Late Night: The Longest Night

Last night’s full moon, and the eclipse that covered it on into Tuesday morning, marked the darkest night of the year, but brought us into the light. This year was dark and hard for so many of us: the loss of loved ones, the Gulf disaster, the escalation of war, the destruction of economies, large and small. . . .

But, with the sun returning and the nights shortening, there is hope. With this solstice, I hope that positive changes can rise and continue rising, that the voices of the people can lift up in a chorus–cacophony and harmony are in the ears of the listener–and move us forward to peace and prosperity.

This solstice, let us make wishes for ourselves, for our neighborhoods, cities, states, and countries. . . and the world.

Happy Solstice.


New Orleans: Krewe of Dead Pelicans March in Protest

During New Orleans monthly art walk, the newly formed Krewe of Dead Pelicans staged their first parade through Julia Street, New Orleans’ gallery district, to mourn and protest the BP oil spill. Traditionally krewes parade for Mardi Gras, itself a final celebration before the sorrow of the Lenten season.  The KoDP was organized by real estate agent and carnival costume designer Ro Meyer in late May who told the Times-Picayune

The thing is out there in the Gulf circulating and we don’t have any power. We’re not even able to go anywhere to get out of the way. Nobody appears to be doing anything about it, and I don’t have the power to do anything about it, and I don’t know anyone who’s stepping up, saying they have the power to do anything about it…

I just needed a place to channel my frustration and I felt like, ‘If I feel that way, other people must feel that way.’

Ro set up  Facebook pages for the krewe and march which now has over 6000 friends from around the country. Several hundred–some in costumes, others dressed in black and blue to represent the ocean and oil and wearing shrimp boots–participated in the march which included a coffin, banners recycled from Katrina tarps, signs, flags featuring pelican (the state bird) and of course jazz bands. The parade permit was paid for by  country music singer Sammy Kershaw a conservative candidate for Louisiana Lt. Governor (seems there are some Republicans who are putting “conservation” into the conservative platform…).

The krewe will be marching again, and a wing has formed in Tennessee. Expect to see other wings and supporters in Halloween parades across the country as well.



all photos: Infrogmation,via flickr creative commons

BP to Hollywood: “No, Thanks!,” to Help. WTF?

Today–after offering up a team of deep sea experts to BP which they refused, and meeting with reps form government agencies, but not the EPA which couldn’t be bothered– Academy Award winning director James Cameron called British Petroleum

morons..They could not have been more gracious but they basically said, ‘We’ve got this,’

Meanwhile, nothing seems to be happening with Kevin Costner’s amazing centrifuges which can separate oil from water. And can they spin out the dispersants which are banned in the UK? Thanks EPA!)

But Victoria Principal donated $200,000 to Oceana (which has Ted Danson as a board member) and the National Resources Defense Council to help clean up the spill.

GULF AID Concert Sunday: Lenny Kravitz, John Legend, Jazz Greats. LIVE BROADCAST



New Orleans and the entire Gulf region knows how to pull together and they doing so this Sunday to help the region which is being devastated by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. All day Sunday May 16 you can help out by listening to and donating to Gulf Aid a “mini-Jazz Fest” featuring John Legend, Lenny Kravitz, Ani DiFranco, Dr. John, Kermit Ruffins–check out his video above–and dozens of New Orleans jazz music performers including the amazing Preservation Hall Jazz Band, seen below in a vintage 1973 clip.

Be a saint and donate! The tax-deductible funds raised will go towards wetland preservation and restoration and to aid fishermen and families impacted by the horrendous spill.

Much of the concert will be broadcast live on WWOZ.org beginning at noon local (10m west coast/1pm east). You can follow the GulfAid Twitter stream here.

Musicians, business leaders in New Orleans and community radio station WWOZ-FM have come together to create the GULF AID benefit concert to raise funds for wetland recovery efforts, fishermen and their families as oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico from the site of the collapsed deepwater horizon. The fundraising concert will take place on Sunday, May 16, rain or shine from noon – 10 pm at Mardi Gras World River City overlooking the Mississippi River in New Orleans.

The fund will ensure all proceeds are distributed to organizations focused on supporting wetlands/coastal environmental issues & the well-being of fishermen, and the regional seafood industry.Donations may also be sent to the Gulf Relief Foundation, a 501 C3 non-profit corporation, located at P.O. Box 61035, New Orleans, LA 70161.

Coastal Outdoor Stage
12:15pm Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs
1:00pm MyNameIsJohnMichael
1:45pm Irvin Mayfield’s Playhouse Revue
2:30pm Big Sam’s Funky Nation
3:15pm Honey Island Swamp Band
4:00pm Beausoleil
4:45pm Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers with Jeremy Davenport
5:30pm Rebirth Brass Band
6:15pm Steve Riley and The Mamou Playboys with Jon Cleary
7:00pm Soul Rebels Brass Band
7:45pm Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk
8:30pm Zachary Richard
9:15pm Happy Jack Frequency

Wetlands Indoor Stage

3:30pm Allen Toussaint
4:15pm The Voice of the Wetlands Allstars (featuring Tab Benoit, Dr. John, Cyril Neville, George Porter Jr., Waylon Thibodeaux, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Johnny Sansone, Johnny Vidacovich and Marcia Ball)
5:30pm Ani DiFranco
6:15pm Preservation Hall Jazz Band with Mos Def & Terence Blanchard
7:45pm John Legend
9:15pm Lenny Kravitz

All photos via Creative Commons: NewsHour; bgJohnstonOilpocalypse2010, NASA Earth Observatory


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