As you may have heard, there was an explosives incident at the Boston Marathon. The innertubes have been full of support for Boston. It is a contrast from the reaction to the Centennial Park bombing during the Atlanta Olympics.
It is nearly seventeen years since that July evening. After nine eleven, things are different, or so people say. With the rise of the intercom, the balance of message to medium has been oven more lopsided. There are billions of people looking for expression, and only so many cat videos. When a horrible event happens, you can show your solidarity with those affected.
The Boston Marathon is a longstanding tradition, and will continue. The Atlanta Olympics was a one time deal, which is just fine. While people rush in to support Boston, there was a lot of I-told-you-so going on the Saturday morning after the Atlanta blast. A lot of people were expecting the Atlanta Olympics to be a disaster. The bombing was confirmation that picking Atlanta was a bad idea.
The reaction of authorities is a bit different this time. There are surveillance cameras everywhere now, and suspects were found. Hopefully there will be sufficient evidence to convict Mr. Tsarnaev, if indeed he is guilty. (Spell check suggestion for Tsarnaev: Tsarina)
By contrast, a security guard was found to blame the Atlanta bombings on. PG lived near the Buford Highway apartment residence of Richard Jewell, and saw the dozens of TV camera trucks in the parking lot. (That was one of the few Olympic events that PG saw.) Mr. Jewell was cleared, but had his life ruined. He died in 2007.
One night, PG was driving on one of the Rockbridge roads in DeKalb county. Suddenly, a deer ran in front of his vehicle. The critter was faster than the Nissan, and calamity averted. There are an estimated 42,996 deer-car collisions in Georgia every year. If you hit a deer, you can do whatever you like with it. If you hit a bear, you have to report it before dinner time.
As the innertubes are reporting, Montana recently passed a law legalizing consumption of roadkill. As The Atlantic reports, “Currently sitting on Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s desk is HB27, a bill that allows Montanans to salvage and eat the beasts they run over with their cars. To the antelopes, deer, elks, or moose out there, you’ve been warned.”
As this tasteful interactive map shows, this is a states rights issue. Bambi burgers have long been legal in Georgia. What is surprising is the freedom loving T states, Tennessee and Texas. They both prohibit collection of roadkill. The CS Monitor questions how much the law is enforced. “Tennessee authorities said no law officer would likely ever charge anybody with “possession of roadkill with intent to eat.”
Not everyone thinks this is a good idea. The Goat Blog reports “But some Montana lawmakers, like state Senator Kendall Van Dyk, questioned eating roadside cuisine from a food safety standpoint. “Despite it’s good intention, it doesn’t pass the smell test for me,” he said in an AP story.”
Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.
When PG hears about the Pew Research Center, he thinks of a picture of deodorant testers sniffing away. In fact, PRC is a serious research house, full of dedicated focus groupies.
One recent event is a Science and Technology Knowledge Quiz. Some say this knowledge is the door to a brighter future. Many stumble over the threshold. This test will tell PG how he “measures up”.
The first four questions are true/false. The next nine are multiple choice, The demographic questions involved gender, age, and education.
PG scored 12 of 13 correct. He did not answer question four. This is a design flaw in the study. Many studies require you to leave an answer before going to the next question.
This result is better than 85%, below 7% and the same as 8%. People with too much free time can learn more in the report. Those who feel that G-d is in the details are likely to be disappointed.
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 players on this album. He met a lady once, who worked in an insurance office. One customers was Joe South. The file on his driving 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 profit. (Spell check suggestion for Lynyrd Skynyrd: Lyndy Skyward)
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. This is a repost.
As you may have heard, someone asked Bradley Manning to be a “grand marshall” at the San Francisco
Corporate Pride parade. When enough people objected, another, higher official pulled back the invitation. Since Pvt. Manning will be behind bars when the parade is held, it was a moot point.
The uninvitation is a semantic feast. “Specifically, what these events have revealed is a system whereby a less-than-handful of people may decide who represents the LGBT community’s highest aspirations as grand marshals for SF Pride.” So that is the ultimate goal of queer life? Or, more specifically, to have Daniel Ellsberg represent you, while you rot in solitary confinement.
Glenn Greewald, who seldom is at a loss for words, chimes in with Bradley Manning is off limits at SF Gay Pride parade, but corporate sleaze is embraced. The hypocrisy patrol is feverishly crunching the sin statistics. Apparently, when you have a corporate sponsored event, it is ok to take tainted loot from criminal multi nationals. But, when a Private, with access to secrets, spills the beans, he is not to be honored. It can get confusing.
There is some more commentary about Bradleygate. The Board of Directors President of SFP is Lisa Williams. This is not the psychic medium, even though the name is the same. Ms. Williams issued the statement about the highest aspirations. In an ironic twist, Lisa Williams is the chair of the political action committee of the Bayard Rustin Coalition.
Bayard Rustin was the primary organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. A speech about having a dream was made that day, while Bayard Rustin made sure there were Port O’Potties for the crowd. Mr. Rustin also was a conscientious objector to the draft. He spent time in prison for his troubles. This was not during the Vietnam war, when this sort of thing was fashionable. This was during World War Two, when conscientious objection was treason. Someone should give Lisa Williams an irony board.
Pictures are from The Library of Congress. These are Union soldiers from the War Between the States. None of these men copied intelligence documents onto a CD, labelled Lady Gaga.
In the time between 1980 and 1994, if you lived in Atlanta you heard about Lewis Grizzard. Some people loved him. Some did not. He told good old boy stories about growing up in rural Georgia. Many of them were enjoyable. He also made social and political commentaries, which upset a few people.
PG had mixed feelings about Lewis. The stories about Kathy Sue Loudermilk and Catfish were funny. His opinions about gays, feminists, and anything non redneck could get on your nerves. His column for the fishwrapper upset PG at least twice a week.
In 1982, Lewis (he reached the level of celebrity where he was known by his first name only) wrote a column about John Lennon. Lewis did not understand why Mr. Ono was such a big deal. PG cut the column out of the fishwrapper, and put it in a box. Every few years, PG would be looking for something, find that column, and get mad all over again.
The New Georgia Encyclopedia has a page about Lewis, which expresses some of these contradictions. If Grizzard’s humor revealed the ambivalence amid affluence of the Sunbelt South, it reflected its conservative and increasingly angry politics as well. He was fond of reminding fault-finding Yankee immigrants that “Delta is ready when you are,” and, tired of assaults on the Confederate flag, he suggested sarcastically that white southerners should destroy every relic and reminder of the Civil War (1861-65), swear off molasses and grits, drop all references to the South, and begin instead to refer to their region as the “Lower East.” Grizzard also wore his homophobia and hatred for feminists on his sleeve, and one of the last of his books summed up his reaction to contemporary trends in its title, Haven’t Understood Anything since 1962 and Other Nekkid Truths (1992).
In the end, which came in 1994, when he was only forty-seven, the lonely, insecure, oft-divorced, hard-drinking Grizzard proved to be the archetypal comic who could make everyone laugh but himself. He chronicled this decline and his various heart surgeries in I Took a Lickin’ and Kept on Tickin’, and Now I Believe in Miracles (1993), published just before his final, fatal heart failure.
As you may have discerned, Lewis McDonald Grizzard Jr. met his maker on March 20, 1994. He was 47. There was a valve in his heart that wasn’t right. The good news is that he stayed out of the army. At the time, Vietnam was the destination for most enlistees. The bad news is that his heart problems got worse and worse, until it finally killed him.
Sixteen years later, PG found a website, Wired for Books. It is a collection of author interviews by Don Swaim, who ran many of them on a CBS radio show called Book Beat. There are two interviews with Lewis Grizzard. The first one was done to promote My Daddy Was a Pistol and I’m a Son of A Gun. This was the story of Lewis Grizzard Senior, who was another mixed bag.
PG found himself listening to this chat, and wondered what he had been missing all those years. The stories and one liners came flowing out like the Chattahoochee going under the perimeter highway. Daddy Grizzard was a soldier, who went to war in Europe and Korea. The second one did something to his mind, and he took to drinking. He was never quite right the rest of his life. His son from adored him anyway. When you put yourself in those loafers for a while, you began to taste the ingredients in that stew we called Lewis Grizzard.
PG still remembers the anger that those columns caused … he has his own story, and knows when his toes are stepped on. The thing is, after listening to this show, PG has an idea of why Lewis Grizzard wrote the things that he did. Maybe PG and Lewis aren’t all that different after all.
The pictures for this feature are from The Library of Congress. While picking out the pictures, PG listened to the other Lewis Grizzard show with Don Swaim. They both have last names that are often mispronounced. When Lewis wondered where Klansmen get those pointy hats… at the KKK mart, perhaps… PG had to stop the broadcast and write a postscript. This is a repost.
Today is Confederate Memorial Day in Georgia. 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 2010. Pictures are from the Library of Congress.
A tasteful facebook facility called Being Liberal recently posted a graphic about Muhammad Ali. The image has been liked by 17,056, and shared by 9,365. The text in the graphic says “A reporter asked Muhammad Ali, “How do you feel about the suspected hijackers of 9/11 sharing your faith?” Ali answered, “How do you feel about Hitler sharing yours?”
There are so many ways to trash this. If a person burns to death on the 86th floor, do you need to say “suspected”? What if the reporter was Jewish? How do we know what religion Mr. Hitler was? Did this exchange ever happen?
Apparently, the former heavyweight champion was at ground zero September 20, 2001. “Former heavyweight boxing champ Muhammad Ali visited the ruins of the World Trade Center on Thursday. When reporters asked how he felt about the suspects sharing his Islamic faith, Ali said, “Religions all have different names, but they all contain the same truths,” adding, “I think the people of our religion should be tolerant and understand people believe different things.”
The facebook listing has this comment: “It has been brought to our attention that this didn’t actually happen, but that doesn’t detract from the point of the statement. Many people share this sentiment, as reflected by the comments on this image.”
The home page of BL has a picture of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Under it is the motto: “‘Being Liberal’ – What does it mean to YOU? Share with us! Wear proudly the “Liberal” label, as a badge of honor!” Judging from this graphic, being liberal means saying whatever feels good to say at the moment, without any regard for whether the platitude is the truth.
Snopes has a page debunking the ground zero quote. There is also another tall tale about Mr. Ali. “Just before takeoff on an airplane flight, the stewardess reminded Ali to fasten his seat belt. “Superman don’t need no seat belt,” replied Ali. “Superman don’t need no airplane either,” retorted the stewardess.”
Pictures are from The Library of Congress.
The Golden Rule, or the ethic of reciprocity, is found in the scriptures of nearly every religion. It is often regarded as the most concise and general principle of ethics. It is a condensation in one principle of all longer lists of ordinances such as the Decalogue. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Leviticus 19.18
Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them. Matthew 7.12
Not one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.
Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi 13
A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated. Sutrakritanga 1.11.33
Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence. Mencius VII.A.4
One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself. This is the essence of morality. All other activities are due to selfish desire. Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva 113.8
Tsekung asked, “Is there one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life?” Confucius replied, “It is the word shu–reciprocity: Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.”
Comparing oneself to others in such terms as “Just as I am so are they, just as they are so am I,” he should neither kill nor cause others to kill. Sutta Nipata 705
A certain heathen came to Shammai and said to him, “Make me a proselyte, on condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.” Thereupon he repulsed him with the rod which was in his hand. When he went to Hillel, he said to him, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah; all the rest of it is commentary; go and learn.” Talmud, Shabbat 31a
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22.36-40
PG stumbled onto a blog called Vast Public Indifference. It is still published today, which is unusual for blogs from 2008. The feature being utilized today is Urban Legend Names. The blogwriter is a historian in training, and became fascinated by name stories. She did some research, and learned a few things. The names are in bold below, with the “status” underlined.
