May rambling #2: Leterman, and Vivaldi’s Pond

James Taylor interview by Howard Stern on May 12

Mother Teresa.quote
You might want to bookmark this, because it’s updated regularly: Who Is Running for President (and Who’s Not)? Most recently, it’s former New York governor George Pataki, who’s been out of office since 2006.

Obama To Posthumously Award “Harlem Hellfighter” With Medal Of Honor For Heroism on June 2, 2015. That would be Sgt. Henry Johnson, who I wrote about HERE.

On July 28th, 1917: Between 8,000 and 10,000 African-Americans marched against lynching and anti-black violence in a protest known as The Silent Parade.

“Playing the Race Card”: A Transatlantic Perspective.

The Milwaukee Experiment. How to stop mass incarceration.

The Mystery of Screven County by Ken Screven.

From SSRN: Bruce Bartlett on How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics.

Does Color Even Exist? “What you see is only what you see.”
Continue reading “May rambling #2: Leterman, and Vivaldi’s Pond”

L is for Leadbelly

When my father would come to my elementary school to sing, he’d always perform the song Goodnight, Irene.

The Wikipedia post for Leadbelly starts “Huddie William Ledbetter (January 20, 1888 – December 6, 1949) was an iconic American folk and blues musician.” Truer words were never written. He is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an early influence.

Huddie spent time in and out of prison between 1915 and 1934 Continue reading “L is for Leadbelly”

Christmas is A-Comin’ by Leadbelly

Polite Scott’s Comic Book Cover Advent Calendar – 2012

My father had, and I currently own this album, pictured. It came out in 1960, I believe, because I listened to it a lot.

The LP came out well after Leadbelly died, in 1949. I’ll have to write about him sometime. And it got me thinking about the song Christmas is A-Comin’ [LISTEN], Continue reading “Christmas is A-Comin’ by Leadbelly”

X is for Xenophobia

How do you feel about your own racism and xenophobia? Are you confident enough to declare “I’m not racist”?


So I was looking up xenophobia in the Wikipedia, which lists this definition:
Xenophobia is the uncontrollable fear of foreigners. It comes from the Greek words ξένος (xenos), meaning “stranger,” “foreigner” and φόβος (phobos), meaning “fear.” Xenophobia can manifest itself in many ways involving the relations and perceptions of an ingroup towards an outgroup, including a fear of losing identity, suspicion of its activities, aggression, and desire to eliminate its presence to secure a presumed purity. Xenophobia can also be exhibited in the form of an “uncritical exaltation of another culture” in which a culture is ascribed “an unreal, stereotyped and exotic quality”…

A xenophobic person has to genuinely think or believe at some level that the target is in fact a foreigner. This arguably separates xenophobia from racism and ordinary prejudice in that someone of a different race does not necessarily have to be of a different nationality. In various contexts, the terms “xenophobia” and “racism” seem to be used interchangeably, though they can have wholly different meanings (xenophobia can be based on various aspects, racism being based solely on race ethnicity and ancestry). Xenophobia can also be directed simply to anyone outside of a culture, not necessarily one particular race or people.

Well, OK. I’m not sure if it is xenophobia or racism (or both) which led to offensive characterizations against the Republican candidate for governor in South Carolina. Or the renaming of food so as not to invoke people we don’t like. Or the absurd truthiness of this Comedy Central bit about Obama and his emotions.

At some level, I suppose I had gotten to a point where I had hoped xenophobia and racism was some thing of the past, such as one segment in this TV show from 1964, which like the Daily Show segment, is parody. But I realized I was being silly. Xenphobia has lasted for millennia; why should modernism destroy it? Continue reading “X is for Xenophobia”