Systematic radical

I know it’s important to think of Dr. King Jr. Day as a day of reflection on him. So let’s do that but not in the conventional way. 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was not a pacifist. Not a peacenik. Not a guy your buddies could sit with and discuss social justice with and not see his eyes flash or know his pulse raced. He was a radical and a rabble rouser. He was a over and a shaker and he never settled for the status quo. It was not in his interest to see his people abused nor to allow the abuse to continue. His life was directed towards seeing the promise that the constitution was written about, made real in black America just as it was real for land owning whites. 

Dr. King Jr. was like Jesus in the market. He turned over tables, shouted and caused a ruckus. He saw the marketplace of his community being ravaged by racism, unequal access, Jim Crow laws and legalized violence. He decided to overturn a few tables. 

But it wasn’t until he went after the war and the economy that his life was taken. Oh yes, it was threatened and even almost lost at the end of a thruster knife. But it was not until that day he spoke out agar the war in Vietnam making it clear that he, like Muhammad Ali, didn’t believe it was right to send poor Americans to kill poor Vietnamese that his days became numbered. In fact it’s because he stood up for the poor in the way that really mattered, from an economic standpoint, that the power in America then and today started to sweat and shift uncomfortably in their plush leather seats. 

So today, while you are making your dried out Christmas tree down, and contemplating the life you can lead today because of his sacrifice and so many others like him, pause and know that the world doesn’t change because of pacifists. It changes because of rabble rousers. Ruckus raisers. Trouble makers. Dissatisfied citizens.  True disciples. 

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Robin

Nanu nanu.

Phenomenal cosmic powers! >Whoosh< itty bitty living space.

The Pan is back.

There are a myriad of images, quotes and emotions that run through my head when I think about the genius I knew first as Mork from Ork. The giant egg. The splayed finger handshake. The man who frantically leapt from one side of the stage to another for Comic Relief. The man who showed me that its's okay to be flamboyant and own a club and still be one Hell of a father in the process. The man who made me believe that aliens, Colorado, jeeps, sitting on your head, Peter Pan, long dead poets that whisper, and blue cartoon characters living in bottles were all very real and could teach me something.

That is rare. One person who is so multidimensional and talented. Capable of taking such varied personalities and make them all believable if only for 90-120 minutes. The are few who I could give that much of my time to and not regret it.

Robin Williams is the reason I bought a pair of rainbow suspenders in grade school. Robin Williams, not Spock, is the reason I learned to splay my fingers. Robin Williams is the reason I learned that comedy can help heal. Comedy can be a part of daily life and yet you still be taken seriously by your colleagues. Robin Williams is the reason I learned that growing up doesn't mean you've got to grow old. That you mustn't forget that the truth must be told in spite of your job, even in another country.

The kind of adult I wanted to be wasn't really clear to me as a child. I had my family patriarch in my grandfather. But sadly he passed into the next world before I was more than a year into my teenage years. So I looked at other male figures I knew and those I didn't as role models. Luckily for me, my mother insisted I watch only certain examples on television. Robin was one. So here is what I have come away with on this very sad day:

Bring joy with you into the room and the room will return that joy to you.

Be who you are: unashamedly, boldly, and loudly.

The world appreciates, if not understands, authenticity of a genuine spirit.

When you are sad, and don't know why, tell someone. Don't hide it inside.

If you trust others with your quirks, they might surprise you by being quirky right back. And that's ok.

The most important lessons in life need not be learned with a straight face.

I will miss Robin. He was one of the great ones. Right up the with Milton Burrell, George Burns, Flip Wilson, and John Candy. Vaudevillian in their craft, dogged in their determination to make a serious point though you may not even realize it until later, and sincere in their devotion to make other folks days just a little bit better.

My list of his movies I've not seen (yet) has only a few films on it. But in my estimation Hook was the best. Why?

Because he showed me that it's okay to be a boy in a grown mans body. To be more than a father and instead aspire to be a daddy. To look out for those who are smaller than you. And know that faeries do exist. And I don't see anything wrong with that. Not. One. Bit.

Rest in peace Robin Williams. Your life was greater than you may have known.

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