Tuesday, July 25, 2006

of jazz blogs and dictators

J.B. Spins mixes jazz and right-wing politics. J.B. does a lot of reviews of jazz-related books and films, which is unusual and refreshing. His writing is matter-of-fact and concise.

The jazz and the politics regularly cross paths. For example, in a discussion of Bobby Previte's Coalition Of The Willing. I don't share much political ground with J.B. (or his appraisal of Previte's cover art), but I've long wondered what Che t-shirts (not a new phenomenon) were supposed to mean. Even more puzzling is when his effigy is brought to peace rallies. At the same time, I've never seen anyone wear a Martin Luther King, Jr. or Gandhi t-shirt. Those t-shirts must surely exist, but I've never seen any and I'm certain that they aren't fashion icons.

A few weeks ago I was surprised - maybe even shocked - to see bags with Mao's face printed on them in a shop window. Che's rebel cachet is understandable, but why would anyone want to flaunt Mao? Who next, Stalin? Franco? Pinochet? Idi Amin? Pol Pot? (actually, that one might not be too far off) Put bloody dictators from all continents in your wardrobe, collect them all!