RIP Oscar Peterson 1925-2007

by matttbastard

He just drove the whole bus,” said Senator Tommy Banks, a jazz pianist who once played a duet version of “Satin Doll” with Peterson on a live TV broadcast.

“He was the kindest, gentlest, most forgiving person on the face of the earth, but when you sit down to paint next to Picasso it’s fairly daunting. It was frightening.

“He generated enormous swing.”

[…]

Tracy Biddle, whose late father Charles was a close friend of Peterson’s and a pillar of the Montreal jazz community, was floored when she heard the news.

“He really put Montreal on the map of jazz,” Biddle said in an interview in Montreal. “I believe that on a grander scale, the impact he had on the black community and on the whole musical community was huge.”

“He broke out of Canada. He’s one of the first people. We talk of Celine Dion and Shania Twain and Alanis Morissette and Bryan Adams. Oscar Peterson did what they did years ago as a black person. So what he’s done is incredible.”

“Enormous swing”, an unparalleled impact on his field, his community and his nation, and no little respect. A legend and icon has passed. May the memory of his many, many accomplishments, musical and otherwise, never fade.

h/t sparqui @ Bread and Roses and skdadl @ pogge.

Update: More from Richard Harrington, Richard Severo (who notes the “critical ambivalence” Peterson faced from some within the jazz establishment) and the Associated Press, which quotes French President Nicolai Nicolas Sarkozy: “[O]ne of the bright lights of jazz has gone out.”

Update 2: CBC and BBC obituaries.

Update 3 12.25: former Ontario Premier and current federal Liberal candidate Bob Rae on Peterson’s expansive legacy, noting that Peterson “broke tradition by insisting on playing to mixed audiences in the American South in the 1950’s. His song “[Hymn] to Freedom” became a mainstay of the civil rights movement.”

This one goes out to you, Bob, and to my brothers and sisters of colour: an interpretation of Peterson’s classic civil rights anthem, as performed by Jim Hession.

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Say No To Homophobia – Boycott Digg!

by matttbastard

Kevin Rose and the fine young gentlemen @ Digg appear to have a problem with Lesbian-authored websites.

Paula the Surf Mom:

Well friends and readers it did not take us here at Lesbiatopia long before we have reluctantly found ourselves entering the realm of controversy as it would seem that Lesbiatopia has been banned by the internet book marking service Diggs, for displaying Adult content. But it is our option that our banning has more to do with a homophobic and misogynistic group think element by a of a small number of Digg users that tends to only wish to promote their personal views on homosexuality, lesbians and women in general.

[Digg] likes to promote itself as a non-hierarchical community-based popularity website, that uses a form of democratic editorial control were news stories and websites that are submitted by Digg users. Digg users then promote these submissions to the front page through a user-based ranking system.

[…] 

Only last week [Digg] banned another Lesbian authored site that I am sure many of the readers here are familiar with called Just A Girl in Short Shorts, for exactly the same reason as it banned Lesbiatopia… but if one reads this authors page you can see the banning of this site was probably motivated more by the fact the author is a lesbian with a brain, who presents content that is targeted primarily to a lesbian readership and that talks frankly about lesbian issues.

[…]

Hmmm me thinks that possibly there may just be a double standard at [Digg] and I think it just might be time to let [Digg’s] advertisers know that if they are looking for a demographic that has a proven track record for spending their money on line they just might want to look at the Gay and Lesbian demographic and remember that we tend to support firms that support us.

Shiver me timbers, the dirty so-and-sos have even banned The Cap’n, who be mates with The Beav!

Now, to be fair to teh boyz @ Digg, some Lesbian content is a-ok.

*blinks*

Ahem.

*headdesk*

Moving on….

Paula has subsequently addressed an open letter to Digg:

Gentleman,

Recently you banned a site I author called Lesbiatopia for mature content, you also recently banned another lesbian authored site called Just a Girl in Short Shorts for the same reason, but a search of your site with the word ‘lesbian’ reveals that there is still plenty of prurient lesbian content present, much of which I can assure you would be considered by many of my lesbian readers as exploitive and insulting… for example the content and comments of this very popular string that I had no problem finding on your site titled Britney Spears has lesbian footage of Paris Hilton. This post is seems only the tip of the iceberg when it come to efforts by your users to humiliate and degrade lesbians and gay people in general.

So it sort of seems to me and several other lesbian and gay publishers I have contacted that your action against Lesbiatopia and other lesbian authored sites recently may well be a bit homophobic on your parts and that you seem to pander to a misogynistic and lesbiaphobic element who tend to frequent your site. We can only take this to mean that your only concern would be material this element considers ‘offensive’ as lesbian material posted by lesbians for other lesbians.

Therefore since you are a San Francisco based company and you have chosen to ignore any communications from me about this matter to date, I feel I have no choice but to contact the San Francisco Human Rights commission to see if they might be of some assistance in this matter and I will be asking my readers to do the same.

Thank You

Paula the Surf Mom

I echo Dave and Chet’s call to arms: let’s give Digg the heave-ho and bury it, in solidarity with Paula and the rest of our sapphic sisters.  This non-heterosexual male definitely tends to support companies that support members of the community–and vice versa.

h/t pale via IM.

x-posted @ Bread and Roses 

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Noam vs. The Good Doctor

by matttbastard

Noam Chomsky on Ron Paul:

He is proposing a form of ultra-nationalism, in which we are concerned solely with our preserving our own wealth and extraordinary advantages, getting out of the UN, rejecting any international prosecution of US criminals (for aggressive war, for example), etc. Apart from being next to meaningless, the idea is morally unacceptable, in my view.

[…]

[H]is form of libertarianism would be a nightmare, in my opinion — on the dubious assumption that it could even survive for more than a brief period without imploding.

As they say, read the whole damn thing

h/t Dandelion Salad

Related: Ron Paul: Evoloution is “a theory, and I don’t accept it”.

Fuck it–the “most sane” Republican is now officially “none of the above”.

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