Charmed and Sprung in Baltimore

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It has sprung and Lord have mercy is it always beautiful out! I missed the Cherry Blossom Festival in DC because their blooming coincided with a lot of big changes including a move from one city to another…adjacent to each other, but. At times the direct sunlight is a little over that thin line between pleasant and scathing, but.

In an altogether separate post, I’ll talk about how I have fallen in love with the *actual city that is Baltimore.

I spent the weekend taking it easy especially on Sunday and went to Fort McHenry in the afternoon. That something associated with a war so brutal and so long ago can be converted into such a serene and beautiful space if one of the reasons humans have *potential to win. The War of 1812 of brought the British here where they were unsuccessful after burning Washington DC down. There was some Chinese telephone getting ready for them when the then Secretary of War swore to goodness the British were coming to Baltimore, but they went to DC…hence burning it down since nobody saw it coming. Baltimore was altogether very important and strategic commercially and geographically, but Fort McHenry, as evidenced by this now “National Monument and Historic Shrine”, stood and still stands its ground. That tower is visible from a distance, but an aerial shot of the star shaped shows why it’s kind of amazeBALLS!

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It’s nice that different plants blossom at different parts of spring so it was beautiful to see and be around these bright pink crabeapple trees abuzz with bumblebees lining the pathway with bronze plaques with a blurb about who each one is dedicated to. George Washington gets one of course!

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I’m looking to exploring more of this city even with everything that happened and needed to in the last few days. Curfew’s up – time to explore! I have been charmed and I’m sprung ❤

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*@afropolitaine*

The Irony of the Arab Spring

I’m sitting here watching Current and Countdown with Keith Olbermann is on. I used to love watching him on MSNBC leading up to Obama’s campaign and for a while after B.O. became POTUS I would rush home and get such a rush watching his show. He and Rachel Maddow.

So it’s interesting to see him on a different channel with possibly a little more liberty to express his frustrations especially in the sometimes uncontrolled way I came to love.

Anywhooo he’s talking to a reporter from Democracy Now! who was at an Occupy Wall Street (henceforth referred to as #occupywallstreet) protest. What I see in the footage featured of police turning on the crowd with batons, pepperspray and altogether unnecessary force given the mostly non-violent nature of the movement really had me wondering…..

—–>> has the “Arab” Spring reached America’s shores?

What stands out to me is the fact that labeling would have had us here in America thinking that only young disenfranchised Arab/Muslim youth living in countries with leaders labeled dictators/miscreants/violators would be the ones to get up and protest because they had had enough. No – it turns out that we as humans or humanity have a lot more in common than we think. To me #occupywallstreet and all the #occupy movements are reflective of a changing world order. One that is tired of capitalism, not in totality, and it’s ills. The unintended consequences you could say. It’s funny how the home, champion, crusader for capitalism, The United States of America, should be going through what it is NOW! Oppression is oppression. We might go and fight wars in the name of “Freedom”, but perhaps a definition or redefining to such an intangible concept should be found. Freedom is not an absolute! It is relative. Relative because it is subject to an individual’s desires and ambitions which are all also subject to culture, politics and so much more. —> INTERSECTIONALITY!

Letting other people or powers define what our oppression is allows for them to shape our experience and be blind to the freedoms we DO have. Outsiders who are not aware of the context within which the said oppression is happening and are oblivious to the interlocking systems of oppression [they themselves are a part of].

Funny how one power will tell another [sovereign] that it is oppressing its people and fight an entire war that drains its economy spending hundreds of millions of dollars for 10 straight years. That said power, in having drained it’s reserves, now borrows and is indebted to a “communist” super power (<—possible blog post for another day lest I digress). The “communist” super power has long been accused by the one power of oppressing its people. Recognizing the irony is mind blowing. A highly enlightening experience which ironically… Anywhoo…. The “Arab” spring was the beginning of what Karl Marx, inThe Communist Manifesto, referred to in saying:

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.
Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.

It really, to me and hopefully, eventually if not already, to you, marked the beginning of the/a Proletarian Revolution. Despite what the liberal and/or conservative media would have you believe, we as working class citizens of ANY country have a lot more to be worried about or in common than what is of actual consequence in our differences. Propagation of propaganda distracts us from the core of what we should be focused on and is right before our eyes.

For some reason the story of Jack and the Beanstalk keeps coming to mind. Of course I haven’t read the story in a long time and the connection or metaphor I am recognizing might be off, but bear with me for the sake of my point. Perhaps read the story or refer to a summary.

I shant make the connection for you, but perhaps as a mental exercise in becoming more aware of yourself and why the Arab Spring and #occupywallstreet matter for YOU today the connection will make itself.

The Arab Spring even gives credit to some of the more positive and unifying aspects of Capitalism technology and innovation (you see it’s not a zero sum opposition to Capitalism, but the parts that should be done away with). Technology like Apple products, other smartphones and social media made it possible the the movement to happen the way it did. In closing and in homage to the late great Mac-Daddy Steve Jobs, I leave you with his words:

“[Y]ou can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”