Tuesday, October 28, 2014


The mother has become our mind and our soul


The whole CD is magic in a way because it has a dramatic structure and that is the work of the director, and Philippe Jaroussky is that director for the first time in this CD.

The first title “Clarae stellae, scintillate” starts with an ambiguous tone. There is some sadness, some inner suffering or doubt that is entirely rendered by the tone of the voice and it is only the third track that brings some dynamism and joyful jubilation and it rubs some ”balm [in]to [our] sadness.” And the Alleluia crowns this joyful conclusion though there might be some kind of sad note here and there. Jaroussky is able to bring that ambiguity of tone forward and we feel it deeply and intensively. Jaroussky seems to have this rare ability of bringing sadness and joy together in his tone and Vivaldi helps him do it.

That was only the introduction. We then move to the “Stabat Mater.” It is the second time Jaroussky records this piece. He had already recorded it in 2008. The first thing that has to be said is that this Stabat Mater is only the first ten stanzas of the original twenty. That was a choice made by Vivaldi, a good choice in many ways because it concentrates on the suffering of Mary at the foot of the cross and it puts aside the second half in which the congregation, the faithful, the individual Christian is trying to make Mary put him or them in her place and then he or they try to take over Mary’s suffering with a clear objective that appears crystal-clear in stanza 18: the faithful, the congregation, the individual Christian are trying to make Mary share her suffering only to be the intercessor between the sinner or the sinners and Jesus, her son, to enable the sinner or the sinners to be spared going to hell for their sins. Luckily Vivaldi spared us that rather self-centered second half.

In this Stabat Mater Jaroussky is a lot better than in the old recording. He emphasizes the suffering of the mother in front of the torture and the death of her own son on the cross. There is no sharing of the suffering, there is something completely different: empathy. We are contemplating and empathetically reverberating Mary’s suffering in our own silence and mind. We do not ask anything from her except that she may tolerate our own sorrow, mourning, veneration and suffering. Jaroussky reaches in this new recording of Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater pure perfection in this suffering of a mother and somewhere the conviction that this death was not in vain, and yet this conviction makes us suffer and we can only tremble with this exquisite perfection, with this exquisite pain that reinforces our own devotion and faith. In a way Mary, Jesus’ mother, becomes our own mother who would be crying the same way if we were on the cross. We are just able to project ourselves, Jaroussky in fact projects us onto the cross and Mary’s suffering and tears are for us, for our own suffering because this world is nothing but “hac lacrimarum valle,” “this valley of tears.” But here the tears are not our own but our universal mother’s on our suffering in this valley of pain. Track eleven is probably the very apex of this intimately reverberated pain and yet Mary, this divine mother, is the “source of love,” the love we have to demonstrate to be just up to her trust and understanding.

The next piece, “Filiae Jerusalem” is going up in the tragic drama we are offered here. We no longer see Christ on the cross through Mary’s eyes but through our own eyes, the eyes of the “daughters of Jerusalem.” This suffering is no longer that of a mother but of the whole universe, the whole creation itself. And sure enough in track 15 the winds, the meadows, the leaves and flowers, all get silent and like dying of thirst because the water of life is refused to them. The music is that of a tenebrae, a dirge wrapping us up in the silent quietness and immobility of non-existence, the numbness of pain. And that leads to the death of the river of life, the river irrigating the Messianic Jerusalem, and this death of Jesus, who is the river of the Messianic Jerusalem, brings the loss of all light from the sun and the moon, these two luminaries God had created to punctuate his very creation and endow it with time.

This immense lamentation in darkness, this total solitude in perdition that brings us down into the “spreading darkness,” “tenebris diffusis,” brings in track 16 a small bubble of energy, of hope because deep behind all that darkness there is the hope Jesus may “have mercy upon us.”

The turning point is the Concerto for strings and continuo that is a summary of the drama. A first movement in the form of a chase, a hunt after Jesus in Jerusalem. It leads to the very dark and solemn moment when Jesus is captured, tried and plainly put to death on the cross. This largo amplifies the event and our sad contemplation of this divine fate that leads nevertheless to an allegro that is the resurrection, the promise that all will end well, sooner or later, because there will be this moment when the rock will be rolled away and we will be able to rise with Jesus, like Lazarus, from among the dead.

The second part of the CD can then come and start with the Domine Deus of Vivaldi’s Gloria RV 589. It is short but it is all full of joy and maybe happiness because now the Father is with us, The Father God, Jesus’ Father as well as our own, since he is the Father of the creation. We have left the suffering and the pain behind. We are able to stand up with the help of this God. And Jaroussky’s voice is as clear and even as the voice of some divine messenger, of some true believer, of some angel maybe, and not a fallen one indeed. This deep and long impregnation of our souls and minds with this divine world can make us strong.

Track 21 brings us face to face to “Longe Mala, Umbrae, Terrores” and many other horrors. But the music and the power of the voice makes us able to reject, to fight, to refuse all these “evils” of violence, war, death. The voice is now what brings us to our feet and to the consciousness that we have the future of this world in our own hands. But that is not going to be an easy battle and repeating the words over and over, the music again and again is necessary. We must not get disheartened and lose courage. Evils are persistent and insistent. We must be just as persistent and insistent and, no problem, the voice of our resolve, the voice of God is able to tear the sky open and bring the sun back.

This resolve pushes the clouds away and light comes back on this universe, the sun shines again, and the moon and the stars are back in the sky. This time Jaroussky dictates his orders and commands to the clouds to the world. Jaroussky and we all are able to bring the next track to life.

Now we have cleared the sky of its clouds the voice of God and the light of the Lord can come down onto us. Jaroussky literally rocks us into comfort and acceptance of this conviction that this voice and this light are the emanation of God himself. Let the voice gently push our cradle to and fro, let the light caress our face and our soul and we will just be able to ascend to the heaven from which the voice descends and to reflect inside and outside the resplendent light that comes from this true promise of eternity in heaven. It is just too beautiful to accept this singing to stop. Please make him go on for ever.

