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spangalang

Why does LeRoi Jones (aka Amiri Baraka) hate Hard bop?

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I'm a big fan of Ford Madox Ford, and in one of his memoirs I found a blatantly anti-semitic remark. I mentioned to a friend I was disappointed and he said, "Yeah, but if you stopped reading all the anti-semites you'd be missing a lot of great literature."

Not only the anti-semites. I remember being amazed in the middle of a seminal orchestration book---so seminal I can't remember the name or the author---a passage that was making some sort of negative comparison and the guy actually said 'such-and-such is like man to nigger'. I was amazed that this got by the censors alone. But other than that it was a great book, so I kept it and hoped the passage was just an unfortunate sign of the times it was written it (early 1920s, I think). I marked the page so I could show people.

I'd love to see that book again to know if that sentence was ever removed.

Speaking as a genuine psychopath myself, and having opened the door by mentioning and quoting from Roy Campbell, I vow to not attempt to discuss any further here why and how any number of the 20th Century's more talented literary artists -- e.g. Pound, Eliot, Wyndham Lewis, Celine, D. H. Lawrence, Robinson Jeffers, the list (however internally varied each figure might be) does go on and on -- were reactionary, anti-democratic, and in some cases outright Fascist, if only (but not only) because my head probably would explode if I tried.

Now, see, if you were a genuine psychopath, you'd have a perfectly linear explanation that tied everything together nice and neat, no ambiguity, everything resolved in advance, and the only time your head would explode would be when a bullet went through it.

Fraud! :g :g :g

He must be a psychopath -- he's a moderator!

He's worse: He's a moderator of us....

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Brad shoots, Brad SCORES!!!

:g :g :g :g :g

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Pete, which Ford memoir was that?

It was so long ago, and I read a lot of stuff, much out of print, so I can't remember. He was certainly a Tory.

I've read The Good Soldier 3 or 4 times over the years.

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We haven't heard from Spangalang for awhile. Wonder what she thinks on the direction that this thread has taken.

I have been enjoying it from afar. Unfortunately, I don't have as much free time now as I did when I first made that meandering post. I'd like to wait until I have more time to post thoughtfully...

I will say that upon further reading of Baraka, I am just as disturbed by his seeming misogyny, which appears just as blatant and problematic:

"The average ofay [white person] thinks of the black man as potentially raping every white lady in sight. Which is true, in the sense that the black man should want to rob the white man of everything he has. But for most whites the guilt of the robbery is the guilt of rape. That is, they know in their deepest hearts that they should be robbed, and the white woman understands that only in the rape sequence is she likely to get cleanly, viciously popped."

Again, I'm open to the possibility that this is taken out of context or that Baraka passionately repudiated this mentality later in his career, but it seems a shame that someone who styles himself such a revolutionary thinker would be so myopic and chauvinistic to the oppression of other groups.

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We haven't heard from Spangalang for awhile. Wonder what she thinks on the direction that this thread has taken.

I have been enjoying it from afar. Unfortunately, I don't have as much free time now as I did when I first made that meandering post. I'd like to wait until I have more time to post thoughtfully...

I will say that upon further reading of Baraka, I am just as disturbed by his seeming misogyny, which appears just as blatant and problematic:

"The average ofay [white person] thinks of the black man as potentially raping every white lady in sight. Which is true, in the sense that the black man should want to rob the white man of everything he has. But for most whites the guilt of the robbery is the guilt of rape. That is, they know in their deepest hearts that they should be robbed, and the white woman understands that only in the rape sequence is she likely to get cleanly, viciously popped."

Again, I'm open to the possibility that this is taken out of context or that Baraka passionately repudiated this mentality later in his career, but it seems a shame that someone who styles himself such a revolutionary thinker would be so myopic and chauvinistic to the oppression of other groups.

The more I read this sick horseshit the more I'm convinced of his need for attention.

And from the looks of us he's doing a smashing job of getting it....

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I'm only saying this because you can't read those words and react to them as if they were written just last week. At least not intellectually. Emotionally is a whole 'nother thing...

But - for some historical perspective (if any is desired) - "The Revolution" was very much about the Black Man throwing off the yoke of The White Man. In both races, feminism had hardly stirred, and when it did, it was generally...not encouraged right off the bat, if you know what I'm saying.

We also had the "conventional wisdom" (such as it was either conventional or wisdom, and I'll stake no claim for it being too much of either) of the time that there were power plays at work in interracial relationships, that a white man/black woman was a pairing of powers within their respective cultures, and a black man/white woman was a pairing of the suppressed/oppressed within same.

For people who were using sex and relationships to act out, hey, might have been some truth there. But as with all Pop Psychology, it's a pretty damn simplistic generalization, and people are almost always more complex than that.

It should be noted that Jones was far from alone in using sex as a weapon during that time and place. Read Soul On Ice, Icepick Slim, etc. "Reclaiming Manhood" was the endgame, and by any means necessary was cool, or so some thought. Truth be told, that's still a thing going on today, across racial and cultural lines.

It wasn't just in the area of racial matters that there was damage that needed healing, and it still isn't. I'd even go so far as to say that if and when The Racial Thing ever gets straight that The Gender Thing will still be f-ed up.

