Life is Music May 21, 2013 edition: Oklahoma City tornado recovery resources

It’s another rudieTuesday, which means another day where I equate a news event with a song.

Seems like this is another week where I’m left writing about a story that I wish I didn’t have to talk about. The good thing is this week’s disaster wasn’t a deliberate act of human hatred; the bad is that natural disasters can leave just as tragic a mess in their wake.

As of when I’m writing this, 91 people are reported to have died. Just a few hours ago, that number stood at about 50. By the time you see this, it will probably be an even higher statistic.

Having lived the vast majority of my life on the east coast, tornadoes were for a long time very foreign to me. I knew of the movie Twister. I had seen photos of them happening; a 400×600 pixel .jpg cannot do justice to the sheer power of a real tornado touching land. I heard stories of one passing through my college alma mater, but any aftermath of the minimal damage had been fixed long before I arrived.

Then, last year, I served with AmeriCorps NCCC. Part of my service took me to Henryville, Indiana, a town that is now a year into recovery efforts that will likely be ongoing for the better part of the decade. The town, along with neighboring towns that were in the unavoidable path of destruction, was completely leveled by a vicious tornado in March 2012.

It’s strange to see the aftermath of such destruction up close. To me, hurricanes were expected, but tornadoes were once so foreign. They leave a very specific, and very brutal, type of damage in their wake. Survivors of storms like this can be left with post-traumatic stress disorder, just like someone returning from war can experience it.

Unless I ever have to live through a natural disaster, I can never know the terror felt by everyone in that Oklahoma City suburb last night. I can never know the loss felt by families in Henryville who lost a doublewide trailer, the only home they knew, as they huddled in shacks and hoped for their lives to be spared by the storm.

What I can know, and what I did learn, is the strength people have inside them to rebuild. People will mourn; we will have ups and downs. Some will never recover from the mental stress; others will immediately run outside once the storm has passed to look for neighbors in need. Communities can and do band together with solidarity they didn’t know they could posses.

Moore will recover, just as will Henryville, and Joplin, and other communities affected by disaster natural and otherwise, at home and abroad. The communities have a support system within themselves, an inevitable bond with each other, and solidarity from others who can only empathize from afar.

It’s going to be a long, long road. But the survivors will rebuild, move on, and become stronger as a result.

Resources:
The City of Moore Recovers
All-encompassing list of immediate needs, shelters, emergency services and more
Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
Feed the Children

En español
Red Cross
Moore Oklahoma Tornado Info Facebook
Resources for pets and animals

Edit: At this time the death toll has been revised and lowered to 24. Here’s hoping it stays down.

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Life is Music May 15, 2013: ‘You Rang? Here’s Your Cuffs’ Edition

It’s another rudieTuesdayWednesday, which means another day where I equate a news event with a song.

In case you hadn’t heard, news broke Monday that the Justice Department subpoena’d a whole bunch of Associated Press phone records, supposedly as part of an investigation into a failed terror plot. The story spread fairly quickly; this isn’t just big news for journalists, but for anyone who makes phone calls. Or texts. Or has some sort of conversation with others in a form that can be recorded.

For journalists, if this can be allowed, sources can’t necessarily be kept anonymous. For whistleblowers and sources, who already face an inordinate amount of pressure to keep their blowholes far away from any whistle or face the consequences, this may be even less incentive to step forward.

This is also pretty bad-looking for the Obama admin, which keeps hailing itself for transparency and yet seems to keep taking awfully bumbling and obvious steps towards opaqueness.

For this week’s story, I’m going with The Slackers’ “Information Error.” It’s in honor of this “error” of secrecy in the Justice Department’s method of obtaining the memos. It’s for the fact that any information we transmit is becoming more and more subject to scrutiny and guilt until proven innocence “in this age of terror.” And it’s because The Slackers help me feel better when things are looking bleak.

Violence Against (Trans)Women Today

Any and every mom out there can be subject to street harassment and violence. CeCe may or may not be someone’s mother some day; that will be her choice. Today is as good a day as any to spread our awareness of street harassment against all women (and people), moms or not.

Also, go give your mother figure a hug today, even if it’s a virtual one.

Support CeCe!

I wrote a short essay on street violence against women and (trans) women that I initially did for a panel for the U of M but because of the DOC drama, I never got a chance to finish it… until now. I hope you all enjoy it. I love you all! TTYL!

A major problem in the entire world is violence against all women, which also includes trans women. Throughout time, women have been subjected to the cruel “iron fist” of the male species’ ever-inflicting egos. The violence that has been upheld for centuries have affected us all, whether it be a tyrannical leader’s harsh rule over a nation or domestic rule inside the household. Women have a higher rate of experiencing violence in all its forms–physical, verbal, and/or sexual. In most cases we are the victims of murder, and in the act of defending ourselves we are subjected…

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RUmbletowne REcs is doing PREORDERS for the Beauty Between

This is easily one of my favorite recent albums. Get all over it!

RVIVR

Here’s a post from the RTR website:

“People of the Internet:
After much adieu and many many many many months of waiting…

We are ready to receive pre-orders for “The Beauty Between”!?!!
Here the details:
We expect to have all the goodies… the INSERTS… the JACKETS… the POSTER… THE VINYL!! by May 17th and we will ship out any order we receive by  May 20th before we leave on tour. PreOrder Instructions:

You have options…
1. (If you live in the USA) please mail $13.00 hidden cash/money order made out to “Erica Freas” with your order and address to PO BOX 663 OLYMPIA WA 98507
2. (If you live in the USA) paypal $15.00 to thanks@rumbletowne.com and please include your order and full name/address
3. (If you live elsewhere on Earth) – please paypal $35.00 to thanks@rumbletowne.com and please include your order and full name/address

If you want to order…

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I can honestly say that in all my years of punk my hair never looked like this

 

PUNK: Chaos to Couture

The exhibit covers punk fashion from the early 1970s through today and features “approximately one hundred designs for men and women,” including “original punk garments and recent, directional fashion to illustrate how haute couture and ready-to-wear borrow punk’s visual symbols.” Like seeing a shirt that says “SPERM” in one of the most refined spaces in New York City!

 

via Gothamist (some images NSFWish)

Free ska comp from Dying Scene: Pick it up

Ska-Punk’s glory days of mainstream success and radio air play may have come and gone with yesteryear but the punk sub-genre is far from fading into obscurity. In fact it’s very much alive and well, and we’ve got the bands to prove it. “Skaface: Evolution” is a compilation that focuses on the “punkier” side of ska-punk, highlighting bands that convey the speed or angst that originally helped define our beloved genre. Through trombones, trumpets, saxaphones and upstroked guitars the mode of “ska” delivery varies but the musical aesthetic of this group of artists is undeniably “punk rock.”

We’re releasing this digital comp simply because we think the bands it features are badass and deserve a little more attention in the punk scene at large. It features quality tunes from 15 amazing ska-punk acts, including previously unreleased material from Big D And The Kids Table, Mustard Plug, Mad Caddies, 4 Aspirin Morning, Ghetto Blaster and Huge Puppies.

– Dying Scene releases free comp: “Skaface: Evolution” (features unreleased Big D, Mustard Plug, Mad Caddies and more)

Every day is a good day for ska! Every day is an even better day when that ska comes in the form of a free comp with some killer bands. Ska’s not dead as long as there’s people who love it.

Download it here.

Life is Music April 30, 2013: Gay in the (w)NBA

It’s another rudieTuesday, which means another day where I equate a news event with a song.

It’s been a huge deal the past few days that Jason Collins is the first NBA athlete to come out as gay. (Phew, that was a lot of links.) I don’t care much for sports, but I do care greatly for fact-checking. And Jason is far from the first famous athlete to be publicly LGBT*.

Many women athletes have told the world that they identify as gay. The website The Advocate, for instance, is currently running an article on Brittney Griner, a gay woman in the WNBA. The article, which talks about how she came out before her first pro game, is being featured on the site at the same time as an article hailing Jason as the first out NBA athlete. And it’s not unrelated that the sub-headline of the article questions whether Brittney’s gayness will interfere with the femininity of women’s sports.

I offer many kudos to Jason. In this world that wants to know exactly what’s going on in everyone’s bedroom, it must be incredibly tough to be a public figure and share something so personal and private about oneself, to open oneself up to such criticism. Even in one that’s becoming more accepting of gay men, Jason has already had to deal with intolerance.

As if this blog doesn’t have enough RVIVR, “Wrong Way/One Way” offers a message appropriate with today’s topic. While I want to reinforce that many athletes (including many women) have come out with much less fanfare, what’s really important is that everyone is accepted for who they are, no matter who they love.

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