Monday, February 28, 2022

Quote of the Day

Invasions and military force by one country against another are clearly illegal under international law, unless conducted in true self-defense (or authorized by the U.N. Security Council). In coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, U.S. mainstream media have correctly, repeatedly, and without equivocation, invoked international law and declared it illegal. As they did when Russia invaded Crimea in 2014.

By contrast, when the U.S. illegally invaded or attacked country after country in recent decades, international law has almost never been invoked by mainstream U.S. media. That was surely the case in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion – unlike in Britain, where major media prominently discussed the reality that invading Iraq would be a crime against international law unless authorized by a U.N. Security Council resolution. On a BBC television special six weeks before the invasion, for example, Tony Blair was cross-examined on that point by anti-war citizens.

In 1989, when the U.S. invaded Panama in perhaps the bloodiest drug bust in history, mainstream U.S. media made a determined effort to ignore international law and its violation – as well as the slaughter of civilians.

Mainstream media in our country today are outraged by imperialism. On Friday night, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell indignantly and repeatedly denounced “Russian imperialism.”

As a lifelong opponent of imperialism, I’m also indignant that a powerful country like Russia is using force to try to impose its will and its own chosen leadership on the Ukrainian people.

But I’ve never heard O’Donnell or anyone at MSNBC denounce U.S. imperialism. Indeed, the existence of something called “U.S. imperialism” is so adamantly denied by mainstream U.S. media that the phrase doesn’t appear in print without scare quotes.

This stubborn unwillingness to recognize U.S. imperialism persists despite the fact that no country (including Russia) has come close to ours in the last 70 years in imposing its will in changing the leadership of foreign governments – often from good to bad (for example, Iran in 1953; Guatemala in 1954; Congo in 1960; Chile, in 1973; Honduras in 2009). Not to mention other U.S.-led regime changes (for example, Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011).

This denial persists despite the fact that our country maintains more than 750 military bases in nearly 80 foreign countries (Russia has about 20 foreign bases in a half-dozen countries); that our military budget dwarfs that of every other country (more than 12 times larger than Russia’s); that the U.S. provides nearly 80 percent of the world’s weapons exports – including weapons sales and military training to 40 of the 50 most oppressive, anti-democratic governments on earth.

Jeff Cohen
Excerpted from “So This Is What It Looks Like
When the Corporate Media Opposes a War

Common Dreams
February 28, 2022



NEXT: Something to Think About
– March 4, 2022


Above: People wait in line to buy food in front of a supermarket with a damaged building in the background in Kyiv on March 1, 2022. Russia will continue the offensive in Ukraine until its “goals are achieved,” Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday, March 1, almost a week into Moscow’s invasion. (Photo: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images)


Related Off-site Links:
Critics Denounce Racist Double Standard of Western Media’s Ukraine Coverage – Julia Conley (Common Dreams, February 28, 2022).
War: The Ukrainian Conundrum – Marianne Williamson (Transform, February 28, 2022).
Ukraine War Shows Why We Must Stop the Powerful From Making the Rules – Jon Schwarz (The Intercept, February 26, 2022).
Ukraine Doesn’t Need to Match Russia’s Military Might to Defend Against Invasion – George Lakey (Waging Nonviolence, February 25, 2022).
How NATO’s Expansion Helped Drive Putin to Invade Ukraine – Becky Sullivan (NPR News, February 24, 2022).
Putin’s Invasion – Katrina vanden Heuvel (The Nation, February 24, 2022).
Condemning Russia’s Invasion, Voices for Peace Say “War Is Not the Answer” – Jake Johnson (Common Dreams, February 24, 2022).

UPDATES: There’s No Justification for Russia’s Aggression, But U.S. Double Standards on Illegal War Are Hard to Stomach – Stephen Zunes (The Progressive via Common Dreams, March 1, 2022).
Russia Warns Kyiv Residents to Leave Homes Ahead of Bombing Blitz – Jake Johnson (Common Dreams, March 1, 2022).
Putin’s Claim of Fighting Against Ukraine “Neo-Nazis” Distorts History, Scholars Say – Rachel Treisman (NPR News, March 1, 2022).
Putin’s Criminal Invasion of Ukraine Highlights Some Ugly Truths About U.S. and NATO – Jeremy Scahill (The Intercept, March 7, 2022).
Impunity for War Crimes in Syria Casts a Grim Shadow Over Ukraine – Ben Hubbard (The New York Times, March 15, 2022).
Transcending the Certainties of War – Robert C. Koehler (Common Dreams, March 17, 2022).
Phyllis Bennis: The Best Way to Help Ukraine Is Diplomacy, Not War and Increased MilitarizationDemocracy Now! (March 17, 2022).
One Month Into the Invasion of Ukraine, Russian Forces Keep Up Airstrikes – Virginia Lozano and Marco Storel (NPR News, March 24, 2022).
A Month Into the Russia-Ukraine War: 3.7 Million Refugees, Including 2.5 Million ChildrenNPR News (March 24, 2022).
The Urgent Peace Those Who Support Ukraine Must Demand – Yanis Varoufakis (Common Dreams, May 25, 2022).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Yanis Varoufakis: Quote of the Day – February 24, 2022
A Prayer for Ukraine
A “Post-Cold War Train Wreck Long In the Making”
The Tenth Anniversary of the U.S. Invasion of Iraq
In Search of a “Global Ethic”

