Friday, May 27, 2011


Where do I pickup my diploma?

Music Lives

no matter what, music will always be around. the birds will never stop singing, the wind blowing through the slot canyons in southern utah will never stop howling, coyotes will always cry to the moon hoping they will be heard by another. everyone has the power to create music, whether it's tapping their fingertips on their desk in class or singing in the shower. you don't need to have the voice of arethra franklin for singing to make you happy, if only the birds with the prettiest songs sang, the forest would be silent. people have been making music since they first were put on earth, there is tons of music references in the bible.

1 Samuel 10:5

5 After that you shall come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is. And it will happen, when you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with a stringed instrument, a tambourine, a flute, and a harp before them; and they will be prophesying.

music is and always will be part of our lives, for escape, emotional outlet, and just for good old fun. if we didn't have music, our world would be sad and depressing, there would be no humming or whistling when we walk home alone. campfires would be accompanied by the crackle of the wood being burnt and the silence of the owls not hooting. protest chants would be more like protest statements because rhyme and meter have too much in common with music and people would begin to put melody to their chants. grandparents will teach their sons and daughters songs who will pass them along to their kids. there will always be songs that glorify a generation or a group, persuade people to change their thinking, and teach us valuable information. this is why bruce utah phillips was such a huge influence, he left a legacy of songs that will always be around and always be remembered.

Anarchy and Pacifism

This course has made me ponder my ideology. Many of the people we have studied and met people who call themselves anarchist pacifists. I thought I would explore these ideas further. This essay in particular did a good job of breaking down and merging the two ideologies.

It has inspired me to ponder a world where conflicts, especially between nations are not fought through violence. This country would be so much wiser if it were to adapt non violence policies. Instead of spending trillions on weapons, we could enrich so many lives through subsidized education, wilderness preservation and health care. I recently changed my facebook info ideology to anarchist pacifist. I'm not sure this constitutes a lifestyle change, but it does call for a new way of thinking.

Music Through Familys Leads to Music Through History

If there's one thing that seems to stick with me this semester, it's that musical talents seem to start in the home. Their passed down through the generation, from family member to family member. I think that's part of what keeps old songs alive, learning them from our elders. I think this passing down of knowledge is what keeps "The Long Memory" alive.

I wanted to show an example of this kind of passing down of knowledge and talent. I grew up next door to Mary and Chappy which would be Muzzie Braun's parents and the grandparents of the band members of Reckless Kelly (who now have several hit country songs.) In fact, I remember the boys of Reckless Kelly stealing my clothes and toys and hanging them from an apple tree when I was about 5. If you ever listen to Sirius Radio, on one of the country stations every day around 4 Mary calls in to request to hear Reckless Kelly in support of her grandsons. Every year the Braun Brothers hold a reunion in Challis Idaho to bring together friends and family and play music for several days. This weekend long event is now arguably the only thing that keeps the Challis economy alive during these hard times. It attracts tourists from all over. I think this yearly reunion show, and family's passing of music through generations is a great example of how individuals can keep their long memory growing. Below is several clips of both generations playing music.

This one is definitely a protest song:


Thanks everyone - my teaching partner Bob, our guests and especially students - for such a rich and rewarding learning experience. Historians are all about memory, usually in the form of written documents that we assemble and interpret to tell stories. Here in this class, we explored all kinds of other ways to remember - songs, live and recorded, with and without accompaniment; verbal reminiscences in person, on DVD, on CD; photographs, drawings, cartoons. We used things from a single human voice to twelve people with microphones, amps and guitars to Skype and Youtube and everything in between. I feel especially good whenever I listen to Utah Phillips talk about "the long memory" and how "they don't teach this stuff in school" - well, sometimes they do. Maybe my form of activism is to help perpetuate and pass on memories that might otherwise get forgotten - a small part of Utah's oversized legacy.

Viva la Historia! Hasta la victoria siempre! Solidarity Forever! Take it easy, but take it!

Laying Down the Weapons of Privilege

Tuesday's discussion on how to live in a society with these inequities helped me realize what Ammon Hennacy might have meant when he told Bruce that nonviolence meant laying down the weapons of privilege, not just abstaining from directly harming other people.

See, I feel that I live my lifestyle on the exploitation of others, present and future (past, too, but there's not much I can do for them). It's so obvious--I don't labor but I enjoy the product of other people's labor; my purchases wreck the environment in ways that affect poorer community's health and the viability of the future for everyone--but the poor disproportionately.

I can say it's not my fault, that it's the system, and that's true on a level. But I feel compelled to dedicate myself to righting those wrongs. I'm not there yet--don't know what I want to work toward and still developing the self-discipline--but I think meeting some of the people in this class has helped me realize it really is possible to try.

I grew up thinking that everyone felt the same way as I do but had good practical reasons for not taking action, so I shouldn't set out on such a path either, but since then I've realized that a lot of people do take action and that a lot of other people don't necessarily care very much. Oh, and that there are serious practical obstacles, but that's true for pretty much everything in life.

My father is virulently opposed to me prioritizing anything above my own economic success, and my mother is distressed by my lack of political apathy. It's good to know I'm not as absolutely insane as they think I am, or at least that I have company. It still seems bordering on absurd to imagine that I can or would really achieve something as momentous as "laying down the weapons of privilege," but it sounds like a fine ideal.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Current AFL & CIO Battle with Wisconsin Bill

Looking through the Website that was suggested on the syllabus ----I found an article that was talking about an illegal bill that was passed by the governor Scott Walker and Senate Republicans in Wisconsin. This bill would essentially leave thousands of workers without rights and the union which protects them without power to aid their workers. As the article says, the bill is a "union stripping bill".
The interesting part of this bill is that the judge, MaryAnn Sumi , of the case says that there is "clear and convincing" evidence that the makers of the bill broke a law in order to get it passed. The law that was allegedly broken is called the "open meetings law". According to the article this entails that, "To pass a bill in a Joint Committee of Conference, 24 hours notice must be given to both Representatives and the public". The open meetings law is in place in order to make the public workers and populous in general aware of the government and its affairs. Apparently this law was not adhered to in the case of this bill. On June 6, the case will be handled by the Supreme Court. Hopefully the Supreme court hears the cries of workers, and protects their rights. But this looks like a fight to the finish that will require support from all factions of society, whether worker or owner.
According to the article,"This bill would not only have negative affects on public employees but on all of Wisconsin workers and the middle class".
What surprises me about this bill is that at our present age in society we still have such unjust bills being passed that are very detrimental to the rights of workers. This shows us the importance of voting for our politicians. We must take time to research the politicians for which we vote. WE decide the future with our vote. We indirectly vote for bigger measures with our vote for a politician.