Asshole: Unconfirmed. However, I can confirm that there are several people named Anal, including Anal Exceus of Houston, TX (b. 8/26/1988 — happy birthday!), Anal Singh, and Anal Shah. I noticed that several people named “Anal” are South Asian, so I suspect that it might be a variant spelling of “Anil,” the Hindu god of wind.
Clitoris: Unconfirmed. Variant forms can be confirmed, viz. Clitty Jones of Somers, OH (b. 1895, married to Walter, confirmed in 1920 and 1930 census). The name “Clit” appears in several census records, but cannot be independently confirmed (ex: Clit Mangum, Commerce, GA, 1930 census).
Eczema: Possible. Three women show up in the census records as “Eczema”: Eczema Wright of Indiana, Eczema Hugey of Missouri, and Eczema James of Texas.
Male: Confirmed David Male Tiumalu (b. 8/1/1953, Alameda Co., CA), Linda Male Osmer (b. 5/8/1952, Texas), Male Joseph Cotton (b. 3/29/1974).
Latrine: Confirmed. Latrine seems to be a legitimate name. Examples: Latrine Sharmine Olive (b. 11/24/1979, Sacramento, CA), Quiana Latrine Phillips (b. 4/1/1988, Los Angeles, CA), Latrine Nicole Cook (b. 1/21/1976, Dallas, TX), Charlotte Latrine Martin (b. 2/8/1971, Wichita, TX). A variant form, Latrina, is actually quite popular, even cracking the top 1000 baby names in America for six years running during the 1970s. There are nearly 500 girls named Latrina in the Texas and California birth records alone. The most unfortunate example of this name has to be Latrina Pickens-Brown of Nevada.
Lemon Jello/Orange Jello: Unconfirmed. Perhaps this rumor got started by someone who heard the Neapolitan surname “Lemongello.”
No Smoking: Confirmed. Nosmo King Cheatam (b. 11/26/1918 d. 11/10/1997). Mr. Cheatam was a veteran of the United States Navy and is buried in Texarkana, TX.
Placenta: Confirmed. Placenta Ann Woodard (b. 8/7/1953, Freestone Co., TX, married Rahman Hassan 11/10/1986 in Tarrant, TX), Placenta Ayala (b. 10/5/1951, Howard Co., TX), Placenta Theresa Bennett (b. 7/21/1958, Caldwell Co., TX). Others show up in the census — the picture at right is of the entry for Placenta M. Duncan of Green Bay, Iowa in the 1860 census.
Shithead: Unconfirmed. Shirley Q. Liquor has a baby named Shithead, pronounced Sha THEED.
Testicles: Unconfirmed. Only one person named “Testicles” appears in the census records — a Sioux boy born in 1892 in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota. The U.S. Indian Census Schedules (1885-1940) record Native Americans’ names as well as the English translations of those names. The records indicate that the boy’s name, Susu, means “testicles.” I really enjoyed looking through these records and recommend them to anyone interested in names or in Native American history. Some of my favorite names from Susu’s community include Itekanpeskawin (“Face Like an Ornament”), Hotaninmaniwin (“They Heard Her Voice”), and Tawakanhdiwayakapi (“They See Her Electricity”).
Urea: Confirmed. Urea Pyle of Delaware Co., PA (married to Reece Pyle, confirmed in 1900, 1910, and 1920 census records), Elton Urea Juniel of California (married in Las Vegas 3 times: married Tish Denise Harris 6/27/1981, married Beverly Jean Mills, 8/17/1991, married Julie Marie Bossin 9/23/2003), Sophia Urea Nelson of Los Angeles, CA (b. 1/11/1991). The Texas birth records contain information for six babies named Urea:
Urine: Confirmed. Nora Urine Workman (b. 10/13/1940, Lamar Co., TX), Jonathan Urine Smith (b. 12/3/1996, Denton Co., TX), Urine Adkins of Coeburn, VA (b. 6/15/1896, d. March 1972). Urine Thibideoux, Louisiana.