This battle and this Faith can then find the final Alleluia they send to conclude this episode in the drama with the absolute certitude to be saved, to be reaching the promise of eternal life.

Then rejoin Mary, this time as the Queen of Heaven. She no longer is the crying mother. She is the Mother of the whole humanity, of us all and she is able to help us climb the dire ladders one rung at the time and paths step by step leading to heaven.  A “Salve Regina” dedicated to all women and mothers on this earth at whose feet we have to kneel and who we have to thank for the erasing of Eve’s fault, of Eve’s heritage. We are sinners, we are Eve’s children, we are crossing a valley of tears and yet we are never lost, we never sound pessimistic or doubtful. The music and Jaroussky’s voice are there to let us know that with the proper trust in the support from this eternal Mother of ours we can face and confront any difficulty, any wound and any loss.

Jaroussky recaptures his double tone that enables him to both express the dangers and difficulties, even our fears and at the same time our conviction that we will find the support we need. Our fear, if there is one, has to be the fear of our doubts, the fear of our solitude. But the voice and the music at once provides the hand we need, the force we long for, the power we have to demonstrate and all that is in us just because we trust the eternal Mother. She is our power, she is our force, she is our helpful hand and all that is in our own soul, in our own mind, because our soul and our mind are the spirit of God himself and the Queen of heaven can just animate, revive, give life to that inner visionary dimension of ours. She, Holy and Virgin Mother of us all, gives birth in our own skulls to the divine soul we dearly need to stay alive and not yield to any temptation. She is our mother, the mother of our spiritual salvation, of our mental stamina.

This support from the Queen of on high is most beautifully peaceful and helpful in track 27 when we are face to face, one on one with the valley of tears. But the force is hers in track 28 and we can accept to be led by her and by our faith to the supreme concluding joy we can find and share in seeing Jesus, no longer on the cross, but as the “blessed fruit of [Mary’s] womb.”

And thus this beautiful CD that started with the horror of the Cross and the Passion can end with the promise of salvation, and the last vision of the Mother of Jesus and her new-born infant in his Nativity. The end has found its beginning, the omega its alpha, and God who was, who is and who is coming can come again in us if we have followed Philippe Jaroussky’s voice across this tragic drama that has the joyful and happy ending of the eternal salvation of humanity from their deeply ingrained and buried evil.

The DVD added to this CD brings us back to earth and Venice. It is a nice guided visit and we are all surprised since the guide is Philippe Jaroussky himself who is not only a voice but a real human presence. That may make you start liking the man behind the voice. Then you will have to go and see him performing live and then try to get closer. But the man has to be protected in a way. So I find it a very good idea to make him be our guide in Venice. That’s human and endearing.



Don't trust the fallen angel. Just as bad as in Supernatural! Sam and Dean, Mayday!!!


First of all Angel is a nasty private detective, a shamus, a private eye, a sleuth and the fact that he falls down into the electric chair iS just the funniest thing that may happen in this world. No one is going to regret that eavesdropping flatfoot spy.

Second it is neither a detective story nor a police story. The private detective and the cops are just decoys and entertaining punching balls. Take your time and enjoy them in all possible way: they love being manhandled, brutalized, even raped and stabbed, provided they survive at least for a short while, long enough to enjoy the pity other people are going to frustrate them with.

This story is first of all and above all a diabolical story that you might understand from the very start or not but you can be sure Mephistopheles is hiding behind a nice mask and the black masses and other satanic sacrifices of babies and virginal girls are the main course of this book. There is even a gay satanic believer. Shame on him, not to be gay, which may make him palatable, but to be a satanic pervert. Bon appétit; Guten appétit, Prozit and don’t forget to burp deeply after each course.

Apart from that you will read it easily. It is not a page turner but it has a real charm, you know, a gris gris, a magic protection, a voodoo chicken paw or some other lao or loa, the way you want.

Enjoy your Christmas at Easter with all the saints of Halloween.


Monday, October 27, 2014


Saturday, October 25, 2014


BILL DIREEN, the troubadour of yesterday next week



Greet the Road, man, the road back to the secure permanence beyond life, this unstable and impermanent chaotic existence ceaselessly whimpering under the menaces from Death. Greet the road to beyond this non-existence where and when suffering stops, when disease is vanquished and becomes a red flower in the barrels of our guns, when we are finally deafened by silence and we experience full satiety in the absence of all desires and needs.

Oh! Greet that road that leads us to the permanent Doomsday that resonates and multiplies in our minds and hearts, in your minds and hearts. And don’t believe Yeats or whoever sees monsters and tigers –luminous tygers and black snakes – crawling to some Bethlehem for some Second Coming in the treasure chest of our imagination. We are nothing but straw men and Death will greet us at the end of the road and will eat our straw as if it had a deep hunger for such delicatessen.

Enter Bill Direen visionary museum of the long trip he took around the world of poetry when he fell through the looking glass of an Alice who was no longer a well behaved white girl but who had become the ruffian black female tygress we all want to encounter one night in full moonshine and daylight.

Sacrifice yourself not to God, that’s obsolete, but to the word, to one word in particular, that word that may arise from your lips and fall on the ground in the shape of a rose and you can check every evening that the morning rose is withering, withered, gone and that’s perfectly fine with me, good and healthy.

Take the spiral of the staircase that climbs to the top of your skull and dance the Round Danse Macabre with Death, that long never ending parade of the last migration to the country of full absence of any wants and wills, dire straits of ACDC wavering lack of constancy and direction that will – you know it by heart in the deepest layers of your heart – drown Death in some kind of dizzy vertigo that will turn Him into a mirage under the blaring sunshine.

