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by normanb

Weekend Art: A Petrarchan Sonnet (that’s also Shakespearean) by NormanB

8:50 pm in Uncategorized by normanb

Weekend Art: A Petrarchan Sonnet (that’s also Shakespearean) — by NormanB (“Deviations from the Norm”)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrarch#mediaviewer/File:Francesco_Petrarca00.jpg

 

A Petrarchan Sonnet (that’s also Shakespearean) — by Norman B

 

I read it long ago in a book of Petrarch’s

That had been translated into two futharks:

He told me: Don’t mix up your lights with your darks.

Is that the Covenant’s or Noah’s? Don’t mix up your Arks.

Don’t quit your day job. Keep reading Marx.

You can often trust your instincts, but those guys are FARCs.

You can’t park there, ’cause that spot’s Clark’s.

And the next one neither. That’s where the boss parks.

Please do limit your snide remarks.

We’ll run real fast; then we’ll jump some sharks.

Those little tiny mosquitoes rode here on larks,

So we need to have a watchdog that barks,

‘Cause I cain’t see no fuckin’ quarks,

An’ Gregg Allman an’ Tim Leary both turned out to be narks.

 

~~~~~

(p)(c) 2014 Norman Schulerud Bie, Jr. All rights reserved.

~~~~~

Acknowledgement to my Muse, Rachel, who helped me get the rhythm down. She’s also the videographer of the video at the end of this article.

~~~~~

 

In a Shakespearean sonnet, the rhyme scheme is ‘abab  cdcd efef gg’: Lines 1 & 3 rhyme with each other, as do Lines 2 & 4, 5 & 7, 6 & 8, 9 & 11, 10 & 12, and 13 & 14.

In a Petrarchan sonnet, the rhyme scheme is ‘abba abba cde cde’: Lines 1, 4, 5 & 8 rhyme with each other, as do Lines 2, 3, 6 & 7; Lines 9, 10 & 11 rhyme with Lines 12, 13 & 14, respectively.

You can by now see how I fit my sonnet in to both forms simultaneously.

 

~~~~~

 

More Fun with Sonnet Forms

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ppyVCjRi4o

 

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/9ppyVCjRi4o” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

by normanb

SEE The Homeric Hymn to Demeter

12:42 am in Uncategorized by normanb

SEE The Homeric Hymn to Demeter — by NormanB (“Deviations from the Norm”)

 

 

It’s Winter Solstice. Today 12/21/13, at 12:11 pm EST, just after noon on East Coast of the US, just after 9am in the West, winter strikes the Northern Hemisphere. This is the shortest day of the year. At the specified time, the sun will be directly overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn, 23.5 degrees South latitude. It is the lowest path of the sun all year, and the midday sun will appear at its lowest point of the year. It’s Summer Solstice South of the equator.

Demeter is The Mother. Or the Corn Mother. Video by Rachel Neulander of medicinesocks YouTube channel. This video was popular at Vatican City, possible relating to it’s in Sapphic rhythm. I say this because my video about Sapphic rhythm was even more popular at the Vatican. A Sapphic Appendix is a fraction of a line that appears at the end of a stanza adding a psychological twist to the matter.

 

SEE The Homeric Hymn to Demeter

A scene I am sad to say I have seen,
Sadder still to admit I know not if it
Were dream or reality, actual history,
Actual factual fractural mystery:
Mist and clouds, cherubim, puttos,
Cupids, child angels angered at Pluto’s
Heinous violent acts:
He has her! He hacks
/at the reins,

And away go the steeds
With embargoed Wells Fargo cargo,
And at tremendous speeds
That in seconds could carry and ferry
The Argo from Fargo to Largo.
Those beings’ deeds
/and the reigns

Of the Rich One and Jove
Are founded on strange
Emotions. No, not upon love.
If these Titans were Titian’s,
He’d paint us a dove,
/and the rains

Would not drown out its meek
Voice. If but El Greco,
That Spanish Italian Greek,
Would to us with brush speak –
Ah, but Pan can never man Echo,
Who’ll in turn be turned down by Narcissus,
Who’ll take not a one for his missus
And fade away into a flower.
Wouldn’t it be better to’ve taken a lover?
Above standeth Jove, he is over,
But Pluto below holds the power:
/It drains.

by Norman B

a Deviation from the Norm
FOOTNOTES:

Line 5: puttos – A putto is a child angel in art, plural putti.
Line 6 and Line 17: Pluto – Greek for The Rich One; epithet for Aidoneus (Hades for short); it’s wise to use epithet rather than pronouncing the name of the supremely powerful Lord of the Dead; if you say his name, he may come for you, hence the expression “Speak of the Devil … ”
SAPPHIC APPENDICES: This poem is written in Sapphic rhythm: At the end of each verse is a fractional line, the Sapphic appendix. In this poem, all of the Sapphic appendices are exact rhymes with each other. Unfortunately, YouTube’s format doesn’t allow Sapphic appendices to appear under the end of the previous line where they are traditionally.

(p)(c)2007 Norman Schulerud Bie, Jr. All rights reserved. First broadcast on WMUA UMass Amherst Student Radio in 1999. First performed live at Fire & Water coffeehouse & performance gallery in Northampton, Mass., in 1997.

