‘HEY JOE’: Harmonically urging Joe to take climate action

UPDATE, June 8, 2022: In December 2021, before Joe Manchin brought the hammer down on the Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plans, the climate action community was clicking on all cylinders. Finally, here was significant money to address the existential crisis of the age, even as the White House’s grander plans had already been clipped by the ‘Sinemanchin‘ duo. At this late date, some sort of diminished — yet still significant — version of the climate portion of BBB, including a few dollops of social action, remains on the table.

Manchin appears to be still at that table, for the moment. To channel Jean-Luc Picard: “Make it so.” We offer as cheerleading this AmpMediaProject music video from December 2021. It was released by a bouquet of West Virginia climate groups and features a host of Manchin’s constituents, raising their voices to the tune of “Hey Jude” — except now it’s “Hey Joe.” The plan may be different, but the goal’s the same.

The “Hey Joe” video was produced by AMPMediaProject.com

ORIGINAL POST FROM DECEMBER 2021 WestVirginiaVille.com

By Douglas John Imbrogno | Editor, WestVirginiaVille.com | december2021

The AMP Media Project with support from West Virginia climate groups released nationally this month “Hey Joe,” a climate action music video urging WV Sen. Joe Manchin to support the climate initiatives in the Build Back Better Act. “Hey Joe” (based on the Beatles’ tune ‘Hey Jude’), features crowds of people across West Virginia and beyond in a sing-a-long of a tune written and led by prominent West Virginia singer-songwriter Ron Sowell. This video is an offbeat attempt to get Manchin’s attention and to bring a little musical and cultural attention to the significance of the Build Back Better Act’s sweeping climate and social initiatives. (SEE BELOW)


TWITTER: twitter.com.wvville/status/1467884218030112774/
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CXJdMxJA4D9/
YOUTUBE: youtu.be/sMUr908zxK4
SHORTLINK: bit.ly/HeyJoeVideo

The song was shot and produced by the AMP Media Project producer and chief videographer Bobby Lee Messer in cities across West Virginia with submissions also sent via cellphone camera. The harmonic convergence of the ‘Na Na Na Chorus’ features almost 50 voices, urging Manchin to support the Build Back Better Act. Support for the video came from WV Citizen Action Group and other climate action supporters in the region.

Ron Sowell debuted ‘Hey Joe’ at the West Virginia Climate Alliance Halloween Rally for Climate Action, held Oct. 30 in Charleston, WV. After hearing it, the AMP Media Project team decided that cool tune needed an even bigger chorus than the one that joined along that day.

Build Back Better Details

The details of the Build Back Better Act underscore how significant a piece of legislation this is. Yes, it got knocked down from the Biden Administration’s initial ambitions (courtesy, largely, of two senators conjoined as ‘Sinemanchin.’) But the BBB Act yet remains one of the most significant pieces of social and climate legislation to see the light of day in Washington D.C., for many a decade.

As the video notes at its conclusion: ‘Contact Joe.’

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STORY INDEX: A shorthand guide to the stories in out Manchin-Byrd Special Edition, JUNE 8, 2022

EDITORS/NOTE: ‘The Curious, Confounding Case of Joseph Manchin III’:
Our modest effort at Joe-collation and sprawling, sometimes grouchy commentary is not just to belittle the man, alhough there are roundhouse punches and cranky cartoons, but to appeal in dire days to what’s left of the better angels of Joe Manchin’s nature. Unless they’ve been laid off due to inflation. His — into the Prime Minister of America.

INTRODUCTION: Is Joe Manchin the Anti-Byrd?:
However complicated his life, Robert C. Byrd left a legacy of accomplishment that benefited the state and nation. His career’s end game also set the example of what a senator looks like when they object to America running off the rails. So, a key question about Joseph Manchin III: Is he the Anti-Byrd? Or can he finally rise to the occasion and help rescue the Biden Administration in the midterms?

FIRST/PERSON: Traveling West Virginia’s backroads in the Byrdmobile:
J. MICHAEL WILLARD: “I once worked for a man who had been an Exalted Cyclops in the Ku Klux Klan — and I’m proud of it. Not because he was a Klan member more than three-quarters of a century ago, but because of what he became afterward …”

REFLECTIONS: Ted Boettner on “Status Quo Joe”:
“I don’t think Manchin thinks there is anything fundamentally wrong with business as usual and that the inequality we see today is just and acceptable. Byrd, at least partly, seemed to believe in a higher purpose beyond himself. I don’t see that with Manchin, who seems mostly motivated by financial interests and political gamesmanship.”

Q&A: Author Denise Giardina on comparing Byrd and Manchin
Byrd had “a quality that is too rare in human beings: the ability to continue to learn and grow over time.” With Manchin, “it’s a story as old as Greek tragedy — hubris, hubris, center of attention, power, power, money, money.”

FIRST/PERSON: Lessons learned from the Roman to the U.S. Senate
MARK FERRELL: “A big part of his identity in Washington was being a poor, orphaned son of the Appalachian coalfields, largely self-educated, who rose through the ranks to the world’s most august deliberative body and could match wits with any man in Washington of privileged background and Ivy League pedigree.”

MANCHIN/BYRD COMMENTARY: The word outside of West Virginia
“Byrd rails against the mendacity and militarism of the Bush administration, raising a bold if lonely voice in defense of our civil liberties and national character …”| When confronted by his coal industry ties, “Manchin argued the country needed ‘dependability’ in its sources of energy. In sinking the bill, he has frustrated efforts to definitively move beyond coal.”

CARTOONERY: Black By God acidly sketches Joe Manchin’s life & times
‘BLACK BY GOD: The West Virginian’ revives a potent tradition in the state — the zinger, draw-truth-to-power editorial cartoon and Joe Manchin has been a favorite zingee of this “storytelling organization centering Black voices from the Mountain State.”

MANCHIN/BYRD COMMENTARY: The word inside of West Virginia
“Assuming Manchin does not come home to his party on Build Back Better, voting rights, and Roe (a safe assumption at this point), he’ll have lost many more votes on his left side than he could ever hope to pick up on his right … If he doesn’t come back to his own party in really stunning fashion soon, you can expect Joe Manchin will be driving his Maserati to K street, instead of the Capitol, come 2025.”

HEY JOE’: Harmonically urging Joe to take climate action
In late 2021, a harmonic convergence of West Virginians came together on the statewide music video “Hey Joe,” urging Joe Manchin to take decisive action on the climate crisis.

DOGGEREL:’ The Ballad of Bobby & Joe’
‘Joe turns out to be, right now, / the guy who stops all bills, / to bring more billions back to West Virginia / and its rolling hills. / And maybe there’s a Byrd somewhere / who’s spinning in its grave, / as Joe keeps sucker-punching bills / the world needs to be saved …’

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