Washington Post gets the story.
Josh Bell, world famous violinist, performs in DC subway station.
Washington Post gets the story.
After posting my recently written song Pax Americana on a freegan e-mail list, I received the following reply:
"This seems like propaganda to me! have you noticed the homeless people on the streets of NYC? according to you only non-Americans feel pain and have rights?
if you don't like America, leave."
See: my retort.
I have noticed the homeless people on the streets of NYC. Indeed they feel pain and have been endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. Just like the slave workers in third-world countries who produce everything that we consume, going hungry and naked in the mean time only so that Americans will waste much of it in the end, causing further harm to the environment and low-income communities here (around which landfills are invariably built).
The homeless in the US have many an advocate (apparently both of us included); but who advocates for the rights of the slave laborers who produce for us? Their abuse goes largely unchecked as most Americans consume blindly, frivolously, and excessively, oblivious and ambivalent to the labor, animal, and environmental abuse that has gone into their products. That is why I wrote this song. It was inspired by the fact that the peace symbol has become a fashion trend that you can buy at Wal-Mart, emblazoned on mass-produced t-shirts manufactured by slave workers in third-world countries. This fact is not a little oxy-moronic and disconcerting.
There are many things about America that I don't like. I wonder whether I should stay though, just to spite you? Just kidding, of course. I do not recognize national boundaries so it would be impossible for me to leave (or "go to") this or any other country, as denoted by political boundary lines. As long as I happen to live in the region known politically as the United States of America, I'll go on appreciating the fact that this nation values the freedom of speech and expression. I expect that you will do the same?
I apologize if you took offense to my song. Nevertheless, I do hope that you found it thought-provoking; and if you are a freegan I hope it inspires and motivates you to keep fighting the good fight. Shalom aleichem,
-Yesterday I scored a ton of food while taking a trash tour with the NYC freegan crew. The list includes raspberries, bananas, nectarine, more fruit, cookies, bread, bagels, hummus, and 11 eggs! I can't wait to eat it all!
-Today I busked at the Delancey/Essex subway station in downtown Manhattan.
I made approximately $25; sold one CD package (incl sticker and buttons) and two other buttons; was complimented on my harmonica playing.
I was also filmed by some students from St Michael's College (Burlington, VT) who are shooting a documentary on freeganism. After interviewing me at my apartment, they wanted to get some footage of me performing in the subway. So all in all, it was a very good day in the subway!
-Then tonight was the monthly freegan feast! There was a ton of great rescued food and of course wonderful people to share it with. I could definitely get used to this freegan business!
I've designed some GioSafari t-shirts that can be purchased on zazzle. You have the option to change the size, style, fit, etc. The default settings are organic, by American Apparel, made in the USA. That means SWEAT FREE. They'll keep your conscience clear, but they'll cost you ($25 a pop). You can get them cheaper if you don't mind that they are made by slave labor =/
If you buy a shirt, a portion of the money comes back to me, so please support! Thanks!
Challenge #1: More fans
I need a larger fan base.
Currently I have just over 100 fans on facebook. As I mentioned in a post earlier today,
it's certainly a start. And I do appreciate that they are mostly dear friends and family... BUT Now it's time to start spreading the love!
So here's the deal.
Below the profile pic on my facebook page, there is a link that reads "Suggest to Friends". This link enables fb users to invite any or all of their friends to become my fans.
In order to win awesome prizes, all you have to do is suggest GioSafari to your friends. It is that simple. As soon as the number of fans surpasses 200, the first person to comment "UNO!" (note the capitalization and exclamation point) on my page will win prizes for two, including t-shirts, buttons, and stickers!
The idea here is that the person who BECOMES fan 200 has the chance to win prizes as well as the person who suggested GioSafari to them in the first place.
If I get more than 200 fans this month, I will be overjoyed. HOWEVER if the number of fans breeches 300... 400... 500, I will also give prizes to the lucky person (and their friend) who comment "UNO!" on my page!
This deal will only last until a month from TODAY. That is, it will end on March 11. Just as I am headed down to Denton, TX for the NX35 festival.
So let the games begin!
DON'T USE FACEBOOK?
You can still e-mail people who DO use facebook and be eligible to win, as long as they post "UNO!" on my facebook page and tell me that you suggested it to them!
Here's the URL to which they should be directed:
I'm going to be straight with everyone.
I need money.
It's not easy living as an artist in NYC. So I need to start being a little creative. I've thought of some neat ideas for raising money, increasing my fan base, and widening my presence on the interweb. So for the next year, I'm going to be holding a different sweepstakes each month. I will be asking my fans to help me out by taking a more active role in my art. In exchange, they will be contending for free stuff - t-shirts, buttons, stickers, patches, and more!
Each contest will have criteria and prizes of its own; and I will be sure to post all the details each month so everyone will understand how it will work.
Well, let's get the fun started!
Shalom is a way of life.
Yes, peace goes far beyond fashion.
Love for one's brothers and sisters,
respect for oneself and creation.
This peace is absent in countries
where the work of small hands is forgotten,
where human rights take a back seat
to the profits of corporate production.
Two fingers form a letter which stands for victory.
We hold it up in protests for all the world to see.
We say it stands for peace, for which we'll take a stand.
Nevermind the fact our goods were all produced by broken hands.
Such goods are then shipped to lands
where the first-world consumer hordes
Pillage and plunder display shelves
of clothing and grocery stores
'til nothing is left in their tracks,
least of all the sad memory
that the ones who provide them their food and clothes
are naked and going hungry.
Encircled broken crosses, symbolic imagery
emblazoned on our t-shirts, dangling jewelry.
We say it stands for peace, for which we're all in favor.
Nevermind the fact our goods were all produced by sweatshop labor.
Our logos we proudly display,
corporate slogans we wear as our banners.
Even peace has done well to pay
the checks of graphic designers.
But what do these signs mean to those
who work over them night and day,
while violent military forces
are at work to keep it that way?
Hegemonic power secures our corporate interests.
"Free trade" law legitimate by our destiny manifested.
We say it stands for peace, which we'll spread throughout the nations,
Nevermind the fact our goods were all produced by exploitation.
On Feb 26th, I'm going to be performing the Clown of God by Tomie dePaola at Tea Lounge. I'm playing two hour-long sets (be there at 8:30p) and it's going to be a lot of fun - good people, food, and music! Perhaps some other surprises. As if all that wasn't enough awesome, it's FREE. This one is not to be missed!
"This will be our response to violence: to make music more intimately, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before."
Also, interesting coincidence. The recording of Stravinsky's Rite conducted by Bernstein is the one that I primarily studied during the making of my own rendition of the piece.
NYC-based musician, writer, busker, freegan, revolutionary.