It’s Juneteenth. It marks the day in 1865 that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas learned that they’d been freed two years earlier. It’s been a Texas holiday for decades and just became a federal holiday over the objection of 14 Republican congresscritters.
The featured image is a photograph by Dorothea Lange when she worked for the WPA documenting the ravages of the Great Depression. The number at the top is its Library of Congress reference number. I’m not quite sure that I get the title, but the picture was taken in Texas.
This week’s theme song was written in 1969 by Glenn Martin and Dave Kirby. I’ve always associated it with Doug Sahm, but it was first recorded by Charlie Pride.
We have three versions of IsAnybody Goin’ To San Antone for your listening pleasure: Charlie Pride, Doug Sahm, and the Texas Tornados.
Since I mentioned Galveston, let’s run this Glen Campbell-Jim Webb song up the flagpole and see who salutes:
Now that we’re done saluting, let’s jump to the break.
I had other plans for this space until I wrote my Stupid Fell On Alabama post. It would be stupid not to follow up on that.
Stars Fell On Alabama was written in 1934 by Frank Perkins and Mitchell Parrish. It was inspired by a spectacular meteor shower 100 years earlier.
My favorite version of Stars Fell On Alabama comes from Frank Sinatra’s A Swingin’ Affair album. I posted it on Wednesday, so we begin with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong with my main man Oscar Peterson on piano:
Next up, another small group arrangement featuring Friday Cocktail Hour regular Billie Holiday.
Portlanders say it’s necessary to keep Portland weird.
Sorry gang, but that horse has left the barn, the door is closed, and the fat lady has sung. The party’s over, it’s time to call it a day.
Oh I’m not saying Portland isn’t quirky. Sure it’s got it’s quirks. Except those quirks are only quirks if you have been living in a cave for the past ten years. In fact those quirks aren’t even quirks anymore. Portland has gotten less quirky as the rest of the country has turned quirky into mainstream.
Donut shop with wild flavor combinations? That trend has taken over the deep fried sugar breakfast industry throughout the land. Voodoo Donuts might have done it first, but they have been copied to the point where it’s the expected, not the unusual. Civic artwork splashed across every formally blank wall in town? Um, have you seen the Windward Walls in Miami? Or the Arts District in Los Angeles? Or the Mission District in San Francisco? Or the one in, well you name the major American city, you’ll find it. Civic engagement in the age of COVID via taking the annual Rose Festival Parade and turning it into a stationary parade of people’s front porches decorated with what would have been the parade floats? Eh, well talk to New Orleans about this past year’s Mardi Gras.
Don’t get me wrong, Portland is a beautiful city with warm engaging people. They are the kind of people who will go out of their way to help a stranger in town find the best brewpub (Deschutes Brewing in the Pearl District) or let you know about the off the beaten path ramen joint (Kayo Ramen on North Williams). They take their eating and drinking seriously in this town. But it’s not anymore serious than any other big city has become.
We’ve homogenized “weirdness” to the point of sameness across the land. Portland is no more or no less weird these days than New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles or any other urban mecca. It’s all a heady mix of coffee shops, vegan restaurants, non-traditional companies looking to shift the paradigm, etc.
OK the citizenry might have a few more tattoos but let’s face it, tattoos are soooo 2012 on the weirdness scale.
I really want to make this clear, I love Portland. What a wonderful livable city it is. Mile after mile of tree lined streets with single family houses on either side. It’s even quaint the way so many of the residential streets are barely wide enough for two cars to pass one another. Forget it if there are cars parked on the street, maybe one car can get through. And I love that the city has done it’s best to keep major chain retailers out and given room for the local guys to try and make a living. And the food scene is incredible. No matter what kind of food you want to eat there are probably a couple of restaurants serving it, complete with their own house brewed beer or locally sourced wine. And when push comes to shove, the Rose Garden in Washington Park is the place you go to shove the push out of your life for a few minutes.
But really how many pot stores do you need? I don’t mean the kind of pot you put a bird on. I mean the kind of pot that their state legalized back in 2015. There are streets where it’s literally one shop after another and arguments can be heard over which one is best. It may not be the way your town boogies, but it probably will be real soon.
Portland is not weird. Not the way they want to claim it to be.
It’s been a long week here, so I’m going meta and linking to Adrastos’ post below with my own .0002 cents (OMG, inflation!). Wingers always look for something to hate. It’s surprisingly effective as a political tool (see, ads, political, negative); despite lofty rhetoric, it’s far easier to motivate with a bloody rag, scapegoat, Those People®, etc. It only takes a small reason to hate. And it’s even easier to play to ignorance and prejudice. So, CRT gets the treatment… And worse (sorry to beat this rented mule…again), the wingnut media becomes a megaphone (or, if you prefer, a puke … Continue reading CRT Is The New Black
The weather here in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia has finally warmed up and I have been spending time on our back deck, tending to my flower boxes and my vegetable and herb container garden, and serenaded by the distant cicada spaceship chorus, and the ever-increasing sound of the close-in singers who have synched up in their search for mates. I wrote earlier about my anticipation of the Brood X emergence and I am happy to say that after feeling a bit anxious that we wouldn’t see or hear them, they have been putting on an incredible sound show. … Continue reading Welcome Back, Normal Life
Greetings from balmy Ashland Oregon where the temps today will stretch all the way to the mid 70’s and the cloud cover will, well, cover the sky most of the day.
It’s an interesting change from Sonoma where the temps will hit the hundreds while we’re away. Ah, too bad. Along the drive it was astounding to see the change in topography as we sped north, from the arid brown of the Golden State to the lush green forests of the Beaver State. No jokes please, we’re woke around here.
This is our first stop as we wind our way through the PacNorWest ™. Five hours from home, it’s one of the longer drives we’ll be making. That’s a good thing as the wife (Cruella) was just about done with my bad jokes and choice of music. Apparently Gregorian chanting isn’t her thing. Go figure.
Ashland is of course home to the world famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Since 1935 the Festival has presented a variety of plays both Shakespearian and modern in their five performance spaces. The most famous of the theaters is the Elizabethan outdoor stage, a model of Will’s own Globe theater. Fortunately the modern audience all get seats, no groundlings allowed. The season runs from early March to early November.
Of course COVID hit the Festival hard, cancelling the entire 2020 season and forcing a drastic cut down of the 2021 season. Usually 10-12 shows are done per season, this year there will only be two, a new musical called FANNIE about the life of civil rights pioneer Fannie Lou Hamer which will be presented in the outdoor theater starting July 1 (too late for this trip) and IT’S CHRISTMAS, CAROL a gender bending take on the Dicken’s classic opening in late November.
Actually the real reason we come to Ashland is to eat at this place:
This is Omar’s Steakhouse and with neon like that you just know it’s going to be good. And it has been for the last 75 years. A dry martini, a fine steak, some Dragonfly Tempranillo wine, what more does a man need? A good story to go with? It’s got that too. Seems the man who started it was named Omer and that’s what the sign was supposed to say, but Noodnick Nate the Neon Man screwed up and old Omer didn’t want to offend so he just went with it.
We on the other hand just go with the mouth watering steaks and coma inducing desserts. This is old school eating. Bring your second stomach and be prepared to fill it.
Ashland is also home to Southern Oregon University, where “artsy” children are sent by their parents who have compromised in order to at least get them to go to college and not head up to Portland to live out their coffee house and poetry dreams. That and the fact you have a Shakespeare Disney World right next door might lead you to the conclusion the town is just a tad liberal. You would be correct. But it’s a small island of blue in a sea of Southern Oregon red.
The larger city nearby, Medford, for many years has been the home of Harry and David, the gift packaged fruit kings of the world. If you’ve ever opened your door to find a gift from your Aunt Gertrude containing fruits and nuts lovingly arranged in a reusable, if you use those sorts of things, gift basket it was probably from Harry and David. They are a huge company with 8000 employees but most of that is farmed out labor. They were purchased a few years ago by 1-800-Flowers and in the midst of the pandemic closed down all their stores, laid off all the store employees and went completely online. Complaints are up, mostly about the quality of the fruit and the customer service. The company’s response? Teach your Aunt Gertrude how to use a computer.
There was some swell Michael F-style satire on my Twitter feed today, so I thought I’d share. First, a poster celebrating the departure of Bibi Netanyahu: Bye bye BITCHES!#BenjaminNetanyahu #DoneAndDoner pic.twitter.com/ISwDLdFNzS — Paul Lee Teeks (@PaulLeeTeeks) June 13, 2021 Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels were funnier and only a danger to themselves. Here’s an oldie that popped up on my feed as a retweet. Remember when Trump got all pushy at a NATO summit? Four years ago, one of the most disturbing displays by a world leader played out on live TV, when Donald Trump physically shoved the Montenegro Prime … Continue reading Tweets Of The Day: Satire Edition
Good morning, everyone! Get your ISO suits on, because not only are we doing a deep dive into stupidity, we’re going into a highly infectious COVID-19 zone.
If you weren’t already aware of it, there’s been a frequent series of threads entitled “Flubros and flubras” aimed at COVID-19 deniers, even as the pandemic has slain Americans by the hundreds of thousands It follows the former guy’s dictum of :
Finally, after deciding that he’s beating a dead horse (another Freeper started a mocking series of posts entitled “The Butcher’s Bill(it’s just the flu, bro)“, the “Flubros and flubras” originator, “impimp” (insert your own joke here) is giving up, but is still a disbeliever.
There are a few TBD items with the Coronavirus: 1.Will they resume the lockdown in the fall/winter when flu season picks up? 2.Will there be a vaccine passport in any way? 3.When will laggards like churches, schools and hardcore blue states finally see the light?
I will post a Flubro thread if anything related to these items, or something else interesting pops up. But the daily thread is over now that the CDC has relaxed somewhat. It’s been great fun and I have enjoyed discussing Coronavirus items with Flubros and Flubras over the past 15 months. I like to think that we influenced many Freepers, who are, of course, more influential politically than the Illuminati. I also like to think that in some small way we made things better and freer here in America. Well done FRiends!
Then, the author of the “Butcher’s Bill” posts just has to ruin “impimp”s fun :
+39,095 NEW CASES
***599,314** TOTAL DEAD
31 posted on 5/15/2021, 10:20:11 AM by Kozak (The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. TV)
Fortunately, it’s just the flu.
TED NUGENT ON COVID-19 FIGHT: ‘I DIDN’T THINK I WAS GONNA MAKE IT’ UltimateClassicRock ^ | April 28, 2021
Posted on 4/29/2021, 1:56:38 PM by nickcarrawayTed Nugent has revealed that he feared for his life during his recent battle with COVID-19.”Five or six days ago, it was really bad. I didn’t think I was gonna make it,” the guitarist declared during a live webcast tonight. “I literally couldn’t function for about 20 hours… I’ve never been so scared in all my life.”He described his symptoms as a “six-foot-two, 225-pound headache, like nothing I have ever experienced. I mean, from the tip of my toes to the top of my hair I literally was dizzy and weak and struggled to get up to go to the bathroom.”Nugent then explained that a group of doctors came to his aid, with one even paying for a private plane to take him to a hospital. “They came from around the world, they go, ‘Uncle Ted we got the stuff, Uncle Ted don’t worry we got you covered, Uncle Ted we’re sending a plane and we’re taking you to the UT medical center and we got ya, man!’ I could literally cry, it was so powerful.”
