Monday, October 03, 2011

The revolution will not be televised

A lot of folk have been going on about how the media are failing to give any serious coverage of the Occupy Wall St protests. Why? Dangerous Minds blog nailed it in one - go listen to Gil Scott Heron, cos he knew what was going on. As the late poet said, the revolution will not be televised - the revolution will be live. 

"So I’ve been trying to sum up how I feel about Occupy Wall Street and the media coverage (or non-coverage) of the demonstrations the last few days, when I found this clip and realised that one of the most brilliant poets of the last hundred years had already summed it up perfectly. Of course.

"I was gonna say that the oldstream media has been over for me since 2000, when I saw some peaceful protests badly misreported on TV and in the papers. I wanted to mention how my obsession with this summer’s “Murdochgate” sprang from a desire to see the established news channels I detest so much crumble, to lose all respect with their audience through their refusal to cover a story with such huge significance. I’ve been struggling to express how we don’t need validation through a mainstream that has always ignored us or deliberately misrepresented us, that people shouldn’t worry too much, the message is getting out there loud and clear.

But fuck it. Gil Scott Heron beat me to the punch (hard) thirty years ago.

This incredible recording of “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” (as a spoken monologue with no music and some ad libs) is from 1982. It was performed at the Black Wax Club in Washington DC, as part of a documentary film on Scott Heron called Black Wax. His voice is a thing of rich, easy-going beauty but his words are like dynamite. Yeah, the times and technology may have changed, but this is still so prescient and just so damn relevant it’s amazing..."



Paul Goodsort said...

Peter, to compare this motley crew of anarcho-socialists in New York with what Gil-Scott Heron was campaigning for in terms of racial equality versus a total dismantling of the western capitalist system including democracy itself, is doing this great artist a disservice. Since 1% of American taxpayers contribute 33% of the take it always amuses me to hear calls for the rich to pay more. Revolution in the U.S will only happen at the ballot box.

Peter McLennan said...

cheers for the comment.