Hardbopjazz

Really bizarre, embarrassing shit from The New Yorker (merged)

199 posts in this topic

I thought comedians were supposed to mock the powerful and popular. Instead so many are just hopping on the bandwagon, going for cheap laughs.

Edited by Neal Pomea

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Who did it harm?

Aside from the overly sensitive Jazz fan...

As it was claimed to be Sonny Rollins' own words, it arguably did harm to him and his public image. I would think that Sonny Rollins could probably sue the New Yorker for slander and win if he wanted to.

Edited by John L

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He should sue anyone stupid enough to think those were his own words.

This society is getting a little dumber by the day...

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This society is getting a little dumber by the day...

Seems so ... but if it bothers you really, you maybe ought to take a stand against moronity such as that New Yorker piece, instead of proclaiming an anything goes and no one was hurt attitude. Just think about it for a second.

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This society is getting a little dumber by the day...

Seems so ... but if it bothers you really, you maybe ought to take a stand against moronity such as that New Yorker piece, instead of proclaiming an anything goes and no one was hurt attitude. Just think about it for a second.

If I find something unfunny I just move on.

I don't weep and gnash teeth while making laughable claims about the whole world being hurt by it.

Besides, I don't need to take a stand. There's already enough of you folks out there clutching your purse with lips quivering to handle this one.

Edited by Scott Dolan

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I just renewed my subscription to the New Yorker. I see this as an unfunny blip. Most of their articles are quite good, and it has been a quality magazine, especially since Tina Brown left the helm years ago.

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Nice response from Marc Myers over at Jazz Wax:

http://www.jazzwax.com/

I thought this was well-said. The New Yorker owes Sonny an apology. And the article was definitely not funny (the same can be said of The Onion these days.). Isn't it sad that The New Yorker aspires to the level of The Onion?

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They should yank the article, post a clumsy apology, and move on.

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If the editor really didn't know what was going on, shouldn't he resign in disgrace? :party:

:rfr

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If the editor really didn't know what was going on, shouldn't he resign in disgrace? :party:

:rfr

If someone had to resign because something wasn't funny, 90% of the comedians performing today would have to give up their gigs. Or else 90% of the comedy club owners would have to leave the business. Not a bad idea in both cases.

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If the editor really didn't know what was going on, shouldn't he resign in disgrace? :party:

:rfr

If someone had to resign because something wasn't funny, 90% of the comedians performing today would have to give up their gigs. Or else 90% of the comedy club owners would have to leave the business. Not a bad idea in both cases.

Nah...more like the prime minister resigning in disgrace because the public could see he can't do his job.

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Nice response from Marc Myers over at Jazz Wax:

http://www.jazzwax.com/

I thought this was well-said. The New Yorker owes Sonny an apology. And the article was definitely not funny (the same can be said of The Onion these days.). Isn't it sad that The New Yorker aspires to the level of The Onion? The difference here -- and it's a BIG difference -- is that the Onion attributes their fake quotes to photo-stock people with fake names.

I not a big Sonny Rollins fan (The Bridge is the only Rollins CD I still own, and truth be told, I'm not 100% I even kept that when I moved from

KC to DC) -- but attributing that make up crap to a real person changes everything (and with their real photo, even more so).

Maybe a lot of people would get that that made-up shit wasn't real -- but what about the person who vaguely knew and recognized that Sonny Rollins was a real person -- but only casually skimmed the text, picking up just he barest of the content, and though "what the fuck is this guy's problem?", and then turned the page (which is what I would have done if it had been about some sports figure).

Seriously, this isn't about Sonny Rollins per se, but about misattribution of total bullshit (in a source such as the New Yorker, that usually doesn't make shit up), and presenting as if it was real.

MAYBE it might have been funnier with Wynton's photo (in his suit and aall), I don't know. At least there, a whole lot of people have been exposed to Wynton through Ken Burns Jazz (so the joke would have maybe been more obvious). But with Sonny, how many people just through some old (real) jazz guy was totally of his rocker.

Rollins is definitely owed an apology, in print, as far as I'm concerned.

=============================

PS: I just read that this was in the on-line version of the New Yorker only (not the print version). The strength of my reaction was based on the assumption that it was also in the print edition.

Not a huge difference, but that accounts for the degree to which I was offended, FWIW. Especially my statement about canceling my subscription (which I probably wouldn't have made, or done - if I'd known it was online only).

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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Maybe a lot of people would get that that made-up shit wasn't real -- but what about the person who vaguely knew and recognized that Sonny Rollins was a real person -- but only casually skimmed the text, picking up just he barest of the content, and though "what the fuck is this guy's problem?", and then turned the page (which is what I would have done if it had been about some sports figure).

Well, here's the problem with this particular line of thinking.

If you know who Sonny Rollins is, then you are obviously familiar with Jazz. Non Jazz fans may recognize the names Miles Davis*, Duke Ellington, maybe Dizzy Gillespie because it's such an odd name (and perhaps Coltrane because of the name drops he's received in more popular genres over the years). But only true fans of the genre are going to know who Sonny Rollins is, IMO. And actual fans of Jazz would have their bullshit meters in the red just a line or two into this piece.

