June rambling: hope, not optimism

Libraries Are ‘Second Responders’

TheFour

We need hope, not optimism

In Baltimore and Beyond, a Stolen N.S.A. Tool Wreaks Havoc

Alarm Over Use of Facial Recognition as Groups Demand Federal Moratorium

This is not sustainable: Analysis shows massive gap between CEO and workers’ pay is getting worse

Trade Wars: A Real-Life Game of Thrones

The tax cuts effect

The Arctic Is Thawing So Fast, Scientists Are Losing Their Measuring Tools

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Medical device approval process and the Equal Rights Amendment

Amy Biancolli: Women always know their bodies are not their own

The Catholic Church spent $10 million on lobbyists in a fight to stymie priest sex abuse suits

Auschwitz Is Not a Metaphor – The new exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage gets everything right — and fixes nothing

Human remains on Canadian beach are Irish famine victims from 1847

How archaeologists found the last American slave ship and one famous descendent of that passage

Let Your Voice Be Heard! Radio: A Criminal Injustice Story – The Central Park Five have been exonerated and their story is finally being heard. But, there is still so much work to be done and Why I Can’t Bring Myself to Watch “When They See Us”

Why Narcissists And Gaslighters Blatantly Lie — And Get Away With It

When Libraries Are ‘Second Responders’

Vlogbrothers: On Sharing the Walk

Dooky Chase owner Leah Chase

What James Holzhauer’s Jeopardy Streak Meant

To Evade Pre-Prohibition Drinking Laws, New Yorkers Created the World’s Worst Sandwich

How to Prepare Your Bedroom for an Emergency

8 City Names We Bet You Can’t Pronounce – Skaneateles, NY, U.S.A. I can, actually

The English Word That Hasn’t Changed in Sound or Meaning in 8,000 Years

What’s My Line? – Doris Day’s FIRST Television Appearance in 1954

This film was entirely made with AI

When you get that ‘friend request’ from someone… who’s really not your ‘friend’

Now I Know: The Goalie Who Wouldn’t Stop and Why You Shouldn’t Tick off a Tiger and Where No Kidney Stone Has Gone Before and Why you may be playing basketball in your slippers and The Casual Slur in Your Utility Drawer and The Coffee Brand That is a Total Lie and The Desert’s No Fly Zone

MUSIC

Why We Build the Wall – Original Cast of Hadestown

‘Be More Chill’ parody of Michael in the Bathroom

2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Dr. John on Letterman

The Monster Song – Freezepop

Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve

Dog Breath Variations of Frank Zappa

A tone poem from the symphonic cycle Ma Vlast (My Country), From Bohemia’s Woods and Fields – composed by Bedrich Smetana

Propane – Pinkard & Bowden

I’m Still Standing – Sonny Vande Putt

Africa and If I Needed Someone – MonaLisa Twins meets Mike Massé

That Year – Brandi Carlile

First Suite in E-flat – Gustav Holst

Coverville 1264: Cover Stories for Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle and CeeLo Green

People who sing daily live longer

THE FIRST YEAR AND THE WHO yes, we mean Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey

Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony Completed Using AI

April rambling: Unbreaking America

Why Did the U.S. Government Pay for a Painting of Strawberries? Two-thirds of the paintings, in total, are by women. This wasn’t because women of the era liked to paint fruit.

No Room!
“Looking Backward,” drawn by the brilliant Austrian-born Joseph Ferdinand Keppler (February 1, 1838 – February 19, 1894) for Puck magazine, January 11, 1893

First image of a black hole revealed.

Slave Owners’ Names Are on Dorms at a SUNY School. That’s Changing. New Paltz is my undergraduate alma mater.

Why There’s So Little Left of the Early Internet.

Anderson Cooper speaks the “language of loss”.

Amy Biancolli: talking to the darkness.

“I Had Nothing”: How Parole Perpetuates a Cycle of Incarceration and Instability.

You Are Probably a Victim of the Largest Theft of All Time.

TEDx: we all should be feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Weekly Sift: Mueller by Gaslight.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: the sinister sides of World Wrestling Entertainment and the Mobile Home Industry.

Behind Bars, Co-Pays Are a Barrier to Basic Health Care.

The Death of an Adjunct Professor.

An aging population and a declining birthrate among the native-born population mean a shrinking workforce in many areas.

The Stephen Miller Presidency.

What an Empire Built on Nazi Collaboration Says About Our Economy.

Political Notebook: Politics last week and this week.

FTC Data Spotlight Shows Steep Rise in Complaints about Social Security Scams.

Unbreaking America: A NEW Short Film about Solving the Corruption Crisis.

New Zealand Parliament bans assault weapons.

“Men do not learn much from the lessons of history and that is the most important of all the lessons of history. “
– Aldous Huxley

The Persistence of Attachment.

What can an ice mummy teach us about heart disease?

Watch The World Turn.

The reason we bake at 350F.

5 Things to Do When You Have Too Many Ideas and Never Finish Anything.

Bless Your Heart doesn’t mean what you probably think it means.

Inside Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon’s Unconventional Marriage and ten minutes with Fosse.

Remembering William Goldman.

