Banging on the Beer of Beloved Texans

Worthwhile update, posted just prior to 9pm PST: I think it’s worth noting that long after I added the last Addendum words way below… I discovered that Robert and Eliza were married, and that the Gilkyson family has killer musical roots. All that is a huge plus 4 us. [Hmmm, maybe it'll help to mention that I recorded at Beltone Studios in the late '50s.]

Note: There is only one word of caution respecting what’s below. That is, please look out for being lost prematurely over writing style. Enjoy, and let me know what you think; For I fancy a Music Party for the Lone Star state with the gun case locked up tight. Oh frabjous day, caloo calay. Let us play. I love to play with words and music, but the untried key is hanging here in plain sight.

Banging on the Beer of Beloved Texans
Dedicated to implanting poetry and adrenalin into activism... and to the sweet harmonizing moral compass of Robert Jensen
by Buey Bang

“O bailan todos o no baile nadie.” — one of the author’s home schooled teenage charges, quoting the 60s Uruguayan Tupamaros

Drink up, but pay attention, please. We have quite the “bill” to pay, First Sight music to play together quietly, loud and clear… lovingly banging on ears. [You'll see below.]

When I was not yet eight-years-old I was given the grand experience of meeting with the incomparable Edna St. Vincent Millay at her beloved Steepletop. In what turned out to be what you might say has been the quietist moment in my life, she recited the following from her inspiring Renascence:

The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,—
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.


The fine people associated with are doing necessary work. But they are applying tourniquets in tiny corners. Ditto for the inspired souls situated at Same for those embracing the agenda of And many others. [Pause.] Everyone?

Tourniquets and “tiny corners” can sound offensive. But I don’t mean to be off-putting at all. Rather, I’m making a long distance call as per Paul Simon: age&FORM=VIRE1#view=detail&mid=C9E59913D38F1B7B404CC9E59913D38F1B7B404 C Listen to age&FORM=VIRE3#view=detail&mid=F241624AC11909C39ED1F241624AC11909C39ED 1 instead if the pace of the 1992 performance is too slow for your taste.

And speaking of pace, permit me to put into context that biz about band aids and corners above. Not only are activists and all concerned citizens fighting the good fight in atomized quarters, husbanding their resources, doing what they can on microscopic plane… they are planting seeds which will not bloom in time. For no one — I’ll repeat that with firm conviction — NO ONE is acknowledging the collective deadlines we face. Bless ‘em all, but they’re not doing that. And that’s absolutely essential if we’re going to make a difference in time. It’s not the 30s, it’s not the 60s. And all the talk about this and that far down the road is out of touch with the deadlines I’m addressing here.

The absolutely invaluable, gorgeous interview which Robert Jensen conducted with Abe Osheroff ( speaks of planting seeds at one point, but even there there’s no spotlighting of the kind of “pressure” I’d like to apply to the reader’s life right now. I mean, I’m all for people taking off time when they deem it necessary, but there’s simply got to be someone, some souls working 24×8 to have a shot in hell at dealing with the folks and forces which are operating 24×7 to maintain the status quo, making our horrid momentum worse.

And not having heard back from any of the leads — well-intentioned organizations and individuals which I contacted this morning courtesy of Jensen’s, I’d say that we’re moving at the pace of an arthritic snail, not nailing anything on the head, not heading off disaster… as well as we could.

Who am I to speak in this presumptuous vein? I’ll tell ‘ya gladly… in the hope that someone out there will embrace my gesture. ALL of the admirable organizations referred to in Jensen’s fine article are in receipt of my missives of this morning, but I have yet to receive the confirmation of receipt requested. What’s important about that? Well, for one, I’m offering to answer the phones and emails, etc. that come in to all of them ’round the clock… so that faux pas doesn’t have to be repeated. Faux pas? Perhaps “that problem” should be substituted. It is a problem. For we cannot afford to not nurture my kind of outreach 24×8; it’s too rare, too useful… too easily lost in the shuffle of life. E1#view=detail&mid=59826480DED838B66AD959826480DED838B66AD9

Hey, if the reader simply glances at what I typed a few moments ago, and inserted into the previous post under the umbrella of “Enormously Important Update” it’ll be apparent what’s driving me nuts this morning. But nuts to all that. Beckett resonates too deeply in me to be deterred:

“Fail. Fail again. Fail again better.”

Edna banged on my ear early. She taught me in what I called a very quiet moment above not to be a quietist, and that it wasn’t enough to simply be fighting the good fight. That embracing the “face of God” was essential. That look that lies within us all. The banging on our soul that is incessant… if we’re paying attention.

And here I am simply… humbly… respectfully asking for the reader to pay attention to me. Maybe… grant me a rendezvous so that we can have a quiet moment together. =VIRE1#view=detail&mid=4C29B47A50B4533948A14C29B47A50B4533948A1

Addendum: It’s hard enough to apply oneself daily and vigorously and creatively to microscopic action. All that should be supported and applauded with fire in blood and bones. That said, it’s mandatory that we move in solidarity on a macroscopic plane… whether or not it’s along the particular lines that I want to recommend for my beloved Texans fighting the good fight. Leisurely discussion with ample heartbeats must be set aside to discuss all that. A watershed in history is begged for post haste. Please, no more embracing of obsolete paradigms for change without the necessary supplements demanded. [Elaboration upon request.] For now, for hope, glance at Larkin’s First Sight.

Don’t take this in the wrong way, please. Please. I don’t mean to be insulting to people in general, let alone to people belonging to groups which I deeply respect, citizens I admire, like:

a. those at Red House Records;
b. others associated with Eliza Gilkyson;
c. Robert Jensen;
d. Pat Youngblood;
e. members of Workers Defense Project;
f. the staff at St. Lawrence’s Presbyterian Church;
g. people involved with Third Coast Activist;
h. 5604 Manor;
i. S.O.S. Alliance
and… a number of others,

BUT… it’s now 4pm PST… and I’ve gotten all my food shopping done. And aside from a generic Thank you for contacting us, we will get back to you soon, I haven’t even received any confirmation of receipt from any subjects of my Jensen-centered outreach today… which started early this morning. I know what people will say in response to this ’cause I’ve heard it unfailingly thousands of times in a row over the last nine years. That won’t cut the mustard. Obviously. Now the good news is that I also know that the good-hearted folks who are connected with Prof. Jensen will get back with at least a “Thanks, but no thanks” response by Monday or Tuesday. BUT… remember, I’m addressing pace here. A pace that worked for Sinclair’s 30s and Steinem’s 60s, but is a sin of sorts today. Meaning, when we pay with our heartbeats now we must move in solidarity, not just down a different road*, but dancing to beats of a different drummer, one that’s picking up pace.

*A “different road” begs to be defined. Upon request, I’ll be honored to do so. In the meantime, permit me to merely note that in Robert Jensen’s wonderful interview with Abe there’s a point where Osheroff is reminiscing about how when he would speak in front of a large group he’d be fortunate if he secured the sincere interest/follow-up of six or seven people in his audience. On that point, I submit that there’s another way to find one’s way to that half-a-dozen with potential, seeds for the others being planted with a different kind of effort. [Again, I'm looking forward to elaborating.]


Back to pace.

Just imagine the effect Chicken Little would have had if — in the middle of his ranting and raving — he hung out a Gone to lunch sign, taking a left turn to the nearest quarters for The Colonel… or anyone… headed anywhere else… other than all over Ground Zero. [Remind me to provide my Invasion of the Body Snatchers imagery too.]

Again, this is all unedited.