Activism Discussion: PBS Tackles Roots Of American Protest Music

PBS Tackles Roots Of American Protest Music
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Dan Clore
2005-09-27 22:35:38 EST
News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
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PBS tackles roots of American protest music
by Joanna Weiss
The Boston Globe
Sept. 28, 2005 12:00 AM

The times, they do change. Hard as it is to imagine a day
when Pete Seeger was deeply subversive, it's just as hard,
for those who remember rap at a certain moment, to swallow
the idea of Chuck D hosting a straightforward PBS special.

But here he is, looking almost cuddly in his Phat Farm
sweatshirt, narrating "Get Up, Stand Up: The Story of Pop
and Protest," a documentary that airs Tuesday night at 9 on
Channel 2. And good for him -- he's earned his role as
spokesman for rap as social conscience, and he's still an
edgier option than, say, Flavor Flav.

With his rich voice and personal stake in the subject, the
Public Enemy cofounder gives some energy to what could be a
stolid history lesson, crammed into two hours of archival
footage and artist recollections.

American protest music is an almost absurdly broad topic;
the filmmakers start with Joe Hill, who penned unionizing
anthems at the turn of the 20th century, but they could've
begun far earlier. So there are times when "Get Up, Stand
Up" has the pacing of a VH1 countdown show: America's Top
100 Protest Singers. Motown, revolutionary for popularizing
black artists, gets about a minute of air time. Woodstock
flashes by in a snippet of Jimi Hendrix.

Still, the film clips are strong, particularly the old
interviews that show artists as people, working on ways to
parlay their fame into action. We see, for example, how
media-savvy John Lennon was, in regard to his ballyhooed
wedding. The assortment of talking heads is impressive, too:
Billy Bragg on Woody Guthrie, Harry Belafonte on Paul
Robeson, Bono on Bob Geldof. Seeger himself pops in and out,
the elder statesman of the form.

But the overview approach doesn't leave time for enough of
the tough, intriguing questions that swirl around today's
highly organized brand of music-for-cause. The second half
of the film is largely a celebration of the giant benefit
concerts and celebrity-packed endeavors that take up so much
musical and critical space, starting with George Harrison's
"Concert for Bangladesh" in 1971, launching into a tribute
to Live Aid, Farm Aid, and "We Are The World."

Some criticism does slip in, voiced largely by members of
Chumbawamba, the British band best known for its 1997 party
hit "Tubthumping." (The documentary doesn't elaborate on the
band's long history of anarchism, or its biting criticism of
Geldof -- whom they accused of diverting attention from the
real source of the problems -- when Live Aid launched in
1985.) There are also some arch questions about Bono, who
has largely given up the art of throwing musical bombs from
the sidelines, in order to sit at the table with
politicians. "Bono, as we know, is in love with the world.
I'm enraged at the world," Geldof says, in an interesting
piece of meta-critique.

That's a subject big enough for a whole documentary -- as is
the too-scant discussion of why Madonna pulled her "American
Life" video after the war in Iraq began, or of the awkward
reaction to Steve Earle's "John Walker's Blues." It seems
harder than ever for musicians to be both beloved and
subversive -- or to decide which of the two to choose. Chuck
D, as well as anyone, ought to know.

--
Dan Clore

Now available: _The Unspeakable and Others_
http://www.wildsidepress.com/index2.htm
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1587154838/thedanclorenecro
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As the Government of the United States of America is not, in
any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in
itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or
tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never
entered into any war, or act of hostility against any
Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no
pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce
an interruption of the harmony existing between the two
countries.
-- The Treaty of Tripoli, entered into by the USA under
George Washington














Ha-Emet
2005-09-27 22:45:07 EST

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Progressive News & Views (since 1982)
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Demos

George W. Bush became the president in 2000, selected by the court with
its own vested interest in keeping power in the hands of the ruling elite
and taking the choice away from the people. That decision was essentially
a bloodless coup which was destined to change America forever, and so it
has. And not only 2000, but again in 2004 it is a pretty good bet that the
elections were manipulated by Republican operatives and the election
stolen and even if it was not stolen (because we lack a paper trail which
would be our proof) the appearance of the improprieties are so great as to
leave a shadow of doubt that will forever stain democracy with an
electoral system flawed and tainted by what was undeniably massive vote
fraud and corruption and who can deny that, with our without a paper
trail? What happened to "Demcracy of, by and for the people?

