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brought to you by Five Penny Piece

bardiphouka: (come on canada)
Do not win. Especially if they lose the support of the non Rich that provide their riches and protect them. In 1919 the city of Winnipeg held a six week general strike to protest low wages and bad working conditions. With, I believe, one exception, every union in the city joined. This included the police, although the strike committee asked the police to stay on the job to prevent martial law. Eventually they were to a man fired and replaced by 'specials' and by NW Mounties.

This song is by Mike Ford, former member of Moxy Fruvous, who now makes a living writing history songs about Canada and presenting them in Canadian schools.

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1993 Sears announces it is closing its catalog sales department after 97 years

It is hard perhaps for the latest generation to truly understand the Sears catalog. At one point it could be used for buying anything up to and including the kitchen well as a house for the kitchen. And people used them for generations to dream of a better lifestyle.

It also served as a model the Whole Earth Catalog which became a lifestyle in and of itself in the pre internet days.
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1986 1st induction of Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame (Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Domino, Everly Bros, B Holly, J L Lewis and Elvis Presley)

Who would have thought 20-30 years before that there would even be such a thing as a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What happened?
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1575 English queen Elizabeth I grants Thomas Tallis and William Byrd music press monopoly

One would assume this was quickly followed by some of the first music pirates..albeit without bit torrents?
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1861 Flush toilet patented by Mr. Thomas Crapper

Sometimes the really important inventions tend to be forgotten?
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1939 Comic strip "Superman" debuts
1938 Benny Goodman refuses to play Carnegie Hall when black members of his band were barred from performing

I would say the US found a real superhero in 1938?
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1535 Henry VIII declares himself head of English Church

Do not get me wrong,I consider the Anglican Church to be quite legitimate..even given the totally nonreligious secular basis for their beginning.
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1699 Massachusetts holds day of fasting for wrongly persecuting "witches"

Now don't we feel all warm and cuddly about ourselves? Pretty soon we may apologise to the Indians ...oh and those slaves we have been transporting from Africa.

or not..let's take things one step at a time.
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Today, if one were a Roman in ancient times, would be the first day of Carmentalia. A feast (which the Romans did ever so well) that lasted 4 days to honour Carmenta, a sort of goddess of childbirth and prophecy. Mostly, we are told, celebrated by women. Personally I can see how prophecy can be ever so handy after childbirth. Especially once the child starts self locomotion.

Of course if one were an ancient Roman I am not sure that childbirth would be that important. And prophecy something to perhaps be avoided.
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On this day in history the foremother of blogging was born with the first appearance of Dear Abby in newspapers (newspapers once upon a time were also the blogsites in those days when people still wrapped fish and not nearly as much electricity was used)
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People talk about the Golden Age of Science Fiction, which is 12. Err I mean which lasted from the 30s-50s. How do I feel about said golden age? Let's just say I am curious to see what would happen if the Tea Party would rediscover it. With a few exceptions, it tended to be misanthropic,racist, sometimes fundamentalists and on frequent occasions libertarian.

On the other hand, it did spark an interest in science, albeit mostly in boys (thank you Isaac for variances on almost everything I am talking about). It provided us with a lone figure winning against odds (wonders where SF would have been without the Western) Of course that lone figure was white,heterosexual and male.

And yet, during the Great Depression, two wars and the Cold War it continued to give us hope. And then came the two sixties towers...New Wave and the Return of Fantasy.
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In 2969 A British group named Who came out with their fourth album "Tommy". It was what many people had been waiting for since Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band had showed the way a few years before, in June of 1967. And it in turn paved the way for the first legitimate rock opera, "Jesus Christ Superstar". The original album version that is, with Ian Gilliam from Deep Purple as Jesus.

Was "Tommy" opera? In a way I think. Or at the very least light opera. And it was certainly an "event"..not to be confused with a current TV series. And it led to a number of other groups and composers attempting it. Andrew Lloyd Weber of course. Rick Wakeman, even the Bee Gees(red velveteen cover and all) But with the exception of Weber and Rice, most of what was actually delivered were concept albums, and generally not good ones at that. And then came punk rock, as it should have, and everything changed.

Which leads me to two questions.

One. Could the release of a cd have a cultural impact in the same way that "Tommy"did. Influencing others and spawning an orchestral version, a movie and several different stage productions on its own. Certainly there are popular groups out there, but could they release something that would have such a wide ranging effect. Which leads me to

Two. Would anyone want to release something like that. Is rock and roll capable of sustained thought like that anymore. I am not saying that there are not individual songs, or that there are not composers who could do at LEAST as well as Townsend. But would they? I hope so. Certainly there has been a resurgence over the last few years of the musical format, many of them with rock influence. So why not return to the root. Can we? Would people listen. I am not sure, but for now excuse me, I am going to listen to "Tommy" again
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So let us talk about the music. and the truth is that you cannot talk about Irish music without talking about the history of the Irish and of Irish-Americans.

We start with An Gorta Mor, or the Great Hunger..which is a much more precise description than famine..because it was all artificial after all. And there were millions of people forced out of Ireland to North America. And the Americans met them with..well, less than open arms as it happens. The whole "No Irish Need Apply" thing. Which led to, as it happens, to the hyphen. For this new people, the Irish-Americans would not not let go of their Irish heritage but also at the same time refused to be seen as less than American, even though they were a different religion than the majority of Americans at the time.

Cut forward a hundred years. in the Republic of Ireland makers of traditional music were looked down upon. They were reminders of the crushing poverty and the the repression of the Irish Catholic Church (another gift of the English but that is a different tale.) And then the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, wearing sweaters Mother Clancy had made them, came to New York. And this group of immigrants were accepted with open arms as it were, along with curious ears..and the Irish were saying..that is us? More to follow of course.


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