Muse and Whirled Retort Archives 2007
The Muse and Whirled Retort May 2007
Saturday, May 5, 2007
The new CD American Storyteller Vols 3 & 4 is Here!
May 1, 2007
Volume VIII Issue vii
T.H.E. .M.U.S.E. .A.N.D. .W.H.I.R.L.E.D. .R.E.T.O.R.T.
T.A.B.L.E. .O.F. .C.O.N.T.E.N.T.S.
- Quick news and stuff for May
- How to get stuff
- Greetings and quick run down of recent past and the near future
- The Muse and Whirled Retort
- "Thank You!"
I will be working the Kerrville Folk Festival with David Morreale. If we can get enough dates he will be working the Oregon Country Fair and beyond with me.
He is from Baltimore — a fine city I might add — and you can check him out in multiple ways. http://mudsongs.com
BRAND NEW This Month.
The Pageant of the Paterson Silk Strike
A film by Chris Chandler
Today is May Day and my newest, longest and most extensive film Debuts this evening in Paterson, NJ and tomorrow in New York City!
It is a 20 min poetic documentary about a labor dispute in 1913 that helped bring America her greatest contribution: The 8 hour day.
Wish me luck. I will be showing it at many of my upcoming shows — and for the time being — it will only be available for purchase at my shows — or drop me an email and I am sure I can mail ya one if you want it! I am most proud — it is the longest and most difficult film for me yet!
Also this month:
NEW CD, AMERICAN STORYTELLER VOLS. III & IV!!
We have created another double CD with fabulous special guests, bonus features, and of course including all the new material from the past year or so as well as a few most-requested favorites!
The next batch is at the manufacturer and should be ready in a day or so, CD Baby is sold out.
Click here to order a copy: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/chrischandler10
I have put up one of the new songs on myspace. Please sign up. www.myspace.com/chrischandlerorg
I hate myspace (for the record) but one HAS to do it.
- Welcome to the news letter - It's that time of the month again...
Biggest news this month:
David Moreale to play Kerrville with Chandler
The New Film!
The new CD! Is here! Though I think they are sold out at CD Baby but should have some real soon.
I am booking the summer and I need your help. I am looking at a route from Washington DC through Atlanta, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Houston, Austin to Kerrville, TX — then through New Orleans, Atlanta for the World Social Forum through NC and Virginia.
Then I will fly to Oregon pick updates from there to SF and back up through to Seattle Vancouver and Victoria and back down to Portland
If you can help out with a house concert or know of a venue — please drop me a line
!!!!I NEED HELP HERE!!!!!
Enough of the crass commercial announcements. Lets get to the Muse.
OH, but see it is May Day — and I just finished this film — and all month I have been rehearsing 2 SHOWS while working on 3 film projects.
"What's can a poor boy do, 'sept to sing for a rock and roll band?"
What I am trying to say:
This is an encore Muse and Whirled Retort that just seems to appropriate for the occasion. This is from May Day 2005
Lots of love — y'all and see you on the road.
- And now...
T.H.E. .M.U.S.E. .A.N.D. .W.H.I.R.L.E.D. .R.E.T.O.R.T.
The Muse and Whirled Retort
May 1, 2007
Volume VIII Issue vii
Encore edition from May 2005
The Pageant of the Paterson Silk Strike
By Chris Chandler and Lisa Stolarski
I believe in Solidarity.
I believe in the Easter Bunny,
I believe in the tooth ferry,
I believe in Santa Claus
I believe that the power of good is greater than that of evil — but not by very much.
I believe in the Buddha, Mohamed, Vishnu, Jesus Christ,
I believe in Peanut Butter.
I believe that Athena sprang from the head of Zeus. And That Atlas really held the world on his shoulders — though I am unsure as to where his feet were at the time.
I believe it is the telling of the tale that makes it so.
I believe that children have imaginary friends, and that adults really can't see them,
I believe that blankets have magical powers that protects them from monsters. Perhaps that's why I believe in condoms.
I believe that four leafed clovers bring good luck.
I believe that people really do get abducted by aliens, and that people who don't believe that never had an imaginary friend.
In 2001 I saw a picture of the Virgin Mary on a telephone pole in Miami. I pointed it out to others. A crowd gathered. People began to genuflect. I have witnesses.
I believe that every picture tells a thousand stories and every story paints a thousand pictures (you do the math.)
I believe that photographs, themselves, can speak.
In 2005 in Paterson, NJ, I saw a photograph taken in 1913 of ten thousand people gathered at a balcony in listening to speakers shout their speeches with no sound system. In the far corner of that photograph — there is a small child, 8 years old — born on 05. That child told his story.
He said, "What's a hundred years between friends?"
In 1900 there were not 1900 automobiles or 1900 miles of paved roads to drive them on.
In 2000 there are enough miles of paved roads to build a bridge from here to Uranus and enough assholes on the road to form a traffic jam.
In 1900 it cost 2 cents to get a letter from Paterson NJ to New York City and it took 2 days to get it there
In 2000 it costs 38 cents and it takes two days to get it there.
But what's a hundred years between friends?
1913 European empyreal powers were about to begin slaughtering themselves wholesale with mechanized warfare.
It had only been ten years since the Wright Brothers and already they were dropping Bombs form planes.
In 1913 The Panama Canal opened as did Grand Central Station.
Cracker Jack introduced prizes for the first time.
Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West show could no longer compete with the new motion picture industry and went bankrupt.
The Wild West was over.
Richard Nixon was born.
The streets of America were frenzied with the sound of factories.
Women could not vote.
The Russian Revolution had not yet happened. But its electricity could be felt on the streets of Moscow, Berlin, Madrid, Seattle and Patterson, New Jersey.
The sound of revolution is exactly as loud as the sound of a rumbling stomach.
Some claimed automation would lead to a reduction in work load.Just like some claim the home computer will reduce ours.
When the machine gun was invented people said with this weapon there is no way we would have another war with a weapon that could kill hundreds in seconds. But the imperial powers of Europe convinced the poverty stricken to throw their bodies into the wake of mechanized destruction.
The boy in the photograph told me that he had lived to see his brothers do just that.
In 1913 Henry Ford developed the assembly line for automobiles.
That same year in Seattle — mechanized saw mills had been turning the Great Forests of the west into tooth picks — sure, the first mudslides occurred but dental hygiene was at an all time high — well that is until The Industrial Workers of the World led the great Saw Mill Strike of 1913.
In Akron, OH Rubber workers were on strike, in British Columbia, Railroad workers, a year earlier the I W W had won the Lawrence, MA strike
In Paterson, NJ factory owners realized that any one who could convince someone else to run in front of a machinegun nest deserved a ribbon — and the factories of Paterson NJ ran 18 hours a day cranking out silk and fabric and ribbons. The war to end all wars was in just beginning and there was no shortage of officers needing ribbons.
Demand was as high as the profits but the workers were stretched beyond their limit, so the owners introduced a four loom system that they claimed would lessen the work load but in fact doubled it. That was the cigarette that broke the camel's back.
Thousands went on strike, thousand were arrested, including the boy in the photograph. But there is no Jail cell strong enough to with stand the rumble of a mans stomach.
The jail cells were the epicenter of an earthquake felt all the way to New York City. Those tremors caught the attention of the IWW who put together one of the most organized strikes in history.
Rallies were held, weekly meetings. Well-to-do families in NYC offered child care, The boy in the photograph lived for three months in the home of Mabel Dodge a prominent NYC heiress. Celebrity speakers were brought in. New demands were raised. The 8 hour day, health care. 20,000 people gathered at once to raise their voices into the air.
But for every foot they moved forwards, they were pushed back 11 inches. The power of good is greater than that of evil — but just barely.
Picketers were killed, more were arrested. But no matter how many workers were killed it was the mills that remained dead. And no amount of violence could make them come back to life.
The only thing that could break that picket line is the mightiest force on earth — the sound of a rumbling stomach.
Although they had never been hungry a day in their life — It was the Greenwich Village Intellectuals who realized this the most.The earthquake erupting in Paterson, NJ was just a tremor warning of the Ten Days That Shook The world. Later Jack Reed's famous book would do just that. — But for now, he — a Grenwhich Village intellectual began to work on a play.
After all, it is the telling of the tale that makes it so. Why else would great stories only happen to great storytellers?
He took his new play and it turned it into a fund raiser, though you won't find his name in the program. Big Bill Heywood and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn spoke, though you won't see their names on the marquee. Famed Scenic Designer John Sloan created the set, though you will not find his name in the credits.
No, instead you will find "The Pageant of the Paterson Silk Strike Performed by the Workers Themselves." Madison Square Gardens was filled to capacity.
Critics sat in the isles prepared to hate this new propagandist art form.
The striking workers waited in the wings — for in this play — the workers themselves would act out the events. Yes, in June of 1913 1000 Striking Mill workers joined Actors Equity in NYC to perform one play, for one night. They would tell their own tale.
When the curtain went up as a whistle sounded as if to begin a new work day — on that stage it was 6 AM on a February Morning. The Mills were alive, and it was the workers who were dead. But soon, the workers began to think. Soon they were singing together "Marsellaise." The Audience joined in the chorus. The Great Silk Strike had begun.
With each triumph the audience cheered. With each set back they booed. No rock concert could recreate the enthusiasm of that crowd. They made Woodstock seem like an episode of American Idol. The boy in the photograph was there. He was one of the tens of thousands in the audience at the end, in standing ovation, fist in the air, singing at the top of his tiny lungs: "The International."
