The video below uses language that some might find offensive.
A man named Ray McBerry is running for Governor of Georgia this year. His website makes the point that “Ray is the only former educator in the Republican race for Governor”. If you have not been following the race ( and it is understandable if you don’t), you may wonder why he is a former educator.
It seems as though he got to be “good friends” with a 16 year old girl, while he was a high school teacher. Shortly before a hearing was held about a restraining order, Mr. McBerry sent this letter to the girl and her family. It is a doozy. ” I couldn’t stand the thoughts of maybe never seeing y’all again and ______carrying around the burden of thinking from now on that it had been her fault that I left our church and never came back.” (HT to swgapolitics for printing the letter)
At the fishwrapper today, political writer Jim Galloway reports that opposing candidate Karen Handel is “very uncomfortable” with Mr. McBerry in the race. As several commenters point out, Ms. Handel is way too old for Mr. McBerry. Compared to McBerry, John Oxendine, Roy Barnes, and “friend of Genarlow Wilson” Eric Johnson, Ms. Handel may be the only edible candidate left.
Mr. Galloway, in the spirit of fairness, quoted Mr. McBerry about all of this. “[I]n spite of the many lies and personal attacks that have been hurled against me in this race by liberal elements of the media, it is encouraging to know that my fellow Georgians are excited that they have a true champion of states’ rights running for governor this year, someone who will stand up for their liberties and is not going to back down.” If only he would take down that comment about being a former educator.
Pictures are from The Library of Congress. None of the people shown are former educators, running for Governor of Georgia.
This facility recently printed some commentary on the english language, courtesy of Gartalker. Here is part two, not to be confused with number two. Weird is spelled correctly…you can’t have weird without we. Pictures are from the ” Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.
If all that wasn’t bad enough may I point out a few other basic flaws in our language that makes no sense to any one other than us
There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth, beeth? You have one goose, 2 geese; so one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices?
Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Why doesn’t ‘Buick’ rhyme with ‘quick’
In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.
English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all.. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
Once I was in New England and I stopped at a Taco Bell because I actually wanted to taste something. Any thing that wasn’t boiled and maybe had just a little pepper on it. Any way by the time I had left ever kid in the place was saying, “Order that one more time Mr. We just love how you talk.” One girl asks me how long it took me to learn to talk that way. Yankees, you gotta love them.
There was a comment on Facebook, and a reply. “Why does Gillian Duffy complain about welfare cheats and eastern Europeans, and then object when Gordon Brown calls her a bigot?” “The same reason Gordon Brown objects when the English speaking world calls him an idiot.”
This is a little mediadrama, recorded and distributed for all its gnarly glory. At the top of this feature is the original dialog, with British Prime Minister/Reelection candidate Gordon Brown in a rather testy chat with a lady named Gillian Duffy. Brown comes off as a slimy politician, and Ms. Duffy seems to have a bit of sense. After the chat, Mr. Brown gets in a car, and says some unfortunate things into an open mike.
It has been noted that a lie can go around the world while the truth is putting it’s shoes on. Today, this happens before the liar takes another breath. The judgment comes before common sense takes the shoes off the shelf. The digital parade includes when Duffy is told, the Duffy reply, the Brown reply.
The entire issue of race is saturated with snap judgment, name calling, and lack of understanding. The frustrations of a Gillian Duffy can be seen in many people, and only gets worse in economic hard times. It is a rare…maybe even nonexistent…person who has never said anything that could lead to being accused of bigotry. And to be put in a global spotlight, because of something a politician said when he thought no one was listening, must be horrible.
Mr. Brown is different. He is a public figure, running for a national office. Mr. Brown and his type use the press to gain power, and now the press has hit him with a sucker punch. He is not an old lady, going out for a loaf of bread, who made the mistake of talking on camera.
Pictures from The Library of Congress.
PG found the story below at a site called downhillbothways . (spell check suggestion: downheartedness) DBW is a series of stories about life in Minneapolis, a place that PG has little desire to visit. It is supposed to be cold up there! Despite the overchill, the stories on DBW are sometimes fun to read.
