The Day after the Memorial Day

Written by Arthur Zulu

"We are, meanwhile, going to erect befitting memorial tombs with beautiful flowers on them for our fallen soldiers. And inscribe their names on their tombstones in letters of gold, with our national flag flying overhead. For they did not die in vain. They fought and died forrepparttar empire. And we hope that many more will volunteer to fight and die for our Great Fatherland. May God blessrepparttar 132424 Empire!"

That was notrepparttar 132425 voice ofrepparttar 132426 president ofrepparttar 132427 United States, addressing fellow Americans on Memorial Day. Rather, it wasrepparttar 132428 speech of Sunrise and Sunset, two kings who had led expeditionary forces throughoutrepparttar 132429 earth in a vain search for Inferno,repparttar 132430 terrorist. They had returned home without their soldiers, and had to explain to their countrymen and women why it was necessary forrepparttar 132431 soldiers to die. The book's title from whichrepparttar 132432 quotation was taken is my controversial work, CHASING SHADOWS! : A Dream.

According to Jonathan Glover in his book, Humanity—A Moral History ofrepparttar 132433 Twentieth Century, "Death in twentieth-century war has been on a scale which is hard to grasp. . . . But, if these deaths had been spread evenly over a period, war would have killed around 2,500 people every day. That is over 100 people an hour, aroundrepparttar 132434 clock, for ninety years." Hardly something to cheer about. People are either being slaughtered in political, racial, or religious wars. And members ofrepparttar 132435 armed forces are dying in large numbers.

It is for this reason that nations all overrepparttar 132436 word have set aside a date to remember its fallen soldiers. Americans have two—the Memorial Day, which is marked onrepparttar 132437 last Monday of May, and Remembrance Sunday or Veterans Day celebrated on November 11. On these occasions, seasoned speech writers ensconced inrepparttar 132438 serenity of well guarded offices, craft Demosthenian and Ciceronian speeches and hand them over to draft dodging heads of states, who intonerepparttar 132439 virtues of sacrifice andrepparttar 132440 reward of patriotism inrepparttar 132441 mellifluous voice of angels.

There will be somber religious services in churches on Memorial Day inrepparttar 132442 United States. The pastors will specifically petition God to acceptrepparttar 132443 ‘souls' ofrepparttar 132444 departed soldiers and give them special seats in heaven; wives would weep over their dead husbands; tombs ofrepparttar 132445 ‘gallant' heroes would be whitewashed and beautiful flowers would be laid on them; war veterans who had been forgotten would instantly be remembered; there would be reports of sighted soldiers in far away lands who had been missing in action; and most important—there would be a one minute silence in memory ofrepparttar 132446 dead.

This year's Memorial Day promises to be interesting. Because one presidential candidate is a decorated war veteran whilerepparttar 132447 other is said to have played safe. But they are both honorable men. One thing which men of honor do on Memorial days is to recount their daring escapades in war. One presidential candidate may scriptrepparttar 132448 appearance ofrepparttar 132449 man he saved from drowning in a river duringrepparttar 132450 war in Vietnam. I don't know whatrepparttar 132451 other would do. However, he too, is an honorable man. But what happens afterrepparttar 132452 Memorial Day?

Free Jazz: The Jazz Revolution of the '60s

Written by Robert Levin

Revised and expanded here, this piece originated as an “oral essay” forrepparttar Cosmoetica Omniversica interview series on

More or less officially unveiled withrepparttar 132422 first New York appearance ofrepparttar 132423 Ornette Coleman Quartet atrepparttar 132424 Five Spot Café inrepparttar 132425 fall of 1959, free jazz (or new black music, space music, new thing, anti-jazz or abstract jazz as it would variously be labeled), gave new dimension torepparttar 132426 perennial "where'srepparttar 132427 melody?" complaint against jazz.

For most ofrepparttar 132428 uninitiated, whatrepparttar 132429 Coleman group presented on its opening night was in fact sheer cacophony.

