Memorial Day

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress, Politics, War by chamblee54 on May 23, 2015











There is a bit of polemic on the internet now, The revolutionary origins of Memorial Day and its political hijacking. It tells the story of an incident in Charleston SC, where newly freed slaves buried some Union soldiers who died in a prison camp. The incident is described as the first Decoration Day, which later evolved into Memorial Day. As the article tells it, this Holiday was intended as a revolutionary statement about Black freedom, and was whitewashed into an all caucasian affair. This is not a good summary of the article, but should do for now. You can read it for yourself.

PG read the article, and started to get a headache. While researching a Memorial Day. post, he came across the Charleston incident. Apparently, it did happen. There were also numerous other remembrances of the fallen soldiers. The War Between the States was an incredibly bloody affair, with many families losing someone. The urge to remember these fallen soldiers was overwhelming. The custom of Decoration Day would probably have happened with, or without, the Charleston incident. It is incorrect to say that those former slaves invented Decoration Day.

There was an exchange of messages. PG left a comment, “That article is not completely true.”

Lendon Sadler Thank you for your comment concerning the historical roots of Memorial day, but could you be so kind as to explain a bit more the inaccuracy contained in the posting.For my sake, and that of my friends, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. And please feel comfortable saying whatever is on your mind in my pages. Sincere regards, Lendon

Luther Mckinnon I will have to think about it some. Also, I am not sure that I have an interest in exploring this issue. I did some research about the celebration in Charleston. It apparently did take place. However, there were other people decorating graves before that. After the carnage of the War Between the States, there seemed to be a lot of activity towards remembering the dead. The slaves in Charleston definitely did not “invent” decoration day. That they had one of the earliest celebrations is notable, but they should not take sole credit. As to the rest of the article… i would have to think about it some, and to tell you the truth I don’t know if I am particularly interested. One of the pieces I read about the evolution of Memorial Day mentioned World War One, which was the next major war the US was involved in after WBTS. Here again, there was a lot of dead soldiers to remember. This was when the holiday evolved into a remembrance of soldiers from all wars. Anyway, I hope this is helpful, and maybe we can explore some of the other issues of that article.

The article in question is at a site called Liberation, “Newspaper of the Party for Socialism and Liberation at” There is a some historic revisionism, with statements like this. “In 1877, the Northern capitalist establishment decisively turned their backs on Reconstruction, striking a deal with the old slavocracy to return the South to white supremacist rule in exchange for the South’s acceptance of capitalist expansion.” Whatever, dude.

The custom of Decoration/Memorial Day is pretty much what it says it is… to remember the fallen soldiers of our wars, especially the ones with lots of casualties. According to this source, it was World War I that facilitated the transition from Decoration Day, focused on WBTS, to a Memorial Day that honored the dead of all wars. It almost certainly was not done as a gesture of white supremacy.

The so-called lessons of history are very versatile. You can find whatever facts are convenient for your agenda, and if you don’t get what you need you can make some up. After all, there is nobody alive today that can remember 1877. We have to take the word of whoever tells the tale of a “deal with the old slavocracy.” Sometimes, these stories are more plausible than others.

Sometimes, things just don’t ring true. “The concept that the population must “remember the sacrifice” of U.S. service members, without a critical reflection on the wars themselves, did not emerge by accident. It came about in the Jim Crow period as the Northern and Southern ruling classes sought to reunite the country around apolitical mourning, which required erasing the “divisive” issues of slavery and Black citizenship.”

This is a repost. Notes about the Charleston parade are showing up on facebook. This incident almost certainly took place, and is worth noting. However, it was not the “invention” of Memorial Day. Gentlemen, start your engines. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.











Memorial Day started as Decoration Day. During the War Between the States, people started to go out to graveyards, and put flowers on the soldiers. It is tough to say whether the custom started in the south. or the north. Waterloo NY is considered the official birthplace of Memorial Day. This is not what Abba was singing about.

WBTS was by far the most costly war in American history. There were more casualties in WBTS than in World Wars I, II, Korea, and Vietnam combined. Americans were not used to this carnage on this scale. Decoration Day was one of the results.

