4′ 33″ #PlagueSongs, no. 20. AND 43 notes on silence, time, & the corona era

1 There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. – John Cage, “Experimental Music” (1957), in Silence: 50th Anniversary Edition (Wesleyan UP, 2011), p. 8 Philip Nel, guitar and vocal, Manhattan, Kansas, 26 July 2020. 2   John Cage’s 4’33” was first performed

Again. And Again. And… ENOUGH!

I can’t watch the latest videos of police murdering black men. I feel that I should watch them, to bear witness. But… the depressing regularity of these videos threatens to engulf me in despair. So, I am not watching the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Instead, I will write a few words – expressing sentiments I’ve shared before

Charleston, Family History, & White Responsibility

In response to concerns expressed by some members of my family, I have removed this blog post. This marks the first time that I’ve removed or changed something for reasons other than finding an error or a typo. This post will not reappear here.  But nor will it completely disappear.  I plan to revise and

#BlackLivesMatter — A Twitter Essay

1. #Ferguson. #MikeBrown #EricGarner. #TrayvonMartin #BlackLivesMatter. #BlackLivesMatter. #BlackLivesMatter. – Philip Nel (@philnel) December 3, 2014 2. We can tweet #BlackLivesMatter all day. And we should. And we should ask why killing a person of color doesn’t even warrant a trial. – Philip Nel (@philnel) December 3, 2014 3. There’s actually video of #EricGarner saying #ICantBreathe

Ferguson: Response & Resources

This post has two parts: my response and some resources for teaching about Ferguson. Feel free to skip ahead to the resources section. My Response For two weeks now, I have been wanting to write something about the state-sponsored terrorism in Ferguson – and all that it represents (structural racism, police brutality, militarized cops, etc.). But it makes