Saturday, January 10, 2015

Pierre-Alain Goualch an, Nelson Veras - Drum N Keys for Papa and Giant Steps

Amazing free improvisation by two guys with amazing ears and hands.  Nelson Veras is pretty great and I'd never heard Goualch before but I'm looking for more of his playing.


All I can add is that hell hath no fury like an academic whose lunch ticket has been mocked.

More Hate Mail - It Would Seem I've Unleashed The Leashed Tiger Of Their Fury

Wow.  That crack I made last week about that safely ignored ritual of the futile "left", The Left Forum, pissed someone off, mightily.  I think what I actually unleashed was the rage of Caspar Milquetoast.   I'll give the guy some credit, he's more off his ass than your typical bookstall->coffee house->laptop radical.  To encourage him to further action, as opposed to wallowing in the otiosity of your typical tenured contented coward, here's an old post I did.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Left or Left for Dead? The Left Forum 2013

By chance, I saw that the 2013 iteration of the Left Forum is this weekend instead of its usual Spring break timing.  While I'm sure that some worthwhile things get said during it, I began skimming the long list of scheduled lectures and panel discussions wondering how much of any actual change ever came out of it, what changed laws, what successful agitation leading in changed laws or effective action has come from it.  Not exactly doubting that ever happened but wondering if it's ever been documented.  If not, then it would seem to me that a major focus of a next Left Forum should be on the habit of the left to put its efforts and resources into things like this when there is remarkably little to show for it. If anyone who has participated in past Forums would like to point to any actual change in real life that  came from it, I'd like to know.

Given the focus of my recent blogging, I did a topic search for Forum events related to religion and got five out  of "the more than 350 panels, workshops, and events happening this weekend".  Considering that well over 90% of the population of the United States are religious and the huge force that religion has been in past, successful struggles, that puny percentage of Forum time spent on that topic would seem to be a willful denial of reality.  The only one of the five listed that seemed to be specifically concerned with religious participation in lefitst political struggle is "Prosperity Gospel and the Moral Poverty of the Modern Church: What Path for the Future?"

You can contrast that to the far larger numbers returns by the Forum search engine for"Marxism, Anarchism and Theory" which produced more than forty events.  Or even the skimpy 14 returned by "Art".  Personally, I think I'd pass by "Let Fury Have the Hour:  Art Confronts Leftist Politics."  The description of the movie by that name doesn't exactly appeal to me, either*. And if it were up to me I'd combine the sessions on Hip Hop and Pussy Riot, which I can imagine might have some interesting and worth while things to say to each other.  Perhaps producing some of that Fury.

I'm not writing this to make fun of the Forum or its participants, many of whom are sincere and well meaning, some of them even have that rare item in such gatherings, past accomplishments in making real change in real peoples' real lives and the real environment we all rely on. I would imagine a good number of the sessions contain valuable, perhaps even interesting material.  But while rehashing of the rapidly receding events of late 1940s and early 50s New York City seems to be receding, the kind of inbred, incestuous, ideological politics that are represented in far too many of the sessions look likely to reinforce the habits that led to sterility during the period during which the Forum came into being.  Looking at the program for this year and comparing it to that of the Socialist Scholar's Conference in 1966, it doesn't look any more likely to generate political change, being focused on the theoretical and academically prestigious instead of the practical.  We don't have the funding of CPAC, we can't afford the impractical.  We certainly can't afford the unrealistic, divorced from the realities or the wider public from which any progress will come.  Scholars might have ideas, they might even occasionally have good ideas but they don't have the political force to move them.   The guys at The Nation and other places trying to look hip and still with it into advancing middle age won't do it.   More of that, in 47 years it will still be a left-out forum.  Its theme can be, "94 Years of Political Failure."

In his feature directorial debut, acclaimed author, visual artist, and filmmaker Antonino D'Ambrosio has fashioned a lively social history that chronicles how a generation of artists, thinkers, and activists used their creativity—and their creations—as a response to the reactionary politics that came to define our culture in the 1980s. An exuberant, mixed media collage that incorporates graphic art, music, animation, and spoken word, the film spans three decades of change--from the cynical heyday of Reagan and Thatcher through today-- and brings together over 50 writers, playwrights, painters, poets, skateboarders, dancers, musicians, and rights advocates, all of whom attest to the fact that we can re-imagine the world we live in and take an active role in making that vision a reality.

The reality was that Reagan-Bush, using, among other things, expressive outrageousness and attention getting offensiveness and acts that could be easily ridiculed into three terms, leading to the far from leftist reaction in the Clinton years, all preparing us for Bush II and the world we live in today.   William Bolcom's Songs of Innocence and Experience, A View From The Bridge, and McTeague are more powerful and truly subversive than most of that kind of stuff that I saw or heard.  I mean, skateboarders?

Rewind as Update:   Here, from an earlier piece I did about The March of Futility.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Dump The Play Left

"We wanted to end the silly censorship which kept Joyce's Ulysses in a brown paper wrapper. But we have ended up with a pornographic culture and a society that no longer blushes."

Shirley Chisholm, one of the founders of The National Organization for Women

I can only imagine what she'd say about the direction NOW has taken on that issue. I'd begun a project of reading her books, articles and speeches last month. I'm convinced Shirley Chisholm, with her feet solidly on the ground of real politics, founded on the hard rock of equality, rights and moral obligations has more to offer the future of the left than almost all of the other, theory based, academic pseudo-leftists who are more valued today. Those people have brought us into the political wilderness years longer than Moses had the Israelites.

When I see how far the left of the early 1970s has degenerated, it's time to dump those who have brought us here.


Happening to look at the 2011 program of the Left Forum at Pace University, the most recent listed on its website and saw a forest of the same blather I've seen on the left since the early 60s. If that was going to work, it would have by now. I searched the long list of programs for terms relevant to the lives of people today, “Poverty”, “homeless”, “children”, “HIV” and came up with nothing.  I will assure you that those are more important to just about everyone, including those participating in the Left Forum than the absolutely dead as a door nail issues of Marx and Engles ( The Bourgeois Revolution: from Marx's point of view, really, The Bourgeois Revolution:  from Marx's POV! ) and the rehashing the  Rosenbergs for going on sixty years.

“AIDS” got one hit and that was only because the letters appear in "Laughing Left: Spreading The Word With F-bombs, Oily Mermaids and Clowns On Bikes".  I'd gone there as part of my ongoing blog brawl with "goldmarx" a porn-prostitution industry shill pretending to be a feminist.

Hate Mail - Answer To An Accusation of Apostasy

Someone who has done me the honor of looking at my recent archive is, nonetheless, outraged that I hold the positions I do.  It would seem that, as the folks at the Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter 7 determined that mudbloods with magical powers got them illegitimately,  it is clearly implied that someone who holds my religious beliefs is not allowed to hold the political views I hold.   It would appear they believe I stole those things from the "real left"*.

Well, I'll put my leftist agenda up against anybodies and am bold and arrogant enough to assert that not only will I match them on any item legitimately on that list, but I'll explain both why they are consonant with my religious beliefs in a way that they can never square them with their materialism and that history proves that all of those positions were held by religious folk long before any atheist they can name had them.

I have given a list of things I believe in before as well as a short account of the general principals those are based in.

- Total equality,

-  Holding that rights are as real as the screen you're reading this on held in tension with the as real  rights of everyone else and so,

-  The stand that there is a real, consequential obligation to respect those rights in other people and another obligation to demand the equal ability to practice them for yourself and others. 

From those come anything that can possibly comprise a real agenda of a left that is not merely a variation on the right which is based on their opposites.  To the extent that something deviates from that is the extent to which it is actually the opposite of liberalism.


I looked at Charlie Hebdo's past record of crap and note that even as some on the pseudo-left want to lay claim to it, translated into English, produced by English speakers,  no one would have any problem seeing it for being particularly brutal and cynical hate speech of the far right.   The confusion over that I take as further confirmation of my contention that the materialist, pseudo-left is actually nothing like a real left.  The hate gushing from that pseudo-left, encouraging the continuation of the flow of hate from Charlie Hebdo, cheering them on, even further confirmation of that.   If their goals are not incompatible with what is more than just equivalent to, but actually identical to the hate talk of the Pam Gellers, the FOX hate talkers, the radio hate-talkers of the far right, if they encourage and cheer as Charlie Hebdo starts up with talk welcomed by the French neo-Fascists, who are, actually, gaining enough strength to become a real force if not the force in French politics, then that proves my contention.

The real left has to reject the hate-talkers, the materialist pseudo-left, which is worse than a burden, it is the mill stone that has sunk us in a sewer which they, as well as their equivalent on the right have polluted.

In recent reading I came across something that would have once surprised me, Horst Mahler, whose name I sort of remember from the the terrorism of the Red Army Faction in Europe, "switched sides" and became a Hitler praising neo-Nazi, Holocaust denying member of the far right.   It's sort of a German translation of the Christopher Hitchens act here, only Hitchens knew to hitch his wagon to those already with power.  He was always a soft-handed tough guy.

It's not an uncommon sight among members of the hate-talking, violence promoting, materialist "left" as they find their opportunities with that identity waning.  I have mentioned before that the presumed giant leap from some kind of Marxism or Maoism (also in Mahler's case) to the extreme far right, is actually a baby step, one which many have made.  The step in the other direction isn't something I can recall anyone doing, not to the materialist "left", though I have seen some on the basis of religious conversion out of the far right.

Anyone who champions what Charlie Hebdo puts out has given us ample reason to reject as someone we have anything in common with.  A person who can champion the publication of hate talk which is known to incite deadly violence even as that violence is going on will prove to be the Mahler-Hitchens kind of "leftist" in the end.   That goes for webloids and even print magazines, as well.

*  The lore of the atheist "left" is based securely in not knowing anything about the past, as those two late and tossed off posts I did yesterday indicate.  They don't even know anything about the history of atheism as recently as the past century.  They have no idea of the provenance of the incidental political positions they take, no more than that those are not compatible with the substrate of their basic ideology.  Perhaps that accounts for the frequent apostasy of the kind mentioned in this post, that discrepancy has a way of, eventually, mattering and it will be the incidental political positions that are abandoned rather than the basic materialist ideology.  That's pretty much the entire history of "Marxist" governance as well as such early attempts as the French Revolution which was certainly no festival of liberty, equality and fraternity.  If you were one of the brothers your biggest danger came from your brothers gaining unequal powers, throwing you in jail and cutting your head off after a summary trial based on the fashion of the hour.  I will admit that watching Americans who know essentially everything they know about the French revolution and French culture from reading novels and watching them sing The Marseillaise in Casablanca going on about it all of a sudden is pretty weird.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Gary Burton New Quartet- Brownout

A very rare Gary Burton composition that makes me wish he'd compose more.

Gary Burton – vibraphone
Michael Goodrick – guitar
Abraham Laboriel – bass
Harry Blazer – drums

My brother had this when it first came out on LP and I'm afraid I might have played it to death, I liked it so much.  I especially liked the Gordon Beck piece, Tying up Loose Ends, as I recall, though all of it was great.   It's not available on a new CD but you can order mp3s online.   I will be, though I'd rather have a CD.

McCoy Tyner - Giant Steps Solo Piano

McCoy  Tyner is unbelievable.

Charles Mingus - Better Git Hit In Your Soul

They Will Insist ON Sending Me E-Mails or Don't You Geniuses Ever Fact Check Your Bilge?


Stalin's official anti-religious fanatics who destroyed churches, closed churches, aided in the arrest, imprisonment and deaths of scores of thousands of clergy, nuns and monks, not to mention religious lay people.  

Here's just a little bit of what they did:

The main target of the anti-religious campaign in the 1920s and 1930s was the Russian Orthodox Church, which had the largest number of faithful. Nearly all of its clergy, and many of its believers, were shot or sent to labor camps. Theological schools were closed, and church publications were prohibited. By 1939 only about 500 of over 50,000 churches remained open.

After Nazi Germany's attack on the Soviet Union in 1941, Joseph Stalin revived the Russian Orthodox Church to intensify patriotic support for the war effort. By 1957 about 22,000 Russian Orthodox churches had become active. But in 1959 Nikita Khrushchev initiated his own campaign against the Russian Orthodox Church and forced the closure of about 12,000 churches. By 1985 fewer than 7,000 churches remained active. Members of the church hierarchy were jailed or forced out, their places taken by docile clergy, many of whom had ties with the KGB.

They Send Me E-Mails - To Be Consistent You'll have To Outlaw Atheism Too, Then


the hebdo massacre tempts me to take the position that the practice of religion should be outlawed

    If a person doesn't think there is a God to be accountable to, then—then what's the point of trying to modify your behavior to keep it within acceptable ranges? That's how I thought anyway.    Jeffrey Dahmer

    Charlie Hebdo killings 12, Jeffrey Dahmer, at least 16

    I will admit I checked around to try to verify the quote from Dahmer, it's all over the web.  It's supposed to be from some interviews he did with Stone Phillips which I did find but which I had to turn off after about two minutes because there are just some things I won't do just to check on a quote.   I need to go wash my mind out with soap.  Fels Naphtha, probably.

    Update:  I am challenged to name a massacre in the United States committed by atheists.  Well, I'm busy but I recalled reading this story a while back.

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Details began emerging about the mindset of a confessed serial killer who committed suicide last weekend in an Alaska jail cell, as family members prepared for his funeral and authorities searched for a woman they believe to be his first victim.

    A Texas pastor said this week that Israel Keyes of Anchorage had attended his sister's March wedding in Texas, where he ranted about how he didn't believe in God.

    Pastor Jacob Gardner said some of the preaching at the wedding had targeted Keyes to get him to "denounce his atheism." But the ceremony ended with Keyes raging against God, The Anchorage Daily News reported.

    "We were greatly desirous to see him saved, and greatly desirous to see him denounce his atheism, which he was steadfastly holding to and defending," Gardner told the newspaper.

    Keyes was arrested later that month in Lufkin, Texas. He then confessed to killing at least eight people across the country, before he was found dead Sunday in his Anchorage cell. Authorities say Keyes had slit one of his wrists and strangled himself with a rolled-up sheet.

    So, atheist feller, when are you going to call for banning atheism?  That's the difference between me and you groovy atheist guys.  I figure people are only guilty of what they do and approve of, I don't figure 1.6 billion people are guilty of the Charlie Hebdo murders.   By your, um, "logic" that Muslim cop murdered by them is guilty of his own murder.  But, then, I clearly remember that you guys also fingered Dr. George Tiller for his murder - before someone pointed out that the "Xian" was murdered as he ushered at his Reform Lutheran Church.

    Update 2:  Since it's a Friday afternoon and it's been a long week, heckler atheist feller keeps insisting I name AMERICAN atheist mass murderers.  Since he and his fellow atheists are gassing on about the murders in FRANCE I don't feel the need to allow him to set up the rules that he and his posse aren't abiding by.  I could name any number of atheists who were among the champion murderers of all time, Stalin of course, Mao, Pol Pot, .... anyone who was an atheist with control of a government and military going back to the reign of terror in France.   You know, little things like that.
    Stephane Charbonnier:  Alfred Rosenberg: "Mohammed Judaism isn't sacred to me. I don't blame Muslims Jews for not laughing at our drawings. I live under French  Reich law. I don't live under Quranic Mosaic law."

    The Fire This Time

    So, this week turned into a long critique of the self-declared greatness of the free press.  And my hate mail box is full of stuff whining about me being critical of the holy and sacred press,  well actually very little of it goes through a press these days.  I would appear to be doing too much "opinion journalism" for it to be tolerable to the "opinion journalists"

    It is complained by the less whiny that what I wrote the past two days is "too soon".   Considering what they are praising Charlie Hebdo for doing, pouring gasoline onto an already raging fire as it was burning actual, living people, that is stinkin' rich.  Considering their instantly found sense of propriety and the sacred, when it comes to them and theirs, as opposed to nameless Muslims and others, that merely shows how those granted privileges, as freedoms granted to media organizations are, often use them to generate hypocrisy in mountains.

