Saturday, November 25, 2017

Hate Mail

If Edith Piaf had known Simps she might have sung her song a bit differently.

Quand il me prend dans ses bras,
Il me parle tout bas
Je vois la vie nécrose ...

Update:  I don't go looking for the dribbleage from Duncan's blog, they volunteer to act as specimens of the kind of thinking and, um..... I suppose it might be called "discourse" of the kind that has led the American left into a half century into the political wilderness, ten years longer than Moses led the Children of Israel through one, and they got to the outskirts of the promised land.   The American left, still stuck in the habits of thought such folk embody, is no where near even figuring out what the right direction is and they're doing their best to make the next generation as clueless as ours has been.   Duncan's rump of regulars isn't the exclusive example of that but it's certainly typical of it.   

I would rather have been writing more about how those heroes of clueless founders worship set things up, intentionally, to thwart equality, justice and democracy but, hey,  the Republican-fascist attempt to cast a smoke screen to get the pedophile Roy Moore the senate win wasn't my doing, either.  

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Rick Coste - Inhale

I'm not big on the fantasy genre of fiction or drama but this is a fun take on it, a superhero in hiding as a public librarian.  It's told in short episodes.  There is a cast list at the link.  You might want to check out the rest of Rick Coste's many series you can find at his website.  One of the good things about the self-produced audio-drama podcast format is that you have greater freedom to produce what you want to, sometimes that's not so good, sometimes it's great depending on the ability and talent of the creator. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Herb Geller Quartet - Alone Together

Herb Geller, alto sax
Lorraine Geller, piano
Curtis Counce, bass
Lawrence Marable, drums

Happy Go Lucky 

Jocks Are About The Last People Who Should Be In Charge Of Fitness In A Democracy

I don't know how old the other Eschatots who joined in with Stupy in snarking about what I said about the militaristic content in Jack Kennedy's promotion of President's Council on Physical Fitness, as well as the emphasis on sports are.   I know Stupy was around then, as I was, apparently he wasn't paying attention because I remember it was one of the strongest parts of it.

I was looking for the text of Kennedy's 1960 article, The Soft American, published in Sports Illustrated, but couldn't find the text.  I did find that someone read it on a Youtube, so even the post-literate Eschaton crowd might be able to follow it.

Though in the article there is a very, very brief disavowal of the Spartan view of physical vigor as being primarily for the purpose of military victory, Kennedy then put his program exactly in those terms, as a means of defeating communism militarily.   It's hardly the only emphasis on the military benefits of fitness.  He also notes the earlier program of President Eisenhower, which was explicitly founded to encourage national fitness as a military asset.

I would call your attention to the, no doubt well meaning, reader of the article's logo and the Kennedyesque, military name of his effort, "The Lean Berets",

In his comments after reading the article, he talks a lot about the military desirability of having higher fitness in the American population.

As an observation, how does a skull, a dead, decayed, EMPTY head, symbolize fitness?   I've seen a skull logo used that way before in and around one of the more repulsive and cult like commercial fitness corporations.   What's with that?   Considering what football and some other sports do to brains......

In Kennedy's article he deplored how even with all of the emphasis and resources given to athletics in the United States, that Americans were becoming unfit.   I would say that that kind of presentation of fitness through athletic games is probably guaranteed to produce those results because athletics is always about the few who excel and win and is a lot less interesting and attractive to the many who don't excel and win.  Jocks like Kennedy, like Obama, love sports because they have that particular talent, most people don't and never will and lots of us find the coercion to participate in sports when we were young about as big a turn off as there could be.   Jocks are about the last people who should be entrusted with a general program to promote health and physical fitness, the fitness shouldn't be for military conquest or the metaphorical equivalent in sports, it should be personal well being.  Jocks don't often get that, they're mostly interested in the winners, not most of us.   Among other things that is obvious in the long, post-war efforts to promote general fitness in the American population, that approach has failed, utterly and absolutely.   To hell with sports, they're a good walk ruined.

Update:  I should have added that the "fitness through athletic competition" emphasis is bound to not appeal to the many who think that sports is friggin boring and stupid.   I have never, once, thought there was anything interesting or important about who got a ball somewhere.  Or in who did it more times or with fewer strokes, etc.  Sports are somewhere below ballet as an intellectual endeavor.  And ballet is probably the stupidest of the arts.

Slavery And Racism In Early Maine Documented

At my brother's house, over the holiday, I read a wonderful recently published book,  Lives of Consequence: Blacks in Early Kittery and Berwick in the Massachusetts Province of Maine by Patricia Q. Wall, the first scholarly investigation of slavery in York County, Maine, the area we grew up and still live in.

