April rambling #1: music for tax day

librarians_shout out

Silence or Violence: Logan, Suicide, and the Culture of Masculine Silence.

Preventing Bullying and Cyber-Bullying.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Border Wall and Congressional Fundraising.

The Unabomber takes on the Internet.

The Tip That Led to Terrorist Abdelhamid Abaaoud’s Downfall Came From a Muslim Woman.

Ken Screven: And then I tossed a bourbon Manhattan in his face.

The Real Story Behind HBO’s ‘Confirmation’ From The NPR Reporter Who Broke The Story. Clarence Thomas, Anita Hill,and NPR’s Nina Totenberg.

Chip, Implanted in Brain, Helps Paralyzed Man Regain Control of Hand.

Facing life unarmed. “When I was born, everyone was expecting me to have arms.”

Within Our Gates (1920) – Oscar Micheaux Silent Film.

Arthur’s Outaversary.

Dustbury has been blogging 20 years, which, at 11 years, makes me a piker.

Sharp Little Pencil: Lost Word.

Now I Know: Voltaire’s Wager and The Revolt of the Dancing Grannies and They Blue It and The Birds that Sing for Their Supper.

You may have to be from upstate New York to appreciate this: This is a Halfmoon; This is a Black and White Cookie.

The Mystery of the Phantom Page Turner.

Can anything good come from an experiment involving whipped cream?

The funnies

Cartoon: The NYC pandering primary.

Frank Welker, will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 43rd Annual Daytime Creative Arts Emmy(R) Awards on Friday, April 29th, 2016. He is the legendary performer of the voices of Scooby-Doo and many others.

Guinness Book of World Records certified famed Mad artist Al Jaffee’s run as a world record for “Longest Career as a Comics Artist.”

How Mickey Mouse Evades the Public Domain.

An Audience With the King. That would be Jack Kirby. Bob Kane does not fare so well.

Book review: A Spanish Comic Book Exposes Franco’s Orphanages.

Music

R.I.P, Merle Haggard and Steve Earle: The Other Side of Merle Haggard and Coverville 1121: A cover tribute to Merle Haggard and some A Cappellaville!

10 Priceless Songs About Taxes and Coverville 1120: A Tribute to Tax Day.

New Paul Simon Album ‘Stranger to Stranger’ Coming June 3rd. Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water – Madison Square Garden, NYC – 2009/10 29 or 30.

18 Ripping 1960S ROCK & ROLL Bands That Performed On TV Sitcoms And Dramas.

The History of John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s Only Post-Beatles Session.

The Muppets on the Ed Sullivan Show.

This is a REALLY annoying K-Chuck Radio, especially the Oz piece, which I gave up on. They made a disco song out of THAT?!?

Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven may be partly stolen, judge says.

The lawyers who beat​ the ‘Happy Birthday’ copyright are taking on ‘We Shall Overcome’.

The Black Keys Say They Regret Inducting Steve Miller Into Rock Hall of Fame.

David Kalish: My ode to how music has shaped me.

SamuraiFrog’s 12 albums.

Herb Jeffries, and other topics

Do I say to him what he ought to do in order to try to save the relationship?

herb-jeffries-08

The always curious Sharp Little Pencil wants to know:

Why do you think no one has made a movie about Herb Jeffries yet… and if they did, whom would you cast?

To the former, because I think most people don’t know Hollywood’s first singing black cowboy.

Tell you what: you write the screenplay and I’ll send it off to Jada Pinkett Smith. Actually, if there WERE a screenplay, I’d probably send it to Nelson George – I backed one of his Kickstarter projects – and he could get it to Spike Lee, with whom he has collaborated.

Maybe it’s because I just saw my niece singing with him, but I was thinking El DeBarge, of that singing DeBarge family, or Prince. If you needed a younger actor, maybe Jussie Smollett from the show Empire, which I’ve never seen, or Drake.

Who is your favorite ex-president?

