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Roots Strikers: ‘Socialism Is Love’ and other left-wing 70s reggae anthems


This is how Dillinger feels about your incremental liberal reforms
 
Albert Einstein did not ever once say that bullshit about “the definition of insanity” that your dimwitted boss has inked on one palm, but he did have some ideas you might actually find useful in the workplace. For instance, in his essay “Why Socialism?” published in the first issue of the Monthly Review, Einstein identified “the economic anarchy of capitalist society” as “the real source of the evil” that alienates and “cripples” individuals, and he advocated “the establishment of a socialist economy” in its place. Why not enliven your next PowerPoint presentation or office party with that fun fact? 
 

Bob Marley and Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley
 
“Gonna fight ‘gainst capitalists, gonna get rid of capitalists, gonna stamp out capitalism,” the DJ Dillinger thundered in 1975. He was one of several prominent reggae musicians who wrote explicitly socialist songs during the mid-70s in support of the policies of Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley and the People’s National Party. Manley, a democratic socialist, introduced a minimum wage, equal pay for women, free education and free health care, and if his program sounds familiar, that’s because everybody already knows it’s what the absolute minimum of basic decency would look like.

But Max Romeo makes the case better than I can on his single “Socialism Is Love”:

You’re asking what is socialism and what it really means
It’s equal rights for every man, regardless of his strength
So don’t let no one fool you (Joshua said)
Listen as I tell you (Joshua said)
No man are better than none,
Socialism is love between man and man

Socialism is
Love for your brothers
Socialism is
Linking hearts and hands
Would you believe it?
Poverty and hunger’s what we’re fighting

Socialism is
Sharing with your sisters
Socialism is
People pulling together
Would you believe me?
Love and togetherness, that’s what it means

Mr. Big a-trembling in his shoes, saying he’s got a lot to lose
Don’t want to hear about sufferer at all
(Joshua said) One man have too many,
While too many have too little
Socialism don’t stand for that, don’t stand for that at all

 

Max Romeo at Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Black Ark, 1975
 
If I can extend an olive branch to Hillary’s supporters, I looked for reggae songs about raining death on civilians, glad-handing Wall Street bankers and bringing children “to heel,” but I couldn’t find a single one. I wonder why that is?
 
Keep reading, after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
HEY YOU: If you’ve been thinking about donating to Bernie, THERE’S A VERY GOOD REASON TO DO IT TODAY


Design by Aaron Thornburgh
 
If you’ve been kinda sorta thinking about maybe donating to the Presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders and you haven’t done it yet, today would be a very good day to stop procrastinating and actually do it: The Sanders campaign is trying to raise about $4 million dollars by the end of the day today, before the end of the month in other words, and before the Federal Election Commission’s monthly reporting deadline.

If that can be accomplished, it would mean that the Vermont senator, who has set grassroots fundraising records and raised an already astonishing $21.3 million in January from small dollar donors, will have nearly doubled that amount the following month. By comparison, Hillary Clinton raised $14.9 million in January. Ted Cruz, the leading Republican fundraiser for the month, took in $7.6 million.

The average donation to the Sanders campaign is $27. If you can afford $50, send that. If you can only afford to send $5, by all means, send it. It all adds up and it’s a chance to send a powerful message that the Sanders campaign is alive and well after the unfortunate drubbing he got in South Carolina.

But forget about that, America is a big country.

I want to see how Bernie does in California. I don’t think that I even know a single person who’s not all in for Bernie. I see no excitement, none, for HRC. I see plenty of excitement for Bernie.

Speaking of, have you seen the reputable polling showing that Bernie Sanders can beat Donald Trump and beat him handily? I’m not confident that Hillary Clinton can beat Trump. Democrats need to vote strategically, everyone agrees, so that we don’t have a wily vulgarian Republican strongman orangutan with cotton candy hair and a spray-tan moving into the White House and redecorating it like a certain gaudy Fifth Ave apartment building/tourist trap. Bernie’s lead over Trump is, as both men might say “YUGE.” Numbers don’t lie.

Want to beat Donald Trump and help America win our collective IQ test? Please consider donating to the Bernie Sanders campaign today.

If you still believe that it’s possible to beat back the oligarchs, please support Bernie Sanders and pass this on via Facebook and Twitter. And just remember DO IT TODAY.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
People in prison painting white collar criminals who should be
02.18.2016
11:06 am

Topics:
Art
Class War
Crime

Tags:
corporate crime
Captured


Stuart Gulliver, Group Chief Executive of HSBC, oversees a company engaged in conspiracy and fraud, painted by Mario “A.B.” Beltran (PRISON ID #437846), serving 3.5 years for receiving stolen goods
 
We at Dangerous Minds always admire passionate political art, so how could we pass up a chance to write up the Captured Project, a series of paintings of the criminals of the corporate world, undertaken (in their parlance, “captured”) by those serving time for more workaday crimes like assault and armed robbery?

