“The Wire” and the American Nightmare

The WireThis article reviews the TV series, The Wire and points out how well the series does to depict a capitalist society in decay.

Utah Phillips: Golden Voice of the Great Southwest

Utah PhillipsBorn in Cleveland, Ohio, he [Utah Phillips] grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah where he spent many years of his life, always having a love-hate relationship with his adopted state.  It was here he met Ammon Hennacy, a Catholic fellow Wobbly who founded the Joe Hill House. Utah was a long-standing member of the Industrial Workers of the World. He spent many years working with both the IWW and at the Joe Hill House with Ammon. Utah Phillips spent his life defending the rights of the working man, the homeless and the indigent and also had a lifelong passion for trains and hobos.

A Review of Upton Sinclair’s Oil!

There Will Be BloodThe much ballyhooed movie There Will Be Blood is supposedly based upon Upton Sinclair’s 1927 novel Oil!, but it surely miscasts Sinclair’s focus and technique. The movie limits itself to a study of a manic, ruthless oil prospector, more a personality study, but the novel is a much wider socialist attack on corporate power and labor suppression, top-to-bottom government corruption, and corporate control of war, universities, and Hollywood .  The social and economic concerns read just like the present even though it is set in the World War I and 1920s era, mostly in the early California oil fields.