You’re Writing WHAT?

Hold your hats, boys and girls. The belligerent blogger has a new writing assignment.

I have been writing training material for a client for about three years. It keeps me kinda busy and I am grateful for the work. In the past year, the training has become, by its nature, very repetitive.

For next year, the project manager wants to shake things up. I think she meant me. She wants to produce old time radio dramas to convey the training. The employees who are receiving the training are drivers. They are in their vehicle most of the day and all the vehicles have CD players. Guess what? Captive audience.

I proposed three themes: Superhero, Mystery Theatre and a Sports show. I wrote two outlines for each month for each theme. That’s 72 shows. It’s a go, they were approved.

I started writing the scripts with actual dialogue, music and sound effects. What a hoot! I’m having fun. I have to laugh at myself. My superhero leaps in to save the swooning damsel in distress. Don’t sweat it, ladies. I do have a superheroine who will swoop in, too, in a later show.

I’m having a blast.

Well, back to my scripts.

Today, radio. Tomorrow, Hollywood.

ciao, Pete

http://www.peterdisantis.com

 

Google Yourself?

Figured it’s appropriate, being Tuesday, to report on how this whole November Blogarama has effected my “search.”  Though I may not be a common person, I do have a pretty common name.

Googling “Scott Bell Seattle,” I have 4 of the results on the first page, all in a row, starting 3 down from the top.

Googling “Seattle Video Production,” where I have never made a dent in search, I currently have the last result on the first page.

And lastly, googling “Scott Bell Video” I currently have two results on the first page, starting 3 down from the top.

BUT WHAT DOES IT ALL MEEEEEEEEN!?!?!

Like everyone says, regularly updated content makes you findable.  (And Deborah or anyone else will tell you that I’m not even really trying with my SEO settings.)

And as a footnote, my own BLOG has added about 160 views since the start of November.  Only 150 of those are mine, the other 10 are completely organic.  My BLOG is what I toss out to twitter, linkedin, facebook, via ping.fm.

Scott Bell
MediaDesignSeattle.com
BLOG 

Twittering the Revolution to Facebook at the Occupation of the Washington State Capitol

 

 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Good Morning! It’s 5:43am here in Seattle, & I’m proud to announce my oldest daughter Morgan got her first letter of acceptance to college (University of Portland in OR), my middle one Kate made straight A’s on her rc, & my youngest Talia can make a violin sing. And I’m off to help Occupy the State Capitol & Legislature down in Olympia, WA today.

Crowds roaring & more buses roll in & dropping people off from all over WA. OCCUPY our Capitol & Legislature! In Olympia.

OCCUPY Everywhere coming together in Sylvester Park in Olympia to join with others @ the Capitol. Down here w/ the Gteens. (Sic)

PEOPLE streaming in to OCCUPY our state Capitol. Legislature met all of 5 mins then ran away. Fled their responsibilities. Rubber spines!

Unstoppable Dorli Rainey rocks the Rotunda crowds @ 84 & calls for us to Occupy the Supreme Court in March, pepper spray or no pepper spray.

Impressive when a couple hundred more regular folks roll in for our nonviolent Revolution. Occupy the Capitol.

Maybe its time to stop voting in rigged elections & begging for justice & just tear the whole damn thing down.

We’ve filled the Rotunda! ~2000 of us.

Awesome sight. Banners draped all around the inside balconies of the Occupied rotunda here in Olympia, WA. Cops standing aside.

Hundreds massed right outside the Governor’s office. She’s inside. Will she come out?

Still down in Olympia with Occupy Seattle, the Seattle Greens, teachers, Veterans, business folks, students, unions, Libs, & many others.

Occupy is one big tent.

‎~ 3000 protesters total from all walks of life down demonstrating @ OCCUPY the WA State Capitol earlier Mon 11/28. Sea change!

12:13am 11/29/2011

William Dudley Bass

Small amnt of violence @ very end last night @ Rotunda as Police removed last protesters frm Capitol Bldg 2 close it, tasered 3, arrested 4.

Like · · @WilliamDBass on Twitter · about a minute ago via Twitter

(NOTES: Dorli Rainey is an elderly retired teacher and activist who got peppered sprayed in the face by Police officers in an Occupy Seattle demonstration on Capitol Hill, Seattle earlier this month outside Chase Bank. Apparently she then fell down and being quite diminutive was almost trampled. A photo of her being rescued and held up by two young men with her face dripping from milk and water to counteract the weaponized capsaicin of pepper spray went viral around the world.

