for educators, officials et alia in Bell, California: I’m inserting this to encourage one and all to simply glance at my chronology. I’ve been reaching out to well-intentioned, highly educated, deeply experienced residents nationwide (wanting to serve as a volunteer) for a very long time. The backstory to all that should be highly instructive, and I look forward to delineating my experience for you… with the aim of moving together in solidarity post haste. Please do not be thrown by the writing style; each entry on this archived site (including this) was written for a specific audience and a particular purpose at a given time. Not knowing the original context can be puzzling and/or off-putting.
I was a Professor of Comparative Literature, Cinema History, Dramatic Art & Speech for four decades, and a worldwide ESL educator on all levels for thirty years. Every year in academia, however, I — simultaneously — held down blue-collar jobs, and it is in that realm where I learned so much of what is important to me today. For the convenience of those impressed with academic credentials, I have boldfaced some of mine below… though I recommend focusing on the life experience in lieu of those passports.] : September, 2012 I became (part-time) North American Rep for Andre Vltchek; it is a supreme honor to move in solidarity with him. Please note that all entries on this archived site, including this, were initially posted for a particular purpose, directed at specific people at a given time. I can rewrite what’s here — condense it, tweak it — upon request; to spotlight the singular ways in which I may be aligned with the reader.
which have contributed to my being involved in socially-conscious/environmentally-conscious work today.
September born in Newark, New Jersey , U.S.A. to South African Minnie Gink (later ____*) and Brooklyn’s William Oxman, both “Russian” Jews. Reared in the realm of Stephen Crane, Philip Roth, Johnny Saxton, Jerry Lewis and Amiri Baraka at Beth Israel Hospital around 5pm.
*Interesting, available upon request.
1945 Introduced to David Dellinger during mom’s work with him at Direct Action, War Resisters League, Industrial Workers of the World and Collier’s Printing. One of my earliest memories is of our family paying tribute to a friend killed in allied bombing of Japan.
1950 Meeting with Edna St. Vincent Millay at Steepletop in Austerlitz, New York, courtesy of “Uncle Max,” a neighborhood mentor (who my parents considered a bad influence).
1952 Interact with Welterweight Champion Kid Gavilan in training camp, courtesy of Nat Fleischer. Greatest bonding with my dad at this juncture… which from here on began to dissipate.
1953 “Uncle Max” describes his experience seeing En attendant Godot at the ThÃ©Ã¢tre de Babylone in Paris; unforgettable stories, suppressed for a long time, related to contact with Beckett, Camus et alia.
1955 Meeting with Raphael Lemkin at Rutgers University-Newark Law School. Beginning of my Alan Freed shows at the Brooklyn Paramount. Vague memories surface of my sweet mom beginning her forced electroshock therapy ( some time before my 13th birthday). Archie Moore and Rocky Marciano for my birthday!
1956 First attempt at running away from home, I hitchhike across several states.
1957 Record single with L. Russell Brown for Fury Records as The Duals at historic Beltone Studios (where Nina Simone was cutting Love Me or Leave Me and we “encounter” King Curtis); much time spent in Harlem. Hitchhike across the country and back, NJ/CA.
1958 Production of my first full-length play at Weequahic High School, Newark, New Jersey. Crime and Punishment changes my life.
1960 Freshman year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison begins.
1961 Transfer to Rutgers University-Newark, NJ where I meet my mentor George W. Weber.* Contact with Julian Beck and Judith Malina et al. re: The Living Theatre’s The Connection; involved in Connection Company vs. Regents of the University of the State of New York litigation. Eugene Bullard’s funeral. Margaret Leighton.
*Carl Jung had two good friends who contributed to the development of his insights: Heinrich Zimmer, the great Indologist, who became Joseph Campbell’s friend and mentor, and Richard Wilhelm, the great Sinologist. My mentor was a product, in part, of contact with Wilhelm’s intimate followers.
1962 I assist Lester Moore, Dramatic Art & Speech Chairman, in securing the status of major for his discipline; I direct/act in many plays, studying all elements of theatre art and cinema history at Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey. I establish the 1st foreign film festival on campus. I participate in the Artists’ Committtee to Free Siqueiros — headed by Alexander Calder and Ben Shahn — and experience the Mexican muralist’s prison paintings at the ACA Gallery in New York.
1964 ., ; the beginning of my employment in academia which spans four decades at various institutions of higher education. On the set of Beckett’s/Schneider’s Film. Contact with Wendell Berry at NYU College in the Bronx, where I organized anti-war demonstrations. Three Nina Simone concerts bouncing off of Mississippi Goddam.
1965 , Columbia University in New York City. Lorraine Hansberry’s funeral with Paul Robeson’s eulogy.
1966 Life-changing experiences with members of the Royal Shakespeare Company performing Marat/Sade at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York, as mentoring by Tennessee Williams begins. Saul Alinksy and Jacques Maritain at Princeton… from a distance, but profitably.
1967 Second contact with James Baldwin at Wilt Chamberlain’s Small’s Paradise, Harlem, New York (fresh in from Turkey). Visit to Irpinia and many other realms in Italy, including Florence following the flood; contact with Dario Fo and Franca Rame. http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/058.html at Riverside Church in New York City where I witness Martin Luther King with two students of mine from Bronx Community College who were to die later in Viet Nam; I worked incessantly to help youngsters not get sucked into military service. I saw kids I grew up with who had become law enforcement officers shooting at friends of mine in the Newark Riots.
1968 Life-changing experiences centered on activism based in and around the Columbia University campus. Visit with Upton Sinclair. Saw Aretha for the first time.
1969 Political activism kicks in, as I help my students keep deal with the new draft lottery, and do much more.
1971 Performance of my first musical at New York Institute of Technology, Long Island, New York; it was the first theatrical offering in the history of the institution (founded in 1955). Writing regularly for Ring Magazine.
1972 with John McCabe, focusing on both Shakespeare and Laurel and Hardy. Fund raising for Roberto Clemente’s relief for Nicaragua’s earthquake victims.
1973 Contact with Alan Watts and Joseph Campbell. Members of Peter Brook’s International Centre for Theatre Research describe theatrical experiences, including those with Teatro Campesino’s miracle plays; raised money for UFW-related activities.
1974 Editing at McGraw-Hill Publishing. Interaction through my mother with Justin Cartwright and Nadine Gordimer learning about their South African roots, concerns.
1977 Begin to drive a taxi in New York; it lasts for two years.
1978 Begin work for Studio Instrument Rentals; meet many musicians on intimate basis.
1979 First screenplay completed; submitted to Ridley Scott as per his request.
1980 Fund raiser for non-profit Massachusetts Fair Share, focusing on environmental issues.
1981 A week, for the most part, with Phillip Larkin in Hull.
1982 Top salesperson for The Pearl Factory throughout Hawaii; taught ESL to refugees. Life takes a new turn with the news about http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/09/20/31-years-after-the-massacre-at- sabra-shatila/.
1983 Director of The Lahaina Players in Maui, Hawaii; workshops conducted for visiting Asians.
1984 Investigative journalist and columnist for The Russian River News and The Paper of West Sonoma County; worked with editor Steve Pizzo who broke the S&L Scandal.
1985 Supervised soup kitchens in Guerneville and Forestville, California. Appeared in Francis Ford Coppola’s Peggy Sue Got Married; interviewed the director on a tightly closed set. The abominable attack on MOVE encourages me to leave the country.
1986 for International Education Research and Analysis Corporation, Osaka, Japan.
1987 Director of English Players of Nippon, performing in Osaka, Kobe and Tokyo.
1988 , St. Giles College, San Francisco/UK. Meeting with Emil White in Big Sur at the Henry Miller Memorial Library.
1990 , California; assisted applicants with citizenship papers.
1991 Submitted songs to the music industry and games to various companies; lived in Hawaii, divorcing myself permanently from all family ties/financial support from Oxman College. Top salesperson for Wyland Art Galleries throughout Hawaii while working 7 days a week for animal rights.
1992 Advocated for the School of Americas Watch; fund raising and informing the public worldwide at the invitation of Maryknoll Father Roy Bourgeois.
1993 Conducted Drama Workshops and provided other vacations for North Americans in Europe.
1994 Fund raising for Nigeria’s Ken Saro-Wiwa worldwide.
1995 Nanny work, tutoring in Soquel, California.
1998 Substitute teaching in Santa Cruz County, California.
2001 Reading of Susanne Antonetta’s lovely Body Toxic: An Environmental Memoir changes everything for me to a much greater degree than the 9/11 dynamic; the most significant immediate dangers to us all are clarified.
2002 Andy Goldsworthy at the Cass Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood, West Sussex, UK..
2005 Beginning of work for TOSCA (Transforming Our State of California) with the imprimatur of Howard Zinn; a project in the electoral arena following a new paradigm. The incomparable August Wilson and Radio Golf.
