Archive for June, 2018

You can’t compromise with bs

Is Trumpism becoming a new religion?

When The White House Can’t Be Believed

The 2017 Comprehensive Plan For Reorganizing The Executive Branch is codified in the June 2018 Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century. They’re DOING all of it, or trying to. (HT, Steve Bissette)

Family Separations: Should we be horrified, relieved, or just confused?

This Isn’t the First Time the White House Attempted to Cut the Dept. of Ed.

The corporate tax cut will never trickle down

Space defense will be a major concern for the U.S., but the “Space Force” is not the answer

Browser extension to fix the NYT’s squeamishness about calling him a liar

Reporter is raising her daughter to speak three languages; a stranger demanded she ‘speak English’ to her

Living While Black

More than one percent of Oklahoma’s population is in the slammer

Last Week Tonight with John OliverXi Jinping

We could use some more social justice when it comes to fandom

Father’s Day for children of abusive fathers

“In moral crisis” or “immoral crisis”?

Judge tosses Kansas law that disenfranchised thousands of eligible voters, orders KS Secretary of State Kris Kobach to take remedial law classes

Sales tax: Different items are taxable in different states

You don’t really know who Bernie Sanders was in the 1960s

Anthony Bourdain interviewed on The Daily Show, January 2018

RIP Dan Ingram

A natural gas power plant with no carbon emissions or air pollution

How does Disney World control mosquitoes?

‘I had to guard an empty room’: the rise of the pointless job

The Curious Origins of 16 Common Phrases

Now I Know: The Radio Reporter Who Found a New Voice, Literally and Why Is it Named Idaho? and The Tractors that Turn Farmers into Hackers and the Sound of Sneezes and The Man Who Takes Apostrophes Very Seriously and the National Animal of Scotland

The patron saint of the tacky

The LESLIE Chronicles

This is the picture of my sister’s bicycle after her accident on June 4; you can’t really tell that the handlebars are sheared off.

Leslie’s still in the hospital, getting incrementally better. Great strides in the past week, actually. She’s had a fourth surgery this week, on her palate. She has a coterie of friends tending to her, besides the hospital staff.

Most notably, I was able to talk with her this week! She has these different colored caps that cover the trachea incision that allows her to be audible. She was tired but coherent and rational. THAT is a very good sign.

If she were not wearing a helmet, there almost certainly would have had have been a different outcome. So if you are riding a motorcycle or bicycle or scooter, wear the damn helmet.

MUSIC

We’re Not Gonna Take It – Dee Snider (stripped down version)

77 Cover Songs – “Weird Al” Yankovic

Art of the song parody

Still A Friend Of Mine – MonaLisa Twins

99 Luftballons – Kaleida (Atomic Blonde Soundtrack)

Whitney Avalon sings again!

Anema e core – Pier Angeli

Just A Song Before I Go – Graham Nash (original demo)

John McElrath of the Swingin’ Medallions died at 77

Why Modern Music Is Awful

There’s a performer you’ve probably never heard of named Rebecca Parris who died at the age of 66 this week. She grew up in the Boston area and the Globe described her as a jazz singer of uncommon range and emotional depth. “Ms. Parris wove together jazz inflections, freewheeling scat singing, andan endless palette of vocal shadings into something all her own.”

The New York Times explained her “problem” back in 2000. “She’s a New England favorite who hasn’t quite been able to develop a national constituency. And that’s unfortunate, since the veteran… singer has quietly evolved into a highly skilled jazz artist… Parris sang a set of familiar standards with the confident musicality of a performer with both the talent and the imagination to fully express her ideas.”

The singer experienced some physical ailments, making it hard to sing while standing up early in the century, but as this 2006 Globe story suggested, ‘It’s been a drag,’ but it’s spring, again, for Parris.

From a November 2007 review in the New York Times: “If Rebecca Parris … who is playing a rare New York engagement at Birdland, were a blues-rock artist, she would belong to the school of gutbucket mamas whose delivery is the vocal equivalent of wielding an ax. Her voice, a rich contralto with a baritone resonance, is so commanding that when a song’s attitude is combative, she can scare you. But when the mood is playful, she can also enfold you in a musical bear hug.

“Most revealing was a rendition of the old Doris Day hit “It’s Magic,” in which Ms. Parris’s stressing of the words “the magic is my love for you” transformed a girlish swoon of enchantment into the narrator’s grown-up awareness that she is creating her own happiness.”

I have two of her albums, My Foolish Heart and It’s Another Day.

Listen to:

My Foolish Heart

Over The Rainbow

Rebecca Parris On Piano Jazz (with Marian McPartland, NPR, 2008, 56 minutes)

Though Kathy Bates had been working regularly on film since at least 1977, and I undoubtedly had seen her in some of those shows and movies, the first place I really recognized her was in the 1990 movie Misery.

“I’m your biggest fan” undoubtedly affected readers of the Stephen King novel, but to see her Annie Wilkes interact with Paul Sheldon (James Caan)… let’s put it this way; I haven’t seen that movie since I viewed in the cinema, and it STILL makes me shudder. She captured the Best Actress Oscar and a Golden Globe.

My favorite scene of hers, though, was in Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), the bit in a parking lot here or here, when Evelyn Couch got tired of being treated like an old davenport. The vicarious pleasure I felt was surprisingly strong.

From IMBD: “Kathleen Doyle Bates was… raised in Memphis, Tennessee. She is the youngest of three girls… One of her ancestors, an Irish emigrant to New Orleans, once served as President Andrew Jackson’s doctor.

“By the mid-to-late 1970s, Kathy was treading the boards frequently as a rising young actress of the New York and regional theater scene… She took her first Broadway curtain call in 1980’s ‘Goodbye Fidel,’ which lasted only six performances. She then went directly into replacement mode when she joined the cast of the already-established and highly successful ‘Fifth of July’ in 1981.

I have enjoyed her work in several other TV shows and films, including:

* a prostitute in Woody Allen’s Shadows and Fog (1991)
* the unsinkable Molly Brown in Titanic (1997)
* the villainous Miss Hannigan in a Disney version of Annie (1999)
* quirky, liberal mom Roberta Hertzel in About Schmidt (2002), for which she received a Best
Supporting Actress nomination
* well-to-do Jo Bennett in the latter stages of the US version of The Office (2010-2011)
* Gertrude Stein in Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen, 2011)

Kathy Bates turns 70 on June 28, 2018, and by the look of her upcoming credits does not appear to be retiring any time soon, despite living with lymphedema. She has been the national spokesperson for the Lymphatic Education & Research Network.

Dear Mayor Kathy Sheehan:

We’ve met a few times, most notably at my church’s adult education class on March 4, 2018. That’s me on the right, my fellow choir member Tim on the left, and you (of course) in the middle. After I introduced you, unfortunately, Tim and I had to run off and make music.

You talked about the City of Albany Poverty Reduction Initiative (CAPRI) program which “aims to better align public and private resources with community-based interventions and build partnerships with community leaders, municipal and state government, direct service providers, the faith community, local employers, and, most importantly, the people impacted by poverty in order to develop sustainable strategies that address the unique needs of the community and reduce poverty in the City of Albany.”

Subsequently, as Chuck Miller noted: “There have been recent protests in Albany by the Poor People’s Campaign. These protests, which have disrupted traffic in the downtown Albany area, are designed as a non-violent alert to the systemic problems of racism and police brutality and pay inequality. Noble effort, to be sure.

“The City of Albany sent the organizers of the Poor People’s Campaign a bill for $1,451, a bill for police coverage and the mitigation of disruptive public services.” I thought that was not warranted in that the police action disrupting traffic was far greater than the protesters’ behavior warranted.

The Times Union, rightly in my view, excoriated you the selective imposition of the fine, in an editorial Albany’s free speech fees.

And yet I also disagreed with the TU’s decision not to run your rebuttal. You posted it on your own site, which was picked up by Medium.com, ironically giving you a far bigger platform.

And I STILL disagree with your argument, Mayor Sheehan. But here’s the thing: if you had but asked me, I would have posted your response on my seldom-used Times Union blog.

Ah well, maybe next time.

Sincerely,
Your constituent,
Roger Green

When 17 people were killed at a Parkland, Florida high school on Valentine’s Day/Ash Wednesday 2018, the Daughter was understandably upset. She had unfortunately seen many stories like this in the past five years or so, when she started watching the news.

Interestingly, she also felt empowered by the protests since that event. Moreover, she’s participated in a couple herself. I’d say that I have no idea where she got this activism streak, but I suppose that would be a lie.

Still, she felt really terrible after the May 18 killing of 10 at a school in Santa Fe, Texas.

Terrible as in scared; I understand that. My wife, who is a schoolteacher, CERTAINLY understands that.

But, I think, it was also a function of disappointment, that her actions, and the activities of millions of children across the country ended up with the same old results.

Goodness knows that I get THAT. When you fight against racism and war and poverty and violence, and racism, war, poverty, and violence remain, it is easy to become discouraged that the efforts are pointless, or one hasn’t done enough.

Now, the Daughter received The Triple C Award at her moving up ceremony this month, given “to students by the New York State Attorney General’s Office,” which “celebrates students who display courage, character and commitment in their daily lives at home and in school.”

Still, USA.gov sent out this email after Santa Fe: “Tragic news is reported every day. Sometimes these events can cause distress to people of all ages. Although you may try to avoid having your children see upsetting reports about violence or natural disasters, you can’t always be successful. Use these resources to help you navigate a difficult conversation:

“Learn how children perceive the news and how to talk to them about what they see with these tips from KidsHealth.
Call SAMHSA’s DistressLine for immediate crisis counseling. If you or your child needs support, call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs”to 66746 for help 24/7 in English, Spanish, and for those with hearing disabilities.

From the former resource: “If older kids are bothered by a story, help them cope with these fears. An adult’s willingness to listen sends a powerful message.” I must say that my wife picked up on the Daughter’s distress after Santa Fe more quickly than I.

In the midst of the chaos, we have to remember to be good to each other.

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