Letters from our readers
9 June 2012
On the WSWS
Thanks for keeping us informed about the real state of current events, because we are not getting it from the mass media, who are all corporate whores, except with a few courageous exceptions, with a long list of taboo topics they cannot touch. The staff at wsws.org are the real patriots. It is the truth that is always subversive.
6 June 2012
Thank you for this article. I found the RS’s position on the MB shameful, and I told them so in a few tweets. The reaction was that I got unfollowed and blocked by some of them. Seems they have absolutely no tolerance for friends telling them that they have gone completely off track.
Thanks for staying watchful.
4 June 2012
As a former disloyal subject, I applaud today’s article critiquing what Terence Davies aptly described in his documentary Time and the City, as another version of "the Betty Windsor Show." One need not refer to the WSWS’s excellent reporting about the real condition of the UK to see through this sham, anticipated by Charles and Camilla reading the weather forecast on national TV a few weeks ago. One remembers with disgust Prince Andrew’s appearance on “It’s a Knock Out” decades ago as “one of the people.”
Also, didn’t David Hare write a play called Plenty, filmed with Meryl Streep before she performed an Oscar-winning role as Thatcher in prosthetic make-up unconsciously reminiscent of a horror film? As opposed to the vast majority of Her Majesty’s subjects who have “Plenty of Nothing” as in Porgy and Bess, Hare has obviously earned plenty of royalties (pun intended!) and his fawning comments will obviously result in his playing the title role in not “Call Me Madam” but his own version of “Call me Sir!” Please keep up this very relevant criticism. “Your disobedient servant” etc.
5 June 2012
Thank you for your article which cogently explains the current disgusting and explosive wealth disparity in the UK. While Elizabeth II’s role in this state of affairs may be open to some question (she is a “titular” monarch with strictly circumscribed governing powers) one person whose role cannot be questioned is Margaret Thatcher. She started the UK down the path of the savage economic inequalities, which are present today. Her government’s exploitation of public anger towards unions stemming from the “winter of strikes” led to the poverty and suffering present among the working class especially in the north of England. She was also a major proponent of Reagan’s supply side economics which she used to destroy Britain’s existing social welfare state which had actually helped both the working and middle class with health care and access to secondary and university education.
6 June 2012
Liberal-left dreck, Paul Buhle edition:
In general, the chickens of electoralism and opportunism have come home to roost for the US working class with this Wisconsin defeat. The fact that resistance was channeled into the recall was only the first defeat for labor, no matter how it is rationalized in hindsight.
Barrett was everything workers hated about Walker, and everything they hate about Democrat governors like Cuomo and Brown who introduce austerity just as bad if not worse than Walker.
For the Democrats and the AFL-CIO the beauty part is that US workers, and Wisconsin workers in particular, are now demoralized enough not to offer any rank-and-file resistance, at least through the November election. And the AFL-CIO can return to its mantra: re-elect Obama or worse things are waiting.
I have been skeptical of SEP’s analysis of the US labor movement and the AFL-CIO, but I have to say this is definitely a verification of the SEP thesis.
6 June 2012
Regarding your analysis “The lessons of Wisconsin” I would like to add that it is becoming increasingly difficult to trust elections held on computerized voting machines in the U.S. Coming from a state with a notorious reputation for election problems, I can no longer trust elections held on voting machines attached to computers. Here in Palm Beach County, the never to be forgotten “hanging chad” place, not one single election held since the November 2000 election hasn’t had some kind of a problem. The last election in March of this year had the winners as losers and the losers as winners in one town (Wellington) as an example. Simply put, the computers can not be trusted since they can and have been rigged especially here in Florida and certainly in Ohio as well. There are many other examples of computer problems with elections in other states. Also, the exit poling done in Wisconsin showed at very tight race (50-50) although the corporate media had very little to say about this and only one newspaper in Wisconsin actually used and mentioned the exit poll. It is extremely difficult for me to understand how Walker could have won given the enormous turnout… but then Wisconsin uses computers as well. While the alternative to Walker isn’t a whole lot better, the former mayor of Milwaukee certainly was better than Walker. I just can not believe that people would vote against themselves by voting for Walker. Of course, Walker outspent his opponent 10 to 1 courtesy of the US Supreme Courts Citizens United ruling. This is an added bonus to the possibility of vote rigging on computers in the US. The US government has turned into a government of whores. The one with the most money usually wins elections. Personally, I have decided not to vote for candidates any more as I simply won’t waste my time. (I will vote for issues on the ballot, however). I am tired of voting for “the lesser of two evils” chosen by the two corporate owned political parties. Like everything else that is going down hill in the U.S., elections are suspect as well.
7 June 2012
During a recent visit to Dublin, Ireland, I was struck by the seriousness and the passion of the numerous gifted musicians of that country which has a rich musical as well as writing traditions. I would like to share this experience with WSWS readers.
In a Dublin pub, I attended an Irish traditional music session. Here’s what it looks like: Two musicians began to play traditional Irish music songs, one guitar and one bagpipes. Then a number of musicians and instruments entered the duo: a violin, a piccolo, a mandolin, a bandoneon, a drum, an accordion etc. In fact, this kind of session is open to all. At the end, there were around ten instruments that were played more or less simultaneously.
One of the most beautiful moment happened when a musician sang acapella “Ludlow massacre” from American singer Woody Guthrie which recalls the events in Colorado in 1913-1914. I never heard a song as radical as this. When he began to sing, people in the pub asked for silence and they rapidly got it. Everyone in the pub stopped talking. Something important was being said and must be listened.
The two or three other songs with lyrics had also a strong social and historic content and the same silence prevailed in the pub when they were played.
Clearly, those music sessions are not just to pursue a tradition, but to say something on both the tumultuous and undigested past of Ireland as well as the present order.
People who play music with seriousness, passion and honesty. What a great experience it was !
3 June 2012
Bob Dylan is an artist, not a politician or a prop for politicians who pose as saviors.
He is a musician and performer, not a savior for men and women who need to save themselves. As he wrote, “if your life to you is worth saving, then you better start swimming or you will sink like a stone.”
Because of his artistry, we have verses like these that will evoke lynchings and fascism for hundreds of years:
“They are selling postcards of the hanging
They’re painting the passports brown...”
Because of his artistry, we have lyrics like these that portray our patriarchal authoritarian society’s attack on those who challenge its power:
“Now at midnight all the agents
And the superhuman crew
Come out and round up everyone
That knows more than they do
Then they bring them to the factory
Where the heart-attack machine
Is strapped across their shoulders
And then the kerosene
Is brought down from the castles
By insurance men who go
Check to see that nobody is escaping
To Desolation Row”
And when we are facing the pain of these dark times, we can sing with Dylan:
“Yes to dance beneath the diamond sky
with one hand waving free
silhouetted by the sea
circled by the circus sands
with all memory and Fate
driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.”
In his later years, he wrote “Union Sundown”,”Workingman’s Blues #2,” and many other songs that express the struggles of the 99% vs the 1%. He does this as an artist, not a polemicist.
Too many set up standards they believe Dylan must live up to and then criticize him when he does not do so. They forget his words, “I got nothin’, Ma, to live up to.”
And “it is not he or she or them or it that you belong to.”
I hope Dylan continues to create for a long time to come,
7 June 2012