Category Archives: Uncategorized

Searching for Graham Greene’s Havana

1960s: Days of Rage

“It’s only when I re-read Our Man in Havana that I realized I shared a street with the hapless spy hero of Graham Greene’s novel. My own office was in a grand trading exchange in the old city that dated back to the early 20th century. At Calle Lamparilla 1, the building was just a short distance from the fictional vacuum cleaner store run by Jim Wormold. The novelist gives the address of Phastkleaners as Lamparilla 37, but I’ve walked up and down the dusty street before without locating any building with that number. There are no houses at all between 2 and 61, just a small park. This time, though, I’m returning to the search with fresh information. Calle Lamparilla cuts through the historic heart of the city down to my old office near the dock. Sidestepping a couple of elderly men playing the fool for tips at a…

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In the summer of ’63, black students led protests against the South Bay’s white-only neighborhoods

1960s: Days of Rage

Hundreds of demonstrators jam sidewalks in the Southwood housing tract to march for fair housing in 1963.

“It was the hot, fraught summer of 1963. Every weekend 18-year-old college students Bobbie and Renee Hodges would trek over to the boiling, treeless Torrance housing tract of Southwood Riviera Royale, developed by Don Wilson Builders. With their teased hair and stylish summer shift dresses they looked like the quintessential early ’60s All-American girls. But this All-American neighborhood was closed to them, for the simple fact that they were black. To fight this injustice, they sat-in and picketed in front of the planned community’s sales office at 23448 Evalyn Avenue. The twins were ‘dedicated, dynamic and full of spirit,’ according to the Los Angeles Sentinel, and by August they had been arrested three times for their efforts. But Bobbie explained to the newspaper that their sacrifices were well worth it. ‘Our…

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Florida: English Professor Fired for Including Discussion of Racial Justice in His Writing Classes

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Orlando Sentinel reported that Professor Sam Joeckel was fired by Palm Beach Atlantic University, a private Christian university where he has taught for more than two decades. A student complained that he discussed”racial justice” as a topic for his students to write about.

Joeckel walked into his office one day last week and discovered that his telephone and computer were gone. Apparently a parent complained that he was indoctrinating students by teaching about racism.

Joeckel had an idea something was up because he was called in by administrators to explain his rational for teaching about racial justice. There was also a rumor that he had said something positive about gay people,which the university forbids.

The president of the university, Dr. Debra Schwann, took a personal interest in the case.

The parent who complained had “a reasonable concern about Dr. Joeckel lecturing substantially on the history of racism and racial…

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The World – Edited by Joel Sloman, Anne Waldman, and others

1960s: Days of Rage

Anne Waldman, ed., The World Anthology: Poems from the St. Mark’s Poetry Project (1969)

In the Spring of 1966, I couldn’t wait to graduate from Bennington, and get back ‘home’ (which meant Macdougal Street and subsequently St. Mark’s Place) and the ‘literary life.’ I had edited Silo magazine at school, and Lewis Warsh and I had founded Angel Hair magazine and books at the Berkeley Poetry Conference in the summer of 1965. The fall of 1966 was a critical time for me with Frank O’Hara’s tragic death, but I was also hired as an assistant to the newly christened Poetry Project, a place where ‘only’ poets could get jobs. Troubadour translator and New York poet Paul Blackburn had hosted open readings in the Parish Hall at St. Mark’s the previous year, after moving the scene from the Metro coffeehouse. Joel Oppenheimer, another poet, was named director. He had…

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E.P. Thompson

1960s: Days of Rage

Edward Palmer Thompson (3 February 1924 – 28 August 1993) was an English historian, writer, socialist and peace campaigner. He is best known today for his historical work on the radical movements in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, in particular The Making of the English Working Class (1963). Thompson published biographies of William Morris (1955) and (posthumously) William Blake (1993) and was a prolific journalist and essayist. He published the novel The Sykaos Papers and a collection of poetry. His work is considered by some to have been among the most important contributions to labour history and social history in the latter twentieth-century, with a global impact, including on scholarship in Asia and Africa. … Thompson was one of the principal intellectuals of the Communist Party of Great Britain. Although he left the party in 1956 over the Soviet invasion of Hungary, he nevertheless remained a…

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Heather Cox Richardson: Equality Means Equality

Diane Ravitch's blog

Heather Cox Richardson writes in her blog “Letters from an American” about the Republican Right’s fascination with the authoritarian leader of Hungary, Viktor Orbán. Orbán is a critic of liberal democracy and a great admirer of Trump. It’s scary.

She writes:

At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last weekend, Daily Wire host Michael Knowles said that “for the good of society…transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely—the whole preposterous ideology, at every level.” He worded his statement in such a way that it would inevitably create outrage that he could then angrily refute by insisting that “eradicating transgenderism” was not the same thing as eradicating transgender people. This sort of word game is a well-known right-wing tactic for garnering media attention.

Make no mistake: this attack on transgender people represents a deadly attack on the fundamental principle of American democracy, the idea that all people are created equal.

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Enragés and Situationists in the Occupation Movement: Paris, May, 1968 – René Vienet

1960s: Days of Rage

Revolutionary Space: The Situationist Excursions of 1968 – “A map of the fifth arrondissement of Paris, dated May 10th 1968, shows Rue Gay-Lussac and numerous streets south of Place du Panthéon blocked by black lines. Appearing in an account of the May uprisings in Paris by the Situationist René Viénet, the map marks ‘the defense perimeter and the emplacement of principal barricades in the occupied quarter’. 60 barricades were spontaneously thrown up that evening by thousands of demonstrators who converged on the Latin Quarter after the police had blocked their route to the Seine. Assailed by the police using gas and grenades, and fighting back with paving stones and Molotov cocktails, the protesters held onto the quarter until the early hours of the morning. Evidence of the fierce battle that raged was readily apparent the next day as smoke cleared from overturned cars lying across the streets, as barricades…

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1960 Film Scores: European Films

1960s: Days of Rage

La Dolce Vita – Federico Fellini (1960)

“The previous article in the series about music in 1960 covered soundtracks for American films released that year. It was indeed a great year for music made for the movies, and not only in the US. On the other side of the pond a number of countries produced classic movies and soundtracks. We begin this review in The Eternal City and one of the most celebrated director/composer collaborations in the history of film-making. Federico Fellini arrived in the city of Rome in 1939 and spent the early part of his career as a magazine writer and editor. As a young man he experienced the excitement of living in the city and mingling with Rome’s café society, a glittery bohemian world of post-war Italy. In 1958 he started filming a movie loosely based on that period, splitting it into multiple episodes. It took him…

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NAVALNY Wins the Oscar for Best Documentary!

Diane Ravitch's blog

I was thrilled to see that the documentary about Alexei Navalny won the Oscar. It will bring more attention to his unjust imprisonment by a dictatorship. I hope everyone gets to see this film. His family was there to share the award.

The KGB tried to poison him but failed. He was saved in a German hospital. He could have stayed out of Russia and remained free.

But he returned , knowing that Putin would lock him up for years. He is now in a remote prison camp, in solitary confinement.

But not forgotten.

Let’s hope this recognition bolsters his spirit.


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TCS: Music So Sweet It Makes the Air Remember

Flowers For Socrates

Good Morning!


Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers
on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum,
so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in
your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.


“The world breaks every one and afterward many
are strong at the broken places. But those 
that will
not break it kills. It kills the very good 
and the very
gentle and the very brave impartially. 
If you are none
of these you can be sure it will kill 
you too but there
will be no special hurry.”
Ernest HemingwayA Farewell to Arms

“If we cannot end now our differences,
at least we can help make the world safe
for diversity … our most basic common
link is that we all inhabit this small planet.
We all breathe the same air. We all cherish

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