The Revolution Will not be Televised (what I heard)

Gil Scott Heron passed, and this is his classic. I used it to score one of the first Adobe Premiere movies made.

The Revolution Will not be Televised
You will not be able to stay home brother.
you will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
you will not be able to lose yourself in a stare in hip hop and skip out for beer during commercials
Because the revolution will be televised

The revolution will not be televised
The revolution will not be brought to you
by Xerox in four parts without commercial interruptions
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John Mitchell, General Abrams or Spiro Agnew to eat hog balls confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary
The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be brought to you by the shape of the war theatre and will not star Natilie Woods or Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs
The revolution will not make you look five pounds thinner

There will be no pictures of you and Willie Mays pushing that shopping cart down the block on a dead run
or trying to slide that color tv into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not be able to predict the winner at 8:32
or report from 29 districts
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down brothers on the instant replay
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down brothers on the instant replay

There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still lifes.
or Roy Wilkes strolling through Watts with a bright red and green revolutionary jump suit that he has been saving for just the proper occasion.

Green acres, Beverly Hillbillies, Hooterville Junction will longer be so damn relevant
and women will no longer care if Jack gets down with Jane
because black people will be on a the streets looking for a brighter day
The revolution will not be televised

There will be no hilights on the eleven o’clock news
and no pictures of hairy-armed liberationists
and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose
The theme song will not be written by Jack Webb or Francis Scott Keyes nor sung by Glenn Cambell, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, Engelbert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.
The revolution will be back right after a message about a white tornado, white lightning or white people.
You will not have to worry about a germ in your bedroom or a tiger in your tank a giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with coke

The revolution will put you in the driver seat
The revolution will not be televised
The revolution will not be televised
The revolution will not be televised
The revolution will be no rerun brother,
The revolution will be live

The Decline and Fall TV Show

Enough writers I respect mention it, so I started reading “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”, by Edward Gibbon. The title is not the Rise and Fall, it is the Decline and Fall, down hill all the way. And it is not a book. The original printing is a volume of books a yard long.  Interestingly, the Google, Gutenberg and  other electronic editions are poorly prepared. While in Ann Arbor, I could not afford an original printing, but I happened on the Great Books double volume. It appears to be the original text, but has very helpful maps and a great timeline in the index.

You hear a grand eloquent tone, re-meaning of words, and the sentencing. It is such a pleasure, I often read sentences out loud. I imagine James Mason intonating  in his airy reserved voice:

In the second century of the Christian Aera, the empire of Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilized portion of mankind.

In writing about the principled four hundred year decline, Gibbon chronicles the rule of the occasionally good, but mostly snowballing horror of corruption in rulers, tyrannical emperors and their hideous children. The variations of decline include powerfully flawed characters, a maniacal laboratory of runs at governance, jealous rivalries that divide the land, murder as a way to power, locust-like riots that leave empty thrones.  The continued root cause is the failure to establish rule of law in the face of the unmanageable and immoral military rule by terror. A repeated pattern is of the gifted ambitious honorable soldier who learns the way to become a corrupt powerful Praetorian. Through military attacks on his capital he destroys any possible hope of a sustaining a Roman civilization. Occupation after the victory results in surrounding  throngs of the suspicious and the envious defeated. Everyone gets their revenge in the end. Rome’s own military divides the nation, generation after generation.  You watch generations of original vigorous productive people succumb to the heavy corrupt rulings that sap output through a national method of ownership. This comes through forcible theft or official demands for tribute and taxation.

Gibbon produced the Decline in 1776. He sat in the English Parliament neutral on the American Revolution. You cannot help but wonder that he wrote about the character failures of men and women, government, economy, and military as suggestions to the King. THOFTDAFOTRE seems parenthetical to the unwinding British Empire. Consider the broad histories of civilization. Military vs State (Rome); Church vs State (W. Europe); Business vs State (United States). When one complex dictates governance a people become stunted and may not long endure.

The Decline and Fall. What a TV Show.  If ever there were a premise for a Sitcom, the plots and cast have that winning quality of bizarreness and inconceivability. Does anyone sit and snack on generations of ambition and pitiful failure? A morality play per emperor. Fun for the family. Romans rule. If you ever thought Homer Simpson’s family was dysfunctional come take the transcendental bus to Roma.  Dysfunctionality, idiocy and ruin, the best show in the Television kingdom.  With such an onslaught of devastation it is hard to rise above it all to know where mankind must recede next.

Gibbon often has this Highlights for Children, Goofus and Gallant, bad boy and good boy, way of characterizing the stories of obscure emperors. The personalities are richly defined and  he writes in a voice that let’s you distance yourself from the action and make human conclusions. It is inspirational, in an academic way. Just needs a hack or two for a har har.

PS – Best ecopy so far is free for your IPAD in EPUB form at http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/25717

