Gail On Huffington Post

It would appear that Gail Zappa now writes for the Huffington Post these days as “Writer, Art Director, Provocateur”. Take-away quote:

But I digress. As usual.

41 Responses to “Gail On Huffington Post”

  1. urbangraffito says:

    I wonder what would happen if Gail happened to have a bona fide idea of her own, I mean, a personal revelation or epiphany that had nothing to do with her late husband. Would her skull explode from the sheer pressure of it all? It seems whenever her mouth opens, it’s the very same sounds that come out…

    But I digress. As usual.

  2. felsnaptha says:

    Yea. I agree to a point.

    But, try to imagine living with
    Frank for a whole lifetime being
    a fan. (I’m sure Gail is a fan).

    You an I quote Franks ideas once in
    a while in our everyday conversation.
    I know I do.

    Now, try to imagine living with
    Frank for decades and NOT absorbing
    his clever, creative syntax.

    I’m cool with Gail. She ain’t Frank but neither
    am I.

    Are you?

  3. Bob says:

    A quote from felsnaptha:

    She ain’t Frank but neither
    am I.

    Are you?

    I’m Bob, and you’re not.

  4. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from felsnaptha:

    Now, try to imagine living with
    Frank for decades and NOT absorbing
    his clever, creative syntax.

    I’m cool with Gail. She ain’t Frank but neither
    am I.

    Are you?

    It’s one thing to absorb FZ’s clever, creative syntax – yet Gail’s consistent Zappa-speak almost borders on plagiarism.

  5. Jamez says:

    A quote from urbangraffito:

    A quote from felsnaptha:

    Now, try to imagine living with
    Frank for decades and NOT absorbing
    his clever, creative syntax.

    I’m cool with Gail. She ain’t Frank but neither
    am I.

    Are you?

    It’s one thing to absorb FZ’s clever, creative syntax – yet Gail’s consistent Zappa-speak almost borders on plagiarism.

    It DOES sound like she’s mimicing Frank in this article.

  6. Alex says:

    GZ: “it is now possible for more experimentation at a less expensive rate than having to hire a room full of orchestra to hear what it is the guy with the checkbook thinks you are doing.”

    Wasn’t this FZ’s dream come true? Wasn’t this the promise and the joy of the Synclavier?

    And with all those buttons to push and knobs to turn to administrate the frequential flow it makes it possible for everyone to be in the composing business. Oops! Just when it seemed that it was all good news a little flip of the switch makes it very bad – and even a little ugly on the side.

    Ok, so why is the possibility of ‘everyone to be in the composing business’ (HA–as if) such a bad thing? Is it the competition? Certainly GZ’s ol pal “the free market system” is a gatekeeper enough–or do we need a chosen ‘parent culture’ made of corporate music pricks to ‘administrate’ that as well?

    Turns out that the concept [of copyrights] comes along with the concept of Freedom and all the rest of the stuff that is built into the Constitution of the United States of America – and other countries.

    This has probably gone over, but could a helpful reader please show the where in the Constitution of the United States (and other countries) the word ‘copyright’ can be found?

    Such traditions as football may be tied to the morale of a country but music and all the other arts and sciences are its life blood. Find a place without music and you will find a dictatorship. Find one with state-sponsored, authorized music and you will find fascism.

    What about corporate-sponsored, authorized music. What do you find there? Freedom? Liberty? Originality? The fountain of youth?

    Some believe the future of music is the future of spectacle – for that is what music is starring as these days. We know the show will go on. And on and on. Everything will be homogenized and recycled and well-lit.

    Spectacle…like a giant projection of Himself for the band to play along with?
    Homogenized…like all the ‘chance’ taken out?
    recycled…like lets take some music that has already been done definitively and, uh, do it again “with unexpected perfection?”
    Well lit…so the DVD(s) will look good?

    If nothing else, when GZ speaks, you can’t help but wish FZ was still alive (which for all we know is yet another marketing ploy…)

    Lastly, how long before FZ’s music is considered one of the ‘war horses” played by orchestras, marching bands and the like?

