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When are people gonna rise up?

December 13, 2007

Another awesome song by Tracy Chapman. My son and I were dancing cheek-to-cheek to this video, one night before bed. He kept saying, “again? . . . again?” I love passing my taste in music on to my children. It was so beautiful to sing along, to have that emotion pushing from the inside and to be comforted by sharing the moment with him.

As Deb reminded me in her blog post today, sometimes people put off rising up and keep their thoughts to themselves. If you are a blogger or someone who comments on blogs, rise up and use your voice to take what’s yours. If you know of an issue that needs to be blogged, don’t be afraid of being accused of fighting windmills; you are giving someone, somewhere a very special gift, just by expressing yourself.

  1. December 14, 2007 11:13 am

    Love this song and love the new look on your site! 🙂

  2. December 14, 2007 12:59 pm

    Thank you, Brian. And thanks again for the tips about wide (no wasted space) blog columns and using Firefox. I’m so glad that you are good at this.

  3. Hawk permalink
    December 15, 2007 12:08 am

    Very well stated my quixotic friend. With that said, how many people truly express what they do feel without having some restraint – either self-imposed or otherwise, with expressing what’s truly on their minds? We do live in a society now where every damn thing you say is judged, analyzed, picked apart, and if, you don’t think, act, or conduct yourself according to the majority’s perception of normal… well, you know!

    Dig TC – love her voice!


  4. December 16, 2007 6:17 pm

    FW, do you listen to much of utah phillips? The title of this post reminds me of one of his songs/spoken words, but I can’t remember the name at the moment! Thanks for linking in my post.

    But as to Hawk’s question – I feel restraint with every word I say every single day, with one person as my single exception. Some of that is self-imposed: where I work I have to make certain compromises, which I’m not always comfortable with. Other people I interact with, I stay silent for a variety of reasons. Online, whether email or blogging or commenting…well, try having friends in prison for having a website. That will make you think. The AEPA, which is now the AETA, and now the Thought Control bill…their purpose is a chilling effect, and I feel it for certain. I censor myself each and every day.

    It is easy to say I should stop the censoring, but the consequences are scary. I mean, I know people who are in prison in this country for speaking their minds. They never hurt anyone, they never threatened anyone, they didn’t destroy anyone’s property; they had a website where they said what they thought, and THAT is what they were put on trial for and convicted of. Prison.

    So. That’s what is on MY mind when I stop myself from saying what I think.

    But socially there is a lot of pressure as well, as Hawk mentioned.

  5. December 17, 2007 8:35 pm

    Deb, I don’t listen to Utah Phillips. I’ve only read about him on the RBR website. Do you listen to his music?

    This is what Ron Paul said in Iowa yesterday: “What freedom does is release creative energy and energizes people,” Paul told the crowd as the speech came to a close. “Not everybody will take care of themselves like they should. Not everybody will be responsible. But when we allow people to become more creative, then we understand the real true purpose in life is to strive for virtue and excellence. We can’t do that with government bearing down on us every single day.”

    That’s how I wish I could use my life. I don’t know what else I can do to secure my civil liberties other than keep on expressing myself. I agree that prison is definitely a scary consequence and honestly I haven’t given it much thought. I guess I should thank you for the reminder. I don’t really know what to say.

  6. December 17, 2007 9:45 pm

    I love Utah Phillips! His sound is more folksy than ani, and he’s apparently having some arm or hand issues, so he mostly sings without his guitar now, but I think the stories he tells are as good if not better than his songs. ani has one or two of his albums on rbr, and one of them is him telling stories, and ani and some others adding in (after the fact) some beats and instrumental stuff. She apparently took his stuff from some old tapes he sent her. I like the stories he has to tell – it is history that you’ll never read in history books! (except maybe “a people’s history”) He has a four album set (“starlight on the rails”) which you can find on akpress, but probably other places as well. Most of his stuff you can find on cdbaby, I think. He’s worth checking out! 🙂

    You are right about the civil liberties, and that you should keep exercising them. (use them or lose them, right?) That I don’t, that is them successfully silencing me (and others like me) with just their threatening legislation. (no one has yet been tried under the AETA, which just passed in 11/06. the people I know who are in prison were tried and convicted under the AEPA, which wasn’t as strong as the AETA. So even though the AETA hasn’t been used, it is scarier, broader-based…)

    Check out if you are interested in some additional info on this. Though sometimes ignorance is bliss.

  7. December 18, 2007 8:32 am

    Censorship has never been made real for me in the way that it has been made real for you. I respect your silence, but like Tracy Chapman sings, the revolution she envisions is “like a whisper” not shouting or making a big fuss.

    Thanks for explaining more about Utah Phillips. I’m sure I would enjoy listening to his stories and songs. 😛 I will check him out when I can.

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