April rambling #3: 100 days (seems longer)

The niece’s new album: Planet Cole Porter. This is a collection of songs sung by Rebecca Jade with Peter Sprague’s amazing arrangements.

Deliver us from Scripture-citers

Pastorized for your protection

What’s Our Story? How do we defend Western values if we no longer believe the story that used to justify them?

‘They Starve You. They Shock You’: Inside the Anti-Gay Pogrom in Chechnya

Racism, Hot and Cold

Women Don’t Need to Apologize Less — Men Need to Learn How to Apologize

Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Catcalling Someone

Why Traveling is More Important Now than Ever

Gisele Lagace, Canadian comic book artist, refused entrance at the US border

Rapp On This: Raging scum (bull v girl)

For 18 years, I thought she was stealing my identity – Until I found her

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich has Fairbanks Disease, which causes stunted bone growth. He’s 4’11”. So he was bullied mercilessly in school until somebody stood up for him. An older kid who he didn’t even know began to beat the crap out of anybody who bothered him. It was the foundational experience of his life.
The older kid was Mickey Schwerner. A few years later, Schwerner joined Andrew Goodman and James Chaney and went door-to-door in Mississippi, trying to register Black voters. You know what happened.

This Lawsuit Goes to 11

Harry Potter and The Problem With The Pensieve Memories

Now I Know: The Rise and Fall of the Flivverboobs and An Astronaut’s Most Important Fan and The Time Travel Trap

Weed can play a significant role in your romantic relationships

The 8 Personalities You’ll Meet When Dating in the U.S.

Space Sex is Serious Business

The picture on the top of the page is of actress Gloria DeHaven. Yet it shows up often on the Internet as being a young Frances Bavier, the woman who would eventually play Aunt Bee on the Andy Griffith Show in the 1960s.

Illustrated Guide To Playing Sports As An Adult!

Five Questions for Rick Geary by Alan David Doane

I did not realize this until recently, but I think I’m becoming a devotee of the British way of punctuation. “British usage omits the apostrophe in the plural form of dates (e.g., 1980s)”. Also, “British style (more sensibly) places unquoted periods and commas outside the quotation marks.”

100 days

New York Times: White House Reporters Recall Their Most Vivid Moments

Fourteen per cent of US Christians left their churches after the election

Here Are The National Monuments At Risk

Massive Corporate Tax Cut Literally Cannot Pass Congress

Seth Meyers: ‘For every action, there’s an equal and opposite clip’

Anti-immigrant hotline bombarded with reports of space aliens

‘I thought it would be easier’

Ivanka & Jared: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Music


UNABASHED PLUG for the niece’s new album: Planet Cole Porter. This is a collection sung by Rebecca Jade, with Peter Sprague’s amazing arrangements.

Cuba Gooding, Sr., RIP

Pentatonix’s Acapella Spin of Queen’s All-Time Classic

Simon, Garfunkel, Sound of Silence, live

Kermit sings Once In a Lifetime (featuring The Electric Mayhem)

Flapper pie

K-Chuck Radio: The Arthur Baker Groove System and Saturday morning rock and roll!

Not me: Dinner with Roger Green (Formerly of The Czars), Sun, May 28, 2017, 6:00 pm (event ends at 10:00 pm) in Denver
No Cover!

March rambling #2: Vitiligo As Body Art

This Article Won’t Change Your Mind – “The facts on why facts alone can’t fight false beliefs.”

To End Hate, We Gotta Walk the Talk – Aristotle on Why Professing Liberal Values is Nowhere Near Enough

Door-Busting Drug Raids Leave a Trail of Blood and When a no-knock drug raid ends in death, is it capital murder or self-defense? Two cases in Texas took different paths

This Is How Your Hyperpartisan Political News Gets Made

Meet The Homeless Man Who Stopped Thousands Of People Becoming HIV-Positive

Is America’s Military Big Enough?

Amazing Disgrace: How did a thrice-married, Biblically illiterate sexual predator—hijack the religious right?

