Sunday, September 25, 2005

Question Everything

What is it that compells you? Is it fear? Is it love? Is it some innate desire to succeed where other's have failed or is it an empassioned yearning to overcome the maze of adversity laid out before you? Are you motivated by the shortcomings of your parents? Their failures at raising a “good, upstanding, law-abiding, contributing member of society?” Or maybe you just want to know who your parents are and why they felt compelled to expell you from their extremely important lives.

What is it that you want to accomplish? Are you a radical in search of global change or do you think it starts at home? When you watch television does your stomach churn with every passing channel? When you hear political pundits voice their views, their ideals, their “truths” across the great waves that stretch across nations and force themselves into your ears and eyes and minds do you smile abjectly as a peaceful serenity of reticent acceptance floods your soul?

If you died tonight what would they say about you tomorrow? Where you one of strong convictions? Did you follow your passion? Did you lay down in the midst of life's great highway and dare the oncoming traffic of stryfe – sports cars and mack trucks – to proceed unyieldingly, unswervingly? Did you rise up above the busy streets, the constraints we invent – time, success, money – the songs of yesterday and the movies of tomorrow? Did you fit into there little round holes? Did you break the mold? Did you shatter existence beneath your feet when you chose to bow before the powers of feeling, righteousness, enligtenment? Did you blaze a path worry to be followed?

What is truth? Where are the answers? Where is the treasure promised by the maps of generations passed? Where is the new wine? Who will toil in the fields when the peasants have left their plowshares to rust? When Old and Evil rise up to the highest ranks of the hierarchy we have allowed them to create who will be the voice of dissent?

What will you do to change everything?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Ladies and Gentlemen! Scholars and Knaves!

Lend me your ears!

Burning Coal Theatre Company

Proudly Presents:

William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew


Lucas Custer as quick witted, underappreciated Grumio, one of Shakespeare's earliest recipes for his imfamous "Fools."

Stephen LeTrent as the slightly perverse boy next door and suitor of the Lovely Bianca.

Ryan Nazionale as the dashingly handsome Lucentio, rival suitor to Bianca.

A dastardly trio of Campbell Alumns

Show Times...

Wednesday September 22 through Sunday, October 2.
Sunday perfomances at 2:00 PM, all others at 7:30.

Ticket Prices:

Wednesday $10,
Thursday through Sunday:
General Admission $16, Everyone Else $14
Call: 919-834-4001

Saturday, September 03, 2005

A Call to Fast

So many of us have seen the images on the television. We have heard of the destruction and the chaos. We have watched the humanity and the pain and the anger. We have asked ourselvesm, "what can we do? We are so far away..." Yet we feel that a part of ourselves is their in the wake of the destruction. Or at least I have...and I do...for Biloxi is my town of birth.

I want to call all those who read this to Fast. Be it food, drink, AIM, swearing, sex, TV -- be it all of the day, an hour a day, a week, a month a year. If you have ever participated in a fast, for lent, or for yourself, or for some other cause then you know the power it has. The Lord sees your sacrifice and will work through it. I myself am giving up one day's food for each of the next four weeks. During meal times, I will pray. When I am hungry, I will pray. I will consume only water; no soda, no tea, no juice, no bread, no substance -- only water.

Everyone, certainly, will pray for help. For swift recovery and preservation. For strength and perseverance. For protection from continued backlash. But I want to call you to pray for a problem whihc some of us as less aware of.

There are those around us that say, "they should've left when they had the chance." They say, "I can't eel bad when they so stubbornly chose to remain in their homes during a massive natural disaster."

In response I say that the people who left had a place to go and a means to get there. Many of those left behind had neither.

In your fast, if you fast, please pray for the hard hearts of those who do not care. Ask whatever God you pray to to soften those hearts.

Thank you...

Hurricane Katrina: The Aftermath, The Rescue, and The Mentality.

I have been talking about this for several days now with friends and co-workers and have a great many things to say.

First let me begin by stating that FEMA has a list of the top ten worst things that could happen in this country. Amongst the top 5 are a level 10 earthquake hitting Southern California. Another is a major hurricane hitting New Orleans. While FEMA recognizes that this is a serious issue and has contigency plans on the books, as with any disaster/emergency, there are hordes of variables and elements that no equation, however well constructed and calculated, can take into account.

As far as the response effort goes, let me say that it is important to consider that Bush was on vacation (granted, he takes alot of those) and that Congress was out on its annual recess that they always take this time of year. So, before anything could be done on the Federal level, everyone had to come back from all over the world and reach quarom, but once they did, BOOM, $10B.

I'm not raising defense for the relief organizations' poor response. I'm not placing blame either. I think that now is not the time to point the finger and say it's your fault, you should've done this or that faster or better. I think that now is the time to continue to be forward-looking. To continue to try our damndest to fix the bigger problem. A few months down the line when things have stabalized a bit, then we should look back, with perfect 20/20 hindsight and say "where did we go wrong, what could we have done differently."

As far as the looting, the people are operating on the most primitive parts of the human psyche. The needs, wants, desires, and functions of the ID have pushed their way to the front of their mind and consumed their consciousness. I think anyone who says that it is wrong for these people to go into destroyed Wal-Marts, gas stations, grocery stores etc. to take food, water or clothing doesn't understand this basic principle. I think that when talking ethics, and people's lives are at stake, then we have to put that fact into the context of the ethical/moral questions we are facing. If the people down there want to to steal a television, let them. They can't plug it in, and it will never leave the city. All these items have been written off as a loss by every company, corporation, or small business. They're lost. Everyone knows they're lost. Everyone has accepted the loss.

The people are majorly poor black people who lived in the inner-city of N.O. Their lives have been governed by a cognitive process of why us? Why are we poor while white men run our governments. Alot of them have lived their lives making victims of themselves, and I'm not saying this mentality is right, but this mentality is not in question right now. It is important to understand this mentality when we see them on the news demanding help. They believe that White America is leaving them there to die because they are Black and poor. They believe that White America is continuing to do what they have always done. Regardless of the validity of these thought processes, I believe it explains a great deal.

The fact that these people shoot at their would be rescuers and benefactors, I believe, is a disgrace to Humanity. Shows a lack of respect. Understandably, it shows a great deal of fear. However, it's martial law down there. That means there are no civil rights. While that sways many people to believe they have a right to shoot and kill and rape and rob, it doesn't. What it does mean, is that military personnel have a right to put a round in anyone's head they feel like. And while I don't support violence, and am not big on militarty supremacy, if I was in a helicopter homing in on a rescue landing, and taking fire, or if I saw a gun in a civilians hand AT ALL for that matter, I would pick up a megaphone "Citizen! Drop your Weapon! 3..2...1..." BANG! In the Head. You are dead. Call me cold-hearted, cruel, ignorant or immoral I care not. Some people want to be rescued and wait and watch desperately as their rescuers come in, and ANY one stnding in between the rescuers and the stranded should be removed from their place betwixt the victims and the heros.

I would like to end with a bit of hope. Lt. Gen. Russel Honore is in charge now. The leadership problem at "Ground Zero" has been solved, in my opinion. He's pointing, and yellin, and cussin, and gettin' shit done. I like him. People listen to him. He's not afraid to be responsible for 20,000 lives, or if he is, he sure as hell don't show it. He's a tough sum' bitch willing to get the job done.