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"All great truths begin as blasphemies," proclaimed the fiery playwright George Bernard Shaw. It's a sentiment that can be applied exponentially to the works of rapper Sage Francis and his exhilarating new album Li(f)e. Francis has never been afraid to provoke. As a result he is a sometimes polarizing and increasingly important figure in modern music. Adored by many, reviled by a few but never ignored and always essential, Sage Francis has emerged as the reigning agent provocateur of hip hop. Read more



LI(F)E BLOG

The Bright Side of Witch Burning

Godcast II “The Bright Side of Witch Burning” can be downloaded for free by clicking the DOWN arrow on the SoundCloud player below. Continue to scroll down to view the tracklist and read the full story of what inspired this installment of the Godcast series.

Godcast 2 – THE BRIGHT SIDE OF WITCH BURNING

Yesterday Casey Anthony was found innocent of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee Marie Anthony. The “not guilty” verdict resulted in a public outcry, reminiscent of the O.J. Simpson trial back in 1995, as people chastised the jury’s decision and collectively expressed their terminal cynicism toward the US judicial system. All of this happening just ONE day after the 4th of July, a day in which true-blue American’s celebrated their independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain by shooting bottle rockets at one another’s faces. Fore-shame, America! FORE…SHAME!

According to everything I’ve been taught about our justice system, a person is to be considered innocent until proven guilty. Well…not just guilty, but “guilty beyond reasonable doubt.” The State does not have the right to convict anyone, let alone kill them, just because popular opinion screams for it. Refer to the Salem Witch Trials if you want to see how a system of that sort can go horribly awry. Admittedly, our current justice system fails us from time to time, and in extreme cases it actually puts innocent people to death. It’s kind of embarrassing being the only western nation that still implements the death penalty, especially since recent advancements in forensics science has proven that innocent people have been killed in the name of “justice.” By my standards, that is a much worse scenario than the possibility of setting a guilty person free. In the case of Casey Anthony, it is quite possible that she has literally gotten away with murder, but if that’s true then it is not a fault of America’s judicial system. It is a fault of the prosecutors who were unable to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

I am happy to see that some semblance of justice still exists in our court system; a system that should not ever be swayed by appeals to emotion. I am not glad that a potential murderer has been let off the hook (not that I really believe she is off the hook,) but at least an important principle has been upheld. Yes, it is true that the prosecutors proved beyond reasonable doubt that Casey is a horrible mother and an overall disgusting person ***opinion opinion opinion***, but homicide was never proven. They really fudged up, guys.

The Casey Anthony verdict happened on the heals of actual “witch burnings” that are currently taking place in the African country of Kenya. Despite mainstream media’s lack of coverage of this story, I think it’s important to bring it to your attention and draw the connections between the two. These horrific executions were the impetus to my new Godcast mix even before the Anthony trial entered my consciousness. While caught in a YouTube trap, I stumbled upon a witch burning video which reminded me that human lives are still senselessly extinguished in the name of God(s.) I wish I hadn’t seen that video, and I don’t dare share it with you now, but if you’re curious about the details of what’s happening then a simple google search will bear many results.

The gist of the story is that “Christians” in Kenya are hunting down women who are suspected of practicing witchcraft. Thanks to the power and influence of superstition, these women are targeted, rounded up, beaten into submission, placed into a pile of brush and then set aflame. Public opinion (i.e. “common sense”) along with fear of the unknown are used as justifications for these grotesque public executions. If you know about American history at all, then I don’t have to explain to you that our hands are not clean in regard to this sort of thing. “Been there…done that.”

The witch burnings in Kenya have strengthened my conviction that our judicial system absolutely did NOT fail in regard to Casey Anthony’s trial. If she is guilty of her alleged crime, then, I repeat, it is the prosecutors who failed in proving so. Sure, Nancy Grace may have been left with blue balls after soaking her stakes in gasoline for the past two months, and somewhere in Florida votes are still being counted, but I’m proud of the fact that 12 jurors made a decision based on the evidence that was provided to them rather than acting on public opinion or their feeeeeeeelings. If you’re a religious person who is bent out of shape about the outcome of this particular trial, then I recommend that you look on the bright side: If Casey Anthony is guilty then (as you understand it) she will ultimately be judged by the highest authority. Which means…(as you understand it)…she’ll burn in hell for all of eternity. Eeeek! Seriously, all you’re left to do now is show some compassion.

<3

- Mr. Sage Francis

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“The Bright Side of Witch Burning” is the second installment of Sage Francis’ “Godcast” podcast series. As the title of this mix suggests, the GODCAST has a religious theme, but the main objective is to share some treats that Uncle Sage has cherry picked out of his personal playlist for your listening pleasure. This collection of music is is peppered with exclusive mixes and religulous dialogue mash-ups. The tracklist is posted below, but please feel free to point out what’s what and who’s who in the comments section of the sound wave.

TRACKLIST:

Blood Vs. Water
God Listens to Slayer
Set Off the Seance
Slow Dance with the Devil in the Pale Moonlight
Everything is Fine in Heaven
Mantra of the Moron
The Lord is Not Your Shepard
RSVP
Whistle While You Witch Burn
Help My Unbelief
Wicked Witchcraft
The Devil is Dope
Bucket Headfuck
The Broccoli Express
Man’s Will to Survive
Why We Still Got Monkeys?
Righteous Holy Faithiest
The Devil Changed my Baby’s Mind
Individual Vs. The Collective
Ain’t the Devil Happy

Many thanks to Jack Oliver for the artwork!
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http://StrangeFamousRecords.com

2 Responses to “The Bright Side of Witch Burning”

  1. Ray says:

    I’m no fan of Casey Anthony. But I’m not sure if her situation is really improved by the verdict. Guilty or not guilty, I dunno, I was mostly confused by the portions of the trial that I viewed.

    But,I do think the anger and intensity are understandable at least here in central Florida. We are a state that continues to struggle with a higher than average unemployment rate. A state that struggles to implement basic public works projects for financial reasons. Yet, we spent beaucoup funds attempting to find a child that was probably never really missing. We then managed to fund a very expensive prosecution effort that fell flat.

    I have to hope (mostly because I’m tired of hearing about this chick) that Casey will play this smart and avoid attracting the attention of the locals for awhile. Based on the sentiments I’ve heard uttered in and around the Central Florida area ditching town is her best bet. Nigerians might be burning witches, but if Casey’s not careful she can still become the victim of a furious mob.

    I won’t look at this as a matter of due process until she’s survived a few years on the outside. She isn’t out of the danger zone yet.

  2. Sage Francis says:

    Ray,
    I completely agree. I believe every single one of your points is supported by my original write-up.