In honor of a musical emissary from another time to this:

I was doing research on another topic the other night and stumbled across a striking passage in “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave,” an autobiography published by Douglass in 1845 and recalling his times as a slave on a Maryland plantation:

“While on their way, (the slaves) would make the dense old woods, for miles around, reverberate with their wild songs, revealing at once the highest joy and the deepest sadness. They would compose and sing as they went along, consulting neither time nor tune. The thought that came up, came out—if not in the word, in the sound;—and as frequently in the one as in the other. They would sometimes sing the most pathetic sentiment in the most rapturous tone, and the most rapturous sentiment in the most pathetic tone. …

I have sometimes thought that the mere hearing of those songs would do more to impress some minds with the horrible character of slavery, than the reading of whole volumes of philosophy on the subject could do.

I did not, when a slave, understand the deep meaning of those rude and apparently incoherent songs. I was myself within the circle; so that I neither saw nor heard as those without might see and hear. They told a tale of woe which was then altogether beyond my feeble comprehension; they were tones loud, long, and deep; they breathed the prayer and complaint of souls boiling over with the bitterest anguish. Every tone was a testimony against slavery, and a prayer to God for deliverance from chains. The hearing of those wild notes always depressed my spirit, and filled me with ineffable sadness. I have frequently found myself in tears while hearing them.”

That sounds an awful lot like what we now know as the blues.

Shortly after reading that, I saw the news that the great bluesman BB King is now in what is described as “home hospice” in Las Vegas, suffering from complications of diabetes and other ailments. BB was born in the Mississippi Delta way back in 1925, some 90 years ago, which puts his birth just 80 years after the publication of Douglass’ autobiography. (BB King’s grandfather was “Frederick Douglas King.”)

Viewed through that prism, only two human lifespans separate us from the world that Douglass describes so vividly in the written word, and BB has been an unmistakable, irreplaceable emissary drawing that world closer to this one. Here he is on Lucille, playing music that expresses “the most pathetic sentiment in the most rapturous tone,” “rude and apparently incoherent,” with “tones loud, long, and deep,” music that I suspect Frederick Douglass would recognize even when played on an electric guitar.

So tell us about it, Blues Boy.

 

Reader Comments 0

637 comments
IReportYouWhine#1
IReportYouWhine#1

Who loaded 27 members of Seal Team 6 on to one helicopter and sent it into an al qaeda ambush, getting them all killed, is what I want to know. obama seems to be in charge of everything, his call?

IReportYouWhine#1
IReportYouWhine#1

So how many of you boot lickers think obama and hillionaire parachuted into paak-eeeeeeee-stann and shot up bin ladens lair?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

yeah, I remember when Project Ram NAFTA Down Our Virgin Throats was in full swing. I'd tune in to Rush to hear how close he'd get to saying "Bill Clinton is right!" without ever actually saying "Bill Clinton is right!"

I guess that's how they're gonna roll with fast-tracking / TPP now.

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

What's more entertaining, a conspiracy theory or a conspiracy theory about a conspiracy theory?

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Visual_Cortex 

Meh, Hils was SoS when Bin Laden was executed. This would be a perfectly good opportunity to drag her into it.

***
My guess is that's exactly the angle they're busy strategizing as we speak.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@LeninTime @Visual_Cortex

They can probably keep the paste-eaters occupied with another "Hils is stonewalling on Benghazi" re-run as they get their stories straight.

IReportYouWhine#1
IReportYouWhine#1

Now let's see if they back the CIA officer -


With some trying to turn bin Laden’s death into a campaign talking point for Obama’s reelection, it is useful to remember that the trail to bin Laden started in a CIA black site — all of which Obama ordered closed, forever, on the second full day of his administration — and stemmed from information obtained from hardened terrorists who agreed to tell us some (but not all) of what they knew after undergoing harsh but legal interrogation methods. Obama banned those methods on Jan. 22, 2009.


Jose A. Rodriguez Jr. is a 31-year veteran of the CIA and the author of “Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives.”


http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-path-to-osama-bin-ladens-death-didnt-start-with-obama/2012/04/30/gIQAfFmdsT_story.html

Numbers_R_Us
Numbers_R_Us

@IReportYouWhine#1 You can relax.  President Obama has already been elected twice.  Contrary to Republican fears, he will not run for a third term or take over Texas.

IReportYouWhine#1
IReportYouWhine#1

Everyone knows the girl killed osama BL, had to fight obama BH's lawyers the whole way. 


Old news. Back to hillionaire.

LeninTime
LeninTime

It's a left wing distraction, dude.

Stay focused on hillionaire.

***
See what I mean, liberals? 

Pay close attention whenever the right prefers to pass on some easy points against Obama. You can learn a lot from that. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@LeninTime

Meh, Hils was SoS when Bin Laden was executed. This would be a perfectly good opportunity to drag her into it.

IReportYouWhine#1
IReportYouWhine#1

 Curiously, the Fox "News" homepage has nothing about this, nor does Dead Breitbart, while Mattie with the Smellie Hattie consigns it to third-linkee down in the middle column of his html nightmare.


It's a left wing distraction, dude.


Stay focused on hillionaire.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Visual_Cortex 

You'd think one of these screechy outlets would be doing something more with it if there were "Obama is a poopie-head" hay to be made on a Monday morning.

**
Actually the money quote was from a little exchange here last night between two of the right wing regulars, perhaps unwittingly revealing that they weren't particularly happy to see it brought up, despite it making Obama look bad: 


x: Seymour Hersh is an absolute idiot not unlike many in the Obama administration. The take out of bin Ladin was a CIA intelligence and special operations tactical success. Geez what duped fools on the far-left.

y: The only thing Obama has done right in his 6 plus years in office and now the far left kooks want to say it is another gruber moment. LOL.

x: Obama procrastinated and procrastinated almost blowing it until he was finally convinced that his reelection would most certainly go down in defeat if he did not green light the operation. It was all about politics with Obama as it always has been.


**
Classic!

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Visual_Cortex 

True, but they aren't totally out of sync with their ideological signal callers at FOX, either. My sense is that the particular timing of the Hersh report is unwelcome for real ideologically driven reasons. It's no longer useful to present Obama as anti-Christ (could we be witnessing the very earliest stages of his rehabilitation, as the baton of evil is passed to Hillary?) and in their own way they're as quick to defend bipartisan consensus as the liberals establishment.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@LeninTime @Visual_Cortex

Ok, I actually can see your point, in light of how important the TPP is for the right wing in the near term.

Basically, the right wing is saying "We have to stand with the Uppity One now" and it won't do to have him seem any less Presidential at the moment.

Yeah. That makes sense.

(doesn't mean I buy all or even most of Sy's story, mind you. but you make a good point.)

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Visual_Cortex 

Yes, exactly. You're right, the TPP is the other crucial project going on right now.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Obama administration lies about the Osama bin Laden killing, acc. to Seymour Hersh

Curiously, the Fox "News" homepage has nothing about this, nor does Dead Breitbart, while Mattie with the Smellie Hattie consigns it to third-linkee down in the middle column of his html nightmare.

You'd think one of these screechy outlets would be doing something more with it if there were "Obama is a poopie-head" hay to be made on a Monday morning.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Cable news is in trouble, and it’s more about the news than the cable


in 2014, Fox News managed $1.2 billion in profits, while CNN cleared $300 million and MSNBC made a bit more than $200 million

[...]

If President Scott Walker goes to war with Iran, MSNBC's ratings are going to go up. If President Hillary Clinton takes away everyone's guns, Fox is going to boom. But for now, relative peace and stability are bad news for cable news.