The play received overwhelming critical acclaim. To this day it is considered one of the most important moments in modern art. Few performances could ever match what happened on that stage, that night. But as with too many great works of art — it lost money.
How could it not? Too many people were let in for free. How could they not. How can you ask a family to pay to see a play their striking father is in? You can't. The boy in the photograph did not pay. How could he?
Without further financial support the general strike began to decay — the workers slowly went back to work — many would say it was a defeat and even the end of the IWW itself.
But the truth is — it was only the beginning - at least for their goals.
There is no way to undo the jubilation of that crowd just as there could be no such thing as victory with out first there being an understanding of defeat.
Listen to the Blues.
If dreams were real there would be no need for dreams . In a world of no dreams we could only dream of dreaming.
Ya see, the workers may not have gotten everything they asked for — but in truth, they went back to work under pre strike conditions. Their original grievance - the 4 loom system was not implemented for another decade.
But a few short years later on March 14, 1917 congress enacted what the Pageant of the Paterson Strike demanded: the 8 hour day.
Three years later women could vote.
There has always been a very fragile bridge built between intellectuals and laborers.
Intellectuals intellectualize mill workers and weavers weave the clothes of the intellectual — they can not be the same thing. The bridge is there. It is fragile, it takes skill to cross it.
Few can will make it.
Perhaps a play.
Perhaps a song.
Perhaps the photograph of an 8 year old boy hanging in a museum in Paterson, NJ can cross that bridge.
Perhaps 1000 striking workers telling their own tale can cross that bridge.
Once crossed, there is no end to what can be accomplished.
It is the telling of the tale that makes it so.
Just like the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy and the greatest story ever told.
Thank you all sooo much for your responses to last months missive!.
I am looking for someone out there who knows a good bit — or at least more than I do (which isn't much) about (well for lack of a better word) sampling and devices that I can use on stage for my solo show. I have ideas — I just don't know how to execute them. Any A-1s out there that can help?
I am working on two other film projects.
aside from the twenty minute piece on the Paterson Silk Strike. That I will show and perform on May 1st and 2nd.
2) A concert DVD for Dave Lippman and George Shrub (Americas only known singing CIA agent www.davelippman.com
3) A music video showing the seriousness of global warming for political singer/songwriter/activist George Mann
If you are interested in me putting together a short film or music video for you let me know. I am good and cheap. Or at least imaginative and affordable.
I am looking for dates from San Francisco to Vancouver from July 16 through August 16.
David and Ali Morreale, Anne Feeney, Karen Kilroy, Jim Infantino, The Great Wendini, Shirley, Dave Lippman, Atmo, Pat Barnes, Dave Rovics, George Mann, Frank, Kevin, Karen, Mom, all of those who have volunteered their musical services and K8T-mae.
N.O.W. .H.E.R.E.S. .D.A. .D.A.T.E.S.
Tuesday, May 1st, 2007, 7:00 PM
American Labor Museum/Botto House National Landmark
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007, 7:00 PM
New York, NY
The Living Room
154 Ludlow Street (between Stanton and Rivington)
Sunday, May 20th, 2007, 3:00 PM
New Orleans, LA
4108 St Claude b/w Mazant and France
Monday, May 21st
ANY ONE IN BATON ROUGE??
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007, 8pm
1031 E. 24th
Wedensday, May 23rd
ANYONE IN AUSTIN WANNA HAVE A KICK OFF KERRVILLE EARLY PARTY?
PLEASE OH PLEASE?
May 24 — June 6 Kerrville Folk Festival
Wednesday, May 30th, 2007, 7-9 PM
Kerrville , TX
Kerrville Folk Festival
Threadgill Stage with Jonathan Byrd
Oregon Country Fair
July 16 — 19
I need dates in Southern Oregon and Northern California here!
San Francisco, CA
The Beat Museum
Home of Hali Hammer
Santa Cruz, CA
House Concert — tentative
Live on KPIG
Monday, July 23rd, 2007, 8pm
Downtown Felton, CA
Don Quixote's International Music Hall
6275 Highway 9
July 24 — 26
I need Northern California, Oregon or Washington shows here!!!
The Backbone campaign Presents
The Backbone Campaign Presents
Friday August 3 Port Townsend, WA
Siren's — tentative
Saturday, August 4th, 2007
House Concert At the Orchard's
Sunday, August 5th
I am looking for something on Vancouver Island or there abouts
Anyone out there?
Tuesday August 7
The IWW presents
Thursday, August 9
With Adam and Kris
Friday, August 10
Anyone in Oregon Want this PRIME DATE?
Saturday, August 11th, 2007
Sam Bond's Garage
So I am likely to drive across the country in both directions sooo.
I am looking for dates anywhere!
Louisville, Cincinnati, St Louis, Kansas City, Boulder, and points west.
Boise, Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, IL and Indiana and points east.
Anyone out there help with this?
Love to you all,