". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Monday, March 31, 2008

Cuba Allows Citizens to Stay in Hotels

This right will remain beyond the reach for many Cubans, nevertheless, for they will not be able to afford it. However, this means you can invite Cubans up to your room, take them to the bar, the restaurant, now. This was so embarrassing, so inconvenient for so many people working with Cuban musicians and artists.

There is more to the article than the pull following

[ HAVANA -- New President Raul Castro's government has lifted a ban on Cubans staying at hotels previously reserved for foreigners, ending another restriction that had been especially irksome to citizens.

Employees at the Nacional, Valencia and Santa Isabel Hotels in Havana said Ministry of Tourism officials told them Cubans were allowed to stay in hotels across the island as of midnight on Monday. Like other guests, they will be charged in hard currency worth 24 times the Cuban pesos state employees are paid in.

"They have informed us that with a national ID card, anyone can stay here," an employee at the Ambos Mundos Hotel in Old Havana said Monday. Non-guests who are Cuban nationals will also be allowed to pay for other hotel services, including gyms, said the employee, who asked for anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to foreign reporters. ]

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Composition Prize

Vaquero's one of the judges this year for a juried prize that goes to an original music score by a Cuban composer.

UPS delivered the box of scores. By the size there must be a million of them.

It is sitting in the middle of the space where I put my mat for my floor workout.

This cannot be allowed.

Where will I put it, until Vaquero gets back from NO again (he's there for the Tennessee Williams Festival -- doing a panel about now on the Gulf and New Orleans) and can take it to the office?

Argh! I can't work out until I move this carton. Today is mat work. Yesterday was cardio-vascular. Argh!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Afropop Worldwide Returns to the New York City Airwaves

We've been associated with this program almost from the beginning -- coming in, maybe a couple years after it first began, maybe? Vaquero's researched, written and produced many, many, many shows for the program, as well as providing other support.

[ Afropop Worldwide Returns to the New York City Airwaves Saturday Nights at 11 PM on Radio New York.

Brooklyn, NY (March 27, 2008) - Afropop Worldwide will make its broadcast debut on Radio New York (WNYE 91.5 FM) on Saturday March 29th at 11 p.m. Afropop Worldwide celebrates the music and stories of Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and of course the program’s hometown, New York City. The weekly serieswill bring New York listeners to dynamic capitals abroad, exclusive live concert recordings, interviews, and historically based programs on golden musical eras. Afropop Worldwide is hosted by international broadcast personality Georges Collinet from Cameroon and distributed by PRI Public Radio International to over 100 stations in the U.S.

Says Jon Pareles, Chief Popular Music Critic for The New York Times, “The music that Afropop Worldwide covers so well is a well spring of American and world culture, and no other organization I know does so well in helping it reach the listeners it deserves…The shows and the web site take scholarly care to communicate with a general audience, in a rare and welcome combination of depth and directness.”

“It is really exciting to add Afropop Worldwide to our new world and indie music schedule,” said Matthew Tollin, GM of Radio Operations for Radio New York. “This dynamic showcase of contemporary African music and culture is a perfect fit for Radio New York’s new diverse music programming.” ]

For more information go here.

Cuba lifts curbs on mobile phones

[ Cubans are to be allowed unrestricted access to mobile phones for the first time, in the latest reform announced under new President Raul Castro.

In a statement in official newspaper Granma, state telecom monopoly ETECSA said it would offer mobile services to the public in the next few days
. ]

[ Now Cubans will be able to subscribe to pre-paid mobile services under their own names, instead of going through foreigners or in some cases their work places.

However, the new service must be paid for in foreign currency, which will restrict access to wealthier Cubans.

ETECSA says the revenues will be used to fund telecommunications development in Cuba.

There They Go Again

"The Crazy Rev. Wright." by Ishmael Reed.

The energy with which Reed documents the wackodoodle whiteright on Wright is splendid. It's not that I, for instance, don't know any of what he lays out, and who these batsh*t fellows are, and yes, alas, some are females too, but he's got what it takes to face head-on and write out the endless list of them, what they say, who their associates are who give these spawn of satan their never-go-to-jail-or-get-nailed cards.

