“I cannot throw out these books”

I wrote 10 or 11 blog posts re Never A Dull Moment: 1971, the year that rock exploded by David Hepworth.

Jaquandor recently wrote about owning books. In part, he quotes from Life Itself by Roger Ebert, which makes more sense in its entirety, and really speaks to me. “I cannot throw out these books. Some are enchanted because I have personally turned all their pages and read every word. They’re shrines to my past hours.”

Looking at my bookshelves in the office, I realize the sheer number of books I am not going to get rid of, because. And that doesn’t even count the ones in the bookcases that are in the attic, arranged, BTW, and the relatively few in the living room.

Initially, I  was just going to pick books as they appeared on the shelves. Then I decided to put them in some sort of imperfect order

ALBANY

Six and Eleven – Ed Dague (2010). Former local news anchor I hung out with him one night and have a transcript – somewhere – of that night’s broadcast in 1994

A Day Apart: How Jews, Christians, and Muslims Find Faith, Freedom, and Joy on the Sabbath – Christopher Ringwald. (2007). Signed to me. I got to hear him speak on the topic in my church a few years before his tragic death.

Figuring Sh!t Out: Love, Laughter, Suicide, and Survival – Amy Biancolli (2015). Signed to me, my wife and our daughter. About surviving the suicides in her life, including that of her husband, the aforementioned C Ringwald

O Albany – William Kennedy (1983). The greatest writer out of the city. Both he and Biancolli worked for the local newspaper, the Times Union, and both were honored by the Albany Public Library Foundation

RACE

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II – Douglas A. Blackmon (2008) – signed to me in 2009 at an event arranged by Bill Kennedy

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness – Michelle Alexander (revised 2011). Because it makes sense.

The Sweeter the Juice – Shirlee Taylor Haizlip. when I wrote a blog post about it, I got an email from her!

Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII’s Forgotten Heroes – Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Anthony Walton (2004). Did you know Kareem was on JEOPARDY! for the first time the same month I was?

FANTACO

The Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck Archives Omnibus – Fred Hembeck (2008). I remember helping friend Fred unload boxes of these at a comic book convention in Saratoga Springs, NY

Xerox Ferox: The Wild World of the Horror Film Fanzine – John Szpunar. It premiered at FantaCon 2013. I got it signed by the author, plus subjects such as Steve Bissette, Tom Skulan, Dennis Daniel and Jim Whiting

Saga of the Swamp Thing: Book One – Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, John Totleben (2009), art plate signed by Steve; I met Steve at FantaCo in 1987

FantaCo book publications, almost all of which have stories; I know I was quoted in the Washington Post about Splatter Movies (1981)

Elfquest books – Wendy and Richard Pini, the original 20 issues in four volumes. Wendy and Richard came up to FantaCo for signings thrice a year

MUSIC

Blues People – LeRoi Jones (1963), before he became Amiri Baraka, he wrote about “the Negro experience in white America and the music that developed from it.”

Soulsville USA – Rob Bowman (1997). The story of STAX Records

Never A Dull Moment: 1971, the year that rock exploded – David Hepworth. I wrote 10 or 11 blog posts on this book

Across the Charts: The 1960s – Joel Whitburn (2008), This a book that shows the power of songs that cross over among the pop, soul, country, and adult contemporary charts.

Plus a slew of books on the Beatles

This post is getting LONG – more books soon.

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.
Continue reading “October #1 rambling: recovery mode”

MOVIE (on TV) REVIEW: Life Itself

The Siskel & Ebert legendary fights I had read about, and heard about, yet seeing the apparent disdain they had for one another in clips was astonishing.

life_itself-Roger-EbertI had watched Roger Ebert review movies for decades, then saw him on Oprah with his talking device after he lost his ability to speak. I’ve read many of his blog essays, including those about non-cinematic issues.

So what could I learn about him from watching the documentary Life Itself, based on Ebert’s autobiography, which I loved greatly? Quite a bit, as it turns out.
Continue reading “MOVIE (on TV) REVIEW: Life Itself”

July Rambling: Weird Al, and the moon walk

I REALLY want to see the movie Life Itself, about Roger Ebert.

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Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. – George Orwell. To that end, Bible Stories for Newly Formed and Young Corporations and Congratulations: It’s a corporation.

An answer to the child immigrant problem at the US-Mexican border? I note that the Biblical Jesus was a refugee, his parents fleeing Herod’s wrath. Yet so many people who profess to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ “are so uncaring and hateful about hungry children trying to get to a better, safer place to live.”

In the non-surprise category: Stand Your Ground Laws Lead To More Homicides, Don’t Deter Crime.

Misleading on Marriage: how gay marriage opponents twist history to suit their agenda.

Yiddish Professor Miriam Isaacs has dug in a previously unknown treasure of over a thousand unknowns Yiddish songs recorded of Holocaust survivors; text is in Swedish, but can be translated. Miriam was my old racquetball buddy decades ago.

The Creation Myth of 20th Century Fundamentalism by Jeff Sharlet, who I also knew long ago.

Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe came out as gay. Arthur explains why it STILL matters. Also: I Can Be Christian, and Gay, and Live in Alabama.

Portraits of people in 7 days’ worth of their own garbage.
Continue reading “July Rambling: Weird Al, and the moon walk”

Malala, the government shutdown, and other things

I worked with Jeff Sharlet’s late mother Nancy, so I knew Jeff from when he’d beat me, legitimately, in SORRY when he was six.

I was quite moved watching Malala Yousafzai on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart this past week. Malala is the teenager shot in the head by the Taliban in Pakistan, but survived, and has since set up a fund to support girls’ education. Here’s Part 1, the section that aired, but see Part 2 and Part 3 as well. If those links don’t work, try The group that shot her were pleased she didn’t win the Nobel Peace Prize this week Jon Stewart may want to adopt her but she is reviled in her own hometown as not being Muslim enough or being a CIA plant.
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My job is funded by state and federal monies. Which is to say I’m still working, but if this partial government shutdown continues for a while Continue reading “Malala, the government shutdown, and other things”