My first strong awareness of an ex-President was Herbert Hoover (1874-1964), who I was SHOCKED to discover that he was still alive by the time I first learned about The Great Depression. I must confess that I was entertained by Richard Nixon, who tried REALLY hard to be an Elder Statesmen of the Republican Party, writing books, and pontificating, hoping that we’d forget about that Watergate thing.

My second favorite ex-President has to be John Quincy Adams, who went back into the House of Representatives and argued the Amistad case before the Supreme Court.

But clearly, Jimmy Carter has set the standard for former Oval Office occupiers. If it was just for all the Habitat for Humanity houses he helped build, that would be impressive. But he has also worked vigorously on preventing and eradicating diseases in developing nations.

“A major accomplishment of The Carter Center has been the elimination of more than 99 percent of cases of Guinea worm disease, from an estimated 3.5 million cases in 1986 to 148 reported cases in 2013 to 23 in 2015.” He’s also been involved with peace negotiations and observing elections.

If you got a tattoo, what would it be?

It’d be The Duck. Or a G clef; G is for Green.

The illustrious Alan David Doane reflects:

I recently turned 50, so I’ve been thinking a lot about aging and time and so on lately.

If you could go back in time and talk to your 20 year old self, what three pieces of advice would you give him to try to improve the decades he has ahead?

This is a tricky question. By my 20th birthday, I was already married, and two years later, I was separated. So:

Do I say to him what he ought to do in order to try to save the relationship OR assume those facts to be immutable. and advise him how to survive it better?

If it were the former, I might insist that we not allow boarders, who I didn’t even know, to live in the apartment. I might have been more willing to go with her to the Philadelphia Folk Festival in August 1974, and if I didn’t, to be more direct in finding out what happened hat led to her fortnightly treks out of town the next six weeks, something I don’t know to this day.

If it were the latter, I would suggest seeking counseling earlier, drinking less in 1974-75, save more money, do more exercise… But you know, and I’ve said this before, probably recently, all of those good and bad decisions made me who I am today, for better or worse. I’m not sure he’d believe what I’d say anyway. It’s like at the end of The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy realizes that she had to find out for herself.

The author Jaquandor from Byzantium Shores asks:

Has it become harder to maintain any interest you have in football, as the head-injury thing becomes more and more clear?

I saw the movie Concussion, about a doctor (Will Smith) dealing with this very subject, CTE, in the National Football League a few months ago; it’s a good, not great, film. In the film, another person not from the United States explains to the doctor the sheer beauty of the sport.

So, not yet. Well, maybe, in that The Daughter thinks watching football is stupid, and a lot of that comes from the head injury debate. The Wife has never particularly enjoyed the sport. So it’s taken a hit in viewing in my household to those rare times that I have the TV home alone on a Sunday afternoon.

VERY seldom do I watch TV much after 9 p.m., including football, because it’s bad for my sleep cycle.

I DO think the NFL, having played down the risk of head injuries using research that it falsely claimed was comprehensive, has put itself on the hot seat to actually develop a better helmet. From what little I know, the design they need is actually less hard and more resilient.

Now the league, in particular, could do more. The one game I watched at any length this past season was the New York Giants (my team in my childhood) against the Carolina Panthers (playing in the city my late parents moved to). The officials should have bounced Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for repeated helmet-smacking of cornerback Josh Norman, including a head-first attack.

Ah, but I see you have said farewell to football, and for all sorts of good and valid reasons.

What’s your favorite milkshake flavor?

Strawberry. My favorite yogurt is strawberry. My favorite ice cream is strawberry. My favorite sundae topping is strawberry. For a time, when we used to go to IHOP, I would order the Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity strawberry topping on my pancakes, in part because I liked saying “Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity.” As though one wouldn’t.

There’s a local convenience store chain around these parts called Stewart’s and they make decent ice cream. But they’ve ceased selling strawberry by itself, only with vanilla, or with vanilla and chocolate. One CAN get a hand-packed strawberry pint, though.

