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.

The Wall

Walls have a history in the long memory. The Wall of China, The Berlin Wall, Hadrian's Wall... and now the U.S. Mexican Boarder Wall.  The book we received in class today entitled The American Wall, had a powerful essay written by Charles Bowden (who recently visited Westminster College a few months ago) and depicts both the hypocrisy and the ignorance that have made the wall its brain child. I was reminded of the dark era that was the Bush administration, and the first time I caught wind of the wall was when I got my news from comedy central.

I recalled an interview with Bowden I had seen a couple of months ago, and I realized this greed and fear isn't just America vs. Mexico, it is a common 1st world vs. 3rd world. It frustrates me that there is still so much money being spent on militias rather than making an attempt to help our fellow human beings. Why is this world run on fear and hatred?

Pancho Villa

Here is a song I found about Pancho Villa, it said the artist of the song was Billy Walker. I was not able a live version of it though by Billy Walker.

Pancho villa pancho villa the robinhood of mexico
Pancho villa pancho villa the robinhood of old mexico

He rode into town one evening the streets began too clear
The word was passed in whisper the bandit pancho villa's here
With his band of mighty outlaws many stories had been told
Did he fight for the rights of us or was it lust for gold
His rifles numbered forty his men gave a mighty shout
And the soldiers that we hated were all dead or criminal
And when the battle ended our town was in his hands
We realized that with men free bout pancho villa's outlaw band
Pancho villa pancho villa..

Then I looked out my window and I began to pray
As he smiled at my rosana across the street as she came my way
I knew my hand was trembling as I prepared to draw
And in my eyes could not believe the miracle I saw
He put down gold and silver and food for us to eat
Said I didn't come to harm you and our hearts fell at his feet
He told us to build a mission so grand and so strong so gay
So the people that he love would know pancho villa passed this way
Pancho villa pancho villa..

Waging Nonviolence

I looked up "nonviolence" after today's class and found the blog, which reports on... nonviolence all around the world, including specific protests, history, and reflections on trends, like "Facebook's Role in Yemen's Uprising".

The latest post is on a planned June 17 protest in Saudi Arabia, where women are not allowed to drive or take public transportation. On this day, participating women will follow traffic rules--and drive around on daily errands. Some participants in a similar 1990 protest (who, it's implied, also broke laws against assembly) "lost their jobs, were forbidden to travel abroad, or were maligned in mosque sermons." Manal al Sharif, one of the organizers of the protest, is currently in jail.

For news closer to home, the blog's archives also have 580 posts tagged "United States".

Ocean View - One Day As A Lion

One Day As A Lion is the blending music styles of major activist Zach de la Rocha and Mars Volta Drummer Jon Theodore. The band was named after a picture by Chicano photographer George Rodriguez. In the picture was taken of an art piece that was found on a wall in Boyle Heights in the 1970s. it reads "it's better to live one day as a lion then a thousand years as a lamb." We spoke about this in class and it's something to take a moment to think about. Is passive resistance better than violent resistance? below are the lyrics to one of their songs Ocean View.

Blood done been running down streets flood with beats

Pepper spray over cracked concrete

So vicious make a rich mans neck split

Underworld bout to wreck shit bet this

Banks closed stomachs churning

Lines and rows cops blastin out church windows

They heard word of two on a terror list

Hid in the pews just two city terrace kids

One held a piece just for peace of mind

The other was spittin poems blowin minds

On the picket line

Barricades lay cross made with bumpers and burning tires

And you could smell the exhaust

And you could hear the kids screaming don't

Play us, too close

You can have the mic or the heater but you can't hold both

And they were both...

And they were both...

Ocean of tears rise, rise a flame to tear them down

Ocean of past crimes now fill our hearts to tear them down

The water main's cut off panic hit the manor of the

Mayor who's soft

Word hit the streets that the cops got off

They shook to rhythm of heaters that burned

Like claps of thunder

You turn to look at vengeance returned that shatter control

After the whole shock of the news that a bomb hit the

Bridge at broadway

Gridlock full stop every exit way from Chavez to main

Downtown was the same

Every corner a flame with lines of people stripped of they clothes

Freeze hold up your ID's their houses burned as they watched

The colonel looked at his clock

And they were all...

And they were all...

