T-Bone Walker – Super Black Blues (1969)

1960s: Days of Rage

“… This included Bob Thiele’s new label. After leaving Impulse, following the musical equivalent of a coup d’etat Bob Thiele, formed Flying Dutchman Productions. He also believed the blues had a future. So, he started signing some of the biggest names in blues music to his nascent label. Before long, Flying Dutchman’s roster read like a who’s who of the blues. T-Bone Walker, Joe Turner and Otis Spann were all signed to Flying Dutchman Productions and would release comeback albums. In 1969, Joe Turner released The Real Boss Of The Blues on Flying Dutchman Productions. Otis Spann released Sweet Giant Of The Blues during 1969. A year later, T-Bone Walker released Every Day I Have The Blues, in 1970. However, a year earlier, in 1969, T-Bone Walker, Joe Turner and Otis Spann collaborated on on Super Black Blues, which was released by Flying Dutchman Productions in 1969. Super Black…

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The US Blockade on Cuba Must End

1960s: Days of Rage

Richard Nixon, then Dwight D. Eisenhower’s vice president, met with Cuba’s Fidel Castro on April 19, 1959, in Washington, DC.

“… The US blockade on Cuba has been a key part of Washington’s long-standing war on the country, launched shortly after Fidel Castro led a revolution overthrowing the country’s US-backed military dictatorship in 1959. Things didn’t start out entirely hostile. The Eisenhower administration publicly took a cagey wait-and-see attitude toward the new government. Meeting with Castro for three and a half hours, then–vice president Richard Nixon advised him, according to a post-meeting memo, ‘that it was the responsibility of a leader not always to follow public opinion but to help to direct it in proper channels, not to give the people what they think they want at a time of emotional stress but to make them want what they ought to have.’ With a tinge of regret, Nixon recounted…

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The Long Walk of the Situationist International by Greil Marcus

1960s: Days of Rage

“I first became intrigued with the Situ­ationist International in 1979, when I strug­gled through ‘Le Bruit et la Fureur,’ one of the anonymous lead articles in the first issue of the journal Internationale Situationniste. The writer reviewed the exploits of artistic rebels in the postwar West as if such matters had real political consequences, and then said this: ‘The rotten egg smell exuded by the idea of God envelops the mystical cretins of the American Beat Generation, and is not even entirely absent from the declarations of the Angry Young Men… They have simply come to change their opinions about a few social conventions without even noticing the whole change of terrain of all cultural activ­ity so evident in every avant-garde tendency of this century. The Angry Young Men are in fact particularly reactionary in their attribution of a privileged, redemptive value to the practice of literature: they are…

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Richard Brautigan: Resurgence of an American absurdist

1960s: Days of Rage

“Richard Brautigan would have turned 85 this year had he not steeled himself against the barrel of a .44 Magnum revolver in a remote Californian cabin on September 16, 1984. The American author and humourist, best known for his 1967 classic Trout Fishing in America, died like one of the oddly drawn characters in his novels, in that strange and lonely place between the tragic and the absurd. The writer’s body decayed on the floor of his log cabin for several weeks until he was finally found, almost unrecognisable, by a pair of friends. A culmination of mental health issues, alcoholism and a receding literary relevance had been the undoing of the post-Beat author. He took his life aged 49. Brautigan, who began his career as a poet, published 10 novels in his lifetime, with an 11th, An Unfortunate Woman: A Journey, having been published posthumously. A true master…

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Paul Bowles: ‘Here’s My Message. Everything Gets Worse’ by Paul Theroux

1960s: Days of Rage

The Sheltering Sky was Paul Bowles’s first novel, and although he honed his art almost to his dying day—novels, poems, stories, translations, as well as musical scores—it was this strange, uneven, and somewhat hallucinatory novel, and a handful of disturbing short stories written around the same time, that seemed to locate his fictional vision for good in the minds of his readers. So at the age of 38 he was defined, and that definition dogged him for the rest of his life. Even in his eighties he was pestered about details in the novel. I know this to be true because I was one of the people pestering him when he was that great age. I found him sitting on the floor of a back room in a large chilly apartment in a gray building on a back street in Tangier. It was October and clammy cold. To drive…

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Heather Cox Richardson: A History Lesson About Reconstruction and the Rights of Black People

Diane Ravitch's blog

Heather Cox Richardson is an American historian who teaches at Boston College. She writes an informative blog called “Letters from an American.” This one appeared recently.