2008 Writing of Millay Song Against the Day begins, a drama based on personal encounter with Edna St. Vincent Millay.
2011 Troy Davis is executed on my birthday..
2013 Immeasurable efforts have been omitted from the jumbled blah blah above, frantically posted, and inappropriate for review at this juncture. At present, in New Rochelle, New York. As per http://oxtogrind.org/archive/1342. Working on Waiting for Griot. New projects with Andre Vltchek embraced. Everyone dropping the ball. John Perkins’ Dream Change, Dr. Mariana Chilton of Drexel University too? Tons of failure. Three days before my 71st birthday, pay dirt with VIPER! Currently courting the powers that be at Sweet Relief in Laguna Beach, but the big hopeful prospect is in the hands of educators and mentors I’ve been in touch with this last week or so of September… in Oakland, California. For the whole TOSCA shebang could take flight if they’ll meet with me about blending their immediate agenda for the youngsters in their Manhood program with recruiting a core group of their teenagers to comprise a tentative gubernatorial coalition. Oh boy, these telegraphic sound bites don’t do the heartbeats justice at all. Will elaborate for the reader upon request; this is — after all — all jotted down primarily for myself. To half-keep-track of my 24×8 activities.
: NOTHING from a soul in Oakland, and that covers realms all across the spectrum of “concerned citizens” there, not just the Black sectors. Also, zero from Jim Hightower’s quarters in Texas; not even confirmation of receipt from them. We will see what happens to the plea in http://oxtogrind.org/archive/1390, but there are dark corners not responding at all in all sorts of little corners where — supposedly — activists are fighting the good fight. [Pause.] Not so good, my “good news” notwithstanding. Very hard to stand and/or understand the cold shoulders.
: With tons of outreach in the bag for Missouri and Kentucky and elsewhere — unrequited outreach — my hopes are held in the hands of Gilad Atzmon delivering http://oxtogrind.org/archive/1402 to Ian Ritchie, Roger Waters’ colleague.
: So very much has happened since October. See http://oxtogrind.org/archive/1423, and the two pieces posted on either side of it to get a tiny taste of what’s been flying. My efforts on behalf of the incarcerated and their loved ones, my outreach to lots of individuals in southern California and nationwide are NOT being responded to very well. BUT… fail, fail again, fail again better, yes?
: After immense, heartbreaking frustration ‘cross the board in all sorts of realms nationwide, I’m not waiting on the good people at http://eyeonsacramento.com/ to get into gear in solidarity.
: See the “update” inserted at http://oxtogrind.org/archive/1467 with its focus on the Jubitz Foundation.
12/29/13: The Jubitz Foundation proved to be a disappointing horror. Along with a number of other disappointments. Fail. Fail again. Fail again better. On this beautiful day my heart beats hopefully with eyes on the Latinos and Food Not Bombs souls featured in my posts on Professor Huerta and Keith McHenry. The latter, God bless him, is not moving at the pace I wish with me , but with Latinos I fully expect to fly high post haste. See http://oxtogrind.org/archive/1481 (and a couple of the previous posts) for updates.
1/21/14: Lots of activist water under the bridge since December. As per http://oxtogrind.org/archive/1505… I meet with Keith today so that push can come to shove. No longer waiting for the whites or blacks of Baltimore or the whores of the wholly unconscionable non-profits which proliferate, I now hold my breath — like Emily Dickinson’s shadows — waiting for the next words from Dr. Mark Thornton (see intro in link directly above).
1/25 update: Tons and tons of additional unrequited outreach under the bridge now. That includes the fact that none of the individuals and organizations touched upon in http://oxtogrind.org/archive/1511 have responded whatsoever; I must be closer to 12,000 than 11,000 at this juncture in failed appeals. Posted http://oxtogrind.org/archive/1512 today, as I stretched myself into Canada once again. Absolutely everyone should ask me about the incredible exchange I had with Glen Ford, Editor of Black Agenda Report, bouncing off of his http://blackagendareport.com/content/black-madness-under-obama-african -americans-more-pro-nsa-anti-snowden-whites-and-Hispanics; the experience I had should be quite instructive — necessary — for anyone recruiting these days.
“By the grace of chocolate”… as per the trailer at http://nothinglikechocolate.com/trailers.php; it’s so-called Valentine’s Day as I write this… waiting to receive a response from Kum Kum.
March 18th update: I’ve reached out to a ton of people since the beginning of this month. As per http://oxtogrind.org/archive/1582, however, not a single bite on my line. VERY instructive interaction, though, to share. In Texas, I used Austin as a point of departure — specifically, Professor Robert Jensen and the many organizations him and his wife associated with — during the height of South by Southwest activity… when a national bombshell of activity could have been inserted into the news. But… as per the updates at the bottom of the link provided directly above… zero, nada… not even confirmations of receipt in 98% of the outreach. That represents something worse than the drought talked about in the Lone Star State. And that “something” is plaguing the entire country, having nothing whatsoever to do with my pitch, my particular proposal for action. Discussion, anyone?
: It’s amazing… the lack of interest from Compton, California, Detroit, Michigan, Jackson, Mississippi, Austin, Texas, Langston, Oklahoma, Atlanta, Georgia and other municipalities. Here’s hoping that my latest outreach to East Palo Alto resonates.