Archive for November, 2016

WHAT’S GOING ON?    NOVEMBER 2016

GET WITH THE PRORAMME!

Everyone knows what trump stands for. Many of those core things won’t and can’t change. Because of his age, ego, the people who surround him, the circles he has and will move in, his position and his white male entitlement.

If you don’t know what he plans to do and how it will affect different communities for the good and the bad. The positive or negative affects. Then you’re in shock, dreaming and or in denial. All natural states of being. BUT IT’S TIME TO GET WITH THE PROGRAMME. Not his programme. WRITE YOUR OWN.

FLYIN’ HIGH (IN THE FRIENDLY SKY).

Extra searches of myself and my bags initially start this feeling of anger and frustration within me. It’s because I am……  Are they searching others? I don’t think so! Maybe they are? Maybe it’s just a search? Maybe all this extra security keeps us ALL safe? Maybe it’s just a search and if you let any negative thoughts go then you can ride the wave and see something different.

RIGHT ON.

I noticed on my flights the mixed ages of all the stewards/esses. Some seemed 60 plus. Great. That shows real diversity in action. A range of people bringing so much to the job, the passengers and the company. Able, competent and contributing across society.

VOTE – DON’T VOTE.

Convicted felons can’t vote here in the USA but that differs across various States. Is it right they can’t vote – yes or no?  If I serve my sentence doesn’t that mean that I have paid my debt to society. So I then try and build my life again. When will society forgive and forget? And let me in again. Is there an investment in keeping me outside of society?  Unable to vote. Maybe on the edge so I commit crime again. Especially when you notice the ethnicity of most of the prison population. And who they tend to favour vote wise.

On the other side of this was the beauty of the young woman we met who had just voted. Her first time of voting. It should be a BIG  thing in our society. She was happy, pleased and calmly excited. It got me thinking about my first time voting.

CANADIAN IMMIGRATION SITE CRASHES

If you were Canadian would you want all these Americans jumping ship and coming to your country. What are their real values, views, beliefs and commitment that allow them to leave so quickly. Will they jump again when a President they like arrives. What about the friends and family they are leaving behind?

When the next President holds an event at the White House, which singers will come and perform for him. Beyonce, Wonder, Streisand – who?

WHATS HAPPENING BROTHER

Every time I sit in the Starbucks here in Hollywood, Florida I think of Roman. The guy I met there a few days ago. We shared a table and some good conversation then went our ways. He is a traveller so miles away by now. I still wonder though.

K

K  copyright 2016

IT IS, WHAT IT IS.  NOVEMBER 2016

America hasn’t woken up to a President Trump. The cars are moving, the shops are open and the drills are drilling as they build new luxury apartments here in sunny Hollywood, Florida. But the world hasn’t woken up to a Trump presidency, the new Trump political dynasty and that this man and HIS people will run the country for the next eight years. This is how one part of the American political cycle works. Every eight years the governing party changes. Except it seems for the Senate and The House. It is an exciting and new time. What if he really cuts the military budget?  Britain could learn from that – Trident missiles? I see an EU official already saying we will not be able to rely on the American military so Europe needs its own force.  What if America becomes more focused on its own people and their problems? The economy was a big factor for many. This could mean more jobs where they are. The never ending silence to their voices could be over too. Very similar to Brexit and Britain. Germany, France and Spain must take note.

A couple of Trump supporters I spoke with want him because he isn’t a slick politician and can really change things. The fact that the Republican Party isn’t behind him. And that big experts, the media, The Democrats are All against him is more proof that he is independent. He has highlighted the faults in the system. As a businessman he does what the system allows him to. He can change that as a President. He is no ones puppet. Self funded too. This is what they need. They are desperate for change this time.

I am not clear why a businessman would change a system skewed in his favour and that of his dinner party friends too. To help ordinary America?

Trump didn’t invent racism. You can try to act as if he is the fire but it doesn’t wash. Because he is the spark. He just blurts out what too many people have been secretly and privately thinking. In their homes, bars, sports clubs, at bbq’s, work or to themselves. I don’t like blacks, great tits, gays shouldn’t be…. I say don’t pretend it wasn’t there. He pushed the door fully open. Since Brexit I am aware that some of those sweet smiles from some people were possibly just lies. I am clear where I stand with Trump.

 After eight years of Obama – has race relations in America improved?

Are you blaming Trump for that? The police have always shot unarmed black men. What ethnic  groups have always filled the prisons?

Now is a phenomenal chance to hold people to account. To get them to explain and prove. A Brexit supporter gave me the tasty strap line of “it’s not about race, it’s about space”. So good. So crap. I know what its about. I can explain it and reason it. Now you have to engage with me on an intellectual level. If you can’t, then that proves I am on the right track. I am clear where I stand with Trump. I am people power!!