Those who aren't Jazz fans are likely going to skip over the piece. Even if they do read it, they'll be asleep before the halfway point, and it won't change their opinion of Jazz, and whoever that Jazz musician is in the picture, one iota.

To think any differently would be for me to somehow feel I'm simply smarter than most everyone else (since Jazz fans are a relatively small demographic). And that would be complete and utter bullshit. I'm no dummy, but for christ's sake...

What this really boils down to is a small, fiercely loyal fanbase of a "long dead" genre of popular music digging in their heels and manufacturing outrage. Because we realize our "kind" is dwindling. And even the most microscopic slight against our genre and the heroes that solidified its place in our history is to be looked upon, and retaliated against, as though it were a surprise nuclear attack.

It wasn't. It was an incredibly lame attempt at humor amplifying negative stereotypes of the genre into absurdity ad infinitum. Should we find that offensive? Perhaps. But, I figured as passive stewards of the art form we had gotten past the outrage for outrage sake portion of our journey.

*when I had my Sedlik poster of Miles framed, the lady who helped us pick everything out politely exclaimed, "oh yeah, he's a singer, right?!" Yeah, she knew his name...

Not the genre he played in...

Nor the fact that she amused the living shit out of me suggesting he was a singer. Can you imagine?!

Careless Whisper, indeed...

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I have to admit, I was far more amused before I realized that this was satire--and for my part, and perhaps I am speaking through fatigue or my own blinkered sensibility, I found the quotes believable purely because I've heard dozens of old guard musicians talking this way in casual settings. The one off beat to an otherwise enriching evening at the Vanguard with the Heath/Iverson/Street trio was Tootie going off on a pretty relentless screed about how everyone on the walls was dead--he even had a sort-of mean-spirited thing to say about Sonny that was, I think everyone in the room ultimately realized, kind of ironic.

As satire, the article reads as alternately mildly funny and a malicious (especially when not clever). The difference between OnionSonny saying it and an actual musicians saying such things "in person" is that negative appraisals of the music are almost always blanketed in love. As saxophonist/poet Lewis Jordan says, if you play this music, you experience either "the highest of highs or the lowest of lows"--and yes, we all complain about the lows, but we also wouldn't be putting up with this were it not for the fact that we paid the ongoing cost of choosing music as a livelihood. I can understand how people fail to see the comedy in someone writing un-contextualized bitchy words about a periphery lifestyle.

That being said, I do think that there is a definitive disconnect between the sloppy irony that pervades the 20/30-something crowd (I say this as part of that demographic) and jazz as an institution--the latter of which is often wry but less often gleefully negative. One successful instance of this is on an episode of Family Guy, when the Brian (the talking family dog) says something to the effect of "I only listen to Coltrane before he kicked the habit--no junk, no soul." The irony being that Brian is made out to be the sort of self-important phony who would say something like that.

I guess satire has plenty of room for misanthropy and ill-will, too little room for ignorance or, well, not being funny. I think that a generation of satirists and writers reared on the Onion are still genuinely coming to grips with that.

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I smiled. It looks like a mockery of the kind of interviews I and other jazz crix did down through the years. Besides I enjoy juvenile abusive humor.

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I'm surprised by how people have reacted to this. I thought parts of it were pretty funny, and it's pretty clearly satire. Everybody who is saying that it's disrespectful to Rollins, well, that's kind of the point: Sonny Rollins would never say or think the things that are written in that piece, and that's where the humor lies. I'm sorry but this is funny:

"There was this one time, in 1953 or 1954, when a few guys and I had just finished our last set at Club Carousel, and we were about to pack it in when in walked Bud Powell and Charlie Parker. We must have jammed together for five more hours, right through sunrise. That was the worst day of my life."

People who are getting up in arms about this really need to find better things to do with their time. They come across as obtuse and self-important.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYt8B2RkqrM

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I'm surprised by how people have reacted to this. I thought parts of it were pretty funny, and it's pretty clearly satire. Everybody who is saying that it's disrespectful to Rollins, well, that's kind of the point: Sonny Rollins would never say or think the things that are written in that piece, and that's where the humor lies. I'm sorry but this is funny:

"There was this one time, in 1953 or 1954, when a few guys and I had just finished our last set at Club Carousel, and we were about to pack it in when in walked Bud Powell and Charlie Parker. We must have jammed together for five more hours, right through sunrise. That was the worst day of my life."

People who are getting up in arms about this really need to find better things to do with their time. They come across as obtuse and self-important.

Quoted because this entire post bears repeating...

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Sonny was truly upset over this bogus article. What a douchebag this write is.

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Sonny was truly upset over this bogus article. What a douchebag this write is.

Yep.

I thought he said a lot of good things about Jazz too.

This interview, we can quote from.

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This interview, we can quote from.

Yep, and we can start here: "It was so ridiculous, I had no idea that anybody could conceive of it being true".

The End

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I liked the interview a lot. I watched the first 20 minutes - wasn't really interested in his political views.

The first thing that struck me was what a gentleman he is. He began by just trying to laugh it off. But Bret probed deeper, and uncovered a world of hurt and concern for jazz in general.

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I really don't get how anyone could have read that piece and not known it was satire. Sonny Rollins would NEVER say that "the worst day of my life" was the day he jammed all night with Bud Powell and Charlie Parker. It's amazing to me how gullible people can be.

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