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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Rick Estrin’s new old song
Rick Estrin’s new old song
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Sundancer
347 posts
Jun 12, 2020
2:22 PM
Here’s a new video to a new version of an old song by Rick Estrin & the Nightcats. Despite the stellar musicianship, I’ll probably be banned for posting it - but It’ll be worth it. And based on the folks making cameos in the video, I’m in good company.

https://youtu.be/iOo1nQo2KYc
snowman
579 posts
Jun 12, 2020
7:28 PM
WELL EITHER WAY i LOVE ESTRINS SENSE OF HUMOR----WHAT A CHARACTER

On a different note Kid Andersen wow great blend of rhythm and lead-----Love the lysol part

only in America
Sundancer
349 posts
Jun 12, 2020
10:28 PM
Rick definitely removed his tongue from his cheek on this one. And I concur with you Snowman, Kid Anderson rips. Got to see him play with Kim Wilson just before the lockdown and they were astounding together.
BronzeWailer
2135 posts
Jun 13, 2020
2:59 AM
My wife heard it and said, "That's catchy. Who is it?" Normally it's "just another bloody blues song." Catchy indeed.
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Blind Melon
119 posts
Jun 13, 2020
10:28 AM
You can add my name to the "banned" list. Someone had mentioned something about Wuhan Flu and gets ripped to shreds.

I respect everyone's personal view on topics like religion and politics, but when it becomes all one sided, it ain't right. So with the world shut down for months due to an epidemic...I bring you this....



BTW, I have seen Rick Estrin several times and his video will NOT prevent my from seeing him again. I love Rick's humor....

Last Edited by Blind Melon on Jun 13, 2020 10:36 AM
dougharps
2131 posts
Jun 13, 2020
11:59 AM
I am fine with SONGS expressing artists' opinions, whether I agree or disagree with the particular viewpoints.

Here is an interesting thread on political expression by artists:

https://www.modernbluesharmonica.com/board/board_topic/5560960/5499470.htm?page=1



I have no problems with either song being posted here, but I am not a moderator.
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Doug S.
timeistight
2306 posts
Jun 13, 2020
6:03 PM
This is too good to not embed:

Last Edited by timeistight on Jun 13, 2020 6:03 PM
Kingley
4155 posts
Jun 14, 2020
5:17 AM
In my opinion the Rick Estrin song is doing precisely what blues music should be doing. It's highlighting and protesting against issues of the time. Now wether you agree with its message or not is immaterial. Fact is the song is doing it's job and keeping the tradition of what this music is really about alive. Personally I do agree with its message. Because I'm of the opinion that in 2016 America made a serious mistake, voting in who they did. Now if holding that opinion gets me banned from here, I really don't care.

Last Edited by Kingley on Jun 14, 2020 5:25 AM
nacoran
10274 posts
Jun 14, 2020
11:40 AM
Blind Melon, the problem I have with calling it the wuhan blues is that it has caused a lot of racist people to attack people of Asian decent. WHO has been moving away from listing pandemics by country of origin specifically for that reason. And, aside from some medical investigation into its source it doesn't serve any real purpose. If you randomly plucked people from around the world you'd have a better chance of catching it from an American than a Chinese person.

The song you posted, however, was musical, at least and was talking more about its effects than placing blame. It's worth noting that there is a difference between posting political music and making political posts. This forum has always been open to political music when people keep the comment section civil. The FB group has a no politics rule because the way the software works it's much harder to keep something like this from blowing up the whole forum.

I've even started my own smaller FB forum where the point is expressly to talk about the intersection of music and politics. It's called The Humanist Harp and its mission statement specifically says it's about music and politics and lays out what will get you banned. It is not just a blues group or just a harmonica group and it's not focused on teaching people how to play harmonica. One of the first videos I posted on it was Rick's video. (It does lean left a bit. I support BLM, LGBTQ rights, unions (for the most part), civil rights, a strong social safety net... but the group is smaller and people know when they sign up for it what they are signing up for. Political discussion on larger, more general forums, accept when the admins start specific threads when they have time to moderate them, can lead to a lot of problems.

It's worth noting that I think the only person the forum has ever banned for expressly political posts was someone who I agree about 90% with on politics, but whose posts kept drifting away from music and harmonica to politics. I talk politics with him pretty regularly on FB. This just wasn't the place for it.



