Yes, Sweetie, Mommy's Heard Of Gil Scott-Heron

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Yes, Sweetie, Mommy's Heard Of Gil Scott-Heron

Hello, sweetie! I didn't expect you home so early. Here, hand me your backpack. Ooh, heavy! So, how was your week? Well, I'm glad. College is sure fun, isn't it? Yes, it is! So, what did you learn today? Well, imagine that. You don't say? Yes, yes. Uh-huh. Yes, sweetie, Mommy's heard of Gil Scott-Heron. Have a piece of fruit instead, honey, that cake is for dessert tonight.

Here you go, a nice apple. Okay, so that 20th Century African-American Popular Culture Studies course. What's that all about? Mm-hmm. Sure, I know "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." It's his most famous song! Why, yes, his spoken-word recordings were a noted precursor of hip-hop! Very good. What a smarty you are! I'm so glad you're enjoying your classes. Honey, can you do your old mom a favor and get that jar of rhubarb preserves off that top shelf there? Thanks a bunch!

What now, hon? Oh, Daddy and I listened to Gil Scott-Heron back in college. My goodness, so full of questions today! Well, sure, Daddy and I listened to music, we went to basketball games, we played pool at the student union—all sorts of things you young people still do today! Be careful, now, I just waxed the floor and I wouldn't want you to slip. Except, back then, we played vinyl records and listened to AOR radio. That's short for "album-oriented rock." Oh, you knew that? Well, okay then, my big mister. You get an A for the day!

"Whitey On The Moon"? Oh, why, sure. Yes, yes... uh-huh! "Junkies make me a nervous wreck... rat done bit my sister... whitey on the moon..." Ha ha! My word. Who's this? Did Mr. Gil Scott-Heron himself just bestow the honor of his presence on us? Well, we'll have to set the table for an extra guest tonight! I hope he likes baked chicken with rhubarb sauce and German chocolate cake! He does? Nifty! Oh, all right, I'll stop goofing around. You do have a nice voice, though.

What now, sweetie? Was I offended by "Whitey On The Moon"? Oh, not really. It made a fair point. It was pretty ironic that poor black people in the inner cities were suffering while billions of dollars were being spent on the moon race. It's sad to think about. Sweetie, don't sit on the kitchen chair like that. Put both feet down. I can understand why Gil Scott-Heron was frustrated. It was pretty neat of him to express himself with art and tell people what was on his mind. Remember when you were in that art camp back in seventh grade and you made that collage against the war? That was very creative.

Hmm? I didn't hear you, I was rinsing the chicken. Ah, the Last Poets. Yes, Mommy knows them, too! "Wake up, niggers, or you're through." Yes, they and Gil Scott-Heron did come from the later, militant generation of civil-rights activists! It sure was a howl of desperate anger from the disenfranchised! Did we want revolution, too? Such a deep question! Well, I don't know. Daddy was all for it, but I was less certain. Oh sweetie, will you fetch some potatoes from the cellar for Mommy? My hands are all wet.

Thank you, pussycat! Yes. Yes, revolution. Mm-hmm. What? Why was I less certain? Oh, I don't know, really. I guess it's just that—well, the gosh-darn funny thing about revolution is that sometimes it brings more chaos and pain than positive change. Sometimes, instead of liberation, you get... more... tyranny! Ha! Got your nose! Okay, now run your things up to your room, and I'll give your nose back when dinner's ready!

What's this, dear? Oh, you're going to succeed where my generation failed? Well, I hope so! That would be wonderful, dear! You should give it a try! I felt that way when I first listened to Gil Scott-Heron, too. Yes, I agree: Fuck the man! You go and do that! Never sell out, that's right! And while you're upstairs not selling out, Mommy will be in the kitchen making dinner. Try to be quiet when you go up the stairs, will you, sweetie? Daddy's napping in the living room.

Hmm-mm-mmm... la, la, la, doo doo doo... "Women will not care if Dick finally gets down with Jane on Search For Tomorrow, because black people will be in the street looking for a brighter day... the revolution will not be televised..." La, la, la...

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