Or as the Captured Project puts it:

“People in prison painting people who should be.”

Every painting is accompanied by a lengthy account of the subject’s crimes, and if you think that a rabble-rousing project of this type ain’t rigorous on the research, you really need to click through and read this shit. The crimes (and sentences) of the artist are presented as well, often to mordant effect.

The paintings, which mostly are angry by implication, favoring a fairly standard, if unflattering, portrait approach, remind me just a tad of Robbie Conal‘s enraged poster art from the 1980s depicting several evil Republicans as wrinkly zombies.

The book costs $40 and all proceeds go to help elect the only Socialist in the presidential race, Bernie Sanders.
 

Sepp Blatter, former president of FIFA, oversaw a company engaged in theft and supporting slave labor, painted by Lewis Walters (PRISON ID #38699-007), serving 72 years for assault with intent to commit murder
 

Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsico, oversees a company engaged in accessory to murder and conspiracy to deceive, painted by John Vercusky (PRISON ID #55341-066), serving 22 years for armed robbery
 
More portraits of white collar criminals ‘captured’ by prisoners after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The forgotten mole men of Vienna’s sewers

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Long before Orson Welles (as Harry Lime) was chased thru Vienna’s subterranean sewers in The Third Man, the city’s labyrinth of tunnels, waterways and culverts offered a secret refuge to many of the homeless poor.

The story of those who lived amid the squalor and effluence may have been long lost had it not been for the work of journalist Emil Kläger and amateur photographer Hermann Drawe, who in 1904 started documenting this secret world. With a local criminal as their guide, Kläger and Drawe descended into the city’s lower depths. In case of attack, they carried knuckledusters and guns—police could offer no protection here.

Drawe photographed these men huddled together under staircases, piled like stones in culverts, or wandering across the dark waters of the River Wien—lost men who lived, slept, smoked, ate, fought each other and shared dreams of a better future. Sometimes with their help Drawe would reconstruct certain scenes—a robbery, a fight—based on testimonies collected by Kläger. They also visited and documented the lives of the homeless men, women and children who lived in the Christian hostels above ground.

Between 1905 and 1908, Kläger and Drawe presented their work in a series of lectures—the photographs shown as slides to Kläger’s commentary. The authorities tried to stop them. This was not how the they wanted Vienna to be seen—this jewel of the Hapsburg Empire, the city of Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss, of waltzes, Art Nouveau, Kings, Queens, and Sachertorte.

The public disagreed. The men gave over 300 lectures. It led to the publication of a book of their work, Durch die Wiener Quartiere des Elends und Verbrechens (Journey through the Viennese quarters of crime and despair) in 1908. 
 
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Residents of ‘The Fortress.’
 
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Men sleep on piles of rubble.
 
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Sleeping under a spiral staircase.
 
More of Drawe’s photographs, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Good… and long’: Blaxploitation ads for Winston cigarettes, 1970-1973


 
The term ‘Blaxploitation’ was coined by NAACP head/film publicist Junius Griffin in the early 1970s to describe the genre of African American action films that followed from the examples set by Cotton Comes to Harlem and Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, but the term certainly could have had other applications—racially targeted marketing that sought to move destructive commodities like malt liquor and menthol cigarettes to underclass populations has long been, and justifiably remains, a highly contentious matter, and is inarguably more literally exploitative than any “exploitation” film. Flashbak.com compiled a lode of eye-popping examples from a print campaign for Winston cigarettes.

After World War Two American tobacco companies started to explore new markets to maintain their not insubstantial prosperity. The growth in urban migration and the growing incomes of African Americans (called at the time the “emerging Negro market”) gave the tobacco companies what was sometimes called an “export market at home”. Additionally, a new kind of media started to appear after the war when several glossy monthly magazines including Negro Digest (1942, renamed Black World), Ebony (1945) and Negro Achievements (1947, renamed Sepia) began to be published.

These relatively expensively produced magazines were far more attractive to the tobacco advertisers than the cheap ‘negro’ daily newspapers of the pre-war era, with glossy pages and a far wider national distribution. The magazines meant for a purely African American audience also meant that advertisers could produce adverts aimed and featuring African Americans away from the eyes of white consumers.

 

“Rich.” “Long.” Got’cha. Wink wink.

