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.


From Russia with Love

July 30, 2017

Let’s revise the U. S. Constitution a smidge and elect Vladimir Putin President of the U. S.–that’s my take on the matter at the end of all the neo-McCarthyite, Russophobic, Clintonian partisan bullshit and brouhaha emanating from the injured Right wing of the Democratic Party. Sure Putin looks like Ernst Stavro Blofeld, but the fact is he’s a lot more sober and saner than either Hillary Clinton or La Donald. Very Obama-like, in fact–and that’s not exactly praise coming from me–and it would probably be the least of three evils to have him in the White House, if one has to confine one’s imagination to those options. Here’s Oliver Stone and Truthdig’s Robert Scheer rapping on Stone’s recently-released interviews with Putin–a tv series and also an audiobook which digs up information in even greater detail–courtesy of Truthdig and KPFK.

I’m not big on the work of Oliver Stone–though I did like Platoon a long time ago–but recently he’s been doing some decent documentary stuff. (The Untold History of the United States, Stone’s 2012 documentary series, is surprisingly and refreshingly free of conspiracy theorizing foolishness.)


Guess what? More Bernie Sanders . . .

February 6, 2016

On Saturday Night Live . . .


Bernie Sanders Rocks

January 24, 2016

Alternative rocker Lissie talks about her new album and–guess what?–Bernie Sanders:


You can hear the wind blowing over the rubble . . .

November 26, 2012

As the dust settles in Palestine.

The Gaza Strip

“. . . the killing of entire families and the destruction of government buildings and police stations, far from encouraging Palestinians to submit, will only fortify their resistance, something Israel might have learned by consulting the pages of recent Jewish history. The Palestinians understand that they are no longer facing Israel on their own: Israel, not Hamas, is the region’s pariah. The Arab world is changing, but Israel is not. Instead, it has retreated further behind Jabotinsky’s ‘iron wall’, deepening its hold on the Occupied Territories, thumbing its nose at a region that is at last acquiring a taste of its own power, exploding in spasms of high-tech violence that fail to conceal its lack of a political strategy to end the conflict.”

Why Israel Didn’t Win” by Adam Shatz, online only at the London Review of Books‘ website.


Contrasts in Approach

November 20, 2012

Gaza Under Attack

Barenboim in Gaza

Gaza-related material linked with the images above, and then there’s “Music for Peace in Gaza and Israel: Leonard Cohen, Steve Earle, Daniel Barenboim” blogged by Greg Mitchell at The Nation.


Inheriting the Wind Department:

November 18, 2012

I Am Jewish and I Want Israel to Stop Killing Palestinians

A Pillar Built on Sand” is John Mearsheimer’s careful and scrutinizing assessment of the current and ongoing–and characteristically cruel–devastation of the Palestinian Gaza Strip by Israel’s military, at the London Review of Books‘ website.