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

Extend the James Zadroga Act permanently

“The terror attacks left in their wake a trail of financial ruin affecting many brave men and women who responded to the attacks and others who had the misfortune of living or working on the tiny piece of the United States that happened to be the target of an attack on our country.”

911more-than-a-stickerThe “remember 9/11” crowd in Congress who stalled for nearly a decade to provide compensation for individuals who suffered physical injury or death as a result of debris removal efforts in the immediate aftermath of the attacks irritate me greatly.

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was passed by Congress at the end of 2010 and signed into law by President Obama, in no small part because of the advocacy of Jon Stewart on the December 16, 2010 episode of The Daily Show.

But the provisions of the bill are due to expire, and needs to be renewed this fall:

Much has been written in recent years about the serious physical illnesses that have befallen over 33,000 rescue and recovery workers, survivors and residents who breathed in the poisonous dust that blanketed lower Manhattan after the September 11 terror attack and the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers. More than 3,900 cases of cancer have been diagnosed among the participants in the World Trade Center Health Program Nearly 200 FDNY and NYPD members have reportedly died of 9/11 related injuries and conditions, and these numbers are growing.

Less has been written about the effect that the terrible illnesses have had on the lives of these men and women. Many have become disabled from work and are unable to support their families on meager monthly disability payments. Family homes have fallen into foreclosure. The terror attacks left in their wake a trail of financial ruin affecting many brave men and women who responded to the attacks and others who had the misfortune of living or working on the tiny piece of the United States that happened to be the target of an attack on our country.

A renewal bill has been languishing in Congress. At least as of last May, The Speaker of the House seemed to be disinclined to support extending the coverage. This may be Jon Stewart’s next activity: supporting the new bill.

I’ve read the information, and am pleased to note that my member of the House of Representatives, and both of my US Senators are co-sponsoring the renewal bill. See where your representatives stand. Bug those who are not sponsors, and laud those who are.

August rambling #2: artificial – flowers and televangelists

A Marvin Gaye/Ramones mashup.

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How a ’50s-Era New York Knife Law Landed Thousands in Jail.

Jeff Sharlet interviews Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King.

No matter how sincerely we think we get it, we don’t really get it. “A personal epiphany about race and gender, to my fellow white males.” And Please Stop Being a Good White Person (TM).

Donald Trump Just Stopped Being Funny. “Win or lose, Trump’s campaign threatens to unleash the Great American Stupid.”

About Josh Duggar’s Ashley Madison Account. Am I the only person who had never HEARD of Ashley Madison until this summer?

USA network postpones ‘Mr. Robot’ finale due to parallels to Virginia murders, in which two people were murdered on live television, a reporter and cameraman. Postponed a whole week, to September 2!

Apocalypse Now – Washington state’s climate change.

How to Be Polite.

The difference between Latino and Hispanic, in one mini comic strip.

Dustbury notes men who are boobs.

Stop the Jared Fogle “footlong” jokes: Why do we still find prison rape acceptable, let alone funny?

John Oliver Exposes Shady Televangelists Fleecing Americans For Millions. Or watch here. And he sets up his OWN church Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption. So, will the IRS respond? Over 30 years ago, Frank Zappa sang about this.

Ken Burns, on the Civil War: It’s about ‘slavery slavery slavery’.

Julius Rosenwald is The Philanthropist Who Built Over 5,000 Schools for Black Students in the Jim Crow South.

Arthur wonders: expat or immigrant?

In Defense of Saggy Pants by Miriam Axel-Lute.

After first treatment, Jimmy Carter and family returned home to see the streets lined with support.

Chuck Miller’s son turns 30. Plus he links to some fine posts, plus one of mine.

The English language, we all know, is in decline. “‘The average schoolchild can hardly write’… said William Langland, author of ‘Piers Plowman’… who died in 1386.”

Banksy’s ‘Dismaland’ in England: It’s a Strange World, After All.

Amy Biancolli explains How to cross the street in Albany.

Jaquandor gets interviewed by Jon Stewart, kinda, sorta.

Rebecca Jade sings the National Anthem at Petco Park on August 8, 2015. Also featuring #1 niece: Under New Management from Tom Antl and Team Groovy, MATURE audience, Winner Best Film – San Diego 48 Hour Film Project 2015.

Born to Run and the Decline of the American Dream.

