May rambling #2: Blind In Your Mind

Since when did Christianity become more about preaching the rules than preaching the Gospel of mercy?

text-and-drive-large-hed-2016

A sad case of Facebook blackmail.

“Dude, enough with the entitlement.” She doesn’t owe you @#$!”.

Women are getting harassed in bathrooms because of anti-transgender hysteria. Plus Utah man attacked for taking his 5-year-old daughter into Walmart men’s bathroom. I have taken my then-5 y.o. daughter to a Wal-Mart men’s bathroom, in North Carolina, without incident.

Obituary of a Homophobic Racist, or, My Grandfather.

Killing Dylann Roof. “A year after Obama saluted the families for their spirit of forgiveness, his administration seeks the death penalty for the Charleston shooter.”

Why should schools move away from suspensions?

Poor People Deserve To Taste Something Other Than Shame.

The Election Is About the Country, Not the Candidates

Cartoon: Cut from commencement speeches.

The End Of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Campaign.

What third parties CAN do.

John Oliver: Primaries and Caucuses.

R.I.P. Pinius Bergmann (1925-2016).

Aphantasia: How It Feels To Be Blind In Your Mind.

booksivererad

Book review: Stardancer by Kelly Sedinger.

Alicia: As I’m leaving the library today, I walked by a pile of new books and literally said out loud to myself, “No, I already have enough at home to read right now.”
Roger: The question: What did the books say in response?
Alicia: It was more of a quiet weeping.

On the heartbreaking difficulty of getting rid of books.

Neither Rand nor McNally. Death by GPS.

This month in 1856: Violence on the U.S. Senate floor.

Three-minute video about the Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, produced by the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

The Trouble with Comics: the epic Question Time survey of the best current comics titles.

Now I Know: Combat Juggling and The Land Down Under in the Land Down Under and And Together They’ll Make Music.

True Facts About The Owl.

Sodium.

TELEVISION

60 Minutes, the Sunday night news staple, honored Morley Safer, one of television’s most celebrated journalists. Then, days later, Safer died at 84. From the New York Times: “Mr. Safer had broadcast 919 “60 Minutes” reports, profiling international heroes and villains, exposing scams and corruption, giving voice to whistle-blowers and chronicling the trends of an ever-changing America.”

Alan Young, RIP, star of Duck Tales, and, of course, Mr. Ed. But, of course, of course, some are unhip to the lingo.

Beth Howland, Accident-Prone Waitress Vera From the Sitcom ‘Alice,’ Dies at 74, on New Years’ Eve 2015. Her husband was the actor Charles Kimbrough, who played the anchorman Jim Dial on the television series ‘Murphy Brown.’

Muppets TV show, RIP.

David Letterman – Behind The Scenes Of Late Night’s Longest Running Broadcaster and Leaving Letterman, Part I.

The closing of Johnny Carson’s last Tonight Show.

I disagree broadly, but as for these three: Celebrities Should Not Play Jeopardy. Plus Buzzy Cohen Might Be The Most Polarizing ‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Yet.

MUSIC

What Kind of Fool Am I? – Kermit the Frog. And Grover.

CREAM – The Last Goodbye (1968).

Coverville 1126: Bob Dylan Cover Story VII.

Debunking Every Excuse For Keeping The Monkees Out Of The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, plus a positive review of their NEW album. Here’s Me & Magdalena, which was written for the band by Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard.

First Listen: Paul Simon, ‘Stranger To Stranger’, due out June 3.

The fight over Prince’s estate will dig deep into copyright law for a very long time.

Lady Gaga and the Online Eucharist Police. Since when did Christianity become more about preaching the rules than preaching the Gospel of mercy?

F is for Fame

The impressive skill about Lady Gaga is, whether you’ve heard her music or not, there’s a fairly good chance that you’ve heard of HER.

I was reading some news aggregator one morning late last year, probably MSNBC, when there was a tease about “pre-fame Courtney Stodden pictures.” Naturally, I said to myself, “Self, I have no idea what a Courtney Stodden is.” As it turned out, though, I had heard in passing about the event that provided her greatest notoriety. She is the now 17-year-old would-be singer/model who married actor Doug Hutchison, best known for his appearance on the X-Files, who was 50 at the time of their marriage in May 2011.

So Courtney Stodden is “famous”?  I don’t THINK so.

Famous is, to steal a phrase from the lyrics from the CHEERS TV theme, “where everybody knows your name.” Or at least most people. The President of the United States, by virtue of his title, is famous. Muhammad Ali is famous. Paul McCartney is famous, although Who Is Paul McCartney was trending on Twitter last week after the Grammys. Tiger Woods was famous before he became infamous. Certainly in the United States, Oprah Winfrey. Elizabeth Taylor (pictured) was surely famous. This has less to do with whether you LIKE a person, and more about if most people can identify them.

Some entertainers go through an arc, where only a handful of people know them, then – if they are lucky – lots of people know them, but if they are around long enough, they may recede in fame. I saw the recent Muppet movie, and I wondered how many people recognized Mickey Rooney, an octogenarian actor, and knew who he was.

Back in 1992, I used to read PEOPLE magazine. 20 years ago, the number of potentially famous people seemed fairly manageable. But with the explosion of cable programming and the deluge of reality television, all sorts of people are vying for my attention. As a result, I know far fewer “celebrities”, percentage-wise, than I once did. This is neither a complaint nor a boast, just a fact.

So Michael Jackson was famous, but not sister Latoya (from The Apprentice). Sylvester Stallone may be fairly famous, but his brother Frank? Not so much.

I’d never seen a picture of Khloe Kardashian (was she REALLY her father’s daughter? don’t care) until 2012. I seriously don’t know/don’t care/can’t keep track of which Kardashian is, or is not married to which sports star. (And if you don’t know what a Kardashian is, don’t worry about it. Really.) This not to say that if you DO care, you oughtn’t to; it’s just that it’s beyond MY understanding.

Of course, repeated exposure will make someone famous, or at least noteworthy, whether you want to care or not. I remember taking the JEOPARDY! test back in 1998 and getting a clue about some young woman who married some old guy. I could not come up with the name of Anna Nicole Smith. But eventually, her constant exposure (so to speak) drilled her presence into my mind.

The impressive skill about Lady Gaga is, whether you’ve heard her music or not, there’s a fairly good chance that you’ve heard of HER. She is great at self-promotion.

I’ll end with the obvious, FAME by David Bowie, who turned 65 last month and is fairly famous, still.

ABC Wednesday – Round 10

April Rambling

Truth is that I purchased it mostly because I hate it when Mike Sterling cries.

As a friend noted, “If this occurred randomly and naturally, it’s amazing. If it was done with Photoshop, it was inspired.”

‘Cheap flights’ song (and dance)

Rivers of Babylon a capella by Amy Barlow, joined by Kathy Smith and Corrine Crook, at Amy’s gig in my hometown of Binghamton, NY, July 2009.

Star Wars, the complete musical?

Many people use the terms science fiction and fantasy as if they are interchangeable or identical when they are actually related, not the same. Author David Brin illuminates the differences.

Superman: citizen of the world

Re: World Intellectual Property Day and Jack Kirby

As a Presbyterian minister, I believed it was a sin. Then I met people who really understood the stakes: Gay men.

Susan Braig, a 61-year-old Altadena cancer survivor, takes old pharmaceutical pills and tablets and mounts them on costume jewelry to create colorful necklaces, pendants, earrings, and tiaras that she sells. It’s a way to help pay off her medical debt. By Bob Pool, Los Angeles Times, March 29 2011

Jaquandor does a weekly burst of weird and awesome, but this particular collection was more than usual.

I wasn’t a huge Doctor Who fan, but I was touched by the outpouring of emotion over the death from cancer of Elisabeth Sladen, among the most beloved of the Dr. Who companions and star of The Sarah Jane Adventures. A post by Chris Black.

SamuraiFrog on Weird Al and Lady Gaga.

I’m not a huge fan of Mike Peters’ comic strip Mother Goose and Grimm. But you should check out the episodes for April 12 through 16, when he deals with Sesame Street in the age of this Republican Congress. Also, see your favorite arachnid in the April 18 strip.

I bought a new book this month, Write More Good, by a consortium of folks known as The Bureau Chiefs, despite never having followed their meteoric success with their Fake AP Stylebook Twitter feed. I bought it primarily because I was familiar with a number of the Chiefs, even following the blogs of Mike Sterling’s Progressive Ruin and Dorian Wright’s Postmodern Barney. Truth is that I purchased it mostly because I hate it when Mike Sterling cries. I haven’t read it, but I’ve gotten more than a few laughs when I’ve skimmed it.

Google alert finds: Separating science from attitude By Roger Green. Re: an airplane parts firm: The company folded in 2007 and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is now investigating company officers Roger Green and Victor Brown on a variety of potential charges, including grand theft and racketeering

Finally, from the royal wedding you weren’t invited to.