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Jason Crane Posts

A message from one of Abundance Co-op’s new board members

Tonight I was elected to the board of Abundance Cooperative Market. Abundance is a shareholder-owned co-op. In other words, it’s owned by the folks who shop at the store. The co-op has a general manager, but the policies and practices of the co-op are governed by the board, on which I now sit.

I’ve written before about Abundance, and about the idea of shopping locally. The Abundance Co-op is modeling a better world, and I ran for the board to help protect that cooperative system. The store turned its first profit this year, and as it grows, it’s vital that we remain true to the principles on which the co-op was founded. The “co-op” is the people — the store is just a happy result of the people’s efforts.

I’m excited to start working with the board. If you have comments, questions or suggestions for me as I start on this journey, feel free to contact me.

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Big Box Mart

Go to right now and watch the Big Box Mart video. You can thank me later.

(By the way, Jay Leno showed this whole video on The Tonight Show last night. And no, that is not a type-o.)

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A brilliant film

I just finished watching Sidney Lumet’s brilliant film adaptation of 12 Angry Men. I’ve seen it a half-dozen times, and it captivates and inspires me every single time.

There are moments in the film where the acting is so perfect that I find myself laughing out loud with joy. Then there are scenes so intense that I realize I’m holding my breath. For me, though, the most beautiful scene in the film is the very last one, when Davis (Henry Fonda) and McCardle (Joseph Sweeney) introduce themselves on the courthouse steps after the trial. There’s something so human and so connected in that scene that it floors me every single time.

If you haven’t seen it, see it. If you have, see it again.

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New boxed set from Utah Phillips

Utah Phillips

If you’re a folk fan, a progressive, a worker, or just someone who loves great music and storytelling, you need to check out Starlight On The Rails, the new boxed set from folk singer and raconteur Utah Phillips.

Here’s a link to the album at the iTunes Music Store, and here’s Chris Nickson’s review from the All Music Guide:

Utah Phillips has become an American folk institution — or is that an anti-institution? A former union organizer, he might not be well known in the greater scheme of music, but he’s certainly worth this four-CD, 61-track box set. What makes it especially fascinating is the fact that each of the cuts is accompanied by Phillips’ reflections on the pieces, whether performed by him or others. He’s as much a raconteur and philosopher as songwriter. With its mix of live, studio, and unreleased performances, it justifies calling itself definitive, whether on the topical “Talking N.P.R. Blues,” which excoriates not only the corporatization on public radio, but also the attitudes of the FCC. He can be funny, he can be serious, but whatever tack he takes, he makes his point concisely and effectively. He’s lived a hobo’s life, been there and done that, a symbol of America that’s fast disappearing, a time where the ideas of Mark Twain helped define a growing nation. He’s known the drifters, the characters, the politicians. Some he’s liked, some he’s loathed. But along the way he’s lived and acted for his conscience and written some fine songs, such as “Yellow Ribbon” and the title cut. For anyone who’s a fan of his work, this is a must-have purchase. But even for those less familiar with his canon, it’s a vital peek into America as it was, and in some small corner, still is. Hopefully he’ll be around for many years to come, remaining an inspiration to a younger generation of troubadours, celebrating people and loudly criticizing what needs to be criticized. (© 2005 All Music Guide)

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