I just got this note from the director of a local community music nonprofit, located very close to the arson area, focused on music from all genres and dedicated to social justice:

Hi Max,

Great to hear from you.  Please call me _____.  I just saw your mom last week....

Thanks for sending this song, very nice message to hear right now!

Hope you well during these challenging times!

Take care,


From: Max Herman <maxnmherman@hotmail.com>
Sent: Saturday, May 30, 2020 6:56 PM
To: Alan Sondheim <sondheim@panix.com>; Max Herman via NetBehaviour <netbehaviour@lists.netbehaviour.org>
Cc: Michael Szpakowski <m@michaelszpakowski.org>
Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] a song for peace in Minneapolis: "The Beautiful"
 

Hi Alan,

Thank you for those thoughts.  

My city is hated by many for being too liberal, too integrated, too progressive, and too successful in these efforts -- despite our severe deficiencies including police violence and economic inequality.  They hate the universities here, the separation of church and state, the environmentalism, the diversity, the tolerance, the good will, and the dynamism.  They hate that it works, not perfectly but well, and continues to improve.

The strategy of the agent provocateur has been around since at least the Tsars.  Who is the arson serving?  What will it lead to?  Reform and progress, or abandonment and crackdown?  I have seen disturbing sights in my neighborhood and heard stories from friends as well as many protestors and protest leaders that suggest the arson is being committed by professionalized actors not from local communities, nor those of color.  

Nothing could be worse for communities of color here and the police reform movement than the arson we are seeing, nor better for those who claim that "law and order" should go back to the old, worse days.  We all hope evidence will be found but the operators are technical to the point of using umbrellas to thwart overhead cameras.

But I am small, I am weak, and I have no answers.  My city is burning and the soldiers are marching.

We will rebuild and be OK though, and I have no right to rope Michael into what is for me a very desperate hope.

Max

PS -- do you know Ed Sarath?



From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim@panix.com>
Sent: Saturday, May 30, 2020 6:17 PM
To: Max Herman via NetBehaviour <netbehaviour@lists.netbehaviour.org>
Cc: Michael Szpakowski <m@michaelszpakowski.org>; Max Herman <maxnmherman@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] a song for peace in Minneapolis: "The Beautiful"
 


There also seem to be white nationalists calling for a "bugaloo" to fan
the flames. So much of this goes back to Trump and his apparent idea that
punishing anyone who disagrees with him is the way to go - his rabid
followers take that to heart.

I'm sick of this. I'm sick of this country.

- Alan

On Sat, 30 May 2020, Max Herman via NetBehaviour wrote:

> Hi Michael,
>
> I will certainly stop sharing it as being relevant to the civic unrest here;
> my apologies for not checking with you first.
>
> That said, many of the protest leaders here are denouncing the orchestrated
> campaign of arson, which is decimating the very neighborhoods which are hurt
> most by economic inequality and injustice. Irreplaceable Native American
> historic archives have been burned. Incendiary devices have been found in my
> immediate neighborhood and the "burn it down" graffiti is written with punk
> rock "A" symbols and slogans having nothing to do with justice for George
> Floyd. His family is calling for an end to the arson which is destroying
> their neighborhood, and there is no police or fire prevention presence
> whatsoever to protect people.
>
> This destruction is close to me, on my street and in my nostrils. Maybe my
> city should be burned to ground to bring change -- every single structure
> bar none. But I and many others who are calling for justice are also calling
> for an end to the arson and looting.
>
> I hope I am not sounding reactionary here. One indicator of our dilemma is
> that Trump's rhetoric is fanning the flames, rather than calling for calm
> and healing. There are images and reported evidence of well-equipped
> arsonists not from the affected community acting in a highly orchestrated
> operation. If you can stream coverage from WCCO channel 4 some of the
> community leaders are speaking on these issues.
>
> Perhaps a moment or breath of peace cannot save my city, or the world. My
> sincere hope is that it can.
>
> My emotions are raw and fear is everywhere, so I may not be coherent. I will
> respect your wishes though not to associate the song with a political
> agenda; that was not my intent but I do see how it could be seen that way
> and I confess my judgment may be off-base due to my own biases and emotional
> state.
>
> Best wishes to all,
>
> Max
>
>
>
>
> ____________________________________________________________________________
> From: Michael Szpakowski <m@michaelszpakowski.org>
> Sent: Saturday, May 30, 2020 5:27 PM
> To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
> <netbehaviour@lists.netbehaviour.org>
> Cc: Max Herman <maxnmherman@hotmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] a song for peace in Minneapolis: "The Beautiful"
> I?m happy to have this distributed Max. I said so on a number of occasions. I?m
> a little uneasy though about shoehorning a creative piece which for me was
> an exercise in personal collaboration and friendship to the current events
> in Minneapolis (although I understand your physical nearness to the
> situation) to which my response is complete solidarity with the uprisings
> across the US. It feels a bit awkward to me. Here is the little thing we did
> in my town today to honour George Floyd:
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/szpako/49952943907/in/photostream#
> In terms of peace my feeing was, is and remains *No* justice *No* peace...
> cheers Michael
>
>
> Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone
>
> On Saturday, May 30, 2020, 8:08 pm, Max Herman via NetBehaviour
> <netbehaviour@lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:
>
>
> Hi all,
>
> Please have a listen to this unusual song and forward it to your
> contacts.
>
> https://mhermanmszpakowski.bandcamp.com/track/the-beautiful
>
> Here is an alternate link:
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8pabM00hIo&t=10s
>
> It was written and recorded last summer in hopes of peace for our
> country. It is now posted and publicized to honor the memory of George
> Floyd and the peace, justice, and love we all need to keep hope alive.
>
> Best wishes to you and yours,
>
> Max
> _______________________________________________
> NetBehaviour mailing list
> NetBehaviour@lists.netbehaviour.org
> https://lists.netbehaviour.org/mailman/listinfo/netbehaviour
>
>
>

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