The tale below came with a postscript. If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you considered sharing it with your friends in whatever way you like to do your internet sharing. You may also want to subscribe to downhillbothways . Thanks a lot for reading! -Abraham
PG considers that an invitation. The pictures are from the Atlanta Beltline. As much as PG hated the “Freedom Parkway”, he admits the graffiti under it is pretty cool.
Nicollet Mall is dead on Saturday nights. There are a few bars, but no clubs. Looking in the windows, you see loafers and handbags, not flashing lights and lonely people dry humping, like you do on Hennepin or First Avenue, 3 blocks west. You learn that knit ties are back in style as they rest around the neck of a male mannequin with a woman’s wig on.
And unlike the bumping bass and puerile disc jockeying over on Hennepin and First, there is little sound coming out of the streetside businesses on Nicollet. This makes the sounds that do interrupt the stillness all the more noticeable—the occasional cabs, the bus stop conversations, rain, the laughter of two guys smoking weed on the dry stretch of sidewalk beneath a skyway.
As I pass these two men, one asks if I have a light. I nod. He asks if he can “hit it” as if the lighter itself is a thing he can smoke. I hand him my Zippo and he ducks his head toward a wall away from the wind and watchful eyes and lights his imitation-cigarette one-hitter. His friend stares at me, frog-eyed and motionless, with what I assume is a smirk, given his state of mind and drug of choice.
When I get my lighter back, I walk on, away from the pleasant, yet incriminating, scent of marijuana and into the sounds of distant music. Some sort of bluesy hip-hop, it sounds like. Then it turns into a jazzy bit of trance as I get nearer. It’s perfect at first, an unlikely blend of ordinary noise creating a fresh, surprising genre.
But as the music becomes clearer with proximity, its serendipity wears thin. The music is falling apart. Tones and beats lose their places like Nurse Ratched left the asylum unlocked. I’m tweaked by the slight remorse of awakening from a pleasant dream.
It will never be heard again, that perfect song, nor—if I’m honest—was it ever heard at all. I imagined it. I created it with my innately and uniquely human ability to turn happenstance into consequence. And, like any given moment that you or I experience alone, it became nothing, or—I should say—nothing more than what I’d be able to make of it later, here.
Hearing the music with increasing accuracy as I came nearer to it didn’t make it wrong or bad, just incidental, accidental, the way you’d expect noise on a street to sound. And what’s the pleasure in finding things just the way you expected them to be?
I crossed 9th and closed in on the sources of my aural interest. I say sources because what I’d been hearing as such lovely and unusual music was only the fortuitous blend of a bar’s sidewalk speakers and a man playing his saxophone on the sidewalk nearby just outside the yellow haze of the well-lit alley he was next to.
I stopped for a moment and tried to feel the music I had a block ago. The sax euphoniously drifting like a kite in and out and through and over the sky created by the beat of the bar’s stereo. But it wasn’t there anymore. What was left was only what it was: a guy busking near a loud pub.
The sax stopped and I crossed the street without looking both ways toward the musician and his stage—a wide, dark, empty sidewalk. He saw me coming and didn’t start his next tune. I could only see his silhouette—black in front of the dark grey of the building he sat against—and the cherry of a tiny cigarette brightening and dimming with each draw like the red flash on top of a radio tower.
“How’s business?” I asked him, knowing already.“Slow.”“Yeah. How long you been out tonight?” His case was open beside him. There were perhaps a dozen ones and a five strewn in there along with a pack of Camels.“Bout a half hour.” “I don’t have any money, but I can leave you a smoke.”
His face brightened. “Yeah, I’ll take a couple o’ those. I lost a whole pack today.” I handed him two and sat down against a window several feet away.
He began to play again, his grey hands pressing the sticky buttons of his old alto sax, his raspy breaths wheezing into the brass and coming out in the plaintive yet adamant sounds of “Amazing Grace.” Each line ended with his wobbling head and wavering hands creating a vibrato no producer would allow on record but that everything in me shook along with.