Don’t fall into Poe’s illusion that life has a double-edged blade, Death on one side and Death on the other side, that there is no choice and nothing beyond birth because life is an illusion and it will drive you crazy into the chasm of a pit and the Tantalus of a pendulum between your eyes just behind your mind’s retina when it loses its pupil and loosens your sense of becoming into the saddest conscience of your being nothing else but being.

Poe had it wrong and all right at the same time. It is all right he had it wrong because that gives me the chance of having it right maybe not between the two edges of a sword but between the nighty side of life and the sunny side of Death, the black sun of the other side of the moon that I can only see in my dreams. The Death of night in the night of Death that rolls dead into our own life at sunrise when we lose the life of the night and wander into the Death of light that makes us creep under some thick blanket in a dark recessful hiding place.

The teacher, the mentor, the professor now infertile, sterile and impotent has constructed in the mind of his students the dream of a future that maybe dedicated to singing and dancing light. A lie to life, as unlight as the lead pulling the worm down on the sharp hook to the school of mute fish in the stream of consciousness of the hormonal hormones boiling in the two hot carbuncles the teens are hiding in full display. The most beautiful dress is the one you wear when you are as naked as the nude king parading his flesh around.

Don’t believe, poet, you can make man any different from what God has made him, in his image for sure, frail and weak like a moaning slug under the wheel of the car that flattens it into the tar of the road. Indeed God is all weak and frail like his creature and if he were to find himself in front of a car, a tank, a plane or a snow plough he would meet with total annihilation and oblivion. Good riddance and let’s worship dragons that have the fire of hell in their mouth.

Ands that’s just the rub of Hamlet and so many others. How can you live in this world when the life inside yourself is nothing but a dead end, a dead sigh, a deadened whisper without any language to give it any meaning or sense. We are forever mourning the lethal life that wounded us with its memory of the corpse we will be too soon to even hope we have time to dream of another end. Let’s move man along the road. The mental looters of our brains are coming like some devouring emptiness that let us vanish in the void of nothingness.

And old age only gives us Death as a bonbon to suck on while you are having erotic visions on your tongue and the looters are pealing your hide to recuperate your skin graffiti they call tattoos and then feed their dogs with your bones. The divine sin of the skin that you may lose under the blade of these raiders is leaving you sinless in your flesh, sinless in your dripping blood.

That’s love man, that’s the passion of the dependence you long for every morning and you manipulate every night when the hunt has not been very productive. You can always put some alien shape in your hands that only exist under your skull in the storm that erupts there every night of forced sexlessness. And that is no fictive pain, young man, that is no pain at all because pleasure is in this exquisite surrogate manipulation of your dendrites.

Sex anyway is prostitution and if it is not sex it is dope which is Death in the hands – if they have hands – of all the protozoa that haunt syringes, lurks in the dark corners of your veins, exploring your weak points to take over the silly resolve of yours, not to last too long on this planet and at least to live the little time you accept to be here in a full cloud of mist and fog, smoke and dust. Don’t worry! The protozoa have a good friend that reaps souls like others reap corn and he will visit you as soon as you have the tumor that can speak his language.

The innocent maid’s child of poor Hopkins becomes the vicious maid’s son who has found his virile perversion in the prick he was already nursing galore in his maiden mother. No prick had visited her from outside, she said, but one prick would visit her and come out of her soon enough, out of the suddenly hermaphrodite maiden. You can for sure yell Mayday in all directions, that will not solve the oxymoronic antithetic nature of a child born from virginity like the sad echo of the blissful blessed sacrilege of extreme belief of that poor maid who never saw the priest or high-priest come up to her while she was weaving the veil. And that was no Salome weaving her seven veils, but only an old perverse rotten priest who took advantage of girls just for the fun of hearing them purring under his caresses.

Now welcome to the solitary sanctuary of a poetess who could only hear flies buzzing around and could not say a word. But she could write a few and she did in the absolute secret silent her own father imposed onto her till his Death. She confronted to the cold surface of a mute world her suffering encapsulated into the transparent crystal you can only experience in frigid sterile sexless locked up emotion that can never finds the proper sighs to come out in the open.

And a poet who had a lot to do with Brooklyn Bridge and Pocahontas just entombed that poor silent poetess under one clay-cold hill just as if she were Chernobyl revisited. That poet was perched at the top of his sheerlegs, his dongle dangling in between and regretting that suffering silent poetess who died before he could even show her the magic of sex. He had Pocahontas of course, but she was nothing but a christened painting in the hall of that Congress he did not exactly revered.

Speaking of Tome, the aging and senile getting Goethe is chanting melodramatic nostalgia on Rome and the Romans while he is enjoying the full comfort of his political and powerful position. How easy it is to be a great poet when you are living in the silk of an embassy or in the velvet of some parliament. You can even imagine Prometheus being punished for his daring rejection of silk and velvet in the name of flesh and human orgasmic blissful thrills. And the rape by the eagle every day is the best experience he has ever experienced apart from playing mastermind and magician. Poor Goethe lost in his ivory tower of an abandoned Sturm und Drang.

Luckily I have no account to settle with the poet who turned fascist without really knowing why and has been plagued by human disgust since then. What really made him aspire to become the master of the castle of some Italian Salo as if torturing the young flesh of some still virginal boys and girls was the mature pleasure of an idealistic and spiritual mind.

But of course we have to get lost in metaphysics with some metaphysician poet who describes the eye – or is the I – as if it were a mirror and in which you can see your own reflection looking at you as if you were the reflection of this reflection, as if you were mesmerized and hypnotized by the small image in the pupil of the escrier, upside down on the retina of the beholder, but which one is the beholder and which one is the escrier, which has the real flesh of the image and which one only has the image of the flesh? Who cares anyway since there is nothing but imaginary contact for the flesh and skin deep illusion for the fleshless image? It is nothing but onanism and company in a non-existent material world whose materiality is a riddle for new-born babies who have not yet uttered their first cry.

