Choice of Weapons

Submitted by lmcshane on Mon, 07/20/2009 - 07:39.

I wish I could put this book in the hands of every American.  


Gordon Parks, wow!  

Gordon Parks, wow!   I've not seen this book, but I love(ed) Gordon Parks.  What a phenomen every sense of the word.  He's the kind of American that makes ALL of America look good. 

I think the US needs a Ministry of Fine Art & Culture--an institution that rivals the equivilent in Italy or France.  Gordon Parks would have been an ideal candidate for that, but who would we choose now? 

Alice Walker? Gore Vidal?  Quincy Jones?  Charlie Rose? Annie Leibovitz? David Bowie?


 I wish I could have met Gordon Parks.  His poetry also moves me to tears. Richie Havens and Bob Dylan would be my choices for national recognition as significant twentieth century artists.

Art and education, more powerful than bombs


We have so much talent in our midst...and I'm not talking about soundbyte celebrity.  I'm talking real talent; you know, the Sammy Davis Jr. kind of talent.   I make the distinction, between talent and celebrity, because I think it gets confused.  However, as I'm sure you know, celebrity and legendary greatness are not one and the same.  Sometimes, they are often polar opposites.

Imagine what America would be like, if we took art and education half as seriously as we take military, war and the Pentagon.  These things are certainly of much importance, but they are not the end all be all of a national health and wealth.

Culture, enlightenment and civility should be acknowledged as national security issues.  I mean, just think of America without public libraries; for the last 150 years.  What kind of place would this be?  And think of America without Jazz & Blues, which of course, without those two things, we'd have no Rock n Roll, no Country, no Pop, no Hip Hop, etc.  And what about America with no film industry?

You take these things away, and there would be no America.  And yet, in this nation, art, culture and education always seem to find themselves on the backburner.

What's up with that!?!

And could there be a relationship between obesity and a lack of educational and artistic wealth.  Seriously?  I feel very passionate about really gets to me.

Imagine we as a people were just to take 1% of the annual Pentagon budget, which is like $500,000,000,000+ a year, and spend it on public libraries, schools, the arts and digital literacy, the intellectual landscape of the US would be transformed overnight.

Bombs are weapons, but so is literacy.  And I maintain that the case may also be that cultural integrity and the arts are weapons too.  As a Black person from the Southeast, I personally know this to be true, because my people "overcame" their trials and tribulations, singing the gospel blues all along the way.  Neither the Sufferage War nor the Civil Rights War were won by gun.  And look at all the prosperity and change Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and Thoreau created in this land, with nary tossing a stone.  So, let's face it, art and education have always been and will always be the most practical, sustainable, efficient tools of change.

Amazing photo-V is for Vendetta

This is a noteworthy photo--notice the camera in hand.  Lily Miller, you might just garner a photojournalist award for this one!  Excellent coverage of the Occupy Cleveland event.  Let's hope the revolution will be televised :)