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  • The Muse and Whirled Retort 2013

    The Muse and Whirled Retort JUNE 2013

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*** FLASH *** FLASH *** FLASH *** FLASH *** FLASH ***

    Thank You to the Kerrville Folk Festival.  I have waited twenty Five years - and finally - I got booked to play mainstage.  It was a blast.  I sold out of books and the festival sold out of live recordings!  I knew it would be cool - but I didn't know it would be that cool!  Thanks to the best band ever!  Paul Benoit, Anne Feeney, Frankie Hernandez, Jesse Dalton, Mike Meadows!

    They don't allow video - but here is the best I can come up with - an audio slide show (the live recordings sold out!  so  click here or on the picture and it will take you there.


    or Paste:

    Thanks to Jerry Earwood and others for providing the photos.


    My Twenty-fifth Anniversary (of being on the road.) Anthology is here! - well kind of.  I made a small handfull of copies having no idea that I would sell them at Kerrville!  Yes, I sold out.  But the good news is More are on the way and they are improved since so many people had a chance to point out my typos.  MANY MANY Apologies to those that ordered on line they should be here in about ten days.

    Yes, 25 years ago today I took off from Winston-Salem, NC and first hit the thin highways of Fat America.  Now, 17 CDs Ten Tapes and two books later I announce "Avoiding Godot" a 25 year anthology. of poems stories and collaborations.  


You can purchase an advance copy of it by clicking here

    I want Chandler's New Book!

    or pasting



    OK, OK enough of the crass commercial announcements and on with...

    T.H.E. .M.U.S.E. .A.N.D. .W.H.I.R.L.E.D. .R.E.T.O.R.T.

    June 07 2013
    VOL XIV issue iv

    Kerrville, TX

    THIS IS A SPECIAL REPRISE EDITION!  Because this week marks the 100 year anniversary of an event that I first learned about as an art student in Winston Salem North Carolina.  It caught my attention and was a driving force - steering me towards a life of activism and art.

    So here is to 100 years - it makes my pathetic 25 seem trivial.


The Pageant of the Paterson Silk Strike

    By Chris Chandler and Lisa Stolarski

    I believe in Solidarity.

    I believe in the Easter Bunny,  
    I believe in the tooth ferry,  
    I believe in Santa Claus.

    I believe that the power of good is greater than that of evil – but not by very much.

    I believe in the Buddha,  
    Jesus Christ.

    I believe in Peanut Butter.

    I believe that Athena sprang from the head of Zeus. And That Atlas really held the world on his shoulders – though I am unsure as to where his feet were at the time.

    I believe it is the telling of the tale that makes it so.

    I believe that children have imaginary friends,  
    and that adults really can't see them.

    I believe blankets have magical powers that protects them from monsters

    Perhaps that's why I believe in condoms

    I believe that four leafed clovers bring good luck,  
    I believe that people really do get abducted by aliens  
    and that people who don't believe that never had an imaginary friend.

    In  2001 I saw a picture of the Virgin Mary on a telephone pole in Miami.  

    I believe that every picture tells a thousand stories and every story paints a thousand pictures (you do the math.)

    I believe that photographs, themselves, can speak.

    In 2005 in Paterson, NJ, I saw a photograph taken in 1913 of  ten thousand people gathered at a balcony in listening to speakers shout their speeches with no sound system.  In the far corner of that photograph – there is a small child, 8 years old – born on 05.   That child told his story.

    He said, "What's a hundred years between friends?"

    In 1900 there were not 1900 automobiles or 1900 miles of paved roads to drive them on.

    In 2000 there are enough miles of paved roads to build a bridge from here to Uranus and enough assholes on the road to form a traffic jam.

    In 1900 it cost 2 cents to get a letter from Paterson NJ to New York City and it took 2 days to get it there

    In 2000 it costs 38 cents and it takes two days to get it there.

    But what's a hundred years between friends?

    1913 European empyreal powers were about to begin slaughtering themselves wholesale with mechanized warfare.

    It had only been ten years since the Wright Brothers and already they were dropping Bombs form planes.

    In 1913 The Panama Canal opened as did Grand Central Station.
    Cracker Jack introduced prizes for the first time.

    Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West show could no longer compete with the new motion picture industry and went bankrupt.
    The Wild West was over.
    Richard Nixon was born.

    The streets of America were frenzied with the sound of factories.

    Women could not vote.

    The Russian Revolution had not yet happened.  But its electricity could be felt on the streets of Moscow, Berlin, Madrid, Seattle and Patterson, New Jersey.

    The sound of revolution is exactly as loud as the sound of a rumbling stomach.

    Some claimed automation would lead to a reduction in work load.
    Just like some claim the home computer will reduce ours.

    When the machine gun was invented people said with this weapon there is no way we would have another war with a weapon that could kill hundreds in seconds.  But the imperial powers of Europe convinced the poverty stricken to throw their bodies into the wake of mechanized destruction.

    The boy in the photograph told me that he had lived to see his brothers do just that.

    In 1913 Henry Ford developed the assembly line for automobiles

    That same year in Seattle – mechanized saw mills had been turning the Great Forests of the west into tooth picks – sure, the first mudslides occurred but dental hygiene was at an all time high – well that is until The Industrial Workers of the World led the great Saw Mill Strike of 1913.

    In Akron, OH  Rubber workers were on strike, in British Columbia, Railroad workers, a year earlier the I W W had won the Lawrence, MA strike

    In Paterson, NJ factory owners realized that any one who could convince someone else to run in front of a machinegun nest deserved a ribbon – and the factories of Paterson NJ ran 18 hours a day cranking out silk and fabric and ribbons.  The war to end all wars was in just beginning and there was no shortage of officers needing ribbons.

    Demand was as high as the profits but the workers were stretched beyond their limit, so the owners introduced a four loom system that they claimed would lessen the work load but in fact doubled it.
    And this was the cigarette that broke the camel's back.

    Thousands went on strike, thousand were arrested, including the boy in the photograph.  But there is no Jail cell strong enough to with stand the rumble of a mans stomach.

    The jail cells were the epicenter of an earthquake felt all the way to New York City.  Those tremors caught the attention of the IWW who put together one of the most organized strikes in history.  

    Rallies were held, weekly meetings.  Well-to-do families in NYC offered child care,  The boy in the photograph lived for three months in the home of Mabel Dodge a prominent NYC heiress.  Celebrity speakers were brought in.  New demands were raised.  The 8 hour day, health care. 20,000 people gathered at once to raise their voices into the air.

    But for every foot they moved forwards, they were pushed back 11 inches.

    The power of good is greater than that of evil – but just barely.

    Picketers were killed, more were arrested.  But no matter how many workers were killed it was the mills that remained dead.  And no amount of violence could make them come back to life.  

    The only thing that could break that picket line is the mightiest force on earth – the sound of a rumbling stomach.

    Although they had never been hungry a day in their life – It was the Greenwich Village Intellectuals who realized this the most.    The earthquake erupting in Paterson, NJ was just a tremor warning of the Ten Days That Shook The world. Later Jack Reed's famous book would do just that. – But for now, he – a Greenwich Village intellectual began to work on a play.

    After all, it is the telling of the tale that makes it so.  Why else would great stories only happen to great storytellers?

    He took his new play and it turned it into a fund raiser, though you won't find his name in the program.  Big Bill Heywood and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn spoke, though you won't see their names on the marquee.  Famed Scenic Designer John Sloan created the set, though you will not find his name in the credits.

    No, instead you will find "The Pageant of the Paterson Silk Strike Performed by the Workers Themselves."  Madison Square Gardens was filled to capacity.  

    Critics sat in the isles prepared to hate this new propagandist art form.

    The striking workers waited in the wings – for in this play – the workers themselves would act out the events.

    Yes, in June of 1913 1000 Striking Mill workers joined Actors Equity in NYC to perform one play, for one night. They would tell their own tale.
    When the curtain went up as a whistle sounded as if to begin a new work day – on that stage it was 6 AM on a February Morning.  The Mills were alive, and it was the workers who were dead.  But soon, the workers began to think.  Soon they were singing together "Marsellaise."  The Audience joined in the chorus.  The Great Silk Strike had begun.

    With each triumph the audience cheered.  With each set back they booed. No rock concert could recreate the enthusiasm of that crowd.  They made Woodstock seem like an episode of American Idol. The boy in the photograph was there.  He was one of the tens of thousands  in the audience at the end, in standing ovation, fist in the air, singing at the top of his tiny lungs: "The International."  

    The play received overwhelming critical acclaim.  To this day it is considered one of the most important moments in modern art. Few performances could ever match what happened on that stage, that night.  But as with too many great works of art – it lost money.  

    How could it not?  Too many people were let in for free.  How could they not.  How can you ask a family to pay to see a play their striking father is in?  You can't.  The boy in the photograph did not pay.  How could he?

    Without further financial support the general strike began to decay – the workers slowly went back to work –  many would say it was a defeat and even the end of the IWW itself.

    But the truth is – it was only the beginning - at least for their goals.

    There is no way to undo the jubilation of that crowd just as there could be no such thing as victory with out first there being an understanding of defeat.  

    Listen to the Blues.

    If dreams were real there would be no need for dreams .  In a world of no dreams we could only dream of dreaming.

    Ya see, the workers may not have gotten everything they asked for – but in truth, they went back to work under pre strike conditions.  Their original grievance - the 4 loom system was not implemented for another decade.  

    But a few short years later on March 14, 1917 congress enacted what the Pageant of the Paterson Strike demanded: the 8 hour day.

    Three years later women could vote.

    There has always been a very fragile bridge built between intellectuals and laborers.  

    Intellectuals Intellectualize Mill workers and weavers weave the clothes of the intellectual – they can not be the same thing.  The bridge is there.  But it is fragile, it takes deft skill to cross it.    

    Few can will make it.  
    Perhaps a play.  
    Perhaps a song.  

    Perhaps the photograph of an 8 year old boy hanging in a museum in Paterson, NJ can cross that bridge.

    Perhaps 1000 striking workers telling their own tale can cross that bridge.

    Once crossed, there is no end to what can be accomplished.

    It is the telling of the tale that makes it so.

    Just like the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy and the greatest story ever told.




I will be celebrating the release of "Avoiding Godot" an anthology of poems stories and collaborations this summer please join me.

    You can purchase an advance copy of it by clicking here 

I want Chandler's New Book!

 or pasting


    I will be having a lite summer this year performing with Paul Benoit.  


We are actively seeking dates.  If you would like to present us anywhere from Santa Cruz to Bellingham - please let me know. ASAP.



T.H.A.N.K. Y.O.U.******************************

Jen Delyth, Anne Feeney, Brian QTN, Paul Benoit, Frankie Hernandez, Jesse Dalton, Mike Meadows, Amy Sue Berlin, CALM, Merville, Camp, Stupid, Camp Cuisine, The Leopard Lounge, The Crow's Nest, Tim Mason, Jerry Earwood, Alan, Joanne, Timmy G, Cinthia, The Bare Bulb, Jessica, The Tuesday Night Gathering and, insert your name here.

********************************H.E.R.E.S. .D.A. .D.A.T.E.S.


    Saturday, June 15th, 2013  9:00 AM
    Impromtu Storytelling
    Santa Cruz Scotish Highland Games and Renanissance Festival
    Santa Cruz County Faire Grounds
 Watsonville, CA

    Sunday, June 16th, 2013  9:00 AM
    Impromtu Storytelling
    Santa Cruz Scotish Highland Games and Renanissance Festival
    Santa Cruz County Faire Grounds
 Watsonville, CA

    Friday, June 28th, 2013
    The Kate Wolf Music Festival
    Black Oak Ranch
    Hwy. 101 north 150 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge
Laytonville, CA

    Saturday, June 29th, 2013
    The Kate Wolf Music Festival
    Black Oak Ranch
    Hwy. 101 north 150 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge 
Laytonville, CA

    Sunday, June 30th, 2013
    The Kate Wolf Music Festival
    Black Oak Ranch
    Hwy. 101 north 150 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge 
Laytonville, CA

    Friday, July 12th, 2013  3: 15
    Oregon Country Faire
    Shadey Grove Stage
    Eugene, OR

    Sunday, July 14th, 2013  12:00 PM
    Blue Moon Stage
    Oregon Country Fair
    Eugene, OR

    Sunday, July 14th, 2013  Dusk:30
    The Library Show
    Oregon Country Fair
    Eugene, OR

    Any one in Cottage Grove or Corvallis up for a house concert here?

    Wednesday, July 17th, 2013  8:00 PM
    TENTATIVE with Paul Benoit and The Frankie Hernandez Band
    Ashland, OR

    Thursday, July 18th, 2013  8:00 PM
    Show and Performance Workshop
    Tahoe School of Music
    10038 Meadow Way Suite 13
Truckee, CA
    PRICE: $10.00
    Paul and I will Perform and discuss Performance as an art form.  Hands on!

    Friday, July 19th, 2013  8:00 PM
    Poplar Playhouse
    House Concert
    RSVP via phone or
Berkeley, CA
    phone: 510 697 4097

    Saturday, July 20th, 2013  8 PM
    Live Oak Alive Summer Concert Series
    Santa Cruz Live Oak Grange Hall #503
    1900 17th Avenue
 Santa Cruz, CA 95062
    phone: 831-325-3376

    Friday, July 26th, 2013  9:00 AM
    Seattle Scottish Highlands Festival
    45224 284th Ave SE 
Enumclaw, WA
    With Jen Delyth

    Saturday, July 27th, 2013  9:00 AM
    Seattle Scottish Highlands Festival
    45224 284th Ave SE 
Enumclaw, WA
    With Jen Delyth

    Sunday, July 28th, 2013  9:00 AM
    Seattle Scottish Highlands Festival
    45224 284th Ave SE
 Enumclaw, WA
    With Jen Delyth

    Thursday, August 1st, 2013
    TENTATIVE Labor in Song and Story
    WAPWU Steward College
    Eastern, WA

    ANY ONE WANT TO DO A HOUSE CONCERT?  Chandler and Benoit at your place on a Friday Night?

    Saturday, August 3rd, 2013  TBA
    Lee Brooks Birthday Bash! with The Brown Edition, Arielists and Sideshows
    Privat Party
    Olympia, WA

    Sunday, August 4th, 2013  8:00 PM
    TENTATIVE with Paul Benoit
    The Pour House
      2231 Washington St.
Port Townsend, WA 98368
      2231 Washington St.
   Port Townsend, Washington 98368



    Saturday, August 10th, 2013  3:00 PM
    Food Stock
    Clackamas River Farm
    Estacada, OR

    Saturday, August 10th, 2013  8:30 PM
    Peter Wilde Presents a bouble Bill w The Frankie Hernandez Band
    Sam Bonds Garage
    407 Blair
Eugene, OR
    phone: 431-6603

    updated: 9 years ago