“..I say we had best look our times and lands searchingly in the face, like a
physician diagnosing some deep disease. Never was there, perhaps, more hollowness at heart than at present, and here in the United States. Genuine belief seems to have left us. The underlying principles of the States are not honestly believ’d in, (for all this hectic glow, and these melodramatic screamings,) nor is humanity itself believ’d in. What penetrating eye does not everywhere see through the mask? The spectacle is appalling. We live in an atmosphere of … Read More
William Blake – title-page of America a Prophecy copy A (printed 1795) – collection of the Morgan Library
Allen, writing, prophetically, in 1959:
AG: “Recent history is the record of a vast conspiracy to impose one level of mechanical consciousness on mankind and exterminate all manifestations of that unique part of human sentience, identical in all men, which the individual shares with his Creator. The suppression of contemplative individuality is nearly complete…”
“Because systems of mass communication can communicate only officially acceptable levels of reality, no one can ever know the extent of the secret unconscious life. No one … Read More
…That you are unable to understand why I make so much of Rimbaud, dismays me somewhat. Though I should dislike to be over-bumptious about it, with your kind permission, I must witness his defense. I fear that since you have read Rougemont‘s Partie du Diable you possibly approach Rimbaud viewing him as another eccentric French Satanist
The format of the “Teach-In”, derived from ‘Sixties protests against the Vietnam War
AG: And the other thing, simultaneously is a heating up of all the war protest groups – the Alliance To Resist War and Violence [sic], and there’s now a classic “teach-in” going to take place (like in the ‘Sixties – “teach ins”?). There’s another “Teach-in” coming up, from Thursday on, Thursday and Friday, big “teach-in” at C.U. (Colorado University) . Simultaneous with Simon Ortega [sic – Editorial note – confusing him with Daniel Ortega, Allen means Simon Ortiz], (no, just before Simon … Read More
Some sort of synchronicity. We had scheduled this post (Allen at Naropa in 1980, announcing a Native American-led protest against the sacrilege and environmental disaster of the proposal for South Dakota uranium mining), prior to the breaking news of Amy Goodman‘s arrest (and yesterday’s acquittal) over reporting on demonstrations against the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline.
For more on the Pipeline and for Democracy Now‘s full coverage of the issue – see here
Amy Goodman, hosting Democracy Now! from Mandan, North Dakota
Allen and Philip Glass‘s 1990 interview with Studs Terkel (see here and here) concludes with Terkel offering Allen an open platform to “go off” on “anything of his choice”. Allen takes full advantage, listing the dangerous turn to censorship and repression in contemporary America circa 1990 (his “cautionary footnote”, as Terkel describes it, is a snapshot of a moment, but still reads chillingly, and regrettably, continuingly, pertinent in the light of present times.)
ST: Al, I thought we’d go off open-endedly, as they used to say in the … Read More
AG: Does anyone know (William) Blake’s “Little Black Boy”? – with a funny similar, similar little metaphor in that. Anybody here know that? Does everybody here know “Little Black Boy”? Anyone not? Who knows it..?
Student: I don’t know it.
AG: ……or know of it, know of it.
Student: I heard it was sung.
AG: Yeah, maybe I’ll sing that..while we’re at it, at that – not that it’s that relevant but the tune is (also important)…..Just for a similarity of theme I’ll get right to that song.
Student: Page five-hundred-and-forty-seven
AG: What.. is it in here? – “Black Boy”?.. “The Little Black Boy”? – … Read More