so… it wasn’t dylan or mick jagger that deserves the title, but this truly great funk band. in contrast, ‘rock&roll’ is largely carried out in B #… metaphors pertain. the ‘musical worlds’ that collided in the 60’s cannot be reduced to a single commercially determined nomination. really? how could that have ever been accepted?
tell me, how are the temptations like the allman brothers:
or like captain beefheart?
or like santana
or even like ravi shankar
so yet another line in my argument that ‘rock’ was always a dead and spurious category. ‘rock & roll’ has never been anything other than a cover for the economic interests of the corporate, music labels’ aim to capitalize music. and they succeeded, unfortunately.
in addition to the extraordinary musical quality of the Temptations track, is it’s visual quality, pre-video. which means that it was produced in a high end TV studio. yet, it set the stage for later visually crude, by comparison, ‘music videos’, along with nicholas roeg’s film of the same time, Performance.
one of things about this Temptations production that is significant, is that it focuses, visually, mostly on metonymic details, on closeup shots, of the musician playing their instruments; not, on spectacularizing the star qualities of the actually performers. and, the audience response, the public dancing to the performance, plays an equally important visual role.
the combination of these three registers makes this Temptation production in all aspects, perhaps the most important work of the period.
in another cultural and visual register, there is of course cheo feliciano, co-contemporaneous.
though, in contrast, one of the great songs, psycho killer, of the DB era, is realized by weymouth, just to give an obvious and too glaring an example:
as prelude to her influence in the following live show below:
first, some great videos, great lyrics, above and below. some great performances even. but… when has DB ever monetarily contributed to his own vocal causes? never. just alluding to the truth. which weymouth has lived.
[thanks to g. van noord for sending me the above happy birthday tribute to tina weymouth.] and i continue the tribute below, in the presence [above] of her animus: DB, also below. however, the following, while DB is brilliant, would not have been possible without weymouth, as bassist, in particular, if one listens to her bass playing throughout. without weymouth, this piece would not have worked, at all. from the very first notes. in fact, she led the band, musically, and DB was a vocal footnote, a great vocal footnote even, but, comparatively speaking, nothing without Weymouth’s bass playing.
but beyond the brilliance of her playing, if one watches the way she moves performatively, then, she’s clearly a brilliant leader.
i’ve been called an antisemite and payed the price. because i’ve simply defended the palestinians against an apartheid state with a genocidal inclination. no rational being on the planet could possible defend Israel’s now 60 year violent subjection of Palestine. Israel, in fact, has no historical legitimacy to it’s land; than does the US after it’s slaughter of at least 80 million native americans. some figures put the slaughter at far higher numbers: 150 million. but of course to raise property ownership in such terms is anathema. but just because it’s anathema, doen’t make it any the less historical factual.
so, to recall the cliche about speaking truth to power, let’s have at it, not only in the name of truth, but in the name of academic freedom and the general civic right to speak truth, period.
as my first witness in this debate against the absurd alliance between US so called democracy and so called democracy of the Israel, i cite the following:
Weisman even posits that recent racial policies by the Netanyahu government have made Israel a “model” for the alt-right on how to construct an “ethno-state”.
the model which Trump is attempting, down to the T, to implement, including his building of the wall between the US and Mexico, and then sending US military troops there, incarcerating children by the 4 thousands, separating families and children, and literally mouthing Israeli militaristic strategies: ‘throwing stones will be interpreted as using lethal weapons”…
whatever the propaganda, there is no doubt about the colonial histories of either the US or Israel. both have been aligned since the 1960s in order to defend themselves against the undoubted accusations of genocide. i’ve provided evidence of this claim below. but one look no further than Israel’s internment of the citizens of Gaza; or, no further than the Trump and Republican Party treatments of Latin American asylum seekers and latin american immigrants in general, not least of which, is the Trump admin’s family separation policy.
so, just to finally receive a bit of vindication of my so called antisemetic and extremist, historically well researched, beliefs, i can site the following:
“On the right,” writes Weisman, “anti-Semitism and militant Zionism can co-exist quite comfortably.” Spencer calls his movement a “sort of white Zionism”. In a New York Times podcast, Weisman even posits that recent racial policies by the Netanyahu government have made Israel a “model” for the alt-right on how to construct an “ethno-state”.
Weisman knows well about the use of the internet as a way of spreading anti-semitism. His book (which opens with the scene beneath the Lincoln Memorial) is intriguingly entitled (((Semitism))) Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump.
There’s a story behind those brackets.
Weisman, deputy Washington editor of the New York Times, thought little of retweeting a column by conservative historian and commentator Robert Kagan in the Washington Post. But he had “an intuition” when a strange response from someone called ‘CyberTrump’ arrived: “Hello (((Weisman)))”.
“Care to explain?” Weisman replied.
