March 11, 2017: International Women’s Day: Women march around the world + Debuting Dan’s section “Unknown Minstrel”

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International Women’s Day: Calls to Action, Protests and Words of Praise“, The New York Times

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The 124

Housekeepers Versus Harvard: Feminism for the Age of Trump“, Sarah Leonard and Rebecca Rojer, The Nation

Without solidaristic feminism,” in the words of Osorio, “you haven’t solved the problem. You’ve just solved your problem.”

The hotel was a serene, white dreamland on top, all warm chocolate-chip cookies and Harvard Business School guests resting under thick comforters—with a sort of Dickensian factory churning underneath. One day as Lemus ran toward a bed, trying to beat the clock, “my foot got caught on the sheet and it twisted badly and I hit the wall and broke my nose. I was bleeding through the mouth, through the nose. I thought I had broken my teeth as well because I was choking on my own blood.” The first thing her supervisor asked as she was hurried to an ambulance was how many rooms she’d finished.

Such managers were almost certainly under pressure from above. Most workers at DoubleTree, when surveyed for a different union report, stated that the workload had gotten heavier in the last several years. Managers told workers to blame the economic downturn, but Lemus argues that it was more about the change in management. When the university took over, she says, things got so tight that the women were often told to bring their own cleaning supplies. While housekeepers juggled their way through each increasingly untenable day, longtime workers were fired. Lemus thinks they were trying to fire better-paid people for minor errors so that they could replace them with new, lower-paid people, “like a game.” A friend “had worked there for about eight years as housekeeper and was fired because they found a tiny piece of trash” in a room she had cleaned.

Clean In: How Hotel Workers Fought for a Union– and Won


Unknown Minstrel by Dan Bullard

The now-defunct Toast put out a write-up in 2015 on one of my favorite singer-songwriters Judee Sill. I would describe Judee as something of a California gospel mystic, though many talk about her in reference to Joni Mitchell.

Far from the high acclaim of a songwriter like Joni Mitchell, however, Judee toiled in obscurity and was often openly antagonistic to the rock bands she toured with. Despite only a few albums of songs, she’s steadily picked up a cult following over the years.

I find myself coming back again and again to Judee’s music. For her it was clearly a refuge from the turmoil of her life, and I think that’s one reason that the religious symbolism comes off as so authentic and natural.

“I love people who are honest about their misery, “she said. “Who don’t try to be slick when they are uncomfortable and awkward.”

Write-up: The Mysterious Life of Judee Still

Jesus Was A Cross maker, Judee Still


Weekly Roundup

A Feminism for the 99 Percent: Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on the March 8 Women’s Strike“, Sarah Jaffe, Truthout

Sarah Jaffe: You were one of the original people who called for a women’s strike on March 8. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: The idea for the women’s strike actually didn’t originate in the United States, but it is a call in solidarity with women’s organizations from 30 different countries who put out a call for a strike on International Women’s Day, March 8. This is our effort at trying to explain why it was important that American feminists sign onto this call … in this country, part of our intention is to bring politics back to International Women’s Day by turning it into a political event, by highlighting the ways that women continue to suffer from misogyny and sexism in the United States and to give concrete descriptions of that.

But also, the strike is about highlighting the ways that “women’s work” or “women’s labor” is at times unseen. It can be undervalued, underpaid. The strike is about drawing attention to that by, in effect, extracting those many different manifestations of women’s labor on March 8 to highlight the extent to which women’s labor continues to play a central role in the political and, I would say, social economy of the United States.

A Secret Marines Facebook Shared Nude Photos of Female Service Members“, P.R. Lockhart, Mother Jones

The Unites States Marine Corps is scrambling to address the fallout from revelations over the weekend of a Facebook group where hundreds of nude photos of female service members, veterans, and civilians were posted without their consent by other Marines. Military officials are reportedly investigating the matter, which has reignited discussions over the treatment of women in the military. The photo scandal comes two months after three female Marines became the first women to join the infantry.

Spoiler: ‘Having it All’ Sucks“, Rachel Siemens, Man Repeller

One day I cracked. I was sitting in a tangle of quilts, surrounded by two-weeks worth of unfolded laundry, halfway through an article profiling high-power women and work-life balance, and I started to cry. . .

The Socialist Origins of International Women’s Day“, Cintia Frencia and Daniel Gaido, Jacobin

From the beginning, International Women’s Day has been an occasion to celebrate working women and fight capitalism.

Israel-Palestine; Islamophobia

Israel bill to limit Muslim call to prayer passes parliamentary first reading“, Samuel Osborne, The Independent

An Israeli law to limit the Muslim call to prayer from mosques has won preliminary approval though opponents have denounced the measure as racist.

One of the bills would ban summons to worhsip via loudspeakers between 11pm and 7am, effectively banning one of the first of five daily calls emanating from the mosques a little before dawn.

The second proposal would place a limit on the volume of loudspeakers in residential areas at all hours.

Discrimination and Hate Crimes

Sikh Man Told to ‘Go Back to Your Own Country’ Before being Shot“, Associated Press

Sikhs have previously been the target of assaults in the U.S. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the backlash that hit Muslims around the country expanded to include those of the Sikh faith. Men often cover their heads with turbans, which are considered sacred, and refrain from shaving their beards.

In 2012, a man shot and killed six Sikh worshippers and wounded four others at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee before killing himself.

Indians attacked in US: Mamata Banerjee writes to Sushma Swaraj, wants matter to be taken up at highest level“, Indrajit Kundu, Indiatoday

Mamata Banerjee in her letter to Sushma Swaraj said the minister must see that “the matter is taken up to the highest level” so that such incidents do not recur and Indians living in the US feel “safe, secure and worry-free”.

Jewish Institutions Face Another Wave of Bomb Threats“, Brandon Ellington Patterson, Mother Jones

At least five more Jewish community centers around the United States received bomb threats on Tuesday, including in Milwaukee, Miami, Portland, Oregon; Rochester, New York; and the DC metro area, the Huffington Post reported. Offices of the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish advocacy group, also received threats in multiple locations.

Smartphone footage captures Brazilian transgender woman pleading for her life prior to being beaten to death“, News.com.au

WARNING: Graphic images

HARROWING footage has emerged of a transgender woman begging for her life before beaten to death.

A gang of six men laugh and cheer as they beat 42-year-old Dandara dos Santos leaving her bloodied and bruised.

They then fling her into a wheelbarrow before taking her away to a side street where she was allegedly then murdered.

The incident took place last month in Fortaleza, north eastern Brazil, with much of the horrific ordeal filmed on a smartphone.

Poverty and Class Warfare

While Kansas tries to dump job-killing, budget-busting GOP tax policy, Democratic California booms“, Ian Reifowitz, Daily KOS

What’s the matter with Kansas? That phrase has been around a while, thanks to Thomas Frank’s book that explored why the state is so conservative. Now, however, the question applies in a more direct sense, as in: why is the state’s budget in the crapper, and why is its economy one of the worst performing in the country, both in terms of jobs and overall growth? (Kansas’s economy actually contracted in the last two quarters of 2016—when the state fell, in technical terms, into recession.)

The answer is simple: conservative Republicans got their way. Now the Jayhawk is coming home to roost.

How the Trumps Got Rich“, Samuel Stein, Jacobin

Most Americans know Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as a reality television star and a celebrity endorser. But in his home state of New York, he has a different reputation: he’s a real estate shmuck.

Trump inherited his business — which consists of gilded and glassed condos, clubs, casinos, office towers, hotels, and golf courses throughout New York City and beyond — from his father, Fred Trump. Like the Dursts, Rudins, Zeckendorfs, and LeFraks, the older Trump ran a family-based real estate empire.

This Week in the Executive

Steve Bannon’s Autobahn“, Conner Kilpatrick, Jacobin

If terrifying right-wing loonies at the levers of state power could bring about the Fourth Reich, it would’ve happened decades ago, during a truly raging wildfire of American class conflict, at the behest of powerful oilmen like Clint Murchison Sr, who rumor has it funded the American Nazi Party, and Texaco chairman Torkild Rieber, who helped cinch Franco’s victory in the Spanish Civil War with shipments of much-needed oil and a telegram that read, “Don’t worry about payments.” Despite fascist sympathies in high places, none of these uber-powerful slimeballs tilted our constitutional oligarchy into fascism.


The Rest

#womenStrike organizers Tithi Bhattacharya & Kate D Griffiths“, Katie Halper, The Katie Halper Show

“Eve Ensler & Christine Schuler Deschryver on the PRedatory Mindset of President Trump”, Democracy Now!

https://www.democracynow.org/2017/3/8/eve_ensler_christine_schuler_deschryver_on

Frida (2002)
Director: Julie Taymor
Cast: Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Geoffrey Rush, Antonio Banderas

This week I watched Julie Taymor’s Frida which features brilliant performances from Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. The color editing is beautiful and I like Julie Taymor’s direction with many shots crafted to blur the line between painting and reality. Stunning life, brilliant works of art, and a touching, though turbulent love story. I did find it strange to be watching this movie in English.

The outro this week is Hurray for the Riff Raff’s “The Body Electric”

The Body Electric
Hurray for the Riff Raff

Said you’re gonna shoot me down, put my body in the river
Shoot me down, put my body in the river
While the whole world sings, sing it like a song
The whole world sings like there’s nothing going wrong

He shot her down, he put her body in the river
He covered her up, but I went to get her
And I said, “My girl, what happened to you now?”
I said, “My girl, we gotta stop it somehow”

Oh, and tell me, what’s a man with a rifle in his hand
Gonna do for a world that’s so sick and sad?
Tell me, what’s a man with a rifle in his hand
Gonna do for a world that’s so gone mad?

He’s gonna shoot me down, put my body in the river
Cover me up with the leaves of September
Like an old sad song, you heard it all before
Well, Delia’s gone, but I’m settling the score

Oh, and tell me, what’s a man with a rifle in his hand
Gonna do for a world that’s just dying slow?
Tell me, what’s a man with a rifle in his hand
Gonna do for his daughter when it’s her turn to go?


Nations and capitals

On a break this week! I fell behind!


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