Otherwise the other info I would add is it was an honor to march and rally with high school teacher and activist Joe Szwaya of the Seattle Green Party and other participants from Occupy Seattle. I am not a member of any party but an independent. I’m more of what you can call a Green Libertarian or a Libertarian Green. My geopolitical focus is more global and local than state/provincial or national. And I’m glad to help out the Greens these days.

There were also Occupy groups from many small towns across Washington, including, for example, Port Angeles, my wife’s hometown, which demonstrates both the degree of disaffection and interconnection in and between our scattered communities. Otherwise this post is limited to the exact postings on FB and Twitter. Thank you.)

 *** To see the Gallery of 10 photos from the Occupation of the Capitol including inside the Rotunda, go to my blogpost @ http://williamdudleybass.com/MyBlog/twittering-the-revolution-to-facebook-at-the-occupation-of-the-washington-state-capitol/. ***

William Dudley Bass

Seattle & Olympia, WA

U.S.A.

Cascadia

November 28, 2011

(NOTE: Originally published on author’s blog at http://williamdudleybass.com/MyBlog/twittering-the-revolution-to-facebook-at-the-occupation-of-the-washington-state-capitol/. Thank you.)

© Copyright 2011 by William Dudley Bass.

Why the Hell Can’t We Grow Up?

American’s dislike and distrust of their government and their politicians is at an all time high. Such sentiment is echoed around the world against governments everywhere. Occupy Wall Street has exploded across the United States and across Earth. People are disgusted, fed up, mad, and scared. And we Americans are polarized between ourselves as never before, with the possible exceptions of the 1850s and 60s and a hundred plus years later the 1960s and 70s. Both were periods of intense civil strife and turmoil.

“The solution to the problem is pretty simple,” wrote Michael Scott Brooks as he expounded upon what I assumed to be his reference to our local, national, and global challenges, “People just need to grow up.”

He’s a friend and a local leader in the mythopoetic men’s movement. This is perfect synchronicity, I thought, as my wife Kristina and I had a similar conversation hours earlier. But I challenged him.

“We’re all at different levels of evolution,” I posted back. “Gotta learn to work together as we are with what we have. Now that’s hard work!” Remembering our shared love of poetry and its power through the ages to move sages, warriors, and common folk alike, I signed off with “It’s time for a Poem.”

“I think some of you are missing my point,” he retorted to all of us.

Well, y’know what? Scott’s on to something. Why the Hell can’t we grow up?

After I came up with the current title for this post, I deleted it and replaced “Why the Hell…” with “Let’s Build Bridges.” Yep, “Let Us Build Bridges.” One minute later and the original title went back up.

Why can’t the Middle class get off its ass and mount a third party challenge to the political status quo? What can the Greens and the Libertarians do to successfully work together as a hybrid coalition or alliance? Wouldn’t it powerful and supercool if Congressmen Ron Paul (R-TX) and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), passionate patriots yet both outcasts in their respective parties, run on a split ticket? What can the Transpartisan Alliance of Conservative Republicans and Liberal Democrats do to move beyond meetings to work together in public? How come the WinWin Revolution and Americans Elect didn’t really take off – yet – and aren’t soaring high – yet? What happened to the Tea Party? And why was the Coffee Party such a joke? What about beer, whiskey, and Coke? Well, none of those are good for ya. We all need water anyway. Fresh, clean water. And now the Occupy movement rolls along, and the 99% keeps turning on itself instead of working together while the 1% have long forgotten the world turns around itself and not them.

What will it take? We’re a bunch of toddlers in a sandbox squabbling over the “gold” the kitty cats left behind.

It is time for us to grow up and learn to work together. It’s long overdue for us to stop fighting and killing and maiming and raping each other and stealing and pillaging and looting from each other.

Remember the “Great War to end all wars” for the First World War and “Never again!” from the Second? And Rodney King addressing the nation in 1992 to appeal for peace in the wake of bloody riots, “Can we all get along? … Let’s try to work it out.”

Our global civilization converges toward the edge of the Abyss. Rearranging chairs on the deck of the Titanic, to quote a perfect cliché, only leads us closer to the malevolence of what geographer and human evolutionary biologist Dr. Jared M. Diamond terms “Collapse.” And that may well lead to what philosopher John Somerville calls “omnicide.”

Why the Hell can’t we grow up?

What will it take for us as a species to grow up?

Maybe we need to Occupy our selves.

 

William Dudley Bass

Seattle, Washington

Cascadia

November 28, 2011

(NOTE: Originally published in Earth at the Brink @ http://williamdudleybass.com/MyBlog/why-the-hell-can’t-we-grow-up/. Thank you.)

© Copyright by William Dudley Bass.

Articles Posted Elsewhere for Novemberama

Today is Saturday, November 26, 2011, about 2:45 PM. So far I’ve posted 30 articles, essays, poems, and so forth to my new blog On Earth at the Brink. One for October (my shortest!) and 29 for November.

Not all of them I chose to post into Tuesdays with Deborah for our November Blogarama. Some of those are revisions of articles I posted earlier on my old Blogger Blog I wanted to revise and move over to my new WordPress one. Others are scratched up new from the dirt.

I have been writing and posting on a regular basis, but primarily onto my new WordPress site. Thus I demonstrate my participation this way.

For those interested, you’ll find the following blogposts that are NOT posted at Tuesdays with Deborah but ARE posted on my blog at http://williamdudleybass.com/MyBlog/:

As it’s a variety, perhaps you’ll find something of interest. Thank you, and keep at it.

William Dudley Bass

Seattle, Washington

November 26, 2011

 

© Copyright 2011 by William Dudley Bass.

Microwaving my Blog

 

Microwave dat Blog!

Goodness, my Blog must be a tinfoil hat. In desperation I stuck what I loved in the microwave. Gonna transmute tin and wool into GOLD! Maybe even transform positive influences from inspired dreams into birthin’ out some reality! Yeah! What a mess! A bloody, damn mess! Woo Hoo! Sparks arced from brain to computer screen. I channeled the dead but dreaded whatever it was as it wasn’t human, or worse than demons, a mad old blue-haired biddy floating up from her vacation lounge chair down in the Underworld to grasp my face with crooked fingernails and smother me with lipstick and bad breath. Ow. Horrors of childhood. Birth’s a mess all right, and I’m alive to add mine to make our world a more positive place.

I’m writing every day. But not posting every day. Back toward the end of October I attended a meeting of a Blogger’s Circle that met every Tuesday afternoon in Bellevue, Washington. I hadn’t been since my first visit back in August. I longed for the company of other writers and wanted to learn what actions do I take to publish and market and effectively do so at low cost?

Cuz I’d lost my job, investments, and homes in this Great Recession. After short-selling our homes, my family and I moved into a beautiful rental with what was left with the possibility of buying it someday. Three months later faulty wires in the wall ignite a blazing inferno in which we lost everything but our lives. So reeling a little bit still, just a tad here and there, if you will, so I turned back to writing to help heal my self.

Found this amazing group of bloggers facilitated by Deborah Drake, who pokes and prods us to challenge ourselves to simply do it. And so I joined with them in commitment to posting blogs a minimum of five times a week with a minimum of 100 words each. Plus comment occasionally on each other’s work. Our November Blogarama, as we called it, our spin off on National Novel Writing Month, thus began.

Most of what I write is long. Articles and essays. As if I’m writing for some arcane journal, tho it seems many of the blogs for news media are just as long or longer. I write so much in my spare time, often staying up too late, I haven’t managed to carve out time to really study and figure out how to “work” my new website innards. I haven’t carved enough meat off the side of the tic toc turkey to sit down and watch how-to videos and risk scrambling my blog into zombie brains.

Maybe building a website in a hurry is a mistake. Putting it in the microwave oven might fix it, or perhaps jumpstart my own inner Frankenstein.

I love to create. Love art. Love to write. Love the power of letters, words, and punctuation as symbols encoded with information transferred into our minds. But darn, I’m messin’ around with this WordPress trying to build my new website while blogging all the while. I “should be” finishing up the last two chapters of my book, distill a mini-e from it, and figure out how to publish and market both versions.

Perhaps blogging is a mistake. I’m more of an essayist, an article writer. I spend as much or more time researching as well as crafting prose. Unless I’m writing fiction. Then it flows as water down a mountain canyon, trickling and gushing, carving and plunging, and shoving logs up into bushes and boulders. Until I post it, looks great, then go proofread it and find not one but about a dozen stupid little errors I failed to catch but they LOOK REALLY BIG RIGHT DUMB AND NOW! oops, see what I mean…

I stare ruefully as my messed-up WordPress website. I’m quite proud of it. I find it easy to work with. I actually LOVE WordPress.org. But nab-nibbling, cussified little things pop up. Things don’t go as expected. And I spend far too much time untangling the unexpected. Then I’m late for everything else. Oh, yummo!

