October rambling #2: absquatulate

I have a stuffed lion with a wild mane which I named Lenny.

librarian.skeleton
The office move is mostly complete, but the inner offices are chaos. The recovery goes well, so now I’m trying to catch up on everything that got put on hold.

How Propaganda Works.

The Rise and Impact of Digital Amnesia.

Re: Hassan v. City of New York lawsuit against the NYPD over its surveillance program targeting Muslims. Plus the dreadful Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Greenland Is Melting Away.

MIT Technology Review: Why Self-Driving Cars Must Be Programmed to Kill.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

There are No Innocent Black People.

Buck Rogers and the Copyright Trolls.

Plus The Orwell estate is cracking down on people who dare to use the number “1984” without permission.

Pope Francis has NOT endorsed Bernie Sanders for President.

The 1,657 TV shows that spent less time on the air than the Hillary Clinton Benghazi hearing.

Pastor, former Arkansas governor, and current Republican candidate Mike Huckabee Suggests Poor People Should Be Sold Into Slavery For Stealing.

The Atlantic has a LOT of interesting videos on various topics, among them ‘Don’t Sneak’: A Father’s Command to His Gay Son in the 1950s.

Say “no” more often. You’ll be happier and healthier.

6 Phrases With Surprisingly Racist Origins.

Jim Crow-Era Travel Guides for Black Families Now Online Through Schomburg. Hey, I wrote about this.

Arthur does some Internet Wading: Truth and facts. I almost picked items 2 and 3 myself for this feature in my blog.

There’s an online petition to Congress to end Daylight Saving Time, which I signed, because DST makes no sense.

Happy 600th Anniversary of The Battle of Agincourt.

Cole slaw killed Ogden Nash.

I still need to see more films with Maureen O’Hara, the lovely actress who died recently at the age of 95.

Albany basketball legend Luther “Ticky” Burden died.

Marty Ingels, R.I.P. I watched I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster the year it was on. And Al Molinaro died, who I watched on The Odd Couple and Happy Days.

‘First Lady of Jazz,’ Lee Shaw, dies at 89. I talked with her a couple times during breaks in her sets. She was a wonderfully gracious, and an amazingly talented musician.

This month marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the passing of Leonard Bernstein. True: I have a stuffed lion with a wild mane which I named Lenny, in honor of the composer and conductor.

The Beatles “Revolution” Original Video, Remastered, New Audio Mix. My FAVORITE iteration of this song. Also, A Day In The Life.

LISTEN NOW, before it disappears. First Listen: Bob Dylan, ‘The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12’.

There’s a reason so many people love ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’

K-Chuck Radio: The Rocshire Memories. Featuring a song by Eddie Munster.

The three times Nasreddin was called upon to speak in public.

The word absquatulate came out of an odd fad in America in the 1830s for making playful words that sounded vaguely Latin. My spell checker recognizes it, too, Dan!

Now I Know: The Epidemic That Saved Lives and Winnie the Pooh-Poohed and Cattaxtrophy.

Advice From the Creator of Calvin and Hobbes; Comic by Zen Pencils. Words by Bill Watterson, art by Gavin Aung Than.

About comic book inking.

Ken Levine mentions Oscar Levant, confuses readers, comes up with a list of some people you might want to know.

Bob and Ray, and Dave Garroway, plugging the new show called TODAY.
hymns
GOOGLE ALERT (me)

The TWCQT gang reflects on which penciler/inker teams have had the most impact on them.

Alan David Doane Remembering His Mom on Her 90th Birthday.

GOOGLE ALERT (not me)

Would-be Bond: The naked truth. “Enter New Zealander Roger Green – ex-All Blacks rugby union player, ex-sheep farmer, and party animal.”

Colonial Heights (VA) mourns loss of Roger Green of the Chamber of Commerce. “Green had been battling Urachal cancer, a rare form of bladder cancer, for several months. He was 64 years old.”

October #1 rambling: recovery mode

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival will commission 36 playwrights to translate all of Shakespeare’s plays into modern English.

wrong reenactment
Still on the mend, wearing this band around my waist, until at least November 9. I will write about this eventually.

I’ve managed to watch more baseball in the past week and a half than I saw the entire regular season. Great to see former Met Rusty Staub after his heart attack. Rooting for the Mets, or if they get eliminated, the Cubs. Just realized that the World Series Game 5 would be November. If it’s the Dodgers in the Series, I’m rooting for the American League team.

ALSO, my office is moving this week. Note to self: do NOT pick up anything over 20 pounds.

Understanding Mass Incarceration and Bringing It Down: An Interview With James Kilgore.

John Oliver: rips GOP candidates for blaming gun violence on mental illness in absence of a plan, and Migrants and Refugees.

Color film was made for white people.

The War on Science, even in Canada.