Opening image: A Russian armored personnel carrier burns after engaging with the Ukrainian armed forces in Kharkiv on Saturday, February 26. (Photo: Sergey Bobok/AFP via Getty Images)

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Remembering Carl Anderson


. . . vocalist extraordinaire and
a very beautiful and generous soul


It’s the birthday of the late, great American vocalist Carl Anderson (1945-2004). He would have been 77 today.

As I’ve noted previously, I sometimes like to think that in a parallel universe Carl has the superstar status which in this universe was inexplicably denied him. This despite the fact that he possessed a vocal range, elasticity, and sensuality that matched, and often bettered, those of his contemporaries Freddie Jackson, El Debarge, Jeffrey Osborne, John Whitehead, Al Jarreau, and Luther Vandross.

As the Funky Town Grooves website notes, “Carl Anderson was a singer with great range, clarity of diction . . . [and] that rare ability to sing flawlessly from a technical standpoint [while] still communicating character and emotion.”

He was, in short, an artist and vocalist extraordinaire!


I dare say that for most people, Carl Anderson is best known for playing Judas Iscariot in the 1973 film adaptation (above and right) and numerous stage productions of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar. (For more about Carl’s groundbreaking portrayal of Judas, click here, here, and here.)

Yet there is much more to Carl Anderson than Jesus Christ Superstar. Indeed, for over three decades he was an accomplished and well-respected song stylist, artfully blending jazz, soul, pop, and R&B influences into his own unique and unforgettable style.

Between 1982 and 1996 Carl released nine albums. In addition, he made memorable duets with other artists and provided solo guest vocals on a number of songs by others. Artists he worked with included Weather Report, Nancy Wilson, The Rippingtons, Michael Paulo, Maynard Ferguson, Gerald McCauley, Eric Marienthal, Brenda Russell, Dan Siegel, Lisa Deveaux, and Linda Eder.

Yet for reasons that are frustratingly elusive, many of Carl’s best recordings remain unknown to the general public. His most popular song is his duet with singer-actress Gloria Loring, “Friends and Lovers,” which reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1986.


Carl died on February 23, 2004, after an 8-month struggle with leukemia. He was less than a week away from his 59th birthday. . . . His memory and his music, however, live on.

In addition to his many professional and creative achievements (in both both music and film), Carl was also a very beautiful and generous soul. Filmmaker Merrill Aldighieri, who worked with Carl in the mid-1980s, remembers him as being “very philosophical, very warm and honest,” while Veth Javier, a friend, recalls how Carl “gave so much of himself. . . . There was so much love.”

Perhaps no other recording of Carl Anderson’s embodies this great love that he possessed and shared than “God’s Gift to the World,” from his last studio album, 1996’s Heavy Weather Sunlight Again.

Written by Mike Himelstein and Terry Sampson, and featuring the Jesus Christ Superstar Choir, which included Carl’s longtime friend Ted Neeley, “God’s Gift to the World” is a powerful testimony that in transcending religious categories and divisions, reflects humanity’s deepest spiritual truths.

In honoring Carl on the 77th anniversary of his birth, I share today his soulful recording of “God’s Gift to the World.” May we all take this song’s message, one embodied by Carl throughout his life, to heart so that we may also, like Carl, strive to share it with others through our thoughts and actions.




This one, that one
Each one is God’s gift to the world

We are, they are
Each one is God’s gift to the world

There are no extra people
In a mansion or a ghetto
From where you start your journey
Anywhere you go

So look across the ocean
See those on distant corners
Or see the one beside you
Look in their eyes long enough
And you’ll know

This one, that one
Each one is God’s gift to the world.

And all the lonely people
The first ones and the last ones
All the great and small ones
The ones that win and lose

All of those remembered
And even the forgotten
From every single nation
I believe these words are true
For me and you

We are, they are,
Each one is God’s gift to the world

Oh, let’s sing this song
This one, that one
Each one is God’s gift to the world

We are (all of His children)
They are (all of us chosen)
Each one is God’s gift to the world



The Wild Reed’s February 2021 Celebration of Carl Anderson:
Remembering an Artist and Vocalist Extraordinaire
An Electrifying Spectrum of Emotions
“Fare Thee Well, My Nightingale”
“He Was Bigger Than Life . . . Very Philosophical, Very Warm and Honest”

The Wild Reed’s February 2020 Celebration of Carl Anderson:
Carl Anderson: On and On
Carl Anderson and The Black Pearl
Carl Anderson in The Color Purple
Carl Anderson: “Let the Music Play!”

The Wild Reed’s February 2019 Celebration of Carl Anderson:
Remembering and Celebrating Carl Anderson
Carl Anderson: “Pure Quality”
Carl Anderson’s Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar: “The Gold Standard”
Carl Anderson’s Judas: “A Two-Dimensional Popular Villain Turned Into a Complex Human Being”
Carl Anderson: “Artist and Vocalist Extraordinaire”
Playbill Remembers Carl
Remembering the Life of Carl Anderson: “There Was So Much Love”


For more of Carl at The Wild Reed, see:
Carl Anderson: “Like a Song in the Night”
Carl Anderson: “One of the Most Enjoyable Male Vocalists of His Era”
With Love Inside
Carl Anderson
Acts of Love . . . Carl’s and Mine
Introducing . . . the Carl Anderson Appreciation Group
Forbidden Lover
Revisiting a Groovy Jesus (and a Dysfunctional Theology)

Related Off-site Links:
A Profile of Carl Anderson – Part I: A Broadway Legend with Lynchburg Roots – Holly Phelps (LynchburgMuseum.org, May 12, 2015)
A Profile of Carl Anderson – Part II: The Legend Lives On – Holly Phelps (LynchburgMuseum.org,June 10, 2015)
Carl Anderson – Jazz Legend: The Official Website
Carl Anderson Memorial Page
Carl Anderson at AllMusic.com – Ron Wynn (AllMusic.com)
Carl Anderson Biography – Chris Rizik (Soul Tracks)


Thursday, February 24, 2022

Quote of the Day

It’s a dark, bleak day for the world, for Europe in particular. War is back on the continent, [even though it was] promised by our European Union that [it] would never be back on our soil. Vladimir Putin is to blame entirely for taking this step. But at the same time, NATO must be condemned for creating the circumstances leading to Putin’s escapade in Ukraine.

We have to stop this war right now. And we have to work very hard to stop any NATO escalation. We have to create international solidarity in order to ensure that the people of Ukraine live in peace, not under the boot of any army, and for NATO to keep out of . . . Eastern Europe, as, let’s not forget, George Bush – the senior George Bush – had promised Mikhail Gorbachev.

. . . [W]hen the beast of war is unleashed from its lair, then all sorts of catastrophes are possible. . . .The number one priority now is for a serious diplomatic initiative that sorts this mess out by giving Putin something that he can present the Russian people with as a victory. And that’s something that would not have any costs for anybody around the world: a declaration by NATO, by the United States, that Ukraine will not become a member of NATO, in exchange for troop withdrawal from the side of Vladimir Putin, that he ceases all hostilities and removes all troops from Ukrainian soil. I believe that that would be potentially the foundation for a peace deal that would be in the interest of humanity, not just of the Ukrainians. Both sides need to take a step back. Of course, the major step back must be Putin’s.

This war is the result, on the one hand, of NATO expansionism and, on the other hand, of course, crucially, the great glee with which Putin grabs the opportunity that the United States and NATO and Europe give him to have this war in order to enhance his authority, his brutal, cruel authority, over the good people [including the pro-democracy activists] of Russia.



Above: Natali Sevriukova weeps in front of one of the many residential buildings in Kyiv that have been damaged or destroyed by Russian shelling. (Photo: AP / Emilio Morenatti)


NEXT: Jeff Cohen:
Quote of the Day – February 28, 2022


Related Off-site Links:
Russian Attack of Ukraine Underway: “Extremely Dangerous Moment in World History” – Jake Johnson (Common Dreams, February 24, 2022).
Panic, Fear, Disbelief: Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Could Prompt Humanitarian and Refugee CrisisDemocracy Now! (February 24, 2022).
UN Chief Calls on Putin to Stop “Unacceptable” Russian Aggression – Kenny Stancil (Common Dreams, February 24, 2022).
Over 1,000 Russians Arrested for Protesting Putin’s Ukraine Invasion – Jessica Corbett (Common Dreams, February 24, 2022).
How NATO’s Expansion Helped Drive Putin to Invade Ukraine – Becky Sullivan (NPR News, February 24, 2022).
Putin’s Invasion – Katrina vanden Heuvel (The Nation, February 24, 2022).
Condemning Russia’s Invasion, Voices for Peace Say “War Is Not the Answer” – Jake Johnson (Common Dreams, February 24, 2022).
Ukraine Is Now Democracy’s Front Line – Anne Applebaum (The Atlantic, February 23, 2022).

UPDATES: The U.S. Should Respond to Putin’s Unconscionable Invasion of Ukraine With Diplomacy, Not War – Phyllis Bennis (In These Times, February 25, 2022).
From Putin’s Late-Night Speech to Russian Troops in Kyiv, Here's How the Invasion of Ukraine Has Unfolded – Scott Mitchell (ABC News, February 27, 2022).
How Ukrainian Defiance Has Derailed Putin’s Plans – Luke Harding (The Guardian, February 26, 2022).
Ukrainian Forces Resist Russian Advance on Kyiv, With President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Saying “We Will Not Lay Down Any Weapons”ABC News (February 27, 2022).
Putin Shunned By World As His Hopes of Quick Victory Evaporate – Emma Graham-Harrison, Peter Beaumont, Andrew Roth, and Philip Oltermann (The Guardian, February 26, 2022).
Who Is Vladimir Putin’s Revisionist History For? – Yasmeen Serhan (The Atlantic, February 27, 2022).
Russian Ruble Is Now Worth Less Than 1 U.S. Cent After SWIFT Bank Sanctions – Associated Press via TIME (February 28, 2022).
Putin Accidentally Revitalized the West’s Liberal Order – Kori Schake (The Atlantic, February 28, 2022).
War: The Ukrainian Conundrum – Marianne Williamson (Transform, February 28, 2022).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
A Prayer for Ukraine
A “Post-Cold War Train Wreck Long In the Making”
Prayer of the Week: “The Heart of Compassion” by Joyce Rupp
Discerning and Embodying Sacred Presence in Times of Violence and Strife
Questioning God's Benevolence in the Face of Tragedy
In Search of a “Global Ethic”

A Prayer for Ukraine

Source


Related Off-site Links:
Russia Invades Ukraine as Explosions Are Heard in Kyiv and Other Cities – Bill Chappell and Jonathan Franklin (NPR News, February 24, 2022).
Russian Attack of Ukraine Underway: “Extremely Dangerous Moment in World History” – Jake Johnson (Common Dreams, February 24, 2022).
Panic, Fear, Disbelief: Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Could Prompt Humanitarian and Refugee CrisisDemocracy Now! (February 24, 2022).
How NATO’s Expansion Helped Drive Putin to Invade Ukraine – Becky Sullivan (NPR News, February 24, 2022).
Yanis Varoufakis: Europe Must Stand With Ukraine, Condemn Putin and Roll Back NATO to Restore PeaceDemocracy Now! (February 24, 2022).
Condemning Russia’s Invasion, Voices for Peace Say “War Is Not the Answer” – Jake Johnson (Common Dreams, February 24, 2022).
Thousands of Russians Protest President Vladimir Putin’s Assault on Ukraine. Some Chant: “No to War!” – Ivan Nechepurenko and Dan Bilefsky (The New York Times, February 24, 2022).
Over 650 Russians Detained During Anti-War Demonstrations – Jacob Knutson (Axios News, February 24, 2022).
Pope Francis Declares Ash Wednesday a Day of Fasting and Prayer for Peace in Ukraine – Gerard O’Connell (America, February 23, 2022).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Prayer of the Week: “The Heart of Compassion” by Joyce Rupp
Discerning and Embodying Sacred Presence in Times of Violence and Strife
Questioning God's Benevolence in the Face of Tragedy
In Search of a “Global Ethic”

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Soul: The Connecting Force in Life


Writes scholar of mythology, anthropology, and psychology Michael Meade in his book, Awakening the Soul: A Deep Response to a Troubled World . . .


Most ancient people and traditional cultures imagined some sort of soulful presence that accompanied a person throughout the course of life. Such notions now confound people. A narrow sense of rationality and logic dominates modern life. Many modern people doubt that there is any such thing as a self-defining human soul. Yet, there is and must be something essential in each of us – something not simply born of genetics and biology, or bred from some random selection of genes. At the deeper levels of being, each person born must be, in some way, unique. Otherwise, life becomes nothing but duplication, imitation, and blind mutation.

One of he few things that can stand against the vacancy of mass culture and the onslaught of extreme change is the sense of an animating inner soul that makes each person uniquely and essentially valuable. As the original agent of our lives and source of our talents and gifts, the human soul stands against the loss of meaning and purpose so characteristic of modern cultures.

Although an elusive concept, soul has traditionally been seen as the underlying substance and distinct force of each person's character and way of being. By virtue of our souls, we are each connected to the essential pulse of life, to the core powers of imagination, and potentially, to the ancient inheritance of humanity. Thus, the soul is both ancient and immediate; it is enduring as well as spontaneous. It is in the depths of the human soul, where mystery resides, that history can be continually remade.

When everything seems to be falling apart, soul is the missing ingredient; but the problem is that the presence of the human soul cannot be proven in logical, scientific terms. We cannot analyze, categorize, or contain it; yet we can tell when it is missing. Those who seek to prove the existence of soul are simply not meeting the issue at the right level. The soul is part of the deeper, more intuitive levels of human understanding, where simple reasoning must give way to things that are not only irrational, but also numinous and mysterious.

The rational mind reels and falters from all the irrational blows coming from both cultural and natural disasters. A greater psychological awareness is required and a deeper understanding needed if despair would be avoided. As the underlying and unifying forse of life, the human soul carries an inheritance of resiliency and a capacity for innovation in the face of disaster. When life becomes severely polarized, when people become alienated and isolated from each other, it is soul that has gone missing.

. . . [T]he loss of soul not only diminishes the sense and meaning in human life, it diminishes and wounds the world. We are most lost and feel most abandoned when we have lost touch with soul, for it is the connecting force in life. Since soul serves as the underlying connection of all things, it has the power to move all things. Thus, soul is the primordial and primary source of meaningful change and true transformation.

Michael Meade
Excerpted from Awakening the Soul:
A Deep Response to a Troubled World

Greenfire Press, 2018
pp. 21-22


See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Thomas Moore on the “Ageless Soul”
The Soul’s Beloved
Unique . . . Yes, You!
Awakening the Wild Soul
In the Garden of Spirituality – Andrew Harvey
In the Garden of Spirituality – Caroline Jones
Marianne Williamson on America’s “Cults of Madness”
Thomas Moore on the Circling of Nature as the Best Way to Find Our Substance
Soul Deep
The Soul Within the Soul
The Source Is Within You
Spiritual Caregivers as “Soul Companions”
Arthur Kleinman on the “Soul of Care”
Our Memory of Eden
Seven Principles for Living with Deep Intention
A Sacred Pause
You Are My Goal, Beloved One
The Soul of a Dancer

Opening image: Patricia Pinto.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

The Sun Is All Around You

. . . The meaning, something beyond you.
There is one love,
I am here beside you.
And you are needed,
What for will astound you.


Something special this evening: a song from one of my favorite actors and singer-songwriters, Hans Matheson.

I’ve written extensively about Hans’ film career (see here, here and here) but not, to date, about his musical endeavors. That Hans would be drawn to express himself through music should not come as a surprise. In the introduction to her 2020 interview with Hans, Shana Beth Mason explains why.

Hans Matheson was born in Stornoway, Scotland in 1975. His father, Ado Matheson, is a well-regarded Gaelic folk musician whose grandfather was crowned the Celtic Bard in the late ’50s. Growing up surrounded by artistic passions and experimentations would prove rewarding for the young Matheson. His breakout film role in 1997, adapted from the stage play Mojo by Jez Butterworth, would open the proverbial floodgates; a lot of attention in a very short period of time. Yet, the cascade of film work across three decades never eroded Matheson’s creative core: film and music have lived side by side throughout his career, and he is now keen to dig deeper into the latter.


The song I share this evening is entitled “The Sun is All Around You,” and is from Hans’ 2019 album, Sail the Sea.

About the song, and Hans’ consistent “seeking out of new avenues for expression,” Shana Beth Mason writes:

Matheson is a curious, modest man with a steady, calm energy: like a soothing, bass-tone heartbeat over the shrill sounds of the world outside. His pace quickens when he talks about music. His 2019 solo album Sail the Sea, features the single “The Sun Is All Around You,” which brims with airy, pastoral tones drenched in a vulnerable, sincere warmth. He collaborated with his father on The Healing Waves, also released in 2019, an essential collection of windswept Celtic melodies.


What I find most compelling and beautiful about “The Sun Is All Around You” is how its imagery and message reflects the deep mystical source which, like a great underground river, feeds the life-giving aspects of all of humanity’s diverse religious expressions and traditions.

On a more personal note, Hans’ imagery of the sun reflects my interest in the imagery of light as related to my efforts to focus very intentionally on the sacred or divine source (the “cosmic consciousness,” some might say) that is both within and beyond me. I've come to understand and trust that connecting to and living from one’s deepest, truest Self, requires an openness to and relationship with this divine source, one which many people refer to as “God,” and which since ancient times, and across religions and cultures, has been symbolized by light, by the sun, and by a divine love that infuses all things

You know, when I meditate for five minutes every morning at my prayer shrine, I trust that I am aligning my inner divine light (my deepest, truest Self) with the “Living Light” (yet another name for the divine source) which is ulimately beyond me and which infuses all of creation.


With the awareness that I am both aligned with and an embodiment of the sacred, that I am, in other words, with and of the Living Light, I am ready (blessed, if you will) to go out and shine this transforming light upon others through my words and actions, and even my “sweet intentions.”

I trust that myshining on” helps bring balance, healing, peace, and love to the world, and that it cannot but help encourage others to get in touch with and live from (to whatever extent they’re able) their own inner light; their own source of and connection to the divine. They too can then choose to let their light shine and in doing so, spread the light, the “one love,” as Hans sings, ever further throughout our world. I believe it is our openness to both recieving and spreading this light/love that is the “astonishing” thing that Hans, in “The Sun Is All Around You,” says we are all needed for.






Following are Hans’ thoughts on the creative process, thoughts he shared when interviewed by Shana Beth Mason in September 2020.


When you are writing or creating, making movies, it’s a collaborative process and usually, you can’t do it on your own and you have a lot of ideas about how you would like things to sound or look. I’m sure every filmmaker goes, “I would like it to look like this” or, “The music would be great if we had some strings here or we had this there”. And I think what that can do is stand in the way of actually just getting it made. So you have to simplify what you are trying to do and bring it down to its essence and trust that the essence of it is enough. So the simplicity of a song you sing, that’s what matters whether it has this stand in the way of you ever getting anything done. So you have to accept the limitations, but be empowered by the strength of what you are initially trying to say.

