Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sojourner Truth:You Have The Cool, Clear Eyes Of A Seeker Of Wisdom And Truth

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Originally from 2/7/07 but youtube video was deleted.
Who would have thought of the possibilities of combining the swinging Basie/Sinatra version of "I Believe In You" with the story of Sojourner Truth, who definitely had "the cool, clear eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth."
You have the cool, clear
Eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth;
Yet there's that upturned chin
And that grin of impetuous youth.
Oh, I believe in you.
I believe in you.
I hear the sound of good, solid judgment
Whenever you talk;
Yet there's the bold, brave spring of the tiger
That quickens your walk.
Oh, I believe in you.
I believe in you.

Black Colonists At Breed's Hill

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from great cartoons archived from a Virginia based newspaper called the Daily Press
For audio I found a great resource from Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities called Massachusetts Moments.

Gearing Up For Black History Month

To the left some of the nifty "flow chart/looking at data" type resources available in social studies from Mike Bloomberg Department Of Education in NYC. More of the same from this main link
Below a slide show I put together from great cartoons archived from a Virginia based newspaper called the Daily Press
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In order to take advantage of the Google Video Player I had to modify the size and boost the resolution of the individual frames of the comic strip. I did the best that I could. I used an application called Genuine Fractals/PrintPro. For audio I found a great resource from Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities called Massachusetts Moments. I captured an audio that went with the strip on the Boston Massacre and Crispus Attucks. I've decide to move my considerable black history multimedia to a dedicated blog called Every Month Is Black History Month Check it out

Monday, January 28, 2008

In Camelot 2

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Each evening, from December to December,
Before you drift to sleep upon your cot,
Think back on all the tales that you remember
Of Camelot.
Ask ev'ry person if he's heard the story,
And tell it strong and clear if he has not,
That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory
Called Camelot.
Camelot! Camelot!

Where once it never rained till after sundown,
By eight a.m. the morning fog had flown...
Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment that was known
As Camelot.

In Camelot....

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Caroline Kennedy:
Over the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wish they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This longing is even more profound today. Fortunately, there is one candidate who offers that same sense of hope and inspiration and I am proud to endorse Senator Barack Obama for President. I am happy that two of my own children are here with me, because they were the first people who made me realize that Barack Obama is the President we need. He is already inspiring all Americans, young and old, to believe in ourselves, tying that belief to our highest ideals - ideals of hope, justice, opportunity and peace – and urging us to imagine that together we can do great things.

Sen. Ted Kennedy:
Let there be no doubt: We are all committed to seeing a Democratic President in 2008. But I believe there is one candidate who has extraordinary gifts of leadership and character, matched to the extraordinary demands of this moment in history.
He understands what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the “fierce urgency of now.”
He will be a president who refuses to be trapped in the patterns of the past. He is a leader who sees the world clearly without being cynical. He is a fighter who cares passionately about the causes he believes in, without demonizing those who hold a different view. He is tough-minded, but he also has an uncommon capacity to appeal to “the better angels of our nature.” I am proud to stand here today and offer my help, my voice, my energy and my commitment to make Barack Obama the next President of the United States.

Fired Up And Ready To Go

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Barack Obama-He could be the first President who can dance.

Suzanne Pleshette

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I just learned about Suzanne Pleshette passing away. One of my all time favorite beauties. Brooklyn born too and a graduate of PS 9 in Manhattan. Here she is from Episode 5 of Route 66 in 1960. I found this written by a David Meltzer on tvsquad.com
Suzanne Pleshette and I grew up together on West End Avenue in Manhattan. We were classmates at PS9 (Public School 9) which was on 82nd Street right across from her apartment building. She was beautiful even as a child and she had the best sense of humor and was truly loved by everyone in her class. Her mother and father were a very handsome couple. Her dad, Eugene Pleshette was president of the Brooklyn Paramont Theatre. As kids we thought her mom looked a lot like Lucille Ball. I remember Suzanne inviting me to her apartment along with a few other of her classmates to arrange a surprize birthday party for her mom. We were about 9 years old then. Years later I visited Suzanne backstage when she was starring in THE MIRACLE WORKER on Broadway. When she opened her dressing room door she greeted me by singing the old PS9 school song. She was a delightful youngser and grew into one of the approachable and lovely ladies of the professional theatre and motion picture world.
Rest in peace, Suzanne, we miss you and will always remember you.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Aimee Semple Mcpherson 2

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Aimee Semple Mcpherson

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Teapot Dome Scandal

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I eliminated the weird soundtrack from this youtube video

There Will Be Blood 2

That's Aimee Semple McPherson and Edward L. Doheny in the picture. I found someone who has explained my reservations about There Will Be Blood in a way that I was unable to.
What's Wrong With There Will Be Blood A blown chance to say something big about money and power in America By Timothy Noah

I half-agree with the near-unanimous praise for There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson's loose adaptation of Upton Sinclair's Oil! The headline accompanying my Slate colleague Dana Stevens' review calls the film a "masterpiece." I would call it a halfterpiece. The first half of There Will Be Blood, and especially the film's dialogue-free first 20 minutes, ranks among the most thrilling moments I've witnessed on film. About midway, though, I felt that There Will Be Blood lost its clarity, for reasons that say something about the impoverished state of political discussion in the movies generally.

I haven't read Sinclair's 1927 novel, but I gather (from this Web site and others) that Anderson took from it the story of a California oil wildcatter, his son (who serves as the book's narrator), and a Holy Roller minister (who in the book is a bit more obviously a fraud and, apart from his sex, is modeled on Aimee Semple McPherson). What Anderson left out of There Will Be Blood was the son's development as a socialist in reaction against his father's corrupt capitalism. In the film, the wildcatter acquires drilling land through deception and cheats the minister out of $5,000, but in the book, he is also a systematic dispenser of bribes to politicians. Sinclair based his wildcatter on Edward L. Doheny, a fantastically successful oil tycoon in Los Angeles (Doheny Drive in West L.A. is named for him) who was disgraced in old age by the Teapot Dome scandal. Doheny, along with Sinclair Oil founder Harry Sinclair (no relation to Upton), paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to President Warren G. Harding's interior secretary, Albert Fall, in order to secure drilling rights on federal lands. Fall and Harry Sinclair went to prison, but with a team of high-priced lawyers Doheny somehow beat the rap. The Teapot Dome scandal, which first surfaced in 1922, is apparently what inspired Upton Sinclair, himself an active socialist, to write Oil!, and a fictionalized version of the scandal figures prominently in the narrative. Teapot Dome plays no role at all in There Will Be Blood.

Anderson acknowledges the Doheny link by making his wildcatter (who in the film bears the deliciously ironic name Daniel Plainview) a native of Fond du Lac, Wis., which was Doheny's hometown. Like Sinclair's fictionalized Doheny (whom Sinclair calls Joe Ross), Plainview is mostly admirable at the start of the narrative, as he builds up his oil empire, and mostly corrupt at the end. But Plainview's corruption is less well-defined than Ross'. Ross has yielded to capitalist imperatives and eventually gives up his company's independence to join a corrupt syndicate. Plainview, on the other hand, is aloof both personally and in his business (his refusal to sell out to Standard Oil is portrayed mainly as a manifestation of his mental instability); his evil is innate. The moment There Will Be Blood began to lose me can be found on Page 73 of the shooting script. "I have a competition in me," Plainview tells a man he thinks is his brother.

I want no one else to succeed. I hate most people. … I've worked people over and gotten what I want from them and it makes me sick. Because I see that all people are lazy. They're easy to take. I want to make enough money that I can move far away from everyone.

It's no small credit to Daniel Day-Lewis' extraordinary acting performance that he's able to make even these mustache-twirling lines halfway convincing. But the scene is a sign of desperation on Anderson's part. From this point in the film on, his subject ceases to be the acquisition of money and power in America and starts being the madness and cruelty of Daniel Plainview. For all I know, this shift from the physical to a psychological landscape makes Plainview a richer character than Sinclair's Joe Ross. (To repeat: I haven't read the novel.) To my mind, though, what's extraordinary about There Will Be Blood isn't the film's characters at all; it's the painstaking way Anderson lays out how the oil business works and how Plainview gets rich in it. The viewer anticipates that grand political themes will play out, but these never come to fruition.

I can understand why Anderson wouldn't necessarily want to adopt Sinclair's leftism or any sort of didacticism. It's a movie, after all, not a political tract. But in the past, movies from Intolerance to It's a Wonderful Life to Chinatown have routinely been built around the question: How does the world we live in work? The filmmaker's stance could be that of a despairing (if somewhat hypocritical) prophet, like D.W. Griffith's, or cornball-hopeful, like Frank Capra's, or darkly nihilistic, like Roman Polanski's and Robert Towne's. But one left the theater feeling that some idea about the larger society the film's characters inhabit was being set forth. In There Will Be Blood, by contrast, a promisingly broad canvas shrinks. Anderson has a little to say about the conflict between God and Mammon—his film's title is derived from Exodus 7:19 (though not the King James version, which states, less dramatically, "there may be blood")—but since the minister, Eli Sunday, and Plainview are both compromised figures, their mutual hatred carries little thematic weight. Also, Anderson never shows how Sunday becomes the big-time minister he's evolved into at the end of the movie, so the "God" end of this smackdown lacks heft.

Anderson's failure to say anything interesting or even coherent about the structure of American society is not unusual. I can't remember the last time I saw an American movie that did (excepting documentaries; gangster movies, which inherited this function from The Godfather; and the occasional movie promoting ethnic, sexual, religious, or some other form of tolerance and inclusiveness). Consider Lions for Lambs, one of the many 9/11-inspired movies that flopped recently. As Slate's Stevens pointed out in her review, that film promoted, in a lame be-true-to-your-school sort of way, greater civic involvement. But when the idealistic professor played by Robert Redford was asked by his frat-boy screw-up student why he should bother to engage when all efforts were bound to fail, professor Redford mysteriously declined to respond as any real-world political activist would, i.e, "Sometimes people like us can make a meaningful difference." Instead, he coughed up, "At least you can say you did something."

Time to film Middlemarch, shifting the locale to modern-day Cleveland?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

You Go Barack

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Obama: Over two weeks ago, we saw the people of Iowa proclaim that our time for change has come. But there were those who doubted this country’s desire for something new – who said Iowa was a fluke not to be repeated again.

Well, tonight, the cynics who believed that what began in the snows of Iowa was just an illusion were told a different story by the good people of South Carolina. After four great contests in every corner of this country, we have the most votes, the most delegates, and the most diverse coalition of Americans we’ve seen in a long, long time.

They are young and old; rich and poor. They are black and white; Latino and Asian. They are Democrats from Des Moines and Independents from Concord; Republicans from rural Nevada and young people across this country who’ve never had a reason to participate until now. And in nine days, nearly half the nation will have the chance to join us in saying that we are tired of business-as-usual in Washington, we are hungry for change, and we are ready to believe again.

But if there’s anything we’ve been reminded of since Iowa, it’s that the kind of change we seek will not come easy. Partly because we have fine candidates in the field – fierce competitors, worthy of respect. And as contentious as this campaign may get, we have to remember that this is a contest for the Democratic nomination, and that all of us share an abiding desire to end the disastrous policies of the current administration.

But there are real differences between the candidates. We are looking for more than just a change of party in the White House. We’re looking to fundamentally change the status quo in Washington – a status quo that extends beyond any particular party. And right now, that status quo is fighting back with everything it’s got; with the same old tactics that divide and distract us from solving the problems people face, whether those problems are health care they can’t afford or a mortgage they cannot pay. So this will not be easy. Make no mistake about what we’re up against.

We are up against the belief that it’s ok for lobbyists to dominate our government – that they are just part of the system in Washington. But we know that the undue influence of lobbyists is part of the problem, and this election is our chance to say that we’re not going to let them stand in our way anymore.

We are up against the conventional thinking that says your ability to lead as President comes from longevity in Washington or proximity to the White House. But we know that real leadership is about candor, and judgment, and the ability to rally Americans from all walks of life around a common purpose – a higher purpose.

We are up against decades of bitter partisanship that cause politicians to demonize their opponents instead of coming together to make college affordable or energy cleaner; it’s the kind of partisanship where you’re not even allowed to say that a Republican had an idea – even if it’s one you never agreed with. That kind of politics is bad for our party, it’s bad for our country, and this is our chance to end it once and for all.

We are up against the idea that it’s acceptable to say anything and do anything to win an election. We know that this is exactly what’s wrong with our politics; this is why people don’t believe what their leaders say anymore; this is why they tune out. And this election is our chance to give the American people a reason to believe again.

And what we’ve seen in these last weeks is that we’re also up against forces that are not the fault of any one campaign, but feed the habits that prevent us from being who we want to be as a nation. It’s the politics that uses religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon. A politics that tells us that we have to think, act, and even vote within the confines of the categories that supposedly define us. The assumption that young people are apathetic. The assumption that Republicans won’t cross over. The assumption that the wealthy care nothing for the poor, and that the poor don’t vote. The assumption that African-Americans can’t support the white candidate; whites can’t support the African-American candidate; blacks and Latinos can’t come together.

But we are here tonight to say that this is not the America we believe in.

