Field hollers et work songs

This clip is from Blazing Saddles. Mel Brooks (and very possibly Richard Pryor, who was a writer on the film) created a brilliant segment that manages to cut right to vicious racist heart of the u.s. in ways that only satire can achieve. I hesitated to add this clip in with eminently serious songs, but the songs speak for themselves, and the use of satire is deadly serious. The best satires crush your heart and make you laugh a the same time. Absurd, non?

Lenny Bruce

This is quite some tape here…sociologically too…

Lenny was a genius of course…

If you watch all the parts, Jonathan Winters even gets a shout out.

He’s a little shaky in the beginning, then starts to roll baby…and we learn some things about a real comedian’s motivations…

And then a little later: Carnegie Hall:

Of course, no comic today could get near the genius of Lenny Bruce. George Carlin was the last of them. Bill Hicks had some flashes of brilliance, but Lenny Bruce was ground down to a pulp and Carlin lived so long – and became so rightfully and righteously bitter – his material in the end amounted to stating brutal facts and telling the audience how stupid and ignorant they were. And they laughed and laughed…

And so it goes…

Miss America – David Byrne. Also: Talking Heads

Great satirical song from David Byrne about – you guessed it…

And here is the full (wow), brilliant album (totally underrated):

And here is his official site:

Oh, for those of you who may not know, he was in a little band called, Talking Heads:


Stop Making Sense

“Hi, I’ve got a tape I want to play…”

Great concert and great concert film. Directed by Jonathan Demme by the way…

Web Reading List #4 [9-11-2013]

Economic Update: Your Weekly Dose of Revolutionary Economics (Audio)

Pennsylvania Judge Sentenced To 28 Years For Selling 4,000 Kids As Young As 10 Years Old To Prison System For $1.2 million
Tomgram: Nick Turse, AFRICOM’s Gigantic “Small Footprint”
Exclusive: CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran
Religious people are less intelligent than atheists, according to analysis of scores of scientific studies stretching back over decades
Bradley Manning and the Gangster State
New Snowden Leak Reports ‘Groundbreaking’ NSA Crypto-Cracking
If you care about education, we would like to encourage you to stop.

The Mindscape of Alan Moore

Great little piece (except for the voice-over guy) that will give you a tiny introduction to the man.

This is a fairly well-done doc. I have my quibbles with the actual film-making, but no real reason to go into it here. The film is an exploration of Moore’s autobiography and art, but it also becomes a fascinating presentation of his weltanschauung (worldview). Even if you have no interest in his art or story, the ideas he explores are worth listening to and thinking about.

Above is a great talk he gave in support of the library system in England. He talks about his history with books, comics – and the comics industry, the library, and many other topics.
His wit, intelligence, humor, integrity, and humanity – and of course his story telling abilities – are there for all to enjoy.