Sad, this — inevitable, but sad. If only for his role in forming one of the more influential ensembles of his era, he should be long remembered. Soft Machine were titanic, and his solo career afterwards was charming and fascinating.
I have long been struck by the similarity of the current state of the far-right rhetoric (quite ably displayed in many Pages and articles via sharp-eyed Lizards) to the rhetoric of 50 years ago. I can’t remember when I saw it, but I saw a snippet of an early-’60s interview with G L Rockwell a while back, and my jaw hit the ground. His phraseology and use of terminology could have come from the mouth of any number of so-called “conservatives” these days. Word for word.
I won’t link to anything of his, nor do I intend to list quotes. (Note I also did not use the full name.) Several generic quotes websites have some of his choicest quotes identified — but exercise caution, because many of the search results link to abysmal filth that no sane person wants to see.
But, I digress. A bit.
US News recently published an editorial on Rosa Parks’ 100th birthday that reprinted a “Pro and Con” story they ran in 1956 regarding the Montgomery bus boycott. The “Pro” response was penned by Dr. King, the “Con” by the editor of the Montgomery Advertiser. The level of condescension is breathtaking:
Southerners would evince their not-unadvertised superiority to the undeveloped colored mass by restraint and coolness in the teeth of the exasperating, rash demands of the Negro and his tedious, officious exploiters among Northern politicians. Southerners would cease exalting what they call the “Southern way of life” into the grandeur of Monticello and the heroism of the Battle of the Clouds; instead the prevailing social system should be matter-of-factly accounted simply the best that long experience has contrived, one which the North has flattered with clandestine, pharisaical imitation. The Southern shibboleth should be kept simple and basic: Go on wishing the Negro well despite his unrealistic aggressions, giving him every assistance even in the face of his taunts, recognizing that the whites have a best interest in his development—so long as it is apart.
Read the rest here.
In moments of frustration, I find it’s useful to remember how deeply embedded this attitude is, and how long it has been going on. We’re in a long game here, and I think we may be at least another 50 years away from this attitude becoming only a memory.
Somehow, we have to keep chipping away.
These days, I have to severely limit the amount of time I spend reading examples of the utterly unhinged and fractured rhetoric coming from the fringes (and moving closer to the center, goddamn it). At times, it seems pretty hopeless.
Late last year, the NYT published an article titled “I’m Right! (for some reason)” that attempted to address the too-common problem of trying to counter emotional attachments to an idea with facts.:
In a forthcoming article in Psychological Science, written with Todd Rogers of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership and Craig Fox of U.C.L.A.’s Anderson School of Management, we report on experiments showing that people often believe they understand what is meant by well-worn political terms like the ‘flat tax,’ ‘sanctions on Iran’ or ‘cap and trade’ — even when they don’t.
That’s not much of a shocker, of course. The real surprise is what happens after these same individuals are asked to explain how these policy ideas work: they become more moderate in their political views — either in support of such policies or against them. In fact, not only do their attitudes change, but so does their behavior. In one of our experiments, for example, after attempting to explain how various policy ideas would actually work, people became less likely to donate to organizations that supported the positions they had initially favored.
Interestingly, asking people to justify their position — rather than asking them to explain the mechanisms by which a policy would work — doesn’t tend to soften their political views. When we asked participants to state the reasons they were for or against a policy position, their initial attitudes held firm. (Other researchers have found much the same thing: merely discussing an issue often makes people more extreme, not less.)
Read the full article: nytimes.com
It’s no major answer, but I think it points in the right direction. This morning, I ran across a piece about Living Room Conversations (livingroomconversations.org and I have a bit of hope. They seem to be trying to prove the concepts that the NYT piece highlighted.
From the article:
“Transpartisanship” is the genteel word for what they’re doing. Blades has been involved in similar types of projects for about a decade, but this is a fairly new school of political thought, which posits that people can come together to find some common ground without abandoning their core beliefs.
The gathering this month marked the first time Blades and Meckler had met in person, and each brought two like-minded friends. The occasion was the latest installment of Living Room Conversations ( livingroomconversations.org), Blades’ latest national transpartisan project that she co-founded with former GOP operative Amanda Kathryn Roman, who lives in New Jersey.
It involves one or two co-hosts pulling together an intimate gathering of folks who might believe they agree on little politically - until they sit down together to listen to one another’s perspective. Civilly.
Eventually, they find places they agree. That’s what happened between Blades and Meckler, and it should give hope to a nation locked in scrums over guns and immigration and taxes.
Read more: sfgate.com
I’d love to see such ideas become more widespread.
I’d never think of passing judgment on anybody who is angered and disgusted by the Steroid Era in baseball; I completely understand why fans feel/felt betrayed. These guys cheated, MLB looked the other way for far too long, etc.
The primary poster child for this episode is Barry Bonds, whose media-related behavior, general arrogance and (apparent) dishonesty about his habits combined to inspire a massive backlash against him, both during and after his career.
I know a wise, wise woman who often remarks, “we all lead messy lives”, usually in reference to the yoga fiend addicted to McDonalds fries, or the natural food advocate who smokes, etc. My interpretation of that is “nobody is 100% anything”. Even scoundrels contain the possibility of graceful behavior.
