Sunday, July 12, 2015

Nina Simone

I watched an incredible documentary the other day which told the story of the legendary musician, Nina Simone. She was one of the most extraordinary artists of the twentieth century, an icon of American music, and a true storyteller.  

Her two songs Mississippi Goddam and Aint Got will tell you all you need to know about the civil rights movement in the US.  Watching her perform those songs is to witness someone who is channelling something so deep and so true, that the medium seems to disappear into the message.

She was a brilliant woman, whose genius tipped over to mental illness eventually. This was sad to witness.  Human brilliance is extraordinary and delicate.

Friday, July 03, 2015


This idea of "independence" has always been an obsession for me.  My early education in Zionism celebrates above all the idea of independence.  It was a constant theme in the reggae music I was enamored with in high school (and still am).  It was palpable in my travels to post colonial Sub-saharan Africa, India, the U.S. and of course, Palestine, where independence from is not a relic of history, but a daily struggle.  

As a freelance journalist, I have long sought independence in my work.  It is a theme of many of the stories I pursued. Yet, I realized that the feeling of it is elusive.  You go out on your own to travel, to freelance, to start a company, to start a nation, only to realize how dependent you are on others. 

Like everlasting happiness, everlasting independence is a myth.  Yet, it is still something to strive for, to dream of, and to try to achieve. 

To recognize dependency is equally important.  To give support to those who need you promotes feelings of true happiness and satisfaction.

Eventually, travelers need companions. Individuals need families.  Freelancers need media companies.  Entrepreneurs need teams.  Companies need partners.  Nations need allies.   

These relationships lose their purpose when they become oppressive.  

When entities work together as a team, magic can happen.

The truth is nobody who has achieved anything great has done it alone.

Still, the concept of independence, and the basic human desire to achieve it, is a beautiful thing.