Saturday, February 07, 2009

Forget it Man, Granholm Dropped the Big One...

So I am the only person in the State of Michigan who thinks slashing arts funding and eliminating the Department of History, Arts & Libraries are bad ideas.

You all agree with Governor Granholm that "the arts are not a priority in Michigan"?

Is this the spirit of the UAW?

Is this the spirit of Jimmy Hoffa?

Of Cranbrook and Ox Bow?

Of Iggy Stooge and the Chili Monster, of the Grande Ballroom and the MC5 and "Kick Out the Jams," the spirit of the home state of John Sinclair?

Of Pewabic Pottery and Interlochen?

Of the Stone Circle Poets?

Of Diego Rivera and the murals at the DIA?

Is this the spirit of the workers, weeping, when they first saw the murals? When they realized how Rivera had glorified their labor and their lives?

Is this really the state where they wrote the Port Huron Statement? Where the Students for a Democratic Society was founded?

Is this the spirit of the 73 miners and their wives and children, trampled in the Italian Hall in Calumet because they dared to organize a solidarity dance during the Copper Strike of 1913?*

Where is the old spirit, the good old, "Hey, kids! I know! Let's put on a demonstration!"

Is this the spirit of Kukla, Fran and fucking Ollie?

To quote Marvin Gaye, "What's goin' on?"

What the Hell happened to you people?


by Woody Guthrie

Take a trip with me in nineteen thirteen
To Calumet, Michigan, in the copper country.
I'll take you to a place called Italian Hall
Where the miners are having their big Christmas ball.
I'll take you through a door, and up a high stairs.
Singing and dancing is heard everywhere,
I will let you shake hands with the people you see.
And watch the kids dance round that big Christmas tree.
You ask about work and you ask about pay;
They'll tell you that they make less than a dollar a day,
Working the copper claims, risking their lives,
So it's fun to spend Christmas with children and wives.
There's talking and laughing and songs in the air,
And the spirit of Christmas is there everywhere,
Before you know it, you're friends with us all
And you're dancing around and around in the hall.
Well, a little girl sits down by the Christmas tree lights,
To play the piano, so you gotta keep quiet.
To hear all this fun you would not realize
That the copper-boss thug-men are milling outside.

The copper-boss thugs stuck their heads in the door;
One of them yelled and he screamed, "There's a fire!"
A lady, she hollered, "There's no such a thing!
Keep on with your party, there's no such a thing."
A few people rushed, and it was only a few.
"It's only the thugs and the scabs fooling you."
A man grabbed his daughter and carried her down;
But the thugs held the door and he could not get out.
And then others followed, a hundred or more,
But most everybody remained on the floor.
The gun-thugs they laughed at their murderous joke,
While the children were smothered on the stair by the door.
Such a terrible sight I never did see.
We carried our children back up to their tree.
The scabs outside still laughed at their spree.
And the children that died there were seventy-three.
The piano played a slow funeral tune,
And the town was lit up by a cold Christmas moon;
The parents they cried and the miners they moaned,
"See what your greed for money has done."


Blogger Sara said...

Greg, you aren't alone in bemoaning the state of the arts (or the apparant NON-state, as it were) in Michigan. I rather feel kicked in the guts, and then told that I was lucky to be walking in front of the boot anyway.

3:08 PM  
Blogger greg rappleye said...

Thank you Sara!

That's one person willing to stand up.

Anyone else?

3:19 PM  
Blogger Cindy Hunter Morgan said...

I'm standing!

9:08 PM  
Blogger greg rappleye said...

That's three of us.

9:22 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home