What’s inside your perfect taco? (And is the shell hard or soft?)

It’s softshell – that’s easy. Guacamole, tomatoes, and lettuce. It has to have onions, and of course, cheese.

I don’t eat that much pork generally, so the taco is probably shredded pork, though chicken or beef are good too. But shredded. I’ve seen these things with solid meat, or fish, and they don’t say “taco” to me.

College, and a LOT of politics (ARA)

Do I say to him what he ought to do in order to try to save the relationship OR assume those facts to be immutable. and advise him how to survive it better?

My friend Mary wrote:

CollegeCounseling

Hi Roger- Re: “Ask Roger Anything” – I’m helping [my son] plan his courses for next semester, and so these questions come to mind: What was your very favorite course taken as an undergrad? Most useful later in life (for any reason)? One you struggled to get through but was worth it? Etcetera…

Favorite course: American Government and Politics, the intro course, which has also been quite useful for me as a librarian in ascertaining which federal department might have jurisdiction over different issues. Given his proclivity for politics – I follow his Facebook page – it might be a good fit.

I also liked a music intro course where I got a little music theory, composed some little ditties, and had a lot of fun.

Most useful later: intro to psychology, and logic. Understanding how the human mind works.

Struggled with, but was worth it: intro to anthropology, which I must confess was a struggle because it was at 8 a.m. Understanding where we as a species came from.

Struggled with, worth it as an exercise: intro to calculus. I was failing, going into the final, crammed for two days, passed the final. Looked at the book two weeks later but didn’t understand a thing.

In general, I believe a broad liberal arts education can serve one well, especially with someone as bright as your son clearly is.

A whole bunch of questions about our political election year

Best described in this parody: Finnish News Team Reports On U.S. Elections

The evil Amy from Sharp Little Pencil muses:

Why is Donald Drumpf? (That’s the whole question, hee hee hee)

After I started writing this, my friend Dan wrote The Presidential Distraction Examined, which touches on all the candidates, and which you should read. Or The rise of American authoritarianism. Heck, you answered your own question with Greedy Bastard.

We Americans have always been attracted to the carnival barker. We know that he’s probably giving us a bunch of hooey, but we’ll still spend the quarter to see the half-boy/half-alligator, or the bearded lady.

Drumpf is a master of self-promotion. The fact that his businesses, his brands are probably not as successful as he would have you believe is irrelevant. In a society where facts are at a premium, and celebrity is king – is Robert Downey Jr. moving to Albany? Er, no – a guy with an unconvincing combover of an unnatural color can be perceived as “genuine”, the fact that he contradicts himself regularly notwithstanding.

His birther attack on President Obama, I’ve come to see, was a trial run. Without a shred of evidence, Drumpf kept alive the notion that Obama was born in Nigeria. Or Indonesia.

Now he runs for President, and right out of the gate, he insults Mexican immigrants, and John McCain, and Muslims, and intelligent women. The punditry is SURE that his campaign will be over before it begins. But he gains support, not IN SPITE of those remarks, but BECAUSE of them. “He’s unfiltered! He’s not politically correct!”

And people watch. The ratings of the summer 2015 GOP debates were at least FOUR TIMES as large as the ones in 2011. As Les Moonves said about CBS News’ overabundant coverage of the man: “Who would’ve thought this circus would come to town?… It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” On the Daily Show, Trevor Noah likened Moonves’ and the news media’s, attitude to that of a doctor who says, ‘I hate to see all these patients coming in with cancer, but I have to admit, it’s been really good for my practice.'”

Let me say a word in defense of political correctness. Saying whatever comes to mind is not the sign of maturity or bravery, but of the mindset of children, who used to say the darndest things to Art Linkletter on his daytime talk show many years ago. When grownups do the same things, they are often a$$@#^%! The fact that his speeches have been targeted to third- or fourth-graders intellect is, sadly, effective. Even when it’s crazy.

Maybe that comes from talking too much to himself. On Morning Joe (MSNBC), he said recently: “I know what I’m doing, and I listen to a lot of people, I talk to a lot of people, and at the appropriate time I’ll tell you who the people are. But my primary consultant is myself.” To that end, here he is, consulting his campaign advisers.

And something else: none of his opponents are nearly as good as being contemptible as The Donald is. Marco Rubio started a riff suggesting the inferior size of Drumpf’s…er, genitalia. But Marco, not Donald, seemed the lesser person for this, as he admitted shortly before he dropped out of the race. The late-night comics had started referring to Rubio as Little Marco, just as the tycoon does.

Some ex-Jeb Bush operative said a Drumpf presidency would be like a chimp driving a tractor. Seems petty. Whereas The Donald is an EXCELLENT mudslinger.

One cannot underestimate, though, how much Americans HAVE been ripped off by the rich and powerful, the stuff that Bernie Sanders has been talking about. That anger and frustration are real, but Drumpf as the solution is surreal.
Wondermark

This, naturally, leads to Buffalo-area book scribe Jaquandor

Do you think Bernie Sanders would be an effective President, in terms of furthering a liberal agenda?

I chose to believe that, on the off chance Bernie Sanders gets elected – hey, he won the overseas vote – that his win would represent such a seminal shift in the body electoral that he would have actually a chance to enact some of his reforms. This would be especially true if some of those Senate seats in marginal states go to the Democrats.

And if he DOESN’T win, perhaps he’s started a movement that will prevail in 2020, when, presumably the country will, by then, realize that supporting a Nordic-style approach is not an act of altruism but of self-promotion.

Of course, I can only see this happening if, in addition to him making a miraculous comeback on the Democratic side against Hillary Clinton, that either 1) Drumpf gets the GOP nomination or 2) he is denied the nomination by some GOP machinations and goes third party.
cruz.trump
BTW, I find it hysterical that the Republican establishment is now largely supporting Ted Cruz since they pretty much HATE Ted Cruz. Naturally, Cruz has called on US police to patrol Muslim neighborhoods in the wake of the Brussels attack.

You may have seen former GOP Presidential candidate Lindsey Graham say, less than a month ago, “If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.” And now Graham is fundraising for Cruz.

It’s not that they’ve changed their minds about the obstructionist who is Rafael Cruz. Samantha Bee illustrates how unlikeable Ted Cruz really is—his whole life. It’s that the GOP establishment finds Drumpf the greater existential threat to the party, and perhaps the nation. Ruth Marcus, in the Washington Post back in December 2015, said that Drumpf was a better choice than Cruz because one could work with the former, but three months later, she changed her mind.

Both GOP candidates were criticized, though not by name, in this CBS Sunday Morning piece by a combat veteran this past week. “For too many Americans in 2016, war isn’t a dire act turned to once all other options have been exhausted. It’s a narcotic, a quick fix, something that happens in strange, faraway lands, where other people’s sons and daughters do violent things for country.”

The most eclectic Dustbury wonders:

What would be the one change you’d most like to see in the governance of the State of New York?

It appears that the sense of entitlement has brought forth all those indictments of our state legislators, including, in the last year or so, the Speaker of the Assembly AND the head of the State Senate, continues to run rampant.

Generally, I disdain term limits, because I believe philosophically the people should be able to elect who they want. But I also recognize that the state legislature gets to pick the gerrymandered boundaries of the state legislature.

I like the idea of a truly independent board that would redraw the lines every ten years, pretty much ignoring the previous boundaries, and primarily paying attention to finding the population balance, still with some consideration of neighborhoods, would be nice. I just don’t know what that looks like.

Coincidentally there will be a seminar this Friday at the Albany Law School, “Can a NYS Constitutional Convention Strengthen Government Ethics?”

“With so much talk about the erosion of integrity in government, can the problems with elected officials that so frequently dominate our headlines be fixed statutorily or are they more appropriately addressed through constitutional change? As November 2017 and a statewide referendum on whether or not to call a constitutional convention near, this and other questions will be increasingly on the minds of the voters. This forum will address these important issues.”

Jaquandor:

How is Andrew Cuomo doing, six years in?

He’s a strange egg. He’s been pushing the $15/hour minimum wage, and much of the literature shows him with his late father, the former governor Mario Cuomo. Mario, I liked; Andrew, not so much.

I remain convinced, with the fall of Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, both on corruption charges, that Andrew could be next. Or maybe that’s wishful thinking.

February rambling #2: The Man Who Mistook Jesus For An A.T.M.

A Beach Boy asks, “Why am I the villain?”

colbyjones

Sharp Little Pencil: The Man Who Mistook Jesus For An A.T.M..

What Happens Now That We Know Gravitational Waves Are Real? Compare with Introduction to the flat earth, how it works, and why we believe it.

The Latter Days of a Better Nation. For instance, Florida Legal: Man Shoots Young Girl Neighbor In Her House From Homemade Gun Range.

Looking Back BY Jeffrey Toobin, re: Antonin Scalia.

John Oliver: on voting and on abortion. Plus an interview.

The Apple/FBI question is harder than it looks.

simonpeter

How Writers Ruin Their Amazon Links (Yes, You Probably Do It Too), which is keeping unnecessary stuff in the URL; I mentioned this here.

What I Mean When I Say ‘I Have Anxiety’.

‪What makes a good life‬.

The Dark Underside of the Show-Dog World .

What Is Face Blindness?

Dustbury would stand up straight if he could. I SO relate.

Arthur’s dad would be 100.

The Uncanny Adventures of (I Hate) Dr. Wertham.

Now I Know: The Trees of Hate and The Science Behind the Slogan (Morton’s salt) and The History of Being on Hold and A Stinky Suit.

Muppet commercials from 1965.

Four Rare JEOPARDY! Scenarios. Plus Canadians Left With Questions After Being Barred From ‘Jeopardy!’

The obligatory Donald Trump section

I think he’ll be the Republican nominee.

How America Made Donald Trump Unstoppable.

Inside the Republican Party’s Desperate Mission to Stop Donald Trump.

For Donald Trump, internet bullying is a highly effective campaign tactic.

America’s Agitator: Donald Trump Is the World’s Most Dangerous Man.

Why We Secretly Love Donald Trump (and Why We Should Fight It).

What it would take to build Trump’s border wall.

An Open Letter to My Friends Who Support Donald Trump.

Why I am Endorsing* Trump. Note the asterisk.

Nearly 20 percent of Trump’s supporters disapprove of Lincoln freeing the slaves.

Canadian island welcomes Americans who wish to move if Trump wins. Actually, they welcome people from all political stripes.

New liquid Trump and I know, right?

The other folks running

What that Cruz-Rubio ‘He doesn’t speak Spanish’ thing was about.

Neurologist explains why it’s hard to look at Ted Cruz’s creepy ‘unsettling’ face.

Why do so many people from Europe want Bernie Sanders to be the President of the United States?

Music

Bohemian Rhapsody – the Maniacal 4 Trombone Quartet.

10 Artists Who Hated Their Biggest Hit.

K-Chuck Radio: The Sugarhill Pulse.

Song stylist Nancy Wilson.

The Ballad of Mike Love. A Beach Boy asks, “Why am I the villain?”

GOOGLE ALERT (me)

Arthur’s Internet Wading for February 21.

January rambling #2: JEOPARDY!, and recess

‘I feel like a dime among nickels.’

Abe Vigoda.Spidey

I received one of those recorded scam IRS phone calls this month, threatening to put me in jail. Mine came from the Syracuse, NY area from a known scam phone number.

2015 Was Hottest Year in Recorded History.

No boots on the ground… What does it mean?

Abortion Is as Old as Pregnancy: 4,000 Years of Reproductive Rights History.

No relation: The Green brothers explain January 1 and Oregon “militia”, the latter before the recent arrests.

Fiscal Woes Drowning Clearwater: Iconic Festival May be Scrapped.

I saw this moving piece (90 seconds) on CBS Sunday Morning: The Man and the Dog.

The decline of play in preschoolers — and the rise in sensory issues. Conversely, Recess four times a day is good for learning.

Now I Know: Behold the Power of Cheese and One of These Things Just Isn’t the Same (about twins).

WHATEVER happened to the laptop computer? (1985).

Rejection: A Wilderness Guide for Writers (Evanier) and Jaquandor.

Sharp Little Pencil: Bright Brit (For Alan Rickman).

Frank S. Robinson: Joe Krausman, Monkeyshines, and heightism. Joe writes on Facebook: “Carlos Rommulo, once president of the General Assembly of the UN, was very short. He went to Texas, and when asked how do you feel being short among so many tall men, he said, ‘I feel like a dime among nickels.'”

Watch Bill Nye Weigh In on ‘Star Wars’ vs. ‘Star Trek’ Debate.

Yankees without number (1.9999…).

Dustbury’s Six Degrees of Separation.

Tweets from Gettysburg.

The strange life of Q-tips, the most bizarre thing people buy.

Don’t believe that splashy finding that 10 percent of college graduates think Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court.

A Venezuelan beetle named for SUNY chancellor.

Celebrity anagram illustrations from illustrator Steve Rampton and Decluttr.com.

RIP, Abe Vigoda

Mark Evanier, and Abe Vigoda’s Dead (Premortem Mix).

The Godfather – Tessio is taken away to be killed.

The graphic above is from here.

JEOPARDY!

3-day winning streak on ‘Jeopardy’. Not only is Amelia Hershberger from Albany, NY, reason enough to root for her, she attended Greenville Central School (as did my wife), she graduated from SUNY Albany (as did both my wife and I, albeit us in grad school), and she was a political science major (as was I).

Final ‘Jeopardy!’ clue stumps all 3 contestants, who all bet everything. The two people tied for first bet rationally; the woman in a distant 3rd could have bet nothing, or $5,999, or anything in between, and won. (Some really uninformed comments here.) BTW, would you have gotten the Final? I did, but I am of a certain age.

This has passed, but ‘Jeopardy!’ hopefuls can try out online features quotes yours truly.

Loo

I was looking through my draft posts. From 2008, and the original source is lost to me:


And to that end: IllumiBowl is a night light for your toilet.

Music

Coverville 1109: A Tribute to David Bowie. Plus David Bowie on Extras, and SamuraiFrog has some Bowie links; he’s right re: Kayne.

Renaissance Geek: Music for MLK Day.

Chuck Miller: Shane Howard and Lawrence Welk.

Of course, you can do mashups of classical music.

Muppets: She Loves You.

I linked to this before, as part of the Kennedy Center Honors, but it’s Aretha, FCOL.

HuffPo: A Shade of Jade: Interview With Rebecca Jade. That would be niece #1.

In Defense of the Eagles, and Not Being a Jerk About Recently Deceased Musicians.

Old music is outselling new music for the first time in history.

Google alerts (me)

Shooting Parrots: Sunday round-up and The Art of a Scammer.

Chuck Miller: Where rejection is growth.

Google alerts (not me)

Top teams win as Hucknall Wednesday Pool League heads for a tight finish. “Station B’s winners in their 8-0 romp at home to Chequers were George Roy, David Butler, Jason Smith, Danny Butler, Roger Green and PJ Singh on singles and the pairings of Andrea and Roger Green and Danny Butler and Jason Smith.”

Regional journalist turned TV wrestler dies aged 76. “Tributes have been paid to Roger Green…, who started out at the Portsmouth Evening News before working simultaneously Fleet Street and as a grappler in the ring.”