There Will Be Blood

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An interview with Daniel Day Lewis from national public radio combined with archival photos of California oil well history
His acting was incredible, but there was something that didn't quite work with the story line. From npr:
He spent weeks in a wheelchair to prepare for his Oscar-winning performance in My Left Foot and learned how to hunt for his role in The Last of the Mohicans.
Day-Lewis prefers not to break character on set and admits that it can take him weeks — if not months — to leave a part once the cameras stop rolling.
So it's no wonder that he makes so few films. His fourth in 10 years opens Wednesday. In There Will Be Blood, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Day-Lewis plays Daniel Plainview, an obsessive loner who hits it big in California's turn-of-the-20th-century oil rush.
Day-Lewis tells Robert Siegel that he discovers a character's voice from research, from working with the director and from just immersing himself in the screenplay.
"I'm not entirely sure how it works. Probably because there's some part of me that prefers to let it remain a bit of a mystery," he says.
"It can fray the nerves a little bit because months could go by and no voice comes to you, but at a certain moment — I might be listening to tapes, listening to different voices, allowing things to just run though me … but at a certain given moment, if I'm lucky, I begin to hear a voice and then the work becomes about trying to reproduce the sound that I hear."
While searching for Plainview's voice, Day-Lewis says he remembers "a quickening of the pulse when a sound began to resonate."
In the film, Plainview is a maniacal brute who says, "I look at people and I see nothing worth liking. I want to earn enough money I can get away from everyone." But it's not unusual for Day-Lewis to play a character whom the audience views with, at best, mixed feelings.
"I daresay, because the unconscious plays such an important part in the work, the imagination being on the front line of that … what could be more liberating than to explore with impunity the darker recesses of one's imagination and psyche?" Day-Lewis says. "I suppose that has always appealed to me, and I always am most often intrigued by lives that seem very far removed from my own. [With] Plainview, [it] wasn't the violence of the man or the misanthrope of the man that attracted me particularly, but just that unknown life in its entirety."
Day-Lewis compares the relationship he forms with his characters to a partnership in which he is the silent partner. He says he becomes the character "as far as I'm able to delude myself, believing that if I can't create that illusion for myself, then it's unlikely I'll be able to create it for anybody else."
In 2002, Day-Lewis told an interviewer, "In those quiet months before you approach the dreaded beast, you begin to enter into a world that isn't yours. People are always reading some sort of craziness into that, but it seems logical to me." He says he often feels that he has to justify what appears to others as a sort of "self-inflicted insanity."
"For me, the work is really pure pleasure," he says. "I do the work because I love to do it, not because I feel the need to punish myself. I'd do something else if I needed to punish myself."
In fact, Day-Lewis cites his love for the craft as the reason he doesn't make more movies.
"I couldn't love it as much if I did it more often, as simple as that," he says. "It's not in retreat from that work that I go in search of other things. It's with the very positive feeling that I would like to learn about other things for a while.
"And I personally believe those two lives go hand in hand. They need each other. I don't think I'
d have very much to offer if my experiences really were taken from other movie sets."

In Memoriam: Elaine King

Elaine King passed away last week. I taught right next to her for several years in a Brooklyn school in an open classroom environment. She was a great teacher and a had a great sense of humor. I learned a lot from her, about teaching and life. She had all these old tricks up her sleeve, like the way she would teach long division with a song and a dance. The kids' loved it and they remembered it forever. I will miss her. Below pictures of her and part of her obituary. Her wake featured a stirring ceremony by her AKA sisters.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Ending Scene From Reds

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from youtube description:
Heartbreaking final scene from Warren Beatty's 1981 tour de force as (co-)writer, director, actor and producer, the Academy Award winning "Reds". Even for those not interested in (socialist) politics, this movie is a lesson in great film making. Innovative, as Beatty was the first to use the "talking heads" of the so called witnesses to tie the scenes together. Engaging, for by weaving the romance between John Reed (Beatty) and Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton) through the political and analytical scenes, Beatty manages to never let the movie become dull or too serious, despite the subject matter. Some of the impressive cast play the roles of their lifetime. Keaton has never been better, Nicholson is brooding, Stapleton deservedly won an Oscar for her role as Emma Goldman. A must see, if only for the beautiful cinematography by Vittorio Storaro and the best acting many of the actors involved.

Emma Goldman Newsreel, 1934

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Maureen Stapleton As Emma Goldman In Reds

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One of the greatest films of all time

Dangerous Woman: Emma Goldman

video There's a great new graphic novel about Emma Goldman. It's called Dangerous Woman and it's by Sharon Rudahl I scanned a few of the pages and added a Howard Zinn talk about Emma and "The Night That Goldman Spoke At Union Square" from Ragtime as accompaniments
from the review:
Deploying the smack-'em-in-the-face descriptive style of Will Eisner for a graphic biography may not seem like the best idea. But when it comes to the life of famed anarchist Emma Goldman, Rudahl's punchy, exclamation point-heavy method feels just right to cover the crusader's life. Born in Russia in 1869 at a time when women, particularly Jewish women, were to be downtrodden and not heard, Goldman lost no time upsetting the status quo with her big mouth and restless curiosity. After following her sisters to America, the newly married Goldman was just starting to learn about leftist politics when she became radicalized by the 1886 Haymarket bombing in Chicago, leading to more than a half-century's worth of nearly nonstop protesting, fiery speechmaking and organizing across North America and Europe, and even a few passionate affairs. Rudahl's earnest admiration for Goldman and her refreshingly smart approach to the cause is clear in her excited artwork, all cramped frames and twirly action. The volume is well-suited for libraries because of its knowledgeable but shorthand approach to history, exemplified in a scene where Teddy Roosevelt holds a copy of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and declares, I don't want fingers in my sausage!!! Hurry up and pass some food and drug laws!

Comics In The Classroom 2

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Here's additional content from a 1/14/08 show on wnyc about comics in the classroom

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Comics In The Classroom

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brian lehrer on wnyc had a show about comics in the classroom a few weeks ago. I used part of the interview and combined it from some of the comic images from the linked site at Columbia. Here's part of an article about the topic from beth fertig that was written in 2004
Comic books are a rite of passage for most kids. But one local educator also thinks they have potential "superpowers" for learning. The Comic Book Project is an after school program that's trying to improve literacy by teaching kids to make their own comics. WNYC's Beth Fertig has more.
Some kids love comic books. Others are inspired by them. Those are the kids who have joined the Comic Book Club at Martin Luther King High School in Manhattan. Sixteen-year old Angel Terry is pretty typical.
JURY: I like to draw a lot and this place has a lot of funny people that like to draw, too.
Angel – or Jury as her friends call her – has notebooks filled with her own comic strips. Her friends pour through them, looking to find themselves.
SAYURI: She draws us as characters. For some reason she gave my character bangs.
That's 10th grader Lauren Garcia. She calls herself Sayuri, after the title character in her favorite novel "Memoirs of a Geisha." These kids love anything Japanese – largely because of the Japanese comics, or manga. They adore the luscious graphics and wide-eyed characters that morph into unworldly beings. Jury's comics have the same fluid look. But her stories are definitely hinged in her world.
JURY: This is one of them.
Her latest comic is about a slumber party with her friends.
JURY: That's me on my little backwards phone. See, that's Sayuri. That's Imani. She’s getting mad at us because we're ordering Chinese food and it's like one in the morning.
Most of the students, like Jury, came here to draw. But the Comic Book Project is also about encouraging them to write, says founder Michael Bitz.
BITZ: It's something they want to do because it's their media.

Bitz is a research associate at Teachers College at Columbia University. A few years ago he was studying the role of the arts in education.

BITZ: The arts content and the academic content had to be clearly tied together. And there’s no where else in the area of literacy where words and art are so naturally wedded as in a comic book.

Bitz started his first comic book club at a Queens elementary school in 2001. Since then his project has been adopted by 45 schools, with funding from the After School Corporation and community based organizations. Baltimore, Chicago, and Cleveland, among other cities, have adopted the program.

70th Reunion Of The International Brigades

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Here's a clip I found on youtube of the 70th reunion of the International Brigade. I get goosebumps.
Here's a portion the text of the times article of 1/13/08, entitled, "In Spain, a Monumental Silence,"
By MICHAEL KIMMELMAN
that provides the background for the previous post
LAST month Spain passed a law that doesn’t make much sense, on its face, but says quite a lot about Europe in the new century. The Parliament, fulfilling a campaign promise from 2004 by Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, ordered that families wanting to unearth bodies of relatives killed during the Spanish Civil War of the late 1930s or who suffered as a political consequence of General Francisco Franco’s four-decade-long regime should get full cooperation from the state, and at the same time that every province in the country must remove remaining monuments to Franco. Unearth the past — and erase it. Never mind that over the years most of these monuments have already been carted off, making the law largely toothless and symbolic. Even so, in the debates over it, nobody here has talked much about the inherent contradiction. Or is it a contradiction? “A new generation has begun to look at the past,” Santos Juliá, a senior historian of the post-Franco years, explained to me one recent morning. “They’re the grandchildren of the civil war. My generation wanted to discuss what happened without a sense of culpability. The grandchildren look on the same years of reconciliation as an unending concession, and it is time to fix blame.” Survivors build monuments to remember the dead, and tear down the statues of the tyrants who killed them, but mostly in vain. Statues and memorials inscribe history, which each generation rewrites to suit itself. In Budapest statues of Communist idols have been relocated to a park on the city outskirts to become virtual headstones at a kind of kitsch graveyard. Russia, in its dash to prosperity, remains conspicuously reluctant to rehash the past, but it also removed many signs of Soviet rule.
And of course nobody has scrutinized public symbols and spaces more than the Germans, for whom nearly every stone and street sign has provoked a fresh monument. The meeting room for the German foreign minister in Berlin is an example of the extent to which the Germans have gone even in private. Originally the office for the head of the Nazi state bank, then taken over by Erich Honecker, the East German leader, who met in it with his Politburo, the room was left nearly intact after the Wall fell when the Foreign Ministry moved in, so that on where paintings of Marx and Engels once hung behind Honecker’s chair, faded rectangles were left as cautionary reminders.
Spain is different, though, having endured a civil war. With their traditional fear of deep, dark demons in their soul, Spaniards after Franco’s death and during the transition to democracy entered into what has long been called here a pact of silence, which the new law clearly aims to undo. As the historian Hugh Trevor-Roper put it 40 years ago, about a different regime, “A single personal despot can prolong obsolete ideas beyond their natural term, but the change of generations must ultimately carry them away.” You might say that in Spain’s case the change now comes a generation late.

