Media Killed the War Against War

 

by Arianne Dragoo

image1In his book, Propaganda, Edward L. Bernays wrote, “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” He goes on to add, “We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.”

Does this frighten you? It should. As a society we find ourselves surrounded by enemy lines. Lines which move and shift like shadows governed by the sun. We live in an age of information but it is a House of Mirrors. Instead of being self-guided, we are herded as if to the slaughter. Why the misuse of information? Who is pulling the strings of Major Media? Why is Major Media willing to be manipulated?

Greed.

Since when did an individual or entity who, driven by greed, ever have the interests of others in mind?

I’ll wait. Continue reading

The Joey Feldman Interview w. Doc Jeffurious Higgason

 

photos: Colleen Wainwright

photos: Colleen Wainwright

When did you develop an interest in becoming an artist? Who really influenced that decision for you?

When I was 8, my father bought me a book “Son of Origins of Marvel Comics.” I read it, looked at it and eventually started tracing the beautiful artwork. I was blown away. I don’t think anyone had any influence. I just knew that was my solace.

Congratulations on the success of your recent solo show on June 11th with the folks at ONE Recovery. Could you tell me a little more about the group and how you came to be involved with them?

I was contacted by the founder of ONE recovery Lynne Pedersen and was told the story of a 17yr old aspiring musician named Graham. Graham had passed away but was influenced by many of the musicians I had drawn over the last few years. so in putting together a celebration of his life, Lynne and Graham’s mother Theresa asked me to be part of this and show the work I had done.

You also struggled with problematic substance abuse early in your life. What was the moment that made you decide to give it all up?

The moment was, I was living homeless in Philadelphia, with really nobody left in my life. I ran into an old friend who told me about a place I could go to get help. I don’t know why but I was tired and it sounded okay to me at the time. Continue reading

Accepting the Lesser Evil?

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The Night Clinton Won the Nomination

Live coverage of the final primaries echoes like a gunshot throughout my new one bedroom apartment in San Jose, California. It seems that my golden state has been the center of a lot of things lately: the NBA finals, Senator Bernie Sanders’ most pivotal campaign rallies and of course the last ditch effort of Hillary Clinton to win over the granola-eating, organic produce-buying, Whole Foods-shopping public of our sovereign land.

I voted early this weekend for Bernie Sanders. Any journalist that claims bi-partisanship would never tell you who they voted for. Some avoid the statement of their political leanings for fear of losing their affiliations, others decide to carry out the appearance of objectivism in public but talk with their mouths agape in private over beers and pizza. A few use Twitter as their sounding board while others seethe with rage while watching themselves spew out lies on TV.

I don’t put much stock in the whole “appearance versus reality” thing anymore. If my last year of writing has been any indication, my popularity extends from my honesty. So yes, I voted for Senator Sanders. I voted for Senator Sanders at the Registrar of Voters in Santa Clara, California on Sunday, June 5th, 2016.

Lines wrapped out the doors of the building. If you didn’t know any better you’d think it were a hospital because from the outside it’s all parking spots and ugly brown bricks. The air of paperwork done in triplicate and thousands of lost votes still echoes in its chambers on Berger Drive. Decades of Democrats and Republicans have walked these halls, waiting in lines that stretch in and out of its lofty corridors.

I fell to the same fate and proudly voted for the first time in my home state of California. Moving throughout my childhood led me to leave Los Angeles county when I was 3 years old. I remember Disney Land and not much else.

San Jose has been alright so far. It was hotter than God’s hot tub when I moved into my new place, a respectable 800 square foot filing cabinet for a young adult. Somewhere to put my things. Somewhere to watch election results on the TV I paid for with a credit card.

Sunday feels like a lifetime ago. My I voted sticker has been through the washer and ruined a perfectly good shirt.

As I write this, It’s Tuesday night and I’ve just flipped on the television. MSNBC seems to be an alright place to view election results. It’s the least nauseating in my opinion and yet still allows the acid in my stomach to rise and burn my throat.

After several cups of cold water I finally understand that Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee in this complacent and scattered year of our lord, 2016. Under similar circumstances the prospect of a female president would make me jump for joy, but today there’s a distinct sadness in me. Continue reading

Goodbye Champ

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art by Joey Feldman

King of The Ring and King of Hearts, The Louisville Lip Muhammad Ali was more than just a boxing star. He was some kind of wonderful from Grand Avenue to global icon. Born on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky, Cassius Clay, the grandchild of a slave, began boxing as a child to teach himself self-defense to ‘whup’ the thief who’d stolen his bike.

Prize fighter, poet, activist, none could match Ali’s intoxicating blend of charisma, athletic brilliance and historical prominence. The champ has taken his final bow but leaves us with some of the most profound social missives of our time.

The world is in mourning — three-time champion Ali battled Parkinson’s for decades. As the tributes flood in we pay tribute to a humorous, humane man who mesmerized the world with his shuffle, wit, wisdom and his stirring call for justice. At a time when America was deep in the throes of political racial, social and economical turmoil, Ali proclaimed:

“I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be me.”

Converting to Islam the day after he dethroned Sonny Liston as world heavyweight champion, Ali was a shiny, super-charged figure of youthful hope at a time when America was nose-diving into unprecedented social turmoil. Rather than sit back and count the cash, he stood firm and refused the Vietnam war draft. For a prize-winning boxer to turn principled pacifist was unheard of.

Ali sacrificed arguably the best years of his boxing life, his credibility, personal freedom and his livelihood to a greater cause. The American government stuck the knife in, overruling his conscientious objector status, stripping him of his title and his boxing licence, and sentencing him to five years imprisonment (this decision was later reversed).

When Ali refused to support the Vietnam War, many Americans turned their back on him. Bertrand Russell British philosopher and Nobel laureate wrote to him personally telling him that he had, “spoken for the oppressed everywhere.”

Throughout his ban Ali was resolute in his convictions despite risking jail: “I have nothing to lose by standing up and following my beliefs ….We [black people] have been in prison for 400 years.”

After three long years in the wilderness Ali returned to the ring to win the world title, not once but twice, heralding the rise of a global superstar who was also a fierce political activist, revered poet and world class showman. Part of the fame drain, he became public property: women would burst into tears when they saw him, carpetbaggers hounded him with business opportunities, and he belonged to the world.

Hunter S Thompson frantically chasing Ali for an interview in a New York hotel wrote, “We both understood the deep and deceptively narrow-looking moat that eighteen years of celebrity forced Ali to dig between his ‘public’ and ‘private’ personas.”

A gifted fighter, boxing pioneer who broke all the rules, he remains a pivotal influence to all those trailing in his wake. In his own words: “I get hit, but all great fighters get hit. Sugar Ray got hit, Joe Louis got hit, and Rocky Marciano got hit. But they had something other fighters didn’t have: the ability to hold on until they cleared up. I got that ability, too, and I had to use it in each of the Frazier fights. That’s one reason I’m a great defensive fighter. The other is my rope-a-dope defense – and when I fought Foreman [in Zaire], he was the dope.”

In his final years Ali pushed for peace and rapprochement, his influence hailed across the world, he electrified, mesmerized and inspired. At heart a humane, humorous man who was undoubtedly Champion of the People:

“I’d like to be remembered as a black man who won the heavyweight title and who was humorous and who treated everyone right,” he said, a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him and who helped as a many of his people as he could – financially, and also in their fight for freedom, justice and equality.