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Guerrilla artist mocks Maine’s teabagger governor

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Maine Gov. Paul LePage is the Tea party-supported idiot who squeaked into office with just 38% of the vote in a three-way race last year. Hardly the stuff of a mandate—61 %voted against him, of course—but this didn’t stop LePage—who doesn’t really give the impression that he’s a very bright fellow—from barging right in like a bull in a china shop and disrespecting the working people of his state. For no good reason, either. He’s just a dummy.

Instead of worrying about things like, oh, the state’s economy, the battered tax base, the elderly, state roads or ANYTHING THAT MATTERS, dimwitted LaPage took it upon himself, nay made it his business—after what he described as “complaints” about the supposed “anti-business” atmosphere (which later he admitted consisted of one single anonymous letter!!!) —to remove an eleven-panel mural from Maine’s Department of Labor building depicting actual events in American labor history! He also directed conference rooms be renamed so they won’t honor labor leaders, including one named for Frances Perkins, the Secretary of Labor under FDR who helped established the first minimum wage laws (and the first woman at a cabinet level in US history).

Incredible.
 
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Judy Taylor, the artist of the piece who was selected by the Maine Arts Commission, remarked of the mural’s removal: “There was never any intention to be pro-labor or anti-labor. It was a pure depiction of the facts.”

Aside from proving to his constituents that he’s a blustering buffoon—as if there was ever a reason to doubt it—now Tea party-inspired foolishness might cost Maine taxpayers more than $38,000.”>the Department of Labor who granted most of the money for the mural are going to send LePage a bill for violating the terms of the grant. This Tea party-inspired foolishness might cost Maine taxpayers more than $38,000.

That’s… leadership, baby! Republican leadership. Actually, in all fairness, I can’t blame them: LePage is such a fucking goof-ball that he’s even been rebuked by HIS OWN PARTY for being a dickhead! How many times do you ever hear a Republican break ranks to criticize another Republican??? For a low IQ wingnut like Paul LePage (who told the NAACP that they could “kiss his butt” and that he’d “laugh” at anyone who protested the mural’s removal) they will make an exception! That’s right, as unlikely as this sounds, this twit brings shame on all members of the Maine GOP and they told him so in a very public way to disassociate themselves from this political trainwreck. LaPage is the turd in the punchbowl of Maine policitcs and everyone knows it but him.

Ultimately, this mural business, as annoying as it is, is a small matter because when LePage is defeated in the next election cycle—if he runs, he surely will be challenged by a fellow Republican—his Democratic successor in the governor’s mansion is just going to undo everything damned thing this buffoon ever did, including hanging the mural back up and restoring the names of the conference rooms.

In the meantime, temporary Gov. LePage, was bitch-slapped the other day by a guerrilla artist who projected Judy Taylor’s labor history mural onto the exterior of Maine’s Capitol building. Here’s a statement about the video:

We put this video up to remind our peers that you have a voice, as soon as you choose to use it. If your government takes a symbol away and tries to hide history, you can make the truth resonate a thousand times stronger with your own 2 hands.

This is a lesson the labor unions taught us all, though some have chosen to forget it. We will remind you.

The maker of the art is unimportant. What matters is that you see it, and you have the freedom to speak about it.

Help make this video go viral!
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Emil Seidel: Milwaukee’s first Socialist mayor elected 101 years ago today
04.05.2011
09:14 pm

Topics:
History

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Vice Presidential candidate Emil Seidel ran with the great Eugene Debs on the Socialist Party ticket in 1912.
 
On a day when the eyes of the country are on what would otherwise have been an obscure election in Wisconsin, if not for the heavy-handed overreach of state Republicans, it’s worth pointing out that today marks the 101st anniversary of the election of the first Socialist mayor of Milwaukee (he was the first of three), Emil Seidel.

Milwaukee has a long, proud history of pro labor, progressive and Socialist politics. The first openly Socialist member of Congress, Victor Berger was elected from the state in 1910. It was Berger who proposed the first bill to care for the elderly in US Congressional history.

Compare and contrast what you read below, with what’s going on in Milwaukee today, you’ll learn something!

Nate Pederson wrote the following for The Progressive Populist with the title “When Socialists Cleaned Up Milwaukee”:

On a balmy night in April of 1910, Emil Seidel, a quiet, unassuming woodcarver received word that he had been elected mayor of Milwaukee with a plurality of 7,000 votes. History was made that night, for Seidel was a Socialist, and the first of his party to be elected mayor of a major American city. Seidel, at home with his wife and daughter, had spent the day working in his pattern-making shop and accepted the news with his usual modest grace. He declined to offer a speech initially, instead opting for early bed, but when he assumed the platform the following morning he gave a speech indicative of his character:

“We intend to do all our limited means permit to make Milwaukee a better place for every citizen … We are today only accumulating material for a larger and more beautiful structure of life that we have ever had. Not all of our work will be successful. But much of it will be. We shall learn, and, continuing to learn, we shall make good. We are today beginning a new civilization.”

And for two years Seidel did just that. Milwaukee had long suffered under corrupt municipal rule and Seidel’s election swept the slate clean. Along with the mayorship, the Socialists took the majority in the City Council and thus were able to quickly enact a number of progressive reforms. Indeed, the reforms enacted by the Socialists in two short years reads like a laundry list of good municipal government: the first public works department was established, the first fire and police commission was organized, the city park system was created, the city’s bars came under regulation, its brothels and illegal casinos closed down. All this from a party usually associated with radical thought and revolutionary activity.

The well-known secret, however, was that the Milwaukee Socialists were of a different order than the Socialist agitators sweeping the rest of the country. The Milwaukee Socialists were moderates, even conservatives, by the principles of their party, seeking to enact fair government at benefit to the most people through prudence and moderation. They stressed the need for basic services — so much so, in fact, they were stuck with the label “Sewer Socialists” for their preoccupation with the cleanliness of Milwaukee’s sewer system.

Furthermore, the Milwaukee Socialists were not partisans. One of their slogans on winning the election was “Get Experts!” Thus, Seidel sought out the best and the brightest to help run the municipal government, regardless of party affiliation. He declared, “I believe the city’s affairs should be administered without party lines,” and quickly followed through by hiring a committee of businessmen from the Democratic and Republican parties to advise him on financial affairs. Other municipal positions were filled with the most qualified candidate, irrespective of party. Thereby Seidel built an effective coalition of capable government officials who were able to enact meaningful reform.

It’s a telling fact that for the first few weeks after the Socialists took control of Milwaukee, not a single Socialist approached the new administration for a job. The Socialists were by and large honest, hardworking laborers, raised with practical German values of self-sufficiency. They were not interested in hand-outs.

Seidel refused to accept any profits from his own pattern-making firm while he was serving as the mayor of Milwaukee. Instead, he insisted that the profits be divided amongst his eleven employees. Such displays of integrity inspired trust and confidence in the Socialists by the larger populace. This in turn provided Seidel with the political capital necessary to enact his agenda.

By 1912, Seidel and the Socialists had cleaned house, sweeping out corruption and pushing through necessary and progressive reforms. The Democrats and Republicans, however, banded together for the 1912 election, nominating Dr. Gerhard A. Bading for the mayorship, who officially ran as a “nonpartisan” candidate. With the backing of the two major parties, and a heavy dose of pro-American, anti-Socialist proselytizing, Bading handily defeated Seidel in his re-election bid.

Seidel only served one term as mayor and his star is largely outshone by the other two later Socialist mayors of Milwaukee who served for much longer periods: Daniel Hoan and Frank Zeidler. His legacy, however, was pronounced considering the brevity of his term. Seidel pushed through a number of reforms still benefiting Milwaukeeans today, such as the expansion of city parks. He also restored a sorely needed respectability to the mayor’s office, raising expectations for Milwaukee’s municipal government and sweeping out the open corruption of his predecessors.

Seidel and his comrades proved the Socialists could be entrusted with the practical management of city government. As such, Seidel deserves a prominent place on the shelf of both Milwaukee’s history and the history of our nation as a whole. In a country founded on the premise of political experimentation, Milwaukeeans deserve special credit for their willingness to look beyond easy labels and pass judgment based on merit.

In return they received clean government, clean parks, and clean sewers. Not a bad trade, really.

Nate Pedersen is a Minnesota native, Wisconsin-educated librarian now living in Scotland.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Video: Supervising Women Workers (1944)
04.05.2011
03:43 pm

Topics:
History

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Factory foreman Joe doesn’t know how to handle his problematic female co-workers on the job and admits to his boss, Mr. Brooks, that “women scare me.”  Mr. Brooks offers up straight and reasonable advice to Joe about “breakin’ in those girls” such as “They’re not naturally familiar with mechanical principles nor machines,” “Women are awfully jealous with each other,” and “Don’t mix pleasure with business.”