Oceans of tears rise, rise a flame to tear them down

Ocean of past crimes now fill our hearts to tear them down

EZLN - Our Word is our Weapon

Sub Comandante Marcos has written numerous amounts of articles and books about what the EZLN have been doing down in Mexico specifically where they are based in the southern region of Chiapas. Since 1994, they have declared war on Mexico and they continuously make their point heard to fight capitalistic governments. Above is a more or less a slideshow of pictures with Subcomandante reading a speech he had written to the citizens of Mexico know that he is there continuously trying to hold the liberation army together, add more support from the citizens, as well as stay strong in their fight to end Capatist governments and bring the power and money back to the workers of the country...

I think it's a really cool short speech that is just out to bring the people back to the cause. enjoy

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

About the IWW and Direct Action

So I was looking for something for my last blog post, and I think I found the perfect video that could possibly sum up our entire lesson focus for the week in 5 minutes and 10 seconds, and who could anyone else be the better narrator than Utah Phillips himself? This video really helps wrap up everything we have been learning, (or at least as much as 5 minutes can do) with great pictures (a lot of familiar ones too) and captions. Hope y'all enjoy!

"Direct Action" by Utah Phillips

MGMT & ______

When I was reading the IWW newspaper that Tony Roehrig & Mike Garcia--May 2011 issue of the IWW's newspaper Industrial Worker--gave to the class I found an article entitled Their Interests And Ours by Scott Nappalos that brought up an interesting point. Why do we need manangement in our businesses, colleges, and other forms of labor organization? Could we, as human beings, be rational enough to govern ourselves without the need of an outside overseer? This is the main question: Do we trust our fellow workers around us enough to not have any form of employee government? And if we do trust our fellow employee in their capability of self-government, then on what grounds--i.e. how can you verify that every employee has this benevolent capability?
In the article by Nappalos, he talks about how even health care professionals--nurses, doctors, etc.--are governed by a management body. He says the following about mangerical ideology: "Managerial organization is directed at solving the problem posed by workers unwilling and unable to conform to their engineered designs. At best, they offer us apologies for the health care system, but emphasize discipline, subservience and utilize heavy threats" ("Their Interests And Ours"). In the author's mind, Scott Nappalos, he is saying that the managerical system is set in place to keep workers in line with an organized form of doing things that the manager has created through rules, regulations, and other sorts of employee fences that they are not supposed to climb, but only respect. As Nappalos says, managers offer condolences, but at the same time they enforce strict discipline and expect the worker to follow their lead at all times.
What are we to think of the position of managers and managerical organizations? To define myself clearly here, when I speak of managerical organizations, I mean organizations that have a top down leadership format to their businesses--heirarchical organization. I'll ask once again is there a need for managers and managerical organizations, if their main duty is to make sure that we are following the rules of a corporation, etc.?
To ask this last question we must first ask ourselves if we don't need a managerical labor framework, then are we ourselves capable of governing ourselves? If we were left to roam free in the labor world, ungoverned, then could we have responsibility enough to avoid having the use for a managerical organization to oversee our actions toward other employees and the organization in general? On what grounds can we affirm this? It seems clear that the only way that we could show that all human beings are fit for self-government and responsibility, is to open their mind and see if we could check their, so to say, self-governability faculty. This is surely impossibly absurd to think possible.
We then have a ideological crossroad that we must face, and that is: Do we choose to have organizations without management bodies regulating them, or do we choose to have organizations built on the premise that the individual is rational enough to govern himself/herself? Which is more preferable to assume: 1) To assume that each individual is rational/responsible enough to govern their own employment conduct, or to assume that managerical bodies in organizations are necessary for a well ordered and profitable company? It appears that either route one chooses, there is an assumption to which one is bound. Maybe some people's belief that managerical bodies in our organizations are fundamentally necessary, shows an embedded distrust of 'the other' (person)--the same could be said about people who distrust organizations; maybe they don't trust organizations because they don't trust individuals running the organization. Surely not everyone dislikes their boss and the way he/she does business. Right? Maybe.
Either way it is apparent that depending one the system to which one adheres--to have managerical bodies or to have self-governing individuals, there is an assumption that one must be willing to make: individuals are capable of self-government or individuals are not capable of self-government and need managerical bodies to govern them.

Sands of Iwo Jima

This was a song that I considers using as my in class song. Great song and i would definitely consider it folk music. Drive-by Truckers

IWW Cartoons

I wanted to see if I could find some Pro-IWW Propaganda and I found alot, here are some of the good ones.






As we come to the end of the course, we reach Joe Hill, a name often mentioned in class. For an overview, go (of course) to wikipedia: (Be sure to look at the section "influences and tributes" to get a sense of the impact his case continues to have.)

Even people who don't know anything about the IWW or labor histiory may know his name because of a poem that was turned into a song: I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night. There are many versions. Here is one by Joan Baez who sings it regularly at her concerts. Read some of the comments on this site; some are strongly anti-union and may give you a different sense of their role in America. (There is also a much longer song about Joe Hill done by Phil Ochs and re-recorded by Bill Bragg which you can find on youtube. Ochs was a major figure in the folk revival in the 1960s and wrote some amazing songs.)

Finally Bob Dylan, in Chronicles Volume One, says that he was deeply moved by the story of Joe Hill -- he includes a 3 page summary of the case in the book which he wrote and which is fairly accurate -- but didn't think it was a good song. He thought it was "preachy and one-dimensional... [In protest songs] you have to show people a side of themselves that they don't know is there. The song 'Joe Hill' doesn't even come close, but if there ever was someone who could inspire a song, it was him. Joe had the light in his eyes." Dylan says he thought about writing a song about Joe Hill. One version would have been titled "Scatter My Ashes Anyplace but Utah" and that line would have been the refrain. He thought about another version using the approach of "Long Black Veil" (a great song) and even thought that "'Long Black Veil' seemed like it could have been a song written by Joe Hill himself, his last one." In the end, Dylan didn't write a Joe Hill song -- but he is only 70 and there is still time.....

IWW Protest Songs

I found a book called "Little Red Song Book" A good number of the songs are written by Joe Hill. The book contains many songs by tons of other artists. One of the songs by Joe Hill is "Joe Hill's Last Will"

Joe Hill's Last Will

 My will is easy to decide, For there is nothing to divide.
My kin don't need to fuss and moan–
"Moss does not cling to a rolling stone.
"My body? Ah, if I could choose,
I would to ashes it reduce,
And let the merry breezes blow
My dust to where some
flower's grow.
Perhaps some fading flower then
Would come to life and bloom again.
This is my last and final will.
Good luck to all of you, Joe Hill

.A Complete list of songs that are included in the song book is at

Christmas Time in Washington by Steve Earle

It's Christmastime in Washington
The Democrats rehearsed
Gettin' into gear for four more years
Things not gettin' worse
The Republicans drink whiskey neat
And thanked their lucky stars
They said, 'He cannot seek another term
They'll be no more FDRs'
I sat home in Tennessee
Staring at the screen
With an uneasy feeling in my chest
And I'm wonderin' what it means

So come back Woody Guthrie
Come back to us now
Tear your eyes from paradise
And rise again somehow
If you run into Jesus
Maybe he can help you out
Come back Woody Guthrie to us now

I followed in your footsteps once
Back in my travelin' days
Somewhere I failed to find your trail
Now I'm stumblin' through the haze
But there's killers on the highway now
And a man can't get around
So I sold my soul for wheels that roll
Now I'm stuck here in this town

There's foxes in the hen house
Cows out in the corn
The unions have been busted
Their proud red banners torn
To listen to the radio
You'd think that all was well
But you and me and Cisco know
It's going straight to hell

So come back, Emma Goldman
Rise up, old Joe Hill
The barracades are goin' up
They cannot break our will
Come back to us, Malcolm X
And Martin Luther King
We're marching into Selma
As the bells of freedom ring

Reaction: I decided to take a look at this song after it was mentioned in class. I think that Earle has a poetic way of recalling history. He valued "the long memory" of those past leaders who stood up for social justice. I was glad to hear the names of Woody Guthrie, Emma Goldman, Joe Hill, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King mentioned directly.

If I had chosen another Protest Song

If I had chosen another protest song, I probably would have chose this song. I think protesting how society does religion nowadays is definitely worthy of protest. Then again, Miranda Lambert songs tend to protest a lot of society's rules and norms in my opinion. My favorite line is definitely

"Even though I hate to admit it
Sometimes I smoke cigarettes
Christian folks say I should quit it
I just smile and say “God bless”"

I think that line expresses how I often feel about the judgments "Christian" folks seem to cast upon people, and that smiling and just brushing it off and taking the higher road is probably closer to what God would want of us.

