Friday, 3 December 2010


Author: Unknown
[A song of the Industrial Workers of the World]

We have fed you all for a thousand years
And you hail us still unfed,
Though there's never a dollar of all your wealth
But marks the workers' dead.
We have yielded our best to give you rest
And you lie on crimson wool.
Then if blood be the price of all your wealth,
Good God! We have paid it in full!

There is never a mine blown skyward now
But we're buried alive for you.
There's never a wreck drifts shoreward now
But we are its ghastly crew.
Go reckon our dead by the forges red
And the factories where we spin.
If blood be the price of your cursed wealth,
Good God! We have paid it in!

We have fed you all for a thousand years-
For that was our doom, you know,
From the days when you chained us in your fields
To the strike a week ago.
You have taken our lives, and our babies and wives,
And we're told it's your legal share,
But if blood be the price of your lawful wealth,
Good God! We bought it fair!

[Note: This song, patterned by an unnknown writer
after verses by Rudyard Kipling — about the British
Navy — was printed at the beginning of the last
centuary in both the Bulletin of the IWW,
and in the Chicago-based journal,
The International Socialist Review]

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Dylan in America.

The most political of the biographies- from the influence
of Aaron Copland and Brecht in the first chapter through
Ginsberg and the Beats to the making of Blonde and Blonde-
written by the historian in residence at Dylan's offical site

Unputdownable - is that a word ?


Friday, 25 June 2010

Working for the Taxman

All you good men and women
come and listen to ma song

It doesn’t matter where you live
or where you work or roam

Cos this Coalitions got it in for us
they’re gonna tax us from our homes

They’re gonna tax the workers and their pay
their clothes and homemade brew

They’re gonna tax all women’s’ undergarments
knickers and suspenders too

They’ll tax all meat and poultry
they’ll even tax the beef

And if you offer up resistance
they‘re gonna crack you on the heid

They’re gonna tax all single men
as heavy as they can

They’ even tax the women
for being over 41

They’ll tax the hospitals
and tax all wooden legs

Tax the coffee, bread and butter
beer and wine and ham and eggs

They’ll tax old ladies by the river
when they try to paint

And tax all girls who go with boys
cos we’re all meant to be saints

Now thank you men and women
for listening to ma song

And remember there’s a reason why
we all know right from wrong.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Commando Raid

My hands grip tighter around your throat
As your power and life flicker out

Your eyes bulge as they stare into mine
Face redder, Veins greener , life fading

I seek relief, peace, freedom
Yet i too sense my own
reddening face ,green vains, bulging eyes

Amidst panic , fear, anguish

A thought hits me -This is not what i wanted.

Slowly i loosen my strong grip
Our faces change colour, our vains shrink

You gasp for air clutching your throat
I mumble I'm sorry as i stagger away
alone, remembering, ashamed.

Peter Burton

Meetings , Laptops and Mobile Phones

Meetings, Laptops and Mobile phones
Meetings, Laptops and Mobile phones

POLICING your workers
on behalf of the FAT CATS

Through Meetings, Laptops and Mobile Phones

Peter Burton June 2010

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Control in Copland

To all those fighting injustice in America against the odds.

A Plague of Blue Locusts

Extreme Windy Weathermen irritates THE MAN

Industrial sabotage


Frenzied brutal lock up Reaganite binge
restoring THE MAN
Southern warm Weather gulags
Electronic torture fades memories of
Caryl Chessman, Elridge Cleaver
Black Panther
Anti-rape militias, Men against Sexism Campaigns
George Jackson Brigade fade out

Class war political booty
Man giving a little to keep a lot
dissipates as cops , guards , enforce a new
terrorisation of the poor philosophy

Pentagon Whiz-bang high-tech tentacles reach out
in state of the Art real-time Gotham-

Policing the Narcotics Trojan horse.

Federal largesse facilitates paramilitary pile-ons,
Warrant Fugitive Sweeps,
POP Team extra-mural Televised Nixon -Goldwater kiddie sweeps

ODELE NARCO Praetorian Guard acts on Calgang Database
centrally referenced gang- labelled information


SWAT Team fishing expeditions adorn
combat boots, green camouflaged battle dress uniforms,
body armour, hooded masks, goggles staging
dramatic Commando raids on poor communities

Shock lock Shotguns
Flash bang grenades
Double shot buckshot
Dead Buck paraded victims

It’s a counter-cultural fingers in the decline dyke
Good ol’ boys network offensive

Preventative detention, special grand juries ,no knock warrants
cement unfolding acute contradictions,
victimised racialised class other,
demonised crime baiting,
racially coded language protecting
a besieged middle class from predatory immigrant workers
as Watergate becomes distant.

