Sam Cooke, the American soul singer behind the iconic A Change is Gonna Come, was shot and killed just 11 days before the song was due to be released. Bertha Franklin, a motel manager said Cooke attempted to rape and rob her while she worked a night shift, although this has never been proven. Police found the 33-year-old singer’s body with a single gunshot wound through the heart, his last words were recorded on the phone call of Bertha Franklin to police; In the background Mr. Cooke can be heard sobbing “Miss, you shot me. Why’d you shoot me?”. The crime has been widely disputed as being premeditated and racially motivated, following Cooke’s powerful criticism on the racial tensions of 1960s America.
*continues to throw things at you because Reasons, mostly to do with the fact that this is awesome*
There was once a girl at Elsewhere who spoke to spiders.
She would study their webs, snapping pictures with her cheap instant camera and, later, studiously recreate them with graphite and ink. For the first eight weeks of freshman year her roommate hated spiders, then one evening she opened the door to see ‘him’ feeding the tarantula that had taken up residence in one corner. She never mentioned the odd teeth or the hollowness of his back, and quietly moved all the iron out of the room, bit by bit (except for the bracelet she wore and the old washers she hid in her pillows).
That was when she started weaving.
As a child she had been the one who came home with muddy shoes and dirt smeared on her face and clothes, only willing to take a bath when her father (single, divorced, but still won sole custody - a rarity in 1960’s America) demanded it of her. She grew into the girl in the oversized sweaters that were as comfortable as they were ugly, the sleeves stained with food, ink, and occasionally blood, and never paid attention to what anyone else said - mostly because she never heard. The bloodstains might have been from picked pimples and accidental nicks from the whittling knife she kept hidden in her shoe, but nobody else knew that, and she was a tall girl - six feet even - with the broad shoulders of a swimmer whose father taught her how to punch and kick and scream. So when she went to Elsewhere, the textile industry was the last thing on her mind. She wanted to be an artist, to carve stories and emotion out of wood blocks.
But then, on her first day, she found a large, hairy, potentially deadly spider sitting on her not-yet-made bed when she came out of the bathroom. She shrieked, of course - the spider was nearly the size of her pillow - and grabbed for the plunger next to the toilet (school plumbing was always going to be shit, no matter what school it was). She did not, however, try and hit the spider - don’t hurt the animals, even the bugs was one of the first things the told you at Elsewhere, right after wear your iron and keep salt in your pockets.
So instead, she took a nervous step forward. “Do you need help?” she whispered.
The spider didn’t nod - couldn’t - but the feeling brushed past her face like faint tendrils of web. Yes.
She swallowed nervously. “What do you need?”
The feeling brushed past her face again. Take me.
Her face blanched as certain meanings of the phrase came to mind as she immediately tried to scrub the images away because oh sweet Jesus NO. “Where…where do you need to go?”
Under the hill.
She swore (in Latin) - but the spider rode her yellow rubber plunger to the entrance under the hill, and when she woke up the next day she found a shawl folded neatly at the foot of her bed, made of a strange, silvery material - soft as a daydream and impossible to damage.
She switched her major to textile production that afternoon, and if you needed something stitched or mended, she was always willing - for a price. When she left, she moved back home and started up her own business, taking in customers both humanly and inhumanly strange, accepting payment in oddities as well as in the swipe of a credit card. Everything is handmade on a wooden loom, and everything has its place.
In addition to state-of-the-art weapons, shielding, and navigation technology, Driver’s vehicle the McMANN also has a cassette tape player, which is very exciting because it means they get to make mixtapes they can make everyone else listen to while they head out on a mission.
So I made a couple of YouTube playlists.
These are all songs that came out in America between 1960 and spring of 1974, mostly a blend of rock, soul, power pop, and some proto-punk. The first one is faster songs, more rock ‘n’ roll. The second has more soul and love songs and stuff. Chill, but you can still sing along to ‘em.
The thing is, capitalism has never been reformed ‘peacefully’.
Reform movements which have formally disavowed violent means - from the Civil Rights movement in 1960s America, to Attlee’s Labour government in 1940s Britain - have only been historically successful because mass, organised, revolutionary movements of the politically disenfranchised outside of the formal reform movement have forced those benefiting from the status quo to cede concessions to non-violent, often middle-class, reformist leaders. Malcolm X, the Socialist Party of the USA and the Communist Party forced the American elite to come to the table with Dr. King; the syndicalist and communist trade unions in post-War Britain made opposition to Attlee’s NHS and limited nationalisations foolhardy.
Those who preach non-violence as a strategy rather than as a flexible tactic fatally mistake capitalism for a rational, logical system which plays by its own rules and respects human life.
As some of you may know, I recently visited the city of Puebla. Puebla is home to the second largest VW factory in the world, so the city has an intimate relationship with the corporation, and by extension the Beetle. Below the cut: a photo-heavy look at the beetles of Puebla and a comparison of a 1954 Beetle to a 1992 Beetle!