Aida's Brothers and Sisters

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Aida's Brothers and Sisters

Postby uncle janko » Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:13 am

This is a movie about black opera singers from Marian Anderson onward. It's well worth seeing and enormously intelligent apart from the glorification of Paul Robeson--moral scum along the lines of Hervert von Karajan. (Yes, I can spell.)What's a little totalitarianism among friends, after all? Other than that, the interviews with Shirley Verrett and Reri Grist really stand out. This is a good use of two hours.
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Postby John Bear » Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:57 am

Hmmm, that's interesting. Robeson has always been one of my heroes. The best musical day of my life was my 21st birthday, when there was a Pete Seeger concert on campus in the afternoon and a Paul Robeson concert on campus in the evening.
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Postby Jimmy » Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:16 pm

John Bear wrote:Hmmm, that's interesting. Robeson has always been one of my heroes. The best musical day of my life was my 21st birthday, when there was a Pete Seeger concert on campus in the afternoon and a Paul Robeson concert on campus in the evening.


Pete Seeger, huh? Well, then I guess you were a HUGE Arlo fan as well. Take care.
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Re: Aida's Brothers and Sisters

Postby Jimmy » Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:24 pm

uncle janko wrote:...apart from the glorification of Paul Robeson--moral scum...


Gee, Uncle Janko, other than being pro-Soviet Union, pro-Stalin, and winner of the Stalin Peace Prize, what was wrong with him? :lol:

In all honesty, I am not sure I can blame a lot of blacks in the early days of black history in this country for condemning America, to a certain extent, and embracing other political systems that claimed to be for humanity and opossed to oppression. Of course, Robeson, a highly educated man, should have known better.

I kind of equate this to Ali who refused to fight in Vietnam saying "No Viet Cong ever called me 'nigger'." I mean after all, why should blacks fight for others' freedom when they didn't have it in their own country? In this case, Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Robinson, who said he's like to punch Robeson in the mouth, were wrong in condemning Ali.

Somehow this is all linked together but you can figure it out, ha!
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Postby John Bear » Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:55 pm

Jimmy: "Pete Seeger, huh? Well, then I guess you were a HUGE Arlo fan as well. Take care."

John: Not really. More of a one-trick pony, I've thought, but a pleasant one. Went to one of Seeger's last concerts about ten years ago. His voice was nearly gone -- but his banjo fingers were great and his nephew (Nick?), with a very similar voice, sang the songs. There's an NPR feature soon (unless I missed it) on his 90th birthday this year.
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Postby Jimmy » Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:59 pm

John Bear wrote:Jimmy: "Pete Seeger, huh? Well, then I guess you were a HUGE Arlo fan as well. Take care."

John: Not really. More of a one-trick pony, I've thought, but a pleasant one. Went to one of Seeger's last concerts about ten years ago. His voice was nearly gone -- but his banjo fingers were great and his nephew (Nick?), with a very similar voice, sang the songs. There's an NPR feature soon (unless I missed it) on his 90th birthday this year.


Wonder why some singers' voices go and others' don't?
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Postby uncle janko » Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:40 pm

John, Robeson had simply one of the most magnificent voices ever (like Shalyapin only quite possibly better) and a breathtaking stage presence. His embrace of genocidal Communism is inexcusable, just like Karajan joining the Nazis twice. I am not critical of artists under totalitarian regimes who perform for the State or who even join the totalitarian party (David Oistrakh and Karl Boehm come to mind). Paul Robeson, like Karajan, went out of his way to do it. Being part of an oppressed group (in Robeson's case) doesn't excuse it. Moreover, there's a double standard: artists who went Communist are excused, but artists who went Nazi aren't. Both brutish ideologies promised a better world and liberation for their adherents--and nothing but death and misery for everybody else. Robeson was a pig. His comments on the 1956 Hungarian revolt alone are enough to make him a shameful figure. I spit on his grave.
Doing good, doing well, raising hope and raising hell. Janko Shave.
"Airplane music? Just like music for big bees, only louder."--Arnold Schoenberg
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Postby uncle janko » Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:43 pm

Also, most of the movie is not about Paul Robeson. I should have highlighted earlier the interview with Simon Estes also as especially trenchant.
Doing good, doing well, raising hope and raising hell. Janko Shave.
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