July rambling: The True True Truth

Blind Tom Wiggins and Ulysses Simpson Kay – black composers

arguments-against-wearing-a-parachute
Arguments against wearing a parachute.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 Unported License


Who Are Those Guys? – Customs and Border Protection agents in Portland, OR.

Why Hundreds of Mathematicians Are Boycotting Predictive Policing.

Looming Immigration Services Shutdown May Fuel Voter Suppression in 2020.

Apologies that aren’t apologies, 2020 edition.

They’re trying to kill the Postal Service so they can privatize it.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: China & Uighurs.

The Cancel Culture Debate.

Methane is mysteriously leaking from the sea floor in Antarctica, edging global heating to a point of no return.

The Truth About Micromanagers.

People who like embarrassing or angering others find social media more addictive.

Violin Makers’ Dark Future.

Patriotic Millionaires.

The Lincoln Project ads: How It Starts and Trumpfeld and The Wall and New.

The No Cars Experiment.

Why You Should Travel Without a Smartphone.

The Sisyphean Quest to Bring Back Discontinued Foods.

An Oral History of Big Mouth Billy Bass.

How the Ice Cream Truck Made Summer Cool.

I am spiritually Finnish.

Actor John Saxon, RIP.

Gone With the Wind’ star Olivia de Havilland dies at 104.

The sons and daughters of John Wayne, John Lennon, Caitlyn Jenner, and others tell what it was like to grow up with a world-famous dad .

Rotten Tomatoes: 100 Worst Movies Of All Time. I’ve seen zero of them, FWIW.

Race

Rep. John Lewis wasn’t seen as a hero from the beginning — and there’s a lesson in that. Plus Barack Obama delivers his eulogy.

A new word in my vocab: misogynoir, where racism and sexism meet.

The health disparities of systemic racism.

ERIC Crow, Jim Crow’s liberal twin.

Peggy Shepard is Featured in CBS Environmental Racism Story.

I’ve not read it. Thoughts? Robin DiAngelo’s best-seller White Fragility is a book about how to make certain educated white readers feel better about themselves.

Characteristics of white supremacy culture and, from NPR: White supremacist ideas have historical roots in U.S. Christianity.

“I Have Struggled”: Black TV Journalists Talk George Floyd Coverage, Industry Diversity.

Calling on the Ancestors: The Gift of Ralph Ellison.

Now I Know

The Post Office That’s Underwater and The Cheeseburger on Ice and When Video Games Go Bitter and International Wallyball and When Bread Breaks Arms and The Politician Who Went to Prison.

COVID
Confirmed Cases.
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Health care executives fear public distrust of vaccine will lead to the continued spread of disease.

John Oliver on coronavirus conspiracy theories, and related, The True True Truth.

Inside His Failure: The Rush to Abandon Leadership Role on the Virus.

DeVos’s Plan to Reopen Schools Hides a Sinister Agenda and Back to School.

We’ve Reached Peak Libertarianism — And It’s Literally Killing Us.

Buddy, first dog to test positive for COVID-19 in the U.S., has died.

How to make masks that everyone will want to wear.

Why Pandemic First Dates Are Better and We Found Love in a Hopeless Place.

Gee, Anthony Fauci -Randy Rainbow.

MUSIC

Lincoln Center version of Carousel starring Kelli O’Hara and Nathan Gunn available until 8 PM ET on September 8.

Rebecca Jade! Live From The Merc with Peter Sprague (7/26) and Home Made, Part 4 (7/25).

Everybody Cries – Rita Wilson, from “The Outpost”.

The Battle of Manassas, by Blind Tom Wiggins.

How Can I Keep from Singing – NYC Virtual Choir and Orchestra.

Fantasy Variations by Ulysses Simpson Kay.

A rock concert of 1,000 performers.

Coverville 1317: Cover Stories for Beck and Jack White and 1318: The Slash Cover Story.

If the world was ending – JP Saxe.

Hamilton Cast Tribute To The 40th Anniversary of A Chorus Line (2015).

Longest Time (Quarantine Edition) – Phoenix Chamber Choir.