Healing The Spanish Civil War

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Synchronicitously (sic?) with all of my latest obsession with the Lincoln Brigade there was an article the other week in the Times about Spain's memories of their Civil War and the long, despotic reign of Franco that followed it. The slide show I put together consists of images of the article along with these songs
GALLO ROJO (LOS DOS GALLOS)
Cuando canta el gallo negro
Es que ya se acaba el dia
Si cantara el gallo rojoOtro gallo cantaria

Ay! si es que yo miento
Qu'el cantar qué yo canto
Lo borre el viento
Ay! qué desencanto
Si me borrara el viento
Lo que yo canto.

Se encontraron en la arena
Los dos gallos frente a frente
El gallo negro era grande
Pero el rojo era valiente

Se miraron a la cara
Y ataco el negro primero
El gallo rojo es valiente
Pero el negro es traicionero

Gallo negro, gallo negro
Gallo negro, te lo advierto
No se rinde un gallo rojo
Mas que cuando està ya muerto


and
AY CARMELA
(el ejercito del ebro)
El ejército del Ebro
rumba la rumba la rumba la
una noche el rio paso
Ay Carmela, Ay Carmela.

Pero nada pueden bombas
rumba la rumba la rumba la
donde sobra corazon,
Ay Carmela, Ay Carmela.

Contraataques muy rabiosos
rumba la rumba la rumba la
deberemos resistir
Ay Carmela, ay Carmela

Pero igual que combatimos,
rumba la rumba la rumba la
prometemos resistir.
Ay Carmela, Ay Carmela.

a translation:
EL PASO DEL EBRO (English Lyrics)

The army of the Ebro,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
The army of the Ebro,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
Crossed the river one night.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!
Crossed the river one night.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!

And to the invading troops.
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
And to the invading troops.
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
It gave a sound beating.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!
It gave a sound beating.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!

The fury of the traitors,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
The fury of the traitors,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
They discharge with their airplanes.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!
They discharge with their airplanes.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!

But bombs can do nothing,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
But bombs can do nothing,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
Where there’s a lot of heart.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!
Where there’s a lot of heart.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!

Very rabid counterattacks,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
Very rabid counterattacks,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
We will owe it to resist.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!
We will owe it to resist.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!

But as we have fought,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
But as we have fought,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
We promise to fight.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!
We promise to fight.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!

------------

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Union Square: Part 4

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The finale of the labor history play. The video was taken on the southern end of Union Square on 14th Street facing west.

Union Square: Part 3

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Part 3 of the radio play with A May Day 2007 video as a visual along with following
1899-1903 Edison silent films:
The film shows a city thoroughfare lined with crowds of people watching a military parade. The first group to come into view is a marching band [Frame: 0120], then a large formation of soldiers in the uniform of Rough Riders [0720]. Following them is a hearse drawn by four black horses, escorted by veterans of the Civil War [2742], and horse-drawn open carriages. The camera position shifts and most of the paraders can be seen for a second time: the band [3692], the hearse [5610], and the Civil War veterans [6000]. Hiram Cronk, a veteran of the War of 1812, died at the age of 105. He was thought to be the last surviving veteran of that war.
The film shows a large group of people watching the approach of a color guard followed by a number of elderly marching firemen [Frame: 1734] pulling antique fire equipment [2486]. In the background is the white marble Washington Arch [0116], designed by Stanford White and completed in 1895 to commemorate the first inauguration of George Washington

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Union Square: Part 2

video
Here as a backdrop I used silent films made by the Edison studios between 1899-1903
They are available from the library of congress web site
Descriptions:
Using time-lapse photography, the film shows the demolition of the famous Star Theatre. Judging from the various exposures, the work must have gone on for a period of approximately thirty days. The theater opened in 1861 as "Wallack's Theatre," and was re-christened the "Star" in 1883. It was well known for it's excellent productions, and a number of celebrated actors and actresses worked there, among them Ellen Terry. The celebrated English actor Henry Irving made his first stage appearance in America at the Star. Photographed in 1901. Location: Broadway and 13th Street, New York, N.Y.