She writes:

On July 9, 1868, Americans changed the U.S. Constitution for the fourteenth time, adapting our foundational document to construct a new nation without systematic Black enslavement.

In 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution had prohibited slavery on the basis of race, but it did not prevent the establishment of a system in which Black Americans continued to be unequal. Backed by President Andrew Johnson, who had taken over the presidency after an actor had murdered President Abraham Lincoln, white southern Democrats had done their best to push their Black neighbors back into subservience. So long as southern states had abolished enslavement, repudiated Confederate debts, and nullified the ordinances of secession, Johnson was happy to readmit them to full standing in the…

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Dark Fins Appear – Two Poems for Shark Awareness Day

Flowers For Socrates

Shark Awareness Day falls on July 14th annually.

Sharks are one of the oldest species on the planet, with fossil records showing they were cruising our oceans at least 420 million years ago. Modern-day sharks have been around for about 100 million years. By contrast, human beings only evolved about 200,000 years ago.

There are over 500 species of shark, ranging from the tiny dwarf lantern shark, able to fit into the palm of your hand, to the gigantic whale shark (strictly a filter feeder), which can clock in at up to 10 meters (over 32 feet). However, this is nothing compared to the megalodon, a now extinct relation of the modern-day great white, which may have reached sizes of a whopping 20 meters (66 feet)!

Denise Levertov (1923-1997) British-born American poet, known for her anti-Vietnam war poems in the 1960s and 1970s, which also included themes of destruction by…

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Black Sparrow Press

1960s: Days of Rage

Sparrow 1 (October 1972)

“Perhaps the most familiar of all the literary small presses, Black Sparrow began life with the money John Martin got from selling (for $50,000) his collection of modern literature, which he had purchased over a period of fifteen years (primarily through trading the collection of more classical books he had inherited from his father). The first six publications of the press were broadsides (five of them by Charles Bukowski, who was published by the press until its closure in 2002). The first book was Ron Loewinsohn’s L’Autre. In an essay included in Brad Morrow and Seamus Cooney’s Bibliography of the Publications of the Black Sparrow Press (1981), poet Robert Kelly assesses the press that printed so much of his own work: ‘How much of these past two decades is represented in the Black Sparrow checklist? How much of it is still in print? What are…

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TCS: Pablo Neruda – In Shadow or Light

Flowers For Socrates

Good Morning!


Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers
on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum,
so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in
your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.


“We the mortals touch the metals,
the wind, the ocean shores, the stones,
knowing they will go on, inert or burning,
and I was discovering, naming all the these things:
it was my destiny to love and say goodbye.”

– Pablo Neruda

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Historians and Other Scholars and Teachers Denounce Censorship in History Classes

Diane Ravitch's blog

The following statement was released by leading professional associations.

The statement says:

Joint Statement on Legislative Efforts to Restrict Education about Racism and American History

We, the undersigned associations and organizations, state our firm opposition to a spate of legislative proposals being introduced across the country that target academic lessons, presentations, and discussions of racism and related issues in American history in schools, colleges and universities. These efforts have taken varied shape in at least 20 states; but often the legislation aims to prohibit or impede the teaching and education of students concerning what are termed “divisive concepts.” These divisive concepts as defined in numerous bills are a litany of vague and indefinite buzzwords and phrases including, for example, “that any individual should feel or be made to feel discomfort Ed, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological or emotional distress on account of that individual’s race or sex.”…

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