New York

The challenges of administering misery in the two New York Cities

An article looking at New York City as a new 'progressive' mayor takes power.

The background for our tale is the story of a more laborious problem: class. This appears as a specter haunting the Dickensian narrative emphasizing inequalities within the city which Mayor Bill de Blasio used during his campaign.

Gays take on cops: From rage to madness

The following is a report by Howard Blum in The Village Voice (Sept. 3, 1970) of a gay march/riot that took place in NYC on August 29, 1970. The march took place just months after the first Christopher Street Liberation Day, commemorating the anniversary of the Stonewall riots, and shows the deep connection to prisoner solidarity in early Gay Liberation-era actions.

Joel is a homosexual. Two nights before Saturday’s Gay Liberation March, I listened in his Upper West Side apartment as he articulated his despair: “I live in a culture that is not mine. I am afraid to hold my lover’s hand when we walk in the street. Afraid not because I think it is wrong or evil. I am proud to be gay. I am afraid because I don’t know who’ll be behind me.

Throwing a Wrench in the "Capitalism Works" Piece

I'm not sure quite where to start my rant on this public art project in Times Square by Steve Lambert (http://gothamist.com/2013/09/12/talk_about_capitalism_in_the_heart.php), given that it perturbs me on so many levels. The artist might respond, "That's the point!" And certainly I'd like to respond, "You're right!" Instead, my first disgruntlement with this piece it that it only appears to perturb, and so cleverly.

Like capitalism, and its "creative capitol" version in city's such as, say, New York City, it lures us with an aesthetically pleasing, humorous, fun thing, asks for and probably receives our voluntary participation (free labor, not even wage labor!), and thus, convinces us to "buy into" a social relation that's hidden by the thing itself.

The national US Postal Service wildcat strike, 1970 - Jeremy Brecher

Jeremy Brecher's short history of the successful nationwide illegal wildcat strike of American postal workers: the first major strike of federal government workers.

Radical America #01.03: The New York rent strike

Constituent articles:

- Studies on the left R.I.P. (Weinstein, James)
- The rent strikes in New York (Naison, Mark D.)
- Comment (Gabriner, Robert)
- A paperback approach to the American paperback tradition (MacGilvray, Daniel)
- Leaflet the genius of American politics
- Books on the American labor movement, 1877-1924

Last exit to Brooklyn - Hubert Selby Jr.

Film adaptation directed by Uli Edel

Series of stories set in 1950s Brooklyn; a local union official struggles with his sexuality during a strike, a sex worker trawls the bars for sailors and steals their money, and a crossdresser is thrown out of her home. Trigger warning, features a rape passage.

A moving story: with afterword - Jocelyn Cohn and James Frey

In 2012, workers at a small moving company in New York City rose up against bad pay and dangerous work conditions. In the course of the struggle, much was revealed about how exploitation operates; how the enticements of 'self-expression' and a 'laid back' atmosphere serve to weaken consciousness and collective action. At the same time, this history reveals the opportunities and limits that workers face within self-organized struggles in a small business format. This is an updated version with a new 2013 afterward by the original author.

In the Summer of 2012 the exploited workers at Rabbit Movers autonomously organized our shop and began the fight for control over the conditions of our lives. This is one worker’s account of how it all went down.

“They Just Run Us Into The Ground...”

Postmodern anti-hero: capitalism and heroism in Taxi Driver - Matthew Iannucci

Film theory examining the themes of masculinity, media reportage and cinema worship in the landmark film of the 1970s.

Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver is a gritty, disturbing, nightmarish modern film classic that examines alienation in urban society. From a postmodernist's perspective, it combines the elements of noir, the Western, horror, and urban melodrama as it explores the psychological madness within an obsessed, inarticulate, lonely antihero cab driver, Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro).

The rebellion contained: the empire strikes back

East Flatbush, BK

Will from the east coast revolutionary collective, the Fire Next Time, analyzes the ongoing events in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.

Last night the Empire struck back. It is too simple to say that the NYPD is what I am referring to. No doubt the NYPD came out in greater force and presence then the night of the rebellion. Cops were not only in the air, on horse, but on top of the buildings. There was virtually no escaping the eyes of the law last night.

Queens, hookers, and hustlers: Organizing for survival and revolt amongst gender-variant sex workers, 1950-1970

A selection from Mack Friedman’s Strapped for Cash: A History of American Hustler Culture.

From the Introduction: