“Death before work!” proclaimed Yippie troublemaker Abbie Hoffman back when utopian visions of Woodstock Nation promised to permanently end wage slavery. Ironically, it wasn't the Yippies who have made work scarce in the 21st century but the profit-huffing bottom line of late-stage capitalism. Why pay a human being to answer a phone when an automated voice can tell you to press 9 to go fuck yourself? The few daily newspapers that are left have no labor page, but most have a business or finance section. Who cares what the schlub on the assembly line has to say anyway? Poet/professor/activist M.L. Liebler does, and his rousing anthology Working Words: Punching the Clock and Kicking Out the Jams compiles poetry, lyrics, fiction, histories and memoirs about life through the eyes of the working class. Reading and chatting with Liebler will be poets Wanda Coleman and Maria Mazziotti Gillan, all providing emancipation through the word. (Later tonight, Liebler will dispatch more word with accompaniment from Moby Grape's Peter Lewis and Jerry Miller, drummer/music biz vet Bill Bentley and others. Pig N' Whistle, 6714 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; 9 p.m.; $10, (323) 463-0000, sunseteg.com)

Fri., Jan. 14, 7 p.m., 2011

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