May 28, 2011

"'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,' that was about the fact that the first change that takes place is in your mind..."

"... You have to change your mind before you change the way you live and the way you move. So when we said that 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,' we were saying that the thing that’s gonna change people is something that no one will ever be able to capture on film. It will just be something that you see, and all of a sudden you realize I’m on the wrong page, or I’m on the right page but I’m on the wrong note, and I’ve got to get in sync with everyone else to understand what’s happening in this country."

Gil Scott-Heron, RIP.

31 comments:

Fen said...

Sounds more like keeping up with the newest fad. Makes sense, as liberalism today is nothing more than branding. Say the right things to get in with the "cool" kid's lunch table.

Lincolntf said...

The Revolution will be Tweeted.

Shouting Thomas said...

Jesus. Musician revolutionaries. Give me a break. Sorry the guy died.

deborah said...

Wonkette said something to the effect, 'you can't have a revolution sitting in your pajamas.'

virgil xenophon said...

Lincolntf jumps out front in the win-the-thread race..,

Charlie said...

Sorry he's dead but greatly overrated. Oh, and the revolution WILL be televised.

EDH said...

It will just be something that you see, and all of a sudden you realize I’m on the wrong page, or I’m on the right page but I’m on the wrong note, and I’ve got to get in sync with everyone else to understand what’s happening in this country.

Shit, and all this time I thought TRWNBT was about not being "in sync with everyone" else who's on the mass media conveyor belt to conformity.

ironrailsironweights said...

Dead at only 62. That's what a lifetime of drug use will do.

Peter

virgil xenophon said...

debora/

Don't forget John Lennon/Beatles song "Revolution" with "But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow."

Ann Althouse said...

"Dead at only 62. That's what a lifetime of drug use will do."

Am I correct that the video clip with him saying that was made in 1991? When he was 42? He looks really old.

Mark said...

Though technically a boomer myself (1961), I feel of a completely different generation from these smug, self satisfied, self absorbed, selfish, drug abusing people.

So while I feel no particular animus towards this particular boomer, I won't be mourning his loss.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

This makes me wonder if Gil Scott-Heron, in defiance of all probability, ever read Chesterton's "The Wind and the Trees."

http://www.literaturepost.com/chapter/6317.html

An excerpt (but you must really read the whole thing -- very short, but too long for a blog comment):

Just as the ragged outline of a tree grows suddenly more ragged and rises into fantastic crests or tattered tails, so the human city rises under the wind of the spirit into toppling temples or sudden spires. No man has ever seen a revolution. Mobs pouring through the palaces, blood pouring down the gutters, the guillotine lifted higher than the throne, a prison in ruins, a people in arms--these things are not revolution, but the results of revolution.

You cannot see a wind; you can only see that there is a wind. So, also, you cannot see a revolution; you can only see that there is a revolution. And there never has been in the history of the world a real revolution, brutally active and decisive, which was not preceded by unrest and new dogma in the reign of invisible things. All revolutions began by being abstract. Most revolutions began by being quite pedantically abstract.


wv: ingla. No, really.

Shouting Thomas said...

Dylan is responsible for this mess.

He will leave a horrific legacy of imbecilic musicians trying to play the revolutionary intellectual.

Some of his stuff in the vein is good. Some of it, like "Hurricane," is stupid and evil.

But, the worst thing is that musicians now write about politics and expect to be taken seriously.

This has produced fetid truckloads of dreck. Damn Dylan for this.

bagoh20 said...

I'm not sure about that. I think you usually start doing things differently because you can and find they work, and THEN rewrite your cultural library to justify it and then canonize it.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

The perils of OCR, I suppose, or merely careless typing: In the Chesterton quote, it's not "the reign of invisible things," of course; it's "the region of invisible things." Just checked my hard copy.

wv: dedig. I shall be dedig soon enough if I don't get on to writing this *&@##$& review.

edutcher said...

Typical Lefty groupthink.

To wit:

"It will just be something that you see, and all of a sudden you realize I’m on the wrong page, or I’m on the right page but I’m on the wrong note, and I’ve got to get in sync with everyone else to understand what’s happening in this country."

chickenlittle said...

Gil Scott-Heron is dead? Crap. I was just tweeting about him the other day re the Rapture.

R.I.P.

Phil 3:14 said...

Everytime is see something like this, or this or this, etc. I realize how wrong GSH was. In fact his song could be the rallying cry for dictators such as Chavez or Assad (though the title would be "The Revolution Should not be Televised")

In my adolescence I had a passing fascination with GSH but I quickly realized he was an unrepentant communist.

bagoh20 said...

There are people who sing or write about change that other people are living. The second people become customers, the first become rich.

