Monthly Archives: January 2011
If you were one of the 50,000 people across the country who signed the online petition (and made comments as well) from the Bold Progressives (Progressive Campaign Change Committee), then here are the names and comments being presented to Senator Harry Reid in Nevada:
I often wonder if all the petitions I sign with progressive groups really get through. I guess they do.
John Barry, well known film composer, died yesterday of a heart attack in Glen Cove, N.Y.
Barry, who wrote scores for more than 100 feature films, TV films, and TV series went on to win five Oscars (the scores for “Born Free,” “The Lion in Winter,” “Out of Africa,” and “Dances with Wolves”; and best song for “Born Free”), and he was noted for composing the James Bond films. He also won four Grammys. Maybe Barry’s most memorable non-Bond score was “Midnight Cowboy.” Other credits include “Body Heat,” “The Cotton Club,” and “Chaplin.” Musically, the man was nothing if not eclectic.
Here he is in England being interviewed by Jools Holland in 2001:
- John Barry, Legendary Film Composer, Dead at 77 (moviefone.com)
- Bond composer John Barry dies (telegraph.co.uk)
- Film: Newswire: R.I.P. John Barry, James Bond composer (avclub.com)
Damn Turner Classic Movies! Why do they have to show silent films at Midnight on Sunday Nights/Monday Mornings?
Last night was G. W. Pabst’s German classic “Pandora’s Box” with Louise Brooks.bThis adaptation of the Wedekind play was made in 1929 and is the film we remember Brooks for. The extreme sex-oriented history of LuLu, from her early life and murder of Dr. Schon, to her final end at the hand of Jack the Ripper in London is one of the most amazing silents and I forced myself to stay awake to watch it all.
Then, as I got ready to drop into bed (Elly and both dogs sleeping away), TCM announces that the next film up is Pabst’s 1931 “Die Dreigroshenoper” (The Threepenny Opera, by Brecht and Weill) with Lottie Lenya (at that time, Mrs. Kurt Weill) in her original role as Jenny. This was in German with English subtitles… and…as it was already 2:30 AM… I just couldn’t stay awake.
Why do they have to schedule the films I love at 2:30 in the morning?!
- 1929, January 30 – PREMIERE OF “PANDORA’S BOX” (todayintango.wordpress.com)
- Thomas Gladysz: Dear Stinkpot: Letters from Louise Brooks by Jan Wahl (huffingtonpost.com)
- Stupid Things I Said To Rufus Wainwright (sfgate.com)
- Mack the Knife, and biblical development (church-discipline.blogspot.com)
- Opera Review: Charged Update on ‘Beggar’s Opera’ (nytimes.com)
Here’s the beginning of a wonderful article based on the Sunday pundits in Crooks and Liars.
Give it a look, then go in and read the rest:
…based on the Winners And Losers show we do on Friday mornings. To start with, it will probably only be a half hour presentation which we’ll put up right after the Friday show. We’ll cover our favorite subjects like poetry and theatre and politics…lots of politics… and hopefully have a few guests on and a little music.
- Open Thread with The Professional Left Weekly Podcast: Hey, Michele Bachmann! You left out “Atonement.” (crooksandliars.com)
- Podcasts Recommended by GSV Subscribers (sebastianmarshall.com)
- Podcasting 101 with Daniel M. Clark (tjantunen.com)
Governments that rule with one heavy hand are going to trickle away in the 21st Century.
Meanwhile, take a look at this piece from BoingBoing:
- China: Bridging news on Egypt (advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org)
- China is blocking coverage of Egypt protests on Twitter-like services (venturebeat.com)
- China blocks “Egypt” searches on micro-blogs (reuters.com)
- China’s Twitter sites Censor ‘Egypt’ Search (penn-olson.com)
- China Blocks Egypt on Micro-Blogging Service (thenextweb.com)
- China Blocks “Egypt” On Sina Weibo, Its Twitter Clone (businessinsider.com)
So who are they listening to?
- and -
And what are they saving in real dollars?
- and -
…at least they are listening to the President…
- and -
Kevin Siers in the Charlotte Observer:
… and we get the benefits. Don’t we?
President Obama, in his State of the Union Message, told America that it had to get back to invention and innovation… the things that made us great and that were now happening in other countries. He was talking about automobiles and machines of industry, but last week one of the true heroes of American innovation, who invented a unique product, raised a family and sent his children to school on the profits, and sold his company shortly before his death for $20 million.
Who was this great man and what was his invention? In 1956 Milton M. Levine co-created the Ant Farm with his brother-in-law, E. J. Cossman, something millions of American children have used to learn about the dynamic activities of Pogonomyrmex californicus — red ants from California — as they tunnel and create “underground” communities.
Originally selling for $1.98, Levine sold mostly through mail order the 6″ x 9″ plastic “farm” with clear plastic sides that revealed the tunneling insects. Demand was so great that a 10″ x 15″ model soon followed.
