Benjamin Maurice Melançon the First, A.D.H.D. variously known as BMM Inc., the Maurice Institute Library, and the godfather of CATSUP, is quite possibly a figment of his own imagination.
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Solidarity

Dad tells me that the Olympic athletes who did the black power salute suffered reprisals from it the rest of their lives, to this day (I got him the "What's my name, fool" book by Dave Zirin).

Unable to get work, they were knocked down

hmm, do you suppose just maybe anyone with the commitment and drive to perform at the level of an olympic athlete, and the political thoughtfulness and bravery to make a powerful public statement, could probably have done well at a great many jobs?

As a movement for a better world, we need to organizationally support those who take a stand.

Seattle, Washington in late 1960s

First time I was in Seattle, late 60s

after the world's fair

Pacific Power, the electric company there
hired one of the top chefs in I think France
he went up
and said all the stoves had to be taken out
they were electric
and put in gas stoves

Seattle was humming back then
incredibly different city
involved with activists, social worker types

begging to help the poor, those in prison

they had a small group they had access to, all there was
lumber, Boeing

all had access, easy access
and lesser outfits too

Addiction

You don't want to waste the money on a pack of cigarettes. Believe me, I've been there.

And if you say there are s[mokers who can quit whenever, they're lying]

There are people who smoke one or two cigarettes a day their whole lives, but they never become addicts.

In the hospital Dad said he had never been interested in cigarettes. He was in a hospital waiting room, maybe for the first time, in his 20s or late teens, and cigarettes were handed out.

That's when he became addicted.

Earliest memory

My earliest memory is of something terrible coming

that the world was going to be worse and worse... that everyone would die

1928 – 2007

John C. Melançon, born circa 1928, lived a full life – of work, of solidarity, of travel, of love, of learning, but his death May 29 came too soon. He leaves his former wife Evelyn; three sons, Jakob Alfred, Benjamin Maurice, and Daniel Eugene; Daniel's wife Eva Marie, and two grandchildren by Eva and Daniel, Cassidy James and Xavier Elijah.

An orphan, John made his own living starting from a young age in New Orleans. He never went to school, let alone graduated high school or college. A lifelong student of life by reading and direct experience, his intelligence and depth and breadth of historical knowledge far surpassed that from any university education.

Before his marriage, John traveled and worked in other parts of the world, including Latin America, England, Europe, and Israel. With his wife and sons he traveled and camped through 47 of our 50 states.

He helped support his family as assistant manager of the Weston Golf Club, as owner of J&F Variety in downtown Natick, delivering pizza at Pizza Plus, and working receiving at Sears. Seriously physically compromised by emphysema in his last years, he kept a sharp eye on politics, and world affairs, and the Boston Celtics and Red Sox.

He considered the most meaningful part of his life, prior to his family, the time he spent in an intentional community in Georgia that supported the Southern civil rights movement as well as directly working with, and providing work for, the local poor white community.

A radical his entire life, he never accepted the inequality, racism, or unfairness of society, and never quite lost his belief in our ability to change the world.

Sometimes hidden, he had a deep and abiding love of humanity.

Television Patriotism in Natick: the propaganda machine at work

A few days ago flags put around the tiny Moran plaza at the MBTA stop for Memorial day weekend were found smoldering in a trash can.

At least three television news trucks and crews spent several hours parked on the street Friday afternoon and evening, filming the scene of the misdemeanor. Much outrage was voiced into the television microphones.

Where are the television crews to cover the lack of affordable housing? The homeless and hungry in Boston and everywhere? The lack of living wages? Heck, the library being closed so much. The things that actually affect people.

Michael "Savage" Weiner: Fairness Doctrine equals Nazis

It's an interesting point – I wish I recalled who made it – that you can know exactly what the anti-democratic, ultimate-power-to-a-wealthy-elite cadre are up to simply by what the right-wing noise machine accuses its enemies of doing.

Conservative Revolutionary

Walking by a particularly thin telephone pole a few days ago, I had profound thoughts on profound thoughts that were going to be entitled "A Radical Analysis of a Telephone Pole" but I wasn't up to it either humorously or seriously, let alone the ever-necessary combination.

But the gist of it is that there's no essential dissonance in being a conservative radical or a conservative revolutionary.

I wish I could stretch like a dog

I'm jealous of dogs. They can turn a full-body stretch into lying down. That must be so nice. We humans can stretch and sort of collapse onto a bed or couch, but there's a moment of relaxation lost.

Ignore This Post

From a slow-paced instant message conversation today, May First, 2007:

Brian: Happy Loyalty Day
me: International Workers Day, you mean?
Brian: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/04/20070430-3.html
me: SOB
I can't even go look
Brian: oh, look
me: and hmm, that could stand for my emotion, or the president
Sent at 2:21 PM on Tuesday
me: I'm speechless. Really. There's a fine line between satire and fascism, apparently.
Brian: Does this remind you of V for Vendatta as much as it reminds me?
Sent at 2:25 PM on Tuesday
me: yeah, more than a little bit

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