Thursday, September 5

What's Goin' On? (#4) -

In a piece of moving nostalgia, Juan Williams writes about the music then and now, which compares some of the songs from the summer of 1963 with what's being written today.

His piece inspired an interlude
of related reverie on my part, too . . .

One of my favorite songs from popular music over the past several decades is Nightshift by The Commodores. It refers to Jackie Wilson and Marvin Gaye. Both of them represent notable thematic threads.

Much of the music we remember from the Sixties was associated with Berry Gordy's Motown which generally had an uplifting tone because of a strong Gospel component. Jackie Wilson ("higher and higher") came out of Gospel Music. He, in turn, became an inspiration to others.

And then there was Marvin, who started out conventionally enough, but veered into a distinctly different direction; his later work became the germination of the more serious forms of Poetic Rap which led to Gil Scott-Heron.

"What happened to our upbeat Motown Revolution?" a mature black friend asked me a few years ago, shaking his head. "I'll tell you what happened," he continued. "It got hijacked by dark, evil forces, so that now all we've got is ho's, bitches, and the n-word. But who are these people who hijacked it and how did they do that?"

I had no clear answers for him since I've never followed popular music and the music industry very closely. I do remember, though, that somewhere seemingly between Marvin Gaye and Gil Scott-Heron there was a song being played on the radio quite a bit called The Message. Maybe those lyrics influenced the direction this musical genre took and led to where the situation stands today.

Poetic Rap seemed to decline after Gil Scott-Heron's success. But that kind of lyrical tone once more became popular with Bob Marley's songs which came out of a series of crossover reggae albums and are still heard today. Marley's No Woman No Cry was later adapted by The Fugees from New Jersey, its settings transposed to America, and it became a kind of nostalgic favorite of mine for a while.

Rap Music seems to have exploded since then, but I no longer keep up with popular music. If I am around young people while they're listening to it, I'm exposed to some of it, but I often don't understand the lyrics, and don't pay much active attention to it. It just doesn't appeal to me.

I, too, hope the more negative music fades away.

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# "And who shall I say is calling?"

:: Who By Fire :: by Leonard Cohen ::

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# A worthwhile preview of Fall Books.


Wednesday, September 4

Clad in Plaid -

Would you believe . . . ?

George Zimmerman, stuck in the starving MSM spotlight since his acquittal for the Sanford FL shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin, was pulled over for speeding again!

Naturally, the incident has generated lots of "news" for the edification of those counting blades of grass on their lawns or otherwise busy watching paint dry on their  cottages.

The comment threads attached to 
some of these articles are downright antic.

# Jonathan Cohen has written a very thoughtful and eloquent essay about the Trayvon-Zimmerman affair.

:: Recommended ::


Tuesday, September 3

More Trayvon Agitprop -

The recent commemorations of the 1963 Black Civil Rights March on Washington were substantially marred by the propaganda campaign throughout the week leading up to the ceremonies.

Sybrina Fulton, birth mother of Trayvon Martin, Tracy Martin (reputed to be the teenager's father), and their whiplash lawyer, Benjamin Crump, were traveling around and making so many appearances on TV talk shows that they were very hard to miss. And their message was:

Trayvon was not doing anything
wrong. Trayvon was racially profiled.

I don't see the Sanford shooting incident that way.

At the risk of over-simplification: Profiling is when the FBI takes a group of crimes which they feed into a computer data base, then performs a grep query, and then analyzes the results in an effort to determine any elements these crimes share in common in order to establish whether there is a recognizable pattern in this group of crimes. Perhaps they are looking for a serial bank robber or serial killer. Trayvon Martin was not reported to be part of such a process. He was not racially profiled or profiled at all.

In contrast to the above, Crime Watching involves exactly the opposite process: recognizing pattern disruption. For example, if a homeowner always keeps his basement window locked, but one evening the CW notices it is open.

I believe what the Trayvon Trio really mean to
say is that Trayvon was stereotyped, not profiled.

As far as their contention that Trayvon was not doing anything wrong, I disagree. Since I wasn't there, all I have to go by are the transcripts and testimonies. According to those, Trayvon may have been loitering at other people's mailboxes. I believe this was mentioned in Rachel Jeantel's testimony. Had I been the CW there, I probably would have reported that to the police.

The commemorations of the 1963 Black Civil Rights March on Washington may have given many younger people the incorrect impression that ML King was the singular leader of that movement. Actually, the movement was led by a group of Black Christian Clergymen.

One of those clergymen, Rev Abernathy, recruited me into their struggle. I was persuaded as to the merit of their cause because Rev Abernathy struck me as a real Christian with a strong commitment to his faith.

Most Americans are Christian. This formed the common frame of reference which resulted in the success of their movement.

While I would agree that MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech was very inspirational, we are no longer living in the Sixties. MLK's dream was fulfilled, and it's time to move on to the next chapter of history for the 21st Century.

Yesterday's Christian leadership seems to have been replaced mostly by race-baiting racketeers.

The Sanford Shooting Hoax will go down in the annals of American Legal History in ignominy together with the Tawana Brawley Hoax and the Duke Lacrosse Hoax.

No amount of propaganda is going to change that in my opinion, although some keep trying.

For example: A Hallandale FL woman, Sherry Suttles, has made a 45-minute movie about the shooting of Trayvon Martin called 44 Daze. The focus of her movie is on Sanford town officials and their reactions to the shooting incident. Of course, she's entitled to her opinion. I believe the public benefits from reading or viewing multiple and diverse points of view.

I don't think the Sanford FL shooting of
Trayvon Martin had anything to do with Racism.

Sorry about my lack of blogging
lately, but I've been very busy.