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: “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.


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.


Are You Manning Enough?

July 31, 2017

Are You Manning Enough?

By Mr. Fish at Truthdig.


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.)