The Stages Of Barbara’s Unemployment I wrote this some years ago, when Barbara was unceremoniously dumped from her long-time job at SEI. I believe that there are enough people looking for work again to make this relevant today. (Oh – and since the death of Brillo the Scottish Deerhound, the house is petless for the first time since we met 20 years ago) . Stage 1 – Elation. Sleeps late. Gets dressed Goes around the house singing “Ding Dong The Witch is Dead”. (her former boss was an asswipe) Plays a lot of computer Maj-Johng. . Stage 2 – Catching … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with Random Ruminations – “Five stages” edition
This was the week that the celestial pendulum swung to full tilt summer in New Orleans. We’re looking at nothing but ninety-degree highs for the foreseeable future. Time to crank up the air-dish and the ceiling fans. It’s fucking hot, y’all. That concludes this week’s weather report.
I wished Neil Finn happy birthday late last month. The celebration continues with a theme song from the new Crowded House album. Dreamers Are Waiting is the most cohesive and consistent album the band has released since Together Alone.
I think the band’s new lineup has a lot to do with the excellence of the new album. Neil’s sons Liam and Elroy are onboard, and their presence seems to have inspired dear old dad. The family band twist is reflected by Bee Gees and Beach Boys influences vocally, but unlike the latter, the Finns seem to get along swimmingly. They may even have fun, fun, fun til their daddy takes the T-Bird away. I doubt that Neil would do such a thing. He’s the epitome of the cool dad.
To The Island is the first single from the new album. It was written by Neil Finn. Anyone surprised?
We have two versions for your listening pleasure: the video and the Crowdies live on The Ellen Show. FYI, she’s not from New Orleans but from Kenna, Brah.
I think To The Island is destined to join Don’t Dream It’s Over as fodder for a future New Zealand tourism campaign. It’s that catchy.
We have another islandy number for you before we jump to the break. It’s an instrumental from The Band featuring the multi-instrumental wizardry of Garth Hudson:
Now that we’ve gone to the island, let’s jump to the break.
Ace lyricist Sammy Cahn is back this time with his favorite collaborator, Chester Babcock DBA Jimmy Van Heusen. He took his stage name from the shirt on his back: Van Heusen. His cronies still called him Chet.
Van Heusen and Cahn were a perfect fit for Frank Sinatra. They wrote 3 Oscar winning songs for the Chairman of the Board; one of which was this week’s selection.
All The Way was written in 1957 for the Sinatra flick The Joker Is Wild. Frank loved Chet and Sammy and the feeling was mutual.
With the exception of Lena Horne, the best and most interesting versions of All The Way were recorded by male singers. I guess it’s a manly man tune.
We begin at the beginning with the patron saint of the Friday Cocktail Hour:
Most of the subsequent recordings of All The Way followed the Sinatra model of a string heavy arrangement. Who wants to mess with Frank? Lena Horne did not.
During World War II the Antifa government of the United States commissioned their great factory of propaganda called Hollywood to produce a series of films called WHY WE FIGHT. These films were the product of the best and the brightest of American cinema; written by the Epstein brothers of CASABLANCA fame, scored by the dean of film music Alfred Newman, shot by the father of the documentary Robert Flahtery, and directed by three time Academy Award winner Frank Capra. They told in a simple and easy to understand style the reasons America was in the war. In fact they were so good the Feds decided the films, which were made for the troops, should be released to the general public.
I think we need the Biden Administration to underwrite a new series of films for our times. Maybe have them star all the Marvel superheroes, they’re popular. Call the series WHY WE TRAVEL. And then get people to travel.
63% of Americans don’t have a passport. Most say they don’t need one because they don’t see themselves leaving the country…ever. Some though say they don’t feel the government should be mandating “papers” for citizens. That might account for why 43% of Americans are against the idea of a vaccine passport. Of course most of them don’t have a driver’s license either. Sarcasm.
Personally I’ve held a passport for 40 years. My oldest ones are filled with entry and exit stamps from countries around the world, some that don’t even exist anymore, some where travel by Americans was limited. I’m actually peeved now when an immigration official doesn’t have one of the old “ker-thump” style hand stamps that rattle the desk with an imprimatur of official recognition. Hell, the Swiss don’t even stamp your passport at all, your comings and goings simply noted via barcode scan sent to a central computer deep inside an Alpine mountain.
Or some goatherder’s hut on top of the mountain. The Swiss, whatcha gonna do?
Travel broadens your horizons as the saying goes. As Sam/Mark says above, it’s hard to stay bigoted about someone once you’ve seen their home. Strongly held beliefs tend to wither away in the face of actual experience. Being in the Soviet Union in 1986 gave me greater understanding of Gorbachev’s Glasnost plans and why they had to be implemented. Walking the streets of Havana is truly the only way to understand the resilience of the Cuban people. Spending an hour in a pub in Belfast brings the knowledge that though tempered, The Troubles are far from over. Exploring the back alleys of the old city of Jerusalem made me realize that all this bloodshed, all these tears, all this drama, is over a bunch of rocks.
In that same vein I highly encourage anyone who is anti-immigration to spend some time in Central or South America. Or someone who is against socialized medicine to spend some time in any country that has it. Or anyone who can’t understand why African Americans don’t just do what the nice police officer who pulled them over for no reason says to do to spend some time in a third world country like the Philippines or Nigeria and learn what it truly means to have no power over a situation.
The Don McGahn quest finally succeeded last week. The right-wing former White House counsel who looks like a liberal was subpoenaed two years ago but fought it and kicked the can down the road until it was seriously dented.
The transcript was released this week. It’s all over the interweb but I checked it out at the Lawfare blog because it’s searchable.
Most of McGahn’s testimony confirms what was written about him in the Mueller Report. No surprise there, he was one of the primary sources for Team Mueller, which is why he’s about as popular at Mar-a-Doorn as Adam Schiff or Jerry Nadler.
The most interesting bits of the transcript to me at least are the parts about Roy Cohn who Trump considered a great man and I consider one of the worst people to come out of New York City. Something he has in common with the Kaiser of Chaos, but Donald never worked for Tailgunner Joe McCarthy. They were both, however, Democrats when it aided whatever grift they were running at a given time.
I hereby present the passages about Roy Cohn with some commentary. Somebody had to do it, so why not me? I still have my lawyer hat on, after all.
It turns out that McGahn’s father was a lawyer who attended NYU Law School. Guess who one of his profs was:
McGahn: My dad also had Roy Cohn as a professor in law school, if you must know, but that’s a separate issue.
I wonder what Cohn taught: Redbaiting 101 or Mob Lawyering? Enquiring minds want to know even if David Pecker does not. If that were my last name, I’d change it in a heartbeat just like Peter Marshall of Hollywood Squares fame changed his last name from La Cock. Imagine the fun Paul Lynde would have had with that.
McGahn: And then as the report indicates, his response is in the report, and he invoked, you know, Roy Cohn apparently didn’t take notes.
Q: So was it your understanding that he thought great lawyers like Roy Cohn did not take notes?
McGahn: He said that, yes. Not only did I think that, I heard him say that, yes.
Q: And what was your reaction to that?
McGahn: I didn’t really have one. My recollection is I didn’t really respond. And this was not the first time that Roy Cohn has sort of — the ghost of Roy had come into the Oval Office, so it didn’t seem to be a point worth responding to and, you know, he’s the President, he gets the last word.
The Ghost of Roy Cohn? A genuinely terrifying thought. As far as I know the only president who allowed Cohn to darken the White House door was Ronald Reagan. He was a redbaiting witch hunter himself in his Hollywood days. I wonder if Cohn ate any jellybeans. Ronnie had a sense of humor so maybe he gave Cohn some red ones. Oh, sweet mysteries of life.
The punditry can’t get enough of this reptile Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has never minded playing the villain. While most politicians are desperate to be loved, what matters to the Kentucky Republican is power, and his is not based on people loving him… McConnell’s plan is coming together almost perfectly. In McConnell’s perfect world, Democrats would get absolutely no meaningful legislation passed, but given that they control the White House and Congress, that’s not realistic. So he’d prefer that their ability to legislate be restricted to the once-yearly reconciliation process, which allows a bill to pass on a majority … Continue reading Cult Of The Savvy Sucks Up To … Mitch