Chuck talks to historian Kidada Williams about her book "I Saw Death Coming - A History of Terror and Survival in the War Against Reconstruction." www.harvard.com/book/i_saw_death_coming/
Last Friday, December 9, 2022, in Detroit, in the midst of a performance by Cyrus Chestnut and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra of selections from the Vince Guaraldi score of the cartoon Christmas special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” someone shouted a slur that either was the N-word or included the N-word. None of the news outlets are saying. The orchestra maintained their focus. Audience members interviewed afterwards expressed disgust with whoever shouted the slur. WXYZ, Channel 7 news in Detroit, reported the story, as did the newspaper—whatever newspaper means these days—The Detroit News.
Cyrus Chestnut is black, as are some members of the DSO, as are people who were in the audience that night. Charlie Brown, a fictional figure, is, despite his surname, white. In the Lieber and Stoller song, “Charlie Brown,” written for and recorded by The Coasters, all members of which were black, Charlie Brown was probably black. But the N-word slur-slinger most likely targeted the players rather than the subject of the music.
Vince Guaraldi, the composer, was white, although his mustache was black. Nevertheless, it seems clear that the slur was aimed at the black instrumentalists on Friday.
I should add that I’m only assuming it was the N-word based on the way all the news outlets have skirted around what exactly was shouted. It was definitely an anti-black term of derogation, but it could have been the Coo-word or the Sp-word. Those possibilities seem doubtful, especially the latter, given the reported reaction of the audience.
But it’s odd no one’s reporting that it was the N-word. As a euphemism, it’s the most easily communicated via the press. Maybe there’s an unwritten AP-style rule whereby an outlet is supposed to give the N-word the least amount of publicity possible, even in its euphemistic form.
The article in The Detroit News has a comment section. If you can imagine, the comments section is inhabited by a grotesque menagerie of primates throwing feces. There are comments denying that the occurrence ever took place, despite the vast number of witnesses and the fact that the Orchestra announced on its Facebook page its sadness in regards to the incident.
“The DSO is deeply disappointed by an incident that took place towards the end of Friday night’s concert when an audience member shouted a... read more
This is the time of year when my thoughts turn to the dark cave of ancient European winter solstice traditions. I don’t know what all the specifics are, but I know that Yule was a macabre time when the countryside was skulked by goat-headed demons, wooly wildmen brandishing knobby clubs, vengeful ghosts, hammer-wielding butchers, and other pagan shades visiting comeuppance, disproportionate or otherwise, upon the gullible, myth-hectored children of Europe. And from this I derive comfort. I crawl into that dim thought-cave and hibernate till early January.
As I drift off, I ponder. I ponder, ruminate, daydream, and consider. What is the nature of this historical period we’re living in? Is this really the rightwing version of the Age of Aquarius as it’s advertised to be? If so, what shall we call it? The Age of Acquisitus? The Age of Cupiditus? The Age of Non compos mentis? The Age of Nefarious, Precarious, Usurious, You Serious?
It’s clear that the fascist chaos-mongers of today feel themselves to be simultaneously the functional equivalent of, the revenge upon, and the antidote to the radicals of five and six decades ago. Milo Yiannopoulos, James O’Keefe, and Dinesh D’Souza think they’re the Yippies of the new millennium. The nationalist, nativist, and white supremacist militias consider themselves justified by, as they justifiably retaliate against, not just BLM or the Presidency of Obama, but also the Weather Underground, the Black Panthers, and the American Indian Movement from “back in the day.”
And their rank-and-file Paleoconservative fellow travelers in the voting and non-voting-on-principle mass of Americans consider themselves “hip” to the “anti-establishment” message today’s groovy thought-masters are laying down. The execrable Jordan B Peterson has no better analogue in the past zeitgeist than Alan Watts of yore.
Of course, these analogues are not one-to-one. Alan Watts championed the probably mythical founder of Taoism, Laozi, whose work he had some grasp on and whose message he attempted to pass along in relatively good faith, while the bullying Peterson champions a Nietzsche distorted through his own pet peeves and crotchets with, more than likely, an eye to one day setting up a franchise of motivational churches.
The ambition of the Abby Hoffman-wannabes is protracted fame as... read more
When the Titanic sank, it would have been a blot on the record of the ocean voyage industry, except for one thing: the incident never occurred.
There never was one of three Olympic class ocean-going vessels operated by White Star Lines called the Titanic. It was never designed by Thomas Andrews, who was not the chief naval architect of the non-existent Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast where it was not built, and who didn’t himself die in the disaster that didn’t befall the ship. It was not 882 feet 9 inches long, 92-and-a-half feet wide at its widest point. It was never under the command of Captain Edward Smith, who never went down with the ship, which didn’t sink after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic and in any case never manifested in this material realm.
The unsinkable Titanic and its ironic fate of sinking was entirely the invention of filmmaker and noted hoaxster, James Cameron. Cameron himself never existed. He was a hoax perpetrated by Hollywood Jews like me. We can’t believe you all fell for that crap. Cameron did not begin his career running a three-card Monte scam on Astor Place in New York City, which was not named after American millionaire John Jacob Astor IV, who also did not die in the mythical sinking of the ironically unsinkable non-existent Titanic.
None of the movies Cameron is supposed to have made have ever existed, not even the abysmally non-existent The Abyss, nor True Lies, evidence of which has been grossly exaggerated.
But the biggest and least believable hoax to crawl from this tangled nexus of falsehoods was the crisis actor known as The Unsinkable Molly Brown. The idea that the bones of her skeleton were made from French-milled soap has never been disproven, because such a claim has never been made. Margaret “Molly” Brown, of course, never didn’t go down with the Titanic because the Titanic was never a real thing. After her murder by the mythical murderer Michael Myers whose impossible crimes were chronicled in the Halloween films, a slasher-movie franchise that itself only barely existed, Molly Brown herself was discovered to have been a portly, dyspeptic crisis actor named Alex Jones.
Under the pseudonym, “Brown,” Jones has portrayed numerous victims of false-flag catastrophes. In one of them, tentatively titled The OJ Simpson Murders, Jones was paid to portray the... read more