‘the blak watch’ – time for a new voice
About 15 years ago whilst I was a freelance music journalist I used to write a monthly column for UK rap magazine Hip-Hop Connection under the pseudonym of Colonel Taylor. The idea for the name came from the movie Planet of the Apes (that’s the 1968 original, not the numerous remakes).
In this movie Charleton Heston leads a group of astronauts who land on earth some years in the future, when the planet has been overtaken by belligerent but intelligent apes, and humans have become primitive mutes relegated to the status of slaves.
I took this ‘nom de plume’ because, in my Black radical interpretation, the movie was an allegory, the enslaved humans actually representing the Black race who are deaf, dumb and blind to their own history, – a history actively hidden from them by the war-loving white men/apes who now run things. As a Black journalist I saw it as my job, like Colonel Taylor in the movie, to wake up Black people/humans to the deception.
Now 15 years later I’m in my 40’s and hip-hop no longer excites me as it did in the Golden era of the 80’s and 90’s. Now my inspiration comes not from going to rap concerts, listening to Tim Westwood on Radio 1, and reading the Source magazine but rather from watching Channel 4 news, listening to the Today programme on Radio 4, and reading the Observer. (Though listeners of rap from that era will recognize the hip-hop references still present in my writing).
Lee Pinkerton as Hip-Hop Connection’s Colonel Taylor??
Over the last couple of years friends have been telling me that I should join the 21st century and write a blog. Rather like my attitude to Facebook, I couldn’t see the point. As a man who used to write for a living, getting my views published was no big deal, and why should I now write for free? But news events of 2011 have changed my mind. It is clear to me that we need an alternative viewpoint and agenda from the one of the ruling class elite that is faithfully adhered to by the mainstream media.
Hopefully this new blog will be as popular, controversial and amusing as Colonel Taylor once was, and hopefully (thanks to the internet) more widely read.
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