Jumpin’ Jive – Cab Calloway with the Nicholas Brothers number from Stormy Weather.

Lean on Me – Bill Withers (live).

K-Chuck Radio: Order in the Court”.

“BIG DADDY…STRANDED IN THE JUNGLE” to ten (audio version) episodes!

Lydster: creating another Jesus

collage

JesusI was quite unclear what my daughter’s specific motivation was. Suddenly, she needed to cut up magazines, and sort the pieces by color. Bye bye, old, unread copies of Vanity Fair.

Then she did a couple of drawings on 8.5″ by 11″ paper, one in green, the other in blue. She added digits as though she were creating a paint-by-numbers. And she was, of a sort. She was creating a code for the different colors, and the gradation within the hues. Using the copier, she made the primary image larger.

Our church had disposed of some old hymnals a couple of years ago, and we had three or four copies. One of them died for her art, as she arranged the pages as her background. There was no musical theme involved, BTW.

The living room was quite a mess as she glued pieces on the image she had hand-drawn. Here’s the result of her collage of another Jesus portrayal. It is roughly 30″ by 40″.

Is heaven segregated?

I found an interesting interview from NPR in June 2020. The Rev. Lenny Duncan is a black preacher in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. his 2019 book is Dear Church: A Love Letter From a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US.

A couple quotes: “One of the things I talk about in the book is [the symbolism of Advent] — painting blackness as always in darkness, always as evil and bad, further away from the light of God and all that kind of language we use in our worship.”

And: “I believe that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America wants to be better. They just don’t know how. One of the things that we often underestimate with the power of white supremacy is that the people who are the sickest from it, often do not know that they are infected with it.”

The philosophers of the 18th and 19th century codified that notion. In Philosophy of History (Chapter 2), Voltaire argued that blacks were a separate, lesser species. Europeans felt the need to justify their discriminatory treatment of non-Europeans. So-called “empirical methods” readily allowed them to conclude that Indians and Africans were inferior people.

At some level, my daughter, who was in her confirmation class only last year, must be intuitively aware of all of this. We haven’t had specific conversations about what Jesus looked like. Her rendering of another Jesus is her truth.

GWTW, Song of the South, and race

the highest-grossing movie ever

Song of the South.Aunt Tempy
Hattie McDaniel as Aunt Tempy
When Gone With the Wind was temporarily shelved by HBO Max before returning with an intro by a black scholar, I knew I had to make a confession. I have actually never seen the movie. Ever.

Oh, I tried a couple times. After all, adjusting for inflation, the 1939 film is the highest-grossing movie ever. Its appearance on commercial television, in two parts in 1976, were both in the Top 10 of the highest-rated broadcasts of all-time.

But nope. It was frankly boring to me. I just didn’t give a damn about watching it.

The GWTW news reminded some of us about the indignities faced by Hattie McDaniel. She played “Mammy” in the movie, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Know that she became the FIRST African American to win an Oscar. “She and her escort were required to sit at a segregated table for two… The discrimination continued after the award ceremony as well as her white costars went to a ‘no-blacks’ club, where McDaniel was denied entry.”

She was philosophical about her movie roles. “Why should I complain about making $700 a week playing a maid? If I didn’t, I’d be making $7 a week being one.”

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah

Now, this very year, I DID finally see Hattie McDaniel in the movie Song of the South (1946), in which she played Aunt Tempy. “The kindhearted storyteller Uncle Remus tells [children] stories about trickster Br’er Rabbit, who outwits Br’er Fox and slow-witted Br’er Bear.”

Its controversial history is well known. Walter Francis White, the Executive Secretary, said in 1946 that the organization “recognizes in Song of the South remarkable artistic merit in the music and in the combination of living actors and the cartoon technique. It regrets, however, that in an effort neither to offend audiences in the north or south, the production helps to perpetuate a dangerously glorified picture of slavery. Making use of the beautiful Uncle Remus folklore, Song of the South, unfortunately, gives the impression of an idyllic master-slave relationship which is a distortion of the facts.”