The juxtaposition of aspirational fashion, rogue-ish male confidence, and burning cigarettes carries an unmistakable message so old it’s hardly worth spelling out. The longing looks from the women in the near-backgrounds aren’t terribly nuanced in their subtext, either. But all the problematics of death-dealing aside, these are objectively awesome photos, amazing snapshots of a time and place when African American culture was asserting a more prominent place in the US mainstream. Airbrush out the cigarettes (or don’t) and change the captions, and these would be amazing menswear ads, too.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Anti-capitalist artist trolls Kellogg’s and Tony the Tiger AND IT IS DARK and EPIC


 
A couple weeks ago the most amazing thing started to percolate around social media, but then it was apparently stopped by lawyers from Kellogg’s. The “amazing thing” I refer to is the ultra-elaborate trolling—allegedly orchestrated by the brilliant Finnish anti-capitalist artist Jani Leinonen—of Kellogg’s and their Tony the Tiger mascot.

For generations, kids the world over have grown up eating Kellogg’s sugary, nearly nutritionless breakfast cereal and getting positive reinforcement from Tony’s “They’re GRRRREAT!” catchphrase, but some of the child actors who were actually in these commercials have apparently had tragic difficulties later in their lives.

Each new video that appeared saw Tony addressing the problems—via the use of his simplistic catchphrase basically—of a prostitute, a brutal cop and a suicide bomber.

Here’s the first one, launched on October 7th:
 

 
What Leinonen (I’m pretty confident he’s the mastermind)—whose “School of Disobedience” show is currently on exhibit at the Finnish National Gallery Kiasma—has done is, well, as I said before, ultra-elaborate trolling. Culture jamming of the Banksy or Ron English school and of the highest order, not only in terms of the wit employed, but in how perfectly this prank was pulled off. What you are about to see aren’t some amateurish commercial parodies, they are as professionally realized as something that you might see on Saturday Night Live, or indeed, as any “real” TV commercial for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. I used to work at a commercial production studio in New York that specialized in mixing live action and animation, usually in the employ of selling sugar to children, natch, and lemme tell ya, back then this would have taken a small army to pull off. This guy is a maniac! I really admire his dedication and work ethic. He might want to destroy capitalism—but Jani Leinonen is anything but lazy. He must be the hardest working anti-capitalist around.

More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Make Life Worth Living’: A look at Scotland’s grim tenement slums, 1969-72
10.14.2015
09:53 am

Topics:
Class War
History

Tags:
Glasgow
photography
Nick Hedges

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For a large swathe of the UK’s population, life in the swinging sixties was not all miniskirts, psychedelia and Beatle wigs—it was hard dismal work, poverty, unemployment: a life crammed in overcrowded slums, with few amenities or pleasures. This was true for many who lived in the country’s former industrial heartlands—Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham and Glasgow—the war damaged cities that were being slowly gutted and replaced by equally oppressive concrete tower blocks and uniform housing schemes in new towns.

In 1968, photographer Nick Hedges was hired by housing charity Shelter to document the “the oppressive and abject living conditions being experienced in poor quality housing in the UK” in order to “raise consciousness about the extent of unfit living conditions and to illustrate, in human terms, what the real cost of bad housing was.”

Hedges arrived in Glasgow to find it a “devastating city,” full of grim deprivation and brutality—on his first night he witnessed two youngsters rob a blind beggar of his takings. Hodges began by photographing the tenement slums of the city’s Gorbals area—once the most populated district—before heading north and west to the equally overcrowded Maryhill, where an army garrison had been kept until the 1960s as a force against any possible communist revolution. Hedges then photographed East Kilbride—one of the many new towns built after the Second World War to deal with the slum clearances—the movement of people out of places like Anderston, Gorbals and Maryhill to a better life in specially built towns. Hedges also photographed tenement life in Edinburgh, where many of the poor where decamped in the 1970s to Wester Hailes.

The wrecking ball of the 1960s and 1970s did little to ease poverty and unemployment, but it did start a new decade of house building for those in direst need. Hedges photographs powerfully document the reality of tenement life for many Scots during this era, and the endemic poverty that affected their lives, as Hedges writes:

The thing about people living in slum housing is that there is no drama…it’s about the absolute wearing down of people’s morale in a quiet and undemonstrative way.

An exhibition of Nick Hedges’ photographs for Shelter, Make Life Worth Living, is currently showing in Edinburgh till 31st October.
 
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One day I travelled around Glasgow’s charming, ancient underground railway to Cessnock, and walked down to the Govan shipyards. I found a children’s playground in the shadow of cranes, running down to the edge of the Clyde.

Nick Hedges

 
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Glasgow tenement backs 1970

They are the grimmest environment that I’ve encountered. This has something to do with the size of the stone used in their construction, the entry to them through the cave like entrances, the deep and dark stairwells and the relentless pattern of streets.