Re: Dwayne Wade: Now this is a proper sendoff

Minor League Baseball announces pace-of-play rules for 2019 and this is what Major League Baseball fandom looks like across the country.

Now I Know video: This Guy Tastes Ice Cream For a Living.

Now I Know: Who is Dr. Fill and why are these people afraid of him? and This idea to augment the postal service was a catastrophe and Why You Shouldn’t Carpool with Winnie the Pooh and especially Why Did the U.S. Government Pay for a Painting of Strawberries?

MUSIC

Religion – PJ Morton feat. Lecrae.

Faith – Business Casual.

Dead Boys -Sam Fender.

Live from New York, it’s Aubrey Logan.

Heaven Is a Place on Earth – KT Tunstall.

Video Killed The Radio Star – Walk off the Earth feat. Sarah Silverman

My Heart Will Go On – Big Daddy

Les chansons des roses – Morten Lauridsen.

You Get What You Give – Scary Pockets.

Africa – Robyn Adele Anderson.

Pencil Neck Geek – Don Blassie.

Coverville: 1257: A Cover Chain with Birthday Covers for Stan Ridgway, Katrina Leskanich, Norah Jones, Mandy Moore, and Brian Setzer

FUV ESSENTIALS: Richard Thompson.

Fight Poverty, Not the Poor; “White Genocide”

America is something we do, not something we are. It is an idea that can be shared by anyone who is inspired to share it.

poor people's campaignRev. Liz Theoharis from the The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, came to my church this past weekend. It was a very meaningful event on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Part of the scripture reading was the beginning of Isaiah 10 (NIV): “Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people.”

But beyond the message was the relational connections. I knew a LOT of people there, and not just my fellow parishioners. There’s a colleague from the North Country, way above Albany, who attended. He’d heard Liz speak on videos and wanted to see her in person. I sent him this Faith in Public Life webinar on Census 2020, trying to include everyone.

One friend shocked another – they had never met each other – in discussing John Calvin, the progenitor of Presbyterianism and his role in the burning of Michael Servetus. As the Calvinist said, “We never learned about THAT in my confirmation class.”

Still another buddy was stunned by the assertion, by me and another, that the National Rifle Association, founded 1871, was actually a largely non-partisan group in its first century. It’s only been since the 1970s that it became radically politicized.

Even someone breaking into our church at 4 a.m. on Sunday – a broken door window, but nothing of value apparently taken – did not cancel out the meaningfulness of the weekend.

The talk Saturday night, of course, began with more than a moment of silence for those massacred in New Zealand. I really have no words that aren’t better expressed by Arthur the AmeriNZ.

He too is incredibly impressed by the Kiwi Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who offered “the strongest possible condemnation of the ideology of the people who did this. You may have chosen us, but we utterly reject and condemn you.”

I was likewise taken by the Weekly Sift guy, Doug Muder, who managed to read the whole 70+-page “manifesto” of the gunman, something I was not able to stomach. Muder wrote Fear of White Genocide: the underground stream feeding right-wing causes.

A key paragraph of the Weekly Sift rebuttal: “In my view, America (or Western culture, for that matter) isn’t something that arises from the essential nature of the White race. America is something we do, not something we are. It is an idea that can be shared by anyone who is inspired to share it.”

I suppose it’s important to understand the hate mentality, though I’m not convinced that comprehension will be enough to stem the tide of bigotry. But I do see a linkage between the attack on the poor and attacks on racial/ethnic/religious “others.” It’s driven by fear.

It’s sometimes difficult to remember that most people are good and kind and just trying to get through life like the rest of us.

Ides of March rambling: Jesus Was a Socialist

Workism Is Making Americans Miserable. Understand – Aubrey Logan, Rebecca Jade on background vocals.

Pandora's Inbox
Pandora’s Inbox by Dave Coverly. used with permission
www.speedbump.com
Obituary of legendary Albany activist Vera P. Michelson, known to most everyone as Mike.

Thirteenth (2016 documentary about the 13th Amendment).

Patheos: Jesus Was a Socialist.

Listen, papa: let priests marry.

Buddhist robot priest to dole out advice in Kyoto temple.

Fran Rossi Szpylczyn: I Need Help (First Sunday of Lent).

The best thing to give up this Lent is plastic.

Political Notebook: Stupidity and hope.

The Balloon Pops on His Economic Promises.

How to Spot Fake News Online.

Activity At 2nd North Korean Missile Site Indicates Possible Launch Preparations, so the fact that rump and Kim failed to reach a breakthrough in Hanoi may be for the best.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: Five years on, here’s why people still believe the conspiracy theories.

Before We Even Think about Candidates for 2020.

Cartoon: A very Peanuts third-party candidate.

More local meteorologists are using their air time to bring climate change down to street level and communicate what this crisis means for their viewers’ everyday lives.

Where is Congress’ Center on Climate Change?

Workism Is Making Americans Miserable.

Jaquandor: On Writing Longhand.

Think you know Abraham Lincoln? New photos reveal the man behind the legend.

The inspiring story of H’Hen Niê, who won Miss Universe Vietnam 2017.

Do Grammar Mistakes Annoy You? You Might Be an Introvert.

Movement And Breathing Breaks Help Students Stay Focused On Learning.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: robocalls and automation and psychics.

How to make “New York style pizza” at home. (n.b.: too much work for me!)

The People Who Eat the Same Meal Every Day.

Hate tried to come for Brie Larson. Captain Marvel destroyed them.

Boney – a television drama with the worst casting gimmick ever.

Now I Know: New York City’s Secret (Tiny) Subway and Arresting the Rooster and The Writing Was on the Wall and When a Baseball Team Traded for Runs and Too Much Hare in Your Ear and Bernie Madoff’s Other Swiss Bank Account and The Hole Truth About Ballpoint Pens and Domo Arigato, Mr. Robutto and Darts Darts Bo Barts Bananafana Fo… Uh Oh.

STAR WARS: ALWAYS.

AND

Execute order 66.

Loud music.

MUSIC

Understand – Aubrey Logan, Rebecca Jade on background vocals.

The revolution will not be televised – Soul Rebels club mix.

Gustav Holst’s The Planets – Jupiter, scored for five pianos.

Everything Changes – Eytan and The Embassy, also Star Wars parody, plus the identities revealed of the original video.

Coverville: 1253: Tributes for Peter Tork of the Monkees and Mark Hollis of Talk Talk and 1254: Cover Stories for The Who and Townes Van Zandt.

RIP, Hal Blaine of The Wrecking Crew, Hall of Fame drummer.

Andre Previn has died at age 89.

K-Chuck Radio: The “cover band” phase of popular bands and Olivia Newton-John does make you feel mellow.

Monkees Screen Tests

NPR’s ‘Jazz Profiles’, hosted by Nancy Wilson; Miles Davis: ‘Kind of Blue’ (2001).

They Really Don’t Make Music Like They Used To.

“I cannot throw out these books”

I wrote 10 or 11 blog posts re Never A Dull Moment: 1971, the year that rock exploded by David Hepworth.

Jaquandor recently wrote about owning books. In part, he quotes from Life Itself by Roger Ebert, which makes more sense in its entirety, and really speaks to me. “I cannot throw out these books. Some are enchanted because I have personally turned all their pages and read every word. They’re shrines to my past hours.”

Looking at my bookshelves in the office, I realize the sheer number of books I am not going to get rid of, because. And that doesn’t even count the ones in the bookcases that are in the attic, arranged, BTW, and the relatively few in the living room.

Initially, I  was just going to pick books as they appeared on the shelves. Then I decided to put them in some sort of imperfect order

ALBANY

Six and Eleven – Ed Dague (2010). Former local news anchor I hung out with him one night and have a transcript – somewhere – of that night’s broadcast in 1994

A Day Apart: How Jews, Christians, and Muslims Find Faith, Freedom, and Joy on the Sabbath – Christopher Ringwald. (2007). Signed to me. I got to hear him speak on the topic in my church a few years before his tragic death.

Figuring Sh!t Out: Love, Laughter, Suicide, and Survival – Amy Biancolli (2015). Signed to me, my wife and our daughter. About surviving the suicides in her life, including that of her husband, the aforementioned C Ringwald

O Albany – William Kennedy (1983). The greatest writer out of the city. Both he and Biancolli worked for the local newspaper, the Times Union, and both were honored by the Albany Public Library Foundation

RACE

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II – Douglas A. Blackmon (2008) – signed to me in 2009 at an event arranged by Bill Kennedy

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness – Michelle Alexander (revised 2011). Because it makes sense.

The Sweeter the Juice – Shirlee Taylor Haizlip. when I wrote a blog post about it, I got an email from her!

Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII’s Forgotten Heroes – Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Anthony Walton (2004). Did you know Kareem was on JEOPARDY! for the first time the same month I was?

FANTACO

The Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck Archives Omnibus – Fred Hembeck (2008). I remember helping friend Fred unload boxes of these at a comic book convention in Saratoga Springs, NY

Xerox Ferox: The Wild World of the Horror Film Fanzine – John Szpunar. It premiered at FantaCon 2013. I got it signed by the author, plus subjects such as Steve Bissette, Tom Skulan, Dennis Daniel and Jim Whiting

Saga of the Swamp Thing: Book One – Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, John Totleben (2009), art plate signed by Steve; I met Steve at FantaCo in 1987

FantaCo book publications, almost all of which have stories; I know I was quoted in the Washington Post about Splatter Movies (1981)

Elfquest books – Wendy and Richard Pini, the original 20 issues in four volumes. Wendy and Richard came up to FantaCo for signings thrice a year

MUSIC

Blues People – LeRoi Jones (1963), before he became Amiri Baraka, he wrote about “the Negro experience in white America and the music that developed from it.”

Soulsville USA – Rob Bowman (1997). The story of STAX Records

Never A Dull Moment: 1971, the year that rock exploded – David Hepworth. I wrote 10 or 11 blog posts on this book

Across the Charts: The 1960s – Joel Whitburn (2008), This a book that shows the power of songs that cross over among the pop, soul, country, and adult contemporary charts.

Plus a slew of books on the Beatles

This post is getting LONG – more books soon.