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Late Night Club Utah: Odetta

Odetta, folksinger and civil rights activist, has died at the age of 77.

Some of our OneUtah readers may not be familiar with the trio of artists in this video, each with remarkable singing careers individually, together to perform a haunting arrangement of Janis Ian’s Hymn.
Janis Ian
Phoebe Snow
Odetta
A tribute to Odetta on our Late Night Club tonight.

In spite of failing health that caused her to use a wheelchair, Odetta performed 60 concerts in the last two years, singing for 90 minutes at a time. Her singing ability never diminished, Yeager said.
First coming to prominence in the 1950s, she influenced Harry Belafonte, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and other singers who had roots in the folk music boom.

Odetta called on her fellow blacks to “take pride in the history of the American Negro” and was active in the civil rights movement. When she sang at the March on Washington in August 1963, “Odetta’s great, full-throated voice carried almost to Capitol Hill,” The New York Times wrote.

She was nominated for a 1963 Grammy awards for best folk recording for “Odetta Sings Folk Songs.” Two more Grammy nominations came in recent years, for her 1999 “Blues Everywhere I Go” and her 2005 album “Gonna Let It Shine.”

In 1999, she was honored with a National Medal of the Arts. Then-President Bill Clinton said her career showed “us all that songs have the power to change the heart and change the world.”

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System in Collapse

Paul Rosenberg at OpenLeft has an interesting post – When Narratives Collapse. He writes:

. . . The essence of the New Deal realignment of 1932 was a collective gathering together-from the bottom on up– on the basis of a shared economic fate. The essence of the Nixonian dealignment of 1968 was a return to the us/them cultural divides that had predominated before 1932, with race as the central fulcrum, and “character” as the cover story. Now economics is back-big time, as America’s #2 war criminal would say. And the cover story is crumbling to dust, along with its whole narrative superstructure. [snip]

. . . Forget Leno, everyone in America who’s even heard of a funnybone is making jokes about him [Joe the Plumber]. Like I just said, the wheels have come off.

That’s what a realignment is all about. The old narratives lose their power. For many, it’s not even necessary to refute them. You can just laugh. Most times, like now, there’s a good deal of pain involved, so the laughs are often bitter ones. But they resonate more deeply than arguments do. For no one is yet certain of what comes next. We only know that-contra Faulkner-this time the past really is the past, and it isn’t coming back.

The punditalkcrazy still doesn’t get it. They are still warning Obama that “it’s a center-right country, and he better not forget it!” Its a favorite trope of the bipartisan narrative, particularly right now, as the wignut narrative goes down in flames. The wignut narrative and the bipartisan narrative are not the same, merely symbiotic.They conspire together to exclude the reality-based DFHs who inhabit the blogosphere, as well as ever-increasing patches of georgraphy in both the “real” and “fake” parts of America.

Just because the wignut narrative is falling apart, we should not make any assumptions about the bipartisan narrative, particularls since Obama himself is a fequent-though not constant-enthusiast of it. But if one narrative can fall from grace to guffaws so quickly, so can another one.

What Paul is describing is the rhetorical side of a systemic collapse. Unlike earlier generations of culture warriors who have been able to use symbolism, today’s culture warriors have to be painfully explicit in their attacks. They can’t just invoke the symbols (flag burning) and expect their audience to know what it means and implies, instead they have to spell out the attack – the various “real America” and “anti-American” attacks, the blunt accusations of socialism or terrorist sympathies. Compared to 2002 when Saxby Chamblis could run and ad with Max Cleland’s face and Osama Bin Laden’s and his audience got it, today’s culture warriors are actually having to say Obama pals around with terrorists. And the attack fails to resonate, in fact it apparently backfires.

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John McCain’s Campaign Manager is a Hit Man

Wow! have you heard this guy Rick Davis? McCain’s campaign manager is a major a-hole. He’s a full on attack dog. Abusive and all. One has to wonder if this attack on the media is deliberate.

If Rick Davis is any indication of the kind of people McCain would hire his administration would make Bush’s look like a real class act. Cheney is just evil. This guy is evil AND an asshole.

btw: I understand this guy was getting checks from Freddie and Fannie until this month.

Check out this interview with Andrea Mitchell

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Government, Your Partner in Reproduction: A Modest Proposal

According to Paul “Sorry-ma’am-this-is-my-job-someone’s-got-to-do-it” Mero, chief of Utah’s conservative Sutherland Institute, the state has a vested interest in your sex organs. Your children, you see, are the state’s means of production, and your sex organs, being the means of producing the means, are therefore a national asset subject to oversight. Lots of oversight. The more assets your member produces, the more valuable you are as a member. Biology is destiny. Darwin and the Mormons finally agree on something. Correspondingly, assets that choose not to produce are a threat to the state. Not just the blessed state of marriage, but the blessed STATE, also known as Das Vaterland, ueber, hinter, und inter alles. Non-productive asses, sorry, assets are a threat to the world as we know it.