My awareness becomes aware of my own irritation, impatience, frustration, and embarrassment cuz I sho ain’t lookin’ good.

What happened to what I thought was a WordPress website somehow showed up as primarily a Blog site? I wanted a WP website with a blog or blogs on it as part of the site. I want to have different things on my home page including links to e-commerce.

How come individual lines in a poem are automatically double-spaced in WordPress? Same thing for when I sign off at the end of a blog post with my name and date. Instead of staying single-spaced they are double-spaced and nothing I do seems to undo the do. I fear I may be mixing up pages and categories, and I don’t quite get tags. Where is the SEO portion to be found? I see it “inside” the November Blogarama but not in mine. Oh, do I have to purchase one?

Simple things fuddlebe me. How do I work RSS feeds to market my writing? My attempted to use links/broken-links to have a long blog feed in to another page on another site backfired with strange weirdness.

I can’t even figure out the simple instructions to put myself in Deborah’s Blogroll. And I can’t seem to clean out my blogroll without generating electromagnetic disturbances.

Interesting many of the few comments my new website gather are from total strangers. Announcing my work elsewhere draws comments straight to where I announce it. And then I realize, hey, it’s crappy old comment spam. I clicked on one website and darn, there were photos of naked human beings contorted into positions of ecstatic irreverence. At least they were all adults. Others were in broken English and made little sense. Several were from different emails but repeated one another’s exact same phrases. These people try to sell me weird stuff.

Why in hell would I want to order vacuum cleaners from some nonexistent country such as Abu Eire? Abu is “father of” in Arabic and is a prefix to Arab place names, but originally arose in Ancient Mesopotamia from the Sumerian God of Plants. Then Abu ended up being the name of a monkey in a silly Walt Disney movie. I looked it all up. Wikipediasays so.

Eire is Ireland. But Abu Eire? Jeeez… Well, why not? Much of what really happened during the transition from Ancient to Medieval periods of history remains lost. It is noteworthy, however, both Ireland and the Islamic Empire experienced Golden Ages at about the same time while the rest of Europe and much of “Near” Asia languished in the Dark Ages.

I deleted most of these alien comments. Kept a couple, though, to assuage me ego. Had to have a little company.

Awww, shoot. I have to sit still and study videos of how to move little widdles around with a twiddle. I was born with ants and bees in my diapers, so I can’t sit still. Especially after I drink coffee.

Don’t get me wrong – I really like WP. Blogger was OK, simple and easy, but after a few years I felt hungry for more webturkey. Weebly wasn’t a good fit for me, either. I liked what WP.org offered me for such a low price versus the .com ones. I want to migrate my old Blogger Blogs over into my new WP site, only to find out it is an expensive and cumbersome exercise with some recommending against it (to keep my name out there on-line on old and thus established blogs, plus it can be difficult and expensive) and others all for it (consolidate all eyes into the one place I plan to market from and establish one central hub where I rule).

Oh goodness, I’m lost. I’ve learned, however, while it’s best inexperienced first-time “losties” to stay put so as to be found and rescued, experienced losties have learned to push on by reading the world around them to either escape or die hanging on with bare hands to Devil’s Club in some steep, mossy wet ravine in the Olympics while a bear gnaws on my hindquarters.

OK, I need help. Fast forward me on my website, and edit my book. So I can publish and market. And…well, I must generate income! Even handfuls of worthless fiat money are welcomed.

Thank you.

 

William Dudley Bass

Seattle, Washington

November Blogarama

November 26, 2011

(NOTE: Originally published at my Blog at http://williamdudleybass.com/MyBlog/microwaving-my-blog/. Thank you.)

© Copyright 2011 by William Dudley Bass.

Original American Thanksgivings Redux: Lessons for Today and Tomorrow

 

Thanksgiving: What was, What happened, What’s possible.

 

As an American one of my favorite holy days is Thanksgiving. Yes, Thanksgiving. And as much as I love the food and the sense of community I feel, for me it really isn’t about food, family, and friends. It’s more for being aware of and the expression of gratitude and appreciation. We give thanks on Thanksgiving.

It’s a time to pause and reflect, to slow down and be aware of what is. It’s a few moments to be thankful for all the things we take for granted.

Thanksgiving has a dark side, too. It’s often glossed over and forgotten in history books and magazine articles. For a short time Thanksgiving blended together Native American Indian and European-American traditions in celebrations rich with the fragile promise of two very different racial cultures co-creating a new, hybrid civilization. This failure ranks as one of the great tragedies of human history, and one of the greatest unsung ones.

Contrary to popular cultural myths and legends, the First Thanksgiving did not occur with the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock or even in Virginia. The Native tribes had their own harvest festivals across the Autumn months in which they celebrated among and between villages the best of the hunt, the fishing, the gathering, and the farming. The Europeans, too, have an Ancient history of Pagan harvest festivals from the Greeks and Romans to the Celts and Germans. These mingled with Christian agricultural festivals.

This aspect of sharing the abundance of hunt and harvest is relatively old as traditions go and is found around the world in many seasonal climate zones. For the Native American such festivities were part of the natural rhythm of life. For the Europeans, many from cities where urbanization tends to eclipse nature, they were strangers in foreign lands. The early English settlements struggled with poor settlement choices and resulting epidemics and famines.

The first European-American Thanksgivings were often a one-time event marking the successful completion of a dangerous sea voyage into unknown and sometimes hostile territories. Sometimes these official giving of thanks were formalized down through the years. Some of these died out after a while as others evolved into traditions institutionalized by national governments.

Among the so-called Early Thanksgivings I’ve dug up across Wikipedia were celebrated in the following dominions:

1)   Spanish Florida in 1565.

2)   Baffin Island in English Canada (today’s Nunavut), 1578.

3)   Spanish Texas, 1598.

4)   French Canada (New France) in 1606.

5)   English Virginia (Jamestown Colony) in 1607, 1610 and at Berkeley Hundred in 1619 – all especially pertinent since the 1584 – 1590 “Lost Colony” of Roanoke Island (today’s Outer Banks of North Carolina) mysteriously died out.

6)   English Massachusetts (Pilgrim Colony at Plymouth Rock, founded in 1620) in 1621 and 1622.

7)   English Massachusetts (Puritan Colony at Massachusetts Bay, now Boston, founded in 1628), in 1630 and with Connecticut in 1639.

8)   Dutch colonies in New Netherlands celebrated Thanksgiving in 1644.

The Virginia and Massachusetts Thanksgivings were a blend of harvest festivities with deep gratitude for surviving dangerous ocean crossings and harsh winter famines. They were also a blend of White European settlers and Native American tribes. In the mix, too, were African slaves kidnapped from a variety of African tribes and White indentured servants, often debt slaves from across Europe working off the cost of coming to America.

Some of the Native tribes present were hostile toward tribes absent and were intent on leveraging alliances with the Whites in power struggles. The Europeans similarly sought to play one tribe off against the other. Yet in these early Thanksgivings much of this was put aside in celebration of the harmony and abundance present and the possibility of multi-racial collaboration to build a truly new “New World.”

There were a few years here and there of peace and trust, even decades. Prosperity and harmony arose from famines and poverty. Wars did rage in the hinterland between different Native tribes and at sea and around in far off places between the maritime European empires.

Locally, however, European settlers and the Indians shared resources, worked out disputes peacefully, and helped one another in various ways. And just as quickly as all this evolved there were growing numbers of men – and it was mostly men, not women – on both sides who pushed for wars for conquest, resources such as land, and ethnic extermination.

Mutual genocide resulted. The European-Americans won by killing more Natives, so their name is both exalted with pride and shamed as murderers. The Native American Indians slaughtered every White they could, but they couldn’t kill enough of them fast enough so the Natives lost the wars.

The First Anglo-Powhatan War of 1607 – 1614 was a nasty, desultory affair. It set the stage for the Second and Third Wars between the English and the Powhatan Confederacy in what is now Virginia. Also called Opechancanough’s First and Second Wars, these conflicts of 1622 – 1632 and 1644 – 1645 were genocidal bloodbaths.

Opechancanough was Chief of the Powhatan Confederacy. This was a union of about 30 Native tribes across what is now Virginia with parts of northern North Carolina, and was founded by Chief Powhatan, the older brother or half-brother of Opechancanough.

In Opechancanough’s First Massacre in 1622 his warriors killed an estimated 347 English in the greater Jamestown region. This constituted one-fourth to one-third of the English population. The English regrouped and struck back, killing hundreds and hundreds of Indians. The war ground on for ten years, ending in a stalemate with large numbers dead, maimed, and traumatized on both sides.

Keep in mind when we discuss these “Colonial Indian Wars” all sides targeted women and children as well as men, the elderly, and babies. Homes, villages, stored food, and crops were destroyed on both sides. The invading Europeans won.

