Friday, December 6, 2013

Some Things Change So Slowly

The Bradford Pears are truly catching fire in the backyard now. It has been a mild season so far, with only two nights of frost.
The Knock-Out roses which live (rather forlornly) in a pot on the kitchen porch are putting out a last bloom.

The Firespike still holds a few red candles up to the wind but the phlox are more than done and need cutting back while the camellias are budded up nicely and starting to open. It looks to be a beautiful day here in Lloyd although they're working noisily on the railroad right behind us and where I'm sitting on the back porch is a bit, um, stinky, but nothing so noxious that I am forced inside on this beautiful day where the air is warm and moist and the way the light falls on the trees changes with every minute. 

I woke up on this morning thinking about the documentary we watched about (Saint) Richard Pryor last night and what struck me was how much of his work I remember. When and where did I see every Richard Pryor concert movie ever made? And did I really stay up long enough to see him on Johnny Carson? I must have. 
And the bit I remember most profoundly was one that I think of frequently because it's about a topic which is still debated hotly and that is the use of the N-word and when it's appropriate to use it and who can appropriately use it. It can be confusing because I don't have black skin and I don't, as they say, have a dog in this hunt but in a way I do because I am old enough to remember when that word was used by a lot of white people and I remember cringing and being horrified and the bottom line is that for me, whenever I hear this discussion, this seemingly eternal debate over the use of a word which I personally think is evil, I always think about Richard Pryor and what he said about it in 1982 during his Live On The Sunset Strip concert. The issue was settled for me right then and today, while the world mourns the passing of Nelson Mandela, I think it is very appropriate to remember what Pryor said about the epiphany he had in Africa during the time when Mandela was imprisoned. 
Pryor's words struck me as so profound and so true and such an incredible statement about his sense of worth and dignity, a word which is the very essence of who Nelson Mandela was, and they still do.
There is no dignity in the N-word no matter who uses it or when and to me, it dishonors those who gave every bit of their lives and souls to bring understanding, peace, and equality to this messed-up world of ours.
Well, that's what I think. 
Here's what Richard Pryor said.

Happy Friday.
Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Great man. Well. Two great men. Rtyptio

  2. It seems very appropriate to me to link blooming flowers with the passing of Mandela. You know? The perfect cycle.

  3. And white male republicans would have you believe racism is dead. How are people so so hateful? I'll never understand. I read a Bukowski poem the other day:
    Those Who Preach GOD
    NEED God
    Those Who Preach PEACE
    Do Not Have Peace.
    Beware The Knowers.

  4. Love that Richard Pryor clip. And your sentiments about it. Yes.

  5. Great clip!!!
    Looking forward to your camellias!

  6. It seems that the word Nigga is used a lot by young people, especially prevalent with the gang types in this area. I hate the word and do think that it spews something vile over all the good that so many have died and tried to achieve.

  7. Comment above includes the WV - put it in there for some reason.

  8. Jo- I agree. Very different, but both very pure in some way.
    And brave.

    Ms. Vesuvius- Yes, I think it does.

    Rachel- I do love Bukowski. And he's right in that poem. John Lennon said that he had to keep talking about peace because he himself was so angry and unpeaceful.
    I get that.

    Angella- I feel very lucky to have "known" Richard Pryor via his work. When I refer to him as a saint, I am not kidding. His face...

    Denise- They are so beautiful, those flowers.

    Syd- And I don't think those young kids even realize it at all.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.