Oxycontin Blues by Steve Earle

Well my daddy worked in the coal mine
‘Till the company shut it down
Then he sat around and drank hisself blind
‘Till we put him back underground
Now nothin’ grows on this mountain
And what’s a poor boy to do?
Except to wander these hills forgotten
With the oxycontin blues

Well I never cared much for whiskey
‘Cause it only made daddy mean
Wrapped a little bit tight they tell me
For the methamphetamine
Then my cousin come up from Knoxville
And he taught me a thing or two
Now I’m headed nowhere but downhill
With the oxycontin blues

Got a dollar bill in my pocket
Got a half a tank in my truck
I’m gonna go and pawn grandma’s locket
Hell, maybe it’ll change my luck
Ain’t nothin gonna be right no how
‘Cause I know I can’t ever lose
This devil that’s draggin’ me down
And the oxycontin blues

Reaction: Steve Earle's song Oxycontin Blues was mentioned in Tuesday's class so I wrote it down on my scratch paper and decided to look it up. My first thought after listening to the song was, "What is Oxycontin exactly?" Therefore, I searched the Internet and found that it is a drug used to relieve moderate to severe pain. After I knew that the entire song made sense. It is about a son who is experiencing a great amount of pain after his father's death due to alcoholism after a mine was closed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Protest Songs

Through the course of this class we have been trying to figure out whether or not the protest song is dead. Well, after all the songs that have been shared in class, my answer would be no, the protest song is not dead. The protest song will always live on until nobody has anything they want to fight for, and unfortunately I don't think in today's society, that time is going to come anytime soon. I wanted to add another of my favorite bands into the mix of activism and protest songs: Rise Against. Their name says it all, and here are just three songs of their numerous collection in rising against what they know is wrong.

Hero of War.

Prayer of the Refugee addresses the issues of cheap labor in oversees countries.

Re-education through Labor, This video shows some pretty alarming statistics and is rated as uncensored.

Here is a page on some of their activism and if you scroll about half way down on the left is a running clock of how much the U.S. has spent on the war in Iraq.

Devendra Banheart "Heard Somebody Say"

This protest song is simple, it doesn't have many lyrics, and it is reminiscent of John Lennon's Give Peace a Chance, using repetition for emphasis.  Devendra Banheart is a devout hindu, and like the Beatles, he spent a couple of years in India developing his practice.
This is a war protest song sung from the point of view of a pacifist. It shows the lasting effects of war, that just because a war is declared over, doesn't mean that the pain and devastation of war is forgotten.
I heard somebody say
That the war ended today
But everyone knows its goin' still
Our motherlands and motherseas
Here's what we believe
It's simple
We don't want to kill
Oh, it's simple
We don't want to kill
Oh, it's simple
We don't want to kill
Oh, it's simple
We don't want to kill

Friday, May 20, 2011

Paul Warfield Tibbets

After hearing Rosalie play the song about the first Atomic Bombing, i was curious to read more about the Pilot, Paul Tibbets, and I was curious if he felt any regrets. After reading the article it's clear he did not.

Hiroshima bomb pilot dies aged 92
Gen Paul Tibbets (centre)
Gen Tibbets (centre) always said he had no regrets

The commander of the B-29 plane that dropped the first atomic bomb, on Hiroshima in Japan, has died.

Paul Warfield Tibbets Jr died at his home in Columbus, Ohio, aged 92.

The five-ton "Little Boy" bomb was dropped on the morning of 6 August 1945, killing about 140,000 Japanese, with many more dying later.

On the 60th anniversary of the bombing, the three surviving crew members of the Enola Gay - named after Tibbet's mother - said they had "no regrets".

'No headstone'

A friend of the retired brigadier-general told AP news agency that Paul Tibbets had died after a two-month decline in health.

Gen Tibbets had asked for no funeral nor headstone as he feared opponents of the bombing may use it as a place of protest, the friend, Gerry Newhouse, said.

Hiroshima explosion
The Hiroshima bomb killed about 140,000 Japanese

The bombing of Hiroshima marked the beginning of the end of the war in the Pacific.

Japan surrendered shortly after a second bomb was dropped, on Nagasaki, three days later.

On the 60th anniversary of Hiroshima, the surviving members of the Enola Gay crew - Gen Tibbets, Theodore J "Dutch" Van Kirk (the navigator) and Morris R Jeppson (weapon test officer) said: "The use of the atomic weapon was a necessary moment in history. We have no regrets".

Gen Tibbets said then: "Thousands of former soldiers and military family members have expressed a particularly touching and personal gratitude suggesting that they might not be alive today had it been necessary to resort to an invasion of the Japanese home islands to end the fighting."

Air show

Paul Warfield Tibbets Jr was born in Quincy, Illinois, in 1915 and spent most of his youth in Miami.

Gen Paul Tibbets in 2003

He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1937 and led bombing operations in Europe before returning to test the Superfortress.

He retired from the forces in 1966.

In a 1975 interview he said: "I'm proud that I was able to start with nothing, plan it and have it work as perfectly as it did... I sleep clearly every night."

In 1976, Gen Tibbets was criticised for re-enacting the bombing at an air show in Texas.