It was also, literally, a divisive war. The causes of the conflict are debated to this day. More men died of disease than in combat. Shitting yourself to death is not glory.

An important cause of the war was the desire, of some, to maintain their investment in slaves. In other words, the hundreds of thousands of Southern deaths were to insure that African Americans cannot be free. The lofty rhetoric of Memorial Day does not always reflect the squalid reality.

The legend is that May 30 was chosen because it was not the anniversary of any major battles. For many years after WBTS, the southern states had a separate day of remembrance. Confederate Memorial Day is still observed, though not on as large a scale as before.

The next major killing session for the United States was World War I. After this conflict, May 30 evolved into a day to remember all soldiers who died. The south began to embrace the unified holiday.

The United States lost at least 116,516 men in World War I. Almost all of these casualties were in 1918, the last year of the war. The other countries lost far more men. Not one person in a thousand can tell you today why World War I was fought. All it did was provide the causes of World War II, which was even more costly.










Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Poem, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 22, 2015








A podcast, read poetry and eventually die, featured a poet named John Mortara. PG became interested when the poet was a queer witch, or was it witchy queer. Never mind that the poet writes more about prozac than black magic. Just because poets take prozac, that doesn’t mean that prose writers take poetryzac.

It turns out there was an Atlanta stop on a tour. PG drove through Dickhater, past the Donald Trimble Mortuary, until a string of red brick houses appeared. PG looked at the mailbox of the first one. The mailbox fell off the pole. That was not the correct house.

PG got there twenty minutes early, and drove around the neighborhood until nine pm. In a few minutes, the hostess announced that the event was taking place in the basement. There was a half hour before the event started.

The basement had atmosphere. Literally. At one point, the host announced that cigarette smoking was acceptable inside. Holy 1958. It had been years since people smoked indoors, and here was a crowd of young, young people… one poet read a piece about the one hair on his chest, which he names after either republicans, or democrats, depending on how bad it smells. He read the poem from his phone.

The host and hostess did double duty as the master, and mistress, of ceremonies. They wore bathrobes, that were supposed to be lab coats. They were auditioning people to take on a trip to Mars. There must be a shortage of poets, comedians, and tweeters on the red planet.

For a while they alternated poets and comedians. A lady said she could choose from playing fake blackjack with geriatric queers at the Hideaway, or going to Lithonia to have sex for ten minutes. A man made murder Kroger jokes. PG crouched on a wooden shelf thing in the corner of the basement, with an exposed light bulb shining in his face.

After a few performers, there was an intermission. PG went back to his vehicle, which was not broken into. He got a baseball cap, to block the light bulb.. At this point the hostess made the glorious announcement that smoking was not allowed in the basement. The air conditioning brought the aroma upstairs. The back yard kudzu approved.

During the intermission, the sound system was tweaked to allow two ladies to perform. The tweaking did not take, and they shouted “stay off my snapchat you piece of shit homie” over the recorded music. For faux microphones, the ladies used a mountain dew bottle, and a comb.

The final performer was John Mortara. (spell check suggestions: Mortal, Mortar) The poet had purple hair, a wool hat, and a sleeveless shirt saying “I am a unicorn.” The first piece was recited from memory, with no need for a microphone. There was a piece about tweets written on prozac… all that twitters is not gold. Soon the show was over. The last line: “Told my dad I’m a fricken witch.” Pictures for today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. UPDATE This comment appeared on facebook. John Mortara “i am frequently misgendered throughout this article and it makes me angry.” An attempt at correcting this has been made. UPDATE TWO Here is the story of what happened later.UPDATE THREE Read Poetry and Eventually Die was hacked by by Mr.dexter.305. This attack from Saudi Arabia.









Popular In Faith

Posted in Poem, Politics, Religion by chamblee54 on May 21, 2015





Lawn Cutting

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on May 20, 2015







The Great Southeast Music Hall

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Music by chamblee54 on May 20, 2015






The Great Southeast Music Hall was an important part of life in Atlanta during the seventies. It was located in the elbow of a shopping center, Broadview Plaza. A bowling alley was downstairs, a two level K mart next door, and Atlanta’s first hispanic neighborhood across the street. Like almost everything else here, Broadview Plaza was torn down, and replaced by a more uppity set of stores.

