“Straight Black Men Are the Scapegoats of Black People: VSB’s Black Eugenics Renaissance and the Pandering to Make Attention Outweigh Death” by T. Hasan Johnson, Ph.D.*

Amber Phillips can read this post and shove it.

Black Masculinism and New Black Masculinities

“We have to be distrustful of the ideology and the people in the class position that’re trying to serve as the spokespeople for a race that tries to socialize everyone else into their ideology. So when these women are speaking, they’re speaking from a positionality of privilege and… White supremacist backing. Because there’s no way that so many with degrees in English should somehow be in the limelight as commentators, spokespersons for the race, and policy analysts. This is a deliberate organization of Black people, especially in the last two decades, where public intellectualism has become overwhelmingly conservative, hell-bent on propagating White liberalism, and fundamentally tied to the denigration and rationalization of the mass incarceration system and the demonization of Black men that takes Black men out of communities and out of homes.”1

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…And Still, They Voted NOT to Impeach this Idiot.

So The House has decided not to impeach the Orange Orangutan, after all.

Now we know–after months and months of Democrats and assorted “Independents” screaming about how “psychopathic,” “racist” and “dangerous to the world” it∗ is–that they, our self-proclaimed “real leaders,” are just as worthless, psychopathic and dangerous as the Orangutan. With all the evidence at their feet concerning Trump’s bullshit, The House of Representatives has decided not to impeach.

Brilliant.

It’s over, folks–the country has just signed its fucking death warrant.

And frankly, I don’t feel like talking about it anymore, because nobody is listening. Nobody has listened to a damn thing any of us has been saying for over two years. Nobody listened before the election, or during the election, and they are not listening now. They raised no stink, for instance, when Bernie Sanders was casually pushed aside in favor of Hillary Clinton (another monster, and for whom we can blame much of the Libya disaster on). I realize now that Bernie Sanders was no socialist, that he was already quite old (and the task of running that country would have probably killed him, as it did more than a few presidents), and that his leftism was wafer-thin (the man supports Israel, which is morally insupportable by any standard and for very obvious reasons). But a vote for Sanders would have been a vote against Armageddon.

James Baldwin himself voted for Jimmy Carter. He said emphatically that his vote was not an endorsement of the man, but a vote against the Final Solution. Unlike today’s phony so-called “Black” intellectuals, he understood the true nature of White American (settler) Manifest Destiny and that it was almost entirely predicated upon violence–violence pushed against whatever enemies that White Americans happened to conjure up at any given moment. To White Americans, any group of people became an enemy if their skins were too dark or if they (and perhaps more importantly) held a world view and a system of reality that was at loggerheads with their own. Hence, Black, Native, Latino Americans, gays, Communists, leftist Jews (not right-wing Shylocks like Ben Shapiro, Milo and David Cole), Muslims, Chinese (before 1930) and the Japanese during World War Two have been more or less on the Klan’s enemies list. The Japanese were removed after their defeat in World War Two but made very brief reappearances in the seventies and eighties because of Murka’s failing auto industry.

Even so, the Japanese were never really at the top of Uncle Sammy’s list. The Blacks, aka niggers, coons and monkeys, always were, but the Negro intellectual can’t deal with this reality. He or she prefers to forget reality. The next eight years will probably change that, but I doubt it, at this point; this fool will probably go to Dachau with a bayonet at his back, singing “We Shall Overcome” in the boxcars.

The rest of the country, of course, is equally clueless.

It’s no use recalling that it merely took a tawdry sex scandal (something Americans love; it’s in their blood, and goes back to the good old days of the ridiculous Salem Witch Trials of the mid-1600s) for Congress to impeach former President Bill Clinton twenty years ago. And it’s no use telling people that the mindset of Congress then is scarcely different than the mindset of Congress today. Many of the same Congressmen and women from the 1990s are still there and still basking in the limelight of political and moral mediocrity. Their minds have not changed: apparently a cum-stained dress carries more moral significance than the long rap sheet of a fat bastard who made his mark as a slum-lord and swindler, whose psychopathic tendencies are well known, whose racism, sexism and antisemitism are well-known (though people insist that he himself is not, that he is merely surrounded by racists, Jew-haters and jocks who are pulling his string). Apparently the shaky testimony of Paula Jones–a supremely ugly woman not worthy even of a hillbilly like Mr. Clinton–carries more weight than a very clear recording of Trump boasting about his ability to freely stick his hand in women’s crotches. It’s not hyperbole. Why?

Today, the Orange Orangutan has declared that Jerusalem is indeed the capital of Israel. This is a supremely stupid move–no, scratch that. It is just fucking retarded. Even American Jews (for the most part) are upset. And virtually the entire Middle East–except, of course, for the Israeli leadership and the reactionaries on the streets (of whom there are quite a few)–is up in arms about Trump’s idiotic decision.

The speech he has just given is garbled and semi-coherent, at an junior-high school level and spoken with his usual ugly Bronx accent. The White House explained it away as “dry throat.” I’ve had dry throat and I know what it sounds like. Trump’s speech sounds like he was on a four-day bender. (Which he probably is, with a pile of fries and Filet O’ Fish sammiches piled up all around him.) A number of psychologists have stated that Trump exhibits clear signs of psychosis and delusions of grandeur, and that he is sociopathic and lacks empathy, and that he is perfectly capable of doing something rash enough to take us all off the planet. So why hasn’t be been impeached?

Trump hasn’t been impeached by the House because, to be blunt, the powers-that-be want him there. They want an authoritarian state. And not just paleoconservative nuts like Jeff Sessions but even a fair share of self-proclaimed “liberals”–you know, those Democrats who voted “Nay” in opposition to impeachment–as well. I suspect that Americans, collectively, have either become so indifferent to how bleak their future will be that they allowed this buffoon to get as far as he has gotten in politics–or they are so full of guilt and remorse over what America has become these past few decades–integrated neighborhoods, the so-called “Sexual Revolution,” a freer press, abortion rights, gay bathhouses, porno stores and Pakistani immigrants–that they have quietly allowed the Klan to creep further and further into center political stage.

Likewise, the powers-that-be will light a torch under the ass of Bill O’Reilly for a short while but he will be allowed back into the fold. Roy Moore, the cowboy, Bible-thumping pedophile, the Alabama Ape, is still running for office; Rick Ross, the Molly Man, the decadent, obese King Kong of Shit Hop, is still turning out generic rap hooks; Sean Hannity, a McCarthyite reject (and also accused of sexual harassment) is still on Fox. Al Franken, essentially a harmless prankster (and liberal) has to step down because apparently, the powers-that-be think that what he did far outweighs anything Hannity, Moore, Ross or Trump has ever done.

Harvey Weinstein has scumbag stamped on his forehead in bright neon letters as far as I’m concerned. I’ve heard the audio of him attempting to grope an Italian-Filipino model and it speaks for itself. Weinstein is garbage, but he’s the Democrat’s garbage. He’s the kind of bloke who gives millions to the Democratic Party when he can, which is often. Had he been a Republican one wonders if he would have received the same treatment.

Likewise, with Dustin Hoffman, Charlie Rose and the like. I’m not going to sit here and defend sexual harassment because I myself have been sexually harassed  as a youth, and mostly by men. It happened in high school, and again at Howard University. These men didn’t give a shit if I wasn’t gay; they saw me as another small guy, with a cute baby face that–in their minds–spelled “pushover.” All of this is beside the point.

