I speak about the ongoing Labor unrest in the country, the need to protect small businesses like bookstores, Trump’s social media scam, and celebrating PhillyCAM.
My friends at A Novel Idea On Passyunk, 1726 . Passyunk Avenue (https://anovelideaphilly.com/), will hold an outdoor book signing in front of the store on Saturday, October 30, 2021, from 12:00 to 2:00 PM. Authors Christina Rosso (co-owner), Stephen Williams, and Matthew Vesely will be present to autograph their books.
Also on Saturday, October 30, Christina will hold a celebration of the launch of her new collection of short stories, Creole Conjure. It will take place at the Singing Fountain, 1538 South 11th Street, and there will be readings by Nick Gregorio, Rachel O’Hanlon- Rodriguez, and Tara Stillions Whitehead.
I urge you to support your local independent bookstore; they are the real incubators of future literary talent.
Please join me at Dirty Frank’s, 13th and Pine streets, for their swap meet, where local craftspeople display and sell their products, on Sunday, October 10, 2021, starting at 2:00 PM. I’ll be there to sell my books, particularly my novel, Soldier Of The Cross. See you there!
After 39 years of work, my novel, Soldier Of The Cross, is completed. It’s available now on Amazon.com (https://www.amazon.com/Soldier-Cross-John-Oliver-Mason/dp/0578988402/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=soldier+of+the+cross+john+oliver+mason+fiction&qid=1632259383&rnid=2941120011&s=books&sr=1-1). I will place it on other platforms as I go along. I thank everybody for their support.
I urge people to first try to attain a copy of the novel through their favorite independent local bookstores, they being close to the community and locations for poetry readings, writing classes, and other grassroots literary events. In Philadelphia, one of my favorites is A Novel Idea On Passyunk, on East Passyunk Avenue. (https://anovelideaphilly.com/) Please look them up, or any other independent bookstore in your locality.
Being published on Amazon obligates me to support organizing efforts of Amazon employees, with reference to the organizing drive at the Amazon facility in Bessemer, Alabama. (https://www.cityandstateny.com/politics/2021/09/what-will-it-take-amazon-workers-unionize/185163/) It’s the old story: the company distributes memos and phone messages to employees, telling them what evil the union is, and forcing them to attend anti-union lectures and watch anti-union films. (https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines/amazon-employee-testifies-about-grueling-working-conditions-amid-union-battle-63210649) Employees have complained about speedups among the line, dangerous safety conditions, constantly being monitored by supervisors (including about restroom breaks), and poor medical care for workers. (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/feb/05/amazon-workers-protest-unsafe-grueling-conditions-warehouse)
THIS is how Jeff Bezos became the world’s richest human being, worth $211 BILLION dollars, (https://time.com/6078311/jeff-bezos-net-worth-record/#:~:text=The%20world’s%20richest%20man%20reached,to%20the%20Bloomberg%20Billionaires%20Index.) wealthy enough to have his own space program as a vanity project. The organizing of Amazon workers, and of workers in all other industries, is a serious and worthy fight; without the workers working, Bezos, Elon Musk, and all the cyber-robber-barons of the 21st Century—compatible to Rockefeller, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, and JP Morgan in the 19th Century—would be just talking to themselves, and be totally helpless.
The nonsense around the 2020 election, with republicans, trying to appease the insatiable trump base, continues. The firm Cyber Ninjas, hired by the republicans in the state legislature to “audit” the ally of votes, has concluded that Joseph Robinette Biden is definitely the winner of the presidential election in Arizona, with more votes than were originally recorded. (https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/elections/2021/09/23/arizona-audit-draft-report-confirms-biden-beat-trump-2020/5835521001/) But alas, republicans in the Pennsylvania legislature, who observed the Arizona recount, plan to perform their own “audit” of the votes in Pennsylvania. (https://www.inquirer.com/news/arizona-audit-report-pennsylvania-republicans-20210924.html)
When, Lord, will this stupidity ever end? By going through this bullshit of trying to undo a properly conducted election, in vain hopes of trying to reverse the results, for the benefit of a small minority of racists, medical quacks, and religious charlatans, the republican party—it’s no longer worthy of the respect of capital letters—has proven itself unfit to govern this country. The very fact that trump was nominated in 2016 over more experienced politicians must say something about the state of the party.
But the republican party was headed this way for a long time, starting with the Barry Goldwater campaign in 1964, when white supremacists pinned their homes on him after he came out against Civil Rights legislation; when Richard Nixon latched on to “law and order” as a cover for repressing the African-America community’s Civil rights drive and anti-Viet Nam-war activists; when Ronald Reagan, notorious for his “welfare queen” speeches and beginning his 1980 campaign in the area of Mississippi when three Civil Rights activists were murdered, and where he proclaimed, “I believe is States’ Rights” (the south’s slogan before the Civil War); and when George HW Bush, that scion of American gentry, ran in 1998 with the “Willie Horton” ads with the theme of “the big scary Black Man is going to rape you!”—the other candidates weren’t so clean either. Racism, whether the subtle kind of Lee Atwater or the blatant ranting of trump and his crew, has long been their favorite propaganda tool.
Let us all do our parts in resisting the neo-fascist thugs and bullies. I used the word “fascist” deliberately, there’s no other term suitable for trump and the republican party as it stands—physical force against political opponents and suppressing opposition activities. I’ll do my part; I have just had a class in Philadelphia as a member of my division’s election board, and I urge all of you to get out and vote, whether the contest is for President or township supervisor. All offices are important.
Stay safe, stay strong, and stay together! America will be free! Bye!