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      I woke up last night feeling like I was suffocating, because in my dream I was. It began in a church, or an old university lecture hall. Antique. And everyone in attendance was being asked to say little prayers honoring Jesus. Everyone was reciting little prayers that are common among the devout. But when it was my turn, I stood and exclaimed: Jesus was a ph […]
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Inaugural Weekend PUMA Dedication #1

From Angienc: No Scrubs

If you have a song you want to dedicate to PEOTUS Barack Obama, soon-to-be ex-POTUS Incurious George or anyone else who you want to kick to the curb let me know – but if YOU want ME to post/play it then YOU have to find an embeddable version on YouTube and give ME the link.

Oh F**k it’s Friday Open Thread

A couple love songs from George Thorogood to set the mood:

Continue reading

Are We Human or Are We PUMA?

Human performed by “Goodbye Elliott” — be sure to click Play

While searching for a “Killers” version of their song, “Human,” that I could use here, I found this heartrending one by the band “Goodbye Elliot,” performing in their living room in Hawaii. As a former grades K-12 music teacher, I have a special place in my heart for talent like this, the joy and purity of playing and performing music.

We were lucky to have found each other. We were just kids.

—Paul McCartney, of his songwriting partnership with John Lennon. “The View” 1/14/09.

Wow, I guess I’m officially old, although everything about my generation will still be sixteen. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was released in 1962. That was 47 years ago. I didn’t even like the Beatles at first. I was into Ray Charles, oldies, jazz, avant-garde authors, poets, and playwrights, movies and musicals.

You won’t notice the years slip by. I’m telling you now. I don’t care.

But, are you still “Dancer”?

Are we human, or are we PUMA?

Some people might view that in a negative way. Not me. I’m looking at it this way. As ‘What’s Your Point, Honey?” filmmaker Amy Sewell* put it:

Women shouldn’t be paid equal, they should be paid more.

“The Killers” official music video of Human**, which is disabled for download, is full of big cats, which gives the song a special mystique and meaning to me. Call it telepathic radio — PUMAs are filmed heading right into the camera, stalking New Mexico-looking landscape. I highly recommend that you view it on YouTube, linked at bottom of page.

From mp3 lyrics;

[** There has been considerable confusion and debate over the line “Are we human or are we dancer?” in the song’s chorus. Many have incorrectly heard “denser” instead of “dancer”, a change which significantly alters the interpretation of the song’s meaning. On the band’s official website, the biography section states that Flowers is singing “Are we human, or are we dancer?” and also says that the lyrics were inspired by a disparaging comment made by Hunter S. Thompson about how America was raising a generation of dancers.] Lyrics: Human, The Killers [end]

As with any good song, poem or story, it holds up to lots of interpretation. Apparently there are many, including mine. The video and the song remind me of PUMA, at first, of course, because of the cats. But also this . . .

The idea of our innate wildness as humans, all of us, is visceral. Our willingness to break free from what’s expected. Afterall, that’s what my Baby Boom Generation did, right? Which is the human part, which is the animal part? Which is the spirit of the human, AND which of the animal? Where do they exist and reside? Are they part of our hard drive or an application? How do they determine our way in Life and the paths we choose?

HUMAN by The Killers

I did my best to notice
When the call came down the line
Up to the platform of surrender
I was brought but I was kind

And sometimes I get nervous
When I see an open door
Close your eyes, clear your heart
Cut the cord

Are we human or are we dancer?
My sign is vital, my hands are cold
And I’m on my knees looking for the answer
Are we human or are we dancer?

Pay my respects to grace and virtue
Send my condolences to good
Hear my regards to soul and romance
They always did the best they could

And so long to devotion
It taught me everything I know
Wave goodbye, wish me well
You’ve gotta let me know

Are we human or are we dancer?
My sign is vital, my hands are cold
And I’m on my knees looking for the answer
Are we human or are we dancer?

Will your system be alright
When you dream of home tonight
There is no message we’re receiving
Let me know, is your heart still beating?

Are we human or are we dancer?
My sign is vital, my hands are cold
And I’m on my knees looking for the answer
Are we human or are we dancer?

You’ve gotta let me know

Are we human or are we dancer?
My sign is vital, my hands are cold
And I’m on my knees looking for the answer
Are we human or are we dancer?

My new boyfriend finally turned me on to The Beatles around the time “Revolver” was released in 1966, then “Sgt. Pepper. . . ” in 1967, and I was hooked. These were our anthems. When the movie “Let It Be” was released in 1970, the Beatles were at their height of mutual destruction, at each others’ throats, sarcastically sniping and putting each other down in the film. But evidently, I didn’t know or believe it before I went, alone, high on acid, thinking I’d have a wonderful ride. I left the theater on one of the few bummers I ever had while stoned out of my mind. The curtain had been pulled back in The Land of Oz — about the Beatles and so many other unacceptable things in our culture.


The Beatles, “Get Back”

John was always my favorite Beatle, including, perhaps especially his journey into feminism. This morning, Paul talked about losing his best friend, when John died. At the time, it was reported they’d been somewhat estranged, amidst years of pressure to reunite as a band. Down the road, perhaps they’d want to take some of it back, but at the time I’m sure it made sense to each of them. I’m not sure what the song means, and on wiki, it sounds like they were just making up ditties during their jam. But, even though it’s far from my favorite Beatles song, I get that same feeling of getting back to what’s essential, and of meaning.

Through it all — the trials of our existence — what is the kernel we seek? A means to live in peace, be fed, happy, respected, love and be loved, and make our music? To be free. To be seen. To feel some kind of meaning in our life. Seeing and hearing Hillary Clinton‘s deep eloquence and majestic thinking during her Senate Confirmation Hearings for Secretary of State reminded me once again. To discover our purpose, individually and collectively, and the Spirit of our Dancer.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life? —Mary Oliver, The Summer Day


* Stay tuned for my upcoming post, and recorded interview with documentary filmmaker and feminist, Amy Sewell. We discuss her latest film, “What’s Your Point, Honey?” which is about how to fulfill our mission of electing a woman President of the United States.

“The Killers,” Human on YouTube.

[cross-posted from Lady Boomer NYC]

The more things change….

When Naomi Wolff referred to “that other group” in her swiping smackdown of the New Agenda on CNN yesterday (got any EVIDENCE to back up your “right-wing funded front” smear, Naomi?), she was talking about Puma PAC and the Puma Movement. Strange. It’s not like they don’t KNOW our name. I think after hundreds of thousands of letters and phone calls to public officials, dozens of TV and radio appearances, and designation as a Time Magazine “Buzz Word of the Year,” the powers that be certainly DO know what Puma is.

What are we now, Lord Voldemort? Is Puma the “You Know Who” of politics and feminism these days? I also thought it was kinda strange that Amy Siskind never mentioned us either in her own brief appearance on Wednesday. I mean the Ms. cover WAS a travesty and an outrage, but would there have even been any story there if hundreds of Puma PAC members and Conflucians hadn’t flooded Michele Kort’s mailbox on Sunday and Monday? While it is excellent that Amy got the opportunity to criticize Ms’ egregious decision to whitewash history by pretending that Barack Obama is a feminist Superman (gack!), I gotta admit it’s a bit disheartening to find our own members’ efforts go unmentioned. In fact, it ticks me off when our members and readers respond so quickly and effectively to a call to action, only to be treated like the “country cousins” at the family shin-dig.
Oh, well. Par for the course I guess. I was doing some reading about Alice Paul and her suffragist movement of the 1920’s yesterday to get my mind off what feels a bit too much like back-stabbing, rumor-mongering, smearing, and back-room dealing, and guess what? The struggle for women’s suffrage was rife with back-stabbing, rumor mongering, smearing, and back-room dealing too. Yep. Critics of Alice Paul and her New Woman’s Party accused them of being racists (surprise!), of hysteria, and of being unpatriotic (just like the Obots are now telling us to fall in line for the “good of the country.” Obots really do sound more like Republicans every day.) And just about every woman’s group that appealed to the NWP for support quickly turned on them if they didn’t get what they wanted.
So this attempt to euthanize Pumas by euphemizing us as “that other group” is to be expected. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. 

Friday: Krugman harshes Obama’s mellow

The Shrill One offers some advice to Obama in the Jan. 22 edition of Rolling Stone, available to us 6 days in advance through the miracle of technology.  It remains to be seen whether PEBO will actually take him up on any of this.  After all, Krugman had his chance to speak to Obama when he gave marching orders to the other members of the so-called “liberal” press and Krugman chose not to attend.  (But Naomi Wolf was probably there!)

Krugman offers the same liberal, FDR type solutions that were engaged for the last Depression soiree.  You know, nationalizing the banks, demanding that taxpayers get something for their money, using federal money to put people back to work, new social safety net programs, yadayadayada.  The Grover Norquists of the country are popping carotids left and right like they always do when Krugman opens his mouth.  Krugman apparently wants to drag the government out of the bathtub and commence rescue breathing right away.  He says that the legacy of the FDR programs caused something called “The Great Compression” where the income disparities between rich and poor were minimized and this lead to one of the most productive periods of American history in terms of growth and innovation.  Frickin’ liberal.  Doesn’t he know that relentless hardship builds character and that we’re all post partisan now?   All he wants to do is protect labor, improve wages, strengthen the social safety net.   But we always hear this same kind of thing from Krugman.

What I *hadn’t* heard from Krugman and what strikes me as a damn good idea is his proposal for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission:

There is, however, one area where I feel the need to break discipline. I’m an economist, but I’m also an American citizen — and like many citizens, I spent the past eight years watching in horror as the Bush administration betrayed the nation’s ideals. And I don’t believe we can put those terrible years behind us unless we have a full accounting of what really happened. I know that most of the inside-the-Beltway crowd is urging you to let bygones be bygones, just as they urged Bill Clinton to let the truth about scandals from the Reagan-Bush years, in particular the Iran-Contra affair, remain hidden. But we know how that turned out: The same people who abused power in the name of national security 20 years ago returned as part of the team that, under the second George Bush, did it all over again, on a much larger scale. It was an object lesson in the truth of George Santayana’s dictum: Those who refuse to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.

That’s why this time we need a full accounting. Not a witch hunt, maybe not even prosecutions, but something like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that helped South Africa come to terms with what happened under apartheid. We need to know how America ended up fighting a war to eliminate nonexistent weapons, how torture became a routine instrument of U.S. policy, how the Justice Department became an instrument of political persecution, how brazen corruption flourished not only in Iraq, but throughout Congress and the administration. We know that these evils were not, whatever the apologists say, the result of honest error or a few bad apples: The White House created a climate in which abuse became commonplace, and in many cases probably took the lead in instigating these abuses. But it’s not enough to leave this reality in the realm of things “everybody knows” — because soon enough they’ll be denied or forgotten, and the cycle of abuse will begin again. The whole sordid tale needs to be brought out into the sunlight.

It’s probably best if Congress takes the lead in investigations of the Bush years, but your administration can do its part, both by not using its influence to discourage the investigations and by bringing an end to the Bush administration’s stonewalling. Let Congress have access to records and witnesses, and let the truth be told.

“Full faith and credit of the United States” needs to mean something to the world or it will stop lending to us and trade in our dollars.  When there is no accountability, there can be no trust.  And with no trust, there can be no negotiation in good faith.  What we end up with are nations and people who will be constantly looking over their shoulder worried that they’re about to be stabbed in the back.  I suspect the reasons that the banks aren’t lending to each other or anyone else right now is because it takes a cheating bastard to know one.  In this kind of environment, the worms that lie in the mud have to be forced to hatch out so we can see what we’re dealing with, learn from it and make sure the people responsible never have a chance to operate in positions of power ever again.  Their lawless behavior is going to result in chaos and hardship for many citizens for years to come.  There has to be accountability or a country of laws mean nothing and our money and our word become worthless.

Of course, we’re talking about Obama here so don’t hold your breath.  The guy got the nomination by theft.  (Don’t you stupid Obots go off about how Hillary ran a bad campaign.  Save your breath.  We know who actually ran a bad campaign because he required the RBC hearing to overturn primary results in order to barely eek out a win.  Deal with it, guys.  You elected the weakest link.)  The country was so desperate to get rid of Republicans that they had no alternative but to vote for Obama.  Now, they *expect* Obama to deliver.  There is no use trying to dampen expectations.  Even the least he can do is going to be a monumental challenge for one so unaccustomed to the real business of governing.  But he must do it.  We know it is beyond his capabilities right now but he really doesn’t have any choice and we expect him to burn himself out trying.  He wanted this job, he bought off enough superdelegates to get it, he destroyed a more worthy candidate’s career by waving around his penis and won it.  But you can’t govern using a penis and accusations of racism.  That’s going to get old really fast when an ever increasing number of people are losing their jobs and health insurance.  He needs to implement a Truth and Reconciliation Commission as quickly as possible and ferret out the Easter Eggs left in the executive branch by his predecessor and his Monica Goodling type personnel managers.  Give us the satisfaction of nailing the bastards.

Yeah, he’ll probably dance with the ones that brung him, the very same people who need to be brought to account.  But you can be damn sure I’ll be out here every day of the next four years stirring up enough noise about it.  My expectations are high.  There’s no handicap for a beginner.  He wanted the job.  He’s got it.

Now deliver.