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Nate
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First Post- May 8, 2009
Sundancer
350 posts
Jun 14, 2020
9:33 PM
The Nightcats’ message : we believe
Black lives matter
No human is illegal
Love is love
Women’s rights are human rights
Science is real
Water is life
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere

Seems like no human being in 2020 who appreciates the sweet sound of a blue third could argue with any of those points. I sure don’t. Nor does Kingley. And I sense many of y’all don’t either.

Last Edited by Sundancer on Jun 14, 2020 9:38 PM
Blind Melon
120 posts
Jun 16, 2020
6:27 AM
So where does "abortion" fall in that list and with the far left?

I guess baby lives do NOT matter. I assume it is a non-issue since unborn babies do not have an human rights.
Komuso
829 posts
Jun 16, 2020
7:45 AM
According to recent events they matter as much RWNJ's saying old people have to take one for the team so the stock market can keep going up. That's the same RWNJ's who maintain "ALL Lives Matter" and are rabidly "Pro Life". *Only in certain circumstances, send no money now, free set of steak knives with each grandparent verified as taking one for the team.

I think it's probably best to lock this thread.

Fantastic video btw!

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Paul Cohen aka Komuso Tokugawa
HarpNinja - Learn Harmonica Faster
Komuso's Music Website

Last Edited by Komuso on Jun 16, 2020 7:52 AM
dougharps
2132 posts
Jun 16, 2020
8:32 AM
The thread has shifted from the meta discussion of the use of blues music to express musicians' various personal opinions (political or other artist opinions) and is devolving into strong personal statements expressing member political and moral opinions in absolute terms. It seems unlikely that such emotion laden topics can be discussed productively in such emotion laden times.

I think that continuation of this expression of personal political and moral views will result in offending many members of differing beliefs and ultimately damage the forum.

I agree with Komuso that it would be best to lock this down now, before it escalates.
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Doug S.

Last Edited by dougharps on Jun 16, 2020 8:33 AM
jbone
3234 posts
Jun 19, 2020
7:58 AM
Is anyone else getting sick of this hypersensitive New Tribal crap? We used to be able to have and express an opinion and if it pist someone off we dealt with it. In society in general and on forums as well.
Civility used to be one of the big words and concepts we practiced in our lives I think. In recent years there is a certain set of people looking for reasons to jump on anyone whose opinion does not match theirs. I don't speak politics or religion here. I respect peoples' right to their opinion. Without opinion being expressed we would never have seen rock and roll.

Mr. Estrin's take on that old song is great-my OPINION- whether I agree with the politics or not.

Maybe we could just listen to a piece of music for its own sake and quit carping about politics.

I take pride in being a fairly thick skinned musician. I've taken a lot of no's in life and had plenty of critiques on my playing skills, invited and unsolicited, and I have tried to see the other point of view and take a lesson from another's idea or opinion.
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Rontana
548 posts
Jun 19, 2020
11:45 AM
After that very needed message, I may well cast my vote for JBone.

Couldn't agree more. I'm to the right on many issues; whereas the majority of my closest friends lean left. We don't try and jab, needle, or convert each other, for we realize our opinions are not the foundation of our relationships.

Many (if not most) ideological arguments strike me as being more about individual ego (aka: winning, the need for control, etc) than specific issues.

I think Estrin did a very cool take on the song. I don't agree with the lyrics, but the musicality is great.

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Ron Marr Custom Wood Carving

Last Edited by Rontana on Jun 19, 2020 11:56 AM
Komuso
830 posts
Jun 21, 2020
5:34 AM
Thank god for The Humanist Harp is all I can say;-/

Please lock this thread.
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Paul Cohen aka Komuso Tokugawa
HarpNinja - Learn Harmonica Faster
Komuso's Music Website
sonvolt13
226 posts
Jun 21, 2020
5:47 AM
There are a lot of Asian harp players who I think would really appreciate if we just call it “COVID 19” instead of “Kung Flu” or “Wuhan Virus”. there are Many amazing Asian harp players, especially on the chromatic, and they are part of our brotherhood.
Blind Melon
121 posts
Jun 21, 2020
9:13 AM
I want to thank everyone who commented on this post and help confirm my initial comment of how one sided this forum has become.

It is ironic how mentioning Covid-19 as Wuhan Flu is unacceptable but ripping the President of the United States is acceptable. Had I make similar comments about Obama 6 years ago, I would have been labeled a racist, similar to now because I mentioned Wuhan Flu.

If you read my initial post,. I never condemned the lyrics in Rick's song. In fact, I even said that his song would not stop me from going to see him again.

Jbone, I hope your comment about the hypersensitive New Tribal crap was not about me, because I believe in free speech. I am the one being told not to say Wuhan Flu because it will offend Asians.

