Thursday, February 24, 2011


Chris rock in his deep wisdom had a comedy bit where he spoke about the unfairness or illegality of brown peoples drugs versus white people’s drugs. He said white people decide what is legal and if you look at drugs and their popularity the brown people’s drugs are much more fun. Now in truth the white people’s drugs; pharmaceuticals are more pervasive and have done massive damage and continue to in America because it is legal, promoted and condoned by the AMA. How many horrible commercials are we assaulted with pushing for drug use to avoid “restless leg syndrome or erectile dysfunction” as they quickly list the side effects which are usually more deadly than the original illness, crazy, all of it. Yesterday listening to an NPR story about a small remote village addicted to Opium in Afghanistan it occurred to me that we have it wrong. The story spoke about how in this remote village farmers were addicted but happy. They realized that even the mice were addicted to the smoking of the plant, that everyone and everything was dependant on the poppy plant but not just by ingestion. They made bricks of the narcotic which was smoked or made into a tea or consumed as a food plus they used the stalks for firewood and also make soap with the seeds. Fascinating as they listed about 8 different things they use the plant for. It made me think that it was a gift the Poppy plant.
Sadly we have made it illegal because we don’t like to lose control and we are ignorant about the spiritual and physical benefits of the drug and we have no faith in humanity to decide for themselves. Opium is a strong narcotic which can be highly addictive and yet where food is scarce if there is no choice but to suffer how is it bad that it is used to assuage hunger? Also for many in Afghanistan it is the only crop that brings relief in terms of food and money. Pomegranate and almonds is not enough. The huge campaign we wage all over the planet to ban “brown peoples drugs “should be rethought. The white man’s drugs of choice (big pharmaceutical) should be made more difficult to get and the brown drugs of choice more available if needed. We would benefit as a society from the new taxes legalizing these drugs.
This is prohibition plain and simple; free up illicit drugs, let individuals who prefer them do them in safe houses, drug neighborhoods. They are doing it now. Free up the prisons, millions of inmates would be released saving more tax money for us. I know many officials have admitted that the US has lost the drug war but we still wage it, how dumb is that? I think we could better use the money we waste to battle drugs worldwide to say fund “planned parenthood, education, Medicare and Social Security” simple.
It is racial, religious and political the resistance to legalization and dated. We need to be smarter than this; we need to rethink our prejudice and ignorance. By the way I know what crack and meth do to people it isn’t pretty or smart or nice. I am not saying this to promote addiction I am just saying we don’t make addiction or drug use go away by making it illegal. We only help to keep attractive and alive by pushing it underground and many people who need to cultivate the plants are dying of hunger and who are we to deny them a living? I would like to think it is not a race issue but it is fascinating that today in our society so many toxic compounds are available in Wal Mart for cheap. We could do better we could stop prohibition globally and net billions for the effort.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


It must be hard to lead this country with the House Senate and Congress and the various States all careening to bankruptcy and then mix in the Arab world issues and it cannot be easy. That Planned Parenthood is under attack by the conservative pro-lifers is a shame and then I think well Oprah could write a check and fix that. Poor rich Oprah she is the solution for so much and yet she hasn’t done enough for diversity in media if you ask me, yes she has done plenty for Oprah in the media but that is another conversation. I can’t help but ponder the irony that in America its root wealth came from slaves, African Slaves. Cotton built America and today most cities country wide have wiped away the memory of the slave trade. I think we should be reminded of it everywhere like we are whip lashed over the Holocaust. It isn’t lost on me that our first African American president is cozy with the rich elite in this country and that he is trying to meld the two sides into one big happy family. That he is struggling to find his way in a huge dung pile left by the devils of war the profiteers of all things toxic. I mean the triad of Bush, Cheney and Crummy Rummy. It is ironic that slaves picking cotton and servicing America made it what we have today and yet there are not statues in Time square or on Wall Street of men and women and children who died for this country by being tortured bought and sold or murdered in America. It’s crazy but it’s something, a glaring gap…Oh I know we should move on from that and people of “color” would say the same maybe. I find it ironic that our fresh great hope of a president is pandering to the very same forces that enslaved his ancestors’ I suppose like Oprah it’s really about his image and likeness and Obama-ness and less about the greater good like get out of Afghanistan please, and like Oprah it’s a shame really.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One percent of one percent.

