1979 - August 16: “JET” Magazine Interview

On placing God and religion into the process of a natural high:

“I believe in the Bible and I try to follow the Bible. I know I’m an imperfect person… I’m not making myself an angel because I’m not an angel and I’m not a devil either. I try to be the best I can and I try to do what I think is right. It’s that simple…I don’t just pray at night. I pray at different times during the day. Whenever I see something beautiful, I say, "Oh, God, that’s beautiful.” I say little prayers like that all through the day.“

On related natural highs:

"As corny as it sounds, natural highs are the greatest highs in the world. The stars, the mountains, children, babies smiling are just magic.”

On racism and prejudice:

“The people told us ‘Just deal with it’ (racism), because that’s how the South is. That’s ignorance and it’s taught, because it’s not genetic at all. The little children in those (countries) aren’t prejudiced. I would like for you to put this in quotes, too. I’m really not a prejudiced person at all. I believe that people should think about God more and creation. Look at the many wonders inside the human bodies — the different colors of organs, colors of blood — and all these colors do different things in the human body. It’s the most incredible system in the world; it makes an incredible building, the human being. And if this can happen with the human body, why can’t we do it as people? And that’s how I feel. And that’s why I wish the world could do more. That (racism) is the only thing I hate. I really do. And that’s why I try to write, put it in songs, put it in dance, put it in my art – to teach the world. If politicians can’t do it, poets should put it in poetry and writers should put it in novels. That’s what we have to do and I think it’s so important to save the world.”

On book reading:

“I love to read. I wish I could advise more people to read. There’s a whole new world in books. If you can’t afford to travel, you travel mentally through reading. You can see anything and go anyplace you want to in reading.”

On his travels:

“Wherever you go, man-made things are man-made, but you’ve got to get out and see God’s beauty of the world.”

On America’s racial problems at the time:

“The main thing that I hate most is ignorance, like the prejudice problems of America. I know it is worse in some other countries. I wish I could borrow from other countries, say, like Venezuela or Trinidad, the real love and color-blind people and bring it to America. When you travel, you realize how different America is. […] I’m prejudiced against ignorance. That’s what I’m mainly prejudiced against.”


1979 - August: “Blues & Soul” Magazine Interview

On the symbolism of the Peacock to his music and the Jacksons’ “Destiny” album:

“It’s a symbol of what we are trying to say through our music and it is summoned up by the fact that the peacock is the only bird that integrates all of the colors into one. It can only produce this radiance of fire when it is in love. And that is what we are trying to represent through our music. To bring all races together through love. Politics can’t save the world, so the music people should at least try. People are brought together through music. With our music, we try to get across the feeling of love, and, so, we relate it through the peacock.”

“[…] The response around the world has been incredible. A lot of people didn’t see it on the back cover of ‘Destiny’. […] Some get the message, some don’t. But once they do get it, everyone thinks it’s beautiful. The significance is important to me and is one of the main reasons why I do what I do. If I couldn’t bring that happiness to people all over the world through my music, I wouldn’t do it. I could never just make records for people to buy and just get rich from. That’s no good for me. There has to be more than that. I only wish more people would think that way.”

On the influential message of folk music:

“[…] I love folk music myself; because it tells of the problems people really face. Folk songs can lift people’s spirits and they often have such a great message. Like the peacock thing is with us, really. The message makes people feel like real people and that they should stand up for their rights and not give up.”

“That’s why I love Paul Robeson so, because his folk songs all said something. Songs like "This Little Light Of Mine”. […] I only wish more people had been educated by him.“

On children:

"I’ve always been totally crazy about children. I feel that they are more than just children; that they are all little geniuses and that they have a secret all of their own. A secret that they cannot always express. […] I studied child psychology because of my love for children – all over the world. […] If a kid doesn’t like you, he’ll tell you. But adults pretend and put on phoney ways. I wish the world could be full of children!”

On tolerance towards other nations and cultures:

“People become addicted to the world and the violence. And they become subjected to other people’s thoughts and to the American system. Our way is not the only way.”

“[…] That’s what I like so much about travelling. You can see the systems that other countries adopt […]. We say we’re right, they say they’re right. […] You realize that there are other cultures than your own and it makes you feel small and insignificant. Like in India, I was amazed to fiind out a thirty year old man could marry a ten year old girl. We weren’t raised that way, so we look at it weirdly. But there, it’s been happening for centuries. […] And there, they treat the cow as a sacred animal. It’s like a God. They can all be starving to death, and, still, the cow sits there and the people won’t touch it.”

On religion and politics:

“No, I don’t (prefer to talk about these topics in interviews), because people are too quick to listen and it’s a tremendous responsibility to have so much power. Whatever we say in our music, the kids will listen. More than to the news or newspapers. We can educate them through our music. For example, Marvin gaye educated so many people with his "What’s Going On” album. He opened so many minds by just asking “What’s going on?” It was great. […]“

Coffee Shop - 08/79

[It was just her luck, wasn’t it? Standing up on her toes, she looked around to see that every seat was taken. Except for one, one that was at a table someone already was sat at. For a moment, she consider leaving but, honestly, she had hoped to sit down. Pull it together, she thought to herself. Biting the inside of her cheek, she walked to the seat] Mind if I sit here? It’s the only seat left. I promise I won’t be here too long.

There are so many places we are told to visit in our lifetimes. The Seven Wonders of the World. The incredible architecture of civilizations long since passed: the ruins left behind from the reign of countless civilizations, each one overlapping in timeline with another yet their paths rarely crossing. Even any of the dozens of cities someone has declared the ‘Greatest City in the World’.

Which is why the point of this article is not to convince you to go somewhere unless you cannot keep yourself away. Not the ones that garner polite smiles as people go on about their recent vacation that you were not on and frankly do not care all that much about.

