Elton John: Rocket Man

Abagond

Remarks:

In 1972 this song went to #5 across the Anglosphere (except for Australia where it did not seem to chart). I always thought the song was somehow about drugs. In 2017 it was given a much deeper, more human meaning when Majid Adin and Stephen McNally made a video for it based on Adin’s experience as a refugee. In the video the Earth is played by Iran and Mars is played by a futuristic London, “cold as hell”. Brilliant. The song, after all, can be read as being about the loneliness of a man who leaves his family to go to a faraway, alien world to make a living.

See also:

Lyrics:

She packed my bags last night, preflight
Zero hour, nine a.m
And I’m gonna be high
As a kite by then

I miss the Earth so much
I miss my wife
It’s…

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Tarana Burke

Abagond

Tarana Burke (1973- ), a US activist, is the founder of the Me Too movement. She founded it back before hashtags were even a thing, back in 2006, in the days of MySpace.

On October 15th 2017, in the days of Twitter, in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted:

“If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.”

In the week that followed #MeToo was tweeted 48 million times. A wave of heartbreaking stories came down on Twitter. It became clear to anyone who was paying attention that sexual assault was not just rich and famous men taking advantage of women. It was not just a few bad apples. It went much deeper than that.

Burke, unlike Milano, was not nationally known. She was an unsung hero working to help Black and Brown…

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DACA

Abagond

Actual Dreamers, circa 2013. Via ABC News.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (2012- ), better known as DACA, is an executive order President Obama signed that allows Dreamers (those who entered the US illegally as children) to get temporary papers so that they can legally work, drive a car, open a bank account, get student loans, etc. Most of all, it means they do not live in constant fear of the government deporting them, sending them back to countries many of them barely know.

Dreamers: They are called Dreamers because they were the object of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act for short. When after 11 years the Senate failed to pass the DREAM Act – Republicans, led by Jeff Sessions, opposed it – President Obama put as much of it into effect as he could with his presidential powers in…

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Notes on a 1949 media diet, part 3

Abagond

Mrs Goldberg talks to the CBS television camera that is right outside the window of her New York apartment.

For August 2017 I was on a 1949 media diet – all news, music, film, books, etc, were from 1949 or before. Here is my third and last batch of notes on the experience. In a week or so, when I have gained some perspective, I will do a review of the media diet as a whole.

“The Goldbergs” was one of the only two television shows I saw. The other was “Howdy Doody”. I saw “The Goldbergs” for August 29th. It features a Jewish American family from New York. Even though they are conspicuously Jewish, maybe even to a stereotyped degree, and even though it was supposed to be a comedy, somehow the show’s producer managed not to make fun of the imperfect and somewhat strange English of the main…

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Asian brain drain

Abagond explains what is behind the model minority stereotype and how U.S. immigration law has changed from being racist to be classist, favoring the highly educated.

Abagond

New Filipino nurses during an oathtaking ceremony in Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines on 20 September 2010. A total of 37,679 out of 91,008 examinees passed the Philippine Nurse Licensure Examination held on July 3 and 4. Work opportunities for Filipino sailors, nurses and engineers are growing as the global economy recovers from last year's slump. EPA/DENNIS M. SABANGAN New nurses during an oathtaking ceremony in Pasay city, Philippines in 2010. (EPA/DENNIS M. SABANGAN)

The Asian brain drain (1965- ) is the flow of highly educated people from Asia to the US: doctors from India, nurses from the Philippines, engineers from China, and so on. It is the “truth” behind the Model Minority stereotype, which racializes a false correlation.

People have been coming to the US from Asia for hundreds of years for all kinds of reasons. But most Asians came as part of three main waves:

  1. 1849 to 1934: mostly field workers, especially from China, Japan and the Philippines.
  2. 1965 to present: the brain drain, especially from Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, India, the Philippines and South Korea.
  3. 1970s to 1980s: refugees, especially from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

Of the three, the brain drain is the one that middle-class White Americans most frequently come across.

Each of these waves is…

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