If you were a fourth grader like me who ordered the ant farm, you waited for it to come in the mail only to discover that it contained no ants. There was a coupon which you sent in led to delivery of a plastic vial with 25 worker ants inside (no Queens, which were illegal to ship over state lines). This meant that, some weeks later you had to order more ants to replace the ones that died. Or, you could dig up your own and hope you got a queen… and were likely to find a completely different breed that “didn’t get along” with the little red guys. That’s what happened to mine.
Levine sold his company, Uncle Milton Industries, in 2010 after 54 years of producing the great American product. The original sized ant farm sells today for $10.95. Commenting on what he had learned from Pogonomyrmex californicus, Levine once said:
“I found out their most amazing feat yet… They put three kids through college.”
- Milton Levine, Inventor Of The Ant Farm, Dead At Age 97 (geektyrant.com)
- Ant Farm Co-Inventor Milton Levine Dies at 97 (cbsnews.com)
- Milton Levine, 97, co-creator of ant-farm toys, dies (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Ant Farm co-inventor Milton Levine dies at 97 (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Ant Farm Co-Inventor Uncle Milton Dies At 97 In Thousand Oaks (laist.com)
Stolen from GottaLaff at The Political Carnival:
With a career that shriveled up after Nixon’s resignation, David Frye was an impressionist who triumphed as the Number 1 impersonation of the then President. I loved watching him. Oh, he did other impersonations… Johnson, Bobby Kennedy and later, as he tried to revive his success, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford.
In an Esquire interview, Frye defined his approach to Nixon:
“I do Nixon not by copying his real actions but by feeling his attitude, which is that he cannot believe that he really is president.”
Frye died on Monday in Las Vegas of a heart attack.
- David Frye, Perfectly Clear Nixon Parodist, Dies at 77 (nytimes.com)
- Rich Little says today’s celebs are tough to imitate (ctv.ca)
- Released Transcripts Reveal Appalling Bigotry in Nixon White House (prnewswire.com)
It looks like there are no significant leaders in the protesters… nobody that they can build any kind of revolution on. Plus, the protestors are breaking down into two major factions: The Muslim Brotherhood and everyone else.
This from Twitter frpm an hour ago:
@sharifkouddous: Muslim Brotherhood chanting Allah Akbar. Crowd stopped them chanting louder: Muslim, Christian, we’re all Egyptian
Perhaps someone will rise out of the second group… I don’t know, but I’ll keep looking.
- “Muslim Brotherhood Joins in Egypt Protests” and related posts (worldthreats.com)
- Egyptian Internet Goes Down, And Muslim Brotherhood Leaders Arrested Ahead Of Massive Day Of Protest (businessinsider.com)
- “Egypt Arrests Muslim Brotherhood Leadership” and related posts (patdollard.com)
- Egyptian protesters chant ‘Freedom!’ – CNN International (news.google.com)
- Egyptian protesters chant ‘Freedom!’ (cnn.com)
And I thought Rick Santorum was the Stupidest Governor in America.
Now I see it is a Republican disease that infects both of them.
- Holy crap, Texas, how can you stand your governor? (scienceblogs.com)
- An odd fact [Pharyngula] (scienceblogs.com)
- Brace yourselves, LA [Pharyngula] (scienceblogs.com)
- Texas: Our bold leader into the Future! (scienceblogs.com)
- Happy Creation Day! – PZ Myers – Pharyngula (richarddawkins.net)
One of my favorite 60s and 70s comedians, Charlie Callas has died in Las Vegas at 83. A regular television guest on Carson, Merv Griffen, Ed Sullivan and Gleason, Charlie had a face that could be twisted into rubbery responses to any concept.
“There were two things he could do that made his career. He could think very fast on his feet, and he had an unbelievable number of sounds that he made with his voice.”
- Comedian Charlie Callas Dead in Las Vegas at 83 (abcnews.go.com)
- Comedian Charlie Callas dead in Las Vegas at 83 (pbpulse.com)
Jay Carney, who is currently Vice President Biden’s Communications Director, has just been appointed to the White House Press Secretary Position, replacing Robert Gibbs.
Why, eliminating its State Arts Commission in his proposed budget… and, at the same time, eliminating countless jobs and over a million dollars in matching grants from outside of his state.
This article on “Artless Sam” from HuffPo:
In my opinion, a state that can produce…and elect… a Sam Brownback desperately needs the intelligence and educational merits of more arts funding. What a terrible thing to bequeath to Kansas’ children. And this from a state that gave America Frederick Remington, Gordon Parks and Bruce Connor among many other well-known artists, photographers, writers and musicians.