The film shows members of "New York's Finest" parading at a crowded Union Square. There are members of the Bicycle Squad, mounted horses, and two regimental marching bands. At the time of filming, the New York City Police Department was still recovering from the corruption scandals of the early 1890's that had severely tarnished the reputation of the department. A State Senate appointed group known as the Lexow Committee investigated the department and issued a scathing report that detailed serious criminal activity within the department. In 1895, public opinion was so low that the annual parade wasn't held. That same year, Theodore Roosevelt was appointed president of the Police Board, and he is credited with initiating strict and effective reform measures that helped restore the public's confidence in the police.

From the Edison Company catalog: NEW YORK POLICE PARADE. Unbuilding [code for telegraphic orders]. An excellent view of "The Finest," on their annual parade and inspection, June 1, 1899. The head of the column is just turning into 14th Street from Broadway, the Morton House forming part of the background. Crowds line both sides of the cable car tracks, falling back as the band heading the first division swings around Dead Man's Curve and passes the camera. Chief Devery makes a fine showing, as also do his men, with their white gloves and helmets, shining buttons and spick and span appearance in general.

Union Square: Part 1

video
Here's part 1 of the union square based labor history play that takes place in the late 1800's. As a video backdrop I used a video made by a youtube user named y23232323jp who has made over 300 videos of people walking on various blocks around the world. I find them fascinating and I wonder how he disguised himself. It looks like the one above was shot on the southern border of Union Square on 14th Street off of University Place.

Union Square

video
Last week I was in Union Square and I noticed the informative sidewalk installations that ring the square. I photographed most of them and supplemented them with other union square historical images. To complement them for a movie, the images needed relevant audio I struck gold when I found a great online play about labor history on wbai's site. The above encompasses the play's introduction.
Marching to Union Square: A Labor Play by Dorothy Fennel
Radio show produced by Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg
Marching to Union Square is about the birth of the modern trade union movement in New York City. The script is based on historical material, including speeches and memoirs, from the first Labor Day parade—held on September 5, 1882—subsequent Labor Day parades, and the 1886 mayoral campaign of Henry George, labor's candidate. Much of the action takes place in Union Square, and evokes the loud and colorful labor marches that attracted huge numbers of spectators. For a brief time in the 1880s, NYC activists tries to organize an independent labor party that could unite people of diverse backgrounds around a uniquely working class political platform. There was no better place to do this than Union Square. To express this vision in words and music from that era, the actors in Marching to Union Square recreate some of the key moments that contributed so much to Union Square's reputation as labor's home, and as the place where working New Yorkers came to exercise their rights to free speech and assembly.
Actors: George Drance, Arthur French, Todd Griffin, Mary Neufeld
Musicians: George Mann (guitar), Ginette Van Der Voorn (keyboard)
Chorus: Members of the NYC Labor Chorus, directed by Ginette Van Der Voorn

Mike Seeks Belichick's Help

Monday, January 21, 2008

Come Visit "Respite From Mike"


My love affair with Mike Bloomberg warrants a separate blog otherwise this will be pseudo-bloombergism. It's called respite from mike, the antidote for unite for mike

Home Grown Vichyssoise


nyceducator points to the suspected collaboration of the union leadership with the doe as part of the recently revealed secret plan to grade teachers. An excerpt
Randi Weingarten, the union president, said she had grave reservations about the project, and would fight if the city tried to use the information for tenure or formal evaluations or even publicized it. She and the city disagree over whether such moves would be allowed under the contract. “There is no way that any of this current data could actually, fairly, honestly or with any integrity be used to isolate the contributions of an individual teacher,” Ms. Weingarten said. “If one permitted this, it would be one of the worst decisions of my professional life.” Ha - what a joke! When Ms. Weingarten and the UFT leadership agreed to merit pay for teachers based upon standardized test scores earlier this school year, they opened the door to all kinds of funky other things related to test scores - including grading teachers based upon scores whether the tests were meant for that purpose or not. While the Times reports that DOE officials "adamantly deny" they plan to hand out letter grades to teachers and base tenure decisions solely on test score performance, those of us in the system know better. That's exactly where this is going in the near future. And just as giving letter grades to schools based upon a formula overly weighted toward annual test score improvement has proven reductive and harmful (schools with 85%-95% test score passing rates have been handed D's and F's by the DOE for failing to improve on their test scores while schools with 30%-50% test score passing rates have been handed A's and B's because their test scores have improved from one year to the next), so too will handing out letter grades to teachers.

Unity Man

I Want You

from the unite for mike site
Uncle Sam Draft Mike Bloomberg Meetups for Michael Bloomberg are spreading around the country. To aid this effort we have created an easy guide to walk you through starting your own chapter! Here is quick list of Meetups across the country. If you don’t find your city on this list, we encourage you to stand up and lead the change.