. . . It’s okay to get it wrong and learn from the people around you and get involved in something, it might be in a low budget theatre . . . it might not have a high profile, but there will be people telling a story and you can be involved and it’s meeting the people that is just as much a rewarding experience as something else. Just getting to know . . . interaction with others. It’s a collaborative process. It is not always easy, we have a lot of ideas about how we would like things to look or sound or whatever.

Come back to the essence and if you do need someone just come – go about your business slowly, do not expect too much too quickly and the big break. People looking for a big break with a big company, they do not necessarily have the answers for . . . creative inspirations. They are just making films. I mean, I’ve been involved in big films and I felt, “My God, this is just so far away from whatever,” you know?

. . . You can never really stop learning about your craft and the more experiences with being in these environment is going to help. The other thing is, I do not think that we have to accept that we are not in control of everything. So a desire for a result can sometimes overwhelm the possibilities that might be there, you might think it has to be a certain way, and it can kind of obscure and the magic might be happening somewhere else. You’ve got to keep a little bit of openness to what’s happening in front of you.

Hans Matheson
Excerpted from "A Close-Up With Hans Matheson
by Shana Beth Mason
Frontrunner Magazine
September 8, 2020


Hans’ latest album is The Gospel of Thomas – A Musical Adventure, released in 2021. You can check it out at Hans’ Bandcamp page. For an insightful interview with Hans about the album, click here.


I think light coming through the darkness
is the most wonderful thing in the world.

Hans Matheson



For more of Hans Matheson at The Wild Reed, see:
Hans the Man
To the Lighthouse!
Hans Matheson in The Tudors
A Devilish Turn
Stealing Away
Hans Matheson in The Christmas Candle
Hans Matheson in 300: Rise of an Empire
The Gravity of Love

See also the precious Wild Reed posts:
Aligning With the Living Light
The Light Within
The Most Sacred and Simple Mystery of All
The Source Is Within You
I Need Do Nothing . . . I Am Open to the Living Light
Chadwick Boseman and That “Heavenly Light”
Like the Sun
Move Us, Loving God
Andrew Harvey on Radical, Divine Passion in Action
Imbolc: Festival of Light

Previously featured musicians at The Wild Reed:
Dusty Springfield | David Bowie | Kate Bush | Maxwell | Buffy Sainte-Marie | Prince | Frank Ocean | Maria Callas | Loreena McKennitt | Rosanne Cash | Petula Clark | Wendy Matthews | Darren Hayes | Jenny Morris | Gil Scott-Heron | Shirley Bassey | Rufus Wainwright | Kiki Dee | Suede | Marianne Faithfull | Dionne Warwick | Seal | Sam Sparro | Wanda Jackson | Engelbert Humperdinck | Pink Floyd | Carl Anderson | The Church | Enrique Iglesias | Yvonne Elliman | Lenny Kravitz | Helen Reddy | Stephen Gately | Judith Durham | Nat King Cole | Emmylou Harris | Bobbie Gentry | Russell Elliot | BØRNS | Hozier | Enigma | Moby (featuring the Banks Brothers) | Cat Stevens | Chrissy Amphlett | Jon Stevens | Nada Surf | Tom Goss (featuring Matt Alber) | Autoheart | Scissor Sisters | Mavis Staples | Claude Chalhoub | Cass Elliot | Duffy | The Cruel Sea | Wall of Voodoo | Loretta Lynn and Jack White | Foo Fighters | 1927 | Kate Ceberano | Tee Set | Joan Baez | Wet, Wet, Wet | Stephen “Tin Tin” Duffy | Fleetwood Mac | Jane Clifton | Australian Crawl | Pet Shop Boys | Marty Rhone | Josef Salvat | Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri | Aquilo | The Breeders | Tony Enos | Tupac Shakur | Nakhane Touré | Al Green | Donald Glover/Childish Gambino | Josh Garrels | Stromae | Damiyr Shuford | Vaudou Game | Yotha Yindi and The Treaty Project | Lil Nas X | Daby Touré | Sheku Kanneh-Mason | Susan Boyle | D’Angelo | Little Richard | Black Pumas | Mbemba Diebaté | Judie Tzuke | Seckou Keita | Rahsaan Patterson | Black | Ash Dargan | ABBA | The KLF and Tammy Wynette | Luke James and Samoht


Monday, February 14, 2022

Love, Justice, and Amir Locke

It’s St. Valentine’s Day, or “Love Day” as some like to call it – a perfect time to share the following message from Sarah Bellamy (right), President of Penumbra Theater here in Minneapolis.

Greetings Dear Community,

I wanted to write to you today about love.

February is all love.

I wanted my message to be light-hearted and full of joy, mustered up even in spite of the arduous duration of this pandemic.

And then, [on] Wednesday [February 2, 2022], twenty-two year old Amir Locke was fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer.

And I still want to write to you about love.