A mushroom cloud was set off as he over flew in a B-29 Superfortress in a stunt that outraged Japan. Gen Tibbets said it was not meant as an insult but the US government formally apologised.

In 1995, Gen Tibbets denounced as a "damn big insult" a planned 50th anniversary exhibition of the Enola Gay at the Smithsonian Institution that put the bombing in context of the suffering it caused.

He and veterans groups said too much attention was being paid to Japan's suffering and not enough to its military brutality.

Will We still be here tomorrow?

Harold Camping

On Tuesdays class it was mentioned how some religious groups think the world will end tomorrow. As I see my computer filled with such headlines today, I thought I would research a little bit about it and share my findings.

One religious figure, Father Jonathan Morris reported to Fox news and other news sources that the world will not end, but that the belief comes from one radical, Mr. Harold Camping. Morris says in his article:
"My bet is Mr. Harold Camping will be much better off on May 22 than his followers. Any man who can convince himself and others that he alone has figured out what Jesus said nobody ever will (“therefore keep watch, you do not know the day or the hour,” Matthew 25:13) surely has a great back-up plan up his sleeve, just in case."

I also found it interesting that not only does this guy know the day the world will end, but also the exact time the fun will begin, 6 pm. Though he does fail mention which time zone, so that gives him a few hours to be inaccurate and still be able to claim that he was right, if something were to happen.

Harold Camping's belief is that "a massive earthquake will hit New Zealand and from there continue around the world during the next 24 hours. He's going to watch this unfold on TV. At the end of this 24 hour period Harold Camping says believers will go to heaven and the rest will be left on earth to face final judgements before the earth is destroyed.

There will be no chance of salvation during this time.

Harold Camping views phenomena such as the major earthquakes in Haiti, Christchurch and Japan, along with killer tornadoes in America and social decay seen in the likes of the gay pride movement, as "grim reminders" that the end is near." (

But, Camping also has said:
"May 21 2011 will be the first day of a five month period of God's judgement on earth, ending on October 21, 2011." ( So, it doesn't seem like the guy can quite get his story straight on how long it will last, must be that old age making him forget what he's already said, I mean, the poor man is 89 years old.

Somehow, I don't think the world will end tomorrow. And I don't feel that 50 years of Bible study qualifies anyone to say it will, because, in the end, it's not up to men to decide.

Rage Against the Machine

One of the greatest modern Protest bands is Rage Against the Machine. The band formed in 1991 and lasted as a huge hit all the way until 2000 when they released their last album Renegades. Their music consited entirely of songs meant to uprise a population to how the band was feeling about the Government's Administration and their corruption. Since the class has started I have listened to each of their CD's and I made sure to listen to the lyrics with in the songs. One song made me really think of the class as it pertained to Unions their necessity. Below are the Lyrics to "Maggie's Farm" a song popularized in the 60's by Bob Dylan but has a much longer history that included Earl Scruggs, and Lester Flat. The song talks about a man who is tired of his working conditions.

Maggie's Farm
I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more.
No, I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more
Well, I wake up in the morning
Fold my hands and pray for rain.
I got a head full of ideas
That are drivin' me insane
It's a shame
the way she makes me
scrub the floor
I ain't gonna work on, nah
I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more.
I ain't gonna work for Maggie's brother no more
nah, I ain't gonna work for Maggie's brother no more
Well, he hands you a nickel
And he hands you a dime
And he asks you with a grin
If you're havin' a good time
Then he fines you every time you slam the door
I ain't gonna work for, nah
I ain't gonna work for Maggie's brother no more

I ain't gonna work for Maggie's pa no more
No, I ain't gonna work for Maggie's pa no more
Well, he puts his cigar
Out in your face just for kicks
His bedroom window
It is made out of bricks
The National Guard stands around his door
I ain't gonna work, nah
I ain't gonna work for Maggie's pa no more
I ain't gonna work for Maggie's ma no more
No, I ain't gonna work for Maggie's ma no more
Well, she talks to all the servants
About man and God and law
And everybody says
Shes the brains behind pa
Shes sixty-eight, but she says shes twenty-four
I ain't gonna work for, nah
I ain't gonna work for Maggie's ma no more

I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more
No, I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more
Well I try my best
To be just like I am
But everybody wants you
To be just like them
They sing while they slave and just get bored
I ain't gonna work on, nah
I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more

Poetry & Music

the difference between poetry and music is minimal, music is poetry with instruments, and poetry, if being performed, uses vocal passion in order to portray emotion. what is happening to mainstream music today is a lack of poetry and an escalation in material wants. there are always going to be musicians out there that stand tall against the mainstream and make the music that they want to even if they aren't getting paid 1/4 what the mainstream musicians are. last year lil wayne made 20 million dollars despite being in jail most of the year. lil wayne's top selling song is "lollipop" and the lyrics go as follows:

"OK, little mama had a swag like mine
She even wear her hair down her back like mine
I make her feel right when it's wrong like lying
Man, she ain't never had a love like mine
And man I ain't never seen an ass like hers
And that pussy in my mouth had me loss for words
Told her back it up like erp erp
And I made that ass jump like jerk, jerk
And that's when she lick me like a lollipop (oh yeah I like that)
she lick me like a lollipop (I like that)
she lick me like a lollipop (I like that)
she lick me like a lollipop"
sorry for the vulgar lyrics, but if you can see, there is little that could be considered poetry in these lyrics. all this song is is a demeaning song towards women accompanied by a not so catchy beat. this song received about 75.5 million views. does that mean that 75 and a half million people have lost all ability to comprehend conscious lyrics? unfortunately it's a possibility.

on the other hand there are musicians out there that want to make music that carries a message even if the big record producers won't sign them for million of dollars. one group that i would like to put out there for example are called the "Blue Scholars". they don't have a record deal, they don't make millions of dollars each year for selling out to the big record companies that just use you as a puppet, but instead they put themselves thousands of dollars in debt creating music that they want people to hear, one line from a song is "i wont rest until my stories have been told"and that's exactly what they do, they tell stories, whereas lil wayne talks about the mass amounts of money he makes and the women that he can get into bed with him.

november 30th, 1999 was considered the battle of seattle. the happenings of this day are told perfectly by rapper Geo from the blue scholars in the song "50K Deep".
November 30th, 1999
No sunshine

The body rock stopped, probably got caught by the cops
Nearby, somebody got shot
But parties don't stop and the parties don't care
It's a stick-up, it's why we got our hands in the air

Still demanding a share, refrigerators bare
'Cause they wanna see trade get free and not fair
But we are not blind, we are not there
We don't got time left to spare to not care

On the last day of November, swellin' in ranks
Went to chant down the mighty IMF and World Bank
A gathering of people in peaceful assembly
Onward to Westlake to disrupt the entry

Walk along steady, riot squad ready
To protect every last dignitary's ass
But this started when they herded us like cattle in a fence
Protesters gettin' restless without an exit

They threatened to arrest us, we pushed back and then
A hail of rubber bullets hit teens and old men
I admit, had to split when the first gas canisters hit
Felt it burn in my eyes, nose, and lips

They tried to blame it on the anarchists, garbage
I was there, I'll tell you right now the pigs started it
But they distort it in the news
Talkin' bout stompin' down Niketown wearing their shoes

But the body rock stopped, probably got caught by the cops
Nearby, somebody got shot
But the parties don't stop and the parties don't care
It's a stick-up, it's why we got our hands in the air

50,000 deep, and it sound like thunder when our feet pound streets
50,000 deep, and it sound like thunder when our feet pound streets
50,000 deep, and it sound like thunder when our feet pound streets
50,000 deep, 50,000 deep

Yeah, now, the body rock stopped, probably got caught by the cops
Nearby, somebody got shot
But parties don't stop in the south
So take your shoes off when you come into my house

I had to duck out 'cause I knew I stuck out in the crowd
After many years growin' up brown in this town
Now this is what democracy looks like
Not what you all had in mind for tonight

Mr. Mayor, shell-shocked for 5 days straight
Press conference, lookin' constipated and pale
Tossed a homie in jail, wasn't even protesting
Wrong place, wrong time, learned a quick lesson

But this is not a question what we did to deserve this
Rich kids went and got arrested on purpose
But was it worth it? My first inclination
Globalization is the root of the pain

Made the reason that they left and the reason that we came
Catch my breath, blood pulsates my brain
And they called it a riot?
Huh, I call it an uprising

And they call this a riot?
But nah, I call it a uprising
And they call this a riot? Nah man, fuck that
I'm a call it a uprising

50,000 deep, and it sound like thunder when our feet pound streets, yo
50,000 deep, and it sound like thunder when our feet pound streets, come on y'all
50,000 deep, and it sound like thunder when our feet pound streets, yeah
50,000 deep, and it sound like thunder when our feet pound streets
this song has received 68 thousand views on youtube

this song is just as much a protest song as any other, but what people don't understand is that they are disregarding the music that is poetry and has a message and forces us to think, and people have been persuaded by the music that is catchy and that the radio forces us to listen to.

