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Vance Gilbert

"Zombie Pattycake" Rose Garden Coffeehouse, Mansfield, MA, March 2016

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BRAIN STUFF

I was told it was time to blog. Blame Amy Malkoff, my web manager. Hold none of this against anyone. I could change my mind on any of it by morning

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Some say Barack Obama was the most divisive President in our history.

And I agree. Because as a people we were so primed and ready to be divided.

Nobody on his advisory staff seemed to have the guts to tell him in fall 2007 that’s how the cards would fall when it came to developing a consensus. Truth is, 96% of what he put forward got ratified. Just not the big squeaky wheel 4% stuff that gets plastered on the front page. Oh yes, there’s a list of things that he got done, but they don’t mean much to Q. Public Shortmemory. Epic fail at bringing us together. But then again, much of that is on us, isn’t it?

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Overheard at a party; “I’m so ready to have Trump as President…I’m so tired and done with being PC…”
Was it all just an effort? No fundamental re-imagined change in your view of the world? Do I have to be colored or Negro again because it’s far easier for you to remember or deal with? Sorry it was work rather than heart.

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Coming up on the 5th anniversary of me snatched off of a taxiing plane for reading an aviation book of 1930’s Polish aircraft and simultaneously looking how I looked - as the Boston Globe opined "Gilbert is African-American but can pass for Middle Eastern”, which was coming up on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

I had a friend recently apologize to me because they thought I had overreacted to that airline’s thorough examination of my being. Once the past 2 years of shooting took place they admitted that it’s still, in many quarters, a crazy racist place.

My adage to pass down the line - “See something, mind your own goddam business until you know what you’re looking at”

Oh, and PS, yeah the Globe said that indeed. Check out the letters to the editor that came in after *that*. I’m sure they didn’t print them all..Soundly excoriated.

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Oh, and to the guy that said a year ago that I should “stick to music and don’t get involved in politics” I suggest today that he:

1) be Black for 10 minutes
2) be a policeman for 20 minutes or
3) be a woman for a nanosecond.
4) throw out all your Dylan, Marvin Gaye, books of nursery rhymes, Verdi, your Bible, Parliament Funkadelic, Ani DiFranco, Joan Baez, Grand Master Flash, 50 Cent, Kurt Vonnegut, etc. and spin your nice neutral Bay City Rollers and Menudo albums and, as the Staple Singers said “let the gentleman do his thing...”

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Look around at your next family reunion or neighborhood party. There’s a policeman somewhere. Don’t be a dick. Just say hi, go up and shake his or her hand, offer to get them a soda or beer or more ribs. Don’t roll your eyes at Blue Lives Matter - just as there were all kinds of ribbons after tie a yellow one for returning vets - pink for cancer, green for hepatitis, red for HIV/AIDS, etc - what seems to be a counter appropriation is also saying that they are as frightened as we all are at how this crazy world has turned in on itself.

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Look around at your next family reunion or neighborhood party. There’s a Black person somewhere, etc.

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This country will be no happier or functional with a woman president than it was with a Black one. Elephant in the room time - many constituents were not happy having a Black man at the helm or as the boss. Period. Death threats to the President increased 400% since Obama took office. Please don’t tell me that that’s because folks knew a socialist when they saw one on day one…

Think they’ll be any happier with a woman? If you think we're beyond that kind of thinking then you’re as deluded as many were that thought we were monolithically post-racial in 2008

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Dear Bryant Terry,

Vegan Soul Kitchen and Afro Vegan are wonderful cookbooks. However I know of no Black people that have the time to do the prep to food that you do. Many of us do work. And if we do have the time to spend that kind of time in front of some food, I guarantee we are *not* eating vegan that day. Sorry Bruh, if God didn’t mean for us to eat wings, then why did he make them taste like chicken?

….caveat - I am vegan for often weeks at a time, then I kinda bust out. Maybe that’s how it was if you break it down into prehistoric human terms….eating bushes and berries till you caught something tasty. Boiled some roots for root beer, watched a lightning storm, and eat some flesh. I tend away from red meat. But chicken and fish? On a weekend? With all the Bourne movies? Get thee away tempeh!!
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updated: 1 month ago

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