Four musicians (a saxophonist, trumpeter, bassist and drummer) abruptly began to play—with an apoplectic intensity and at a bone-rattling volume—four simultaneous solos that had no perceptible shared references or point of departure. Even unto themselvesrepparttar 132430 solos, torepparttar 132431 extent that they could be isolated as such inrepparttar 132432 density of sound that was being produced, were without any fixed melodic or rhythmic structure. Consisting, by turns, of short, jagged bursts and long meandering lines unmindful of bar divisions and chorus measures they were, moreover, laced with squeaks, squeals, bleats and strident honks. A number ended and another began—or was itrepparttar 132433 same one again? How were you to tell? No. No way this madness could possibly have a method.

But umbilically connected torepparttar 132434 emergent black cultural nationalism movement,repparttar 132435 madness did indeed have a method. The avowed objective ofrepparttar 132436 dramatic innovations that musicians like Ornette, Cecil Taylor—and, in their footsteps, Sunny Murray, Andrew Cyrille, Archie Shepp, Bill Dixon, Albert Ayler, Jimmy Lyons, Eric Dolphy and (the later period) John Coltrane, among hundreds of others—initiated and practiced fromrepparttar 132437 late '50s intorepparttar 132438 early '70s, was to restore black music to its original identity as a medium of spiritual utility. When these men abandoned an adherence to chord progressions,repparttar 132439 32-bar song form,repparttar 132440 fixed beat andrepparttar 132441 soloist/accompanist format, and began to employ, among other things, simultaneous improvisations, fragmented tempos and voice-like timbres, they were very deliberately replacing, with ancient black methodologies, those Western concepts and systems that had, by their lights, worked to subvert and reduce black music in America to either a pop music or (for many of them no less a corruption of what black music was supposed to be) an art form.

Alan Silva, a one-time bassist with Cecil Taylor and thenrepparttar 132442 leader of his own thirteen-piece orchestra, maderepparttar 132443 point in an interview I did with him for Rolling Stone.

"I don't want to make music that sounds nice," Silva told me. "I want to make music that opensrepparttar 132444 possibility of real spiritual communion between people. There's a flow coming from every individual, a continuous flow of energy coming fromrepparttar 132445 subconscious level. The idea is to tap that energy throughrepparttar 132446 medium of improvised sound. I do supplyrepparttar 132447 band with notes, motifs and sounds to give it a lift-off point. I also directrepparttar 132448 band, though not in any conventional way—like I might suddenly say 'CHORD!' But essentially I'm dealing with improvisation asrepparttar 132449 prime force, notrepparttar 132450 tune. The thing is, if you put thirteen musicians together and they all play at once, eventually a cohesion, an order, will be reached, and it will be on a transcendent plane."

(I commented inrepparttar 132451 interview that "Silva says his band wants to commune withrepparttar 132452 spirit world and you aren't sure that it doesn't. With thirteen musicians soloing atrepparttar 132453 same time, at extraordinary decibel levels, astonishingly rapid speeds and with complete emotional abandon for more than an hour,repparttar 132454 band arrives not only at moments of excruciating beauty, but at sounds that rising in ecstatic rushes and waves and becoming almost visible inrepparttar 132455 mesmerizing intensity, weight and force of their vibrations, do for sure seem to be flushing weird, spectral things fromrepparttar 132456 walls, fromrepparttar 132457 ceiling, from your head.")

Of course not all of these musicians shared Silva's position entirely. Some sawrepparttar 132458 music as an intimidating political weapon inrepparttar 132459 battle for civil rights and exploited it as such. Others, like Taylor, did and quite emphatically, regard themselves as artists. For Taylor, a pianist and composer who took what he needed not just from Ellington and Monk, but from Stravinsky, Ives and Bartok, it wasn't about jettisoning Western influences on jazz, but about absorbing them into a specifically black esthetic.

Forrepparttar 132460 most part, however, disparities amongrepparttar 132461 younger musicians ofrepparttar 132462 period amounted to dialects ofrepparttar 132463 same language. All of them sharedrepparttar 132464 "new black consciousness"—a new pride in being black—and their reconstruction of jazz, their purging of its Western elements, or their assertion of black authority over those elements, was, to one degree or another, intended to revive and reinstaterepparttar 132465 music's first purpose.

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