When you went into the lobby of the Music Hall, you noticed the walls. Performers were given a magic marker, and encouraged to leave a message. John Mayall found the ladies room, and said he likes to be near the ladies. The late Phil Ochs said “Impeach Nixon and Agnew”. What happened to those boards is a good question.

The auditorium held about 500 people. The stage was only three feet or so above the floor. There was an empty space in front of the stage, and a few rows of bench backs behind that. When the place opened, there were lots of pillows on this floor, with the Music Hall logo. The carpet in this front area was fresh when the place opened, and got progressively grosser as the years went by. Beer was served in aluminum buckets, and inevitably some wound up on the carpet.

The show the Music Hall is most famous for is the US debut of the Sex Pistols. PG didn’t make it that night, but has heard from a few who did. The performance was said to be horrible. There are stories of Sid Vicious wandering through the apartments around Broadview trying to find heroin. Years later, PG was reading about that night in Please Kill Me, when the train he was riding pulled into the Lindberg Marta station. This is across the street from the Broadview Plaza, still standing at the time.

These days, the intersection of Lindbergh Drive and Piedmont Road (about a mile north of the park) is next to Hiway 400. When the Music Hall was in it’s prime, the land for the Highway was owned by the State of Georgia, which was fighting legal battles over the highway. The land had a network of dirt roads, one of which connected Buford Hiway to Lindbergh Drive. When you went from Chamblee to the Music Hall, the most direct route was over this dirt road. This dirt road is where Sidney Marcus Boulevard is today. Broadview Plaza was torn down, and replaced by a Home Depot.

Eventually, the business model for the Music Hall did not work, and the facility moved to Cherokee Plaza. This Music Hall was in a movie theater. The Cherokee Plaza Theater was the scene for the world premiere of Son of Dracula . This move did not work, for a number of reasons. The parking lot was too small, and people who wanted a loaf of bread from the A&P were blocked out during shows. Cherokee Plaza is just outside the city limits, on Peachtree Road. In the late seventies, DeKalb county was aggressively fighting drunk driving, and had roadblocks. Many of these roadblocks were outside the Music Hall, which kept many people from attending. Before long, this Music Hall closed.

Many years later, PG bought a second hand typewriter, and needed a ribbon. (Younger readers should ask an older person about this.) He went into an office supply store in Broadview Plaza, and soon realized that he was standing on the site of the Music Hall. He asked the clerk if he could have a bucket of beer, and got a very strange look in return.

One industrious afternoon during this era, PG made a list of shows he saw at the Music Hall. The memory cells are already protesting, but we are going to try and remember as much as possible about these shows. A big thank you to Wikipedia for help with spelling and names.

New York Rock Ensemble – PG walked into the auditorium during the last part of the first show, as the band played “A whiter shade of pale”. The bass player wore lace up boots, with the pants legs tucked into them. Before long, the second show came on stage. Keyboard player Michael Kamen was the central focus, acting out the lyrics to “Anaconda”.

Silverman Deborah McColl fronted this drummerless band

Al Kooper PG has written about an unfortunate incident involving Al Kooper during this show. This would have never happened in “The Catcher in the Rye”…the kids always knew what time it was in that story. Mr. Kooper did a solo show, including “Sam Stone” by John Prine.

Ellen McIlwaine/ James Cotton Blues Band Ms. McIlwaine was pregnant, and played slide guitar. Mr. Cotton played harmonica. One of his players started to fan him with a towel, because he was hot.

Breakfast Special/ Doc and Merle Watson Breakfast Special was a local bluegrass crew, who did “The coming down song”. The Watsons did ” Deep River Blues” and “Thats All”, among other things. PG had a copy of their latest LP, and asked Merle to autograph it. He wrote his name on one side, turned it over, and signed Doc’s name on the other side.

Mason/Atlanta Rythym Section This show was the night Led Zeppelin played Atlanta Stadium.

