April 8th, 2011 / 7:25 pm

We Too Are Children

This blog written by Ariel S. Winter catalogs children’s literature by adult authors of the 21st century which are apparently currently out of print. My faves: The Cat and the Devil by James Joyce, which is actually back in print now, all of these by Langston Hughes, and Andy Warhol’s Card Games Are Fun.

The name Ariel S. Winter reminds me of Jonathan Winters. Where do people get these names anyway?  Jack Pendarvis blogged about him today. Jack Pendarvis is an adult author who really should write some children’s fiction. I think people who made up fairy tales like those of the Brothers Grimm probably had a mind very much like that of Mr. Pendarvis.

On my breaks from subbing a class of fourth graders at an international school, I read a lot of Howard Zinn’s A Young People’s History of the United States. In his introduction Zinn defends the adaptation of his book from critics who I’m sure did denounce the book for presenting children with an alternate view of the American history they are still in the process of learning. I don’t remember exactly what he said exactly, but it was pretty much along the lines of: Most people treat children like children even though they understand everything that’s going on just as well as anyone. My feeling on this is that most people who treat children like children and think they can’t handle the Truth! haven’t been around children very much.

I’ve been listening to Laotian folk music lately and I am sort of totally in love with it. Having heard a fair deal of far eastern folk music I must say this takes the cake and eats itself of the cake the body of which it is of yumyummy cake body of blood. Much of what is vaunted in the folk anthologies of Harry Smith is his ear for naivety and what I would call ‘purity of expression’ (that’s right! P.O.E.); anyway I.M.O. this beats the pants off of the Americans for the Laotian’s caging of the wild, absurd and beautiful spirit of man. To me this music is like snorting the glee and drama of life, uncut. The ebb and flow of what there is to do with just a few instruments you’ve most likely made yourself, or found.

Folk music served a practical purpose for highly illiterate people largely without radios. With this kind of music there is no visible divide between entertainment and spirituality. Funny that we have such a hard time seeing the difference today in the West. Although our idea of music seems to have unfortunately been embodied by much of the East today.

“If anyone should ask you who composed this song tell ’em ’twas I, and I sing it all day long”

While I’m at it this is an album of demos I made. If you’re interested in collaborating via file sharing I might be into that maybe.

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