Feel like getting real

Sometimes I feel out of sync with the culture. I couldn’t pick really put my finger on it until I read this B.A. Nilsson review of a David Bromberg show from November 9. It was less about the specific show, though.

“I have recordings galore at home, yet something magical continues to happen in that confluence of real-time happening and audience presence. By virtue of being in the house, emanating pleasure, we coax a better performance out of the band.

“And I’m here to tell the abundance of cell-phone wielding recordists that no crude video comes even close to the live experience. Continue reading

December rambling

Eddie at Renaissance Geek has melanoma, which he’s having removed tomorrow. For reasons he explains, he’s named his new “friends” (his word) Nigel and Sixtus. Good luck, buddy.

SamuraiFrog writes: “The trailer for Now Is Good promised me only half of what I’m feeling right now, after having watched the film this morning.” Very touching blurring of film review and personal recollection.

On Facebook, I posted A Note to You, Should You Be Thinking of Asking Me to Write For You For Free by John Scalzi, which Jaquandor cited twice this month. It got a LOT of support from creative types.

Batman and the Golden Parachute.

Liberal values.

The last man on the moon was 40 years ago. That was only a 3.5 year period of moon exploration.
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It’s a big world, after all

Arthur@AmeriNZ said: Okay, I haven’t participated in awhile, so: If you could pick one thing to do that you haven’t yet done in your life, what would it be and why? It could be a single event (bungy jumping in Skippers Canyon), or it could be a project or process. I’m interested in what you haven’t done that you’d like to do/wish you could do.

Travel.

Next question.

OK, maybe I should expand on this.

Here’s a map I made in 2008, right after I visited Illinois, and your former city of Chicago, for the first time. It showed that I had visited 30 of the 50 states. Now, four year later Continue reading

Jack Klugman died on Serling Day Eve

My fondness for actor Jack Klugman, who died on Serling Day Eve, was quite great. He appeared in four different episodes of the classic television show The Twilight Zone, which I own on DVD. Watch a couple minutes of In Praise of Pip.

I also possess, on DVD, the classic 1957 murder trial film 12 Angry Men, with a cast that was, or would become, name actors. Klugman was juror #5, the soft-spoken young man, who provides pivotal insight. Watch a brief clip.

Much later, using his fame as Quincy, the fictional medical examiner, the actor Continue reading

Guns in every school?

Tom the Mayor, my old FantaCo and YMCA buddy, asks: How do you feel about the NRA’s idea of having guns in every school, you being a parent. I think they are vile and evil..

I’m not keen the NRA’s idea. I like what Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams had to say: Keep your guns out of my school! Among other things, the armed guards, in schools and elsewhere, are often early targets for would-be mass killers. I worry that having armed guards will accelerate the problem. And the foolish notion of making the teachers into a militia is beyond the scope of the job, when they have been given increasing responsibilities for – ready for it – teaching.

If we have armed guards in every school, where will the money come from? The strains on school budgets NOW are enormous. Now, if the NRA is willing to PAY for all of these people, MAYBE we can talk about it. (Nah, not even then.) Who will these people be, anyway? A police officer, with a level of training in situational behavior, or a rent-a-cop who just knows how to take target practice well ?
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Is God that much of an S.O.B.?

For at least the last dozen years, there have been a handful of religious “leaders” who, after some tragic and horrific event, will proclaim that it happened for some reason related to that place somehow offended God. We heard it after 9/11, and Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, among others, and now after the murders of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee blamed the school shooting on failure to have compulsory prayer at school; damned that inconvenient separation of church and state! Others have blamed disasters on the acceptance of abortion and gay marriage. Some Tennessee pastor specifically said the mass shootings take place because schools teach evolution and “how to be a homo;” I shan’t link to it.

For sake of the argument, let’s assume that God is the spiteful, vindictive entity that some religious leaders say God is. Still, how do they KNOW it’s THESE particular activities that’s ticking off the Deity? Continue reading