bay Area did for me. It is a testament to their purpose and power, if you ask me. They are, indeed, connecting people throughout the world.

Just watch….

Finally, in addition to their wonderfully magnificent purpose and goal, their music is also crazy awesome.

I’m not much for covers, but this is almost better than the original. And that’s THE STONES, we’re talking about…

But seriously, the power, beauty, and significance of this cannot be understated.

Enjoy.