The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Gil Scott-Heron could be best described as being all things to all people. He was a writer, a poet, a political commentator, and an excellent musician too. His music is variously described as Jazz, Soul, Rap, Funk, or as just plain poetry to sounds. His importance in the music scene of the 1970s cannot be exaggerated, as he brought a mixture of genres that highlighted some of the most important causes of the period.
He continued to record into the 1990s, and despite some terms in prison, remained a significant influence in a certain genre, appreciated by many. These days, his work is rarely heard, and perhaps little-known, as he sadly died in 2011, aged just 62.
However, the fusion of poetry, rap, and music in this featured song has even more contemporary relevance than it did in 1971, when I first heard it, and was amazed by its prescience.
Listen, and weep.
I was watching a documentary film this morning. The person who was the subject of the documentary was being remembered by friends. One recalled that she had once met Gil Scott-Heron, the late musician. She asked him what his definition of a pessimist was. His reply has to be one of my favourite quotes, ever.
“A pessimist is a person who is in possession of all the facts.”