“I think the real problem is that power always accumulates in an ultimately negative constellation, whether it’s the state or capital or oligarchs or the church or feudal overlords or whatever. The great challenge for any social system is to limit the accumulation of power. It’s not an easy challenge to meet, though, since power – in all its forms – does not like to be challenged or restrained.”
EDIT: This was a Facebook comment by Pete, March 30, 2017, in a thread about Ayn Rand, just a couple of hours before Jacob Zuma’s cabinet purge.
Last night’s saviours…
With footage from Jean Cocteau’s Orphée (1950).
Yusef Lateef’s “Morning” from his album Jazz Mood. Recorded in New York City on 9 April 1957. Produced by Ozzie Cadena for Savoy Records.
Personnel: Yusef Lateef (tenor saxophone, argol, gourd), Curtis Fuller (trombone, tambourine), Hugh Lawson (piano), Ernie Farrow (rabat), Louis Hayes (drums, percussion), Doug Watkins (percussion).
Recorded December 20, 1976, Catalina’s Bar and Grill, Hollywood, CA. CD included with the book “The Dark Tree – Jazz And Community Arts In Los Angeles”
Bass – Roberto Miranda
Piano – Horace Tapscott
Drums – Fritz Wise
Saxophones– Michael Session
Trombone – Thurman Green
Live On Countdown, July 8, 1979, ABC-TV.
Someone took footage of Vladimir Putin singing Fats Domino’s “Blueberry Hill”and edited it to look like Putin is instead singing Radiohead’s “Creep.”
h/t Dangerous Minds.
As stone suffers of stoniness,
As light of its shiningness,
As birds of their wingedness,
So I of my whoness.
And what the cure of all this?
What the not and not suffering?
What the better and later of this?
What the more me of me?
How for the pain-world to be
More world and no pain?
How for the faithful rain to fall
More wet and more dry?
How for the wilful blood to run
More salt-red and sweet-white?
And how for me in my actualness
To more shriek and more smile?
By no other miracles,
By the same knowing poison,
By an improved anguish,
By my further dying.
From the preface to Poems: A Joking Word, published in 1930:
“Before anything has got to be, it has got to be preceded by something that has not got to be. These poems have got to be. Or rather, when they weren’t they had got to be. Or rather, I had got not to feel myself and think doom but to think myself and feel doom. (p 9)
“My poems then are instead of my life. I don’t mean that in my poems I escape from my life. My life itself would be nothing but escaping, or anybody’s. I mean that in my poems I escape from escaping. And my life reads all wrong to me and my poems read all right. And by doom I don’t mean the destruction of me. I mean making me into doom – not my doom but doom. Made into doom I feel made. I also feel making. I feel like doom and doom feels like me.” (pp 10-11)
Read more about Laura Riding HERE.
Bob Dylan cover – live recording at “Largo” Los Angeles, CA; September 30, 2003.
“If Beethoven hadn’t rolled over, there wouldn’t be room for any of us!” – Leonard Cohen
Read more about the brilliance of Chuck Berry, who died yesterday at 90.
You can’t feel angry at nature. You can’t feel angry at biology. We’re all going to die — that’s a very difficult thing to take in — and we all experience this process.
It feels as if there’s this person — in your head, mainly — trapped in this physiological stock that only survives 70 to 80 years, normally, in any decent condition. It starts deteriorating at a certain point, and then for half of your life, if not more, you watch this material begin to fray. And there’s nothing you can do about it. You’re trapped inside it; and when it goes, you go.
I think the sense of a self trapped in something is impossible to get over. That’s the origin of all dualisms — Platonic, Cartesian or whatever. There’s no way that we can be conscious and not feel ‘I am in my body.’
Of course, you can try to come to terms with death, try to shift the axis of your activities to things that are less body-dependent as you get older: your body neither is as attractive to other people nor does it function in the way that is pleasurable to you.
But it also should be said that a lot of our ideas about what we can do at different ages and what age means are so arbitrary — as arbitrary as sexual stereotypes. People say all the time: ”Oh, I can’t do that. I’m 60. I’m too old.” Or ”I can’t do that. I’m 20. I’m too young.” Why? Who says so?
I think that the old-young polarization and the male-female polarization are perhaps the two leading stereotypes that imprison people. The values associated with youth and with masculinity [and I must add here cis-het whiteness] are considered to be the human norms, and anything else is taken to be at least less worthwhile or inferior. Old people have a terrific sense of inferiority. They’re embarrassed to be old. What you can do when you’re young and what you can do when you’re old is as arbitrary and without much basis as what you can do if you’re a woman or what you can do if you’re a man…
…This may be my limitation — and it probably is — but I cannot understand the truth except as the negation of falsehood. I always discover what I think to be true by seeing that something else is false: the world is basically full of falsehood, and the truth is something carved out by the rejection of falsehood. In a way, the truth is quite empty, but it’s already a fantastic liberation to be free of falsehood.
– Read the full interview here: Susan Sontag to Jonathan Cott, in Rolling Stone,1978.
So I saw this band last night. Thought it would be thirty years too late, but MAN, do they still have it. Twisted. Blistering.
I never did get to see Leonard Cohen, though… something I will always be sad about, with the same tenor as the ache with which I have missed Nina Simone.
