How I Rode the #WaveofAction and Won.

Here I am standing before the Senate Judiciary Commitee (and a crowded gallery) in support of AJR1.

Here I am standing before the Senate Judiciary Commitee (and a crowded gallery) in support of AJR1.

For the first time in 10 years, I willingly celebrated the 4th of July. We, the disenchanted masses known as The People of the United States of America, are prone to gag at the perverted sense of “patriotism” displayed by the American plutocracy what plagues humanity with endless war, flagrant violations of International law, and the global annihilation of basic human rights. Industrial Militarization is out of control. We live in an oligarchy masquerading as a democracy. Our government does not even pretend to represent the will of The People. Now we are left with two basic options similarly offered the Revolutionary Americans we honor this Independence Day weekend: accept what is handed down from the Mighty 1% under the sedation of willful blindness; or dissent through organization, protest, and effective legislative change.

In this spirit, I joined forces with Wolf-PAC and have come away forever empowered by the experience. We were the active force behind the passing of AJR1 in the California State Senate. We talked to voters. We talked to Representatives. We lobbied for the People. We, The People enacted change. Welcome to the paradigm shift.

My current book project involves academically researching my family history. My Fifth Great Grandfather, Captain Micajah Pennington, served in the American Revolution. Perhaps that is one reason I feel so deeply connected to this fight. By looking at the historical significance of my family tree, I now understand my instinctive passion to protect democracy. I recommend The Resident‘s report on the 18th Century Revolutionary War battles we still wage today. Further compelling is Nomi Prin’s “21st Century Declaration of Independence:”

In this latest course of human events, we must pursue independence from oligarchical control over our lives, liberties and pursuits of happiness.

We must pursue independence from corporate dominance over our individual economic destinies and collective opportunities to afford basic needs.

We must insist upon the separation of public office and private power crony alliances that increase rather than reduce inequality.

We must demand the reduction in defense budgets that foster international destruction and infringe upon individual liberties.

We must alter the fundamental trajectory of government-banking ties that dictate the flow of money backed by debt to the hands of those that speculate most dangerously with it.

In short, we must elevate the equality of humanity that pervaded the intent of the Declaration of Independence by moving away from the rapaciousness of old and modern tyranny that prevents it.

-Nomi Prins, Nation of Change.

 

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Open Secrets

 

From Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood.

From Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood.

Whose money is representing you on Capitol Hill? This week we put The Center for Responsive Politic’s OpenSecrets.org to good use and take a look at the money oiling our slick congressman, Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15th).

Written by Crisman Richards.

Theme music and engineering by Graham Richards. Music by G Koop & O-man with Taylor Eigsti and NHT Boyz.

Off Beat News Sources:

OpenSecrets.org

Breaking The Set: Oil Industry’s Pig in the Pipeline

Exxon Oil Spill Arkansas

Moment of Clarity: What Exxon Doesn’t Want You To Know

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Fascination of Plants

Dr Rajnish Khanna.  Photograph by Graham Richards.

Dr Rajnish Khanna and Sarah Crisman. Photograph by Graham Richards.

Art and science collide as Dr Rajnish Khanna joins us on the program to discuss the International Fascination of Plants Day celebration in Livermore, California (May 18, 2013).

Music by G Koop and O-man.  Theme music and engineering by Graham Richards.

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The Crisman Show Podcast: Coots

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Comedian Sarah Crisman offers political commentary and pop culture essays punctuated by instrumental hip-hop.

Written and produced by Sarah Crisman. Theme music and engineering by Graham Richards (BMI). Music by G Koop and O-man (RM Moods and Colors, BMI) featuring Taylor Eigsti. For licensing information contact Rob@gkoop.com or visit GKoopandOman.com.

For more stories, podcasts, and video episodes visit crismanshow.com.

Special thanks to Dr Bethany Poston.

Shattered Reflection 

A parallel interpretation of Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake” music video with events unfolding in my own life.  

 Since moving to California, I find myself listening to a lot of Katy Perry.  For years I have followed her career with a fascination generally reserved for mirrors and her majesty, the Queen.  I miss my best friend, Bethany, and I don’t really have any California girl friends yet.  I wind up alone quite a bit, inflicting dance parties on my step-dogs in an effort to girl up my new home.  Do you know how frustrating it is to live in San Francisco without your Gays?  They don’t come around every day, you know.  Spectacular friendships like that take time to cultivate.  On top of which,the cross-country move triggered my debilitating social anxiety disorder.  What I’m trying to say is I spend more time at home watching Katy Perry videos than I do going out around people.  I am developing a keen understanding of California culture.  I see myself in her miniature films, in particular, “Wide Awake.”

After going through the looking glass, Katy arrives before an eerie labyrinth.  Reflecting on my own life, I look at the gothic maze and see my emotional transition to California.  Beyond the dark walls lies a sunlit hill.  As soon as she enters, the walls begin closing in on her — only, rather than be crushed, Katy draws on her inner-strength and summons the same kind of golden pyrotechnics we saw in her “Firework” video and that I have seen in dreams and meditation for years.  Sparks shoot from her hands and her heart, specifically.  Imagery I’ve seen dance across my fantasies for years — brilliant flames igniting from my own hands and heart..  The walls retreat.  This, my friends, is what a panic attack feels like.  In fact, if it weren’t for my daily devotion to meditation and Katy Perry, I would be in a constant state of panic.

The walls part, revealing Katy as her Former Self — Kiddie Perry, if you will.  Kiddie Perry helps guide her grown-up self through her perilous voyage — and even helps save her with a commanding stomp. Never underestimate the power of nostalgia.

While trapped in a mirror of paparazzi, Katy’s fantasy world begins to crumble behind her.  She pushes through the glass in time but is left debilitated, confined to a wheelchair and unable to defend herself.  Kiddie Perry steps up in swift defense, abolishing the critical minotaurs standing in her way.  Katy wakes up and they make a run for the end of the labyrinth.  The walls peel away to reveal a dazzle of sunlight now chasing the darkness to reveal a lush green landscape not unlike the valley I live in today.

The Katies Perry high five and share a hug.  True to many meditations, Katy’s guide places a keepsake in her doppelganger’s hand as they part ways.  In this case, a butterfly signifying her innocence and bravery.  The gift is meant to impart the wisdom of the journey together.  To remember how far you have come and what you learned along the way.  It is a souvenir of possibility.

The final scene pans out from the butterfly in Katy’s open hand.  She is back in her dressing room, this time backstage before a show.  Here we have an internal representation of the most powerful moment from her documentary, Part of Me.  Her marriage to Russell Brand fell to pieces over the course of this film.  It is gut-wrenching, especially considering we love Russell Brand as much as we love Katy Perry.  There is a reason Royals shouldn’t split.  Katy is weeping in her makeup chair and removes her wedding ring.  At this point in the 3D movie theater, Bethany and I humiliate my son with our emotional display.  We cannot keep it together.  But my younger self, Katy Perry, can.  Thousands of Brazilians are waiting to see her.  She pulls it together and is lifted on stage.  The arena fills with love.

When I feel defeated and frightened, I listen to Katy Perry.  I remember her strength.  I remember my own.  I pull it together and lift myself to the stage.

The Crisman Show: Bay Area Blanket Fort

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We’re back!  Reporting from our new Blanket Fort studio in the East Bay of San Francisco, California.  Crisman and sidekick producer Graham Richards discuss SF Sketchfest, Nichols and May, and the importance of pestering public officials.

Written by Sarah Crisman
Original Music by Graham Richards (BMI) and G Koop & O-man (RM Moods, BMI).
Featuring Marc Stretch (“Bulletproof”); DB tha General and Indu$treet AV (“My Turn”).
Contact Rob@gkoop.com for licensing information.

For more mad beats, check GKoopandOman.com

G Koop & O-man Season Two: Come on Down!

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This priceless episode is yours!

At long last, my dear friends G Koop & O-man have launched Season Two! I’ve been waiting for this and premiere episode: “Price is Right” proves worthy of my impatience. G Koop & O-man are joined by Bobby Ozuna (Raphael Saadiq), Dave Richards (when Hollywood needs a horn, they call Dave), and Foreign Legion. They’ve come a long way since Season One launched in 2010 (although I thought they were great back then).  A new studio, more cameras, and a consistent push to dig deeper into the underground hip-hop realm culminate into noticeably sexier episodes.

For more episodes and a free mixtape download, check GKoopandOman.com

Read more about the history of G Koop & O-man in this article I wrote for MTV UK.

Turn and Face the Strange

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Continental Divide. Photo by Graham Richards

It seems that everyone I know is going through massive change.  It’s that time of year.  I, for one, could not be happier about the evolution.  My world has turned inside out since January.  Three trips to the Rockies inside of six months worked wonders on my well-being.  The mountains have a way of shifting your view to a higher perspective.  It was there I plotted my next move.  The Big One.  My exodus is here.

After 20 years, I say goodbye to Texas — a home that never really felt like home.  That’s not to say I bemoaned every moment since I staged my pre-teen protest to relocation from blessed Chicago (locking myself in the basement only delayed our move by a half hour).  I have spent a solid chunk of my life here, and I deeply love some of the people I met along the way.  My son was born a Texan and assures me that I will never qualify to be a Texan myself.  I met the Love of My Life in Texas.  I adore my friends.  It’s not been all bad — I just want to go home.

My compass is fixed West; home is waiting in the Bay.