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26 February 2011 @ 09:23 am
Collective Bargaining Story  
I support collective bargaining rights for all workers.  Surely everyone who knows the history does.  Of course, those rights, like any rights, can be misused and abused; that's reason for ongoing vigilance, prudence and reform in all human institutions, not for eliminating the institutions.

Many people are out in the winter cold across the US today, seizing this "teachable moment" of the Wisconsin drama to make that point in public gatherings.  I'm not doing that, but for what it's worth, I pledge to write a fanfiction with historical flashback content on what unions have done for us all and why collective bargaining rights matter.  I don't commit to a deadline, but I'll aim for within 2011.  The story might be either Forever Knight or Highlander, whichever yields the best story idea.

If you'd be interested in reading such a story by me, please feel free to let me know what story elements you might like to see!  If you'd like to chat calmly, reasonably and relatively briefly about how the existence of collective bargaining rights does or does not benefit the entire society, we can do that, too. ;-)

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Psychotic Writing Muses: Revolutionary yay!hearts_blood on February 26th, 2011 05:29 pm (UTC)
You are the best. :)
Amy R.: Historybrightknightie on February 27th, 2011 12:19 am (UTC)
Thank you. :-) Did you know that history's first recorded labor strike was in 1248 in Douai, Flanders (now France)? FK-wise, that's one year after Fleur's death, and something like two or three days' travel on horseback from Brabant. I learned about it last year in Women in the Middle Ages: The Lives of Real Women in a Vibrant Age of Transition (1978) by Frances and Joseph Gies, a handy and appealing book which is surprisingly not at all dated.
Psychotic Writing Muses: Cadfael finds a clue!hearts_blood on February 27th, 2011 01:08 am (UTC)
I did not know this! How fascinating... It sounds like the sort of thing Fleur would have taken a keen interest in. And Janette as well.

I love the Gies' books, but this one has slipped under my radar until now. Thanks for the tip! I'll put it on my 'To Buy Someday' list. :)
Amy R.: Historybrightknightie on February 28th, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
I enjoy all the Gies' -- Gieses'? -- books that I've yet discovered, but I find Women in the Middle Ages and The Knight in History to be the liveliest of the bunch. Life in a Medieval City and its siblings are all very useful and accessible, but they're dryer and not as much pure fun to read, I think.

You're likely to find them at your local public library, of course, but as they're so old, you're also likely to bump into them used; it doesn't make me a good supporter of writers, perhaps, but I've bought only one of their books new in hardback, and all the others used in paperback.
Psychotic Writing Muses: My forebears.hearts_blood on February 28th, 2011 04:48 pm (UTC)
I enjoy all the Gies' -- Gieses'?

I couldn't figure out how to pluralize it either. ;)

I have the "Life in a Medieval" series in one lovely hardback volume that I got from B&N for $25, and when I checked Amazon, Women in the Middle Ages and The Knight in History are still available in paperback. If the author(s) are still living (Frances Gies is), I try to buy books new--although I freely admit that if I'm in a used bookshop and I see something I've been longing for, my purse wins out over my principles. Sometimes books are just too darn expensive. :(
Melissa: forever knight - nat's journalgnosticdiva on February 27th, 2011 01:30 am (UTC)
Ok, I definitely must find that book for my in-progress historical fic, as it sounds too good not to look to for research.

*makes note to self*

Edited because I'm lame: the historical fic WON'T be an AU, but canon-based. *smacks self*

Edited at 2011-02-27 01:31 am (UTC)
Amy R.: Historybrightknightie on February 28th, 2011 04:26 pm (UTC)
Frances and Joseph Gies are a wife-and-husband scholarly team; together, they wrote large number of books you might find useful, depending what you're writing, including Life in a Medieval City, Life in a Medieval Village, The Knight in History, Women in the Middle Ages, and an anthology called Daily Life in Medieval Times. Your local public library probably has several of these books.
Athelas K. Weed: likemalinaldarose on February 26th, 2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
*points to icon*
Amy R.: Nickbrightknightie on February 27th, 2011 12:20 am (UTC)
Thank you. :-)
Melissa: celine - gnosticdiva on February 26th, 2011 07:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, that would be too awesome! *squee*

Fighting ignorance with fiction seems like a really smart way to go. :)

Edited at 2011-02-26 07:43 pm (UTC)
Amy R.: Readsbrightknightie on February 27th, 2011 12:34 am (UTC)
Thank you for your generous enthusiasm! :-)

I tend to believe that fiction should strive to educate/enlighten as it entertains, and that a story offering no thought-provoking facts, no socially-responsible prodding, no insightful angle of analysis, is not living up to its storytelling responsibilities. I know that's pedantic, demanding and old-fashioned, but... I like to learn things! I don't mean, of course, that art should take a back seat to lessons, much less that we should banish the poets from the republic a la Plato, but just that it seems to me that the best art seamlessly accomplishes education and enlightenment, and all art should aspire to that virtue.

Yep, it's easy to see why I love FK and am a Knightie, I know. ;-)
Melissa: stargate sg1 - Daniel readinggnosticdiva on February 27th, 2011 01:26 am (UTC)
I tend to divide entertainment into three categories: the light fluffy stuff, the dark powerful dramas and the educational and/or historical pieces. It's entirely possible for the three to intersect, naturally.

(Example: In the dark drama/musical Sweeney Todd, which contains several fine moments of black comedy, there is also an end lesson: the lust for revenge eventually devours the one who feeds it. You can, of course, see why my fascination with that type of story suits me as a DarkNNer... ;) )

At the very least, the relationships of the characters should make some logistical sense, and feel real no matter how fantastic the circumstances (as there are lessons to be learned even in the seemingly simplest of relationships). However, even fluff that makes NO sense, and is highly unrealistic can be used as a teaching tool (mostly on "how NOT to write", but you get my drift...).

The best stories, to my mind, are the ones that can "teach" you without you realizing you're learning anything. You just think you're being entertained, and the lesson of the story doesn't hit you until the emotional impact has run its course. As odd as it sounds, that's what I strive to do with my stories, for the most part (yes, even in the porny ones). I'm not always successful, but I do try. :)
greerwatsongreerwatson on February 26th, 2011 09:14 pm (UTC)
Preaching to the choir here: I come from a union family from way back.
Amy R.: Winterbrightknightie on February 27th, 2011 12:36 am (UTC)
As the bumper sticker says, "The People Who Brought You The Weekend." With such unanimity around here, it would seem that a story is unnecessary. :-)
Valerie - Postmodern Pollyanna: vocationwiliqueen on February 26th, 2011 10:12 pm (UTC)
I have no suggestions, but will look forward to the story. :-)
Amy R.: Petsbrightknightie on February 27th, 2011 12:37 am (UTC)
Thank you! I appreciate it very much.
skieswideopen: cherry blossomsskieswideopen on February 27th, 2011 01:04 am (UTC)
FWIW, I completely agree with you, and I'm looking forward to whatever you write.
Amy R.: Sunbrightknightie on February 28th, 2011 04:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
waltdwaltd on February 27th, 2011 03:59 am (UTC)
Strikes
Sounds like an excellent idea. Check out the Wikipedia article on the 1890s strike (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pullman_Strike) against the Pullman Co. (railroad cars) which occurred in Chicago. I think it would make an excellent background for the story and could explain why Nick eventually ended up in Chicago as a policeman. :-)
Amy R.: Nickbrightknightie on February 28th, 2011 04:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Strikes
Thank you very much for the suggestion! That's a great idea. I'll see what comes of it as I learn more.