Johnny Cash: A Guide to the Music of The Man in Black

A list by Syd Fablo and Bruno Bickleby

Introduction

Born: February 26, 1932, Kingsland, AR, United States
Died: September 12, 2003, Nashville, TN, United States

Continue reading Johnny Cash: A Guide to the Music of The Man in Black

Ornette Coleman Quartet – Reunion 1990

Reunion 1990

Ornette Coleman QuartetReunion 1990 Domino
891203 (2010)


Recorded at an appearance in Italy in 1990 of the “reunited” Ornette Coleman Quartet, this bootleg has a number of things going for it in spite of the expected lo-fidelity sound.  For one, there are some original songs present that do not appear on any official albums, and this bootleg comes from period of years without any official recordings.  Second, some of the performances are quite good.  The first disc is relatively strong, though the second disc doesn’t really maintain the same level of performance.

Charlie Haden plays like a motherfucker here — this is one of his strongest recordings of the era.  Billy Higgins also turns in an above-average performance that surpasses any of his studio turns in Ornette’s band.  Ornette plays well as usual, though there is nothing particularly remarkable about his performance here.  On the other hand, Don Cherry turns in a substandard effort, and he more often detracts from the songs than contributes to them.

This bootleg is naturally only for Ornette fanatics.  But there are a enough highlights to recommend this to those fanatics.

Ilan Kapoor – Žižek, Antagonism and Politics Now

Link to an article by Ilan Kapoor:

“Žižek, Antagonism and Politics Now: Three Recent Controversies”

 

I’m not sure I agree with the criticisms of Žižek this offers, partly because they seem conclusory and underdeveloped, even if intriguing.  For instance, the notion that Žižek is overexposed seems to call for an explanation of what “overexposed” means, and why it applies.  For example, a discussion of that concept in view of Žižek’s well-known critique of liberalism’s inability to cope with the destructive power of envy seems apropos.  Or perhaps something out of Bourdieu or another branch of sociology?

Nancy MacLean – The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America

Link to an interview of Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains (2017), conducted by Nick Licata:

“The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America”

 

MacLean’s position should be problematized (i.e., critiqued from the left), which leads to criticisms of some specific things she says in the interview.  Domenico Losurdo‘s War and Revolution: Rethinking the Twentieth Century (as well as his Liberalism: A Counter-History) are the touchstones for this criticism.  Most of MacLean’s position is about defending the New Deal.   But she defends the New Deal from a position “within” it, which is to say she appears to agree with the “radical reactionary” libertarians in assuming an anti-communist position.  Isn’t it obvious that the way to oppose, in her words, the agenda of the Buchanan/Koch agenda of the supremacy of private property rights is to eliminate private property altogether?  It is fairly well-established now that the New Deal was only possible as part of an anti-communist agenda, as a conservative compromise to avoid communist government rule.  MacLean at one point jokes that she is not really a conservative, but Losurdo’s books suggest that perhaps she really is conservative, because political liberalism has more in common with the political right than the political left.  She seems to assume that the New Deal was a self-sustaining coalition, which, historically, it was manifestly not — the New Deal was sustained only as a largely unprincipled anti-communist compromise that required at least the threat of communism to sustain itself.  So when she praises, for instance, the recent student anti-gun march, she rejects the pro-gun position universally adopted by the leading figures of the political left (something explained principally by her anti-communist stance).  Also, she bemoans the “identity politics” vs “class” debate, though it is actually an important one because no legitimate politics can overcome class divisions by maintaining an “identity politics” framework, which is necessarily dependent upon maintaining class or class-like divisions of some sort as part of a liberal politics of exclusion.  MacLean’s history of the political right’s own tactics in the the United States in the second half of the 20th Century is nonetheless useful in many ways, and should be read alongside Isaac William Martin‘s Rich People’s Movements, Losurdo’s books, Fredric Jameson‘s An American Utopia: Dual Power and the Universal Army (which advocates precisely the opposite of the Koch plan to privatize the Veteran’s Administration), and the work of Slavoj Žižek (perhaps starting with Trouble in Paradise: From the End of History to the End of Captialism).