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Thursday, September 16, 2010



Just now heard Etta James sing, I'd Rather Go Blind. The woman could sing a song. YouTube is an amazing thing. I even found a b&w video of Billie Holiday singing Strange Fruit. Recently on NPR was a human interest story of the writing of that song. The lynching happened in Indiana, yet the song starts, "Southern trees bear strange fruit," the strange fruit being black bodies hanging from ropes. Here's a lynching the other side of the Mason Dixon Line then it's told as a Southern lynching. I can't help but bring up a statistic I read in a historical journal of a lynching in Missouri. In Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia the population was half black, half white. Of the lynchings that occurred in those states, one of ten was black. This says 90% of lynchings were of white men, maybe some women too. This tells me lynchings were a populist way of dealing with crime in a time when law enforcement didn't have much of a budget. It looks to me like more heaping blame on the South from outside the South where people know nothing whatsoever of what's going on in the South.
A week after this news item about the song coming from Indiana, something came up about the song and they played a few lines from it, leaving out "Southern trees" and starting it with, "bear strange fruit--blood on the leaves blood at the root." I appreciated that conscious decision on someone's part there at NPR studio leaving out Southern trees. I still like the song. I still have a problem with the South labelled a racist black hole. There was that and there is that, though less as time goes by. The same applies to the North, the Midwest, the West. A quotation applies here I found recently from Welsh poet Dylan Thomas that a drunk is somebody you don't like who drinks as much as you do. Racists of the North point their finger at the South to deflect the attention from themselves. Three fingers point back at the pointer. So our great grandparents and great great had slaves. Slavery has always been and is even today an African institution. It was Africans selling Africans to slave traders. White slave traders were justifying slavery by the Bible, the same as the genocide of the Indians was justified by the Bible.
I see all of it pitiful and regrettable, but have to accept there is nothing I or anyone can do about the past. Receive it as it is. The South is the South. The real South is not a cliche, it's a culture that is its own. It is a good and beautiful culture. Like the other American subcultures, Southern culture is being broken down by the California-ization of America via tv. This is why I don't partake of it directly except at other people's houses. From the perspective of being outside its direct influence, propaganda, sophisticated mind control and subliminal mind rot, I can see from outside its direct influence what it has done to group everyone together as the masses to be controlled and dealt with in a police state.
I am under its influence indirectly, because I live in the culture of people who are informed by tv. They are the context of my life. I'd really prefer something like tv never happened, but that is simply a stupid way to look at it. That leaves out: it is as it is. When I reach the place where I can accept what is without any will to change anything, seeing everything is in place and in flow, I believe I'll find happiness, like living at the oasis. Allowing what is may be a direct line to seeing the flow, experiencing it. I've an idea if I can get to the place within that I allow everything around me to be as it is without regard for what I want it to be, then it's like seeing the wind in the leaves, hearing the wind chimes.

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