Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Checking in

I've been a little on the blue side since returning from vacation. It's hard to go back to wage slavery after a taste of freedom. I'm trying to perk up, though.

Reading the news isn't helping.. The Raich V. Gonzalez ruling was a disappointment. Perry vetoed excellent criminal justice reform bills that lots of people worked hard on. China's making the first of (I'm sure) many large moves which will no doubt have a huge impact on American lives. Jeez, no wonder I'm depressed.

I have had some fun the past couple of weeks. On Saturday the 18th , a show by Houston artist and political commentator Bob Lee opened at the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture.

Mr. Lee started creating his artwork soon after the death of James Byrd, the man in Jasper who was dragged behind a car by some neo-nazis. Lee has been producting pieces ever since, to the tune of about one a day. Typically he would make a piece, make xerox copies of it, mail them out to hundreds of "working class" people (his words), and then put the piece away. He'd not seen his work displayed all together in one place before, and was very pleased at the result. He says that his message to the African American community is that regular white people are not the same as white supremacists. The work is pretty powerful.

When Mr. Lee arrived I was surprised to see Mike Gray behind him with a camera. Seems that Mike has been following him around for the past 20 years and now has 30 hours of film that he says he needs to get around to editing for a documentary.

In 1970 I participated in a huge protest march in New Orleans led by the Black Panthers and Jane Fonda. The Black Panthers had claimed some apartments in a public housing complex, they had a free breakfast program for kids and some other social projects. There was a standoff with the cops, then cops dressed as priests were allowed in and the Panthers were arrested. I was astounded to learn that some of the guys who were arrested are STILL in Angola! Mr. Lee is in regular contact with them.

Mr. Lee's show has finished it's run at the museum. The next show will be Sam Yeates, opening July 9th.

Saturday the 25th I went swimming with my second son and some of his friends at Barton Springs Pool. Then later joined Ms. Pix and Hoops at Mother Egan's where our friend Myrna Cabello was playing with her Gris Gris band. Myrna's a Latina who sings the blues (or is it Los Azules?)

Sunday Z and I went to watch another friend, Sparkle Plenty, compete in a Texas Rollergirls match. The resurrection of the Roller Derby took place here in Austin about 5 years ago. Now there are two leagues here, one for flat track competition and one for banked track. It was lots of fun and I intend to go back next time. Z's ready to join the team.

Onward through the fog....

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