He gave us so much to think about while being one of the best tellers of stories ever. So adieu to Ray Bradbury. Well done.
Thanks for Fahrenheit 451. Thanks for The Martian Chronicles. Thanks for The Illustrated Man. Thanks for all of it.
Memory at my age is imperfect, but I think I met the man about 40 years ago when I accompanied my boyfriend of the day to Bradbury’s home in Woodstock NY where he was to interview him. But like I said, memory is imperfect. (Stay tuned. I may get confirmation either way by email.)
The late Octavia Butler was an important sci-fi author and a favorite of mine. In re-reading her Parable of the Talents 15 years later, I came across this verse. It feels frighteningly relevant to the world we inhabit today. But she did leave out something I think is an essential part of today’s regressive right-wing narrative: Find someone to blame.
Ignorance protects itself. Promotes suspicion.
Suspicion engenders fear.
Fear quails, irrational and blind.
Or fear looms, defiant and closed.
Blind, closed, suspicious, afraid.
Ignorance Protects itself. And protected, ignorance grows.
Posted in books, Civics, History, Plutocrats, Politics, Right wing talk machine
Tagged fear, ignorance, literature, Octavia Butler, Politics, Sci Fi, The Parable of the Talets
My generation mostly doesn’t enjoy Rap or hip-hop and I understand that entirely. Each generation clings to the familiar; each generation finds the following ones lacking; each generation declares the end of history with their own passing.
And so, Rap music and hip-hop have been invisible to those of us who grew up on a different sort of music. Which is too bad, because there’s value there.
The impact has been that the lyrics brought poetry back from obscurity, back into the mainstream, and introduced it to those who might have lived a life without ever reading a line of verse. So much of this is poetry, a vigorous and relevant poetry. Some of it is vulgar or obscene (James Joyce anyone? Henry Miller?), some is vapid (How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?) and will soon be forgotten, but much of it touched on the human condition in a way that resonates with new generations.
One of the biggest of the hip-hop cross-over acts in the 80’s and beyond was certainly The Beastie Boys, who gained respect even amongst black fans. They did plenty of silly party stuff and were never high art. But they expanded a genre, a genre that I think was important. So RIP and fare thee well to founder Adam Yauch. This old lady thinks you done good.
Here’s a video by a rapper Mr. Lif (new to me, but I’ve been cruisin’ around here and found this. I like it, especially the lyrics).
Posted in Arts and Entertainment, music
Tagged Adam Yauch, Henry Miller, Hip hop, James Joyce, literature, Mr. Lif, poetry, rap, rap lyrics, The Beastie Boys, They Made It That Way