Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Halloween Is Over So Put Your Real Face Forward And VOTE! Random Thoughts By Earl Hazell

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On Halloween, Love, The Vote, and the Mythic Presumption of American Innocence
by Earl Hazell

=> I love Halloween.  I’m proud of my friends who represented at the end of last month with imaginative stuff.  Especially the parents, who led by example and created a magical space for their children's self-expression and imagination.

=> Churchill once said, "Democracy is the worst form of government, with the exception of all of the others."  I have been, in this life, a colleague, a competitor; an adversary, a best friend, an acquaintance; a contrarian, a cheerleader; an employee, an employer; a child of the Bronx and a citizen of the world; a Sagittarian (sun), Gemini (moon), Libra (rising) and Scorpio (Venus); a son, grandson, great-grandson, nephew, and brother--along with an uncle, cousin and frightened/confused but loyal, committed and proud father.

And while all of these relationships (and others) have made me what I am, and I treasure them all, nine years with my wife, Alexis has taught me that, on a bad day, marriage can be the worst of human relationships there are--with the exception of ALL of the others.  On a good day, to say nothing of great...

Like most people, I usually don't talk about hard times on social media.  Aaron Sorkin set it best: social media is a giant digital stage upon which everyone is "living their best lives" a la The Oprah; performing in their own eternal Halloween costume & role, with no one being their authentic self (at least on purpose). (I [obviously] am a musician who loves being a faux investigative journalist online.)  Hard times, or how they make us feel, for example, are not a part of the established narrative of most people on Facebook.

But I usually don't discuss the great times with my wife either; not even to say how they simultaneously overshadow and remove the shadows of bad times so often, so routinely, so magically, as to make me laugh at their memory.  I am a verbose dude, but there aren't words to accurately describe how my marriage has been a personal Balm in Gilead for my soul. Not even any of the roles I play online have scripts that poetic. If you ask me about my wife and my face lights up, trust: I'm a trained actor, but I'm not THAT good.  In my eyes, when you say her name, you are seeing joy.

Earl Hazell's Article On Random Thoughts & Voting Continues After Sponsor's Message Below...

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Earl Hazell's Article On Voting Continues Below...

=>It's time for men & women of courage and conscience to retire (and then mercilessly kill) the old phrase "if you don't vote, you lose the right to complain."  For one, it is a bold-faced lie: the First Amendment gives you the inalienable right to freely express yourself in complaint form no matter what you do—as the people who refuse to vote when it matters but bitch endlessly about the supposedly unrelated consequences have been proving for generations.

What you lose when you do not vote is not the precious right to do what you're going to do anyway.  You lose the one thing Americans of every race & ethnicity have been carefully trained to covet idolatrously and kill for psychopathically more than morality, logic, Christ, God, family, democracy, capitalism, love, power, the Black community/“American DOS” or even the future of humanity: THE MYTH OF YOUR INNOCENCE.

Howard Zinn said "you can't be neutral on a moving train." Bishop Tutu said "to be silent in the face of oppression is to side with the oppressor."  Non votes are always votes for the oppressor.  In even the fakest and most ceremonially absurd democracies (yes, I know...), apathy and nonvoting are as powerful tools of the oppressor as white supremacist violence, propaganda and voter suppression--and choosing not to vote is supporting the oppressor's agenda accordingly.

Yes, that means if you didn't vote in 2016, you voted for Trump https://www.blackagendareport.com/trump-wages-economic-war-planet. And the party that enabled him. There was no third choice then, and there isn't now.  

Nonvoters--and third party Vanity voters (yes, I said it: deal with it)--may say they are sick and tired of the "lessor-of-two-evils" argument, or the illusion of difference amongst the neoliberal Centrists making up the status quo of both parties currently kabuki-ing their way through running this country (with its dying facade of democracy).  And every arrogant voter needs to deal with the fact that, guess what? They're right.

To a larger degree than anyone should be comfortable with, they got a big-ass point.  But we all have to grow up and face the fact that finding a way to support the lessor of two evils for the benefit of the people is all politics has ever been, in any nation, community, village or tribe in human history.  And, in that context, competent evil is simply better than incompetent evil, every time, because tribalist incompetency is incapable of creating a long-term vision that can serve your short- and long-term interests, if only ironically or accidentally—even ostensibly for its own aggrandizement.

If someone puts a gun to your head (which could kill you instantly) and gives you and your family a choice between swallowing a poison that will kill you all in six hours and one that will kill you all in thirty seconds, if you truly love life and your family, you'll calculate how long it will take you to get them to the hospital where an antidote can be found, and choose accordingly.  You'd only abstain from choosing--or choose what looks like organic grapes that aren't really on the menu--if you're watching it all on Netflix.

This isn't HOUSE OF CARDS, people.  Our comatose democracy isn't dying on Netflix.  With the caustic combination Jackson, Hoover, Nixon, Reagan, Bush Jr. and Kaiser Wilhelm https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/10/12/the-donald-trump-kaiser-wilhelm-parallels-are-getting-scary/ that is Trump, Stage -3- of the fascism cancer has returned to America. It's really happening.  This isn't a return to 1968 we're living in; it's a return to 1928.  Your choices are very clear: GOP cancer or DNC chemo.  Neither will cure the disease, but only one is gonna buy us enough time to figure out what will. 

Either way, your innocence is dead--to the degree it, after age 11, ever truly existed.  Anything but a vote for someone with a (D) next to their name is advocacy for the people who invited the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse into our broken government in the first place.  And nobody cares what you call yourself; Halloween is over.  You are what you are.  And when it comes to this and every successive election, you are what you do on Nov. 6 (or before).  Vote.  Or don't.  Either way, like it or not, individuality and self-delusion have their limits.  The people have a say re your identity.

Call yourself what you want.  You are what you do on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Earl Hazell & His Wife Dr. Alexis Davis Hazell

=> Advice: don't find someone to love.  Take a beat, and stop looking for someone.  You already have plenty of people in your life to love: all walking around aimlessly, looking for someone else to love; looking for some mysterious artist's lovework that doesn't exist while tripping over the Picassos and van Gogh masterpieces lying in their path—sitting in the next cubicle or dressing room, or blowing up their phone with text messages in the great Museum that is our world—just like you; just like me.  Regardless of the Blue Wave or Blue Denouement about to wash over the nation, decide to love the f**ked up, annoying, out of style and hopelessly boring people already in your life, and discover the love within you through them.

And remember: love is a VERB, not a noun.  It's not a feeling; it's an action word.  Love IS what it DOES.  Stand tall for those you have chosen to love in this life, and advocate for that which will protect them from harm, strengthen and invigorate their lives, and bring peace, love, joy, spirit, imagination, safety, beauty, purpose and honor to the sacred space that is their world, and that of their children and children's children.  The love you seek, if you have yet to find it, is on the other side of that bridge. 

Earl Hazell

Earl Wellington Hazell, Jr., native New Yorker, is a bass-baritone opera singer and jazz composer/arranger who, when not working with companies nationally and internationally, is the Executive Director of the production company Jazzoperetry [Jaz-OP-ruh-tree], Inc.  He lives with his wife, Dr. Alexis Davis Hazell in Tuscaloosa, AL.
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