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The Ghetto Code (Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash)

Gil Scott-Heron


How's everybody? How's everybody doing?
Everybody alright? Hope everyone is Ok
Funky vibrations are still showing
yeah, are still showing and anxious to see you
I am glad that so many of you could come out
and join us this evening to share vibrations with us
My name, of course, is Gil Scott-Heron
and my, my organization and my family
is called The Midnight Band
and we are here this evening to
to bring you some midnight vibrations
We are convinced
that midnight is the first minute of a new day
and we are further convinced that we are entitled
to a new day
and we are further convinced that we are going
to have to establish the new day
by communicating a little bit more closely with one another
So we have, we have been spreading the word
about some vibes that concern communication
from place to place, and we have been trying
to get into the New York vibration
as it concerns this communication
What we are talking about has evolved
as The Ghetto Code

The Ghetto Code
often times referred to as "Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash"
Sounds a little bit
people used to tell me, said it sound like the Morse Code
We call it, more so, "The Remorse Code"
The Ghetto Code, the "Damned If I Know"
"Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash" means "Damned If I Know"
And the reason this has become
such a popular phrase in different black communities
around the nation is because
There are more and more things black people
thought they had a handle on
That they have seen sort of slowly slip away from them
And they be saying, "Well, damn
What happened to that? "
"Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash huh? "
"I'm Damned If I Know. " For example
We started to reinvestigate astrology
found out that it was an ancient artform of science
It's something that we can depend on more
so than Walter Concrete, and
And got into a vibration related
to how the things were done in terms of astrology
Sun's over here, the Moon's over here
people started to memorize their charts
Organizing their days, their planning
their reaping, and
Then they found out somebody
had been messing with the calendar
Because there's a month in our calendar called July
That was slipped in there to honor Julius Caesar
And there's a month in our calendar called August
That was slipped in there to honor Augustus Caesar
And there's a month in our calendar called September
Which is the seventh month
It means "seventh" in Latin
but it is the ninth month in our calendar
People started saying
"Well, damn. Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash"
They found out octo-involving themselves
with the romance languages-"octo" means "eight"
"Ocho"-very similar to "ocho"-October, the tenth month
"Nove"-or "nueve" for "nine"-November, the eleventh month
"Dece"-or "diez" for "ten"-December, the twelfth month
"Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash, " "Damned If I Know"
And I believe that problem has originated right here
in February
Nothing personal, for those of you
born in February
but there is something wrong with February
I have been watching February closely
And I have never quite been
able to get a grasp on where February is coming from
Because it would seem
that it'd take at least thirty days for it to be a month
The precedent had been established
by the other eleven months having all at least thirty days
February, you get twenty-eight
three years in a row. If you make it, you get a bonus
February 29th-why don't they make that January 32nd?
Or March thirt-, it's because
they know there's something wrong
with February, and they're trying
to even it out while nobody looking
"Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash"
This is like, if somebody
was to give you four weeks and say
"Here, you have four weeks of your very own"
You take 'em home, unwrap 'em
you find out one of the weeks only has five days
It's not that you have anything against that week
It's just that you know white folks
ain't gon' be no weekend
You gon' go home Friday night
get up the next day. It's Monday
you gon' have go to right back to work
You say, "Well, Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash
I got shortchanged. I had a week
but it wasn't quite a week
Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash"
The same thing happened to me
in terms of looking at the alphabet
The alphabet was originally called "The Alpha Beta"
And it supposed to contain
all of the symbols
and that's important-all of the symbols from Alpha to Omega
Alpha was the beginning
Omega was the end
Alpha was the letter "A, " the beginning
Omega was the end, the letter "Q"
But, "R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z"
They did not say that from Alpha to Omega
was from beginning damn near to the end
They said, "From beginning to end. " I took their word for it
The end was Omega, and that's "Q"
And they all these extra letters, which means
there may be some words out there that don't mean nothing
Somebody very soon may come up to you
using the alphabet as it was originally intended
From Alpha to Omega, and something like, " (*Gibberish*) "
"Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash, " "Damned If I Know"
I ain't got the, I ain't got the papers
The letter I would like to go
into with you very briefly is the letter "C"
it is one of my favorites
Oh, it's very underrated
in terms of letters, you know?
Very people sit around
and comment on the virtues of the letter "C"
But it is the first letter in "Cash Money"
It is the first letter in "Constitution"
And it is the last letter in "Music"
It is the first letter also in "Cia"
The Cia and Fbi, their noses
pressed against our windowpane
Ears glued to our telephone
Why won't they leave us alone?
"Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash, "
"Damned If I Know"
The Cia and Fbi, their noses
pressed against our windowpane
Ears glued to our telephone
why won't they leave us alone?
Trying to pick up on The Ghetto Code
Old-fashioned Ghetto Code
you remember, you used to jump on the telephone, say
