Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tales from the Swamp



All photos in this post are of the Lake Conestee, SC nature preserve.

~*~

I have not been updating regularly since I have been hanging out in the swamp. Hope you like my photos of Lake Conestee swamps! It is an amazing and beautiful place. (As always, you can click all photos to enlarge.)



I decided my whole motif would be SWAMPS, since I realized, SWAMPS is where its at. As we used to say.

Which swamp should I cover first?

First up, the swamp of the kkk, which has been organizing here in South Carolina. They scheduled a rally for July 25th, so we had a "counter-rally" here in Greenville--although I would have preferred going down to Abbeville, where they are. Scary, but not so bad if we went in a large group. As I have written here before, I have disrupted one kkk rally (where I also got on the History channel) and nearly got killed at the second one (mentioned in passing here), so I appreciate the importance of traveling in a large group.

But the peaceniks organizing the rally didn't want any possibility of violent altercations. This is totally understandable, but... meh. Hey, the kkk invited everyone to come, didn't they? That is accepting an invitation, not starting an altercation. But yes, I guess that's quibbling.

It was a good protest rally, extremely well-behaved, where I saw the wonderful Camille Lewis and we did a selfie together. I was pleased by all the positive vibes, but I was aggravated that anyone believed the kkk would care what we were doing. I would like to MAKE THEM CARE. Like that guy years ago who drove his car into the Redneck Shop (kkk outpost) in Laurens County. Okay, maybe not that extreme, but something to garner serious media attention.

It is interesting that when I posted about the uptick in kkk activity on Tumblr, I was ignored. (I guess the kkk is just too "Mississippi Burning" for their taste? Old school. Not hip-hop enough.) At least they do seem to care about the recent racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, which is pretty bad. The police shooting of Michael Brown has ignited days of turmoil and rioting. The National Guard is there now, and it isn't any quieter.

No Justice, No peace.

The conservatives often claim that slogan is a "veiled threat"--but actually, it is simply a naked fact.



One of the pieces I was working on was about the last year I have spent on Tumblr, which is most assuredly one of the major cesspools of the world wide web. My time there is fast winding down, although I still enjoy all the photos of baby goats, weird art and old rock stars. (Not to mention stunning photos of LIZ!)

My consigliere Gregg asked me, live on the radio* even, why I went to a place that drives me crazy, and I answered honestly: because its where all the "social justice warriors" are now, and as a lefty, feminist, vegetarian (etc), I felt that it was my JOB; I needed to keep tabs on the place. And of course, I got sucked right in... swamps can be dangerous, especially when they FLOOD ALL OVER THE PLACE. Yigh!

Some of the arguments I engaged in were fairly predictable, especially after I posted THIS about one of the main Tumblr stars who is likely a cop (or equivalent), and after I figured out who some of the primary shit-stirrers are over there. Lo and behold... this gang includes people from Salon Rose, that old email list I was on. I am not surprised at all, since I could spot some of the same arguments that were first presented on the list, arguments I once decided were far too outlandish to be taken seriously. These arguments are now considered acceptable, i.e. you shouldn't say penises are male, since (some) trans women have them too. This is patently ridiculous. (Some humans don't have legs, so should we not say humans have legs? And there are far more humans missing legs than trans women with penises.) The recent article by Michelle Goldberg in the New Yorker about radical feminism vs trans feminism got everybody all worked up again. Lots of people who didn't know how "bad" the whole feud had become, are now reading this stuff for the first time. Tumblr is the incubator for most of this madness.

I found it well-nigh impossible not to get pulled into the swamp, since due to the email list, I know the colorful (and constantly-rewritten) personal histories of many of the instigating parties. Many are fakes; some are "trans women" not even living as women at all (but that doesn't stop them from knowing absolutely everything about womanhood). They have repeatedly told me they are far more woman than I could ever be. When I ask them what "woman" means, no answers. None will define this thing, WOMAN, that they claim they are. So I guess they ARE more woman than me, since it is apparently whatever they say it is.

In addition, there was the rape of a trans woman that has been covered up, and the rape-apologist squad have acted exactly like any other marauding gang, denying any responsibility towards the mentally ill person who was targeted. This made me furious, and when I mentioned it (and asked why are they covering it up), they accused me of trying to use this person's rape as a weapon to hurt trans women, which infuriated me even more. (The details, including names, links and circumstances, are in comments on this post.) I guess when a trans woman is ACTUALLY harmed, well, that is of no real consequence. Why are cis women supposed to take violence against trans women seriously, when the trans women themselves won't do it? Oh wait, did I mention the perp is another trans woman, a popular, charismatic organizer of conventions? Of course she is. And she has the enthusiastic backing of other trans women, so the violence perpetrated against Elle doesn't really count.

It only counts when they say it counts.

Forgive me if I don't take your bullshit seriously, gals.



But even as I argued with people who are (obviously) far more woman than me, I also argued with people who know feminism better than I do. The self-described "Michael Jordan of radical feminism", Nextyearsgirl, announces (regularly) that anyone who is in favor of rights for sex workers is anti-feminist.

This is like saying whoever is pro-unions cannot also be anti-capitalist; it makes no sense.

I asked her (without a single cuss word and totally respectfully) if she realized that for some women, sex work is a step UP the economic ladder? Is working a grueling and horrific 48-hour work week in a textile mill REALLY better than 3 hours of web-cam work, if you make the same amount of money? I had extensive varicose veins surgery for standing on my feet at work for hours, days, weeks, months, years. Why is that supposed to be ethically superior to a couple of hours dancing in the buff or showing one's body parts on a webcam, anonymously? Both are exploitative occupations--is one really more exploitative than the other? And why? I went from scrubbing toilets to dancing wearing pasties (it was against the law to be totally naked in those days, she said, sounding terribly old) and made 3 times the money. Which work do you think was harder? (Are more hours supposedly more holy or something?)

Of course, nextyearsgirl is an upper-middle-class college girl who has been supported by her parents and has never had to make these kinds of choices. She has no children and no worries, and didn't answer a single one of my questions listed in the above-paragraph, which were asked honestly and in the spirit of feminist debate. She simply made fun of me for even asking. Unbelievably, this is a heavy theory-head too, this is no rude adolescent. I am a feminist activist of over 40+ years standing, one of the people responsible for many of the changes she takes utterly for granted. And yet, she told her followers to unfollow me en masse since my mind was "scrambled by drugs decades ago." (about 20 of her followers obediently took her orders and instantly made me persona non grata--she is obviously a very important Tumblr swamp feminist, which should probably not be confused with real feminism. More about which in due course.)

And by the way, did you catch that?

Yes, nextyearsgirl claims to "care" about the sex workers, but then makes fun of a drug addict who quit 32 years ago. I wonder what she thinks of women who are still suffering from addiction? Wait, she told us, didn't she? They are not to be listened to.

Since it is estimated that drug addiction among sex workers is very, very high (figures range from 75-95%), nextyearsgirl makes it very clear she doesn't think sex workers with addiction issues should be listened to. I mean, *I* don't even qualify as worthy of listening to, and I am a 56-year-old grandma/Second Waver, my drug abuse safely 32 years in the past.

I think we know what she must think of drug addicts in the PRESENT, and by extension, what she thinks of sex workers with these problems: NOT TO BE LISTENED TO. BRAINS SCRAMBLED.

These are the "feminists" who purport to care about sex workers. Scratch the surface, and observe the unbridled contempt bubbling to the surface.

Swamp, I say, swamp.



I was also working on a companion piece titled "How fundamentalist Christianity gave birth to Tumblr's Social Justice Activists"--so I could finally explain the whole thing to Tumblr-skeptics like Gregg, but then decided it wasn't worth it.

Besides, I realized I could say it in a paragraph or two, during my many conversations with South Carolina Boy about the entire phenomenon. (He went to a southern Christian college, so he knows this stuff.)

~*~

As Harold Bloom said in The American Religion, there is a heavily-gnostic strain in American Christianity. The Reformation abolished sacraments (for the most part) as arbiters of belief or religious devotion. No intermediaries between Man and God! The result: A Christian was no longer who the Church said it was, a Christian is whoever claims they are one.

This is how we have arrived at the unfortunate point where we have Christians who are pro-global warming and pro-war. Because Christian is whatever they say it is, they are answerable to no one. If some preacher gives them static, they just move on to another one. And if that preacher wants their money/donations, he will not challenge them when they do unChristian things or offer unChristian politics. He will look the other way.

Fundamentalist Christianity owes no one anything, it is entirely internal. "You ask me how I know He Lives/He Lives within my heart!" goes the Protestant hymn. It is about your state of mind. You can now do whatever you want, short of living openly as gay (although many Christians do, and see no contradiction in doing so) and/or being a pimp or dope dealer (ditto). Divorce, carousing, drinking, gambling, porn, all is fine as long as nobody sees you (and sometimes, even if they do). Your politics can defy Jesus' orders to feed the poor and visit the imprisoned; in fact you can spit all over the poor and KILL the imprisoned, and its all okay, just as long as you call yourself a Baptist.

And now we have the same thing with those magic words, SOCIAL JUSTICE ACTIVIST.

People say they are, so... they are. Poof. No work required. In fact, nothing is required, that I can see.

The actual words though? Social justice? What does that mean? And WHERE (pray tell) is this mythical ACTIVISM? Answer: there isn't any. If you want to shut the kids up on Tumblr, just ask what they have actually DONE in real life. (Some of them reply with really offensive crap such as, "That's ableist to ask what we've done!"-- as if disabled people didn't build one of the most successful social justice activist movements of ALL TIME!!!! Yeesh.)

So we now have a collection of "social justice activists" who have no actual experience in activism. None. Zip. And when you refer to the failures and successes of past social justice activism, they have no clue what you are talking about (this is how I figured out they were mostly posturing fakes). This is why we have someone claiming to "care" about sex workers and yet doesn't hesitate to show their class contempt and open derision for drug addicts... no actual experience on the ground. Or she would KNOW who the sex workers are and she wouldn't say something that makes her look like a society-girl dilettante. Michael Jordan, indeed.

And that's how fundamentalism impacts social justice: you think, therefore you are. You are not required to actually do anything, but think the right thoughts. Use the right language and position yourself the right way. Follow the right people on Tumblr. Reblog the right people. But actually get out in the streets and DO anything?

No. They don't know how. They are resoundingly ignorant of even their own streets and neighborhoods. They can't organize the people on Tumblr who already talk exactly like they do and recognize all of their arcane cultural references, so how do they think they will organize people who don't think like they do and don't understand what they are talking about?

Answer: They don't plan to do any such thing. They simply type their deep thoughts and heavy theory on Tumblr, and hopefully, some grunt will do the job. Is that what they expect to happen?

And after thinking about this awhile, that's when I remembered Shelby Steele.



Author Shelby Steele wrote about his experience as a black teacher who opposed Affirmative Action, which he believes actually harms black kids. His proof was that many (most?) black students drop out of college in their 2nd or 3rd year. He felt these students were not fully ready for academic life, since the poor-to-mediocre public schools they came from were not up to par in the first place. Further, he believes their "failure" in college set them back psychologically, made them feel worse than it would have if they had not been given any extra help. This is the old argument about how charity can be harmful, only this time, he was talking about his own kids and his own observations as a college professor. He also wrote about being raised under Jim Crow, and what it was like to attend segregated schools himself.

So what happened?

Well, after Steele started to label himself a conservative, nice liberal white people refused to sit next to him at upscale dinner parties. (Apparently, the irony of this situation was totally lost on the whites, if not on Steele.) His opinions were beyond the pale, you should pardon expression. White liberal students from places like Beverly Hills and Central Park West started screaming at him during speaking engagements. Whites not allowing a black man to speak, now where have I heard THAT before? But its okay, since this is a conservative black man they are policing.

So we have spoiled brats who have been pampered since they were in utero, screaming "Racist!" at a black man who was raised under Jim Crow. An appalling and sordid spectacle, but it describes Tumblr social justice perfectly. I can think of no better illustration.

How does this situation happen, asked Steele, in his book A Dream Deferred: The Second Betrayal of Black Freedom in America. He has facts and figures suggesting that Affirmative Action is an overall negative and he is ready to debate the subject with whomever is willing. Blacks will, he said, but whites won't. Why not?

Steele says that for white people, being in favor of Affirmative Action is not about what is good for black students. They have no idea what is good for black students; they probably don't even know any. For whites, taking the correct liberal position is about LOOKING GOOD TO OTHERS. If you are white, to declare oneself anti-racist is to be A GOOD PERSON. It doesn't mean actually doing anything or thinking about things in depth, it means having the correct opinions and thereby proving you are on the side of the angels. It means posturing. Because if you argue, you might say the wrong thing, you might give yourself away as not having a clue... since you likely don't. Better to pretend you know everything, repeat the popular boilerplate, and shut up.

And so it is now with the Social Justice crowd on Tumblr. It isn't about honest and well-meaning debate, as I tried to discuss things reasonably with nextyearsgirl. It is about HAVING THE CORRECT OPINIONS. It is about LOOKING GOOD and being A GOOD PERSON. If you actually compromise yourself (as I have, as Shelby Steele has) and DO THINGS, well, you leave yourself open to criticism. You also garner some real experience and make observations, as Steele did over a lifetime of teaching African-American students. Disagree with him all you want, but he is the father of black kids and has taught black kids for eons, and was one himself; he knows his stuff. He speaks out of concern for the educational system and how it impacts African Americans in general. Show respect for his process, if you want respect for yours, and MAKE THE ARGUMENTS.

If you can't, he has won, and you should have the good grace to admit it.

~*~



But this is the swamp. Where they dump dead bodies and stuff. Its muddy, the water isn't clear. Strange noises and gurgles. We can expect more of the swamp as long as fakes and frauds contaminate the internet. At least, we can keep the troublemakers confined to their gurgling, oozing swampy spaces. As long as Reddit and Tumblr exist, perhaps it will keep the lunatics away from the rest of us.

Or does it just emit that nasty swamp gas that covers everything with its stench? Ewwww.

~*~



I have to thank the wonderful HBO series, TRUE DETECTIVE, which also inspired my recent swamp fixation. My spouse and I recently binge-watched the whole first season (Matthew McConaughey is a revelation! Who knew he could do that shit?) and it was terrific. After our binge-watching, I even dreamed about swamps... and the next day, my husband announces that he has located a real one. The rest, as they say, is history. We have spent a lot of time there since.

My apologies for a month-long unannounced blog-break. I will try not to let it happen again. But just look at these photos! Wouldn't YOU get distracted by such a beautiful swamp?

*GOOD NEWS: We are back on WOLI radio! Our show (still called "Occupy the Microphone") is on every Monday at 8-9pm, so we are not doing the daily thing at the present time (which simply exhausted everyone trying to come up with appropriate and timely topics). We don't have a podcast up and running yet, since we are still getting our radio-selves together. In addition, Gregg's mother-in-law passed away at home this weekend after a long illness (see this post for more).

Rest in peace, Martha.

Our best wishes are with Gregg, his spouse and children; as well as Martha's caregivers, Krystine and Josh, both beautiful people. (this being a small town, I once worked with Josh elsewhere too.) I can only hope to be able to depend on such gentle, sweet souls when I am old and frail.

13 comments:

bryce said...

great pics ! glad ur posting

JoJo said...

Crazy what's going on in Ferguson and all. :( Loved your swamp pics. Did you take them near you?

Daisy Deadhead said...

Yeah its about 10 miles south of here.

CONGRATS ON YOUR WEDDING!!!! Best of luck to you both! <3

thene said...

I'm getting increasingly DONE with discussions involving 'identity' and 'identifying' that don't touch what that even MEANS.

I agree with you about fundamentalism for the same reason that I disagree with you about penises. There are NO objects or qualities that inherently belong to one gender or another. Which means, I have no real evidence of what my gender is; when I define my gender identity I am making a statement of faith.

I think 'identity' now is overlapping with what has other times been described as the 'soul'..not least in that the concept is thought of as universal and all-encompassing by certain white people who don't look much at writing from outside their culture. The state of one's identity is like the state of one's soul; we supposedly just know, in some mystical sense, what it contains, and no one else can access this inner truth - judge not, less ye be judged.

It's notable that struggles related to experience - such as the struggles of workers, prisoners, mothers, immigrants - don't get a whole lot of attention from people who live in the 'identity' mindset. That would require honouring the lived experiences of other people, not just seeing how their declarations of faith line up with yours.

FWIW I still think well of most of the Salon Rose folks, although I left not long after you did. (Not to drag wank over from the other thread, but unlike you I do recall reading plenty of Lisa's life history, including some in-depth posts on QT, and I've learned a lot from her writing.)

Edith Pilkington said...

Very interesting post to me, who has seen Owsley's lightening bolt and skull logo turn up in some pretty dark corners. I don't have the time or inclination to go on Tumblir, just a handful of blogs.

I'm so old and loathsome I can remember the doors being busted down at Sargent Auditorium at B U as the crowd poured in over the band's equipment on the same night Ned Lagin sat in for the first time; right after the chimpanzee act that opened the show. So whenever I see that GD logo I do a Pavlovian bug eye. Wowee, Zowie! oooh baby, baby it's a wild world. Is it a swamp or is it a jungle out there?

That's correct. I used a lot of words to say what amounts to pretty much nothing. There are Greenvilles all over the U S. I grew up in one of them. There are swamps up here, too, hence the term Swamp Yankee. Oh Greenville:

". . . lose your temper someone looks at you wrong
Looks at you wrong oh looks at you wrong
Go back to Greenville just go on back to Greenville"

All of us should just go back to Greenville, I guess.

"Busted down doors and borrowed cash
Borrowed cash oh the borrowed cash
Go back to Greenville just go on back to Greenville
Looking for someone to save you
Looking for someone to rave about you
To rave about you oh to rave about you
Go back to Greenville just go on back to Greenville"

-Lucinda . . .

What next?

Daisy Deadhead said...

Thene, I guess its the whole "lived experience" thing that is bothering me about trans women and penises. Now that you mention it.

Having a penis in a patriarchy (which values them more than any other thing except money and possibly cars/weapons/machinery) IS an experience that matters. The way some of the more radical trans women try to say it doesn't have ANY effect on their consciousness AT ALL? (How is such a thing possible?) Okay, go ahead and make that claim, but don't *also* claim to be a feminist, since those statements are diametrically opposed. Either you believe we live in a patriarchy or you don't--and if you subscribe to this idea, then you agree that "male status" is what is highly valued. Your opinion (or statement of faith, as you put it) about whether you are male or not, does not matter one whit when you are 1 month old and getting picked up/talked to/cooed at -- an average of 3 times more than the female babies. (fact) It also doesn't matter when you enter kindergarten and get called on and encouraged twice as often as AFAB girls. (fact) These things were happening before any of us knew what gender we were. The gender-indoctrination begins IMMEDIATELY and no one is immune. Why do they somehow think THEY are? Nobody is. To continue our Bible analogy: there is not one righteous, no, not one. All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. Somehow, they swear THEY have escaped gender socialization, even as they demand to be a different gender than the one forced on them. (Obviously, they have to have SOME idea of gender, or they wouldn't have enough information to make such a claim in the first place!)

We believe this about whiteness, don't we? Don't we agree we were socialized to be WHITE people? (IMO, to be effective anti-racist activists, we MUST understand this fact.) Why do trans women choose to ignore it? I find this sexist in the extreme--and I find it sexist and oppressive no matter who does it, cis or trans, male or female. Thus, I make no exceptions for anti-feminist trans women.

Example --
The fact that the "most successful woman director" of all time is Lana Wachowski, matters. Lana and her brother (formerly known as the Wachowski brothers) were strongly encouraged by their parents their whole lives... does anyone really believe Lana would have been
similarly encouraged as a girl? If so, where are all the female directors? The closest we have is Sofia Coppola, whose father happens to be one of the greatest cinema geniuses of all time. In terms of profits, no woman director comes CLOSE to Lana... isn't the fact of male privilege obvious? Why deny such an overwhelmingly obvious fact? And yet, so many of the radical trans women continue to do so, even in the face of a very obvious situation like Wachowski's.

This is what sticks in my craw. It contradicts Marxist theory, what Fanon, Marcuse, Angela Davis and others have written about the socialization of colonized people. Because if socialization isn't real, nobody is socialized to be oppressed either. Ayn Rand, call your office.

Denying the reality of socialization is reactionary and politically conservative, no matter WHO does it.

FTR, Lisa has been calling me a fetishist and pervert on Tumblr, for months now ... so her hundreds of assertions on the Salon Rose email list (and on QT), that she accepted all people regardless of their sexual bent or desires, was obviously a lie. Scratch the surface, a puritan is underneath. That is a major reason I wonder if she is who she says she is... another possibility (someone else has pointed this out to me; its their opinion) is that she is really several people.

Whatever she is, it ain't what she says she is.

Daisy Deadhead said...

Edith, never heard the term Swamp Yankee! thanks for sharing that! :)

Edith Pilkington said...

You're welcome, Ms. Daisy Deadhead. Someone's been trying to get me on a house concert list here for a few weeks now. The Swampstomp is one of the featured events:

https://www.facebook.com/events/268460226586379/permalink/306843312748070/

Yes, we have a place called the Great Swamp here. There was a crucial historic event that occurred there in colonial times, The Great Swamp Massacre, during King Philip's War(Chief Metacomet's rebellion against the encroaching colonists).

My brother tragically committed suicide a few years ago. We spread his ashes in the swamp behind where we grew up. It was a sacred place to him. It's in Greenville, R I, where, forty years ago, there were probably more Deadheads per capita than any other place in the U S, or world, for that matter; a veritable island in a sea of Lou Reed inspired art school industrial punk hipsters.

Thanks for tolerating my inane comments. You write about some serious subjects. I am capable of being serious but a lot of what you write about are things that I have been calling quicksand for a while. I am referring to the "trans" issues you write about. "Trans", as far as I am concerned, is a slang attenuation. I'm going to jump to back onto more solid ground if I can find it.

You write about ageism which, according to my perceptions, can be a double edged sword.

I was drawn to your blog because of its title and comments I had read of yours of yours I had seen at other blogs. I am trying to get a handle on what that GD logo means. It has been over four decades now. Have you read what Better Cantor has to say about the band? Do you listen closely to some of those Weir/Barlow lyrics? How about Pigpen and Good Morning Little School Girl? I wonder how that stuff squares with what you write about feminism. I have thought about these things in isolation for forty years. Hardly anyone takes the GD seriously in cosmopolitan downtown Providence.

Whenever I see that GD logo, I do a double take. I think it's going to have to be way more than even a triple or even an octuple take to understand where you are coming from. "Male privilege" is a loaded topic. So is conditioning. I had a father and I grew up close to my sister, who is 14 1/2 months younger than me. I just got of the phone with her after having a difficult time talking to her over the last few years. We both went through a lot but it was so very different for both of us.

I could write a lot about male privilege. A lot of it would not be from a subjective point of view. Coercive indoctrination is not equivalent to privilege even if undeniable privilege does exist. It is not the same as white privilege in many of its aspects. I think the patriarchy should be much more a center of focus. It is such a complex system involving families and, ultimately, class.

There are things written about neuroplasticity and plasticity in general. I am not going to make any sweeping statements about any of these things, though. Any sweeping analyses are generally rip offs.

The "trans" thing, though? I already said what I did about that.

I have been reading through some of your posts you've written of the past year or two or few over the last few weeks about the experiences you have had with self anointed trans activists. I am not sure I get it. I identify as human and I would very much like to be in but not in every situation would I like to be.

Daisy Deadhead said...

Well, let me shock you further. And I admired sexist Norman Mailer too, not to mention sexist Frank Zappa, who could burn up a fret bar like nobody's business. And see here: I totally admit Roman Polanski is a genius. That doesn't mean he isn't a rapist. In my lifelong observation, good/bad behavior/ideology has little to do with talent or intelligence.

Feminists gain nothing by trying to detract from genius, better to take the Kate Millett route (referring to her fabulous analytic work "Sexual Politics") and analyze the sexism in genius works as emblematic of the patriarchy, and proof of its existence.

Talent and politics might go together, but usually don't. I understand I live in a patriarchy, and fully expect male artists within that patriarchy to be... well, men. As I said to Thene: there is not one righteous, no, not one. That's a fact, not just a cool scripture. ;)

"Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" was written by legendary bluesman Sonny Boy Williamson in 1937, when he himself was pretty young (not recorded until he was in his 20s). I don't expect anti-sexist songs from the 30s, do you? The Dead started out by doing old Americana (country, folk and blues songs especially), such as "Peggy-O"--which is also rather harsh. But I love old music--if you read my blog, you know that I come from a musical family that also covered songs by Leadbelly and others. My parents did "Big Bad John" and "Goin down the road feelin bad"--and hearing the Dead do these same songs as a kid made me feel like I had some important arcane knowledge, instead of being ashamed that they played music none of my friends had heard of. (Dead lyrics are pretty typical for their time, unless you refer to these old "Americana" songs?)

I love "Estimated Prophet" with a vengeance (my phone's ring tone!) and think its genius... as a result, I had to re-evaluate everything I thought about atheists when I learned John Perry Barlow was one. That song is amazing, and proves atheists can fully understand (as well as appreciate and replicate!) the transcendent and the mystical.

If you refer to "Jack Straw"--I love the way it starts, the guys all cozy with each other (sharing women and wine), and then one kills the other (Jack Straw from Wichita cut his buddy down/Dug for him a shallow grave and laid his body down) --and then it starts all over again with another guy...great buddies until they are in competition, once again. And you just know it will end the same.

I have rarely come across such a great description of patriarchy.

I Googled "Better Cantor" and can't find who you refer to. I've read many books about the band; my favorite is Phil Lesh's "Searching for the Sound". He turns out to be a great writer, which surprised me.

The Dead logo was designed by Owsley, the chemist. It is obviously about LSD... in fact, I'd say that is exactly what LSD does to you, LOL. You do know the Dead was the Merry Pranksters' official band? The acid tests? I refer you to Tom Wolfe's "The Electric Kool-Aid acid test"--a great history of this time. Or you can read these posts of mine: this one about Albert Hofmann and this one about Owsley. Both are obits... apologies that the Steely Dan song has been removed from You Tube since. I highly recommend their song "Kid Charlemagne"--which was inspired by Owsley.

Hope this post made sense? Trying to do five things at once, which is never a good idea.

Edith Pilkington said...

Thanks for your reply. I listened to your show tonight.

I love the Dead and sure, I know about Frank Zappa and his Road Ladies. I downloaded another version of Too Hot To Handle and Pigpen's rap is, well, you must know, and his rendition of Lovelight w/ Janis? You must also know, "God made woman from Adam's rib, Next thing you know you've got women's lib" and then there is Mexicali Blues.

I have slept by the silver stream and there may have been some wolves there at one time or other, too. There are definitely some Barlow lyrics that persistently roll around in my head and both Weir and Barlow collaborated on some very pretty stuff.I find him an extremely interesting character.

I went to a small political gathering and heard Larry Lessig speak a few years ago. Barlow's work with the EFF is so important. I just can't understand his involvement with Dick Cheney. It was mind blowing when I belatedly realized he was so closely involved with him.

For some reason I started getting into Benjamin Britten's take on Thomas Moore's poem, The Last Rose of Summer, over the weekend. OMG, what that lead to - eventually Kanye West's Blood on the Petals and Stanley Crouch's condemnation of gangsta rap. I don't know. I don't know that much about Shelby Steele but I kind of like Stanley. I just hope I don't sound too much like him.

I'm gonna stay tuned. One of those guys on your radio show sounds like someone I worked with for a short while back in the early Seventies - tone and accent. I love the rich Southern accent. I have been drawn to your blog for a few years now. I remember really liking the one you did on Splendor in the Grass. You've also written stuff about Catholicism that seemed insightful, if my memory serves me well; a different take than what I usually find on the internet. I consider myself an ethnic Catholic. Volition has nothing to do with it, if you know what I mean.

I read The California Book of the Dead, Tom Wolfe's Book, Garcia's legendary interviews in Rolling Stone in the early Seventies, etc., etc., etc. I was heavily influenced by it all. I don't know if you are familiar with the Surf band, The Tradewinds and their minor hit, locally at least, New York Is a Lonely Town . . . "when you're the only surfer boy around". Well, Providence is a lonely town when you're the only Dead Head around. Sometimes I just have to check in with the proper authorities to ascertain whether I have my dead head screwed on correctly.

By the way, "Better Cantor" was a slip. I meant Betty Cantor. Your know, the "Betty Boards". She has had some ongoing dispute with the survivors. She said they were male chauvinists. A lot of us are getting old, I guess.

You seem busy. Thanks for taking the time and thanks for the enlightenment.

anowhine said...

God, but you're good. I'll have to save this post and re-read whenever the Swamp gets to me.
I've tried to make sense of it myself, but it's too confusing for someone who hasn't the political experience (and hasn't done the hard reading, either).

Daisy Deadhead said...

anowhine, thank you! :) I figure I will go back to Tumblr for the pretty pictures, but as for insight, I will stick to my regulars... blogs I have read since the beginning of time!

Edith, OMG, the Garcia interviews! I hadn't thought of those in years, but someone recently found the clips where he defended the Monkees, and I just loved it.

The Columbus (Ohio) FreePress was headquartered above a headshop called Tradewinds, and I always wondered if that was one of the inspirations for the name!

So glad you listened to us! My co-host is Double A (aka Alex Apollo) and one of the big reasons he is on there with us is his great authentic southern voice. He does hilarious redneck jokes about his upbringing too. We want people to know that there are working class southern white men who ARE NOT the jerkoffs you hear about on Fox News. Alex was always, "people like me need to be on the radio" and we said, well, come on then. He used to call into my show when we were all in Occupy, and we decided he was a real asset and made him a co-host. His political sensibility has proven to be excellent and a real good thing for us.

Whenever "Splendor in the Grass" is shown on one of the oldie channels, I always retweet myself, LOL... I think its a great lost feminist film classic and I want everyone to watch it. So glad you liked it! :)

Edith Pilkington said...

Lucky 13?

I meant the Dead Book by Hank Harrison. I was also thinking about Leary's book based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead but I should probably read the California Book of the Dead, too.

I haven't kept up with my Dead history the way I should but I am terribly interested in Phil Lesh's background and input. Thanks for turning me on to his book. I wasn't aware of it.

This KMPX radion show, below, was a revelation to me. I love the way Lesh goes on about Mahler and everyone else from James Brown to the Blues Project to Charles Lloyd, Charles Ives, Luciano Berio and the Sgt. Pepper album which I believe hadn't been released at that point. I don't know if you've listened to it or not.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HgcvSkNFLI

I thought I'd put that up rather than the Hell's Angel's wedding that Jerry and Merle Saunders played at. That is a revelation, too; a far different one.

Gone way off topic . . . back to riding down the river in an old canoe with a bunch a bugs and an old tennis shoe.

I love everything that is good about Southern Culture. I just had to close with that. I will stay tuned. Believe it or not the KKK was active in this area up until the 1920's. They had a large nativist following and George Lincoln Rockwell was from Newport.