When He Is Ignorant of His Own Ignorance

Elmo From ‘Sesame Street’ Learns He’s Fired Because Of Budget Cuts

“PrOtEsT” – Poet Activists Throughout the Years

How the Choctaws Saved the Irish

Waiter fired after asking Latinas for ‘proof of residency’ at upscale Huntington Beach eatery

War On The Moon

In the Congressional Fight Over Slavery, Decorum Went Out the Door

Scott Pelley is pulling no punches on the nightly news

For 15 Years, New Orleans Was Divided Into Three Separate Cities

This is what happens to your body when you stop having sex

7 Tips to Get Someone with Alzheimer’s to Take a Bath

First-year residents shadow nurses in effort to better understand, foster future communication

List of inventors killed by their own inventions

Lack of Oxford Comma Could Cost Maine Company Millions in Overtime Dispute

Sweden is tackling its throwaway culture

Six Bad Ass Librarians from Pop Culture

The True Story of the Backward Index

Ask A Cartoonist: Women Who Inspire

Rest in peace, Chuck Barris

Rules for the Black Birdwatcher – With Drew Lanham and Extreme Birdwatching

The 21 most spectacular theaters in the U.S.

Vitiligo As Body Art

Troy native making movie about his hitchhiking adventure – Don Rittner

How Jaquandor made Gluten-Free Fried Chicken

Amtrak snow-motion

A STREET CAR NA_ED DESIRE

Now I Know: The Haircut that Went to War (Maybe) and What They Did Not See and Why People Originally Didn’t “Like” Cigarettes and The Invisible Wall Around Most of Manhattan and The Masterpiece Hidden in Plain Sight

Music

Before and After Chuck Berry and 15 great covers of Chuck Berry classics

Makeba – Jain

Bohemian Rhapsody Played by 100+-year-old fairground organ

10 Female Jazz Musicians You Need To Know

K-Chuck Radio: Feeling kinda “horny”

A New Thelonious Monk Album Emerges From the Soundtrack to a Classic French Film

Godsmack Play A Cover Of ‘Come Together’

Paul McCartney’s “Ram” Reconsidered

Lightning Strikes – Klaus Nomi (1981)

Understanding Deal Breakers: The Psychology of Music and Romance

August Rambling: Deep dark secrets

I wrote this blog post about my ambivalence about blogging on the Times Union website.

WD40
The Hook-Up Culture Is Getting 20-Somethings Nowhere. On the other hand, Casual Love.

How we get through life every day.

Nixon’s still the one. And What We Lost 40 Years Ago When Nixon Resigned. See Harry Shearer recreate Richard Nixon as he preps and delivers his resignation speech. Plus George Will Confirms Nixon’s Vietnam Treason.

New Zealand’s non-partisan Get Out the Vote campaign. I don’t see such things often in the US. Sure, there’s get our SUPPORTERS to vote, but that’s a different animal.

Deep Dark Fears is “a series of comics exploring those intimate, personal fears that mostly stem from your imagination getting darkly carried away.” Read more about it.

Rod Serling’s closing remarks from The Obsolete Man episode of The Twilight Zone. “It remains profoundly prescient and relevant.”

All these in a 48-hour period: How games’ lazy storytelling uses rape and violence against women as wallpaper and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has come forward with several stories of being called “chubby,” “fat,” and “porky” by her male colleagues in Congress and Fark prohibits misogyny in new addition to moderator guidelines and Snappy response to sexist harasser in the tech field.

Modern Office with Christina Hendricks.

FLOWCHART: Should You Catcall Her?

Guns and The Rule of Intended Consequences.

What our nightly views might look like if planets, instead of our moon, orbited Earth.

Cartoon: Pinocchio, Inc.

Remember when I wrote about flooding in Albany this month? Dan explains the systemic reason WHY it happened.

Arthur makes the case against “the case against time zones.” I’m not feeling the abolition of time zones either, at this point.

Nōtan: Dark and Light principles of Design.

The jungle gym as math tool.

The disaster drafts for professional sports.

The Procrastination Doom Loop—and How to Break It.

One of my favorite movie quotes, maybe because it’s so meta: “That’s part of your problem: you haven’t seen enough movies. All of life’s riddles are answered in the movies.” (Grand Canyon, 1991)

Seriously, Rebecca Jade, the first niece, is in about four different groups, in a variety of genres. Here’s The Soultones cover band – Promo video. Plus a link to her latest release, Galaxy, with Jaz Williams.

Tosy’s U2, ranked 40-31 and 30-21.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, 2004.

August 22, 1969: The Beatles’ Final Photo Shoot

Coverville 1043: The Elvis Costello Cover Story III, in honor of him turning 60.

4 chairs, 4 women; 4 women, no chairs.

12 billion light-years from the edge. A funny bit!

Don Pardo, R.I.P..

Lauren Bacall: always the life of the party. And cinema icon of Hollywood’s golden age, 1924-2014. A Dustbury recollection.

