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The punk rock explosion of the mid-1970s seized the power of rock-and-roll back from the corporate conglomerates that had warped the music into a flabby, over-produced, stadium-rocking mess.

But it was Joe Strummer who made punk rock more than just an anarchic flail against the dying of the light. With The Clash, Strummer gave punk a militant, internationalist, pro-Black edge that made it matter not just as a musical statement but as a political one.

"It was The Clash that struck the strong political stance that really inspired a lot of people, and within The Clash he was the political engine of the band," explained British singer Billy Bragg.

In Dickens's "A Christmas Carol," Ebenezer Scrooge was forced to view his own death in order to gain some self-awareness of his life as the epitome of cruelty and selfishness.


SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT ON SCHOOLS

Boston

Trent Lott has grudgingly relinquished his grip on the Senate majority
leader post, but that doesn't mean that the Republican Party has purged
"the spirit of Jefferson Davis" that Lott famously

How does a fiercely anticorporate musician feel about participating in a
corporate entertainment system?

They say history repeats itself. But usually not quite so quickly.

As the general strike against President Hugo Chávez entered its
third week in early December, a major TV channel broadcast statements by
baseball hero Andres Galarraga and other celebrit

I went to a reception the other night to celebrate the efforts of a
group called the Innocence Project, which provides legal assistance to
prisoners for whom the technology of DNA testing may n

We now feel warm toward Albert Gore,
Who will not run in aughty-four.
Most candidates, I must admit,
Seem at their best the day they quit.

Talking With Eddie Vedder, Boots Riley, Amy Ray, Carrie Brownstein, Tom Morello

Picture this: you're stranded on a desert island with nothing to comfort
you but sand, sun and, miraculously, the solar-powered sound system that
washed up with you.

So onward into 2003 we go, amid INS roundups of Middle Easterners in
Southern California and the grand hunt for Saddam's "material breaches,"
which could be a song out of Gilbert and Sullivan.

I have a friend who is the only black person living in his luxury
cooperative building. A few years back, there was a
get-to-know-your-neighbor party.

Topic magazine is a kaleidoscopic new British literary review,
still in its infancy and edited by a bunch of precocious Cambridge
graduate students.

Fifteen years ago, rappers like Public Enemy, KRS-One and Queen Latifah
were received as heralds of a new movement.

Russell Simmons, known for decades as Rush to his friends, is of average
height and build for a man his age (45), with a cleanshaven face, bald
dome and light complexion.

In Hicksville, Long Island, on any given Sunday afternoon, pierced and
tattooed teenagers in black clothing gather to listen and watch as
groups of kids like themselves tear their fingertips on

The Chicago-based magazine Punk Planet--nominated for the past
two years in Utne Reader's Alternate Press Awards for "General
Excellence," along with such better-heeled competitio

On the self-titled debut record by punk/dance band Le Tigre, there's a
short song called "Eau d'Bedroom Dancing" that pays tribute to the
timeless tradition of spinning around one's bedroom, al

Kristin Thomson, Michael Bracy and Peter DiCola also
contributed to this article.

In more than fifteen years of rock-and-roll touring, my worst night of
sleep followed a June 10, 1989, show at Centro Sociale Leoncavallo, an
anticapitalist squat in Milan.

As Trent Lott struggled to "repudiate" segregation fifty years after it
was outlawed, about the only point he left out of his incoherent
counterattack is that he was a soul-music fan.

It's a shame that Savion Glover is trying so hard to hide from the
world, because he's the greatest tap dancer who ever breathed.

Only three days left before Christmas but there's still more than enough time to finish your shopping. Here are a few ideas for the activists on your gift list:

Global Exchange offers a fair-trade marketplace with free overnight shipping until 5:00pm tomorrow. Buy dark roast http://store.globalexchange.org/cubacoffee.html ">Cuban coffee; a http://store.globalexchange.org/gbsp.html ">Gourmet Snacker's Paradise Basket featuring Tibetan Nettle Salsa and Honduran cashews; http://store.globalexchange.org/jewelry.html ">Guatemalan jewelry, http://store.globalexchange.org/clothing.html ">Indian clothing or http://store.globalexchange.org/cocoacamino.html ">Cocoa Camino chocolate produced by small family farmers who own and operate organic cocoa co-operatives in the Dominican Republic and Paraguay

The GAS-CD, with liner notes by Naomi Klein, is an eclectic collection of music featuring Gil Scott-Heron, the Barenaked Ladies, Michael Franti, the Tragically Hip, Jello Biafra, Bruce Cockburn, Sarah Harmer and many others. A fundraising project launched to support the movement against corporate globalization, all US proceeds are being donated to a worthy group of recipients, including The Nation.