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The World You’ll Come to Know

by : Daveparts
Wednesday October 1, 2008 - 20:57

By David Glenn Cox

I was talking to my son yesterday about the economy and politics in general. He’s twenty-three, self-employed, and ambitious. Even as a child he was ambitious. “Dad,” he’d say, “can I borrow the lawnmower?” Then he’d come back at sundown with $150.00. He never cared for cartoons, video games, or school but his one weakness was the Three Stooges, the originals with Curly not Shemp. He was a purist and Shemp was no Curly, just as Dan Quayle was no Jack Kennedy.

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But as we discussed politics I asked him, “Why do you suppose the Three Stooges were always just this side of the law? Because," I explained, "the films were made during the depression when the police weren’t so popular." The police meant trouble; my own father was taught to slam the front door at the first sight of a cop. Not that the Cox’s weren’t honest, but my grandfather was active in the Iron Workers Union, or what would become the Iron Workers Union. The sight of police meant a possible arrest or a beating, or both.

The Stooges were always trying to help a widow woman or to help a sick child get an operation. Because, in that generation, being elderly meant being poor. The aged were poor; few had any pension or owned their own home. The Stooges would steal a watermelon which would somehow always end up broken over a policeman’s head. That was funny in the thirties. A cop hit with a pie or jumping over rolling beer barrels was hysterical because times were hard and it was the sheriff that evicted you and the cops who rousted the poor.

My mother grew up in inner-city Chicago and the kids in her neighborhood played a game called Rock. As they played other games on the sidewalk, when some kid yelled, “New car!” that meant all the kids should grab rocks and pelt the new car with them. You see, new cars only belonged to rich folks and rich folks only came into her neighborhood to cause poor folks trouble. Her brother taught her how to turn the power meter over so that it would run backwards. He even earned extra money by breaking the glass on the gas meters so that you could push a broom straw against the needle to stop it.

My mother would save her pennies to go to the movies but she hated Shirley Temple movies; they left a bitter taste in her mouth. The premise of the films was always of a poor Shirley, poor but happy, who was rescued from poverty by the benevolent rich folks and she would teach them to be happy like she was. Maybe it was seeing another little girl dressed in fine clothes while my mother was in hand-me-downs that bothered her. But all the other kids were in hand-me-downs; that was a quick way to get beat up, too, show up in all new clothes.

The immense popularity of the Shirley Temple films was due in part to the underlying rescue theme. Millions of children and adults were seeking escape and temporary rescue from the grinding poverty. Shirley would have a big breakfast of eggs and bacon and juice while Mom was having just coffee! Shirley wasn’t sure what fork to use on her salad, while my mom knew which fork to use but didn’t always have the food to use it on, until her brother got a job with the CCC. He sent home money every week but apologized when he sent less once; he had to buy a new toothbrush because his was stolen.

It is hard to fathom the poverty that would cause someone to steal a used toothbrush. Dad had told me about the cardboard blowing out of the window during the night and waking up in the morning with snow piling up on the bedroom floor. My father had a tenuous relationship with his own dad. He admired and respected the way he led the family through the depression, bringing home old leather belts from the factory to resole his children’s shoes. He brought home a barrel of waste oil from the factory once and put it in the attic and then run a line with a bleeder valve into the cast iron coal stove. Dad said it worked great except that sometimes the oil would gather on the tip of the tube and then a large drop would hit the fire. It would make a roaring sound like a baseball bat hitting the coal stove. One evening a particularly large drop collected and my grandmother thought that they were all dead and ordered it removed the next day.

When my father laid his dad to rest, he reflected on the bronze casket, courtesy of the union, and the pension that had taken care of his dad in his declining years. Along with his Social Security and medical insurance, he had died without debt. All things that he had earned and fought for and because of his fight millions more had those things too.

My dad told me about the strike that started the week before Thanksgiving and ended in January. “Guess what I got for Christmas that year!” he used to say. During the strike his father’s head was split open by a policeman’s Billy club and he was arrested twice in one day. Dad always liked the Three Stooges, too, and his father’s head was sown up by the woman next store with thread because, like the kid the Stooges were trying to help get an operation, only people with cash went to the doctor.

The elderly were the poorest demographic in this country, ill-clothed and ill-fed. They died in droves every winter from pneumonia and hypothermia. In those days pneumonia was called “the old people’s friend,” because it would take them quickly.

My dad was born at home and my mother was born in the “Charity Hospital.” My mother went to Catholic school, gratis, and had to stay after and help the nuns when asked. They taught her to sew and to make dress patterns, and soon she was making her own clothes and clothes for her sisters. Years later she took a job teaching advanced dressmaking and on the application where it said Experience she put, Yes.

