birdmanWay back on Thanksgiving weekend, I saw Birdman, or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance at the Spectrum in Albany. I really admired what they were trying to do, this black comedy about an actor named Riggan (Michael Keaton) who had become rich and famous for playing a comic book superhero, the title reference.

Now he wants to write, produce, direct and star in a play on Broadway. However, he finds himself in conflict with some of the other actors, a nasty Broadway critic, and mostly, with himself.

The scene where Riggan is walking through Times Square nearly naked (seen in part in the trailer) Read the rest of this entry »

va-districts-mapI’ve long had this odd fascination with the state of Virginia. Partly it’s because it’s part of the old Confederacy, but the northernmost part. The distance from Richmond, the Confederate capital during the US Civil War, to Washington, DC is only 110 miles. General Robert E. Lee of Virginia seemed the reluctant warrior.

Several northwest counties broke away from Virginia during the Civil War to create the state of West Virginia Read the rest of this entry »

JohnLennon_tapeThis is the anniversary of John Lennon’s death, which I always remember. Obviously he was taken by the number nine. He was born on the 9th of October (1940), as was his son Sean (1975).

Reportedly, The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein first saw them perform on the 9th of December, 1961. “Beatles experts might dispute the actual date, but John Lennon recalled November 9, 1966 as the date when he first met Yoko Ono.”

He even died on the 9th, in British time. The owner of FantaCo, Tom Skulan, reminded me that, after I got the word – on Monday Night Football, no less – I called him, and others, with the sad news.

He included the number 9 in many of his songs, such as Revolution #9. LISTEN to #9 Dream from his 1974 album Walls and Bridges. The single coincidentally peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 US charts.
***
Who Was the Walrus? Analyzing the Strangest Beatles Song, which you can LISTEN to.

Black Lives MatterRight around December 1, when everyone was rightfully talking about the anniversary of Rosa Parks’ 1955 refusal to cede her seat in a Birmingham bus, one of the Twitter pals of Arthur Tweeted, “Do some research on Claudette Colvin, sidelined as she didn’t have the right ‘look’ of a true heroine”. Arthur wanted my thoughts on that, maybe on March 2, 2015, which is the 60th anniversary of Colvin’s arrest — the first arrest for resisting bus segregation.

As it turns out, I DID write about Claudette Colvin, almost five years ago, and I don’t have much more to say.

Arthur added:

Seems to me this raises issues of expediency — deliberately choosing the best “face” to put on an issue Read the rest of this entry »

map1
I got to the map on this page via Dustbury.

Click states in the map to cycle through the colors, or use the list beneath. Choose:

red for states where you’ve not spent much time or seen very much.
amber for states where you’ve at least slept and seen some sights.
blue for states you’ve spent a lot of time in or seen a fair amount of.
green for states you’ve spent a great deal of time in on multiple visits.

These are definitionally tricky categories. Read the rest of this entry »

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