Wednesday, March 30, 2011

If the hat fits...

     "The cool was a whitened degenerative form of bebop. And when mainline America was vaguely hipped, the TV people (wizards of total communication) began to use it to make people buy cigarettes and deodorants . . . or put life into effeminate dicks (uhh, detectives). The white boys slid into all the studio gigs, playing 'their' music, for sure.
     So-called 'pop,' which is a citified version of Rock 'n' Roll (just as the Detroit-Motown Sound is a slick citified version of older R&B-Gospel influenced forms) also sees to it that those TV jobs, indeed that dollar-popularity, remains white. Not only the Beatles, but any group of Myddle-class white boys who need a haircut and male hormones can be in a pop group. That's what pop means. Which is exactly what 'cool' was, and even clearer, exactly what Dixieland was, complete with funny hats and funny names . . . white boys, in lieu of the initial passion, will always make it about funny hats . . . which be their constant minstrel need, the derogation of the real, come out again."
-LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), "Jazz and the White Critic." 1966

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