On the passing of Gill Scott-Heron

    Gill Scott Herron died a few days ago. I was going to commemorate his passing with The Revolution Will Not be Televised, but, seeing as how most of us reading this site are living in SE Michigan, I thought that I’d go with his anti-nuclear power song, We Almost Lost Detroit, which is particularly pertinent right now, given what’s happened at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan.

    And, here’s a little something extra. This is my favorite Gil Scott-Heron lyric. It’s from his song Whitey on the Moon.

    A rat done bit my sister Nell.
    (with Whitey on the moon)
    Her face and arms began to swell.
    (and Whitey’s on the moon)

    For what it’s worth, it doesn’t look as though whitey is going to be on the moon again anytime soon. Unless something unforeseen happens, the era of manned space flight, at least in the United States, will be drawing to a close this summer, with the last launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis. Of course, the dollars saved will not be spent making the lives of the inner city poor any better. But I guess you knew that.

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      7 Comments

      1. Posted May 30, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        The NY Times has a good obituary and the New Yorker article is outstanding:
        http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/09/100809fa_fact_wilkinson?currentPage=all.

      2. Posted May 30, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Paul. Hopefully I can stay awake long enough to read it.

      3. Posted May 30, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

        In the video, Gil talks of the organization Musicians United for Safe Energy. You can find out more about the organization here.

      4. Bob
        Posted May 30, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        He did some interesting stuff and was certainly an innovator. He also made a ton of terrible records, much of it painfully off-key. You have to also lay much of the blame for “slam poetry” at his feet. Slam poetry.

      5. Posted May 31, 2011 at 7:39 am | Permalink

        I’m sure NASA is second only to NPR in the Federal budget in terms of opportunity cost relative to poverty reduction.

      6. b
        Posted June 3, 2011 at 6:12 am | Permalink

        gil scott-heron was a great performer and poet…thanks for posting mark….this is my favorite song….

        http://youtu.be/JczQHE3IRh8

      7. RENEE
        Posted June 29, 2011 at 12:38 am | Permalink

        MY GOD I CAN’T BELIEVE WHAT I’M READING. FIRST I HAD NO IDEA GILL SCOTT WAS DEAD. TO THINK HE DIED A CRACK ADDICT. I GUESS HE IS FINALLY AT PEACE. MUCH LOVE

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