Article located at: http://pnews.org/ArT/FaC/CoN.shtml

World Rage

The Palestinian insurgency cannot be defeated. It won't be won by force,
by applying a "heavy hand" as Harris suggested. but the Israelis can
minimize the violence with a disengagement, by sealing themselves off from
the insurgents. There is another option. It has worked before in history.
For those who are hostile and threaten Israel's existence the solution is
expulsion.

Because there were betrayals by the French and British colonialists and
agreements were discarded and changed to suit the colonial powers, there
were mass revolts all over the Middle East at the hands of colonial
"democracies". British and French repression of Muslims was also in the
extreme and they were brutal. The history of the region has led to an
increased radicalization and the roots of today's terrorism is an
opposition to Western influence and the forced imposition of alien Western
values. Arabs see Israel as the last vestage of that colonialialism even
though they were also carved out of the same pie by the same colonialists.
And Israel is no more a representative of the British or French
colonialists than they are.


Continued at ::
http://pnews.org/ArT/FaC/WrD.shtml


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Stan De SD
2005-09-27 23:38:26 EST

"Ha-Emet" <emet@sdf.lonestar.org> wrote in message
news:Pine.NEB.4.62.0509280243560.17916@sdf.lonestar.org...
>
> |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
> Progressive News & Views (since 1982)
> |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
>
> Demos
>
> George W. Bush became the president in 2000, selected by the court with
> its own vested interest in keeping power in the hands of the ruling elite
> and taking the choice away from the people.

Your ignorance and paranioa shows...



Lander
2005-09-28 17:25:56 EST
On Wed, 28 Sep 2005 03:38:26 +0000, Stan de SD wrote:

>
> "Ha-Emet" <emet@sdf.lonestar.org> wrote in message
> news:Pine.NEB.4.62.0509280243560.17916@sdf.lonestar.org...
>>
>> |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
>> Progressive News & Views (since 1982)
>> |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
>>
>> Demos
>>
>> George W. Bush became the president in 2000, selected by the court with
>> its own vested interest in keeping power in the hands of the ruling elite
>> and taking the choice away from the people.
>
> Your ignorance and paranioa shows...

oink!


Stan De SD
2005-09-29 15:42:53 EST

"Lander" <None@exist.here> wrote in message
news:pan.2005.09.28.21.35.18.307322@exist.here...
> On Wed, 28 Sep 2005 03:38:26 +0000, Stan de SD wrote:
>
> >
> > "Ha-Emet" <emet@sdf.lonestar.org> wrote in message
> > news:Pine.NEB.4.62.0509280243560.17916@sdf.lonestar.org...
> >>
> >> |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
> >> Progressive News & Views (since 1982)
> >> |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
> >>
> >> Demos
> >>
> >> George W. Bush became the president in 2000, selected by the court with
> >> its own vested interest in keeping power in the hands of the ruling
elite
> >> and taking the choice away from the people.
> >
> > Your ignorance and paranioa shows...
>
> oink!

You feeling left out or what?



Wm James
2005-10-11 22:00:02 EST
On Wed, 28 Sep 2005 21:25:56 GMT, Lander <None@exist.here> wrote:

>On Wed, 28 Sep 2005 03:38:26 +0000, Stan de SD wrote:
>
>>
>> "Ha-Emet" <emet@sdf.lonestar.org> wrote in message
>> news:Pine.NEB.4.62.0509280243560.17916@sdf.lonestar.org...
>>>
>>> |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
>>> Progressive News & Views (since 1982)
>>> |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
>>>
>>> Demos
>>>
>>> George W. Bush became the president in 2000, selected by the court with
>>> its own vested interest in keeping power in the hands of the ruling elite
>>> and taking the choice away from the people.
>>
>> Your ignorance and paranioa shows...
>
>oink!

Piggy want a cracker? :)

William R. James

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