Back to the Bush

kalahari melon danceHunter-gatherer bushmen who had been forced out of Botswana’s Kalahari Desert found there way onto the Web before winning back the right to return to their tribal lands today.

Displaced to settlement camps over the decade, allegedly so Botswana could preserve the land and its wildlife within the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR), many of the Bushmen succumbed to starvation, AIDS/HIV and alcoholism. Others banded together with activists including the Archbishop Desmond Tutu behind a civil rights case that went to court originally in 2002.

The Bushmen published a Web site, with photos and pleas for the return of their land.

Many believe that the real reason the bushmen were forced out was corporate pressure from diamond mining giant De Beers. Several international celebs began publicizing the story of a 20,000-year-old hunter-gatherer tribe forced against their will to flee their land and assimilate.

In September, the bushmen published an ad appealing to Leonardo DiCaprio to take a stand for their rights after he filmed Blood Diamond, depicting the murderous diamond trade of Sierra Leone. Later, the L.A. Times joined the De Beers-bashing.

Last week saw the launch of BoycottDeBeers.comm calling for boycott of De Beers and their “conflict diamonds.”

For more on the Kalahari Bushmen and today’s court decision: BBC News (w/ video and photos).

image from David!!!!!s flickr

Beck @ the Echo, Los Angeles, December 9

beck at the echo, los angelesWhat a treat for anyone on the Echo/Spaceland mailing list who happened to still be checking e-mails at ten to 5pm on Friday: Tickets for an early show w/ Beck at the intimate & rocking Echo went on sale at 5 for a mere $15. While an ticketweb‘s allotment sold out in 5 or so minutes, tickets remained available at the door until at least halfway through the hourlong set. Big ups to Liz and the Echo/Spaceland team for the top notch arrangements and last minute organization. I captured the below 3-song medley on my not-so-hot sounding Olympus FE-180. Best time at the Echo since Sharon Jones a year ago, if not ever, and yes, that’s Justin Meldal-Johnson (Ima Robot) back on bass!

Continue reading “Beck @ the Echo, Los Angeles, December 9”

Obama Drama Comes to Monday Night

UPDATE: video added…

No word yet on whether or not Hank III will reference Barack Obama on the Monday Night Football custom intro, but we do know that the current U.S. Senator who resides in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood will be opening ESPN’s coverage of the Chicago Bears – St. Louis Rams matchup with a special announcement:

…to talk about “a contest between two very different philosophies” that is also “a contest about the future.” And — hint, hint — acknowledges questions about “whether the new guy has enough experience.”

Then, he says, he’ll “put all the doubts to rest. After a lot of thought and a good deal of soul-searching, I’d like to announce to all of America that I’m ready … for the Chicago Bears to go all the way!”

He’s all but running, quite obviously, and the hype he received over the weekend when his book tour took him through New Hampshire for the first time is further evidence. See The Moderate Voice for a roundup of the B-Rock Lobster fest (or must I reserve lobster references for Maine)?

Also worth reading, John Dickerson of Slate‘s account of the N.H. trip and the Obama-tracking blog of the Sun Times’ Lynn Sweet. And Newsweek is reporting that Barack’s boss — Michelle Obama — is prepared to take the leap.

Also, click here for video of Obama’s stellar speech in NH over the weekend (h/t Ezra).

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