It has always struck me that the death of one is more painful than the deaths of many. If we truly held life to be sacred, I do not believe we could feel this way. What is truly sacred is our relationship with the living. When our relationships cease to be “alive”, we are not impacted in the same way when the lives within that relationship come to an end. The international community has, largely, turned a blind eye to the Sudan. It has turned a blind eye because there is no “living relationship.” When human rights organizations report that more than 600,000 people have been killed, it elicits no more emotion or news coverage than racy e-mails to Congressional pages.
I am grappling with the loss of a close friend. I am vacillating between all the emotions and sentiment that naturally accompany personal loss. The contours of my grief cover so many aspects of my life. One of the best hip hop jams of the past decade is Rock Co. Kane Flow on The Grind Date by DeLaSoul. The album came out in 2004, but I didn’t hear it until 2006. I heard it because my best friend and I were both part of that 30-something alienated fan base of hip hop. Thankfully, he bought the album and re-introduced me to what the genre should have always been about. But just as Kenny G insinuated himself into public consciousness of what constituted jazz music, so too have Fiddy and Diddy insinuated themselves into a conversation to which they should have been banned. It happens, it’s the nature of art in America.