Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ode to Krakow While Thinking of Ryan Graham Deceased

Sometime in the early hours of February 27th 2009, my best friend's cousin died suddenly in San Francisco, California. He was 24 years old.

Ryan Graham was more like my best friend Brian's little brother. I last saw him in Krakow, Poland in summer 2008, where Brian had immigrated in 2007. Ryan and I had a mini-falling out in the Eastern European humidity over something pointless when we were both visiting Brian. Two embarrassingly bombastic types throwing jibes and insults over dry Sacher torte and Tyskie Beer. He and Brian had just comeback from Croatia and a series of family drama fueled adventures inspired by Ryan's endless amount of energy and ceaseless will to party round the clock.

Ryan was a sous chef, the child of a single mother who'd left an abusive husband when Ryan was little. Ryan spent his last day alive fighting against the aggression of those less openhearted than he was.

Ryan was really funny. Is really funny. I still hear all his animated expressions and snappy rejoinders. His jokes were NEVER mean. Great sense of humor and always full of energy...I don't think I ever saw him frown.

[Above]Ryan came to visit Brian in Krakow in May 2008 and he thought he'd treat him to a haircut, Polish style, on the balcony of the apartment in which Brian was living.]

Friends of mine had become his best friends. Every one had seen him on an upswing in his life lately. He and Brian, both being half Jewish, had gone to Auschwitz in May. I did not get a chance to say goodbye to him. I had wanted to write him on MySpace, let bygones be bygones, and suggest that he become chef in Sonoma/Napa, where the recession was not hitting cooking jobs as hard as in Frisco. The Wine country is quiet but it has a good effect on people. I thought he'd mellow out and "get on back to Grass roots" as the Freak Brothers comics say. The inner Bay Area is not a particularly nice place these days.

I had recently heard that he had been doing great so I decided to wait until Brian's wedding or some other event so being friendly again wouldn't seem like such a big deal. I of course wish I had not waited but I know he was not an intrinsically begrudging person. Years ago, I lost a brother who was a lot like Ryan and only 25. It shocks me to think of my best friend and his sister losing there brother. Ryan was animated enough to leave enough memories for many lifetimes. We have that intact.

This poem was inspired by Jim Morrison's eulogy to Brian Jones from 1969.

Ode to Krakow While Thinking of Ryan Graham Deceased

A lady born in 1922
Survived the Holocaust
Abandoned in Piedmont
Door ajar for five years
Tax liens on St. Mary's Basilica

I've been chosen to
The song of the Warsaw Ghetto Rebellion

Poor Rosa Luxemburg

All your friends you never saw
off on the tram
Crowding around Oświęcim
while their candles burned down

Return so we can wire you
Hit the floor
in the Kazimierz instead

Writhing Alameda Beach filth sculptures
Should have been the
driftwood ones by Emeryville, Vistula
the ones that don't fall out
and knife you by
the flea market
hole in the fence entrance

You've left us your
wife beater vest
To compete with
I hope you went out knowing
like a Reform rabbi

A young man
with East Bay silt
coating his arms
and hands
Finally free to
move about
the flyover states

The Intrinsic Liquidation Committee


Red hair blushed,
in freckles

Main Market Square

The police, the floor
the wallets

You were fighting
the Piedmont Pennywise

You were the burnt
for Nowa Huta mall high noons

Organic altarpieces
Traveler of Columbia

Look now where it's got

in Carpathian heaven
with the sculptors
and the Chasidics

The handyman
The body, royal, pipe down

Lucky got owned
What is this
Cracovian Calendar
You're made of

don't poke holes in Rosa's

Will he fear
Pushed heavenward
Thru the halls of
one love

Requiem for a Neverwait
That smile
That Golden Years
has leaped upward

into the Aron Kodesh

Thursday, February 26, 2009

This is why I blog

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Hero for All Time-A MUST LISTEN!


Stop stalking me Pickipedia editors who know nothing to very little about Paul Robeson. Go back to writing your articles about straight to video movies featuring Jessica Simpson and the Liberal Party of Canada. Set me free little geek girls/boys.

I did this, which I think was a very good usage of my time (nearly 100 hours to be precise)
  • Paul Robeson

  • The article was in such sad shape and was missing massive and crucially important periods of his life. Huge editing wars had gone down with freaks blaming Robeson for every possible thing a white supremacist right winger with no life can come up with.

    Paul Robeson most famous and unjustly persecuted American of the 20th century erased by a racist US government and now they can't do sh*t about it because we have the internet. Sometimes Robeson reminds me of Pete T, sometimes he seems like a myth and other times I feel shocked that he actually was once on this planet at all. Best of all, after an long period of not being as focused on his legacy as I was from 1997 until 2001, I have come back to it with a completely different take. The 11 years since the Robeson Centennial has seen huge changes in how society interrelates and buys (or does not buy) into the media's brain washing.

