Category Archives: current events

What’s Going On?

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I must confess: I have been listening less to David Archuleta this past week and more to Marvin Gaye.

I’ve really been struggling over what I’ve been seeing on Twitter, on TV, and other news sources, where people who look like me are under siege.

What can I say? I’m less in the mood for “The Other Side of Down” and more in the mood for:

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And in my angrier moments, there’s always

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There’s something to be said about life in these United States of America as a black woman or man where you can go back into the historical repertoire of black music and find one that aptly describes the mood of 2014:

Yes, music is my therapy when acknowledging these realities:

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Even more so when gazing on images like this:

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Sadly, the Getty photographer, Scott Olson, who took this picture, had been arrested for doing his job in covering the Ferguson protests.  Fortunately he’s been released so he can continue to offer  us some salient images.

Interestingly, it was this particular photograph by the same photographer that turned the tide for me:

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There it was: the black woman putting her life on the line, raising her hands in the surrendering posture – “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” – while simultaneously looking triumphant. Undaunted and uncowed in the midst of tear gas, rubber bullets, and a city under siege. Under siege because people want answers as to why an unarmed teenager was shot six times by a police officer.

It’s quite chilling to see an entire city and state go to such lengths to protect one police officer. And yet, I can’t help but feel hopeful that people, who know their rights – even when those rights have been trampled – will stand up for their right to live, to assemble, to speak, to protest, to NOT BE SILENT.

May our children learn the valuable lessons of this moment as we move forward.

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And in that regard, some David Archuleta Love might be helpful here:

Top image: Art by Tara Jacoby.

The Sensitive Among Us

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Melancholia.

It’s not the same as clinical depression, but it does share some qualities, and it’s not a surprise that our great comedic geniuses (the late Robin Williams, who was also bipolar) and artists are tinged with feelings of sadness, despair, darkness.

Some of our great comedians display such sensitivity – not just Robin but also the late Richard Pryor, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock – you know, folks who have the ability to be hilarious while also delivering razor-sharp criticism, either about our social world or through self-deprecating humor (Robin was quite adept at the latter).

And then there are those artists who can tap into that blues residue and deliver the soul through their art – like visual artists like Van Gogh or vocal artists like Billie Holiday.

davidIt’s this feature of deep-seated melancholia that really drew me to the Voice.  David has that wonderful ability to not only soothe (as I recently posted) but to drive you to tears.  He has this uncanny ability to tap into that source of despair and release it so tenderly in song.

So, it is because of this why I wouldn’t dare make blanket statements or assumptions that he does not suffer. I don’t know him as a person, only as a public persona and musician.

Just like I would never have guessed the tears behind the face of a clown (like Robin Williams), I won’t make any guesstimates about David’s mental or emotional health. We just don’t know. A smiling face might mask a world of sadness, and a hyper-active comedian who makes me ROTL may be suffering severe depression.

What do any of us know?

All we have is their art.  And we can only respond in awe and wonder that such brilliance transcended anyone’s pain or joy at that moment of creativity.

We are all the better for it when such sensitive souls (because that’s what the great artists are – truly sensitive to the senses, to others, and to the world) share a piece of their soul with us.

“O Captain My Captain” RIP Robin Williams

As an educator and a Generation Xer, you know I had to go back to this, upon hearing the news of Robin Williams’ passing.

Sigh. Depression is no joke, and how sad to hear that someone who made me laugh in so many movies was suffering so greatly. 😦

RIP Robin Williams! You will be missed.

RIP Michael Johns

This is really such sad news to hear this weekend! Michael Johns was only 35 when he died! 😦

Apart from American Idol Season 7 giving us David Archuleta, it also gave us one of the most talented Top 10 group on Idol EVER!

I will always have these memories… Keeping Michael Johns’ family and friends (including his Idol ones like David and Cook) in my thoughts and prayers.

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Broadway Legacies

I’m so proud of Audra McDonald, who is proving to be a living legend of Broadway. Last night, she broke a record by winning her sixth Tony Award, as well as being the first to win a Tony in all four acting categories! Congratulations, Audra! 🙂

Here are snippets of her phenomenal performance as Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill”:

I’m also excited to see Fantasia featured in the Broadway musical, “After Midnight.” I think we all know that Broadway has been very receptive to American Idol alumni. And although Simon Cowell used to deliver judgment lines like “that’s a performance that belongs on Broadway” with such derision, I think it’s the best revenge for all those alumni who found their way on the “great white way.”

Consider this: While the music industry continues to falter with profits, this year Broadway had a stellar year with a record-breaking $1.27 billion in ticket sales!

New York City, baby! And Broadway is where it’s happening! 🙂

And yes, yes! I would love to see our Beloved and hear the Voice on the Great White Day one fine day.

Of course, we don’t always talk about that when we envision David’s career and musical opportunities.

So, I have another poll for you, Soul Davidians!