Why you should care
Taming crazed crowds, a 70’s Blaxploitation hero and a look at who supplies the world’s weapons – here are some of the latest OZY stories to catch on in the Twitterverse.
We have to admit, we were captivated by the tale of Leonard Cohen calming a riotous crowd at the Isle of Wight but so, it turns out, was Governor (and former presidential candidate) Howard Dean. Multiple people have taken note of our Flashback about martial artist Jim Kelly. And the team at Control Arms, a global campaign for a strong arms treaty, called out “Who is Arming the World,” and helpfully noted it’s only a four-minute read. Since these stories made the cut with other folks, perhaps you should check them out yourself.
In 1970 at the Isle of Wight festival, Leonard Cohen was set to play the penultimate show on the festival’s final night. But by then the atmosphere was tense. The crowd had sent most other acts off the stage with deafening boos and carefully aimed beer bottles. They had already burned concession stands and some cars and had set the stage on fire.
By the time Cohen took the stage, at two in the morning, it had been raining for some time. His organ and piano had been burned and pushed off into the crowd. He wore a raincoat over pajamas and took 20 minutes to tune up. Kris Kristofferson thought, “They’re going to kill him.” But then the crowd started to grow calm, as if waiting for a religious guru to address them…
In 1973 bell-bottomed Blaxploitation hero Jim Kelly inspired a generation to get to a dojo. When the 6’2”, 27-year-old Kelly burst into the public consciousness as the ill-fated character Williams who was invited by international drug dealer Mr. Han to fight in a death match tournament on a mysterious island, it was not just Black kids who took note. Enter the Dragon, mega-star Bruce Lee’s last film before his death, grossed $25 million in the U.S. on an estimated budget of $850,000. And $90 million worldwide.
Jim Kelly had arrived.
Arms sales fuel crime, civil conflicts and human rights abuses, and yet the international trade of weapons is less regulated than the export of bananas. So who sells all these weapons? About three-quarters of the world’s weapons are provided by just five countries: the U.S., Russia, China, Germany and France. The face of conflict is constantly changing, but this list has remained the same for the past 50 years.