And there you meet the only real emotion that is worth dying for, the Death of a child before breathing in and then out his first mouthful of vital air. The soul of that child cannot even fly away since she – or is it he? – will never have its last breath because it never had one first inspiration in spite of all the poetry it had heard and enjoyed in that warm cocoon out of which it has just stepped with only one destination, the warm darkness of a tomb where it will play gaily babbling a silent lisp.

And think of that mother who gave birth to that still born child and who in fact took the big dive into oblivion along with the child so that the child never knew the cruelty of life and the suffering of survival. The two went down through the air from the top of some crane-like hill, the mother rocking her baby who will never breathe into eternal communion with its maker.

The child is the projected image of an image of oneself for the schizophrenic procreator who thinks he is god because he is able to lose all sense of reality in the short moment when he meets this little Death that can make him able to survive his own Death in the survival of that image of the image he had in mind when he enjoyed his small little moment of oblivion. Remember the mirror zone of the metaphysical poet of old and the image in an eye that is the reflection of the image of that image in the eye of the beholder  escried  by the beheld.

In that narcissistic play of mirrors the self locks itself in the other who is nothing but the mirror and echo chamber of its own howl, that deep and never ending Death cry that vanishes when the poet looks at his own inner void, at his own mental chasm as if the universe were some silently lamenting crowd running into some stone wall that refuses to clear the mess of human violence and cruelty. The skullcap of this poet is so big it could crown the earth, or maybe even the sun, provided that earth and the sun were as real as the storm that is raging under that skullcap.

I looked at I and I sees only a phantom of I that I imagines as being I’s real I. I is delusional and I imagines I is filled with some kind of erotic phantasm, sexual desire, hormonal fancy for an I knows not who that is prancing in front of I’s eyes and erecting I’s own inner looming craze for that I knows not who I is imagining on I’s desert island or is it desert sand waste? And that’s how I ran behind I’s own hunger for sex and thirst for sexual fluids till I spat out all I’s own fluids and fell exhausted on the ground in the hands of the sex police of the gods. After that crazy waltz of the little dog running after his own prick that I was taken to some desert island for sure and tied up to some palm tree because there is always a palm tree on a desert island and there he was delivered to a couple of dragons, a male and a female, and after something like two years and a half I was still hanging there devoured in the day time and recovering in the night, devoured by the two dragons down to the bones and then recovering with the fire the two dragons blew down his gullet? Magic has no ending in that world of Grecian mythology rediscovered and recycled by Goethe or some other Blake.

So we can come to the tree that is standing alone in the dark-tinted heart of the night, in the dense heart of the shade and in the very centre of the wind. It is the axle of Blake’s spindle.

The heart is close to implosion. The outside skin is just seen from inside and felt inside out from wrapping my own fist like a glove to the phantom ghost of an inside captured from the outside by the eye mesmerized by the dark imprint of its dense hand on that inside shady skin that is dancing shadowlike in the exhausted sunshine thus wrapped up on itself and casting its light onto its own outside inside the cage abandoning the whole great eternity in total night and darkness. The poet can rumble back into sleep with his own psychosis.

The last stage on this road you are supposed to greet is just before the Death camp in Poland and the poet predestined to that fate can enjoy the sadness of knowing you are dead before actually dying and enjoying that Death that proves your life. The last image of this trip is that of a cotton skin-shroud that hugs you with the welcoming heat and light of the Death you will finally reach in a few hours or a few days. You will then cross the portal that cast no shade and enter the light of that everlasting life in Death.

And as you cross that portal another psychotic poet can shriek his yodeling creamy yodels that are dancing in mid sky happy and joyful now the trip is over and the haven of the silence and total lack of any requisite exigency in the fully dark and black light of this supernatural virtual dematerialized existence in a world of invisible, unreachable electrons, neutrinos, clear positrons and bashful anions.

Blake’s Great Eternity is finally home in me and me in it. The poet has reached the completion of his mission. He has led his own mind to the restful abode of the silent enlightened cosmic energy that merges life into Death and virtual mind into real remembrance.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014


The palette is vast and PTSlaveryS is omnipresent as an emerging force


Twenty-three authors, twenty-three plays covering a period of nearly sixty years (1935-1992) from the New Deal to the Clinton era. The plays are classified by theme which makes the book rather strange in a way instead of having chronological order: the value of a play does not come from the theme only but from the author and the period when it was written and performed. I will follow the book though to cover the twenty-three plays in the order of the book.

Langston Hughes, Mulatto, 1935
The white planter can have a black mistress, the two children he had from her are not his children but her bastards. He gave them some education but they are supposed to respect their position as black servants with no privilege whatsoever. Either they go away and stay away, or they stay and are field workers. The one who was rebellious was sent to some school far away to get some education; He makes the mistake of coming back one summer and he pretends to be treated as equal downtown, to use the front door of the house, and to eat in the dining room or sit in the sitting room, as the son of the owner. That ends badly of course. The lesson is that miscegenation necessarily creates evil. The only sensible solution is to live separate and apart. That is typical of Marcus Garvey’s ideology and Black Nationalism.

Paul Green, Richard Wright, Native Son, 1941
As compared to the novel, the play does not allow too many details and the play is thus slightly schematic and very cold because there are only dialogues and the minds of the characters are not visible, particularly Bigger’s, or explainable. It is obvious the humiliation and the castration the meal with Mary and Jan in the black restaurant where Bigger is known cannot be rendered on the stage. In the same way the furnace scene, both the burning of the body and the discovery of the remnants of this burning cannot be fully shown. The real battle during the flight and the end of it are not shown. Bigger does not kill his girl friend, which takes an important element out. Then the trial and the prison scenes are too long, too wordy, and hence very cold and distant. Too theoretical. The play is too much of a manifesto.

