Saturday, September 15, 2018

Miss American Pie – Well done…


Miss American Pie – Well done…


In 2011 while contributing some time musically to the “Occupation” movement, I met many fascinating people.  Many a political idealist or activist on the case from Harvard, MIT, to Vanderbilt, Berkley and more, all provided some of the most invigorating and illuminating conversations I’d had in years.  The financial crisis on Wall Street and indiscretions of the 1% had reverberated into the mind and conscience of so many and it was an awesome opportunity to meet so many brilliant minds and talented musicians. While mostly an observer, I took many pictures and notes along the way and contributed as much as I could, my musical talents in many sing-alongs, marches, and performance venues.

Contemporaneously, I was engaged with my photojournalist friends gathering for the Eddie Adams Workshop in NJ, in contributing some music for a collaborative PJ essay.  The EAW Teams of aspiring photojournalist gather each year in commemoration of the late Pulitzer Prize recipient – Eddie Adams, with world-renowned photographers, many Pulitzer recipients themselves, offer to mentor to the aspiring photojournalist.  At the end of the week, each team presents their collaborative efforts in a “photo-essay.”  I was fortunate to have been in the process of working on a tune then, that had a lot of flavors drawn from the OWS movement in Zuccotti Park that fall that eventually became the soundtrack theme for the “Red Team” collaborated work. The song, “Train Don’t Stop Down Here,” was inspired by then-Mayor Blumberg’s decision to re-route downtown subway lines, and not have nearby subway lines “stop” at various adjacent “subway” stops within the proximity of where the OWS main stage was occurring; an attempt to curb the flow of activities in the protest areas.

While back on the street with various OWS marchers and on the move around Manhattan, I wrote a “parody” of “Miss American Pie,” with lyrics more akin to the problem facing the public, the 99% and their plight in legislation(s) that were defeating their interest due to being “out-spent” by big-time $$ lobbyist representing the Banking and Financial industries.  I reflect on this now, given the 10 year anniversary of the “big weekend,” for the gods of the universe in the US financial kingdom and “Lehman Brothers” consummate demise, that precipitated numerous congressional hearings and, eventually, TARP. 

And then, who could forget the holdouts in AIG’s underwriter department for the infamous “CDO” and “CDS” tangled mess of paperwork.  The ones who threatened to walk if their “retention” bonuses weren’t honored, or would be “pulled” due to the new congressional compliance oversight, else they’d “walk” and leave AIG and Goldman Sachs twist in the wind in the worst convoluted matrix, albeit fraud, of financial conduits and paper-wiring matched few to none in the history of global financing. (my essay observations yrs ago) Obviously, they got their “cake,” or “pie,” and ate it too, since Congress had no other choice but to bail-out GS – who owned the paperwork, insured it, all that dirty paper AIG was bathing in, handsomely; followed by the smokeless assent of all that transparent vapor, albeit – trillions of dollars, that drifted up gracefully into the heavens of capital markets worldwide.  Hopefully, we did learn something from all that, but have we? After all, just two short years ago, 8 years after the above financial crisis, HRC did win the popular vote.

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Miss American Pie – Well done…

Miss American Pie – Well done… In 2011 while contributing some time musically to the “Occupation” movement, I met many fascinating ...