The audio on the above imbed is not, you know, safe for the workplace, and may in fact piss you off in some way even if you listen to it in complete private.
Which, you know, was part of what Amiri Baraka was about. There is SO much about various of the things he wrote and pronounced that I find/found infuriating, but he always had my calloused respect because he could write, he could read, he had, for better or worse, a genuine and full voice, and of course because he was from New Jersey and remained of New Jersey.
His very tough play Dutchman was made into a movie by, of all people, Katharine Hepburn's best friend and all-around Caucasian Person of Refinement Anthony Harvey. And Harvey made it as a passion project; it was the Dr. Strangelove editor's first directorial effort. Godard lifted a scene from the play and plunked it right in the middle of 1966's Masculin féminin, a year before Harvey's film version of the drama was released. The scene fits right in and sticks out, just as it is meant to; its electricity, its immediacy, even with Baraka/Jones' words transposed into French, is still palpable today. I am infuriated by Baraka's flirtations with anti-Semitism, with his 9/11 trutherism, just as I'm appalled by Céline's virulent racial idiocy, even as I'm dogged by the intuition that what's objectionable about them is part of what makes them valuable; they are problem artists; the negative space of their creative output and public pronouncements, what's abject about them, provides a discomfort that in some ways is necessary. But obviously there's a line. "Who Blew Up America?" took the Socialism Of Fools into the lunatic asylum, definitively, and he deserved all the dishonor and disapprobation he got in its wake, and more. I figured I was done with him, but, you know...[sigh]...dig this passage from his essay "You Ever Hear Albert Ayler?" written two years after "Who Blew Up America?" and included in Baraka's 2009 book Diggin': The Afro-American Soul Of American Classical Music (n.b., all inputting sic):
One night Albert, Black Norman, and I, at Albert's insistence, journeyed up to Lincoln Center. It was a Trane concert, armed to the teeth with some of the most impressive of the new musicians, who were now magnetized to the master. Eric Dolphy, Pharaoh Sanders, Cecil Taylor, Rashied Ali, and Elvin Jones. We arrived backstage, Norman's eyes shifting the shadows of the darkened staircase from which we checked and dug the fantastic out bad doom a doom whooah out of the heavy jam.
The whole of the mise en scene entered the playing, as the playing danced and hugged everybody (alive's) tender screamings or head casted to the rest of the audience like a transfusion, the blistering molten blood swishing through our hearing.[...]
At the top of that nuclear "My God!" What emotional convergence turned Albert into the horn he suddenly had in his hands? He began to stride out onto the stage. The horn raised high above his head, as if he wanted to take Pres manque all the way out. The bell pointing as much as possible at the embroidered ceiling of the place. And then, Lord, with that pose as his heart's signature, he began to open a hole in the roof so his angels could descend, summoned by his exploding plaints.
See what I mean? Anyway. I do not write this as an attempt to present anything like a fully formulated theory, or rationale, but to explain my regard for a figure who has been and will be widely reviled. Also, he was pretty funny in Bulworth.