When we buried my mother, my father could easily afford her funeral; he had served four years flying the Atlantic scouting for Nazi U-boats. He used the GI Bill to become the first in his family to go to college. John McCain thinks you should serve seven years to get a college education, but how did John McCain pay for his college education? My mother’s idols were Will Rogers, Woody Guthrie and Franklin Roosevelt. She would be outraged by the idea of the elderly voting Republican, especially in Florida. “They’d let you starve and freeze.” She would say speaking from experience.

I guess I’m speaking from that experience, too. I’ve watch all my life as Republicans rolled back the safety net so that those with much could have much more. I’ve watched this week as Wall Street cried out for help and the government came running. The wealthy are withdrawing their money from the bank so we must increase FDIC insurance limits to $250,000. Yet for the struggling middle class, the poor, the elderly, bupkis! Nada! Zip! So it is now that the past is the future. As I drove past Home Depot the other day, an elderly man who looked to be in his seventies stood on the side of the road with a handmade sign that said: Carpenter, Need Work!

The sign of times to come, we’ve had a rash of bank robberies, one in the mall! The sign of times to come. The Stock Market will meander into a small, quiet pool, car lots will continue to close, fast food places will cut prices to try and stay alive. Chain stores will close less profitable outlets and the poor will begin to get hungry and the elderly to get cold. My son told me that a lot of his friends are voting for John McCain and that he just couldn’t understand them. “McCain’s offering them nothing! They’re not rich and they want to go to college, yet they support the guy who helps only the rich and makes it harder to go to college.” I tried to make him understand that after a deep, philosophical soul searching, and a few days with nothing to eat, they will see this world in a whole new light.

Suddenly a cop getting hit with a watermelon will become funny. Groucho Marx lambasting the rich and powerful will become hysterical. They will listen to “Hobo’s Lullaby" with a smile and “This Land is Your Land” with a tear. And "The Big Rock Candy Mountain" with a whole new understanding.

One evening as the sun went down
And the jungle fires were burning,
Down the track came a hobo hiking,
And he said, "Boys, I’m not turning
I’m headed for a land that’s far away
Besides the crystal fountains
So come with me, we’ll go and see
The Big Rock Candy Mountains
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
There’s a land that’s fair and bright,
Where the handouts grow on bushes
And you sleep out every night.
Where the boxcars all are empty
And the sun shines every day
And the birds and the bees
And the cigarette trees
The lemonade springs
Where the bluebird sings
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
All the cops have wooden legs
And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth
And the hens lay soft-boiled eggs
The farmers’ trees are full of fruit
And the barns are full of hay
Oh I’m bound to go
Where there ain’t no snow
Where the rain don’t fall
The winds don’t blow
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
You never change your socks
And the little streams of alcohol
Come trickling down the rocks
The brakemen have to tip their hats
And the railway bulls are blind
There’s a lake of stew
And of whiskey too
You can paddle all around it
In a big canoe
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
The jails are made of tin.
And you can walk right out again,
As soon as you are in.
There ain’t no short-handled shovels,
No axes, saws nor picks,
I’m bound to stay
Where you sleep all day,
Where they hung the jerk
That invented work
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.
I’ll see you all this coming fall
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

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The World You’ll Come to Know
Wednesday October 1 - 22:32 - Posted by f80acad789b89b43...

Big Rock Candy Mountain
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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"Big Rock Candy Mountain" is a song about a hobo’s idea of paradise - a modern version of the medieval concept of Cockaigne, and similar to the fishermen’s concept of Fiddler’s Green. It was frequently sung by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal Armies, nation-building schemes to employ men during the Great Depression.

The song describes a hobo’s vision of utopia, a place where the "hens lay soft boiled eggs" and there are "cigarette trees". The song is also rather ironic and satirical in that it additionally describes mollified versions of things that one wouldn’t think should exist in paradise at all, such as police (with wooden legs) and jail bars (made of tin), but sound appealing to someone whose lifestyle runs afoul of the law.

Contents [hide]
1 History
2 Recordings
3 Other uses
4 References
5 Further reading

[edit] History
This article needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2008)

The song apparently dates to around the 1890s, as a hobo ballad based on An Invitation to Lubberland. Authorship is commonly attributed to Harry McClintock, whose version is the first documented example of it. McClintock attempted to enforce a copyright on the song but lost his lawsuit, which would put the song in the public domain.[1] Sheet music with a copyright date 1928, by Denton & Haskins Music Pub. Co. Inc., 1595 Broadway, New York, N.Y., identify the author as Billy Mack.

