Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Today's obituary

Gil Scott-Heron: The revolution will be live

Credited as a seminal influence on the development of rap music, Gil Scott-Heron died last week at the age of sixty-two. His most famous work The Revolution will Not be Televised is well known (to rap music historians), and it's really good. While the lyrics are definitely locked into references to the 1960s popular culture, which are probably obscure to anybody born during the sixties and later, what stands out to me is how he perceived the revolution taking place. Any revolution can take place and probably is, outside of what you are seeing on television. The Arab Spring is a good example of this. Television got there after the lone vegetable vendor in Tunisia set himself on fire. The revolution was going on all around and it did not attract media attention, until . . . If I remember hearing the BBC announcer correctly, Scott-Heron claimed in later years that the revolution starts inside your head.

So it will come to pass with the revolt against the straitjacket of a mental health diagnosis for the most "intractable" of so-called mental illnesses, schizophrenia. The drug treatment paradigm will come tumbling down because the people are angry. So, keep blogging, keep commenting, keep linking. Our message is a global one. When the revolution comes, it will be fast.

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