The Powhatan Confederacy, which held together about 30 Native tribes, found it difficult to regroup after the 1622-1632 war. Then in 1644 Opechancanough struck again in a final desperate push. His forces massacred even more in 1644 than in 1622. Around 500 English settlers were killed. While a big number, there were now so many European colonialists and more White families having European-American babies that 500 deaths were only about a tenth of the total settler population. The English fought back brutally, massacred even more Indians, and destroyed their villages. Opechancanough was captured and killed by English soldiers, and the Powhatan Confederacy was defeated by 1645 and permanently fractured.

The last and perhaps largest of the Virginia Anglo-Indian wars was Bacon’s Rebellion of, including the Indian wars associated with it, 1674 – 1677. It’s often portrayed as a populist uprising by frontier farmers and the working class against a tyrannical English despot and thus a forerunner of the American Revolution. To some degree it was. Even White indentured servants and Black slaves rose in revolt alongside Nathaniel Bacon’s forces. The uprising was also a genocidal nightmare for the natives.

The English Crown had a policy of divide and conquer and played one tribe off against another. There were also relatively peaceful tribes who had no desire for war and simply wished for peaceful coexistence. Enemy tribes had been attacking English frontiersmen pushing into Native territories. The Colonial Governor did not want to escalate the border conflict into a full-scale war.

The Baconites, however, not only overthrew Governor Berkeley, but they attacked ALL Indians. Many Native Americans were massacred from a number of tribes who were either allies of the English or peaceful co-existers.

It was ethnic cleansing on a horrendous scale, set off a larger war between Whites and Reds in the Greater Virginia and North Carolina areas, triggered revolts in Maryland, and the specter of slave rebellion terrified the White ruling class. It was sad all the Native American tribes and the revolting Whites and Blacks could not have joined together but instead turned upon one another. The Empire struck back, however, capturing and killing all to restore the power of the Crown.

There would be no more joyful and mutual Thanksgivings in Virginia shared between the races. Racial harmony between Native tribes and European settlers died an ugly death. Emphasis then moved to strengthen both English economic, financial, political, and racial control of its rowdy colonies and to further institutionalized slavery.

In New England it was even bloodier and in some ways sadder.

A deadly plague of European origin burned its way up the New England coast in 1616 – 1618. Most likely European fishermen, slave raiders, privateers, and pirates spread this epidemic. This disease proved so virulent it decimated an estimated 90% of the Native population. The tribes of the Wampanoag Confederacy, for example, dropped in number for about 24,000 people to around 3,000, a loss of an estimated 21,000 deaths in one small nation in two or three years time.

Some historians consider this one of the most pivotal events in history as it allowed for invasion and conquest by Europeans and subsequent European-Americans. If these tribal confederacies had not been ravaged by this epidemic, it is highly probable they would have successfully shoved the Europeans back into the Atlantic. This in turn may’ve catalyzed a higher level of political unification among regional tribes.

Founded mostly by Pilgrims from across Europe, Plymouth Rock was settled in 1620 in what is now Massachusetts. Together with the Wampanoags the Pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving at Plymouth Rock. Keep in mind the Wampanoags had been severely weakened by the recent epidemic and sought an alliance with the strange Whites against other Native tribes. Apparently many tribes south of their region escaped the plague.

Two Native men became famous during these early Thanksgivings. One was Squanto (Tisquantum) of the Patuxet tribe of the Wampanoag Confederacy. As a youth, he was kidnapped by English raiders to be a slave. Many years later after an adventurous life, Squanto ended up rescuing the Pilgrims. He taught the Pilgrims many things including helping them survive winter, catch fish, trap game, plant and cultivate local food crops, and farm, hunt, and forage with the seasons. He also helped keep the peace and helped the Wampanoags keep the peace with the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The highest-ranking leader of the Wampanoag Confederacy was the Massasoit (Great Leader) Ousa Mequin (Yellow Feather). He was born about 1581 and died sometime between 1660 and 1662. Ousa Mequin was also Grand Sachem (chief) of the Pokanoket, a tribe within the Confederacy. Many simply referred to him as “Massasoit.”

An astute statesman, he steered the Wampanoags from time of the great plague through the early settlements by the Europeans. Massasoit allied his people with the English, worked with Squanto as a messenger, and helped celebrate those early Thanksgivings with the Pilgrims. At the first such festival apparently lasted three days and was enjoyed by over 50 Pilgrims and about 90 Native Americans.