    In the past fifty years, watching what they do, selling out The People to billionaires, helping to install the servants of the wealthy and powerful into government and the courts, inciting racist, imperial wars that have gotten millions of people killed, I don't respect "the free press".  I might respect some reporters of fact - the kind of journalist who seems to be most in danger of being killed for what they do - I might respect some opinion writers who have a sense of their responsibility to abide by the truth and serve The People with accurate information and the need to stick with their moral obligations in service to individual rights, equally held.   That doesn't include most of what gets called "journalism" these days.  Aside from Bill Moyer and what gets done in some of the liberal ghetto hours on MSNBC, I'm unaware of it happening in the past decade on TV, "public radio" giving far fewer hours even than that to something approaching genuine journalism.  And the electronic media is destroying print journalism, it is what sets the standards for what still gets put on paper.

    News organizations are always bemoaning why they are so little trusted, to the extent that it has become a cynical in-joke with them.  One almost as funny as their cynicism about how ignorant the public who must rely on them for information are.  That it is their failure to inform the public of information they need to govern themselves and conduct their lives, the one and only reason for them to have be granted the privileges of "free press" doesn't trouble them at all, and goes unmentioned in their wry reporting of the results of their own failure.

    That would be because that is not why they do what they do.  They exist to make money and to have jobs and careers and, among those whose names we know, go to parties and know powerful, rich people.  All of which was true of a segment of the media in the past, but in the past half century it has become the large majority of it.  People don't respect the press because the press doesn't fulfill its responsibility, instead instilling just the sense of cynical regard of everything that the press finds turned on itself.

    One of the things flung at me was a post by The Rude Pundit about the greatness of blasphemy.  It was, perhaps, the most puerile of the things I looked at in the past two days, puerile irreverence is his shtick.   Looking at it I realized that he was one of the bloggers I used to look at a couple of times a week, at least, when he was starting out but I've gradually looked at it less and less and, I'm pretty sure, in the past year I haven't looked at it more than once or twice, if that much. I don't even remember what I read there.  Maybe it's the same thing that Sophie Gherardi noted was the response of so many former readers of Charlie Hebdo.   Maybe it's a result of real life having become so grim that we can see that the the merry pranksters who cutely take a crap on everything are, in fact, a big part of the very thing they mock.

    I recall once, when the great power of biting, savage satire was being asserted that someone pointed out how the great, biting, savage satire of Berlin in the 1920s and elsewhere in Europe had not prevented the Nazis and fascists taking over and murdering millions and enslaving more.   The biting satire of the 1950s and 60s here did nothing to prevent the destruction of liberalism and bring us to the point we have reached when liberalism is entirely defeated, today.  That satire led to a cynical rejection of the very moral values that comprise liberalism and, again, the moral obligations that ensure the existence of rights.  And the same irreverent attitude was not held as the sole property of the alleged left.  In the hands of the right,  matched with their previous rejection of those same morals and responsibilities, it became obvious that satirical shtick was never comprised of what liberalism needs to succeed.   The form works even better for the right because the right begins by rejecting the morality and moral obligations that cynical, irreverent mockery is in the business of tearing down.

    The media relieved of its responsibilities to serve The People and government by The People sees rights all in their own interest and in service to their own goals and ambitions.  That is what "freedom of the press" means to the media.  Which is the way that the far right regard rights, an opportunity for them to get what they want without any wider sense of responsibility.

    What we've seen in the Charlie Hebdo incident is the real life results of that happened when those who are the target of the hate the media sells give up moral restraint and a reverence for human life and hit back.   Considering the market for what Charlie Hebdo was selling, what promoting hate can lead to, it's not shocking that some of it got back to them.  That peddling hate is accepted as journalism among Western journalists makes it rather odd that they don't understand that it can come round to them as well as to anyone who they target. By peddling hate, they marked themselves as a target for those they targeted, by tearing down morality, they helped remove any restraint that may have prevented those they ridiculed and denigrated from hitting back.  The media, especially those engaged in what Charlie Hebdo does, fuel the cycle of violence.  It's as if they believe they are immune to the hatred they supply as part of their trade.  The take-home message which will not be taken home is that they're not.  They live in the same pond that they crap in.  The fire they stoke can consume them too.