Seeking Solid Ground...
During this period, as our court system is being attacked by the same man, George W. Bush, who feels entitled be the next President of the United States "under the rule of law," I find myself seeking solid ground. I am horrified to see this arrogant man's political machine manufacture demonstrations and near-riots that intimidate and presume that he has already won the Presidential election and that Vice President Gore is trying to "steal" the election from him.
I am looking for a sense of hope and possibility at a time where it appears that the darkest, most venal forces are loose on the land.
Mrs. King said, "The coalition that gave Al Gore a popular majority can surely be as powerful as the New Deal coalition that transformed America in an earlier era."
Regardless of what happens next in this toxic political atmosphere, it will be up to women and men like us -- those who believe, like Mrs. King, that creating inclusive culture and politics in coalition is our best future--- to take whatever actions we can to build community, not destroy it.
That is why The Avalon Project (my new CD and tour) feels even more timely today than it did when we launched it in October.
Please join me in taking direct action in support of democracy. Here is one site where you can get involved: www.trustthepeople.com.
11th November 2000
I had the opportunity to meet Coretta Scott King in Atlanta, GA where she was speaking at the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force's Creating Change Conference. Let me just say, she thinks it makes a real difference if Gore is elected instead of Bush and... she doesn't think the fight is over.
The election is not over. I am receiving messages from Florida that make it clear that the good people of that state are still battling to make the politicians honor the intention of the voters in West Palm Beach. Meanwhile, something ominous is happening. There is a drumbeat getting louder and louder in the media which drowns out all other sound but "Let's wrap this thing up NOW." The message is: Bush is our new president. Gore supporters are just crybabies and Gore is a sore loser.
Here's one message I received describing the atmosphere in Miami. This is from Mari Castellanos a Latina and lesbian activist.
"It felt like Birmingham, last night, at a mammoth rally at New Birth Baptist Church, a primarily African American congregation in Miami - 14,000 members - led by young and fiery Bishop Victor Curry."
If you believe, as I do, that the vote should be taken over again in West Palm Beach, join me in e-mailing the Secretary of State of Florida, Ms. Katherine Harris, at email@example.com.
You can also check out this site which has valuable information about how to get involved in fighting for a Gore victory. www.workingforchange.com/activism/action.cfm?itemid=9237
6th November 2000
This Tuesday, November 7, I will be in Nashville, Tennessee with the Gore campaign. If Al Gore wins this election, I will be standing among many people who will use this election cycle experience as a springboard for a new affirmative progressive effort. If Al Gore loses this election, I will be standing with others at the starting line for the next phase of the marathon struggle against increased woman-hatred in the United States.
I join with thousands of voices on the Internet that are currently being raised to encourage everyone to vote this Tuesday in the American presidential election. I have sent the following note out to all the people who have requested that I keep them posted as to my "activities."
4 November 2000
I was standing quietly in an elevator in San Francisco yesterday, waiting for the doors to open. The only other occupant in the elevator glanced at my jacket with its GORE button. "I hope he wins," he said, "but I'm worried. " "So am I," I said. We stood for a few seconds in silence. "It's going to be bad for a lot of people if he loses," he said. "Yes, I'm afraid you're right," I said.
We all make choices about how involved we're going to be in things outside our personal lives--outside our work. Wearing a button that says GORE invites positive as well as negative attention these days. Just having a conversation about voting can be awkward if you find yourself in a circle with people who are intending to vote for Bush...or Nader. What to say? Finding a simple way to express my deep concern about this presidential election is a challenge. I want to go on and on about the differences between George W. Bush's "I've got mine, what's your problem?" and Gore's "Everyone deserves a seat at the table."
The dangerous fallacy circulating among progressive people right now is that there is no difference between Bush and Gore. The fact is there are some serious differences in their positions on affirmative action, lesbian/gay rights and a woman's right to control her own reproductive choices. One of these two men is going to get elected and the atmosphere in this country will be very different for women and girls depending on the outcome.
So finally, it comes to this: If you love women, vote for Al Gore November 7. With deep concern for America's future -
I have forwarded on your message as it is so true and compelling! We
live in a swing state-Florida- and we're working hard to get out the
There are many here in Ohio also worried about this election... It could be possible that the Green Party has positioned itself to be responsible for what is likely to be the most crippling environmental disaster that has ever happened in this country... the election of George W. Bush. We are visualizing Gore taking the oath of office on a cold January day... and we are voting!
Thank you for sending your thoughts. Tuesday will be a critical vote & I'm afraid people just don't realize it. I have sent your message along to women in other areas of the country who may not be on your mailing list. As always, thank you for all that you do for women & most of all for the music.
Have been absolutely shocked to hear Nader's supporters' comments
about there being no difference between the latter two -- I get from them
something like a sense of idealism gone crusty and sour. It is
easier to have an exchange of ideas with (people who are voting for Bush) than with the couple of folks I've talked with about Nader. Amazing!
Thank you very much Margie, for more ammunition I can use when discussing the
differences that are REAL between Al Gore & George Bush. God help not only we
women, but those of minorities and gay/lesbian choice if Bush is elected.
Makes me shudder. I'm going to send a copy of your e-mail to my sister-in-law in Duluth, MN who said she is going to vote for Nader.
Thanks in Seattle for the heads up for November 7th. And thank you for putting it so well. We've been pushing our preferable 'Gore' vote all over this community and trying to reach other communities in other counties..........We're doing our part and thanks for passing on the word.
2nd September 2000
"Been there. Still there." A View of the Democratic National Convention
The context for my latest adventure is that my career in music was forged in the political fires of the Women's Liberation Movement in the 1970s. I worked with women all over the United States who understood the transformative connexion between politics and culture. My performances were often at events where these two powerful and empowering forces were effortlessly intertwined. Imagine then what a sublime pleasure it was to attend the recent Democratic National Convention and find many women who have participated in building the Women's Music Movement still involved in the electoral process as delegates, elected officials, campaign workers and political organizers. As Alix Dobkin says: "Been there. Still there."
I spent the week in Los Angeles immersed in the convention from the point of view of Vice President Gore's campaign manager, Donna Brazile. My pal Kerry Lobel, recently retired Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and now executive producer of my current CD project made this extraordinary opportunity possible through her friendship with Donna. As a result, we moved throughout the convention environment from backstage, to the delegate floor to the podium, the skyboxes and caucuses. Here I saw a community of people who are decent and fiercely committed to electoral politics and progressive values in ways that were deeply moving.
One last thought. If you have not already done so, and you care about
17th July 2000
Such a state of mind! Here I am, surrounded by flowers and the Pacific Ocean at my recent song-writing retreat. This imagery is so fundamental to my aesthetic sensibility that without any conscious effort on my part, these natural miracles have been woven into the fabric of my music since I first began writing. And now, once again, the Northern California Pacific Coast has given me new music and insights. With gratitude for these gifts, I will add two final songs to a CD project I am beginning to spin even as I write these words.
15th June 2000
It's time for another songwriting retreat. A friend asked me when I expected to release my next CD and as I answered, I realized I had a complete timeline in my brain. I just hadn't spoken it out loud. And you know that when you give language to something, you give it power. I answered that I was going on a songwriting retreat in June to complete the new music I had been writing since last year. I would then give a concert of all the new material in process sometime in August, gather musicians around me to create arrangements of the tunes in the fall and finally... I would go into the studio in November or December and record all the music for a January or February release date. Who knew all this information was lurking in my head?! I will keep you posted as to my progress.
Here are images of my cottage on the the Northern California Coast. That odd fish-shaped thing is a carved wooden shark with a diver's fin stuck in its jaws. Owner's sense of humor! It's part of the view when I'm working at the
piano, staring out the window.
19th May 2000
I'd also like to share some wonderful letters that have come flying through the cyber-mist in the past few months. I love sharing them because they let you know that we are all a part of a continuing wave of stir and possibility.
Sandra of Maine...
(Love that image of the "steel shank". Makes me sit up straight! The Portland concert was a great pleasure for me because it benefited Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), the New England legal organization that has led the charge in the successful battle for the first gay civil union law in America.)
Tuckey from Maryland...
(Not to go on like a burnt boot but... I am convinced that linking one to another is the best way for those of us who honor Women's Music to create a presence for it on the Web. Please stop by my Connexions Page.)
... I have to honestly say that I had forgotten what the experience of hearing you in person was like. Your concert last night (in Indianapolis) was astounding. I can hardly express how moved I was. I used to listen to your music constantly, but over the years things got in the way and other things intruded and somehow I lost the thread...
Once again I have been reminded, but somehow your music seems bigger, fuller, more lush and more energized, or maybe I'm just more open, more able to allow it to get all the way in and touch me. I guess that happens when one gets older - the insignificant drops away and you really hear and see what was always there but you never really noticed.
(This is the power of music....to touch our souls and remind us of who we are. I am deeply honored to be a student of this Muse. )
El from California...
I first heard you perform at Full Moon in SF and have been following you ever since. Thanks for the voice you have given to many thoughts and feelings of us all. Naming is framing and a way to understand. Understanding leads to action. You and your music never fail to move me to passion.
(The reason I continue to call what I do "Women's Music" is because I think the phrase has organizing principles imbedded in it which include celebration and empowerment. Various websites like Oxygen and i-village are cropping up on the web and they describe themselves as "women's sites'. This is also significant. What are these sites celebrating? What are they empowering? I am mulling and roiling around in all this. More later.)
My partner of 16 years has recently started traveling a great deal for her work. We spend many nights with only the telephone as our connection and I have found that I am returning to my roots and "women's music" to help ease the loneliness of these long separations. I put on "Here is a Love Song" which is OUR song... I am glad to see that some of my old friends are returning to the stage to share their new experiences with us.
I recently participated in an awards ceremony for "Legends in Women's Music" in San Francisco. While all of us (including Cris Williamson, June Millington, Linda Tillery, Alix Dobkin, Holly Near, Mary Watkins and Rhiannon) were pleased to be honored for our past involvement in Women's Music, it is notable that each of us performed new music. We are all writing, performing and recording music that reflects our lives right now.
8th March 2000
"The Many Moods of Marg & Minnie!"
Disney World was great. The high-speed thrill rides were a blast as you can see from the photo. That's "Test Track." Almost as highspeed and thrilling as walking out on stage in front of an audience, Ooo-wee! What about that G-force hair!!!!!!! Click here for my favorite photo.
The show at the Resort on Carefree Boulevard in Ft. Myers, Florida was a delight. Lots of laughter, great spirit and deep listening. The morning after my performance, I had the opportunity to cruise the 50-acre community of women in Lynne's Doodlebug, a golfcart version of a 1934 Ford Roadster. Another woman had a great set of wheels which looked like a mini-Rolls Royce. My visit here was an other-worldly experience in a magical land.
Urban Legends And Folklore - urbanlegends.miningco.com/ culture/urbanlegends
I'm going to be performing in Ft. Myers, Florida at the Carefree Resort shortly and since Walt Disney World is just around the corner, and it IS my birthday February 7, how can I resist?! I will be posting new photos of Minnie as soon as I return. For now--I offer a couple of shots you might like.
I'd like to pass on just a few tidbits I've been sent in the past few weeks for your viewing and reading enjoyment.
First, my dear friend Ginni Clemmens, currently residing in Hawaii, has turned me on to this fascinating website. Ginni is a deeply soulful folk singer in the Chicago Blues tradition whose music comes from a unrepentant woman-identified point of reference. Indeed! Check this incredible website out for sheer perspective if you're having a bad day.
In this same vein, if you like to track earthquakes like I do, check out this site Kate Houston from Michigan sent me.
Barbara Brust, my brilliant webmaven, sent me a compelling e-mail a while ago requesting I check out the "The Hunger Site" and take the opportunity to donate food FOR FREE to hungry people all over the world. I have since bookmarked this site and offer the suggestion to you.
Coming Soon..."The Many Moods of Marg & Minnie!"
You can contact me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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