December #2: Famous Monsters Chronicles, & EOY

The Great Songs :”Overlooked tracks from artists you know, obscure tracks from artists you may not know…

toon refugee.santaWeekly Sift explains the US polarized body politic: Small-government Freedom vs. Big-government Rights. Plus the Yearly Sift.

New York Times: For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions.

Deadliest U.S. mass shootings | 1984-2015.

Short video: A Conversation With Police on Race. Also, the Ferguson cop says life is ‘ruined’ after pointing AR-15 at journalists.

No Charges in the Murder of Tamir Rice and Why white people see black boys like him as older, bigger, and guiltier than they really are.

A girl narrates a letter to her dad as she grows up, and it makes rape culture obvious.

Shooting Parrots is blogging again! Why we’re hard-wired to believe conspiracy theories?

Latest Sunrise and Sunset Forecast in the US.

The city of Albany’s budget crisis.

Everyone on Earth is actually your cousin.

George Clayton Johnson, R.I.P. He was known for writing on the original Twilight Zone TV series, for co-writing the novel Logan’s Run and for writing the first-aired episode of the original Star Trek, among many things.

TEDx Grand Rapids talk: ‪”Valuable Bodies” by artist Riva Lehrer.

Second impressions By Tara Whittle.

Now I Know: The Jumping Frenchmen of Maine and How Panama United Great Britain and the derivation of the word “dude”.

The grilled cheese sandwich; you’re probably making it wrong.

Explain to me how it is that people who’ve been dead, usually exactly three years, seem to cycle up again in FB as recently deceased? Ravi Shankar and Dave Brubeck, just this month. Before that Andy Griffith. With Bob Denver, it was 7 years, so the feedback loop is shrinking.

Wide receiver Edgar Allan Poe.

Instagram Journalism, Internet Fame, & How to Think About Exercise, the former with Jeff Sharlet.

I wrote “Heaven forfend” to someone. My spellcheck does not like forfend?!

Kickstarter: The Official Famous Monsters of Filmland Chronicles Book from FantaCo.

Arthur celebrates the end of the year in search and words and phrases.

I LOVED to watch Meadowlark Lemon play with the Harlem Globetrotters.

The passing of Berowne of Savage Reflections at the age of 94, one of our regular ABC Wednesday contributors. He had a very rich life, but I’ll miss his weekly reflections.

A legendary Jerry Lewis film is reportedly about to join the National Film Registry.

Why West Coast Drivers Add ‘The’ to Their Freeway Numbers. “It’s not an affectation of the car-obsessed—it’s history.”

velveteen rabbit

Satire

Make America Great Again.

How to Misrepresent Global Warming in One Graph, for Dummies.

Lawyer for Martin Shkreli Hikes Fees Five Thousand Per Cent.

Parents Outraged Schools “Indoctrinating” Students Into Islam With Arabic Numerals.

Single Woman With 3 Young Children Unaware She Subject Of 984 Judgments Today.

Chuck Miller

Seven Star Wars movies in one day. And the British weather forecast.

What’s Japanese for “You’re so stupid”?

A TV show I barely heard of called Galavant returns; clips of the musical numbers makes me want to check it out.

Music!

The niece! Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact – Gonna Be Alright.

From imgur: Hosanna in Excel Sheets
hosanna in excel sheets
The Carole King tribute at the Kennedy Center Honors.

End of year musical mashups.

The Coverville Countdown: Best Covers of 2015, Part 1 and Part 2.

Pantheon Songs is dead. In its ashes: The Great Songs – “Overlooked tracks from artists you know, obscure tracks from artists you may not know, masterpieces, and other curios I’d play if I were an overnight DJ.”

The Sound of Silence- Disturbed.

The Artist Formerly Known As Terence Trent D’Arby.

At 90, Dick Van Dyke sings “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” with Conan O’Brien and The Vantastix.

NPR: In memoriam, 2015.

Frank Sinatra’s Drummer Tells the Story of His Final Concert.