When I was growing up in the 60's, I was very conscious of the change being ballyhooed about in the culture, and found it kind of "well duh". My family had close friends of all races and ethnicities, all the women in my family worked outside the home in male-dominated fields, and they we're openly willing to change spouses when they were unhappy.

I heard "the times they are a changing" and thought: to what? The beauty of those times in my life was the freedom was real and being lived. Since then, I feel we have made little progress, and are regressing on the freedom front.

deborah said...

Here Virgil, a future rebel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgrrQwLdME8&feature=fvwrel

Karnival said...

Hmmm....I listened to, and liked Gil Scott-Heron when I was a liberal college student, and later as I became a raving right-leaning libertarian. He was an early urban poet and that can easily lead to sounding passe after some time has passed. But, listen to 'Pieces of a Man'. Nothing trite or simple about this man. He was more real than any 30 of today's "musicians" you can name off the top of your head. (Including that over rated phony in Asbury Park). GSH- RIP.

YoungHegelian said...

I didn't realize that "The Revolution will not be Televised" was so late, i.e. 1971.

It really strikes me as being from an earlier epoch of the civil rights movement, but then, black commies always seemed out of sync with the larger black community's struggle.

Somehow, American blacks just could not be made to believe that when the proletariat ran the country, racism would disappear. Maybe, it was because, in the real world that blacks lived in, the white proletariat was more racist than the bourgeoisie.

virgil xenophon said...

@Deborah/

LOL. But looks like the ukulele would be a better fit!





wv: appera---at least that's the way it appera to me!

ricpic said...

D.H. Lawrence was a revolutionary. Still is. This guy's a pipsqueak. But this guy's "relevant." Relevant because superficial, taken up with surface concerns. Lawrence is of course irrelevant. Irrelevant because wanting to radically change perception, to change men at their root.

Carol_Herman said...

I see a new label entering the race: ONE NATION !

It can resonate the way United We Stand took hold back in 1992.

You thought Bill Clinton wasn't handed the advantage?

You think, now, Karl Rove, and his ilk, just walk away with another republican win? Oh, yeah. And, then Karl Rove tries to shove the Tea Party off a cliff!

Remember the rule: SHOOT WHEN YOU SEE THE WHITE'S OF THEIR EYES. Before that moment? You're just a bunch of untrained farmers. Standing on a hill, without uniforms.

Joanna said...

I’ve got to get in sync with everyone else to understand what’s happening in this country.

"We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it..."

Carol_Herman said...

And, ya know what else wouldn't be televised? If Sarah Palin wins the presidency, the inaugural won't be televised.

But on the Internet, the teleprompter will show up ... And, so will the "signing machine."

Since we now know Obama thinks it's legal to use the "auto-signing" pen ... when signing legislation.

What will the Obama's take with them when they leave?

Bet Sarah wouldn't find any "auto-signing pens," around the White House, either. While all the old staff would take on jobs as porters. And, maids. Kicking out the real staff.

That's who they are!

And, that's what I expect.

The Crack Emcee said...

Mark,

Though technically a boomer myself (1961), I feel of a completely different generation from these smug, self satisfied, self absorbed, selfish, drug abusing people.

You and I are not Boomers. We're their little brothers and sisters, now known collectively as "Generation Jones." We're the ones who got to watch the Boomers destroying everything, close up and personal, and have learned from their mistakes. We're the first generation of the future beyond them.

Unfortunately, the first of us to make a serious mark was selected, and elected, by the Boomers:

Barack Obama.

As far as Gil Scott-Heron's death - sad, but good riddance:

I was introduced to his work in a Los Angeles foster home I hated. A bigger black kid, that I had to share a room with, discovered I liked Rock 'N' Roll, specifically Led Zepplelin at the time, and beat the crap out of me. ("Didn't you see Roots?") He made me listen to Gil Scott-Heron, for months, to get my head "right". I eventually escaped that place, with the aid of a bunch of my friends, but found myself homeless before I even finished high school. Enlisting in the Navy wasn't far behind.

I listened to Heron's stuff years later, to assess it critically, and found him pretentious, overbearing, maudlin, and just plain wrong - on almost every issue he addressed - though something like "Whitey On The Moon" could make me chuckle at his occasional audacity.

As a person (drug addict) and as an artist, he will not be missed by yours truly.

Strelnikov said...

Long time fan, here; since The Revolution. Caught a live show n a small venue about 20 years ago. (My wife and I probably stood out in that crowd.) Great time for all. As noted in the outtakes, his work was not entirely political. Even though we could not have been farther apart on that spectrum, I found the soulfulness of his work deeply moving.

Valentine Smith said...

Dont know GSH so I wont comment on nis music.

But I will say all junkies are full of shit from the top of their wretched heads down to under their needle-punctured toenails. All of them always.

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