"Hey, Bree-is-other me-is-an, how you fe-is-eel?
Is everything all-re-is-all-right?
Well, why don't you, uh, well
why don't you tell me about this pe-is-arty to-ne-is-ight?
You going?
We-is-ell, why don't you bring me a ne-is-ickel be-is-ag? '
(Laughter.)
"Yeah, and if you get back
why don't you bring some be-is-am-be-is-oo
so I can re-is-oll all these up. I appreciate it"
I know whoever it was
they was paying to listen in on my phone had to be saying
"Well, Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash. Damned If I Know"
The "C" that reminds you of "Cia" and "Cash Money
"they'll come together
In a case that concerns itself with Howard Hughes
The Cia gave Howard Hughes
400 million dollars cash money
Give or take a million or two, you understand?
And told Howard Hughes that he was t
o build a salvaged ship
The salvaged ship was going
to called the Glomar Challenger
And the Challenger was going to go out in the Pacific
To try and recover a Russian submarine that sank in 1968
The reason our government was so interested
in this submarine
was because of the "C"-codebooks onboard
We assumed that Howard Hughes, indeed
did build this ship
and equipped it with a giant magnet
We would not assume that Howard'd come back
with a little bitty magnet
for all that money
But the submarine that sank
to the bottom of the Pacific had broken
into three parts
The magnet went down, brought up
the first part of the submarine
had onboard seventy dead Russian sailors
Well, no real advantage there
I mean, it hadn't been worth a dime
to the Russian-I mean, whatever it is
Нет rubles-they... whatever it is Russians say
when that means they ain't putting up a dime
Which means that, in certain instances
we could see ourselves
having been overextended
Magnet went down, brought up the second
part of the submarine
had onboard two bombs
Two warheads, two Polaris-type warheads
two nuclear weapons
Point is that this country already has plenty of bombs
Matter of fact, they have little bombs
big bombs, round ones
and square ones
and have been stockpiling them for quite some time
To the point where they now
have damn near one bomb for every individual
And if you don't like the way they're running things
and you call them up and tell them, they may send you yours
Neutron, oldtron-whichever kind of tron-electron
The vibe related to the third part of the submarine
and the m-m-important
and mysterious Russian codebooks
But before the magnet could go down to get the third part
somebody said, "Hey, wait a minute
You know, that Russian submarine went down in 1968
And we've been trying to pick it up now for the last six years
And everybody knows that when you lose your codebooks
You change your code"
Which means that, for 400 million dollars
we have recovered seventy dead Russian sailors
two bombs we did not need
and, perhaps, Russian codebooks
for codes the Russians weren't even using anymore
Somebody said, "Why in the world we spend all that money?
"Somebody else said
"Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash. Damned If I Know"
Cash Money may not be what you need right through here
You might need some explanations
related to other activities-like
the "C" might remind you of "Cuba"
The "C" in "Cuba" and the reminiscence of that reminds us
that the Cia undertook a very secret project towards Cuba
called the Bay of Pigs Invasion
The Bay of Pigs Invasion was very much repelled
But it did reveal "C"-clues-clues that had
to do with assassination attempts
on a man whose name starts with "C"-Castro
The "C" might remind you of "Chile"
Over eight million American dollars spent in Chile
by the Cia to help overthrow a man named Salvador Allende
who just happened to be a "C"-communist
The "C" might remind you of the "Canal"-say what?
the Canal. The Canal? The Panama Canal?
There seems to be some
problem in dealing with the geography of the Panama Canal
it's not really that complicated
There's a little bit of Panama over here
then there's some Canal
Then there's a little bit more of Panama over here
but the Panamanians
do not control the Canal
You could think of it as if Amtrak came through your crib
You would at least want to know the man
who was punching the tickets
and have a very tight relationship with him
The "C" that reminds of the "Canal"
could remind you of a "covert operation
"headquarter base: Cia
Information related to "C"-Columbia
And assassination attempts and destruction attempts
on a man whose name starts with "C"-Che Guevara
The "C" might remind you of the "Congo"-say what?
the Congo. The Congo?
The "C" that reminds you of the "Congo"
could remind you of how geography sometimes changes
Looking at the map of Africa today
where you see the word "Zaire"
you would, at one time, see "Congo" or "Belgian Congo"
Remembrances of this would remind you
of a man who stood for African unity
a man named Patrice Lumumba
But somehow, but somehow Patrice Lumumba
was assassinated during a mysterious "C"-"coup d'état"
Other things that haven't been solved
and haven't been quite explained
to anybody's satisfaction like
Was that Lee Harvey Oswald over there
or was it Lee Harvey Oswald over there?
Was he 5-feet-8, 165 pounds or was he 6'2", 205?
Was he photographed for his passport
in Dallas or was that Moscow?
Arthur Bremer? Was he from Maine, Maryland
or Massachusetts?
Was he captured in the Midwest or the Middle East?
And if they always have a chance to photograph these people
before they commit their crimes
why can't they stop them?
"Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash, " "Damned If I Know"
But other problems we would still like to see solved
like Jfk-you believe all that?
Rfk-you believe all that?
Mlk-you believe all that?
Malcolm X-you believe all that?
All of this was some great, big old "C"-coincidence
or just a little bitty "C"-conspiracy?
There are two questions that concern us
very much about the letter "C"
The first one is: the Cia-who the hell runs that organization?
The second one is: who runs this country?
"Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash, " "Damned If I Know"

Brothers and sisters, thank you very much
A first minute experience, The Midnight Band
Thank you, thank you

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