Upsetting
Monday, January 05, 2004
 
Has the idea of Las Vegas passed you by? Does it sound wasteful and exhausting? Can you summon the interest and passion?

The great American bacchanal, along with the Crescent City on the big brown river.

Not such a Big Easy, it turns out.

The British song legend who reared a couple generations of teens with his guitar gets shot in New Orleans, U.S.A., while trying to stop a purse snatcher. It makes the heart ache.

He will survive the gunshot, that man of the absolutely perfect songs, and impressions of the United States will be forged and reinforced around the globe.

You now know why he longs for the Village Green Preservation Society.

All the way to New Orleans he came, but not to hear “St. James Infirmary.” They will play that for him on another day.

A graduate of the United States Naval Academy and avowed man of Christ says that anyone who “disagrees with the president should leave the country.” He does not offer to provide transportation and overseas room and board for those he deems worthy of exportation. He is a black man supporting a Republican president.

Another black man says, These ain’t no Lincoln Republicans, these are the Republicans of Nixon and Reagan.

A black man voting Republican is like the chicken voting for Col. Sanders, another black man says.

Sinking New Orleans was built on the backs of black people, yet like a flower in a concrete hell, the great American institution of jazz sprouted and blossomed. Dismissed as licentious witchcraft for oversexed colored folks, the music carried the hopes and spirits of the forgotten.

You know John Coltrane did not vote Republican. Neither did Rahsaan Roland Kirk.

Research has proved that the black people working in the fields and on the plantations were not hypersexed maniacs. They actually were relatively chaste and communal, sticking together in the face of unbearable cruelty.

Col. Sanders.

It was the white landowners who sewed their semen all over the black fields. Just ask the dead Republican senator.

From down by New Orleans – or close enough.

We reap what we sow, you think. Sew what?

“So What,” a jazz classic by a black man raised by his doctor father.

Miles Davis.
 
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