Louis Peterson, Take a Giant Step, 1953
Spencer, an 18 year old teenager lives in a three-generation black family in a middle-class white neighborhood and he is going to the high school of this neighborhood. He obviously has problems with his white “friends” and with white girls. He feels rejected, in many ways downtrodden or downgraded. His father is a typical Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome person, violent, authoritarian and probably vain. The child cannot stand the racist teaching he gets in his white school. He has to build a distance between him and that white school that would keep him safe. And that’s just what PTSS is for his generation: keep cool, play dumb, do not attract any attention. It is called mentalcide, or mental suicide. By looking innocuous you can survive in an all white surrounding. You can be invisible to the whites who are color-blid, provided you make yourself so innocuous that you become a non-entity. Too bad Spencer, but you must drop baseball. Quite ahead of its time (about 50 years) before such concepts as PTSlaveryS are developed by the Nation of Islam.

Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun, 1959
A black family with five generations of slaves behind them. The new generation gets some insurance money for the untimely death of the grandfather and the grandmother has to decide what she does with the money. Will the money go to financing Beneatha’s studies (she wants to be a doctor) or Walter’s projects (he wants to buy a liquor store)? The grandmother yields and treats the grand son Walter as a man and entrusts the money to him for him to manage it. He gets into some dealing with a man who is supposed to get them, Walter and a friend of his, the liquor store and the license. All the money goes and of course the man is a crook. The whole family is ruined. They have to sell their house and move. We have a simple family with family problems and not a really black situation. They want to succeed in the world and they have forgotten there are crooks out there, many crooks who look just like you.

Lonne Elder III, Ceremonies in Dark Old Men, 1965
The father is a barber who has no business. The daughter is the only bread earning person in the family. The two sons are bad. Theo wants to moonshine whisky. Bobby is a shoplifter. The daughter decides to get rid of the three men and stop taking care of them. The two boys get in touch with some crime circle and the barber’s shop becomes the center of moon shining and dealing whisky and a new number “game.” Theo becomes a slave of the whisky and the store: he must produce 24/7 and Bobby gets in more and more dangerous deals, till one night he is killed by a night watchman. The father has gotten completely off his rocker leading high life with women and alcohol. Theo is morally ruined. Adele becomes loose with boyfriends. The past is ruined and they can only live in PT Slavery S that leads them to the total dissolution of all their human values. They are just puppets manipulated by others.

Thomas Pawley, The Tumult and the Shouting, 1969
This is not a black play really. The fact that they are black is in fact marginal since they are locked up in an all black college so that the color problem hardly exists. Note we have to be before integration and integration will mean the death of many of these black colleges because they will not be able to integrate. The past is nothing but a past of misery: poverty + poverty + 1929 + New Deal + WW2 + NAACP and that’s the end. The father Pr Sheldon is a man of pride and authority. The campus and his family are his kingdoms. He has to retire and cannot accept it, especially moving out of the campus house that is not his, and yet he has to. So the closely connected family gets completely scattered all over: The mother moves to the dorms to keep her job as a custodian, the daughter moves to the senior dorm. The son Billy is sent to a sanatorium and then set in a room alone, the son Julian goes back to Roanoke and his own family, the son David goes to Iowa, and Pr Sheldon goes to a boarding house. The family that had been very close-knit just explodes when the father retires and loses the campus house in which he had lived all his adult life or nearly. But once again it is not specifically black, except that the close-knit characteristic of the family is typical of a Post Traumatic situation and here it is the one inherited from the past of slavery. But in a similar post traumatic situation white people might very well react the same way.

Langston Hughes, Limitations of Life, 1938
Very pessimistic small two page scene. “Once a pancake, always a pancake!”

Abram Hill, On Strivers Row A Satire, 1939
A black upper middle class family. It is black but that is a convention more than a real asset or stake here. The behavior of these rich people is the behavior of any rich narrow-minded people who believe appearances are more important than reality and real self. The press at the same time is shown as perfectly rotten and ready to publish any lie for a personal profit. In fact thus family are one of the few black families that benefited from the New Deal but then they became standard middle class muck, what’s more what they believe they are is one rung higher, upper middle class, but muck all the same.

Douglas Turner Ward, Day of Absence, 1965
This is a reverse minstrel show in which the all black cast makes all white parts be played by black actors with whitened faces. Real pandemonium. One morning all black servants and customers, and passers-by just plain disappear for the day. The whites are not able to cope since then they do not have servants, their businesses are suffering and the general surrounding environment is different. They are at a loss. The whites then try to bring the blacks back but nothing works and the blacks can’t be found anyway. And on the following morning they all come back from the non existing planet where  they had been for twenty-four hours. And nothing has changed. Back to normal. Back to Normal, really? Yet, maybe in the memory of that day the whites might have learned a lesson and the blacks might have learned about their power. But Might! Might! Might! And nothing else. Promises, Promises!

James Baldwin, The Amen Corner, 1954
This play is one of the most important plays in the book and in the history of Black theater.
A very important and fascinating play from the black stage. Not so important because of the power struggle in this black fundamentalist Christian church but because of four other dimensions: The role of women in society; the place of religion as an alienation in society; the musical perspective in society; and the place of love for father, mother and son in society. These four questions are universal, and yet the play situates them in the black community of New York. I will not develop the power struggle. One younger woman took over from an older man and is pushed aside by another woman who takes over. This church, maybe most churches, is the locale of ambition and social climbing. The arguments of this power struggle have nothing to do with religion. It is plain power struggle for the sake of power which also means financial resources and some kind of comfort represented by a brand new Frigidaire, though such a position is always fragile. What’s most shocking is that the arguments used are private, intimate and personal, often under the belt: they have nothing to do with religion that is only the covering of the personal ambition and rivalry if not hatred of these church elders. Music is important in this play, as always with James Baldwin. The father, Luke, is a jazz trombone player. The son, David, is, or is to be, a jazz piano player. Music is fundamental in this church too with an evolution about how to use it from a plain piano, or keyboard today, which is the very minimum in a black church, though with a lot of singing, to the introduction of drums and horns of some kind coming from a sister church in Philadelphia. Music is here again the core and heart of David’s self and objective in life. Note he is perfectly well named since King David was the founder of the music school of Jerusalem some 25 centuries ago. The father, Luke, is also well named since he is one of the Gospel writers and Luke’s Gospel is supposed to be the most sensitive and empathetic, Luke being a doctor by profession and well accustomed to dealing with suffering. A lot should be said on these two names and men.

Owen Dodson, The Confession Stone A Song Cycle, 1960
Jesus’ death in a poignant poem. It is based on the fake social contacts in the group that in fact isolate Jesus, Mary, Joseph and Judas completely from all others. These are shown as being taken over by so much pain that empathy from others is impossible. Jesus’ death seems to have made them absolutely schizophrenic. They just want to die to live for ever with their recollection of Jesus un changed and unchanging. God’s position is even worse: God and Jesus have lost their souls: they gave them to men in a sort of supreme self-castration bot auto-castration and castration of the self. There are a few facts that we know better nowadays. James, Jesus’ brother, is absent. Paul is present though he was nothing at all to Jesus. Joseph has only one wife and only one son: he was a widower and had at least four children. Mary was married several years after she was sixteen. Absurd. She was married to Joseph in her early teens when she got pregnant in her position as a weaver of the Temple’s veil.. Mary Magdalene is deranged by love, unsatisfied love, love of total submission or love for total submission expressed in her washing Jesus’ feet. And what about Judas who answers God’s order in order to make Jesus’ teachings immortal? That’s the most modern element in the fable. But the poem is poignant all the same.

Adrienne Kennedy, Funnyhouse of a Negro, 1962
This play is an absolute marvel as for the description of Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome. The black father is haunted by what his mother wanted: she wanted him to be Jesus, to walk in Genesis, to save the race, heal the race, heal their misery and take the blacks off the cross. This black man had intercourse with a white (in fact very pale but black: one drop, etc. . . . ) woman who probably was a whore along with heavy allusions to rape. The daughter that came out of this union is black. She is haunted with the guilt of being black. The father and the daughter then turn the racist violence from outside onto themselves and are typical willing PTSS victims. The father hangs himself in a Harlem hotel. The daughter hangs herself out of the haunting guilt of being black, colored, yellow. Behind there is a Black Man who is not really identified except as a rapist. Patrice Lumumba is just the ghost of the violence applied onto blacks by whites. And all that guilt and those guilty feelings are projected back onto the “white” mother who is in fact a very pale black woman. Why? Because she was not really white? Because she was a disguised black woman? Because of the one drop of black blood theory? She is anyway the designated guilty agent of it all.

Alice Childress, Wine in the Wilderness, 1969
The play is about how intellectuals and artists have to go back to real life to escape clichés. At the same time, real life people are just “tomming” (behaving like Uncle Tom in the famous cabin) towards intellectuals and artists in order to make the latter like the former. The artist though confronted to some riot in Harlem is changing his project about the triptych he wants to paint to represent the fate of blacks in America. His vision of the present and the future has changed. The present is no longer the lost, whoring, neglected social reject of a woman he had in mind at first but in fact she is the queen, the glamorous model given as the perfect model for black women, and the future is no longer young people lost in crime and drugs but the young people he has in front of him, full of love and empathy. But that is possible because he remembers slavery and brings it back into his vision while being surrounded by a riot. In other words he is coping with his PT Slavery S by recuperating his past, his ancestry and projecting it into the present and the future as the healing element. He is inventing the cure the Nation of Islam is advocating today.

Ntozake Shange, For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, 1976
The absolute PTSS vision of a trauma that leads people to the worst illusions about life and final crimes as if killing children were a solution to past slavery.

Robbie McCauley, Sally’s Rape, 1989
This play is trying to recuperate the real experience of slavery for women, the real survival instinct of the slave that has been carried through and is till in full existence today. Women have retained from this old slavery time the practice of submitting to a rape which is not just being relaxed and easy but on the contrary to keep tight, tight enough to give the rapist the impression he is raping, forcing, breaking through. He only finds his pleasure in that force he has to exercise to penetrate the woman who has the obligation if she wants to survive to give him the impression he is doing it for real. The memory that comes back is that for a black slave to accept to have children from the white master was the way she could protect her own children she had from a black slave. Note there is no love in sex. There is only love from the mother to the children no matter who the father is or may be because only the mother counts.

LeRoi Jones, Amiri Baraka, Dutchman, 1964
PTSS is a trap. Lula is the temptress who delivers the temptation to be a black clown for her sole pleasure to a young black man. And when he refuses to be that servile non-entity, she just kills him and moves to the next victim. What is surprising is the absolute accompliceship of all the people around the event. For them it is nothing but entertainment. In fact the killing is the normal consequence of her negating the young man’s blackness: “You middle-class bastard. Forget your social-working mother for a few seconds and let’s knock stomachs. Clay, you liver-lipped white man. You would-be Christian. You ain’t no nigger, you’re just a dirty white man. Get up, Clay. Dance with me, Clay.” That racial castration she practices in fact is echoed in the male character by his own desire to rise over the race and to castrate the race in him, but her castration actually tries to castrate him of his desire to be white, of his desire to castrate the black man in him to be a white man.

Ed Bullins, Goin’ A Buffalo, 1966
A sad play about a band of low life who survive by being strippers or prostitutes or both for women, and being pimps or thieves and gangsters for men, and I should say girls and boys because none of them are adult. There comes one who is an adult and he is introduced because he saved the life of the main man in the band when he was in prison. That intruder will manipulate them all into going onto a big drug deal. He will have the cops there. They will all be arrested except the girl who was driving and stayed in the car at some distance. He will elope with her and all the cash available in the den of this little gang. It takes a real man to clean up a plate of immature girls and boys who behave as if they were men and women, or vice versa, and keep for himself the dough and the butter.

