Category Archives: The Campfire

Typewriter ran out of ink

And now the laptop is running out of power. Will get as much as possible, update, and continue…ah, here we go, there was a power cord in the other room. Looking on the above text from the typewriter, I recognize a lot that is not my style of writing. Sharing ideas has always been easy. Expressing feeling on a personal level usually comes after long periods of time or experiential trust. It reminds me how fortunate we are to have had the opportunity to simply hear another idea or learn of some point of view that only would have come from that discovery. This blog post is simply that and said goal is achieved. Radical optimism is what my friend Pete Coyote once said as a method of living a life through adversity while maintaining a spirit for progressive growth through equality and understanding. We preserve legacy through action and when people ask my about the american incarnates, I simply say that it is a name like a band or any other type of team. If someone else wants to get another line of thinking going, then let me know. We can wield a pretty effective sword in this world if we play this out right.

Mindwalk by Bernt Amadeus Capra

This will not be the easiest watch if you are not ready for an hour and forty-five minutes of focused comprehension. Friends, some who may not have been around each other in years, are a lifesaving force. Conversations do not always lead to the epiphany that we may seek, yet it is not uncommon for inspiration to come from the words of those who we know well enough to understand.

Brightness

Shooting stars in the night remind us of the wonderful gift of life. Our existence is such a short expression that it is impossible to really put it into words that serve it justice. We travel and see so much, but only cover a small geography compared to all that is around us. Moments come and go and without the alertness to accept this, we simply let the days go by. Not all the time though. Every once in a while it is clear. The people who we surround ourselves with help make it so much better. Home is where we are at the time and a friend can make that true without much effort.

We all have got to get out while the getting is good. “Just when things went right; Doesn’t mean they were always wrong; Just take this song and you’ll never feel; Left all alone. Take me to your heart; Feel me in your bones; Just one more night; And I’m comin’ off this long and winding road. I’m on my way. I’m on my way; Home sweek home; Tonight I’m on my way, I’m on my way; Home sweet home.

Simple enough. Let’s share these moments while we have them right in front us of.00Assist

Reverberate

Say again and again, there’s something to talk about and we can all benefit from some conversation. We listen to the same songs because they mean something and trigger a memory or feeling or simply inspire a smile. The energy we get from getting together is more than repetitive stories or familiar laughs. We share the good times and help each other during the bad times. At least that is what is so enjoyable about people who we can relate to. Silence comes from doing nothing or a lack of confidence to say what may need to be said more than once. This idea of a paper campfire is much more than a few words read through the internet or shared through social media. The best stuff out there is not written down.

We only have so much time though and while we have this tool, let’s use it and see where the words can take us. Ideas spread and legends grow. Stories of old assist the actions of tomorrow by taking the best we have experienced and molding it into a driving force to keep the fire kindling and the light showing us a path forward despite the darkness that surrounds us.

As these days go by in which the sun goes down earlier than we’d like, let’s find the time to get together yet again for some tales of strength and the coming plans of what may be if we choose to bring the best out in each other.A photo See you soon.

Status Update

0LogoWas driving around Cleveland today wondering what was going on. Heard of chemical weapons, but realized that there’s always something going on that nobody knows about. Remember after September 11th, when the Administration made us all feel like another attack was imminent and convinced us that it was a good idea to go into Iraq? It’s happening again, but in a much more subtle way. Much smarter people than any of us know have made the decision to keep secrets. And we must respect their decision to do so.

However, have we really assessed our individual awareness? Have we become so muddled by social networks that we no longer notice the signs of those who are closest to us needing our assistance? After a brief poll, the Campfire has learned that Twitter is the most popularly used social network by young people these days, followed by Instagram. That was news to us, but apparently is a no-brainer to those who watch Tosh2.0, one of the most cleverly designed commercials on television. If you don’t believe us, watch the show and think about the names mentioned and why there are not any traditional commercials in between segments.

