Yell Fire!

Michael Franti and Spearhead. <i>Anti—</i>

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In 2004, Michael Franti visited Baghdad, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip to see how ordinary people were making out amidst armed conflict. The result was a feature-length documentary (I Know I’m Not Alone) and this fervently uplifting album. Having long ago outgrown his roots in ’80s hip hop and funk to embrace reggae, mainstream rock, and sunny, soul-flecked pop, Franti can croon sweetly, Bob Marley-style, or deliver a gruff lecture with equal ease. Despite some eloquent diatribes against the evils of militarism, he shuns hateful impulses, prescribing tolerance and old-fashioned love as the antidotes to strife. “God is too big for just one religion,” Franti growls to a pumping beat, later murmuring, “Don’t let your mind be so darn judgmental.” And the title song of his film borrows a page from the U2 playbook, hitching its positive message to a shimmering anthem. Yell Fire! performs a miracle, making optimism seem not foolish but downright necessary.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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