f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

December 11, 2005

they stood up for truth

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 11:08 am

Coming of age as Richard Pryor was evolving into a new voice
of black comedy in America, and Eugene McCarthy grabbed
the spotlight in Presidential politics, greatly affected my views
on race and politics in this nation — and on the need for both
everyday citizens and our leaders to speak the truth about the
problems we face as a nation.




Their deaths yesterday (see NYT on Pryor and McCarthy,  Dec.

11, 2005) left me considering similarities between outwardly very 

different men.  One was  brash, black, emotive and a foul-mouthed

elf and entertainer, and the other a tall, patrician intellectual and

politician (and former baseball player).  But, they both used acid

humor to skewer the powers to be and wake up their audiences.


I recently watched Pryor’s Live in Concert (1979) for the first time

in years, and my cheeks hurt from all the laughing — he showed

blacks, whites, men and women the humor in their differences and

their similarities.   I don’t find expletives funny and don’t need an

entire evening of blue humor, but Pryor’s insights into human

nature and American character sometimes called for both and

almost always worked despite the raunchy packaging.




As the NYT notes, “Eugene McCarthy left his mark in a generation’s
skepticism toward war and the willfulness of political leaders.”  His attitude
toward party politics perhaps most affected me then and now.  The Times
explained that McCarthy “identified simplistic partisanship as the ultimate
enemy in the domestic strife over the Vietnam War. Invoking Whitman’s call
to human goodness – ‘Arouse! for you must justify me.’ – candidate McCarthy’s
basic message to Americans was Daniel Webster’s dictum to never ‘give up
to party what was meant for mankind’.” Pryor and McCarthy both stood up and

spoke the truth.  They left me expecting truth from entertainers and politicians. 

For that, I thank them.




winter parting…

the man in the moon

still eludes me






winter fog
car after car
onto the bridge








what my words can’t explain —
the autumn sun
on your back





snow flurries
candlelight moving
from window to window



winter partingRoadrunner Haiku Journal V: 2 (2005)

winter fog” The Heron’s Nest (July 2003)

snow flurriesThe Heron’s Nest (Dec. 1999)

what my words can’t explain” – The Heron’s Nest (Oct. 2003)



sleet turns to rain –

snow buddha’s visit

cut short

                       dagosan  [Dec. 31, 2004]








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