Maraca Media-John O'Mara

Freelance copywriter and blogger, shakin' and rockin' it

Tag: Sam cooke

A change has come!

My last name is O’Mara. It’s an Irish name and back in the ’70s my father, Joe, received something in the mail addressed to “Joseph Omar.”

A few days ago, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib became the first Muslim women to be elected to the United States Congress.

To paraphrase a song by the great Sam Cooke, a change HAS come.

Cooke’s civil rights anthem was more in line with Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling during the national anthem before NFL games. A protest against treatment of American Americans at the hands of racist police departments.

I’m not sure if Cooke could have predicted that a refugee from Somalia would become the house representative from Minnesota.

But the face of North American politics is changing. Darker skinned. LGBT (Jared Polis is openly gay and was elected Governor of Colorado). Representing a diverse with a capital D constituency.

Canada’s Minister of National Defence is Harjit Sajjan. Lieutenant Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces and decorated for his service in Afghanistan.

And born in India.

Our Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship is Ahmed Hussen, who fled Mogadishu after the civil war in his native Somalia.

As a Canadian, I take great pride in having those men guiding and protecting our wonderful nation. We are in great hands,

And, getting back to the women.

I’ve been a Macleans subscriber for many years and that magazine has been labelled as conservative…but they feature a column by one of my favourite writers, Tabatha Southey, who has attacked Trump with great wit and insightful commentary.

Anyhow….

They paid tribute to Canada’s Foreign Minister with this cover story…

Chrystia Freeland has been a frequent guest on Real Time with Bill Maher. Love that show.

And back to Sam Cooke.

“There been times when I think I couldn’t last for long,

But now I think I’m able to carry on.

It’s been a long time coming. But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will.”

Michael Moore said this last week on Late Night with Seth Myers:

“If I could just speak to my fellow angry white American guys who are semi-uneducated like me — ‘dudes, give it up.’ We’ve been running the show for 10,000 years. It’s like we’ve had a long run as men running everything. … Why don’t we just take a break? Let the majority gender run the show. What are you scared of?’”

And this son of “Omar” is going to follow my very distant relative (hey, we could be) Ilhan Omar on social media because I feel Ilhan, Elizabeth Warren, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Chrystia and Rashida are leading us to a more humane and peaceful coexistence on this planet.

It’s their time, and it’s about time.

A Change is gonna come

I have thousands of songs in my Rock and Roll Riot library but the one that affects me the most, even when I listen to the (pre-recorded) airings is Sam Cooke’s stirring civil rights anthem, A Change is Gonna Come.

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Cooke wrote it in 1963 after he and his band members were turned away at a whites-only motel in Louisiana. The African American singer was also inspired by Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.”

I am a proud Canadian. Aside from the climate (why couldn’t they have divided North America down the middle instead of top and bottom?), and with all due respect to my American neighbours, I live in the greatest country in the world.

But….

I am also a citizen of the world. Sounds pretentious and maybe it is, but is a Canadian or American life more important than a German, Japanese, British or (you know this is coming) Syrian life?

No.

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To steal and adapt a line from American President Steve Bannon, Canada first? No, we are great because we welcome immigrants and always have done so. They made us great.

And yes, Bannon isn’t officially the president. Can’t recall the guy’s name but his daughter is hot. But Steve-o seems to be playing a major role in making America white again.

It used to be that left versus right, liberal/conservative or democrat/republican was a matter of politely disagreeing with the other side.

Today, amplified by social media, it’s I’m right, you’re wrong, fuck you.

I have voted liberal or NDP all my life but I also read the National Post and subscribe to MacLean’s magazine, both regarded as conservative. If they criticize Trudeau I am more than willing to read till the end.

Not just the headlines. On Facebook it’s “OMG, I can’t believe it!’

Of course you can’t. You haven’t read it, and know nothing beyond the clickbait likely created by someone who has never interviewed anyone and has zero credentials and limited knowledge.

But repost the nutjob rants and conspiracy theories. I’ll keep blocking them, even if it gives me carpal tunnel syndrome.

Sometimes the legitimate right wing media  are right. And correct. You’d have to be a total twit to swallow everything your party or leader of choice said or believed. You’d be a Stepford wife.

President Bannon has made the media the enemy. So have mind-controlled robots Spicer and Conway because they have been told to do so.

And yet…

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‘How many deaths will it take til he knows that too many have died? The answer my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.”

Online subscriptions to The Washington Post, The New York Times and many other newspapers have shot up dramatically because, despite what Jack Nicholson’s character in A Few Good Man said, we can handle the truth.

We want the truth. We want facts. We want answers and accountability.

Without the much-maligned mainstream media Tricky Dick would have remained in office and who knows how many more alter boys would have been abused by priests (rent or download “Spotlight) had it not been for the Boston Globe and its investigative reporters?

In one of my favourite movies, “Inherit the Wind,” Gene Kelly’s E.K. Hornbeck (based on legendary journalist H.L. Mencken) says the media’s job is to comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.

That summation is truer today than it has ever been.

And, in closing, lyrics from the great Sam Cooke.

“It’s been a long time comin’ but I know, a change gonna come, oh yes it will.”

 

 

 

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