Dr. King and the Value of Constructive Obliviousness

Today I am focusing on how the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. modeled for us the hard work in the short run that can lead to dramatic differences in consciousness for subsequent generations. While obviously remembering the struggles our forebears endured is vitally important, my dream today is that by continuing the work, my great grandchildren can be as oblivious to outdated social and philosophical scourges as I am to what life was like without ever experiencing electricity or indoor plumbing.

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Note to Younger Self on PC speech

An open letter about political correctness to my 20 year old self on the occasion of finding a since-shredded copy of his poem “ya figured me out, a**hole” Dear me, First, I really appreciate the spirit behind this poem. I remember how frustrating it was that virtually everyone in your poetry class at Rutgers assumed…

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EDS Awareness 2018: I QUIT

If I had a dollar for every time I dragged my aching carcass out of bed the morning after a gig and declared “I quit,” then I’d be buying dinner for everyone reading this. A couple weeks ago I had a gig in NYC with my old friend and colleague Amanda Monaco’s band, also featuring one of my longtime musical heroes. And I finally put my money where my mouth was and I DID QUIT, though not in the way I have historically intended with the statement.

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MLK, ‘Trane, and 3 Steps to an Aspirational Life

This month I am choosing to focus on how the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. modeled the aspirational life, an existence governed by what could and should be. The older I get (and the scarier the threats become to my country’s moral fabric) the more essential this view of life becomes to me. It also becomes more difficult for me to separate it from the cosmic possibilities that exist in music, something for which John Coltrane is Exhibit A (and quite possibly Exhibits Bb-G# as well). I have long viewed these two figures as aligned, but what is most significant is how these lessons can be applied by any person who chooses to, regardless of career path. Few of us would herald Dr. King today if not for the balance he struck between the moral and spiritual profundity of his “dream” and the corresponding day-in and day-out work.

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