Hardbopjazz

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

199 posts in this topic

Since it was on-line only, I don't think it ultimately really matters -- but I could see where somebody skimming only part of the piece could/would get a false impression of Rollins.

But , FWIW, I would expect most people to have only barely skimmed it. It's not like it was anything that drew one in, and encouraged any kind of fuller perusal.

Again, that it was on-line only means it's not far from most of the crap that's on-line these days -- but that Sonny saw it, and apparently disliked it, does count for something.

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I really don't get how anyone could have read that piece and not known it was satire.

And that's the worst part, craw.

Sonny said the exact same thing.

Since it was on-line only, I don't think it ultimately really matters -- but I could see where somebody skimming only part of the piece could/would get a false impression of Rollins.

But , FWIW, I would expect most people to have only barely skimmed it. It's not like it was anything that drew one in, and encouraged any kind of fuller perusal.

Again, that it was on-line only means it's not far from most of the crap that's on-line these days -- but that Sonny saw it, and apparently disliked it, does count for something.

See, I don't understand your whole online only rebuttal.

I'd be willing to bet the majority of New Yorker readers ONLY read the magazine online. That's the way all publications, and their readership, have gone.

So you'd cancel your subscription if it were printed on paper, but it's OK if it's only online?

Can you explain that line of reasoning?

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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...

Scott - With all due respect, I think that you are wrong on this one. For us here at Organissimo, the article might have been irritating, but did no harm to our perception of Sonny Rollins or jazz. But I think that there are plenty of people, including those who influence allocations of money to support the arts, who don't really know or listen to jazz, but are aware of its reputation as a great American contribution to art, and of Sonny Rollins as one of its greatest artists. In the shoes of one of those people, I would be inclined to believe that the New Yorker would not publish something called "Sonny Rollins in His Own Words" without a disclaimer unless it was just that. It would also affect my opinion of jazz and Sonny Rollins negatively. If one of the so-called greatest artists of jazz does not take his work seriously, then why should anybody else? Maybe this "jazz" stuff is just hype and myth for people who want to champion high culture in America at all costs? There are plenty of people who suspect this. I know such people.

Edited by John L

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-j3LfPYqSZs

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John L wrote:

"I would be inclined to believe that the New Yorker would not publish something called "Sonny Rollins in His Own Words" without a disclaimer unless it was just that."

That is very, very close to the legal wind ... sarcastic humor or not ... would anybody here like to have their name used publicly in such a way without permission/ disclaimer ... and be expected to laugh it off? 

Q

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Scott - With all due respect, I think that you are wrong on this one. For us here at Organissimo, the article might have been irritating, but did no harm to our perception of Sonny Rollins or jazz. But I think that there are plenty of people, including those who influence allocations of money to support the arts, who don't really know or listen to jazz, but are aware of its reputation as a great American contribution to art, and of Sonny Rollins as one of its greatest artists. In the shoes of one of those people, I would be inclined to believe that the New Yorker would not publish something called "Sonny Rollins in His Own Words" without a disclaimer unless it was just that. It would also affect my opinion of jazz and Sonny Rollins negatively. If one of the so-called greatest artists of jazz does not take his work seriously, then why should anybody else? Maybe this "jazz" stuff is just hype and myth for people who want to champion high culture in America at all costs? There are plenty of people who suspect this. I know such people.

Can you explain to me how someone becomes a "great" or a "legend" at what they do who didn't take what they did seriously?

Can you give me any examples?

Can you name any examples of someone engaging in a pursuit for 60 years who didn't love it or take it seriously?

I respect what you're saying, but not buying a word of it.

Once again, if you're not into Jazz enough to know who Sonny Rollins is, you're not going to care about this article even a little bit. It's like being a baseball fan and not knowing anything about Babe Ruth. And, I don't believe that anyone out there thinking about getting into Jazz is simply going to say forget it, just because of this silly article.

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If Sonny felt hurt by it and more importantly felt that his work in jazz was hurt by it, that's the endgame right there. The NYer owes him an apology on that principle alone.

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Sonny was hurt by the fact that there are people out there stupid enough to have believed it was genuine. Said as much in his opening statement during the interview.

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I really don't get how anyone could have read that piece and not known it was satire.

And that's the worst part, craw.

Sonny said the exact same thing.

Since it was on-line only, I don't think it ultimately really matters -- but I could see where somebody skimming only part of the piece could/would get a false impression of Rollins.

But , FWIW, I would expect most people to have only barely skimmed it. It's not like it was anything that drew one in, and encouraged any kind of fuller perusal.

Again, that it was on-line only means it's not far from most of the crap that's on-line these days -- but that Sonny saw it, and apparently disliked it, does count for something.

See, I don't understand your whole online only rebuttal.

I'd be willing to bet the majority of New Yorker readers ONLY read the magazine online. That's the way all publications, and their readership, have gone.

So you'd cancel your subscription if it were printed on paper, but it's OK if it's only online?

Can you explain that line of reasoning?

I encounter lots of crap on-line (and have come to expect it). In fact, probably a majority of stuff on-line is throw-away (though, come to think of it, print too - if one considers the wider world of everything that's actually published on paper, even these days).

My initial reaction was based on the notion that this actually got into print specifically in the print-version of the New Yorker (where, I think, the bar is and should be a lot higher). I'm not a regular reader, but I've come to expect at least a certain level of quality with any monthly print publication of that sort.

Sure, the bar should be higher for online-only material too -- but it clearly isn't, so that's a battle not even worth considering.

(Then again, my expectations of print media are probably out of sync with reality, as I find even print copies of Time magazine to be a pale comparison with what they were as little as 10 and 20 years ago -- so what do I know.)

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I guess my perspective is different because I've written a fair amount of satire in my life. And that work never included any kind of disclaimer, at least not with individual articles. Satire is an art form, and whether Rollins was offended by it or not wouldn't really matter that much to me. I might personally apologize if he was offended, but I would stand by the satire. And the laws with regard to satire are actually fairly lenient, and rightfully so.

As a work of satire, this particular piece was hit or miss. The concept behind it was good and funny, but the execution and timing were off in parts. With a rewrite it might have been really good.

Again, it amazes me how gullible people can be. If you really want to see your soul crushed on that score, just check out this site: http://literallyunbelievable.org

It's a collection of Facebook posts of users freaking out at Onion articles that they think are true.

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Sonny was hurt by the fact that there are people out there stupid enough to have believed it was genuine. Said as much in his opening statement during the interview.

I don't think he really put it that way. I listened to the 31 minute interview twice. It's clear that the problems he saw with it go further than ignorance.

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Sonny was hurt by the fact that there are people out there stupid enough to have believed it was genuine. Said as much in his opening statement during the interview.

I don't think he really put it that way. I listened to the 31 minute interview twice. It's clear that the problems he saw with it go further than ignorance.

He sure as hell did put it that way. Go back and watch the first three minutes that uli posted. Pay particularly close attention to the last minute when he says that what hurt him was that people thought it was true.

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He also says he subscribes to Mad magazine, and implicitly rated the writing of a New Yorker piece as worthy of belonging in Mad.

That, I thought, was the biggest and best "fuck you" of the bunch.

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Yeah, that was good.

But, it still implied he was alright with the piece overall.

Just surprised by the source.

Edited by Scott Dolan

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No, did not imply that he was "alright with the piece overall". The man is 80+ years old, still standing,has been deeply in the trenches and has had to step over a lot of wounded & dead bodies, including those of some deep soul mates, to keep going, with a lot of those bodies being the result of one sort or another of institutionalized/systemic/hard-wired/whatever hostility towards the very notion of "jazz" and the "type of people" who make it. I got the impression that he was not at all okay with he certainly sees as a "major mainstream media vehicle" (now, to me, the New Yorker is basically a relic of a past that no longer exists except, mostly, as faux-symbol/signifier in the minds and psyches who care to believe that is still does...but I'm not Sonny Rollins) using his life as raw source material for anything that created the could engender an image of jazz and jazz musicians as ironic imps who are at root members of The Ironic Fuck It species of humanity, like, ok, Shadow Wilson dead in a trash can, gee, where am I supposed to put my carrot peels and coffee grinds NOW, that inconsiderate fuck. HA HA HA HA!

You can argue, well, hey, it's satire and all that, and you can argue that, hey anybody dumb enough to think that's really Sonny Rollins talking, fuck them, yeah, I get all that, but those are all points that in any court of law would be stipulated to in advance. Arguing them past that point is belaboring the obvious. If I was one of those salty ass judges you see in the movies, I'd call counsel into chambers and ask, really, is that the best you got? Is that ALL you got? Because although not too many of us here have put our life as deeply into this music as to have true battle scars (and none of us here to the extent that a Sonny Rollins has), the point that's not being considered is that there are people who have, and regardless of intent on the part of the New Yorker, those people seen that sort of weaponry fired before, and they've seen it aimed, successfully aimed, to kill. Never mind that this is, in today's world, just some halfass Fourth Of July cartoon fireworks, THEY hear the noise and just don't not see what's fun or funny about any of it. Who am I to convince them otherwise?

So, stop trying to put forth the line that Sonny Rollins is "ok" with this type thing. He's not, and he has damn good reason to not be. An internet full of geeky record collectors, maybe not so much. But by the same token, an internet full of "hey, get over" it types, not so much either, because either way, it's a cheapening of an individual has been there, done that, and when it comes to having been there and doing that, pretty much makes most people on either side of the argument look like the midgets they are when it comes to having been there and having done that.

There is a real life involved in this, and I don't mean that in a touch-feely "oh the humanity" way. I mean. Sonny Rollins, day-by day, that can not be reduced to ideas, a pile of statistics, quotes, records, etc. without some serious disservice being done to reality. We can read about a young Sonny Rollins waiting on the doorstep for Coleman Hawkins to get home, or about playing the Audubon dances with Miles & Bird, or getting so strung out, or hearing the news that Clifford Brown was just killed, or ANY of all that, we can hear about it and form pictures, and ok, good. But we can do that about anybody. Second-hand (at best) vicarious life,that's all it is. Infinitely invaluable even at that, but...not the same as actually having it happen to yourself.

When somebody who I know has been there, done that, and at the highest level for the longest time tells me something about how they feel, I will show them the simple respect of allowing them their feelings on their own terms. When they're dead and gone, the historians, estates, and other people who stand something to gain from so doing will all hold forth with their correct interpretations of What This Life Really Meant. But that guy, that guy in the goofy-ass red and white and Jim McKay cans (a long-time top-shelf visual presenter, Sonny Rollins has been), that was a real man still living.

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Beyond the objections that have already been stated here and elsewhere, which I won't restate, the timing of the article also bothers me. Sonny has been on an extended hiatus from performing due to medical issues; to post a satirical attack on jazz using Sonny's name and image, at a time when he's not able to perform the music he has contributed so much to, seems especially wrong to me.

Django Gold, the article's author, commented on Howard Mandel's article that, "As has been correctly speculated, Sonny Rollins was chosen more-or-less at random as the 'subject' of this piece. I believe the other top candidates were Ornette Coleman and Jim Hall, but I figured Rollins had the name recognition." Although Gold claims that he is "a huge fan of both Sonny Rollins’ work and jazz in general," that is undercut by his statement that they considered using Hall. Surely he would have known that Hall passed away in December and that posting this satire under his name would be in incredibly poor taste as well. Of course, I think that Ornette, like Sonny, hasn't been in the best of health and hasn't performed much in public recently.

Anyway, leave it to Sonny to turn the negative experience into a positive by using it as an opportunity to interact with his fans via a live feed. Like many, I was excited to hear that he plans on returning to the stage in 2015 and has been writing new music. Sonny is a national treasure.

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Yeah, whatever....don't pick on the old men.

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I would love for Gold to have done this piece about Jim Hall, a dead man. That would have removed any suspicions about how clueless the whole idea - and the magazine - was from jump, to not just pick on an old man, but to pick on an old, freshly DEAD man!

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Also, the fact that the writer said he's "a huge fan of jazz in general" means that nothing matters all that much to him. Perhaps his wife should reconsider what it means when he says he loves her.

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No, did not imply that he was "alright with the piece overall". The man is 80+ years old, still standing,has been deeply in the trenches and has had to step over a lot of wounded & dead bodies, including those of some deep soul mates, to keep going, with a lot of those bodies being the result of one sort or another of institutionalized/systemic/hard-wired/whatever hostility towards the very notion of "jazz" and the "type of people" who make it. I got the impression that he was not at all okay with a "major mainstream media vehicle" using his life as raw source material for anything that created the could engender an image of jazz and jazz musicians as ironic imps who are at root members of The Ironic Fuck It species of humanity, like, ok, Shadow Wilson dead in a trash can, gee, where am I supposed to put my carrot peels and coffee grinds NOW, that inconsiderate fuck. HA HA HA HA!

You can argue, well, hey, it's satire and all that, and you can argue that, hey anybody dumb enough to think that's really Sonny Rollins talking, fuck them, yeah, I get all that, but those are all points that in any court of law would be stipulated to in advance. Arguing them past that point is belaboring the obvious. If I was one of those salty ass judges you see in the movies, I'd call counsel into chambers and ask, really, is that the best you got? Is that ALL you got? Because although not too many of us here have put our life as deeply into this music as to have true battle scars (and none of us here to the extent that a Sonny Rollins has), the point that's not being considered is that there are people who have, and regardless of intent on the part of the New Yorker, those people seen that sort of weaponry fired before, and they've seen it aimed, successfully aimed, to kill. Never mind that this is, in today's world, just some halfass Fourth Of July cartoon fireworks, THEY hear the noise and just don't not see what's fun or funny about any of it. Who am I to convince them otherwise?

So, stop trying to put forth the line that Sonny Rollins is "ok" with this type thing. He's not, and he has damn good reason to not be. An internet full of geeky record collectors, maybe not so much. But by the same token, an internet full of "hey, get over" it types, not so much either, because either way, it's a cheapening of an individual has been there, done that, and when it comes to having been there and doing that, pretty much makes most people on either side of the argument look like the midgets they are when it comes to having been there and having done that.

There is a real life involved in this, and I don't mean that in a touch-feely "oh the humanity" way. I mean. Sonny Rollins, day-by day, that can not be reduced to ideas, a pile of statistics, quotes, records, etc. without some serious disservice being done to reality. We can read about a young Sonny Rollins waiting on the doorstep for Coleman Hawkins to get home, or about playing the Audubon dances with Miles & Bird, or getting so strung out, or hearing the news that Clifford Brown was just killed, or ANY of all that, we can hear about it and form pictures, and ok, good. But we can do that about anybody. Second-hand (at best) vicarious life,that's all it is. Infinitely invaluable even at that, but...not the same as actually having it happen to yourself.

When somebody who I know has been there, done that, and at the highest level for the longest time tells me something about how they feel, I will show them the simple respect of allowing them their feelings on their own terms. When they're dead and gone, the historians, estates, and other people who stand something to gain from so doing will all hold forth with their correct interpretations of What This Life Really Meant. But that guy, that guy in the goofy-ass red and white and Jim McKay cans (a long-time top-shelf visual presenter, Sonny Rollins has been), that was a real man still living.

Quoted because the ridiculous, self-congratulatory, and pseudo erudite nature of this post is JSngry on steroids.

To your credit, you have truly topped yourself. Pretty high praise considering how many years, and posts, you have devoted to your legacy here.

No need for me to offer any rebuttals, as they have already been posted.

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I hope to someday be worthy of your favor.

Of course, you're still wrong, but you're diligent about it, and diligence is a mark of character.

You, sir, are the future of America. May I send you some money? It would be an honor.

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Fair enough, even though your assumption is incorrect.

I'll take Sonny at his word, whereas you choose to read between the lines as an act of confirmation bias.

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You, sir, are the future of America. May I send you some money? It would be an honor.

I need some bread for rent...I'm a bit short this month.

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Sorry David, you are not the future of America. I don't know if you're a good investment. I'm not really good with such things.

Maybe Lowe can front you some money? That cat always seems to have a budget for something! Then again, he's always seeking funding, so maybe he's not such a good investment either, that he doesn't have investors seeking him out. You know what they say, money attracts money. True!

Me, I'd ask Scott Dolan - that's a man who knows. Everything! All the time!

Hell, I'd ask him for some money myself, but I know what he thinks about me. :g

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I'm over the hill.

I'm the now of America....the now, baby!

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