May rambling: Don’t Mourn for Me, Organize!

Neal Adams, George Perez, Nate Hopper

Virginia bluebells – photo (c) 2022 by Wayne Harvey, used by permission

What One Million COVID Dead Mean for the U.S.’s Future

Mother Earth: “Don’t Mourn for Me, Organize!” and Earth Now Has a 50% Chance of Hitting 1.5°C of Warming by 2026

Environmental Racism: and the Philippine Elections: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

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

Now I Know: Why the  Michelin Man is White (and Maybe an Alcoholic) and Polly’s Neighbor Want a Walnut? and The Mystery of the Missing Internet, Rural Wales Edition, and The Moon Over the Rhine River

Voting

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.

Passing on

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

Neal Adams, Comic Book Artist Who Revitalized Batman and Fought for Creators’ Rights, Dies at 80. Mark Evanier shares a few stories but especially here.

George Perez, Legendary Wonder Woman, Teen Titans Comic Book Artist, Dies at 67. He did a couple of pieces for FantaCo, my old stomping grounds, including the cover for our Avengers Chronicles.

Naomi Judd, of Grammy-Winning Duo The Judds, Dies at 76. Her daughters, Wynonna and Ashley, announced her death due to “mental illness”. Why can’t we say suicide

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

MUSIC

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

The DeSantis variant of COVID-19

some have good sense

DeSantisSomeone suggested “the DeSantis variant”, and I’m not remembering who.

After I got my second dose of the Pzifer vaccine on March 24, I felt…liberated. It wasn’t that I thought the pandemic was over, but that it was ending in the United States sooner rather than later. The country had a sufficient amount of vaccines, enough to send to countries that didn’t have access, through WHO’s COVAX program.

Then the new vaccine numbers plummeted, and infection rates went up, first in the South and Midwest then everywhere. What I saw on the television, of medical personnel turning cafeterias and parking lots into extra COVID-19 beds. But this was different than last year at this time. Many of these folks were frustrated. And a lot of them were ANGRY.

Most of them DIDN’T say, “You dummies! You’ve brought this on yourselves!” But it was, in several cases, the clear subtext. Patients, or their families asking, begging for the vaccine as people suffer through the effects of the condition.

Some people who didn’t get injections I cut a lot of slack for. Pregnant women who worried about the side effects. The immunocompromised who are going to need that third dose.

“Freedom”

But the argument that people who aren’t getting the vaccine only are harming themselves is simply not true, despite the panoply of articles being sent to me by someone I’ve known most of my life. (It also includes info about the stolen election, the persecution of the Pillow Guy, and minimization of the Holocaust, so I’ve deigned to filter them out.)

Those folks not getting vaccinated are Petri dishes making the population, i.e., ME more likely to become sick with a variant of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, governors such as Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida have, in the name of “freedom”, banned school districts in their states from a vaccine and/or mask mandates, though some districts are ignoring them. What about the freedom to keep people safe and healthy?

Dr. Rob Davidson is looking to understand. “I don’t blame my patients for their refusal [to get vaccinated.] What breaks my heart, as someone who took an oath to prevent harm, is that my patients choose to abandon the science and evidence that can save their lives. I do blame Fox News and other right-wing media outlets for poisoning the minds of millions of Americans with the deceptive propaganda they spray into living rooms 24/7.”

Patience lost

True enough. Yet, despite my desperate attempt to try to “see the other side,” I’m just not able to do it anymore. Don’t have it in me. These people are, if I’m being totally honest, infuriating me. Thoughtless privilege. Cognitive distortions. And since I can’t just scream at them – it would do no good anyway – it leaves me in a state of melancholy. I have what Mark Evanier calls “The Springtime for Hitler” look at anti-vaxx/anti-mask efforts in our country.

DeSantis, in particular, irritates me, with his posturing to grab hold of the Trump voters when he presumably runs for President in 2024. He’s threatening to withhold salaries from district superintendents who mandate masks in schools. At least I can yell at him when I see his smirk on the TV. I’ve renamed the Delta variant the DeSantis variant; use in good health.

The vaccine could save us if we let it. But as we go backward in the fight against COVID-19, I can hold onto the fact that at least most of my friends and relatives have the good sense to protect themselves, and me. Especially me.

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