Anti-IWW propaganda

This was a cool little video i found on Youtube. It was a clip taken from a cartoon called "Alice's Egg Plant" and it was created by Walt Disney. The odd thing I took from this was that there was a Black Cat in the clip and i thought immediately that it was part of the IWW seeing as the black cat was a symbol for the IWW but as you continue to watch the clip you realize he is against the chickens.

Dorothy Day

Dorothy Day was the fiery mother of the Catholic Workers Movement. She was a pacifist, anarchist and civil rights leader. She especially cared for the poor, and questioned how so many people could be living in poverty. I thought she was a fascinating and inspiring part of Utah's influences, and I thought this video gave the name a face. She was beautiful, headstrong and an all around good human. She fought many of the social norms women faced back in her era, by being out on the street protesting, by being completely self sufficient from her father, and by questioning authority.

Jean Ritchie

Rosalie greatly admires Jean Ritchie, a folk singer born in 1922 who actually came from the oral tradition, learning songs from her family and at church in Kentucky (according to Wikipedia).

Here she is singing about Kentucky and the effects of mountaintop removal:

Poetry vs. music

In class, Kate said that when she hears poems read, she feels like something's missing--the music. I usually feel a different lack--the text. The formatting, the arrangements of words and letters--and of course the punctuation.

For instance, look at this poem by E.E. Cummings:

why must itself up every of a park
anus stick some quote statue unquote to
prove that a hero equals any jerk
who was afraid to dare to answer "no"?
quote citizens unquote might otherwise
forget(to err is human;to forgive
divine)that if the quote state unquote says
"kill" killing is an act of christian love.
"Nothing" in 1944 AD
"can stand against the argument of mil
itary necessity"(generalissimo e)
and echo answers "there is no appeal
from reason"(freud)--you pays your money and
you doesn't take your choice. Ain't freedom grand

It impresses me on a visual level (the density of the text compared to a lot of the poet's other work hits me immediately) and communicates through patterns of punctuation and capitalization in ways that sound can't. I can't remember sound, so the written techniques can make more of a lasting impression on me. Actually, I often remember sound as static visual impressions of space, movement, color, and so on, so I perceive something like Emily Dickinson's dashes as rhythmic, as reflecting the way I experience a noisy punk song.

This leads me to something Kate and Rosalie both talked about: music as a universal language. The only problem is that the same type of music doesn't speak to everyone. The right sounds can speak to someone regardless of their language, but it's influenced by their cultural background and individual taste.

Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell

"Big Yellow Taxi" by Joni Mitchell is the protest song I shared in class. Mitchell's message of protecting the environment rings true with me because how we interact with our Earth today will affect everything in the future. I love the question, "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you got until its gone?"


This is one of my favorite modern day protest songs.
The band that is performing the song, Radiohead, teamed up with an MTV affiliated organization called EXIT (End Exploitation And Traffiking) to make the video for this song.
Obviously the message is clear in the video. This isn't a black and white picket fenced world that we live in without any flaws. There are problems in the world. What can we do to aid the alleviation of them? Protesting is a start.
In this video are some poignant examples of modern day slavery, or as it has been called human trafficking. Trafficking can be in the form of forced labor, sex, etc. The point is that it exists.
For more information on trafficking and statistics visit the following site for a start in your education about this issue:

Some of my favorite lines are during the chorus:
You are all I need
You are all I need
I'm in the middle of your picture
Lying in the reeds

Many companies that exploit their hired labor, or even force people to labor will not get away with it. The workers are, so to say, "Lying in the reeds". Waiting for that moment to tell their story to the world; keeping the 'long memory' alive. These people that are forced to labor or are exploited often make the products that we enjoy on a daily basis--they are in the middle on our picture--they make our picture.

Hope everyone thinks about the music and message.

ps. Here is an article talking about the video and the message behind it:

A Movement of our generation

The class on the Catholic Workers Movement kept reminding me of a movement that I am actively involved in currently. It is a movement of love through the non-profit organization To Write Love On Her Arms. I call it a movement because, that is what they call it, and one of their slogans is "Live is the Movement." They are group working to help individuals suffering from depression, addiction, suicidal ideation, self-mutilation and other mental health issues to get the treatment they need, and to also know that no one is in the fight alone. They spread a message of hope, and also bring a sense of community to people who often feel that they don't fit in anywhere else.

"You were created to love and be loved. You were meant to live life in relationship with other people, to know and be known. You need to know that your story is important and that you're part of a bigger story. You need to know that your life matters
." --TWLOHA official website

This movement started with a group of people working to help their friend get into treatment, and help her realize her story has common themes with many others. This occurred in Spring 2006, and I've been active with the group since August 2006. The group began selling t-shirts with the saying "To Write Love On Her Arms" to help raise money for their friend, Renee's, treatment. The first shirt to be worn publicly was worn on stage by Jon Foreman, the lead singer of Switchfoot. The movement erupted, and the word was quickly spread through Myspace, and then later through Facebook. I think that's what makes our generations movement different than any other generations. We have found a way to include everyone across the globe, social networking and the internet allow us to support those we may never have the chance to meet. It is common to see people write on their page cries of help saying anything from they just need a friend, to a detailed suicide plan often asking for someone to intervene before they reach the point of action. I personally have reached out and responded to several of these types of posts, and its amazing how just befriending someone and letting them cry to you online can impact their life.

They actively work to bring hope to people by posting inspirational blogs and quotes, speaking at concerts, schools, and holding events. They almost single-handedly stopped the government from changing laws involving the National Suicide Hotline, the new laws would have made the calls no longer confidential and required I.D. verification of all callers, which in turn would stop a lot of people from calling. They also have began UChapters on College Campuses to provide education about mental health and life problems and how to support each other (I think Westminster needs a UChapter.)

To Write Love On Her Arms also has their own way of keeping the long memory alive through their work. Often they post about historical events, or about historic figures lives and how they impact us or show that others have gotten through what many are feeling today. I also felt that their work relates to this class because the often talk about sharing our stories, and using music to do so. They love delivering their messages at concerts, because they know people will feel a stronger connection to the message there. They post a lot of songs that talk about difficulties and how they are over come. Though no one on their staff is a "musician" they share the music of others with the world so everyone can get the messages and gain hope.

To find out more or get involved, please visit:

A Treasure From My Own History

This week we have talked a great deal about the value folk music places on sharing and continuing stories from one generation to the next. I decided to unearth some of my own history. Therefore, I went to my grandparents house and talked to my Opa about growing up in rural Germany during the 1930's. Here are some of the stories he told me.

Harry Lauterbach

"We have been good friends and play together but one time we came into an argument and it was in a sand pile. He ruined my sand castle and I ruined his. And we started fighting and I grabbed his rear end and ripped a big hole in his pants that his bum looked out. Everyone laughed and he cried. Now he said, “I cannot go home this way” so he went with me to my mom who was a seamstress. And she had to fix his pants. But the friendship still exist."

Punishment By My Teacher

"This was the day before I took care of my goats and played and forgot to do my homework and in the morning before I leave the house I knew what to expect from my teacher to get a punishment to get a paddle on my rear end. So I went to my mom’s chair and got her pillow that she was always sitting on and put it in my pants. (Laughter). The school starts, everyone turned in their homework except my homework was empty. The teacher didn’t talk much he just sent me to the front row and I had to bend over the bench and had to hold still. And he whipped me four times. Usually I jump by the first time but this time it didn’t hurt. And the second time it didn’t hurt either. And the first time he felt my bum and felt the pillow. He made me pull the pants and get the pillow out and start over again. And the class is over, I cried. And that was the lesson of the week and that was on a Friday. So that is it. Sometime I didn’t tell my mom I was ashamed."


"When I walked with my mom. I was eight years old to Rudolstadt. And on the way home I was sick of walking and tired and my mom couldn’t carry me. It was raining a little bit. And oil spots had been seen on the street. And my mom told me that it is Easter time and the Easter Bunny has been here. Look around and you see all the colorful spot where the Easter Bunny peed. And every so often I could see a colorful sport. And my mind was so occupied with the Easter Bunny’s pee that I forgot that my legs couldn’t carry me anymore."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A song that has definitely gone through the "folk process"

I was on youtube searching for folk videos because I don't have a wide selection on my itunes and found the catchy song "Hobo's Lullaby" that, I am pretty sure, we saw performed by Larry Hanks. To my surprise, or maybe not a surprise anymore, there were many variations of this song performed by all different types of singers. They ranged from Pete Seeger's to Bruce Springsteen to several Japanese artists. One thing that I kept noticing in all of the captions of the videos was that nobody really knew who wrote the song. (It's Goebel Reeves by the way.)
"Hobo's Lullaby" is a song that has definitely gone through what we have been discussing in class as the folk process. I hope you enjoy the different video versions of the song, and there are lots more on youtube.

A video and some pics from the tribute concert..