Friday, December 10, 2004

Greensboro, NC: When John Lennon Was Killed

On the anniversary of John Lennon's tragic murder, we reflect on Greensboro: December 1980. The "Greensboro Massacre" is just one year old.
Lennon Era Comes to an end as the Reagan Era is born

On December 8, 1980 John Lennon died, killed by the bullet of a madman. It was the year Ronald Reagan became President of the United States. Hard to say which event brought more grief...
With the election of Reagan, suddenly there was a whole new breed of hominid strutting about, cocks-of-the-walk, in alligator shirts, lime slacks, hingeheads. The square was back, the 50s were once again upon us. And the hip world went back underground.

I was living in a house on Friendly Avenue right next to the greenway with David Grogan and Chuck Newman, and dating Lucy of Charlotte. She was talking classes at the university, whereas I was only auditing classes. Buddhism, Ballet and the Electronics Music lab. I was also helping Bil (sic) Poole entertain dance classes by playing piano, and occasionally other instruments. I can think of worse jobs.

Greensboro was a hub of creative and intellectual activity, just as it is now, only now it is centered around the illustrious embarrassment of riches, in the form of bloggers. And a good number of the remarkables were students and teachers at UNC-Greensboro, formerly a women's college. The predominance of women in the University area provided the proverbial seedbed for creative activity, and, as in all times when the world turns upside-down and mediocrity is given its turn, the creatives and progressives find one another and pour their suffering into more creative outlets.

John Jones was arguably the best host for serious gatherings. There, he and his friend, Maria Robbins, would host parties for Grogan, Newman, Lucy, Dayna, Chance, Eric, Jonathan Franzel, Fred and Stan, John Pope, and a few other worthies. John would cook up a mahvelous meal in his wok, and allow us to dig through his wondrous library of books and music. John got me up to speed on Brian Eno's "Oblique Strategies cards" in a van trip to Atlanta to see Genesis at the Fox Theatre, and his music was along that line of European avant-garde eclecticism, although he did have Americans Steve Reich and Phillip Glass among his collection. Everyone had the great Nonesuch offerings. Bil Poole was also an audiophile, and yet his collection was more heavily leaning toward the jazz side of the ECM label, where one could find folks like Jan Garbarek, Eberhard Weber , Egberto Gismonti, and even George I. Gurdjieff, who really wasn't all that jazzy. Speaking of Gurdjieff, Eric (I forget his last name) was reading Gurdjieff's "Beelzebub" at my prodding, and even read it the requisite 3 times. We were all probably a little to young and inexperienced to get much out of it, but it was a moment. What can I say?

I sat in on Paul Courtwright's Buddhism class, who, one day, packed into cars and drove to Duke University where Edward Said was speaking on Orientalism, after which Paul treated us to dinner at an Indian restaurant, where he taught us the proper form. It was my chance to see the beautiful Duke University, or Mister Said, who sadly died last year. And sadly, some in our circle have since died, namely John Pope and Fred. May their memories live on...

At night, we could often be found on Tate Street, at Rosewaters, New York Pizza, or Aycock...where such great performances as the Beijing Opera would play. Tashi, a wondrous ensemble with Ida Kafavian, Peter Serkin, Fred Sherry and Richard Stoltzman, came that year, and I can still hear the final strains of Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time" playing in my head. Local favorites were F-Art Ensemble and Glenn Phillips.

One of the fellers, and Lord help me with his name, started up a film class, which showed, among other things Bergman's "Persona", Renoir's "The Grand Illusion" and the avant-garde works of Stan VanDerBeek...who came and gave a talk.

While all this creative activity was going on, there were also seminars and discussions on the KKK-Communist "Greensboro Massacre", which has happened in Greensboro the previous year...strangely. Around the University one could hadly image even a fistfight. Rocky Horror, RocknRoll High School and the Life of Brian were more on the minds than violence.

It was a heady time. It was also the year that I found a big colorful oak tree on the campus, plopped down one fall day and read the whole of the Bhagavad-Gita. A day my life changed. Just like when Lennon died.

The morning John Lennon died, I was awakened to a decidedly 9/8 rhythm pattern, with which I immediately fell in love. Chuck was playing Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo a la Turk", and it was my first taste of 9/8. So my day started off with a musical theme. By nightfall music would have a very different role. It will die.

And so, as I painted the bare walls of my little room on Friendly Avenue, lost in reverie, smelling the curry onion eggs Grogan was cooking up, I heard the words come out over the radio..."John Lennon has been shot". And with news of his death, spontaneously, people gathered for a candlelight vigil at the University.

The Reagan era had begun. The Peacenik-in-chief had been silenced. No more giving peace a chance, it was a time for greed and mediocrity and John Wayne.

Within months I would pack my backs and move up to Cambridge, where a lot of other folks also found refuge from the brutal Godzilla.

Greensboro Today

Those days in Greensboro are still among my favorite, and I am so happy to once again connect to the city, through such creative souls as Ed Cone, David ("Get outta here!) Hoggard, Matt Gross and Billy the Blogging Poet, as well as the other great bloggers working there, including Ruby Sinreich, Dan Romuald, Jay Ovittore, Ross Myers, Tara Sue, and many other great folks.

I often wonder if any of the old gang of '80 and the bloggers of '04 know one another, as I know they would find kindred spirits. Or if any of the bloggers remember any of the events I have described. If so...please comment profusely!

Lastly, in today's Charlotte Observer, I wrote a graf on Greensboro and the blogosphere, which went like this:

View from blogosphere: Charlotte behind curve
Blogs are the cutting edge of democracy, giving everyone with access to a computer the ability to publish, free of charge and without space restrictions. "Blog" was also the most popular new word this year and is now to be found in major dictionaries.Greensboro and the Triangle seem to have a better grasp of blogging's importance than we do in Charlotte -- hosting conferences and tying in with newspapers and universities.
The Observer might do well to team up with local bloggers in order to help empower the community with this important new skill. North Carolina has a strong presence in the blogosphere, but it can be made stronger still. The best way to predict the future is to create it.
-Dave Beckwith

Please also feel free to comment to the Observer about your own observations...

"Nightmare 9" from anonyMoses' POWWOWIRAQSI now available for free download

"Nightmare 9" is the soundtrack of a nightmare in Iraq.

I hosted it at a different server, located HERE. The other songs are located here. "Nightmare 9" pays tribute to "Revolution 9" by the Beatles and "Plan 9 from Outer Space". Hope you enjoy it. Great for headphones and freakouts!

Include your blog in the Blogrankings

Blogrankings is a new ranker of blogs. Get in early and rise!
(via Billy the blogging poet)

Thursday, December 09, 2004

In Praise of Bloggers

I love bloggers. Even red-spectrum bloggers are generally decent, reasonable people. And I must say that the blogosphere is a prana-rich and rarified gestalt, amid certain circuits at least, and to imagine being without the richness these blognoscenti provide is a loss too stupefying to witness, without Recalcitanto rearing his ugly head. So I shall thereby render it moot, mute, at least for The Time Bean.

But, as I consider how many bloggers I regard so warmly and highly, so to speak, if may be siebold, piebald, or dare I say it? Skewbald. There, I've said it. Well, these will just have to be taken in like syrup from a spoon, since all I know is shoot! I am with elation. And hope it's not mania. For every man in the land of the space of today knows up one, you up the udder. And bad cream always races to the gulley...which, of course, makes me think of Tristan Tzara and perhaps even Andre (Bucky) Breton. Something about automatic writing. Cloaca of Consciousness. Martha Loofah & the Farty Feces. But that doesn't belie the source.

And as there is nothing more important than ending your paragraphs with meaningless non-sequitors, let it also be said that bloggers, rascals though they be, are, ARE, the steak of the ark. The wind-blown zephyrs of Truth. The eye of the potatoe. I mean "e".

In shorts, I want to hereby launch a new series, entitled "In praise of bloggers", with a special eye out for those bloggers that are destined to become future winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. I will have to drag out my prophet beanie.

Telltale Tail : The Long Tail wags ever harder

Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream.

(Via Ed Cone who says: "In this environment, blogs are the long tail and the N&R may be emerging as one of the players in the fat part of the curve. ")

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Download anonyMoses' new MP3, "Iraqalypse"

Anonymoses Music website

Can You Taste The Tears?

This is not the heartbeat of the Earth.
Can you hear the fear, can you taste the tears?
Can you smell the blood, can you touch the wounds?
This is the adrenalin rush of mankind at war with itself...
The death throws of a failed experiment.
Hope and despair living in the same body at the same time...
an impossible taskthat must be altered.
Otherwise, there will be merciful silence for the Earth in the end more children to build a future for.

~ Patty Ann Smith / Hope4America

Here is a wonderful new song of Patty's called:
"Before he went to War".

(Thanks, Patty! You never cease to amaze...)

The anonyMoses Open Window Dump

This is where anonyMoses, tiring of all the open windows he has accumulated which he wants to get back to but fears he hasn't the time or energy, transmogrifies the open windows (which are really closed) into links which he then transports onto the space below...

WHISTLEBLOWER AFFIDAVIT: Programmer Built Vote Rigging Prototype at Republican Congressman's Request!
CLAIM: Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) Asked Company to Create E-Vote Fraud Software!

More on the same subject from Blue Lemur

The 'blog' revolution sweeps across China

Progressive Society Blog archives

Support System of Blogpolitics: The Evolution of Cooperation

Read about the "Support System of Blogpolitics: The Evolution of Cooperation" as well as my column on "Pearl Harbor, 911: They were expendable" at The American Street.


David Beckham fathers Jesus, hosts wise guys

David, Victoria and Jesus Beckham with friends and hangers on.

Melchior, Balthazar and Gaspar they are not, but that didn't stop Bush, Blair and the Duke of Edinburgh from crashing the Beckhams' "Shiny Happy People Party" -- which itself is catching on may soon be a major political force in the Theopolitical yuga to which we seem forever roodly hung upon.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Joyce's use of the word, "blog" in Finnegans Wake

James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake" has been credited for being a seedbase for the concept of hyperlinking, and thus the World Wide Web, but now we see that Joyce also talked of the blog. Well, sort of. This is a passage:

Finnegans Wake: Page 504
Part:3 Episode:14 Page:504

-- Booms of bombs and heavy rethudders?
-- This aim to you!
-- The tail, so mastrodantic, as you tell it nearly takes your
own mummouth's breath away. Your troppers are so unrelieved
because his troopers were in difficulties. Still let stultitiam done
in veino condone ineptias made of veritues. How many were
married on that top of all strapping mornings, after the midnight
turkay drive, my good watcher?
-- Puppaps. That'd be telling. With a hoh frohim and heh
fraher. But, as regards to Tammy Thornycraft, Idefyne the lawn
mare and the laney moweress and all the prentisses of wildes to
massage him.
-- Now from Gunner Shotland to Guinness Scenography.
Come to the ballay at the Tailors' Hall. We mean to be mellay on
the Mailers' Mall. And leap, rink and make follay till the Gaelers'
Gall. Awake ! Come, a wake ! Every old skin in the leather world,
infect the whole stock company of the old house of the Leaking
Barrel, was thomistically drunk, two by two, lairking o' tootlers
with tombours a'beggars, the blog and turfs and the brandywine
bankrompers, trou Normend fashion, I have been told down to
the bank lean clorks? Some nasty blunt clubs were being operated
after the tradition of a wellesleyan bottle riot act and a few plates
were being shied about and tumblers bearing traces of fresh
porter rolling around, independent of that, for the ehren of Fyn's
Insul, and then followed that wapping breakfast at the Heaven
and Covenant, with Rodey O'echolowing how his breadcost on
the voters would be a comeback for e'er a one, like the
depredations of Scandalknivery, in and on usedtowobble sloops off
cloasts, eh? Would that be a talltale too? This was the grandsire
Orther. This was his innwhite horse. Sip?

And at the beginning of one of the most famous passages of the book, we see:

Part:1 Episode:6 Page:168
Shem is as short for Shemus as Jem is joky for Jacob. A fewtoughnecks are still getatable who pretend that aboriginally hewas of respectable stemming (he was an outlex between the linesof Ragonar Blaubarb ant Horrild Hairwire and an inlaw to Capt.the Hon. and Rev. Mr Bbyrdwood de Trop Blogg was amonghis most distant connections) but every honest to goodness manin the land of the space of today knows that his back life willnot stand being written about in black and white. Putting truthand untruth together a shot may be made at what this hybridactually was like to look at.

More like blogger with the "-er" missing, but there nonetheless.

In his book, "The Media Trade"...

Tofts manages to set out in twenty pages why Finnegans Wake - the first literary text in which tv plays an important role - is the central text for the digital age. He shapes this conclusion, which is shared by Donald Theall and Marshall McLuhan, with the help of the usual suspects, like Deleuze and Derrida.
Finnegans Wake: the original media theory book, the moment at which print literacy converges with electronic digitization. The method of Finnegans Wake offers a hint of the ecology of meaning which will characterise the digital age, a glimpse ahead. It embodies the new ecology of sense implicit in the electronic, immersive experience of telematic cspace (Tofts’ 'metasignifier', in my opinion superfluous, which stands for 'cyberspace' as well as for 'space'), it is central to the aesthetics of the computer age.

His use of the word, "Anonymoses" is noted:

Part:1 Episode:2 Page:47
He ought to blush for himself, the old hayheaded philosopher,
For to go and shove himself that way on top of her.
Begob, he's the crux of the catalogue
Of our antediluvial zoo,
(Chorus) Messrs. Billing and Coo.
Noah's larks, good as noo.

He was joulting by Wellinton's monument
Our rotorious hippopopotamuns
When some bugger let down the backtrap of the omnibus
And he caught his death of fusiliers,
(Chorus) With his rent in his rears.
Give him six years.

'Tis sore pity for his innocent poor children
But look out for his missus legitimate!
When that frew gets a grip of old Earwicker
Won't there be earwigs on the green?
(Chorus) Big earwigs on the green,
The largest ever you seen.

Suffoclose! Shikespower! Seudodanto! Anonymoses!

Then we'll have a free trade Gaels' band and mass meeting
For to sod the brave son of Scandiknavery.
And we'll bury him down in Oxmanstown
Along with the devil and Danes,
(Chorus) With the deaf and dumb Danes,
And all their remains.

And not all the king's men nor his horses
Will resurrect his corpus
For there's no true spell in Connacht or hell
(bis) That's able to raise a Cain.