Howdy Leapers, welcome to the 31st leftover rotation of HACK. If you’ve made it this far, it’s only because we’ve made it this far together.
So I’m writing this on my birthday. Yep, true story.
It’s 8:20 PM and I just turned on the TV and The Bachelor was on. There was this really fake looking girl and some handsome in a caveman-like guy on top of a fucking mountain surrounded by nothing but more mountains as far as the eye could see. Of course there was a red ‘copter and an invisible camera crew. And all I could think watching these two declare their love for each other is “Thank god I’m still alone.” Who the fuck needs that kind of pressure? Seriously ladies, get over yourselves. You are no more princesses than I am a prince. You may say I’m a prick and I would say, careful, cutting is an inappropriate coping mechanism.
This week’s topic: I admit it. I guess you could call it a funk. I mean, you can only write so much before you realize that saying anything at all is pointless. It’s like how you can…
And that’s how far I got on my birthday before getting sucked into Morgan Freeman explaining how fucking fascinating dark matter is. Now it’s Wednesday, Leap Day. I got nothin.’
And then I find this…
Of course, there’s my own personal connection to Quantum Leap. But I already wrote a HACK on that. If I hadn’t pulled that one out of my ass at the end of 2011 I could’ve saved it for today. Oh well, we’ve leaped ahead in time anyway, haven’t we.
Yes, I know you saw what I did there.
In a lot of ways this blog (I really dislike that word) is no different than the shit I used to post on LiveJournal. It’s like: here’s Towel Boy in his 20s, and here’s Towel Boy in his early 30s. I don’t dare reread LiveJournal posts these days.
Wait, I’m chatting with Noelie and Stephanie (you’ll meet her soon) and lost track. Oh, right, weekly column. Cohesion. A single topic. Focus Towel Boy, Focus.
Well I can’t. There’s just too many damn things goin’ on in my world to capture one, pin it down and dissect it. I would just end up stabbing it in random organs with my scalpel to see what dismal fluid leaks out.
The only thing I need to focus on right now is Biko. See, tomorrow approx. 60 5th graders will give a Black History Month presentation in front of the entire school. I did something similar a few years ago with a 4th grade class. So this is that on a much larger scale. I didn’t even have to do it. Like a completely idiot who doesn’t have enough work to do, I volunteered to do it. This path month I’ve taught them the lyrics, explained to them the meaning of the lyrics, taught them about Stephen Biko, wrote up a whole explanation of the song that the readers will read to the audience. Then they’re all going to sing the song. We’ve been practicing almost every day after lunch during study hall. 69 fifth graders in one classroom singing Biko…good times, good times. Of course, it’s all about the experience of them doing something together, joining their voices in unison just to get a taste of what Oneness feels like. The best part is at the end the whole school will chant along. Now, I may be jinxing it all before it actually happens but at this point folks I am so exhausted with life I couldn’t really give a shit. Yihla Moja, the man is (almost) dead.
At some point I guess I’ll have to go back and put in links to all these things you may not know about and pictures to make it look pretty. But right now I’m a man on a mission. The mission is to hack out this HACK on before Leap Day is over. Even though literally nobody on this planet will care if it’s late or not and practically nobody on this planet reads the blog, I’m not exactly under a lot of deadline pressure. It’s more of a personal thing. I’ve gone 30 straight weeks with something to show for it every Wednesday. I could just once again recycle some old shit that you’ve never read but isn’t this so much better instead?
Seriously, if you’ve made it this far, I love you. Agape type love, nah’mean?
OK folks, it’s 10:30 on Leap Day and way past my bedtime for a school night. Wish us luck. If all goes well I’ll have legal authority to post the video of our assembly here. If not just imagine in your head a whole group of kids chanting up some heaven and please tell me it’s all going to be worth the karmic price I continue to pay.
I’ll leave you with the only new content I’ve actually written this week, besides the pablum above.
Peace Out People
Biko: Reader Parts
Good afternoon. We are here today to celebrate Black History Month. Look around you. You see students of all races and skin colors. We go to school together. We learn together. We eat lunch and play together. But this was not always so. Black and whites in this country did not always get along.
We all know about Martin Luther King Jr. He led non-violent protests and spoke out against racism and segregation in America. Even though he was murdered, his message lived on and here in America we have learned to live together.
Unfortunately, racism did not end everywhere. In many places throughout the world black people are still being mistreated by white people. And throughout the world, other black leaders have sacrificed their lives to share a message of peace.
Picture the continent of South Africa in your head. Today, right now, in South Africa, white people are STILL mistreating black people. They have segregation. Black people are not allowed the same rights as whites. They are often unfairly arrested and sometimes they are even beaten or tortured. The mistreatment of black people in South Africa is called apartheid.
Today we are going to share with you the story of one man, a man named Stephen Biko. Stephen Biko was born in South Africa. As a child he saw how black people were mistreated. As a student in college he organized groups and protests. He wrote books and gave speeches. He spoke out against racism and he coined a famous phrase, “Black is beautiful.”
Stephen Biko grew so popular among blacks that the white government in South Africa decided to put a stop to it. They arrested him and held him in a prison for 22 hours. He was severely beaten and died the next day. This horrible tragedy angered many black people. In South Africa today Stephen Biko is considered a martyr for peace. They celebrate Stephen Biko the way we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.
The song you’re about to hear was written about Stephen Biko. Please take a look at the first verse. In this verse we are told where and when Stephen Biko was arrested. It was September, 1977 in Port Elizabeth, a small town on the coast of South Africa. Stephen Biko was held prisoner in police room 619. The line “business as usual” is sarcasm. It means that at that time it was common for white policemen to unfairly arrest black people.
The refrain of the song is “Yihla Moja!” which means “Come Spirit”
In the second verse, the singer tries to express how he feels. He “dreams in red” because of all the blood that has been shed in fighting for freedom and equality. The world seems split into black and whites fighting each other, but the consequences are that innocent people have died.
The third verse is the most important. The candle is a metaphor for all the people like Biko who tried spread a positive message. Their message of peace and equality is like a flame that has spread across the hearts and minds of others. Even though ignorant people can try to stop the message from growing, the winds of change will always spread the truth.
The last line reads, “The eyes of the world are watching now.” This means that thanks to cell phones, cameras and internet—we have the technology to expose injustice the moment we see it. It is our duty as human beings to put a stop to it.
Today we celebrate all people who sacrificed their lives for a better world. We are living proof of their dream. We are one school, one people, one heart, one mind and ONE LOVE.