Slaving Away

i went to a seder last weekend; it's been too long since i've participated, and many thoughts and feelings arose which i will mercifully spare you ..... but it reminded me of any number of things, not the least of which is slavery .... seders observe the jews' escape from pharaoh's slavery .... it's a reminder that slavery--in spite of abraham lincoln--still exists; it should remind us that slavery is ubiquitous, and it reminded me that one of the real abominations of slavery is when the slaves become accustomed to it, and accept it ....

those of you who actually read these columns can intuit where i might go with this, but it's gratuitous to talk about the enslavement of americans, how they've been enslaved by fear--whether it's fear of bad breath; fear of ring-around-the-collar; fear of not being sexually compelling; fear of armpits; fear of dark-complected others; fear of muslim fundamentalists; fear of lib'rals; fear of homosexuals .... we're way past having nothing to fear but fear itself, because fear is the mainstay of our economy, and we're not in business to go out of business ....

synchronously enough, we'd just taken some books out of the library for the boys ..... we do this regularly; the boys have to read because .... ha ha .... we don't have a television and, while they now have an inkling as to who spiderman might be, they've never seen him do his spider thing ..... and no, they can't name the three hundred corporate logos that most americans can identify by the time they're two-and-a-half ....

but then, neither can i ....

we grab books at random, then read them when we get home .... and one of them was a real zinger, nor did i know what it was about until i was halfway through it .... beautifully illustrated, "the cats in krasinski square" is about the warsaw ghetto, about smuggling food over the walls that surrounded it; about avoiding the gestapo .... and about survival and the will to survive ..... it's a stunning work, one i will add to the permanent collection .... the boys are a little too young to grasp this now, but they will know this .... they will know this story because they will know their history and they will know about heroism and gallantry ..... and they will know about evil .....

and their mother's father was an auschwitz survivor ......

now i hear that the israelis have interrupted the food shipments that the palestinians depend upon for survival; they'll now have no food; no power; no medicines ...... and i'm struck at the turnabout here, a turnabout that once again defibrillates irony ..... hungry people are desparate people; they have nothing left to lose .... we talk about instabilities in the region, as though only political factions create movements, but hunger is a motivating force, a drive, that far exceeds the dissatisfaction of having to pay four dollars a gallon to fill your suv .... and all you have to do is wait for john mcstain to get into office so's he can make permanent the tax cuts that have been so successful for so many happy americans ....

now, i may be talking out my ass here--it won't be the first, neither will it be the last, time--but you can't dismiss me or my comments as "anti-semitic ...." the last time i looked, israel was a nation, not a religion; i wish we'd realize the same thing about america .... i've just scanned my nominal media sources for more on this, and can find no mention of it whatsoever; i'll stop here and allow you to draw your own conclusions ..... i'm sure our "media's" intentions are good, and i know they're doing the best to keep us all well informed .....

meanwhile, in the grand tradition of an informative media, n[ational] p[entagon] r[adio] had an insightful discussion of petraeus' promotion to commander of centcom, the whole kit'n'kaboodle-clusterfuck out there .... he'll be replacing admiral fallon, who "retired" over "disagreements" with the bush "policy" in "iraq ....." it was an enlightening discussion, in the grand tradition of our impartial and dispassionate "media" ..... it was a discussion between a general from the army and a general from the marines .... the army general thought it was a really really really great thing, while the marine thought it was just a really really great thing ......

i''m very grateful for differing points of view; they're so .... so ..... thought provoking .....

i apologize for this drivel .... i shouldn't even be writing this; i should be practising for my appearance at the earth day festival in placerville, this saturday, april 26th ..... while i'll be performing solo, i've got to say that the peter kaukonen trio is playing alarmingly well, something that i can attribute to drugs ..... no .... ha ha .... i don't mean like that, silly .... i mean, i had a cortisone injection in my arthritic fretting hand, and it's pain-free! pain free! free, i tell you! free at last!

i still play like shit, but at least it doesn't hurt any more .....

next: dr. pete gets a cortisone high colonic

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PETER KAUKONEN, San Francisco Bay Area guitarist, has played, toured, and recorded with Black Kangaroo, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Johnny Winter.

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