I hadn't planned to write about Noam Chomsky this week but then a friend asked to borrow some of his writings at the end of last week and I gave him 'Chomsky On Anarchism', a collection of his essays and interviews on the subject of libertarian socialism, which seemed like the best place to start. If you're not familiar with Chomsky, and if you're reading this then that's perhaps a little surprising, then all you need to know is that he is the very definition of a polymath having gained respect and recognition as a linguist, philosopher, historian, political theorist and social activist. Ask any group of random Western people to name a celebrated public intellectual and in with the suggestions of Stephen Hawking, Camille Paglia, Umberto Eco etc. you'll get your fair share of Chomskys, particularly if you're asking any group of people who lie on the left of the political spectrum. Yes, indeed, at the beginnng of the 21st. Century, Chomsky is the closest thing to a living saint for anyone who defines themself as a socialist - he is an inspirational and frighteningly cerebral figure whose awesome shadow falls heavily across most other Western political activists.
Anyway, enough of the fanboy praise, as the Streetlamp seems to have transmuted recently from a music blog into a free anarchist library, I decided to give you all a chance to enjoy the wonderful Chomsky for yourselves via a free pdf of the above-mentioned 'Chomsky On Anarchism', which you can download 'here'.
The subject of Chomsky also gives me the excuse to bring your attention to Bristol-based, country-tinged, alternative rock band The Hinkley Veltones who released the single Noam Chomsky? earlier this year. The song, as well as name-checking a Streetlamp hero, is a wondefullly atmospheric blend of twangy, countrified surf-pop and Lynchian cinematics; imagine Duane Eddy produced by Angelo Badalamenti and then reverbed to the max. Have a listen:
The Hinkley Veltones - Noam Chomsky? by ourvinyl
The song, as you can see, is available as a free download. After you've done so, you should really check out the rest of the band's oeuvre. The baritone vocals and dark, haunted country-rock will definitely please fans of Nick Cave or Leonard Cohen. And that's about as high praise as the Streetlamp can give!