Reading the Messages – A FOX doubletake

Remember in the 2008 election how so many American popular artists denied Republican candidates from using their material? Few artists are willing to mix with the ever-growing meaner Republican messaging. Where are the Republican artists ? On Fox Entertainment. It appears that FOX is coordinating the delegitimizing of Obama through a clever messaging campaign. It is almost a conspiracy. Even actor Tim Roth is totting Republican story lines. Perhaps his agent is not reading the script as FOX conjures forth a singular message of white males to “take individual action” against the system.
Clearly Fox News fans the Limbaugh hate message with O’Reilley, Beck, and the milder Hannity.  Then I read British Market chain Waitrose is pulling programming not only from Fox News, but from the entire Fox Network. Less income for shows like “24”, “House”, and “Lie to Me”.  Advertisers do not want buyers of their products to see corporate association with the unchecked “art messaging” of the entertainment network. The writers for FOX are now writing stories and constructing dialog, coded at having the individual white male kill individuals of black authority.
To Wit : This week (Oct 5-9 2009) on television.
Article 1: On “House”, a white staff doctor successfully infects and kills a powerful black dictator (masterfully played by James Earl Jones). The doctor has little information to go on yet judges this man’s life and future with handwringing certainty. On ER I don’t know how many times an obvious criminal was saved on the operating table by conflicted doctors who would commiserate with their staff. The Fox style is – no need to consult – just do what you think is right in your prejudiced mind – even if it murder. Kill that great political black leader.  You can do it, and your supervisors will look the other way because “you believe it is right” making irrelevant the Hippocratic oath.
Article 2: In the FOX program “Lie To Me” the climax is a large white male (the size an demeanor of Rush Limbaugh) taking the law into his own hands by murdering an attorney who represents the truthful views of his daughter about his love-making with a Black athlete. Usually the script writers show how their miracle Truth squad is able to head this off (they and the audience have all the evidence this will happen), but no – they want the FOX TV viewing audience to be satisfied with a single white man’s justice. The writers’ go on to give the line to the (ignorant?) Tim Roth watching the apprehended murderer of this great attorney loved by Tim’s wife,  “He looks at peace”. Rather than the more truthful observation, “How a father’s murder is not of his victim, but of his daughter’s relationship.”
FOX is in the programming business, the airtime and the audience. The artists of Fox are now but an artful distance from their uncivil news agency. Fortunately, the smart advertisers are not willing to subsidize the reach of this messaging.

Remember in the 2008 election how so many American popular artists denied Republican candidates from using their material? Few artists are willing to mix with the ever-growing meaner Republican messaging. Where are the Republican artists ? On Fox Entertainment. It appears that FOX is coordinating the delegitimizing of Obama through a clever messaging campaign. It is almost a conspiracy. Even actor Tim Roth is totting Republican story lines. Perhaps his agent is not reading the script as FOX conjures forth a singular message of white males to “take individual action” against the system.

Clearly FOX News fans the Limbaugh hate flame with O’Reilley, Beck, and the milder Hannity.  Then I read British Market chain Waitrose is pulling programming not only from Fox News, but from the entire Fox Network. Less income for shows like “24”, “House”, and “Lie to Me”.  I can see why an unchecked Glen Beck is awful, but the shows too? Then I thought about why advertisers do not want buyers of their products to see corporate association with the deep “art messaging” of the network. The writers for FOX are now writing stories and constructing dialog, coded at having the individual white male kill individuals of black authority.

To Wit : This week (Oct 5-9 2009) on television.

Article 1: On “House”, after much ado, a white staff doctor successfully infects and kills a powerful black dictator (masterfully played by James Earl Jones). The doctor, with little information to go on,  judges this man’s life and future with handwringing certainty. But most artists don’t lead the audience this way. On ER I don’t know how many times an obvious criminal was saved on the operating table by conflicted doctors who would commiserate with their staff. The Fox style is – no need to consult – just do what you think is right in your prejudiced mind – even a doctor can murder. (but no abortions please).  Kill that great political black leader.  You can do it, and your supervisors will look the other way because “you believe it is right”.  An doctor’s will to power is greater than even the Hippocratic oath.

Article 2: The climax of the  FOX program “Lie To Me” is when a barrel-chested white man – the diameter of Rush Limbaugh – shoots dead an attorney who represents the truthful views of the murderer’s daughter about love-making with a Black athlete.  Usually a writing staff shows their miracle actors have decoded evil intent and head it off – in the nick of time. Instead they story “satisfies” the FOX TV viewing audience who get to see the white man get even with a system by killing a person who with an internal turmoil rightly defends a black man. The writers can’t stop here, they give a line to the (ignorant?) Tim Roth who watches the apprehended murderer of a great attorney loved by Tim’s wife say only. “He looks at peace” as the police presses the criminal head down into the squad car. The more truthful observation, “He has murdered not only a great law keeper, but his daughter’s relationship. What a monstrous race we have become.”

FOX is certainly in the programming business, of both news and entertainment. Programming used to refer to the blocking of time, but clearly it is about programming the shape of people’s opinions. The artists of Fox should strike to keep their art and dignity like those artists in 2008. Fortunately, the smart advertisers are not willing to subsidize the reach of this kind of messaging. It doesn’t make cents.

Matt Taibbi Gathers No Moss

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/29988909/sick_and_wrong/print

When will 60 Minutes pick up this line of argumentation about the state of our political willpower in democracy. Or even better Mr. Taibbi’s analysis of the financial crisis. The CBS Show has gone soft. The used to be able to do what Bill Mahar does as in the segment looking at outrageously angry teabagger imagining Hitlarian Socialism compared to desperate people in line in the dark of night at LA Stadium to get basic medical help.

Landslide Predictions

Here is the predicted McCain Landslide. My guess 18 hours out? The election will end decisively by 11pm PST.  360 – 178. Obama clearly victorious taking out most Republican Congressional seats. Why? The party never atoned for Bush. Instead the Winking Wonderwoman from Wasilla grandstanded Bush values without apology.

Obama wins through superior organization, sensationally effective use of the Internet, the lack of Presidential support for McCain, a decisive end to the war in Iraq, and standing hard on Barack issues.  His superior finance was drawn from the electorate with a risk, but loud message – no lobbyist influence. Barack earned his war chest. McCain drained his from petro-donors and pharma-dollars. Barack thinks as we – enough is Enough!

Two good voting tools. The statistically correct 538 with background here. The interactive LATimes. Mine is 360 – 178. What’s yours?

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