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  1. #46
    Senior Member United States Maggie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by giovonni View Post
    A worthy look back during these political and economic uncertain times ...

    “Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.”
    -- Yip Harburg

    A Tribute to Blacklisted Lyricist Yip Harburg: The Man Who Put the Rainbow in The Wizard of Oz

    "His name might not be familiar to many, but his songs are sung by millions around the world. Today, we take a journey through the life and work of Yip Harburg, the Broadway lyricist who wrote such hits as “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” and who put the music into The Wizard of Oz.

    Born into poverty on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Harburg always included a strong social and political component to his work, fighting racism and poverty. A lifelong socialist, Harburg was blacklisted and hounded throughout much of his life. We speak with Harburg’s son, Ernie Harburg, about the music and politics of his father. Then we take an in-depth look at The Wizard of Oz, and hear a medley of Harburg’s Broadway songs and the politics of the times in which they were created."

    Democracy Now!
    Published on Dec 25, 2018

    58:01 minutes

    Best viewed in full screen

    Bumping this in case missed because Yip Harburg is now one of my heros.


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  3. #47
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    By the time we got to ...

    Bethel, New York


    "The dairy farm in upstate New York where nearly half a million people
    gathered for three days of peace and music in 1969."

    Joni Mitchell


    The latest ...

    Three-Day Woodstock Festival From Original Organizer Coming This Summer

    “Woodstock ’99 was just a musical experience with no social significance,” Michael Lang says of Woodstock 50. “With this one, we’re going back to our roots and our original intent”

    After months of rumors, Woodstock co-creator Michael Lang has confirmed to Rolling Stone that a three-day festival honoring the 50th anniversary of the original event is coming to Watkins Glen, New York on August 16th, 17th and 18th. Organizers won’t be announcing specific acts until tickets go on sale in February, but Lang says that over 40 performers have been booked already across three stages, including some big-name headliners. “It’ll be an eclectic bill,” Lang says. “It’ll be hip-hop and rock and some pop and some of the legacy bands from the original festival.”

    He wouldn’t delve into specifics, but Lang did say that some “newer bands” will stage “celebrations of artists from the original Woodstock” that will likely include tribute performances to Janis Joplin, the Band, Jefferson Airplane and Joe Cocker, among others. “Having contemporary artists interpret that music would be a really interesting and exciting idea,” he says. “We’re also looking for unique collaborations, maybe some reunions and a lot of new and up-and-coming talent.”

    Unlike most festivals that exclusively target a young audience, Lang hopes to bring in people of all ages. “I want it to be multi-generational,” he says. “Woodstock ’94 was a nice mix of young and old and that’s kind of what we’re going for here.”

    That may be a challenge given Watkins Glen’s far distance from hotels, but Lang promises attendees will have options far superior to the original festival’s famously muddy field. “There will be ‘glamping’ tents and stuff like that,” he says. “There will be those types of experiences in various forms where there’s a real bed, and there’s a chair to sit in and a light bulb. There will also easier access to portable toilets.”

    Filthy, overflowing portable toilets were major problems at previous Woodstocks, but Lang swears that he’s found a solution for that too. “There’s a new dimension in portable toilets now,” he says. “They are clean and airy and sizeable. They also don’t get pumped during the event, so you don’t have these wagons running around smelling everywhere. And then the end product is fertilizer.”

    Sanitation was just one of many major problems at Woodstock ’99, a disastrous event held on a former Air Force Base in Rome, New York that culminated in fires and riots. It was held on a brutally hot weekend with few places to find shade. Water was sold at $4 a bottle. There was also a death resulting from a drug overdose and reports of sexual assaults in the mosh pits. Promoters dealt with a wave of lawsuits in the aftermath and for a while, it seemed like there would never be another Woodstock. (Lang’s original Woodstock co-promoter John Scher absorbed some of the blame for the fiasco. He is not involved with Woodstock 50.)

    Twenty years later, Lang is able to look back at Woodstock ’99 and see where things went wrong. “I shouldn’t have left the booking to others,” he says, noting that he’s booking many of the acts himself this time. “And the water situation was ridiculous. As soon as I saw that, I tried to get everyone to lower the prices and I couldn’t. I did order tractor trailers of water and put them out for free. I do think a lot of people had a good time, but the fires at the end became the imagery of it. It was just about 200 kids who went on a rampage. They exploded some of the cooling systems in the tractor trailers and just wreaked havoc.”

    Woodstock 50 organizer Michael Lang.

    "Lang goes on to dismiss Woodstock ’99 as an “MTV event” and says that Woodstock 50 will be its antithesis. “Woodstock ’99 was just a musical experience with no social significance,” he says. “It was just a big party. With this one, we’re going back to our roots and our original intent. And this time around, we’ll have control of everything.”

