Saturday, June 26, 2010

Southern Man Should Have Appreciated Neil Young Being Around

I heard Southern Man today and of course my mind turned to what always appeared to me to be one the most wonderful encapsulations of moral evasion in lyric writing history:

In Birmingham they love the governor
Now we all did what we could do
Now Watergate does not bother me
Does your conscience bother you?
Tell the truth

Of course this is not necessarily the writers of the song evading anything but it does certainly point out how we get selective about community. It is often forgotten for instance that the entire nation of the United States of America condoned and allowed and benefitted from slavery. Period. End of Story. America was a slave holding nation. But the North somehow claims that it was the South that was sinning, not the north, not the whole nation.

On the other hand it was certain Southern States that went to war to preserve the ability of certain people to hold others prisoner without trial and to treat them as chattel and to breed them and take their children etc etc. And then this hatred continued by law for a hundred years and when Neil Young wrote Sourthern Man it was a pretty on target about a lot of stuff. So why these lines:

Well I heard mister Young sing about her
Well, I heard ole Neil put her down
Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
A Southern man don't need him around anyhow

It seems a little sensitive especially since Young's Alabama seems like a song which really wants to help. I might see Southern Man as a put down but I never thought of Alabama as putting Alabama down.

Overly sensitive reactions I think. When fingers are pointed at our group we have a number of options: we can get all tribal and say the outsider has no right to criticize, we can disassociate ourselves from the offending group and claim not all of us are like that, or we can ponder what it means to be part of a community that collectively does really screwed up things.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Heroes of the Open End

Tonight at Webster Hall. I would check them out. Here's a link to an early article I wrote about Baglivi's music, the Heroes of the Open End being the vehicle of Baglivi's songs: the article is on page 15. It was in this article that the Amazing Antifolk Explicator was accidentally discovered....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I was reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road, which I intend to read again if only to figure out how he did it. Some people call the setting of the Road "Post Apocalyptic" which is interesting since basically if you want to be pedantic about the whole thing we are living in the post-apocalyptic time given that John the Revelator was revelated to, a long time ago, the dog of of the vision of the end times has done hunted and in fact went home to be set down in manuscript form like 1900 or more years ago.

In any event, and this is important kiddies, everything else flows from this insight, this entire project as will become clear I hope etc. etc.

Here it comes the insight destined to take the place of both the circular motion and the mud shark in your mythology:

I noted that when the protagonists of the book came upon a roadway of cars filled with scorched bodies, the natural tendency of myself as the reader was to identify with the protagonists who came upon this horrible scene, not the burnt corpses in the cars. How friggin' narcissistic is that? By the way I think THIS RELATES TO YOUR JUDGMENT IN MUSIC. I know it does to mine.

The above only occurred to me as I attempt to get a handle on a few of the threads at OJ, question why I would even want to write about them, or think that what I thought would be of interest to anybody, and basically evaluating whether I am too much thinking like the main characters in the road and not like the corpse upon which they stumble which I suspect I most likely would be, and dipping into Steven Shapin's The Scientific Revolution wherein he points out that we look back on the work of seventeenth century "scientists" and think they revolutionized the way "we" look at the world, when in fact the vast majority, the vast vast vast majority of people on the planet at that time had no idea they even existed and looked at the world in their own particular ways. But that sounds too much like I am saying that these few words will be significant in the future although very few people read them now. Quite the opposite-- I am trying to assert something like solidarity with the vast majority of the people in the seventeenth century whose words were no where recorded, but said a lot of things none the less. Let us strive then to view ourselves as post-apocalyptic corpses!

For surely here in the mad max world of the post catastrophic post apocalyptic landscape we hear rumors that someone named Lach is holding a contest and we could make $100, but that complaints have been made from a competing camp. What campfire will we attempt to sit around tonight? That $100 sounds good but will it help us on the Road? And on what foundations will civilization be rebuilt?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Interesting Questions being Debated On The O.J. Board

The institution of the Anti-Idol contest by Lach at the Tuesday Night Antihoot at Webster Hall has provoked some interesting debate, veering into ad hominem arguments at time. The thread is here:

It is apparently also exposing some long simmering tensions and resentments between some folk on the scene. Personally what interests me is how offering a $100 prize etc. etc. at a place like Webster Hall can actually elicit negative criticism It has, which means that my view of the world is clearly not shared by everyone.

The other thread that I haven't even got close to analyzing is this:

I suspect but will not yet assert that there is a common theme underlying some of the posts on both these threads.

I will hopefully be able to get some time next week and put the information from these threads into J.J. Hayes's Amazing Antifolk Explicator and Philosophic Analyzer and see what happens.