Friday, February 17, 2017

Free Speech

My first trip out of the country under the new Regime, going to Singapore with a mix of shame in who we have become and pride in all the people opting for something better.  Also the first time using my new Passport. Wish the first stamp was Ghana or Finland or New Zealand or any of the countries that lean more to expression than repression. Singapore still has the death penalty for possession of marijuana and is big on caning. But unlike the bleak repressive regimes of Stalin or Hitler with grey government buildings, the outer surface of Singapore is Disneyland meets Pleasantville. Clean, neat, efficient, beautiful parks and botanical gardens. 

Was thinking about wearing a T-shirt “Proud Member of the American Resistance” and then thought about that level of free speech. I don’t think the French Resistance wore those kinds of T-shirts! While it’s easy to equate Trumpism with Fascism, the fact of a couple of centuries of free speech in our government makes such parallels—for the moment, at least—far-fetched. So I appreciate the opportunity to speak out freely while it lasts and through this blog and Facebook, am using it to the max.

But speaking of Facebook, I went to post the following mostly benign status and it wouldn’t post it. In that maddeningly electronic way, I’m hitting that POST button harder and harder and nothing’s happening and I feel helpless. Not yet so paranoid that I think someone is purposefully blocking me, but helps me appreciate that level of satisfaction of engaging in difficult and controversial discourse freely. Of course, most of my Facebook friends are already on the same side of the cultural and political fence, so there’s a lot of preaching to the choir. But hey, it feels good to talk with the fellow choir members and even better to sing!

So I was ready to do the usual pre-trip post and then look at the likes and feel assured that I’m lovable and part of a community, but now, gasp! Imagine! I’m going to Singapore and the Facebook world doesn’t know it!! Egads!!

Well, at least I can say something here. So here it is:

Spending "ski week" at my school in sunny summery Singapore teaching at another school. My usual self-appointed work as an ambassador of good will through music and dance feeling a bit more urgent. Great send-off with musicians from the Nile Project jamming with my 8th graders on Herbie Hancock's Chameleon that included scat-singing Burundi-style. No matter what the news reports, nothing will touch the power of Soul-force through song and the borderless imagination. On we go.

Aren’t you glad you got to read that?! J

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