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March 20, 1966 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1966-03-20
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(From Page Three)
They are not fighting to turn their
country over to China but, simply to get
internal reform.
"I wish that American policy was ra-
tional, that their really was a case against
Communist expansionism. I've looked
hard to find that case. But when I look
up the record what do I find? McGeorge
Bundy saying that Chinese intervention
in Korea was provoked by McArthur.
That the India-China border dispute
was all on the basis of maps drawn up
by Chiang Ka-Shek, and that the settle-
ment to India was eventually so generous
that even Chiang was mad. Secretary of
State Rusk has even made it clear that
no matter how vitriolic they are verbally,
they are conservative in practice.
"There has to be a normalizing of
relations of China, beginning with recog-
nition, and if that means abandoning
Chiang-well there are plenty of people
on Formosa who would like to abandon
him. The way to end the animosity with
China is to begin in Washington, not
Peking. American policy toward China
should essentially be to reopen contact,
to realize that the Chinese are more in-
terested in securing their internal posi-
tion than in gobbling up the west."
thesis is that the United States has
to "stop saying that everyone who comes
along promising land, fiscal and social
reform is a Communist. We could have
dealt with Bosch in the Dominican Re-
public but we invoked the Communist
menace and threw him down. I think
the people who make our decisions do not
perceive Communism as a menace per se.
Rather it is viewed in very selfish terms
as loss of our high privileged resources.
"The hunger in Latin America begins
in the Chase Manhattan Bank, it is ord-
inary old fashioned economic exploita-
tion. To change there must be a funda-
mental change in the economic system.
Johnson has to say that business imper-
ialism is responsible for a great deal of
the ills of the world. If we are going to
improve the world we have to change the
ways of business imperialism. We can't
go on getting our tin at the expense of
the Bolivian peasant who has to work
harder and harder at less and less pay.
"As long as America remains as it is
the revolutionaries will be forced into a
Communist alignment. For we give them
no alternative. Communism is merely a
certain kind of message about us in these
countries and it is proved by what the
U.S. is doing.
"Mao says the U.S. will never change.
Everything he says is finally proved for
the people in revolutionary situations
who have an encounter with the U.S.
We turn hunger into Communism, illiter-
acy into Communism, nationalism into
Communism, and social revolution into
Communism. The fact is that these revo-
lutions are really not communist agres-
sion but genuine social revolution and
we can not hold that social revolution
O.GLESBY has strong views on the na-
ture of revolution. In his Washing-
ton speech, which was subsequently print-
ed in the January 7th "Commonweal,"
was a succinct statement of his personal
beliefs couched in his own playwright
rhetoric. It is an imaginary conversa-
tion about Viet Nam between Thomas
Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and President
Lyndon Johnson.
"Our dead revolutionaries would soon
wonder why their country was fighting
against what appeared to be a revolution.
The living liberals would hotly deny that
it is one: there are troops coming in
from the outside, they get arms from
other countries, most of the people are
not on their side and they practice ter-

ror against their own. Therefore, not a
"What would our dead revolutionaries
answer? They might say: What fools and
bandits, sirs, you make then of us. Out-
side help? Do you remember Lafayette?
Or the 3,000 British freighters the French
navy sank for our side? Or the arms and
men we got from France and Spain? And
what's this about terror? Did you never
hear what we did to our own loyalists?
Or about the thousands .of rich American
tories who fled for their lives to Canada?