New Riders of the Purple Sage When the Music Hall opened, a performer would typically play from Tuesday to Sunday. NRPS was a one night show. They worked well in the packed hall, and shined on “Glenville Train”. The next year, they did a tour with Commander Cody and The Lost Planet Airmen. Commander Cody opened, and raised hell. NRPS followed with a mellow rock show, and before long people were getting bored and leaving.

David Buskin / Loudon Wainwright III Chamblee 54 has written about this show before. Mr. Buskin talked about doing a show at Max’s Kansas City, the person sitting next to PG said “Gross”.

Steve Martin / Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Chamblee54 has written about the show by Mr. Martin . This was his last tour as an opening act. Nitty Gritty was a sight to behold. John McEuen played fiddle, and recited a poem about life.

Martin Mull / Melissa Manchester PG went to see Mr. Mull, who opened the show with a three piece band. (After the show, Mr. Mull said the name of the band was the (your name) (draws a blank with his fingers) orchestra.) The headliner was Ms. Manchester, little known at the time. She was a knockout. While standup comedy has it’s place, for emotional impact there is nothing like a singer.

Texas Gary Bennett / Weather Report Mr. Bennett played acoustic guitar, and sang, as an opener for a packed house of jazz rockers. It did not go well. At one point, trying to get some rapport with the crowd, he said ” has anyone here been busted at the Omni?” (The authorities had begun arresting people for smoking pot at the major concerts.)

Weather Report was amazing. Josef Zawinul had the loud keyboard sound, Wayne Shorter played his leads on soprano sax, and there was a drummer and percussion player. There was tons of rythym, to go with the electronic jazz sounds. When it was over, PG went up to Mr. Zawinul, shook his hand and, and said thank you. He was pouring a glass of beer from a pitcher, and looked a bit startled.






David Pomerance / Rahsaan Roland Kirk Chamblee54 has written about this show before. Mr. Kirk was a force of nature, the modern miracle of the tenor saxophone. He did not suffer from false modesty. This was the night Richard Nixon resigned, which pleased Mr. Kirk no end. The blind Rahsaan said that he did not want to see his audience, because we were too ugly. At one point, his band had been jamming for about ten minutes, when PG realized that Mr. Kirk had been holding a single note the entire time. The three saxophones at one time thing was a visual shocker, but he got sounds that way that you cannot get from a single instrument. At one point, Mr. Kirk pulled his sunglasses off, and made a face at the crowd. It was an amazing evening.
Chic Corea / Return to Forever This was a disappointment. Tickets were $4.50, which may be the most PG ever paid at the Music Hall. The band only played about an hour. It was all electric, ignoring the acoustic instruments set up on stage. RTF was a four piece, all star band. They had Chic Corea on keyboards, Stanley Clarke on bass, Al Demeola on guitar, and Lenny White on drums. That sounds like a great show, but it turned out to be four solo artists jamming. There was no cohesion, and the overall sound was less than the sum of the individual parts. Corea leaned over his keyboard, twisted knobs, and made faces, as if to say “look at how intense this is”. It wasn’t.

Mccoy Tyner The former Coltrane sideman played a very nice show. He had a percussion man, with several tables covered in exotic instruments. PG took a break after to first show to hang out at a neighborhood disco. When he got back, there was no doorman checking tickets, and anyone could walk in for free. PG took advantage of this discovery many times over the next few years.

Bill Crystal / Jean Luc Ponty Former Frank Zappa player Jean Luc Ponty played at the Music Hall, with a bass player who was a fellow Zappa alumni. The surprise of the evening was then-unknown Bill Crystal. A few weeks after this show, “Soap” would premiere, and make him a star. Mr. Crystal did a killer impersonation of a gila monster.

Between shows, Mr. Crystal had been entertained by a local musician. During the second show, he held his finger to his nose, made a snorting sound, and said thank you. PG heard this, and yelled “Locker Room”, the name of a “deooderizer” that some liked to get a buzz sniffing. Mr. Crystal said “Locker room. Jeez, I need to get the hecklers rosetta stone to know what he means”. Good times.

