Era of Throwaway LyricsWritten by Austin Akalanze
Era of Throwaway Lyrics
I often thought it was generation gap or perhaps evolutionary cycle or simply a sign of end times. But, whatever it is, one thing is certain: that music has changed immensely in 20th century.
For brevity, my focus shall be on sixties and seventies, when nations seemed to have come alive with lyrics and rhythm of time and nineties, when they seem to have lost that rhythm change that drove sixties.
While music has grown in other times, sixties saw an explosion in industry. It did not only grow in size, but also in quality. Performers elevated art to a new high, using their talents to address needs and concerns of society.
In Africa, artists turned out hit after hit. This was especially true in central and western Africa. The folkloric songs of fifties were replaced by more vibrant, more up beat rhythm of sixties. In Zaire, Franco in his hit song "Trezempoli," which translates "very impolite," criticized those who smoke in offices where they do not like smoke. Also in Zaire, Tabuley in his song "Sara" talked about problem of divorce. In his philosophy divorce is unthinkable. Nigeria’s, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, in his massive hit "Zombie", done in Nigeria's unofficial lingua franca, Broken English, berates military government of then General Olusegun Obasanjo for its lack of vision and soldiers for their blind obedience. "Zombie no go think unless you tell am to think…" he lamented.
In Caribbean, Ska was polished and elevated to richer, more balanced Rocksteady, with a lot of infusion of African drum, and finally to internationally acclaimed Reggae beat. Joe Higgs, Desmond Decker, and Bob Marley were some of early apostles. In his hit song "War," Bob Marley reechoed a speech made by Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia at United Nations in 1960's. "Until philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior, is finally and permanently, discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war." Also from Caribbean, Jimmy Cliff, in his classic “Vietnam” lent a credible voice to opposition against America’s carnage in that country. "Yesterday I got a letter from my friend, fighting in Vietnam… Tell all my friends that I will be coming home soon, my time will be up sometime in June. But Mrs. Brown your son is dead.” Yet, in another hit he lamented widening divide between rich and poor. “It’s a pain to see we are in a sad situation, suffering in land. The rich is getting richer and poor…”
The story was same in America. Descendants of Negro slaves turned beats and experiences of White America's cotton fields into new forms, imbuing them with new spirituality and new energy that gave added impetus to their struggle. Candy Staton, in "In Ghetto," captured mood and spirit of Negroes trapped in ghettoes of North America. "If there is anything she don't need, it’s another little hungry mouth to feed in ghetto… and his mama cried." James Brown, in "I am Black and Proud," sought to bring pride back to blackness, which hitherto had been a burden and a badge of dishonor and scorn to those who wore it. “Say it loud, I am black and proud,” he implored. Cart Stevens, “Wild World”- now that I have lost everything to you …but if you wanna leave take good care, hope you make a lot of nice friends out there but just remember a lot of nice things turn bad out there…”
Jimmy’s Execution in his words — Part 2Written by Jimmy Kinslow as told to Ed Howes
PART OF PRISON REFORM SERIES
Nurse Viscum must have been angry at world because she snapped a refusal to call Dr. Smith so I could speak to him. I asked several times more. Each request was refused. I told Nurse Viscum if she continued to misuse her role as a medical gatekeeper, refusing to relay my serious medical problems to Dr. Smith, I would file an institutional grievance against her. She exploded in anger and ordered me from HCU under threats of having me walked to segregation and thrown in "hole". I left and filed grievance.
The next week I reported to HCU to receive my weekly injection of PEG Interferon. I discovered Nurse Viscum had refused to reorder my dosage of PEG Interferon. I was unable to receive my injection of PEG Interferon until Thursday, December 5, 2002, four days behind schedule. I asked to speak with temporary acting Medical Director, Dr. Jovita Anyanwu. Nurse Viscum said he refused to see me. I wanted to discuss any possible medical complications due to this delay in medication schedule and make sure that I was now on a Thursday weekly injection schedule to receive PEG Interferon. Nurse Viscum sarcastically replied, "yeah, you're on a Thursday schedule."
Four days later I was summoned to HCU Monday, December 9, 2002 and ordered to take another full strength injection of PEG Interferon. I refused at first, taking out "Medication Guidelines" enclosed with box that PEG-Interferon came in. It states that I was to NEVER, EVER take more than one single injection per week, and that it is supposed to be taken at same time and day each week, whenever possible. Nurse Viscum took "Medication Guidelines" and left ER, saying she was going to show them to Dr. Anyanwu. She came back in minutes, saying that Dr. Anyanwu said I was to take injection. It wouldn't hurt me and they wanted me back on a Monday injection schedule for their convenience.
Again I refused, saying I wanted to speak to Dr. Anyanwu in person. Nurse Viscum got on phone in front of me and called someone she said was Dr. Anyanwu. She hung up and said I either take injection as ordered, or my medical treatments would be terminated. Under this threat to stop my treatments, and against my better judgment, I submitted. I took early injection of PEG Interferon which overdosed me.
Big, big mistake. It hit me with force of a sledgehammer, putting me in a near coma for next week. It immediately began destroying my red blood cells at a rapid pace. I repeatedly requested to see a doctor over frightening effects this was having on me. They steadfastly refused to see me. I filed grievances, wrote letters, spoke to officials in person. I was ignored. No doctor or other ADDUS Healthcare staff would see me until Dr. Kevin Smith reluctantly saw me January 9, 2003. His first words were to confront me over naming him in a lawsuit I filed over first sabotage of my HCV treatments; under Kinslow v. Snyder, Jr., et al., No.01 466 DRH. In a very hostile manner, Dr. Smith refused to listen or treat lingering, painful drug reaction I had to Periactin he had prescribed for me. He then dismissed my crashing red blood cell levels and refused to treat with Procrit or Neuprogen to stabilize red/ white blood cells. He refused to prescribe vitamins or a medical diet recommended in order allowing me to take Rebetol medications. These improve absorption and efficiency of anti viral medication up to 70% ; a very significant improvement which could mean success or failure of treatments.
He refused to treat uncured stomach/intestinal infection I still had. He adamantly refused to send me to specialist Dr. Wiley at U.I.C Liver/Hematology Clinic over these medical problems and to generally monitor my treatments like they said they would when I began HCV treatments. This refusal to provide needed medical treatment for these serious conditions was clearly in retaliation for naming him in a lawsuit and filed grievances.