Squeegee wars
Operation Losing Proposition
D-Day instructions
Times Square reconquest
Heritage industry gentrification cultural accumulation

Old cop forbearance, discretion, fairness skills
dissolve in a bathtub cocktail of military /technophile
army surplus hardware upwardly mobile elite unit status rewards

Amadio Diallo 41 shots street crimes unit Jim Crow stench
It’s a wrecked downsized homelessness of the brave,
a spectacle of ritualised terrors ,bifurcated social control
for an expanding surplus population

State of the art computerised surveillance systems
pump blood in an electronic dragnet where
deviants internalize the police gaze at the
panoptican of virtual outlaws.

Wu Tang Chan

Ernest Sagon aka “The Rabbit”

Kaleidoscopic Cop LAPD Visions of chaos -
Military training Nam counter –insurgency lessons learned
as the Rich riot in a cold bath Volcker /Reagan scorched earth
industrial apocalypse

Periphalising the Urban social wreckage-
the sand in the machine-
controlling the industrial social dynamite.

Victim blaming ethos blast off
Drug bust bonanzas
Narcotics teams used as WW 2 U-Boats
Military technology buying sprees
Gun –nut panegyric magazine porn
Paramilitary police/ beat cop osmosis

Get your Kicks on Route 95 unless you’re black !!

Election season anti-crack rhetoric roads to power
Urban American alpha cops pushing
zero tolerance Quality of life pre-emptive
take back strikes on the underground

Secured playground urban bedroom
salaried professional post -punk scenes
In the Theme park Urban centre

Cache cops sweeping up stats at early morning
computer aided wall -map paramilitary Comstat meetings -
“mending broken windows”.

Giuliani, Bratton hot seats send angry waves of blue
out to get results

Schools act as pre-prison vetting centres -
Socialising the police gaze in a post-Fordist Copland

Profit hungry real estate developers subterfuge to flicker out
strip joint porno land lights- Periphalising the homeless, the Negros, the poor

Police brass Gotham pilgrimage
zero tolerance apostles proselytise a post-modern Jim Crow
New burghers occupy hyper -anesthetised play zones ;
convention centre Theme park replacements for a post-industrial workforce

Urban professional pleasure seeking vehicles-
Corporate American massification of bohemian aesthetics
Private security/Urban malls signal a centre /periphery Racial/class matrix,
Private security policing interior spaces
interior cop control undesirables get displaced
in a vain city by the Bay

It’s an urban control retake boys !

Move on teams
Shopping cart nomads
Aged inebriates
Thrown away youth
Criminalised poor Periphelisation

Gentrification real estate speculator eviction
Copper destroyed housing block pre-emptive
squatter preventative retakes


Naked class war on the lower East Side
Crime concentration in urban wastelands at the end of the train line

Pole Perched Forests of McDonalds , Best Western,
Model 6 signs light up paramilitary police operations
in dying rail yards as elite navy seal armed soldier cops
fan out under choppers beating the air in the badlands of Frontier Fresno

“IT’S A WAR” !!

Pounding CHP chopper rotas
accompany incessant Alsatian dog barking , bull horn
instructions to infrared detected house occupants
instantly displayed on Crown Victoria 11 inch mobile screens

Come out with your hands on your heads and lay on the ground !!!
Lay down your weapons !!!

Probation weekend warriors exit into a beam of Chopper Klieg lights
as all white SWAT teams roll out in a law and order bonanza-

Armoured vehicles, submachine guns, automatic rifle s, attack dogs
police unemployment , nihilism, guns, rage, crack cocaine
coalescing in a lethal cocktail of gang propelled auto-extinction

Scorched earth campaigns, rolling billboard SWAT bus wolf packs-
the past lurching forward to collide against a high- tech future
as VCSU fleets of crown victorias race towards Code 3 officer down instructions
semiotic physical police dog corner presence-

Robocop’s the new slave-catcher militias .

Operation Goldstar

Crime baiting racially coded demonology incites middle class scapegoating,
inbuilt ritualised displays of terror spectacles, gang labelled sentencing enhancements,
false equivalence racist anti-poor victim blaming demonology

Chosts on the Fence

White border patrols prowl the barrios
stopping searching, asking, suspecting
over -killing the migrant poor

INS Jailhouse substitution roll outs criminalise the immigrant poor
as poverty proves inadequate ;
compliant undocumented immigrant workers the preferred drug of choice
for American Capitalist corporate bosses

Black Hawk Chopper lights move forward, backwards swiftly searching for
ghost like aliens on the border fence, radios crackle, headlights pinpoint
a short one winner chase

robocop night vision goggle cops,
Infrared TV cameras
Handcuffs, humiliation, bull whips, sweat boxes , electronic torture –

Mobile Klieg stadium lights clunk on
to light up political theatre for the riches’ enforcers

Cui Bono ?

