“How do you raise a young person in our simultaneously both porned out and repressed culture to both avoid sexual assault while not being alienated from their own sexuality? Please, please tell me.”—Socialist activist & journalist for the Nation Dave Zirin this week on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry. (via deedixon)
“N’ she dont have time to fake up
Her mind is made up
Beautiful with intillect she’s too perplexed
She knows its deeper Than the flesh
Way beyond the hips n chest
She knows she’s sacred.”—# Soulbro3 #Thoughts #free verse (via soulbro3)
“Youths are passed through schools that don’t teach, then forced to search for jobs that don’t exist and finally left stranded in the street to stare at the glamorous lives advertised around them.”—Huey P. Newton (via saddest-summer)
I believe humans crave love and understanding. To be loved and understood, that’s all most of us need and seek. Due to the war that rages perpetually within them, artists need to feel this love and understanding differently. I don’t want to say they need it more, because that would be dismissive of those who don’t self-identify as artists but have the same needs. I’ve just found that people who call themselves artists, tend to open themselves up to a life experience that’s different from the norm (whatever the norm is) This life experience has a unique set of requirements. It means that daily they need these profound moments where it’s apparent that they’re loved and understood by those they need the most. Most people can get by having these moments, once a week, and amble along with the reassurance this love and understanding exists. Artists are needy and sensitive, they need these moments frequently, but they often choose not to express this need.
Caveat - I’m generalising here. There are artists who are the antithesis of what I’ve described. I just have never encountered one.
I spoke to a friend of mine recently about the notion of “giving up” the dream. I told him that when artists choose to capitulate and stop pursuing the thing that brings them unparalled joy, it literally makes me feel terrified. This is because I know that for many writers, dancers, singers, sculptors, film makers, musicians etc, creating art, is their sole source of sanity. Their art is the constant that makes getting out of bed each day and trying to do this thing called life worth it. Not only is it their source of sanity, it’s their method of escaping. Creativity is a secret tunnel to a world more beautiful than their own. Of course creating great art can feel like glorified torment. There are days when writing feels like bleeding at a desk. But for me, it really is the best kind of bleeding.
However there are pressing things that mean artistic pursuits will feel superfluous and irresponsible. Things like bills, loans, family, comfort and the fact that being an artist can create financial insecurity and if money gets really tight it will erode your sanity.
Of course an artist can be sane, successful and financially secure,however this takes time. And time is not our friend, she’s always working against us. Therefore when I hear another story of a gifted person who’s had enough and decided to live the “sensible life” I understand, but I still feel afraid.
Jazz is a genre that’s misunderstood by most. The misunderstanding between Jazz and humanity, means it’s overlooked. It’s too disorderly,frantic, melodies without lyrics aren’t worth exploring, it’s for old rich white people (ironically it was pioneered by disenfranchised unheard young poor blacks), it’s boring. None of this is true.
There was a stage when I had some of these prejudices. My musical education had been restricted to classical piano, however growing up in church meant I played classical songs with a feeling that my teachers associated with Jazz.”You sound so Jazz Christiana” I’d frequently hear. When I was 19 I took a gap year and decided to do a Jazz piano course, which was probably the most important thing I could have done for myself. It was in that classroom I learnt lessons that I’m only just beginning to grasp.
Since that course I’ve had a casual relationship with Jazz, however over the past two years it’s intensified. It’s intensified to the point I listen to Jazz more than anything else. I never thought I’d be the type of person who preferred listening to music without lyrics. After all I’m a logophile. But I’ve learned that Jazz is all about conversation. Often these conversations happen without words. If you listen carefully enough, with your heart and your ears, you’ll hear something special. Something that may change the course of your day..
At some point, I’ll write extensively about how critical Jazz has been in keeping me sane this year, and helping me maintain my sense of self. There are specific records and artists who’ve managed to articulate my emotional experience on my behalf. I’m grateful for all of them.
Ben Webster’s rendition of “Chelsea Bridge” is one of those records. It’s magical. Type of magic that keeps you sane and smiling. It’ll make you shed a tear too. I like how he lets some questions hang in the air, but ends on such a compelling, conclusive note.
I’ve written far more than I intended to and this post was supposed to be about the song, not my views. I hope you enjoy this record as much as I did.
You know when you see someone with cutting edge top of the line eyebrows and you can’t look away?? There’s a word for that and that word is mesmereyebrowsed. That is a blatant lie but it should be the word right. Cool.