    They aren’t, however, going back to the site of the original Woodstock in Bethel, New York. The former farm was transformed into a 15,000-seat concert venue in 2006. That venue will host its own Woodstock 50th celebration there this summer, though bringing the actual event back there just wasn’t an option. “They’re good stewards of the original site and they built a beautiful performing arts pavilion,” says Lang. “But it’s a 15,000-seat shed. That’s not a Woodstock.”

    Finding a place that did fit their needs became a huge challenge. “I was desperate to keep it in New York,” he says. “I looked everywhere because I needed 1,000 acres of clear land with access and infrastructure. Frankly, we weren’t finding it. We had talked about Watkins Glen over the years and I decided on a whim to look at it since having it at a racetrack didn’t appeal to me. But when I looked, I knew it was the perfect facility for what we had in mind. It was reminiscent to me of finding Max [Yasgur]’s field.”

    The festival site is no stranger to enormous concerts. In 1973, a reported crowd of 600,000 people flocked there to see a one-day event featuring the Allman Brothers Band, the Grateful Dead and the Band. The exact headcount has been disputed over the years, but it was almost certainly larger than even the original Woodstock four years earlier.

    Phish held their Superball IX at Watkins Glen in 2011, but they were forced to cancel their Curveball Festival last August because the water supply had been contaminated. According to Lang, that sort of catastrophe will be impossible at Woodstock 50. “At Woodstock ’94 [in Saugerties, New York] we had a different sort of water issue since the town didn’t have a big enough reservoir,” says Lang. “We had to put up two 1 million gallon temporary tanks and filled them over the time. That’s the solution we’re going to use this time to make sure the water is potable.”

    Lang and the other organizers are still mapping out the site and haven’t settled on an exact capacity yet, but he says it’ll likely be in the six figures. Bringing in that many people may seem like a big challenge, especially since this is the first Woodstock since Bonnaroo, Coachella and nearly every other major festival landed on the scene, but Lang hopes this one will stand out. “We are looking for unique performances,” he says. “A lot of festivals these days are kind of cookie-cutter. Very few of them have any sort of social impact [and] that’s a wasted opportunity.

    “Woodstock, in its original incarnation, was really about social change and activism,” he adds. “And that’s a model that we’re bringing back to this festival. It’s a gathering for fun and for excitement and for experiences and to create community, but it’s also about instilling kind of an energy back into young people to make their voices heard, make their votes heard.”

    But for now, most people simply want to know who’s playing. And although Lang is talking about “reunions” and “bands from the original Woodstock,” he clamps up when pressed for details. Is there even a slight chance, say, that Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young would put aside their differences for a single night? “I’ve talked to them all individually,” he says. “And it’s a mess.”

    What he can say is that they’re going to livestream the event online, bring in clowns and jugglers to roam the grounds, play movies on an enormous screen and, most important to Lang, bring in various NGOs to tell attendees how to get involved in various political causes. “Things on the planet are critical at this point, especially when it comes to global warming,” says Lang. “Everyone has a stake and ignoring it is ridiculous. I really want people to explore how they can get involved. That’s one of my main motivations for doing this.”"


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  5. #48
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    Very interesting ...

    Brexit debate: What young people really think

    Channel 4 News

    "These people were just too young to vote in the referendum –
    so how do they think Brexit is going"?

    Published on Jan 10, 2019

    22:01 minutes

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  7. #49
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    Contradicting modern times ...

    Is this the world's most dangerous commute?

    BBC News

    "One way to travel in the Philippine capital, Manila, is by trolley. Passengers choose this unofficial transport service because it's quicker and cheaper than other options. For the homeless community that runs the illegal service, it puts food on the table. But it's also incredibly dangerous."

    Published on Jan 12, 2019

    4:39 minutes

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  9. #50
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    #Payingheed ...

    India Just Staged The Biggest Strike In History
    As 200 Million Workers Took To The Streets

    "In what may be the largest worker strike in history, last week India came to a halt for two days when at least 200 million workers - about 16% of India's 1.25 billion population - in the country's public, services, communications and agriculture sectors staged a strike across the country organized by ten labor unions against what they called the anti-national and anti-worker policies of the BJP-led government, and against a new labor law that would undermine the rights of workers and unions.

    The strike is a protest against new legislation that passed on 2 January, and is a de facto verdict on Prime Minister Narendra Modi providing an opportunity for millions of workers to protest against high prices and high levels of unemployment, something we touched upon in "The Indian Railway System Announced 63,000 Job Openings... 19 Million People Applied."