I don’t have words sharp enough, large enough, heavy enough to tell you what yet another police killing in Minnesota feels like right now. I could talk about the potential housed in his twenty-two years, what he may have become, how he may have served his community, what a light he was to his parents and family members who loved him, how his imminent plans to move to Dallas to be with his mother meant that he almost made it out of Minnesota alive.

I’ve said these things before.

After awhile, after so many deaths, my words start to feel . . . unspecific, even insulting to the memory of the wholly singular human being who was known and loved and held and is now gone.

In that way, even our grieving starts to mirror the thing stalking our community. Ironically, racism doesn’t discriminate. It strips us from the recognition that each of our lives is precious and important. As the names rack up, it allows people to forget that we are loved beyond measure by someone, somewhere who has spent countless hours braiding our hair, or washing our bodies, cooking for and feeding us, squeezing us and kissing our foreheads, laughing with pride at each of our accomplishments, and grieving every wound we suffer – those visible and invisible . . . someone, somewhere loves us completely. And they will be utterly bereft by the violent theft of a life they worked so diligently to nurture.

Yesterday I saw a huge mural east of the Lowry Tunnel on 394: “Justice for Amir,” it said. I thought, “what does that even mean anymore?” How many more signs will call for something so basic? And how can something so basic require the total overhaul of American society?

Dr. Cornel West said, “justice is what love looks like in public.”

How do we love Amir now?

Justice for Amir would have meant that he could one day hold his grand-babies. Justice for Amir would have meant that he could walk down any street in any city in our country and not be followed by eyes, or police, or suspicions. Justice for Amir would have meant that he never worried about having enough to eat, that his school would never be shot up, that the Earth that cradled him wouldn’t be poisoned, that the decisions of people who couldn’t actually see his light would govern his fate. Justice for Amir would have meant that we had already alleviated the inequities Black and other People of Color weather every day.

Justice for Amir would mean life.

We need a new way. We cannot rely on elected officials or volunteer organizers to build the way for us. This needs every single one of us and our families and friends and neighbors and colleagues. This goes beyond a civic duty, this is a moral imperative.

We save our own lives by ensuring that others get to live theirs unfettered, free.

If you are reading this, it means that you are close to an organization that is striving to help you show up in love everywhere in your life. It means that you have resources you can call upon and we are making more. If you are reading this, it means that you care—but can you love?

Love with me. Love harder. Love more. Love aloud. Show everyone around you what justice really means.

With enduring love,

Sarah Bellamy
President of Penumbra Theatre Company
February 9, 2022


Related Off-site Links:
After Amir Locke Police Killing, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey Should Resign – Robin Wonsley Worlobah (Teen Vogue, February 10, 2021).
Cover-Up in Minneapolis? Police “Executed” Amir Locke in “No-Knock” Raid, Say His Parents and ActivistsDemocracy Now! (February 8, 2022).
Minneapolis Police Kill Black Man While Serving No-knock Warrant; Activists Demand Answers – Henry Pan (Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, February 2, 2022).
Protesters March in Downtown Minneapolis, Calling for Justice for Amir LockeMPR News (February 5, 2022).
Minneapolis Police Release Bodycam Footage of Amir Locke Killing – Henry Pan (Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, February 4, 2022).
Locke Family: Amir Was Law-abiding, “Loved By All”; Attorneys Blast No-knock Entry – Jon Collins (MPR News, February 4, 2022).
Black Mothers and Women Press for Accountability in Police Killing of Amir Locke – Cole Miska (Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, February 7, 2022).

UPDATES: Amir Locke Killing: Prosecutors Won’t File Charges Against Minneapolis Cop – Jon Collins (MPR News, April 6, 2022).
Amir Locke’s Mother Says She Is “Disgusted” With the City of Minneapolis After Charging Decision – Shaymus McLaughlin (Bring Me the News, April 6, 2022).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
“This Has Got to Stop”
Under Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Fry, “More Negligence and Suffering”
“And Still and All, It Continues”
Bearing Witness
The Problem Is Ultimately Bigger Than Individuals. It’s Systemic
“I Can’t Breathe”: The Murder of George Floyd
Something to Think About – May 28, 2020
Honoring George Floyd
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: Quote of the Day – June 9, 2020
Something to Think About – July 21, 2020
Rallying in Solidarity with Eric Garner and Other Victims of Police Brutality
In Minneapolis, Rallying in Solidarity with Black Lives in Baltimore
“Say Her Name” Solidarity Action
“We Are All One” – #Justice4Jamar and the 4th Precinct Occupation
Nancy A. Heitzeg: Quote of the Day – March 31, 2016
“This Doesn’t Happen to White People”
Remembering Philando Castile and Demanding Abolition of the System That Targets and Kills People of Color
“An Abolitionist Demand”: Progressive Perspectives on Transforming Policing in the U.S.

Image: Penumbra Theatre.


Wednesday, February 09, 2022

Under Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Fry, “More Negligence and Suffering”

Writes Justin Ellis about Minneapolis mayor Jacob Fry (right) and his recent profile by Vogue magazine. . . .

In November 2020 the mayor and Minneapolis police announced the department would limit the use of no-knock warrants, and in running for re-election Frey repeatedly claimed he banned the practice outright.

Amir Locke’s death exposed this as a lie. And Locke’s case wasn’t the only one; Minneapolis police never let up on no-knock warrants. When confronted and caught in this lie, the same mayor with the camera-ready hair who told Vogue: “I want to be in the arena, in the mud, doing the work every day,” offered up a meaningless word salad rather than owning his mistakes. The same man who told Vogue that mayors have the toughest jobs among politicians and must step up to deal with systemic inequities rather than offer empty gestures, who said, “you can’t hide as mayor,” bailed on a press conference rather than face questions about Locke’s killing.

Frey will only get more unwanted attention in the coming weeks and months as the questions around Locke’s death continue, and this time it’s likely he won’t get the cloying gaze or marshmallow-soft line of inquiry he found when he courted revisionist history. If anyone could have predicted what is now unfolding in Minneapolis, it’s Jacob Frey. In the almost two years since George Floyd was killed, there have been no lasting efforts to change how police work or address the systemic problems that continue to result in the destruction of black life.

If anything, Frey has worked against reconciling that recent past through a middling commitment to complacency and midwestern progressivism that holds “hear no evil, see no evil” as a central value. What’s clear to just about anyone watching right now is that Minneapolis continues to be at the mercy of an uncontrolled and unaccountable police department that treats black bodies as inconsequential, while a non-insubstantial number of residents see black life as inconvenient. Amir Locke didn’t need to die. In the time since Floyd’s death, Locke joins Winston Smith, who was killed by a U.S. Marshalls task force and local police in broad daylight in South Minneapolis, and Dolal Idd, who was killed in a shootout with police at a gas station.

If history were to be defined by the sort of uplifting political narrative that Frey and Vogue worked so eagerly to craft, now would be the time for Frey to step up, to “get in the arena,” as he would put it, and actually utilize his power as a public servant to meaningfully improve life for everyone who lives in Minneapolis. And yet, Frey has been presented with that opportunity many times before. Instead of rising to the challenge, all that he’s been capable of giving back to the city that entrusted him with a second term as mayor is more negligence and suffering.

Maybe the next magazine profile will make note of how paper-thin Frey’s progressivism really is, or who it really serves.

Justin Ellis
Excerpted from “Minneapolis Deserves More
Than Jacob Frey’s Story

Defector
February 9, 2022



NEXT: Love, Justice, and Amir Locke



Related Off-site Links:
Cover-Up in Minneapolis? Police “Executed” Amir Locke in “No-Knock” Raid, Say His Parents and ActivistsDemocracy Now! (February 8, 2022).
Minneapolis Police Kill Black Man While Serving No-knock Warrant; Activists Demand Answers – Henry Pan (Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, February 2, 2022).
Protesters March in Downtown Minneapolis, Calling for Justice for Amir LockeMPR News (February 5, 2022).
Minneapolis Police Release Bodycam Footage of Amir Locke Killing – Henry Pan (Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, February 4, 2022).
Locke Family: Amir Was Law-abiding, “Loved By All”; Attorneys Blast No-knock Entry – Jon Collins (MPR News, February 4, 2022).
Black Mothers and Women Press for Accountability in Police Killing of Amir Locke – Cole Miska (Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, February 7, 2022).
Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis Had Promised to Improve Police Relations – Farah Stockman (The New York Times, November 3, 2021).

UPDATES: After Amir Locke Police Killing, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey Should Resign – Robin Wonsley Worlobah (Teen Vogue, February 10, 2021).
Amir Locke Killing: Prosecutors Won’t File Charges Against Minneapolis Cop – Jon Collins (MPR News, April 6, 2022).
Amir Locke’s Mother Says She Is “Disgusted” With the City of Minneapolis After Charging Decision – Shaymus McLaughlin (Bring Me the News, April 6, 2022).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
“This Has Got to Stop”
“And Still and All, It Continues”
Bearing Witness
The Problem Is Ultimately Bigger Than Individuals. It’s Systemic
“I Can’t Breathe”: The Murder of George Floyd
Something to Think About – May 28, 2020
Honoring George Floyd
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: Quote of the Day – June 9, 2020
Something to Think About – July 21, 2020
Rallying in Solidarity with Eric Garner and Other Victims of Police Brutality
In Minneapolis, Rallying in Solidarity with Black Lives in Baltimore
“Say Her Name” Solidarity Action
“We Are All One” – #Justice4Jamar and the 4th Precinct Occupation
Nancy A. Heitzeg: Quote of the Day – March 31, 2016
“This Doesn’t Happen to White People”
Remembering Philando Castile and Demanding Abolition of the System That Targets and Kills People of Color
“An Abolitionist Demand”: Progressive Perspectives on Transforming Policing in the U.S.

Image: Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis pictured in 2020. (Photo: Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via Associated Press)