For the children of steel
The Atlantic recently ran an article about the long term impacts of the now largely defunct steel industry in Braddock, Pennsylvania. Braddock resident Tony Buba has produced a short documentary about the environmental racism that has created an overlooked health crisis among residents in the area, particularly among African Americans who were segregated in neighborhoods closest to the mills. The incidences of cancer and lung disease are shocking.
For those of us who lived in any one of the mill towns dotting the Monongahela River (Mon Valley) in southwestern Pennsylvania and lost loved ones to those diseases, the statistics are heartbreaking. The Trump administration’s attempts to roll back EPA air pollution standards and bring back asbestos are enraging. [Read more…]
Childish Gambino has released a new animated music video celebrating Summer. It features a number of imagined celebrity appearances including Kanye West, apparently remorseful about recent comments, being consoled by Michelle Obama. More details at this TMZ article. [Read more…]
Here’s a little something for Labor Day. The stage musical Working is based on the work of Studs Terkel and premiered on Broadway in 1978 with music by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso. Over the years it has grown and evolved and includes new material created by new composers such as James Taylor and Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose work was first featured in 2009. Much of the new work was unavailable as a recording until last March. Here’s one of Miranda’s contributions that was released as part of that offering: “Delivery”. [Read more…]
It’s been hard letting Aretha go, but this expression of love by Stevie Wonder at her funeral service on Friday helps a bit.
(He preceded this tribute rendition of “I‘ll Be Lovin‘ You Always” with an expressive and moving harmonica performance. To also listen to the harmonica work, at the end of the video click the replay icon and the video should replay from the beginning.) [Read more…]
Fall faintly whispers
To the growing shadows’ play
Time to buy a broom
There have been moments
the loss of my son
that I’ve felt like a boat
being battered in rough seas,
swirling and whirling
and then there comes
a little break
as the waters, seemingly,
hurl me towards the shore,
and a memory,
like one I had the other day,
springs to the fore, [Read more…]
By Jeoffry B. Gordon, M.D. / OB Rag
Fifty years ago this week, I was in Chitown.
Having just finished my medical internship and working several years with the famous pediatrician Dr. Ben Spock on anti-war issues, I was in a white coat among the checkered blue caped and the robins-egg blue-helmeted police and real people.
I will never forget walking along the lines of scared, sweating teenage national guardsmen with fixed bayonets, trying to calm them down by talking about how we were all brothers, and now remembering Kent State – I think, Thank God, there was never a charge by them. [Read more…]
Sexism and the Airline Industry
[Video In Article]
Lee Perry, a local San Diegan who worked for PSA Airlines in the late 1960s, is quick to confirm the airline industry’s strict employment requirements with regard to women at the time. Perry recalls her experience with PSA Airlines like this:
They told us exactly what to weigh, and would check to see if we were tall enough. We couldn’t go 5 pounds over or under, or we could get suspended. They had a weight chart, and they decided among themselves if we were “light,” “medium,” or “heavy boned” … that might give us a couple-pound leeway.
We had to wear exactly the makeup they wanted for us. This meant some got Merle Norman if they had a bad complexion, and the rest of us got Clairol face makeup, which they don’t even make anymore. We had to wear the “PSA Green” eye shadow and the “PSA Orange” lipstick. I remember it as 24 Karat Orange by Clairol. [Read more…]
It’s roughly the 50 year anniversary of the Chicago Democratic convention and the police attack on the counterculture protesters. As a response to the event, the Yippie! party secured free air time through campaign “Equal Time” legislation. They made some of the time available to the ACLU, some to an anti-war group and used about 15 minutes for this gem of a protest parody campaign video. It features appearances by Alan Ginsburg, Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman and music by Phil Ochs. It also memorializes Mayor Daley’s Yogi Berra-like remark that “the policeman isn’t there to create disorder; the policeman is there to preserve disorder.”
The quality is marginal, but it’s worth a watch. This version has about ten seconds of audio deleted around the 1:40 minute mark right where Ginsburg appears. I’m guessing someone was concerned about a DMCA take down since there’s another version on YouTube that does have the audio and Ginsburg begins to chant “AUM” and a chorus morphs it into “dreaming of a white Christmas”! Gotta love that sense of humor!
One More Aretha. At the end of Digby’s Thursday column on Aretha, she notes an unusual incident in Aretha’s career, which highlights her versatility, courage and heart. As reported in Classic FM. during the 1998 Grammy’s, Pavarotti was scheduled to perform one of his signature pieces: Nessun Dorma, but after he fell ill, Aretha, with twenty minutes notice, agreed to go on and perform the work. Here’s a version of that work which was recorded a few years later at a September 26, 2015 World Meeting of Families event with Pope Francis in Philadelphia. [Read more…]
you remember raising
outside the imaginary cages
fake news projects onto TV screens
The sun you believe
rises in the East
Isn’t a fact
it’s science fiction
The voice your ears think they hear
was burned before it could be spoken
by the witch hunt
against freedom of thought [Read more…]