Culture, Satires

Witches Fail To Levitate Mitch McConnell

McConnell-Levitate-ThisWeekABC

ABC News reports that a coven of masked witches attempted and failed to levitate US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, KY).

The masked pagans surrounded the hapless politician at the Kentucky Statehouse and demanded that he speak out for social justice during this time of national crisis. When McConnell failed to recognize the meaning of word “justice,” the protesters turned to Plan B – levitate the banana slug until the next election.*

Sadly, McConnell had his shields (if not his face mask) in place, and remained rooted to the marble floor.

The coven vowed to hold online zoom rituals to boost their psychic powers and shift their attention to levitating the President during one of his daily televised coronavirus rallies.

Photo and original report from This Week ABC.

More satires from Luke Hauser: https://directaction.org/category/satires/

* – UPDATE – Responding to a flurry of complaints from readers, Luke Hauser apologizes to banana slugs everywhere!

 

Culture, Music

RIP John Prine – See You In Heaven Or Wherever

JohnPrine-HeavenAnymore

I cut my folky teeth singing John Prine songs in bars in Terre Haute, Indiana. I think we knew every song on his first album – the guy had a song for every occasion.

We still sing them around campfires. Here’s a few faves:

Prine planned ahead – here’s his ode to the afterlife – see you there, John!

When I Get To Heaven

Obituary – Rolling Stone

Culture, Video

Broadway – Six Hours of Video

musical-showboat

I not a big fan of Broadway music after the earliest years, when it overlapped with pop.

But I’m down for a documentary on any kind of music. I’d probably watch the history of elevator music if it had good visuals.

PBS Broadway documentary – youtube –  you can probably find a hi-res version online as well.

Narrated by Julie Andrews, this six-hour documentary features reels and reels of original footage from the stage and/or later Hollywood versions.

About the PBS Series

Broadway: The American Musical tells two stories: the 100-year history of musical theater and the story of its relationship to 20th-century American life. The six-part series begins with the immigrant experience at the turn of the century, when a melting pot of voices and styles gave rise to a popular new form of entertainment, and ends with today’s Broadway, where big-budget new productions and revivals of classic favorites compete side by side for box office success.

Read more at the PBS website – click here

PBS Broadway documentary – youtube

Photo: Daniel Evans’ 2016 production of the ground-breaking musical Showboat by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II.

Culture, Resources & Downloads

Our Magical History – A New Essay

“Presents an enormous amount of material in a very attractive and readable way.”

– Michael D. Bailey, Department of History, Iowa State University / Associate Editor: Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft

Who are these people who call themselves Pagans, Witches, and workers of magic? Where did they come from?

Join Luke Hauser for an illustrated, occasionally tongue-in-cheek journey through our magical lineages, from ancient Mesopotamia to Gardner, Valiente, and the Wiccan Revival of modern days.

Plus a section our activist ancestors such as suffragists, organized labor, and the Civi Rights movement.

Click here for free download | Click here ​to read online

Think of this as a pleasant excursion, not a treadmill.

Read what calls to you. Skip around as you wish. Feel free to ignore entire sections.

Just know that when you reach the Isle of Apples, you may be tested on this material.

Click here for free download | Click here ​to read online

“Erudite, good-humoured, generous, with that open-minded readiness to recognise merit in many different sources of inspiration that is one of the best features of the Reclaiming tradition.”

– Ronald Hutton, Professor of History, University of Bristol

Graphic: Hieronymus Bosch

Culture, Music, Video

Godspell – Jesus for Hippies

godspell-still01

Get ready! 2021 marks 50 years of Godspell!

Godspell casts an ethereal Jesus and his all-too-human, multi-gendered disciples as a band of urban hippies.

If you think Christianity has nothing to offer, give Hippie Jesus 103 minutes of your time. Or listen to this playlist of the songs taken from the movies to get the flavor.

Songs from Godspell

It may not save your soul – but it actually gives a glimpse of what Jesus might look like in our world.

The musical is structured as a series of parables from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Eminently singable folk-rock tunes punctuates the teachings and ultimately the trial and death of Jesus – Day By Day was a top-20 hit.

Godspell was composed by Stephen Schwartz with the book by John-Michael Tebelak. The show opened Off-Broadway in 1971, and has since been produced by multiple touring companies and in many revivals.

The musical began as a project by drama students at Carnegie Mellon University and then moved to the Off-Off-Broadway theater La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in the East Village of Manhattan. The show was then rescored for an Off-Broadway production, which became a long-running success. 

godspell-cover

activism, Culture

Post Scarcity Anarchism – Classic Murray Bookchin

Post Scarcity Anarchism by Murray Bookchin first published in the 1970’s looks at social change and how to participate in/achieve meaningful social change.

In case you’ve never read it or want to read it again, this book has never been so relevant.

It examines what our capitalist society is and what will eventually happen to it (which is what’s happening now!)

– from Baruch

Bookchin-cover01
activism, Culture, Resources & Downloads

The Diggers – revolutionary ancestors!

Diggers-Winstanley

In 1649, near London, a rag-tag group of radicals staked a claim to common land and began to clear and plant it so it would be a “common treasury for all.”

The Diggers – an essay

Among our most interesting ancestors, these English revolutionaries were forerunners of groups like Food Not Bombs – claiming unused resources in the name of the community.

Here’s a short article about the Diggers of 1649 and their place in the revolution of the 1640s.

Click here for a bunch more history articles, including the 40-page illustrated essay “Our Magical Ancestors – available as free PDF or read online.

 

Culture, Music

Bitches Brew – 50 Years On

Miles-BB-cover

I’ve never cared for the word “bitch.” When I was young, it got used on sports fields to suggest that someone was not being enough of a man (a challenging task at age 15).

Later it became a popular hip-hop epithet that made many great songs unplayable at parties.

Then again, in a parallel universe – it was the first word of one of Miles Davis’s greatest albums.

April 2020 marks fifty years since the release of Bitches Brew, which launched the most experimentally creative portion of Miles’ long career. Jazz fusion greats such as Wayne Shorter, John McLaughlin, Joe Zawinul, and Billy Cobham guested on the double-vinyl set.

For fans of 1970s funk, Bitches Brew is perhaps the seminal work.

Here’s the full album plus a review from the Guardian:

Full Album

Guardian Review

Culture

The Betrayal Of Jesus

MAGA-Cross

We’re coming toward that time of year when we recall that Jesus was betrayed and executed by state authorities, in collaboration with religious leaders.

How fitting that American evangelicals are lining up to shine the shoes of Mr Two Corinthians himself.

Collaborationists par excellence.

Here’s a good survey of the evangelical landscape from the Daily Beast.

Reclaiming Jesus of Nazareth

I’ll lend my support to efforts to liberate Jesus of Nazareth from the evangelicals. Let them have their “Christ,” whoever that is.

Here’s Jesus for real – Luke 18: 10-14:

“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get. (‘And I voted for Donald Trump twice!’)

But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ (‘I voted for Hillary…’)

“I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other.

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Amen.

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