This new mania to out prominent people for sexual harassment can not conceal its true intentions by catching a few conservatives and hard-righters in its net. You know something is extremely wrong, politically and culturally, in that country when we slide very easily from accusing Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein for things they most likely did do¹ to demanding that certain works of art be removed from galleries because they are too “sexually provocative.” And from there we very well could slide into snatching certain books off the shelves that offend the delicate sensibilities of bourgeois white, Christian women, arguably the worst sexual hypocrites history has ever known.² It does not matter if the morality police operate from the Left or the Right, for both sides are caught up in the increasingly totalitarian zeitgeist. It’s the Great Depression, all over again.

The American morality police never left the historical stage–or to be more precise, they never left the building; they merely went into the dressing room during these past five decades and now they are coming out again, shoulder to shoulder with (even if ideologically in opposition to) the alt-right.

Remember: there was more than one evil dictator during the last Great Depression. There was Stalin in addition to Uncle Adolph. Adolph (and Mussolini) simply took most of the limelight. Stalin was just cannibalizing from the far left; he was no less of a prig, no less of a moral cop, no less of a manipulator and certainly no less of a racist than the Austrian teppichfresser.

But then again, it may take an overemotional fuck-up like Trump–one of White Supremacy’s own–to bring down the whole rotten superstructure that we currently live under now. The system is unsustainable for most of us on this planet, and as far as anyone can see no one really has the balls OR the ovaries to seriously challenge this monstrosity. We don’t even go for economic boycotts anymore, let alone revolutionary uprisings, so we have put ourselves in the position of having to let the snake eat its own tail.

 

∗I really have a hard time believing that this idiot is actually human.

¹There’s no question of Weinstein’s guilt, and in light of what’s been happening these past two months maybe Cosby isn’t so innocent after all. But historically speaking, when Americans start shrieking accusations of rape against people, it is more than a little bit like the little boy who cried Wolf. Usually the Wolf is a Negro.

²Besides, of course, Wahhabi fundamentalists.

The Obscene Barbarism of Racist Libya, in Pictures

WARNING: Many of the pictures below are quite graphic and disturbing. These pictures were taken largely between 2011 and 2017. A few graphically show beheadings done by ISIS in 2015.

…and all of this was done with the indispensable aid of our dear ex-President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Nicolas Sarkozy.

Until recently, however, African leaders haven’t done much more than wag their fingers at the barbarians in Libya. This crap has actually been going on since at least the year 2000, when ferocious anti-black rioting exploded throughout the country.

Today old fat wrinkled Madame Non-Fuck, better known as Shillary, is still nursing her wounds after having lost to the Orange Honky. Frankly she is better off being nowhere near the White House, seeing that her fucking fingerprints are all over this disaster.

Loyalist-Black-prisoner-in-Tawergha-Libya-video-by-Assomood

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Bodies of soldiers believed to be loyal to Muammar Gaddafi lay on the ground in Abu Slim area in Tripoli

 

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A mass grave of Ethiopian Christians massacred by ISIS “rebel” psychopaths
c9673f563f2ff7f0494e02fe1dd5fd5f--lynching-strange-fruit
Compare this American lynching from Omaha, Nebraska in 1919….
Bodies of soldiers loyal to Muammar Gaddafi lie at Abu Slim area in Tripoli
….to this Libyan one of 2011. 

 

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And I would like to take this moment to thank our dear ex-president Obammy for making all of this insanity possible.

Libyan slavery and the European Union

I am currently writing something concerning the outrage of slavery in Libya, it will be posted soon.

In my opinion Libya is the Congo Free State, revisited. Not only Arabs but Africans (by default, and by silence and indifference: where were the Nigerian, Ghanaian, Cameroonian, Ivorian governments the whole time this crap was happening???) have shown their ass to the world. The poison of Arab racism can no longer be explained away by unctuous Muslims who will tell you blah-blah-blah about the Quran and because of the Quran, racism does not exist in the Arab World. Those of us who have actually been to the Arab World know full well how they treat their own–like dogshit. So the news about this “new” slave trade–which is nowhere near new, by the way–is not really shocking or surprising. But it IS infuriating.

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This video says about itself:

The EU Silently Welcomes Slavery In Libya

1 December 2017

The European Union was awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize “for over six decades [having] contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.”

At the same time, EU officials know that once refugees can’t make it to Europe—whether because they become enslaved in Libya or are too fearful to make the trip—they are no longer a problem for the Union.

The European Union (EU) and African Union (AU) held a joint summit November 29-30 in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast. The meeting was overshadowed by the unfolding disaster caused by imperialist wars in Libya and the Sahel region, and escalating neo-colonial interventions of the EU powers, particularly France. It brought together leaders of 50 African and European countries to concentrate on EU plans to block…

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On the Unrelenting Horror that is the Third World

In light of recent revelations about contemporary slavery in Libya, I am reblogging this post. It does not specifically deal with the issue of racism/slavery in North Africa, but since Libya is yet another half-assed “Third World” country, the argument still applies in full force.

Many of you reading this may wonder why I chose to attack the poor, struggling “Third World” in this piece rather than focus my animus upon the West which continues to exploit them. After all, the French (and possibly the Italians, British and of course the US) are the invisible hand or hands behind all of this lunacy in LIbya and the rest of the so-called Third World. Well, I’ll tell you why. Without the complicity and silence of both the phony leaders and intellectuals of the Third World (as well as the obnoxious disorganization and passivity of the people in each of these nations), the West could not continue to what it does in the Third World. China could not wrap African nations around its little finger if the African leadership had balls. They don’t have balls. It’s self-evident that they don’t. There is no use whining and bitching about assholes like the president of Kenya for allowing child prostitution to flourish in Nairobi, or why the president of Tanzania allows for half-caste scumbags (usually self-designated Arabs or Indians) to push local people around and treat them like dirt (this might be hearsay, but I doubt it). They are not going to change because they have been carefully reared over decades to lick the feet of their designated masters, and play the role of “simple, happy African” to outsiders who insist that they are subhumans.

The African elite’s lukewarm response to the crisis in Libya is a perfect case in point. It is entirely analogous to the lukewarm response of so-called Arab leaders to the brutal persecution of Palestinians in Israel. For decades fake Arab leaders have shown themselves to be totally incompetent in dealing with Israeli-Zionist fascism…but again, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. They haven’t even bothered to adequately educate their own people and are no less obsequious to white Western redneck power than the Africans are. For the African American leadership, all of the above applies. Honestly, in my opinion, they are some of the most vile, ignorant, fat, greasy, disorganized and pussified people on the entire planet–a waste of space. Look at old Andrew Young, that shriveled-up old relic from a bygone era making faces on camera as he discusses a fucking KUMBAYA MOMENT with Donald Trump! You call that clown a fucking LEADER?

Kenneth Patchen once wrote that he hated the poor. However, he added an important caveat: he hated the poor OUT OF HIS LOVE FOR THEM. Patchen was not some milquetoast SJW pussy like the kind who infest American universities and shitholes like Berlin. Rich liberals and conservatives alike just love the fucking poor; they see poor folk in the same light as they see endangered whales, rhinos, tigers and elephants: as exotics, as fucking furry animals they can shed crocodile tears over. They love the poor because the poor give them free money, resources and tail.

The rich romanticize poverty, especially pseudo-Marxist shitheads who think slumming in Wedding or Bed-Stuy is just so goddamn cool, so vibrant and full of life. Yeah, right–it’s vibrant because you don’t live there, and if you do live there, it’s in the gentrified honky section. You yourselves have never been poor, you have never been down there in that hell, mentally and spiritually braindead and overworked down to the bone. Therefore, you can’t tell me shit about it. Patchen can.

