Death, politics, plus other happy topics

trump-house-plane1I don’t know about you, but I’m STILL recovering from the election. Oh, maybe it’s not just the election, maybe it was Leonard Cohen’s death, and Leon Russell’s and, interestingly enough, Gwen Ifill’s. When I heard the news about the PBS newswoman, I sobbed for twenty minutes, and I’m not even sure why.

Maybe it was because the electoral process often missed Gwen Ifill’s sagacity as she, mostly quietly, fought the cancer. Surely, it’s because, at 61, she was younger than I. Maybe it was seeing how her death affected others. Pete Williams, reporting on MSNBC, could barely get the words out without choking. Or maybe it was her calm in rough seas.

What I have noticed is that people before the vote had different points of view. But it has NEVER come out so vigorously, post-election. Some folks in my circle got into a bit of a Facebook tussle over Donald Trump, which was largely about how his family seemed to monetize everything in the transition, from “as seen on 60 Minutes” bling to the greatagain.GOV website seeming to hawk Trump businesses, to a potential conflict if his adult kids were to get security clearance.

As this quote from Hot Air notes:

If Trump has real estate in the UAE and the Trump kids discover that there’s a developing terrorist threat there, and they decide to sell that property because of it, they’ve used secret national intelligence made available to them by their father to avoid a financial loss for the family. It’s as far from a blind trust as you can get: Instead of the managers of Trump’s wealth being completely independent of him, they’d be exploiting him to see things on the global financial landscape that they otherwise never would have known. It’ll be a “superhuman-sight trust,” not a blind trust.

And even if they’re scrupulous somehow about keeping business and government separate, just by pure chance they may end up selling assets or buying assets in a place that later coincidentally turns out to be strongly affected by some Trump administration policy. The public will assume corruption even if it’s not there, which will damage Trump. For the sake of his own credibility, he should stick with a blind trust.

Of course, the request for clearance “never happened,” I’m told; I suspect it was a trial balloon. And “Trump isn’t taking a salary” though he ought to. And “the Clinton stole the silverware.” And it all got rather testy after that. But in years past, who we and they voted for just would not have come up. And, for the most part, it didn’t matter; one didn’t think less well of the other.

People being disenfranchised saddens me as much as it angers me. There’s hate mail, and a lot worse out there. This is interesting: in the same month the movie Loving, about a white man and a black woman winning a Supreme Court case about getting married, is being released, SMU is flooded with fliers titled “Why White Women Shouldn’t Date Black Men.” So maybe I’m mourning.

I shan’t mention the white nationalist champion the Prez-elect picked as his chief strategist or the climate science denier who’s heading his EPA transition team or his anti-gay potential SCOTUS pick or Rudy Guiliani.

The only things that make me happy, and only mildly, seem to involve Vice President-elect Mike Pence. He’s dealing with his own email controversy, ironically. Lots of people are donating to Planned Parenthood in his name, which I love! He’s leading a transition that may in discord, which, in the short term, might not be too bad for the country.

My favorite Barack and Joe meme actually involved Michelle and Jill asking why was it always the guys? “Male patriarchy.”

So I’m in a major funk. Even doing Chuck Miller’s quiz thing didn’t help:
Year given: 1986
Age: 33
Now: 63
Relationship status: Living with someone
Now: Married
Living in: Albany
Now: Albany
Pets: None
Now: Two cats
Was I happy?: There were elements of happiness. I had my 33 1/3 party in July because. I still have a copy of the invitation somewhere in the attic. Work at FantaCo was interesting because I was working on a comic book.
Now: Well, you WOULD ask AFTER the election
Kids: None
Kids now: One

I know others in similar, or worse, situations, and I feel for them. Oh, and I attended my cousin’s funeral last week.

You know what ELSE it is? It’s information and the fact that I can no longer trust much of what I read, a real pain for a librarian.

When I saw that jazz man Mose Allison had died, I didn’t believe it, not because, at 89, he couldn’t have passed away, but because I was unfamiliar with the source. It wasn’t until I read it in the New York Times that I was satisfied it was true. This is exhausting over time.

This list of False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical ‘News’ Sources is useful, but occasionally there are really useful insights in some of them, especially on the satirical sites. And it may be that the problem is the failing media who cut their budgets. The word of the year is post-truth; this suggests to me we’ll NEVER be able to talk with each other. This makes me terribly sad.

But the one thing that gives me a modicum of hope is that a LOT of people seem really stirred up to engage in activism. As the Rev. William J. Barber II noted, A Dying Mule Always Kicks the Hardest. “Why Donald Trump’s election means ‘we must work together for a Third Reconstruction in America.'”

Listen to Mose Allison. Your Mind Is On Vacation and Monsters of the Id.

And from Sharon Jones, who ALSO died (dammit), Stranger to My Happiness and Retreat, which she did not.

November rambling #1: Theodosia Burr

I have a lot of Leonard Cohen songs, Hallelujah, Suzanne, and Bird on a Wire, among them, that others have covered.

Analytical Grammar: Homophone graffitil
Analytical Grammar: Homophone graffiti

Why many Americans don’t see Donald Trump as racist

So You Want to Wear a Safety Pin

1st woman elected to Congress, in 1916

John Oliver: School Segregation and Multilevel Marketing

6 Million Lost Voters: State-Level Estimates of Felony Disenfranchisement, 2016

Do You Understand the Electoral College? You should read all of AmeriNZ’s posts this past week, e.g. Fixing the Electoral College, which mentions my favorite fix, Instant Runoff Voting

Trump was unfamiliar with the scope of the president’s job when meeting Obama

Prince Ea: I JUST SUED THE SCHOOL SYSTEM and Dear Future Generations: Sorry

How Teens In The Balkans Are Duping Trump Supporters With Fake News

How Andy Borowitz explained the election to his six-year-old daughter – (NOT fake news)

A 1922 New York Times article about Adolf Hitler catastrophically misjudged the authenticity of his anti-semitism

Writer too strong to live, about sports, sexism and alcohol (HT to Jaquandor)

Deepika Padukone on depression

The men feminists left behind

A Teaching Moment on Sexual Assault and It’s hard to talk about, but it happens to so many women and Reasons So Many Guys Don’t Understand Sexual Consent

Top African American environmental leader faces racial incident in Adirondacks – Aaron Mair, who I have met, is the president of the Sierra Club

Gwen Ifill, longtime PBS news anchor, died after a battle with cancer – she was 61 – made me feel surprisingly devastated

Four-color Christ Jesus

Glenn Beck tries decency

Amy Biancolli interview in Widows and Widowers Magazine

The Dramatic Life and Mysterious Death of Theodosia Burr. The fate of Aaron Burr’s daughter remains a topic of contention

Race-Conscious Casting and the Erasure of the Black Past in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton

This black woman rode across America in 1930. On a Harley. In spite of rampant racism, she was ‘very happy on two wheels’


Trevor Noah wasn’t expecting liberal hatred

You’ve Just Crossed Over Into … the Rod Serling Gazebo

Ira Gobler and the Star Wars Toys That Never Were

Norman Rockwell Museum Presents Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning, through May 29, 2017

My Poetic Side: favorite war poets, each related to a different war and ordered chronologically, from The American Civil War to the Iraq War.

Presidential candidates in comic books

Robert Vaughn, Man from UNCLE actor, dies aged 83. I used to play the spy show with sister Marcia. I played Napoleon Solo, the Vaughn role.

Now I Know: Fool Me Twice, Plane on You and Going to Venus in Peace and May The Force Be Costumed and Smell Ya Later?

Doing the Write-In Thing (ROG reference)


Jean Sibelius and the virtual national classical music work of Finland; here’s Finlandia

Mozart Requiem

K-Chuck Radio: Draw that bow, my son…

Jazz ‘Hot’: The Rare 1938 Short Film With Jazz Legend Django Reinhardt

Bohemian Rhapsody performed by excerpts from 260 different movies

An Hour of Jeopardy Think Music

16 Albums That Changed The Music Business

Master Recordings — From Abbey Road to Born to Run — Could Be Lost Forever, Without Archivists’ Help

Copland’s Fanfare: The making of a musical monument

Leonard Cohen died at the age of 82 and hugely influential singer and songwriter’s work spanned nearly 50 years; his 2008 induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; two of of my favorites are this and this

Leon Russell died – His 2011 induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The Greatest Invention of One Thousand Years Ago

The 10 Greatest Double Albums In Rock History – you WILL guess most of these

The “432 Hz vs. 440 Hz” conspiracy theory

The Upper Crust of Music


I saw the film Afterglow on Presidents Day weekend of 1998, and Somewhere by Tom Waits was particularly affecting.

“Neil Diamond and Alice Cooper are among the musicians who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Tom Waits, Darlene Love, and Dr. John will also join the class of 2011… Other honorees will include Jac Holzman, Leon Russell, and Art Rupe.”

Those nominees who were not chosen for induction this year were Bon Jovi, the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J. Laura Nyro, Joe Tex, Chic, Donovan, J. Geils Band, Donna Summer, and Chuck Willis.

And I remember in the early days of the Rock Hall, which I visited in May of 1998 – they had tributes to recently deceased Carls, Wilson, and Perkins – that I was actually excited who got in. And now it’s, “Meh.”

Whereas I still care about the Baseball Hall of Fame, and to a lesser degree, the Football Hall of Fame. (I need to get to Canton someday.)

Maybe it’s because the notion of “merit” in the rock hall seems even fuzzier; it’s not strictly commercial appeal, for certain. One can argue the inclusion or exclusion of sports figures in their respective halls. But the music selections seem more arbitrary.

What do you think? And what is your favorite song by the inductees, if any? Here are mine:
Alice Cooper-School’s Out
Neil Diamond- Thank the Lord for the Night Time
Dr. John- Right Place, Wrong Time
Darlene Love- Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)
Leon Russell- Roll Over, Beethoven
Tom Waits- Somewhere [From West Side Story], used as the outro to the 1997 movie Afterglow; I saw that film on Presidents Day weekend of 1998, and the song was particularly affecting.

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