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Posted by on May 28, 2011 in Arts & Entertainment, Breaking News, Media, Society | 1 comment

Gil Scott-Heron: A Roundup

From NPR: “Gil Scott-Heron, Poet and Musician, Has Died.”

I agree with James Joyner that “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” is not funny, and not meant to be funny — but that does not mean there is no humor in it. It’s biting satire, and it made me laugh, listening to it for (I admit, although I’m ashamed to), the first time. The laughter is not lighthearted, though. It’s the humor that’s inherent in dark, mostly unacknowledged, truths.

Swopa at Firedoglake has another example of why Scott-Heron’s death merits (at the very least, I would say) “a respectful hat tip.”

Don Durito at Notes From Underground writes that “his words were a candle that lit up the darkness.” Durito also quotes part of a poem about poets that is striking and wonderful:

“If you should see a man walking down a crowded street talking aloud to himself, don’t run in the opposite direction, but run towards him, because he’s a poet. You have nothing to fear from the poet – but the truth.”

That’s from a poem called “Jazz Is My Religion,” by Ted Joans.

Scott-Heron’s most recent studio album — I’m New Here — came out only last year — according to The Daily What, it’s “his first to feature original material in nearly two decades.”

From my Twitter newsfeed, Peter Daou observes, “Nice to see the outpouring of respect for Gil Scott-Heron. Wish he’d seen more of it while he was living.” Link to¬† Christian Salazar piece provided by geoff9cow. And geoff retweets this from John Fugelsang: “Gil Scott-Heron is now the top trend on Twitter, US & Worldwide- put down the Beiber, kid, & listen” Ohmygod, amen to that.

From my RSS feeds: The NY Daily News obit. Language Log has a piece about the “linguistic play” in Scott-Heron’s spoken-word performances.

Google News’ Top Stories section has comprehensive and vast coverage.

Rest in peace, Gil Scott-Heron: gifted poet, musician, performance artist.