So, this is an ominous date isn’t it? Well, I’ve decided this year to consciously not name my opening Fast Five with some great name like I did with 2016 (it was titled Two Thousand and Yas Kween) because, well, last year divebombed. It divebombed real hard. Instead, today’s Fast Five has the loose theme of Defiance because that is how I want to live this year: being tough and not letting any knocks get me down whilst also consciously doing things that I love. Let’s do this whānau!
1. Dr Martin Luther King Jr
I don’t remember when I first learned about Martin Luther King but he’s definitely been a huge influence in how I think about justice, equality and the fight for both of those things. When I was in Form Two, my interest in Dr King increased as I had a teacher who shared the admiration and had a flag with the speech written on it hanging from the ceiling of our classroom. Many poster-sized assignments later, my love for his mahi was solidified. The work of Dr King came back into my consciousness this week when Congressman John Lewis announced he would not be attending the Trump’s inauguration to which the twistie-manbaby called Lewis ‘all talk and no action’. Lucky this is an online world and twistie-manbaby was swiftly rebuked with facts, figures and photos (actual ones, not the ‘facts’ that he likes to pass off as truth).
The Civil Rights movement that so many people marched for, worked for, sang for and died for must not be in vain. The world’s eyes are on America, let that be known.
Musical interlude from one of the most beautiful voices to have ever existed, Sam Cooke:
2. The Green Book
Actually, to stay with this kaupapa a little longer, I recently listened to this episode of the BBC4 Seriously podcast about a travel guide started in 1936 by African-American man Victor Green in called ‘The Green Book’. In the Jim Crow era of racial segregation, this travel guide provided African-American travellers with tips on establishments that were tolerant and welcoming to eat and stay in. It is a really sad listen and shows how severely African-American travellers needed to adjust their behaviours and routes so as not to ever get in a situation where whites would be openly hostile to them.
It’s truly a bullshit world we live in when oppressors can victimise themselves to the point of violence against the oppressed.
3. I See You
On that very note: I see you. When you’re not including brown voices, I see you. When you’re not including women’s voices, I see you. When you’re not including young voices, I see you.
4. Change can come
If you don’t think that agitation is worth anything these days, just look at what happened when people voiced their disgust at the stupid shit One News tried to pull on their Facebook page about banning burqas in Aotearoa: the racist poll was removed (it would’ve been better if they put out a statement showing they have seen the errors of the ways with an acknowledgement that they’d learned from their actions but I’ll take the minor win).
Oh happy day indeed (I LOOOOOOVE Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit [geddit?!]):
5. Self-care for the yeah
Like most people, I’m not really one for resolutions, mainly because I’m not that keen to have this thing on my back for the rest of the year that makes me feel like a failure. Also, a lot of the time I forgot about the things that I’ve promised to do (see last year’s Fast Five where I said I’d iron my clothes and bake more bread which resulted in no ironing and a disastrous attempt at rewena). BUT this year I’m just going to reflect more on stuff that I’ve already done that’s made me feel good and if I like it enough, I’ll do more of it. Last week I went swimming, proper swimming in the lanes that is, and it felt great because I was terrible at it, but then I got some tips from better swimmers and improved slightly (before getting worse again and then stopping because daaaamn swimming for exercise is very tiring).
This week’s song comes from the defiant voice of Fiona Apple and serves as a precursor to the Women’s March on Washington:
Actually, here is another Fiona Apple fave for posterity: