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Self Evident?

Taking the Fifth Every Fourth…

GORE VIDAL called America the United State of Amnesia. For a reason. Behind each freedom we cherish is a crime—against nature, against humanity, against any concept of God. And yet we, especially on this day, claim our divine right to forget.

Columbus “discovered” a fully-functioning Eden, where Man and God lived in harmony. He and his followers violently separated both and chopped down their garden’s still virgin tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil to build cities of commerce, convenience, degradation and toxic waste. We celebrate that as progress.

Our founders created a republic for themselves on stolen lands while concocting a vicious, unprecedented form of perpetual slavery to pay for it. We celebrate that as liberty.

They devised a democratically enacted system of laws for those who looked like themselves that they denied to those who didn’t. We celebrate that as equal justice under the rule of law.

And yet, almost in spite of their arrogance, greed and willful blindness, they also created America as an ever-renewing, inspiring concept that transcends their faults and hypocrisies. The America they conceived, perhaps unintentionally, transcends the America they constructed.

This is an America worth celebrating.

And even our chronic national amnesia can recede, as we see in cities and towns across this country awakening to demand actual equal justice for our long-oppressed peoples.

This is a time worth celebrating

So let us move forward together, towards creating a more perfect union based on the vision of our founders and not the sins of our forefathers.

Happy Fourth of July Weekend…

 

 

 

 

Covid PSA

Not Just Another Flu.

ALTHOUGH last week’s post on racism and democracy generated much positive feedback, and I intend to continue that discussion, there is an element of the media’s relentless Covid-19 coverage that has pushed itself to the forefront of my consciousness—because it remains overlooked even as various states haphazardly reopen (and re-close): that more than a few Covid SURVIVORS will never fully recover.

I bring this up now because 1) it is an annoying, even reckless journalistic oversight; and 2) meanwhile, many of us, including me, are growing tired of the limitations imposed to “flatten the curve” of infections: the social isolation, social distancing, wearing of masks everywhere, relentless hand washing—the novelty of all this has long since worn off and many of us, including me, are tempted to at least bend some corners for social and emotional relief. After all, it’s only about one percent who die from Covid, right? And many of those were already in bad health and/or had pre-existing conditions, right?

Yes. But…

What is rarely mentioned is the damage and debilitation—possibly permanent—Covid can cause a significant portion of the 99 percent who do survive, including those who were perfectly heathy before being infected.

  • This from Science News: “In 70 patients who survived COVID-19 pneumonia, 66 had some level of lung damage visible in CT scans taken before hospital discharge.”
  • Or from the UK’s Business Insider: “The worst-hit coronavirus survivors could be left with lung damage that takes up to 15 years to heal.”
  • Or Gulf News: “1 in 3 survivors may suffer ‘irreversible’ lung damage.”

So if, like me, you’re tired of the social isolation, etc., etc., just try to imagine how tired you might become of trying catch your breath every time you walk across the room for the next decade—or possibly even the rest of your life, which could also be shortened.

The point being: now is not the time to relax preventive disciplines. I don’t much like it either, but…

…Covid-19 is not just another flu.

Just saying. Stay safe. Stay well.

 


POSTSCRIPT: ON A HAPPIER NOTE…

LIKE A lightning bug in a jar, Friday night’s live-streamed, seven-song Covid Couch Concert 2.0 was captured and its remaining luminescence can be viewed in the safe isolation of one’s own home on my YouTube channel. The theme: people I have known or known of. Was fun to make. Might even be fun to watch. You never know…

 

Unfathomable…

But What Do I Know?

VERY LITTLE, when it comes to American Black history. What little I do know is horrifying.

I’m currently reading These Truths by Jill Lapore, an overview of American history from Columbus to the present. In it, I learned that the seeds of slavery and democracy were both planted in the colonies in the same year, 1619. The first slaves (kidnapped from Africa, then stolen at sea by pirates) were sold there just when the first gathering of the colonial governing bodies met to discuss increasing their democratic representation. That’s right. Slavery for you. Democracy for me.

