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Like to write music? Progressive? This might be for you:

The November issue of Raging Chicken Press will be out soon (hopefully by Monday–we’ve been a bit sick here).  I know, the waiting game sucks.  Well, Raging Chicken Press has got something for at least some of you to do while you are waiting for the next issue.

Raging Chicken Press announces its first ever song contest! More specifically, song parody contest. Frankly, if I had the musical talent, I would have been on this over the summer. But, we all have to accept our short-comings. So, I thought this would be a cool project to push out to fans and friends of Raging Chicken Press.

Have you ever seen Disney’s version of Robin Hood? Well, I loved it as a kid and now my three-year old son loves it too. As I was watching it over the summer, I began to see the possibility of repurposing some of the songs on the soundtrack for our current struggles against right-wing attacks on collective bargaining, public education, social services, and our democracy. I began to think about casting our “beloved” governor, Tom Corbett as “Prince John” the “phony King of England.”  In particular, I was thinking about the song “The Phony King of England.” Listen to this song and replace “John” and “England” with “Tom” and “Pennsylvania” and you’ll get the idea:

Got it? If you check out Chris Priest’s repurposing of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” (see below) you’ll get the sense of what we’re thinking about here at Raging Chicken Press.

So, we’re going to try a little experiment: We are calling on readers and friends of Raging Chicken Press to submit parodies of the song “Phony King of England” to Raging Chicken Press. All entries will be posted to Raging Chicken Press and readers will have a chance to vote on the best version. The top three entries (if we get that many) will receive their choice of t-shirt from the Raging Chicken Press store.  The winning song will also receive Raging Chicken Press’s “Must Read” book of the month.

Here’s the rules:

  • Song must be a rewritten version of the “Phony King of England” that appears in the video above
  • Song should replace “John” with “Tom” and Tom should refer to PA Governor, Tom Corbett. Likewise, “England” should be replaced with “Pennsylvania”
  • All entries must be recorded in MP3 or .wav format.
  • All final recordings must be loaded up to YouTube. Ideally, the final video should include images to political protest against Tom Corbett and the PA Republican’s austerity budget and other attacks upon working families and the Commons.
  • Once songs are uploaded to YouTube, an email should be sent to ragingchickenpress@gmail.com including a link to the video, the name(s) of the song writer(s), and contact information including email and mailing address.
  • All entries should be submitted by November 29th.
Entries will be posted to Raging Chicken Press as they are received. Voting for best parody song will begin on November 30, 2011 and the winner(s) will be announced in December issue.
Any questions? Send email inquiries to Kevin Mahoney, Editor Zero, Raging Chicken Press @ ragingchickenpress@gmail.com. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!
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With work on the November issue of Raging Chicken Press already underway, I wanted to take the opportunity to share with you some of the plans we have for Raging Chicken Press in the upcoming months.  The current form of Raging Chicken Press – a monthly, independent, progressive web-based publication – only scratches the surface of what is possible to do at this moment. In many ways, I view the publication of Raging Chicken Press as the launching pad for a much more ambitious project for networking progressive media, advocacy and direct action training, and materially supporting social movements. The Occupy/99% Movement, to echo the Zapatistas, has opened a crack in history that opens new possibilities, new imaginations of our collective futures. And we have seen an explosion of DIY efforts to renew and rebuild what we might call a social movement infrastructure–the kind of infrastructure that can help sustain our movements in the years and decades to come. I’d like to think that we can learn from the right-wing in this country did: they spent decades investing in an infrastructure of media, think tanks, and publications. From Wisconsin, to Ohio, to Pennsylvania, we are seeing how those investments have paid off. The commons is being systematically disassembled. But, finally, we are seeing the birth of a movement with the power to roll back the right-wing attack.

Raging Chicken Press plans on being around for the long haul. And to do that, we are taking steps to make our work sustainable.  The Raging Chicken Store, while a small operation, has earned Raging Chicken Press enough to pay for our hosting costs and associated services.  This coming February. Raging Chicken Press will be at the PA Progressive Summit in Philadelphia.  Next summer, Raging Chicken Press will be attending Netroots Nation in Providence, RI to learn from the experience of other media activists and to deepen our political networks. This spring, Raging Chicken Press will take on its first intern. We are working to provide at least three paid internships a year beginning summer 2012. In short, a lot is going on.

Our most ambitious project will be related to raising funds to help Raging Chicken Press on a sound financial footing.  In the next couple of weeks, Raging Chicken Press will be putting out a fundraising appeal through Kickstarter.com. Rather than being forced to rely upon advertising or smaller fundraisers, we will attempting to raise $20,000 through this amazing, community based fundraising tool. While some readers have already begun to donate to Raging Chicken Press though our PayPal donation button on our site and we thank those donors immensely.  However, we recognize that our expenses will soon out pace what we are able to raise through small donations and the Raging Chicken Press store.

I can’t begin to thank all the people who have written me to say how excited they are about Raging Chicken Press. With this kind of support we will be able to build a strong independent, progressive voice for PA and beyond. For now, keep reading and consider contributing to the November issue of Raging Chicken Press!

 

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Over the past several years I’ve been thinking a lot about the kind of projects faculty and students could organize around that would have meaningful impacts on the university and the community. During my first two years at KU, I was the faculty adviser for a group of amazing students who wanted to found a chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops. In less than a year, the students researched the history of USAS, of KU’s licensing agreements, and the range of tactics students could use to persuade the university to join the Workers Rights Consortium–an independent group that monitors textile factories around the world and organizes against sweatshop labor. The short story is that the students convinced the university to join the WRC and for a period of several years, you could be assured that if you were donning the KU logo on your clothing, that you were not supporting sweatshop labor. One year, President Cevallos even mentioned the university’s WRC membership in his opening address — even though he never acknowledged that it was STUDENTS who responsible for the university signing on. I just checked the WRC web site only to find that Kutztown is no longer a member of the WRC. It just goes to show, once the spotlight is turned in a different direction, the university will ditch any stated commitment to human rights.

Anyway, the fact is that students’ activist made a tangible, concrete change in the university. If that student organization had continued after a couple of the key organizers graduated, we might still be able to say our KU apparel was not made in sweatshops. In the light of the current recession and budget-cut mania, I’ve been thinking about the kind of things we could do locally that would have real, tangible effects and that would provide some degree of mutual aid to our communities. Ever since the Occupy Movement exploded on the scene, I’ve been having conversations here and there about just this issue. And today’s Occupy Kutztown rally was an encouraging place to begin a conversation about organizing locally and retaking a piece of the commons. With that in mind, here are some projects you will be hearing more about on the XChange in the coming weeks and months. Here are some concrete things we can demand our university does:

  • For starters, 50% of all food served in the dining halls and other locations on campus should be locally sourced from family farms
  • 75% of all university supplies should be manufactured in Pennsylvania, when possible, at union shops. This includes office supplies such as paper and pens as well as larger items such as desks and walkway lighting.
  • All new building projects should be build using union contractors from Pennsylvania.
  • Space should be set aside on campus for a farmers’ market
  • All university banking accounts should be moved out of “big banks” and relocated to community based banks in the area.
These are just some places to start. The basic idea is that changing these policies at the university would have positive, concrete effects in our communities. They will help sustain and create jobs. I can’t wait to begin organizing around these issues. It just feels good to start having this kind of conversation.

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Hey all,

just thought I would pass on the info. Next Raging Chicken Press out this coming Monday.

K

We are living during an incredible moment in history. Finally, after years of taking it on the chin, sucking it up, and keeping heads down a movement is emerging, giving oxygen to the deep embers of rage that decades of class war have left in the hearts of Americans. The financial collapse, the trillions of public dollars to bail out Wall Street criminals, and the relentless destruction of the fabled American middle class have finally led to a visceral, collective, and material cry of ENOUGH! The Occupy Wall Street movement was initially dismissed through cliché talking points by Mainstream commentators. Since Occupy Wall Street began on Sept. 17th the numbers of people joining in this collective act of resistance has only grown. And spread. Occupy groups have sprung up in over 274 U.S. cities.

What will the Occupy movement become? Will it be the spark that will transform into the kind of social movement capable of wrestling the power away from a handful of billionaires and their political cronies in Washington? We shall see and Raging Chicken Press will not only be there to cover what’s going on, we will be taking part in helping build this movement. We are well aware of a range of critiques that have emerged about the composition of the Occupy movement, its insistence upon consensus as an organizational principle, the claim of representing the “99%,” the fact that the movement did not begin occupying Wall Street with concrete set of demands, the list goes on. This movement cannot shy away from such critiques. However, Raging Chicken Press believes that the Occupy movement has opened a crack in history that offers the concrete possibility for collective deliberation–a democratic process for constructing communities of resistance that move beyond the politics of factionalism and ideological purism–especially on the left. The stakes are too high. The future will belong to those willing to get their hands–and their ideologies–dirty in this workshop of resistance.

The October issue of Raging Chicken Press will be out on Monday, October 10th.  Raging Chicken Press has been lucky to have one of our contributing bloggers, Dustin Slaughter of the David and Goliath Project, on the ground in NYC, Boston, and Philly. The problem we have faced in covering the emergence of the Occupy movement has been that events are moving along so quickly. This issue will feature several of Dustin’s reports as a kind of time-elapsed journal.

In the October issue, we will also introduce a new series: The Rick Smith Files. If you haven’t listened to the Rick Smith Show yet, click here and get started right away. It’s activist fuel. Beginning with the October issue, Raging Chicken Press will feature transcriptions of at least one of Rick Smith’s interviews with activists, labor leaders, policy analysts, and authors who have made it their business to stand up and fight back.

As for the rest of the issue, I’m going to keep you guessing for now. 🙂

I want to encourage all readers of Raging Chicken Press to become an email subscriber. As an email subscriber, you will receive an email when new content is added. Subscribing is easy. On the right-hand sidebar you will find our subscription widget. Just enter your email and click subscribe. It’s really that easy.

I hope to see some of you at the Occupy Philly action this weekend. The action begins tomorrow, Thursday at 9am @ City Hall. Look for the Raging Chicken t-shirt!

Kevin Mahoney

Editor Zero, Raging Chicken Press

 

 

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The wait is over.  The first full issue of Raging Chicken Press is set to launch.  We’re going to call this one the July post-Corbett-PA-GOP-draconian-budget-signing issue.  Catchy, huh?

Our first issue includes the following contributions:

If you like Raging Chicken Press, sign up for an email subscription on the right-hand side of the site.  If you’d like to go the extra step and help support our work, check out this post with info on how to offer your support.

Welcome to Raging Chicken Press! 3-2-1…here we go!

 

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I love this guy.  Not for anyone who considers politeness and civil discourse to the only mode of political engagement.   Go get ’em Lee.


 

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