I am now poor but I do not have shackles on my mind like The Poor, therefore I am not of “The Poor.” To be poor today means to be the slop jar of the New World Order, to shine the fucking shoes of that order, to take it in the ass from that Order and to look away when bullshit is being perpetrated in Libya, Malaysia (another nigger-hating cesspool), India, Venezuela, Brazil (which is heading towards the alt-right in baby steps), Zimbabwe and everywhere else. To be of The Poor means that when you are getting fucked, you must sing praise songs to your tormentor and actually believe the lies you sing.

Is this racism? Well, yeah. It’s racism against a very old, very vast and invisible race of people. They’re known as the Asshole Race. Or better yet, The Rich and The Poor, two ends of the same used tampon.

A Black Writer in Berlin

The so-called “Third World” is the biggest carrier of the disease of White Imperialism; in fact all of the sicknesses and taints of European thought and values, all of their lies, ignorance and stupidity, are magnified a hundred-fold in the so-called Third World. Third World does not connote anything positive. Third World is a by-word for everything wrong in the Universe.

The so-called Third World is obsessed with keeping alive all the old values of Queen Victoria, King Leopold, Cecil Rhodes, Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt and other imperialist scum while in the West, young whites are increasingly rejecting these same rotten values. Therefore the invasion of the West by uneducated and misguided refugees does not represent a positive browning of Europe; it does not represent any kind of “de-honkification”; if anything it is, ironically, a re-honkification of the Western World for reasons stated above. The refugee, in some respects, is…

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Announcement Concerning “Nate” Reissue

My award-winning novel of 2006, “Nate,” is still in the final stage of preparation. I’m designing a new cover for it (I don’t think the old one is adequate) and making corrections in the old text. And since I’m still struggling financially to keep afloat I have to bump the date of publication ahead to January 4, 2018.

Also note: I am preparing a series of essays to be published sometime in 2018 (an exact date has not been set) about the current state of affairs in Black America. It is not exactly a response to Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me because I have not read his book. From what I have heard about it, and from the few excerpts I have glimpsed of it, Coates’s book is not saying anything particularly groundbreaking. I have my own views on this subject, and as you know they are considerably less compromising than those of Ta-Nehisi Coates.

In the meantime here is another excerpt from “Nate” to whet your appetite.

********************

When I regained consciousness, I felt like I had been on a five-year acid trip. Life around me slowly took on some fearful shapes.

Well….they frightened me at first. Then they disgusted me: a big tent, a dirty floor, half-empty plastic water bottles, candy wrappers, scattered papers, a bunch of grimy backpacks and battered clothes, and, last but not least, the unwashed asses of six or seven men, all looking at me, and all hating me.

I wasn’t high; I knew I had woken up where I had always feared I would wake up: at the bottom of the world. Hadegouine, Numidia. The hot spot of America’s war against international terrorism. More Marines than gooks had lost their lives here. But we weren’t about to take their irons out of the fire. It was the eighties, Reagan was in power, America was back—and if anything, we had to prove it to the world. The 3lst Ostrogoths had trained for this mission for over ten months before they transferred me to the unit, all with a “recommendation” from that same vicious black bastard, whom I’d smirked at some months ago.

Of course, he was right; I didn’t so much as smile the whole time I was stuck there.

Shortly after my arrival, I tried to muster some sympathy from my fellow Marines by telling them what happened to me at Fort Jejune. They merely laughed in my face. Every night from then on, they joked about it in the cruelest way, usually where I could hear them. They sounded like obnoxious little schoolgirls.

We passed a number of months just sitting there, in the desert, talking about nothing—or, rather, THEY talked to EACH OTHER. Not to me. After several months drilling with them I let them know just what the fuck I felt about them, and they had grown as suspicious of me as the last unit had. Some actually thought I was insane. Well, I thought, at least that’s an improvement over the old situation: they may hate me, but at least they fear me. I can handle that.

Everybody was scared; they all knew that Death was at the lining of their assholes. The Royal Numidian Army (of King Ahmed) had been assigned to do our dirty work, but they were the most inept, undisciplined fools anyone had ever seen. And the Pakistanis working alongside them had their hands tied behind their backs. When our officers heard this, they exploded in rages that filtered down the ranks from general to major to lieutenant to sergeant to corporals to sorry, smelly us. All trust had broken down on all sides; all enthusiasm was dead. (Meanwhile, the other side, what with their shells and bullets growing louder and louder and popping and whizzing and kA-blooming through the night, seemed to have an infinite supply of ammo to burn. They made it impossible for you to sleep. I sat and waited and hopelessly twiddled my thumbs and clattered my teeth as the hours wound down.)

I heard we were headed for Adjrar, to indulge in a little “light guerrilla warfare,” as soon as the other units (U.S. and U.N.) cleared the way for us. We had a whole load of goodies and treats and tricks piled into trucks we planned to give the gooks to keep them happy. I peeped into one of these trucks just as they finished loading it; it was filled with nothing but—refuse. Whatever happened to the food? “They got enough Purina cat-chow, and besides, we ran out,” one soldier explained to me. “They shoot at us whether we feed them or not, no matter what side they’re on….it’s crazy, isn’t it?”

He was one of the few soldiers who even bothered to talk to me, and I didn’t even know his full name for several months. In fact I still didn’t know half my company’s names, no matter how often I’d heard them repeated, no matter how often I’d seen their arrogant, childish, grimy faces.

The worst of my fears came true after two absolutely sleepless nights, hearing the increasing chaos and contemplating my own death. The sergeant came in before five o’clock, hysterically whipping our asses to the strains of “Reville”. Sergeant Sanders: A big, loud, ugly ape from Edgeville, South Carolina by way of Chicago and Sing Sing, six foot five and medium-to-dark complexioned, with eyes as hard and cold as diamonds. “Up!” he screamed, “up! Up! Up! Up! Up! Get your asses the fuck up! Ten-shun! Ten-shun! Camel-coon time!—”

After standing up like robots, during which time he inspected the human meat to be roasted by the rebels (or “Camel-coons,” as we had to call them, or get thrown in the stockade and make penis-necklaces for the general’s wives), we got into uniform. We had to be quick, because because because because; we didn’t even have time to wash our asses, so we all smelled. I got into uniform with deathly, quaking motions, as if I was putting on my funeral suit, and preparing to step into a casket. I already saw myself dying, bleeding and totally helpless on some God-forsaken road….like the one we were eventually forced down, unpaved, muddy, filled with deep craters and oceans of quicksand. I barely knew where anything was, it was so dark; I seemed to be surrounded, yet utterly, despicably alone. Dead tired, I made my way with them as the sun began to break through the darkness; the only thing that kept me awake was the sound of enemy gunfire. It terrified me, as did the endless roar of the tanks—but after a few hours of the unnerving monotony, I ignored everything but the gunshots.

They had two kinds of tanks—brown for the Marines, and for the U.N., the white kind, with bold, black lettering on the sides. Their drivers were having a ball, knocking over palm trees and plowing through oases and huge, dark sand drifts that were as long and deep as canyons.  Something was wrong. I was sitting in one of these vehicles—a convoy called the “Black Bastard”—when I heard some guys groaning in disgust. The vehicles suddenly stopped, and some soldiers leaped out to see what was wrong. My body pulsed with anticipatory fear. When I finally got out of the convoy myself and saw what it was, I was so shocked, I nearly went blind. Some youth had been crushed flat under a tank. The soldiers said “rebels” did it, but they said it in such a strange way, so casual, and yet so embarrassed, I immediately knew they were lying. How on earth could anyone be so cold? Were these guys just so shocked that they had to laugh, or was this all a grandiose hallucination, brought on by my hunger and exhaustion? I didn’t want to know.