  7. jonnybutter says:

    When Frank wrote something, there usually (not always) was little doubt about what he meant, and the style was called ‘idiosyncratic’. When Gail writes, it’s just kind of incoherent. I really don’t know what the hell she is saying in this post…

  8. Paul Sempschi says:

    A quote from felsnaptha:

    Now, try to imagine living with
    Frank for decades and NOT absorbing
    his clever, creative syntax.

    sounds parasitic

  9. basharoni says:

    Frank is good-Gail is bad-Diva is single-Moon is a mother-Laura has kids-Ahmet paints Kermits-ZPZ is on tour – its cold in norway -rice is cheap in Japan -soon there be an other Oktoberfest- have a good day :)

  10. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    A quote from jonnybutter:

    When Gail writes, it’s just kind of incoherent. I really don’t know what the hell she is saying in this post…

    That is exactly the feeling I was left with, having read the article.

  11. P-Rip says:

    A quote from P-Rip:

    Barry’s Imaginary Publisher says:
    October 30th, 2009 at 7:09 pm » Quote

    A quote from jonnybutter:

    When Gail writes, it’s just kind of incoherent. I really don’t know what the hell she is saying in this post…

    That is exactly the feeling I was left with, having read the article.

    I have never been able to make it through an article, liner notes, etc. written by Gail. I always try, with the hope that there may be some real information in there someplace. But it literally gives me a headache, so I’ve stopped trying.

    BTW, I suppose the purpose of the “GZ Sez” link on the Zappa site is to re-publish all her word-spew. Or maybe to publish stuff that even the hippest abstract publications reject as incoherent.

  12. Matt says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_copyright_law

  13. stefan says:

    GZ speculates that copyright is intrinsic to America’s greatness, but Founding Father Benjamin Franklin was a notorious copyright infringer: http://tuxdeluxe.org/node/157

    Here’s what Franklin said about patents (a somewhat different concept, but today often lumped together with copyrights and trademarks as “intellectual property”): “As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously.”

    It’s no surprise that the Huffington Post gave Gail her own blog, given Hilary Rosen’s involvement with the site (in addition to GZ’s status as a top Democratic donor).

  14. urbangraffito says:

    As a long accused GZ and ZFT basher (sometimes deservedly so), whenever I come across her attempts at critical thought, I just cringe. For the most part, when FZ opened his mouth and spoke on a given subject, one was intrigued by the width and breadth of his knowledge (particularly for a self-taught and self made man) on that topic, and the generosity he allowed for those less learned than himself. When GZ opens her mouth (largely gobbledygook in the format of Zappa speak), it’s the exact opposite.

    It certainly shows how someone can use someone else’s thoughts, achievements, and fortune to leap frog her station.

    Imagine leaping from a cocktail waitress at the Whisky a Go Go to an expert on sixties counterculture and international copyright. And what are her qualifications?

    Oh yes, Frank’s widow. Nevermind.

  15. basharoni says:

    gail zappa for beginners:)

  16. Petitwazoo says:

    To be sure, it’s her. No else on the planet ever writes such a bad grasp of the English language, It’s constantly abso-cringe-tastic as Mary Poppins might have said to Bert!

  17. George says:

    GZ–WTF was that? Get to the fucken point already…

  18. urbangraffito says:

    The hills are alive with the sound of music…

    but not Frank Zappa’s music…

    GZ and the ZFT has so many different actions in court (suing Ryko for selling digitally compressed Zappa) it’s no wonder their parent company Warner Bros has ceased manufacturing any of the man’s brilliance until there is a judgement one way or other. Given the ZFT track record in court in such matters, again methinks GZ is overstepping her understanding of international copyright law, and replacing it with wishful thinking.

  19. exile says:

    I agree with some of the earlier posts – that article is almost complete gibberish.