It’s 1962 March 28th
I’m sitting by the window on the Prague-Berlin train
night is falling
I never knew I liked
night descending like a tired bird on a smoky wet plain
I don’t like
comparing nightfall to a tired bird
I didn’t know I loved the earth
can someone who hasn’t worked the earth love it
I’ve never worked the earth
it must be my only Platonic love
and here I’ve loved rivers all this time
whether motionless like this they curl skirting the hills
European hills crowned with chateaus
or whether stretched out flat as far as the eye can see
I know you can’t wash in the same river even once
I know the river will bring new lights you’ll never see
I know we live slightly longer than a horse but not nearly as long as a crow
I know this has troubled people before
and will trouble those after me
I know all this has been said a thousand times before
and will be said after me
I didn’t know I loved the sky
cloudy or clear
the blue vault Andrei studied on his back at Borodino
in prison I translated both volumes of War and Peace into Turkish
I hear voices
not from the blue vault but from the yard
the guards are beating someone again
I didn’t know I loved trees
bare beeches near Moscow in Peredelkino
they come upon me in winter noble and modest
beeches are Russian the way poplars are Turkish
“the poplars of Izmir
losing their leaves. . .
they call me The Knife. . .
lover like a young tree. . .
I blow stately mansions sky-high”
in the Ilgaz woods in 1920 I tied an embroidered linen handkerchief
to a pine bough for luck
I never knew I loved roads
even the asphalt kind
Vera’s behind the wheel we’re driving from Moscow to the Crimea
formerly “Goktepé ili” in Turkish
the two of us inside a closed box
the world flows past on both sides distant and mute
I was never so close to anyone in my life
bandits stopped me on the red road between Bolu and Geredé
when I was eighteen
apart from my life I didn’t have anything in the wagon they could take
and at eighteen our lives are what we value least
I’ve written this somewhere before
wading through a dark muddy street I’m going to the shadow play
a paper lantern leading the way
maybe nothing like this ever happened
maybe I read it somewhere an eight-year-old boy
going to the shadow play
Ramazan night in Istanbul holding his grandfather’s hand
his grandfather has on a fez and is wearing the fur coat
with a sable collar over his robe
and there’s a lantern in the servant’s hand
and I can’t contain myself for joy
flowers come to mind for some reason
poppies cactuses jonquils
in the jonquil garden in Kadikoy Istanbul I kissed Marika
fresh almonds on her breath
I was seventeen
my heart on a swing touched the sky
I didn’t know I loved flowers
friends sent me three red carnations in prison
I just remembered the stars
I love them too
whether I’m floored watching them from below
or whether I’m flying at their side
I have some questions for the cosmonauts
were the stars much bigger
did they look like huge jewels on black velvet
or apricots on orange
did you feel proud to get closer to the stars
I saw color photos of the cosmos in Ogonek magazine now don’t
be upset comrades but nonfigurative shall we say or abstract
well some of them looked just like such paintings which is to
say they were terribly figurative and concrete
my heart was in my mouth looking at them
they are our endless desire to grasp things
seeing them I could even think of death and not feel at all sad
I never knew I loved the cosmos
snow flashes in front of my eyes
both heavy wet steady snow and the dry whirling kind
I didn’t know I liked snow
I never knew I loved the sun
even when setting cherry-red as now
in Istanbul too it sometimes sets in postcard colors
but you aren’t about to paint it that way
I didn’t know I loved the sea
except the Sea of Azov
or how much
I didn’t know I loved clouds
whether I’m under or up above them
whether they look like giants or shaggy white beasts
moonlight the falsest the most languid the most petit-bourgeois
I like it
I didn’t know I liked rain
whether it falls like a fine net or splatters against the glass my
heart leaves me tangled up in a net or trapped inside a drop
and takes off for uncharted countries I didn’t know I loved
rain but why did I suddenly discover all these passions sitting
by the window on the Prague-Berlin train
is it because I lit my sixth cigarette
one alone could kill me
is it because I’m half dead from thinking about someone back in Moscow
her hair straw-blond eyelashes blue
the train plunges on through the pitch-black night
I never knew I liked the night pitch-black
sparks fly from the engine
I didn’t know I loved sparks
I didn’t know I loved so many things and I had to wait until sixty
to find it out sitting by the window on the Prague-Berlin train
watching the world disappear as if on a journey of no return
19 April 1962
(Thank you to Lesego Rampolokeng for showing me this poem I didn’t know I loved.❤)
‘Midlife Lazarus’ is taken from the forthcoming Little Annie record “TRACE” out on Tin Angel 20.05.16.
Camera by Kika von Kluck (https://kikavonkluck.com)
Make-up by Shana Miner-Ladin
Another one of Steve Cutts’ dystopian cartoons is HERE.
Follow Asanda Msaki Mvana HERE.
With sniggering apologies to Philip Glass!
Produced by Titmouse Inc.
Directed by Gary Ye
A Misfits cover.
The sample at the beginning is Charles Manson, which adds a whole new dimension to this very beautiful song.
I’d never imagined that Olivia Newton-John’s saccharine cooing could be sarcasm before I saw this video today!
Thank you to Debbie Pryor for introducing me to this.
English translation of the lyrics HERE.