Ban Caldwell, Prayer Meeting: or the First Militant Preacher, 1967
A common situation in black ghettoes and communities. A young male is killed by the police and a demonstration is being planned. The local preacher is trying to defuse it. But a black burglar manipulates him when he is praying and makes him believe his voice is God’s and while he is getting out the window all the goods he wants he gives him a lesson of how to preach when you are a proud black preacher in front of an assault on your community. Funny. This theme of the preacher’s responsibility in front of segregation and racial violence is common in black literature, but here it is humorous and even satirical.

Ted Shine, Contribution, 1969
The old black granny, openly subservient to whites, has killed white masters all her life with poison. Her grand son is hesitating on the project of going downtown and “integrating” the white local drugstore. She boosts his morale and at the same time she has the breakfast pancakes of the Sherriff delivered to him just before the integration of said drugstore and the sheriff will not survive this last experience of what he loved best in life: his breakfast cooked by this subservient old black woman. The integration of the drugstore goes through without a hitch, because the white crowd outside have lost their main leader, the Sheriff himself. Grief is a great integrationist. Extremely BLACK (all possible meaning) humor!!!

Kalamu ya Salaam, Blk Love Song # 1, 1969
This play is the most surprising piece of male chauvinistic theater I know. African Americans have been negated in their fertile man-ness, in their fertile men. African American men are supposed to recapture their fertility and their position in society as the leading force. Women are only the ones who carry the men’s seeds to create Africa. “A man is a wondrous creation, a dawn, a deep night, a whole world.” The assertion of the future of blacks is in the black seed. Racial purity; procreational future; narrowly-defined existence (black, pure black, black-minded, heterosexual, everything white rejected); definitely sectarian in the rejection of all that does not fit the model: racial bastards, sexual faggots and all whites of course. The only ideological reference is to the Quran and Islam: “As salaam alaikum my brother, my sister.” And it all started with an evocation of the middle passage and of slavery. It does not correspond to the present practice of the Nation of Islam, but this attitude has many roots in many black approaches from Marcus Garvey to Malcolm X and many others. “Where is the seed of Africa? When will they come home? Where is the seed of Africa? When will they come home? How long before from the seeds a new Black nation shall bloom. Let a new Black nation bloom. Let a new Black nation bloom. Let us a new Black nation bloom.” And they can sing their song “Shake the sun.”

George C. Wolfe, The Colored Museum, 1988
Eleven scenes or exhibits, since we are in a museum. They are all extremely humorous, very black and tense but at times hilarious, at least if they are not seen as a monstrous reality or its inversion. The Slave Aircraft, the middle passage in modern times. Soul cooking or how to cook little niggers. Become a glamorous photo in a black magazine and the squalor of life will not exist any more. The black soldier who kills his comrades for them not to experience war time and after war suffering. The Gospel helped the blacks to trade their drums for respectability. The duel between the Afro hair piece and the blonde hair piece is the fate of black women. Let’s turn three hundred years of oppression into an all-black musical. Only one thing is missing, a Jewish composer and conductor and it would be an opera. Symbiosis is the dilemma of the century: adjust to symbiotic integration or end up extinct [. . . like Neanderthals?]. A metaphor: the old girl in any girl has to die to let the new girl in that girl be born, but the newly born new girl will never be able to forget the old girl to whose death she owes her existence. A metaphor again of a pregnant woman giving “birth” to an egg and with that egg she shifts back from the mono-rhythmic simple-minded one-sided reality of today to the old roots of polyrhythmic music from Africa. This again is in the woman and she gives birth to her past, to the past of the whole race. We are back at the beginning with this end and it is the very assertion of the reality of PTSS. “I have no history. I have no past. . . Being black is too emotionally taxing, therefore I will be black only on weekends and holidays. . . You can’t stop history. You can’t stop time. . . Repeat after me: I don’t hear any drums and will not rebel. I will not rebel.” And we are back on the slave aircraft of the first exhibit.

Aishah Rahman, The Mojo and the Sayso, 1989
This is a parable. Acts the father, Awilda the mother and Blood (Walter) the son are the absolute victims of PTSS. But they find their salvation in the father’s creativity: he is able with his own hands to renovate an old dumped car into a marvelous beauty and they can take the road with it, the three together, the trinity reformed after many difficulties, particularly for the son. The American myth of the mile-eating car is the liberation tool of a family trinity of black PTSS survivors as much as victims. It is beautiful to believe that the car is a liberator of all evils.

Anna Deavere Smith, Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and Other Identities, 1992
A set of very small interviews that are monologues for some radio. They are very sad because of the anti-Jewish or even anti-Semitic story it tells. Though it is positioned in the rap mind of the black people who are ignorant of the real world, of the real truth. A son is killed, possibly because he is Jewish, or maybe he is killed by the Jews. It is at least not clear, but the whole thing is seen through the eyes of a father and mother who are witnessing the death of their son. It is like a reflection on that anti-Jewish discourse many rap singers actually advocate or air. It is also a vision of what the killing of a young man, by the police of by a mob can be for his parents. Ferguson you are so close at times!



Monday, October 20, 2014


Voyage à la ferme du passé dans le présent, plus voyage en terre Maya


Un petit film en définitive.

D’abord par la langue si grassement québécoise qui rend le film très peu compréhensible en dehors de cette zone linguistique que l’on appelle le Québec. On a certes inventé les sous-titres, mais ils sont fortement loin d’être suffisants. Le film nous laisse trop souvent les prisonniers du dépit de nos oreilles qui n’entendent pas ce qui est dit et les sous-titres mêmes parfois donnent une « traduction » en français standard et non un sous-titre réel de ce qui a réellement été dit et qui est du français même si québécois. Nous savons lire, vous savez. Mais peut-être que MK2 ne le sait pas.

