You're Mean (on the B side) That's BB

I didn’t have anything queued up for today’s workout, so I grabbed a recent talk from Cornel. I still don’t like him. I don’t dislike him, but he just talks so much without saying anything. Maybe it’s because this is a “prelude”, but come on, and hour and a half of intro? He loves drawing out words as if that word is the thing, then he switches to something else, without saying what the thing is. There was one thing though, that I liked, fast forward to 38 minutes,

“And so it is, with the blues. But that catastrophe is never allowed to have the last word. It is artistically transfigured. ‘Nobody loves me, but my mama, and she might be jiving too.’ – BB King. You’re wrestling with catastrophe. But you don’t reduce the catastrophic to the problematic, part of my critique of American pragmatism. Where’s the catastrophic in doing? Don’t hold your breath. ‘He’s got a problem to solve’. There’s never been a race problem, class problem, woman’s problem in Europe or the new world. There’s been catastrophes visited upon them. Once you reduce the catastrophic to the problematic, you’ve already deodorized the discourse. You sanitized it. You’re looking at it from the vantage point of a technical manager, rather than human beings who are wrestling with overwhelming structures and institutions as well as structures of feeling and value. The blues says, ‘No’, we’re gonna tell the truth. From the heart.”

This is the B side of “The Thrill is Gone”. But if you’re Cornel West, who’s going to fact check you?

Oh, and the speech, which you could skip