Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.
Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.
MINNEAPOLIS BANS RED AUTOMOBILES Minneapolis. August 11, 1932 (A.P) If one drives a red automobile after this, it's going to be too bad. The City Council has passed an ordinance prohibiting the driving of automobiles painted red "or a red color so similar to fire department vehicles that they are not easily distinguishable." Just what shade fire department red is will be left to policemen, and, if a policeman happens to be color blind, it may mean sixty days or worse and a $50 fine. To make matters worse all fire department equipment isn't painted the same shade of red. ** In 1913, Colorado Springs, Colorado passed a law that limited the length of women's hat-pins. The ordinance wasn't revoked until 1949. ** NEXT QUESTION! What woman’s name is on the Declaration of Independence? (answer somewhere below) THE BURNING DOWN OF THE BROOK FARM HOUSE Boston, July 4 1905. Mischievous Boys last night destroyed with their Fourth of July firecrackers the famous old Brook Farm House -- the ancient dwelling in West Roxbury where sixty years ago Ralph Waldo Emerson, George William Curtis, Margaret Fuller, Frank B. Sanborn, the elder Parker, Charles A. Dana, and a dozen more kindred spirits set up their short lived democracy. it was there that Hawthorne wrote at the beginning of his literary career. ** NERF BALL "The most popular toy of 1970 was the nerf ball, beloved by kids and parents alike for its harmless indoor use. Since then, nerf has gone on to become a hugely popular brand with a wide array of blasters, all firing special foam balls or darts. Nerf stands for "non-expanding recreational foam..." Source: Thrillist | Date Updated: April 6, 2021 (GENIUS TRIVIA site) ** THE ONLY WOMAN WHO "SIGNED" THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE Mary Katherine Goddard — the only woman who "signed" the Declaration of Independence. Mary Katherine Goddard is unfamiliar to many Americans, but her name sits on the Declaration of Independence alongside those of founding fathers like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.
CAMEL SIGHTING IN AMERICA IN 1709 "The first mention of a camel ever being seen in America was made in 1709, when one was reorted to be in the colony of Virginia. Why the animal was there and what became of it later are not recorded." Doug Storer. AMAZING BUT TRUE FACTS (NY: Sterling Publishing Co., 1980) **
From THE WASHINGTON POST FACT CHECKER
ON SENATOR TIM SCOTT'S BIOGRAPHY “Our family went from cotton to Congress in one lifetime,” Scott said in a speech to the Republican National Convention last year. Our research reveals a more complex story. Scott leaves out that his grandfather’s father was a substantial landowner — and Scott’s grandfather, Artis Ware, worked on that farm. Indeed, Scott’s family history in South Carolina offers a fascinating window into a little-known aspect of history in the racist South following the Civil War and in the immediate aftermath of slavery: that some enterprising Black families purchased property as a way to avoid sharecropping and achieve a measure of independence from White-dominated society. Against heavy odds, Scott’s ancestors amassed relatively large areas of farmland, a mark of distinction in the Black community at the time, though this distinction did not necessarily translate to wealth at the time, according to our investigation. From THE WASHINGTON POST FACT CHECKER **(
BOWLING FOR DOLORS "...John Hickle, Jr. of Illinois, bowled a perfect game using a bowling ball filled with his father's ashes. "I had tears in my eyes in the 11th and 12th frames," said Hinkle. from THE WEEK, March 7, 2021
"Gilbert, the waspish member of the Gilbert and Sullivan team, had little regard for the acting ability of Sir Beerbohm Tree. He felt that the controversy over the true identity of Shakespeare could be settled once and for all. His solution was to have Beerbohm Tree recite from the Bard over the graves of the three contenders, Shakespeare, Bacon, and Marlowe. The real Shakespeare would, he felt certain, turn in his grave." OSCAR LEVANT. The Unimportance of Being Oscar (New York: G.P. PUTNAM'S SONS, 1968) ** <---------- Ophelia, this way to the nunnery ** Shakespeare began Hamlet as a searching study of the soul of man, but before he was done the characters were fighting duels all over the place and going mad and participating in all the varied experiences which come to men in melodrama. Heywood Broun. Seeing Things at Night. *** Shakespeare, who belonged to a generation whose immediate predecessors had experienced social upheaval and anarchy and, as a result, were haunted by a dread of them, put into the speech of Ulysses in his great and bitter play Troilus and Cresside the sense of chaotic nightmare engendered by the removal from the body politic of the cement of “degree, priority and place, institute, course, proportion, seasons, form. Office, and custom, all in line of order” Sir Arthur Bryant. Illustrated London News (July 1971).