So a comment made about what is acceptable here got a lot of members upset.

No need to lock the thread. I will not be posting anymore. I do not like censorship, especially one sided.

I have been on the forum since the beginning and I want to thank Adam and all of the members who have contributed over the years. Thank you.
nacoran
10277 posts
Jun 21, 2020
9:56 AM
Blind Melon, since you asked I'll give you an answer. All rights come down to balancing the rights of one person against another. I don't think we can have anything approaching freedom and equality for women without the right to abortion. Countries that ban abortion don't see abortion stop, just move underground, or people try to flee to somewhere where it will be a later term abortion. It affects poor people more than rich people who can just hop on a plane.

But there is more. I don't think that the defining aspect of life is having a cells that have human DNA in them. I don't think of some divine spark or anything. Cells are just the potential for life.

In an ideal world we'd have free 100% effective and free birth control and comprehensive sex ed so people didn't ever have unwanted pregnancies and such good medicine that a woman's life would never be put at risk by her pregnancy.

But we don't have that so complexity of life is a big part of it. The woman's rights outweigh the fetuses because the woman is acting as the host for the fetus. It is doing all sorts of things to her body. She has the higher right to her body than the fetus does. Once the baby is born the mother's body is out of the equation and the baby has the same rights as the rest of us.

That's why the potential father doesn't get a say as well. When his genetic contribution was still in his body he had complete control over it, but if he gets someone pregnant his body is out of the equation.

Studies suggest that comprehensive sex education and free access to birth control could cut the abortion rate in half. The left lobbies for that all the time. We don't compel people to make living tissue donations to save someone's life. Some people do. They donate a kidney. Other people don't. We don't compel it. The person whose body it is gets to make that choice. Let women have abortions earlier in the pregnancy rather than later, when the fetus is less developed. By putting all sorts of restrictions on clinics Republicans have made it harder to get an early term abortion. Stop treating women like they don't have agency. Stop telling women they will regret it. Most don't. Do fund adoption agencies so women who don't want a baby but don't want an abortion can get the healthcare they need to have a healthy baby and put it up for adoption. Do pay for contraception. Do teach people the basics of how people get pregnant. Don't pretend abstinence only education works. Teens who get abstinence only education get pregnant at higher rates than those who get real sex ed. Purity pledges don't work in most cases and just lead to secrecy and not having birth control handy when things get a little too hot and heavy.

I can't speak for the whole left, but that's my thoughts on it. Women are not just the ones who physically have to carry the child but when the dad skips out they are the ones who pay the bills. Abortion isn't ideal. With any medical procedure an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

It gets very frustrating on the left to see immigrant children, who clearly are more than a clump of cells, being put in cages because they randomly got born on the wrong side of a line on a map, to see poor kids getting lousy educations because we fund schools so unevenly. It's frustrating to see us bombing villages in foreign countries and killing people. I think it comes down to the definition of life. I see a fetus as potential life, I see a woman, I see immigrant children, poor kids, as life.
Sundancer
353 posts
Jun 21, 2020
10:09 AM
Good write up Nacoran. A person’s point of view is very dependent on their circumstances, as you point out. Professor Eric Foner is considered to be America’s foremost authority on Reconstruction. Here’s a quote of his regarding the definition of freedom in this country:

“I think African Americans have a very different view of what freedom is than most white people, and that's because of different historical experiences. I think - this is a gross oversimplification, which you can find many exceptions to, but still I think a lot of truth in it - most white people in this country think freedom is something they have and that somebody often is trying to take away from them. Most black people in this country think that freedom is something they are aspiring to achieve. It's a process. It's something to be fully gained in the future. And that is a basic difference which affects their views on many, many aspects of our society, whether it's the law, the criminal justice system, the economic system, et cetera. And you know - so the Civil War and Reconstruction is a critical moment in the evolution of American ideas of freedom. But it was a period in which freedom was hotly contested and which different groups of people had very different ideas about what freedom really ought to entail.“

I’d wager that if we asked any living African-American blues man or woman that they’d agree.

Last Edited by Sundancer on Jun 21, 2020 10:12 AM
Rontana
549 posts
Jun 21, 2020
10:20 AM
I'm curious how some of these later posts (including Nate's) comply with forum rules regarding at least a tangential relationship to blues or harmonica.

Shouldn't such arguments be expressed privately or in a more appropriate forum?


