Check out my new album Sohei (Monk Warriors) distributed by @tunecore and live on iTunes!

Check out my new album Sohei (Monk Warriors) distributed by @tunecore and live on iTunes!.

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Second Bill of Rights

fdr_no_fearThe Second Bill of Rights was a list of rights proposed by Franklin D. Roosevelt during his State of the Union Address on January 11, 1944.[1] In his address Roosevelt suggested that the nation had come to recognize, and should now implement, a second “bill of rights“. Roosevelt’s argument was that the “political rights” guaranteed by the constitution and the Bill of Rights had “proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.” Roosevelt’s remedy was to declare an “economic bill of rights” which would guarantee:

Jack Johnson, Sea-borne Denizen

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
– Isaac Newton, letter to Robert Hooke, 1676

The following articles are about the people who inspired me to press on when I found the world ill-defined. While I idolized Hemingway and Kerouac, J.D. Salinger and Keri Hulme, Dylan Thomas and Robert Frost, the people in my Standing on the Shoulders of Giants series were, and are, the tangible, and the most immediate, examples I have of people living lives immersed in, and in pursuit of, their respective passions. I feel very fortunate, and am thankful for, the circumstances which caused our lives to intersect. It is from their shoulders that I could see what might be instead of just what was.

 

Jack backstage, (photo: wikel)

Jack Johnson, Sea-borne denizen

by philip scott wikel (originally published in Blue Edge Magazine)

If you take all the colors of all of the cultures whose borders touch the sea, then filter them through the hometown and surf-stoked sensibility of a lightly salted acoustic guitar, you’ll begin to gain an impression of the resplendent, sea-borne denizen that is Jack Johnson; surfer, film-maker, musician. His music might be labeled something like salty acoustic alchemy. From the subtle beat of steel-drum calypso on his song “Flake” to the childhood reveries of “Mud Football,” Jack pulls you into a seamless blending of eclectic sounds and experiences from his travels around the world, stirred, not shaken. He writes songs about living, loving, learning, and letting go; as he says, “You just go with the flow, you don’t stop.”

On September 13th at Arroyo Verde Park in Ventura, California Jack, along with Jackson Browne, the country-rock duo Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen, and blues artist Keb’ Mo’ took to the stage in front of a capacity crowd of 3300 to support the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy and to raise funds for, and create awareness of, their efforts to preserve open space. “Venturans have demonstrated at the ballot box that we want our hillsides preserved,” says Brooke Ashworth, the Conservancy President, “the Conservancy provides a vehicle to implement this goal in a way that deals with property owners fairly and equitably.”

Phil Sedillos, a Chirikawa Apache, shared that he’s “proud of Ventura’s reaction to saving the hillside. It’s nice to see Jackson Browne come out here in support of this.” Next to him is Rosalyn Schuerman with “Dennis Kucinich for President” says “I just called my daughter to let her know I now know who Jack Johnson is.” And Rob Woods, an employee of Patagonia, chimes in with “We’re here showing our love for this place and that we don’t have to build. Check it out, we got the espresso to get us through the long day and some Ben and Jerry’s to wash it down. This is a cool scene.”

Continue reading “Jack Johnson, Sea-borne Denizen”

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
– Isaac Newton, letter to Robert Hooke, 1676

How does this relate to Ticket to Ride? The following articles are about the people who inspired me to press on when I found the world ill-defined. While I idolized Hemingway and Kerouac, J.D. Salinger and Keri Hulme, Dylan Thomas and Robert Frost, the people in my next three articles were, and are, the tangible, and the most immediate, examples I have of people living lives immersed in, and in pursuit of, their respective passions. I feel very fortunate, and am thankful for, the circumstances which caused our lives to intersect. It is from their shoulders that I could see what might be instead of just what was.

Intro to “Happiness is the Warm Guns”

With it’s many quotes of, and allusions to, bands (including a cameo appearance by U2) and lyrics of the 70s, my novel, Ticket to Ride, is as much a celebration of music and musicians as it is a celebration of writers and writing. The Warm Guns are, to me, like the second coming (or third if you factor in Oasis) of the Beatles. Because of this, I feel they fit with the spirit of the book. Livy Tinsley, my female protagonist and devotee to Paul McCartney and the Beatles, would have loved these guys.

Happiness is the Warm Guns

by philip scott wikel (originally published in the Ojai Valley News)

Coming down from Ojai with a warm Santa Ana blowing at my back, I felt I was headed toward something good. In my mind I could hear the Beatles “Revolution” and as I pulled off Hwy. 33 at Main St. I found downtown Ventura flooded with the clean streetlight glow of an after-rain autumn evening and the friendly echoes of the Warm Guns streaming out from Zoey’s coffee loft.

Continue reading “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”