March rambling: as good as Jacinda Ardern

John Oliver’s Monica Lewinsky Interview Should Be Required for Internet Use. The Secret Life of Muslims: An education.

I helped convict two men of murder. I’ve regretted it ever since.

The Secret Life of Muslims: An education.

Jacinda Ardern Has Rewritten the Script for How a Nation Grieves After a Terrorist Attack and Why The World Looks To New Zealand — And Not US and NY Times Editorial Board: U.S. Deserves Leader ‘As Good As Jacinda Ardern’.

These Are the World’s Healthiest Nations. The US is #35 on the list.

Early responses to the Mueller report from Weekly Sift and AmeriNZ.

Public Shaming: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; this Monica Lewinsky Interview Should Be Required for Internet Use.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: The Reparations Debate: Should America Compensate the Descendants of Slaves?

Why You Should Stop Saying ‘Committed Suicide’.

The Trump–Rosie Feud That Ensnared Barbara Walters and Blew Up The View.

paranoia

Top 10 Most Populous City Ranking History (1950-2035).

Confronting Season-Change Denial.

Vlogbrothers: Writing and Marriage Advice from Michelle Obama and How to Get a Colonoscopy.

The ‘Men’s Liberation’ Movement Time Forgot.

The only metric of success that really matters is the one we ignore.

When Hoarding Is a Disorder.

Mispronouncing Students’ Names: A Slight That Can Cut Deep.

8-year-old homeless refugee takes chess world by storm.

The Power Of Doing Only One Thing.

Chuck Miller spoiler: My big problem with the new Shazam! movie.

Jim Carrey and Michel Gondry on Making Eternal Sunshine.

Green Book: History vs. Hollywood.

Jim Meskimen doing some impressionist “warm-up” exercises.

Happy retirement to Joe Sinnott.

Historian finds first grand slam in MLB history — in Rensselaer County, NY.

Maple Sugaring Time In The South End of Albany.

Now I Know: The Trail Ink Left Behind and How a Silly Social Media Thing Helped Break the Ice and When You’re Glad The Bank Isn’t Trustworthy.

MUSIC

Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind – MonaLisa Twins featuring John Sebastian.

Postmodern Jukebox: Video Killed The Radio Star in the style of Queen ft. Cunio and Pinky And The Brain Theme.

King of Anything – Sara Bareilles.

Workshop versions of songs from Hamilton.

Unforgettable Covers of Aretha Franklin songs.

The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore – Walker Brothers.

In Ireland -Sir Herbert Hamilton Harty.

The Irish Suite – Leroy Anderson.

K-Chick Radio: Harry Nilsson.

Coverville: 1256: Tributes for Keith Flint, Dick Dale and Cover Stories for Ric Ocasek and Nick Lowe.

Light Calvary overture – Franz von Suppe.

George Winston’s Linus and Lucy: The Music of Vince Guaraldi.

Dick Dale, Surf Guitar Legend, Dead At 81.

Aubrey Logan and her band talk about her new album Where the Sunshine Is Expensive, including a couple clips of the niece/backup singer Rebecca Jade.

Suicide is not painless

“We scoff at the naivete of those who, a few hundred years ago, attributed such realities to evil spirits.”

One of the worst things about the movie MASH was the title of the theme song, “Suicide is painless.” Of course, if you’ve ever have been a survivor of suicide – I have been fortunate not to be in that category – it is full of pain for those left behind.

I must tell you that I had no idea who Kate Spade was, but I see her impact on fashion was evidently huge. One of many things I hated in the reportage was that her brother-in-law, comedian David Spade, was “breaking his silence” less than two days after her death. The expectation that we are somehow OWED a statement from her loved one rankles me.

Conversely, I was really sad about the death of Anthony Bourdain, chef, travel host and author, at 61. Early on, I thought he was a real jerk, but as he evolved and – I thought – had faced his demons, he became quite the raconteur, telling stories about food around the world.

Matthew Cutler, a rabbi, wrote When living hurts…, which I found useful.

The network news has actually plugged the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800 273 talk) multiple times and pointed to info such as recognize the signs of suicide and find help. I wish it were that simple.

Still, I think Michael Rivest, a guy I know IRL, is also correct when he wrote: “In light of the media attention given to Anthony Bourdain’s suicide, it was inevitable that it would flush out those who see suicide as a cowardly ‘choice.’ These are usually the same people who see addiction as a choice, along with poverty, anxiety, sexual orientation, etc.

“We scoff at the naivete of those who, a few hundred years ago, attributed such realities to evil spirits, yet now we fall for the self-satisfied canard that people somehow ‘choose’ to be in pain, or to be victims of social injustice. Sometimes, things only look like a choice to those for whom they would be.”

Read how Amy Biancolli takes on the ‘selfishness’ of suicide.

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.

March rambling #2: We are never Ivory Coast

Rob Ford died of a more respectable disease.

Stolen: We are all France. We are all Belgium. We are never Ivory Coast or Burkina Faso or Tunisia or Mali.

10 Safest Countries If WW3 Breaks Out
make America grate
There was no wave of compassion when addicts were hooked on crack.

From Scapegoating to Solidarity: 2016 Is the Year to Turn the Immigration Debate Around.

Weekly Sift: My racial blind spots.

An Open Letter to Drumpf Voters from His Top Strategist-Turned-Defector.

What It Means to Be Right-Footed.

I told the truth in my sister’s obituary so that others might choose to live and Amy Biancolli’s The long arms of a story.

The man who turns news into art.

Game Theory for Parents. “Mathematically tested measures to make your kids cooperate—all on their own.”

Something just slammed into Jupiter.

American Bystander is a printed humor magazine that’s about to release its second issue, with the help of a Kickstarter campaign.

I generally have good success, but Chuck Miller reports on the UPS epic fail.

Feck ‘n’ Gruntle.

What does superfetation mean?

Evanier – how things are made: Snickers bars and frozen french fries and
Newman-O’s (an Oreo competitor) and balloons and an automated teller machine, plus a nifty magic trick.

Now I Know: The Secret Life of Honey Buns

Pie-lexa as a treatment for RBF

Cookie Monster bakes — with some help from Siri.

superman.races

RIP

Patty Duke, 69: Oscar winner was the youngest at the time to receive the award. She went through so much before becoming a mental health advocate. And yes, I watched The Patty Duke Show – she was the youngest actor to have a TV show named for her in the day, and I even remember the theme.

She even had a hit single. Here’s an anecdote from Ken Levine; I’d forgotten she’d been the Screen Actors Guild president. She was the Mystery Guest on What’s My Line (1972).

Ken Howard, 71: he of The White Shadow, 30 Rock, Crossing Jordan, Adam’s Rib and a bunch of other stuff I’ve watched. He was also SAG/AFTRA union president.

Garry Shandling, 66: comedian’s influential career spanned decades. I watched his eponymously-named show regularly. He also gave us the greatest TV show about television; I didn’t see it often, it being on HBO, but I DID see the finale while I was in Boston taping JEOPARDY! Mark Evanier rewrote for Garry.

Larry Drake, 67: from L.A. Law.

Former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, 46: died of a more respectable disease and The Honest Liar.

Music

My Window Faces The South – George Morgan with a young Glen Campbell.

I Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere – Rick Moranis.

Son of a Preacher Man – Tom Goss.

Not Given Lightly – Chris Knox, a New Zealand artist (1989).

Fragile – Sting and Stevie Wonder, from the former’s 60th birthday concert.

Green Onions and Sophia Loren. Loren was in Schenectady giving a talk recently; I didn’t see her, alas.

Google searches (me)

Drawing lots of lines.

Jewish View.

 

Imagination of compassion, or something like that

I’m told that group referred to as ISIS, or ISIL, HATE to be referred to as “DEASH”.

The night after the shootings and bombing in Paris that killed over 125 people on Friday the 13th of November, the Albany Public Library Foundation held its second annual Literary Legends gala to honor two writers. One, Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked, who was born in Albany, ended his brief remark with a quote, which I failed to write down. I thought it contained the phrase “the imagination of compassion.”

this is what people say

Instead of finding what’s wrong with someone’s response to a situation, try to imagine the scenario with some compassion. The idea of imagination compassion is far more uplifting and far less destructive. “You remake the world when you imagine it compassionate.”

So while I didn’t change my status on Facebook to the French tricolor – in part because it feels, to me, that it gives the bombings in Beirut the day before the short shrift. And indeed, there are tragedies every day around the world that warrant our response, so one could argue Eurocentrism. Yet I’m opposed to criticizing those who did post the blue, white, and red because they are expressing their own compassion.

I note Arthur’s lovely tale, which I suppose would be characterized as an imagination of compassion, though I can see it taking place in Lebanon as well as France.

Hey, I understand the bias towards Paris. France is the US’s oldest ally. More to the point, there were three households I knew personally that night in Paris. One was a woman from Albany passing through. Dartmouth professor and writer Jeff Sharlet, who I knew when he was a child, was interviewed by MSNBC that night.

That Literary Gala’s other awardee was Barbara Smith, who has written a bunch of black feminist literature. I asked her if she knew my mother’s first cousin Fran, a noted writer in those circles, and she had indeed met her. Fran’s two daughters were born in Paris, and daughter Anne and her family are living there currently.
***
And then I get the real quote from Maguire: “The consolation of imaginary things is not imaginary consolation.” – Roger Scruton. Memory can be so faulty.

“Compassion: a source of comfort to somebody who is upset or disappointed.” So the above still holds.

Still, I’m told that group referred to as ISIS, or ISIL, HATE to be referred to as “DEASH”. Daesh (or Da’esh pronounced dɑʃ). It’s a term used to describe the terrorist organization, introduced by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. (Is this why they’ve been so focused on France?)

Fabius argued that since the IS is not Islamic and absolutely not recognized as a state, he said “…the Arabs call it Daesh…” (from Arabic “to tread upon”, “to trample or crush underfoot”). I’ve decided to refer to them only as Daesh going forward. My compassion can go only so far.

My pal Amy Biancolli, who has dealt with suicides in her life, is uncomfortable with the term suicide bomber. A reader suggested kamikaze, and I’m thinking that it’s more correct, perhaps with a qualifier of some sort.