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First Capital reader's circle went off like gangbusters. Had three more people than I thought we were going to have.
Talked about mudpies and Starship Troopers, diamonds and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
Afterwards, I asked Mr. Comrade if this is how the Bolsheviks did it. His reply:
"Hand out leaflets to striking workers? Check. Champion the cause of all the oppressed? Check. Organize workingman's reader circles of Das Kapital? Check."
I'm not sure if this is new or if I just missed it before:
Featuring Marx and Stirner (amongst others).
[J-PS,IT]Including my lady love.[/J-PS,IT]
For clarity, I don't think millennials are necessarily cheapskates; I just think they expect free rides all over God's green earth.
For example, the Nigerian Princess was on her way back from New York City where she was presenting her master's thesis at some psychology conference. I get a text from her while I'm in the parking lot at work asking what I'm doing. I tell her and then ask her what she's doing. "Coming into Worcester and wondering if I should take the train to Boston or wait for [Mr. Comrade] to come pick me up." At this point, Mr. Comrade wouldn't have gotten out of work for another five hours. I think she was working up to asking if I'd come get her, but I had to go to work. Later, she informed me that she had gotten some other dude to come get her. "Your chariot awaits, milady," I texted back.
But, I admit, this might be more of a class thing (although she's not actually a princess; she's a chieftain's daughter) than a generational thing. I've taken to calling her "Aunt Agatha" and she calls me "Jeeves."
Don't know how it goes outside of Marxist circles, but I chalk it up to a generational thing.
The over thirty comrades are always fighting over who's gonna buy the gas ("It doesn't take $20 of gas to get to Boston and back!" "But you paid last time," etc., etc.); the under 30 crowd seems to think that everybody is their mommy and free rides are part of their birthright.
Coming to the end of Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, was looking at all the books I started and didn't finish, opted to re-read Value, Price and Profit.
Well, I didn't simply opt for it. Couple weeks back we met this guy who used to be a comrade down in Alabama but then moved to Massachusetts to pursue his goal of being an academic Marxist economist. Tried to get him involved with stuff, he wasn't interested. Took him down to Boston for the Boston Socialist Unity Project conference and he bailed on us when we left. (Didn't even offer gas money.) Later, we recruit two kids who say they've been trying to read Das Kapital. Light bulb goes off, I rope the wannabe academic into starting a Capital reader's circle. First meeting Wednesday to go over V,P&P.
Figure we'll get out gas money back and then some. College courses go for, what, a couple grand these days?
Stole it for Facebook, comrade, thank you.
Pride and "Red, Black and Queer" were successes, especially the latter, with over a dozen attendees in a sweltering room listening to a septuagenarian gay communist give a slideshow presentation about organizing trade unions and hanging out with the Sandinistas.
I was a bit disappointed that we didn't get swarms of gay and trans kids who wanted to collect money for the phone workers, but me and Mr. Comrade compared notes and noticed that, of all the people we gave flyers to at the transgender rights thingy, we got a cis het Latino immigrant male to each event.
We'll take 'em.
Activist Friends of Mine in the News, well, Counterpunch
So, a couple of months ago we met this couple, Alex and Alex. He is from El Salvador; she is f$!@ing gorgeous. We ran into each other a couple of times, they came to one of our events, etc., etc. Then, back on April 14th, we ran into her down in Boston at the $15 rally in front of the state house. She found out about our bus back to Lowell, hopped on, and we got to chatting.
Turns out, she works with something called the Chelsea Collaborative and their contingent was bringing attention to sexual harassment at some shop downtown (I forget which right now). It further turned out that she is second-generation celebrity labor leftie royalty. Her dad is Steve Early, who, among other things, was a CWA legend, an architect of the 1997 UPS strike, and the author of a book that was making the rounds in the last five years, Save Our Unions, a Counterpunch preview of which I remember cribbing heavily from for a branch meeting once.
Anyway, I friended her a while ago on Facebook, but I never got around to friending the other Alex until I ran into him at the transgender rights demo last night. When he accepted my request, I discovered that she is too modest to promote her own articles via Facebook, and she's written quite a few, but here's the latest:
Hillary Lost My Vote in Honduras by ALEXANDRA EARLY (I'm guessing this is rhetorical and Hillary never had her vote)
Her pops had one published yesterday that looks pretty intriguing to me:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
For International Day Against Transphobia and Homophobia, the Lowell City Council entertained a motion to ask Massachusetts not to include transgendered people among the categories of people it is illegal to discriminate against.
CAJE helped turn out 50-75 peeps to voice their displeasure and the resolution was shut down. Then a resolution endorsing the Massachusetts decision to include etc., passed 8-to-1, including the councilwoman who seconded the original resolution.
Best of all, the Lowell City Council rounded up all the politically minded gay people in town so we can invite them to our Pride screening on Thursday or "Red, Black, and Queer" on Friday.
To stay on theme, I think I'll got a Chelsea Manning demo on Saturday.
Comrades of Mine in the News
Three of my Lowellian comrades and the yogic monk from NH went out to Albany this weekend. One of them apparently "delayed an oil train coming from North Dakota into the Port of Albany by rappelling off a railroad bridge that crosses the reservoir."
Was at work yesterday and saw a leaflet on the floor announcing that our brothers and sisters at ABC Supply were on strike (great way to spread the word, guys!) and me and Mr. Comrade went down there today.
Got home and discovered an article about one the fast food strikers I've been rabble-rousing with.
Comrades of Mine in the News
Should be in the Good Books thread, but I opted for here:
Synergistic weirdiosity had me at the office looking at my lending library the day after the Ken Livingstone brouhaha broke out, so I started re-reading Zionism in the Age of the Dictators: A Reappraisal by Lenni Brenner.
I had the pleasure, back in the nineties, of seeing the author ejected from a public debate between Ernest Mandel of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International and Joseph Seymour of the International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist). IIRC, Lenni wouldn't stop heckling Ernie so the Sparts kicked him out.
Even though I know it's been "taken back," I still experience a frisson of guilt when I type out the word "queer." Reminds me too much of my homophobic pre-pubescence in the suburban'80s.
2nd best was when First-Generation Romanian-American contact showed up with his long-flowing tresses and sharp, Slavic* features, looking like an elf, with a home-made red flag.
Speaking of "Vive le Galt!", today turns out to be Robespierre's birthday.
[Clenched fist salute]
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
The guy from this video (1:40)
at the head of about 40 demonstrators inside a KFC waving this sign (which the fast food strikers had absconded with after the April 14th action)
in the face of a supervisor while chanting
"Live free or die!/We can't survive on $7.25!
Vive le Galt!
Includes a video of him on William F. Buckley's show when he was running for Vice-President of the United States on the Socialist Workers Party ticket.
Did some more Verizon picket line walking and later today am going to a march in Concord (
Also got Comrade Gerry from Workers World to agree to give his "Red, Black and Queer" presentation up here. Huzzah!
Not sure if it's the same thing, but here's the last three articles on the "UPS Management Is Total Scum" fb page:
I'm not sure if the FB link will work if you're not logged in, but I will try nonetheless:
Happy May Day!
Going down to a rally for Verizon strikers before I head off to work.
Yesterday's Boston Socialist Unity Conference was fun. Ran into a lot of old friends and new, including a guy I was in the Sparts with 20 years ago.
Haven't done the leftist bingo tally yet, but I'm sure there were lots of points, especially since celebrity leftist Vijay Prashad is reported to be a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
Comrades of Mine in the News, or; More Professors
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Gettin' published in Truthout.
[DJdD]Decided not to go to Lawrence due to, a) fidelity; and, b) I'm broke.[/DJdD]
Robert Hawkshaw wrote:
Hello, Comrade Hawkshaw!
Beats me. I only know of one Trump supporter in my shop (and one Kasich supporter), but, then again, I work in Massachusetts, "bluest of the blue." I have heard The Black Goblin opining that if it comes down to the Donald versus Killary, he'd rather vote for Trump based on his anti-NAFTA, anti-TPP position, but I've noticed him veering to the right under the influence of his Dreadlocked Libertarian Wife who was devastated when Rand Paul dropped out. He did, however, DM my first game of 5th edition last Saturday. He ruled that I couldn't be a nobleman, so I dropped Aloysius Ambrose d'Abelmarle and instead created Piter Pettigrew, a paladin blacksmith.
As for populism, it can go either way. Quite instructive would be the example of Tom Watson and the Southern Populists who initially, in the late 19th century, forged a heroic alliance of poor white and black sharecroppers but later became a virulent white supremacist.
As for this week...tomorrow going to a rally for Verizon strikers before work and then over to Lawrence for another possible Amy Dube sighting (La Principessa decided to celebrate our getting back together by not coming up during her vacation and, instead, cry in bed and not leave the apartment for seven days straight); Friday will see me at a rally for UMass Lowell adjunct faculty (please sign the petition!); and Saturday will see me travelling down to Boston for the
Sunday, of course, is May Day, so look for a Verizon rally or immigrant rights demonstration near you! I'll be at work, alas. I already banged out one Sunday in the past month.
[Vo Giap, Ambassador of Bachuan]I don't think the albino sea cucumber says anything. It just shows up and shines its heavenly mandate on the next Kim.[/VG,AoB]
Anyway, the Occupy NH alumni were showing the new Michael Moore flick at the UU church in Manchester. I went, but I missed a bunch of the movie because I was dirty texting La Principessa and then had to sneak out into the lobby to finish the job. They had an impressive turnout, about 80 ppl, but I suspect half of them were the regular parishioners. Handed out a bunch of Jeffrey Pendleton leaflets. (Oh yeah, forgot to mention, the authorities are claiming he died from a fentanyl overdose. Haven't seen the family's response yet.)
Yesterday walked the Verizon lines in the rain for about an hour before we went out to eat with newly-graduated comrade who just got back from partying for a month in Guatemala.
Back to the lines after another comrade gets out of work. Phone worker picket lines are fun, it's, like, all mommies, who make sure you have a poncho and an umbrella.
Well, all my local environmentalist buddies who've been working on this are calling it a success: