The Dark Party & The New Orleans Jazz Funeral

by Richard Oxman

> “The end of a perfect death.” — Jelly Roll Morton

> “A party that in every real and figurative sense refuses to shelter the poor in a hurricane is unlikely to mobilize the moral passion necessary to overthrow George Bush, the most hated man on earth.” — Mike Davis

Mikey was talkin’ ’bout the Democrats, but he might as well have been talkin’ ’bout every other party in existence too. For what it would take to truly *shelter* the poor from the slings and arrows…they are all built to shirk.

So I give you The Dark Party.

Blondes need not apply. Blonde as in flaxen-minded. [1]

“Black Jackson waxed the linoleum
Spread out the frills
For all the Chromium
People who came to the Vanderbilt Mansion to dine.”

No more. Not so quick. Not so easy.

First off, The Dark Party changes the letters: instead of U.S.A. it’s U.F.A. You’ve got an Un-united F’d America, and one has to embrace a dark agenda to deal with it. Adopt a dark attitude. Walk in the dark without the bubbly bobbleheads, blonde or otherwise, headed for a jetblack jetty enveloped by idiocy. Quite alone. But quite thrilled to stretch so. Upbeat ebony extension.

The violence that’s required to force change in this country is not the violence that’s discussed when Pacifist vs. Anarchist debates rage. Not first, at least. Rather, it’s the violence requisite for dumping one’s own personal garbage down the universal drainhole. The beating to death of the habits of a lifetime. Without solidarity. Sans even understanding from your loved ones.

Activists talk about parameters of discussion being too narrow in political circles. They point out –justifiably– that those at the opposite ends of the political spectrum delimit crucial considerations. But the thrust of their complaint is narrow itself. Their lives are an effort to avert their eyes from the lack of connection between themselves and the sea of humanity they would…improve.

The lot they would improve upon. A lot that is lost. Like themselves.

The Dark Party has only heartwarming applause for those who would bring down a dam, for the sweet ruffians who actually do a hands-on dirty deed that runs counter to The Momentum of This Moment. This monumental farce.

But this tenebrious group does not organize to encourage such acts. Does not vote to possibly forestall the necessity of violence…or for any other reason. Does not take part in the bright light of a thousand and one hopeful reasons…for this…or for that. Is a brat, in fact, brattling over the sleep of “responsible, caring citizens,” rattling cages that will keep all the darkies locked up. Unless The Party’s Over Party begins…on a very personal level.

Had I forty thousand all-nighters with you, my dear reader, I could not reason you out of the emotional prison that you likely share with the leaders of the left. Which has much more in common with the Incarcerated Realm of The Right than it has differences. And which is your ruin in spite of your sincerity concerning The Wretched.

You know how you’ve seen those darkies dance down the street in celebration over a New Orleans funeral? Joyous steps overstepping the boundaries proscribed by decent society, rejoicing in the passing of someone, embracing all the mortality that marrows us down? Acknowledging death, truly.

Yes, that’s what you have to do to become a member of The Dark Party.

You’ve got to change your language so that *marrows* can be a verb. So that you can speak the love that dare not mention its name. And I’m not talking like Oscar Wilde here. I’m shouting much more wildly than he ever did.

There’s a video clip you can see of Milton Batiste, former lead trumpet player of Dejean’s Olympia Brass Band, an elemental feature of what we know as the New Orleans Jazz Funeral. And it provides a place to start…in this day of over-the-top focus on The Catastrophe of the (American) Century. Big Easy tears.

Right there on the *former* streets of New Orleans you can catch the fever that drives The Dark Party. The Dark Party that will eventually morph into a Dionysiac frenzy of obligatory mayhem. Crying anguish over the unacknowledged lethiferous life that’s been imposed on one and all, raining acid on our funeral parades, throats will finally be cut. The rich will be forced to release their deathgrip on…their way of life and lying. Necessary mayhem.

But…hmmm…hmmm, first must come self-love. Not the Oprah variety. Not the 12-Step version. And certainly not in the mode that’s infused all of them, confused us all: The Modern Mainstream Judeo-Christian game plan, genre. For want of a better expression, White Love.

The Dark Party pushes Dark Love. And so…needs must push The Drug of a Different Direction.

The Jazz Funeral is in constant change, but we aren’t…at present. At present we do not lift our voices in joyous celebration of death, and are not slated to do so.

No, we are bogged down in the Bayou, our crocodile tears at variance with the real crocodiles, in keeping with the *crocks* left and right. The sight of a rescued refugee is too welcome to too many these days. For example.

It’s a no-brainer to root for compassion and to say “yay” to deconstruction. Of course it must be smiled upon. Worked at. But only The Dark Party will encourage what will make a difference. A timely, deep personal tweak. What we must seek.

A dirge, a song of sorrow accompanying knives in/through our clenched teeth, resolving — like a Greek chorus — not to forget what has been laid to rest.

What must be.

Richard Oxman is very much His other writing at does not always attempt to take such a severely lyrical turn.


[1] “Love? Sure, well, at least in the form of Martin Amis: ‘the only blonde that I’ve really loved.’” This is from the towheaded mouth and mind of Christopher Hitchens, arguably the leader of Blonde Thinking, in Omar Waraich’s article about racism, Orwell and Hitchens.