Thursday, October 16, 2008

Plato Negro's Parable of the Weather

Sutter County Jail
Yuba City CA

And the Holy Spirit spoke to me through the night, saying speak to them, my servant, about the weather. Tell them they are unaware of the coming weather. The weather station is telling of conditions in nature but the people are ignorant, thus they shall be destroyed. They do not listen to the news but are preoccupied with music, games of chance, idol gossip, lustful sex, mind altering drugs and material gain, usually at the expense of the poor. They cannot see the coming storm on the horizon that shall consume them. “Oh, the Calamity, what will make thee know the Calamity?”

If they would only peek outside the window, they would see the coming storm. They would then prepare themselves, secure the doors, the windows, tie the horses and cows, but the people are in a mind-altered state, medicated against the pain of life. They will not stop dancing to put on their boots, but wink and blink at each other as the sun fades behind the clouds, and the thunder roars, yet they hear it not, for they are consumed in the moment.

Put on your trench coat, carry your umbrella, a voice admonishes them, but they are deaf, dumb and blind, so the storm proceeds to consume them.

And then they wail as the water approaches and their children are broken from their grasp. Oh, they cry, only if we had known the storm was coming. Only if we had listened to the weather station, we might have avoided the Calamity! We might have grabbed our silver and gold and fled to higher ground. We would have gathered our children, our wives and taken them to safety. But in our hard-headedness, we heeded not the warnings and prepared not for the danger. We partied like the fools on the Titanic, until the ocean swallowed the great ship.

And so it is with the economic weather. Any fool knows things go up and then come down—nothing lasts forever. But the greedy persist until the end. They are like children in the candy store who can never get enough of the sweet stuff until they eat themselves sick, then cry to Mama they have a stomach ache.

Now their bank accounts are empty, homes in foreclosure, life savings blown to the winds of chance. What shall we do now, they wail, where shall we go? They join the army of the homeless and the hungry, pushing shopping carts through the streets. No more Hennessey and Champagne. They join the poor drinking rot gut wine to quench their thirst. Oh, if we had not been greedy, if we had not become addicted to games of chance. Oh, if we had listened to the weather man. But we were too busy dancing, drinking, winking and blinking. Now we must suffer the water and the fire.

From Up From Ignorance, the Soulful Musings of a North American African, Marvin X, Black Bird Press, 2009.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Plato Negro on the Diffusion of Power

Sutter County Jail
Yuba City, CA

In society power must be diffused. If not, the natural and usual result is corruption and domination, such as we see in the patriarchal, white supremacy society. In the family the father and husband must diffuse power to the mother/wife, making matters in the family more functional than the absolute patriarchy which makes the woman feel like a slave and the man a brute, since he has final say in all matters , with violence his ultimate weapon. Such a family construction can never be free and just because one person can never make the right decision all the time. The human mind is bound to make mistakes in judgment occasionally, and sometimes mistakes can be fatal, causing the destruction of the family, such as fighting a wild beast or confronting a stranger. As Solomon suggested, two are better than one, two that are in unity and harmony. If one falls, who can pick us up? If we travel and get lost, shall not the mind of another be an aid in getting us back on the right path?

It is the same in organizations such as the gang, the corporation and the state. Ultimate power corrupts absolutely. The gang leader wields so much power he begins to fear his friends because he knows they want to be the leader one day, even his closest friends, but in his ego blindness, he feels it is his divine right to be the gang king for life.

It is the same with the leader of the state, even the democratic state. Not only did George Bush win the 2000 election by voter fraud and the right wing supreme court, but once in power pushed aside the constitution to claim absolute executive power, negating the congress, declaring unilateral war against Iraq when that country was no threat and had committed no act of aggression. In a devil’s mind, what looks more lucrative: the oil fields of Iraq or the barren mountains of Afghanistan? Bush fantasized Iraq was the cause of 9/11, was associated with Al Qaida and possessed weapons of mass destruction. Two trillion dollars later, none of the above is true, but America is determined to acquire long term oil contracts before she exists Iraq.

To further the goals of the fascist state (communism for the rich), Bush came forth with the Patriot Act to curtail civil liberties, and contrary to his conservative principles, let the oil barons run free to earn 300 billion in profits. He allowed Wall Street to usher in the greatest pyramid scheme (sub prime loans) since the Great Depression. Suddenly the supreme capitalist free marketers became overnight socialists, i.e. state socialists, i.e. fascists!

The duped workers were forced to let free market forces play out, meaning they will get no bail out or substantial aid to reverse foreclosures caused by the sub prime loan scams. The people who gambled on Wall Street, lost their shirts and stand naked with their dicks in the hands and hearts racing! They are like a trick when the whore departs, telling him she will be right back!

The Wall Street bandits, in cahoots with the supreme ruler of the land and his international political cronies in conspiracy with the national banks around the world, have organized multi-trillion dollars bailouts of the banks to restore confidence in the capitalist system suddenly turned communist. Free market capitalism does not nationalize financial institutions and corporations—they let market forces play out—and the strong will survive. Those who lose in the capitalist games of chance—well, that’s life! The world leaders in political economics have defied their fundamental principles to save their buddies, yes, at the expense of the masses, the wage slaves, the working poor, the gamblers.

This debacle could have been avoided with the diffusion of power, with strident regulation of financial institutions, but with the executive hand in the cookie jar, there is no mystery why so many cookies have disappeared. With checks and balances out the window, the supreme leader does as he wishes with the body politic. With a three page letter, he requested the US Treasury deliver 800 billion of the people’s money to his brothers on Wall Street. In fact, he moved the headquarters of Wall Street to the White House.

We will shortly see if there shall be a legitimate transfer of power or will he connive to usher in another right wing regime to further the goals of the fascist state, again, depriving the democratic state the diffusion of power to maintain the just society.

In Stalinism, Nazism and now Bushism, we see how men seize power for personal aggrandizement. They will execute world wars to extend their power until checked by a people’s democratic revolution. Somehow, someday soon, our mental health experts must cast their digging rigs down into the oceans of our minds to decipher the meanderings of the wretched psyches of men whose egos compel them to execute power over people, to the detriment of society and civilization.

In making state violence their ultimate weapon, such men must be confined to the deepest spaces of our prisons until their consciousness evolves to the level where the diffusion of power is no more a problem for them than walking or jogging.

In conclusion, theatre is a model of diffusion. No matter how great the playwright, he alone cannot produce the finished product without the aid of others. Even the one man show needs a director, contrary to the thinking of most spoken word performers who have never heard of the director—the one man show needs lighting and sound technicians, set and costume designers, promoters, ticket sellers and front house people. The one man show needs music arrangers and choreographer, make-up artists,etc.

With such needs, the playwright and or the actor with the greatest egomania, should humble himself with the reality that he is not alone in the show business, that he is in need of a chorus of workers, designers, technicians—in short, geniuses like himself to get from process to product.

Certainly, this was true for me in theatre. And if it’s true for me, then it is true for everyman for all the world is a stage. And for everyman there comes The End, when the lights go down and all is quiet on the set. For the tragic hero, this is the moment of dred, especially when the torturer becomes tortured, falling into his own puke as he exits the stage of history.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Plato Negro's Parable of the Basket

A wise street brother suggested Plato place a basket on his table at his open-air classroom at the crossroads of Oakland, 14th and Broadway. The brother said the basket would be for donations people wanted to make to his cause: the education of the people through the sale of his books and by facilitating dialogue with street people, adults and youth, also intellectuals and politicos who passed by on their way to and from City Hall across the street.

The basket was immediately filled with change and dollars, some days there were five and ten dollars in the basket. When people asked Plato for a dollar or two to buy a hamburger at Burger King down the block, he told them to reach into the basket to get what they need. A lady came by who said she needed two dollars to get on the subway (BART) so she could pick up her check.

The basket became a micro-ATM machine for the poor, the hungry, the mentally ill, or anyone in need. And those able would put donations into the basket, often without being asked. The basket became the poor people's petty cash fund. The people who had gotten money from the fund would come by to replace it, sometime a week or two later. As Plato kept no record, he would often forget who had drawn from the basket.

Plato thanked the wise brother who suggested the idea. And the people truly appreciated having a place where their small needs could be met.

Plato Negro (aka Marvin X)
Sutter County Jail,
Yuba City CA

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Plato Negro on the Death of Dreams

The death of dreams occur when reality has become so overwhelming, so dreadful that our imagination is exhausted and thus our ability to navigate the conundrums of life. We presently have an entire civilization on the brink, on the precipice, the chasm we created by accepting the corrupt and imbecilic leadership of the political, economic and spiritual
blood suckers of the poor. In our passivity, we permitted the blood suckers to drain the body politic of its vitality, to empty to coffers of the global village, and so we find ourselves at the bottom of the well with no exit, for who shall lead us out of the bottomless pit—was not God unable to find one righteous man to save the town?

Thus, as we seek solutions to the present economic meltdown, we are afraid to admit we are devoid of leadership, unless the hens accept the guardianship of the wolves. The robbers are able to resupply their booty from the treasury of the people, the trillions stolen from unregulated, free market capitalism now called globalism, the new form of monopoly capitalism that transcends nationalism and borders, with no sympathy for the citizens of any state who are mere cogs in the wheel of gamblers, speculators and fascists who practice an archaic socialism of the wealthy, looking out for their brothers at every turn, bailing them out from every blunder, every losing roll of the dice. Imagine, the robbers who bankrupted the nation’s largest insurance company proceeded to celebrate with a $400.000 retreat at taxpayer’s expense. There is no end to their arrogance and addiction to white supremacy.

But, again, where shall we find the honest man, the righteous man who shall not take a bribe, who is not addicted to greed, lust and conspicuous consumption? From what ivory tower shall our radical thinkers emerge to guide us on the right path? Are they not tainted with their white supremacy education? Have they gone through the process of deracialization and decolonialism, have they detoxified to the degree that they are clear and sober minded enough to offer us a plan out of the matrix?

We have suggested the 13 Step Model to recover from the addiction to white supremacy, but of course we are smarter than God, so we have no need of any plan other than to continue in our inordinacy, “blindly wondering on.” Even before the economic meltdown, our intellectuals were impotent and bereft of any ideas that would guide us safely into the new millennium.

In spite of the two million imprisoned, there is no call for a general amnesty to free the non-violent, drug related offenders, who should be working or learning skills to work in the reconstruction of the hood, economic as well as social, with radical plans and programs of substance rather than window dressing and band-aids. With all the brothers locked down, what choice do women have other than to mate with each other for comfort and love? The new demographics do not bode well for the future of the family in the hood, with so many reconfigurations of male/female relations: the women becoming men, the men becoming women. A young lady was overheard on her cell phone telling her girlfriend that she is the baby daddy and the baby daddy is the baby mama. “He stay home with the baby while I bounce….”

Even when we have the possibility of some forward movement, disillusionment sets in or we intellectualize ourselves out of enjoying the moment, suggesting that joy is sinful and we shall not be guiltridden, even after we who imagaine ourselves leaders and thinkers are forced to confess we are running to board the freedom train.

The great philosopher Sun Ra would say, "We so right we wrong, " for in our revolutionary purity we escape the motion of the masses, ultimately becoming their followers rather than leaders.

And the pseudo hip hop intellectuals and artists fare no better than the 85% deaf, dumb and blind, for the hip hop are blind with spurius antiquated African philosophy
that is doing nothing for Africa, and thus can do nothing for Africans in North America.
Better to search for ancestral bones in Mississippi rather than digging for King Tut's relatives only to be embarrassed at discoveries that will reveal a glorious past that at our present rate will take eons to equal.
--Plato Negro (Marvin X)