Dusty Wright video single for freedom fighters everywhere
Metaphysical Cowboy, Dusty Wright, has released a video single inspired by Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” and the simple phrase — “it’s about time” — uttered recently by filmmaker and video director Ernie Fritz about the Occupy movement. We sat down with the CultureCatch.com founder and former Creem Magazine editor to get the straight dope on things blowing’ in the wind in the summer of 2012:
“It’s About Time” seems a reasonable observation when it comes to real change, how do you see progress ultimately coming about in America?
Small, grassroots movement that can be engaged and then scaled up and out to reach a much wider circle. The most obvious way is digitally — internet, mobile devices, texting, Tweeting, social media, memes, sharing, et al. People activating their rights. Voting for leaders or engaging in discovering and supporting new leaders that ultimately support their basic needs. No doubt that President Obama’s team utlitized the web for his campaign to an enormous advantage in his first election. But change must start with a circle or tribe of people that can excite and grow a larger collective of voices all echoing the same issues that need a new perspective or a more favorable resolution.
There is an Iroquois Manifesto that I try to live by that I wish more politicians and corporate leaders followed. “In our every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.”
Imagine a world where that philosophy was the norm and not the exception.
Any hesitation in your embracing the ‘Occupy’ movement or is the song more an acknowledgement that you are in philosophical agreement with today’s agitated youth than an endorsement?
No hesitation. Occupy has mobilized some fresh thinking for all of us. But I also believe the song speaks to a wider circle, much like Woody Guthrie’s anthem, “This Land is Your Land”, did and hopefully continues to do so. Occupy’s basic tenants are steeped in the basic tenants of activism. It’s fine to be agitated, but how can you affect real change within and without your movement? That is the ultimate goal or you will quickly lose your momentum. Initially the movement caught the attention of everyone. Then the Occupy Wall Street movement became a power struggle over a piece of property. Ultimately it was dismantled. But there were other voices in other cities all over the world that wanted to be heard, that wanted to be noticed. I’m not sure the press coverage did the Occupy movement any favors by only focusing on the negative aspects of enraged and engaged folks clashing with the authorities. But the Occupy movement has utilized a digital strategy. There are Occupy groups on Facebook, on the Web, that share their stories every single day. People can read, react and mobilize.
In the ’60s the youth culture saw the body bags in Vietnam on TV in the nightly news. People were outraged. What were their friends/family/neighbors fighting for? Was North Vietnam that much of a threat to America? Youth culture was outraged and agitated and took it to the streets to affect change. It was a time when musicians sang protest songs about Kent State (CSNY), Attica State (Lennon), The War (County Joe & The Fish, Edwin Starr, Lennon), native American rights (Johnny Cash, Marlon Brando).
Many people did initially take it to the streets in protesting the war in Iraq. But what happened to that massive youth culture movement? Moreover, the war in Iraq was declared “Mission Accomplished” how many years ago? No WMDs ever discovered. And yet no contrition from any our elected officials for that huge faux pas. Are we better off or worse for that invasion? I’m not advocating that these religious fantatics who hate democracy, our way of life, who don’t respect the rights of women, and use very heinous measures to rain terror on innocent men, women and children to their endgame is pure madness. Tribes fighting tribes in the same country. “My tribe is better than your tribe” philosophies are crazy. But I wonder how we can truly effect change if these people will not embrace our particular democratic ideologies? They look at our way of life as so alien and upsetting that they’re willing to blow themselves up for their cause. That’s so radical. Insane, but radical.
Do you think protests like the one last summers in NY or this past weekend in Chicago for the NATO summit are achieving anything yet?
Not sure how wide their circles expand beyond the zealots on the front line, but if it draws people in to examine the facts and then those folks start to challenge the status quo, it is a very good thing. Unfortunately only history will tell us how effective they are/were. Tough to speculate, but let’s hope apathy is not the winner.
Will things be heating up again this summer on Wall Street or will the movement need a catalyst type event to rally around first?
Women had the Suffragette movement to force our nation to recognize their voting rights, Martin Luther King, Jr. had to lead people from Selma to Montgomery to rally his cause, Ghandi showed the world how a peaceful movement could affect change beyond India. John Lennon and many of his peers used music to rally youth culture against the war in Vietnam, rally for peace, etc. No doubt the Internet will continue to galvanize movements moving forward. But will it be enough of a collective voice against tyrannical goverenments, inflexible orthodox beliefs that discount the rights of any individual that don’t agree with their set of archaic rules? Again if you look at the simple Iriquous manifest you can apply to many of the decisions that confront much of the world’s pollicy.
Why do you think most folks are so apathetic when it comes to speaking up? is it a bit of “I’m allright jack, just keep your hands off of my stack’?
Fear of offending their friends, neighbors, even strangers. I think we’ve become too PC in some ways, apathetic in many instances, happy with our lot in life, afraid to upset the apple cart. Maybe even fear of Big Brother. With the proliferation of public information being delivered digitally it’s not too difficult to spy on the dissidents. Moreover, I often ponder why some Democrats apologize for their positions on issues, while Republicans on the far right (Tea Party) have become the new radicals. They could care less if you don’t believe in their position. No apologies needed. They believe in the movement and it’s full speed ahead. But there is growing voice who will not be marginalized by what policiticians want us to believe is the truth.
History bears out that nations either evolve or experience revolution, do we need new founding fathers?
We need new leaders that can’t be influenced or bought by the wealth of a few. Influence peddling has always been problematic for men. It’s very hard to stand by your principals if you’re towing the corporate line. Is there any question that the corporate sector through incredibly powerful lobbying groups are the ultimate power brokers in democratic countries? How much has our government and our leaders lost in this new power grid? Has our democracy become a Despotism of Corporate Greed? Many believe that the one percenters, the wealthiest on the planet, are setting the table for the rest of us every single day. That the bottom line is profit at any cost, even to the detriment of poisoning our land and water, our bodies, our brains. That the corporate power brokers effect too many decisions for far too many Americans. Most Americans know this, but are too apathetic to do anything about it. Easier to flip on the TV or computer or video game and slip, slide away. Let their leaders tell them what they should or should not believe. As long as it doesn’t upset them, then no reason to get excited. But where is the true center of the truth? Some small blogger in Indiana? Or India? Or Indonesia? Or…
Perhaps the world must face some huge catastrophic event to rebuild the basic tennants of humanity — food, shelter, clean water, affordable healthcare, quality education, and a job. Maybe the Mayans recognized this so many centuries ago. Maybe the dawning of a new day is upon us and the World Wide Web is our collective consciousness and all of our voices will unite in harmony. But ultimately, history will have the final say