A couple of clarifications. I never got the sense that the story took place during slavery, but rather during Reconstruction. Yes, Uncle Remus does the Magic Negro thing near the end, but it was the times. And the film itself was well done, as the NAACP chief noted, with the usual solid Disney animation and fine acting by James Baskett.

While the narrative of the Uncle Remus stories in cartoon form made me uncomfortable, I’ve seen so much worse. The Abraham scene in Holiday Inn (1942), which I wrote about seven years ago. Alas, the link no longer works. But A.O. Scott in his 2008 Critics’ Picks for the New York Times, provides a snippet.

Here’s something awful: Judy Garland in blackface in Everybody Sing (1938). Chuck Miller notes Warner Bros. cartoons that should stay out of circulation.

In that context, I didn’t find Song of the South nearly as offensive as I had built it up in my mind. Judge for yourself.

June: Trauma of Systemic Injustices

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

a-century-of-progress
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

Facebook: “I don’t see color!”

#ProdigalSonsMatter

all lives matterThough I was not looking for it, I came across messages of people trying to explain white privilege and why All Lives Matter sucks. One thread started with a friend of mine, a woman of color, reporting about a conversation she had.

My friend: “I don’t see color when I look at you, I don’t see color when I look at anyone.” An actual quote from someone I was speaking to yesterday. But I’ve heard this my entire life. As has every person of color. If you’re guilty of saying this to us – stop it.

Color is a part of an individual. Saying you don’t see it is to deny the beauty in which we are all made. Also – claiming to not see color serves as a justification for the stance that people of color aren’t mistreated. And further allows for the normalization of inequality. See where this is going?

Be educated about the experiences of people of color. Ask questions. See color. Embrace it. It’s beautiful.

Me: OMG, all my damn life. I’ve never done it, but I’ve been sorely tempted to walk up to a white person and say, “I don’t see color when I look at you.” And it’s almost always well-meaning people.

A friend of hers: Your friend is far from woke. But I also have heard people say it as a way to spiritually bypass racism. Including the statement, we are one… I don’t see color… the list goes on and on.

“Be color brave”

Another friend of hers: Growing up I was taught in school, society and my parents NOT to see color. To treat everyone equally. I don’t think it was malicious but what people thought was best at the time. Now being a teacher in the DOE they have made the conscious effort to train staff to SEE color, appreciate the difference and struggles that come with it. They say “be color brave, not color blind”. It will take time to ‘retrain’ but to me, it’s a start.

Some of the links that were shared included these:

How White Parents Can Talk To Their Kids About Race

Jimmy Kimmel Addresses His Own White Privilege: “To me, white privilege was what Donald Trump had – a wealthy father and a silver spoon in his mouth. It wasn’t what I grew up with. So, I rejected it because I didn’t understand what white privilege meant. But I think I do now. I think I at least understand some of it and here’s what I think it is. People who are white – we don’t have to deal with negative assumptions being made about us – based on the color of our skin. It rarely happens. If ever. Whereas black people experience that every day.”

In another conversation:

Imagine your house was on fire and when the fire truck came they began spraying water on each house on your street. Because all houses matter, right? But only one of them is on fire.

Scripture

Or the Jesus variation about having 100 sheep, one is lost, so he leaves the 99 to find it. Doesn’t he care about the 99? Of course, he does.

One of my pastors subsequently posted another great Biblical one:
The father was waiting there with a sign #ProdigalSonsMatter
When the older son saw it, he was angry, wouldn’t attend the party, and moped around with his own sign: #AllSonsMatter
Father: “Dude, It isn’t about you right now.”

Yet despite the efforts of a couple women, one guy kept insisting “ALL lives matter to me as a Christian.”

Shared links:

Not seeing race does little to dismantle racist structures or improve the lives of people of colour. In order to do so, we must see race. We must see who benefits from their race, who is affected by negative stereotyping of theirs, and on whom power and privilege is bestowed – not just because of their race, but also their class and gender. Seeing race is essential to changing the system.

Streaming Shows That Will Help You Examine White Privilege

James Corden: It’s Time for Change in the US. “How can the black community dismantle a problem that they didn’t create?”