A Note From Ms Medicinesocks: Here is a link to a translation of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, by Gregory Nagy that will knock your socks off;
http://www.stoa.org/diotima/anthology…

 

(This poem refers to a Greek hymn of the First Millennium BC about the first generation of Olympian Titans. Zeus/Jove ruled the sky. His brother Hades/Pluto ruled the underworld. Their sister Demeter/Ceres ruled agriculture. Zeus and Demeter had a daughter Persephone/Kora [The Child]. Pluto The Rich One lusted for The Child. The Father said “Take her.” At that time, society did not question such arrangements.

Women and children were the property of men. Rape was permanent. But this Homeric Hymn focuses on the Mother’s grief over her daughter’s abduction. Demeter in her anguish withheld her gifts from the Earth. Everything withered, but the underworld had its Queen. Only after a treaty was struck returning Persephone for part of the year, did Demeter replenish the Earth with the fruits and flowers of spring. But each year The Child must return to Hades for a season, and again we feel The Mother’s loss as bitter winter falls.)

Below is my live performance of the poem, wearing my monk’s habit.

 

by normanb

We’re Cowards in America, When We Operate a Coward Drone

5:04 pm in Uncategorized by normanb

We’re Cowards in America, When We Operate a Coward Drone — by NormanB (“Deviations from the Norm”)

 

 

 

(We’re Cowards in America, When We Operate a) Coward Drone   by Norman B

 

We’re cowards in America, when we operate a Coward Drone.

Every bully is a coward, who, remotely powered, can kill kids while sitting home;

But our cowardly War Crimes on TV to thE whole world are shown.

 

That’s right, we’re cowards in America, when we operate a Coward Drone.

We didn’t want ouR kids to know we’s cowards. Too late! OuR shit gits known,

‘Cause the kids git to see ouR cowardice every time a Drone gets flown;

 

Because we’re cowards in America, when we operate a Coward Drone.

We’re lily-livered candyass fraidy-cats, we got a yellow streak to the bone.

‘Robot Cowards Draw Octobor’ is ouR favorite palindrome.

 

““ No, no, no, no: The ‘Americans’ who killed those kids are traitors to the entire human race:

““ President Obama & the abominable disgusting cowardly pilots we’re all ashamed of killed those kids -

““ – Wasn’t US. Wasn’t US.

 

“““ And where were you then? In the U.S? In the U.S.?

“““ Then, yes, it was. Yes it was.

 

O, we’re cowards in America, when we operate a Coward Drone.

Every bully is a coward, who, remotely powered, can kill kids while sitting home;

But our cowardly War Crimes on TV to thE whole world are shown.

 

That’s right, we’re cowards in America, when we operate a Coward Drone.

We didn’t want ouR kids to know we’s cowards. Too late! Our cover’s blown,

‘Cause yella is the color of chicken shit: Our true color’s flown;

 

Because we’re cowards in America, when we operate a Coward Drone.

We’re lily-livered candyass fraidy-cats, we got a yellow streak to the bone.

‘Robot Cowards Draw Octobor’ is ouR favorite palindrome.

 

(P)(C)2012 Norman Schulerud Bie, Jr. All rights reserved.

 

The above video is not part of the poem being presented in the text. It was written, recorded, and videotaped much earlier. But the two poems cover related subjects. It’s too bad so little has changed during the 8-year interim between the two. The poetry and singing are me. The music performance, selection, arrangement, and recording are by Rob Connelly, aka Irish Moss. The videotaping, directing, and editing are by my partner Rachel Neulander of YouTube Channel medicinesocks. Full lyrics and dates for Horse Man by Norman B (“Deviations from the Norm”) can be viewed here:  http://my.firedoglake.com/normanb/2010/05/10/exclusive-video-karzais-chemical-warfare-against-us-citizens/

by normanb

On Veterans’ Day, What Can You Do If You Got PTSD in a Covert War?

12:07 pm in Uncategorized by normanb

On Veterans’ Day, What Can You Do If You Got PTSD in a Covert War? — by NormanB (“Deviations from the Norm”)

 

 

This is a poem. That’s all it is; it’s just a poem. Generalities and hypotheticals. It doesn’t mean this is that or that is this. It doesn’t. Don’t infer nothin’ ’bout nothin’. Shut up. Leave me alone. Mind your own business.

What can you do if you get Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in a covert war? You can’t call the VA – the Veteran’s Administration hospital – where they presumably have lots of experts on PTSD. You’ll never see the inside of one of those places. (Maybe as a visitor.) You can’t get a Military Disability. You can’t get Veteran’s Benefits. You can’t even say you’re a Veteran.

When somebody asks you – and they will ask – “Have you ever been in a war?” you’ll have to answer “No.” But it’s worse than that. You’ve got to say it with a straight face. No one can even suspect that you took part in that war. What war? There was no war. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

And you can’t get together with your fellow Veterans to reminisce, or even to process it a little. There will be no reunion. Want to go look up the people you were in the operation with? Wouldn’t that be spying on your own Government? You’d better not try it. You might run into those people in public: That would be easy: Just ignore them; and keep a straight face. But what if you do run into one of them, and then you get to talk? What then? You still can’t reminisce – if you did, well then, they would have to kill you.

What? After everything you did under orders in great personal danger for your country, didn’t you think that they would help you out with that legal trouble – because you were so deserving – and because it was their fault? No, you did not think that. You didn’t even suppose for one minute that they would come to aid you in the least. You had known, ever since Mission: Impossible [TV series] 45 years ago, that if you were ever “caught or killed, the secretary w[ould] disavow all knowledge of your actions.” And so they did. They just hung you out to dry.

It’s because you got fired. That bugged them out. Of course you didn’t want to do the job anymore after you found out what they were really doing. Nobody does. But most are even more cowardly than you: They’re afraid to quit. But once you were in, it was too late to quit for you too – you couldn’t just decide to quit, or to not do what you were told. So, you started acting up.

The foreign spy who’d just been smuggled into the country tried to check you out, asked what you did. Here was your chance to get yourself fired! You could have played it cool, you could have said anything, but it was up to you. So you blurted out that you were a reporter. The newcomer turned white as a sheet (and he was already pretty white). But all of the others in the room just sat there with their straight faces. They already knew you were a reporter. That’s one reason why they recruited you. And they knew you weren’t going to report on them, because they knew something that you did not know: That there were some major threats and harsh actions coming your way.

And so now all these years later you can sit so high and mighty as a good and decent person, and you can say that these horrible cowardly Coward Drone pilots are not doing what’s good and right. Oh, you’ve probably said worse things than that about the pilots of Coward Drones. Haven’t you?! You fucking hypocrite.

OK. OK. Coward Drone pilots are bad, right? Because they’re killing people remotely, removed physically and psychologically from the battlefield. At least they’re trying to be psychologically removed, just like you were with your “Stateside Support.” That’s what you were recruited for. Sounded reasonable. But you did know it was the CIA. No secret there. Sounded reasonable, exciting, sex, drugs, money. (Well, you were paid in something, somehow; maybe not money.) But it was exciting. And you were helping your country.

Or were you helping the CIA poison and destabilize your country? Well, never mind. (Who cares about that? We have bigger fish to fry.) What’s bigger than maybe poisoning and destabilizing your own nation? Lots of stuff worse than that! Lots worse! A lot worse! How’s this threat for a start: You tell anybody anything about what you did, and he will kill his whole family. You asshole. He brought you in, and now his family’s safety depends on your actions, and silence.

Why did they give you that Cabinet official’s name? You’re not high enough up to know that, not by a long shot! You’ve got to stop knowing it right away! Don’t you see that when an intelligence asset was using sex and hedonism to manipulate you and to get information out of you, you were getting information out of her the same way, and that if you’re somebody who’s so brilliant as to have been recruited by the Company, well don’t you see that: She didn’t just give you that information; you took it. Illegally. If you used sex and drugs in order to discover the name of a crooked Cabinet official, learning that name from an intelligence asset, and then she handed you written documentation of his office; well, then, you are a double agent, reporter or not. Then it should be no surprise to you that they put across that threat. And worse.

And what about seeing your freshly Tortured and permanently disfigured co-worker? They had to shock you into comprehending our side‘s Torture mill, to keep you in line. There was no “need-to-know” reason for you to see her face or to know about her Torture, and you didn’t want to know about it. But you did see her face, and now you have to know about it. You have to think about the consequences of your Stateside Support.

You’d never seen anybody with a freshly cut up face like that before. And this was intentional. Weren’t you glad right then that you hadn’t had sex with her a few weeks earlier, when she was beautiful, when she tried to seduce you, back when you were being recruited to the operation? If you’d already had sex with her too, then seeing her scabbed and stitched face at this time would have been even more traumatic. As it was, as soon as you saw her new face, you spontaneously erupted into projectile vomiting. In a room full of important people. That should have gotten you fired. But it didn’t. Coward. Hypocrite.

Yes, you are the Coward Drone operator, and I’ll tell you how: You were over here doing your Stateside Support for somebody who was arming both sides in a war that didn’t have to happen, a covert war that was killing people and corrupting Governments, and overthrowing Governments, and one of the Governments corrupted and overthrown was ours! You Mr. Hypocrite Coward Asshole, yes, you are worse than a Coward Drone pilot, because through your Stateside Support you helped your co-workers kill people without even knowing you were doing it. You didn’t have to see those dead people, or know their names, or know what they did. Ignorance is bliss. Was. But now you’ve been made to know about them, made to know specifically to hurt you and to threaten you; you should feel guilty. You are guilty.

In the beginning, they had asked you to help them. They didn’t say it was help for a covert war. You should have asked. This is another thing I’m pissed off about. You have known ever since James Bond [and Jethro Bodine(!)] in the 1960s that spies might use sex to manipulate people. Yet you fell for it. Again and again. Idiot. And, hey – red alert! – if somebody is giving you lots of expensive drugs, they too might be trying to manipulate you. Think about it.

That one getting-fired idea you had was a good one. Too bad it backfired. Direct superior was a needle freak. Should have been a piece of cake. Told her to stop obsessing on shooting up. Held that whole box of insulin needles inside the open door of the public dumpster at the shopping center. That got her attention. Threw those needles right in the dumpster and slammed the door. That stunt should’ve sure as hell gotten you fired. But instead, it got her to saying that she’ll quit coke for you.