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Ron Marr Custom Wood Carving

Last Edited by Rontana on Jun 21, 2020 10:24 AM
jbone
3235 posts
Jun 21, 2020
11:57 AM
@ Blind Melon, I am not on a "side" I am not singling anyone out for one comment or for their views on anything. I do respect differing opinions and value what discourse with those who don't agree with me can teach me.

I got a kick out of Mr. Estrin's song. I may even listen to yours.

At the end of all this what does it matter where Crapola19 came from? End result is the same. Punishing someone because their ancestors are from a place is wrong. Promoting how people who look a certain way as enemies is wrong. Period. But there is no going back.

I am truly weary of the stuff. Why not find some neotribal forum where the supremacists hang out and go there? This is a MUSIC forum.
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Music and travel destroy prejudice.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1109912442677135/?ref=bookmarks



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Fil
477 posts
Jun 21, 2020
12:52 PM
Well, first, criticism and disagreement aren’t censorship. Second, while respecting other’s rights to say and think what they want, there are other places/forums/social media sewers that, depending on the non-music topic, are more relevant to it than MBH. I think the forum is about music. I like to think of it as place safe from that other bullshit. IMHO, YMMV, TO EACH HIS OWN, WHATEVER FLOATS YOUR BOAT
Oh, I like Estrin’s song.
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Phil Pennington
Komuso
831 posts
Jun 21, 2020
11:53 PM
Don't slam the door.


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Paul Cohen aka Komuso Tokugawa
HarpNinja - Learn Harmonica Faster
Komuso's Music Website
BeePee
165 posts
Jun 22, 2020
12:56 AM
It's an interesting question given the forum rules, but worth making a point that there have been many blues songs with political themes over the history of the genre. Wikipedia lists these ones:

"Blues songs have the reputation of being resigned to fate rather than fighting against misfortune, but there have been exceptions. Bessie Smith recorded protest song "Poor Man Blues" in 1928. Josh White recorded "When Am I Going to be Called a Man" in 1936 – at this time it was common for white men to address black men as "boy" – before releasing two albums of explicitly political material, 1940's Chain Gang and 1941's Southern Exposure: An Album of Jim Crow Blues. Lead Belly's "Bourgeois Blues" and Big Bill Broonzy's "Black, Brown and White" (aka "Get Back") protested racism... In the post-war era, J.B. Lenoir gained a reputation for political and social comment; his record label pulled the planned release of 1954 single "Eisenhower Blues" due to its title and later material protested civil rights, racism and the Vietnam War. John Lee Hooker also sang 'I Don't Wanna Go to Vietnam" on 1969 album Simply the Truth."

So I guess both the modern examples cited in this thread, despite their opposing points of view, have strong precedents within the tradition. Since this forum is mostly about blues harmonica and Rick Estrin is one of the all time great blues harp players, on all counts his song qualifies for discussion. The differing opinions it brings up are being put with good arguments and mutual respect, so I think it's right the moderators are letting things be.
Komuso
832 posts
Jun 22, 2020
2:14 AM


Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
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Paul Cohen aka Komuso Tokugawa
HarpNinja - Learn Harmonica Faster
Komuso's Music Website

Last Edited by Komuso on Jun 22, 2020 2:23 AM
dougharps
2133 posts
Jun 22, 2020
7:05 AM

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Doug S.
Buzadero
1354 posts
Jun 22, 2020
9:38 AM
Thank goodness no one has done any reference to the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome. But that was way back in 2018 when being offended on behalf of others had a higher sensitivity setting, and you didn't need to topple statues or burn books to feel better.






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~Buzadero
Underwater Janitor, Patriot
MBH poseur since 11Nov2008
nacoran
10278 posts
Jun 22, 2020
12:44 PM
Rontana, I hope my post was seen as an honest and fair response to a question. I was asked to explain how liberals reconcile an issue of conscience.

The rule about politics has never been because we want to shut down discussion. It grew out of an attempt to keep the forum from breaking out into WWIII.

The FB group has stricter rules of no politics. This group has always made small allowances when it was tied directly to a harmonica piece, particularly when people are respectful and keep their arguments to good faith. Several posts on the thread seemed to veer off, but when I saw Blind Melon's question I decided it was worth answering. I don't think I am going to convince anyone to switch sides on the issue with my answer. That wasn't my goal. My goal was to explain why I feel the way I do, because I think the issue ultimately comes down to a difference of the definition of life and that the majority of people on both sides believe that their side is the one making the moral choice, but we all have different parts of morality that we emphasize more than others. I think the more we understand that the more we can understand why people act the way they do and the more we can let go of hate.