He begins:

[ Nothing is more uplifting than watching MSNBC's "Morning Joe," where wealthy Anglicized Irish Americans like Joe Scarborough, Chris Matthews, Tim "Little Russ" Russert and Pat Buchanan hold forth on the topic of race. During the week beginning March, 17, 2008, the talk was all about whether Barack Obama should distance himself from Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Presumably in the same manner that they distanced themselves from Don Imus. ]

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cuba moves to decentralize state-run agriculture

You can see the story here, by Marc Franck, from Reuters.

A pull from the longer article below:

[ HAVANA - Communist Cuba has begun decentralizing the state-dominatedagriculture sector in what appears to be the first major move by new President Raul Castro to improve efficiency and cut bureaucracy.

At meetings across Cuba, farmers are being told decisions ranging from landuse to resource allocation and sales will no longer be taken at the 17-floor agriculture ministry in Havana but at the local level, farmers who attended said. In addition, local municipal offices will be streamlined and will take more into account the activities of private farmers and cooperatives, not just state farms, they said. Cuba watchers say this will provide more leeway for private initiative to raise food output, Raul Castro's top economic priority since he began running the country on a temporary basis in mid-2006.

"This represents a major shift from a vertical to horizontal approach and a change in bureaucratic mentality from a national to territorial one," a local agriculture expert said on Monday, like others interviewed asking not to be named." They are moving decision-making closer to the producers and recognizingthat the private sector with just a fraction of the land produces 70 percentof our produce," he said. ]

2 Tree Photos

I've taken are up at Gotham City Soul, here on blogspot.

One of them is Washington Square Park in April of 2006 (though it's mis-labeled as City Park);

The other one I took on my first venture afield in the afternoon of 9/11, heading down to the Hudson River Walk.

Love, C.

Cachao's Funeral

Funeral arrangements for legendary Cuban musician Israel López -- ''Cachao'' to fans around the world -- include a Wednesday vigil and a Thursday Mass that will incorporate his music, his family and friends announced Monday. All events will be open to the public.

More details here.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Dinner on Easter Monday

Not that Easter matters a whit to us pagans, but there you go.

Yesterday and today too I've been the victim of one of my pinched nerve headaches from hades. They're brutal, particularly as there's no Vaquero here to give me that head and neck and shoulder magic that he works so well.

But he's almost home -- on the airtrain, in fact, from JFK.

It's too bad dinner was already made, as I expected him earlier, but he says it doesn't matter, he's sure it will most welcome.

Sirloin, pan grilled at highest burner, with ground black pepper, in a bit of olive oil, then loosely covered with foil to allow the heat from the cast iron skillet finish caramelizing the sugars in the meat;

Onions and garlic, caramelized in a bit of olive oil, with portobellos and some red wine;

Baked potatoes;

Salad of grated carrots, raisins and chinese cabbage.;

Hot salsa verde and avocado for garnish.

Plus Czech beer (for him, not me, not with this brute of a headache!).

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Cachao Died

Alas I can't post the Dominican Republic photos and so on here, since there's no 'privacy' option with Blogspot, as provided for my place on LJ, and as yet Vaquero doesn't know what of this material he's going to publish about his trip deep into Bachata Land in the hinterlands of the Domincan Republic.

So, I'll post the news of Cachao's death instead. We were scheduled to go to Yale next month for a birthday festival organized for Cachao, by Dr. Robert Ferris Thompson; Vaquero was to give the address. I suppose it'll be a memorial now, instead.

