Etta James RIP

January 21, 2012

Etta was one of a kind, a true original.

When you hear that voice, your hear all the love, pain, happiness and sadness inside of her.

Etta laid it all out in her music.

Thank you for all the Great music that you Blessed our world with Etta.

It will continue to shine through the ages.

Sugar On The Floor

Only Women Bleed

I’d Rather Go Blind


Something’s Got A Hold On Me


Springsteen Embraces Occupy

January 21, 2012

The Boss embraces Occupy

Bruce Springsteen’s new single explores income inequality and captures the rage of the 99 percent
By Stephen Deusner

Bruce Springsteen officially announced today that his new album, “Wrecking Ball,” would hit shelves on March 6. Rumors had hinted that this would be his angriest album and that he would be addressing the current recession and the economic travails of middle- and lower-class America. If the first single, “We Take Care of Our Own,” is any indication, this will be to Occupy Wall Street what “The Rising” was to 9/11: the moment when Springsteen takes up a cause and makes sense of an event that has stymied other musicians.

Springsteen’s not the first artist to take up the occupiers’ cause, nor is he the first to filter his outrage through the iconography of Woody Guthrie, the Dust Bowl folkie who has become, 44 years after his death, the patron saint of the 99 percent. Tom Morello evoked Guthrie’s example when he strolled around Zuccotti Park singing “This Land Is Your Land,” which won MTV’s dubious award for Best #OWS Performance last year.

More recently, Jackson Browne debuted a folksy number at Occupy Wall Street that played against his soft-rock strengths in favor of talking-to-the-masses piety. Guthrie has proved to be a potent symbol of grass-roots dissent, yet these songs make it appear as though the folk singer has been thrust upon OWS rather than embraced by its demonstrators. And it’s a limited view of the singer as well, one that doesn’t accommodate his sense of humor or his sense of wonder.

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Cartoon of the Day

January 21, 2012


The Politics of Upton Sinclair

January 21, 2012

The Politics of Upton Sinclair
by RON JACOBS

I’ve always been a fan of the novelist Upton Sinclair. From the day in junior high that I finished his classic about the US meatpacking industry, The Jungle, up to last week when I finally read his novel about Wall Street and the coal-mining industry titled King Coal, I have always found his novels to be well-told tales of life in the domain of Wall Street.

Although the industrial processes he describes in his books are outmoded, the financial chicanery and greed of the financial giants he despised are only more refined. In my mind his works have taken on a new relevance in this period of market manipulation and destruction of the commons under the guise of a free market.

Biographer Anthony Arthur’s 2006 work on writer and activist Upton Sinclair is an engaging and well-researched discussion of the man that was Upton Sinclair. Like the character in Kris Kristofferson’s tune, “The Pilgrim,” Arthur’s Sinclair is “a walking contradiction/partly truth and partly fiction.”

Reaching into the personal papers of Sinclair, his first wife and a number of his friends and colleagues, Arthur has produced a book that is in fact more than a history of the man who was Upton Sinclair, it is a history of the time he lived in. That time spanned two world wars, several revolutions, at least one economic depression, and multiple episodes of governmental repression. Sinclair responded to them all.

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Voice of the Day

January 21, 2012

“The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.”

– Bertrand Russell