Ursula K. Le Guin

January 24, 2018

 

Ursula K. Le Guin

1929-2018

Photograph by Rod Searcey. Copyright © by Rod Searcey

Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin (from whose website I purloined the beautiful image and quotation at the top) is a crowd-funded, forthcoming documentary film on Le Guin’s life and work.

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Run Chelsea, Run!

January 20, 2018

 

Chelsea Manning is running to unseat Right-wing, crypto-fascist, Russophobic Democrat Senator Ben Cardin in the Democratic Party’s upcoming Maryland primary. I hope she wipes the floor with him.  If she doesn’t knock Cardin down to run as a Democrat, I hope she runs as an indie or third party candidate for the same office.

Glenn Greenwald reports at ZNet/The Intercept on the–predictable–backlash against Manning from the Democratic Party’s “centrist” Right-wing.


When Oscar Wilde Colluded with the Russians

November 4, 2017

 

 

“In many ways, fears of Russian interference unfolded in Victorian Britain in a manner not unlike what we see today. As was the case in Wilde’s era, the specter of an external threat had a way of unmasking internal strife.”

That’s Jennifer Wilson in a brief essay with a focus on Wilde’s first play, Vera, at The Paris Review‘s blog.


Poem of the Moment

September 4, 2017

Poetic justice by Mahmoud Darwish, on the storefront of City Lights in San Fransisco:


Poem of the Moment: “The New Higher” by John Ashbery, 1927-2017

September 4, 2017

The poet John Ashbery is gone. The above photograph of Ashbery was taken at the Villa Madama, Rome, Italy, in 1963.


Across the Universe . . .

September 3, 2017

Tomorrow NASA will be marking the 40th anniversary of the start of the two Voyager missions to the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, the outer solar system, and the stars beyond. These two spacecraft, each carrying a message from humanity in the form of a golden record containing both speech and music, are now traveling through the realm of interstellar space.

 


Grady’s Gone

August 19, 2017

Dick Gregory, stand-up comedian, writer, actor, and social justice activist, just left us.

Back in the 60s, before he played the character Grady on Sanford and Son, Gregory primarily did stand-up. He was part of a wave of iconoclastic African-American comedians who swept into the limelight–among them Flip Wilson, Godfrey Cambridge, Richard Pryor–somewhere in the space between Redd Foxx (crude, crass, brash and definitely dirty) and Bill Cosby (leaning towards cozy and ultimately way too clean). Gutsy and witty and politically incorrect before it became politically correct to be politcally incorrect, Gregory enjoyed the distinction of being both controversial and a hot property. He played Playboy Clubs and got his name on FBI watch lists. And even Carlin stole from him.

There is an empty space in the world of laughter and enlightenment on Earth now. But there’s one helluva ticket at the Pearly Gates Laughter Lounge–I like to imagine. With Pryor and Carlin and Robin Williams headlining, and Groucho as the MC.

Gregory will be missed, and remembered.