Nick Hedges


 
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Father and children Gorbals tenement 1970

 
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Sisters sharing a chair in a Gorbals slum tenement 1970

Mr and Mrs C lived with their large family in what was virtually a derelict flat in one of the last Gorbals Tenements. “There’s nothing now that you can get angry about. You’ve said it all before”. Two of the elder girls in the family. One was unemployed, the other about to leave school with no prospect of a job

Nick Hedges

 
More of Nick Hedges powerful photographs, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Donald Trump Photoshopped into horror movie stills wins the Internet today


 
Few horror movies have ever really scared me. Many have repeatedly startled me with cheap jump-scares, and plenty have mortified me with visceral gore, but not many movies have really, truly, haunt-my-dreams-for-years SCARED me. Reality scares the absolute living shit out of me every day,and I can’t go to the lobby for a drink or hit a pause button when the intensity gets ramped up. And few things in reality currently scare me into near-paralysis like the idea of President Donald Trump.

And that right there is the key to the humor in DesignCrowd’s recent contest, “Photoshop Donald Trump into famous horror movie scenes.” I’m always a sucker for a ‘shop contest, whether it’s for pros and advanced amateurs like on Worth 1000, or just for top shelf anonymous wise-asses like the users of Fark and Something Awful, but this one reaches some dizzying heights of prime Internet smartassery. We’ve selected some favorites to show you here, but DesignCrowd has several pages of contenders.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Via iHorror

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Noam Chomsky on Donald Trump: No different from the rest of the Republicans


 
After his talk at the New School in New York City on Saturday, Noam Chomsky took questions from the audience. This is one of those questions:

“What do you think about the antics of Donald Trump, in tangent to your earlier idea about American exceptionalism?”

Chomsky’s reply:

“Well, actually, I think we should recognize that the other candidates are not that different. I mean, if you take a look at—just take a look at their views. You know, they tell you their views, and they’re astonishing. So just to keep to Iran, a couple of weeks ago, the two front-runners—they’re not the front-runners any longer—were Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. And they differed on Iran. Walker said we have to bomb Iran; when he gets elected, they’re going to bomb Iran immediately, the day he’s elected. Bush was a little—you know, he’s more serious: He said he’s going to wait ‘til the first Cabinet meeting, and then they’ll bomb Iran. I mean, this is just off the spectrum of not only international opinion, but even relative sanity.

This is—I think Ornstein and Mann are correct: It’s a radical insurgency; it’s not a political party. You can tell that even by the votes. I mean, any issue of any complexity is going to have some diversity of opinion. But when you get a unanimous vote to kill the Iranian deal or the Affordable Care Act or whatever the next thing may be, you know you’re not dealing with a political party.

It’s an interesting question why that’s true. I think what’s actually happened is that during the whole so-called neoliberal period, last generation, both political parties have drifted to the right. Today’s Democrats are what used to be called moderate Republicans. The Republicans have just drifted off the spectrum. They’re so committed to extreme wealth and power that they cannot get votes, can’t get votes by presenting those positions. So what has happened is that they’ve mobilized sectors of the population that have been around for a long time. It is a pretty exceptional country in many ways. One is it’s extremely religious. It’s one of the most extreme fundamentalist countries in the world. And by now, I suspect the majority of the base of the Republican Party is evangelical Christians, extremists, not—they’re a mixture, but these are the extremist ones, nativists who are afraid that, you know, “they are taking our white Anglo-Saxon country away from us,” people who have to have guns when they go into Starbucks because, who knows, they might get killed by an Islamic terrorist and so on. I mean, all of that is part of the country, and it goes back to colonial days. There are real roots to it. But these have not been an organized political force in the past. They are now. That’s the base of the Republican Party. And you see it in the primaries. So, yeah, Trump is maybe comic relief, but it’s just a—it’s not that different from the mainstream, which I think is more important.”

***

Bingo. In fact, his racism and xenophobia aside—which I realize, of course, is a very big “but…”—Trump’s positions aren’t even all that conservative and are often in fact legitimately “populist” in a crude (and notably nonspecific) sense when he makes comments about excessive executive pay being out of control, the need for progressive taxation and how hedge fund managers are simply lucky paper pushers.

Below, video of the above remarks and more on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Sad Truth: Nauseatingly profound illustrations of what the world is turning into


 
Everything that’s bleak about the modern world is wrapped-up like a perfect, little package with these illustrations by London-based artist and animator, Steve Cutts. Rampant consumerism. Shitty jobs. Environmental devastation. Disinformation. Nonsense. Billionaire psychopaths. Overcrowded cities—all present and accounted for. We’ve featured Cutts’ work here on DM before with his dark animation about the current lives of ‘80s cartoon characters.

If a picture paints a thousand words, these pieces are Molotov cocktails for the mind.


 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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