Politicians – easy scapegoats
Bosses-cheap docile labour
The MAN – a bulwark against Viva Zapata!

Pastures of Poverty, Public highway black guy humiliations,
INS Sprawling detention archipelago hellholes ,Californian fields, Iowan abattoirs,
Big Apple seduction of illegals in a modern day great escape North

Bosses self-report cementing
immigrant deportation fear


Evil the incremental process

Life in The BIG HOUSE

CORCORAN- “Let the guns rule the Yard”
Politician concocted anti-crime nostrums
Prison abattoirs bring on brutal forced lockups

Landlocked slave ship prisons terrorise the poor,
while warehousing social dynamite

Prison number increase divide and rule correlations
semi-autonomous mutually reinforcing
bureaucratic empire layers unravel in a replicated
sexist male purgatory

Sex slave female substitutes diffuse political trouble
in rape factories, lecherous predators dole out
essentials in ladies’ lockdowns as perks

Vertically commanded gang structures
promulgate fear- self oppressive systems
of racialised ethnic gangs aiding The Man

No Spartacus possible here !!

The Man organises gladiatorial fights
organic decentralised self-fuelling social control
within and without these walls

Preston Tate

Golden state integrated Yard Policy
Gladiatorial fights as sadistic diversion-
political demagogic fuelled middle class
fantasy land prison as Right wing country clubs –
conjugal unit middle class rage

A PIRA wrecking ball gets thrown
Suit filing legalistic attrition wars
get waged against bureaucratic secretive adversaries


Prison Law library shutdowns
TV psychic meat grinder tentacles squash Higher education programmes-
redundant pumping iron weight rooms !

Adrian Lomax

Booty Bandits, Trusty shooters
Newly made punks choosing a Daddy
Punk Queen straight world submissive roles
Rape as power controller ,Sexual terror as prison Management,
Sex chattel guard connivance
Correction Officer shit lists

AIDS Rape Russian roulette wheel terror weapon
“Welcome to Shirley . Toughen up , punk“ just deserts


Eddie Dillard

Sex human body coin of the realm
reproduction of outside in an all male purgatory


“You’ll get the Blondest new fish in the new shipment”

Prison aggression diverted
Spartacus destroyed
Informers garnered

Herman “ Hoots “ Wallace

Washington DC City Jail for Women
sex carnival ritual abuse
put out for the guards or else
Segregated racial Balkans in a box
Gang members putting in the racial work
whatever their belief system

Its Segregated boys- right down to the weights !!

White Fence,
18th Street,
Santa Ana

Gang rhetoric, gang iconography
Vertically organised gang structures

Mexican Mafia soldier bust retaliations
a thousand home boys in Elysian Park-
post RODNEY KING Soldado truce

GGF Afro American life gang of choice
68- Bluebird San Quentin
AB Evolution racial war fades out

AB assassination hits for EME shot callers-
Las Nuestra FAMILIA

Arizona AB sell-out label for
AB criminal pragmatists

Racial no-fly zone yard domination
Corcoran social control arranged fights

Fuelling the boredom fear, anger, despair-
raw material ingredients in the dungeon race war,
hate factory discharge on to streets
local law-abiders running into the arms of The MAN

Security Housing unit Snitch factory
Loony bin meat grinder

Cell extractions, high tech SUV hell

George Jackson –‘Blood in my Eye’

Steven Castillo

Debrief or die snitch murders
bureaucratic economic interest
bountiful race war nexus on wedge- shaped
yards of Corcoran SHU
bring Manna from Sacramento

It’s a super max Pelican Bay lockup
a catwalk model of sensory deprivation and isolation
for the world eyes of the colonial master

Small town, big prison carcarel arcadias
incremental gulag state lockdown economy
South bay trailer pack prison cannon fodder
Prison guard Union, Politician carve up

Wackenhut transnational private prison EMPIRE,
gulag economy non -replacement for military
Industrial complex

Private jailers as cheats, liars .