To me, this story constitutes graceful behavior — particularly since the only reason this was made public was because Mr. Stow’s attorney made an announcement (a month later).
I wouldn’t expect this story to make anybody do a 180 in their Bonds opinion; but it adds a truly selfless gesture to the list of things we’ve already seen from him, and it’s worth a note.
‘Scuse me if this is a bit disjointed — I’m working with a local contractor to bring in some heavy equipment to raise my jaw from floor level…..
Helen T is the subject of April’s Playboy Interview.
(Cue the avalanche of variations on “good thing she’s not the centerfold…..”)
A small sample:
On Jews: “I think they’re wonderful people. They had to have the most depth. They were leaders in civil rights. They’ve always had the heart for others but not for Arabs, for some reason. I’m not anti-Jewish; I’m anti-Zionist.”
On Jewish persecution and victimization: “The slaughter of Jews stopped with World War II…They were liberated since then. And yet they carry on the victimization. American people do not know that the Israeli lobbyists have intimidated them into believing every Jew is a persecuted victim forever – while they are victimizing Palestinians…Why do they inflict the same pain on people who did nothing to them?”
On memorializing the Holocaust: “There’s nothing wrong with remembering it, but why do we have to constantly remember? We’re not at fault. I mean, if they’re going to put a Holocaust museum in every city in Germany, that’s fine with me. But we didn’t do this to the Jews. Why do we have to keep paying the price and why do they keep oppressing the Palestinians? Do the Jews ever look at themselves? Why are they always right? Because they have been oppressed throughout history, I know. And they have this persecution. That’s true, but they shouldn’t use that to dominate.”
On the Jews’ influence and power: “[The Jews are] using their power, and they have power in every direction…Power over the White House, power over Congress…Everybody is in the pocket of the Israeli lobbies, which are funded by wealthy supporters, including those from Hollywood. Same thing with the financial markets. There’s total control…It isn’t the two percent. It’s real power when you own the White House, when you own these other places in terms of your political persuasion. Of course they have power. [To the interviewer] You don’t deny that. You’re Jewish, aren’t you?”
Read more: sacbee.com
She’s such a peach. The gift that keeps on giving…..At one point, she bitches about being labeled anti-semitic, complains “nobody ever asked her” what she really meant.
Maybe it’s because, as the interview proves, it wasn’t mysterious.
Another fine voice has passed. Ronnie Hammond, lead vocalist of the Atlanta Ryhthm Section, has died.
I can’t say I was a huge fan of the band — but they always had much more oooomph than their languid singles suggested. And Hammond’s voice was smooth and rich, a really lovely thing to hear. Never over-emoted or over-sang anything I ever heard — almost as creamy-textured as a rock Lou Rawls.
Audio only, one of his best vocals and a great low-key groove:
Rest in peace, Mr. Hammond.
Since we have bases and S&S journalists present in Japan and Okinawa, I checked their website and found a number of articles regarding current conditions, evacuations, ship relocations, etc.
I thought this would be a useful resource for anyone interested.
Now, THIS is interesting….
A thorny issue, to be sure. But my initial take is that I like the approach — that if speech can be shown to be false and the cause of legitimate, documentable damage, then anonymity is no longer a privilege.
I find it unsurprising that the commenters on the article are up in arms, an unoriginal response. Many apparently want to retain the right to intentionally post false information anonymously with no penalty. I don’t buy this mindset for one second. It appears that a fairly narrow standard is being established here, and it should be interesting to see how it plays out nationally.
This won’t be the first case of its type, I’m sure.
Not being a Miami resident, I haven’t been “up” on the things Carl Hiassen has been writing about these days in his newspaper work. I love his work as a novelist — so the insight and incisiveness he displays here is no real surprise to me.
Governor Scott’s stance on this issue is, however, surprising. Is it something in the water? He opposes a database that would track prescriptions for Vicodin, Percoset and Oxy, on the grounds that it’s an invasion of privacy.
Well, gee. He must believe Florida doesn’t have a problem. Yet….
Why would any sane or sober public official go out of his way — very publicly — to protect pill pushers and crooked doctors?
Thirty-eight states use databases to keep track of oxycodone and other painkillers that are now the most widely abused (and lethal) drugs in the country.
Florida is the largest state without such a database, and the undisputed epicenter of the sleazy illegal pill trade.
In the first six months of 2010, doctors in Florida prescribed nine times more oxycodone than was sold in the entire United States during that same period. Pain mills here have prospered wildly and proliferated – in Broward County alone there are 130.
Two years ago, the Republican-controlled Legislature approved a painkiller database, which would be privately funded. Law enforcement officers say it’s an absolutely essential tool for attacking storefront clinics and the drug dealers who flock to Florida from throughout the eastern United States.
Read more: miamiherald.com
What drug problem?
A poster today used the phrase “101st Chairborne” to describe the faux-supporters of the military. I like it.
This story, however, is about people who actually GET IT.
True support, to me, includes not just supporting their actual mission — it includes supporting the families they leave behind, providing some semblance of home comforts to those serving remotely (like the USO), and caring for their injuries while honoring their service when they come home.
This group is doing (to borrow a phrase) God’s work. Reaching out to their neighbors in need and letting them know in very real ways that they’re not alone, and help is nearby.
I love these folks, and I love this story.