July 9, 2004

Circles, my head is going round in circles

* The Sun interviews Howard Zinn. An excerpt:

"This administration, however, does not want people to be conscious of the thousands of wounded veterans in the war in Iraq. Their existence is hidden from the public. Only occasionally does a glimpse of this reality come through, as in a story that appeared in the New York Times about a young GI blinded by shell fragments in Iraq: his mother, visiting him in the hospital, passes the cots of other young people who are missing limbs. She sees a young mother back from Iraq without legs, crawling on the floor with her little child crawling behind her. This is the picture the present administration wants to hide from the American people. A novel like Johnny Got His Gun [by Dalton Trumbo] can awaken readers both to the reality of war and how the government seeks to hide that reality -- the fact of what happens to our people and, certainly, to people on the other side."

* From a 1976 interview [translated from German] of Tuli Kupferberg. [1968 picture of Kupferberg, Sanders and Zappa at the link] excerpt:

Q: Could one call you a political cabaret? Which brings me on the famous-notorious reproach, such people do not take things serious, political work doesn´t take place in cabaret and so on.

TULI: Political cabaret comes very close to the european terminology. THE FUGS, at least Ed and me, we weren´t only standing on stage. When we went to a demonstration, or a campaign, we certainly played there, but also participated actively in the processes. I believe there is a time of seriousness and a time of satire, and both are not contradictional to each other. Satire is some kind of propaganda, propaganda with words, but we were also ready to operate propaganda with action. Ed and me were political activists, long time before we joined the group, and we remained so during our time with the band. THE FUGS did not see themself separated from the youth movement. Sometimes we regarded ourselves as such a thing like the USO, people who entertain the troops, artists who appear somewhere for the american soldiers. We wanted to teach people something, if I want to be preposterous(?) here, but just as much we wanted to learn from them. We never came together in order to make cash, and we earned really hardly anything, and we did not meet primarily in order to entertain the people. We created the group to operate propaganda, I know, this word has a bad sound, but that´s what we did, I saw the band as political action.

* "It might be a good idea if the various countries of the world would occasionally swap history books, just to see what other people are doing with the same set of facts." -- Bill Vaughan

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