    John Dayal, general secretary of the All India Christian Council, told AsiaNews that the event was exceptional, "one of the largest ever organised in the country, planned in advance in every detail." In his view, the most important thing is that it "is taking place on the eve of general elections that will mark the fate of the prime minister".

    While the massive strike took place in an overall context of calm, there were numerous incidents confirming that social anger in the world's second most populous nation is also approaching a breaking point: protesters blocked several cities, clashes broke out and damage were reported; a 57-year-old woman died in in Mundagod, a city in northern Karnataka, during a local protest. In Maharashtra more than 5,000 workers blocked the Mumbai-Baroda-Jaipur-Delhi highway. In Puducherry (Pondicherry), on the east coast, protesters hurled stones at a Tamil Nadu state bus. Transport services closed and rail services were disrupted in Kerala. In Odisha (Orissa), shops, schools, offices and markets shut down for 48 hours. In West Bengal, protesters burnt effigies of Prime Minister Modi.

    The national strike was an initiative of the Central Trade Unions (CTU), which is an India-wide labor federation. Unions are opposed to the Trade Unions (Amendment) Bill of 2018 which modified the Trade Union Act of 1926.

    Under the law, trade union recognition is mandatory at both at national and state level. However, workers believe that the new law grants the government discretionary power in recognizing labor organizations, effectively eliminating the current bargaining process involving employees, employers and the government.

    Unions demanded the enactment of the Social Security Act to protect workers and a minimum wage of 24,000 rupees (more than US$ 340) for the unorganised transport sector."

    "Workers in banking, insurance, healthcare, education, transport, electricity and coal mining also joined the strike. Student groups also protested as did farmers’ associations that have threatened to call a gramin hartal, a rural strike. Farmers have been protesting for months over the harsh conditions in the countryside, burdened by debt and an wave of suicides.

    Tapan Sen, secretary general of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), one of the striking labor organisations, criticized Prime Minister Modi's government for killing the work culture in the country's public sectors by favoring private players in major manufacturing contracts.

    Unions also alleged the government had failed to create jobs and grossly ignored unions' 12-point charter of demands besides aggressively pushing for fixed-term employment and amendment to the Trade Union Act, all of which is against the interest of the workers, according to the Economic Times.

    Addressing the media after the 2-day strike, Amarjeet Kaur of AITUC said around eight states witnessed a complete shutdown, largely in the northeast, Kerala, Bihar and Goa. There were over 20 crore workers who had joined the strike.

    The massive strike comes at an critical inflection point for India, which is one of the world's fastest growing economies, yet isn’t generating enough jobs for its educated young populace.

    A recent Washington Post article estimated that the number of people in India between age of 15 and 34 is expected to hit 480 million by the year 2021. They have higher literacy levels and are staying in school longer than any other previous generation. The surge of youths could be an immense opportunity for the country, if it can find a way to put them to work. But the employment trends in the country remain gloomy.

    An analysis performed by Azim Premji University shows that unemployment between 2011 and 2016 in nearly all Indian states was rising. The jobless rates for younger people and those with higher education also increased sharply. For instance, for college graduates, it grew from 4.1% to 8.4%."

    "Ajit Ghose, an economist at the Institute for Human Development in Delhi, said that the country needs to generate jobs not just for the 6 million to 8 million new workforce entrants annually, but also for people like women who are working less than they would be if they could get jobs at a decent wage. The same economist notes that India has about 104 million "surplus" workers.

    Expanding the labor market that much is a tall task for any government, not just India. Modi's track record of job creation also remains somewhat of a mystery, as the country hasn’t offered nationwide employment data since 2016. The ministries of labor and statistics have conducted surveys of Indian households, but the results have not been made public.

    Amit Basole, an economist at Azim Premji University, said: “It’s anybody’s guess whether we’ll see any employment statistics come out before the 2019 elections.”

    *"What happens after this unprecedented show of force by India's workers? Probably more of the same: unions threatened to follow last week's strike with an indefinite strike if government does not heed to their demands. The general secretary for one of the labor unions, HMS, said the unions collectively decided to go on indefinite strike if the government does not respond to the “historic” strike this time.

    If that happens, India's record as one of the world's fastest growing economies will soon be tarnished. As for the bigger picture, one where general popular - and populist - discontent around the globe is rapidly spreading and affecting not only developed nations (Trump, Brexit, most of Europe), but also the developing world.

    Whether the unions will get what they want is unclear, but one thing is certain: India's even more populous neighbor, China, is very closely following these restive worker developments and doing everything in its power to stop its own population from getting similar thoughts."


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