(Photo: Carol Caver / NLN)

CONEY ISLAND, N.Y. — June 18, 2011. Brooklyn is a magical place that draws a crowd — Kings County is the most populous county in the country, and Coney Island is a glittering jewel in the King’s crown.


(Photo: Carol Caver / NLN)

Every Summer Coney Island hosts the Mermaid Parade and Brooklyn celebrates its diversity and pizazz.


(Photo: Carol Caver / NLN)

This year was no exception — the parade was held on Saturday, June 18 — and NLN’s Carol Caver was there to capture the moment.


(Photo: Carol Caver / NLN)

The annual Mermaid Parade is special. Herbert Marcuse argued that the corporate state allows human beings at best a fractured existence, an existence wherein we are defined solely by what we consume. But Coney Island and the Mermaid Parade exist out of step-time. Coney Island resides in the Aesthetic Dimension where freedom is still possible. It allows Art to exist in the streets of Brooklyn. It allows citizens to be whole…to revel in their humanity.


(Photo: Carol Caver / NLN)

Caver’s photographs capture that surreal Moment in which humanity triumphs over the oxidizing corruption that is the logic of Capitalism. Hers is a chronicle of Kerouac’s subterranean impulse. And so it seemed appropriate to use a subterranean hymn as the background score to a slideshow composed of Carol’s images.


(Photo: Carol Caver / NLN)

My son once told me that the Verrazano Bridge was named after the man who discovered it.

It is that kind of “Beginners Mind” that informs the works of a musical duo known as Heth and Jed. The brothers Weinstein can often be found performing for free in NYC’s subway or in the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. Two saints of a modern psychedelic symphony, the Weinsteins offer a style that is totally original yet simultaneously embodies the spirit of Pink Floyd in their prime. It is no surprise that Heth’s singing has been compared to David Gilmour.


(Photo: Carol Caver / NLN)

I first found Heth and Jed performing a gorgeous song called “Future Memory” in the St. George Terminal, while waiting for the Ferry. I managed to tape the performance…it can be found on Love And Struggle, NLN’s sister entity, where it continues to draw fan mail.


(Photo: Carol Caver / NLN)

While editing Caver’s photos it occurred to me that Future Memory was the perfect song to accompany the illustrations. It is a song of Hope. It is beautiful and it is unique. And just like Coney Island, it is a celebration of Life.


(Photo: Carol Caver / NLN)

I’m pleased to call Heth, Jed, and Carol, friends and comrades in the struggle to provide adequate housing for all who would dwell in the Aesthetic Dimension. Enjoy the music, enjoy the photographs, celebrate Life.


(Photo: Carol Caver / NLN)

Click HERE to View Photos/Videos From The Parade…


National Writers Union president Larry Goldbetter (r)
with NLN editor Thomas Good at a 2010 labor rally
(Photo: Daniel Millstone / NLN)

NEW YORK — July 13, 2011. Arianna Huffington has 315 million reasons to move from progressive to parasite — and all that stands in her way is you.

FROM PROGRESSIVE TO PARASITE?

On February 7, 2011, AOL bought The Huffington Post for $315 million. In addition to the payout, AOL made Arianna Huffington editor-in-chief of “The Huffington Post Media Group” as part of the deal. Prior to the acquisition, writers contributed their work to the Huff Post in exchange for the exposure. It might seem reasonable — perhaps progressive — to expect that Huffington would have ensured that its writers should benefit from the buyout. But when Ariana Huffington cashed in the writers got nothing.

THE STRIKE AND BOYCOTT

Before the AOL buyout a British blog called Visual Art Source contributed their writers’ material to the Huffington Post. After the buyout left the writers penniless Visual Art called a strike and asked others to join in.

The strike, called in Feburary by Bill Lasarow, Publisher and Co-Editor of Visual Art, was joined by several unions a month later.

ENTER THE NWU

In March of 2011, the National Writers Union (NWU – Local 1981 of the UAW), the Huffington Post Union of Bloggers and Writers (HPUB), and the Newspaper Guild (TNG) announced their support for the strike. The unions asked their supporters not to cross the “electronic picket line,” to boycott the Huffington Post in solidarity with the strikers and the uncompensated writers.


Jonathan Tasini speaking at a fundraiser in 2010
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

In April, former NWU president Jonathan Tasini filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit in United States District Court in New York on behalf of thousands of uncompensated bloggers.

The Huffington Post Union of Bloggers (HPUB), an affiliate of the NWU made up of former Huff Post writers, are now writing content under their own banner at hpub.org.

Today, NWU President Larry Goldbetter sent the following statement to NLN:


DON’T CROSS THE PICKET LINE,
BOYCOTT THE HUFFINGTON POST

There has been a strike and boycott against the Huffington Post since last March, led by the Huffington Post Union of Bloggers and Writers (HPUB), the National Writers Union (NWU) and the Newspaper Guild (TNG). Please honor the electronic picket line; don’t post or share articles on the Huffington Post until this is resolved.

In the short-term, we are trying to win a settlement for the hundreds of journalists who contributed their work for free in order to bring more traffic to this “progressive” blog. These were journalists who worked on assignment, under editors. After establishing a progressive brand and following based on this free labor, Arianna Huffington sold HuffPo to AOL for $315 million, and landed a $4 million/year job as content director for AOL.

This shows that writers produce more than content. We produce value and wealth, and deserve to share in what we produce. We are working towards reaching a settlement. But even more important, we want to set a standard for a living wage for all online writers we can take to the notorious content farms, like Demand Media, worth $1.5 billion, that pays its 9,000 freelancers a penny-a-word. In the process, and in order to win these demands, we are building a bigger and more powerful NWU.

HuffPo was built by the unpaid writers who filled it with fresh content that made it stand apart from the rest. Arianna Huffington says that writers should be glad to write for free in exchange for free exposure. But it is the Huffington Post that reaped and profited from free exposure brought by these writers.

AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka, and the Presidents of the UAW, CWA and USW are honoring the boycott as is Jobs with Justice. Support is growing. There’s a lot at stake. We are fighting to shape the future of digital journalism. Don’t cross the picket line.

NLN is honoring the boycott and we ask you to join us.

(Thomas Good is a member of the National Writers Union).