[ Sat, Mar. 22, 2008
Legendary Cuban musician 'Cachao' dies at 89

Known to the world by his nickname, Cachao, bassist, composer and bandleader Israel López died Saturday morning at Coral Gables Hospital of complications resulting from kidney failure. He was 89.
Cachao was, in his last years, the most important living figure in Cuban music, on or off the island.
And according to Cuban-music historian Ned Sublette he was ''arguably the most important bassist in twentieth-century popular music,'' innovating not only Cuban music but also influencing the now familiar bass lines of American R&B, ``which have become such a part of the environment that we don't even think where they came from.''
Cachao and his brother Orestes are most widely known for their late-1930s invention of the mambo, a hot coda to the popular but stately danzón that allowed the dancers to break loose at the end of a piece. Typically modest, Cachao always admitted that it was bandleader Dámaso Pérez Prado who made the beat world famous in the '50s.
A possibly more important move took place in 1957, when Cachao gathered a group of musicians in the early hours of the morning, pumped from playing gigs at Havana's popular nightclubs, to jam in front of the mikes of a recording studio. The resulting descargas, known to music aficionados worldwide as Cuban jam sessions, revolutionized Afro-Cuban popular music. Under Cachao's direction, these masters improvised freely in the manner of jazz, but their vocabulary was Cuba's popular music. This was the model that wold make live performances of Afro-Cuban based genres, from salsa to Latin jazz, so incredibly hot.
This majestic influence came from a man of sweet demeanor and unassailable sense of humor. Fronting his band at a fancy dance in Coral Gables when he was already in his late 80s, he seemed so frail he had to lean his whole body on the contrabass to keep from falling. But a look at his beatific smile proved that he was in heaven already, embracing his instrument like a lover, like a strong friend.
Still, he no longer owned a bass.
''That's outrageous,'' said jazz legend Charlie Haden when he heard this. ``I'll give him one of mine.''
But a contrabass took up too much room in his small Coral Gables apartment. Besides, what need did he have to rehearse? Cachao carried his bass, his music, inside him.
A marvel of the 20th century, Cachao was born into a family of musicians, many of them bassists -- around 40 and counting in his extended family.
As an 8-year-old bongo player, he joined a children's septet that included a future famous singer and bandleader, Roberto Faz. A year later, already on bass, he provided music for silent movies in his neighborhood theater, in the company of a pianist who would become a true superstar, the great cabaret performer Ignacio Villa, known as Bola de Nieve.
His parents made sure he was classically trained, first at home and then at a conservatory. In his early teens he was already playing contrabass with the Orquesta Filarmónica de La Habana, under the baton of guest conductors like Herbert von Karajan, Igor Stravinsky and Heitor Villa-Lobos.
After a rich musical career in his home country, he joined his fellow exiles in 1962, eventually landing in Las Vegas because, as he admitted, ``I was a compulsive gambler.'' Though cured later in life, he nearly gambled away every penny until his wife whisked him away from the town.
For a while, he had two distinct musical personae. In the New York salsa scene he was revered as a music god, with homage concerts dedicated to him, and records of his music produced by Cuban-music collector René López. In Miami, he was an ordinary working musician who would play quinceañeras and weddings, or back dance bands in the notorious Latin nightclubs of the Miami Vice era.
It took a celebrity, Miami's own Andy García, to integrate his musical personality into one: that of a legendary master. In the '90s, García produced the recordings known as Master Sessions and big concerts honoring his legacy. Since then, Cachao became again a household word among Cubans and his reputation continued to grow.
But he remained a working musician, though now at a much higher level of appreciation. Cachao continued to perform and record with all the energy of a much younger artist. Though visibly moved at the funeral of his fellow legend, trombonist Generoso Jiménez, in September 2007, he headlined a rollicking concert in Miami a week later.
On March 9 of this year, days before being hospitalized, the multiple Grammy winner was in the Dominican Republic receiving a lifetime achievement award. Cachao was planning an European tour in August with violinist Federico Britos, with whom he frequently collaborated.
The day before his death, Cachao told his friend Britos, ''When am I supposed to record with you again? I have to get out of bed.'' And he was in pre-production for a CD of new compositions.
''It was not only a great musician who died,'' said producer Emilio Estefan, ``but a great señor -- a gentleman. Even in his deathbed he would make sure his visitors felt at ease. He belonged to the people.''
Cachao, whose wife of 58 years, Ester Buenaventura López, died in 2004, is survived by their daughter María Elena López and grandson Hector Luis Vega, as well as nephew Daniel Palacio, who cared for the musician. Funeral arrangements will be announced this Saturday. ]

More - Ishmael Reed

The second part of the interview with Ishmael Reed went up on Counterpunch a while ago.

He describes in greater detail his objection to a 'certain sort of feminist,' feuds of his earlier years with other intellectuals and writers with whom he remains on friendly and companionable terms, and his objections to The Wire, and Simon.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Nasty Pastorate

And guess who is a member ....

This isn't news to me, or probably anyone else who pays attention to the crazy tidal wave, either.

Is the reason this isn't written about and discussed because of that, the religiousrightwingtakeoveroftherethugs?

Books and articles have written about it, as in the September 2007 issue of Mother Jones.

Now, a whole book is devoted to it: Jeff Sharlet's shocking exposé The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power will be published in May.

The sheer hypocrisy of the Big Pile-on Obama is sickening.

You know, I occasionally have been in black churches when something like Wright's exhortation has come into the service (and in other companies as well), but I didn't feel attacked, violated, that this was directed at me -- or even surprised.

What always comes into my mind when in this context is how my father would bully me, berate me and beat me and then insist I was not to cry, not to resent, and then he'd hit me again. -- because I cried OR because I did not cry.

I felt such identification with what was being presented that I never felt the object of it. As well, the people all around me didn't act as if I were the object either. Nor was this by any means the entire service. The service, the address, the sermon rolled, it really rolled, from abject hell to the sublimity of paradise. And I was caught on the wave.

Sometimes, I swear, this nation is so damned ignorant, I want to shake some sense into it. Well, we know how useful, how much good, that would be.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cuban Cooperative Farms

Cuba lifts ban on farmers buying supplies
By Marc Frank
March 17, 2008

[ HAVANA - Communist Cuba has lifted a ban on some farmers buying supplies inthe latest sign that new President Raul Castro is looking to individualinitiative to stimulate food production. Agricultural sources told Reuters on Monday that Cuba will soon open stores for farmers to buy tools, herbicides, boots and other supplies for the firsttime since the state took over all the country's shops in the 1960s. ]

Campaign Pain

The Dominican Republic's having a campaign season as well. The 'dem' party there is a lot more outspoken than the one here. They’re running a commercial that asks people in the street, what public works can you remember that were created by the PRD (basically the Republicans, whose thug president shamelessly looted the country via the banks, ending in . . . yes, a bank bailout)? The interviewee can’t name one. What do you remember about the PRD’s time in office? The cost of food went way up. The punchline: when the PRD goes up, the country goes down. Why can’t the Democrats in the US run commercials like this? Here we bicker about how Obama's supposed to beg forgiveness for an elderly black man's resentment of how white people have treated him, and how prostitution is a good job for women, and who is having affairs.

You cannot believe how poor the people by and large are in the DR. Cubans are poor, so many of them, but nobody in Cuba is living in the degraded conditions that most of the people of the DR are.

It's so important too, to recall that Wright is from at least two generations older than Obama. His life was very different than Obama's. That he might express hatred for what white people have done to him and his shouldn't be shocking. What is shocking is how many African Americans do not.

Obama's speech on race is one of the best things ever spoken or written on this continuing tragedy. It was brilliant. Nor did he kick anyone to the curb for political expediency. Recall what Clinton did with Dr. Joyce Elders? That was shameful.

Obama is to be admired for not throwing away someone he loves for the sake of political campaigning. His speech was admirable. He did not dodge the difficulties, but faced up to them. This is not what we witness these days, from those running for office, or holding office either.

Nearly everyone who could afford to acquire a slave, north or south, had a slave or two through the 18th century at least, and that includes the Adams family. Even if the African Americans working for you were paid, they got paid a whole lot less than white people, and they tended to be sent on the meanest, hardest, dirtiest and most dangerous work. You will be hard pressed to find a bridge or any such structure built here at the height of the industrial revolution that didn't have a lot of black men working on it, and for less wages than anyone else.