The hours drummed cheerlessly on. The further we made it down the road, the more corpses began showing up. They were not our victims; they were obviously those of the rebel army, but I was revolted nonetheless. Soon I was seeing so many of these ugly, gummy, blasted up things in the road that my mind, long accustomed to nude girls, now kept on relaying back to me faces half-shot away, bodies with no heads, no arms, no legs, sometimes fully intact with heads looking every which way, eyes opened, but mouth cracked as if in stupor….

Peeping through the mud brick walls of the villages, gathered about the doorways of their crumbling souks, were Numidian peasants. They watched us pass along the battered road beneath them. They saw us kicking ourselves in our own asses, our officers routinely abusing us, thrashing us, spitting on us, even threatening to kill us—and from what I could see, they were quite amused. They went about their business while we tried to impress them with our helicopters, airplanes, tanks, and our posturing, smelly asses, flexing muscles but really dying of the heat and exhaustion and aching feet and the hordes of mosquitoes which were so voracious that sometimes, if you listened carefully, the air sang with their shrieking wings.

The Numidians said nothing. After awhile, they didn’t even look our way; I guess they were thinking, “They all look alike to me”….

It was a real revelation. On T.V. they always seemed to be cheering at the sight of U.S. soldiers; we always saw swarms of them fighting, clawing each other savagely for food that these big-hearted, generous Americans had brought them. But the only thing I saw were these peasants just indifferently passing through—even with Marines stopping them, questioning them, searching them with hands raised. It was increasingly clear to me that we didn’t know what the fuck we were doing; it was also obvious that, even though no blood had been shed on our part, the Numidians had won the war. Just look at our outfit! Everybody hated each other—the honkies hated the niggers, who hated the spics, who hated both niggers and honkies, themselves included, but the Numidians?—They may have been frequently hungry, their homes non-existent, they may have been fighting each other and the ruthless Touraegs and Bedouin slave-runners and hash gangsters from the deserts, but they were working in one breath, in ways that we super-individualists couldn’t even do under pain of death. (Or, rather, they—I don’t even know what I mean when I say when I say “we,” because it wasn’t my war.)

The unit kept on listlessly marching through, till I could see the town for myself—or what was left of it, because the place was nothing more than a series of smoldering shells with their walls standing oddly erect, supported by seemingly nothing at all. Everything was gray and black, ashen earthenware—the colors of an air raid’s aftermath. The only things left to show that humans had lived here were a few pathetic shreds of clothing scattered about, along with some shards of pottery—but I didn’t look too hard. I didn’t want to see any more dead bodies. So we passed on to Ben-Ounif….

Ben-Ounif fascinated me. Not much had happened to this town, except that a bomb had landed in the local mosque and hadn’t exploded. The buildings looked odd, like enormous, bright-red beehives. Hemming this little molten town in was a huge, oblong, terra-cotta wall with about five or six openings at either end. Coming out of them, occasionally, were women, children and elders, in white turbans and long, flowing colorful robes loosely draped about their bodies. As I was passing idly up the road, I saw one of the peasants say something to another. That other peasant rushed back inside one of the odd-looking beehives for a few seconds and soon, very timidly, some of the fellaheen began gathering about the openings of the wall to watch us. Some climbed up on the wall, mostly children, who seemed to be making faces at us rather than cheering us on.

Had it not been for the pebbles some kids pitched at our procession, perhaps we would have never stopped. Perhaps: I don’t know. I understood that the guy leading our battalion, Lieutenant Malthusiano, was preoccupied with other things. He spent an inordinate amount of time inside his tank. And what with those strange groans that often came from it, one had to wonder about him. Not that the soldiers gave a damn. Most of them were already stoned out of their minds….

Meanwhile, the longer we paused, the more fellaheen (peasants) began gathering on the road.

Jugs of water balanced on their heads, clutching sticks, with bulging bellies and sealed lips and sullen stares, they faced our company. Their numbers quickly mushroomed. More people got up on the wall; they started nose-thumbing, just the way we Americans do. Once “Tank”—that’s what we called the lieutenant—saw the hold-up, he zipped up his pants and got out of the tank. He had very black curly hair that hadn’t been cut for weeks. He had a hooked nose, Dravidian mouth, thick eyebrows, and sunken eyes; olive-complexioned to begin with, his being in the sun so long made him look almost African. But, appearances notwithstanding, he spoke with a strange redneck drawl, didn’t like blacks, had a rebel flag tattooed to his left arm and an iron cross to his right—‘nuff said.

“Tank” insists he isn’t scared of all these hundreds of peasants. Of course not. War isn’t even on his mind. Case in point: every now and then, some graceful, lean, hard fellaha passes lazily through his field of vision, talking loudly in harsh, guttural, South Numidian dialect….“Tank” absentmindedly licks his lips.

“You know she wants it, they all do,” he barks, watching one girl’s arrogant buttocks mock him and the rest of us through a bright pink robe….“They’re whores, I can feel it. They’re not even Christians! Did y’all hear about it? No? Welllll….down here they don’t believe in all that hocus-pocus WE believe about not havin’ sex. Hell, no! This is a different world, folks….A different culture, so while we’re here we can do a little enjoyin’ of ourselves! Why not?

“You know something, boys,” he adds, louder, in his horrible New Orleans accent—he takes his hand off his crotch and turns to us….“You know something? With no men here, you’ll get so much pussy you’ll fuckin’ hate it. You’ll hate the shit. I ain’t lyin’, kid. Stick around. But in the meantime, stay on your goddamn guard, ‘cause these motherfuckers could hava lotta grenades up their fuckin’ robes.”

He sees another one pass, he starts to get hard. Unbeknownst to him, a banner, displayed by two young women gathered in the road and written in very crude French, read: “DON’T KIL NUMIDIAN PEPLE, WE LOV YU AMRICANS”. I didn’t know that until the funny-looking guy who’d spoken to me earlier mentioned it to somebody behind me. The other somebody sucked his teeth and laughed. “Shit,” “Tank” went on, he being what he was….“Who needs R & R with babes like this around? See….what I usually do is bribe ‘em. Yup. Throw ‘em a pair of Twinkies or something—they’ll eat fuckin’ anything….They’re likea buncha goddamn dogs. Then you ask for what you want—an’ you’ll get it. Trust me. Sometimes all you gotta do is hold your hand out….”

“Oh, Jesus,” snorted the funny-looking guy, “I don’t believe this.”

More and more villagers gathered up on the road. I noticed that they were actually sitting in front of the tanks, strategically placing their bodies in such a way that completely obstructed our movement. Sergeant Sanders popped his head out of his convoy and cursed. He could do nothing, because Malthusian was too busy trying to see what he could see through a small hole in the wall…. “Yeah? No, Sanders, don’t do anything yet, y’all keep cool, keep cool….”

“They got us completely blocked, lieutenant. Now what the fuck we gon’ do?”

“Lissen, motherfucker,” he casually snarled, still peeping….“I’M the one in charge of shit around here, so you just fuckin’—ouch—GODDAMMIT!!

And then this filthy beige covered jeep drives up towards us. The jeep stops. It’s Colonel Dachausky. We all salute the master when he opens his door, steps out and strides over to the scene, frowning, looking strangely befuddled. Tank is raving about the blood running from his eye. The whole left side of his face is red with blood; you can’t tell whether or not they really did poke his eye out, but the colonel…. “Lieutenant, what the hell’s all this?”

“I, I, uh, I dunno, sir—ouuuuuuuch!! I can’t see! My eye! My eye! Those nigger motherfuckers poked out my eye!—”

“This is crazy,” the colonel drooled, watching all of them in his haze….“Oh, I see what the hell’s the hold-up. You got all these goddamn gooks sitting every which way all over your mother-freakin’ convoys an’ tanks. Lieutenant, get the goddamn gooks off the tanks an’ let’s get movin’, shall we?”

“But I’m wounded! I’m wounded! I can’t—I don’t even know if I gotta eye anymore!” Tank cried.

“Well, you got one goddamn eye,” the Colonel snorted, coldly watching Tank cry bloody tears….“That’s good enough to keep. See, you’re gonna haveta use some damn diplomacy, lieutenant. Flex your brains….You know, if you have ‘em! Move ‘em with your bare hands! C’mon! What the hell’d they put you out here for, anyway?”

“Oh, God,” he sobbed….“Where’s a doctor when you need one? Medic! Medic! Medic!! I can’t see out my eye!!—”

Fuck your goddamn eye!” the Colonel suddenly screamed, up in his face—then snatched his face away and strode casually back to the jeep. He picked up his walkie-talkie and mumbled some shit I couldn’t hear, and then turned right around and sped back the other way clumsily through heaps of dirt, sand and battered road. Tank turned livid. He fumed, jerked his head around, as the blood dripped from his chin. He wiped it away, gagged, and strode over to Sanders in the convoy directly behind the Black Bastard and shrieked, “Fuck it! Fuck it! Let’s do it! Let’s kill these motherfuckers!” he shouts, trying to rile us up….“Fuck diplomacy!! Sanders, get ‘em ready—they’re gonna be fryin’ some gook ass tonight if I can help it. You see all these gooks blockin’ the road here? Run ‘em over! Kill ‘em! They’ve just insulted an American! How’d YOU like it if some goddamn nigger poked you in the eye with a stick? Huh?”

“I can’t even answer that,” the funny-looking guy snorted out loud in back of me; he sounded like a white beach bum, almost. “Hey, man,” he said, nudging me, “you think he heard what I said?”

“I don’t know,” I whispered, “what the hell are we supposed to be doing now, anyway?”

“You mean in this war?”

“No, just right now, with all these women and children out there. What the hell are we supposed to do now?”

“I have no fuckin’ idea, man,” he replied, shaking his head. “No idea.”

The both of us got down off the top of the “Black Bastard” and began to amble around as we talked. I finally learned his name: Marv Manchley, of Cincinnati. Like me, he was Private First Class, and, as it turned out, he despised the war. He admitted he only came into the service because he “needed the eggs”. He never cut his hair, and in fact was trying to make dreadlocks out of them. He wore rectangular-shaped spectacles perched at the end of his nose; he actually looked very much like a North Numidian with his Semitic features, except he was so brown-skinned. I joshed to him that if he kept on growing his hair like that, they would mistake him and have him killed. “Oh, no,” he snorted, “no way. I never take my uniform off, I just wouldn’t put myself in the position of being killed by these motherfuckers. That why you joined, too?”

“Me?”

“Yeah, ‘cause you don’t look like the Marine type at all,” he said. Tell me about it, I thought. “I kept on wondering why the fuck you were in this outfit if you couldn’t get along with anyone. But I’d watch it if I were you. Just about everybody here hates your fuckin’ guts, man.”

“Oh, I could tell,” I murmured, looking around at everybody standing about, waiting for their commanders to give them the signal to push the people away from the tanks. I mentioned something to Marv about it.  “I think we should go back,” he said, suddenly, “bad vibes, man.”

Then I asked, worried, “we’re not authorized to kill these people if it comes down to it, are we?”

“Oh, yeah, we are,” Marv blurted out, to my horror…. “Not that I’m doin’ it. I’m above that shit, man, that’s not me….”

“But what if they told you to?”

“I wouldn’t do it. I’d just push them, you know, to the side. But maybe they’ll give up an’ go home, looks like they’re tiring out—”

“But how can we just kill them?” I kept on asking, idiotically. “They’re not the rebels!”

“Well, they’re in the way,” Marv murmured, “that’s all I gotta say. But with that ‘Tank’ guy around, man—you know something’s gotta give. ‘Tank’ thinks he’s still in his fuckin’ New Orleans police uniform an’ shit. Or L.A.—wherever the fuck he was, I dunno. All I know is, you can expect just about anything from that motherfucker.”

“Even the kids?”

Sergeant Sanders saw us loitering about and angrily strode over towards us. I didn’t know what the fuck was his problem, for he began violently lunging out at me, screaming, “shut the fuck up, retard! Git your ass over here an’ line up with da restuf ‘em! C’mon! Get—” He pushes Marv roughly on the back. “You, too, hippie nigger! Get your goddamn asses in line or else!”

By this time, the scene was crazy. Marines would carefully remove the Arabs from underneath the tanks and shove them to the side of the road, but for every Arab they removed, another one quickly took his place. It happened, repeatedly, until Tank literally howled with rage. Major Lewison tried to reason with Tank….there was nothing else to be done, they had us swamped. Using “force” would send the wrong message to these people. But whatever Lewison thought about the effectiveness of non-violence, it most certainly wasn’t working for us. Whenever we got out the convoys to get them off the road, they would climb inside the vehicles and fuck around. One even swiped the keys to two jeeps; another expertly cut the wires to a humvee and rendered it worthless. Indeed, they were so obnoxious that I couldn’t be sure whom to hate or who to side with—they, or these asshole Marines….

Dachausky was hardly ever seen by any of us. Still, we already knew he was at the end of his rope. He really didn’t care anymore; it was as if he’d given up all hope of ever keeping this operation under wraps so the folks back home could think of this as being nothing, just a football game. He kept little round mirror shades over his eyes as he rode around in his jeep, making sure everything was in order, like the general manager of a restaurant dutifully inspecting his dishwashers and busboys. The sounds of occasional rockets and mortar in the distance didn’t faze this hardened veteran of the jungles of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and the Dominican Republic; his expertise in dealing with unruly Ay-rabs in Beirut was the prime reason why he was picked to oversee this operation. This time, Dachausky came back to say he’d summoned some “help”. The “help” hurriedly arrived in an outdated green U.S. Army jeep, a tall, gaping, sickly-looking, gangly Northerner who reputedly spoke six languages and worked for King Ahmed’s hated intelligence department. His brilliant off-white silk djellaba was unbearably bright in the harsh African mid-day sun. He cocked his maroon fez on properly and stumbled out of his jeep into the dust, a comical fool. Marv and I mocked him as he was handed a megaphone.

Huge explosions rocked the earth beneath our boots.

