Tuesday, May 27, 2014


By Carl

By now, you’ve read or heard about the terrible tragedy in Santa Barbara last week: some rich white kid shot up a college campus apparently missed the one thing that would validate his entire existence.

A hot babe:
The “pretty blonde girl” blamed by Santa Barbara murderer Elliot Rodger for his violent misogyny is “devastated” and living in fear, her father said Monday.

“The whole thing is so creepy,” the protective dad shuddered, saying he fears a “copycat” killer will now target his daughter. “It’s scary. Even though he’s gone.”

Rodger, 22, pinpointed his Woodland Hills, Calif., middle school crush as the person who triggered the rage that ultimately drove him to murder six people and wound 13 others in a horrifying rampage Friday night.

He was 22, and this was ten years ago. She’s two years younger than he is. This is a problem of lonnnnng standing.

He was under treatment by a psychiatrist. His folks (dad is a film director, an assistant director on The Hunger Games. Grandpa shot the famous Bergen-Belsen concentration camp photos when Allies liberated the camp. I can’t snark on that.) had money. Elliot Rodger wasn’t a bad looking guy, had money and had a famous dad. 

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Ornette Coleman - "Lonely Woman"

By Richard K. Barry

Though used book stores are closing up everywhere, there are still a few out there. In one today, over lunch, I came across an interesting collection of essays on jazz: interviews, profiles, narratives, etc., by Martin Williams called Jazz Masters in Transition: 1957 to 1969.

I was not familiar with Mr. Williams though it is clear from his bio that he was quite the jazz critic and writer beginning in early 1950s with articles in The Saturday Review, The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, and Downbeat. He also founded The Jazz Review in 1958 with Nat Hentoff, a name anyone vaguely familiar with the history of jazz will know.

As well, from 1971 to 1981 Martin Williams headed the jazz and “American Culture Program” at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.

So, we’ve established his bona fides.

I must admit, it was the back cover of the book that grabbed my attention:

The late Fifties and early Sixties were years of revolution in the history of jazz: bebop had become hard bop; hot jazz cooled; new rhythms, harmonies, textures, structures were transforming the music, revitalizing it, freeing it. Leading the revolution were a group of young players and composers: John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Bill Evans and Scott La Faro, Cecil Taylor, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Albert Ayler, Charles Mingus, and a 29-year old named Ornette Coleman who came out of the West with a handful of tunes, a toy saxophone, and a fresh improvisatory style that stunned critics and audiences in heard-it-all New York. “The New Thing,” as it was called, divided the jazz community so completely it was impossible to remain indifferent.

I look forward to a close reading of Mr. Williams book.

This is “Lonely Woman,” the opening track on Ornette Coleman’s 1959 Atlantic Records album The Shape of Things to Come.

(Cross-posted at Cultur-olio.)

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Run Elizabeth run!

By Richard K. Barry

Sen. Elizabeth Warren got a standing ovation at a progressive conference on Wednesday in Washington. She was encouraged by some to run for the presidency as they chanted "run, Elizabeth, run!" She, however, made it clear for the umpteenth time that she would not be doing that.

As reported by The Hill:
Her well-received speech at the liberal Campaign For America’s Future (CAF) conference only underscores liberals’ growing frustration in finding an alternative to all but undeclared frontrunner and former secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Progressive groups such as CAF, which helped launch then-Sen. Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, have become increasingly more vocal about their concerns with Clintons' economic policies.

I understand the sentiment, but it's time to accept reality.  

(Cross-posted at Cultur-olio.)

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