Mudcat Café message #2597868 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119547   Message #2597868
Posted By: Jack Blandiver
26-Mar-09 - 01:03 PM
Thread Name: 1954 and All That - defining folk music
Subject: RE: 1954 and All That - defining folk music
Fundamentalist hysteria! Talk about the 'pot calling the kettle black' - I would say that hurling around accusations of 'ethnic cleansing' and 'heretic hunting' is pretty hysterical! In what way was my post more 'hysterical' than yours, SS?

I only mentioned Ethnic Cleansing and Heresy with respect of the cultural fundamentalism that invariably attends the 1954 Definition. Most folkies, it would seem, don't need a definition - it's something they love, and they do it & enjoy it accordingly. It being Folk Music, which, according to the 1954 Fundamentalists, probably isn't folk music at all - like Tommy Armstrong's Marla Hill Ducks, which I'll be singing tonight at the Steamer in Fleetwood.   

Your last post is a cowardly cop-out (and that is the most 'hysterical that I'm going to get).

Accepted. I was just trying to avoid another over long post whilst answering Pip's points with the attention they deserved.

All of your posts seem to suggest that you possess some sort of moral superiority (not to mention esoteric knowledge) which allows you to summarily dismiss the opinions of others.

A somewhat fundamentalist reaction to my particular heresy. I am not possessed of any moral superiority or esoteric knowledge, nor am I dismissing the opinions of others. What I am doing, however, is reporting on what I have seen & heard being done In the Name of Folk over the last 35 years and wondering how this may or may not relate to the 1954 Definition. I've done this by suggesting (and indeed demonstrating) that the 1954 Definition is so nebulous that it might well define any music, and is, therefore, well past its sell-by date. Once can't help but wonder if in changing their name the International Council for Traditional Music feel the same way, and, if so, they are aware of the somewhat cancerous legacy they have left us in the 1954 Definition which no longer fits the facts of Folk but sits as a tumour at its very heart. Benign or not, I think it's time we cut it out.      

You remind me of someone from my past whose main fault was that she wasn't very good at arguing. When she was losing an argument she would resort to the underhand tactic of saying, "I find your views to be offensive" - which crumbled all but the toughest of cookies.

A charming but irrelevant anecdote. I don't find any views to be offensive, and my central point, however so wayward at times in its delivery, is that Folk Music is Empirical rather than Theoretical and that we must, therefore, consider the facts over and above the somewhat antiquated theory.

Suggesting that the 1954 definition still has a lot going for it is, I insist, not any sort of 'moral failing' (I feel no guilt) but part of a stand against the 'anything goes in a folk club' brigade and their endless whining.

In my experience it is the 1954 Faithful who do the most whining; the AGIFC brigade just get on with what they do in the sure knowledge that what they're doing is Folk. They run Folk Clubs, Festivals, Fora, Singarounds, Magazines, Agencies; or else they do that amazing thing which is to actually turn up at Folk Club or singaround and sing a Folk Song, traditional, or otherwise. Like me, tonight, when I'll be singing the Tommy Armstrong song indicated above; in no way traditional (except the tune) but a Folk Song notwithstanding.