Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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December 09, 2006
Rasta killed the Pope!

re: the new issue, # 20, of Wax Poetics, with Lee Perry on the cover: I knew within 10 seconds of spotting it and reading its table of contents that I would walk out of the newsstand $7.99 poorer. This beats the previous land speed record of 15 seconds set by issue # 18, devoted to P-Funk.

The cover story excerpts part of David Katz's Perry biography, People Funny Boy. The excerpt brings to our attention a fascinating historical tidbit from the autumn of 1978, to add a new twist to some old conspiracy theories.

Lee Perry began spending much of his days writing on the walls of his studio, building junk-sculpture fetishes in the yard and antagonizing all that appeared there, after tensions arose during a new religious project initiated with members of the Niyabinghi Theocracy. . . .

Perry had been strengthening his bond with the sect after they increased visible displays of musical and social activism; in truth, they were planning a revolution together that would usher in a new era of theocratic government, and part of the motivation behind his declamatory graffiti seems to stem from prolonged involvement with the group. . . .

The Niyabinghi Theocracy held a thirty-day Niyabinghi from Marcus Garvey's birthday on August 27; Perry then funded a forty-day Niyabinghi from late September, initiated just before the death of Pope John Paul I, which the more radical members of the order claimed was caused partly by the energies released at their Niyabinghi.

I wonder if in future performances Patti Smith could change the lyrics (and, perhaps, percussion) of "Wave" to incorporate this.