Today marks seventeen days since the last PCDD Radio, a hiatus I felt compelled to announce on account of everything going on. The U.S. has been marked by daily, massive protests, with intermittent demonstrations occurring across major Canadian cities. It’s everywhere, it’s been an incredible outcry of voices addressing what is – increasingly obviously – a global issue. Something has to change. During this time I’ve kept from updating the show out of respect for the marginalized voices dominating the discourse. My hope was by removing my voice from the equation and dedicating my time to signal-boosting activists (especially those from marginalized backgrounds), I’d be able to aid the movement without distracting the conversation with a random Spotify radio show. I felt like any dilution of the volume of voices calling out for change on Twitter was a disservice to the movement, and therefore wrong. I dedicated my time to educating myself, listening to those marginalized voices, donating money and expanding my own, personal understanding of white privilege.
I stand by that decision. I’m also realizing it isn’t enough.
There’s been a great deal of conversation about ‘allyship fatigue’, the notion that – having discovered racism apparently five weeks ago – privileged folks are now comfortable receding into a passive existence of pretending the problem doesn’t exist, and quietly waiting for the status quo to re-balance. It’s a dangerous concept. Our ongoing activism must be positioned alongside our daily lives, it has to be intertwined with it. It isn’t enough to pause your life, make a post, and shut up for a bit. We have to make concrete, ongoing commitments to addressing systemic racism, violence, and the freshly obvious, enormous issues with the Police force as an institution. Protests are singular events, but activism and calling for change have to be a mindset.
I’m bringing the weekly show back, but I’m not shutting up about the cause. It has to be both, it always has to be both. Make this activism a part of your life: continue donating funds, educating yourself, course-correcting when necessary. Vancouver can start by supporting the Hogan’s Alley Society and calling for the dropping of charges related to the Hogan’s Alley Revival Blockade. They can donate money to the Unist’ot’en 2020 Legal Fund, because Canada’s treatment of its Indigenous Peoples is a profound national disgrace. That’s three worthy causes, but there are countless others. Educate yourself and do better every day. I will be.
And donate to a bail fund. ❤
Pop Culture Death Drive Radio 5: West Coast Get Down
This week’s episode is dedicated to Kamasi Washington and his collective The West Coast Get Down, their collaborators, and a couple surprise guests. The level of talent in this group is absurd: there’s virtuoso drummer Ronald Bruner Jr. and his brother Steven, better known as Thundercat. There’s the impeccable Ryan Porter on trombone, the Planetary Prince himself Cameron Graves on the keys, multi-instrumentalist Terrace Martin, Miles Mosley on the standup bass and more. There’s a dude named Kendrick Lamar, and Stephen Ellison, better known as Flying Lotus. All these musicians inter-pollinate each other’s releases, often appearing where you’d least expect it and contributing to a Jazz community unparalleled in contemporary music. They’re that fucking good.
I mean I also just think they’re neat. Have you heard that Young Jazz Giants record? Jesus.
So this week is a tribute to the esteemed director Rio Miller: over an hour and a half of West Coast Get Down’s finest, and a couple surprises as well. It’s massive because it’s a Kamasi Washington comp: it has to be long as hell. I hope you enjoy it.
Throw one up for Austin Peralta while you’re at it.
Next week: we’re back on schedule with Reading Break