The golden gleam of the gilded surface hides the cheapness of the metal underneath.

Mark Twain

"

HOG Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I
have seen your painted women under the gas lamps
luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to
kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the
faces of women and children I have seen the marks
of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who
sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer
and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing
so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on
job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the
little soft cities;

Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning
as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Bareheaded,
Shoveling,
Wrecking,
Planning,
Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with
white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young
man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has
never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse.
and under his ribs the heart of the people,
Laughing!
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of
Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog
Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with
Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.

"
Chicago by Carl Sandburg. What an incredibly defiant, raw, savage, and proud dirge/anthem. In itself, a renewal of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself.

Chicago by Carl Sandburg version 2.0.

"Here it is at last! What ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ did for black slaves, ‘The Jungle’ has a large chance to do for the white slaves of today. It is brutal with life. It is written of sweat and blood and groans and tears. It depicts not what man ought to be, but what man is compelled to be, in this our world in the twentieth century. It depicts not what our country ought to be, or what it seems to be in the fancies of Fourth of July spellbinders - the home of liberty and equality, of opportunity - it depicts what our country really is, the home of oppression and injustice, a nightmare of misery, an inferno of suffering, a human hell, a jungle of wild beasts."

Jack London on Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle [1906].

In 1906, author Upton Sinclair published this scathing exposé regarding sanitation practices in the meat-packing industry and the brutal condition of the workers’ lives who labored in that industry. Though Sinclair’s main purpose was to incite support for workers in general (and the Socialist Party in particular), The Jungle shocked the American public and led to clamorous calls for federal legislation to protect consumers from such health hazards. Sinclair later said “I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach.”

Updates

watching: les revenants
reading: a world of ice and fire
next convention: ctn expo | los angeles
working on:

dreamworks animation intern | ctn expo | currently in plano