Archive for October, 2017

My late father used to say, fairly frequently as I recall, this quotation: “It is better to remain silent and be thought of as a a fool than to speak up and remove any doubt.”

But who was he quoting? I couldn’t find anything in Bartelby or Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, the latter, in print form, a constant source of my entertainment growing up.

Finally, I found a similar quotation at Quote Investigator. Was it attributed to Abraham Lincoln? Mark Twain? A Biblical Proverb?

“There is a biblical proverb that expresses a similar idea, namely Proverbs 17:28. Here is the New International Version followed by the King James Version of this verse:

“‘Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.’

“‘Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.'”

After dismissing Lincoln and Twain because the attributions to them were so much after their time, and noting the Proverbs have not quite the same sentiment, QI favors Maurice Switzer, from a “book titled ‘Mrs. Goose, Her Book’… The publication date was 1907 and the copyright notice was 1906. The book was primarily filled with clever nonsense verse, and the phrasing in this early version was slightly different:

“It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.”

This all begs the question, Is it true? Do people actually think you’re smart if you retain a mysterious silence? Perhaps; this does not appear to be a period in history when a lot goes unsaid. That apparent need to always say SOMETHING is often to the detriment of the speaker, and, quite often, of us all.

Rather off topic, but LISTEN to the Tremeloes sing Silence is Golden.

For ABC Wednesday

When I went to my sister’s high school reunion early in October 2017, I was talking with one of her classmates about the November 7 Constitutional Convention vote. She had subsequently had a conversation with someone who asked her a question on the topic for which she didn’t have an answer.

This other person she was talking to thought that if YES or NO wasn’t checked, it automatically became a YES vote. This is untrue.

As the Rockefeller Institute noted back in August, there is a belief that:

…the proposal for a constitutional convention has been placed on the back of the ballot to purposely make it hard to find and ballots that are left blank on the question of convening a ConCon will automatically be counted as votes in favor of a constitutional convention. The implication is that the system is rigged to force a constitutional convention to be convened, even if that is not the will of the people. Based on the high number of calls and emails that the Rockefeller Institute has received in the last few weeks from concerned citizens, Facebook posts like this have been shared widely…

What is not in doubt… is how blank ballots are counted. Contrary to what has been circulated, failing to vote on this measure does not default to being considered a vote in favor of holding a ConCon. How to count blank votes is very clearly outlined in New York State Election Law § 9–112:

If the voter… makes a mark in a place or manner not herein provided for, or if for any reason it is impossible to determine the voter’s choice of… his or her vote upon a ballot proposal, his or her vote shall not be counted for… the ballot proposal, but shall be returned as a blank vote thereon.

If a voter leaves the question of convening a ConCon blank on their ballot, whether because they miss the proposal or by design, it will simply be counted as a blank vote. End of story. In other words, only those individuals who voted “yes” or “no” on whether to hold a ConCon are counted.

For the record, I’m a NO vote.

NOSFERATU: A SYMPHONY IN TERROR. Now, a year after its historic presentation, and in gothic celebration of Halloween, Film historian Steve Vertlieb takes us aboard a dark yet wonderful cinematic time machine, delving into the creation of Murnau’s seminal horror film, examining its influence on generations (from Lugosi and Lee, to SALEM’S LOT, HARRY POTTER and more), then reviews the startling new stage presentation.

Dead of Night- Chapter 3: Bobby

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: Reminder: Race is Not a Costume

A Halloween Ghost Story

RANKIN/BASS’S ‘MAD MONSTER PARTY’ (1967). WITH BORIS KARLOFF AND ‘MAD’ MAGAZINE CREATORS

The Halloween Capital of the World Isn’t What You Think It Is

SHORT FILM SHOWCASE: Each year in Sardinia, Italy, men from the small village of Mamoiada don grotesque wooden masks and vests of black sheepskin

Facts for Features: Halloween

#Trumpkins and other items

Now I Know: Starving Garfield

Kickstarter for Son of Ugh. Pete Von Sholly. Deadline, November 15, 2017.

What You Need to Know About 6-Foot Trick-or-Treaters

Keep Safety in Mind This Halloween!

Candy corn

The Halloween Costume Everyone Was Wearing The Year You Were Born

Shopping and Costume Trends

50+ Spooky and Sweet Halloween Treats

Fanta

Orange Jack O Lantern

MUSIC, mostly from Jaquandor

The Mask of the Red Death, a work for harp and string quartet by Andre Caplet

Antonin Dvorak’s The Noon Witch – the backstory is creepier than the music

Jerry Goldsmith for the movie The Haunting

Bernard Herrmann’s seminal film score, Psycho

Wojcech Kilar’s wonderful score to the rather uneven film Bram Stoker’s DRACULA

A Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky

The Isle of the Dead by Sergei Rachmaninov

The Ventures – The Twilight Zone

John Williams’s rare forays into the world of horror: a suite from his score to the movie Dracula

A local (SoCal) production of Young Frankenstein

The New York State Writers Institute, a local treasure, offered a two-day, six-panel “symposium of topics crucial to an open democratic society” called Telling the Truth in a Post-truth World. The session I attended the evening of Friday the 13th of October at Page Hall on the UAlbany Downtown Campus, was “Presidents and the Press: Trump, Nixon & More.”

This turned out to be extremely timely because the Washington Post had just published Trump’s threat to NBC’s license is the very definition of Nixonian.

The moderator of the panel was Bob Schieffer, moderator of three presidential debates and former anchor of CBS Evening News and Face the Nation
The panelists included:
*Douglas Brinkley, CNN Presidential historian and biographer of Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford
*Amy Goodman, investigative reporter, host and producer of the award-winning news program, Democracy Now! that airs on over 1,400 public television and radio stations worldwide
*Harry Rosenfeld, Times Union editor-at-large, and former Metro Editor at The Washington Post who oversaw the paper’s coverage of Watergate
*Shane Goldmacher, chief White House correspondent for POLITICO, who previously reported on the 2016 Republican presidential primary campaign

There were some interesting moments, such as when Schieffer, who I’ve watched for decades, suggested that Goodman, who had a LOT of fans in the audience, was positing her opinions as facts, citing Daniel Patrick Moynihan. However, Goodman did note that it was important that the corporate media defend itself from attack from the regime.

Americans tend to think of freedom of the press as a uniquely American ideal that has spread throughout the world. But that value was codified more than a century earlier.

From here: “In 1644 the English poet and man of letters, John Milton, published the Areopagitica as an appeal to Parliament to rescind their Licensing Order of June 16th, 1643. This order was designed to bring publishing under government control by creating a number of official censors to whom authors would submit their work for approval prior to having it published. Milton’s argument, in brief, was that precensorship of authors was little more than an excuse for state control of thought.”

Although the freedom expressed took a half century to come to pass in Great Britain, the Milton argument regarding prohibition against prior restraint, or pre-publication censorship, is fundamental to the US Constitution. Threatening censorship prior to publication, as the current regime is suggesting, would have a chilling effect on expression and speech, and would interfere with the pursuit of truth.

I discovered just this week that the video for Weather the Storm by Rebecca Jade was among the music videos nominated as finalists in the Viewers Choice category for the MUSIC CALIFORNIA VIDEO AWARDS, which will be held on November 30th in San Francisco.

You could vote for Rebecca Jade, or one of the other entries HERE, but only until November 1. Of course, I am pushing for RJ, since she’s not only an extremely talented singer and emerging songwriter, she’s my eldest niece, daughter of my sister Leslie.

She sings in a variety of genres. As her bio reads: “Rebecca is a vocalist and has been involved with music her whole life. Growing up in a musical home and having generations of musicians in her family, she has been exposed to a vast assortment of artists, genres and styles. Her own mother was a professional jazz singer in Puerto Rico. With such influences, it seems a natural progression that Rebecca has followed in her footsteps.”

She has been a top artist in San Diego, which you can read about here. My wife, daughter and I got to see her sing in New York City this past August when she was a backing singer for Sheila E., which was a fabulous experience.

Listen to:

Weather the Storm – Rebecca Jade (2015)

Hour Glass – Rebecca Jade and The Jade Element (2014)

Gonna Be Alright – Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact (2015)

Cuts Like a Winter – Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact

Planet Cole Porter medley – Peter Sprague and Rebecca Jade (2017)

I’d Rather Go Blind – Rebecca Jade, singing at Spaghettini (2014)

All This Love – El DeBarge w/ Rebecca Jade @ Music Box 11-28-2015

Siren’s Crush promo reel (2015)

Soultone promo reel (2014)

Available for purchase:

Rebecca Jade & The Cold Fact

Planet Cole Porter – Peter Sprague & Rebecca Jade

You can find her social media contacts, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Soundcloud.

Oh, and a belated happy birthday, niece!

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