Chapter Seventy-Six

[ a song, r&b ]

             Lazarus lies in America's gutter
             Can't recall what he went to war for
             "Our Father, my mother. . .
             my sister. . .  my brother". . .

             I saw my brother stranded on the road
             His graveyard face had tombstone eyes
             He said, "Can someone help with my load?
             Help me see through all these lies"

                    Hey, I wanna be somebody (somebody)
                    Don't want a life that's just pretend
                    I wanna be somebody (somebody)
                    Someone who matters in the end

             I saw my sister in the dark alley
             She said, "All I ever do is cry
             I try so hard but I just can't be free
             Don't understand the reason why"

                    I wanna be somebody (somebody)
                    Don't want a life that's just pretend
                    I wanna be somebody (somebody)
                    Someone who matters in the end

                    I wanna be somebody (somebody)
                    Don't want a life that's only lies
                    Yeah, I wanna be somebody (somebody)
                    Keep your eyes on the prize

             Rockets take aim for a bloodbath on the moon
             With nightmare scenes of laser lights
             Oh, but you know, Jesus is comin' back soon (oh, yeah)
             Yeah, He's gonna restore Human Rights

                    And I wanna be somebody (somebody)
                    Don't want a life that's just pretend (no, no, no, not pretend)
             I wanna be somebody (somebody)
                    Someone who matters in the end

                    I wanna be somebody (somebody)
                    Don't want a life that's only lies (only lies)
                    Yeah, I wanna be somebody (somebody)
                    Keep your eyes on the prize *

Civil Rights Movement Veterans

The Quincy Jones Listen Up Foundation

DEDICATED TO:  The many brave and largely unknown men and women who participated in the 1968 I AM A MAN Memphis sanitation workers strike and to Human Rights heroes Ozzie Davis and Ruby Dee; change is gonna come, oh, yes it is.  Also dedicated to Quincy Jones, whose invaluable contribution and character continue to resonate far beyond the brilliant vibrations of his musical genius.

*FootNote:  Some people think they are somebody because they excel in business or athletics. Others think they are somebody because they score high on an intelligence test, win an Oscar or a Grammy, or some other type of award.  Still others think they are somebody because they are a politician, a general or a workplace boss and have authority over the lives of other human beings.  According to Jesus, the worst examples of misplaced vanity are those who think they are somebody because they achieve the recognition of some religion.  It is the author's opinion that our Father in heaven thinks we are somebody when we help and inspire other people. This is a true and just measurement, as by this just rod of achievement, those who are deaf or blind, those who are paraplegic, those who are slow of learning and those who are very poor have a fair and equal chance.  Consider for example, the achievement and inspiration of Helen Keller and the poor widow who gave more than all of the religious rich because she gave all that she had.  There are some who think they are somebody for no particular valid reason, there are many who wish they were somebody and there are a few who through patience and perseverance, truly become somebody who matters in the 'big picture' of Human Rights and social justice, even if they remain completely unknown in the historical records of our civilization and the immediate fame of their day.
We are wise if we strive to be somebody who matters in the great war of good verses evil; the great battle for Human and Civil Rights (see Notes on the Great War for more information).  As again Jesus taught, those who strive to please society truly "have their reward" (i.e., a few ignorant people are or pretend to be impressed---so, big deal).  A whole lot of people in the modern era assume they do not want to be associated with Jesus because of the embarrassing traditions of Christianity.  Like those who distort the teachings of the founder of Human and Civil Rights into a twisted religious lie, they perhaps fail to adequately comprehend the humor of the human-condition situation.  Jesus was like Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Helen Keller, Albert Schweitzer, Mother Teresa and Cesar Chavez (and Robin Williams) all rolled into one person, only a whole lot more liberal, radical, humorous and interesting (not that these others are not interesting enough).  Jesus utterly despised anything even remotely resembling Christianity and was both well liked and admired by the Saturday Night Live crowd of his era, which were no different than the same crowd of today.  A sinner today who understood even a mustard seed's worth of what the true historical Jesus was like would latch onto him in a heartbeat and if he were alive today, the demand to hear him speak would likely turn ticket scalpers into multi-millionaires.  As for Christianity, it is prudent to stay as far away from such confining twisted nonsense as the East is from the West and even farther if at all possible.
There are many very fine people on our planet involved in a great many religions, as Martin Luther King, Jr. himself was an ordained Christian minister and Mohandas Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer, Helen Keller and Cesar Chavez had their own diverse traditions to cope with.  This in no way validates the particular religious tradition in question but on the contrary, it validates the particular individual as becoming effective in spite of the twisted lies they were born into.  It is highly unlikely that the true God has anything even remotely in common with any religion that has ever arisen in the history of our species, if anything, probably more closely identified by certain American Indian customs and traditions than most. If one must continue to insist on equating God with religion, then it is perhaps correct to define God's religion as loving our neighbor as ourselves.  It is not wise however, to view Human and Civil Rights as a religion, for treating other people as we ourselves would like to be treated is merely common horse sense.  As W.C. Fields might say, it would appear that the horse and certain other species have the 'one-up' on that arrogant and illogically proud species which Samuel Clemens fondly referred to as “the human ass”.


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Copyright © August 20th, 2003 by Richard Aberdeen.

       No part of this material may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including printing, photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher and signed by the author. Inquiries: Freedom Tracks Records or requested via eMail.  Essays entitled Revolution and Revolution ~ Side B are open copyright and may be reproduced and distributed as desired.