More reinforcements quickly arrived, in strange wide helicopters that flapped right down a few yards away from us, their propellers blowing sand and grit up into our faces and hair and eyes.  I thought they were coming to take us to Adjrar so we could stop all this stupid-ass marching and bear wrestling, but as it happened, dozens of khaki-clad, pith-helmeted and very well-strapped soldiers rolled off them. I was surprised to find that most of them were coal-black. Marv told me it was the brutal 9th Battalion. The 9th Battalion got themselves together and began to take their positions, while the peasants, immediately catching sight of the helicopters, grew even more obstinate and swelled their numbers to what seemed like a thousand or more. The sickly-looking Arab came forward and directly faced the bidonville. With a surprisingly firm, almost vicious voice, he pleaded for the villagers to remove themselves. The fellaheen merely jeered and threw stones….I sucked in my breath watching the verbal see-sawing between the sickly man and the village elders; the way they were arguing so, it appeared an explosion was imminent. But I was not familiar with the Arab-African temperament and their joy of having a great argument over nothing, for I was puzzled to see how quickly their tempers flared and died. And that was that.

The elders, adjusting their turbans and flinging their robes about their shoulders, got their people out of the road. The sickly man had done it. We al let out our war cries of relief and reassembled our unit. I was struggling back on top of the tank when I saw three jokers perched on the terra-cotta wall. One of them nudged the other, and picked up a rock and threw it at Tank’s helmet. Tank jerked around with that one wild eye; he bit his lip….

“Who threw that?” he hissed.

Corporal Jerome Gates pointed to the wall where the three jokers had once been but were now gone. Instead, Tank saw a ten-year-old boy who wasn’t on the wall. He roughly seized the boy’s arm while the other Numidians were dispersing. He gave the boy a loud slap in the face with an open palm. When one of the Arabs looked, another Arab looked, and soon all were watching when Tank pushed the boy back over the wall. They all thought he was crazy….

“They can talk if they like,” he panted, his face disfigured by the blood-soaked bandage….“‘Cause the first punk who throws another rock is fuckin’ fried meat.” Then he cuts his eye at the dispersing Numidians. Two more rocks shot out the breaches in the wall and knock him upside his head again. Marv and I were suddenly overtaken with wild, uncontrollable laughter. I clutched my stomach and fell to the ground, looking about to see if Sanders was looking….instead, I saw Tank with his head raised just far enough for him to bark:

“Okay, let ‘er rip.”

I didn’t think he was serious, but when I saw those guns suddenly being raised at the wall, I saw there was no stopping it. It sounded at first like millions of extremely loud, malfunctioning lawnmowers. The blast of guns was deafening; the stench of smoke and grit hit my nostrils; the air was filled with screams. One by one, their heads shattered in gobs of grey and pink and red; their arms, intestines, livers, kidneys, lungs spattered the wall like sludge from a sewer. My head felt like I’d been in a disco for six hours….And then I looked back, at the hands pulling the triggers, and how those hands didn’t twitch once; not a one hesitated to grind ‘em all down to shit. And then the dust cleared, and there they were, all over the ground, all over the walls, about a hundred of them, men, women and children, elderly, dead or dying.

It didn’t even take ten minutes.

*

            When it was all over, I stood guard to make sure Bedouin thieves didn’t swipe the bodies to sell them on the black market to French universities. All along I was completely flabbergasted. Did they really have to kill all of them? What was the point in all that? I thought I was dreaming, that maybe it was a horrible coda to the joke I shared with Marv. Until I began handling the corpses. One guy’s brains slid out of an eggshell of a head that had its face intact. I dropped the body, stumbled blindly over to the “black bastard” and heaved up what seemed like everything I had ever eaten. I couldn’t go through with this shit; I had to run off. This was just totally crazy….

Ben-Ounif was in ruins; it looked like a big pile of dried clay chunks. And within them were these few people, limping, bleeding, pulling themselves up from the wreckage to face “reality”—the machine guns. The Marines laughed, or cracked jokes, or vomited, turning over bodies, cutting off the left ear of dozens of shattered heads. Those men who were still alive were being herded onto military trucks; once a name was read off a roll by an Arab soldier, the “guilty” party moved, his hands tied with plastic like a garbage bag, across the killing fields, where the Arab assistants rudely pushed him in. The women and children were forced onto a bus—the refugee bus. They will go to Adjrar, where they will forget about their village, and live in the “real world” where, deep down in the filthy basements and fetid tent cities made of plastic and swimming with garbage and excrement, they will become animals—just like the rest of us.

Excerpt from “Nate,” Back House Books, 2006.

I was Right About Trump and Hitler!

Another takedown of the Orange Honky from the great Playthell Benjamin.

Commentaries on the Times

“Only I can Save America!”

A Vanity Fair Writer Revealed Trump was Hitler Fan

While watching MSNBC’s Morning Joe I heard Tina Brown – the British import from the London tabloid world who became wildly successful as the Senior Editor of Vanity Fair – recalled an article she published on Donald Trump where the writer,  Marie Brenner,  quoted his first wife Ivana who said the Trump kept a collection of Hitler’s speeches titled “My Order” by his bedside! This revelation hit me like a lightning bolt because it supplied further evidence for my argument that the two men have much in common regarding their vision of the strong leader, as well as their approach to leadership.

Although I recognized the hazards of comparing any American politician to Hitler, the similarities between the character, personality flaws and political style of Donald Trump and Herr Hitler was so striking that I felt…

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Creating The New Music

Concerning Ragtime, composer William Bolcom has said that “the classic music style of any given culture is the one that defines its basic language in a form that that culture can naturally accept as its own.” This is not only true for ragtime, but also the blues, the shouts and the spirituals and, of course, Native American music. Everything else is essentially from outside the country; however this does not mean that “everything else” is to be disregarded and rejected.

Of course, expressing a full range of emotions in music–having access to a complete palate of music colors and tonal shadings–is what makes a music great. It’s what makes it human. The music can be mystical and ethereal, or light and airy and in pastel shadings. Or in deep, dark, heavy oil colors, or somewhere in between.

The term “Funk” is just like “jazz,” like “ragtime” itself, or like “swing,” a cheap name slapped on a form of expression in order to sell it. Before the early sixties “Funky” meant filthy, low-down, smelly, degenerate. The word was rehabilitated by “funky soul” jazz musicians ca. 1960 (mostly from middle-class backgrounds) and by James Brown, whose music, coincidentally, drew heavily not only on gospel and postwar urban blues but also on swing and early jazz. James Brown’s music was multilayered and multifaceted, though certainly not on the same level as Thelonious Monk or Duke Ellington.

Many who were touched by his music only heard the funk element and nothing else. In fact most popular black music after 1970 (and certainly after 1980) had become increasingly narrow in its range of emotional expression. It became increasingly slick, sterile, superficial and repetitious, frequently even mindless. Today “funk” (besides homicidal rage) has become the only element in “black music” that one generally picks up on when one listens to it, and it is not even good “funk”–it’s worse than the corny pseudo-funk of vintage porn clips of Seka and Long Dong Silver.

Why the obsession with just this one (watered-down) ingredient? Because it’s easy, number one. It’s easy to fake. Of course, you can’t fake the funk, but untold millions of listeners these days can’t tell the difference between Hersal Thomas, George Clinton and rapper DMX. Millions of listeners these days would prefer DMX because in their minds (regardless of their racial, ethnic, or national background) he represents “authentic black music.” DMX could not even play his own skin-flute but such is the power of multinational corporate persuasion, most listeners don’t give two shits; their minds have already been made up concerning “authentic black music.”

To pop-culture squares, both DMX, Tupac and their ilk are “acceptably” black. To the Afro-Futurists and Afro-Surrealists Sun Ra is acceptably black because the Dionysian element in his music appeals to their rococo sensibilities, forgetting that Sun Ra himself scoffed at the very idea of people needing more freedom. “People need more discipline,” he said.

