Happy Holidays!

We’d like to pause, amidst the rush of last minute shopping, meal-planning and gift-wrapping, to wish all of you the happiest of holidays, no matter what you celebrate.

Because, at the end of the day, the only holiday that really matters in late December is:

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NYC City Council Moving to Enact New Protections for Freelancers

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A bill introduced to the NYC City Council yesterday would add some legal protection for freelancers, who are often stiffed by employers trying to keep from upholding their ends of contracts.

The legislation, introduced by Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn), would require that employers draw up a written contract specifying the amount the freelancer is to be paid, along with the deadline for payment. Failure to comply could mean $5,000 in fines, and employers found to be willfully violating the contract could be charged with a misdemeanor.

Though one of every three workers operates independently, freelancers still sorely lack basic protections enjoyed by full-time employees. Horror stories of short-changing, as told to the Freelancers Union, include companies declaring bankruptcy to avoid payment, non-payment up to $17,000, and workers facing eviction because they couldn’t make rent. (The New Republic’s Max Rivlin-Nadler reminds us that the Freelancers Union is more of a lobbyist than an actual union, and wonders what a real freelancers’ union would look like.)

“New York City is the freelance capital of the world,” Lander said in a statement. “We have the opportunity to lead the nation in recognizing the vital contributions independent workers make to our economy—by ensuring freelancers get real protections against payment theft.”

According to the release, more than 70 percent of freelancers experience late or nonpayment at some point in their careers, and they’re stiffed an average of $6,390 every year.

Rock’s Greatest Drummer Retires

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In an interview with Drumhead Magazine, Neil Peart (the legendary drummer of RUSH) stated he is officially retired.

“And it does not pain me to realize that, like all athletes, there comes a time to… take yourself out of the game. I would rather set it aside then face the predicament described in our song ‘Losing It’ (‘Sadder still to watch it die, than never to have known it’).”

Peart mentioned his desire to spend more time with family, and his ongoing concerns with tendonitis and psoriatic arthritis.

And all throughout the land, the sound of sobbing was heard by prog geeks, rock nerds, fans of 7/8 time, and Stephen Colbert.  And this writer.