KICKSHAWS The word kickshaws derives from the French quelque chose, meaning ‘something’. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has a variety of alternative spellings for kickshaws and lists various illustrative quotations. The earliest quotation is dated 1598, when it appears in the original French form quelque chose. A couple of years later in 1600, Shakespeare used the spelling kickshawes in Henry IV, Part 2: “A ioynt of mutton, and any pretty little tinie Kick-shawes. ” Two decades further on (1623), the Bard used the word in Twelfth Night, albeit with a different spelling: “Sir Andrew Aguecheek says: I delight in Maskes and Reuels sometimes altogether. Sir Toby Belch replies: Art thou good at these kicke-chawses Knight?” The word has become imbued with a variety of slightly different meanings over the centuries a fancy dish in cookery, a , a , a , a fantastic person, something dainty or elegant, but unsubstantial or comparatively valueless. I was wondering about the existence of derivative forms - the OED has kickshawed. I tried a Google search and found the surprisingly named kickshawaii website, but it turned out this was a site about how and where to get entertainment and shopping kicks in Hawaii! DARRYL FRANCIS, reprinted from INTERIM (May 2021) ** EVEN SHAKESPEARE IS NOT BELOVED BY EVERYBODY Jennifer Higgie in her marvelous collection of historical insults -- FAR TOO NOISY, MY DEAR MOZART(London: Michael O'Mara Books, 1997) --presents a few choice opinions about the Bard of Avon from noted writers. To wit: "Crude, immoral, vulgar, and senseless." Leo Tolstoy With the single exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, not even Sir Walter Scott, whom I detest so entirely as I despise Shakespeare when I measure my mind against his...it would positively be a relief to me to dig him up and throw stones at him. George Benard Shaw This enormous dunghill. Voltaire To the King's theater, where we saw A Midsummer Night's Dream, which I had never seen before, nor shall ever again, for it is the most insipid, ridiculous play I ever saw in my life. Samuel Pepys ** If Shakespeare can be so crudely dismissed & insulted why should lesser writers care what critics and reviewers think about their works? SHAKESPEARE IN TOMBSTONE Tombstone is not nearly as much fun As it used to be: Shot glasses smashed against mirrors, All that broken glass, Gun-Slinger after gunslinger coughing Out their lungs Into what is left of their brains. The day of the movie singing- Cowboy has long passed. At 8 A.M. morning light Is clear As an ace-high straight. Clementine loved Tombstone. Its desert flowers Smelled like shaving lotion. But her calicos are long gone. Wyatt Earp’s youngest brother, Plugged in his back, Has been discovered face-down In a driving rain. Another Curtain lowered, His soliloquy Left unfinished, Crossing the bourn from which No traveler returns. To be Or not to be etc. etc. He was,like his brother, A mess of personal problems. Wild Bill? Not a lot of heroes left, Good guys galloping pell-mell Out of this place. Actors In this movie have also passed Into that other country, You too shall be in that cast. Well…“I humbly thank you; Exeunt all,pursued by bears. Louis Phillips Louis Phillips
"An insurance company pamphlet described Moses as 'One of the greatest salesmen and real- estate promoters that ever lived.' Jesus Christ was called 'the founder of modern business.'" Jim Bishop. The Golden Ham: A Candid Biography of Jackie Gleason ( New York: Simon and Schuster, 1956).
CULTURAL NOTE Jackie Gleason Was not always the voice of reason. **
REMEMBERING REDD FOXX Notorious for his frank, tell-it-like-it-is style, Redd Foxx broke new ground for minorities and comedians alike. By joking about everything from sex to color barriers, he brought simmering and taboo issues into the open. His candor onstage not only jump-started what is now considered a war with censors, but also inspired and enabled other comedians to achieve more than had ever been possible. Foxx was not only “The King of Comedy,” but also a talented artist. He took a sketchbook with him whenever possible, and enjoyed creating his own fantastic images or capturing the essence of those whom he loved or admired. John Elroy Sanford was born into poverty in St. Louis on December 9, 1922. With a ruddy complexion, Redd fast became a nickname. He derived Foxx from admirable Major League Baseball player, Jimmie Foxx. He left St. Louis for Chicago when he was 13, and supported himself by playing the washboard in a band. When the band broke up three years later, he hopped a train to New York City. It was there that he met Malcolm Little, a man who would later be known as Malcolm X. In The Autobiography of Malcolm X, he is referred to as “Chicago Red, the funniest dishwasher on this earth.” from The Official Redd Foxx Website ** WHERE THE SHEEP BELONGING TO REDD FOXX ARE TO BE FOUND Foxx’s Flocks Are on the rocks Among the phlox.
ON W.H. AUDEN & BETTE DAVIS Auden: I was once rung from Hollywood by Miss Bette Davis. She said, "Mr. Auden, I've just been reading one of your poems." I said, "I'm glad to hear it, madam, but it's two o'clock in the morning," and I put the phone down. Chester has never forgiven me. Speech from THE HABIT OF ART by Alan Bennett's play about an imagined meeting of Auden and Benjamin Britten. ** DOROTHY PARKER & GERTRUDE STEIN
"To quote the only line of Gertrude Stein's which I have ever been able to understand, 'It is wonderful how I am not interested. Dorothy Parker
ROBERT DONAT Robert Donat, Munching on a doughnut, Launched into the “To be or not to be” speech. What wd he recite if he were eating a peach? *** SALUTING A CELEBRITY IN ANCIENT ROME In ca A.D. 68-95, "The charioteer Scorpus rises to wealth and fame with thousands of victories on the racecourse before dying at age 27. David Alvarez. "Chariot Racing in Rome" in National Geographic History, vol.7, no.2
Being a star made it possible for me to get insulted in places where the average Negro could never hope to go and get insulted. Sammy Davis, Jr in his autobiography Yes, I Can *** CELEBRITIES & RACE HORSES Celebrities are a good deal like horses. Both are uneasy in the presence of people who don’t know how to handle them. To be much in the company of either celebrities or horses calls for a specialized vocabulary, the assimilation of a regal etiquette, and – most important of all – an air of authority. Toadying to a celebrity, or even deferring to him, is like approaching on the wrong side; in either case you get your toes stepped on. Russell Maloney. “In a Den of Lyons” in The New Yorker (April 7, 1945) Celebrities are not appendages of our society anymore; they are the basis of our communal lives. Literature and architecture, art and politics, are at most sidelights –small, ancient alleyways down which fewer and fewer minds wander. Pop culture has long since left the word culture behind to become the primary way we understand the world. Stephen Marche. “Consumer Products” in Lapham’s Quarterly (Winter 2011)
ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S GETTYSBURG ADDRESS ________________________________________________________________
SHERMAN BILLINGSLEY AND THE STORK CLUB (1950’s)
There is a story about the time George Jessel arrived at the entrance of the Cub Room bringing with him a beautiful and talented lady, Lena Horne. This caused a bit of a stir. Billingsley and his headwaiters weren't very big on racial equality, but Jessel happened to be a regular. The headwaiter was on the spot. He was trying to figure out what to do, mumbling and fumbling through' his reservation book, acting as though there were no tables left. Of course, Jessel knew what was going on and I'm sure Lena did too. After a while, the headwaiter said to Jessel, "Mr. Jessel, who made the reservation?" And Jessel answered, "Abraham Lincoln." A few people heard this and chuckled, and Billingsley across the room finally gave the flustered maitre d' a nod, and Mr. Jessel and Miss Horne walked in and were seated. That night the Cub Room was temporarily integrated. from Honest Abe by Abe Burrows (Boston-Toronto: Little Brown and Company, 1953. ***** ABRAHAM LINCOLN Abraham Lincoln – Did he ever have an inklin’ That he wd be known as “Honest Abe” Or Lone Ranger fans might call him “Kemo sabe’? ***
Abraham Lincoln is the only president in American history to hold a patent. William Herndon spent part of 1848 watching bemusedly as his law partner, Abraham Lincoln, sat at his office desk intently whittling a strange-looking wooden ship. Looking up from time to time, Lincoln would excitedly explain how his invention would bring about a revolution in the burgeoning steamboat industry. Lincoln’s design, which became U.S. Patent No. 6469, details the invention of an inflatable bellows system meant to improve the navigation of boats in shallow waters. In effect, four balloons would be collapsed, accordion-like, and attached to both sides of a riverboat on either end. If the boat found its way obstructed by a sandbar, the balloons would be filled with air in order to raise the hull higher than the bar, allowing passage without having to unload the cargo and carry the boat manually. This issue was particularly important to the inventor, who had spent part of his youth on the treacherous Sangamon River and had twice run aground on high shoals. Lincoln’s patent was never implemented and was in fact lost for many years after a fire in the patent office. Throughout his life Lincoln expressed a strong philosophical love for the patent system. Lincoln’s model and his drawings are now on display in the Smithsonian. From the Website 10 FACTS ABOUT ABRAHAM LINCOLN *** OSCAR WILDE & HIS THOUGHTS ABOUT AMERICA 1) "America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up." 2) "America has never quite forgiven Europe for having been discovered somewhat earlier in history than itself." 