Vagina: Confirmed. Vagina Ann Williams (b. 3/18/1934, Hall Co., TX), Ellen Vagina Goode (b. 9/13/1918 Lee Co., TX), Lorene Vagina Cranfield (b. 7/26/1938 Rowan Co., NC), Vagina Harper Bland (b. 1/19/1842 in Virginia, d. 5/4/1927 in Kentucky). One that caught my eye was “Vagina Glasscock” who lived in Somerville, Alabama in 1910.
Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is written like James Joyce.
Today is Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. According to wikipedia , “The starting date of the genocide is conventionally held to be April 24, 1915, the day when Ottoman authorities arrested some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople”
A site called The Straight Dope has an overview of the affair, Was there genocide in early 20th century Armenia? Here are a few excerpts.
It tells you something about human nature and the century just past that the typical response to this question is: What Armenian genocide? Hardly anyone remembers this appalling crime, even though at a million-plus deaths it was the first modern holocaust, ranking eighth on the list of high-body-count butcherings 1900-’87 compiled by genocide historian R. J. Rummel.
Few can even tell you where Armenia is. (The traditional Armenian homeland covers the modern republic of Armenia plus some of Turkey, Iran, and Iraq, but the killings were confined to Turkey and other parts of the old Ottoman empire.) It’s not like the murders were conducted in secret or were over before anybody noticed — on the contrary, they spanned 30 years and received sustained worldwide publicity. So why the amnesia? Turkey’s adamant refusal to acknowledge the massacres is part of it, but equally important is the West’s agreement to forget…
What had the Armenians done to deserve all this? Not much — their main offense was to be a Christian minority in a crumbling Islamic empire. Like another much-persecuted Middle Eastern ethnic group whose sufferings are better known, the Armenians had an ancient language and culture plus a reputation for clannishness and a knack for finance, and they became the target of a similar type of unreasoning bigotry…
A massacre of 15,000 to 25,000 Armenians in 1909 set the table for the main event during World War I. Blaming the supposedly disloyal Christian minority for an early defeat by the Russians, the Turkish government starting in 1915 rounded up Armenians throughout the country, murdered vast numbers outright and deported the rest, with many dying on forced marches or in refugee camps. The brutal work was carried out by an elaborate bureaucracy that some historians consider a model for the extermination program of the Nazis. Add in a couple of additional massacres in the early 1920s and the Armenian death toll for 1915-1922 totals a million to a million and a half.
Another site, devoted to history, has a page, The Armenians.
The Turkish government viewed all Armenians with suspicion and instituted programs of relocation and mass murder. Beginning in June 1915, non-Muslim peoples were forced to move away from areas deemed to have military sensitivity. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians were forced to march to new homes, some to the Syrian desert, others to Mesopotamia. Little preparation had been made for this exodus and the toll from exhaustion, disease and starvation was staggering. Bands of Turks and Kurds would descend upon Armenian villages and slaughter entire populations.
The treatment of the Armenians was not unknown in the outside world. The Allied governments and even Germany issued protests, but the Turkish government was intent on cleansing their lands of all Armenian influence. Persecution continued into the early 1920s. For years afterward, parents in the West would evoke images of starving Armenians as a means to encourage their children to clean their plates.
It is impossible to assign accurate numbers to the slaughter. Reports provided by Armenian groups are usually regarded by historians as too high, but the official Turkish numbers appear too low. Mid-range figures indicate that perhaps between 600,000 and one million Armenians died during this period, out of a pre-war population estimated at 1.5 million.
The treatment of the Armenians ninety seven years ago remains a sensitive issue. Turkey staunchly denies that it happened. Since Asia Minor is a strategic piece of property, many governments are willing to go along with this denial. Even Israel , which knows a thing or two about ethnic cleansing, is sensitive to the need for allies.
Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.