First thing recently I have started to watch “Democracy Now” on cable a news show started 15 years ago with Amy Goodman every morning. It is a news show that covers news our mainstream news agency fails to find interesting enough. Rallies in Wisconsin of 10’s of thousands of people fighting the governor of Wisconsin who wants to bust the unions. Unions that were put in place to protect the middle class 50 years ago. Then there are the protests in Puerto Rico, students who are rallying against hikes in tuition to name a few issues, which is a territory of the United States in case you don’t know. Noam Chomsky is a guest this morning and unfortunately he is a quiet talker so listening to his quiet growl is challenging BUT he is brilliant and informed and connected to what is going on and one of the tragedies of our current economic crisis is the swift and efficient way the true criminals of the day, yes… the corporate giants who have increased their wealth in unprecedented ways beyond yours or my imagination. These same greedy giants of industry who have managed to shift the spotlight to say what is “according to them” the real cause of our economic crisis; Social Security, Medicare and other social necessities; these pirates who basically raped us financially with unethical money schemes that say 30 years ago or more would have been against the law but since deregulation somehow today these robotic mortgages to name a few financial instruments are perceived as legal (sort of) yet none of these men who have received bigger bonuses since Obama took over are being called to the mat or being investigated . We need to stand up to them in fact don’t get me started. We are a lazy under informed mass of people who I still hold hope can and should wake up and yet we are lulled asleep with lame news coverage; corporate media has won the war on our awareness, lame information that keeps the focus off the real issues and the real bad guys. Wow…we are screwed with a capital S. So this morning I invite you to wake up and tune into “Democracy Now” and get a clue before it’s too late.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Years ago I was somersaulting through my emotional history in my therapist’s office trying to reconstruct like an amateur CSI my many horrible wounds and such. It was awkward and fruitful and painful (of course) and fascinating I was being midwifed through my history by Sage Walker who is still in practice and very good at doing stuff like this. It was she who introduced me to the idea, the concept of defensive structures that prevent the very thing we long for, love. As small little people (children) when we are abused we create defenses that are very complex and effective at protecting our most soft places, our fragile psyches as it were. The problem begins later when we are adult and have outgrown the need of protection but the structures exist later on to prevent the thing we long for “connection” or “love”. So it is up to us to break them down and deconstruct our inner landscapes to welcome in an undefended way, love. Sounds simple it is not and honestly many would argue silly and useless and time wasting. Ah…if only that were true. It is not true and as an artist, a communicator, a tortured soul (some of us) it is our job to be a conduit for life. A conduit of feelings, which we express in the various mediums that exists, when we act or write or paint or construct words we filter, express what is there, through our souls to you the audience some of us are better at it than others. In a roundabout way it follows that our complex history colors who we are and how we “roll” and whether or not we are fluent in sharing this without crumbling into a whining not so interesting mess. A fine balance it takes and mastery, still we have in some cases years and decades to get in step and mature. My mother in law coined a saying “Well behaved women seldom make history” it is from a paper she wrote in the 70’s that was published and it caught on. It is an important saying one that we must adhere to. I have a friend who has wasted many years being a “good girl” she has always done what she thought was the “right” thing to do. Yet it has cost her decades of loneliness and nothing sucks like waking up in your forties realizing no one is keeping score. Thank society and religion for this. Now we are here in 2011 and I am encouraging her to be brave and naughty and to go into the unknown uncharted territories for her. It is tough stuff but worthy stuff in the end because I am convinced when we die no one is going to hold up a stick and say whether we measured up or not and to what? Maybe we may go back and remember as best we can what occurred but even then who cares. Now I am not giving you carte blanche to like a wrecking ball shatter lives. No I am not, there is such a thing as integrity and kindness and decency and yet the line is fine. Tricky stuff love, it doesn’t behave like the romance novels tell us or the laws of nature love just misbehaves and that is what is so delicious about it when it strikes. I am feeling a bit bruised by how far we females have to go in the world to get respect STILL. It is very frustrating and soul killing to list the many artists who are female who have gone unaccounted for, whose creative output has been disregarded because they are female. Women who have spent their entire lives not getting credit or success or the sunlight of attention they deserve. Today in 2011 there are millions of women who still are not being counted. I was listening to Elvis Costello (on the red Grammy carpet) speak about the lack of female record producers and how it is weird to him that more women are not producing. He said it was sad. I know that there are female writers in every medium who are not being hired or paid what they deserve. Don’t get me started with Hollywood where it is racially challenged as well as sexist. UGH…so much work to do still. So today this is dedicated to my friend who I encourage to drop the “Good girl label” and to go with love and to you the ones who never give up the good fight to level the playing field called life. Equal pay, equal respect, go girl, it starts with YOU!

Friday, February 11, 2011

High School

It is a very busy time for me because I am studying to take the GED which I am nervous about I don’t want to have to retake it. Why you ask am I bothering? I want to complete my high school and it makes me proud to know I have no shame for needing to take the test since I never went to high school. I dropped out 2 months into it (9th grade) I went to the beach or something crazy and never went back. It was a hot L.A. day and the class had over 50 people in it and I had my hand up to get the homework assignment. Yet I couldn’t hear what it was and I remember thinking my arm was hurting for being up so long and the teacher whom I don’t remember whether it was a man or woman was overwhelmed at the front of the room. That was it I gathered my stuff left my school books and quit. So now I am a half century old and off to school again only this time I like learning. I am so excited by math in a way I never thought possible and wonders of wonder I understand that it is a language that connects us in ways words cannot. This is news to me and I welcome it and understand it and that is comforting and powerful. So it isn’t an excuse really just a story of why I am not here more often. What if we discovered that what makes us most afraid whether it is discovering our body (new sport, using it), learning math (my biggest fear) and or surrendering to love allowing intimacy, what if we discovered that making that leapt of faith into the unknown uncomfortable territory was the very best thing we could do physically, emotionally, intellectually as well as spiritually? It seems to be true in my experience that this is the act that takes us out of depression and into living a fuller happier existence. Pushing our boundaries, learning new concepts, getting off our butts and moving into new territories, it is feeling pretty minty fresh and although I may fail (one never knows) I can always try again and is it really failure when we try something new once? Not really it is 100% failure when we don’t. It always comes back to mental health. Listening to NPR yesterday a father described modern health care as being 100 years behind in understanding mental health as opposed to our current understanding of how the body works. It is sad and true we are in the dark regarding illness when it is mental. I think because it touches the hem of spirituality, if not because it is enmeshed with it in a way that is fuzzy, grey and dangerously close to religion.
This is the reason it isn’t as popular to crack open understand and evolve in the medical community as research and worthy of discovery. I guess those of us who are near it, touched by it ought to do something. Imagine what our society would be like if we respected the mental health community and funded it like we do say “Defense”? Imagine if we as a culture balanced our priorities in general so that each citizen was cared for and valued? I suppose we wouldn’t recognize this utopia. Meanwhile we are in a gigantic shift, climate change is here and it is kicking butt. Things have to change because that is the only constant, change.