Much of this country was built out of their bodies, literally. That's what is meant when reparations for slavery are discussed. It's an historical truth that most of us either ignore or diminish. The truths of the reality of slavery are not fit subjects for children, and thus slavery is not taught in any realistic manner in history classes.

Evidently some dorkdongs have been howling that if Wright doesn't like it here he should leave. It's difficult -- in my opinion, impossible -- to tell people who arrived here via kidnapping and sale, against their will -- so definitely not their their ancestors's choice -- to love it or leave it.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Cuba lifts ban on computer and DVD sales

] HAVANA - Communist Cuba has authorized the unrestricted sale of computers and DVD and video players in the first sign that President Raul Castro ismoving to improve Cubans' access to consumer goods.
An internal government memo seen by Reuters on Thursday said the appliances long desired by Cubans can go on sale immediately, although air conditionerswill not be available until next year and toasters until 2010 due to limitedpower supplies.
Only foreigners and companies can buy computers in Cuba at present, while DVD players were seized at the airport until last year, when customs rules were eased.
Now Cubans will be able to buy them freely, paying for them in hard currency CUCs, or convertible pesos, worth 24 times more than the Cuban pesos state wages are paid in."Based on the improved availability of electricity, the government at the highest level has approved the sale of some equipment which was prohibited,"the memo said.It listed 19-inch (48-cm) and 24-inch (61-cm) television sets, electric pressure cookers and rice cookers, electric bicycles, car alarms and microwaves. . . .

The new memo circulated within the state-run retail system said Cubans willhave access to a second group of products in 2009, including airconditioners, which are much in demand to help endure the hot summer days inthe tropical country.
If Cuba's electricity supplies permit, additional appliances to be sold freely in 2010 include toasters and electric ovens, the memo said.
The sale of many electric appliances was banned in the 1990s when the collapse of the Soviet Union deprived Cuba of billions of dollars in subsidies and oil supplies, resulting in an energy crunch and daily blackouts of as long as 18 hours.
Cuba put an end to power cuts in 2006 by importing hundreds of electricity generators run on fuel supplied by Venezuela, its main foreign ally.
Raul Castro has encouraged debate of Cuba's economic woes and has received a torrent of complaints focusing mainly on poor wages and limited access to consumer goods that are priced in hard currency.
In December, he said Cuba had too many restrictions and last month, formally assuming leadership, he vowed "in the next few weeks we shall start removing the most simple of them.
"Many Cubans expect the state to soon allow them to buy cellular telephones. While they will now be able to buy computers, access to the Internet remains controlled by the government. ]

In Havana, A Page From the Past

In Havana, A Page From McCain's PastRestaurateur Displays Story Of Interview With POW

Pull quote of interest:

[ The Spanish-born Barral is now 79 and retains a lispy Madrileño accent eventhough he has lived nearly a half-century in Cuba. Barral said McCain was"boastful" during their interview and "without remorse" for any civiliandeaths that occurred "when he bombed Hanoi." McCain has a similar recollection, writing in his book that he responded, "No, I do not" whenBarral asked if he felt remorse. ]

Ay-up, in case we forget -- "BombBombBomb Iran McCain" has actually killed civilians from the air.

And doesn't care.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Spitzer Sex Sting -- Some More Questions

From Harpers:

[ On the other hand, ABC News this evening offers a starkly different account of how the investigation got launched. According to ABC, the whole investigation of the prostitution ring itself was triggered by an investigation of Spitzer.

The federal investigation of a New York prostitution ring was triggered by Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s suspicious money transfers, initially leading agents to believe Spitzer was hiding bribes, according to federal officials. It was only months later that the IRS and the FBI determined that Spitzer wasn’t hiding bribes but payments to a company called QAT, what prosecutors say is a prostitution operation operating under the name of the Emperors Club. …

The suspicious financial activity was initially reported by a bank to the IRS which, under direction from the Justice Department, brought in the FBI’s Public Corruption Squad. “We had no interest at all in the prostitution ring until the thing with Spitzer led us to learn about it,” said one Justice Department official.

However, there is a second tier of questions that needs to be examined with respect to the Spitzer case. They go to prosecutorial motivation and direction. Note that this prosecution was managed with staffers from the Public Integrity Section at the Department of Justice. This section is now at the center of a major scandal concerning politically directed prosecutions. During the Bush Administration, his Justice Department has opened 5.6 cases against Democrats for every one involving a Republican. Beyond this, a number of the cases seem to have been tied closely to election cycles. Indeed, a study of the cases out of Alabama shows clearly that even cases opened against Republicans are in fact only part of a broader pattern of going after Democrats. So here are the rather amazing facts that surface in the Spitzer case: ]

I highly suggest reading the rest of this squib.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Another Dem Gub Bites The Dust

Though Spitzer is still vascillating about resigning, despite being indicted for criminal connection to the veddy upscale prostitution ring known as The Emperors' Club. Federal wiretap and IRS duel investigation into money laundering and tax evasion got evidence that when Our Gub went to D.C. to testify on corporate criminality he arranged to meet one of the expensive escort service's 'girls' at the Mayflower Hotel. For some reason she was coming in by train from NY. Sooooooo supposedly they may try to nail HIM on the Mann Act and on RICO. I'm not sure this can stand.

But nevermind. This Mr. Rectitude knows the gops have been gunning for him for a long time, salivating to get him -- he busted a Staten Island prostitution ring while NY's attorney general, and has gone after Wall Street bigs for corporate shenanigans. Wall St. partied like crazy today, despite the market's continued slide.

So, like Clinton, we've got another dem -- superdelegate, big Hillary fund-raiser and campaigner -- demonstrating his arrogant, selfish teh stupid.

The question is: that client list -- he's known as 'client 9' -- who are the other clients? How come only he is getting indicted? how many gop politicos and lobbyists are serviced by these high priced ladies -- prices up to $4,500 a night, $31 thousand per day -- Why a federal investigation and wiretap for this? Was it legal? And, um -- how many dem gubs has this regime taken down so far?

I'm furious. His wife looks wrecked. He has 3 teenage daughters. So stupid, so selfish. What a bastard. And pretending he is such a crusader against criminality.

teh stupid doesn't get more stupid than this.

I'm furious that yet another one of them has fucked me and the voters over -- out of their selfishness. Truly the legacy of Bill.

So we've got a preview here of what it will be if Billary go back the Oval Office: The Clintons Part 2: the Sequel.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

President Kirchner - Santo Domingo Summit

Of the various articles that have appeared in English about the South American leaders making peace at the Santo Domingo summit, only this piece in the L.A. Times reported Argentina president Cristina Kirchner's pointed, laugh-inducing rebuke to Uribe, Correa, and Chávez, uttered in the course of rejecting unilateral action and insisting on territorial sovereignty.

Pull quote:

[ "We women are accused of being irrational and hysterical sometimes . . . but some of the scenes that we see here show that sometimes we are the most rational," and then added, "In some things we are a little better than some men." ]

In Spanish:

[ Siempre nos han acusado a las mujeres de que se nos vuelan los pájaros, deque tenemos cierto grado de histerismo, ironizó. Quiero decirles que algunas escenas que por ahí nos toca ver, nos convierten a las mujeres tal vez en las personas más racionales de este planeta. En algunas cosas somosun poco mejores que algunos hombres". ]

It is probably worth recalling that amid the noise about whether the U.S. isready to have a female president, both Chile and Argentina have women presidents right now.

Here are two articles in Spanish: one about Kirchner, the other about a peace concert being planned by Colombian superstar, Juanes, to take place near the Colombian-Venezuelan border.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

International Women's Day - March 8, 2008

It was International Women's Day in NYC too.

Alas the weather in NYC was so very rotten.

Nevertheless women marched.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Ishmael Reed Speaks

Ishmael Reed is one of my favorite writers as commentator, thinker, journalist or novelist. since sometime when I got mature enough -- sophisticated enough -- to appreciate him; alas that took until sometime late into the 80's, I think, coz he's so subtle and that includes his sense of humor. He's not what anyone could call politically correct, which can be uncomfortable -- but he's pretty equal opportunity that way.

Here is part one of his first interview in 10 years.

He speaks to some of the issues that have been discussed this week around the fraudulent memoir, though being Reed, it's Simon (The Wire) and Price (Clockers and The Wire among other works about gang violence), among others he goes after -- for making money off the poverty and violence of black people. Full disclosure just in case: I deeply admire the work of both Simon and Price. But I'm a woman. The capacity to admire and enjoy opposites, antagonists and contradictions , like multi-tasking, is hard-wired into my system.

Reed's among those who doesn't believe that racism is over in this country. Highly recommended reading for anyone. You / me agreeing with him is not his objective. Making you think is.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Publishing Frauds

Yes, I know. There's another primarycaucus going on. The old white guy who doesn't like contraception is now the official rethug candidate, the old white guy who has bent over, genuflected, done whatever he can to suck up to the rethuggers no matter how it went against what he knows to be true in order to be The Man -- and that includes stating that torture isn't torture, and that torture does provide good info, despite his own 'honorable' incarceration as a tortured pow. Then there are the two non-insiders, the black guy and the white gal, and woohoohoo, since they are both corporatists. And really, we all know that this entire prez election nom wannbe is a television reality show to distract us during the time of the Writers Strike when there couldn't be any real tv created, and is the most expensive smokenmirrors video game ever played nationally. But nevermind.

I'm still interested in the publishing frauds perpetrated upon us by the 5 big trade publishers, with that faux gangbanger white sherman oaks private education gal pretensing she's a poc running drugs. Why, the primary medias all cry, wringing their hands and whinging.

This is why.

Because the editors know these memoirs are false. They don't care. They think you / me / wqe are too stupid or dumb to notice or to care. Don't fool yourself despite how much whinging they do and the non mea culpas. They know.

By the way, reading through the readers' comments in response to the The New York Times's exposure of the book is well worth doing. They call it all the way down the line, including the acquiring editor's close personal association with the Times which is how the book received so much attention in the first place -- all those dirty laundry ins-and-outs of the publishing industry overall, which includes, let us not forget magazines and newspapers and blogs and television and radio -- oh, yes, the 'memorist' was on the daily noon - 2 p.m. WNYC program last Friday, and ATC on NPR, etc. -- as well the offices of the big trade publishers. As well the readers draw attention to the single enviornment of mendacity in which we now live, from top down -- the DCclownfacegangofcriminalliars, the talk radio smears, the fake 'reality' television programming. Nobody can tell the difference between true and false, original and fake, original and plagerism, copyright and copyright infringement, illegal downloads and freeware, and moreover, nobody cares.

This (Wednesday) A.M. more non mea culpa, on behalf of the *NY Times, etc. --

Please note that in each instance of the frauds perpetrated via the publishing industry, each part of the primary media collaborated, i.e. went along with the fraud, i.e. here, in this story in the NY Times, the NY Times did a review, a feature, an interview with the author / about the book.

The reason is that nonfiction has more slots in the schedule than fiction does, has more means of promotion via television and talk radio etc., than fiction does, pays better than fiction, and thus is easier to get an agent to sell, and an editor and publisher to say yes. That's why they pretend it's a memoir rather than a novel.


Going Good!

At the moment TWTMNO is the publisher's number 1 seller.

May it continue.

Of course, the interest in this book would be greatest down here.

In the meantime today yet another big-money 'memoir' was exposed as a fraud -- this one about growing up in gangbanger life. Last week it was a woman who as a child traveled about nazi-dominated Europe as Jewish child survivor, who survived with the assistance of -- wolves. No, I did not make that up. But the writers did. Not a word of autobiographical truth in it.

I read the glowing reviews of these books, as well as previous ones also exposed as frauds, and my radar immediately went up. Radar like -- "I don't believe this is true. This fantasy."

So, how come the editors and the publishers who ennabled them, don't see the fraud?

It's easy to believe that they did know these were fraudulant memoirs but thought the pubic so gullible that we wouldn't, and thereby they make oodles of money.