When you use sex (and love) as weapons and tools of manipulation, things get misunderstood and mixed up. So you had to shock her back into reality, by saying “You don’t even know if you’ll ever see me again. You need to quit coke for you.” God, I hope she didn’t come back to the shopping center later and climb into that dumpster to get those needles back out. She probably did. (This may come as a surprise to some of you, but people under the influence of Cocaine are mentally ill. They’re crazy. That’s the thrill. That’s the high.)

Still not fired yet. Better amp it up. You were ordered to obtain Chinese bootleg Quaaludes. You knew that DEA were in the house waiting for you. You didn’t want to get anyone busted, leastwise yourself. So you outsmarted them: Got the smuggled drugs from a uniformed cop. Pretty slick. Pretty sick. But then you had to walk into that house full of intel agents, while holding. If you had just walked into the room where you were supposed to go, if you had exchanged the drugs ‘privately’ with the DEA dude, right there in front of the camera, they’d have had you dead to rights. Then, there would have been no need to fire you or beat you up or kill you or Torture you or threaten you – they’d have just locked you up and thrown away the key.

So you whipped it out right in middle of the living room! Big old clear plastic bagful of 100 fat white bitter pills. Right in front of everybody. Fulfilled your obligation, but nobody got it on tape. Pretty slick. Pretty sick. You might have been making some people pretty mad, but at least you weren’t getting busted. …Yet. And, hey, they all kept a straight face. Thought you were pretty smart, didn’t you? Obviously, you were, sometimes. But you still weren’t fired yet.

You had one weapon left: A very confused and drug-addled woman who thought she loved you, or you loved her, or something crazy like that (because you’d had sex with her, and shown compassion and concern). She was a ripe tool for manipulation. You were adamant to gain your dismissal. Not gonna be stopped. You were determined to use that weapon. You were gonna get fired! And all you had to do was to do the right thing, at last. Right, but very hard.

It was h-hour, the culmination of the whole operation. The top people were just going to send her out to sell most of the haul. They said she could handle it. They didn’t care much if she was in danger. They figured risking her life was worth the money they were going to make by selling the coke: A gigantic package of Cocaine, but still smaller than a breadbox. So you told her not to do it. You told her that she would be holding a small package worth too much money, and that she’d be stepping into a den of criminals with guns, who all knew that it would be cheaper to kill her than to pay her. You told her the truth.

You told her not to go, not to make the deal. Are you crazy?!! Do you even know how much money you just told her to turn down? No, you do not! You fucking asshole! You should have been shot! Oh, you had to be fired, that’s for sure. Can’t have you doing anything like that ever again. Can’t have the CIA losing money – or failing to get money that they might otherwise have gotten. Can’t have him killing you and her and the whole family over you fucking up the money. You’re fired! Good work.

by normanb

Jill Stein Busted for “Defiant Trespass” for Knockin’ on the Door of a Giant Bank

12:06 pm in Uncategorized by normanb

Jill Stein Busted for “Defiant Trespass” for Knockin’ on the Door of a Giant Bank — by NormanB (“Deviations from the Norm”)

 

 

Jill Stein. Jill Stein Defiant Trespass. Knock on the door of a giant bank.

When the people Occupied for their actual rights, Obama sent in a tank.

Re-Legalizing Hemp along the Mississippi’d save a billion tons of topsoil.

Obama’s plan for the environment? Burn a bunch o’billion tons of Oil.

 

He’s got “Clean-” Mountain Top Removal “-Coal,” “Clean Nukes;” Yeah, he’s talkin’ out his glass.

He’s got a new Frackin’ Fossil Fuel he wants to use on you. He calls it Frackin’ “Natural” Gas.

It will make your kids die a lot younger, leave them a short horrible hot hellish life.

But you’re not worried about that a bit, ’cause it’ll already’ve killed you and your wife.

 

Hemp doesn’t hold any Fossilized Carbon. And there ain’t no new Carbon forming.

Hemp fuels are fully Carbon Neutral. Hemp Economy can stop Global Warming.

It could be our last chance to halt climate change, but he‘s pushin’ us up to the Tipping Point.

Now he’s ready to start up Oil War III, just so the world won’t be smokin’ a joint.

 

Jill Stein. Jill Stein. She said it all so fine.

Jill Stein. Jill Stein. Mother Nature has sent us a sign!

And I know our life could be alright if the President had a spine.

 

Jill Stein. Jill Stein will close that filthy Coal Mine.

Jill Stein. Jill Stein tells the truth, not a spokesmodel’s line.

Stop it D! Stop it R! Stop your climate denyin’!

Just give up. Let the world go right down the tubes. Just Frack it!

Or else you start tryin’!

 

Jill Stein. Jill Stein. She said it all so fine.

Jill Stein. Jill Stein. Let’s quit cryin’ ’cause we’re gonna stop fryin’,

And I know our life could be alright if the President had a spine.

 

Green Presidential candidate Jill Stein and her Vice Presidential running mate Cheri Honkala were arrested at a Philadelphia bank for standing up and speaking up for people being thrown out of their homes.

You can tell by the name of the charge “Defiant Trespass,” that the crime is a political one. These are Political Prisoners. Knocking on the door of a foreclosing bank is obviously protected political speech under the US Constitution’s First Amendment. (Everybody should read the Constitution, at least as far as the First Amendment.)