 
(via Cynical-C)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Jazzassassinators and the secret arts of Bebop
04.05.2011
03:52 am

Topics:
Belief
History
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:

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Bebop jazzmen Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Carter are greeting each other with
“Bell man! where have you been?”

 
Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Carter demonstrate the art of the bebop greeting as featured in Life magazine, October 11, 1948.

The bebop greeting is an esoteric jazz tradition going back to the bop dens of ancient Egypt (home of the Pharaoh of Sanders). Initiates have passed these bebop handshakes, mudras and mantras down over the centuries and they were a highly kept secret until revealed in the mid-twentieth century by unscrupulous jazzbos who clearly had no understanding of the old ways. The bebop greetings Benny and Dizzy are demonstrating in these photos are not authentic bebop ritual. If they were, both men would be subject to immediate elimination by the society of jazzassassins, a ninja-like organization originated by Rahsaan Roland Kirk and formerly known as the saxassassinators.
 
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Dizzy and Benny are giving the shout “Eel-ya-da” which sounds like
bebop triplet notes.

 
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The connection is made.
 
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“Later. Keep it cool”

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Alan Cumming tells the story of ‘The Real Cabaret’
04.02.2011
08:34 pm

Topics:
History

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In The Real Cabaret, actor, Alan Cumming goes in search of the people and places that inspired Christopher Isherwood’s novel, Goodbye to Berlin and the muscial Cabaret.

Starting with Isherwood’s arrival in Berlin in 1930, and taking in a visit to his original apartment (immortalized in the opening paragraph of Isherwood’s novel), Cumming takes the viewer through the sex clubs and cabarets, to the performers, and writers who turned the Berlin stories into a multi-award winning musical. With contributions from Liza Minelli, and Ute Lemper.

Alan explores the origins of the Cabaret story in the writings of Christopher Isherwood and uncovers the story of the real life Sally Bowles, a woman very different from her fictional counterpart.

He talks to the composer of Cabaret about the inspiration for the film’s most famous songs and discovers the stories of the original composers and performers, among them Marlene Dietrich. Finally, Alan reveals the tragic fate of many of the cabaret artists at the hands of the Nazis.

The documentary pays tribute to the magic of the original film and explores the fascinating and often shocking reality of the people and stories that inspired it.

This is an excellent documentary, and Alan Cumming is quite superb as our host,
 

 
Previously on DM

Revealing portrait of Christopher Isherwood: ‘A Single Man 1904-1986’


 
Parts 2-6 of Alan Cummings ‘The Real Cabaret’ after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Incredible recordings of Roman Polanski’s interview with the LAPD, 1969
04.02.2011
06:24 pm

Topics:
History

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Backporch Tapes have just uploaded these two incredible recordings purported to be of Roman Polanski’s lie detector interview with the LAPD August 16 1969, just one week after the murder of his wife, after Sharon Tate.

The overall sound quality is poor, and Polanski sounds confused and upset, but certain questions and answers can be heard clearly - Polanski’s psychological state, his medication, his knowledge of the Polish army, and on the second clip, Polanski’s thoughts about the killer’s motives, and his suggestion of looking for something much more “far out.”
 

Lie Detector Test: LAPD interview Roman Polanski August 16 1969
 

Lie Detector Test: LAPD interview Roman Polanski August 16 1969, in which he discusses possible motive.
 
Previously on DM

Uncanny resemblance to Charles Manson appears in Sharon Tate’s last film


 
With thanks to Simon Wells
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Japan’s Yodo-go Hijack: The most revolutionary act in rock history
03.31.2011
07:13 pm

Topics:
History
Music
Politics
Punk

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Via Dorian Cope’s essential On This Deity blog:

Forty-one years ago today occurred the all-time single-most revolutionary political act in rock’n’roll, when Moriaki Wakabayashi – bass player of Tokyo’s underground legends Les Rallizes Denudés – accompanied several other members of the Japanese Red Army Faction in the armed hijack of Japan Airlines Fight 351. Here is a full account of this extraordinary event from Julian Cope’s 2007 Japrocksampler:

“In the early morning of March 31st, nine members of the Japanese Red Army Faction, all aged between nineteen and twenty-one years old, boarded a Japan Airways Boeing 727 at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, on an internal flight bound for Fukuoka. At 7.33 a.m., soon after the aircraft had reached its cruising height, the nine terrorists stormed the cockpit armed with pipe bombs and samurai swords, screaming the fearful words: ‘We are Ashitano Jeo!’ From this first moment of the hijacking, many of the 129 passengers aboard, still bleary-eyed and expecting a forty-five minute flight, had become hysterical with fear because their assailants were screaming longhairs who were aligning themselves with a famous Manga outsider TV hero who’d striven to win a boxing championship in a cartoon series of the same name. Like the Manson Family’s daubing of phrases such as ‘Political Piggy’ and ‘Helter Skelter’ around their crime scenes, the Yodo-go hijackers decision to invoke the ‘divine’ power of cartoon hero Ashitano Jeo was way too far outside all frames of reference for the stricken passengers.