3) "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilisation in between."Nov 30, 2015 *** "What is a liberal? A liberal finds it in his heart to forgive Jane Fonda for being in Hanoi, but not for being in Barbarella." David Frost * THE PILGRIMS FROM THE MAYFLOWER "...the Pilgrims were arrogant and brutal. The bleached bones of Indigenous Americans who had died in an epidemic were taken by (WILLIAM) Bradford to mean that God had cleared the land for his people. It was a mandate and a responsibility that forbade tolerance. The maypole belonging to the adjacent plantation at Merrymount, where standards of devotion were lax,was destroyed as a pagan idol and the revellers' non-puritan leader repatriated. Bradford's ruffian enforcer, Myles Standish, stabbed three Massachusett warriors at a peace summit and brought back a head as a trophy." Malcolm Gaskill, reviewing The Puritans: A Transatlantic Journey by David D. Hall, and The Journey tO The Mayflower: God's Outlaws and The Invention of Freedom by Stephen Tomkins (The London Review of Books, 13 March 2021) *** JOHNNY INKSLINGER MOURNS THE DEATH OF BETSY ROSS Freedom? What a stitch! Freedom to please the men with money, The flag orderers: May 29, 1777. L 14 ‘for making ships’ colors etc. “But don't tread on me" For I am body surfing into symbolism: 13 Stars for Paramount, Republic,M-G-M Stripes for our peerless leaders. 1777: My country at the ragged edge of Liberty, Needling England's cry-baby king, & Here I am stomping at the Savoy With Chick Webb and his orchestra, While The Supreme Court rules "We do not consecrate the flag By punishing its desecration, By doing so we dilute the freedom That the cherished emblem represents." To become a cherished American, Become a Statue in the hallway, Obituary in the Times, A two o'clock in the morning footnote. Let us mourn for Betsy Ross, Who once received only two feeble sentences In the Encyclopedia Britannica. What are we going to do about it, Betsy? “Oh, hell, Let's burn one of my flags!” Freedom for the poor? What a stitch! Louis Phillips (from AMERICAN ELEGIES (World Audience Publishers) https://dailydrunkmag.com/2021/04/11/the-bald-eagle-is-no-longer-bald/ **
"There are three things which I shall never forget about America: the Rocky Mountains,the Statue of Liberty and Amos 'n' Andy." George Bernard Shaw "From hobo jungles to the White House, the mundane world stopped for fifteen minutes at seven o'clock on weekday evenings; movie theaters piped in episodes between reels; department stores carried the dialogue for the convenience of late shoppers; factories staggered shifts, auto thefts soared, plumbing fell silent; and one of the representative memories of the period involved walking along a street on a spring evening and hearing the same voices float from the open windows of house after house." Robert Taylor, writing about the popularity of the Amos 'n' Andy radio show for (1930- 1932)in Fred Allen: His Life and Wit (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1989) Mr. Taylor points out "Never has a U.S. entertainment phenomenon rivaled Amos 'n' Andy,which for a brief interval (1930-1932) the total attention of the nation." ** "With Special Field Order 15, he (Major General William T. Sherman) directed that more than 400,000 acres of confiscated Confederate land to be distributed to formerly enslaved people. Under the mandate, eventually named '40 Acres and a mule,' nearly 40,000 Black Americans were settled within six months. "The land grant was short-lived. After President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, his successor Andrew Johnson, moved to pacify white Confederate planters-- by repealing Order 15 and returning their land." Natalie Baszile. "The Indelible Legacy of Land" in National Geographic (April 2021) ** We price the cotton. We spin the yarn. We weave the fabric. We dress the world. Same as it ever was and as it will always be. Welcome to Spindle City. ---Colonel Jefferson Cleveland, president of Cleveland Mill, speaking to visiting French Trade Council, 1886 Epigraph to Spindle City by Jotham Burrello (Ashland, Oregon: Black Stone Publishers, 2020) ** Although Utah lies more than 500 miles from the nearest ocean, its official state bird is the sea-gull. ** The 1st U.S. President to have a phone placed directly upon his desk in the White House was Herbert Hoover in 1929. The phone number of the White House that year was NA-1414. ***
Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing the matter with this, except that it ain’t so. Mark Twain I am killing only one man in this tragedy, now, and that is bad, for nothing helps out a play like bloodshed. But in a few days I propose to introduce the smallpox into the last act. And if that don’t work I shall close with a general massacre. Mark Twain in his curtain speech at the opening of The Gilded Age (September 16, 1874) ** Coca-Cola was created in1886 by an ex-Confederate soldier, John S.Pemberton. A bookkeeper, F.M. Robinson, named the concoction Coca-Cola because the taste was derived from a combination of cocoa leaves and cola nuts. When the syrup went on sale that first year, only 25 gallons were sold.Eventually, in desperation, Pemberton sold out his interest in the formula for $1,750. ** BADLANDS What the French first dubbed Mauvaises terres pour traverser, All my life I have lived in the Badlands, At least in my imagination, Where gullies are filled With bones of my enemies (It will take more than death to bleach them) Not really part of the World Of treacherous copybooks, I turn my thoughts to South Dakota, To gunslingers & outlaws Running ragged Over this land, with its mesas & saw-tooth grasses, Jagged terrain & fluted hills, What have I gained by being so docile? Loose gravel scatters under my horses' hooves. Nothing better than to run wild, Bringing coronary thrombosis To a huge posse of critics. Mostly, I do not wish To be like everybody else. Ah! Yes! The Badlands! Louis Phillips
"The Latin word for head is caput' snd cattle were 'capitale' whence comes our modern word capital. So it becomes evident that in ancient days, cattle and money were synonyms. So closely were they associated that the Greek and Romans stamped their coins with the image of an ox," John J.Floherty. Money-Go-Round: The Story of Money. 1944
This sentence is of no monetary worth whatsoever. ** MONEY “But money, of course, is never just about money. It’s always something else, and it’s always something more, and it always has the last word.” Paul Auster Such is the brutalization of commercial ethics in this country that no one can feel anything more delicate than the velvet touch of a soft buck.’ Raymond Chandler Not all fictions are shared by all humans, but at least one has become universal, and this is money. Dollar bills have absolutely no value except on our collective imagination, but everybody believes in the dollar bill. Yuval Noah Harari What good is freedom if you’ve not got the money for it? It’s always very fine to go on about Nora’s escape at the end of A Doll’s House,but just how was she planning to eat that night? Lillian Hellman ON TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION Republicans refuse to tax the rich. They have the scratch but not the itch. ** People may be divided, according to their attitude towards money, into two classes: one wants to have money; the other wants to spend it. One wants security; the other pleasure. Of those two extremes –misers and spendthrifts – the misers are the more logical, because security may give you pleasure, but pleasure cannot give you security. George Mikes Men are keener to use their money to impress the rich than to help the poor. Frederic Raphael, Cuts and Bruises (Carcanet Press Ltd.) ** PIN MONEY "Invention of metal pin has been traced to the fourteenth century, but for many decades after they were first made they were scarce and costly. English law permitted shopkeepers to sell them only on January 1 and 2. "Consequently, it became customary for the housewife at the beginning of the year to ask her husband for 'pin money' sufficient to buy a supply for the months ahead. In the early days the sum required for such a purpose was considerable.' "After pins became plentiful and cheap, shrewd wives retained the custom of requesting the annual stipend, which they spent a they pleased. Consequently, any allowance or gift for incidental purchases came to be known as pin money." Webb B. Garrison WHY YOU SAY IT (New York: Abingdon, 1955) ** I knew so little about money. I used to sign my checks, “Love, Rita.” Rita Rudner God gave me my money. John D. Rockefeller SOCRATES ON WALL STREET $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$S$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ MONOPOLY/MONOPOLIES Why is there only one monopolies commission. Anonymous ** ACCOUNTING Money comes & money goes, & this is just as true in prose.