New Yorker: The Discovery of Roscoe Holcomb and the “High Lonesome Sound”.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees. No YES? NO!

Animated

New group I joined on Facebook: Stephen R. Bissette, writer-artist. NOT started by Steve, BTW.

Evanier on Mel Blanc. Mark has been blogging for 15 years.

Extinct Attractions: Thurl Ravenscroft Documentary (2004) – Grinch, Haunted Mansion, Tony the Tiger.

Trouble with Comics: Favorite Holiday Comics.

I supported the Kickstarter for the documentary I Am Big Bird, but I did NOT know the BINGHAMTON connection of the early career of Caroll Spinney.

Today’s Video Link

Google alerts (me)

Like any rational person, Dustbury LOVES Pet Sounds. I’d love to see Brian Wilson at Tanglewood in June 2016.

How Arthur@AmeriNZ blogs.

Google alert (not me)

Roger Alin Green, 74, died Sunday, December 13, 2015, at his home in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

August rambling #1: Jon Stewart, and Roz Chast

the root of all evil
Nuclear arsenals.

Thanks to Reliance on “Signature” Drone Strikes, US Military Doesn’t Know Who It’s Killing.

John Oliver: Subpar Sex Education in U.S. Schools. Plus: DC Statehood; stay for the song at the end.

Here are 7 things people who say they’re ‘fiscally conservative but socially liberal’ don’t understand.

Senator Elizabeth Warren to the GOP: This is 2015! Also, Jeb Bush’s Grandfather Was A Founding Member Of Today’s Planned Parenthood.

FactChecking the GOP Debate.

What If Everything You Knew About Disciplining Kids Was Wrong?

Children’s illustrator Mary Engelbreit is losing fans because of her anti-racist art. “There are no words to express how little I care if I lose every bigoted, racist, homophobic and/or sexist follower I have.”

Key & Peele: What if we were as crazy for teaching as we are for sports?

The Cop: Darren Wilson was not indicted for shooting Michael Brown. Many people question whether justice was done.

Is this true? 2015 is the year the old internet finally died.

Michael Moore talks about his new movie.

Dealing with Diversity: Awesome Kid Graphic Novels.

David Brickman reviews Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs at Norman Rockwell Museum.

Dan the Man writes about Her Eighth Triathlon. The Wife competes in what might be the last Pine Bush Triathlon, but she did not compete barefooted like some.
dailyshowfinale01
Jaquandor’s tools of the writing trade.

1000 Candles, 1000 Cranes by Small Potatoes.

Jon Stewart Started Small, Became Voice Of A Generation, and Exit, Stage Left. Also, from the last episode: Uncensored – Three Different Kinds of Bulls**t, and Our Moment of Zen.

Bob Crane, radio legend.

Cannabis discovered in tobacco pipes found in William Shakespeare’s garden

After Frank Gifford died last weekend, someone wrote, “Many happy memories sitting on the couch with my dad watching Gifford and the New York Giants on a Sunday afternoon.” True of my dad and me as well. Later, I watched him co-host Monday Night Football.

SamuraiFrog’s Weird Al rankings 20-16. I missed this: Weird Al gets Whiplashed.

From Bill Wyman, (correction) NOT the bassist for the Rolling Stones, All 74 Led Zeppelin Songs, Ranked From Worst to Best. And The ESQ&A: Keith Richards Explains Why Sgt. Pepper Was Rubbish.

One of the very first CDs I ever bought was Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits, but this commercial for Farxiga, a Type 2 diabetes medicine, is wrecking my enjoyment of the song Walk of Life.

An escalator for a Slinky.

Muppets: Sesame Street on HBO. Plus Harvey Kneeslapper and Jungle Boogie and Cookie Monster in “Jurassic Cookie.” 1974: Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog visit Johnny Carson’s show. The new Muppet TV show is a top pick for the fall, even though Kermit and Miss Piggy have split up. Not to mention a PBS special, An overview of the highlights of Muppet creator Jim Henson’s life and career, which premieres Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 8 p.m. ET. Check local listings.

K-Chuck Radio: Tony Burrows versus Joey Levine versus Ron Dante.

Dancing with the Renaissance Geek.

Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck are being chased by Elmer Fudd and escape into paintings in a museum, from the 2003 movie Looney Tunes Back in Action.

GOOGLE ALERT (me)

Arthur answers my questions about seeings things from the other side of the political and philosophical spectrum.

The near-twin is taking questions for Ask Gordon Anything through August 24.

I made Jacquandor’s brief trip ’round Blogistan, along with some other interesting pieces.

Dustbury notes The bigot on the front line.

Last Week at Trouble With Comics, plus this week’s edition.

Dustbury: Our fits grow ever hissier.

Connecting the historical dots: Ferguson to Charleston

“People should not spend their days mourning relatives they never knew from a war that ended 150 years ago, especially if that feeling is so paramount that it outweighs the sense of brotherhood they might feel toward fellow humans who are alive…”

Little Rock, 1957
Little Rock, 1957
At my relatively diverse, but still primarily white, church, I am the de facto organizer for Black History Month each February. I’ve noticed that 2016 will mark the 90th anniversary of what what was Negro History Week, designed by Carter G. Woodson in 1926. “Besides building self-esteem among blacks, [it] would help eliminate prejudice among whites.”

I think the argument that the United States is “post-racial”, now that Barack Obama has been elected President twice, has been pretty well negated by the events of the past six years. There are those who will seriously argue that because Obama, and for that matter, actress Halle Berry, had white mothers, they shouldn’t be considered black. Anyone passingly aware of the historic obsessive nature of the US government to define race Continue reading “Connecting the historical dots: Ferguson to Charleston”

Ferguson, from a conservative’s view

Even if you read only the parts of the Ferguson DOJ report that come directly from the files of the FPD, the report paints an incredibly damning picture.

Attorney General Holder meets with local residents and community leaders of Ferguson at Drake's Place Restaurant
Attorney General Holder meets with residents of Ferguson, MO

As usual, I read a variety of points-of-view on political issues. This was one of the items I read this week about the US Department of Justice’s report on the police of Ferguson, Missouri:

People are highly resistant to changing their minds and they become impervious to new evidence, often dismissing out of hand outright facts just because they are reported by a given source (e.g., “the media is untrustworthy” or “you can’t trust the Holder Department of Justice.”) Perhaps nowhere has this phenomenon been more obvious (or regrettable) than in Ferguson, Missouri, in the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown…

Conservatives…have become highly resistant to assimilating information that strongly suggests that the Ferguson PD – as with many other municipal police departments in the country – truly is out of control, in that it recklessly violates the constitutional rights of the citizens of Ferguson and does so in a manner that has a clearly disproportionate impact on minorities…

Even if you read only the parts of the Ferguson DOJ report that come directly from the files of the FPD (which is to say, files that would be most favorable to the Department), the report paints an incredibly damning picture of the Ferguson Police Department. No conservative on earth should feel comfortable with the way the Ferguson PD has been operating for years, even according to their own documents.

This report did not come the left-of-center Daily Kos, which DID note this month, If you think ‘reverse racism’ is worse than what blacks face, read the Ferguson report.

Instead, it came from the right-wing publication Red State, written by the noted conservative Erick EricksonLeon Wolf. It was titled “Many Conservatives are Blowing it on the Ferguson DOJ Report,” with the subhead: “Their reaction is neither fair, accurate, nor good for America.”

Meanwhile, The Weekly Sift noted:

Both the city manager and the police chief have resigned, but the mayor is determined to hang on. He isn’t even convinced the city has a serious problem:

The report stated there was probable cause to believe the police and court routinely violate people’s civil rights. But, [James] Knowles [III] said, “that’s not proof.” He added that “there is probably another side to all of these stories.”

One might suggest that Mayor Knowles didn’t read the same report Leon Wolf did.

The perfect victim, just the right symbol

Why is it that white men wave real guns around crowded areas in America and are taken into custody alive, yet Tamir Rice, a 12-year old carrying a toy gun in an open carry state, is dead?

Black Lives MatterRight around December 1, when everyone was rightfully talking about the anniversary of Rosa Parks’ 1955 refusal to cede her seat in a Birmingham bus, one of the Twitter pals of Arthur Tweeted, “Do some research on Claudette Colvin, sidelined as she didn’t have the right ‘look’ of a true heroine”. Arthur wanted my thoughts on that, maybe on March 2, 2015, which is the 60th anniversary of Colvin’s arrest — the first arrest for resisting bus segregation.

As it turns out, I DID write about Claudette Colvin, almost five years ago, and I don’t have much more to say.

Arthur added:

Seems to me this raises issues of expediency — deliberately choosing the best “face” to put on an issue (something I know LGBT activists have done, too), and also how quaint such outdated social mores seem to us now. But it seems to me it also raises issues of elevating sidelined pioneers in struggles for justice because we don’t look down on people like that nowadays.

I think it still happens, all the time. And it has to do, among other things, with young black men getting shot by police, or in Trayvon Martin’s case in Florida, by a wannabe cop. So the narrative becomes whether any of these victims is the “right” one to galvanize a nation seemingly willing to allow for the idea that each of the shootings was justified.

Thus, in Florida, Trayvon Martin is turned into a “thug” who may have smoked pot. Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO is a “thug,” who stole some tobacco product before he was killed.

How about Eric Garner in New York City? He was allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes on a Staten Island sidewalk, but the police action that led to his death was ON VIDEO. The fact that the grand jury, in this case, failed to indict Daniel Pantaleo, shortly after Darren Wilson was not indicted by the grand jury in Missouri, seems to be the tipping point, with demonstrations all around the country.

It is the perception that the PROCESS is broken. Read the New York Times editorial. Well, unless you’re Pat Robertson, who believes police brutality against blacks is a thing of the past. Or the more pervasive view of CONTINUING to parse every case to find some fault of the victim.

Former Republic National Committee head Michael Steele complained about a lack of indictment in the Garner case. Even former President George W. Bush found the decision “hard to understand.”

Why is it that white men wave real guns around crowded areas in America and are taken into custody alive, yet Tamir Rice, a 12-year old carrying a toy gun in an open-carry state, is dead? In part, I think it’s the fact that both the police and the general (white) public actually view black kids as older and less innocent than white kids. Thus the suggestion that the 12-year-old boy in Cleveland killed by police might have been 20. (But shooting a 20-year-old unarmed black man would not have been OK either.)

These cases seem to be piling up recently, with the shooting death by police of 34-year-old Rumain Brisbon in Phoenix, AZ, a black man armed only with a bottle of Oxycotin pain medicine. Then there’s 22-year-old Darrien Hunt, who was shot in the back six times by Utah cops. He had a cosplay sword; no charges were filed. Read this article about the decline of police deaths, even as civilian deaths from police actions have increased.

I am actually excited that the demonstrations are taking place in locations NOT involved in these shootings. What makes me guardedly hopeful about the future is a large number of young white demonstrators; it’s not just a “black issue” anymore.

I recently posted on my Facebook Ezekiel 13:10 New International Version
Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash.”
Make of that what you will.

Finally, from Arthur:

Seems to me that change usually happens because of the people who are NOT the smug, self-satisfied folks who try and dictate who is and who is not an “appropriate” symbol for a change movement. I seem to remember this one guy who was born in a stable and grew up to hang out with prostitutes, tax collectors, and all sorts of marginalised people, a guy who lost his temper and wrecked a market, disrupting businesses, before eventually being executed under questionable circumstances by the government. That’s one thuggish guy people don’t seem to mind as a symbol, even if they choose to ignore many parts of the story.