If you are interested in what makes me tick (and I think, maybe what makes us all tick) look up Jonathan Haidt Moral Foundations Theory. It's a psychological attempt to explain political reality and it's the only model I've seen where generally speaking people looking at it from either side tend to think it describes the reasons they act actually describes the why of their actions.

The reason we've had a rule against politics and religion on this site is because it usually flames out disastrously. I cc'd Adam about this thread when it first popped up and I've been keeping an eye on it. I responded to a specific question because I thought I could offer an explanation since it was specifically asking not for an answer to an issue but an explanation of how the other (my) side thinks, which was something I felt qualified to offer.


Buzadero, I haven't toppled any statues or burned any books, although I think there is a lot of room for discussion on the topic that probably doesn't fit well on this site but that is worth having and when I have commented that a comment was offensive I think I've always done it on behalf of communities that have, in fact, said that it was offensive, not as some random taking of offense on someone else's behalf. If you want to have a discussion about why I think you are misrepresenting the motivations of most of the protesters at some point off the forum I'm open to that discussion. Like I've said, all issues come down to balancing different rights and agendas against each other. Finding that balance on issue is ultimately what politics comes down to, or at least in a world where politics wasn't so, erm, political.

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Nate
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First Post- May 8, 2009
kudzurunner
6647 posts
Jun 22, 2020
1:55 PM
I will step in here and make a couple of urgently needed points:

1) The rules that govern this forum say nothing about politics. Don't take my word for it. Read them. Run a search on them. The word "politics" doesn't show up.
the rules

2) The rules say the following about allowable topics: "Members may freely exchange thoughts, tips, and useful insights about any and all topics related to blues harmonica--including the harmonica and the blues more generally. The occasional off-topic thread is OK, and should be marked "OT," but please be sparing in this regard."

3) The rules do expressly prohibit several things. One thing is discussions of religion. A second thing is insulting, flaming, or impugning the good name of other forum members. A third thing--and relevant, perhaps, in this case--is spelled out in the paragraph "other bad stuff": "Casual (or intentional) ethnic or racial slurs, anti-gay rants, sexist/misogynist language, insults specifically targeting a given nation or nation’s citizens, and/or pointed and sustained use of four-letter words--including any such language directed at another forum member--are strictly prohibited."

4) Nacoran, who has selflessly served as the servant of this forum and done better than any many I know--and better than I would have done, certainly--to keep the peace, is somebody whose basic good judgment I've almost never seen fit to contest. And I don't contest it here.

Here's the problem: the phrase "Wuhan flu" has been given a specific meaning by the current president of the United States, and the meaning it has been given--those two words--is clearly a meaning at odds with our forum rule against "insults specifically targeting a given nation or nation’s citizens." Politics per se aren't the problem here; the rules, as I say, don't expressly prohibit political conversations--even though Nacoran and I, and you, well know that in this day and age, forums can easily devolve into political infighting once you open the door to that. But I personally feel that the IDEA of politics, as a topic of blues songs, is a perfectly reasonable subject: a subject in line with the "blues more generally" provision of the rules. Cultural politics are a part of that, in my view. Not recently, but at several moments in the past I have started and contributed to threads in which we've debated, sometimes hotly, the race question in the blues. I'm fine with that.

But back to the matter at hand. I view Blind Melon's posting of a song by the title "Wuhan Blues" to clearly be a borderline thing. It's not something where I would feel any desire to give Blind Melon a strike and a timeout. But it is clearly borderline, for the reason that I articulated above: because when President Trump uses that specific phrase, he is seeking to stigmatize not just the current Chinese government, but "the Chinese" more broadly: people in wet markets who slaughter and eat bats, people who work in research labs, etc.

If Rick Estrin, whose politics I happen to agree with, had come up with a video that violated the spirit of the creed prohibition against "insults specifically targeting a given nation or nation’s citizens," I'd be saying exactly the same thing. His video doesn't do that. It just rips DT a new one. (By this standard, I could have no possible objection to somebody posting a video of a blues song that rips Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer a new one--as long as it didn't do so by impugning all Italians or Jews. And here one really DOES begin to see how forums like this can become civil war zones if we're not careful. Rick Estrin is a top pro harp player. If another top pro came out with an anti-Biden blues video, the rules suggest that we would have to allow it.)

I may think it's funny when an Australian called a Kiwi a sheepf---er, or not. But we're not going to allow videos with titles that stigmatize people like that. Nor, funny as it is, are we going to allow anybody to post that scene from Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" where a series of ethnic New Yorkers--black, Italian, Korean--spew the worst sort of stereotyped insults at each other.

In the present case, I'm going to suggest a resolution. Rather than lock this thread, or demand that Blind Melon take down his video, I'm simply going to ask that we do what seems to be the most impossible thing for some people to do: tolerate the video, allow everything that has been said to this point, but say nothing more about the video. I would also prefer less conversation about New Tribalists and the problems with namby-pamby forums that won't allow free speech, but grumbling isn't banned. Grumbling isn't against the rules. Free speech DOES exist here, to a considerable extent, but within limits nevertheless. I view those limits as the minimum required to maintain the veneer of collegiality and peace.

I've done my best to clarify how I see things. Please, everybody, reread the rules. My judgment call is just that: a sincere attempt at a offering a fair and balanced judgment of the present situation.

I will lock the thread if I have to. Please don't make me do that.

I consider Blind Melon a member in good standing.


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Beyond the Crossroads: The Devil and the Blues Tradition

Last Edited by kudzurunner on Jun 22, 2020 2:13 PM
kudzurunner
6648 posts
Jun 22, 2020
3:04 PM
While we're at it, here's Zhang "Big John" Ling and the Big John Blues Band out of Beijing:



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Beyond the Crossroads: The Devil and the Blues Tradition
Komuso
833 posts
Jun 22, 2020
4:31 PM
>>I may think it's funny when an Australian called a Kiwi a sheepf---er, or not.

The funny thing about that is Australia has always boasted about "Riding on the sheep's back" (see https://dl.nfsa.gov.au/module/1592/) so it really should be the kiwi's calling Aussies Sheepkfucers!
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Paul Cohen aka Komuso Tokugawa
HarpNinja - Learn Harmonica Faster
Komuso's Music Website
Gnarly
2825 posts
Jun 22, 2020
9:13 PM
This video is great—Rick and Kid Anderson are great players, and the spirit isn’t half as mean as the vibe coming from the White House.
gmacleod15
333 posts
Jun 23, 2020
4:19 AM
One of the most interesting posts on the forum in a while. I think Brendan's discussion describes why it fits nicely into the blues context and why it is relevant on this forum. It makes me what to research those early players and listen to their messages. And Rick’s video, message aside, makes me want to head to the woodshed with my harps. Thanks everyone for staying civil.
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MBH member since 2009-03-24
kudzurunner
6649 posts
Jun 23, 2020
4:45 AM
Thanks, everybody.

For what it's worth, (Sir) Rod Patterson and I are taking a Zoom meeting today with folks from the Common Ground Committee, a wonderful organization that regularly sponsors civil discussions between two or more people who hail from different points on the political spectrum. They really like our song "Come Together"--I sent it to them because I thought they might, and because the head of CGC is an old college roommate of mine--and they are going to take a portion of the song and use it to make a HQ video as a promotional tool for their organization and the values that they champion. It's an exciting development and I will keep you posted.

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Beyond the Crossroads: The Devil and the Blues Tradition

Last Edited by kudzurunner on Jun 23, 2020 5:11 AM
Komuso
834 posts
Jun 23, 2020
4:09 PM
@kudzurunner

>>Common Ground Committee, a wonderful organization that regularly sponsors civil discussions between two or more people who hail from different points on the political spectrum.

That's a really hard challenge, communicating different pov's or even facts to get a message through the filters people have in place.

There's an interesting project out of Stanford Uni trying to address the problem of contextualizing climate change, so people can understand the risk factors without ignoring it due to ideology/bias - which is a huge problem given vested interests pumping out so much disinformation (looking at you Rupert Murdoch...).

It's in early stage development but I've had a play with the ontology framework and I really like the concept and potential of it.

Although it's climate change specific it's not a huge mental leap to see how you can apply it to other problem areas, such as some issues discussed in this thread.

**Snip
Problems with Climate Change communication
• Easy to think that effects are distant or won’t personally affect us
• People don’t realize solutions exist that align with their worldview while
being accessible, practical, viable, and attractive
• Not feasible for citizens to read scientific reports; complex science
• Challenging to learn how to explain to others, especially when others
have different worldviews and beliefs

Climate Mind Goals
• Communicate how climate change personally affects the user
• Frame the issue based on the user’s values and worldviews
• Promote Integration of climate change knowledge with user’s core identities
• Share solutions that align well with user’s worldviews
• Inspire user to take action

Goal: activate/motivate users to take action (including shifting beliefs to be more confident climate change is happening and is serious enough that they personally need to help out)
 
Problem:
There are too many climate change effects and solutions and not all of them people need to know. Social science shows what’s best is to communicate about how they are personally effected and how there are solutions that well align with who they are and their values.
 
A person’s values are the things that they believe are important in the way they live and work.
Values determine people’s priorities, and, deep down, they're probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.
When the things that you do and the way you behave match your values, life is usually good – you're satisfied and content. But when these don't align with your personal values, that's when things feel... wrong. This can be a real source of unhappiness.
What you care about
Tied to your identity and not easily changes.
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Paul Cohen aka Komuso Tokugawa
HarpNinja - Learn Harmonica Faster
Komuso's Music Website

Last Edited by Komuso on Jun 23, 2020 4:11 PM
dougharps
2134 posts
Jun 24, 2020
10:39 AM
Look first to clear the filters in your own eyes before addressing those in others' eyes.

If your goal is to "get a message through the filters people have in place" in order to convince them to adopt your beliefs, then you are not entering a dialogue as equals in search of common ground.

You are assuming the superiority of your position and discounting the validity of life experiences of others that have brought them to different beliefs than yours.

When you enter a dialogue absolutely assured of your own rectitude, convinced that other viewpoints hold no value, then you are unwilling to hear the other's perspective.

If you are unwilling to value the opinions of others then you are not honestly respecting them as equals and are not sincerely working toward resolution or mitigation of potential conflicts. You are merely manipulating them in an attempt to achieve ideological victory.

If you cannot accept that others hold their views based on their own life experiences and that their views also have value and should be heard and considered, then you will never find common ground.

We sure need to find common ground based in our shared humanity.

The positions being espoused by some on each extreme are echoing in the traditional media and social media. The echoes are building emotions toward a fever pitch that will likely lead to increasing overt conflict.

The middle ground in life is being lost in the rush to extremes. We are all here on this earth and we need to find ways to live together without escalating to the point of the violence being encouraged by extremes.

Common ground cannot be found when those on either side are convinced that they alone possess the righteous truth regarding the human condition and what specific change is needed.

Attempts by an ideology to dominate through overt action leads to bloody consequences, as has been seen repeatedly throughout history.

My perspective is based on my 38 year career in mental health counseling, social work, and child welfare, working with thousands of youth and adults from many diverse backgrounds as they struggled to find a way to move forward productively.

You have to start by listening and not by dismissing the viewpoints of others.
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Doug S.
Spderyak
349 posts
Jun 24, 2020
12:53 PM
Awesome Estrin video !

Loved it !!

Last Edited by Spderyak on Jun 24, 2020 12:54 PM
Komuso
835 posts
Jun 24, 2020
2:41 PM
@dougharps

I respect your experience but I don't think you even bothered to read what I posted. You seized on the first line, made an assumption (or more than one actually), and off you went.

I don't disagree with the core of what you wrote (which is also context dependant), but whataboutism isn't a valid communication's strategy either.

See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance

To communicate effectively we need to operate from a basis of facts, not opinion.

For example, lets talk about masks:
https://twitter.com/aravosis/status/1275854598146871296

*sigh*

Here's another example from today of how facts are twisted to support ideology and opinion, and how fact checking is an important part of fighting back against that: https://twitter.com/KateWilliamsme/status/1275759355363811333

Did we fight countless wars last century (including 2 World Wars with massive loss of life and potential) to not learn anything about basic human rights?

>>You have to start by listening and not by dismissing the viewpoints of others.

How's that working out for El Presidente Trumpkin's, who is setting an example for sooooooooooo many people to follow? (not really whataboutism as the thread is about this exact topic)

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Paul Cohen aka Komuso Tokugawa
HarpNinja - Learn Harmonica Faster
Komuso's Music Website

Last Edited by Komuso on Jun 24, 2020 4:56 PM
kudzurunner
6651 posts
Jun 24, 2020
5:08 PM
@dougharps: Great post! I agree

@komuso: Great post just prior to dougharps's post. He agrees with you, or mostly agrees with you. Lots of common ground in which to have a dialogue. Your most recent post suggests that you missed that.

Yes, paying attention to each other is a good thing. Deep attention. We're all moving so quickly these days.


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Whose Blues? Facing Up to Race and the Future of the Music

Last Edited by kudzurunner on Jun 24, 2020 5:10 PM
Komuso
836 posts
Jun 24, 2020
6:57 PM
@kudzurunner

I didn't miss a thing, especially "You are assuming the superiority of your position and discounting the validity of life experiences of others that have brought them to different beliefs than yours."