Hemp has the highest biomass of any plant: More weight of Hemp can be produced per acre than of any plant on Earth. Hemp can be planted one inch apart, so that, in one square mile, we can grow over Four Billion Plants (4,014,489,600, to be exact). This is how we stop Global Warming, because, on a small amount of land, Hemp can produce millions of tons of Clean Fuel, without any net Carbon emissions whatsoever. That’s because Hemp fuels are Carbon Neutral: They can’t cause Global Warming, because the only Carbon in Hemp is that which the Hemp has just absorbed from the air. Hemp seed oil is the world’s richest source of Biodiesel which burns clean in any standard Diesel vehicle. Hemp plants are also the world’s richest source of Ethanol, which burns clean in any standard internal combustion engine.

With Hemp, we can be Energy Independent in a few months.

Hemp is also the richest source of what Corporate Spokesmodels call “Natural Gas.” But when it’s made from Hemp, we call it Biogas, because it doesn’t cause Global Warming when burned, and it can’t, because there are no net Carbon Dioxide emissions. Scientists at Lund University in Sweden proved that Hemp grown on 6% of our arable land would supply all of our energy wants and needs, without any Global Warming. http://my.firedoglake.com/normanb/2010/11/11/breakthrough-swedish-hemp-energy-study-corroborates-hemp-emperor-herer/ and http://mamamojournal.blogspot.com/2010/11/hemp-energy-farming-breakthrough-study.html

Twenty-five million people in this country are out of work. President Obama’s $470 billion jobs program gave all of its billions to corporations, who then didn’t hire very many people, and still we have 25 million people out of work. If the President had taken Jill Stein’s advice a few months back, we’d already have full employment! Jill’s formula is simple: Hire the unemployed people. That’s what Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal did to get us out of the Great Depression. And that’s what Jill Stein’s Green New Deal will do for us this time.

Most of the jobs that Obama has created are service jobs around minimum wage: Workers who pay no taxes. Conversely, with Jill’s plan, all of our 25 million unemployed can be hired immediately, at $18,800 per year: Enough to pay plenty of taxes, especially when we add another 25 million tax payers.

Here’s Massachusetts genius singer-songwriter Rob Skelton telling truth about banking, with backup singing from my partner Rachel of YouTube’s Medicinesocks channel.

 

 

by normanb

The Power of the Mass Media: Newly Discovered Osama bin Laden Cave Video

11:14 pm in Uncategorized by normanb

The Power of the Mass Media: Newly Discovered Osama bin Laden Cave Video — by NormanB (“Deviations from the Norm”)

My two-year-old radical political performance art video got “featured” by YouTube this month, the first time that’s ever happened. It was suddenly promoted to lots of potential viewers around the globe. Please don’t watch it yet. I have a few things to say about it first.

 

When President Obama claimed in Autumn 2009 that he was empowered to order Premeditated Murder against any Muslim anywhere in the world, pardon himself for the crime(s), and then proceeded doing it in Somalia and Yemen; I was outraged, and ashamed to be an American.

The Muse poured out this poem through me, and by March 2010, I had an event scheduled to raise awareness, and was recording this video, with my videographer and significant other Rachel. Less than three months later, I posted my first blog/Diary here at FireDogLake.com.

This flick’s viewership is high for one of my videos. I don’t know why it was featured, but there are details and political events that relate. It has all along been viewed in Africa and in many Muslim countries. This month was the anniversary of bin Laden’s Murder (that is, the Premeditated Murder ["targeted assassination"] of the person whom Special Forces killed, then claimed was Osama bin Laden, then disposed of the body without verifying who it was).

When I recorded it, President Obama was propagandizing about going after the presumably living Osama bin Laden “in the cave where he lives.” Congressman John Murtha had courageously called for investigation of War Crime Atrocities committed by cowardly US Marines in an horrific massacre of defenseless women and children in Iraq. But instead of an investigation, hundreds or perhaps thousands of websites popped up demanding that Murtha be Assassinated for being so disrespectful to the Marines.

Soon, Murtha was rushed to a Military hospital, supposedly for a simple procedure. But instead of the usual simple procedure – the standard and safe laparoscopic surgery – the Military doctor sliced open Murtha’s body cavity with a knife and slit his intestine. That killed him. The Military assumed it was an accident. So did the press.

At the same time, ex-Congressman Charlie Wilson dropped dead. Charlie Wilson’s War was the book and movie about Representative Wilson’s covert program to arm bin Laden in Afghanistan. One Congressman talked too much, and the other knew too much. The Obama Administration, of course, didn’t investigate either of the killings, despite the hundreds of death threats from Marines against Murtha immediately before his Murder in Military custody.

Another reason YouTube may have chosen to promote this one at this time is that another video I’m in just soared to about 10,000 hits: A live concert I did a year ago with a couple of friends: President Obama’s Primary Democratic challenger and Political Theatre performance artist Vermin Supreme, and legendary Political Prisoner and performance poet John Sinclair – who was imprisoned after his brilliant work at the 1968 Democratic Convention, and finally released [despite his long remaining sentence] when his admirers and fellow pot smokers came out and raised hell – John Lennon and them. (Vermin’s popularity may have rubbed off on me: After finishing third in this year’s New Hampshire Democratic Primary, Vermin Supreme got millions of views on YouTube in several videos, and toys and sculptures were created in his image in other countries.)

This featuring by YouTube garnered about exactly 20% of the lifetime views for this video. The US views accounted for 53.4% of all views this month. Lifetime, US viewers have watched 51.2% of the showings. Most of this month’s 822 views occurred on the day it was featured, the anniversary. President Obama was sure promoting it then, bragging about his anniversary.

So here’s the phenomenon: Though I was registered as a Democrat when I recorded it, as an artist I’m more of a revolutionary communist, completely non-commercial, with no incentive for any corporate entity to push it. However, on YouTube I get my message out there anyway, in this case, four thousand times over!

So that you’ll fully appreciate the overwhelming extent of exposure YouTube gave my anti-status-quo diatribe, I’m about to get rabelaisian on you, and tell you exactly where it went. It went to 84 nations this month, and 115 total. And it went to Washington, DC, and 45 states this month, and lifetime: All 52 states: The 50 common ones, DC, and the Unknown State.

Of course, we don’t know how many of these views were recorded and then shared with people not online, but we do know that lots of the views were in countries where very few people have internet. And since it’s gotten popular in Arab countries, we don’t know how many of the views are by US intelligence agents monitoring dissent on the web, or trying to tie me to any alleged Terrorists who might listen to my songs.

And we don’t know about the Unknown Nations and Unknown States that crop up. That may be when the intelligence monitors are on, not wanting people to know which country or state they’re in. And we don’t know about the 19 additional views that YouTube chose not to include in its tally of statistics, but my best guess is they went to NSA headquarters, or maybe they just haven’t been fully counted yet. And we don’t know in which countries this video may be sometimes blocked, or prohibited completely.

Now, you can go ahead and watch the video. After you do, you’ll want to dig the lyrics and the footnotes. Here they are: http://my.firedoglake.com/normanb/2010/05/12/bin-laden-vid-pans-civil-war-for-mexican-marijuana-murthas-assassination/

Total views: 4,122 since this video was posted on March 7, 2010: Obama bin Plottin by Norman B (“Deviations from the Norm”): 822 views in the past month, mainly on its big day. Below trace those views to the viewer.

421 viewed it in the United States; 67 in Canada; 62 in California; 31 in Saudi Arabia, Florida, and New York; 24 in Texas; 21 in North Carolina; 20 in Pakistan, and Australia; 18 in New Jersey; 15 in Massachusetts, and the State of Georgia; 14 in Michigan; 13 in Ohio, and Pennsylvania; 11 in Illinois, Washington State, and Indiana; 10 in the Dominican Republic, and Colorado; 9 in Colombia, Indonesia, Nevada, Minnesota, and Louisiana; 8 in Morocco, Algeria, Portugal, Ireland, and Virginia; 7 in Austria, Peru, Germany, Argentina, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Denmark, Arizona, Maryland, Connecticut, and Kentucky; 6 in Chile, New Zealand, and Missouri; 5 in Iraq, Norway, the Unknown Nation, Tennessee, Alabama, and Oregon; 4 in Finland, Belgium, Puerto Rico, Haiti, India, Tunisia, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Hawaii; 3 in Israel, the Ukraine, Greece, Romania, Suriname, Switzerland, Thailand, Singapore, Ethiopia, France, Mexico, Lithuania, Ecuador, Arkansas, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Mississippi; 2 in Senegal, Croatia, Estonia, Fiji, the Republic of Georgia, Qatar, Ghana, Tanzania, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Idaho, Vermont, Kansas, the District of Columbia, Oklahoma, and Montana; and 1 viewer is reported to have viewed it this month in the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Spain, Guatemala, Panama, Japan, Nicaragua, Azerbaijan, Serbia, South Africa, Bahrain, the Palestinian Territories, Guam, South Korea, Armenia, Brazil, Libya, Vietnam, Jordan, Guadeloupe, Honduras, the Sudan, Kuwait, Nebraska, South Carolina, the Unknown State, Utah, West Virginia, and Rhode Island.

Not everybody goes for the hype, or even looks in at YouTube. Viewers in the following countries have also watched it, but not when it was so trendy: Malaysia, the Philippines, Kenya, Djibouti, Hong Kong, Oman, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Latvia, Sri Lanka, Yemen, Ecuador, Hungary, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Nepal, Somalia, the Maldives, Malta, Moldova, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Iceland, Slovakia, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Jamaica, El Salvador, and Angola.

 

by normanb

Legendary Political Prisoner John Sinclair to Rock IGLO Anti-War-Anti-Drug-War Convention in Mass. in April

5:19 am in Uncategorized by normanb

Legendary Political Prisoner John Sinclair to Rock IGLO Anti-War-Anti-Drug-War Convention in Massachusetts in April — by NormanB (“Deviations from the Norm”)

Poet, philosopher, music historian, 1960s radical, ex-political prisoner John Sinclair will honor the IGLO dissidents’ political Convention with speeches and performances at several events in Massachusetts in April, his only appearances in the Northeast. Many dissidents who care about freedom, Human Rights, and personal integrity intend to welcome the self-exiled hero John Sinclair as the true legend that he is.

In the late 1960s, Sinclair was sentenced to ten years in prison over two joints — “They gave him ten for two” John Lennon sang of him. Well, obviously, even in 1968, nobody thought two joints deserved ten years. He wasn’t sentenced for his Marijuana, but for his politics. You see, John Sinclair had founded the anti-racist White Panther Party, to endorse racial harmony and support the humanitarian work of the Black Panther Party.