From the foreword

Based on careful research conducted over many years by Patricia Q. Wall, this book presents the first detailed look at the lives of more than four hundred Black individuals who lived in Kittery and Berwick, Maine, from the seventeenth century until about 1820. Pat has patiently combed the available public and private documents to find whatever scraps of information had been recorded about these African Americans. Because most lived their lives in the shadows of the historical record, much has been lost. As Pat reveals, however, in addition to the personal trajectories of their own lives, they also played important roles in the life of their towns. Thanks to her research, we have a much better understanding of the importance of the Black, Native American, and mixed-race populations in southern Maine, both in qualitative and quantitative terms. We congratulate Pat on her research and are proud to publish her work. As a pioneering modern social historian, she has shed light on an important but largely ignored subject.

The book deals with what must be the largest part, if not all, of the existing documentary record documenting the existence of slavery, the scant documentation of the lives of those enslaved and the few who managed to become free, the identity of the enslavers and the importance of even the small number of slaves in what was became the early history of European communities in Maine.

Most interesting is her documentation of the few named slaves (many are referred to in documents without their names and, in some cases, even gender being recorded) about whom something is knowable.  One, William Black, was able to somewhat establish himself as a property owner who must have had a similar footing with many of the English and Scottish residents of the two towns covered in her study.  And there is "Black Sarah" enslaved by the Lord family who is largely known through a somewhat romanticized (and patronizingly racist), 19th century account of her as told from the Lord Family history as well as several contemporaneous documents.   The names and lives known so partially would seem to attest to intelligent, strong personalities who must have endured and overcome enormous difficulties requiring maturity and tact in almost superhuman abundance.

Also interesting is Ms. Wall's observations on clues that slavery, in practice, persisted even after legal emancipation of slaves in Massachusetts by court ruling in 1783,  (Maine was a part of Massachusetts until 1820) and that by then racism and discrimination had replaced formal slavery as a means of oppressing Black people.  Having grown up in the area, I was interested to see that slaves were owned by a family whose descendants (or at least those closely related to the enslavers) were among the most viciously racist people around here. 

The book is very well written and quite good history, my brother, who majored in history though isn't a practicing historian, is a friend of the author.    Coming during my re-reading of Wendell Phillips' book and considerations of how the slave power, in collusion with Northern commercial interests perverted and deformed what should have been egalitarian democracy, the book is as important to understanding that as the Wendell's observations.   Ms. Wall's book is published by Portsmouth Marine Society books and can be ordered through a link given at the site.

Ms. Wall asks the question of where the descendants of those enslaved Black people went and sadly notes that the largest number of them apparently left, forced out of the area they and their ancestors had helped create out of the wilderness that was here.  It's a question I'd heard asked.  She notes that in one of the towns, freed blacks had been driven out on the excuse that they'd likely become dependents on the town, it would be interesting to note if any white people were driven out on that excuse.

On a happier note, I know that at least one of the families with the infamy of having had slave owners in its past  now has Black members through marriage and grandchildren, though I won't mention the dual heritage to them.   Old, viciously racist  Aunt "P". died about ten years ago, she's the one of those I referred to above.   I've seen even rather strong racists have to learn something when their grandchildren are Black.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Kitty Monologues

The great Patricia Routledge.
Let me see if I understand this, Duncan Black puts up a post that says 

"Thanksgiving Robot Shopping.   Everybody needs a robot vacuum cleaner" 

with an Amazon link to one and someone in his audience buys him one?   What's he going to use all that vacuuming free time for, writing?   Or does he get a kickback for everyone who buys one through that link?   And what are all those Eschatots going to do with all their freed-up time, read his posts?   

Geesh, if ten people tell me they'll give me ten bucks I'll put up a begging link, if I can find one that doesn't make me feel tainted with supporting someone like Peter Thiel who I just loathe with more bile than all the gallbladders in the world produce.   I'll use the leisure it buys to write better posts and more of them.  There are a lot of papers I'd love to be able to afford to read.  

On Today Of All Days - And Yet They Doubt The Reality of Synchronicity

After posting the late Barbara Cook singing selections from Meredith Willson's magnum opus, The Music Man, I did a little more reading about him.  Just now I found out he wrote and conducted this 1962 classic,  President Kennedy's fitness program's official theme song.

That's Robert Preston's voice, apparently this was composed and recorded during the making of the movie of The Music Man, using the same resources in the movie for the recording. 

How could it not be someone leading me to this information on today's festival of fat, packing on the pounds and vicarious sloth millions sitting in easy chairs watching seriously obese and brain damaged men in a human, drug fueled crash derby?

I don't have fond memories of Kennedy's shaming and coercive sports and competition centered promotion of physical fitness, it had more than a slight amount of militarism about it, as well.  Clearly, it didn't work.   Last time I saw the football star from my high school years, he had about the same shape as Trump.  It was the band members who were more likely to keep their weight down, though I wasn't in that, either.

Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau - Jazz in Marciac 2011


0:00 - Note to Self
10:35 - To Hold On or to Let Go
22:12 - Dream Brother
35:10 -  Oleo

I can't resist adding that Brad Mehldau has two of the most perfect piano hands I've ever seen, it's a pleasure to watch his hands.

What Do Musicians Like To Listen To?

Unqualified praise and admiration from people who know what they're talking about.  Same as everyone else.  

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Sigmund Romberg - Lover Come Back To Me - Dinah Washington

Dinah Washington, trumpet
Clifford Brown trumpet
Maynard Ferguson, trumpet
Clark Terry, trumpet
Max Roach, drums)
Keeter Betts, bass
George Morrow,  bass
Richie Powell, piano
Junior Mance, piano
Harold Land, tenor sax,
Herb Geller, alto sax

I'm not sure who is playing on this but this is the personnel on the album.  I just about certain that Clifford Brown is playing on it.  Who is playing piano or bass, that I don't know.

No More Anonymous Accusations In The Media

To hell with that,  if Huffington Post is going to publish accusations made by anonymous people who don't want to identify themselves, they aren't any better than Breitbart.   Anonymous accusations should be suspect up and until the people making them are willing to put their names on the actuations.  For all anyone knows they're in the pay of the Mercers or Kochs or Sheldon Adelson or Vladimir Putin.  

That the accusations are alleged to have been made by women is irrelevant, people have an absolute right to know their accusers, especially if the incidents alleged happened when the accusers were adults, not children.  Anonymous accusers are rightly suspected of lying. 

Joshua Redman Quartet - Obsession

Joshua Redman – tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
Brad Mehldau – piano
Christian McBride – bass
Brian Blade – drums

My brother is a HUGE Joshua Redman fan, I'm at his house for Thanksgiving (we and his daughter are the only three vegetarians in my family) and I can assure you this will join my previous personal Thanksgiving tradition of listening to the CRI recording of William Bolcom's devastating and prophetic Piano Quartet


Simps is Demented

I have never, in typing, in writing, in speaking in interpretive dance (apologies to those who may have not eaten their dinner yet), ever expressed any opinion about Wayne Cochran.  

I say lots of things and give lots of opinions, I don't know why he has to invent ones for me to have said which I not only have never said but about which it wouldn't occur to me to have an opinion.  

The geezer is senile. 

Barbara Cook sings The Music Man

As an official hater of musicals, I've always made an exception for The Music Man, but mostly for it as sung by the original Marion.   Till There Was You  isn't my favorite song from the score but what a voice.

The barbershop quartet are The Buffalo Bills.

Francois Couperin - Huitieme Ordre de Pièces de Clavecin

Olivier Baumont, Harpsichord

Score Starting at page 57 of the pdf

All of that French lute music, those French passacaglias, made me think of probably the most famous of them all, the last movement of this suite by Francois Couperin, one of the greatest of all keyboard composers. 

What's It With All Of This Thanksgiving Family Fight Crap?

Being Irish from New England, my family is VERY political, all with one or two exceptions, moderate to liberal but, as liberals are wont to be, far from unanimous in our very strongly held opinions on various issues.   There are Republicans in our family but they are mostly among cousins we don't see much of and uncles and aunts now dead, and a few in-laws, now mostly divorced.  

I don't remember there ever being a fight over politics at a Thanksgiving table in my family and some of our smaller family gatherings at Thanksgiving have had more than twenty at table, the largest ones I remember had about 60, though we don't do that anymore.  Yet I don't remember there ever being that kind of fight over politics or other issues of the kind that I'm hearing about all over the radio and reading about online.  I don't know if it's because our family Thanksgivings have been pretty much alcohol free - though when I drank I used to have one or, at the most, two gins, neat to prepare myself for the ordeal, such as it was.   I don't remember being raised with inordinate strictness but apparently we were brought up to have manners, which also comes as a surprise.  I thought we were little brats. 

Or is it that all of this Thanksgiving family fight stuff just media filler, bull shit to fill up air-headed air-time with,  like the same kind of thing about fruitcake a couple of decades back.  I never understood, if they didn't like fruitcake, why they didn't just not eat it.  Or are they too stupid to realize that's an option?  Our media does lots of stupid, it's what they do, mostly, these days.   