 If Trump brings some business concepts to government great. That’s the reason British government is supposedly awash with special advisors. So they bring new, dynamic and innovative ways to the machinery of it all. What if the President says I want it done NOW? Solve the problem in weeks not months or years. And do it on budget etc? Imagine then possibility of and the speed of change.

What could you change with that mindset?

It could never be possible for a man like Trump to become Prime Minister in the U.K. with the same speed and be far enough removed from the experience of the system to offer change. For some people it’s been hard having an eloquent black man tell them what to do. A woman next would be too much.

I see and hear hysteria, fear and hypocrisy. I hear people, supposedly liberal and open minded labelling Trump people in negatives. The same thing they lambasted Trump for.There is a shortage of rational and realistic assessments of what has happened. And that is because it has just happened. Democracy is in trouble. Not because the system alongside capitalism is failing. But because both sides in any vote are turning out to be bad losers. It is what it is – get on with it. What can I do to move myself and the real world I am part of forward. 

1- The U.S. electoral cycle has to be shortened. Almost two years and nearly two billion dollars later you have an exhausted country.

2- The system (the U.K. too) needs amending. Two or three States shouldn’t decide outcomes.

3- I am clear who I am and where I am going etc. (except those days I get lost – but I always make it back home). That means I can keep developing my plans. Keep moving forward. I am asking – “what are the opportunities here”?

4- GRATITUDE and PERSPECTIVE. I am working on keeping those in mind.

5- Yes all of this will affect the future. And our children. But us and older people too. I am clear what I want for the children and young people in my life. And it is now! I can’t control the future. I can offer them gratitude, perspective and authenticity NOW. So that they can be confident, loved, compassionate, empathetic and less angry human beings.

I am in control of me here and now. I love it!!!!

K

 

 

LISTS ARE A WASTE OF TIME (part 2)


CRUISE CONTROL AND KICKBACK. The drive to The Canyon is one long straight road almost. With a detour to Route 66 and a Big Mac meal. Essential cultural input. The drive is straightforward and with Praveen it is happily laden with information and good conversation.

We are on the west side of the south rim of the Canyon. I am surprised to see the lodges and hotel at the top. But there is great selection. With superb views and a wonderful area to walk around. The bus system, categorized by colour, gives you a range of ways to explore all of the south side. There are shops, views, a food shop, information points, the works. As with The Dam, Praveen tells me to keep looking down as we walk to the viewpoint. To get the real impact. And he is right again. All those words and descriptions don’t fit until you are standing there and looking out at The Canyon. Then the superlatives edge into place. As I look up I really do feel the view take my breath away. WOW!!

This is when an old film camera man like me approves of digital. I can click to my hearts content. It’s a slightly overcast day that keeps opening up. The sun creates pockets of light across The Canyon. We can see clearly all around. Down to the floor and river area. There is so much to take in. And all from different precarious angles as we move around. My unease at heights is a great challenge that is worth over coming. Because the reward for each step closer to the edge is more view. More angles. More splendour.

The place is busy but not overrun so it is comfortable to move about. But there is a lovely multi cultural mix. This sums up the beauty of the world. The natural splendour of The Canyon. The man made wonder of The Dam. The endless energy of Las Vegas.

My amazing day left me with that wonderful exhaustion. Lots done and seen and much of it unexpected. So now The Dam can be crossed off my list. But now I have to add to the list a few days touring The Canyon……..

K

LISTS ARE A WASTE OF TIME……. (part 1)

WHAT A STUPID IDEA THESE “MUST SEE AND DO LISTS” ARE. I just crossed two off my list. I got to see Caesar’s Palace and apparently he never lived there. Since buying the 1974 Diana Ross Live at Caesar’s Palace album I’ve wanted to see the place. Its huge and not what I expected but I had my morning coffee at the Starbucks there. I was happy. It is true that when you travel it is reassuring to sometimes be able to go to a chain that looks exactly the same anywhere in the world. Lush cosmetics for instance. (Why do you think my skin is so good). And the same level of service. Familiar ground gives a feeling of safety.

I had to see Vegas because I am in the area. But I really wanted to visit The Hoover Dam – number two on my list. I’ve always wanted to see this man built marvel. It looks stunning and a fantastic jewel in the crown of engineering. The history, the technology, the ingenuity all embody our humanity at its best. So there I was at 7 a.m. heading off with my new, old friend Praveen. We met on the couchsurfing website and he had a great offer to all. Pay the petrol and he would drive a thousand miles. In the end he drove a mere 500 or so miles in our day. Humanity and friendship at its best. We drove and chatted and chatted. He is an engineer so the perfect guide to The Dam. The words to describe the sights of the day sound like clichés but just fit. Wonderful. Amazing. Fantastic. Stunning. Superb. Breath taking. Awe inspiring. Wow. And more.