    Even as recently as the late 90's the Cold War still cast this specter of stupidity and "USA all the way, greatest generation" mythos, but now Communism did not turn out to be "the enemy' did it? Marxism did not cause 9/11, 7/7, the Oklahoma City bombing, school shootings or the ruined economy which is killing people with stress. The enemy turned out to be white supremacy, greed for oil, materialism and laissez faire Capitalism, oh and Mankdonna too because she's such an untalented piece of vapid photo-shopped trash.
    Other pages I unearthed or created:

  • Paul Robeson Filmography

  • Paul Robeson and the Soviet Union

  • Peekskill Riots

  • Paul Robeson: Labor's Forgotten Champion

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    Friday, February 20, 2009


    I love you BOOBPEDIA. You're not the Harvard Review or a degree from Cambridge but it's what I dooby dooby do and I'm chuffed to be featured and interviewed.

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    Thursday, February 12, 2009

    A Triumph!

    Last spring, when my You Tube account was suspended and I resourcefully fought my second bogus copyright charge, a wonderful fan and friend, Soles Girl Rachel made this for me.


    Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    FingerPrint File: Attempted Murder by The FBI and CIA of Paul Robeson

    Paul Robeson, the black actor, singer, and political radical, may have been a victim of CIA chemist Sidney Gottlieb's MK-ULTRA program. We have previously noted Gottlieb's death and outlined his career of infamy. In the spring of 1961, Robeson planned to visit Havana, Cuba to meet with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. The trip never came off because Robeson fell ill in Moscow, where he had gone to give several lectures and concerts. At the time, it was reported that Robeson had suffered a heart attack. But in fact Robeson had slashed his wrists in a suicide attempt after suffering hallucinations and severe depression. The symptoms came on following a surprise party thrown for him at his Moscow hotel.

    Robeson's son, Paul Robeson, Jr., has investigated his father's illness for more than 30 years. He believes that his father was slipped a synthetic hallucinogen called BZ by U.S. intelligence operatives at the party in Moscow. The party was hosted by anti-Soviet dissidents funded by the CIA.

    Robeson Jr. visited his father in the hospital the day after the suicide attempt. Robeson told his son that he felt extreme paranoia and thought that the walls of the room were moving. He said he had locked himself in his bedroom and was overcome by a powerful sense of emptiness and depression before he tried to take his own life.

    Robeson left Moscow for London, where he was admitted to Priory Hospital. There he was turned over to psychiatrists who forced him to endure 54 electro-shock treatments. At the time, electro-shock, in combination with psycho-active drugs, was a favored technique of CIA behavior modification. It turned out that the doctors treating Robeson in London and, later, in New York were CIA contractors. The timing of Robeson's trip to Cuba was certainly a crucial factor. Three weeks after the Moscow party, the CIA launched its disastrous invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. It's impossible to underestimate Robeson's threat, as he was perceived by the U.S. government as the most famous black radical in the world. Through the 1950s Robeson commanded worldwide attention and esteem. He was the Nelson Mandela and Mohammed Ali of his time. He spoke more than twenty languages, including Russian, Chinese, and several African languages. Robeson was also on close terms with Nehru, Jomo Kenyatta, and other Third World leaders. His embrace of Castro in Havana would have seriously undermined U.S. efforts to overthrow the new Cuban government.

    Another pressing concern for the U.S. government at the time was Robeson's announced intentions to return to the United States and assume a leading role in the emerging civil rights movement. Like the family of Martin Luther King, Robeson had been under official surveillance for decades. As early as 1935, British intelligence had been looking at Robeson's activities. In 1943, the Office of Strategic Services, World War II predecessor to the CIA, opened a file on him. In 1947, Robeson was nearly killed in a car crash. It later turned out that the left wheel of the car had been monkey-wrenched. In the 1950s, Robeson was targeted by Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-communist hearings. The campaign effectively sabotaged his acting and singing career in the states.

    Robeson never fully recovered from the drugging and the follow-up treatments from CIA-linked doctors and shrinks. He died in 1977. Robeson, Jr. has been pushing the U.S. to release classified documents regarding his father. He has already unearthed some damning stuff, including an FBI "status of health" report on Robeson created in April of 1961. "The fact that such a file was opened at all is sinister in itself," Robeson recently told the London Sunday Times. "It indicates a degree of prior knowledge that something was about to happen to him."

    --Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn

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    Saturday, February 07, 2009

    HoT RoD GiRlS SaVe tHE WoRLd: The Indie film I'm in

    All deliciously edited!! Here are the first ten minutes!

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