Believe Any Accusation Made Against Chris Cillizza, He Says It's The Thing To Do From "America's Most Trusted Source for 'News'"

The ever more clearly orchestrated accusations of minor naughtiness against Al Franken, to date:

- that during a rehearsal for a comedy skit that Leeann Tweeden didn't like how the kiss went,

-  a naughty "boys on the bus" stunt photo of him making sleazy gestures against the kevlar vest she was wearing while asleep, 

- one woman says he touched her buttocks as her husband was taking a picture of them together at the Minnesota state fair, 

has turned into a media  frenzy which is not without its own political dimensions, especially among those "both sides" venues, such as CNN and NPR, which always end up with Democrats being held to entirely higher standards than they will ever hold Republicans too.  

CNN's Chris Cillizza put up a piece in which he turns Al Franken's decision to not go on cabloid TV over the accusations into a kind of simulation of evidence of guilt.  I, though, think that what Cillizza did in the piece is a good example of how CNN, as a pioneer of the destructive 24-7 need to fill up air time of cabloid news,  led the way for the current practice of turning reasonable behavior by innocent people into "evidence" of their guilt and of whipping up charges against someone who is, at worst, guilty of a very low level of offense into a "scandal", something which has been done almost exclusively against Democrats and liberals.  I'll go over how he does that.

In the wake of radio host Leeann Tweeden's accusation that Franken kissed her without her consent and fondled her breasts while she was asleep during a 2006 USO Tour they both were featured on, Franken told reporters this: "I certainly don't remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann. As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn't. I shouldn't have done it."

That "apology" was met with universal disdain -- even in Democratic circles -- and so Franken quickly put out another, much longer statement. "I respect women," Franken said in it. "I don't respect men who don't. And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed."

First, I don't remember any "universal disdain" I remember an orchestrated, hardly universal campaign to feign disdain for it perhaps with some of that being somewhat sincere.   If someone is not guilty of what they're accused of or the accusation is of a very minor order of boorish behavior, the level of apology that Al Franken issued is entirely appropriate and sufficient.  It might not help the staff of CNN fill up empty headed air time, of the kind CNN and FOX and most of the cabloid networks deal in, but no one, even a politician, is required to conduct their personal conduct so as to make the job of cabloid executives and producers easy.  

The subsequent revelations of, most importantly, the obvious Republican ratfucker involvement of ratfuckers like Roger Stone and, later Mike Cernovich in the operations against Franken and other Democrats being accused.  That,  as well as the subsequent far sleazier behavior of Leeann Tweeden*  during the same and other USO tours and her subsequent, hardly disgusted, behavior towards Al Franken and her media general profile all point to this being a whipped up charge for ulterior motives.  The woman who complained that Al Franken touched her buttocks as the woman's husband was not only present but taking a picture that could document the encounter clearly wanted to get on CNN and other such media.  I don't know if her politics or her past political activity is known but that is certainly relevant to judging the nature of an incident which seems to have not been noticed by her husband who was watching it and recording it for posterity.  

Cillizza's method of ramping this kind of thing up into evidence of guilt is also seen in this part of his piece:

Franken issued another statement to CNN to deal with this latest accusation. "I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don't remember taking this picture," Franken told CNN. "I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected."

No one has seen hide nor hair of Franken since last Thursday when the news about Tweeden broke. Aside from those handful of statements, he's said nothing else about the allegations against him. And he's taken no questions.

What Franken is doing here is obvious. He is letting the statement he released last week in the wake of the first allegations stand. He's not adding to it, re-opening it or relitigating it.

Which may be inconvenient for Republican scandal mongers and their witting or witless allies in the cabloid media, BUT IT IS ENTIRELY REASONABLE BEHAVIOR FOR AN INNOCENT PERSON OR ONE WHO HAS BEEN ACCUSED FALSELY OR IS THE FOCUS OF A MISUNDERSTANDING. 

Cillizza continues in a way which exposes the media scandal mongers' methods even more sharply. 

And, he's hoping that with Congress out of session this week for Thanksgiving recess -- and the country less focused on work than their turkey day plans -- that this whole thing blows over (or loses some of its heat) before next week. Franken's move to self-refer his conduct to the Senate Ethics Committee is another way of taking some of the immediacy from all of this. The ethics committee is not exactly the world's swiftest when it comes to meting out justice.

Which is a probably a smart political strategy. But, it's beyond hypocritical for Franken, who has been an outspoken critic of other men accused of sexually inappropriate behavior, to simply bunker in and hope the storm passes. And Democrats shouldn't stand for it.

Oh, for crying out loud.  From what I've read Al Franken has the distinction of being the first Senator to publicly call for himself to be made the focus of the Senate Ethics Committee, to ascribe the cynical motives that Cillizza does to that, by a media figure is disgusting.   It is to try to turn an unprecedented, voluntary call to subject oneself to an investigation into some kind of proof of guilt.  

The whining accusation that Franken volunteering to go through what will, no doubt, be an unpleasant ordeal of questioning and certainly leaking by Republicans and having cabloid shitheads like Cillizza and others into a strategy where there would be no strategic advantage gained EXCEPT BY SOMEONE WHO IS INNOCENT OF THE ACCUSATIONS.  

The now many incidents of persecution of Democrats and just private citizens by CNN, FOX and the media that has followed their lead into the trash journalism standards of the tabloids reveal a lot about the practices that have lead American journalism into the sewer and, concurrently and consciously promoted the strategies of the worst of Republican-fascism.  I mentioned the early case of Richard Jewell whose life was destroyed by the Louis Freeh era FBI and its allies in the media, from once considered high end to the low end of tabloid-cabloid libel and slander.   

The assertion by Cillizza that there is something untoward about Al Franken requesting to be investigated by the Senate Ethics process in which the conclusions will be based on evidence in the public record is about as disgusting an idea  as has come out of the 24-7 cabloid world.  Instead he is calling for this to be decided by the practices of cabloid TV, Twitter and Facebook which are entirely open to the use of ratfuckers such as the cabloids and Buzzfeed are apparently turning to for content. 

You'd better be careful for what you ask for because, with this, Cillizza and CNN should be considered fair game and I don't mean for stories of sex scandal of even the low end variety that has set off the absurd insistence by even some otherwise rational people that Al Franken should resign because if that's how you want to conduct things all friggin' hell has been set loose. 

I am a total and complete believer in processes that are set up to gather and test evidence and, in the many cases that is possible, to come to something like an ideally objective conclusion about where that tested evidence leads.   I was in favor of it for people I don't like and even dislike such as Michael Shermer and Bill Cosby and even for politicians and journalists I despise.  Though I am also in favor of politicians and journalists who want to be able to violate the rights of other people in the way the media does when it's even the flimsiest or most obviously cooked up accusation against Democrats to be dealt with by their own practices.   CNN and the rest of the cabloid cancer on journalism will have to be held to the same standards they practice in which any false accusation that is made for even the most obvious of political purposes are held to be true, sometimes even in the face of a total lack of evidence.  From now on, any lie that is spread about Chris Cillizza should be handled under Cillizza's rules, in which he is presumed to be guilty maybe even if proven innocent.  I'm an even bigger fan of the rules applying to those who make them.  

*  When the behavior of someone like Leeann Tweeden, involving exactly the kind of behavior she is complaining about proves that she engaged in the same kind of thing, kissing strangers, groping them, making sleazy moves for public display, their behavior becomes entirely and fairly relevant to the issue.  The immediate and rote claim that such behavior is always to be held irrelevant is not sustainable.   As I said, the sexy pictures of her, alone, at the instruction of photographers and others is not relevant to the accusations, her own photographed and filmed behavior during USO tours and elsewhere as well as her current media associations and appearances are entirely relevant to judging the claims she made.   The groping and dirty dog photos of her on stage are as relevant as the photograph of Franken reaching for the kevlar vest she had on.   Those wanting to use that against Franken don't get to claim that her behavior is irrelevant to the accusations she made.  

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Arnold Schoenberg - Phantasy For Violin And Piano, Op.47

Joseph Silverstein, violin
Gilbert Kalish, piano

I wish they would release a disc of Silverstein playing the Schoenberg concerto with the Boston Symphony from when he was concertmaster.   It was one of the greatest concerto performances I ever heard. 

Little Milton & Jimmie Vaughn - That's What Love Will Make You Do

That's Jimmie Vaughn introducing Little Milton as the greatest blues singer, not to be confused with his brother, Stevie Ray Vaughn.  As one of the comments at Youtube points out, the Vaughn brothers were both really classy when it came to treating their colleagues with respect, standing in the background to them.  You can contrast that with how Mick said,  "These legendary characters wouldn't mean a light commercially today if groups were not going round Britain doing their numbers."  And the content of Little Milton's song with the racist misogynistic sexism of so many of the Stones songs.

Monday, November 20, 2017

How To Avoid Being Accused of Groping Someone

1. Don't touch anyone who is not very closely related to you unless it is to shake their hand.  

2.  Don't touch strangers unless it is to shake their hand, don't even put your other hand on their arm while you're doing it  Don't hold on past two shakes like that ultimate creep, Trump. 

3.  Is that hard to understand?  

While it's no guarantee that you won't be accused falsely, it would help if you were known as a hands-off type of guy.  

Nothing Simps Says Should Be Believed Without Confirmation, The Simplest Distinctions Can't Make It Through His Trump Like Mind

What is the difference between Beatles, Stones etc, and Minstrelry? Minstrels never convinced anybody they were black, either.  Leroi Jones

Literally everything I've ever said online about Stevie Ray Vaughn is contained in two posts.  You can read them and the comments and see that Simps is lying about what I said. 

He apparently doesn't realize that Mick Jagger was notorious for copying black (and white) musicians well after they released their first album, which is pretty funny considering he's supposed to be a pop music expert.  Simps really never did master the idea of how time works.  Apparently he figures Mick and his old stones never did anything but repeat their first album, over and over again.  As the article at the link shows, they stole lots of stuff after that.

Update:  Hey, if he keeps it up at this rate, the lies he's dropped on me are going to outnumber the names he's dropped.  He's the worst name dropper I've ever seen.

Why Didn't Her Husband Punch Him On The Nose, If It Happened?

Oh, for heavens sake, a woman who claims that as her husband was taking a picture of her with Al Franken at the Minnesota State Fair is claiming he inappropriately touched her derriere?   And her husband didn't notice at the time?  As he was recording it for posterity, in more than one sense, clearly.   Give me a break.  If that's the standard for a sex scandal, I'll bet most of the men in the Senate, the House and definitely the Trump white house had better be nervous over it.  

I wonder how many pictures people asked to take with him during the state fair that day?   Dozens?  Hundreds? Tens?  If people will insist on touching other people, these things will happen.   I'm definitely not the huggy, touchy, kissy type, Irish from New England, but I can imagine that a politician who lots of people want to have their pictures taken with want it up close and personal.  

I think what we have here is someone who wants to get on cabloid TV - if the right-wing talk show invites start rolling in and are taken, it's a lot more than that. 

If this is as much as they can dig up on Al Franken there must not be much to make hay out of.   This is beginning to feel like that infamous episode in shit level, cabloid leading, pack journalism, the pursuit of Richard Jewell.   Only, thanks to the idiocy of the Supreme Court, if it gets that out of hand Franken won't be able to sue.  Not even the right wing scum level media that is already whipping up lies around this. 

Hate Mail

Ha,  Simps is calling for someone to apologize for something they said in the media?   That NYT op-ed dolt Michelle Goldberg?   That's a bit like as Trump calling Al Franken out for being accused of kissing a consenting actor too hard in rehearsal and one incident of taking a mildly offensive prank photo.  I have yet to see one that actually shows Franken so much as touching the kevlar vest.  

As Simps has claimed, here and at Duncan's play group for dotty prevaricators, that I agreed with such "journalists" as Goldberg when I said exactly the opposite of what she did, let me just say I'm not waiting on any kind of correction or apology for that lie any more than the scores of others he's told about me.  If he were to apply what he aid about Goldberg to himself, he'd probably have to shut up for good. And it would be for the good if he did.   

Why Not Investigate The Accusations Against George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, Then?

I just heard an interview of Sherrod Brown on NPR, I think it was Steve Inskeep (they don't have the citation up on their website, yet)  who conducted it, where, after talking about the Republican Tax bill, Inskeep insisted on bringing up the accusation against Al Franken and, when Brown, sensibly, said that there was going to be an investigation, the asshole from NPR started on the minor flurry of bull shit from opinion journalists about "reopening" the accusations against Bill Clinton. 

There was the longest, most expensive* and most ethically questionable congressional, and special prosecutor series of investigations cum inquisitions brought against Bill Clinton, there were articles of impeachment and a Senate trial of him which didn't result in anyone ever proving or even proving credible criminal accusations against him.  At this point "reopening" the accusations against Bill Clinton in any public way wouldn't constitute double jeopardy, they'd constitute at least septuple jeopardy.   The journalists who are calling for this make the red-scare media of the 1950s look like they were practicing high ethics by comparison.  And it's for the most transparent of reasons, the corporate media created and installed a sex predator, possible rapist in the presidency and the Republican-fascist hopes of retaining the Senate depend on a pedophile predator as a candidate.   As mentioned in the comments last night into this morning, some of what the media peddles as "liberals" especially the type of those who get into the op-eds of the New York Times, are joining in this stinking, burning manure pile smoke screen.

Well, if that's what they want to do, why not go after George H. W. Bush for the accusations against him.  He was never investigated the way that Bill Clinton was, there was no special prosecutor who dealt with such accusations, there was never a Senate trial of him.  Why stop there?  How about the rape accusation against Ronald Reagan?  How about possible sexual harassment by him in Hollywood?  Why not that?

The American media, especially the pseudo-liberal parts of it such as the New York Times and the allegedly liberal NPR are willing partners in the billionaire oligarchic propagandizing of the United States.  The New York Times did a lot of the early effort in the vilification and inquisitorial "investigations" of both of the Clintons that has gone on for a quarter of a century, they'd do it again against a Democrat if it was to  the advantage of the owners of the rag and the staff - and if there's one thing that is certain, few if any journalists ever suffered for carrying water for the corporate fascist, Republicans.   The journalistic and "public interest" elites are full of such phonies, both individual careerist "reformers" and whole institutions, such as the ACLU and, as mentioned, others like Common Cause.  I once called that kind of "liberalism"  "process liberalism" and still think it's a good name for it, lots of such process liberals are career climbers at places like NPR and the New York Times.  They're tools.

Considering the problem they had at NPR, having it revealed that their chief editor was accused of sexual misconduct more serious than Al Franken is accused of, they might want to consider what their participation in this latest call for new Clinton wars could bring up among them.  Maybe even the guys who conduct interviews like the one that inspired this.

*  As I recall, a couple of decades ago the, then, cost of those were over 40 million dollars, I'd imagine it's probably at least double that by now, probably ten or more times that when you include the efforts that weren't paid for by billionaires and millionaires and those they could sucker to give them money.   Jerry Falwell made a lot of money out of that kind of stuff.

Update:  The accusations, made by more than one woman against NPR's Michael Oreskes were certainly far more obviously sexual assault, in a context that didn't involve rehearsal of a stage kiss in a skit Leann Tweeden consented to participate in.

In separate complaints, the women said Oreskes — at the time, the Washington bureau chief of the New York Times — abruptly kissed them while they were speaking with him about working at the newspaper. Both of them told similar stories: After meeting Oreskes and discussing their job prospects, they said he unexpectedly kissed them on the lips and stuck his tongue in their mouths.

The same can be said about the accusations against George H. W. Bush who wasn't doing a USO skit with a willing participant at the times of the incidents.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The lady doth protest too much, methinks

OK, so, yesterday and the day before I pointed out that show biz is full of off color hijinks of which a kiss during rehearsal, such as Leeann Tweeden may not be used to which could account for her reaction to one during a skit with Al Franken during USO tour would be a mild example.  It looks like that idea is out the window because photos of Leeann Tweeden on USO tour, on stage, did some more involved groping on a guitar player and did dirty dog moves with the same guitarist, on stage.

So, it looks like it wasn't a kind of cultural difference that explains why she decided to make her accusation on that count.   While Franken was right to apologize for the joke photo (more of the kind of joke that is hardly unknown among show folk) her complaints about the kiss (there are photos of the skit, showing her hardly repulsed during a kiss) evaporate with this and other footage of her other behavior, on stage which is pretty sleezy.   Did she rehearse the grope?

Bringing these up is definitively different from bringing up the posed photos of her made as part of her modeling career. What she is documented as doing during the tour, just as what Al Franken is documented as doing during the period of her complaints is relevant.  With these pictures and the footage of her aggressively sexual physical moves onstage with people like Robin Williams, I take back what I said.   I think now it's entirely justified to see this as part of a wider political effort to protect Republican child molesters and Trump who bragged about grabbing women by their genitals and any political or political media associations she has are relevant to the discussion.   Any of those which are documented impeach her credibility and identify her motives.  Apparently Roger Stone knew about the impending accusations hours before they were made, knowing how he found out about them is also necessary.  Where would he have learned about that?

Sunday Night Radio Drama - David Butler - Vigil

In tonight's premiere of David Butler's first radio-play, the vigil-keeper is a thwarted thirty-something spouse convinced of his wife's infidelity; but when does a person cease to be a vigilant and become a vigilante?

Aonghus Og McAnally played poor, paranoid Arthur;
Paul Ronan was his confidant Trevor
Kathy Rose O'Brien ... Jennifer;
Tadhg Murphy the charlatan Chandler.

Sound supervision was by Mark Dwyer

I'm thinking I might post more drama, there's a lot that's worth trying. 

It's RTÉ so you've got to download it to listen to it. 

Why I Like The CBC Better Than NPR

I liked this piece which I was listening to on the radio as I was typing stuff this morning. 

Eilmer the flying monk made wings out of chicken feathers, leapt off a cliff and broke both his legs. But he never gave up trying to fly. His story inspires Claire Steep.

How Some Intellectuals Can Be Such Idiots Generation After Generation

Last night's truncated brawl with Simps included him claiming or bragging or something that he had read Romain Rolland's fictitious biography of a great German composer which is long.   I've never been all that impressed with Rolland who I've read a bit of in the original French and, though I'm sure I looked at the book at one time or another, it's not something I read.  As I said last night, I prefer biographies to be about actual people.   I also pointed out that Rolland's biography of Beethoven isn't something which I ever heard another musician refer to or recall anyone citing as a scholarly work.  I vaguely recalled something I'd read about Rolland's conception of Beethoven and remembered a paper by Michael David-Fox which  I read a while back, Origins of the Stalinist Superiority Complex:  Western Intellectuals Inside The USSR.

Rolland illustrates certain kinds of connections to the USSR that contrast with the distance of both Dreiser and the Arplan rightists: Rolland had been steeped in a non-denominational socialism since the turn of the century. He thought his study of the French Revolution and his leadership in European anti-fascist culture gave him special insight into the Soviet Union, and he had extensive links to the Soviet Union through key intermediaries, including his Russian wife, Mariia Kudasheva, and his correspondent of 20 years, Maxim Gorky, who was arguably the most influential architect of Stalinist culture. Culturally, the 1930s Soviet repudiation of the avant-garde and Socialist Realism’s embrace of classical high culture and didactic mass enlightenment appealed to Rolland, and for a time his own hero-worship of revolutionary men of action was directed toward Stalin. When he met Stalin in person in 1935 Rolland compared him to Beethoven as the creator of a new humanism.

Which, said, in 1935, well into the widely reported starvation campaign against the Ukranians, well into the purges and show trials, well into Stalin showing Hitler how mass murder could be done, marks Romain Rolland as a monumental meat head.  Anyone who could think that the man who suffered such a drastic disillusionment when Napoleon had himself made emperor would welcome being compared to Stalin obviously knows nothing about Beethoven.  It is the kind of idiotic thing that a literary man will say about a musician, confirming Aaron Copland's generous estimate that half of what a literary man says about music will be wrong.  Rolland as well as the other 1930s admirers of Stalin were both epically stupid and morally defective.   That's something which could also be said for most of the atheist-left in the West of the time and continuing to today with such useful idiots as Katrina Vanden-Heuvel and her husband, Stephen Cohen.  Which is why I'm writing this.

Also in the paper is this interesting passage, interesting for what we can see about the current, definitely non-Marxist Billionaire Mafia State Russian effort to promote fascism and neo-Naxism and doing, through our own billionaire mafia class and its kept mass media, what Stalin could only aspire to do.

In this case, archives reveal a lengthy, year-long battle over whether to extend Soviet financial support and political energy to an organization that included fascist intellectuals.  The biggest Soviet supporter of Arplan was a diplomat and VOKS representative in Berlin by the name of Aleksandr Girshfeld. Despite his positions as a diplomat involved with cultural diplomacy, it appears he was specially empowered by the Soviet leadership and secret police to rcruit German rightist intellectuals. He thus felt free to act independently and he repeatedly rebuffed VOKS and the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs, which were both very suspicious about the rightists in Arplan.

Girshfeld’s relish for courting fascists reveals yet another motivation behind Soviet interaction with Western intellectuals: espionage. There is documentary evidence that Girshfeld had ties to the secret police, for whom he later recruited at least one rightist Arplan member.  In 1932, Girshfeld wrote that the current Soviet “cultural-political line” lay in “deeply penetrating radical…right-oppositionist circles of the intelligentsia, who have political weight, widening sources for our influence and information…

Which makes the contemporary devotion of Western Stalinists especially disgusting and pathetically stupid, something which American and British Communists proved in their U-turn on Nazism that came with the Hitler-Stain pact of August 1939, the month before Hitler and Stalin started to try to carve up Poland, setting off WWII.   Up to that point Western Communists of the Stalinist denomination could be thought naive, after that they were scum. 

The current rump effort on the journalistic-academic left that claims we can do business with Putin does lead me to something more than mere disgust at the serial chumping of the atheist-left by such creeps, it adds confidence to my belief that materialism and atheism is inevitably damaging to egalitarian democracy, to justice, to equality.  On the basis of snobbery, alone, they'll sell those out without so much as a doubt, doing so in the weird parody of virtue that also comes with that.  The "enlightenment" has made that mix of snobbery and idiocy a continuing feature of human culture, only adding the pretense that they've left that behind because "science" because "reason" because because.