He transitioned into “Swing Low.” Several people had passed and the most he’d received so far was a thumbs up. I wondered unhappily if my sitting near him hurt business. But I didn’t want to go. He was playing there on the street to be listened to, right? And that’s what I was doing, so it’s fine, right?
“Swing Low” drew to its quivering close as a man passing by stepped away from his lady to drop a dollar in the case. The busker grunted his gratitude and blew the first friendless notes of “Danny Boy.” I laid my head back against the window whose sill I was sitting on and felt the only way that one can feel while listening to a street musician play “Danny Boy” in the dark on an almost deserted street near midnight next to a yellow-lit alley.
When the song was done, he leaned over and picked up a dollar bill and began rubbing it in between the buttons of his instrument. “Damn things keep sticking,” he explained as he maneuvered his makeshift rag. “I think I’m gonna call it a night.”
“Alright,” I said, unresting my head and standing up. “I’m Abraham.” He shook my outreached hand. “Joe.” “Thanks for playing, Joe.” “Thanks for listening.”
I walked on, past the bar that a half-hour before had been the backing band in my brain for Joe’s lilting saxophonic riffs. Across 10th, there was a guy and a girl dancing for tips to the crackly sound of a cheap boombox (spell check suggestion: boomerang)turned all the way up.
Their choreography involved a couple impressive twirls and then each ominously simulating shooting themselves in the head. I was a half-block away by the time their routine was over, and I heard them behind me breathing hard and laughing. Looking back, I saw the girl taking a drink of water and the fellow picking up their tips and boombox.
It was the end of the night for street performers on Nicollet, it seemed. But then in the distance, behind me this time, I heard this whimsical bit of jazzy trance, a saxophone solo blending in and out of the most unlikely orchestration.
Ah, Joe. I smiled and felt like I was falling back asleep where it all makes sense. Apparently you just wanted me to leave—eh, Joe? That’s OK. You sounded good from where I sat, beside you, but you sound even better from here, further and further away, as I wander home and you make serendipitous music with a nearby stereo. Far from purposeful, close to perfect.
The story of Cary Grant taking LSD came to this blog courtesy of WFMU , an appendage of a radio station somewhere east of the Mississippi. Recently, a reporter from this facility went to the “TCM Classic Film Festival” in Hollywood. Here is a highlight of episode six. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.
I quickly excused myself from the paparazzi line so as not to taint WFMU’s reputation and took my place in a line-up for Judy Garland’s A Star is Born, the kick-off screening of the TCM festival. I found myself easily agitated after my exposure to the rude row of TMZ types, and became testy when an elderly man in front of me was moving too slow for my liking. Shortly thereafter a six-foot tall, statuesque (apparent) prostitute joined him and I suddenly realized I had just been directing my rage at Hugh Hefner. I pivoted to try and share the surreal moment with whoever was standing in line behind me. Fully prepared to give a stranger a nudge, my brain stopped me in time to acknowledge that the person standing in line behind me was Nancy Reagan. I wish I had some story to go along with this odd Hefner-Reagan sandwich of which I was the pathetically insignificant strip of meat, but I do not. I was, I will admit, somewhat starstruck by the co-star of my favorite anti-commie movie, The Next Voice You Hear. I’m fairly certain that I was not supposed to be in a line consisting of these wildly famous geriatrics, but much of this week has turned out to be about being exactly where I don’t belong. And enjoying every minute of it.
The aptly named Dangerousminds has a link to a story about the recording of Blond on Blond, by Bob Dylan. It only happened once.
Bob Dylan was 24 years old, newly married, and had “sold out” i.e. started to play electric guitar. A bunch of Canadians known as The Hawks ( later The Band) was touring with him. Barely a month after the release of “Highway 61 Revisited”, sessions started at a New York studio.
The New York sessions did not work, so a decision was made to go to Nashville. Al Kooper played organ, and served as a music director. A crew of Nashville players was recruited. A bass player named Joseph Souter, Jr. would become famous a few years later using the name Joe South. Kris Kristofferson was the janitor at the studio.
Most studios have bafflers, or sound proof room dividers, splitting the studio into cubicles. For these sessions, the bafflers were taken down, and the band played together as a unit.
The second session in Nashville started at 6pm and lasted until 530 the next morning. Mr. Dylan was working on the lyrics to “Sad eyed lady of the lowlands”, and the recording could not start until he was ready. The musicians played ping pong and waited. At 4am, the song was ready, and the record was finished in two takes.
PG had marginal encounters with two of the players on this album. He met a lady once, who worked in an insurance office. One of the customers was Joe South. The file on his driving record was an inch thick.
Al Kooper had a prosperous career after his association with Bob Dylan. The former Alan Peter Kuperschmidt produced the first three Lynyrd Skynyrd albums, and sold that contract for a nice piece of change.
One night, Mr. Kooper was playing a show at the Great Southeast Music Hall, and PG sat in front of the stage. During a break between songs, PG asked his friend “what time is it?”. Mr. Kooper heard him on stage, and said it was 11:30.
Pictures for this feature are from The Library of Congress. They are left overs from the Confederate Memorial Day post on Monday.
One Sunday Afternoon, a man was playing golf. On the third hole, he hit the tee shot, and was walking down the fairway towards the ball. The fairway was next to a road. A funeral procession was driving down the road.
The man stopped his cart, got out, took his hat off and put it over his heart. He stood still, with his head bowed, until the mourners had driven by.
The playing partner of the man was astonished. “Don, why are you making such a big deal over that funeral procession”
“It was my wife”.
There was a small town once, with a Catholic Church, a Baptist Church, and a Jewish Synagogue.
One day the Catholics decided to give their priest a new car. They got an Audi, sprinkled a few drops of holy water on the hood, and gave it to the priest.
The Baptists thought this was a really good idea, and they decided to give their pastor a new vehicle. They got a Ford pickup truck,took it to a boat ramp, hooked a winch up to the front, and lowered the truck into the lake until it was completely covered in water.
Not to be outdone, the Jewish congregation decided their rabbi needed a new ride. They bought a Lexus, and cut half an inch off the tail pipe.
A woman was in town on a shopping trip. She began her day finding the most perfect shoes in the first shop and a beautiful dress on sale in the second. In the third, everything had just been reduced by 50 percent, when her mobile phone rang.
It was a doctor notifying her that her husband had just been in a terrible car accident and was in critical condition and in the ICU.
The woman told the doctor to inform her husband where she was and that she’d be there as soon as possible. As she hung up she realized she was leaving what was shaping up to be her best day ever in the boutiques. She decided to get in a couple of more shops before heading to the hospital.
She ended up shopping the rest of the morning, finishing her trip with a cup of coffee and a beautiful chocolate cake slice, compliments of the last shop.She was jubilant.Then she remembered her husband.
Feeling guilty, she dashed to the hospital. She saw the doctor in the corridor and asked about her husband’s condition. The lady doctor glared at her and shouted, “You went ahead and finished your shopping trip didn’t you! I hope you’re proud of yourself! While you were out for the past four hours enjoying yourself in town, your husband has been languishing in the Intensive Care Unit! It’s just as well you went ahead and finished, because it will more than likely be the last shopping trip you ever take! For the rest of his life he will require round-the-clock care. And he will now be your career!”
The woman was feeling so guilty she broke down and sobbed.
The lady doctor then chuckled and said, “I’m just pulling your leg. He’s dead. Show me what you bought.”
Thank you Gartalker for the last story. Pictures are from the Library of Congress.
Today is Confederate Memorial Day. It is an ancient question…how to honor the soldiers from the side that lost. They were just as valiant as the Union Soldiers. Considering the shortages of the Confederate Armies, the Rebels may have been just a bit braver.