The new road bridge that takes you past the Dam has pylons thrust 100 feet into the mountainside and gives you a great view of the Dam. All day these heights felt like being suspended in the air. Even more scary was the roaring traffic on one side and the view of The Dam on the other side.Both structures unfold around you and it is then that I recognise the great things people can do. The Dam built in 1931 lays before you in splendour. Still feel nervous looking over the bridge to The Dam below. Praveen points out things – the windows to the offices within The Dam, hidden below the water are buildings, train lines, accommodation  – all the necessities for the massive workforce who built The Dam. Security is strong and acts fast to tackle the risk of terrorist attacks. Cars can’t stop on the bridge.

We arrived about 7.30 a.m. to an empty car park. We leave about 9.00 a.m. just as the over priced coach tours arrive. Breakfast beckons – Starbucks or McDonalds – us explorers like things we know.

K

LAS VEGAS TURNAROUND – 24th to 29th October 2016

As you fly across the world the awesomeness of our planet unfolds before your eyes. They need a “take a moment” video on planes. Saying to people – STOP!!

Do you realise that you are floating 35,000 feet in the air in a big metal tube. Step outside of it and you are history. The sea scrolls past below like a sheet of leather. With the sea, the clouds and the land below just take a moment to reflect on what is below, around  and may be above you. Even as the plane jolts and rocks as it slices on through the turbulence the drinks and pretzels are flowing. The thunder and roar and shudder of landing over there are some passengers clapping with relief. Safe. I’m safer up there than crossing my high street.

Caesers Palace from Flamingo Road.

Vegas feels like a once is enuff sort of place. One casino is like any other after a while. Big, loud, busy, engulfing, overpowering, exaggerated……. walking around The Strip in Vegas feels as if I am swimming through an endless shopping mall. The dictionary of consumption. Vegas hits me as a place about things. Anything and everything in any shape, size or colour. The people too. Piped music to the streets catches you as you walk. Then you are humming the tune. There is a homeless guy smoking and hidden in the shadows of a wall by Caesar’s Palace. Not much has changed since the Roman days. The skyscrapers stand like glittering pillars from a Roman city. There are many people begging for things. Lots more homeless people catch my eye as I walk around. Its the same in so many major cities across the world. That’s the same picture of have and have nots that I see In Brighton or London.

Many, many people walk around – in and out buying things. To go on top of the things – on top of things they already have. Maybe they store their old things in a cupboard to make way for MORE new things. And the grass is always green on The Strip. But then its fake grass.

Why can’t I find a bookshop?

Why can’t I buy a Bible on The Strip.

THE WYLAND GALLERY.THE GODDARD GALLERY.THE KUSH GALLERY. THE MARTIN LAWRENCE GALLRY.I found my peace in all of this. Art galleries with no music. I can be at a slower, reflective and creative pace. Each time i get a few minutes with the gallery staff informs and inspires MY creativity. David Wight creates some stunning glass pieces. Looking at the David Wight video of his work, shot in idyllic countryside, makes me think. I would love work in such a beautiful space. I want….I want…. I….. Then I realise that I am already there. My creativity is me and wherever I chose to be it.

VEGAS HITS

In Britain you can’t smoke in public places. I love that. In Britain you have to pay for a plastic carrier bag. For years I’ve carried my own to save plastic. In Vegas you can smoke in the gambling areas – not eating areas. You can recognise that change of smell – old and stifling as you walk past the machines. Heaven for smokers, gamblers and casino bosses. The power of the casino bosses speaks.

BRITISH ACCENT.

The casino receptionist is from London, her mother is from Whitechapel, family in Ruislip and Swiss Cottage. An English accent is nothing special here. I hear it all around me. The woman in front and the one behind me in the Starbucks line too. The British are already here.

REAL PEOPLES’ STORIES

I love that side of my life whether at home or travelling. Listening to, speaking to and sharing our stories with people I have never met and may never again.

 George in the antique shop. The roads, drainage etc on Main Street are being updated so he and the shops around his are all moving. The works will take a year. But in his shop I saw a colourful glass fish. Same design but smaller and just like one my mother owned. Connections across cultures, countries and miles.

 Sue in the antique market. We talked while I was buying my vinyl. She was born in Bournemouth. Left for Spain when she was 3 years old and lived in Puerto Rico. Her father almost moved the family to Jamaica. She met the rappers The Sugarhill Gang and showed them around when they were in Puerto Rico. They remembered her 30 years later.

 Samuel – we share names. He is from Kenya and we spoke of Faith, aspirations, greed both for things and self, treating people with compassion and dignity. He is saving and has a plan to open a hotel in Kenya.

I’ve seen, walked around and photographed the city. I saw Caesar’s Palace and can tick that off my list.

Now let’s leave the city for The Hoover Dam – one more to tick off my to do list.

K

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