The song was first recorded in 1928 by Harry McClintock, also known as Haywire Mac. The Haywire Mac version peaked at #1 in 1939 country music charts printed by Billboard magazine. It is probably best remembered for its recording by Burl Ives in 1949, but it has been recorded by many artists throughout the world. A version recorded in 1960 by Dorsey Burnette reached #102 in Billboard, the biggest success for the song in the post-1954 "rock era".

Before recording the song, McClintock cleaned it up considerably from the version he sang as a street busker in 1897. Originally the song described a child being recruited into hobo life by tales of the "big rock candy mountain". Such recruitment actually occurred, with hobos enchanting children with tales of adventure called ghost stories by other hobos. In proof of his authorship of the song, McClintock published the original words, the last stanza of which was:

The punk rolled up his big blue eyes
And said to the jocker, "Sandy,
I’ve hiked and hiked and wandered too,
But I ain’t seen any candy.
I’ve hiked and hiked till my feet are sore
And I’ll be damned if I hike any more
To be buggered sore like a hobo’s whore
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains."
In the released version this verse did not appear. Sanitized versions have been popular, especially with children’s musicians; in these, the "cigarette trees" become peppermint trees, and the "streams of alcohol" trickling down the rocks become streams of lemonade. The lake of gin is not mentioned, and the lake of whiskey becomes a lake of soda pop. The 2008 extended adaptation for children by Gil McLachlan tells the story as a child’s dream, the last stanza being:

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains you’re going on a holiday
Your birthday comes around once a week and it’s Christmas every day
You never have to clean your room or put your toys away
There’s a little white horse you can ride of course
You can jump so high you can touch the sky
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.
A folk version of the song is included in the Gordon "Inferno" Collection in the Library of Congress, under the title "The Appleknocker’s Lament".[2]

[edit] Recordings
In 1986 The Beat Farmers released a version of the song, featuring a vocal by Country Dick Montana, on their mini-CD Glad ’N’ Greasy, recorded in England in 1985.
In 1988, renowned photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank released a feature film entitled Candy Mountain. The film was written by novelist and screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer and starred Tom Waits.
The song was used in the 1989 movie Ironweed and sung by Tom Waits.
In 2000, inclusion in the popular soundtrack for the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? brought the song to a modern audience. The version in the film, sung by Harry McClintock, includes the original references to "cigarette trees," "streams of alcohol," and the lake of whiskey as well.
John Hartford sang the song in Down from the Mountain, the concert film of music from O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Lisa Loeb sang a clean version of the song on her 2004 children’s release, Catch the Moon, re-released in 2007.
The song was used in a 2005 Burger King commercial, although the lyrics are changed to reference the food being promoted. In the commercial almost all of the promises of the song are shown in detail. Darius Rucker (of Hootie and the Blowfish) is shown as a cowboy singing the song. Brooke Burke also appears in the commercial as a cowgirl.
The British anarcho-punk band The Restarts have recorded a version using an early, uncensored version of McClintock’s lyrics, but their recording does not include the highly sexualized last stanza, reprinted above.[3]
The punk rock band Ashtray re-recorded the song but changed the name to "Punk Rock Candy Mountain" for the Rock ’n’ Roll Three Way CD with The Secretions and Final Summation.
In 1991, children’s sing-along producers created "Wee Sing in the Big Rock Candy Mountains." The video includes a G-rated version of the song.
Professional Wrestler Hobo Joe uses the song as entrance music.

[edit] Other uses
Shortly after the release of the song in 1928, some local residents, as a joke, placed a sign at the base of cluster of some brightly-colored hills a short distance north of Marysvale, Utah near Fishlake National Forest naming it “Big Rock Candy Mountain.” They also placed a sign next to a nearby spring proclaiming it “Lemon Springs.” The Big Rock Candy Mountain Resort currently sits at the base of the hills and is a major hub in the Paiute ATV trail. [4]
The largest exposed rock in the South Platte rock climbing area of Colorado is also called "Big Rock Candy Mountain" because of its colored stripes resembling a candy cane.[5][6]
One of the peaks in the Capitol State Forest in Washington State is named "Big Rock Candy Mountain."
A mine located approximately 24 kilometers north of Grand Forks, B.C., Canada, is called the "Rock Candy Mine". The mine was developed in the 1920s and is noted for its colorful fluorite and barite crystals.
In 1943, Wallace Stegner published an autobiographical novel titled The Big Rock Candy Mountain. He published a further autobiographical work in 1992 entitled Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs, a reference to a line in the song.
In 1945, George Orwell parodied this phrase in the book Animal Farm with an animal version of heaven named Sugarcandy Mountain.
The song is also discussed in depth in the book The Areas of My Expertise by John Hodgman, and performed by Jonathan Coulton in the audiobook.
In the 1970s, Big Rock Candy Mountain was made into an environmental fairytale, published on an LP intended for children with the namesake and addition songs. It is the story of a goose, a crawdad, a family of rats, a whangdoodle, and two hobos who journey to the fabled mountain in search of a home. There they find Pollution Pete, Cement Sam, and a construction crew damming the rivers, cutting down forests, and turning the mountain into suburbia. The animals steal shovels, paint them with glow-in-the-dark paint, and use them to scare away the crew so that the mountain can be returned to its pristine state.
In the Cormac McCarthy novel All the Pretty Horses, John Grady Cole comments on how much the Mexican Tavern keeper loves America by saying "He made that Country sound like the Big Rock Candy Mountains."
In 1987, the British indie band The Motorcycle Boy[7] released a single called "Big Rock Candy Mountain". This song has different words and music and is not related to the McClintock version.
In 1990, Jane Wiedlin recorded a song with the same title on her album Tangled.
The theme song to the TV series The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack draws heavy inspiration from this song. In fact, some of the lines in the theme song are lines from this song with a few words changed to include more references to candy (for example, "whiskey drippin’ down the rocks" became "sody pop drippin’ down the rocks.")

[edit] References
^ http://www.voicesacrosstime.org/com...
^ Digital Tradition [1]
^ http://www.restarts.co.uk The Restarts - their cover of BRCM can be downloaded for free here
^ http://geology.utah.gov/surveynotes... Info on BRCM
^ http://www.rockclimbing.com/routes/... Big Rock Candy Mountains (Colorado) climbing area info
^ http://www.climbingboulder.com/rock... More Colorado BRCM climbing info, with pictures
^ Big Rock Candy Mountain - The Motorcycle Boy

[edit] Further reading
Jack Goodman, "Life-Size Model of a Hobo Paradise," New York Times, June 11, 1950, p. 273.
Ron F. Carlson, "Encounter: Stranded at Rock Candy Mountain," New York Times, Oct. 17, 1976, pp. 29-30.
Photo the BRCM in Utah
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Ro..."

The World You’ll Come to Know
Thursday October 2 - 06:01 - Posted by Larry Winer - a19e14e8f114277d...

It’s interesting to see the author use the lyrics to Big Rock Candy Mountain. Paraphrasing: Where they hung the jerk that invented work; Alcohol flows freely; The handouts grow on bushes; You can just walk right out of the jails. Not that the rest of the lyrics aren’t sweet. But to me honest work is an elevating endeavor. Handouts are necessary but, like the fighter Corbet, only a last resort to a proud man. The jails of course are evil, not the criminals.

Of course Mr. Cox will call me a cruel Republican. But he paints the "evil" Republicans with one brush. No black and white, all evil.

My parents were immigrants from Russia. They worked hard and struggled plenty. I grew up with the ethic of hard work, honesty, respect and LOVE OF MY FELLOW MAN.

Mr. Cox is an idealogue. All black, no black-and-white. All elements of society can have these beliefs: Republicans and Democrats, Blacks and Whites; Men and Women.

When Mr. Cox can finally see people as individuals then society may progress. It’s not evil Republicans that we should fear. It’s evil individuals.

Larry Winer

The World You’ll Come to Know
Thursday October 2 - 13:51 - Posted by David Glenn Cox - c8c64386dc99daf5...

Individuals build institutions, why did your grandparents leave Russia? Could it have been Czarist oppression? Why didn’t they just do something about that one individual. History teaches us that those individuals who fight oppression are jailed for their ideas as well as their activities. My own Grandfather was arrested for inciting to riot, While watching a Ku Klux Klan parade in his town one of the Klansmen said “Cox! Join us!” and grabbed him by the arm. My Grandfather broke the Klansman’s nose and a riot ensued.

He pled guilty and served 30 days, the Klan in those days preached against the big three Blacks, Jews and Catholics and his mother was a Catholic. He acted as an individual but was charged as a group. The next time he was arrested was trying to break up a scuffle on a picket line; a company thug (An individual paid by an institution to create violence) had attacked a picketer half his size. My Grandfather went to his defense and was charged with assault and disorderly conduct based on the testimony of the thug, he was found guilty as well as the man first attacked.

To believe the monster has no head defies comprehension, to live in a cardboard shoebox diorama with labels like freedom, rugged individualism and personal integrity. Free to have no health care, rugged to have no heat and proud to support those who jet off to one of their eleven or twelve homes and who would wipe you from their shoe like dog crap without a second thought.

The reason that my own father had a difficult relationship with his father was because this individual spent countless hours fighting for his union and his family paid that price as well. But he never quit, he never backed down and he took the blows and served the time. Try and realize that he took the blows and served the time for others, so that others could have a better life even at the detriment of his own children. That’s courage, that’s fighting for economic freedom, individualism has it’s place but Christ didn’t come here to just save himself and individualism can just as easily be a synonym for selfishness.

The World You’ll Come to Know
Saturday October 18 - 06:27 - Posted by 613d4bdcf8bae83d...

My father also devoted his life to his union, we put him to rest this summer , until I read your artcle it never dawned on me , but nobody showed from that point in his life for the funeral. What he did install in me was a hard work ethic, I put that to work along with some college and have done well in my own business, and may I add I proudly employ union employees. I have devoted my life to building my business and in slow years some my employees take home pay was higher then my own.
I compete against firms that hire illegal help that can afford to pay 5 or 6 employees for what it costs me to pay wages and bennies for one employee. Tell me why i should continue to kill myself trying to make a buck, it would be so much easier to just do nothing and have obama spread the so called wealth with me. I need people of great wealth to purchase my product and keep my employees working, tax them and they cut back purchasing from me and others that provide hard working people with a decent wage and great health plans, my father killed himself bringing better benefits to workers and I truly beleive people are deserving of them they earned it. But that is the key they earned it, you have to work for it, no free rides. if you think you can sit on your butt untill your 40 and the world owes you, wake up any time now. organized labor is good but any local will tell you , you must work for it nothing comes for free.

The World You’ll Come to Know
Thursday October 2 - 20:15 - Posted by f80acad789b89b43...

Shemp Ruled!

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Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART III PART IV Several years ago, a young lady came into the college where I was teaching to inquire about a full-time instructor’s position in the sociology department. She was advised that only adjunct positions were available. Her response was, “No thanks. Once an adjunct, always an adjunct.” Her words still echo in my mind. Even as colleges and universities raise their tuition costs, they are relying more and more on adjunct instructors. Adjuncts are (...)
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART II PART III PART IV When The Bill of Rights was added to the United States Constitution over two hundred years ago, Americans were blessed with many rights considered to be “fundamental.” One conspicuously missing, however, was the right to an education. This was not surprising given the tenor of the times. America was primarily an agrarian culture, and education, especially higher education, was viewed as a privilege reserved for the children of the rich and (...)
Monday 30 July
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
If there is one universal question that haunts all human beings at some point in their lives, it is, “Why do we die?” Death, after all, is the great illogic. It ultimately claims all, the rich and the poor, the mighty and the small, the good and the evil. Death also has the capability to make most human pursuits—such as the quest for wealth, fame and power—vacuous and fleeting. Given this reality, I have often wondered why so many people are still willing to (...)
Thursday 28 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
How much corruption can a “democracy” endure before it ceases to be a democracy? If five venal, mendacious, duplicitous, amoral, biased and (dare I say it) satanic Supreme Court “justices”—John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy—have their way, America will soon find out. In several previous articles for Pravda.Ru, I have consistently warned how the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision is one of the (...)
Tuesday 12 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
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Imagine, if you will, that the United States government passes a law banning advertisers from sponsoring commercials on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show or Rupert Murdoch’s Fox (Faux) “News” Network. On one hand, there would be two decided advantages to this ban: The National IQ would undoubtedly increase several percentage points, and manipulative pseudo-journalists would no longer be able to appeal to the basest instincts in human nature for ratings and profit while (...)
Thursday 7 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
LIVE, from the State that brought you Senator Joseph McCarthy, Wisconsin voters now proudly present, fresh from his recall election victory, Governor Scott Walker! At first glance, it is almost unfathomable that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have voted to retain Scott Walker as Wisconsin’s governor. This, after all, is a man who openly declared he is trying to destroy the rights of workers through a “divide and conquer” strategy; who received 61% of the (...)
Tuesday 13 March
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
A question I’ve frequently been asked since I began writing for Pravda.Ru in 2003 is, “Why did you become disillusioned with the practice of law?” This question is understandable, particularly since, in most people’s minds, being an attorney is synonymous with wealth and political power. I’ve always been reluctant to answer this question for fear it will discourage conscientious and ethical people from pursuing careers in the legal profession—a (...)