So, John Sinclair was what some people might call “Revolutionary Communist.” Oh, not RC like Nikolai Lenin, as in ‘Let’s shoot the Czar.’ No, more RC like John Lennon, as in ‘Let’s abolish money and distribute goods reasonably.’ And who can say he’s wrong? The people most invested in maintaining the status quo, that’s who.

Sinclair managed the MC5 [band], and arranged a free rock concert at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, the one whereat the Daley Machine’s thugs (technically, ‘goons’) tortured protesting dissidents with clubs and teargas. And the Daley Machine is running our current Administration. I guess that’s why they’re already calling next year’s 2012 Democratic Convention in North Carolina, the “Teargas and Taser Torture Convention.”

Sinclair’s free concert was the last straw for the authorities. Charges were quickly trumped up and he was quickly put into cold storage in Michigan. Sentenced to ten years in prison. In a famous misunderstanding at Woodstock, Yippie Abbie Hoffman ran onto the stage during the Who’s performance to urge people to protest against Sinclair’s treatment. Repelling the apparent invader, the Who leader Pete Townsend grabbed Hoffman to throw him off the stage.

John Sinclair served more than two years in prison before the efforts of John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa, Eric Clapton, the Elephant’s Memory band, and many others, finally freed him. Lennon wrote the song below, and recorded an album with the above-listed crew, the cover of which looked like a newspaper, with photos and articles of political prisoners John Sinclair and Angela Davis. The album, Sometime in New York City, contains the songs Angela and John Sinclair.

It was the only non-hit album Lennon ever recorded. It didn’t get much distribution. The album contained a giant-sized postcard petition urging the US Government not to deport John Lennon (who had stopped performing live years earlier because of the constant death threats after he publicly noted that the Beatles’ popularity compared with that of Jesus). Though Sinclair still had more than seven years left on his sentence, two days after the Lennon-Ono-Wonder concert, the Judge ordered Sinclair’s release from prison.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZJLInCgem8

In his song above, John Lennon riffs on one of John Sinclair’s poetic styles: Short rhyming couplets of a naïveté like Robert Herrick’s. It’s satisfying when Herrick does it, but when Sinclair or Lennon does it, you’ll want to jump up and move, stomp your feet! John Sinclair does some inspiring performances in the Beat Poetry genre, as a backing band floats haunting tones of jazz or blues or something, to enhance the poet’s words.

Sinclair is back in his home country, back from Amsterdam, heading for “Amherstdam,” as High Times magazine’s Steve Hager called our town, after it passed our state’s first Public Policy Question instructing our legislators to legalize Marijuana. They haven’t done it yet, even though more than 60 other Massachusetts municipalities have followed Amherst in passing the PPQs. But it is decriminalized, so thousands of people will be smoking Marijuana on the Amherst town common without fear of arrest or harassment on Saturday and Sunday April 16 and 17, 2011, when John Sinclair takes the stage to speak and to perform at the 20th annual Extravaganja Marijuana Legalization Rally.

Sinclair’s activism and treatment, and the fallout therefrom, inspired the softening of Marijuana law enforcement in this country. He directly inspired Ann Arbor’s $5 pot fine (it’s by now been raised to at least $25). That eventually led to our Massachusetts decriminalization: If you are ticketed for Marijuana in Massachusetts, you don’t have to give your real name, and you don’t have to pay the $100 fine! That’s our law. Sinclair also inspired Ann Arbor’s annual Hash Bash, which I was lucky enough to perform at a couple of times, booked by Steve Hager.

IGLO stands for Independents, Greens, Libertarians and Others. The IGLO Convention seeks to bring together people and parties who support three simple needs: (1) End the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; (2) Fight Marijuana Prohibition; and (3) Restore Civil Rights/Human Rights, including all parts of the Bill of Rights removed by the War on Drugs, including habeas corpus and the Geneva Conventions.

Besides Extravaganja on the Amherst town common, John Sinclair will represent his Party in the very first Debate of the new election cycle, Thursday April 14, in Northampton, and he will perform with a band Saturday night April 16, 2011, at 9pm (the evening between the Extravaganja installments), at the Church of the Tree of Life, in the Chapel of First Churches of Northampton, 129 Main St., Northampton, Massachusetts.

The tickets go on sale today. The Chapel is tiny, and probably holds 90 people at the most. His only appearance in the Northeast. Intimate setting. Can’t call anything with John Sinclair in it a sellout, but the tickets may not last long.

by normanb

Governor Deval Patrick Politely Declines to Open for my Rock Opera at UMass – That’s Cool – Jill Still Will

1:41 am in Uncategorized by normanb

Governor Deval Patrick Politely Declines to Open for my Rock Opera at UMass – That’s Cool – Jill Still Will — by NormanB ("Deviations from the Norm")

The Cannabis Reform Coalition of UMassAmherst invited our incumbent Governor Deval Patrick to speak at my Rock Opera next week. He politely declined. In fact, all three invited Democratic-Republican candidates politely declined. Only Green-Rainbow nominee Dr. Jill Stein agreed.

Others in her campaign thought she shouldn’t associate herself with the Marijuana movement. Seconds after they told me that a few weeks ago, Jill Stein arrived for a meeting and walked straight up to me and said that she indeed wanted to work closely with our movement. Two-thirds of the state agrees with her on legalization. And as a medical doctor, she makes and excellent spokesperson.

