“Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” (Mickey Newbury)

The “hippie cowboy” strikes where it hurts. While the Kenny Rogers & The First Edition’s later version is more well known, the original’s commitment to both sitar at the beginning and tape manipulation at the end signal that the stakes are a bit different. Any altered state here is premised on a warped negligence; your “mind” should be elsewhere and soaring. Just make sure to check in once in a while: lubricate social relations, follow “sign[s],” and “unwind” as others are wont to do. Testify to the intensity of experience. Make sure that your mind is “broke[n]. And always be packing a spare “you,” since it’s the best you can do on a daily basis (given the legal limits). Be here now and then.


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“Bird Seed” (Whitehouse)

Peter Sotos collage of voices of prostitutes, abused children, parents of kidnapped and murdered children, and the ubiquitous, soothing voices of social workers and media interviewers. Sexual abuse has been “hidden in the closet too long,” says one voice. While this taped testimony is “out,” perhaps, it is being disseminated within something else: a legal buyer’s market for the pornographic, under cover of a media-induced “therapy” of expression and positive thinking. In an abuser’s pecking order, the State and the media come first.


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