* In Columbia, South Carolina - Jerry Francis has stood up for change by starting the first Mike Bloomberg Meetup in the South. Their first event will take place on February 11th.
* In Buffalo, New York - Sayed Ali is leading the way, showing that even upstate New Yorkers want Mike Bloomberg to run. The next event will take place on January 20th.
* In New York City - Dave Wakeman, a recent addition to our team, has rekindled the NYC Meetup. The next event will take place on January 23rd. This group will join with the previous NYC Meetups led by Karin Gallet.
* In Washington, DC - Andrew MacRae (that’s me) has started a Meetup. The next event will take place on January 23rd.
* In Boston, Massachusetts - John Keith a concerned citizen is leading the way for change. The next event will take place on February 12th.
* In Ocala, Florida - Bruce Foster has started Meetups in one of the most crucial states for victory. The next event will take place on February 12th.
* In Las Vegas, Nevada - Louis Lederman wants Mike to run, so he has started a Meetup in Sin City. The next event will take place on February 11th.

We are the people who are fed up with partisan bickering, while the problems of this country go unaddressed. We don’t care if either Democrats or Republicans are in charge, so long as they are making sound decisions that lead the whole country forward. We are the growing radical middle, and we need your support.

the image is photoshopped, but I wonder why Mike isn't looking us straight in the eye.
He probably saw some "chick" he'd like "to do"

Working Out The Super Bowl Bet

Sunday, January 20, 2008

VIVA LA QUINTE BRIGADA

video
A special version for the Irish vets by Christy Moore
Ten years before I saw the light of morning
A comradeship of heroes was laid
From every corner of the world came sailing
The Fifteenth International Brigade
They came to stand beside the Spanish people
To try and stem the rising fascist tide
Franco's allies were the powerful and wealthy
Frank Ryan's men came from the other side
Even the olives were bleeding
As the battle for Madrid it thundered on
Truth and love against the force of evil
Brotherhood against the fascist clan
Chorus:
Viva la Quinte Brigada
"No Pasaran", the pledge that made them fight
"Adelante" is the cry around the hillside
Let us all remember them tonight
Bob Hilliard was a Church of Ireland pastor
Form Killarney across the Pyrenees he came
From Derry came a brave young Christian Brother
Side by side they fought and died in Spain
Tommy Woods age seventeen died in Cordoba
With Na Fianna he learned to hold his gun
From Dublin to the Villa del Rio
Where he fought and died beneath the blazing sun
Viva la Quinte Brigada
"No Pasaran", the pledge that made them fight
"Adelante" is the cry around the hillside
Let us all remember them tonight
Many Irishmen heard the call of Franco
Joined Hitler and Mussolini too
Propaganda from the pulpit and newspapers
Helped O'Duffy to enlist his crew
The word came from Maynooth, "support the Nazis"
The men of cloth failed again
When the Bishops blessed the Blueshirts in Dun Laoghaire
As they sailed beneath the swastika to Spain
Viva la Quinte Brigada
"No Pasaran", the pledge that made them fight
"Adelante" is the cry around the hillside
Let us all remember them tonight
This song is a tribute to Frank Ryan
Kit Conway and Dinny Coady too
Peter Daly, Charlie Regan and Hugh Bonar
Though many died I can but name a few
Danny Boyle, Blaser-Brown and Charlie Donnelly
Liam Tumilson and Jim Straney from the Falls
Jack Nalty, Tommy Patton and Frank Conroy
Jim Foley, Tony Fox and Dick O'Neill

Milt Wolffe Slide Show

video
I combined some stills I found of Milt with Viva la Quince Brigada

Viva la quince brigada,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
Viva la quince brigada,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
Que se ha cubierto de gloria.
¡Ay, Manuela! ¡Ay, Manuela!
Que se ha cubierto de gloria.
¡Ay, Manuela! ¡Ay, Manuela!

Luchamos contra los moros,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
Luchamos contra los moros,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
Mercenarios y fascistas.
¡Ay, Manuela! ¡Ay, Manuela!
Mercenarios y fascistas.
¡Ay, Manuela! ¡Ay, Manuela!

Solo es nuestro deseo,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
Solo es nuestro deseo,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
Acabar con el fascismo.
¡Ay, Manuela! ¡Ay, Manuela!
Acabar con el fascismo.
¡Ay, Manuela! ¡Ay, Manuela!

En los frentes de Jarama,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
En los frentes de Jarama,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
No tenemos ni aviones,
Ni tanques, ti cañones.
No tenemos ni aviones,
Ni tanques, ti cañones.

Ya salimos de España,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
Ya salimos de España,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
A luchar en otros frentes,
¡Ay, Manuela! ¡Ay, Manuela!
A luchar en otros frentes,
¡Ay, Manuela! ¡Ay, Manuela!