Pashtuns in Afghanistan and Pakistan want the US to end its program of genocide against them. Most Americans don’t know anything about Pashtuns.

I’ve posted YouTube versions of some of the songs in the opera. Those videos are most popular in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Uganda, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, India, Israel, Jordan, Armenia, Zambia, Bangladesh, and throughout Africa and the Middle East, according to YouTube’s Insight demographics-tracking program.

I am an Amherst poet-entertainer-activist. At 4pm Thursday, October 28, 2010, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Cannabis Reform Coalition will present my one-man multi-media Rock Opera in the Student Union Ballroom.

Before the performance, Amherst/Granby Independent State Rep candidate Dan Melick will introduce Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein, who’ll speak for about half-an-hour. Then CRC organizer Terry Franklin will introduce me and my 40-minute one-man multi-media Rock Opera lifts off.

The show is titled "Protest PG" by Norman B ("Deviations from the Norm")
Recommending protest, and lamenting the lack, a reporter becomes an actor, then uses the actor’s characters to draw attention to the reporter’s stories. The PG can stand for Pashtun Genocide, or Pariah Gases, or Prison Guantanamo, or Prohibition of Ganja, or Pinocchio Government.

You are invited for a program of: Poem, song, comedy, erotica, AND complete reform of everything.

by normanb

Weekend Art: Lucretius & Atomic Theory in the Age of Caesar

5:21 pm in Uncategorized by normanb

Weekend Art: Lucretius & Atomic Theory in the Age of Caesar — NormanB ("Deviations from the Norm")

Lucretius was a brilliant teacher in ancient Rome. In the first half of the First Century BC, he compiled some of his lectures into a powerful didactic epic poem called On the Nature of Things (or On the Nature of the Universe, or simply The Nature of Things). His art is at once poetry, philosophy, and science. It gives us invaluable insight into the history and culture of First Century Rome.

Atomic theory was already at least 5 centuries old when Lucretius taught it. You’ll note, by his description of how certain atoms "fit" each other, that he understands something of molecular valence bonding. He also stipulates that light rays are ultimately composed of particles of energy, though he does not state it as a relativity equasion; he does say that ‘E equal m … something.’

Like Ovid’s, the work of Lucretius demonstrates that artists living at the capital of the world back then were part of the same artists’ community living at the capital of the the world now. First Century poets are Twenty-First Century poets in sensibility. We in our time can’t help identifying with voices coming from the ancient city. We are still us. Watch the video (directed by Rachel Neulander) and you’ll catch how enthused and inspired I am by this amazing writer. Then come back to reading afterward, and I’ll give you another story from On the Nature of Things. Dig it:

Eleven-and-a-half centuries before Lucretius, King Agamemnon of Mycenae united the many Greek city-states into an alliance, to wage war on Troy in Northwestern Turkey, just across the Aegean Sea. The king had a beautiful daughter, Princess Iphigenia. One sunny morning, he told her that she was to be married to Achilles, the greatest warrior among the Greek princes. She was overjoyed. "He looks just like Brad Pitt!" she exclaimed.

Servants brought Iphigenia a beautiful wedding gown to don. She met her father on the way to the altar. He was wearing his finest tunic and robe, and a tall ceremonial crown. "Where’s Achilles?" asked Iphigenia. "He’s on his ship, waiting to sail to wage war against the Trojans. But the wind is blowing in from Troy. The oracle says the Virgin Huntress Artemis is angry at us, and She will not let the wind blow out again unless I sacrifice my virgin daughter." That said, he drew his ceremonial blade, and cut her ceremonial throat. And that is what you get for believing in gods.

In 1972 Stevie Wonder paraphrased Lucretius: "When you believe in things you don’t understand, then you suffer. Superstition ain’t the way."

by normanb

Weekend Art: Greek Mythology: Melampus

8:31 am in Uncategorized by normanb

Weekend Art: Greek Mythology: Melampus — by NormanB ("Deviations from the Norm")

More fun with Classical Literature! It is mythology, but Melampus seems to have actually existed, as historians listed below attest.

Melampus was an early doctor. Dr. Mel was like a superhero: He had a superpower: He could understand the language of animals: He was especially good at interpretting the language of birds, like King Solomon and Sigurd, the Norse national hero of the VolsungaSaga and the Eddas.

Many ancient authors told tales of Melampus, or at least gave details of his career: Apollodorus, Ovid, Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, Hyginus, Pausanius, Diodorus Siculus, Apollonius of Rhodes, and others. Two books, both titled The Greek Myths, give excellent modern re-tellings of the myth based on Greek and Latin sources: One by Robert Graves, and one by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire.

The title character’s name is sometimes in English transliterated/spelled "Melampos" (Between You and Me and Melampos). Dr. Doolittle was VERY loosely based on this myth.

Video by Rachel Neulander:

For further reflection and study: The story of Melampus and his brother Bias marrying the two Mad Cow Disease victims subliminally tells the story of the Indo-European-speaking lighter-complected patriarchal Greeks supplanting the earlier matriarchal royal lines of the darker Mediterranean peoples, who presumably spoke a different language, before the arrival of the Indo-outdo-Europeans.

(p)(c)2009,2010 Norman Schulerud Bie, Jr. All rights reserved.