Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Times They Are A-Changin'

It's been a lovely education for me on this platform. I started blogging a little over a year ago because I couldn't drone on and bore my friends to death 'with all the unborn chicken voices in my head.' Word to Thom Yorke (see Paranoid Android lyrics).

Blogging has been an awesome space, a meta-space if you will, to explore trends, politics, art, ideas that I obsess over daily. As I write my novel, the blog has been an awesome respite, allowing me to sort through themes in the blog space. It's another space for my creative process.

Sometimes I try to add more to our conversation about these times we live in. I think I've succeeded in some areas; I'm sure I haven't other times.

All of this is to say that The Bellewether State is moving from Blogger to Wordpress.

Beginning September 7, 2009, you can find me at

Can't think of a better way to begin a new cycle than Labor Day.

Change is good.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Rhythm Nation - MJ Dance Party in Prospect Park 8.29.09

The County of Kings represented for the King of Pop. Rain and barricades couldn't keep this crowd back. All ages, all colors, all... getting together to celebrate the music and life of the King of Pop on his 51st Birthday. It was bittersweet. These lyrics ran through my head like a tape:

We're Sendin' Out
A Major Love
And This Is Our
Message To You
The Planets Are Linin' Up
We're Bringin' Brighter Days
They're All In Line
Waitin' For You
Can't You See . . .?
You're Just Another Part Of Me . . 

For my part, it was hard to decide between dancing or taking pics. Not sure this small offering of images can do justice to the spirit of the people of Brooklyn in the park last Saturday. But if you weren't there, here's some highlights from DJ Spinna and Spike Lee's Party Saturday in Prospect Park. 


See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from bellewetherstate's posterous

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Public Option Hullabaloo 2.0

I signed one of those petitions to support the public option. I feel really strongly about it. There was a space for a note to POTUS. I doubt he'll read it personally, but I'm so peeved about the affair, I might have gone a little overboard.

Dear President Obama,

While I respect your team’s efforts to work with Congress and the Health Care Industry to develop mechanisms for reform and regulation, I must again reiterate my support for a public option. I'm not clear on what we gain if there isn't a mechanism that allows for uninsured, self-employed, freelancers to buy affordable health coverage that allows for preventive care.

I'll never regret my vote for you and your team, but I need you guys to 'man up' and push reform through that will benefit my generation. I'm 35 years old, unemployed, uninsured, now freelancer, with a pre-existing condition. This pre-existing condition is treatable, however, the medication is $300 a month, which well exceeds my budget at present.

I’m not sure how we find ourselves in this class and ideological warfare with our fellow Americans. However, my mind is on the future, my generation and the one behind me that will carry the burden of an over-bloated system that seems to support deep corporate interests rather than the welfare of communities. I’m not sure how our value system became so skewed that our choices are to include a bill that covers tort reform to limit recourse for patients who have legitimate complaints against negligent doctors. I’m not sure how we’ve come to accept that the only way uninsured can secure treatment is to go to the emergency room where they will incur costs that far exceed a modest premium if a public option existed. I’m not sure how we’re the only westernized nation in the world that refuses to acknowledge that quality health care is critical to the growth and health of a nation. I’m not sure how, with relative ease it seemed, we went to war with a nation for which we had no legitimate quarrel, and committed countless dollars to support it. I’m not sure how we failed to recognize in doing so, we would be engaged in nation building for probably the next twenty years. I’m not sure how we haven’t made the connection that our bloated national debt mirrors our values and our belief that we can leverage debt personal and communal without consequence. I’m not sure how we got here. But we’re here. You said we’re the ones we’ve been waiting for. Well, here we are. We are at the most critical ideological crossroad here. I’m not in office so I don’t have the power to push key legislators like Baucus, among others to do right by us. You do. You’re the leader of the party; you’re the leader of our nation.

We can do this. I need you to be my fiercest advocate to get this done. Or at the very least, sell me on how an alternative to the public option will actually help me purchase affordable health insurance without relying an employer.

With respect and grave concern,


Syreeta McFadden

Native of Wisconsin, Resident of New York


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Saturday, August 29, 2009

August 29, 2009

Today an interesting split of emotions. It is the 51st birthday of the King of Pop. It is the funeral of the Lion of the Senate. 

I wasn't alone in sharing these feelings.

These are a couple of images from the DJ Spinna/Spike Lee Tribute to Michael Jackson in Prospect Park, Brooklyn today.

More later.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from bellewetherstate's posterous

Friday, August 28, 2009

Design of Decade #4

By now, most people should know that I love Radiohead more than... maybe more than Biggie.

This track is from Amnesiac, which was released in June 2001. I've listened to this track over an embarrassing amount of times. But that's not the point, the point is that this week is the first time I ever watched this video. And I'm so surprised that my imagination of the sound and movement with this song mirrors the action with the video. I imagined a figure reversing in space, and spirals of light.

I'm writing about post 9/11 New York. It's challenging. A lot of writers have tried and will continue to try to write a record of our lives during this period. I can't think of a better soundtrack to write to in order to tease out meaning in our lives then and now.

This is entry #4 of my design of decade collection of material that lives in the muck of my consciousness.

Posted via web from bellewetherstate's posterous

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Design of Decade #3

It's the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. This is a clip from the documentary Trouble The Water. If you haven't seen this film, you should Netflix it now. It's an intimate narrative that centers around a husband and wife with home video of those waters that overtook the Ninth Ward when the levees failed.

Posted via web from bellewetherstate's posterous

Monday, August 24, 2009

Of Boabab Trees, Nutrition, and Marketing #365black

Does anyone remember seeing this? From Boondocks, July 23, 2005.

Posted via web from bellewetherstate's posterous

"So live, that you might desire to live again…

Eternity is worth it… Let us stamp the form of eternity upon our lives… This life is your eternal life." - Nietzsche

Woke up thinking about eternal recurrence and The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera.

"If eternal return is the heaviest of burdens, then our lives can stand out against it in all their splendid lightness.

But the heaviest of burdens crushes us, we sink beneath it, it pins us to the ground. But in the love poetry of every age, the woman longs to be weighed down by the man's body. The heaviest of burdens is therefore simultaneously an image of life's most intense fulfillment. The heavier the burden the closer our lives come the earth, the more real and truthful they become. 

Conversely, the absolute absence of a burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant. 
What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness?... The only certainty is: the lightness/weight opposition is the most mysterious, most ambiguous of all."

This book changed my life.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Mad Men Obsession Continues...

I just caught up to the rest of the world and I saw this Vanity Fair article on Mad Men.

Honestly, I've not read the article yet because I'm loving the photographs. I mean, seriously, just look at them:

Annie Liebovitz's photos are stunning. Sort of a Norman Rockwell throwback quality to them. These images are a little genteel by comparison. However, if you can dig back into your memory, or perhaps you might have missed W Magazine's photo essay with Brad and Angelina.

Both sets are extremely narrative. However, Steven Klein's photos show a menace in marriage that lies beneath the surface. There's a softer hint of tension with the images of Mad Men protagonists, Betty and Don. I love both sets. I think by default, my generation is still captured by the imagination of life in 1960s America.

I don't know. I've been thinking about marriage a lot lately, particularly because I'm revising a short story of my own that has a character looking side-eyed at it.

Maybe it's time to read more Yates.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009