Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I'm With Her

I was almost ready to type this headline last week after Hillary Clinton won in New York (despite my enthusiastic vote for Bernie Sanders), but with her wins tonight in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware, my first choice for president in 2016 does not have a path to the nomination, despite taking Rhode Island tonight (and keeping Connecticut close as I write this). It's also clear that Donald Trump, after easily sweeping all five Republican primaries tonight, will be the GOP nominee. Beating someone as dangerously xenophobic, egotistic, bombastic, and simplistic as Donald Trump is too important this year. And Hillary Clinton's supporters lined up behind my first choice Barack Obama in 2008, so it's time for me to return the favor.

I've been a vocal supporter of Bernie Sanders on this blog and at @TrueBlueLiberal on Twitter since he announced his candidacy last May; I changed my registration to Democrat immediately, and contributed to his campaign, and voted for him in New York last Tuesday, but now I'm With Her until November.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


This has been a rough year for the music world, but losing Prince at 57 may be the biggest bolt out of the blue (or purple). As with David Bowie, there will be a crowd of other musicians coming out with new covers of Prince songs, but here's an old cover from Sinéad O'Connor, and one that seems appropriate -- all too appropriate.

Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U by MovieFanQS

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Primary Election Day In New York That Matters!

Around the city the polls opened at  six am, but in my county they're open at noon until nine pm, so I have to wait until after work to vote for Bernie. 
It's going to be a long day in the office. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

"People now, through this campaign I think, are sensing that they're not alone, and that's a big deal."

Take a walk through Brooklyn with Bernie Sanders and Mark Ruffalo on the eve of the New York primary:

I'm so glad that I finally get to vote tomorrow in a meaningful election (even though it required some advance planning last May to do so).

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Proof that Donald Trump never meant to take his joke as far as New York.

It's obvious that Donald J. Trump grossly underestimated the stupidity of the Republican primary voters. His children made it clear this week that he never expected to be a viable candidate when the calendar reached April 19. If he had expected to be one of the survivors from the initial field of 17 GOP hopefuls when the New York primary arrived, wouldn't Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump (or someone on their father's staff) have made some effort to find out what was involved in making them eligible to vote in the Republican primary?
"They had a long time to register and they were, you know, unaware of the rules, and they didn't, they didn't register in time, so they feel very, very guilty...But it's fine. I mean I understand that. I think they have to register a year in advance and they didn't. So Eric and Ivanka I guess won't be voting." --Donald Trump phone interview on Fox News, April 11, 2016
When Bernie Sanders (who is not my father) announced that he was running for president on May 26th of last year, I went to the New York State Board of Elections website to start the lengthy process of changing my registration from "No Party" to "Democratic Party" almost immediately. Wouldn't the children of an actual presidential candidate have done the same? And wouldn't that actual presidential candidate have a better idea about his home state's election laws than "I think they have to register a year in advance"?

This is a publicity stunt and ego trip that got completely out of hand, and now he's trying to figure out the rules as he goes along.

Update 12:32EDT, 4/14/16:
Now we find out a top Trump surrogate and attorney Michael Cohen can't vote for his boss either, due to the fact he's registered as a Democrat in New York.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

"...you are either a creep or an asshole, and that’s that. All human nature is torn between this dynamic..."

I was a subscriber to The Village Voice back in the late 70s, when it was not a giveaway and had a great deal of artistic, political, philosophical, musical, and humorous content in every thick weekly issue that arrived in my mailbox. There is one article from those years however that I have had almost continuously in the back of my mind; when it was first published in the Voice it triggered a number of conversations at parties and among people I worked with at the Strand Book Store. It has been part of the framework with which I view the world, and I have referenced it in conversations since, among people who think I'm just making this up (to the point where I begin to wonder myself if it may be a false memory). I have never been able to find the holy text itself, until tonight. Thank you internet, especially during this year when the nation's most obvious assholes are campaigning to wrest power from one of the greatest creeps ever to sit in the White House.

The Voice needs to republish this officially on their website, but until they do, I can't thank the Tumblr page of Otto Venta enough for having transcribed Susin Shapiro's timeless observations for this post-print age. It looks as if it's been on Tumblr since 2012, so I haven't been looking hard enough. Click here to read the whole transcription there.
It includes trenchant examples from all the fields of art, commerce, politics, and the animal kingdom to illustrate the differences between creeps and assholes in Ms Shapiro's taxonomy, but there's one example that I had remembered almost verbatim over the decades -- this classification of 1979's musical landscape:
"Sensitive singer-songwriters, take your pick, are creeps; heavy-metal bozos are assholes, moog mood electronics are creep signatures (ultimate creep: Eno), and all blues, soul and R&B singers, regardless of handicaps, are assholes. Frank Zappa is really a creep dying to be an asshole, and Lou Reed is a flagrant asshole yearning for decadent creepitude. Ultimate asshole–Elvis; ultimate creep group–Beatles."
I love both Frank Zappa and Lou Reed, but I have never been able to think about either of them for too long without remembering Susin Shapiro's accurate description.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Happy #WhanThatAprilleDay16 !

Right up there with literary holidays such as Bloomsday and PynchonInPublic day that have been celebrated here at TrueBlueLiberal.org in the past, this year we discovered that the grandparent of all English-language literary celebrations takes place on April 1st. WhanThatAprilleDay is a "tyme to take joye yn alle langages that are yclept ‘old,’ or ‘middel,’ or ‘auncient,’ or ‘archaic,’ or, alas, even ‘dead.’"

I'm not ready for a confident reading of The Canterbury Tales out loud in 2016, but I'm studying for 2017.

All together now:
Whan that aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of march hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
Tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the ram his halve cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye
(so priketh hem nature in hir corages);
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
And specially from every shires ende
Of engelond to caunterbury they wende,
The hooly blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke.