So where the hell have I been all this time? Well, this is the Autumn of my Discontent. First...my lodge has to move. We've been doing a relentless schedule of degrees before we lost our building, both in our Blue Lodge and in the York Rite Bodies (I am EHP this year). So rehearsals, degrees, rehearsals, degrees...you get the picture. Then a protracted bout with larangytis, then a colossal hard drive failure (thank the GAOTU for backups)...it's just one thing after another. A bunch of religious holidays...finally another cold. I'm tired and I'm cranky. So with your indulgence brothers, I will go on a gentle rant:
[RANT] So this episode I need to get some things that are bugging me off my chest. The Scottish Rite in Chicago sold their building and abandoned the Second City, leaving it without a downtown Masonic presence for the first time since 1844. Not only is it going to hurt Chicago Masonry in the short term, I think it will hurt my Scottish Rite Valley in the long term.
The recent press stories around Masonry and racism are making me see red. It's not just the South and their failures at integration and recognition of Prince Hall GLs, but the spectre of a disgruntled group of expelled masons who seem to be helping the press coverage along. Bottom line: 1) Racism is wrong. If you are a lodge discriminating based on the color of a person's skin, cut it out. You are hurting on ly yourselves and the Craft. 2) Even if you are a clandestine mason, you are still bound by your Obligation. If you are a clandestine Mason helping to place press stories that are damaging to Masonry, cut it out. If you need some help, listen to episode 013, or go to your Kabbalah dictionary and look up "Lashon Hara" [/RANT]
I mean really you'd think episode 013 would have been unlucky, but 014 has been cursed from the start...just as I began recording, I realized I had caught another cold. But I decided, let's just soldier on, and so you'll hear me sounding a little more nasal than usual, a little coughing, etc.
But I am happy to say that we are now (fingers and toes crossed) back on track. I am gearing up for a few shows before the end of the year, including the second annual Christmas Music Show. If you would like to add a holiday greeting to your brothers, call the X-Oriente Skype-in line and leave your message, or better yet, record some audio and send it to me.
Speaking of music, Howie Damron a Brother from Ohio recently sent me a couple of really good albums. Howie is a singer-songwriter who sings a really pleasing blend of country and folk...on him album called Family Ties, he sings duets with his lovely daughter Karisa. Check out his song "The Masonic Ring." is very inspiring!!!
Thanks for being there for me, thanks for your emails, IM's and calls...this is the best Fraternity in the world and our lives are better for being a part of it.
00:50 Catching up
01:45 Rant about the loss of the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Chicago
10:40 Masonic Media Desk: Misconceptions on both sides of the Pond (both USA and the UK)
15:57 Troubles in the South: Alabama, racism and the press
22:42 The Grand Lodge of...what? Clandestine GL stirs up trouble in the South: Let's make it all stop. Now.
25:44 The Contest: The Masonic Playlist Challenge!
30:00 Bro. Howie Damron: the Masonic Ring
Note: This rant is my own opinion, based on what I have read and the conclusions I have drawn. I am open to constructive rebuttal and if you are an interested party and you'd like the opportunity to rebut anything I've said, send me your audio or written rebuttal within the next 30 days and I will post it. I reserve the right to edit for clarity and content appropriateness. Fair is fair.
"Son of Ambriel" by Cargo Cult from the Vibrant Album available on Magnatunes
"Seasons" by Cargo Cult from the Vibrant Album available on Magnatunes
"The Masonic Ring" by Howie Damron from the album Share the Feelin'. Available at his web site, howiedamron.com