Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Song Sparrow Puts All His Saying into One Repeated Song

Relinking to Richard's review of his Music 2013 not only because I added it late to yesterday's post and not only because it is full of great music suggestions but mostly because he mentioned the Pere Ubu show at Rock and Roll Hotel we attended last September and I was reminded that I recorded the above, a live version of this shitty blog's long-time Theme Song Two, it's over to the left, has been for years.

  • I did not know that. See Theme Song Three.
  • Chomsky as moral compass?
  • On Chomsky in the role of moral compass and his fans.
  • Good friend Jay Paleo Old Arra Dirty 101 Bama and I emailed last night, this post's title came to mind when I wrote this: As always it comes down to each individual's level of moral pragmatism. Give that Chomsky serves power in ways he's either unaware of (which, being Chomsky, I find highly improbable) or is aware of his situation and decides that there IS no alternative to Capital's power, there's only ways of mitigating its rapacious drive. Um, less-shittyism, let's call it. I'm always reminded of George Carlin's definition of the difference between a jerk and and asshole: a jerk is someone who drives slower than you, an asshole someone who drives faster
  • Brutality and complexity in the global economy.
  • Slap-single switch-hitter batting helmet as brand for Corporate mendacity. 
  • He, for one, welcomes his new insect overlords.  
  • Anne Carson's Glass Essay.
  • Philip Glass turned 77 yesterday. Here's Metamorphosis, here's:


A.R. Ammons

The song
sparrow puts all his
into one
repeated song:
variations, subtleties
he manages,
to encompass denser
meanings, I’m
too coarse
to catch: it’s
one song, an over-reach
from which
all possibilities,
like filaments,
nesting, dying,
sun or cloud,
figure up
and become
song—simple, hard:


  1. Flattery will get you everywhere. I showed the piece to the MIT crowd, who were not in the least impressed. (No surprise there.) I don't mind Tarzie going after sacred cows (I encourage that, in fact) but his evidence is flimsy. It seems there is no one in the universe as good and true as him. No one is arguing that Chomsky is infallible, I happen to know that he is human. Red flags all over the field.

  2. I forgot to add: for me, at least. Happy to read rebuttal.

    1. Doubt Chomsky will; I would be impressed on multiple levels if he did.

      As to the no-one-as-good-and- true: I'm reminded of a George Carlin joke about how to tell the difference between... of which I am the biggest practitioner I know.

      Was looking for something in early blog, 2006, has it really been eight years since you and Salty moved to the People's Republic?

  3. noam chomsky and mistah charley

    this is a true story

    Noam Chomsky and I go back a long way, although not a deep way. In my undergraduate days I took a course from him, and got an A (it was "Intellectuals and Social Change" - a large lecture course - everybody got A's).

    On a more personal level, in the early 1970s he and I worked in Building 20 at MIT - it was built of wood during World War II, and was still there three decades later (I don't know how much longer it lasted - it's gone now). One coffee break time we were both standing in front of a vending machine in the basement, and he asked if I had two nickels for a dime. I did. He acted just like a regular person, not a world-famous celebrity. He and I have not talked since.