Here’s the Leningrad Cowboys and the Red Army Choir singing Those Were The Days (part of the Total Balalaika Show):
Archive for the 'mayday' Category
The people who grouped themselves together under the New Labour brand identity had many, many stupid ideas, one of which was the proposal for British Values Day (also, especially) which they served up from time to time.
But even New Labour’s stupidest ideas aren’t too stupid for the Coalition, which is now making plans to abolish the Virtual Stoa’s favourite bank holiday–May Day–and replace it with a BVD-themed UK Day, appropriately enough in October, when everyone’s beginning to feel cold and miserable.
The Virtual Stoa May Day archives are here.
And here’s the banner that was unveiled at G. A. Cohen’s Valedictory Lecture here in Oxford, photographed by Chris Bertram:
He also got one of me being the Warm-Up Guy over here.
Here’s the dramatic hammer-and-sickle effect that appears on the campus of the University of Chicago round about noon on May Day, photographed by Abbi Eichhorn:
Happy May Day, everyone!
Here’s the Internationale scene from Bertolucci’s Il Conformista, which was playing in Oxford last week:
[Older Stoa May Day coverage is here.]
Happy May Day!
In several years of recording Dead Socialists, I still haven’t come across one who died on May Day. I hope this is not accidental (comrade).
And, Americans!, for you, as ever, it is Loyalty Day!
(Actually, “as ever” doesn’t seem to be quite right: wikipedia tells me that in 1921 it started out as Americanization Day, which is even funnier.)
Here in Oxford, of course, we have our own reactionary invented traditions.
UPDATE [11.30pm]: Americans! Here is your annual Loyalty Day Proclamation!
Remember that today is Loyalty Day. I haven’t found this year’s executive proclamation on-line yet, but it can’t be too long in the pipeline. So go on, all of you: pledge yourself to that flag and (more importantly, since this isn’t Flag Day) to the Republic For Which It Stands.
The comments thread will do just fine as a place to deposit your protestations of allegiance. Go for it.
Four years ago, PM told me about this custom and practice over at the University of Chicago:
In front of our building [Pick Hall: which used to house the Economics Department] is a lovely abstract sculpture which, at precisely noon on May 1st each year, casts the shadow of a hammer and sickle on the ground in front of the building. As if that weren’t enough, large crowds of students — including anti-communist demonstrators carrying full-sized American flags — gather at noon at the sculpture, to protest its shadow, I suppose.
Re-enactment should take place in a few hours’ time…
May Day falls on Sunday this year. The UK Bank Holiday will be marked in the UK on Monday 2 May. But we should remember that the celebrations should always take place on 1 May, regardless of what day of the week it falls on.
This was a demand of the Brussels Congress of the Second International in 1891, which stressed the holiday’s “true character as an economic demand for the eight hour day and an assertion of class struggle”.
So take tomorrow off work, by all means, but remember that today’s the day.