Author Archive | Mickey Z

In Defense Of Occupation: Dealing With Skeptics

Mickey Z. Photo by Stacey Mazurek

Mickey Z. Photo by Stacey Mazurek

“Don’t criticize what you can’t understand.” –Bob Dylan

So, you took off from work on May 1 but opted to not explain about May Day to any of your co-workers. Little did you know that you’d be recognized in footage on the evening news and find yourself face-to-face with a skeptical colleague, who ponders: I don’t get it. What do the occupiers want? Why is there no clear agenda?

You: Um, have you heard of a little something called the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City?

Colleague: Yeah, maybe, kinda… but still, everyone says they lack a coherent message.

Mic Check: Pardon us, but all the comprehensive and meaningful agendas like “Yes We Can” and “Hope and Change” and “Shock and Awe” were already taken.

Colleague: I read in the papers and saw on TV that…

You: Whether you label them liberal or conservative, most major media outlets are large corporations owned by or aligned with even larger corporations, and they share a common goal: to make a profit by selling a product — an affluent audience — to a given market: advertisers.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Fitness Revolution And America’s Class Struggle

Mickey Z

Mickey Z

Some 35 years ago—during the pre-Stairmaster days of yore when your standard gym looked more like a cave than Studio 54—Arnold may have already been Mr. Olympia several times over but there probably weren’t more than a couple of dozen people who could pronounce “Schwarzenegger” on the first try.

Let’s face it, when Bobby Fischer was the nation’s athletic ideal, it was clearly time for a fitness revolution.

Fast-forward to the twenty-first century and a health club on every corner. This time around the revolution was televised and joining a gym has become a post-modern rite of passage. You plunk down the plastic and get introduced to a “personal trainer.”

Welcome to my world…

An upscale health club is one place where the different classes meet and mingle. Any personal trainer worth his or her supplements craves an elite clientele. Conversely, their well-heeled customers dream of wielding their buff buns and ripped deltoids like post-modern status symbols.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Forgotten Verses From “This Land is Your Land”

In 2005, I published a book with Disinformation called 50 American Revolutions You’re Not Supposed To Know: Reclaiming American Patriotism.

Hope you like what you read, for more about me, please check out my blog at www.mickeyz.net.

__________________________________________________________

Photo: Al Aumuller

If you were to open your mouth and belt out the words “this land is your land,” you could rest assured that someone nearby would add: “this land is my land.” The chorus to Woody Guthrie’s 1940 classic is common knowledge … as are the first couple of verses.

But it isn’t until you get to the later verses — the verses often omitted from official versions — that you start comprehendin’ what good ol’ Woody (1912–1967) had in mind:

As I was walkin’ I saw a sign there
And that sign said “No tresspassin’”
But on the other side, it didn’t say nothin’
Now that side was made for you and me

In the squares of the city / In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office, I see my people
And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’
If this land’s still made for you and me

Let’s not forget that Guthrie penned the song in response to Irving Berlin’s saccharine “God Bless
America.” Let’s also not forget the words he scrawled on his guitar:

“This machine kills fascists.”

Woody said: “This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin’ it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, ’cause we don’t give a dern.… Read the rest

Continue Reading