In reality, Sun Ra was a bit of a reactionary. He was lukewarm (to say the least) about Black Power and even about the Civil Rights struggle that preceded it. There is evidence that he was in fact a Republican or that his political sympathies lay in that region. (He was from Birmingham, after all.) As an anti-authoritarian leftist I realize that discipline is important but truthfully, people need to learn how to walk that tightrope between freedom and discipline, and not just in art.

Count Basie, Anthony Braxton, Duke Ellington is “stuff white people like.” And if white people like it, it isn’t “black” anymore. “The brothers ain’t into it,” people (mostly black themselves) will say. And the dutifully cowed black listener will listen to Florence Price or James Scott or Julius Eastman in private, lest his black peers label him a “coon” or a “honky.”

“Authentic black music,” “real” black music (in the minds of most listeners) must always be limited in its range of expression, always stuck in the night club, no matter where it finds itself. Even in Carnegie Hall or the Berlin Philharmonie, “real black music” must always carry the stink of the fucking night club, the cathouse, the strip joint, across the railroad tracks in Funky Butt Hall or the Bucket of Blood. “Funk,” even the good stuff (to be perfectly honest) impresses in the minds of those people (who wish to sell, listen to, jack off to, screw to or appropriate black music) that our music is just cheap, tawdry shit to jack off to, made by a bunch of black-faced, comic opera buffoons who are naturally happy or naturally enraged or naturally sad–all just one emotion, incapable of expressing a entire range of human emotions.

In Tha Funk, all we are left with is shit-brown, or as some ignorant coolie fuck somewhere in China called it, NIGGER-brown. People love Tha Funk because not only does it make us want to fuck, or eat, or shit, or gouge out some asshole’s nipples with a gimlet but also because it subconsciously reinforces in our minds that the niggers who made this Funk are just that–niggers.

Today’s American musician would have you think that The Funk is everything. It isn’t. The Funk always was and always will be what it is–an ingredient. When you make a fucking stew, you don’t just add hot sauce and nothing else. Who wants to eat a bowlful of hot sauce?∗

Better yet, let’s just ask the basic question: what is “funk,” anyway?

Duke Ellington described it when he placed his fingers down on a few keys and produced a dissonant chord. “That’s us,” he said. A funky chord is produced on piano by playing an F-major over a B-major note, for instance. But the trick is not to overuse it, or be so obvious with it. The Funk is something that should emerge organically.

Here in Berlin, I receive several invitations to jazz concerts and ignore the bulk of them. Usually it’s because these days, I simply don’t have the time. And when I do have the time I’m selective with whom and where I’m going to spend it. Hint: it may be at Speichers, but it won’t be at Edelweiss or the Yorckschlossen, because all I’m going to hear is the same old tired “funk.”

Very, very few musicians here are doing anything ground-breaking. It’s “nice” to see that young kids in their twenties and thirties are back into “jazz”¹ but virtually none of them have brought any new energy to the table. Whether they are mindlessly trudging their way through post-bop cliches or chug-chugging away on their banjos at various night-spots in Berlin (or Paris, New York, Amsterdam, for that matter) it all sounds the same, and it is extremely painful in the end to hear yet another tired-ass rendition of “Indiana” or “As Time Goes By.” Do we really need to hear “Indiana” again? Or, at the very least, do we need to hear it just the way Eddie Condon played it back in 1940?

The various Shout bands of the United House of Prayer have already given these so-called “jazz” musicians ample clues as to where they can take the music next–and typically, the “jazz” world has all but ignored them. When they do listen to the UHOP bands it is merely to ape their instrumental lineup (and honestly, I strongly doubt if the jazzers ever did that: the various street jazz bands one sees in urban America are just bland imitations of the worst of the New Orleans brass bands, most of which sound nasty). Very well, then: it is the jazz world’s loss.

Out of all the musicians playing today bands such as The Lively Stones have developed (over a period of four or more decades) a uniquely successful synthesis of early big-band territory jazz (think Luis Russell, Alphonso Trent, Zach Whyte, Cecil Scott’s Bright Boys, etc.) and modern gospel, neo-soul and funk harmonies. The result is some of the most emotionally powerful music currently being played in the United States. Occasionally these bands do get raggedy and repetitious, but they are rarely bad unless they go into the studio and cut commercial CDs (the shout bands have cut extremely few and nearly all of them are quite bad, compared to the almost overwhelming power they are capable of when playing on street corners.) They can roar like a herd of lions or they can be soft, sweet and gentle as lambs. At their best, their music has an almost defiant, earthy dignity, coupled with an impeccable swing that has been absent from “jazz” for untold decades. They are using a far broader palette of emotive expressions than these “jazz” circle-jerkers, who are content to run their fingers up and down their instruments as if they were masturbating rather than making music.

So-called “jazz” musicians are not obliged to keep their heads in their asses and ape Coltrane or Miles Davis for the next two thousand years. Nor are they condemned to some European-infected avant-garde oblivion by reducing the music to a series of deafening shrieks which not even dead people can tolerate. The whole postmodernist shtick of pushing the music forward to incomprehension is an obsession of French intellectuals with no ideas and even less feeling. But of course, feeling isn’t everything.

Some idiots would have us believe that so-called “black music” is all about feeling and rhythm and soul. We have been over this ground a billion times and Anthony Braxton has said it better than I can. To sum it up, the obsession with “black feeling” is implicitly reactionary, even in a revolutionary posture a la Amiri Baraka. Baraka is a writer who I greatly admire (and count as a major influence on my own writing). Yet in his many writings on this subject posited that black music was all about the soul and feeling. Yeah, fine, but what about the intellect? Sun Ra himself would have thought otherwise. Is head music only for Apollonian Europeans (who never existed, when you think about it) and the “soul music” only for Dionysiac (read: emotional and primitive) Africans? Really?

Alain Locke, writing in the 1920s, saw the matter somewhat differently:

The characteristic African art expressions are rigid, controlled, disciplined, abstract, heavily conventionalized; those of the Aframerican—free, exuberant, emotional, sentimental and human. Only by the misinterpretation of the African spirit, can one claim any emotional kinship between them—for the spirit of African expression, by and large, is disciplined, sophisticated, laconic and fatalistic. The emotional temper of the American Negro is exactly opposite. What we have thought primitive in the American Negro—his naiveté, his sentimentalism, his exuberance and his improvising spontaneity are then neither characteristically African nor to be explained as an ancestral heritage. They are the result of his peculiar experience in America and the emotional upheaval of its trials and ordeals. True, these are now very characteristic traits, and they have their artistic, and perhaps even their moral compensations; but they represent essentially the working of environmental forces rather than the outcropping of a race psychology; they are really the acquired and not the original artistic temperament.

The whole “black soul” trope sounds suspiciously like the same crap regurgitated endlessly throughout the 20s, 30s and 40s by slumming whites who thought that Cab Calloway, Fats Waller or the Mills Blue Rhythm Band (in performance mode, that is) were perfect expressions of everything inside the Negro Soul. And we all know that the Black Man’s Soul was and is a White man’s artifact. One can’t create a revolution in the culture while adhering to self-concepts that were fashioned by people who still think that we’re monkeys.

But perhaps at a very basic level the essence of African diaspora music globally is “the same,” and the difference is in the details. Taking Locke at his word (and it seems fair that we should do so) African musical concepts are generally far more rigid than our own. So-called “African music”–to cite one example out of thousands, the music of the Wolof, or that of the Ashanti–has fixed rules. In Ashanti musical ensembles you play your part and if you must deviate you must do it within the context allotted you–otherwise, the musical spell is interrupted. You can’t just play any old goddamned thing that pops into your head and then try and blend it in with the rest.

Of course, such a thing might be entirely possible in New Afrikan music providing one has an intuitive understanding of what is being played. Freedom–but within discipline. Albert Murray and Ralph Ellison said as much concerning real Swing music, which, ironically (because many critics, including Baraka, condemned it as whitified, commercialized and bourgeois–and much of it was, truthfully), comes far closer to the African musical aesthetic than free jazz. So does the music of King Oliver, as well as James Brown. Both were known to be iron-fisted disciplinarians in rehearsals.

The African music is a classical one, like the European, the Asian, the Middle Eastern, or South American. The African American music has a classical side, too, but it is persistently overlooked, largely because it doesn’t really sell. Nobody is really going to buy Leon Bates, Orbert Davis, Reginald Robinson, John Reed-Torres or the Fisk University Jubilee Singers to the degree in which they’ll gleefully gobble up Jay Z’s simple-minded “Story of O.J.” Because the sad truth is that your average African American’s tastes in music are generally just as vulgar, just as tawdry and frivolous as your average white Yank. And that’s because your average African American is just that–a Yank.

Naturally, all of this has to change. Our new music can no longer confine itself mentally to dingy nightclubs and to The Street. We can’t keep on putting out frivolity and trashy, tasteless, corny shit because “everyone is into it,” or because it pays well. Today’s pop music is even worse than the cheesiest disco, worse than 80s synth-driven, obnoxious coked-up New Wave trash. To create the New Music, one has to find the aesthetic strains that bind together the low (so-called “pop”) and the high. Whatever has value in pop music, one can use it and throw the rest in the trash can. Whatever has value in neo-soul, one can use it; whatever sounds that can blend in harmoniously with the new musical stew, it can go in. Otherwise, keep it out.

No audience for the New Music? Find the fucking audience. Forty years ago very very few people wanted to hear Hip Hop. One hundred and thirty years ago ragtime was unknown outside of cheap saloons and bordellos. Today ragtime is our basic musical language and one can’t find a patch of earth on the planet in which hip-hop, the retarded great-great-grandbaby of ragtime, isn’t being blasted from an iPhone.

Yes, that’s right. Hip-hop is essentially ragtime syncopation with words and not notes. John Legend’s “Where Did My Baby Go,” which was enormously popular, is essentially a ragtime song with the rhythm shifted to a “Latin” beat. In fact, it sounds almost as if it had been written partly by Louis Chauvin, Fats Waller and James P. Johnson. You can’t hear this unless you play it stride style on a piano.

The New Music has to be somewhat nationalistic. I hate to say “nationalistic,” but at this point in time we need nationalism in our culture to beat back the fog of a fake neoliberal “multiculturalism,” as well as the fog of pseudo-nationalist “identitarian” racism. We need African American nationalism in the New Music in the same way that Chopin put Polish nationalism (by way of mazurkas and polonaises) in his “New Music.” The aim of Chopin and other European musical nationalists was to break the stifling mold of an increasingly bland, characterless pan-European Classicism in music, in which the folk melodies of oppressed nations such as Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, etc., etc. were almost completely absent. The “Classical” music of Europe reflected the bloated faces and rococo sensibilities of the Hapsburgs, not those of the various peoples under the Hapsburg heel. One anonymous listener made an interesting comment concerning Chopin’s Grand Polonaise: he said that the piece was a conscious expression of the Polish people’s struggle for freedom. I agree.

Our New Music must reflect our own folk sounds and anything else we can incorporate into the Music that gels with the basic folk sounds. The Music must reflect the struggle to liberate ourselves under the dead weight of a fake corporate “international” sound designed to put people to sleep under a fucking ecstasy haze. This pseudo-music we should seek to destroy is the soundtrack of hipsters and the bullshit neoliberal/neofascist/alt-right pseudo-democracy they thrive in like weeds.

And when we make our music, we do it right. Not in a stupid, heavy-handed Commie way, or in a brutalist fascist manner, but in our new classical manner. Classical doesn’t mean wearing a tuxedo and picking up a fucking violin. That is not our classical form. If you don’t like the old “classical” forms then create new ones. You can even utilize Rap, too, but be prepared to shatter every single definition and rule as to what Rap is supposed to sound like. Rap is a painfully limited art form; it doesn’t express much more than junior high school machismo. It’s like a squirt of jism–once it’s out there, that’s that. Even their politics are suspect because of their lousy self-presentation: when Snoop Dogg shits on Donald Dumb-ass, he does it in the same old tired way–as a clownish, comic-opera negro. When Eminem shits on the Orange Honky he is no different: a hip, violent Al Jolson sans blackface.

Snoop Dogg wants to Make America Crip Again. I say: a curse on both your houses–the White House and the Hip Hop House. The Hip Hop House is obsessed with cocaine, money and fat white women. The White House is obsessed with power. Both are dead set upon keeping Black American Music in the lowest and most obscene state imaginable. In their empty heads the minstrel stage is the end-goal for our music; after that, the gas chambers and firing squads will be activated. Even when their “rap” is allegedly radical it still makes the Afro-American look like an ignorant savage. We don’t need this. Get Afro-classical; get back to the roots.

*

 

∗It is not enough to simply sit around talking about how much Rap stinks, or that The Funk is just simple-minded, repetitive droning on one fucking chord, with no real feeling (one can’t fake real funk, you either get it or you don’t. If you don’t get it, don’t play it: play Chopin instead.

(On second thought, don’t play him, either. Or Beethoven. Because in both of these players there is a discernible “proto-funk” or better yet, borderline-funk sensibility: listen to Grosse Fuge by Beethoven or Nocturne in F-Sharp by Chopin. And definitely leave Scriabin’s Vers La Flamme alone.)

¹It was fascinating for awhile to see millennials getting back into jazz, even traditional jazz. Anthony Braxton might see it otherwise, as concomitant with political reaction. The truth is a bit trickier than that. Yes, the return of swing music in the 1990s heralded the disasters of the Bush Regime and worse things to come, and to be honest, not a single one of these goofy bands was playing anything close to what real swing music was; none of them possessed the true musical sensibilities that made the best so-called “big band” music, such as that charted by Don Redman, Benny Carter, Fletcher Henderson, Eddie Sauter, Jimmy Mundy, Melvin “Sy” Oliver, Patrick “Spike” Hughes, Eddie Durham and many others. None of them possessed the musical skills necessary to tackle a difficult piece like “Chant of the Weed” or Coleman Hawkins’ atonal “Queer Notions.” “Stop Kidding,” a notoriously intricate John Nesbit arrangement written in 1928, would be completely beyond the powers of the overwhelming majority of today’s so-called “big bands.”

The 7 Layers of Division in Black America

There are more than seven, actually.

Abagond

A guest post by Greg Dragon of the Hall of the Black Dragon:

There’s a great wish in the African American community for a wonderful utopia known as UNITY. The word brings about images of 70′s era movies where everyone picks their blow-out Afros, slaps high-fives and echoes “Right on!” in unison. This reality was lived out by our parents but now the word has become pure fantasy. A fellow AA writer and myself discussed this unity thing and came up with 7 layers of division that keeps black unity a myth. This list may not be exclusive to blacks but it plagues us and keeps us separated in a major way.

The 7 Layers of Division in Black America:

Layer 1 – Bourgie vs. Ghetto
Middle/upper class vs. lower class for those confused by the derogatory terms. These two classes of people don’t necessarily hate one another but…

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