Insanely illogical as it may seem, in America these polar opposites flourished together, like a double helix of depravity and inspiration, apparently inseparable yet grotesquely incompatible. It’s a story of moral madness, a damning testimony to the ease with which we humans see things as we want to see them and not as they really are.

That said, this weekend’s Juneteenth is a celebration of the first official step in freeing those slaves. One hundred and sixty years later, we are still not done; institutional racism remains rampant, cloaked by the long shadow cast by our founders; but let us join our African American brothers and sisters, celebrate our progress—slow, agonizing, cruel and violent as it has been—and then devote ourselves to bringing light to the darkness and finishing the job.


POSTSCRIPT: BODHI BILL COUCH CONCERT 2.0

PERHAPS a celebration of a different sort. A seven song set of stories based on people I’ve known—or known about.

Couch concert details:

  • Friday, June 26, 2020
  • 7 pm PDT start
  • Bodhi Bill Miller channel on YouTube.com

 

Encore?

Like a Bad Penny…

BACK BY (virtually no discernible) popular demand, I will be returning to social media in two weeks for another shelter in place Couch Concert of original songs—these based on people I’ve known or known about.

Due to Facebook’s irksome roadblocks erected against anyone not firmly embedded in its digital vice grip, I will be moving the venue to my YouTube channel. Streaming instructions to come next week (after I’ve figured them out).

Concert details:

  • BODHI BILL COUCH CONCERT 2.0
  • Friday, June 26, 2020
  • 7 pm PDT start

See you online.

 


P O S T S C R I P T

ALTHOUGH the novelty of dealing with Covid-19 has worn off for many, Covid doesn’t care. Its spread is not declining, has not “leveled off,” and in fact cases and deaths are continuing to increase—most dramatically in those states cavalier enough to rush to reopen. You and I may be done with Covid, but it is not done with us. Please remain vigilant, careful and safe.

 

The Spell is Breaking

Now What?

I MISSED posting last week. For me, everything seemed in the middle of trying to go somewhere from the middle of nowhere. There was nothing to say, which is usually the best time to say nothing.

Now that is changing. The world is changing.

The arc of all tyrants is predictable. They rise; they assume godlike stature through intimidation, retribution and violence; they appear utterly invincible; and then, the spell breaks and they fall. The arc is certain, the timing is not. Until it happens.

Trump is falling. It’s bound to be messy; but it is unstoppable. The question is, “Now what?”

Even in Reno, notable for being passive progressive, thousands turn out for a Black Lives Matter protest Sunday.

And what a time to ask that question.

Covid cases and deaths continue to increase as the economy reopens too early after closing down too late, a deadly national leadership fiasco that almost makes a mockery of our shared sacrifice.

The casual public execution of George Floyd by police has set off an unprecedented worldwide outrage and protest, demanding justice and fairness in a deeply rooted, systemically unjust and unfair system.

And meanwhile, almost unnoticed, the climate crisis has not abated; even with the drastic cut in fossil fuel consumption from the worldwide coronavirus shutdown, 2020 will be the hottest year in human history. Whether we notice or not, the door to a sustainable future is irreversibly closing. It will not reopen.

Yet, we Americans have proven ourselves capable of enduring a shutdown. We have proven ourselves capable of rising together against injustice. We have proven ourselves able to stand up to an invincible tyrant and set his demise into action. Can we also rise up in time for the most threatening—yet most abstract—crisis ever faced by humanity?

Obviously, the answer is:  we can if we choose to.

 

Wading into the Live Stream

Panic. Pandemonium. Performance.

THE PERFORMANCE part was fun. Really fun. The hour before, not so much. Facebook streaming is not FaceTime; it takes two, independently-produced, non-intuitive programs running together in synch to work. The entire hour before launch, right up to showtime, they would neither synch nor work. It was panic times pandemonium squared, but somehow they revealed their secrets just before the metaphorical curtain rose. WHEW!

For those who were able to tune in, thanks for joining me! For those who couldn’t—or those who might like to see it again—the live stream video is posted on my Bodhi Bill Facebook page. Since I listed it for the public viewing, I don’t think you need an account, but can’t say for sure; you never know with Facebook. Give it a try:

Bill’s Couch Concert Video

I hope that works! If so, and you like it, please share it…

 

Back to Life

Renewed and Reengaged.

