double binds that sustain and entanglenthe white jazz musician. The chaptei onnDexter Gordon incorporates a briefnhistory of the saxophone in modern jazznand transmits some of the frustration of anmajor American artist who finds morenacceptance abroad than at home.nWhile Giddins has a vision that allowsnhim to place music in societal andnpolitical perspective, he has refrainednfrom polemicizing from racial or politicalnviewpoints when he writes about jazz.nHe stakes out a huge territory, virtuallynall important American popular musicnthat has developed from blues and jazznroots. This book is a fragmentary approachnto the subject, an indication thatnGiddins njay be the one eventually tonprovide a major study of the field. In thenmeantime his enthusiasm, intelligence,nand ability to entertain in Riding on anBlue Note stimulate the desire to hearnand appreciate the music. No small accomplishment,nthat. nnI IN: AMIKK N PK()S( IMIMnThe Bombing Season & the NewsnBombs were exploding during thenpast holiday season with the cheerful frequencynof Christmas cards arriving in thenmailbox. Each time—whether in Lebanonnor Northern Ireland or somewherenelse—people innocent by any reasonablenmeasurement met an unexpected, senselessndeath, that is, the cruelest of destinies,nmeted out to them by the vilestnmonster our century has spawned—thenpolitical terrorist, the creature with thenmost repulsive moral motivationnhumans have encountered on this planetnsince the time of dragons. The heinousnessnof the terrorist’s impulses is compoundednby the effective and beneficialnalliance he has succeeded in forging: thencooperation of the liberal media establishmentnthat preys on his exploits andnlavishly feeds him by profitably sellingnhis mayhem as their news. Of course, innorder to ply this trade on a nationalnscale, the media need some sociomoralnabsolution: thus the terrorist is whitewashednwith tricky, kinky, duplicitousninterpretations, and the media’s voraciousnessnfor bloody sensationalism isnpresented as mission and humble servicento the people in order to fulfill their constitutionalnright to know.nAs always, it worked this way in thentragicomic episode of the dementednzealot and antinuclear “activist” whonthreatened to blow up the WashingtonnMonument in order to enforce his view ofnhow the possibility of atomic war shouldnbe handled according to his demands.nThe man was duly killed by police,nregardless of his ability to carry out hisnthreats, and CBS fielded Mr. Bill Moyersnto tell the nation what in this unseemlynhappening was right and wrong.nA few words about Mr. Moyers. He isnCBS’s new silver-tongued conscience,nand one must say—he is great. He has inventedna surefire formula of interpretativenimpact that the liberal media havenbeen dreaming of for decades. He has anTexas-gothic face and dresses very well.nHe has the manner of a demi-intellectual,nwhich he is, and he oozes the ElmernGantry-like concern for compassion andnhumanity with the efficiency of a SouthernnBaptist and with an unmatched, exquisitenhypocrisy marketed as noble,nhumane consideration. It is liberalnhypocrisy—which, of course, one cannotnquestion, at least not on the CBS news,nand so Mr. Moyers is free to employ a newndialectics of mass-oriented, shallown”decency” as a catchall for infallible TVnpublicistics. He is a markedly nice mannwho embraces the nicest causes, takes thennicest stands on them, and no one can reproachnhim for any rational or moral trespass—firstnand foremost because CBSnnnwould never allow it to happen, wouldnnever permit anyone to prove how wrongnsuch a darling person may be. He thusnhas a free ride for his opinions, inferences,nand manipulations of fact,ntmth, and analysis—thereby embodyingnwhat the liberal culture is all about. Occasionally,nan observant viewer cannglimpse a contemptuous rabidity in thencurvature of his lips.nOn the Washington Monument hapless-bombernincident Mr. Moyers passedna judgment to the effect that the mannshould be respected somehow, for henacted out of despair in order to make thensuperpowers more cautious. The commentatornthus discussed the centralnquestion of the interrelationship betweennrepresentative democracy and civilndisobedience that has plagued Americansince its inception. The sociopoliticalnframework devised and bequeathednto us by the 18th-century conceptuaUstsnmade clear, valid, and obligatory the notionnthat the ballot is the only way tonvoice postulates, register discontent,nreward justness, punish wrongheadedness,nredress grievances. The process maynbe flawed, slow, ineffectual, prone tonperversion and corruption, but a betternone has yet to be invented, and othernpropositions from the totalitarian left ornright have all proved to be simply disastrous.nIf Mr. Moyers knows what tonreplace representative democracy with,nin order to free people from “despair,”nhe should say so. We doubt that henknows, but we’re positive that hisnmiddlebrow tinkering with pseudosophisticatednand quasi-compassionatenrhetoric does not enhance any civilizationalnvalue in our current social ethos; itnonly polishes the modish, medianurturedn”esteem” for terrorists,nbombers, political thugs, all tagged asnsubjects of “despair.”nAs to cautiousness of goverrunents inndealing with the nuclear dilemma, itnwould be fair to say that since Hiroshimanand Nagasaki more people have perishednfrom the acts of terror against possiblenuse of the A-bomb than from thenweapon itself, and that trying to enforcen141nFebruary 1983n