Former Vice-President Al Gore turns 70

We’re seeing corporate, political, and societal mobilization against the climate crisis on a scale that would have been hard to imagine 10 years ago.

There’s a lot about Al Gore, 45th Vice-President of the United States, under Bill Clinton, that seems misunderstood to me.

It is suggested that he ran such a lousy campaign when he ran for President in 2000 that he lost his home state of Tennessee. But it is understood in some circles that
egregious intimidation and disenfranchisement of certain voters wasn’t limited to Florida.

The former college roommate of Tommy Lee Jones didn’t say he invented the Internet. The then-senator did create and introduce the High Performance Computing Act of 1991, which “led to the development of the National Information Infrastructure and the funding of the National Research and Education Network (NREN).

“The act built on prior US efforts of developing a national networking infrastructure, starting with the ARPANET in the 1960s, and the funding of the National Science Foundation Network (NSFnet) in the 1980s. The renewed effort became known in popular language as building the Information superhighway.”

“A spirited defense of Gore’s statement penned by Internet pioneers Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf (the latter often referred to as the ‘father of the Internet’) in 2000 noted that ‘Al Gore was the first political leader to recognize the importance of the Internet and to promote and support its development’ and that ‘No other elected official, to our knowledge, has made a greater contribution [to the Internet] over a longer period of time.'”

There was the kiss of his wife Tipper at the 2000 Democratic national convention. From all reports he wasn’t the wooden figure he had been portrayed.

“Claire Shipman of NBC speculated… the kiss sent a message. It signaled that Al Gore (unlike some presidents we know) is a faithful husband. Excellent point; imagine what would have happened if the Clintons had dared such a scene. Though some viewers were charmed by the Gore kiss and others squirmed, no one doubted that it was based on reality. There you have what really makes it seem odd. The kiss struck everyone as a political gesture based on truth, and nothing is rarer than that.”

Then there’s his wonky slide show presentation An Inconvenient Truth, which won the Academy Award in 2007 as Best Documentary, Feature.

Did any of this actually ‘save the world?’ “OK, you got us. Ten years after the movie’s release, climate change is still a growing threat and a polarizing issue, with record-breaking heat unable to stop skeptics from tossing snowballs on the Senate floor.

“But we’re also seeing corporate, political, and societal mobilization against the crisis on a scale that would have been hard to imagine 10 years ago, and there’s no question the film played a big part in getting us there.”

As Albert Arnold Gore Jr. said recently, “In 2017, Mother Nature certainly got our attention with a series of devastating extreme weather events. Our thoughts continue to be with the people of the US Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, and California as they recover from the floods, powerful hurricanes, and wildfires made ever-more severe by our warming world.”

Christ Lag in Todesbanden @FPC 1st Friday


Friday, April 6 at 5:30 PM – 8 PM. Music starts at 6 pm (despite what the poster says)

First Presbyterian Church of Albany
362 State St at the corner of Willett St, across from Washington Park
Albany, New York 12210

In concert:



In the gallery:





Gallery opens at 5:30 pm, concert starts at 6:00 pm

This is a free and family-friendly event.

March rambling #2: librocubicularist

They don’t think capitalism will exist by then

Lao Tzu
The invasion of Iraq more than a US “blunder,” or “colossal mistake;” it was a crime

The Return of the Chicken Hawks

John Bolton Paid Cambridge Analytica $1.2 Million to Make Americans ‘More Militaristic’

Scientific American: Why Are White Men Stockpiling Guns?

Give Teachers Guns, And More Black Children Will Die

How baby-toting, robed-and-hooded moms paved the way for today’s white hate groups

Surveillance footage shows the Las Vegas gunman’s methodical steps in the days just before the massacre

Obamas to Parkland students: “You’ve helped awaken the conscience of the nation”

I Tried to Befriend Nikolas Cruz; he Still Killed My Friends

Don Blankenship, the worst man in America, is running for Senate

“Death Penalty for Drug Dealers” Proposal Reeks of Eugenics

Non-disclosure agreements for White House staff? Not so fast

Why the Stormy Daniels story matters – it’s not about sex, it’s about the abuse of power

Austin Goolsbee says the tariffs are like his Aunt Trina’s lasagna

After the Storm – post-hurricanes Irma and Maria in the U.S. Virgin Islands last fall, some people showed up and stayed

New York City exporting homeless families to other parts of the state, including my hometown of Binghamton

Some millennials aren’t saving for retirement because they don’t think capitalism will exist by then

Living like I’m dying

NY Mets hitter Rusty Staub dies at 73

Kimmel Produces PSA For Melania’s ‘Cyberbullying’ Campaign

How to Decipher a Sarah Huckabee Sanders Press Conference

Librocubicularist (noun; plural: librocubicularists) (rare) A person who reads in bed

Bill Messner-Loebs, comic book artist worked on Wonder Woman and Thor, now homeless

Every Wes Anderson Movie, Ranked Worst to Best

Lois Weber, early 20th-century filmmaker

Sophia Jex-Blake, part of the Edinburgh Seven who campaigned for the right of women to study medicine

Steven Spielberg Doesn’t Think Netflix Movies Should Qualify for Oscars

Now I Know: How Chairman Mao Turned Freedom into Oppression and How Hitchcock Kept Psycho a Secret and How a Nearly-Perfect Crime Became Perfect Again and When the Driver Walks Away and Why Tennis Balls Are Yellow and Why You Shouldn’t Eat Those “Do Not Eat” Packets

Lois Lane, The Pulitzer Committee Wants Their Prizes Back

A video essay about cartoon sound effects

“73 Questions” video – Christine Pedi as Liza


Three Manhattan Bridges, for Piano and Orchestra: I. George Washington Bridge – Michael Torke, composer; Albany Symphony Orchestra, David Alan Miller, conductor; Joyce Yang – piano; Torke, Miller, Yang discuss the work

Pluto – King of the Underworld (Hades) – Taimane

Chicken Shack Boogie – Amos Milburn

Snake Farm – Ray Wylie Hubbard

Hendrix doing Hendrix on an acoustic guitar

5 O’Clock World – the Vogues, with more of their songs

Long Time Gone -Tom Jones & Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Coverville 1210: Aerosmith Cover Story II

WKRP in Cincinnati new home recordings and end theme lyrics

TV Theme Song medley – Jimmy Fallon & Will Smith

Stream a 346-Hour Chronological Playlist of Live Grateful Dead Performances (1966-1995)

DJT and I have the same favorite song

The curiously elusive date of Bach’s birthday

50 years ago: the beginning of political activism

By the time this was published, two or three weeks later, I was MORTIFIED by my response.

When I was 15, I was a conventionally conservative kid, fueled by my religion and small city roots. I had been in a couple civil rights marches but that was a topic that affected me personally.

I was preternaturally aware of the political issues, reading the op-ed pages of both the morning Sun-Bulletin and the Evening Press. Chet Huntley and David Brinkley were on the NBC news and Walter Cronkite was over on CBS, and I watched one network or the other since I was 11.

I entered Binghamton Central High in February 1968 and was asked early on by someone on the school newspaper, the Panorama News, who I supported for President. Oddly, I hadn’t given it much thought. I opted for Richard Nixon, noting that he had eight years as Vice-President.

By the time this was published, two or three weeks later, I was MORTIFIED by my response. I was going through…something. It may have been the influence of new friends or Cronkite’s assessment of the Vietnam war on February 27 as a likely stalemate.

On March 12, Senator Eugene McCarthy (D-MN) received 42% of the vote in the Democratic primary in New Hampshire against a sitting President, Lyndon Baines Johnson. I was utterly fascinated by this turn of events.

Still, I was not prepared when Johnson invoked the pledge in his March 31 national address, announcing, “I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president.” I had developed mixed feelings about LBJ. Great on civil rights, but like many, I was doubting the point of the war in southeast Asia.

So I’m pleased that my daughter, at an age younger than I was, is feeling all riled up about some issues in her world, more about which I’ll mention in due time. I think the Resistance play she was in this month at church was really in her emotional wheelhouse.

Music throwback: requiems for Holy Week

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine: et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Requiem. Orozco, José Clemente: Mexican, 1883 – 1949
There was a pastor of my church who considered himself a Lenten person, rather than an Easter person. I totally got it. And requiems are the music I most associate with the period between Mardi Gras and Easter, arguably more interesting that the tunes associated with the culmination of the season.

Maybe it’s because it’s the music I have sung personally most often that it resonates so. Or, to quote Elton John yet again, Sad songs say so much.

I’ve only sung one movement of A German Requiem by Johannes Brahms (1833–1897), and that in English, but several times during services. But I’ve sung the requiems by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) in the mid-1990s, Gabriel Fauré (1845–1924) in 2000 and 2005, Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986) in 2008, and John Rutter (1945- ) in the mid-1990s. the ones from this century I have recording of.

The famous Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) requiem I’ve sung thrice, once in 1985, once in the mid-1990s, and most recently on September 11, 2002, outdoors on a windy day, the only time I’ve ever worn a tuxedo to work.

There’s usually a pattern, starting with the introit:

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine:
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.

Kyrie, eleison.
Christe, eleison.
Kyrie, eleison.

It ends with In paradisum deducant te Angeli -May the angels lead you into paradise.

Not every requiem uses every element, or exactly the same text, but they are quite similar.

Listen to:

How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place (from A German Requiem by Brahms) – Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra

Verdi: Requiem, UC Davis Symphony Orchestra and University Chorus

Faure: Requiem Opus 48, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus

Durufle: Requiem, Opus 9, Choir of King’s College, Cambridge

Rutter Requiem, Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, and members of the City of London Sinfonia

Mozart – Requiem, Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields

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