it had to happen somebody counting dollars questioning the cost
n.b. When the pile of green bits of paper gets so high, Capitol Hill echoes to the sounds of accountants at war, clashes more likely toend a conflict than any body count.
Should the pain, suffering and loss of life be agreed to be a profitable venture, then you can bet your last cent that support for Ukraine will be sustained.
This is evidenced by the domestic gun industry’s success in keeping in business, despite the horrific, daily loss of lives across the USAfrom the saturation of the domestic small armsmarket, or the continued existence of the cancer stick manufacturers.
empty eyes, blackened fingernails, frayed cuffs, alone throng gets down and dirty
n.b. Nashville, Tennessee, ‘The Recording Capital of the World, (as I heard a man in a check shirt, jeans, cowboy boots and a cowboy hat label the place to two men incheck shirts, jeans, cowboy boots and cowboy hats), is a busy place on a Saturday around noon.
It is mighty crowded. The sidewalks too narrow to accommodate the people. The shops too small for the lines of customers. The Johnny Cash Museum fulsome of people buying tickets, lining up to enter its exhibition rooms, queues of others waiting to have a gander around the souvenir store.
The air is filled with the low throb of traffic congestion; the whoopin’ and a hollerin’ of open wagon loads of young-acting women and men drinking heavily. Every building that isn’t a boot store, or souvenir shop is a bar with a stage that positions a duo, a trio, or a full bandwith their backs to the sidewalk. The bass drums and cymbals, distorted guitars and amplified voices tumble, conflictingly onto the street.
All around groups of friends, couples, families, stag and hen parties, step around each other trying to agree where to go next, what to do, or hesitate to check their party retains some coherent form.
In the bigger bars, several storeys of open windows and roof top terraces are full of people standing and drinking, or sitting and eating, often with bands bashing out popular songswhich encourage customers to try singing along.
A plane passing close overhead on its landing flight path cannot be heard. If you add a couple of ambulance sirens, or a police vehicle’s whining to the cacophony, then you have a good idea of the unholy racket. Music City indeed!
Well, getting back to the senryū above, in the heart of this overwhelming nonsense, there are some very isolated people. They carry all their belongings in a plastic bag, or even a suitcase or two.
They are not of this tourist partyworld. The crowds so loud and busy there is no hope of being heard if asking for handouts. These sun-weathered ghosts just wander around, or sit in the not so rare boarded-up doorways, or just stand and stare, sometimes mumbling to themselves, maybe fumbling a rolling tobacco cigarette.
Hieronymus Bosch would have loved Nashville. On a Saturday lunchtime, a setting forthe centre panel of The Garden of Earthly Delights; at night the setting fit for Hell.
take it to the street city walls a buzz with hope a new Birmingham
n.b. Stronger together. Who painted this? Do we fete the artist, applaud the message, or live and work for a stronger, shared future for the peace and security of us all and those who are following in our footsteps?
This artwork is part of a stunning mural in Birmingham, Alabama city centre. It is a collaborative piece from the BLM Artist Collective of that city.
IN YUNG GUNS WE TRUST threat? self-determination? people get ready
n.b. Graffito on a low-rise social housing development in a beautiful, wooded district on the north side of Birmingham, Alabama. Not just scrawled on a wall, but painted large across the building.
At first, my response to these words was that this slogan, for it is big and prominent enough to be a political slogan, was an act of immature bravado, possibly delineating gang territory. However, this is not necessarily the case. Gang signs are usually more subtle, more discreet, almost meaningless to the naïve passerby, instantly recognisable to friend and foe.
Here in Birmingham Alabama, (the neatest, tidiest city centre in the whole of the USA as far as I have seen),there has been a long history of open warfare on people of colour by racist whites.
As a civil war was fought, as legislation was introduced, as civil rights were argued for and established, the racists have beaten, bombed and murderedpeople in this small city for speaking up for their basic rights as citizens of the USA. The racists in this city, made it a point to openly and brutally resist the changes USA society needed to go through to begin to live up to its constitutional promise, “all men are created equal.”
Birmingham, Alabama is a place of pilgrimage. A place to pay respect to the church-going children fire-bombed, the Freedom Riders set upon, the brave people whoendured attacks by police dogs, batons and boots, our fellow human beings who were treated worse than dogsfor boycotting, travelling, marching, sitting in, or simply praying.
This history of living memory does not just disappear overnight. It might be, given the attack on the Capitol Building in Washington DC on 6th January 2021, that some people do not feel entirely at ease with the increasing aggression of the extreme right.
It might be that the public murder of George Floyd and the deadly shootings of so many other black young people by police officers around the USA, has provoked some to thinkthat if the ghastly NRA can argue guns are for defence, then these young people are not going to be sitting on their hands and hanging about for official help in policing their community.
In the USA those, who have made sure accessto firearms is so easy, need to appreciate thatself-defence means everyone has the right to be armed. These trusting in “YUNG GUNS” are taking the freedom to carry deadly weapons argument for defence to its obvious conclusion. If you believe you can’t trust the police, courts and the prison system to act humanely, who can you trust?
Then, after asking who do you trust, the next question needs to be “Who do you love?”
Unfortunately, sadly, awfully, I have since heard that the YUNG GUNS who had sprayed the blue paint on the wall, (barely visible on the brickwork in the photo above), had been enforcing their own form of terrifying justice locally.