“It’s dog whistle, fool,” the anonymous person answered.
so, in that historical spirit, in defense of their prescient take, there could be no greater lawyer than
harvard’s gabriella blum,
who helped to create the law international law in support of extrajudicial assassinations. and who seems, now, to be somewhat apologetic about it.
[The Israeli government] didn’t want to call their conflict with the Palestinians a “war” since that would recognize the inevitability of a Palestinian state and trigger a number of requirements under the laws of war. But they also didn’t want call it an “occupation,” since then they would be subject to the laws that govern occupiers. Among other things, occupation law would mandate them to use policing powers instead of offensive military tactics like targeted killing. So to avoid doing either, they simply created a new and unprecedented legal category that is, in effect, a new law for colonial dominance.
Above: top: San Francisco on a normal day; bottom: SF during the forest fires, November, 2018; photos by Noah Bartlett, taken from a top floor of SFMOMA
Below: self explanatory mostly. But an important focus should be as much on those country NOT to blame. And that even the least offenders don’t help matters much, particularly if their collective contributions are totaled. Published in November, 2018.
the above famous illustration of the dissection of white light into multiple bands of the rainbow, to put it in cheesy terms, was first achieved in the late 18th century by Isaac Newton. See his truly poetic scientific treatise, Optics. That was heretical at that time. What is equally heretical in our time today, is to read that illustration in reverse – in such a way that would imply that the above illustration should be read, not from left to right, but from right to left. that is, in such a way as to demonstrate that history today is collapsing diversity into a mono-filiament of sameness. and certainly, that is not a good thing. for, not only will the absurd human animal be eliminated, but all non-human animals will be also, essentially making life impossible for the absurd, nihilistic human animal; through no ‘fault’ of their own. and certainly, justice would conclude, even in the terms of the single dominant animal, that the faults of a single animal should result in the total destruction of all animals, is not just. from the non-human animal POV, justice would be to eliminate the human animal.
the great paradigm of the human-animal’s rationality, is shown to be the opposite: irrational.
Us and them
And after all we’re only ordinary men
Me and you
God only knows it’s not what we would choose to do
Forward he cried from the rear
And the front rank died
And the General sat and the lines on the map
Moved from side to side
Black and blue
And who knows which is which and who is who
Up and down
And in the end it’s only round and round and round and round
Haven’t you heard it’s a battle of words
The poster bearer cried
Listen son said the man with the gun
There’s room for you inside
“Well I mean, they’re gonna kill ya, so like, if you give ’em a quick sh… short, sharp shock, they don’t do it again.
Dig it? I mean he got off light, ’cause I coulda given ‘I’m a thrashin’ but I only hit him once.
It’s only the difference between right and wrong innit? I mean good manners don’t cost nothing do they, eh?”
Down and out
It can’t be helped but there’s a lot of it about
And who’ll deny it’s what the fighting’s all about
Out of the way it’s a busy day
I’ve got things on my mind
For want of the price of tea and a slice
The old man died
After the historic wins of the first ever Native Americans from ‘Indian Country’ to the US congress, Deb Haaland from New Mexico and Sharice Davids from Kansas, both not incidentally women; Robert Altman’s brilliant, satirical staging, as ‘entertainment,’ of American colonialism, came to mind. In Altman’s film, Sitting Bull has had a dream in which he met the ‘Great Father’, the president of the United States, then Grover Cleveland, at Buffalo Bill’s Wild West circus, in order to make a ‘last stand’ before being shipped off to a prison in Standing Rock. Sitting Bull’s last stand, in the film, was to request something of Cleveland, one national leader to another, the substance of which is never disclosed, but is easily imagined. Altman’s satire is of course a brilliant expression of the -hinge form of tragicomedy. Cleveland refuses Sitting Bull’s request with ever allowing the latter to state what it is. Sitting Bull is then shipped off to Standing Rock and is killed before he arrives there. And his death is portrayed in the media of that time in such a way as to make the US government fault-free.
Altman’s Buffalo Bill, were it to be remade today, with the Republican party and it’s Great Father leader in power, would have to shift from cynical satire to abject parody, were it to reflect 2018 rather than 1976, the date of course that marked the tricentennial of the ‘birth’ of the United States of America. Of note is that just a year later, in 1977, the first episode of Star Wars was released when George Lucas put a definitive end to the radical New Hollywood upon which it was economically dependent; along with its Truffaut and French New Wave Cinema inspired influences, to which Altman’s film was a significant contribution. Altman’s film clearly draws on both Michelangelo Antonioni and Franz Kafka’s Amerika, among many other sources.
Altman’s Buffalo Bill came to mind not least because of the election of two Native American women to congress for the first time in US history: Deb Haaland of New Mexico, and Sharice Davids of Kansas. A point worth repeating. Two Native American women have been elected to the US congress from traditionally very conservative states.