We are a beautiful species, but as the saying goes, the bigger the front, the bigger the back...

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1) I can forgive a lot. I like Ezra Pound and TS Eliot. And I think Mel Gibson is a great actor. But when they deliver items that are directly racist, anti-semitic, et al, I focus on that specifically; no poem that is so anti-semitic is a good poem.

2) as for writers here - well Litweiler and Kart are far superior to Baraka in every way. And my own historic work beats him hands down.

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There was a short thread on here last year about a jewish poet (whose name I can't remember unfortunately**) who read a piece denouncing TS Eliot's anti-semitism in front of him and a crowd of his friends including Herbert Read - who protested (which shows the peculiar nature of an avant-garde which develops in a place where a man dubbed 'the Angel of Anarchy' can accept a knighthood.)

Re. right-wing Wyndham Lewis etc - a very good book which throws light at least on the English reactionary/avant garde dilemma is 'English Art and Modernism' by Paul Harrison - though obviously focused on the visual arts rather than literature, starting with the social utopianism of William Morris versus 'art-for-arts-sake' of Whistler, up through the Bloomsbury snobbishness..

Talking of a fascist avant-garde, the influence of the futurists in Italy shows how the artwork can reach beyond the ideology behind it (if the ideology is genuinely behind it?). And some of Marinetti's rants I quite enjoy...

Also, I guess there's some hip-hop which could be classed as right-wing ranting that I can enjoy, while being apalled at the same time

**Emanuel Litvinoff

Edited by cih

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Left-wing ranting, Right-wing ranting: There are no excuses. Call it straight what it is, pure disgusting BS!

Q

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1) I can forgive a lot. I like Ezra Pound and TS Eliot. And I think Mel Gibson is a great actor. But when they deliver items that are directly racist, anti-semitic, et al, I focus on that specifically; no poem that is so anti-semitic is a good poem.

2) as for writers here - well Litweiler and Kart are far superior to Baraka in every way. And my own historic work beats him hands down.

Gibson is the vilest of ideologues.

The vulgarity of his generational 'theism' to use that term loosely, has been entrenched for most of his life. Probably veiled initially by his drive to be famous and submerge himself in the mediocrity of the 'entertainment' industry. Once he had achieved that, and he was able to go onto 'grander' visions for himself and his agenda, we end up with 'the passion' and his 'inebriated rants'. I think this reflects the level of his critical intelligence and wider humanity.

'The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world" is obviously not the result of some infantile sloganeering, but rather belies some kind of thought out critical thinking. Which to repeat, intellectually corresponds to the history of product he foists onto the world as entertainment.

Sorry. I don't think he is a great actor.

Edited by freelancer

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check out Payback, but watch the director's cut. Mel is God.

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and submerge himself in the mediocrity of the 'entertainment' industry.

A very Frankfurt-school sentiment.

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and submerge himself in the mediocrity of the 'entertainment' industry.

A very Frankfurt-school sentiment.

AHH...Crouch and Marsalis are inverse Adornians :lol:

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Like Jordi Pujol?

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Even without the "offensive" content, I'm surprised that at least three intelligent people here would consider this even partially a "good poem."

Baraka is a better writer than anyone in this thread.

You speak for yourself only.

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Hey -- I bought the "Baraka Reader" today at Half-Price Books.

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Hey -- I bought the "Baraka Reader" today at Half-Price Books.

I like that collection because it is clearly organized in a way that historicizes well in my opinion Baraka's work from Beat (1957-1962) to Transitional (1963-1965), Black Nationalist (1965-1974), and finally to Third World Marxist (1974-). Judging from this thread, it seems to me important to keep in mind that people change and so, then, does the knowledge they produce, depending on the timing of its publication. That collection is pretty comprehensive, too, including for example his scarce short stories like "The Screamers" that has been cited on this board about a riot that is initiated at a Lynn Hope concert. Enjoy.

For folks in NY, Baraka is speaking at the Left Forum next week in a panel called "Occupy Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary." Here is the link.

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Hey -- I bought the "Baraka Reader" today at Half-Price Books.

Remaindered! There's justice after all!

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Hey -- I bought the "Baraka Reader" today at Half-Price Books.

Remaindered! There's justice after all!

Not necessarily -- the previous owner may have sold it.

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So, there's not necessarily justice? In America?

Bummer.

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Hey -- I bought the "Baraka Reader" today at Half-Price Books.

Remaindered! There's justice after all!

Not necessarily -- the previous owner may have sold it.

Such an optimist!

Could you get me a cheap copy of The Protocols? My coffee table is uneven.

I hate when that happens.....

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check out Payback, but watch the director's cut. Mel is God.

No. Mel is American.

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than he's an American God.

btw, I will repeat my warning - take Blues People with a lot of salt - there's historical mistakes on about every third page. EVERYONE here is better off reading Lawrence Levine. Ask Larry Kart.

Also, a lot of Robin Kelley's historical writing is excellent.

Edited by AllenLowe

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If Baraka's feelings towards hard bop as a retrograde music are very well known, what were his feelings towards music with "Afrocentric" leanings like McCoy's "Asante" or Joe Henderson's "Power to the People", "Black is The Color", etc...... which admittedly, the latter titles have more sociopolitical leanings than being "out" musically.

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