Show Notes: Bobbie Gentry – No Abstractions

You can listen to the LIVE stream here.

The song that would displace Sqt Peppers and All We Need Is Love was a simple recording with just a single guitar.  String accompaniment was added later as an afterthought because “well, no one is going to listen to this anyway.”  Simplicity versus sophistication, concrete thinking keeps Severed Conscience at bay.

This Haunting Song Knocked The Beatles Out of #1 Summer of 67

The Sophistication of the Beatles

In 1967 The Beatles astounded the world with what many would call the first concept album, a compilation of songs where the lyrics described the lives of several characters.  This album was Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band. 

This collaboration between George Martin and the Beatles employed many new techniques in recording using tracks, placement of microphones and orchestral accompaniment to produce a wall of sound.

Sgt Peppers was the #1 album in the US for 15 weeks. 

Love Is All You Need was the #1 single in the US. 

With the Summer of Love and the emergence of artists like Janis Joplin and the counter culture, a level of sophistication in music employing influences from all over the world seemed to assert of a new trend.

Ode To Billie Joe – A Southern Gothic Tale Set To a Haunting Melody

[Verse 1]
Was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day
I was out choppin’ cotton, and my brother was balin’ hay
And at dinner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat
And Mama hollered out the back door, “Y’all, remember to wipe your feet!”
And then she said, “I got some news this mornin’ from Choctaw Ridge
Today, Billie Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge

[Verse 2]
And Papa said to Mama, as he passed around the black-eyed peas
“Well, Billie Joe never had a lick of sense; pass the biscuits, please
There’s five more acres in the lower forty I got to plow”

And Mama said it was shame about Billie Joe, anyhow
Seems like nothin’ ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge
And now Billie Joe MacAllister’s jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge

[Verse 3]
And brother said he recollected when he, and Tom, and Billie Joe
Put a frog down my back at the Carroll County picture show
And wasn’t I talkin’ to him after church last Sunday night?
“I’ll have another piece-a apple pie; you know, it don’t seem right
I saw him at the sawmill yesterday on Choctaw Ridge
And now you tell me Billie Joe’s jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge”

[Verse 4]
Mama said to me, “Child, what’s happened to your appetite?
I’ve been cookin’ all mornin’, and you haven’t touched a single bite
That nice young preacher, Brother Taylor, dropped by today
Said he’d be pleased to have dinner on Sunday, oh, by the way

He said he saw a girl that looked a lot like you up on Choctaw Ridge
And she and Billie Joe was throwin’ somethin’ off the Tallahatchie Bridge”

[Verse 5]
A year has come and gone since we heard the news ’bout Billie Joe
And brother married Becky Thompson; they bought a store in Tupelo
There was a virus goin’ ’round; Papa caught it, and he died last spring
And now Mama doesn’t seem to want to do much of anything
And me, I spend a lot of time pickin’ flowers up on Choctaw Ridge
And drop them into the muddy water
off the Tallahatchie Bridge

Bobbie Gentry was born into poverty in Chickasaw County, Mississippi.  According to some accounts she grew up on a farm with no plumbing or electricity.  She was raised by her grandparents until age 13 when she joined her mother in California.

Her first album ascended to #1 in five weeks.  Many of her songs have a haunting quality to them, they stand in juxtaposition to trends of the later 60s.  Likewise, she was one of the few female performers who wrote and produced her own music.

Being Concrete When Thinking and Speaking Is A Lost Skill

Clear thinking and ability to express ideas seems to be slipping away from our society.  Word salad doesn’t convey meaning, emotive phrases peppered with emojis fails to convey meaning.

This interview demonstrates not only the intelligence and ability of both the host and Bobbie Gentry, it shows how much we have changed in how we articulate our ideas.  At the time of this interview Bobbie was 24 years old.  At her age I was not as articulate and thoughtful as she appears in this discussion.  The thought she put into the lyrics of Ode To Billy Joe is amazing.  Mundane life at the table just goes on as mention of the death is squeezed in between pass the peas. 

My own interpretation the first time I listened to this song this week was that singer was perhaps involved with something even darker with Billy Joe, and was plotting an end to her family.  Read Verse 5.  Mundane passing of her father sounds so detached that I pictured the daughter being the culprit, and now she awaits the right time to bring her mother to an end. 

We Spend Too Much Time Lured By Abstractions

How things are presented to us seem to matter more than concrete thinking.  When you consider the volume of information that comes at us from social media, we occupy ourselves primarily with representations of reality.  There is a pace, a rhythm to social media that captures the mind and crowds out the time we need to think.  We are shown what people want us to see, which is different if you or I sat across the table from one another and assessed sound of voice, facials ticks, bodily language. 

Models, such an economic model, give us a sense of security.  Why?  Because models are vetted aren’t they?  THEY wouldn’t publish something false and leave it for people to be misinformed by, would THEY?

We suffer from bad abstractions being made into doctrine, then dressed up and introduced to us with color, sophisticated graphics with glib puns and pithy statements.  And the system will withdraw their faulty statements and never address the errors they made.  And all the while the Big Tech platforms feed us more and more images, data and trigger.  Try Googling “FDA Horse Paste” and the very famous ad that we aimed at us for years on ALL platforms, Twitter included, does not return in the results.  How is that not the ultimate control?

Ultimately our isolation from one another and from reality leads to more false premises being peddled by people so removed from the problem they propose to solve, it leads you to consider whether the consequences of these plans are even recognized. Responsibility for failure is certainly not a consequence.  If these are the conditions with which authorities and experts can operate, why would the not attempt propaganda to distract, or even convince of falsehoods that are not to our benefit.

A rational, independent mind is the only weapon against such an overwhelming trend that have overtaken our society.  Natural Law, learning from the failure of your own endeavors builds your resilience, and preserves your independent thought.

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