The well-connected good ol’ boys network
corrections corps robust lobbying operations

Juice laden dens of far-right political muckety mucks
issue orders from high- tech yachts ,castle like mansions
in the Sunshine state

Private prison tentacles projects feeding
at the Behemoth margins for the Connected Ones,
Chaotic gladiatorial pits of training in Youngstown,
Power tripping screw rampages

A Self –amplifying culture of control
A Treacherous gangland of correctional
bureaucratic avoidance by Big Business

CCPOA political astro -turf
Big House Third World within-
Private Prison labour sideshow

Bad lazy evil racially “otherised” convicts
bust ass under the gunfight gaze of good ol’ boy guards-
a conservative dreamland private prison revenge fantasy for the rich
Private Prison labour-Ideological cult of work as Panacea


Invented scapegoats
Black Latino criminals
Immigrant Labour
The welfare Cheat
Crack heads

Re-Disciplining labour in a surplus value distribution
Zero sum game policing the surplus population

1950’s Hollywood Reaganite smokem’ out
ideologically driven world views
9/11 politician /cop imagined battlefields

Pit the Employed against the Unemployed
Immigrant/Indigenous, White against Black, Women /Men
Gay against Straight Christian/Muslim via endless wars on terror ,drugs
crime, immigrants ,the poor as profits flow up and The MAN keeps control.

Political Activism is the only Road out!!

Peter Burton

"LockDown America " by Christian Parenti.

Terrifying, informative and gripping.
—New York Press
Exhaustively documented...deserves a full hearing
from anyone serious about ending the often horrific
realities of the criminal justice system.
—Washington Post Book World

In the best tradition of investigative journalism,
paced like a fine novel, it carries the authority of
meticulous academic research.
—The Independant

Lockdown America is a fast read, angry and compelling.
—Philadelphia City Paper

Parenti's are flames of light not heat. He makes
complete sense.
—San Diego Union Tribune

Amazon Barnes and Noble

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Brecht and Company: Sex, Politics, and the Making of the Modern Drama

Was Bertolt Brecht a Fraudster ?

Bertold Brecht is well known for his plays, poems, short stories
and contributions to theatre theory and practice .His influence is extensive in theatre and in the films of Lars Von Trier, Werner Fassbinder,Nagisa, Oshima, Ritwik, Ghatak and Jean Luc Godard. Yet since the publication of John Fuegi’s biography of Brecht in 1994’ Brecht and Company’ a debate has raged about whether Brecht was not more than a bit of a fraud with as perhaps as much as 80 % of the writing being the work of others-most notably three women-Elisabeth Hauptmann, Greta Steffen and Ruth Berlau.

Fuegi’s central argument is that Brecht had neither the talent nor the will
power to write or finish much of the most famous works that he is credited for –works such as “The Threepenny Opera” , “Mother Courage and her Children” and “Galileo”. The book claims there is documented evidence that these works were written by these three women. The famous ‘Threepenny opera’ is 100% the work of Elisabeth Hauptman Fuegi contends.

The 700 page biography researched over 25 years represents Brecht as an arch- manipulator of people and a misogynist who engaged in “sex for text” deals. Brecht had extraordinary charisma and charm that seduced figures such as Kurt Weill, Auden, Isherwood, and Charles and Laughton as well as the three lovers and creative collaborators Hauptmann, Steffen and Berlau.

Brecht, according to Fuegi, was a product of a middle class upbringing
in Augsburg Germany- an environment and culture that saw “the denigration of women” as “wholly natural”. Plays with strong female characters such as “Saint Joan of the Stockyards”, “The Good Woman of Setzuan”, “Mother Courage and Her children” and “The Caucasian Chalk circle” could only have been written by these politically committed communist women, argues Fuegi.

Fuegi goes on to accuse Brecht of being a plagiarist, stealing works from French symbolist poets Verlaine and Rimbaud something most clearly visible in the 1927 play “Jungle of the Cities”. Manuscripts in Elisabeth Hauptmann’s handwriting or her strike pattern on typewritten texts prove beyond doubt that “The Threepenny opera” was written by Hauptmann without either credit or royalties going to her. To the reply that it was possible Brecht might be dictating ,Fuegi insists times and dates of when they were together don’t back this up. Brecht's own contribution was the song “Mack the Knife and few “nips and tucks” to the look of the script.

Fuegi goes on to state that Brechts influential theory of theatre “The Epic theatre” was motivated by a financial backer who thought it would make more money.
“Invent a theory, my dear Brecht! When one presents Germans with a theory, they are willing to swallow anything” .

Brecht’s relationship with women followed a pattern- use them to the point
where they break with him, at that point – focus exclusively on the one who has broken away to get her back into the fold then, go back to the same maltreatment
that went on before. Fuegi’s explanation as to why the women stuck around or continued to help Brecht as they did long after relationships were over , was the hope that one day eventually each of them would have Brecht to themselves.

