Disenfranchisement in Virginia
There are lots of news stories I’m following. But some I’m not commenting on (much) because I don’t know what to say that others haven’t said. Or that I haven’t said before.
Friend Chuck noted regarding his weekly musical playlist, “This is an edited – and sadly, updated – broadcast from May 2022.” Because, as I saw in a Boston Globe headline, these repeated, repeated, repeated headlines – only the names and places change -risk making us numb to the madness.
I will note that “solving the mental health crisis” is an objectively good thing but a damn difficult thing to achieve. When a Denver, CO, high school student was searched for weapons, he shot two administrators. He fled the scene and was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Interesting fact: “From 1980 to 2021, the US automobile fatality rate declined by 64%. From 2000 to 2021, American gun deaths increased by 56%.” We CAN do something. Bring back the 1994-2004 assault weapons ban. It’s not THE answer, but it is AN answer.
I won’t even get into the obviously bogus transphobia that spinners of the Nashville story have tried to insert.
ITEM: djt was indicted. I’m not jumping up and down for joy. For one thing, it’s merely an indictment. For another, I’m more interested in other possible indictments, which on the surface, appear to be more substantial cases about more significant wrongdoing, such as the attempt to manipulate the 2020 Presidential election in Georgia or fomenting insurrection on January 6.
SO many people pointed out that the government got mobster Al Capone for tax fraud.
Maybe I’ll do a happy dance if djt is CONVICTED of something. Still, I don’t mind if the New York Post calls him Bat Hit Crazy.
ITEM: Virginia now has the harshest felony disenfranchisement voting regime in America. Thanks to Gov. Glenn Younkin, a Republican as though you couldn’t guess, Jim Crow is back! Depressing but unsurprising.
ITEM: “They banned Dolly Parton: Republicans want the dumbest parent at the school to control the curriculum.” The conventional wisdom is that people my age should become more conservative. But as the stories – some of which are linked in the story, such as banning a banning a movie about Ruby Bridges – get more inane…
ITEM: I LOVE how the Disney folks outmaneuvered the board that Governor Ron DeSatan, oops, I mean Desantis (R-FL) imposed on the company’s special district. “The agreement restricting the new board’s rights is ‘in effect until 21 years after the death of the last survivor of the descendants of King Charles III, King of England living as of the date of this Declaration.'” And it is such an arcane maneuver that I laughed out loud when I read about it.
ITEM: Baseball season is here. As someone who still dislikes the designated hitter (instituted in 1973) and DESPISES the rule putting a runner on second base in extra-inning games(instituted in 2020), I find that I LIKE the pitcher/batter clock that was instituted in MLB spring training.
Neal Adams, George Perez, Nate Hopper
What One Million COVID Dead Mean for the U.S.’s Future
Fact-checking “2000 Mules”, the movie alleging ballot fraud “uses a flawed analysis of cellphone location data and ballot drop box surveillance footage to cast doubt on the results of the 2020 presidential election nearly 18 months after it ended.”
John Green: My Religion and My Banned Books
The Real ID Deadline Is May 2023
Mexico to reroute trade railway connection from Texas to New Mexico due to Greg Abbott’s $4 billion stunt
Florida Taxpayers Sue Gov. Ron DeSantis For Eliminating Disney’s Special District. Also, Disney Copyrights Targeted in Bill Proposed by Sen. Josh Hawley. The librarian in me likes it. The fact that it’s meant to target the “woke” corporation, not so much.
Jon Stewart Warns “Authoritarianism” Is the Greatest Threat to Comedy as He Receives Mark Twain Humor Prize
Concerns over ‘soft’ youth (1942)
The surprising afterlife of used hotel soap
How to build your poetry collection
The 23-game run of 23-year-old Mattea Roach on JEOPARDY!
Air Bud: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
On May 17, many entities in New York State are having their annual budget vote and school board election. Here’s the info for the Albany City School District.
Additionally, the Albany Public Library Albany Public Library budget is on the ballot. “The total tax levy includes a 2.5% increase, which is under the NYS tax cap. The proposed increase would mean that the owner of a $150,000 home would pay approximately $5.98 more in library taxes next year. And there are 10 candidates for the four open trustee seats.
Note that the polling places may be different than the primary/general election sites. Check here. This is the first election for which a certain teenager I live with is eligible to vote.
Nate Hopper was a member of our church choir. He was talented, friendly, funny, and generous of spirit in the too-brief time I knew him. The College of Saint Rose wrote on their Facebook page that the college senior had “been a member of the Saint Rose family since 2017. He once served as an RA, was beloved within our music community, and was the president of the Golden Notes, Saint Rose’s only co-ed a cappella group. “
Memorial for Alan Hahn, my old college buddy
David Birney, Actor on ‘Bridget Loves Bernie’ and ‘St. Elsewhere,’ Dies at 83. Bridget Loves Bernie (1972-73, CBS), which I watched, was the highest-rated network show, #5, that was canceled after a single season.
Joanna Barnes, Actress in ‘The Parent Trap’ and ‘Auntie Mame,’ Dies at 87. She appears in both versions of The Parent Trap, which I saw during the pandemic.