(a lot of "no duh" stuff in the article, but I found the profit figures--which have to be estimates, since this stuff isn't reported publicly, I don't think--to be kind of useful to keep in mind. And it's something I bring up in one way or another in here all the time, to wit: For all the talk we hear about which "news" channel is up and which is down, and who leans this way or that way politically? they all continue to turn a very nice profit, and that's all that anyone who actually owns/runs the stupid things really cares about.)

IReportYouWhine#1
IReportYouWhine#1

 Ferguson, Mo. • Ferguson is paying an attorney $1,335 an hour to help the St. Louis suburb negotiate and possibly litigate reforms pressed by the Justice Department since Michael Brown's shooting death by a police officer there last summer, according to a newspaper report.


After the report, Ferguson's city manager, police chief and municipal judge resigned.


Now it's up to the Justice Department and the city to negotiate an agreement to reform the police department and municipal court.


Look's like a takeover to me.


http://www.sltrib.com/news/2474929-155/ferguson-to-pay-attorney-1335-an

breckenridge
breckenridge

May 8 - Glenn Beck closed out his radio program yesterday with a 10-minute monologue warning his audience that everything that is happening in Baltimore and Ferguson and elsewhere is all a giant set-up, designed to create instability so that the federal government can take control of police departments all over the nation.

"Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life." Dean Wormer, 1978

gotalife
gotalife

Americans are not buying hersh's bs.


He wants to be on corporate media again.


Yawn.

LeninTime
LeninTime

Obama administration lies about the Osama bin Laden killing, acc. to Seymour Hersh:

Pakistani officials knew about the raid and even helped the US pull it off.

There never was a firefight, neither in the yard outside the house nor once the Seals got inside.

• The story of the courier whom the reportedly CIA traced, leading them to bin Laden, was a fabrication.

• The story of the courier dying in the firefight was a cover-up "because he didn’t exist and we couldn’t produce him," a retired senior intelligence official told Hersh.

• The way the CIA actually found out where bin Laden was is that a "Pakistani walk-in" who wanted the $25 million reward came in and told the CIA about it.

• Osama bin Laden was not armed, contrary to reports that he had a machine gun and was killed in a firefight, and he was not killed with just one or two bullets but "obliterated."

• "Seals cannot live with the fact that they killed bin Laden totally unopposed, and so there has to be an account of their courage in the face of danger. The guys are going to sit around the bar and say it was an easy day? That’s not going to happen," that same retired senior intelligence official said.

• "Despite all the talk" about what the Seals collected on site, the retired official said there were "no garbage bags full of computers and storage devices. The guys just stuffed some books and papers they found in his room in their backpacks."

• The story about bin Laden's sea burial may be a fabrication.

• The retired official told Hersh that bin Laden's "remains, including his head... were thrown into a body bag and, during the helicopter flight back to Jalalabad, some body parts were tossed out over the Hindu Kush mountains—or so the Seals claimed."

• Obama was going to wait a week until after bin Laden's death to announce it, and he was going to tell the American people that bin Laden had been killed by a drone, but after the Seals had to blow up their malfunctioning helicopter onsite, attracting attention locally, everything changed.

• The story about the vaccination program carried out locally in an attempt to get bin Laden's DNA—a story that "led to the cancellation of other international vaccination programmes that were now seen as cover for American spying"—wasn't true.

• Retired official again: "It’s a great hoax."

http://www.thestranger.com/blogs/slog/2015/05/10/22196439/everything-you-know-about-how-osama-bin-laden-was-killed-by-the-us-is-a-hoax-seymour-hersch-is-reporting

Bruno2
Bruno2

@LeninTime Based upon the old "An enemy of my enemy is my friend" theory of politics, does that mean you've come on over to the Con way of seeing things, LT??

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Bruno2 

I'm not sure what you mean. What does this have to do with the 'con way of seeing things'? 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@LeninTime @Bruno2

Sad to say, I think Bruno's actually intimating that since cons like to say "Obama is a poopie-head", and you've got some information that might contribute to a person believing that Obama is a poopie-head, that means you're... becoming a con.