As a group, however, the Native Americans paid a bloody price. In the Pequot War (1636-1638), for example, whole tribes including the Pequots disappeared. In the Battle of Mystic, Massachusetts, the English of Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, and Saybrook Colonies aided by their Mohegan and Narragansett allies massacred 600 to 700 Pequots. This strange lineup resulted from severe power imbalances that arose from the earlier and historically pivotal epidemic. This drew in other tribes including allies of the Pequots such as the Niantics.

Hundreds of Natives were killed, hundreds more sold off into slavery. Another 700 Pequots were killed at the end of the war. Massasoit, however, had the Wampanoag Confederacy sit peacefully on the sidelines.

His agreement with the English to stay out of the war was significant. In the short term he preserved his confederacy. In the long run, however, the war allowed the Europeans to consolidate power, exterminate rivals, and eventually set the stage for the Wampanoag’s demise. Meanwhile, Thanksgiving continued to be celebrated between the Wampanoags and the Pilgrims. The level of distrust and ethnic hatred began to rise, however, in the wake of such bloody conflict. The worse was yet to come.

King Philip’s War, also known as Metacom’s War broke out in 1675, peaked in 1676, and burned on until finally ending in 1678. Metacom was the second son of Massasoit and rose to leadership of the Wampanoags. As did his father, Metacom led a policy of harmony and accommodation with the Europeans. He took on the English name “Philip” and even shopped in Boston.

The English were pushing west, however, and their allies the Iroquois pushed east. The Wampanoags were squeezed in the middle. Their lashing out against increasingly demanding and dehumanizing demands of the English ignited a war spanning all of New England. This war killed Thanksgiving’s early promise of racial harmony and even unity. It did unify more Indian tribes than ever before to create a semi-national identity as Native Americans distinct from the European colonial regimes.

King Philip’s War remains the bloodiest in American history, proportionally bloodier than the American Civil War. Almost half of the English towns were attacked and many destroyed. The economy of New England was devastated. Many Indian villages were also destroyed in retaliation. It was a gruesome and genocidal race war with war crimes common on both sides. Over 1,000 European-Americans were killed. Over 3,000 Native Americans were killed. Yet this nightmare remains largely forgotten in studies of American history.

Bacon’s Rebellion and King Philip’s War happened with some overlap in time in the two regions where Europeans and Natives co-created mutually inclusive and multi-ethnic Thanksgiving celebrations. Together they destroyed the hope and the promise for what was possible, the creation of a truly unique and multi-racial civilization. Destroyed were the possibilities for peace and prosperity for all groups. The collapse of early, proto-embryonic attempts to first get along together and eventually unite is a tragedy.

What was lost?

Lost was the possibility of a developed biracial society in which slavery would not have evolved to the extent it did and possibly would have died an early death. The few Indians such as some of the Cherokees who later enslaved Blacks did so in an economic system completely dominated by Whites. The Iroquois Confederation inspired the American Founding Fathers to craft what became the United States Constitution. It’s possible the Indian Wars of the West would not have occurred, at least not on the scale history recorded. Would the excesses of Capitalism and the horrors of the Industrial Revolution have been muted by a Native values regarding land and resource use, cooperative ownership, and keeping villages with big families intact?

The victors of the Indian Wars morphed from colonial empires into the United States, Canada, and Mexico, among other New World nation-states. In the midst of the American Civil War, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thursday, November 26, 1863 to be “a national day of thanksgiving.” The Canadian Parliament in 1957 declared the 2ndMonday in October to be “ A Day of General Thanksgiving.” Irony of all irony, it coincides with Columbus Day down south in the U.S.A., a hotly debated event named for a brave adventurer who was also a mass murdering, raping, slaving, powermad pedophile. Christopher Columbus so dismayed so many Spaniards he was eventually deposed, arrested, and sent back to Spain in iron chains.

It’s time to abolish Columbus Day as a holiday and set the record straight with what really happened. And it’s time to remember Thanksgiving for more than turkey and mashed potatoes and for what is possible in the world today and tomorrow. What is possible in the world right now between men and women of all races? What do you give thanks for?

William Dudley Bass

Seattle, Washington

U.S.A.

Cascadia

November 25, 2011 “Black Friday”

(NOTE: Originally published on William’s Blog at http://williamdudleybass.com/MyBlog/original-american-thanksgivings-redux-lessons-for-today-and-tomorrow/. Thank  you.)

© Copyright by William Dudley Bass.

Focus: Having It, Losing It, Chasing It

Having Focus

Illusive, ne’er do well. Always challenging me. Taunting me. One moment, I am in the zone. Prolific, unstoppable. Anything I put in front of me, done. Like a laser I can solve a problem, create something from thin air, listen to someone and help them clarify A see B and envision a path to C. It is a powerful elixir.

Losing Focus

The next moment? I fly head on into the swirling vortex of information that surrounds me and lose the most precious commodity I own. My time. Time is money they say, and it is true. For every wasted hour that could have been used to accomplish something that would move you forward toward accomplishing a goal lies the remains of best laid plans.

Chasing Focus

Today I make Thanksgiving Dinner for 8. I have a menu, a dinner time, I have done the shopping and a limited number of hours to organize and deliver an experience that will meet decades of preset expectations. I try to focus. Instead I am attracted to an article in an old Bon Appetite magazine where my favorite stuffing recipe is. The article is from 1998. I dive in. I’ve read it before and I am sure I will read it again. And now I have one less hour to turn these groceries into an experience. I have done this experience before, many times emboldened by this thought I march straight to my computer and decide it is time to blog. I write. Unstoppable. You are reading it now. And yet, this is not what I am supposed to be doing. I am supposed to be stuffing a turkey and focusing on creating a Thanksgiving experience.

Re Focus

Off I go. Time to focus on the Turkey at hand.

Postscript: 11/25/11 With just a bit of re-focusing it was a beautiful day. Woven richly with the smells and sounds of Thanksgiving. The stuffing was great, the gravy a disaster (thankfully I had a back up plan) and everyone left plump and happy.

Planning for what matters most: Less is more.

11.25.11 the quote of the day provides me this thought-form to ponder:

What distinguishes the majority of men from the few is their inability to act according to their beliefs.

John Stuart Mill ~English exponent of Utilitarianism, ethical theorist, philosopher, economist and logician. 1806-1873

 

I’m going to presume and suggest that a more modernized version of this quote today would include “women” by perhaps specifying “the majority of individuals.” Oh, that feels better already! For as different as men and women are in some ways, we are both fully capable of committing to being our word. Yes?

Last night Scott Bell’s gratitude bucket list which included The Four Agreements, worked it’s magic on me and I responded and commented on his post, spontaneously adding my own. All on a magical night of post-Thanksgiving energy and with a Solar Eclipse New Moon. The bonus energy in the air and sky kept me up till sunrise.

How much am I my word?

How much do I not take personally?

How often do I do my best?

How often do I avoid making assumptions?

How able am I to act according to my beliefs?

The words integrity and accountability are bandied about quite a bit in the coaching and training world and rightly so, but some times it seems this human has a long way to go to being as reliable as I would like to be to myself, for my daughter and with others. Or perhaps I am being too critical of me as I watch me do me and my life.

Would it be enough to love my loved ones and simply focus on not letting them down? To even strive for that kind of perfection would make for an awesome life.

2012 will be the year of “doing less” and “being that much more” because of it. I am guided by a slender read by Leo Babauta, The Power of Less, derived from his Zen Habits blog.

Two key principles will empower me: Identify the essential and eliminate the rest (as best I can.) Focus on the essential and have a greater impact where I do.

I believe I can LIVE with that. And keeping it simple may be more challenging than I imagine so I will invoke the spell I created June off 2010 that has served me well since:

Imagine it is simple. And so IT is. (Our motto and mantra at Positive Daily Affirmations)

Grrrrrr…..Attitude

In the United States it is that time of year again: the time for the thank yous.

Thank you to me has become old and worn. We use it constantly and without much thought.  Thanks; Thanks again; Thanks so much; Thank goodness; Thank heavens; Thank God; Thanks for everything; Thanks for nothing; Thanks a lot.

It has become what I consider a “surface” word.  A surface word is one that is out there all of the time and comes from out mouth frequently without considering much below the word. I use thank you a lot and try to really mean it when I say it.

But the word I have come to feel more deeply is GRATITUDE.  Gratitude is that feeling way deep inside that almost hurts- like the grrrrr motor feeling/sound from inside of a happy loved kitten.  It’s that attitude of contentment, appreciation and pure love. You can feel this at any given moment when you choose to be at peace in your own silence. At any given moment you can find gratitude within, just as you can find something to be truly happy about.

So during this week be thankful for food, planes, things, rain, snow, family, friends… Then go beyond for yourself. Take time to nourish your spirit in a silent moment- time to feel and enjoy your very own GRRRRR…..ATTITUDE.