June: Trauma of Systemic Injustices

no conception of a public good, common wealth, shared interest.

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A Century of Progress: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 Unported License
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: shady uses of facial recognition and Prisons & Jails and coronavirus could turn into ‘a full-blown homelessness crisis’.

How loneliness could be changing your brain and body.

The Oatmeal: Compliments

The Benefits Of Fasting.

Useful Resources from Family Hype

Internet basics for seniors.

The Pirates of the Highways.

Edward Everett Horton Finds A Place to Relax in the North Country.

Solutions to The Circuit Breaker Riddle and the The Pickleball Puzzle.

Now I Know

How Dead Rabbits and Cocaine Saved Thousands of Lives and Why You Shouldn’t Always Read Between the Lines and How to Lose the Lottery Without Even Playing and How to Punch Your Way Out of Prison.

Race and America

How to Support Black-Owned Small Businesses.

Why Now, White People? and Here come the white people — a new antiracist movement takes flight. Can ‘deep canvassing’ and other tactics better support Black activists and produce real change? and The emotional impact of watching white people wake up to racism in real-time.

Angela Davis interview.

Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman on race, injustice, and protest.

A letter to Roy. He’s the black guy in my pictures.

Black Clinicians on the Trauma of Systemic Injustices.

What’s in a Slogan?

I’m Protesting for a World That Affirms My Black Son’s Life Matters.

Ottowa W. Gurley was the Bezos of Black Wall Street.

A White Woman, Racism, and a Poodle.

Native Americans Need More Funding to Battle COVID-19.

Wikipedia: Rubber bullets.

Amaury Tañón-Santos sermon:Choose the Jesus option.

IMPOTUS

“HE’S THE CHOSEN ONE TO RUN AMERICA” : INSIDE THE CULT, HIS RALLIES ARE CHURCH AND HE IS THE GOSPEL.

He Says Masks Are Worn to Spite Him.

EPA will no longer regulate toxic compound in drinking water.

How Mary Trump’s Bombshell Was Built.

Tulsa, Oklahoma Rally Speech Transcript

For the Greeks, “idiot” carried a precise and special meaning. The person who was only interested in private life, private gain, private advantage. Who had no conception of a public good, common wealth, shared interest. To the Greeks, the pioneers of democracy, the creators of the demos, such a person was the most contemptible of all. Because even the Greeks seemed to understand: you can’t make a functioning democracy out of…idiots.”

The Lincoln Project ads: Chyna and truth (testing to be slowed down).

Seth Meyers Finds Bolton — And Trump — Despicable.

Pence Denies djt Ever Downplayed the Coronavirus.

Sarah Cooper’s Tulsa Takedown.

MUSIC

Old Man Trump – Ryan Harvey, ft. Ani DiFranco & Tom Morello.

Old Man Trump (Ain’t My Home) – Middle-Class Joe.

Ethiopia’s Shadow in America by Florence Price.

I Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere – Rick Moranis.

We Need a Little Christmas – Nancy Sinatra.

March, March – the Chicks.

Ray of Hope – the Rascals.

Exhuming McCarthy – REM.

Live From SpragueLand:Episode 2 with Peter Sprague and Rebecca Jade , the niece (start at 8:15).

Mr. J’s Lockdown – The Penny Sue Wilson Birthday Special On Smart Radio GY 29/06/20.

The Curse of Ham – Buggy Jive.

Lola – MonaLisa Twins.

Summer means new love – Variaxgery (Beach Boys cover).

5 Seconds of Summer.

Charles Dickens 150th anniversary projections, Westminster Abbey.

Dame Vera Lynn has died at the age of 103.

THE WHO REHEARSE FOR ’89 TOUR IN GLENS FALLS (Listen! four hours!)

A Clear Head in Troubling Times: Why We Need to Listen to Bob Dylan.

Coverville: 1312: The John Fogerty & Creedence Clearwater Revival Cover Story II and 1313: The Pointer Sisters Cover Story.

Under a Violet Moon – Blackmore’s Night.

K-Chuck Radio: One Less (dumb) Bell to Answer.

Help – Beatles.

I Love the Lord – Richard Smallwood Singers.

talking-to-your-2019-self
Talking to your 2019 self: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 Unported License

Keeper of the FantaCo flame

Annamae Hebert was a real mom, in the best meaning of the word, even to me.

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The interesting and unexpected result of this blog is that I’ve become a keeper of the flame for things related to FantaCo, the comic book store where I worked from 1980 to 1988, and its early staff. A fellow named Jim Abbott emailed this picture of a sign by Raoul Vezina (d. 1983), the great artiste of Smilin’ Ed.

Jim writes: “I doubt you’ve seen this. It was on the front of 279 Fair Street in Kingston [NY], owned by my friend, the late Bruce Talbott, of New Paltz [NY – my college town]. I don’t know if his widow still has it in her garage or not. Take care.” Thanks, Jim.

In that vein, I should note:

My friend Penny, who is married to former FantaCo employee Broome – he who came in late to work on his first day at FantaCo so he could go on a first date with her – recently went to the hospital for appendicitis and a hernia. There are some complications; still I dare say Penny is faring better than Broome in this process.

FantaCo’s owner, Tom Skulan, lost his dad, Thomas, on April 20. I did not know him well, but Tom and his brother Joe spoke eloquently about his intelligence, eclectic nature, and love of music. Joe posted a version of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony – 2nd movement, which is one of my all-time favorites.

John Hebert, who drew and scripted the FantaCo comic book Sold Out that Tom Skulan and I co-wrote, suffered the passing of his mother Annamae. She was widowed at a young age and was left to raise her son John alone.

Her obit said, “The major highlight in Annamae’s life was when she became a grandmother for the first time at the age of 80.” That was probably true. I’d see her at comic book shows, or at Free Comic Book Day at Earthworld Comics in Albany with John, perhaps with his wife Jodi and one or more of her grandkids.

She was a real mom, in the best meaning of the word, even to me, and very proud of her son. I enjoyed the time I spent with her, as she was quite delightful.

And speaking of passings:
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Prince, who died at the age of fifty-frickin’-seven, was a massive part of the soundtrack of my FantaCo days, and well beyond. I own on vinyl this extended, almost otherworldly, version of Let’s Go Crazy, which, naturally, I can’t find online, and I’m OK with that. Here are some articles from the Los Angeles Times, plus my source for an appropriate sign on a Tulsa, OK church. I will probably revisit this topic once I get over the shock and sadness.

I never watched Everybody Loves Raymond very much. But I was a huge fan of actress Doris Roberts, in dozens of TV appearances, plus her regular gig on Remington Steele. But she was tremendous in her single appearance on the first season (1982) of St. Elsewhere, as a homeless woman taking care of another mentally ill homeless man played by James Coco; they both won Emmys for the roles. I have the episode on DVD and need to watch it again.

“Lose your bearings. Regain a view of the horizon anew.”

Both the Dady Brothers and the Slambovians told Pete Seeger stories.

2015GrandSlamboviansFirstNightIt’s New Year’s Eve. The Wife is driving us to Oneonta; the Daughter is already there, staying with the grandparents. I’m wading through a stack of unread newspapers for the week, plus the December 18 edition of Metroland, the Albany area’s alt news and entertainment weekly.

Columnist David Greenberger wrote this positive review about a group called Lucius. Except it REALLY wasn’t about the group, or the concert, at all. It was “a passionate suggestion that the next time someone you trust recommends anything you’ve not experienced before, you say ‘Yes.’

“This isn’t just about music, but film, literature, food, a walk in the woods, anything at all. Step into such unknown realms that are offered to you with this a sort of towering kindness and willingness.”

The Wife and I had agreed to meet the relatives at the atrium. My parents-in-law are great fans of The Dady Brothers, described as an Irish folk duo, though they are far more eclectic than that. I had seen them perform at previous First Night Oneonta celebrations.

But before we found our family, we ran into our friend Penny, who lives near Albany; in fact, she works on the same floor of the office building I work in, though I’d known her for decades. We attended her daughter’s wedding in August 2014.

She and her husband Broome were there to see The Grand Slambovians, billed here as playing “Surreal Roots Rock”. She recommended highly that we stay to hear them, as she was sure I’d like them. I HAD vaguely heard of The Slambovian Circus of Dreams, and they are the same folks, more or less. Broome had seen them in Philadelphia, PA the day before, and he and Penny were going to see the group in Northampton, MA a couple of days later.

I might have stayed anyway – the adjacent space was crowded and cacophonous – but the endorsement sealed the deal. And I DID like them. Early on, they performed Very Happy Now, which “combined with two of the song’s influences, Donovan’s ‘Epistle to Dippy’ and the Ramones’ ‘I Wanna To Be Sedated.'” As Broome and Penny knew, this tickled me.

Even more so, I appreciated the merger of the Christmas carol ‘Angels We Have Heard on High’ with Van Morrison & Them’s ‘Gloria’. Broome bought me a Slambovian DVD, because he decided, as is he wont, that I needed it.

Interesting that both the Dady Brothers and the Slambovians told Pete Seeger stories. One of the Dadys wrote a song about Pete, which they sent to him. Later, they had a chance to play with him. At this show, they performed that song they wrote, plus the Pete classic This Rainbow Race.

The Slambovians gave Pete a ride from Cold Spring to his home in Beacon, at which point Pete invited them in and talked for four hours. They felt Pete knew they were faux folkies, while everyone knew Pete was the real deal. Pete, they realized, was really lonely, his wife of 70 years Toshi having died in July 2013; Pete himself died in January of 2014. The Slambovians played Suzanne, the Leonard Cohen song, in honor of Toshi and Pete.

The moral, perhaps for the year: I’ll Try Something New. Which, oddly, reminds me of a song by DIANA ROSS and THE SUPREMES with THE TEMPTATIONS.

Anna and Brian’s wedding

Anna married Brian on August 1 of this year on a farm in Glen, NY.

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I’d known Anna practically since she was born. The narrative that her father Broome told at the reception after her wedding to Brian suggested that perhaps she wouldn’t have been born at all, but for me.

The way he tells it, it was his first day working at FantaCo, the comic book et al store I was managing in late 1983. either he wanted to come in late or needed an extended lunch. Since he was a law student, I thought maybe he needed some extra study time. Or maybe he needed to work some more hours at the law firm he was also working at, but neither of these was the case.

Instead, he wanted to go see Bread and Puppet Theater with this young woman named Penny he had met. Broome SAYS that I extorted the promise that he would name his firstborn after me. Interestingly, after Broome spoke at the reception, some friend of his told me that the first time HE had heard the story, Broome said he OFFERED to name his first child after me for the time off, which is precisely how I remember it.

In any case, Broome and Penny DID get married; I was present at a ceremony that was a surprise to most of the guests who thought it was just a summer party. They had two children, Anna and Luke. And Anna’s middle name is Green.

I finally figured out why he persists with this version, which by now probably he even believes: it’s a better story! Or as Luke’s girlfriend said to me about another topic, “That’s just Broome!” A wise young woman. Broome and Penny are in the foreground in a photo by Anna’s godfather, Lynn Stone.

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Anna married Brian on August 1 of this year on a farm in Glen, NY somewhere southwest of Amsterdam, Montgomery County. I really liked the vows, which I presume was based on these handfasting vows:

Brian, Will you cause her pain?
I May
Is that your intent?
No

Anna, Will you cause him pain?
I may
Is that your intent?
No

*To Both*
Will you share each other’s pain and seek to ease it?
Yes

Fortunately, it did not rain, which was in some forecasts, for we could have had a sea of mud. It was, in fact, rather warm, but dry. Good thing there was a large tent covering, to protect us from the sun after the brief ceremony.

I had not previously met Brian. They were living in New York City, but now they are residing upstate. During the early part of the reception, Brian sang John Legend’s All of Me to Anna. He has a VERY nice voice.

At some point, the bride tossed the bouquet, and the youngest single lady, one I’m related to, caught it. Fortunately, they didn’t do the part where the guy catching the garter puts it on the leg of the bouquet catcher, because that would have been weird.

There was mucho good food and a constructed floor. The Daughter and I shared a dance or two before The Wife, The Daughter, our friend Bill and I returned home.

Best wishes to my namesake and her new husband!

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