    But there’s got to be some inkling of a thread in there, surely? Let me get this straight…

    1. promoters were bad in the 60s and now they are worse
    2. audio technology is now inexpensive and this is good – no it’s not it’s bad
    3. copyright is enshrined in the American constitution (and others? – I guess she knows). And that’s why Americans march with beer and salute flags.
    3a. actually this is all about culture (which is defined as the ideas of people now)

    [help me somebody, I'm getting a blinding headache]

    3b. music is the best (well that’s a given)

    4. music as spectacle – something, something, something

    [I swear I'm going to start drinking again]

    4a. orchestral musicians listen to and play other music too

    Conclusion: there is a music gene; music affects your thinking; stereo means something else (but that’s for Gail to know and you to find out); the brain exists in various parts of the body and extra-terrestrially, simultaneously; real music is not about sounds [actually this might be an interesting angle]; and apparently there’s some debate about whether music is allowed to make you laugh – it is – and someone’s gonna prove it, k?

    [I need to lie down]

  20. Matt says:

    I really don’t know what the subject is here, was looking for a pirate video recorded just before Frank’s death omn the Cheiftains album, The Long Black Veil. But with that being said, this family is never going to escape FZ’s legacy, unfortunately for them, they will forever be a footnote in his shadow.

  21. punctilla says:

    GZ, writer, art-director and provocateur said:

    So back to the future and a few predictions: Scientists (?) will prove that there is a “music” gene. The question will be asked, once it is proven that music changes your mind – literally, how? How does that work?

    Here’s another question for the future: Once it is proven that there is a music “gene” and it is proven that music “changes your mind”, will “we” still be “cool” with the old music industry paradigms and business strategies? Will “we” still be cool with this genetic, mind changing force being “administered” by “music executives” for (mostly their) profit?

  22. Josh says:

    It’s difficult to overlook the irony of her saying how anyone can be a composer because of the technology available, when it is technology that has allowed her to become a “published” writer without any credentials. Writing is an art that requires training and practice, as does writing music.

  23. Paul Sempschi says:

    A quote from Josh:

    Writing is an art that requires training and practice, as does writing music.

    PRACTICE, not necessarily ‘training’. In fact, rejection has more to do with an artist’s refinement than an apprenticeship. I would wager that Frank wouldnt have been nearly as focused without all those NO COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL rejection slips.

    Which is probably one of the reasons why none of his children ever really excelled and/or produced anything of creative value (read as ORIGINAL PRODUCT, not just skill, or lack thereof); the Zappa moniker paved the way for a mediocre career via association.

  24. Chuck says:

    Does this mean she is going to write more articles? If so, what is she going to write about as she has blown most of her stuff in this article. Is she capable to discuss anything else?

    I wonder what her incoherent rambling would read like to someone who isn’t aware of Zappa and the pet subjects of the ZFT?

  25. Disciple of "Bob" says:

    So, correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems Gail’s message is that studies have shown that this horrible force is so dangerous to society at large that laws are being drawn up at this very moment to stop it forever. Cruel and inhuman punishments are being carefully described in tiny paragraphs so they won’t conflict with the Constitution (which, itself, is being modified in order to accommodate THE FUTURE).

    Is that basically it?

    Once again, we see MUSIC causing BIG TROUBLE.

  26. jane23 says:

    Gail Zappa: what was her influence on Frank?
    And, how much of what sounds like Frank came from Gail?

  27. basharoni says:

    now you have learned to read the lines now read in between them :)

  28. felsnaptha says:

    I found Gail’s essay only slightly more coherent than
    Frank’s liner notes from You Are What You Is.

    After the first few paragraphs of “Say Cheese”
    (very good paragraphs) I always find myself skipping
    to the end.

    It seems to me that these niggling attacks on Gail Zappa
    boil down to, “I disagree with the way she does her business,
    so she is WRONG.”

    All judgement is self-judgement.

  29. Alex says:

    A quote from felsnaptha:

    I found Gail’s essay only slightly more coherent than
    Frank’s liner notes from You Are What You Is.

    After the first few paragraphs of “Say Cheese”
    (very good paragraphs) I always find myself skipping
    to the end.

    It seems to me that these niggling attacks on Gail Zappa
    boil down to, “I disagree with the way she does her business,
    so she is WRONG.”

    All judgement is self-judgement.

    Good to see I wasn’t the only person who thought “Say Cheese” was head-scratchingly cryptic.

    But personal politics aside, that article meandered a lot.

  30. profusion says:

    Frank had a tendency to meander in his writings and monologues. I think he loved playing around with words for the pure fun of it. But he could also be short and shockingly to the point when the occasion called for it. And, usually, he had something interesting to say.

    Gail, on the other hand…

  31. jonnybutter says:

    A quote from jonnybutter:

    I found Gail’s essay only slightly more coherent than
    Frank’s liner notes from You Are What You Is.

    I thought the opposite. I found Frank’s essay to be quite coherent. It was a cogent complaint about quality of life in a more or less strictly industrial/utilitarian culture. What was Gail’s post about?

  32. jonnybutter says:

    A quote from jonnybutter:

    All judgement is self-judgement.

    um…really?

  33. felsnaptha says:

    A quote from jonnybutter:

    A quote from felsnaptha:

    All judgement is self-judgement.

    um…really?

    um…yep.

  34. Paul Sempschi says:

    A quote from jonnybutter:

    A quote from Paul Sempschi:

    All judgement is self-judgement.

    um…really?

    Isnt that a wee bit glib? I mean if that were the case, every cop who gives someone a DUI would be immediately given a breathalizer.

    It seems that the majority of criticism about Gail’s article comes from it’s incomprehensibility.

    In this thread, we’ve barely scratched the surface of the content and how it relates to ZFT policy (the GZ = bad and all that history) because we can barely read the fucking thing.

  35. jonnybutter says:

    Sorry, all judgment isn’t self-judgment. That is preposterously reductive. You mean that as one makes a judgment, one has to reflect on what one’s perceptions may or may not mean about oneself – biases, motivation, etc. That’s what judgment *is*.

    Postmodernism isn’t much of a ‘philosophy’, people. Perhaps felsnaptha was offended by Frank’s tweaking of that school (in a musical context) in the aforementioned liner notes, which might be why he found that part of the essay incoherent. ‘All judgment is self-judgment’ indeed!

    And I agree with Paul that the main criticisms of Gail in this thread were mainly for her incoherence. I don’t like the way the ZFT is run – I *really* don’t like the ZFT busting/hassling cover bands – but I can’t justify spending a lot of time obsessing about Gail. I can easily imagine a situation in which Frank’s legacy was managed by someone (or some corp. which was) even worse. Anyway, the music will live on no matter what.

  36. exile says:

    “Say Cheese” is an incredibly lucid and astute observation. A-and it’s funny to boot!

    “The Future of Music” is a near incoherent assemblage of words. And it’s not so much funny as sad.

    I believe its author thinks she is very clever indeed. But there is an almost Scientological lunacy about the way things are made to seem mysterious, and only for those ‘who know’ (wink, wink). Like the parenthesis question mark after the word “scientists” (what does that mean?); like the reference to stereo being something other than what is widely understood to be.

    Oooh, spooky. “The owls are not what they seem”.

  37. Alex says:

    There is frost on the pumpkins.

  38. basharoni says:

    i see a Grey headed lady laughing ……………… i like her writing :)
    still waiting on a book from gail hope she will write :)

  39. exile says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgNL8-FdG-k

  40. profusion says:

    A quote from Paul Sempschi:

    In this thread, we’ve barely scratched the surface of the content and how it relates to ZFT policy (the GZ = bad and all that history) because we can barely read the fucking thing.

    :lol:

    The whole thing seems a bit stream-of-consciousness to me. Gail would be better off just to record her thoughts and have someone more literate transcribe and edit them. No shame in not having a great writing style, as long as you actually have something to say.

  41. P-Rip says:

    As I suggested earlier, “The Future of Music” monologue wordspew is now posted on the Zappa site under the “GZ Sez” link. Two items of note:
    1) Note that it is a monologue and not posted as a blog, allowing for the possibility of feedback and dialog.

    2) It is posted as a pop-up, which is forbidden in the current HTML spec. (Yes, they still work most of the time, in most browsers, but eventually they will not-at least not that way.)

    My guess is that we will see about two or three more posts and it will wither and die just like most of the zappa.com site.

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