February rambling: Rock Hall 2023

Empower Ethiopia

Journalistic integrity requires a reckoning with how news media covers the criminal legal system

The People Onscreen Are Fake. The Disinformation Is Real.

Are AI Chatbots in Healthcare Ethical?

How did we get $32 trillion in debt?

Massive Inequality Is a “Concerted Elite Class Project

I was given a house – but it already belonged to a Detroit family

U.S. Employee Engagement Needs a Rebound in 2023

Here is the publisher’s link to the book titled Side by Side in Eternity: The Lives Behind Adjacent American Military Graves. The book is co-authored by J. Eric Smith, my old blogging buddy. It is currently available for pre-order from the publisher and also from all of the significant book-selling platforms.

From the Books: NO NAME IN THE STREET by James Baldwin

What I Think About LeBron Breaking My NBA Scoring Record by

Mike Roach, a SABR report of a baseball player who played in Binghamton more than a century ago.

Charles Kimbrough, Anchor Jim Dial on ‘Murphy Brown,’ Dies at 86#

Nathan Lane reminiscing about a few of the 25 starring roles he’s played on Broadway

From 2005:  Periodical comics face many issues


Now I Know: The Man Who Did Well By Himself and The Radio Station for People Who are Blind and The $35 Mailbox That Cost $33,000 and Ten Thousand Reasons to Read Before Hitting “I Accept”

On Monday, February 6, my wife and I, with a couple who got married six months after we did, were on a Trivia for a Cause team at Fort Orange Brewing in Albany. The cause was Empower Ethiopia. We started slow but ended up in third place, thanks to our teamwork. I was the one who knew there was only one member of the Gilligan’s Island cast, Tina Louise, who was still alive.
Most of the questions were reasonable. But one bugged me. It was about the six ORIGINAL Disney characters on the Hollywood Walk of Fame besides Mickey Mouse? We guessed Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck, which were right, and Goofy, Pluto, and someone else (Daisy Duck?), which were incorrect.
The other answers were  Tinkerbell, Snow White, and Winnie the Pooh.  Tinkerbell? She was in the J.M. Barrie books. Snow White was in the Grimm books, and Pooh was created by A.A. Milne. The good news is that NO team got more than three of the five.
The final question was about the first filmed sporting event in 1894, produced by Thomas Edison. What was the sport? Look here. BTW, NO team got it correct.
Rock Hall

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is again offering a Fans’ Ballot. You can select up to 5 Nominees daily and submit your vote until April 28th.

Yes, they should have nominated your favorite band, and it doesn’t matter. I still vote.

My ballot includes: 1. Warren Zevon- eligible since 1994, yet nominated for the first time in 2023. Other musicians are pulling for the late singer-songwriter, and so am I. He might get in as a songwriter.

2. The Spinners – I’ve had them in my head since I wrote about Thom Bell, and I’m writing about them again this month. Will the 4th time be the charm?

3. Joy Division/New Order -does this synth-pop group have a chance at its first nomination? I doubt it.

4. Willie Nelson. He’ll be 90 in April, he’s sung with half of everyone, and he just got a Grammy.

The fifth slot I’ve bounced among Rage Against The Machine, ” a legitimately game-changing rap-rock group with critical respect, popular endurance, and contemporary relevance,” on their fifth try; and Sheryl Crow, who I’d been playing a lot during her birth month.

Lately, I’ve been voting for Cyndi Lauper, not just for her 1980s output but for creating the music and lyrics for Kinky Boots, for which she won a Tony.

But I could have easily voted for A Tribe Called Quest, Kate Bush, or the late George Michael. I’m not a big White Stripes fan, but I like Jack White, from his soundtrack for Cold Mountain to his work with Loretta Lynn. Missy Elliot and Soundgarden are worthy. I’m just not that familiar with Iron Maiden.

Yet again, I hope they put, in the non-performer category, Estelle Axton, co-founder of STAX Records!


Playing For Change BHM playlist

Spark Catchers – Hannah Kendall

Redemption Song – Sheku Kanneh-Mason and siblings

Coverville 1431: The Barrett Strong Tribute

Night on Mount Triglav – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

K-Chuck Radio: What’s that in the air?

Trivia and the great person theory

A week or two later, I was busy leading my debauched life.

tonguesChris has more questions:

I just saw one of my favorite SMBC strips: http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/2013-04-15. To what extent do you feel this is accurate?

There was this move afoot to ignore the “great person” theory of history, yet I don’t see how one can totally ignore, for good or ill, a Charlemagne or Elizabeth I or Hitler. Still, it’s often nameless people who put their lives on the line to change history; you might know an ML King or a Gandhi, but they were leading movements of people, lots of anonymous folks.

Stuff does happen: earthquakes, floods, and the like. But it’s often how we RESPOND to the stuff that truly matters. In other words, it’s ALL true, plans and randomness.

Do you ever just totally forget yourself and accidentally use language or terms that are foreign to your audience? (Example: I referred to something as “Kafkaesque” to a church friend who is not college educated.)

It happens. I used KJV recently when referring to the King James Version of the Bible.

I’ve mentioned in the past how terrible it was to be in Charlotte, NC in 1977 when my use of ANY three-syllable words was subject to me being ridiculed. It might have been a word as basic as “ridiculed.”

Still, I think I do OK on this front. I TRY to be the listener.

How boss are you at Trivial Pursuit? What version do you play?

I haven’t played this century, I believe. I was quite good in the day with the traditional game, and I got another set of cards, but I have no idea which iteration.

I do know that my 21st-century popular culture is very weak. Offer me a million dollars to name one Justin Bieber song, and you’d keep the cash in your pocket. The problem with pop culture is that there’s too much of it. In the days of three TV networks and the Billboard charts counting actual physical sales, it was easy. But in the era of 257 channels (and nothing on) and downloads, it simply doesn’t stick. And I have other priorities.

I’m fascinated by watching JEOPARDY! The questions I’ll have zero ideas about involved video games and popular movies that I didn’t see. But there was a recent Final JEOPARDY: Created in 1971, this company’s logo has been likened to a wing & was supposed to connote motion. I thought this was really easy, but none of the contestants got it. (It’s Nike, of course.)


Movie Anagrams

These aren’t necessarily who I want to win – I’d take Rush over Bale, for one – but who I THINK will win.

During the trivia contest in which a friend regularly participates, one of the categories was ‘movie title anagrams’. Since it’s Oscar week, see how many you can get in the same allotted ten minutes.

1. The Rave Bra
2. That Mixer
3. Tiger Rut
4. Haled Wirer
5. Local Rattle
6. Whale on Plate
7. Mayfly Raid
8. Pan Tool
9. New Tramp Toy
10. Greet a Pest Ache

I won’t approve any quiz answers for the first 24 hours, so everyone will be on equal footing.

I had written about my early Oscar picks here four weeks ago. I had intended to see several more films in the intervening time, but life (and death) got in the way. The only full-length movie I’ve seen since then is Blue Valentine, about which I will write soon. So I guess I’ll let my picks from last month stand: Firth, Bale, Portman and Steinfeld in the acting categories; The Social Network and The King’s Speech in the screenplay categories; The King’s Speech for Best Picture. Which means I have to actually make a selection for Best Director, and my gut says The Social Network’s David Fincher over The King’s Speech’s Tom Hooper, with the Academy spreading the wealth. These aren’t necessarily who I want to win – I’d take Rush over Bale, for one – but who I THINK will win.

The Best Picture vote uses Instant Runoff Voting. What does that mean? See HERE.

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