At the same time and place that we bought the Red Baron book, we had also purchased a mint condition copy of a 2003 Barnes and Noble paperback edition of Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle," with introduction and notes by Maura Spiegel. It was obvious from the blurbs on the back cover that if the columnist reads that book another column about how the exploitation of workers by the wealthy Chicago meatpacking company owners would write itself. Sinclair called the area Packingtown.
The headline "Occupy the Jungle" would help draw today's readers into a review with comments about the 100 year old novel.
When "The Jungle" was published it spurred President Theodore Roosevelt into action and another of its effects, according to the Introduction by Maura Spiegel, "was shinning a bright light on the ever-darkening realms of child labor, prisons, insurance companies, and foremost, American enterprise and its role in the creation of a new American class of impoverished industrial wage slaves." Isn't the pendulum swinging back towards the sanctioning of child labor once again?
Some Republicans are hinting that such a move could benefit the
Could Mitt Romney use Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" to assert that he will fight to reestablish the sacred American tradition of exploiting poor workers to help him get himself get elected as President?
Earlier in the week, the columnist had bought a copy of "GÃ¶del, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid," and learned about the concept of "Strange Loops." According to the Author, Douglas R. Hofstadter: "The "Strange Loop' phenomenon occurs whenever, by moving upwards (or downwards) through the levels of some hierarchical system, we unexpectedly find ourselves right back where we started."
If the Occupy Movement is fighting the same injustices that caused Upton Sinclair to write his best selling rant more than a hundred years ago, does that mean it is time for Hofstadter to revise his book with more examples of contemporary culture's modern flashbacks to the past?
Hofstadter maintains that many of M. C. Escher's most famous drawings are images that embody the Strange Loop concept.
Would it surprise Hofstadter if the Republicans select JEB Bush as their Presidential candidate or would he merely shrug it off saying that it was just another example of the Strange Loop?
About two blocks away from the book sale and about two hours after we bought the books, Occupy San Francisco made the news with some protest activity at a nearby branch of the Wells Fargo Bank. We missed the chance to cover that chapter of the history of the Occupy Movement, but thanks to the material we gathered leading to information about a Berkeley student, the WWI ace, and the muckraking journalist, we would classify our topic safari to San Francisco as a success.
Ms. Hayne provided this column's closing quote when she gave her assessment of von Richthofen to the Chronicle's reporter: "He was a fine man." We concur. Wasn't respect for a warrior from the other side considered a proper manifestation of the chivalry code of conduct?
Now the disk jockey (can you see it coming a mile away?) will play The Royal Guardsmen's "Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron," the Guns and Roses' song "Welcome to the Jungle," and as a farewell tribute to a fellow whose formative years were spent in Berkeley, Johnny Otis' "Willie and the Hand Jive." We have to go check the show times for the new movie titled "Red Tails." Have a "I don't want to send those men up there in machines held together with bailing wire and chewing gum -- but I must!" type week.
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