A Thought for the Day
Life’s longest journey starts with a birth that one does not plan and finishes with a death that, under normal circumstances, one does not invite; in between come the hurly-burly exigencies and mundane routines and typical ongoing thrills and spills of everyday existence, realms in which action occurs regularly and inevitably and choice presents itself whether one dares to choose or not, arenas furthermore where, just possibly, with significant luck and plenty of pluck, one might find a path, bull of honorable and passionate purpose, irresistible in its joyous engagement, that one desires to pursue.
We leave our homes in the morning,
We kiss our children good-bye,
While we slave for the bosses,
Our children scream and cry.
And when we draw our money,
Our grocery bills to pay,
Not a cent to spend for clothing,
Not a cent to lay away.
And on that very evening
Our little son will say:
“I need some shoes, Mother,
And so does Sister May.”
How it grieves the heart of a mother,
You everyone must know.
But we can’t buy for our children,
Our wages are too low.
It is for our little children,
That seems to us so dear,
But for us nor them, dear workers,
The bosses do not care.
But understand, all workers,
Our union they do fear.
Let’s stand together, workers,
And have a union here.” Ella Mae Wiggins: The Mill Mother’s Lament–
This Day in History
A thousand six hundred and ninety-one years ago, more or less to the day, the iconic Helena of Constantinople asserted her ‘discovery’ of the ‘True Cross’ at the site which supposedly contained the remains of Jesus of Nazareth; exactly three centuries and three years hence, in 629, the Eastern Roman Empire’s forces returned to Constantinople from their defeat of Persian imperial threats to Heraclius’ reign; three hundred seventy-nine years before the here and now, the relatively youthful founder of Harvard College, John Harvard, breathed his last;MORE HERE
"southern labor history" OR south unions repression "right to work" "divide and conquer" = 32,500 results
Interesting People Places Things of Note
Review of a Jane Jacobs tome by an always insightful blogger: “Economically active cities, in short, are powerful, and they often do nasty things to regions that are not cities. Even when what they do seems good, as with demand for oil, or Uruguay’s produce and minerals, it is a gift that can leave at any time.
… Overall this is an important book. One of the most important I ever read. The point about broken feedback and economic units not making sense is absolutely fundamental and explains a simple fact: city states which can manage to survive the political-military environment, almost always do very well. The ideal economic circumstance is a world of city states, but we don’t have that for military political reasons (they can’t defend themselves).”
General Media & Culture Issues
A Dazed look at the multivaried and inspirational role that heroin has had and continues to exert on popular culture: “Throughout the past century, certain substances have even become the drug du jour, dominating the pop culture conversation for decades at a time – LSD in the 60s, cocaine in the 70s, crack in the 80s, ecstasy in the 90s, pharmaceuticals in the 00s, and so on. But heroin has consistently eluded this ebb and flow, from its prominence and influence in the jazz and blues era of the 30s, 40s and 50s (Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, Chet Baker) to the rockers of the 60s, 70s, and 80s (Keith Richards, Sid Vicious, Nikki Sixx) and the heroin chic trend of the 90s, made popular by Calvin Klein’s ‘waif’ models and further pushed by the grunge movement (Kurt Cobain, Hole, Alice In Chains, and more).”
An International Clearing House peek at ongoing neocon Russia crisis: ” It has been amusing to watch the New York Times and other mainstream media outlets express their dismay over the rise and spread of “fake news.” These publications take it as an obvious truth that what they provide is straightforward, unbiased, fact-based reporting. They do offer such news, but they also provide a steady flow of their own varied forms of fake news, often by disseminating false or misleading information supplied to them by the national security state, other branches of government, and sites of corporate power.”
General Past & Present Issues
An Aeon post that documents the falling out of these two great existentialists over the question of equality: “In October 1951, Camus published The Rebel. In it, he gave voice to a roughly drawn ‘philosophy of revolt’. This wasn’t a philosophical system per se, but an amalgamation of philosophical and political ideas: every human is free, but freedom itself is relative; one must embrace limits, moderation, ‘calculated risk’; absolutes are anti-human. Most of all, Camus condemned revolutionary violence. Violence might be used in extreme circumstances (he supported the French war effort, after all) but the use of revolutionary violence to nudge history in the direction you desire is utopian, absolutist, and a betrayal of yourself….
Sartre read The Rebel with disgust. As far as he was concerned, it was possible to achieve perfect justice and freedom – that described the achievement of communism. Under capitalism, and in poverty, workers could not be free. Their options were unpalatable and inhumane: to work a pitiless and alienating job, or to die. But by removing the oppressors and broadly returning autonomy to the workers, communism allows each individual to live without material want, and therefore to choose how best they can realise themselves. This makes them free, and through this unbending equality, it is also just.”