And as for popular support do you not
know that we had less than one-third of
our people with us? That, in fact, the
colony of New York recruited more troops
for the British than for us?
"'REVOLUTIONS DON'T take place in
velvet boxes. They never have It is
only the poets- who make them lovely.
What the NLF is fighting in Viet Nam is
a complex and vicious war. This war is
also a-revolution, as honest as they come.
And this is a fact which all our intricate
official denials will never change."
troversy wherever he goes. After his
first SDS address from the back of a
sound truck in New York's Washington
Square, last spring, Oglesby had his head
bashed in by a group of muscular young
dissidents who didn't agree with what
Oglesby was saying or his right to say it.
But then there was also the time at Wil-
liams College when a battle hardened
60 year-old Socialist came up after Ogles-
by's speech and said, "Mr. Oglesby, I just
want you to know that you are better
than Debs."
As a writer, Oglesby looks around him
with the same idealistic dissatisfaction
that he shows in politics; but unlike
politics, a .discussion of the state of
modern writing causes his face to take
on almost the same color as his red
beard when he begins to talk about it.
"The fundamental cultural position of
the spiritual elite in this country is a
highly romanticized existentialism. Bel-
low, Mailer-and Updike in his latest
sellout to American motherhood-all
withdraw. They take the position that
the dirtiness of life is simply in the cards,
that there is nothing anyone can do about
it. They say yes, things are bad, and
then climb into the cellars of their souls
introspecting in beautiful metaphors.
"AMERICAN WRITERS haven't con-
fronted the necessity for an analysis.
They have not confronted the fact that
the South American peasant is a wage
slave not because that's the way things
are, but because there are very specific
interest groups which find it profitable
for him to be a wage slave. They have
not faced the problem that the United
States exploits the world- and I don't
care if that sounds like Marxist slogan-
eering. It comes closer to the truth than
the Madison Avenue propaganda for the
Alliance for Progress, an alliance with
the oligarchic power system within Latin
America for maintaining thet status-quo,
for maintaining the most fantastic wealth
in the hands of the few. The artist in
America is expected to feel, not think. He
should, of course, do both."
The pile of New Republics supporting
the pole lamp in Oglesby's study cease
trembling as he gets off the subject of
literature. Oglesby's favorite magazine
is "U.S. News and World Report." He
likes the accurate information on world
business news and the straight story
about what our government is doing next.
"I hate to buy it though, I always try to
steal a copy when I can."
"ACTUALLY there is a near miss be-
tween the left and right wings. The
Birchers are very close to an accurate
perception of the world. They rightly un-
derstand that the significant threat to
America is in the poor countries. The
difference between us is their Interna-
tional Communist Conspiracy myth. They
see Moscow as "1984." Our worry is with
imperialism and the U.S. becoming
"Brave New World."
"My real fear is what is going to hap-
pen when we get in six Viet Nams at
once. Our frustration may result in
adopting the right wing's International
Conspiracy myth. Our leaders might de-
cide that the source of legitimate social
revolution is really Peking or Moscow,
and try to stop the revolutions by bomb-
ing those capitals out. Thus our frustra-
tion in dealing with social revolution
could lead us into a nuclear holocaust."

"I happen to love America," Oglesby
says, "and I want there to be at least a
footnote in the history of the 60's that
says there were some people that tried
to stop it. I just can't face the thought
of people in Swaziland some day reading
the history of the United States in the
1960's the way we read the history of
Germany 1930-1945."
dency ends this summer. With a bit
more time on his plans he plans to go

back to doing research on revolutions for
SDS, hopefully writing small books on
various countries throughout the world.
He will probably do a bit more free lance
editing for the University's Institute of
Social Research to make ends meet.
And there should be more time for his
wife and his two daughters, Aron, 8, and
Shay, 4, and son Caleb; 3. He missed
all four of their birthdays this year be-
cause of out of town speaking engage-
"Actually, I really don't enjoy this
evangelical thing. I'd much prefer to do
my writing and lead my own life."
But Oglesby feels the problems of the
world are too important for him to ig-
nore. Suddenly Caleb marches by with a
blue army helmet on his head, looking
much like a young soldier in the war his
father is committed to end.
But Oglesby is not alarmed. "Caleb's
wearing his United Nations helmet."
Moving off toward the dinner table af-
ter a four hour discussion he turns and
adds, as an afterthought: "Actually, we
don't want that much. -We just want
those promises of high school civics class
to come true."

A Casual Survey
(From Page Two)
New York Times," some commentators
said that folk-rock, even in its presently
spotty condition, shows signs of becom-
ing a major musical trend.
However, one critic pointed out, folk-
rock is largely "white up front"-per-
formed almost exclusively by white artists.
The new stylists, seem reluctant to ac-
knowledge their debt to the Negro tra-
dition or to admit the possibility that
folk-rock can be a vehicle expression for
the Negro as well as the white. If it
cannot "integrate," added Nat Hentoff,
contributing editor of Hi-Fi Stereo Re-
view, the form may well die, as did Dixie-
land. It seems possible, however, that
folk-rock can booth deepen and broaden
its outlook, and that the name may prove
to be transitory as a clearer, stronger
tradition develops.
The Blues
The Blues are not readily defined. His-
torically, a post-Civil War development
in Negro, music, arising when the Negro
encountered discrimination, cruelty and
the misery of poverty. Despite the terri-
ble social conditions that inspired them,
these "devil songs" are considered by
some unequalled in native American
music for the power and honesty of
their expression.
It is not really the music that makes
the blues unique, for they use a common
twelve-bar form, with or without a chor-
us. What distinguishes the blues is the
fearless description of man's meanest
emotions as well as his best, the sardonic,
often hilarious characterizations of the
most desperate of situations, the refusal
to accept the Negro's "place", and, most
important, constant hope for a better
future. The blues function with words.
They are not sentimental, as many white
performers have tried to make them.
They are uncompromised pictures of a
grim reality.
performer is that of the solo musi-
cian-singer, with battered guitar and
equally battered personal history, rasping
out songs in a highly individual style.
And, many of the giants of blues, such as
Leadbelly, Sleepy John Estes, and Mance
Lipscom, fit this image. Also common is
the guitar soloist with harmonica accom-
paniment such as Sonny Terry and
Brownie McGhee. However, blues bands
were equally common, with every con-
ceivable kind of homemade instrument
getting into the act.
Folk blues (not to be confused with the
torch songs and jazz variations that are
only roughly based" on this tradition,)
however, would in all likelihood have re-
mained an obscure, though widespread
form of music had. it not been for one
significant development. In the early

1930's Sonny Boy Williamson began tc
play the same songs using amplified gui.
tars and a drummer. He and other ar-
tists like Little Walter flourished with
this style in Chicago and New Orleans
for many years, paralleling jazz to some
extent, but more importantly, heralding
rock and roll.
Somewhere in the rush of acceptance
of rock and. roll in the fifties, this blues
style lost its prominence, becoming mere-
ly an inspiration for many of the rock
performers. When the wave of new Brit-
ish rock musicians became popular, they
loudly proclaimed their indebtedness to
blues, and, to some extent, caused a re-
investigation of both blues bands and
individual performers.
]JIODAY, THEREFORE, recordings of
old blues artists, many of whom are
new dead, are in great demand. Wriad-
dition, white and Negro :performers have
once again begun to play in the blues
style. Of the new groups, Paul Butter-
field's Blues Band is the most prominent.
Superficially, the music has many~ of
the characteristics of rock and roll. How-
ever, it has the musical variety and spon-
taneity, and the powerful lyrics of tradi-
tional blues, putting it at a much higher
artistic level than rock and roll.
In Ann Arbor, one group, the Prime
Movers, has adopted the blues style. All
the members of the Prime Movers have
extensive backgrounds in classical and
folk music. However, working from the
blues base, the Prime Movers have added
several traditional rock and roll songs,
some of Bob Dylan's newer material, and
surprisingly, Negro Gospels.
This proliferation' of styles in their
repertoire is significant, in that, ulti-
mately this band wishes to do more than
reproduce the Negro style. Believing that
Butterfield represents the end of the Chi-
cago era in blues (Sonny Boy William-
son, etc.), they "want (to create) some-
thing completely different, although we
don't know at all right now what it
would be like."
HOWEVER, they feel that they and
other groups must start with the
blues because, "Pop music is Negro and
we grew up with it. Therefore, we have
to work through the blues to get some-
thing of our own. We may get lost be-
cause there is so much in the Negro tra-
dition, but we want to try."
Like the folk-rock songs of Bob Dy-
lan that they perform, they wish to avoid
the political dogmatism of the protest
song. At the same time, they criticize the
closed, over-personalization of many jazz
musicians: "Jazz doesn't open up to
What makes this group and some other
new blues groups most exciting, in addi-
tion to their knowledge of their musical
heritage, is their desire to transcend it,
to create a unique musical experience.
Out of necessity, many of the in-
fluences on current popular music had to
be excluded from this discussion. Indeed,
the enormity of the American musical
heritage is staggering, most of it un-
explored, and much of it lost.
It is, then, very much to the credit of
the popular stylists-no matter what they
lack in depth at this point-that they
have been able to include so many dif-
ferent aspects of this heritage in their
The current popular scene is both con-
fusing and exciting, promising in its
originality yet disappointing in some of
its superficiality. Nevertheless, prospects
for the future are unlimited. The redis-
covery and mastery of old styles will
continue; performers have realized that
a style, does not have to be diluted to be
accepted by the public. But the hallmark
of the future will be experimentation-
with the grotesque, the avant-garde, or
the sure-fire success-working toward a
truly unique style, that expresses today's
cultural experience.
*.:..v:tr :.a.: 4z4a4Y:rj .}at. .:".yva::iC"^X Ma. <"J.;

Magazine Editor-Robert Moore
Andrew Sacks-Cover, p. 2, p. 3
Thomas R. Copi-p. 4-5

Vol. XI I, No. 4




Robert Moore, Magazine Editor

There is still hope for popular music
or new stylings of old forms-have a
Rock and Roll, Folk-Rock, and Bh
their heritage-a heritage that goes bf
nings of America, when African sla
ed-and are trying to combine old
ideas in a move that just might be su
with Blues. (page t
Ann Arbor's Carl Oglesby is presi
largest student radical group and th
man of student activism anl dissent.
calls, he happily accepted America' s
ism," but now his attitude is of bitter
eloquent idealism. The change took
ful period when he looked around I
system and saw something far diff
was supposed to see. (pa
Paintings and prints of six graduate
ed as part of a showing of candidates
Arts degree being held this April. Al
the reproductions still show the in
adaptation of national artistic trend,
these paintings prize-winners.
When 63-year old poet and diplomat
a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1963
den stream of praise from America
esteemed in literary circles as any a
said one. "In the metaphysical-symbc





ed another.

Konstantinos Lardas,

Greece in 1962, has translated somf
along with that of two other modern
Gatsos and C. P. Cavafy. (


Pa Fight


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