Demanding that the pilot take them all to Cuba, the hijackers were furious to discover that the Yodo-go had only enough fuel for its original destination, and they reluctantly agreed to land at Fukuoka’s Itatsuki Airport. For three long days, the Yodo-go sat on the tarmac as negotiations took place. Eventually, a compromise was reached. The authorities agreed that the airliner should be allowed to fly instead to Pyongyang, in Communist North Korea, if twenty-three women and children were allowed to leave the airline in return for a total refuelling and the substitution of the Japanese transport minister Shinjuru Yamamura as hostage. The aeroplane set off westwards, but the Yodo-go’s pilot Shinki Iashida hoodwinked the hijackers into landing at South Korea’s Gimpo Airport, at 3pm. Believing that the runway was a part of North Korea’s Pyongyang Airport, the hijackers sought to confirm this by asking a member of the ground crew for a photo of dictator Kim Il Sung as proof of their northerly position. Denied this proof, the nervous hijackers then panicked and refused all food and drink. However, they eventually accepted that all the passengers – including many US nationals – should be allowed to leave the aircraft, in return for permission to fly to North Korea. The plane left Gimpo airport and headed north, landing in the disused Minimu Airport, where the North Korean authorities hailed the nine as cultural heroes, granted them political asylum, and insisted that they remain in North Korea, where they received military medals and were given ‘luxury accommodation’ at the Village of the Revolution.

In Japan, the ramifications were massive, for the hijacking was both humiliating for the Japanese authorities, and disturbing to the wider world, who were then still reeling from the bombing of Milan’s Piazza Fontana by right wing extremists the previous December. Furthermore, the presence of so many US nationals aboard the Yodo-go had brought the CIA to Japan and the names of the nine hijackers only emerged via the media in dribs and drabs. Slowly, the Japanese underground realised that this hijack had indeed been the work of their own people, many having been students from Osaka University or Kyoto’s forward-thinking Doshishi University. But for Japan’s burgeoning underground rock’n’roll scene, the strangest presence of all among the hijackers was that of Moriaki Wakabayashi, bass player with ‘The Radical Music Black Gypsy Band’ Les Rallizes Denudés.”

[ Julian Cope’s Japrocksampler pps. 123-124]
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘The Andy Warhol Monument’ unveiled
03.31.2011
05:04 pm

Topics:
Art
Heroes
History

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Yesterday a new 10-foot-tall statue of Andy Warhol was unveiled by artist Rob Pruitt outside of the one-time (70s/early 80s) Union Square location of Warhol’s “Factory” studio. Jerry Saltz writes on New York’s blog:

After pulling the sheet from the monument, Pruitt told me, “I think of it as another kind of Statue of Liberty.” Overhearing this, the former Interview editor and wordsmith extraordinaire Glenn O’Brien mused that the statue’s inscription could read “Give us your rich, your glamorous, your drag queens, and drug addicts.”

The statue, commissioned by the Public Art Fund, is near others of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Gandha, isn’t supposed to be permanent (it’s just there until October) but for fuck’s sake it should be... “The Andy Warhol Monument” stands, for now, on the corner of Broadway and 17th Street.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy: Rare footage of Iceberg Slim
03.30.2011
05:19 pm

Topics:
Hip-hop
History
Literature

Tags:

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This is odd. Seldom-seen footage of America’s pimp laureate Iceberg Slim, promoting his book Trick Baby and talking about “White Folk,” taken from a 1968 episode of The Joe Pyne Show.

First off, what was Iceberg Slim doing on Joe Pyne? (Joe Pyne = the Bill O’Reilly of the 1960s).

And secondly, what’s with that crazy mask?

This is just a three-minute excerpt from a 49-minute long video that can be watched on Amazon.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Jim Henson’s seldom seen 1969 pilot for ‘The Wizard of Id’
03.29.2011
03:32 pm

Topics:
History
Television

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Jim Henson’s test pilot of Johnny Hart’s Wizard of Id strip from 1969. If this was pitched again in 2011, the “class war” humor would be more in tune with the times, eh?
 

 
Via Classic Television Showbiz

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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