I’ve found that place, my place.

The Twittering Forest.

Even its name has an eloquent ring.

The connection is easy. It seems as though everyone has heard of the thousands of birds coming together in chaotic but strangely soothing chatter. Their calls intertwining at all times of day– different types joining the fray at be it dusk or dawn– to create the most intricate of melodies. It’s beautiful, yes. Well known in the magical community and a rather popular destination despite its relative simplicity if for no other reason than what an entirely unthreatening spectacle it is.

Why am I going on about it then? It’s hard to make a day out of it, surely it’s not worth writing about.

That is a point I will argue until the end of my days. For the few that venture up into the birds territory, ask themselves what it might be like for the creatures, and scale the trees, there is so much more. One only has to choose to listen for more.

These birds – these remarkable birds can be heard reciting lyrical music, full lengths of prose, and poetry alike. If one takes perch nearby, it becomes clear that they each know there their story, and over time, it has become their job to tell it to anyone who will listen. Birds, humans, the animals they share the trees with. It doesn’t matter so long as they care to take something away from it.

There’s nowhere else quite like the Twittering Forests, full of radiant songbirds of hundreds of species that have evolved together to do more than whistle as communication. Their chattering is so much more. Much like anything worth discovering, it must be sought with an open mind and curiosity, but once found, once discovered, it is endlessly rewarding.

How I would love to spend my days reading among them- no, reading with them in the towering branches, in an entirely unique world.

Ryan Hansen (Claire)

Sally Ride, First U.S. Woman in Space by NASA on The Commons on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
(June 1984) Sally Ride was the first American woman in space. Born on May 26, 1951 in Los Angeles, California, she received a Bachelor in Physics and English in 1973 from Stanford University and, later, a Master in Physics in 1975 and a Doctorate in Physics in 1978, also from Stanford. NASA selected Dr. Ride as an astronaut candidate in January 1978. She completed her training in August 1979, and began her astronaut career as a mission specialist on STS-7, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on June 18, 1983. The mission spent 147 hours in space before landing on a lakebed runway at Edwards Air Force Base, California on June 24, 1983. Dr. Ride also served as a mission specialist on STS-41-G, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on October 5, 1984 and landed 197 hours later at Kennedy Space Center, Florida on October 13, 1984.

In June 1985, NASA assigned Dr. Ride to serve as mission specialist on STS-61-M. She discontinued mission training in January 1986 to serve as a member of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger accident, also known as the Rogers Commission. Upon completing the investigation she returned to NASA Headquarters as Special Assistant to the Administrator for Long Range and Strategic Planning, where she lead a team that wrote NASA Leadership and America’s Future in Space:A Report to the Administrator in August 1987.

Dr. Ride also wrotea children’s book, To Space and Back, describing her experiences in space, received the Jefferson Award for Public Service, and was twice awarded the National Spaceflight Medal. Her most recent books include Voyager: An Adventure to the Edge of the Solar System and The Third Planet: Exploring the Earth from Space. She was also a member of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB), which investigated the February 1, 2003 loss of Space Shuttle Columbia, as well as a physics professor and Director of the California Space Institute at the University of California, San Diego. She died on July 23, 2012, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Image # : 87-HC-129

Editor’s Note || August 1979

Dear Readers,

If you are anything like me, you have come across crossroads in your lives on several occasions. Unexpected more often than not, there tend to be more than two possibilities as so often portrayed in our media.

It is not simply left or right. There is not always a path less travelled by. There is not always major discernible consequences of one route over another.

They manifest in pairs, triplets, even dozens. Often one sticks out as the easiest and another as the hardest. One might be what is supposed to be chose but another is simply right. There are subtle impacts of each option that are entirely unpredictable as they lurk just below the surface, just out of sight. They must be accounted for even if there is no way of knowing what they might be.

It seems like a contradiction because it is. Life is not black and white, it isn’t even gray. It is colorful and alive, the yellows of the sun and happiness mixing with the brilliant red as it forced to set and the anger coursing through people that sometimes makes them feel more alive than anything else. It’s comparable to the relief of seeing the blue sky after a long winter despite being tinged with sorrow at seeing it go; blue being so closely associated with sadness at times it feels impossible to tell them apart.

Three days ago, I sat in front of a near finished issue of The Quibbler, my own crossroads laid out in front of me. While unforeseen, they were far more clearly than I could have ever anticipated.

One option was right. It shined through as more difficult, both in stress and work, but it would have been impossible to choose another route. While very little changed in terms of the issue, I can sense those repercussions lurking just around the corner, and I welcome them gladly, whatever they may be.

That’s the thing about ripples. They keep on growing, the same as a splash.

X. Lovegood
August 1979

Afrit Afoot

Have you ever heard of an Afrit? It is an evil spirit that originates in Arabia. They are extremely powerful and can take on any form they so desire. What do they want, you ask?

Your children.

That’s right. These dark spirits feed on the young, vibrant spirits of children. So, if you don’t want your young ones being taken from you in the middle of the night, I suggest you heed my word. You may be wondering how this relates to you, but I’m here to tell you it does.

Ministry of Magic worker, Minaphora Mina of the Runes and Symbols division has been spotted wandering about at night - alone. You are probably wondering what she was doing and so was I, reader, so was I. So, I followed her. This reporter discovered something most frightening. She entered a building, alone, and stayed there until morning. When she came out, she was glossy skinned, had on beautiful makeup, and looked far better than when she had entered the night before. If this doesn’t sound like a youth-sucking spirit to you, then you are wrong.

Readers, I implore you to write to your Minister of Magic. Tell this man to investigate Minaphora Mina before it is too late. The fate of your children rests in your hands. 

- Anonymous Concerned Citizen (Mel)