But I think Paul, with that reticence that is his trademark, is too restrained. The implication of Scripture (“if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out”) and hard-nosed, Malthusian capitalism alike is that we need to GET RID of unproductive units and more aggressively reward the productive, especially the White Anglo-Saxon Productive. America for WASPs! The trickle down theory of sex triumphs! Here, then, are a few modest proposals to keep America in the reproductive running (up there in the lead next to such societal luminaries as the Sudan, Iran, and my personal favorite, Pakistan).

First, build concentration camps for gays. If they misbehave, gas them and cremate their bodies in industrial ovens. These people are a menace to society. Not just their way of life but their LIFE threatens not only marriage but the very fabric of society itself. It’s not clear yet exactly how they do this, but we know that they do. Our Gruppenfuehrer, known locally as GAs (Mormon speak for “General Authorities,” “the Lord’s anointed,” etc.), tell us so.

Second, institute a Frequent Fuckers program bankrolled by the state. This is the flagship program of my proposed new Sexcare system (the necessary and inexcusably overlooked counterpart to the present, post-productive Medicare–overlooked, probably due to insidious queer influence). To clarify, this benefit isn’t just for casual, recreational fucking, which the state will aggressively punish, but productive fucking, fucking with a purpose, fucking on a mission. We want more KIDS, billions and billions of them, googleplexes of them. We want an assembly line of kids rolling out of their mothers. Sadly we haven’t yet invented a less organic way of producing them, but Craig Venter and the geneticists are working on this.

There are three levels in this program, Gold, Silver, and Bronze (local variant: Celestial, Terrestrial, Telestial).

Gold-Level Fuckers, who produce more than twelve children per woman, who constitute a quorum wherever they go, receive the following benefits:

-A free starter palace in an American suburb of your choice, paid for by the sale of confiscated gay properties (several of them). Why wait for the kingdom which is to come when you can have it here? Palaces come complete with walls, drawbridge, armed guards, imported slave labor (will require optional Spanish translator). Many such palaces are on display on the Sandy bench where Paul lives.

-A free Chevvy Suburban, known locally as the Brigham Brougham, every seven years throughout your reproductive life or age 55, whichever comes last, paid for by the sale of even more gay vehicles (it takes about 2.5 Priuses to pay for one Suburban).

Silver-Level Fuckers, who produce six or more kids per woman (you’re in luck, Paul!) get:

-A one-time get out of jail free card from the IRS. Can be used if your reproductive success threatens to overwhelm you in debt.

-A quiver full of school vouchers, courtesy of Overstock.com’s Patrick Byrne (where he gets his money, with Overstock where it is, is a wonder to us all). You CAN have productive sex and send your kids to Harvard! Mitt Romney has also agreed to chip in to insure that every future GA has a chance to see the edyacated world before returning to Utah, the latter being in but not of the former.

-Lifetime membership in the Sutherland Institute, and a no-risk visit from Mormon missionaries, who will instruct you in ways of eternally increasing your productivity. Imagine it, men, eternal growth! Quality and quantity! Eternal male enhancement! One dizzies just thinking of it.

Bronze-Level Fuckers (this, unfortunately, is the farthest I’m likely to get toward that palace, Paul), who produce four or more kids per woman, earn:

-A free copy of Celestial Fucking. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, forthcoming. In this inspiring, exhaustively correlated and field-tested book, the author, a GA yet to be determined, reveals how patriarchal legends such as Abraham became the fathers of nations and took their first steps on the path of eternal increase.

-A free copy of Mastering Masturbation: Increasing Productivity through Self-Discipline, another Deseret Book masterpiece by the always-inspiring Sheri Dew, who draws on her own experience.

-A free Men on a Mission calendar by Chad Hardy (for her) and a Women Serving Under the Lord calendar (for him), to inspire continued progress in reproductive success. To be used only when you’re together. Publisher’s note: Please never take one of these into the bathroom alone. This is advanced eroticism, for happily married couples only!

-A signed and numbered reprint of Ezra Taft Benson’s famous “Precious Husband” speech that had so many LDS women talking!

-A free copy of the new LDS comedy hit, There’s Something About Martin, a hilarious sendup of gay life. Has audiences in Provo rolling in the aisles (quite a feat given the way some of them are wedged into their seats).

The message to People of Bronze is, “Don’t be discouraged. You are our bread and butter fuckers; we need you!” Fuck for your country! The idea of a new vision for the Peace Corps suggests itself here, but that will have to await another post.

For years, I’ve been wondering how the world would deal with its downward-spiraling population. Paul has the solution. We can no longer afford to leave sex to private enterprise. It needs government regulation. The days of laissez-fuck are over.

Vive l’etat! Sieg Heil! Ad maiorem Dei gloriam!

P.S. Paul, while I have you online, I wanted to remind you that our next Brown Shirt meeting is this coming Thursday. Auf Wiedersehen. Stay hard for your country, man, and your country women.

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