BACK AGAIN and almost as good as new. Time to celebrate! This Friday, I’m going to attempt to stream a live seven song set of originals specifically selected for these shut-in, shut-down, self-isolating times.

It’s my first time Facebook streaming, so I’ll run a few tests beforehand, and with the blessings of the Electro-Gods, we’ll put on a show.

Tune in. Tell your friends. See you online…

Bodhi Bill’s Facebook LINK

 

 

 

Time Out

CAME DOWN with a sinus infection. Miserable. But, could be worse.

Got the meds I need. Got the time. I’m allowing this healing process to be an opportunity to recover on many levels. And like the rest of the world, reevaluate. As a consequence, this space will be going dark for awhile. Time to recalibrate.

Take care. Stay safe.

 

 

 

Happy Earth Day to Us

Celebrating 50 years with a few recycled blog postings.

WHAT A LONG, strange trip it’s been. So sang the Grateful Dead, appropriately. Strange indeed. Ten percent of America turned out for the first Earth Day in 1970, and the fossil fuel industry took notice, turned on them—and us—and so far continues to dominate their war on sustainable life, escalating the destruction of our planet for profit, while monopolizing the media to convince us resistance is futile. Just relax and enjoy your comforts in luxurious complacency. You’ve never had it so good. Stay the course.

Then, from out of nowhere, Covid-19 forced us to radically change our behavior across the globe, virtually overnight, proving we can if we choose. Next up, behavioral change for the impending climate crisis? Not seeing many volunteers for that. Curious irony there. While the coronavirus is a terrifying new disease that can assault victims mercilessly, it kills perhaps one percent of the people it infects. The climate crisis is on track to kill billions—half the global population or more in the coming decades—from  indefensible super storms, droughts, fires and sea rise; societal collapse, global pestilence, disease and starvation; and savage wars for water, food and shelter. In the face of this presently inevitable outcome—an outcome that we still can change, will we?  Why not? We can. We just did.

Imagine if ten percent of America—now some 37 million people—were to show up en masse once again in Washington, New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities and towns across the country, all demanding climate action. We did it before. And we got it.

 

You are here.

SPECIFICALLY, in the upper right hand corner. And by you, of course I mean “we,” since we’re all captive on the same floating blue marble of a starship. This chart, a recycled blog post, is based on peer-reviewed science, not a conspiracy theory from some oil-soaked, talking sock puppet. If it doesn’t alarm you, I don’t know what will.

 

More than meets the eye.

THE L.A. SKYLINE has cleared dramatically since the coronavirus lockdown. It’s stunning. In New Delhi, people can see the Himalaya for the first time in decades. This is a spectacular reminder of what life is supposed to look like. And yet, this change is essentially meaningless if we expect it to remain without any effort on our part.

Worse still, what we don’t see is the CO2 lingering, way up in the stratosphere. It is invisible. And, it has not gone away. In fact, it will continue to ripen for decades before its full impact is felt. Clearing skies, while beautiful, can be deeply misleading. The real danger lurks beyond. Either we perceive it through science or we doom our future selves to a cataclysm of suffering beyond comprehension.

Hope in imagining.

ANOTHER RECYCLED POST from a few weeks ago. We have profoundly changed our behavior in the face of Covid-19. We can profoundly change in the face of the climate crisis. If we choose.  Maybe this post will help. If it does inspire you, please share with friends. Hope will not share itself. Nor will it be on the nightly news.

 

A marching song for action.

A FINAL RECYCLED POST, now offered as a Happy Earth Day rabble rousing fight song in support of 50 years of battle for sanity and life against a growing, darkly sinister assault on our socio-economic-political systems. The richest, most polluting, sociopathic and destructive industries on earth are not going to willingly release their vice grip on dominance and power. It’s up to me. And, it’s up to you. Or it’s not. Likewise, please share if this inspires you.

Earth Day has no meaning unless we act.

Thanks for all you do.