Why bring up this when something so serious is going on? Well, there’s also the Master’s with a sex addict who is also addicted to perfection. Has anyone ever seen Tiger Woods happy, except when he was 21 and got the fancy jacket? Does it matter? If you’re out and about this weekend, you will surely see it on some television. The Campfire was really pulling for the young fella from China.

Or why not bring up the other “professional sports” that desperately pull us into their advertising schemes? Even though they are controlled by megalomaniacs, we respect them as pure. The games are, but anything on television is not. Have you seen Any Given Sunday? If not, then give it a view and listen to a few of the conversations.

Why so negative? Well, as we put this together, we’re overhearing high schoolers talk nonsense while typing away on their iPhones. The cure for this nonsense is to simply go outside and light a fire. And that is what this paperwriter will do. Good-night.

To the myths!

In death, we see life. Nobody can answer why to anything. The only way we find solace in the memory of those gone too soon is in living as an example to others. Great men and women have created our world. We live only through their sacrifice and resolve to make things better. Are we all over the place because we cannot find where our eagle has gone? No! Strength is found by pressing forward regardless of the temptation to give up. If it were easy, then it would not be worth our time. Take a moment and stop. Look around you. Pause and accept how beautiful a world we have at our fingertips. Love. True love is everywhere. We often forget while moving a thousand miles a minute, multitasking, over-connected, but not there in the moment. Life is finite. Love is infinite.

Who do you look up to? Why do you press on? These are questions that should be asked perpetually as we grow closer together. We are in this life together. Never forget that. The world is not our playground. We are the world. We have a responsibility to tend to our own backyards and cultivate our neighborhoods. When a loved one dies, let’s celebrate life, not mourn defeat. When we fail, let’s celebrate how far we have come from our cave dwelling days of ten thousand years ago. Rest easy in the thought that we will not live forever. Rest strong knowing that our example will outlive the myths of forgotten ages. Of course it will be hard. But that’s life. Would we have it any other way?

Again, take a moment and think of those who you know best. Are you there for them? Are you prepared to do whatever it takes to be an example? What do you wish that to be? Will you settle for less? There’s nothing wrong with slowing down and simplifying your life. We do not have that much time on this planet and will never know the reason for so many of the terrible unexpected consequences of bad decisions. The important thing is to learn. We respect and remember those who are no longer with us by living now. Our lives are too short to hold onto the negative, hoping to find some sort of answer to the same old questions that leave us all in the dark. We must live on, in the name of each other, and of what we are meant to do.

Through each other, we live forever! Now, go talk with someone and see what they think, for the hours grow shorter as we grow older.

The Arab Spring Nearly Two Years on: What has Changed?

By anonymous analyst:

The full effects of the “Arab Spring” uprisings are still playing out nearly two years after the movement began, however; some change has begun to take shape. Governments throughout the world likely have learned of the risk of mass dissent proliferated by social media and unemployed young people. Although some regional transformation occurred, the outcome may not be what the participants of the uprising intended to see from their efforts at toppling regimes in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia.

Those who took to the streets beginning in December 2010 did so in an attempt to bring about systemic change and an end to corruption within their respective political systems. The fundamental change resulting from the backlash that ensued, however; did not bring about the transparency, increases in personal freedoms, or economic prosperity that it sought out to.

Conversely, Egypt has fallen six places to 118th out of 176 countries in Transparency International’s corruption index in the year since Mubarak’s ouster, while Tunisia has fallen two places to 75th since its infamous fruit vendor kicked off the Arab Spring in 2010.[1]
Instead of a substantive political overhaul, as Graeme Bannerman of Reuters writes, the region has experienced a more nuanced, and arguably superficial, transformation. A formerly dominant regional Arab national identity has been replaced with a more Islamic identity.[2] An initially apprehensive Muslim Brotherhood dutifully stepped in to fill the void after the fall of Hosni Mubarak.[3] Similarly, the group’s affiliate in Tunisia, the Ennahda Party, has taken control of that government’s legislature.[4]

This regional transformation, or perhaps, lack thereof, is best illustrated by Egypt. Egypt was the epicenter of the Arab nationalist movement that swept the Middle East in the 1950’s. A group of Egyptian military officers, headed by Gamal Abdel Nasser, successfully unseated the Egyptian monarch in what is known as the Free Officers Revolution of 1952. Since 1952, the Egyptian military has remained the guardian of the state with the president traditionally coming from among the military’s ranks.