But by far the most controversial part of the biography is Fuegi lumping
Brecht in with Hitler and Stalin.

“ To understand this century, it is essential to recognise the wholly irrational power these figures- whether Hitler, Stalin, or Brecht-exerted when they were encountered in person. Brecht is very much a part of this century of the charismatic,irrational yet effective Pied Piper powers that could, in the case of both Hitler and Stalin, lure hundreds of millions of supposedly intelligent beings to embrace their butchers.

Hauptman, Steffen and Berlau were intriguing women and Fuegi does a service in relating their stories and showing that they were both talented and more politically committed and ethical than Brecht. When Brecht went into exile in 1933 , Hauptman risked her life by remaining in Berlin in order to gather together and secure all of Brecht’s papers and manuscripts and get them out of Germany. Hauptmann, according to Fuegi was the author of most of the Short Stories. Margaret Stefan

contributed significantly to “Mother Courage and her Children” and “The Good Woman of Setzuan”. She continued to help Brecht while suffering from TB, dying painfully at the age of 33 from the disease. Her death in 1941, argues Fuegi, meant the virtual death of Brecht as a playwright .Berlau contributed to "Brecht" plays such as The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Simone Machard, & The Good Person of Sezuan. She loved Brecht in her words “not wisely, but too well." and was not credited by him for her contribution.

In 1997 Sabine Kebir replied to Fuegis' work in “I didn’t ask for my share: Elisabeth Hauptmann’s Work with Bertold Brecht”. Kebir examined the Hauptmann archives at Berlin's Akademie der Kunste and referred to previously unknown notes and letters as well as Hauptmann’s 1926 journal. Kebir suggest that as members of the CP in the mid- twenties, there were drawn to the collective of artists, writers and intellectuals around Brecht precisely because it was a collective collaboration that promised to shorten the road to Women’s’ Liberation and Socialism.

The women were openly interested in sex, sexual experimentation and autonomy in relationships free of ownership claims, including claims to mental property and sexual partners. Open marriages, triangular and bisexual relationships were part of the social utopia they pursued. These sometimes collided with more traditional needs and expectations resulting in great personal pain- but this was a very different complex contradictory reality from the passive women as victims story that Fuegi represented.

Fuegi’s book makes a strong case for Brecht being an overly controlling, self- centred miser who repeatedly used people and took credit for others work. Perhaps he was a mysoginist also (one example-in his will he asked to be buried with a stilletto heal through his heart) Fuegi also makes a an undeniable case for these women being better known than they are and the book is worth reading for their stories alone. However Brecht was not a talentless, Svengali figure whose abuse of power was akin to a Hitler or a Stalin. Work like ‘The Seven Deadly Sins of the Petty Bourgeoisie’ and ‘Days of the Commune’ and poems like ‘The Song of the Class enemy’ and ‘Questions from a Worker who reads’ are the work of a very gifted writer who contributed enormously to theatre theory and practice.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Elegy On The Year 1788

For lords or kings I dinna mourn,
E'en let them die-for that they're born:
But oh! prodigious to reflec'!
A Towmont, sirs, is gane to wreck!
O Eighty-eight, in thy sma' space,
What dire events hae taken place!
Of what enjoyments thou hast reft us!
In what a pickle thou has left us!

The Spanish empire's tint a head,
And my auld teethless, Bawtie's dead:
The tulyie's teugh 'tween Pitt and Fox,
And 'tween our Maggie's twa wee cocks;
The tane is game, a bluidy devil,
But to the hen-birds unco civil;
The tither's something dour o' treadin,
But better stuff ne'er claw'd a middin.

Ye ministers, come mount the poupit,
An' cry till ye be hearse an' roupit,
For Eighty-eight, he wished you weel,
An' gied ye a' baith gear an' meal;
E'en monc a plack, and mony a peck,
Ye ken yoursels, for little feck!

Ye bonie lasses, dight your e'en,
For some o' you hae tint a frien';
In Eighty-eight, ye ken, was taen,
What ye'll ne'er hae to gie again.

Observe the very nowt an' sheep,
How dowff an' daviely they creep;
Nay, even the yirth itsel' does cry,
For E'nburgh wells are grutten dry.

O Eighty-nine, thou's but a bairn,
An' no owre auld, I hope, to learn!
Thou beardless boy, I pray tak care,
Thou now hast got thy Daddy's chair;
Nae handcuff'd, mizl'd, hap-shackl'd Regent,
But, like himsel, a full free agent,
Be sure ye follow out the plan
Nae waur than he did, honest man!
As muckle better as you can.

January, 1, 1789.