More Robin Williams: on ‘cowardice’ and compassion. Also, a Dan Meth drawing and Aladdin’s Broadway cast gave a him beautiful tribute. Plus, a meeting of Yarmy’s Army and Ulysses.

Jaquandor remembers little Quinn. Damn middle recording made me cry.

The Wellington Hotel Annex in Albany, N.Y. was… murdered in plain sight in front of hundreds of onlookers. “If I were a building, this is how I’d like to go.” Here’s another view.

SamuraiFrog’s Muppet jamboree: C is for Clodhoppers and D Is for Delbert (who evolved) and E is for Eric the Parrot and F is for a Fraggle and G Is for the Gogolala Jubilee Jugband.

New SCRABBLE words. Word Up has identified some of the new three-letter words.

I SO don’t care: one space or two after the period. Here’s a third choice.

The ultimate word on that “digital natives” crap.

Whatever Happened to the Metric System?

Freedom from fear.

Ever wondered what those books behind the glass doors of the cupboard might be thinking or feeling?

The New Yorker thinks Yankovic is weirdly popular.

Here’s a nice Billy Joel story.

Pop songs as sonnets.

House of Clerks, a parody of House of Cards.

Saturday Night Live Political Secrets Revealed.

This Sergio Aragonés masterpiece is included as a fold-out poster within Inside Mad. His priceless gift to all Mad fans shows over six decades of Mad contributors and ephemera within a mish-mash of Mad office walls. The only thing missing in this beautiful mess is a key. Doug Gilford will be attempting to label everything you see with brief (pop-up) descriptions and links to pertinent pages…

Hello Kitty is not a cat. You may have known that; somehow, I missed it.

You May Have Something Extremely Valuable Hiding In Your Change.

Improved names for everyday things

GOOGLE ALERTS (me)

I wrote this blog post about my ambivalence about blogging on the Times Union website. J. Eric Smith, who used to be a TU blogger, responds at length.

SamuraiFrog responds to my response to 16 Habits of Sensitive People. Also, per moi, he does his #1 songs on his birthday: 1987-1996 and 1997-2006, and 2007-2013. I’ll go back to this myself, eventually.

Dustbury on the theme song to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, which a passage in Schutte’s Mass resembles more than slightly. He discovers a Singapore McDonalds product.

Jaquandor answers my questions about vices such as swearing and politics/American exceptionalism.

He also writes of buckets and the dumping of the water therein, which Gordon thinks hurts nonprofits. Snopes, BTW, debunks the claim that 73 percent of donations to the ALS Association fund executive salaries and overhead.

Do you know that ABC Wednesday meme I mention with a great amount of regularity? I think this recent introduction I wrote explains it fairly well.

Information with a Bun and the Sexy Librarian trope

“To move in public spaces and do their jobs, librarians — along with schoolteachers and nurses — had to wrap themselves in an aura of absolute respectability. “

pretty-librarian-working-on--11982029My blog in the Times Union local newspaper, with content, often reprinted from this blog, or noting stuff of primarily local interest, is called Information Without the Bun. Came up with this title in about five minutes when the blog coordinator, Michael Huber, insisted on a name. The title was to evoke two ideas: 1) having the meat without a hamburger bun, and 2) the antithesis of the stuffy, usually female, librarian that shushed people all the time.

Recently, I saw Dustbury link to an interesting article called Unpacking an Erotic Icon: The Sexy Librarian, which got me thinking about that trope. In linking to the article, Dustbury proclaimed: “I thought it was because she was, um, smart.” Yeah, me, too; I find smart women almost inherently sexy. I tend to root for the good female JEOPARDY! players when I watch the show.

The article by Dustin (Oneman) delves a bit deeper:

While the role of librarian has existed for a good long while… the modern librarian, the modern female librarian, dates back to the late 19th century and specifically back to Melvil Dewey, he of the decimal system that bears his name. Dewey was a strong advocate for the use of women as librarians, not out of any sense of gender justice but because, as proprietor of a company that sold a system of receiving, cataloguing, shelving, finding, and checking out books that promised to transform the library into a hyper-efficient book-lending machine, he felt that men would chafe under the monotony of the job. Women, he felt, were ideally suited to the mindless task of working in a modern, Dewey-ized library.

Bringing women into public life in the late 19th and early 20th century was not, however, without challenges. Women who left the domestic sphere were branded disreputable, their bodies assumed to be offered up to the (male) public. Actors, dancers, mill workers, field hands — all took on the aura of the prostitute…

To move in public spaces and do their jobs, librarians — along with schoolteachers and nurses — had to wrap themselves in an aura of absolute respectability. Unlike factory workers, actresses, store clerks, secretaries, and farm workers, who dwelled in the working classes or in the bohemian demimonde of the arts, librarians, nurses, and schoolteachers moved among the middle and upper classes. No hint of disrepute could be endured, and their respectability was secured by thoroughly de-sexing themselves through clothing, behavior, and hairstyle.

Particularly hairstyle.

Thus, the female librarian (and nurse, and schoolteacher) with a bun was a symbol of chastity, respectability. It was, I’m guessing, necessary to be taken seriously in the job they did. Because men are, well, like men often are.

The question remains, though, of why these icons have survived even as the reality of these professions has changed radically, shedding the desexualizing camouflage as women have gained more acceptance in the public sphere…

But the sexy librarian is still very much with us. She exists in movies, TV shows, commercials, porn, adult magazines, erotica, and the fevered imagination of men who date librarians. She quite often gets in the way of real librarians doing their jobs.

I DO know female librarians who have talked about embracing the sexy librarian trope, though, in a way to counteract the bun lady trope because it’s difficult for patrons to take bun lady seriously. And control of the sexy image is, in its own way, empowering to them.

Dustin, I imagine, would disagree:

In the end, the icon of the sexy librarian is about disempowering women who dare not only to move through public spaces but to exercise power, however limited (through the iconic librarian’s iconic “shhhh!”), by unveiling and conquering the sexual being hidden beneath her unassuming exterior. The image of the sexy librarian reminds us that, regardless of their appearance or accomplishments, women are first and foremost sexual objects. And that’s pretty much business as usual for American masculinity.

Hmm. So this gets me to wondering whether the title Information Without a Bun was an inadvertent sexist title. (I HAVE been accused of thinking too much on occasion.)

The War on Women, redux

As the father of a daughter, I feel that the war on women in the US is detrimental, and not only to my girl’s future.

New-Soft-War-on-WomenOne of the problems with the term War on Women is that it all seems to be about sex. And talking about sex seems to make some people uncomfortable.

And it’s even not all about sex, though having access to birth control is part of the issue. I’m still mortified by what happened to Sandra Fluke in 2012 after she testified about the need for contraceptives in the context of overall women’s health. Part of her testimony:

In the worst cases, women who need this medication for other medical reasons suffer very dire consequences. A friend of mine, for example, has polycystic ovarian syndrome, and she has to take prescription birth control to stop cysts from growing on her ovaries. Her prescription is technically covered by Georgetown’s insurance, because it’s not intended to prevent pregnancy. Unfortunately, under many religious institutions’ insurance plans, it wouldn’t be.

And some bullies, one in particular, publicly called her a “slut”, asking why should the government pay for her to have sex, that, therefore she was a prostitute. Which means that federally-funded insurance programs that allow guys to take a blue pill, to help them have sex, is what, precisely?

It’s also about a rape culture that makes the responsibility for men’s bad impulses largely the responsibility of women. Read this account about a religious college. Watch this satiric video. And rape has been a HUGE issue in the military, with the junior US Senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, making sexual assault there her signature issue, though her legislative efforts suffered a defeat this week. Now, military sexual assault victims are stepping out of the shadows.

This actively creeps into the political arena: According to Watchdog.net:

Starting this November, Texans must show a photo ID with their up-to-date legal name instead of IDs like a birth certificate. That’s not a problem for single or married men — but it leaves a third of Texas women scrambling in a state with just 81 DMVs in its 254 counties.

And Ken Buck is running for US Senate from Colorado, again, with policies no less backward than when he ran four years ago.

Some Maine dimwad has to apologize for saying men should have rape rights if women have abortion rights.

Casual sexism is quite pervasive, in the gaming industry, in science, just to note a couple of recent examples. And in addressing these types of issues, women are often viewed as “oversensitive” or “shrill” or “don’t have a sense of humor” or the C-word.

Income inequality, in which the poor get poorer, affects female-headed households even more than male-headed households.

As the father of a daughter, I feel that the war on women in the US – and do believe a war on women exists, for reasons better stated by others – is detrimental, not only to my girl’s future, not only to women’s future but to men’s as well. There’s some quote that notes that when we limit some of our people, all of our people suffer.