Protesters took to the streets in Tahrir Square Egypt in January 2011 in an attempt to bring an end to the country’s military rule. The result, much like that in Tunisia and Libya, was the forced resignation of the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, in February 2011.[5] The fall of the Mubarak regime and, subsequently, the country’s first democratic presidential election were hailed as major successes in democratizing the region.

One underlying theme of the protests’ success in ousting the former dictator was the power of social media, which was reported as instrumental in organizing  demonstrations across the Arab world including Tahrir Square.

A recent study conducted by the London School of Economics and Political Science concludes, however; that there is “little evidence to suggest that future historians will rank the events of 2011 with those of 1848 or 1989. Simply too few of the fundamentals of social, economic and political organization in the Arab world have been successfully contested by the protests.”[6]

Furthermore, studies indicate that social media was not quite the catalyst behind the Arab Spring protests as was initially thought. This is evidenced by the continued efficacy of the protests even after the Egyptian government cut off internet and mobile phone access. Rather, Facebook’s event sites, purporting to indicate protest times and locations, were often decoys to enable the real demonstrations organized via word-of-mouth.[7]

Nearly two years later, fresh protests have begun to erupt in Egypt as Mohammed Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected president, issued an interim constitutional declaration granting himself far-reaching powers reminiscent of the Mubarak era.[8] Despite recent motions by the president, however; Egypt’s military, via the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), remains the most powerful government entity—perhaps the most telling sign that little has changed since the 1952 Free Officers Revolution.


[1] Kirschbaum, Erik. “Egypt Slips in Corruption Index Despite Arab Spring.” December 2012. Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/05/us-corruption-transparency-egypt-idUSBRE8B406Q20121205
[2] Bannerman, Graeme. “The Key to Understanding the ‘Arab Spring’.” October 2011. Reuters. http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/10/11/the-key-to-understanding-the-arab-spring/
[3] Natsios, Andrew. “How Will the Muslim Brotherhood Govern Egypt? Look to Sudan.” October 2012. US News. http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/world-report/2012/10/27/how-will-the-muslim-brotherhood-govern-egypt-look-to-sudan
[4] Gamha, Eymen. “Final Results of Tunisian Elections Announced.” January 2013. Tunisia Alive. http://www.tunisia-live.net/2011/11/14/tunisian-election-final-results-tables/
[5] Hendawi, Hamza et al. “Egypt’s Mubarak Refuses to Quit Hands VP Powers.” February 2011. Associated Press. http://apnews.myway.com//article/20110211/D9LA9H180.html
[6] Kitchen, Nicholas. “After the Arab Spring: Power Shift in the Middle East?” May 2012. London School of Economics and Political Science. http://www2.lse.ac.uk/IDEAS/publications/reports/SR011.aspx
[7] Stein, Ewan. “Revolutionary Egypt: Promises and Perils.” May 2012. London School of Economics and Political Science. http://www2.lse.ac.uk/IDEAS/publications/reports/pdf/SR011/FINAL_LSE_IDEAS__RevolutionaryEgypt_Stein.pdf
[8] Staff. “Egypt: Who Holds the Power?” December 2012. BBS News Middle East. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18779934

Cleveland Caribbean Community

Calaloo

Communities are all over Cleveland and the more we share, the more we learn. After talking with Kelvin, I felt an inner peace that I thought was all but gone. The dreary Cleveland night was brightened up with the Trinidadian music, food, conversation, and drink overheard in this podcast.

Callaloo Café open microphone Wednesdays, Friday jazz blues sessions, and Saturday Latino music and food.

Having the only Steel Band in Cleveland, Kelvin has inspirational goals about bringing the Collinwood community together in a series of events, music lesson, and more.

Located at 15601 Waterloo Rd, Cleveland, OH 44110.