July rambling: Yecch, indeed

stale gum

cliff hang
Courtesy Patty Huang, Angry Art Director

The Boomers Ruined Everything.

Chief Justice Roberts OKs Minority Rule.

Complaints about Government Imposter Scams Reach Record High.

How To Game Google To Make Negative Results Disappear.

The Meritocracy Myth: Why “Success” is More Complicated Than You Think.

Burned out? You’re not alone. And the world is finally paying attention.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Warehouses, such as Amazon’s.

When PEPSI had a navy.

6 tips you need to know to help you spot fake news. All pretty obvious yet often ignored.

Hear, hear, Becca.

The musical Something Rotten national tour, Rob McClure’s town-by-town video diary.

Eugene Schieffelin and the European Starlings.

Necessity’s Child.

Now I Know: How Four Dollars Can Unlock American History and When Yellow Cars Became Protest Vehicles and Why It May Make Sense to Draw Eyes on Cows’ Butts and Badge Boys, Badge Boys, Whatchu Gonna Do?

DEPARTING

Twitter helps reveal deadly toll ocean plastic takes on sharks and rays.

They welcomed a robot into their family; now they’re mourning its death.

The New York Times cuts all political cartoons, and cartoonists are not happy. Nor am I.

MAD magazine: meanderings and Yecch, indeed and Maybe Alfred should finally worry.

Dustbury is winding down at work.

Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think.

It was a really bad month for the Internet.

djt

His nationalism has nothing to do with patriotism.

The military parade only furthers his vision of a dumbed-down America that may no longer be up to the task of global leadership.

Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with djt and wjc, explained.

UNABASHED PLUGS

Go to Catskill, NY’s adventurous Bridge Street Theatre and see Joy Gregory and Gunnar Madsen’s acclaimed Off-Broadway hit musical “The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World”. Based on the true story of three sisters from rural New Hampshire whose father forced them to form a rock band, and who recorded an album back in 1969 which has since become a cult classic. I saw it last Thursday and it is a revelatory experience. Yes, it features one of my nieces as one of the sisters.

“The Shaggs” will play for four more performances, Thursday through Saturday, July 18-20 ant 7:30 p,m. and Sunday, July 21 at 2 p.m. in BST’s intimate 84-seat Mainstage.

If you’re going to the New York State Fair August 21 – September 2, 2019 in Syracuse, NY, check out Sheila E. on Sunday, September 1 at 2 p.m. Backing vocals by Rebecca Jade, my first niece.

I’ve known Larry Shell since at least since 1981 when he put together the Alien Encounters package for FantaCo. He’s doing a GoFundMe campaign to get work on his house repaired before July 20. “Failure to comply could lead to heavy fines or even the condemnation of the home I’ve lived in for 44 years. The house is livable, it just needs a lot of fixing up,” which he can’t do himself because of health issues.

MUSIC

Manic Monday – Prince.

L.A. – Aubrey Logan (Live Studio Version with niece Rebecca Jade on backing vocals)

The theme from the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon show – vocal quartet called Midtown.

Ur So Beautiful – Grace VanderWaal.
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Vox Maris by George Enescu.

Underground – Lindsey Stirling.

Sensemaya by Silvestre Revueltas.

Coverville 1268: The Jackie Wilson Cover Story.

The national anthem – Device Orchestra, played on seven credit card machines.

K-Chuck Radio: a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack.

You Don’t Own Me, A Feminist Anthem With Civil Rights Roots, Is All About Empathy.

Hello Out There, Hello! – Johnny Mercer w/ Billy May (1952) / Looney Tunes Cartoon 2019 A.D.

December rambling #1: 21st Century Schizoid Man

If Hollywood designed the perfect candidate to represent the anti-Christ for evangelicals, he would be thrice married, twice divorced, a builder of casinos, a sexual predator (unless the women are ugly), a liar…

simple-but-wrong

New York Times investigation: Guards punish black inmates more severely than whites inside New York State prisons

The Essential Selfishness of School Choice

Why didn’t Andrew Cuomo’s special-session wish list include closure of LLC loophole?

Reagan press aide’s response to AIDS crisis

John Key departs as New Zealand prime minister, and the civility of opposition leader Andrew Little was stunning, compared with American politics

The long history of the U.S. interfering with elections elsewhere

John Glenn Dies At 95. He was the first American to orbit the earth, before his political career. He was a Presbyterian ruling elder, for whom one of my pastors was named.

Faux news

From Richard S. Vosko: Benjamin Corey, who studies theology and culture said, “the problem isn’t that people write things that are untrue, but that so many people are quick to believe things that are untrue.”

Fake news is like Jessica Rabbit and No facts? What does that mean?

Weather Channel: Note to Breitbart: Earth Is Not Cooling, Climate Change Is Real and Please Stop Using Our Video to Mislead Americans

Despite social media outrage, the “Fisher Price Happy Hour Playset” is not real

Fake Or Real? How To Self-Check The News And Get The Facts

Revealing fakery – and stupidity

I was telling one of my sisters, just this weekend, what a pain this “fake news” is for a librarian, who deals with the dispensing of information every day.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but don’t all Americans live in their own little worlds?

DJT

The Trump Dump: Tracking the New Administration’s People and Policies

If Hollywood designed the perfect candidate to represent the anti-Christ for evangelicals, he would be thrice married, twice divorced, a builder of casinos, a sexual predator (unless the women are ugly), a liar and a man so in love with himself that his fondest wish is to die in his own arms.
– From an Oklahoma pastor

Demagogue in Chief

ADAPTING TO TRUMP’S LIES

War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Trump Won In A Landslide.

WHY SCIENTISTS ARE SCARED OF TRUMP

Trump to Remain Executive Producer on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’

The president-elect is issuing statements to world leaders that benefit his family’s corporate empire

Fox’s Shepard Smith Debunks Trump’s False Claims Scrubbing Russia Of Involvement In The US Election

This is what happens when Donald Trump attacks a private citizen on Twitter

Saturday Night Live Is Basically Just Reciting Facts About Donald Trump Now

Only a ‘Love Army’ Will Conquer Trump

It’s difficult to deny his incredible impact on the news this year ― for better or worse

Will Ivanka Trump Be the Most Powerful First Daughter in History? If she weren’t doing the family business, I’d have no problem with her unpaid advising her father in govt. It’s, as Big Brother and the Holding Company noted, The Combination of the Two that’s the REAL problem.

fashion_police_and_grammar_police

1843 Magazine/The Economist: The Scientists Who Make Apps Addictive

Altruistic People Have More Sexual Partners

Metric matters

Will Lacey was just a baby when doctors diagnosed a rare form of cancer and told his family there was only one end. Nobody then could imagine the journey ahead

Chaz Ebert: A BAKER’S DOZEN: 13 MORE MUST-SEE FILMS OF 2016

Denzel Washington reunites with his childhood librarian for her 99th birthday

Medieval graffiti ‘peacock’ discovered in Sudbury church

NOT ME: One of those held hostage was Roger Green, who said he spent the entire time praying

Now I Know: Ring Around the Lunar Orbit and NASA-L and When Your Brain Nose Something Is Missing and Home Sweet Apartment Building

Color of 2017: Greenery

How is ketchup made?

Music

Greg Lake, Emerson, Lake & Palmer Co-Founder, Dead at 69 – the first Greg Lake vocal I recall: 21st Century Schizoid Man – King Crimson ; also from that album, Epitath; Welcome Back My Friends – Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize in Literature was accepted on his behalf by the musician Patti Smith -it was transcendent; Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

Ravel, Bolero

Cantina Auditions

Ain’t No Sunshine

Come Together With More High-Caliber Beatles Analysis

The Definitive List of the 41 Best-Selling Cast Recordings of All Time

What if, instead of writing and starring in Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda et al. had instead done Sweeney Todd

The Secret Jewish History of Robbie Robertson and The Band

Leon Russell in the Dark

The Four Functions of a Church Choir

The Great Guitar Drought of 1960-1963

Death, politics, plus other happy topics

trump-house-plane1I don’t know about you, but I’m STILL recovering from the election. Oh, maybe it’s not just the election, maybe it was Leonard Cohen’s death, and Leon Russell’s and, interestingly enough, Gwen Ifill’s. When I heard the news about the PBS newswoman, I sobbed for twenty minutes, and I’m not even sure why.

Maybe it was because the electoral process often missed Gwen Ifill’s sagacity as she, mostly quietly, fought the cancer. Surely, it’s because, at 61, she was younger than I. Maybe it was seeing how her death affected others. Pete Williams, reporting on MSNBC, could barely get the words out without choking. Or maybe it was her calm in rough seas.

What I have noticed is that people before the vote had different points of view. But it has NEVER come out so vigorously, post-election. Some folks in my circle got into a bit of a Facebook tussle over Donald Trump, which was largely about how his family seemed to monetize everything in the transition, from “as seen on 60 Minutes” bling to the greatagain.GOV website seeming to hawk Trump businesses, to a potential conflict if his adult kids were to get security clearance.

As this quote from Hot Air notes:

If Trump has real estate in the UAE and the Trump kids discover that there’s a developing terrorist threat there, and they decide to sell that property because of it, they’ve used secret national intelligence made available to them by their father to avoid a financial loss for the family. It’s as far from a blind trust as you can get: Instead of the managers of Trump’s wealth being completely independent of him, they’d be exploiting him to see things on the global financial landscape that they otherwise never would have known. It’ll be a “superhuman-sight trust,” not a blind trust.

And even if they’re scrupulous somehow about keeping business and government separate, just by pure chance they may end up selling assets or buying assets in a place that later coincidentally turns out to be strongly affected by some Trump administration policy. The public will assume corruption even if it’s not there, which will damage Trump. For the sake of his own credibility, he should stick with a blind trust.

Of course, the request for clearance “never happened,” I’m told; I suspect it was a trial balloon. And “Trump isn’t taking a salary” though he ought to. And “the Clinton stole the silverware.” And it all got rather testy after that. But in years past, who we and they voted for just would not have come up. And, for the most part, it didn’t matter; one didn’t think less well of the other.

People being disenfranchised saddens me as much as it angers me. There’s hate mail, and a lot worse out there. This is interesting: in the same month the movie Loving, about a white man and a black woman winning a Supreme Court case about getting married, is being released, SMU is flooded with fliers titled “Why White Women Shouldn’t Date Black Men.” So maybe I’m mourning.

I shan’t mention the white nationalist champion the Prez-elect picked as his chief strategist or the climate science denier who’s heading his EPA transition team or his anti-gay potential SCOTUS pick or Rudy Guiliani.

The only things that make me happy, and only mildly, seem to involve Vice President-elect Mike Pence. He’s dealing with his own email controversy, ironically. Lots of people are donating to Planned Parenthood in his name, which I love! He’s leading a transition that may in discord, which, in the short term, might not be too bad for the country.

My favorite Barack and Joe meme actually involved Michelle and Jill asking why was it always the guys? “Male patriarchy.”

So I’m in a major funk. Even doing Chuck Miller’s quiz thing didn’t help:
Year given: 1986
Age: 33
Now: 63
Relationship status: Living with someone
Now: Married
Living in: Albany
Now: Albany
Pets: None
Now: Two cats
Was I happy?: There were elements of happiness. I had my 33 1/3 party in July because. I still have a copy of the invitation somewhere in the attic. Work at FantaCo was interesting because I was working on a comic book.
Now: Well, you WOULD ask AFTER the election
Kids: None
Kids now: One

I know others in similar, or worse, situations, and I feel for them. Oh, and I attended my cousin’s funeral last week.

You know what ELSE it is? It’s information and the fact that I can no longer trust much of what I read, a real pain for a librarian.

When I saw that jazz man Mose Allison had died, I didn’t believe it, not because, at 89, he couldn’t have passed away, but because I was unfamiliar with the source. It wasn’t until I read it in the New York Times that I was satisfied it was true. This is exhausting over time.

This list of False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical ‘News’ Sources is useful, but occasionally there are really useful insights in some of them, especially on the satirical sites. And it may be that the problem is the failing media who cut their budgets. The word of the year is post-truth; this suggests to me we’ll NEVER be able to talk with each other. This makes me terribly sad.

But the one thing that gives me a modicum of hope is that a LOT of people seem really stirred up to engage in activism. As the Rev. William J. Barber II noted, A Dying Mule Always Kicks the Hardest. “Why Donald Trump’s election means ‘we must work together for a Third Reconstruction in America.'”

Listen to Mose Allison. Your Mind Is On Vacation and Monsters of the Id.

And from Sharon Jones, who ALSO died (dammit), Stranger to My Happiness and Retreat, which she did not.