Seth Meyers explains that ridiculous Congressional hearing over Planned Parenthood and Planned Parenthood’s “Government Funding”: The Same Kind Your Doctor Receives.

What the Speakership Battle is About.

Pope Francis met with an openly gay couple — and unlike Kim Davis, who ambushed him, he did so intentionally, and Was Pope Francis Actually Swindled into Meeting Kim Davis?

If we gotta honor a Christopher…

“Sick of hearing about the damn emails.”

Analysis Ranks Presidential Candidates By Their Supporters’ Grammar.

It costs you $43 every time you wait for the doctor.

What Happens When There’s No Internet. Presented By BuzzFeed & Hyundai – is it real?

Sweden is shifting to a 6-hour work day.

Shakespeare in Modern English? “The Oregon Shakespeare Festival… recently announced that over the next three years, it will commission 36 playwrights to translate all of Shakespeare’s plays into modern English.”

Chaz Ebert reviews the play BlackWhite Love, about Roger and Chaz Ebert.

How to Make a Sandwich. It only took 6 months and cost $1500.

K-Chuck Radio’s Sunshine Pop includes rare music from Mary Hopkin and Victor Garber.

New 2015 remix and video of Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson’s 1983 international smash hit single ‘Say Say Say’.

Van Morrison and the Thirty-One Songs about Nothing But a Bad Contract.

Mark Evanier continues to list the twenty top voice actors in American animated cartoons between 1928 and 1968, including Hans Conried (Snidely Whiplash), Don Messick (Scooby-Doo) Alan Reed (Fred Flintstone), Jack Mercer (Popeye), and Gary Owens (Space Ghost, Roger Ramjet).

GOOGLE ALERT (me)

It’s so very nice that Eddie the Renaissance Geek wished me well after my surgery, given the fact that he’s had much more serious health issues of his own.

Albany High hosts tours in advance of vote on improvements.

What’s the last comic book or graphic novel you picked up at a comic book store? Also, The Big Event effect.

SamuraiFrog: Ant-Man and the Book Light Lady.

Donna’s quote resonated.

GOOGLE ALERT (not me)

New national role for Biscovey head teacher. “Roger Green is one of 70 heads across the country…”

The Gospel according to Bernie, and Colbert

We commit to the mental gymnastics necessary that allows us to abandon the least of these, to abandon the poor, to abandon the immigrants, to abandon those who are in prison.

bernie-sanders-3Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who is running for the Democratic nomination for President, recently spoke at Liberty University, “the very conservative, very Christian school in Lynchburg, Virginia,” once the headquarters for the very outspoken Rev. Jerry Falwell.

An evangelical responds to his speech, a graduate of Liberty University, who worked on the presidential campaign for George W. Bush in 2004. He compares Bernie to John the Baptist.

He was convicting the Christian leaders and the religious leaders in that university, and calling us out for being complicit in the abandonment of those who suffer, the least of these, and siding with the powerful and rich, the masters of this world. And he was convicting us and calling us out, and we scorned him, and we stared him down; and, with sour faces, we thought, “Who is this wacko, and why do all these people seem to follow him, seem to like him – this wild-haired Jew, crying out from the wilderness of the political left, in his hoarse voice?”…

And lightning hit my heart at that moment. And I realized that we are evangelical Christians. We believe the Bible. We believe in Jesus. We absolutely shun those who would attempt to find nuance and twisted and tortured interpretations of scripture that they would use to master all other broader interpretations, to find some kind of big message that they want to flout. We absolutely scorn such things, and yet somehow we commit to the mental gymnastics necessary that allows us to abandon the least of these, to abandon the poor, to abandon the immigrants, to abandon those who are in prison.

The very idea of evangelical Christians realizing that income inequality, for instance, is not a liberal position or a conservative position, but a fundamental Christian one, pleases me greatly. Perhaps Bernie Sanders IS the Christian candidate.

Fox News host Brian Kilmeade had degrading words for Pope Francis while talking with Chris Wallace. “Yeah, I’m Catholic and he could stay home. Some of his comments just have no place. He’s in the wrong country…” The part that is on the audio, but not quoted in print is this sentence: “Capitalism is our savior.” Or should it be “Capitalism is our Savior”?

While never a great fan of Stephen Colbert – the “conservative pundit” shtick bored me sooner than it did my friend Alan David Doane – I was interested in the cultural folderol around the late-night programs in general, and specifically, him taking over the CBS Late Night Show for David Letterman. I did think the Joe Biden interview from the third show was more satisfying than the uncut version online.

The recent item I found most interesting about Colbert, though is Stephen Colbert – Witness. “In this rare, personal interview with Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, Stephen Colbert tells all” about his Catholic faith. It’s cued to his observations about Communion, at about 35 minutes. Earlier, c. 22 minutes in, he explains why he believes Jesus must have laughed; Wile E. Coyote is namechecked. I found the whole piece surprisingly moving, as it shows the depth of Colbert’s theological knowledge.
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Donald Trump Makes Up Bogus Bible Quote To Impress Gullible Christians.

Church and state: Francis I

If a Catholic priest were to echo Francis’ complaint about the rich-poor divide, that might be safe territory.

I found this graphic really interesting. The Socialist US Senator is embracing the Pope’s condemnation of “doctrinaire capitalism, ‘deified markets,” trickle-down economics, and the finance industry. He decried the growing gap between the rich and the poor, tax evasion by the wealthy, and characterized ruthless free-market economics as a killer that was inherently sinful.” I assume this will mean that the Pope will be painted as a socialist.

Francis, moreover, launched a broadside against former President Ronald Reagan’s signature economic theory, which continues to serve as conservative Republican dogma.

Of course, he’s in the Vatican, so he’s insulated from the US political issue. But I’m always re-examining what “separation of church and state” means. (And so is Dustbury.) I will make the case that being a good Christian – in my definition, obviously – could be, may be perceived as a political statement. If a Catholic priest were to echo Francis’ complaint about the rich-poor divide, perhaps by calling for raising the minimum wage, that might be safe territory. But if he were to name names, such as calling out the late 40th US President, that might well be crossing the line to partisan political talk that could theoretically get one’s tax-exempt status yanked.

Certainly promoting, or denouncing a political party or candidate can be a treacherous path, whereas, say, praying for the President and Congress and the federal courts to do good and just actions is OK. Calling for the closing of the wage-productivity gap is OK, but calling out the politicians who created the system, not so much.

It was weird watching Peggy Noonan on ABC News’ This Week with George Stephanopoulos this past Sunday. She was SO pleased by the new pope, who was bringing back some of the disaffected Catholics, even though he was directly dissing her former employer and mentor, Ronald Reagan, who she clearly adores (present tense). It’s enough to give other denominations a case of pope envy.

Francis still stubbornly traditional positions on women’s ordination and other issues notwithstanding, I’m liking this Pope; the fact that his position is considered radical by some tells how far from Christ’s teaching some of the church has become.
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Bill O’Reilly speaks on behalf of Jesus about the scourge of Food Stamps

No, the US is NOT closing the Vatican embassy.

P is for Pope Francis I

Pope Francis has launches reform of Vatican bureaucracy, with a cleanup of the Vatican bank.

As I have noted, I’m a Protestant with an odd fascination with Catholic popes. The accession, in March 2013, of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, 76, to become the 266th head of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, especially when his predecessor, Benedict XVI is still alive, intrigued me.

I admit that I’ve enjoyed that he’s made some in the church hierarchy nervous, when he faults the church’s focus on gays and abortion, though that feels more like optics rather than actual change to me. He may be right, though, when he describes ideological ‘Christians’ as a ‘serious illness’ within the Church.

More interesting to me is his suggestion if it’s understood correctly in a secular press, that it’s OK not to believe in God if you have a clean conscience. For a different perspective on what the Pope may have meant, read Anthony Velez, who is studying for the (Protestant) ministry.

Dr. Anne Hendershott, Professor, Franciscan University of Steubenville had perhaps the best take on the new pontiff in the Huffington Post:
Many traditional Catholics are beginning to feel–as Time magazine columnist, Mary Eberstadt recently suggested–that they have been “thrown under the popemobile.” …

They would be wrong. While Pope Francis has said that “we cannot insist only ” on these culture war issues, most have not noticed that he also added that “the teachings of the Church are clear…and I am a son of the Church…but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”…

And, while traditionalists maintain that we still need to talk about them sometimes, an increasing number of progressives and traditionalists are beginning to acknowledge the possibility of finding a true common ground. If Pope Francis can help us reach that common ground, then his pontificate will truly be the “one we have been waiting for.”

A few years ago,…I titled a chapter in [my book Status Envy], “A Pope Away from a Perfect Life.” The chapter suggested that progressives have always believed that they were a “pope away” from a Catholic Church that would allow full reproductive rights, female ordination, and same-sex marriage.

It is likely that progressives–and traditionalists as well–will still have to wait a while for that perfect life. Besides, Christians know that we all remain “strangers in a strange land” here on earth. There will never be a “perfect life” here. But Pope Francis is simply asking that we all work together to make that life better for each other. Perhaps it is time to start.

Frankly, I’m more impressed that Pope Francis has launched the reform of Vatican bureaucracy, with a cleanup of the Vatican bank. In September, “the bank released its first-ever financial report (it is doing quite well, making $117 million last year, more than quadruple the 2011 figure. This year’s number is projected to be substantially lower partly because of the costs of the transparency campaign).” Now, to quote someone else, THIS is a change I can believe in.

This action, tied with his simpler lifestyle, more in keeping with Scripture than some German bishops have been living, gives me some hope that some positive permanent change might come from this papacy.


ABC Wednesday – Round 13