I think you missed what I'm talking about though.

It's far more nuanced than the above statement, which is also loaded with assumptions.

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Paul Cohen aka Komuso Tokugawa
HarpNinja - Learn Harmonica Faster
Komuso's Music Website

Last Edited by Komuso on Jun 24, 2020 7:46 PM
Fil
478 posts
Jun 25, 2020
6:10 AM
Yeah Spderyak, awesome! Like it more the more I listen to it. No nuance....
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Phil Pennington
dougharps
2135 posts
Jun 25, 2020
8:27 AM
@Komuso
You responded to kudzurunner's post about the Common Ground Committee sponsoring “civil discussions between two or more people who hail from different points on the political spectrum.” The need for people to find common ground and moderate the current polarization is at the top of my list.

You posted, “That's a really hard challenge, communicating different pov's or even facts to get a message through the filters people have in place.” I took it that you were continuing kudzu's topic about finding common ground. The part about getting a message through filters seemed to be an unequal instructional approach of teacher to student, not a facilitating approach or an openness to engaging people as equals to find common ground. You then continued with your example of the project at Stanford, again based on instruction, which to me indicated you were advocating an approach that would not find common ground.

I posted my views on your post and the path to common ground.

The sentence you singled out to kudzu was meant to be read as a continuation of the thought in the previous sentence. I did not intend for line spacing to separate the ideas.

The "Whataboutism" issue does not apply as I was staying on the topic of kudzu's post and of your initial response to it, not throwing up a different issue to deflect from the topic.

If it was your intention to switch the topic to instructional techniques, I didn't see it at the time. Describing an instructional approach after kudzu's post seems tangential to the topic of discussion at the time.

The paradox of tolerance does not apply, as nowhere did I ever indicate that intolerance should be indefinitely tolerated. Suggesting finding common ground with others does not mean endlessly tolerating intolerance.

I would suggest everyone spend less time reading outrageous content about extreme outliers posted on twitter, other social media, and much of traditional media. People on the right and the left make it a practice to inflame their bases with publicizing extreme examples in order to “other” those who have differing beliefs or who question ideology.

This practice results in large groups NOT on the fringes being categorized into one or the other ideological baskets, regardless of the wide range of beliefs held by those individuals. Disagreement with left wing radical thought does not mean agreement with right wing radical thought. Disagreement with right wing radical thought does not mean agreement with left wing radical thought. There is a huge middle ground with much in common.

With regard to the current President, I could not bring myself to vote for either party's candidate in 2016 and was shocked when he was elected. I continue to find much in his behavior as President to be objectionable. I don't believe in piling on a person in a fit of universal condemnation. I was trained to evaluate behaviors as different from the person, which allow for a person to change their behaviors. I continue to evaluate behavior and not offer blanket condemnation of a person.

I would prefer that “news” reports stick to substantiated facts and not indulge in ongoing biased speculation. There is no need to spin or speculate, just report the news. I am postmodern enough to realize we cannot ever achieve a completely objective news perspective, but I still believe that objectivity in reporting is a worthy goal to pursue, even if unattainable. News sources seem to have abandoned any pretext of trying to be objective.

I believe in engaging in conversations with others who do not hold my views in order to better understand them and to find common ground. I do not support dismissing and "othering" anyone who does not subscribe to my beliefs. I believe that it is wrong to generalize about everyone who does not share my political viewpoint. One cannot fairly categorize an entire group based on the troubling outliers.

Reducing any issue to only two extreme choices is a fallacy. There are wide swaths of gray areas in human belief and behavior. Most people are not at one extreme or the other, but can be found somewhere in between if you give them a chance.
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Doug S.

Last Edited by dougharps on Jun 25, 2020 8:28 AM
dougharps
2136 posts
Jun 25, 2020
8:47 AM
If I encountered a monologue at a music performance in any way similar to what I just wrote, I would walk out, regardless of whether I enjoyed the music, agreed with the topic or not.

I suggest we get back to music. The cut below is OT in that it is not blues and lacks harmonica, but the lyrics seem to fit the time and it is music.




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Doug S.

Last Edited by dougharps on Jun 25, 2020 8:52 AM
Gnarly
2826 posts
Jun 25, 2020
12:19 PM
Having been the recipient of Doug's generosity, I can attest to his kindness. He is a mensch.
So cut him some slack or he'll cut you--OK, just kidding.


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