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Freedom is when you have nothing left to quit - Craig Griffen, The Blues Bard

Author Topic: Ungrateful bunch of __________________  (Read 2526 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Ungrateful bunch of __________________
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2014, 06:18:21 PM »
You make a good point, Randy, and as far as that goes, nobody under discussion here is around to defend themselves. 

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Ungrateful bunch of __________________
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2014, 07:26:33 PM »
Bill, perhaps you did not read Slack's apology and his explanation for his original responses.

As for the site being merely a sanitized fan site, perhaps you have not browsed it much.

Tinpanallygurl - your description of your initial discussions of country blues with another person being with Stephen Calt puts you in a truly weird position. On the one hand, it puts you in the company of one of the most prominent blues researchers to work on the history of this music. On the other, as you probably know better than a lot of us, it puts you in the company of a very difficult man, with controversial opinions (to put it mildly), who is himself the subject of much controversy, and much animosity. What you've described is a toxic environment for anyone beginning an appreciation of country blues.

Here's the problem for me. By starting the thread with all of the focus on Calt and his racist bluster, you've left yourself open to exactly some of the reaction you received. Calt and his opinions have been the subject of interminable discussion here and in many other places online, so the prospect of going through it all again is bound to rub any number of people the wrong way, whether you are aware of this history or not. Like I said, you're in a weird position given your own history with him and acknowledgement that you were initially unaware of sites to discuss the music.

Then at the same time as you note your understandable discomfort with his description of the blues players he knew as "ungrateful _________", and we have to assume this means n***ers, you go and make that the subject heading of the thread.

So we've got a toxic beginning for your own initial blues conversations, a toxic start to this thread, a toxic subject heading and basically a toxic premise. Add to that the fact that most of the people who discuss this music are sick of discussions about Stephen Calt -- whether it's the mean-spirited opinions about players, the accusations of bigotry and anti-semitism, the lawsuits, or for that matter the desperate search for his books -- then maybe you can understand how some people might not respond so positively to your original post.

I don't think Slack was bullying at all, and let's leave that word for the real bullying that goes on in the world and online, even if he did apologize as a courtesy.

After years of running internet forums -- some of us like Slack since before the Internet had pictures -- you develop some instincts for trouble. I had the same reaction as him initially. Where was this thread going, given its beginnings and its subject heading? Most of the time, you're right. Sometimes you're not.

As for what these musicians may have been like, can't get much better than Bruce's response, including this: "Calt's 'take' on these musicians says more about him than them."
« Last Edit: April 09, 2014, 08:19:53 PM by uncle bud »

Offline pkeane

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Re: Ungrateful bunch of __________________
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2014, 10:09:35 PM »
I'm really surprised and disappointed by this thread. I too saw nothing in the least wrong with the initial post/inquiry (and found much to be disturbed by in the responses).

I think I'll take a break from participating here.

-Peter

Offline oddenda

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Re: Ungrateful bunch of __________________
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2014, 12:08:48 AM »
Yes, Calt "did" much for "the blues" and our knowledge regarding the music and its past, not all good. He just wasn't a very nice person, as his Skip James book attests, and he had his own psycho-sexual axes to grind. He lost me with his liner-note comment on a Yazoo Fuller LP that Blind Boy Fuller's record "Black & Tan" being about a "sexual perversion performed by Fuller and his wife". Cora Mae Allen should have sued his ass off, and Nick Perls should never published those liner notes. Looking back, I should have become a typical "America" and hired a lawyer for Cora: I did not partly because I was so taken aback by it all that I slunk away from it all. My bad.

Peter B.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Ungrateful bunch of __________________
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2014, 04:49:40 AM »
I'm really surprised and disappointed by this thread. I too saw nothing in the least wrong with the initial post/inquiry (and found much to be disturbed by in the responses).

I think I'll take a break from participating here.

-Peter

Hi Peter - I'm really sorry you feel that way and assume that my post is part of that disappointment. I'll just say it was not at all meant in any recriminatory way or as a put-down of tinpanallygurl. She asked why we can't we have an adult discussion. I was acknowledging the awkwardness of her position given her experience with Calt as a filter for discussions about blues players, and giving a frank explanation of why the thread set off alarm bells. I was saying if a thread begins with him and a quote from him that I think we can all agree is offensive, it is likely to remain about him, regardless of the original intent. And that because of those things, she might get some negative responses or opinions, since a bunch of us have been down that ugly road before. It's not her road and not her fault. It's Calt's road.

I think it's great that you recognize the difficulties women can have in your industry and you work to confront that, I really do. I am lucky and happy to work in a field with a majority of strong women, so maybe my own approach is coloured by that. I'll certainly keep that in mind.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 04:53:36 AM by uncle bud »

Offline Slack

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Re: Ungrateful bunch of __________________
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2014, 07:01:33 AM »
Peter, I'm also sorry you feel that way.  But I must say I'm also disappointed that I cannot express a strong opinion about a proposed new topic without it being taken "bullying".

tinpanallygurl had a "heartbreaking" experience with Calt.  The topic is about Calt.  Been there, done that. Why would I be disappointed (regardless of if it is I who is an administrator)?... because the topic can go nowhere but down.  And the topic takes the discussion away from talking about music - which is what this site is all about.

tinpanallygurl did indeed get her adult discussion, so much so, that she has bailed out of the conversation.  And she also got the answer to her question as well.  And where has that gotten us? 

Well, it has alienated members for starters.  Inevitable. 

(edited to correct my misreading of who the anti semite/racist tinpanally was referring to and perhaps a premature declaring of a hit and run.)

« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 07:50:07 AM by Slack »

Offline jrn

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Re: Ungrateful bunch of __________________
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2014, 08:54:20 AM »
 I don't see any evidence of bullying. Tinpan wanted an adult conversation, and that's what she got, a civil adult conversation where opinions were expressed.  The powers that be wanted to make sure the conversation stayed civil, that's what we all want right?

Who cares if Calt might be racist? If so, its his hang up, not ours. As far racism goes, it's a fact of life unfortunately. Anybody who's been out and about in this world has seen it. Nothing new there. Nothing to add.

Jason
Quitman, Mississippi

Offline RobBob

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Re: Ungrateful bunch of __________________
« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2014, 10:06:51 AM »
I met some of the older blues giants as a very young man.  Never spent much time with many, and did with lesser known but good blues players.  They were bemused by the young white boy's interest in them but for the most part quite polite and helpful.  Some of them could drink but mostly they played and spoke and I listened.  With one fellow, Moses Rascoe, of little fame really, I became a fast friend and we played music in his kitchen, in bars and in concerts over several years.  Like all of the older folks I have known, he had far more to teach me than I had sense to learn.

Offline tinpanallygurl

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Re: Ungrateful bunch of __________________
« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2014, 10:02:29 PM »
Thank you Slack for the apology and to Uncle Bud for your insight.  No I didn't really get the answer to the question I asked but that hardly matters now.  Sorry for taking the focus off of music like our administrator and focused it on their a possible aspect of their life.  To those of you that read my little tid bit for what it was and responded likewise I appreciate it.  I do know my place now.  Before posting in the future I will make sure to search the weenie first.  I have learned my lesson well, and I hadn't responded not because I got my answer but because I am a bit heartbroken again thinking I had found a community to talk about these things without all the negatively I was warned about.  That is my fault for not listening.  I wont be posting toxic subjects or toxic topics, wont be alienating members anymore.

Weenie Campbell is also a reminder that, no matter how much of an enthusiast one might be, it is difficult to adopt an overly serious attitude if you call yourself a Weenie  (RIP) :(

Offline jostber

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Re: Ungrateful bunch of __________________
« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2014, 03:46:19 AM »
I would check out Waterman's book which gives a respectful and balanced view from meetings and friendships with several of the great blues artists.

Between Midnight and Day




Offline jrn

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Re: Ungrateful bunch of __________________
« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2014, 06:28:05 AM »
Yep the Waterman book is really nice. I've got a signed copy. I found the parts about Bukka White particularly interesting.
Quitman, Mississippi

Offline wreid75

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Re: Ungrateful bunch of __________________
« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2014, 06:58:10 PM »
Well it think we lost another one.

Offline Bed Bug Bill

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Re: Ungrateful bunch of __________________
« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2014, 03:29:59 AM »



yes,  I've had enough too. Bedbug's been here and gone.

Offline JohnLeePimp

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Re: Ungrateful bunch of __________________
« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2014, 12:45:41 PM »
Moses Rascoe



It's always a fruitful discussion when people like that are brought to my attention :P He, like a lot of the bluesmen I've seen on film and heard on tape, seemed like a really cool guy, glad to be doing what he's doing.

I'm kind of befuddled by the cultural dissonance between the researcher guys and the rediscovered bluesman... I'd have thought a little patience was required when dealing with someone who's life you essentially plan to change  ::)
...so blue I shade a part of this town.

Offline bnemerov

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Re: Ungrateful bunch of __________________
« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2014, 02:30:01 PM »
"I'm kind of befuddled by the cultural dissonance between the researcher guys and the rediscovered bluesman... I'd have thought a little patience was required when dealing with someone who's life you essentially plan to change "

Hi JohnLee,

If you are thinking of Calt, I'd say it's not so much cultural dissonance as personal disempathy (to coin a word).

And please keep in mind that there were fieldworkers (like our Oddenda, Geo. Mitchell, Ralph Rinzler, Art Rosenbaum, John Cohen and many others) who had no plans to change anyone's life. The good-hearted researchers I have known wanted only to disseminate art they liked to all who might find it interesting.

Of course you have some who exploited the artists in the copyright and booking/commercial recordings game. But I think these were fewer, if more visible.

best,
bruce
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 07:02:09 PM by bnemerov »

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