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Speaking out - April 1

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Kos, Obama, Hillary - join StepItUp! (April 14)

Jerome a Paris, Daily Kos
I wrote about this a few weeks ago (and should have written more) but please note again that April 14 is the day of climate change action.

Launched by Bill McKibben, the Step It Up initiative has blossomed into a amazingly diverse movement, with close to 1,200 events organised across the USA.

some of them are going to be very big--the 'sea of people' in blue shirts crowding into lower manhattan to show where the tide line will fall, for instance. some are going to be very funny--people are using a crane to hoist a boat 20 feet into the air above the parking lot of the jacksonville fla football stadium to demonstrate what sea level rise looks like, and then holding a big 'swim party' beneath.

(1 April 2007)

Hamburg Complains!

(Dec 16, 2006)
Can't get this music out of my head... turning dissatisfaction into art. For explanation, see next item... (This is real, not an April Fool's joke) -BA


Complaints Choirs Worldwide

Complaints Choir sharing web-site
It all got started during a winter day walk of Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen in Helsinki. Perhaps it was due to the coldness of the day that they ended up discussing the possibility of transforming the huge energy people put into complaining into something else. Perhaps not directly into heat - but into something powerful anyway.

In the Finnish vocabulary there is an expression "Valituskuoro". It means "Complaints Choir" and it is used to describe situations where a lot of people are complaining simultaneously. Kalleinen and Kochta-Kalleinen thought: "Wouldn´t it be fantastic to take this expression literally and organise a real Complaints Choir!"

As complaining is a universal phenomenon the project could be organised in any city around the world. Kalleinen and Kochta-Kalleinen offered the concept to different events where they were invited as artists - but it was only after Springhill Institute in Birmingham got excited about the idea that the First Complaints Choir became a reality.

Birmingham (to some known as the "arsehole of England") was a perfect place to start the project. The participants - found through flyers and small posters - understood the concept instinctively. Local musician Mike Hurley turned the complaints into a easy to learn song. Within two weeks time the song was rehearsed to perfection by the committed participants - despite the fact that only few were able to sing. A hit was born - with a chorus you can't get out of your mind: "I want my money back..."

After the Complaints Choir of Birmingham became a surprise success Kalleinen and Kochta-Kalleinen have been invited to initiate complaints choirs all around the globe. In numerous letters people describe how exactly in Hong Kong, Philadelphia, Gothenburg, or Buenos Aires people complain perhaps more than anywhere else in the world.
(2006-2007)
Homegrown protest music. I'm waiting for a Peak Oil Complaints Choir. More Complaints Choirs from YouTube:
Helsinki (From the home of Complaint Choirs)
Birmingham (Haunting chorus: "I want my money back...")
St. Petersburg (the most soulful)
Hamburg (my favorite)

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