Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

The Song of the Smoke   Leave a comment

Source: unsplash

The Song of the Smoke by W. E. B. DU BOIS

Cartoon du Jour   Leave a comment

Richard Codor

Posted August 17, 2020 by kenneturner in Cartoon du jour, Commentary, Information

Tagged with ,

John Lewis, Dead at Age 80   1 comment

I want to see young people in America feel the spirit of the 1960s
and find a way to get in the way. To find a way to get in trouble.
Good trouble, necessary trouble.

–John Lewis

John Lewis-art-72John Lewis, Dead At Age 80 — Photo-Artistry by kenne

I came of age in the 1960s, a time of national unrest centering around civil rights and the Vietnam War. I served three years in the Army during the Vietnam War era, marched and demonstrated for peace and justice. Now nearing my 80th birthday, I remember will the assassinations John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy while embracing the “Beat” generation, its writers, and beliefs.

Having lived in Alabama in the 40s, I couldn’t help but notice state troopers and county posse men attacking the unarmed marchers with billy clubs and tear gas after they passed over the county line. The event became known as Bloody Sunday (March 7, 1965). After Bloody Sunday, President Johnson and Congress began working on a voting rights law on March 15.

A third march started on March 2, averaging 10 miles a day, the marchers marched “Jefferson Davis Highway” from Salma to Montgomery.  The marchers arrived in Montgomery on March 24 and at the Alabama State Capitol on March 25. With thousands having joined the campaign, 25,000 people entered the capital city that day in support of voting rights.

The route is memorialized as the “Selma To Montgomery Voting Rights Trail”, and is designated as a U.S. National Historic Trail. The Voting Rights Act became law on August 6, 1965.

“On the front lines of the bloody campaign to end Jim Crow laws, with blows to his body and a fractured skull to prove it, John Lewis was a valiant stalwart of the civil rights movement and the last surviving speaker from the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.”

He died on the same day as did another civil rights stalwart, the Rev. C.T. Vivian, a close associate of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

For Rep. Lewis, the Black Lives Movement was a very moving experience, “. . . very moving to see hundreds of thousands of people from all over America and around the world take to the streets — to speak up, to speak out, to get into what I call ‘good trouble.” John Lewis was a genuine “profile in courage.”

“When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair,
you have a moral obligation to say something,”
he said on the House floor, December 2019, to impeach President Trump.
“To do something. Our children and their children will ask us,
‘What did you do? What did you say?’
For some, this vote may be hard. But we have a mission
and a mandate to be on the right side of history.”

— kenne

We Live In Interesting Times   2 comments

Robert Kennedy 2-72Robert F. Kennedy and Freckles in Oregon, 1968. — Image by Burton Berinsky

“There is a Chinese curse which says, “May you live in interesting times.” Like it or not, we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also the most creative of any time in the history of mankind. And anyone here will ultimately be judged — will ultimately judge himself — on the effort he has contributed to building a new world society and the extent to which his ideals and goals have shaped that effort.”

— Robert F. Kennedy, June 6, 1966

. . . the curse remains

Existence is surely a debate.   2 comments

SCVN Nature Walk 08-08-12Two-Tailed Swallowtail Butterfly (Official State Butterfly of Arizona) — Image by kenne

“The whole content of my being shrieks
in contradiction against itself . . .

Existence is surely a debate.”

— Kierkegaard

For this Land   2 comments

The WaveThe Wave in Vermillion Cliffs National Monument — Images by kenne

For this land,The Wave (1 of 1)-2 blog
there must be

better leadership
for our tomorrows.

For this land,
there must be
protected lands
for the public.

For this land,
there must be
clean air 
for the eagles to fly.

For this land,
there must be 
protected heritage
for the Indians.

For this land,
there must be
sustainable development
for the desert west.

For this land,
there must be
environmental stewardship
for our children’s future. 

For this land,
there must be 
the union of
knowledge and wisdom.

— kenne

 

 

 

 

 

Parish’s Larkspur Wildflower   Leave a comment

parish larkspur (1 of 1) blogParish’s Larkspur Wildflower (delphinium parishii) — Computer Art by kenne

Life is a series of steps,
you climb each one to succeed.

— kenne

 

“Everybody Look What’s Going Down”   6 comments

Occupy EverythingSource — Wikimedia Commons

For those of us who grew up in the 1960’s, there is much to remember. For me, it was the draft, war, motorcycles, Playboy, love, demonstrations, flower children, and of course, the music. Many songs carried the message of the times.

One such song was Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.” Over the years the song has been covered many times and the words still ring true, even more so today.

There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind

It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side

It’s s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away

We better stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, now, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

— Stephen Stills  

 

Our Global Water Crisis   1 comment

Rainbow

RainbowNicaraguan Women Pumping and Carrying Water to Their Families — Images by kenne

In 2007 I had an opportunity to visit a rural Nicaraguan water project that is part of the Rainbow Network. When it comes to the availability of water, it’s on the backs and heads of women. Even when hand driven water pumps are made available, it is the women who pump and carry the water back to their communities.

The practice of women being responsible for finding and collecting water for drinking, washing, cooking, cleaning is common in many countries. ” They walk miles, carry heavy burdens, wait for hours and pay exorbitant prices. The work is back-breaking and all-consuming. Often the water is contaminated, even deadly. In these instances, they face an impossible choice – certain death without water or possible death from illness.” You can learn more about women and the water crisis at water.org.

Living in southern Arizona one is frequently reminded of the need for sustainable water sources, and global warming will continue to challenge our ability meet water needs. An article in today’s New York Times, “A Parched and Sinking Capital — Mexico City’s Water Crisis Pushes It Toward the Brink,”  is one more reminder of the social, economical and health issues caused by the water crisis.

— kenne

RainbowRural Nicaraguan girls start at a young age carrying water for their families.

 

 

Keep On Blogging — 11 Years Out   1 comment

kennetu-ii-blogComputer Art by kenne (November 26, 2005)

In November of 2006, I posted the following noting the first anniversary of blogging:

. . . One year ago, 135 entries later and approximately 9,500 hits, this blog began with the purpose of sharing existence through the experience of one with the desire to generate other views on our place in time and space.  In doing so, I have come to the realization that this poetic gesture may be nothing more than bullshit to someone else.

So, on the anniversary I’m taking this moment to share a few words from the renowned moral philosopher, Harry G. Frankfurt:

“One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so
much bullshit. Everyone knows this.  Each of us contributes his
share.”

And I would add, some more than others.
But then, one person’s truth is someone else’s bullshit.

“As conscious beings, we exist only in response to other things,
and we cannot know ourselves at all without knowing them.
Moreover, there is nothing in theory, and certainly nothing in
experience, to support the extraordinary judgment that it is
the truth about himself that is the easiest for a person to know.
Facts about ourselves are not peculiarly solid and resistant to
skeptical dissolution.  Our natures are, indeed, elusively
insubstantial – notoriously less stable and less inherent than
the nature of other things.  And insofar as this is the case,
sincerity itself is bullshit.”

This view may cause some confusion.
But, not in our upside-down world
in which the normal order of things
seem to be completely reversed.

This often exists because the
, “. . .more you try to stay
on top of water the more you sink;
but when you try to sink, you float.”

kenne

 

Computer Painting and Taleb’s “No-Nos”   Leave a comment

SCVN Nature Walk 08-08-12Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly — Computer Painting by kenne

THE NO-NOS

Muscles without strength,
friendship without trust,
opinion without risk,
change without aesthetics,
age without values,
food without nourishment,
power without fairness,
facts without rigor,
degrees without erudition,
militarism without fortitude,
progress without civilization,
complication without depth,
fluency without content,
and, most of all, religion without tolerance.

— Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Bee on Blossom –A Picture Is More Than A Picture   2 comments

Bee on Blossom (1 of 1) blogBee and Blossom — Image by kenne

If a picture

of a bee on a blossom

is the same as any picture

of a bee on a blossom,

then you are missing out

on how physical and emotional

conditions change each picture

bringing poetry to the

captured moment.

— kenne

Life Is Easy — Keep Looking For The Signposts   1 comment

Signposts — Image by kenne

Life is easy.

Why 

make it 

so hard —

it’s easy,

don’t kill

the time 

you have

to give.

Look around 

you will see

good times

and lonely times,

so ride

the blues train

down life’s

slippery slopes

looking

for what is

just around 

the bend,

cause baby

it’s a wild world —

beware

and live your

fairy tales,

for falling

out of love

will not

set you free —

keep looking

for the signposts.

— kenne

Posted June 2, 2015 by kenneturner in Commentary, Information, Photography, Poetry

Tagged with , , ,

Hiking Romero Pools Trail, January 23, 2015   Leave a comment

Sunrise On The trail (1 of 1) Jeff & Phil blog

The trail begins merciful,
level and wide for
our first steps.

The sun greeting us
rising above the mountains
warming the morning air.

Our path is straight
into the canyon
through winter’s brown.

Soon the trail narrows
turning left, then right
with carved rock stairs.

The pace slows as
fellow hikers snake-line
up the steep slopes.

As we near the first ridge,
the sky seems smaller,
staying alert with each step.

Hiking the lower canyon walls,
soon we reach the first saddle,
we break for the vistas.

Seeing no bighorn sheep,
only white rocks mistook
for their white rumps.

Climbing up and
around the next ridge,
water flowing from its top.

A steep drop in the trail
beckons thoughts of yet
another ridge to climb.

Reaching a thousand feet
above the trailhead before
hiking down to the pools.

Winter rains have provided
plenty of water for breathtaking
views of the pools and falls.

Spring break will bring
students’ cliff jumping into
the deeper Romero Pools.

I share a silent moment
above the pools with
only my shadow companion.

— kenne

Romero Pools (1 of 1)-25 blog shadow companionImages by kenne

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL PHOTOS OF HIKING ROMERO POOLS TRAIL, JANUARY 2015.

 

Invoking the Mystery, Revisited   Leave a comment

Sunrise On The trail (1 of 1) art III blogInvoking the Mystery By Giving Of One’s Time — Computer Painting by kenne

 (The following was first posted September 26, 2009 on this blog. In the process of writing about my dear friend, Linda Ricketts, who passed away recent, I was doing a tab search on this blog when this posting was among those identified. Much has happen in the intervening years that make the premise of “Invoking the Mystery” even more important and timely, especially with Supreme Court’s deeply flawed 2010 decision in Citizens United.)

The book club to which I belong, “The Society of the 5th Cave,” is made up of members, all-be-it old educated professionals, males who pride themselves in being specialists in many areas, but with age accepting reality of being skilled in few. Mostly politically right of center seeking to help me see the light, convinced that those with opposing views are also conducting their own act of ministry.  Wrong, oh truthsayers! Although I may debate a position, I don’t want everyone to agree with me, I just want each person to think. That’s way lifeincsquare-thumb-500x501-20151I selected Life Inc. How The World Became A Corporation And How To Take It Back by Douglas Rushkoff for September reading. (Click here to see Rushkoff on Colbert Nation.) It is a book that can help people better understand the many of today’s economic and financial issues, which Rushkoff feels are not a problem of reality or nature, but a problem of design. Are corporations evil? No! Neither are the people who work within their controlling environments. There is a convincing case to be made for redesigning a poorly designed invention of our culture by identifying non-market ways of developing gift-exchange institutions.

mcd_us_high_9_25We humanize the corporation, so much so that for many who may take a road-trip vacation, tend to seek out a McDonald’s in which to eat, rather than going to a local establish. If this is your comfort level, then you don’t want to be traveling between the tiny Dakotan hamlets of Meadow and Glad Valley. This is where, according to Stephen Von Worley on the Weather Sealed blog, you will be hurtin’ is you suffer a Big Mac Attack.

Most of us are products of the corporate mentally and lifestyle. I have worked hard to get to an age where I’ve collected enough assets to make money by having money.  Even though recognizing that my live and my fortune is controlled and manipulated by our corporate state, I’m now working hard becoming part of the gift economy – doing something for nothing and stop behaving like corporations who “… express charitable and community impulses from afar.” A gift economy is a society where the exchange of goods and services are given without any explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards.

“By donating to charities in the same manner as our corporate equivalents, we succumb to the proxy system that dissocializes in the first place.”  Instead, we can start reclaiming what has been lost, by accepting that small is the new big and that through a highly networked world we can begin making local impacts that it spreads. Rushkoff gives many examples of local sustainable efforts that effectively trickle up in profound ways. The more we network doing something for nothing, the more one voluntary act encourages another. The act of giving is a social phenomenon that should be a fundamental life skill. As Walt Whitman wrote in Carol of Words:  “The gift is to the giver, and comes back most to him – it cannot fail.”

Rushkroff’s belief that commerce has been separated from the people who are doing the stuff Gift_us_newand his reference to the gift economy brought to mind Lewis Hyde’s wonderful book, The Gift – Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World. Written over twenty-seven years ago, his insight and guidance is even more apropos given today’s economic and financial challenges. Here is how Hyde summarizes The Gift:

“The main assumption of the book is that certain spheres of life, which we care about, are not well organized by the marketplace. That includes artistic practice, which is what the book is mostly about, but also pure science, spiritual life, healing and teaching….This book is about the alternative economy of artistic practice. For most artists, the actual working life of art does not fit well into a market economy, and this book explains why and builds out on the alternative, which is to imagine the commerce of art to be well described by gift exchange.”

In his chapter titled “The Labor of Gratitude,” Hyde uses the folk tale, “The Shoemaker and the Elves,” a tale of a gifted person, as a model of the labor of gratitude. In the tale, the shoemaker makes his first pair of shoes in order to dress the elves, which is the last act in his labor of gratitude. When Hyde speaks of labor, he is referring to human endeavor such as “writing a poem, raising a child, developing a new calculus, resolving a neurosis, invention in all forms,” as distinguished from “work,” that we do by the hour. Labor has it’s own schedule. Things are accomplished, but often we as if wasn’t us who did them. This is always a bit mysterious. It is the mystery Federico Garcia Lorca was referring to when he wrote at the bottom of one of his drawings he did in Buenos Aires, “Only mystery enables us to live.” Invoking the mystery is to invoke the duende.

If we value the mystery and the categories of human enterprise that invoke the mystery, such as family life, spiritual life, public service, pure science and artistic practice, none of which operates well in the corporate market place, then it is necessary that we find non-corporate ways to organize and support them.

kenne

%d bloggers like this: