I believe this video is something between agit-prop (art created to provoke social change) and a public service announcement urging compassion for housekeepers in China. I have listened to it twice and find the tune rather catchy, or if not catchy then pleasing. I can’t catch any of the words.
I found this video initially on the site of Thomas Lee. I found Thomas Lee via Ethan Iverson’s recent post about Steve Jobs. Ethan briefly was dissenting from the eulogies to Steven Jobs by helpfully providing a link to a 2007 Wall Street Journal article about a factory in mainland China that produces a lot of Apple products; he compared it to the famous 1984 Apple ad from Chiat Day, the Orwellian one. I found myself (in awe, humbled) on Ethan’s site because he was quoted in Ben Ratliff’s obituary on Paul Motian. I know a little about jazz, jazz musicians and the scene but Ethan Iverson, of The Bad Plus, seems to know everything, like he is from another planet. Anyhow, I bounced from thoughts of Motian to hoping that the young lady and her guitar can do some good. (The version of Lee’s website has English subtitles and translation).
TMKF of course was a message written on Woody Guthrie’s guitar. Fascists were bad guys in the 1930s and 1940s who bundled business interests with government in such a way that wars ensued, people were hurt or killed but thankfully good prevailed and here we are. Only lunatics and deranged people use the term “fascist” in contemporary discourse, although I guess it’s okay to use the term in poetic or historical or quaint usage, as I do here.
The singer I believe is named Yu Duan.
In either one of my greatest or worst days as a jazz promoter I hired Ethan Iverson to do a relatively unannounced show solo at an art gallery in Palo Alto in between performances of Mark Morris Dance in Berkeley. I shuttled Ethan to and from the gig, from his hotel. The Palo Alto gig was a matinee and I got him back for his evening hit providing music for the dance troupe. Almost no one heard about the show but Ethan was a trooper. I recall him telling me apropos of whatever that “Red Harvest” by Dashiell Hammett was his favorite book. (It’s about strikebreakers in Montana, based on actual events — I guess there is some consistency between Iverson being sympathetic to pre-Labor Movement workers in the 1930s U.S. and being critical of how Steve Jobs became a billionaire, on the backs of thousands of underpaid Chinese workers, although I am obviously putting words in his mouth. Do the math!
A guy in a Packers shirt at Old Pro wanted to fight me because I suggested that Al Davis made a comparable impact on the world as Jobs.
I hope Ethan Iverson is with us for another forty years or so and then gets a nice obit in the Times, probably not by Ben Ratliff, although we can suggest to Ratliff that he file one for future use.