Northern soul is a music and dance movement that emerged in Northern England in the late 1960s from the British mod scene. Northern soul mainly consists of a particular style of black American soul music based on the heavy beat and fast tempo of the mid-1960s Tamla Motown sound.
The northern soul movement, however, generally eschews Motown or Motown-influenced music that has met with significant mainstream success. The recordings most prized by enthusiasts of the genre are usually by lesser-known artists, released only in limited numbers, often by small regional American labels such as Ric-Tic and Golden World Records (Detroit), Mirwood (Los Angeles) and Shout and Okeh (New York/Chicago).
As I’m sure you’ve all determined by now, I’m a bit odd. And that was true in my childhood as well.
I was probably the only freshman in high school who would stop off and buy copies of the New York Daily News and New York Times every morning. (Daily News for the sports and local news, NYT for the national and international news.) And Dan Rather’s broadcast was appointment viewing for me every night.
Growing up I was, while not consumed, very mindful of the struggles of black South Africans to secure freedom from apartheid. For most of the 1980s, their struggles dominated the evening news and newspapers. I remember curling my lip in disgust when the Reagan administration pursued “quiet diplomacy” with the racist regime. That told me all I needed to know about Reagan, as if I didn’t know enough already.
Growing up, Nelson Mandela was a mythic figure, the Once and Future King, kept on the isle of Avalon (Robben), awaiting to return to a nation in desperate need of him. And it finally happened in 1990.
Time for a little reminder after Martin Bashir’s firing from a post I wrote not too long ago.
We can be angry. We can be saddened. But what we mustn’t be is surprised.
One can argue that there never was a “liberal media”. But it’s safe to say that there used to be a more balanced media, one in which factual reporting and accurate analysis were the linchpins of the industry. If the reporting on Vietnam was rosy at first, by the end of the war its full horrors were being reported on honestly.
But that was also in an era when media ownership was far more diffuse. NBC and MSNBC are owned by Comcast, one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world. ABC is owned by Disney Corporation. Fox News is owned by News Corporation. CNN is owned by Time Warner. CBS has remained “independent”; but it too is a large multinational.
Corporations may be many things. They may be the most efficient means to organize economic activity. They may give their employees a somewhat remunerative working environment. But one thing for which they can never be mistaken are altruistic institutions acting for the public good.
Chat away and keep on fighting. It’s the only way anything has ever changed.
The 20th Century produced two great novels, by which all other novels are judged: Marcel Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time” and James Joyce’s “Ulysses”. For your evening enjoyment, some selections from Proust’s gargantuan work. (And a bit of funny at the end.)
Channing Kennedy unearthed a little tidbit from 1982, in which President Ronald Reagan’s spokesperson Larry Speakes is asked about the disease which had been recently declared an epidemic by the CDC: AIDS. Amid much laughter from Mr. Speakes and the White House Press Corps, all parties participate in a callous back and forth on what the Reagan Administration’s position was on the new disease.
One part of the dialogue stuck out to me:
Q: Does the President, does anybody in the White House know about this epidemic, Larry? MR. SPEAKES: I don’t think so. I don’t think there’s been any— Q: Nobody knows? MR. SPEAKES: There has been no personal experience here, Lester. Q: No, I mean, I thought you were keeping— MR. SPEAKES: I checked thoroughly with Dr. Ruge this morning and he’s had no—(laughter)—no patients suffering from AIDS or whatever it is.
“There has been no personal experience here.”
No one in the White House, or among the White House Press Corps, knew anyone who was afflicted with AIDS. It hadn’t touched them. And the concerns of a despised minority reaping what they had sown were not their concerns.