Le film ne traite pas vraiment d’homosexualité qui n’est que le prétexte de tout autre chose. Certes il y a de l’homosexualité derrière, certes il y a un frère aînéqui était particulièrement hostile à son propre frère cadet parce que celui-ci était gay et il pouvait être violent avec les « amants » ou « amis » de celui-ci, et même si j’ai bien compris les allusions en dialecte local avec celui-ci lui-même. Il semble que le brave petit frère ait été plus que largement utilisé à des fins purement orgasmiques par son  grand frère, jusqu’à en partir de la ferme familiale pour vivre à Montréal.

Le héros principal est l’ami-amant de ce petit frère qui vient de mourir dans un accident de voiture. Il vient pour les funérailles et il doit assumer une fable hirsute sur une prétendue amie-amante que ce jeune frère aurait eu à Montréal, grande fumeuse et mangeuse de pâtes. Et ce n’est toujours pas le cœur du film.

Le cœur du film est le frère aîné resté à la ferme et qui n’arrive pas à faire face seul, le père étant mort depuis un temps non précisé, qui ne souhaite qu’une chose, que la mère crève pour qu’il puisse vendre la ferme et partir. Il se saisit de ce pauvre ami-amant égaré dans le paysage pour des funérailles qu’il eût mieux fait d’ignorer et il en fait une sorte d’esclave pour l’aider à faire le travail de la ferme, avec de nombreuses activités où il est mieux d’être deux, comme s’occuper des vaches et les faire vêler.

La procédure est simple : un peu de violence pour dresse rl’inconnu, la voiture sans roue pour l’enchaîner à l’ici, et le voilà enfermé, asservi. Mais ce frère aîné ajoute à cela une sorte de dépendance mentale : le pauvre jeune homme gay, que le frère aîné ne semble cependant pas utiliser à des fins orgasmiques, du moins plus fréquentes que très occasionnelles, sauf si la pudeur de Xavier Dolan l’a empêché de dire la vérité, est peu à peu rendu dépendant par la mère à qui il a été obligé par le frère aîné de raconter des craques désopilantes et sinistres sur la prétendue amie, jusqu’à la faire venir à la ferme. C’est alors qu’il découvrira que feu le frère cadet n’était en rien ni fidèle, ni clairement gay. C’était un opportuniste sexuel qui pratiquait plus une sorte de promiscuité péripatéticienne pluri-sexuelle : tout est bon pourvu qu’il y ait du sexe.

L’ennui c’est que cette attitude de syndrome de stress post-traumatique n’est en rien explorée dans le vrai détail : Que s’est-il vraiment passé dans cette ferme ? Jusqu’à quel point le frère cadet était-il sexuellement exploité par le frère aîné ? Quelle était l’attitude de cécité pratique de la mère et du père ? Qui était le père ? Le père participait-il aussi à l’exploitation du fils cadet ? Tout cela reste dans l’inconnu et donc le drame que nous vivons à l’écran n’est en définitive qu’un mélodrame dramati-comique, certainement pas tragi-comique.

C’est bien dommage que la pudeur de ce film ait empêché le vrai discours sur l’asservissement sexuel des gays dans des situations de dépendance familiale et sociale, asservissement bien plus gratifiant pour les bénéficiaires que le rejet pur et simple, voire l’élimination.

Xavier Dolan aurait pu beaucoup mieux faire.



Musique entièrement enregistrée dans une performance populaire réelle et donc en dehors de tous canons artistiques et formels. Certaines de ces musique sont des musiques de Carnaval, d’autres des musiques religieuses utilisées pendant certains rites populaires, d’autres enfin de simple musiques militaires ou de défilés, et encore des musiques d’enfants, pour enfants.

L’intérêt est donc que c’est un témoignage vivant de ce que la musique est dans ces régions d’Amérique centrale sans la moindre élaboration et distanciation. La qualité est donc ethnographique. Et c’est tout à fait réussi. Même si ces enregistrements sont tous de 1969 et 1970. C’est donc de l’ethnographie archéologique. En presque 50 ans maintenant les choses ont du beaucoup changé.

Je me pose quelques questions cependant sur ce qui a permis à des rites chrétiens à pénétrer aussi profondément dans des peuples qui avaient des religions d’une immense richesse et des cultures d’une immense profondeur. Il ne suffira pas de dire que la colonisation a été brutale et que la volonté de christianiser les survivants a été forte du côté des colonisateurs. Des religions ont parfaitement résisté et survécu comme l’Hindouisme, le Bouddhisme, et surtout l’Islam. Nous ne diront rien des cultures japonaises, chinoises, et les cultures traditionnelles africaines ou d’Amérique latine.

Pour qu’il y ait une acculturation dans le christianisme il a fallu une déculturation réussie de la culture antérieure, ou bien une articulation de la nouvelle culture sur l’ancienne. Et on peut alors se demander ce qui fascine tant dans les rites chrétiens, l’architecture ecclésiastique chrétienne. Qu’est-ce qui dans le Christianisme rend son acculturation dans des peuples multiples aussi efficace et durable ? On me dira, avaient-ils le choix ? Et je répondrai : le Hindous, les Bouddhistes et les Musulmans avaient-ils davantage de choix ? Ou leur survivance tient-elle à d’autres facteurs de puissance spirituelle ou sociale ?

Dans cette perspective je regretterai le terme « païen », avec des guillemets pour la chanson 20, et encore plus le mot correspondant en anglais pagan et cette fois sans guillemets pour la même chanson. Là il ne s’agit plus d’acculturation des Mayas et autres Indiens d’Amérique centrale mais d’impérialisme linguistique et culturel de la part des auteurs François Jouffa et Serge Roterman, et des traductrices Adriana Casanova Roterman et Susie Jouffa. Remarquez la division du travail sexuelle et le travail en famille siur répartition chiasmique. Ceci probablement explique cela.


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