It wasn’t until Andrew Yang started to gain any attention in 2019 from mainstream media outlets that I began to watch CNN frequently enough to get a sense of Van Jones as an anchor. It was apparent to the Yang Gang that he was a fan of Mr. Yang. Since autumn of last year through the presidential elections earlier this month, I’ve seen him laugh, try not to seethe with profound disappointment, and then surrender to the overwhelming lightening of one kind of load while bracing for the impact of another. As with any emotional response on live TV, Van Jones’s delivery inspired compassion from some and criticism from others.*
After pondering the foibles of humanity as manifested through the American psyche for months on end, I surmise that having a nearly two hour conversation with Busta Rhymes was intellectually and psychologically refreshing and illuminating.https://www.youtube.com/embed/nmswkrdzFds?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent
Busta Rhymes is one of the most influential and talented rappers and hiphop artists of his generation. Although I didn’t follow his career too closely, I loved his music videos, his singles, and knew that his body of work left a lasting impression upon those who beheld it in the first decade of the 21st century. Let’s all take a moment and appreciate the visual splendor that is “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See.”
I discovered Sunday night that Busta Rhymes recently released a new album called Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God and listened to many of the songs on YT. “Best I Can” and “Freedom?” are my favorites. “Best I Can” is like the grownup version of OutKast’s “Ms. Jackson” and other songs where the speaker is acknowledging the wrongs they’ve done and want to make amends. Sometimes the only way to get out the words is to narrate it to a beat and a melody. “Freedom” …c’est un cri du coeur.
* Huffpost featured an article by a woman who recognized the importance of Van Jones shedding tears on national television.
If you missed Barack Obama on 60 minutes, you can watch it here. The best part of this interview to me is when he addresses police brutality as an unintended consequence of sending young officers into communities and just “putting a lid on it,” where “it” represents crime, disturbed peace, and whatever needs to be dealt with and 911 is the only emergency line anyone knows to call. It’s strange that over time, firefighters have had to expand the repertoire of their job responsiblities from putting out fires to rendering first aid, rescuing people and pets trapped under/in a variety of places, and the like. And they’re universally beloved, and rightfully so, but cops are wearing how many belts now? And (some portions of) society at large are just now truly seeing what’s wrong with that picture.
You can put a lid on a boiling pot at low to medium heat and leave it unattended for a period of time. But if it’s medium to high heat with a lid? Pressure! This year has yanked off the lid, the water is boiling, and we all got splashed.
And now, Squirrel Nut Zippers’ song “Put a Lid on It.”