- Kan. Gov. Brownback Calls For Abortion Restrictions (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Kan. Democratic Party Questions Brownbacks Character (blogs.wsj.com)
- Sarah Smarsh: Under Brownback, Kansas Will Be Only State Without Arts Commission (huffingtonpost.com)
- Kansas Gov. Brownback Wants Government Access to Women’s Private Medical Records (pinkbananaworld.com)
- Kan. Gov. Brownback promises to focus on ‘basics’ (sfgate.com)
This from HuffPo:
Looking out the window, I’m dreading walking the dogs. Yesterday, I slipped and fell on an icy patch in the road in front of our townhouse and, remarkably, I didn’t let go of the dogs’ leashes, but I also couldn’t get up given my useless knees… my first devastating sign of old age.
Fortunately, someone was out shoveling their walk and came to my assistance with a large football player (a Shepherd student of course) who helped me tom my feet… but it left me worried about getting around all day. Now Elly is taking my car (I have All Wheel Drive) and heading off to work (HCC is starting 2 hours late this morning) and I am contemplating the terror of walking the dogs in this mess.
We have a rehearsal for “Claudie Hukill” tonite at Full Circle Theater, and I hope the streets in town get plowed out so there is parking. As I recall this time last year when I was directing “The Hunting of the Snark“, the opera for kids that I wrote in the seventies with composer Edwin Roberts, we had this kind of a snowfall which was followed by even more snow and we had to delay the production by two weeks. This could easily happen again.
We don’t get a lot of snow around here (the weather bureau says we get 20.9″ annually, but that is just a tiny percentage of what we got when we lived in Connecticut… they’ve had over seven feet already this year… and most of it comes in February. Just have to grit my teeth and get through this.
- Snow Piles Up On Snow-Weary Northeast (npr.org)
- Snow Storm Hits Northeast Hard As Schools, Flights Cancelled (huffingtonpost.com)
- Snow Piles up on Snow-Weary Northeast (abcnews.go.com)
- Off the Leash and in the Snow (fort-greene.thelocal.nytimes.com)
This is a disturbing piece for all of us in the arts that was published this week by Stage Directions Magazine. I listened to the President last night inspiring us to be first in science and math and engineering… of course he said nothing about our being first in the arts which provides millions of jobs at minimal cost for highly talented people. They may not be creating new automobiles or filling our food plants with dangerous chemistry (like Monsanto), but they create the world view in which our scientists and mathematicians can function.
Once the engineer and the artist were in the same shell… think about Leonardo Da Vinci. Today the arts are considered an easy victim by Republicans out to destroy the things that make life good over the things that make life dangerous.
Back to the article in Stage Directions. Here’s part of it, but please go in and read it all:
- GOP Bill Would Eliminate NEA, NEH? (mxmossman.blogspot.com)
- Why Brownback is the Stupidest Governor in America
- House Republicans unveil plan to end federal arts and humanities agencies and aid to public broadcasting (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- GOP Rep. Jordan Wants To Obliterate Funding For The Arts (lezgetreal.com)
- A letter to Jim Leach (powerlineblog.com)
- The NEH vs. America (powerlineblog.com)
- Message from the GOP: kill the arts, continue womb controlling (pinkbananaworld.com)
- Jeopardy Answer: Cretins, Yahoos, and Rednecks….. (tagg-lines.com)
Pretty much what I expected. Glad to see Obama brought up returning to the higher income taxes for the top 2% of the country. He made a point that the Corporations were now OK and the stock market is going great guns… and this is supposed to make us 99ers happy.
Got very interested in who stood up, who applauded, who sat in mixed seats (I was happy to see the Arizona Delegation all sitting together surrounding an empty seat for Gabbie Giffords (which Obama commented on). About 30% of the few jokes fell flat. Thought he made good points of why the Health Care plan should not be repealed, but opened the door for significant changes (although the Republican House members sat stone faced through this.)
It was not a great speech, but it was good enough. His put down of the oil industry, which you could feel Congress gnashing their teeth over, was welcoming to some of us… even though I don’t believe there is such a thing as “clean Coal” and I fear the pollution caused by natural gas “fracking”.
I wasn’t held by it… certainly not enough to keep me from watching White Collar at 10 PM.
I reviewed the Republican response and the, hmph hmph, Tea Party response and was impressed by neither. Don’t think they really listened to Obama’s speech… these were obviously put together a couple of days ago.
In Case You are Gearing Yourself Up for Michelle Bachmann’s Personal Response to Obama’s State of the Union Message, Maybe you should take a look at her grasp on history…
We started learning about the Civil War and the ending of slavery around the fourth grade or so, and certainly we knew about Lincoln freeing the slaves by the time we entered high school. I thank Anderson Cooper for presenting this astounding look at Bachmann’s understanding of our history on CNN last night:
Are there conservatives out there who still support this dindong for the Presidency? She claims to be a leader of the Tea Party Movement and, frankly, I believe her.
- History Ignorance, By Michele Bachmann (lezgetreal.com)
- Liars Like Michele Bachmann Makes Anderson Cooper Feel So Unsexy (queerty.com)
- Michele Bachmann Rewrites History, Says Founders Fought Tirelessly Against Slavery (towleroad.com)
- Michael B. Keegan: Scalia Teaches First of Bachmann’s Constitutional Mythology Workshops (huffingtonpost.com)
- Michele Bachmann Erroneously Gives Our Founders Credit For Ending Slavery (alan.com)
- Dueling SOTU Responses, Cont’d (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Michelle Bachmann Has Released Her Own Budget (oliverwillis.com)
- Michele Bachmann to deliver Tea Party Express response to SOTU (hotair.com)
Stay away from Archie McPhee…
(I apologize… couldn’t resist.)
- His and Her Tongue Scrapers (laughingsquid.com)
- Bizarre Breath Fresheners – Archie McPhee Flavored Mints will Drive Away Your Date (GALLERY) (trendhunter.com)
- Oozing anatomically correct cake-hearts for Valentine’s Day (boingboing.net)
- Savanna Valentine’s Day Savannagrams (10and5.com)
I should have decided this long ago, and I’m not sure why I didn’t. I tell myself I was concerned with creating things for middle class design workers (my fonts) or hiring young people and giving them health insurance (U-Design, Inc and Hybrid Communications the two companies I owned in the 80s and early 90s) or just promoting good, ethical, Progressive and liberal causes in this blog.
Apparently I was wrong all these years.
So I am now thinking about raising the price of my picture and display fonts (which you can find at UTF Type Foundry or here on this blog where I give away one of these products for any contribution above $5.00) from $29.95 a set to $125,000.00. Then, if I sell the same amount I’m doing now, I’ll be Rich in a very short time and have all the tax breaks and government favors…and be able to hire my own lobbyists… and spend the remaining years of my dwindling life in Conservative Happiness.
Of course, there may be other, even easier ways to get Rich. So many of those on the top scales of our society did it by committing some form of white collar crime… it goes all the way back to Joe Kennedy during the Depression… and I could spend time researching the possibilities now (or what else is the web for?). This solution means I don’t have to go through the e-mail chore of sending fonts and keyboard charts out to buyers, saving me ten or fifteen minutes on each sale. I could sleep longer in the morning!
It’s time for me to walk the dogs and do the dishes, so I’ll have to get back to my exit from the Middle Class later on.
- “Tax the Rich”? (stephenlaw.blogspot.com)
- New website suggests rich give tax cuts to charity (salon.com)
- The Financial Elite In America – Same As Dictators Elsewhere (disquietreservations.blogspot.com)
- Are You Rich? (moneyning.com)
- The Poor, The Rich (socyberty.com)
- Blogger Drops New Fonts (webpronews.com)
- Leo W. Gerard: Republican-Hood: Steal from the Workers; Pander to the Rich (huffingtonpost.com)
- Poll: Despite recession, rich still happy (americablog.com)
- On The Growing Disparity Between The Rich And The Super-Rich (businessinsider.com)
- Achieving 2011 Financial Goals (thestreet.com)
Here’s a bit from the HuffPo article this morning:
It is always a landmark for me when a theatre great passes on, and reading in this morning’s NY Times that costume designer Theoni V. Aldredge had died in Connecticut three days ago. struck me as one such landmark.
Aldredge won three Tony Awards for Costuming: Annie in 1977, Barnum in 1980 and La Cage aux Folles in 1987. She was nominated for Tonys 12 other times, most recently in 2006 for the revival of Follies.
Aldredge was born Theoni Athanasiou Vashlioti in 1932 in Salonika, Greece (which, oddly enough, is where my relatives on my Father’s side come from). She acquired her last name in 1953 when she married actor Tom Aldredge, who she remained with for the rest of her life.
She often worked for Joe Papp at the Public Theater and, when Papp brought his big pieces to Broadway, like Two Gentlemen Of Verona in the 1970s, it was Theoni Aldredge who costumed the huge cast. Aldredge was known for beautiful designs that took large budgets to create… surprising since she did so much non-profit work for Papp.
In films, she won three Oscars and had five other nominations. Her films included Ghostbusters, Network, Moonstruck and Addams Family Values – indicative of the range of styles she commanded.
- Costume designer Theoni Aldredge dies at 78 (abclocal.go.com)
- Theoni V. Aldredge, Costume Designer for ‘Chorus Line,’ ‘Annie,’ Has Died (artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Oscar-Winning Costume Designer Theoni V. Aldrege Has Died (laist.com)
- Surface Thrills: Remembering the Costumes of Theoni V. Aldredge (artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Costume designer Theoni V. Aldredge dies at age 78 (seattletimes.nwsource.com)