Keith Jarrett This is another show that might have been better than PG’s enjoyment. At one point early in the show, PG moved over to the front of the stage, to look at Mr. Jarrett’s hands. After the show, people told PG that the player had been giving him dirty looks when he did that. PG asked Mr. Jarrett about it, and he said that PG had interfered with his concentration.

This show featured a quartet, instead of a solo piano. The bass player was Charley Haden, who seemed a bit puffy faced. PG later learned that he had been addicted to heroin at the time.

Melissa Manchester Ms. Manchester came back for another week at the Music Hall, about a year after her first appearance. At one point, she asked the band if they were ready to do a new song, and then performed “I got eyes” for the first time in public. This was later the b side to “Midnight Blue”. One of the players in her band was a man named James Newton Howard. Part of the deal for touring with her was that he could play a solo number on piano, called “Newton’s Ego”. He later played with Elton John, and became wealthy writing film scores.

Flora Purim /Airto Moreira On PG’s 23rd birthday, Flora Purim played at the Music Hall. At the time, PG had a profound appreciation of her albums. The band had a nice sound, and was the equal of her records. The Chic Corea tune “Light as a Feather” was a standout. Her husband, Airto Moreira ( eye, ear, toe) fronted the band on some of the numbers, and had some funny routines. Ms. Purim held two microphones throughout the show, with one connected to some audio filters. PG found holding two microphones to be visually distracting. PG had known of the Jewish ancestry of Ms. Purim, but had not thought much about it. Then he saw her live, and realized that she does, indeed, look Jewish.

Hot Tuna Hot Tuna is a dependable, though not spectacular, band. On a previous show in Atlanta, they went on stage at 10:55, and played without a break until 2:50. This night, a fried of a friend was working at the Music Hall, and PG got in before the crowds, to get a prime spot, in the first row of benchbacks. At one point, PG was rocking back and forth against the benchback, and a neighbor asked him to quit. Those buckets of beer were influential.

Shakti This was an acoustic, Hindu oriented band fronted by guitar superman John McLaughlin. The numbers seemed to go on forever.

David Manion / Mark Almond This was a long awaited Atlanta performance by Mark Almond. (This is a jazz/blues band, totally different from the Soft Cell vocalist with a similar name.) They played two sets, which were only an hour or so long. This was disappointing to the people who could not wait for the second show. In the second show, they “took the shackles off” saxophone player Johnny Almond, and he played a wild solo during “The city”.

The incident we are about to describe may or may not have involved David Manion. What happened was, a small portable radio was playing on the edge of the stage. The spotlight was on the radio, which sounded like gibberish to most of the audience. Gradually, the chattering audience got quiet, and tried to listen to the radio. After a few minutes, a man came out, and stood in darkness behind the radio. The PA speaker announced “The new force of rock in Atlanta”. The man then dropped a large piece of granite on the radio, smashing it into bits.

Laurie Chapman / Stomu Yamashta Laurie Chapman was a singer/piano player, with some good stories. She told of a trucker, driving beside her and talking to her on a cb radio. ” You better get that drink out from between your legs before it gets too hot to handle”.

Stomu Yamashta is somewhat of a star in Japan. The show here was filmed for showing on TV there. His band, Go, was an all star collection, including Ava Cherry. She was a backup vocalist, and girlfriend, with David Bowie. After the show, PG was introduced to Spencer Davis in the lobby.

The next few shows were at Cherokee Plaza.

Martin Mull Mr. Mull was a solo star this time. He did a song about doing nothing, adding that dead people can do it too. The parking lot was packed, which was a major problem at the new location.

The week before the Super Bowl in 1994, Mr. Mull filmed a Comedy Central show in Woodruff Park. The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders were kicking field goals. After the filming PG stood a few feet away from Mr. Mull, but could not think of anything to say.

Sun Ra PG went to a wedding, and a bunch of people from there went to see Sun Ra. This was an entertaining spectacle, with a big band and dancers. After the show, PG asked Sun Ra how he could afford to take a band like that on the road. He said he was doing it for beauty.

David Bromberg This was another big band production. PG showed within a few minutes of the gateman leaving his post, and saw about 45 minutes without buying a ticket.

Lester Flatt/John Hartford One boring Saturday night, PG walked up to the Music Hall, and saw the two fiddle players jamming. A few weeks later, Lester Flatt passed away. This is a repost. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.








Posted in Poem, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 19, 2015






Cut Arts Funding

Posted in GSU photo archive, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 19, 2015









The second greatest was making an attractive meme out of the thought. ~ We have been advised that there may be attempts to disrupt the show. If a disruption occurs, please remain in your seat until the situation is resolved. Be calm, and do not attempt to confront the person causing the disruption. ~ i am sort of an old fogey about drugs… retired drunk, quit smoking pot ten years ago, never did develop a taste for white powders or speed ~ And that’s why I’ve kinda quit paying attention to Atlanta sports teams. We’ve lost more hockey teams than we’ve won championships. ~ @bitchywaiter Dear Mother at Table 12: you’re not the only one being celebrated today. Chill your tits. ~ @TheKevinAllison @ozchrisrock ppl who pretend to be celebrities to push their bird brain ideas are worse ~ This is why the media is talking about racism. It is a diversion from economic issues. ~ The advertising is protection money. Corporate media will never criticize the lottery. ~ words ~ @ericarhodes confidence is overrated it’s always given to the wrong people. ~ ‏@Flyswatter words hurt. Stop using them against people. @chamblee54 @Flyswatter I would add racist liberal conservative and any other label used in a derogatory manner we are all G-d’s children ~ @TheOnion Shell Assures Nation Most Arctic Wildlife To Go Extinct Well Before Next Spill ‏@chamblee54 Does this include the Palin family? ~ This has been floating around for a while. Not everyone agrees with it. ~ @postcrunk those who seek power deserve it the least ~ Who Is Your Spirit Musician? ~ Georgia Says “Cloudy” Execution Drug Was Just Too Cold, But Expert Gave A Second Possible Cause ~ more words ~ defending golden mean ~ America’s Changing Religious Landscape ~ Terrorism: the most meaningless and manipulated word ~ quote that never was ~ debunking golden mean ~ When Winston Churchill was asked to cut arts funding in favour of the war effort, he simply replied, “then what are we fighting for? ~ Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted. ~ This, and whining about police, are excellent distractions for the TPP ~ Thank you for expressing yourself without using the word shit. Feces is an important part of life. It also stinks. There are many ways to comment on unfortunate parts of our existence without referring to animal waste. ~ Are these quotes compatible with each other? (1) Yoko Ono wrote “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” (2) Bob Marley wrote “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.” A line written by Ono many years before, and quoted by Lennon in December 1980, as quoted in All We Are Saying : The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono (2000) by John Lennon, Yōko Ono, David Sheff, p. 16. ~ “Redemption Song” is a song by Bob Marley … At the time he wrote the song, circa 1979, Bob Marley had been diagnosed with the cancer in his toe that later took his life. According to Rita Marley, “he was already secretly in a lot of pain and dealt with his own mortality, a feature that is clearly apparent in the album, particularly in this song”. ~ It is sometimes said that a missing person “is here in spirit.” It is tough to eat potluck food in spirit. ~ If I were an admin this post would already be taken down. ~ Mercury is in Gatorade. Or something. Everybody panic. ~ @WernerTwertzog One had to live in California in the early 70s to understand the grooviness of Chewbacca. spell check suggestions for grooviness: grogginess , grossness ~ @poetryduh Clearly Ru Paul recognizes a majority of this generation receives its drag entertainment from the Internet. ~ “my mom’s a total facebook stalker” That is a country and western song waiting to be written. ~ Yes, all lives matter but we’re focused on the black ones right now, ok? Because it is very apparent that our judicial system doesn’t know that. Plus, if you can’t see why we are exclaiming #blacklivesmatter you are part of the problem. ~ @MaraEastern Watching a couple of ducks waddling on a busy road, I’m wondering if they’re jaywalking or if they have the right of way. ~ pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. ~ selah








He Lied

Posted in GSU photo archive, Politics, Race by chamblee54 on May 18, 2015









There is a discussion at Bloggingheadstv about the recent events in Baltimore MD. The featured speakers, Glenn Loury and John McWhorter, have been heard from before. This is a thought provoking discussion. If you are multi tasking, you might not get much done. The temptation to stop and take notes will be great.

