BLUF: I’ve produced a handful of world music concerts in Palo Alto — Femi Kuti, Ozomatli, Kemuri, Danilo Perez — and would like to do more. Also: I think there should be more street music and buskers, beyond the Claude Ezran World Music Day — Make Music Palo Alto. The article in the times about GlobalFest NYC spurred a certain amount of chatter and progress on this front. Stay tuned. And somehow colored my efforts to impact local policy and leadership, and a weird brouhaha at the Human Relations Council, or the version of reality and my sister site, PAW.
Actually, she’s gone to braid…
The same article also glossed Meklit Hadero pka Meklit frisco-ethiopian singer and activist. I mistook the photo of Xenia for Meklit, sometimes confusing dreads with braids and clock wise with earthwise
edit to add the next day:
I started my day by drinking coffee and listening to Xenia Franca — the Times pointed out in a link that her entire cd is on Youtube, with 200K plays – -and you can also jump to 20:00 to start with the song about her hear. It’s all pretty mellow and not very exotic — if you’ve heard Jobim or Gilberto this is not far from it. Or Seu Jorge. Meanwhile, tying a bunch of parts of my brain together, I wrote a missive on local politics on the PAW site:
I think the work of the HRC could be incorporated into the missions of Public Arts, and Parks and Recs commissions: besides beauty, how does art enforce our highest sense of community? How can we use our open space and recreation areas for social justice and building of community, et cetera?
Note that Claude Ezran did exactly that in 2009 when he founded World Music Day.
I think inherent to HRC is you get people with chips on their shoulders arguing that their chip is more significant than another’s.
You say tomato, I say tomato, let’s call the whole thing off.
Or leave it to the church to promote church values: as is we push against the No Establishment Clause.
Also: if you pay attention, you see that the entire commissions and board process is going out of balance.
2x candidate for that board, 5x candidate for other boards, 3x candidate for Council, 2009-2018
plus 25 years enacting these values and more in private sector as Earthwise Productions, which is in some ways a spin-off of Bay Area Action
Whether Steven or Kaloma emerge from this tempest in a teapot, they’ve done huge harm to the idea of civic engagement and or the values purportedly represented when this commission bylaw was written a long time ago, pre-Obama certainly. And that’s nice that a woman named Jill Asher signed her name to a pro-Steven Lee post – but it makes my point that a group of self-selected NGO or 501c3 created that playground, not a city commission, and not HRC per se. Never underestimate what a group can do…
Also: I noted that in my epistolary of sorts with Mr. Lee Lakiba Pittman, who I noticed apropos of the community debate or lack thereof about Ventura — a historically black community here that is the target of developers now — but Sue D of the PAW brought her up with skeletons in the closet of her purported homophobia from 2004 — so has Lakiba reconciled her Christianity with her love of all of us or is she now blacklisted by the Social Justice Left? I think it was a cheap show for Sue to bring this up. Maybe she has changed or grown in the ensuing 15 years…
How many of those (even anonymous) posters who support Steven Lee were solicited by him? He seems, from my observation, to be the type of guy who would ask people to post here. (Hint: maybe next time, ask them to use their names, like Jill Asher did, or better let chips fall where they may).
This brouhaha is more of a press contrivance than real on some level: I don’t think council is seriously considering any action in response to this. (And I know that posting here rather than lobbying actual leaders or speaking for the record at meetings and hearings or letters to City Clerk/Council is just letting off steam and not actual political efficacy – that plus half my shit gets edited out by the arbitrary powers that be in the fake news editorial board at 450 Cammie – and I’m an advertiser!
We could do better. Or I know 100 people who could do better — their names are a public document. I’m saying: draw five random names from the last 100 people who applied for commission and ask them on behalf of the rest of us to take over the HRC agenda — I bet we’d get better results than what the current process evolved or devolved to. Five for fighting!
Or come find me in a cafe and berate me for my views: I’m wearing today a cap that says: well, it is gray with a blue logo with a shark’s fin and when I bought it a professional hockey team gave $5 to breast cancer. But berate me if you think I eat too much fish and you think killing fish for food is a sin, or berate me for being a capitalistic predator who prays on smaller fish, or berate me — as my wife, the former arts commissioner Terry Acebo Davis does – for the fact that that shade of gray on my cap does not match the blue of my shirt, aesthetically. Or berate my dear friend and colleague Tim Gray for cybersquatting a URL that people might thing belongs to a competing political faction.
Further: if you dredge thru the HRC video archive, you see me speaking my 3 minutes in a meeting and suggesting a comedy event that I claimed would further the goals of the HRC. I suggested a specific comic I had met and was following who had a unique ethnic background or mix. But when I called another potential participant in my proposed comedy event he said “that comic is not funny” and soon I realized it was a stupid idea to book a comic just because of his ethnicity. It’s one thing – and I’ve been producing similar events for years, in fact I have five music shows on sale right now – -to include diversity in cultural offerings. But its another thing to ram it down people’s throats.
I’m here all week. Try the fish. (and then I tagged the category: Plato’s Republic, meaning its political). Also I am recalling Venus Opal Reese who I booked once into a gallery series here and who had a monologue on black woman’s hair. And I booked a local folk band featuring Brad from the library a white guy with nice hair. To open. Wandering Stars I think. Astrid (not gilberto) was in the band. She makes book art.
and1: Meklit Hadero deserves a closer look. Here in Plasty and on planet earth per se.