Sunday, October 18, 2009
For Those with a Jonestown Jones
No sooner had I put my audio sampler up on my under-construction website than I get an email from one Fielding M. McGehee III of The Jonestown Institute asking me about the track entitled Jonestown (white night/white noise mix) created primarily from electronically processed recordings of Rev Jim Jones. I had never heard of the Jonestown Institute, but tracked them down easily enough - it turns out "Mac" is the spouse of Rebecca Moore, whose two sisters - higher-ups in the Peoples Temple organization - died at Jonestown, and whose book Understanding Jonestown and Peoples Temple was published by Praeger in March.
Their website is a huge and remarkable resource of information about Jones, Jonestown, and Peoples Temple, and they were very involved with the excellent documentary "Jonestown - The Life & Death of Peoples Temple." So when Mac asked me to write a short blurb about the Jonestown (white night/white noise mix) track and for their annual online journal The Jonestown Report, I was flattered, and jumped at the chance. The piece was actually the soundtrack for a painting, as seen above, and one of many works that I've produced concerning the episode in Guyana. One of my early essays for Art issues. - entitled The Aesthetics of Paranoia - also dealt with the legacy of Jonestown, and conspiracy consciousness in general. The new edition of the Jonestown report is online now, and features an extensive section on the Peoples Temple LP He's Able. My short essay is here.