A new database highlights African American burial grounds across NY state
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Elliot Del Borgo
When The Battle Is Over (LIVE) – The Sully Band Featuring Rebecca Jade
The Highwayman, written by Alfred Noyes, sung by Loreena McKennit
When I Rose This Morning – The Mississippi Mass Choir
The Lark Ascending, music by Ralph Vaughn Williams, a poem by George Meredith
All By Myself – Eric Carmen
Ein Morgen, ein Mittag und ein Abend in Wien – Franz von Suppé
Show Biz Kids – Rickie Lee Jones
High Flight by John Gillespie Magee Jr.
Frank Sinatra’s ‘Watertown,’ a concept album set in Upstate NY, gets new life
Shut up, Jonah!
My daughter and I often watched the Disney program Andi Mack over the past three years. Given some of the painful programming I deigned to watch with her over the years, this wasn’t bad.
The premise was about a girl (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) who finds out that her older sister Bex (Lilan Bowden) is actually her mother, and Celia (Lauren Tom), who she thought was her mother, was her grandmother. Very soap opera, admittedly, but the evolution of the relation of Andi and Bex was pivotal. The other focus was the relationship among Andi’s best friends Cyrus (Joshua Rush), Buffy (Sofia Wylie) and Jonah (Asher Angel) .
I love watching the show with my daughter. She grouses about various characters, most notably Jonah, who was well meaning but totally clueless when it came to attempts at romance, with Andi, seeming mean girl Amber (Emily Skinner) and deaf girl Libby (played by a deaf actress, Millicent Simmonds).
I’ll admit Jonah could be clueless, most notably when the core four salvaged designer clothes from a dumpster and gave them away. when confronted by the police, he said way too much. Shut up, Jonah! My daughter also complained about Andi, when it seemed like the typical teenage behavior I was seeing at home.
In the penultimate episode, Bex has finally married Andi’s dad Bowie (Trent Garrett). For the final episode, more storylines are resolved. My daughter was pleased when Cyrus started a relationship; she was so surprised, though, that she literally fell off the sofa. When Cyrus came out as gay to Buffy, and eventually the others, the group One Million Moms wanted the show cancelled. It obviously didn’t work. Andi Mack was Disney’s most-watched series over the past three years.
My daughter was bemused/confounded by her mother. My wife thought the boyfriends of Buffy (Garren Stitt as Marty) and Cyrus (Luke Mullen as TJ, named for two musicians) were the same character. She didn’t understand why we weren’t appalled that he was two-timing with Buffy and Cyrus. The two young men ARE both white and fairly tall.
As the article notes, the breakthroughs in the storylines for Andi Mack were fairly modest. But for an entity as Disney, it was progress.
Nothing stuck out on first listen such as Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
It’s likely that one’s feelings about Mary Poppins Returns (2018) depend on how one thinks about the 1964 original. I didn’t see the earlier film until the end of 2011, so I don’t have any childhood memories. I did like it, quite a lot.
So how does one make a reboot? It has to have elements of the original – the now-adult Banks children, Michael (Ben Whishaw) and (Emily Mortimer) plus the widowed Michael’s three kids, Pixie Davies as Anabel, Nathanael Saleh as John, and Joel Dawson as little Georgie who was often getting into trouble.
Of course, we need the title character (Emily Blunt), who’s a bit blunter than Julie Andrews’ take. I liked that, though some reviewers assuredly did not. She’s not quite in Andrews’ league in the genre, but she’s a quite decent singer and engaging actor.
Lin-Manuel Miranda plays Jack, the lamplighter—or “leerie”, the functional equivalent of Dick Van Dyke’s Bert the chimney sweep. Both men are charming, talented singers, but neither was great with the accent.
The dance of the leeries was too reminiscent of the chimney sweeps’ hoofing for my taste.
Is the music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman, such as (Underneath the) Lovely London Sky and A Conversation less memorable than the work done by the Sherman brothers, Richard and Robert?
Nothing stuck out on first listen such as Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, but I’ve been hearing that soundtrack for over half a century. Interestingly, it was the use of incidental Sherman music that helped hold the new film together.
There’s a point, maybe about halfway through, where a song so grabbed me, in context, that I just surrendered to the film. I felt the wistfulness, fear, and hope of the characters.
Here’s a piece of trivia: “At the age of 93 at the time of the movie’s release, Angela Lansbury is the oldest female actor ever to appear in a Disney film. She is just two months older than the oldest male actor in a Disney film, Dick Van Dyke.” They both added to the film in their small roles, as did Meryl Streep in a more prominent bit.
All in all, Mary Poppins Returns is inessential, I suppose. It may rub up against your memories of the original, or it might add to them, as it did for me. My wife and my daughter also enjoyed it when we saw it at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany on Christmas Day.
A couple related links:
The secret dark side to the classic ‘Mary Poppins’, which weren’t all that secret to me
My review of Saving Mr. Banks (2013), about the making of the 1964 film, with Emma Thompson as author P. L. Travers and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney