Stillwater Black came together in 1991 when Chris Thayer met Ahmed and Sam Pierstorff while playing in the pit band for a high school musical production. Issac McCorkell was quickly recruited on drums and the band recorded its first EP, The Last Virtuous Lady of Athens.

In 1995 they signed with Cleaves Entertainment, a now-defunct independent label based out of Southern California's Inland Empire. Stillwater Black recorded their debut LP, Adam. They played frequently with local and national acts including Dishwalla, Save Ferris, Reel Big Fish, and IE punk/ska mainstays, The Skeletones.

In 1997 the members parted ways and the project lay dormant for two decades.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Epidemic terror

Scores of people were gunned down at church on Sunday. This has happened before.

Multitudes were gunned down at a concert in Las Vegas. Men and women were slaughtered at a night club in Orlando. We have been butchered while running marathons and while out enjoying a beautiful fall day.

Women and young men are being pawed, mauled, and raped as an almost initiatic rite in the fields of law, journalism, and entertainment.

Wikipedia has a wide-ranging entry on the definition of terrorism:

In the United States of America, for example, Terrorism is defined in Title 22 Chapter 38 U.S. Code § 2656f as "premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents."

When we experience this kind of violence and violation, we are left personally and collectively traumatized. We have been terrorized. And those responsible are terrorists.

We must reject any xenophobic glossing of the term. Terrorists can be homegrown. They can come from abroad. They can be Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, agnostic, atheist, or of virtually any other religious or philosophical persuasion (a notable exception being adherents of pacifist traditions).

The terrorist is firmly convinced of the superiority of his or her position. The terrorist distorts an originally rich and vibrant belief system, whether religious, political, or philosophical, into a black and white binary with the terrorist acting as judge, jury, and executioner.

In every case, acts of terror are a grab for power, a subjugation of the unwary by the delusional. In that delusion, the terrorist feels emboldened to reject the covenants that have bound humans together for ages. Dismissing all accepted rules of engagement, the terrorist will come for us in our most sacred and hallowed places.

And this is where the terrorist reveals himself an absolute and unequivocal coward.

We fight terror through education. We fight terror by breaking out of isolation. We fight terror by rejecting polarizing rhetoric that emphasizes a handful of differences over a wealth of common ground. We fight terror by learning how to stand firmly in our truth while respecting that others must be left to do the same. We fight terror by honoring the rule of law and, where the law no longer serves us, we fight terror by standing with others in acts of civil demonstration.

Stillwater Black is a rock and roll band. We are musicians. We are not politicians.

We may occasionally find ourselves, however, in the roles of activism and advocacy because that's what it is to have a voice.

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