The issue of Federalism is a defining conflict of the American experience. What powers do we give the Federal Government, and what powers do we cede to the States? The Confederacy was the product of this conflict. The Confederate States were a collection of individual states, with separate armies. This is one reason why the war turned out the way it did.
This is not a defense for slavery. The “Peculiar institution” was a moral horror. The after effects of slavery affect us today. Any remembrance of the Confederacy should know that. This does not make the men who fought any less brave.
It is tough to see the War Between the States through the modern eye. It was a different time, before many of the modern conveniences that are now considered necessities. Many say that the United States were divided from the start, and the fact the union lasted as long as it did was remarkable. When a conflict becomes us against them, the “causes” become unimportant.
The War was a horror, with no pain medicine, and little that could be done for the wounded. It took the south many, many years to recover. The healing continues in many ways today. Remembering the sacrifices made by our ancestors helps.
This is a repost from CMD 2009. Pictures are from the Library of Congress.
Sometimes staying on the internet can make for a good Saturday night. There are no drunks or police on the road, nor do you do have to buy drinks or smell cigarette smoke. There are sights to be seen, and sounds to be heard.
The soundtrack came courtesy of bloggingheads . The dialog was between Jesse Bering and Neil Sinhababu, one a psychologist, and one a philosopher. As was noted at 2:41, the philosophers ask the questions, and the psychologists answer them.
The discussion started out about ethics, and Mr. Sinhababu ( the philosopher with the big eyebrows) began to talk about progressive taxation. He actually finished a few sentences before Mr. Bering changed the subject to sex. Mr. Sinhababu began to discuss a paper he had written, which centered on pleasure and morality. His thesis was that pleasure is moral, as long as no party is injured in any way by the transaction.
The conversation went downhill in a hurry, with human/animal sex a prime subject. At 12:27, Mr. Sinhababu observed “for a lot of people there is going to be a serious disgust response at the idea of having sex with ones dog”. The question was raised whether the “yuck factor” was a good basis for making a moral judgment.
Meanwhile, PG was going through the Prokudin-Gorskii collection of the Library of Congress. The pictures consist of images from the Russian Empire, shot between 1905 and 1915. The images were shot by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii, and many are in color.
How did he make color images a hundred years ago? Here is a brief description of his methods: “Prokudin-Gorskii created his negatives by using a camera that exposed one oblong glass plate three times in rapid succession through three different color filters: blue, green, and red. For formal presentations, he printed positive glass slides of these negatives and projected them through a triple lens magic lantern. Prokudin-Gorskii would project the slide through the three lenses, and, with the use of color filters, superimpose the three exposures to form a full color image on a screen.”
The images in the LOC collection are digital recreations, made using the glass plates. The page about the methods used has more information, and links to some other sites that discuss these images. Some of the sites are in Russian.
Meanwhile, back at bloggingheads, Mr. Bering discussed the ethics of eating a dog that died of natural causes, and said he was going to masturbate on camera. Mr. Sinhababu did not think this was a very good idea. The men were shown from the shoulders up, and it is not known what they were doing below that.
As you may have noticed, this blog uses a lot of pictures from ” Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”. There is one face which keeps turning up, always seeming to find the camera. This is the face of William Berry Hartsfield, the Mayor of Atlanta between 1937-1941, then again between 1942-1961. He is the namesake of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Willie B, the gorilla at Zoo Atlanta. Mr. Hartsfield is one of the reasons ATL airport is the aviation powerhouse that it is. He probably had little to do with the conception of Willie B, although one can never be too sure.
Mr. Hartsfield was born March 1, 1890, in Atlanta. He did not finish high school or attend college. At 25, he began work as a legal secretary, reading law journals at night. Mr. Hartsfield was admitted to the Georgia Bar.
In 1909, Coca Cola mogul Asa Griggs Candler bought some land near Hapeville, GA, and built a racetrack. There was only one season of racing ( with an appearance from Barney Oldfield), before the track was shut down. There was a series of aviation exhibitions on the site in the following years, and talk of using the land as an airport.
In 1922, William Hartsfield was elected to the Atlanta City Council, and started to promote the idea of an airport. The 285 acres of the Candler racetrack was leased in 1925, On April 13, 1929, the city bought the land for “Candler Field” for $94,400. During World War II , Candler Field was declared an army air base, and doubled in size.
In 1936, Mr. Hartsfield defeated incumbent James Key to become Mayor of Atlanta. He guided the city through the last years of the depression, only to be defeated by Roy LeCraw in 1940. When Mr. LeCraw was called into military service after Pearl Harbor, Mr. Hartsfield won a special election for the Mayor’s job. He held the job until the election of Ivan Allen in 1961.
Atlanta grew tremendously during the Hartsfield years. During the civil rights era, it kept a cool head, and integrated the schools peacefully in August 1961 ( After Mr. Hartsfield had announced his retirement) He was a tireless promoter, both of himself and the city. It was said that if Atlanta could suck as hard as it blows, then the oceans would be pulled up to the borders, and Atlanta would be a seaport.
Mr. Hartsfield was the ideal mayor for this up and coming town. He never met a camera he did not like. The metropolitan area went over a million people shortly before his retirement, and “city of a million people” was a new motto.
William B. Hartsfield died February 22, 1971. On the way to his eternal destination, he changed planes in Atlanta.
One of the concepts PG got from the Buddha Show was the idea of the Middle Way. Actually, the concept is around in other forms, but the chubby one did talk about it.
It seems there is a problem with images of Muhammad. That vanguard of speech freedom, “South Park”, got into a bit of a jam recently on this front. The word is that the Quran outlaws images of the Messenger. Riots have broken out in Muslim countries over this issue.
On the other extreme is the promiscuous imagery of Jesus. If all the pictures of Jesus were real, then the man would have had time to do nothing other than pose. Reality has little to do with these images, with the dark skinned Semite replaced by a rock star lookalike.
There is also the grossout pictures of the murder of Jesus. It is well known that Christians are more excited about the death of Jesus than his life. The tee shirts, with blood spurting from the nail holes, are in very bad taste.
A few years ago, Mel Gibson made a splatter movie about Jesus. In a cynical marketing move, rumors of antisemitism were used to produce publicity. Gibson then got religious professionals like Billy Graham to view, and endorse, the film. It is difficult to consider the image of Muhammad (or Buddha) exploited in this manner. Of course, a glorious, though short, death is a “vital” part of the Jesus charisma.
Which is where the middle path comes in, as shown in the treatment of Buddha. Drawings of Gautama Siddhartha are generally tasteful and attractive. It is a pleasant middle path between the riots over images of Muhammad, and splatter movies about Jesus.
It should be noted that there are no photographs of any of the three, and any pictures are based on the ideas of the artist. The pictures that illustrate this post are photographs, and they are from The Library of Congress .
America is in a world of trouble. The financial markets have fallen, and can’t get up.
A committee in Congress is investigating. According to Obsidian Wings, they found this:
“A Senate panel investigating the causes of the nation’s financial crisis on Thursday unveiled evidence that credit-ratings agencies knowingly gave inflated ratings to complex deals backed by shaky U.S. mortgages in exchange for lucrative fees. “
Don’t act surprised. As capital flooded in, the moneybois got greedy, and tried to turn it over a few more times. And the Wall Street wonders are paying Congress, now,to win the job of putting humpty dumpty back together.
Another site chiming in today is the named by committee camelswithhammers . They have a tasteful video about New Testament justice. Do you think we should forgive the credit rating agencies for their role in the money meltdown? If we did, would that brings jobs and prosperity back to America?
The notion of forgive applies to debts as well as misdeeds. In some versions of the Lord’s Prayer, they say “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”. If Jesus forgives Standard and Poor, will someone else forgive a few ARM? Inquiring minds want to know.
Pictures from the ” Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.