A Marvin Gaye/Ramones mashup.

Artificial Flowers by Bobby Darin, an unlikely hit, given its subject matter. An interpretation by New York stage performer Ciro Barbaro more in keeping with the lyrics.

The Rolling Stones for Rice Krispies.

This actually came up in conversation at church last week: I Love To Singa- Owl.

Dean Martin Knocks the Beatles out of the #1 Spot on the Charts.

One Toke Over The Line – The Lawrence Welk Show (1971).

Fillyjonk: Lorde have mercy.

Now I Know: Making Sense of Dollar Signs.

The Spiedie Is A Perfect And Important Sandwich: It is high time this nation recognized Binghamton, New York’s beloved culinary mascot as the God-Level Foodstuff that it truly is.

GOOGLE ALERT (me)

Chuck Miller and I had an idea for some Times Union bloggers to get together. I jokingly suggested having it at Ken Screven’s place. Chuck actually pursued it, and it was so.

Absurd Flag Flapping, New Zealand style, and When the ‘good guys’ are wrong.

TWCQT #4: The Nine-Panel Grid.

GOOGLE ALERT (not me)

Lubbock (TX) ISD baseball field home to district’s llamas. “Tina has been here the longest,” Monterey Agriculture teacher Roger Green said.

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.

Cilla Black; and writing about comic books

So THAT’S what I am, a comics industry observer.

cillaPriscilla Maria Veronica White OBE, the singer and, later, UK television personality, better known as Cilla Black, died this past weekend at the age of 72.

I was waiting impatiently for Dustbury’s take. And he did not disappoint: “Perhaps the very definition of ironic: the first I heard about the death of an iconic Liverpool star was from two girls trying to make it big in Liverpool fifty years later.”

I always associated Cilla with the Beatles, of course. Lennon-McCartney wrote a few songs for her, including Love of the Loved and It’s for You [LISTEN], and she covered Beatles tunes such as Yesterday, For No One, Across the Universe, and The Long and Winding Road.

Moreover, I bought LP The Big Hits From England & U.S.A. back in 1965, featuring songs by the Beatles, the Beach Boys, plus two L&M songs by Peter & Gordon. On Side 2 were songs for the “grownups” by Al Martino, Nat Cole, and two from Cilla, Suffer Now I Must [LISTEN], which was just OK, and the last song on the album You’re My World [LISTEN], which I really loved.

She was introduced to [Beatles manager Brian] Epstein by John Lennon, who persuaded him to audition her. Epstein had a portfolio of local artists but initially showed little interest in her. Her first audition was a failure, partly because of nerves, and partly because the Beatles (who supported her) played the songs in their usual vocal key rather than re-pitching them for Black’s voice. In her autobiography What’s It All About? she wrote:

I’d chosen to do “Summertime”, but at the very last moment I wished I hadn’t. I adored this song, and had sung it when I came to Birkenhead with the Big Three, but I hadn’t rehearsed it with the Beatles and it had just occurred to me that they would play it in the wrong key. It was too late for second thoughts, though. With one last wicked wink at me, John set the group off playing. I’d been right to worry. The music was not in my key and any adjustments that the boys were now trying to make were too late to save me. My voice sounded awful. Destroyed—and wanting to die—I struggled on to the end.

Check out Cilla Recording Alfie in Abbey Road Studios with Burt Bacharach, and Beatles producer George Martin.

Now that Jon Stewart is leaving the Daily Show, and there is a slew of articles about him, I’m fascinated by the program’s evolution, best covered by the New York Times in Jon Stewart and ‘The Daily Show’: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at 9 Essential Moments. I watched the program occasionally by 2004 but recorded and viewed it regularly for only the last seven or eight years.

Thanks to that rascal Alan David Doane, I’m in Trouble with Comics, again, trying to do some writing about the four-color phenomenon as I did most recently with the late, lamented Flashmob Fridays.

So far:
Comics Industry Observers Respond to Black Lightning News; so THAT’S what I am, a comics industry observer.
The TWC group answer the question, “What single comics creator has had the greatest influence over how you perceive the comics artform, and why? Can’t believe someone else selected MY pick.
*I review Archie & Friends Wacky Wild West

The Comics Beat touted the TWC return, and Tom Spurgeon of the Comics Reporter has taken notice as well.

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