It’s not like you sees songs approaching and invite them in. It’s not that easy. You want to write songs that are bigger than life. You want to say something about strange things that have happened to you, strange things you have seen. You have to know and understand something and then go past the vernacular. Bob Dylan. Chronicles. One night Frankie Laine and I got into a much publicized argument over whether or not I was able to write three hundred fifty songs in one week, a feat thereupon was forced to perform by sitting every afternoon for six days in the window of Music City, a record store at the corner of Sunset and Vine in Hollywood. Steve Allen. Mark It and Strike It (New York: Holt,Rinehart and Winston, 1960) *(by 1960, Steve Allen had composed over 2,000 songs) Camilo, a singer from Colombia writes hits even when he's not trying. Jon Pareles. "His Pop Spans the Hemisphere" in The New York Times (March 4, 2021) *** I’ve always wanted to be somebody, but I see now I should have been more specific. Lily Tomlin *** NORMAN ROCKWELL Norman Rockwell Cd paint a summer frock well. At least his women did not have 3 eyes As in paintings by some other guys. ** celebrity (n.)late 14c., "solemn rite or ceremony," from Old French celebrité "celebration" or directly from Latin celibritatem (nominative celebritas) "multitude, fame," from celeber "frequented, populous" (see celebrate). Meaning "condition of being famous" is from c. 1600; that of "a famous person" is from 1849. When the old gods withdraw, the empty thrones cry out for a successor, and with good management, or even without management, almost any perishable bag of bones may be hoisted into the vacant seat. [E.R. Dodds, "The Greeks and the Irrational" From THE ON LINE ETYMOLOGICAL DICTIONARY *** CELEBRITY/CELEBRITIES Many, if not most of Thackeray’s characters are animated or endowed by life with the famous – they are celebrity seekers of more or less proficiency. Arthur Pendennis, for one, spends the days of his London youth breakfasting “with a peer, a bishop, a parliamentary orator, two blue ladies of fashion, a popular preacher, the author of the latest novel, and the very latest lion imported from Egypt or from America,” refreshing himself from his journalistic labors with a social set deliberately composed of the indiscriminately well known. Nicholas Dares. Nineteenth Century Literature, Vol. 56 ( June 2001) Being a star made it possible for me to get insulted in places where the average Negro could never hope to go and get insulted. Sammy Davis, Jr in his autobiography Yes,I Can
WHAT DOES THE WORLD KNOW THAT WE DO NOT Aching with credit, I was in the one store That possessed A weight machine Dispensing fortunes. I stepped on the scale: Weight 192 pounds, The small cardboard, Like a stick of gum, read: Fame & Fortune 9:16 At 44th Street & Broadway. Don’t be late. At 8:16 I arrived & waited. Waited all day From A.M. to P.M. Those two bastards Never did show up. ** Celebrities are not appendages of our society anymore; they are the basis of our communal lives. Literature and architecture, art and politics, are at most sidelights –small, ancient alleyways down which fewer and fewer minds wander. Pop culture has long since left the word culture behind to become the primary way we understand the world. Stephen Marche. “Consumer Products” in Lapham’s Quarterly (Winter 2011) ** CHARLTON HESTON Charlton Heston Giving a speech in Reston, Va. sd “ Moses wd have had more fun Leaving Egypt if he had carried a gun.” ** > THE APPLE SAUCE CHRONICLES #14 Fairly original wordplay by Louis Phillips THE IMPORTANCE OF MATH : The number Zero proves that nothing matters. ** CROWDEDELEVATOR Everybodyisall Pushedtogether Likethis&there Nobreathingno R oomatallhere Si rsnosmoking.Ev erybody....out K = A piece of cake J= Pre-K G= The end of everything Is the opposite of conclusion PROCLUSION? Death – Just live with it. THOSE WHO SEIZED CAESAR’S SCISSORS Those who seized Caesar’s scissors Were Caesar’s scissors’ seizers. Various sizes were Caesar’s scissors & they who seized Caesar’s scissors of various sizes Live across the seas, near Suez, sez Caesar. ** ** (with the help of Robert Scotto, the following film title): Goya Goya Goya—a Japanese film about a sneak attack on European paintings. ANOTHER MUSICAL FILM FESTIVAL From Martin Smith & Cynthia Epstein the heroes of TELEMANN . the ROREN twenties HAYDN plain sight. how to succeed in BIZET-ness without really trying bad day at BARTOK sundays and SIBELIUS how GRIEG was my valley DOYLE in the sun RAVELs with my aunt . the sound and the FAURE * Future Menu Item –Welsh Robot ** ‘ Short story of a shot-gun marriage – screWED In a barroom moot tool looters are not welcome. Sentence with 6 consecutive double letters. ANSWER: Fast acting QUESTION: What do you call it when you pretend to go on a diet. ** PASTELS – subways of a by-gone era OPTIMIST – high fog FRUSTRATION – a dole of frust Horror cowboy film: HOME ON DERANGE ** CLEAN PORNOGRAPHY The Philaunderer --man who has numerous love affairs and Does the laundry while making love ** Want to go out and drill holes? Naah. Too boring. * A scientist in Paris labored for years to create a human being in his laboratory. He took a mole from the shoulder of film producer Howard Hill and by manipulating the chromosomal structure he was able to build a French essayist. Now that’s what I call making a Montaigne out of a Hill’s mole. ** incomplet ** As the Mafia said in the Old Testament: Make them an Ophir they can’t refuse.
I owe everything I have to boxing. I owe the milkman, the grocer, the newspaper boy… Art Aragon There ain’t nothing like being in a corner, and the trainer is whispering in your ear and another guy is putting in your mouthpiece. Five seconds to go, then boom! The bell. It’s more exciting than looking down a cliff. George Foreman, quoted in Newsweek (January 26, 1976) ** A 1949 JOKE BOOK PREDICTS THE FUTURE They were examining an applicant for a government position at one of the more important air fields. They were helping this fellow fill out the application.They would ask the questions, he would give the answers. Finally they said, "Do you belong to any political party that plans to overthrow the government?" Yessir." "What? ...did I understand you correctly?" You belong to a political party that plans to overthrow the government?" "Yessir. I belong to a political party that plans to overthrow the government." "What party is that?" "The Republican Party." from stop me if you've heard this one: the favorite stories of three favorite funnymen - Lew Lehr, Cal Tinney, Roger Bower (New York: Permabooks, 1949) ** In an interview, General Norman Schwarzkopf was asked if he thought there was room for forgiveness toward the people who have harbored and abetted the terrorists who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks on America. His answer was classic Schwarzkopf. The General said, "I believe that forgiving them is God's function... OUR job is to arrange the meeting." ** OF VIOLIN MUSIC & A STRIP-TEASER'S G-STRING G-string (n.) 1878, geestring, "loincloth worn by an American Indian," originally the string that holds it up, etymology unknown. The spelling with G (1882) is perhaps from influence of violin string tuned to a G (in this sense G string is first recorded 1831), the lowest and heaviest of the violin strings. First used of women's attire 1936, with reference to strip-teasers. I AM the spirit of the silver "G": I am silvered sadness, I am moonlit gladness, I am that fine madness Of reverence half, and half of ecstasy [from "Spirit of the 'G' String," Alfred L. Donaldson, in "Songs of My Violin," 1901] from The ON LINE ETYMOLOGICAL DICTIONARY
FROM TWO GUEST CONTRIBUTORS POEM by Mac Bica Love Betrayed Through life he rode with sword in hand his goal to free this evil land no dragon safe, no windmill spared he spoke of love when no one cared. Oh gentle knight your task is clear between the laugh, before the tear, to show mankind he can't conceal the truth of things that are not real. Beware sweet knight your greatest foe, who'll distort the love that you bestow with cross in hand he hides the sword, his deed is sanctioned by the lord. With speed and skill he struck the dove it is the will of god above and those below who love betrayed to end this foolish knight's charade. And we who ask so much of life, seek love replace its endless strife and we who dream of what could be are doomed to sleep eternally. Prepare my friends the knight's return, and pray we're not too blind to learn. ******* FROM MICHAEL HAINES I recall going to the Roxy when the Duke Ellington band was there, and when the film ended and the orchestra rose out of the pit playing “Take the A Train," the top of my head blew off. From then on, any movie set in New York had me. Woody Allen. Apropos of Nothing. Lives that connect to others are not misplaced; perhaps wandering. I had a similar experience to Woody Allen. At the age of 18 or 19 I was in a darkened fraternity house, doing absolutely nothing and thinking I was mostly alone. The top of my mind blew off when someone dropped the needle on a record of Ray Charles doing What'd I Say. I shouted "what is that?!" I had never heard it, and someone said "it's Ray Charles." I said "can't be, Ray Charles leads on a capella chorus that performs on the Perry Como show." I became a lifelong fan.
BIRDS (The crow) is a laddo that can’t afford any gorgeousness in his feathers; all black, except for a better-off brother who decorates his plumage of brilliant black with snow-white bands – the magpie, the cleric of the Corvidae, a dignified chap, fond of chattering as a cleric is fond of preaching. Sean O’Casey. The Green Crow (1956) No cånyon is too cold for this little bird, none too lonely, provided it be rich in falling water. Find a fall, or cascade, or rushing rapid, anywhere upon a clear stream , and then you would surely find its complimentary Ouzel, flitting about in the spray, diving in foaming eddies, whirling like a leaf among beaten foam-balls, ever vigorous and enthusiastic, yet self- contained, and neither seeking nor shunning your company. John Muir, describing The Water Ouzel. The Mountains of California. …owling requires consideration and respect for the owl. You need to channel owl empathy. Owls are wild. On their minds are three concerns: shelter, food, reproduction. Whatever calories their bodies are expending, it is to secure those needs. To survive, Mira Ptacin. “The Art and Education of Owling” in The New York Times (February 7, 2021) The other thrushes are baroque artists, constantly elaborating, reworking and adding to their showy repertoire. The hermit thrush is a classicist, working on the principle of less is more, multum in parvo. Constantly changing variations appear within a simple, firm musical framework. Complex chords and high overtones climb and resonate between the tree trunks to create a sense of space and depth: a song In three –no, four–dimensional space that seems to speak of eternal things. Eric Salzman, quoted in The New York Times obituary written by Neil Genzlinger (November 26, 2017) ** (Egg, circa 5th Century BCE Athenian cookery) The eggs of the peacock, a rare and much admired bird, were claimed to be highly superior; 'fox- goose' eggs ranked second, and hen's eggs a distant third. The domestic hen was common in the Mediterranean by fifth century BC and almost every Athenian had one, which may explain the poor gastronomic rating of its eggs. Reay Tannahill. Food in History (New York: Three Rivers Press, 1988) ** BIRD-WATCHING (in memory of Jack Violi) Black-feathered With a voice For an eye, Its round eye opens. Flared At the neck & high Among branches, its choice Is to widen Our forest. It Frets with color As a mad painter, Jet-blue, then brown, & never sits Still. It grows fainter Then sails or Soars, flits down Into a fool's spectrum. What fastens Onto branches The way blackbirds do? Theirs is the dumb Motion of panic, is The beak that glistens With food. Blue- Black, the jackdaw thinks Mostly of hunger, Whistles its fast Among high branches, Its grackle head shrinks To a thimble fist In fear without anger, Bobbing As a wooden duck does On the edge Of a pan. Hops, Flaps in a climate Of nerves, air-flows' & twigs, it stops Only to feed, to hedge' The lake, to mate. Black birds are Anything but black, Are dark blue wiggles & wags, purple tails Jutting in air, Slightly invisible Weather vanes, then back To the isles Of branches. Their Universe Is worm-centered, An eye among storms. Flattened in air, They head North, then reverse To roost in swarms. Boat-tailed, The grackle chucks Chucks, keels To the wind,lights Treads stately, then head Up, wheels To a ribbon of black & sets its sight For water. No Tears for him, He merely adjusts To no avail. The blackbird knows Weather as he thrusts His feathers into a whim & sail. His head nods. The wind is doing some- Where, but what Flutters through branches Is not wind, But a polished flit Of blackbirds handsome As boots. The wind is Going somewhere, But what flutters Through the branches Is not wind, but grackles. (1970) ** OF PEACOCKS & A SLOW STATELY DANCE pavan (n.)"slow, stately dance," 1530s, from French pavane (1520s), probably from Spanish pavana, from pavo "peacock" (from Latin pavo; see peacock), in reference to the bird's courting movements. But some see an Italian origin and trace the name to Padovana "Paduan." Possibly it is a merger of two distinct dance words. from The Online Etymological Dictionary **
THINKING "Words do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. I seem to use more or less clear images of a visual type, combined with some muscular feeling. These vaguely play together, combining with each other, without any logical construction in words and signs which could be communicated to others." ALBERT EINSTEIN
** Men don’t care what’s on TV. They only care what else is on TV. Jerry Seinfeld That is how the mind of a top-flight comedian works. My mind when, at odd moments, it thinks does not think like that. Most of the time my thoughts are in free fall, the larger parachute called ideas rarely opens. For example, when I was in college I enjoyed thinking about naked women. I still do, but now I wonder how different my life would be if the Philosophy Department had changed its name to THINKING ABOUT NAKED PEOPLE just how successful that Major would have been. I cannot think of any Student I knew not signing up for it. The Chair of the Department would soon be paid more than the football coaches. Philosophy teachers would be needed by the dozens. Final exams would be fun to take, and our nation’s low opinion about critical thinking would change overnight. LJP **
MOVIE WISDOM "When a man is wrestling a leopard in the middle of a pond, he is in no position to run." Cary Grant's character in the classic screwball comedy directed by Howard Hawks --"Bringing Up Baby” ** I recall going to the Roxy when the Duke Ellington band was there, and when the film ended and the orchestra rose out of the pit playing “Take the A Train," the top of my head blew off. From then on, any movie set in New York had me. Woody Allen. Apropos of Nothing. -- ** SCI-FI Bruce Weber of The New York Times (December 6, 2008) began the obituary of this man with the following: It’s a common claim that someone is the world’s biggest fan of such-and such. Elizabeth Taylor’s biggest fan . The biggest fan of the New York’s Jets. The world’s Biggest country music fan. Hardly anyone takes such a designation seriously, except perhaps when it comes to _________ ________, whose obsessive devotion to science fiction and horror stories was so fierce that he helped propel their popularity. Indeed, he was widely credited with coining the term sci-fi. Can you identify the man who coined the term sci-fi? Forrest J Ackerman. According to Bruce Weber: “Mr. Ackerman said he came up with ‘sci-fi’ in 1954. He was driving in a car with his wife when he heard a radio announcer say ‘Hi-fi.’ he term, sci-fi just came reflexively and unbidden out of his mouth. ** THE POLITICAL SCIENCE FINAL EXAM Please answer the essay question in the blue book provided. In October 2020, Televangelist Pat Robertson announced that God told him that Donald Trump would win the Presidential election. Why did God lie to Pat Robertson? ** Dear Editors: I beg to differ with the New York Times headline that refers to Marjorie Taylor Greene's destructive fantasies as "remarks". Gertrude Stein remarked that "Remarks are not literature," but hate speech is not a casual remark. Free speech is one issue so many Trump-driven supporters do not understand. calling for Nancy Pelosi to be killed or accusing Jewish persons of starting forest fires with lasers from a distant planet is the equivalent to yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. Using "free speech" as a catch-all to spread false narratives and to express disdain for truth and scientific fact creates a poisonous environment that kills freedom, drains the oxygen from the air that true speech needs to thrive in. Not all speech is equal, nor is all speech free. Words can kill. Sincerely, Louis Phillips ** AS IF ONE COULD LIVE ON LIGHT ALONE The moon with its bad eye Is a midnight feast. Why are so many of us Dining at the wrong table? **