Setting aside the (guessing here) thousands of posts you've left for all to see saying, already, that you think Obama is a poopie-head, long before this Sy Hersh thing.

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

@Bruno2 -- I agree with everything that josef and the Orig Prof said.  They were more eloquent than I would've been but they hit it out the park.

Bruno2
Bruno2

@DebbieDoRight @Bruno2 Since you claimed that Brazil is far less race-conscious than the US, do you see that as possible here??  If not, why not??  Personally, I see the Racial Grievance Industry as a barrier.

josef
josef

@Kamchak 

Yep. Rapidly apprehended.  Brought to trial.  Convicted and sentenced.  

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

When is the south going to catch up with the rest of civilization?  Just came in from spending time with my family.  A bunch of us together, white, black,Portuguese, and South American; all getting along because we're family. Then i come back get on this blog and have to read a bunch of racist bullcrap by a bunch of lonely old pathetic bigots. Talking about how crime is the fault of the PRESIDENT and ATTORNEY GENERAL because they are black. And how they're gonna "get them 12 gauges and shoot 'em yeehaw!"  What a bunch of lousy redneck losers you people are! You need to get a life.

josef
josef

@DebbieDoRight 

Cut the BS and broadbrushing for a minute and go and look at the other discussion being held and requiring your in put...  LOL 

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

@josef @DebbieDoRight -- I already did. I was getting ready to send to bruno that I concurred with everything that you said.

Saved a lot of time and effort by letting YOU say everything that I would've said!  I must be a genius!  PS: I stayed in a Holiday Inn last night.  

josef
josef

Bringing the discussion up here:

Bruno says :"If a Con cites any stats which show that minority achievement is lower or crime stats are higher, then we're called racists and bigots." 

And Prof replies: “No, that's not it really... it's when the Con says that the lower achievement or high crime stats are due to race that the Lib calls him a racist.”

Anybody who feels “attacked” reacts in a defensive posture.The minority does it.So does the conservative.Oftentimes enough, and I acknowledge my own transgressions in this, it boils down to two things, a sloppy use of the language and attacking the messenger.Certain of us here in Big Daddy Imam’s verandah will dismiss out of hand what this, that, or the other poster has to say because s/he is “of the opposition.”They will also chime in on agreement with one of the same “side” saying the same thing.

Without saying who, on a number of occasions I have done a “set up.”I will say something controversial and here they’ll come like a duck on a junebug.Then a friend from St. Elsewhere will come in, say the same thing, and be cheered on by the same people.Even our host has been our “victim.”

So, way too often, it is not the content of what is being said so much as it is how it is phrased and/or who is saying it.

josef
josef

@Bruno2 @josef 

Likewise enjoyed.  A tip of the kippah to all who participated...

Bruno2
Bruno2

@josef It was refreshing today to be able to discuss hot button issues without the knee-jerk name-calling.  I think DDR was on the verge of calling me a racist once or twice and Old Prof assumed that I live in a White bubble, but other than that......  ; > }

IReportYouWhine#1
IReportYouWhine#1

All the repugs are running away from obamacare because when the Supreme Court kills it, the repugs can say they had nothing to do with it and then you'll be left standing there with your, um, yeah.

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

Karl Rove Gives Up on Obamacare --Fox

after 53 tries, ya might wanna wait on those results to come in from Ohio

hot dam that nevah gets old heheh

LeninTime
LeninTime

More black thugs shooting police officers.  Encouraged by your liberal president, your atty general, the mayor of Baltimore and the Md. states atty......... all black.  When it walks like a duck, it usually is.  Time to get out the 12ga. 

***

Fighting words for a new fascism.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@LeninTime 

Fighting words for a new fascism.

Fascism?

That's too highbrow a concept for a simple violence porn fetish.