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Friday, September 19, 2008

Like Toy Soldiers (For PeaceOneDay.org)


EminemPeace and Eminem? Odd pairing, on the surface.

I've discussed them both before, but this time, the context is the international Day of Peace, September 21st. I'm posting today because it falls on a Sunday and I don't usually post on the weekend.

I'd thought I might do something related to Peter Gabriel, but his connection with world peace is well known and acknowledged. Eminem's connection perhaps is only in my head, but I think it's valid.

As I said in that previous post, understanding takes the power away from fear. Both fear and lack of understanding are the primary causes of the escalation of conflict. I don't mean to say that conflict would disappear if we just loved one another. Eminem knows that isn't realistic either.

If you do listen and seek to understand others, put yourself in their shoes as it were, tolerance can be reached and solutions determined. Understanding puts everybody on the same side in opposition to the problem rather than 2 sides of people developing with positions further and further disparate and entrenched.

Eminem reaches out with raw emotion for understanding, telling his story as personally and openly as he can. Think about the reaction of many in the public to this expression and its effect on him. Imagine you had just produced for all the world to hear your innermost fears in the only way you'd been taught only to have them twisted and warped for political agendas attacking you and your art.

Yes, artists are supposed to have thick skins, but not of lead, man. Listen to his lyrics. Cringe at them. Realize they are HIS TRUTH.

The passionate expression of people's truth needs to be cherished. If it were, whole peoples wouldn't take up arms in defense of their beliefs.

What I can do for peace? Yes, love, but also stay true to me and communicate that truth, and passionately seek to encourage and defend others who do the same. Indeed, Eminem and his work connect closely with...

Peace. Make it more than one day.

Eminem 09/19/08


4 comments:

Matt Smaus said...

Yes! I get into spats about Eminem all the time with people. He is very misunderstood, and the games he plays with the media remind me of Bob Dylan. Just watch any of the documentaries. Running circles around the critics, the politicians, even his fans.

The greatest teachers destroy peoples' preconceptions, not help to construct them. By teacher I don't mean that Eminem intends to teach, but he certainly is teaching, anyway, isn't he?

Sorry it's taken me so long to drop a comment here, Daniel. I have to admit I was never a blog reader until I started one, and now, well, still not so much. It's rewarding, but it's a lot to keep up with.

On the subject of Free Will--have you ever read Krishnamurti? If not, do. One thing that he points out, with inarguable clarity, is that our sense of self, the "I", is really just a cluster of memories which react out of previous conditioning. As long as we are letting thought dictate our sense of self, and our reactions, there is no free will.

Perhaps we are only free in the absence of will?

Anyway, last thing, on the subject of Jed: Has a little boy, 3 months old, named Joaquin. Living in Missoula, MT, just finished his phd in conservation ecology, has conducted field research in Yellowstone and Thailand, worked in Borneo for a couple years, taught a seminar in Africa, and otherwise isn't a whole lot different than he's ever been. Beautiful wife. Me and him and Than and my brother are still close, and have clan gatherings once or twice a year. Jed and I spent six months in South America together in 1998, and spent three weeks backpacking the Brooks Range in Alaska two summers ago, so we're doing our best to keep the friendship strong despite the demands of adulthood.

Take care, keep up the art, and in closing:

"That's pretty much the gist of it, parents are pissed but the kids love it. Nine millimeter heater stashed in two seaters with meat cleavers, I don't blame you, I wouldn't let Hailie listen to me neither..."

d.edlen said...

Hey, Matt! Sweet, thanks for commenting! I'm glad you started your blog. Your thoughts are wonderful.

Everybody is a teacher, everybody is a student. Just depends on the moment. And the audience.

It is a lot to deal with online. I'm lucky to have as much time as I do as it ties in well with my work. I need to build relationships to spread meaningful awareness of what I'm doing.

Facebook has been somewhat helpful in reconnecting, at least establishing awareness of my existence with previous classmates and current connections.

I'm really just trying to make the world a better place in my unique way.

I love the idea that we are a collection of memories. And yes, we are only free when we let go of control.

I'd somehow heard about the work down in South America Jed was involved with, cool to know you were too. I'm glad he stuck with nature so strongly as he was the one who fostered my love of our world.

Thanks again, man. I'll let you know when I get a chance to read Krishnamurti.

Peace.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Excellent post and conversation here in the comments! I appreciate your life view so much, Daniel. If everyone had this kind of outlook can you imagine what the world would be like? I guess John L. wrote a song about that did't he?

I remember when my son started listening to Eminem, he was about 9 and all I could hear was the "F" word. But you are right, when I listened I heard him. And I love the movie 8 Mile.

d.edlen said...

"...when I listened I heard..."

Exactly. Yeah, that was a moving movie. And Brittany Murphy's got that quirky cute thing going on.