At BHTV, you can create a sound bite, known as a dinglelink, when something gets your attention. This chat produced three dinglelinks. These serve to illustrate the points that are going to be made. There are other things that could be said, but most people have a limited attention span.

At 23:19, the men are discussing one of the witnesses to the Micheal Brown shooting. Dr. Loury starts to talk loud, and says “he lied.” This is a problem.

During the Ferguson fiasco, America was hit over the head with a lot of talk, often at top volume. There was the spectacle of a crowd of people walking into a funeral with their hands in the air. A great deal of the shouting was based on lies. If you question these lies, you can expect to be called a racist. The little boy said he saw a wolf.

If you think Dr. Loury gets worked up in the first clip, wait until he talks about the #Baltimoreuprising. Dr. Loury does not like the expression. He might have a point. The disturbance was a reaction from a population in pain. It was not the first step in a revolution.

One of the popular memes of this “conversation about race” is complaining about “media double standards.” Complaints about profit motivated media are popular with both liberals and conservatives. In the Baltimore banter, videos of white people misbehaving after sporting events are shown, and the stern voiced commenter wonders why the media does not treat these people as harshly as the Baltimore crowd.

With the #Baltimoreuprising hashtag, this media commentary goes up a notch. When drunken white sports fans act out, it is a riot. When poor urban people loot stores, it is the #Baltimoreuprising. There is no telling where this will end up.

The last clip shows Dr. McWhorter asking if poor people are going to demand, of their neighborhoods, “no more thugs.” It is apparent that Dr. McWhorter does not read the same people on facebook that others do. The word “thug” is now considered a racist slur. Instead of attacking the problem, twitter nation is attacking the word that describes the problem. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.










Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on May 17, 2015










In the past year, PG has learned that two poems he enjoyed were “borrowed.” One was in Mad Magazine. It was a poem about baseball.
“Tigers Tigers, burning bright, in the ballparks, of the night, your pitching’s fair, your fields adroit, so why no pennant for Detroit.” Not only was this a memorable rhyme, but it has the word adroit. While this is a wonderful addition to a vocabulary, in forty eight years PG has never used it. Maybe the only thing it is good for is rhyming with Detroit.
PG is not terribly well educated when it comes to poetry. A lot of things slip by him. He did develop an admiration for Allen Ginsberg, which led to William Blake. One night, with the World Series in the background, PG found a poem by Mr. Blake, The Tyger.

“Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry?”
Could it be that Mad was more fun to read? A more adroit turn of phrase? Or less prophetic… The Tigers won the World Series before the sixties were over.
In a few years, PG moved byond Mad Magazine. He read about these albums being sold by Warner Brothers. They were collections of songs from different artists, designed to make you want to buy more. “The Big Ball” cost two dollars by mail order. Side four was devoted to weird stuff. Captain Beefheart, The Mothers of Invention, The GTO’s, and Pearls Before Swine. The last band had a song, “Footnote,” which is embedded with this post.

“Footnote” is a quiet song, with easy to remember words. PG listened many, many times, and thought he had it figured out. It was about an arms dealer. Of course, most think the Pearls Before Swine is something in the Bible. Another version is when Clare Boothe Luce went into a room ahead of Dorothy Parker. “Age before beauty” “Pearls before swine”.

So anyway, there was an article about something, somewhere. It was quoting Wyston Hugh Auden, known mercifully by his initials W.H. This is another famous person that PG knew little about, other than his friendship with Christopher Isherwood. The quote was familiar. Then it hit… this was that song by Pearls Before Swine. It seems like the performer borrowed the lyrics from a copyrighted poem, Epitaph on a Tyrant.

Pictures for this repost are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. The second embedded video is from side four of “The Big Ball.” PG does not know if a famous poet was copied, or if this piece is original.










20 Facts About Death

Posted in Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 16, 2015











PG is running out of things to say. Never mind having something good to say about anyone, he doesn’t have anything to say, good or bad. Fortunately, archives are forever, as Richard Grenell found out. PG found this list in his archives. It is based on 20 Things You Didn’t Know About… Death, at Discover Magazine. This is a repost. These statements have not been verified, and may contain inaccuracies. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

1) The practice of burying the dead may date back 350,000 years, as evidenced by a 45-foot-deep pit in Atapuerca, Spain, filled with the fossils of 27 hominids of the species Homo heidelbergensis, a possible ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans.
2) There are at least 200 euphemisms for death, including “to be in Abraham’s bosom,” “just add maggots,” and “sleep with the Tribbles” (a Star Trek favorite).
3) No American has died of old age since 1951. That was the year the government eliminated that classification on death certificates.

4) The trigger of death, in all cases, is lack of oxygen. Its decline may prompt muscle spasms, or the “agonal phase,” from the Greek word agon, or contest.
5) Within three days of death, the enzymes that once digested your dinner begin to eat you. Ruptured cells become food for living bacteria in the gut, which release enough noxious gas to bloat the body and force the eyes to bulge outward.
6) Burials in America deposit 827,060 gallons of embalming fluid—formaldehyde, methanol, and ethanol—into the soil each year. Cremation pumps dioxins, hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, and carbon dioxide into the air.

7) Eighty percent of people in the United States die in a hospital.
8) More people commit suicide in New York City than are murdered.
9) It is estimated that 100 billion people have died since humans began.

10) A Swedish company, Promessa, will freeze-dry your body in liquid nitrogen, pulverize it with high-frequency vibrations, and seal the resulting powder in a cornstarch coffin. They claim this “ecological burial” will decompose in 6 to 12 months.
11) Zoroastrians in India leave out the bodies of the dead to be consumed by vultures. The vultures are now dying off after eating cattle carcasses dosed with diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory used to relieve fever in livestock.
12) Queen Victoria insisted on being buried with the bathrobe of her long-dead husband, Prince Albert, and a plaster cast of his hand.

13) In Madagascar, families dig up the bones of dead relatives and parade them around the village in a ceremony called famadihana. The remains are then wrapped in a new shroud and reburied. The old shroud is given to a newly married, childless couple to cover the connubial bed.
14) During a railway expansion in Egypt in the 19th century, construction companies unearthed so many mummies that they used them as fuel for locomotives.
15) English philosopher Francis Bacon, a founder of the scientific method, died in 1626 of pneumonia after stuffing a chicken with snow to see if cold would preserve it.

16) For organs to form during embryonic development, some cells must commit suicide. Without such programmed cell death, we would all be born with webbed feet, like ducks.
17) Waiting to exhale: In 1907 a Massachusetts doctor conducted an experiment with a specially designed deathbed and reported that the human body lost 21 grams upon dying. This has been widely held as fact ever since. It’s not.
18) Buried alive: In 19th-century Europe there was so much anecdotal evidence that living people were mistakenly declared dead that cadavers were laid out in “hospitals for the dead” while attendants awaited signs of putrefaction.









City Flags

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 15, 2015









Roman Mars recently gave a TED talk, Why city flags may be the worst-designed thing you’ve never noticed. Mr. Mars is the voice behind 99 percent invisible, a podcast about design. It is a magic moment when you see the face saying “This is 99% Invisible. I’m Roman Mars.”

You might wonder why a city would have a flag. It is a handy symbol for countries, especially during a war. States seem to all have them. Many cities do have flags, although they are not always displayed. In the case of Pocatello ID, this is an act of mercy.

The North American Vexillological Association has five principles of flag design. 1. Keep it simple 2. Use meaningful symbolism 3. Use two to three basic colors 4. No lettering or seals of any kind. 5. Be distinctive. Chicago, Denver, and Portland follow these guidelines and succeed.

One of the bad examples cited in the talk is San Francisco. They have a poorly drawn phoenix, over a ribbon. The ribbon has a saying in a language other than english. The words SAN FRANCISCO are displayed in big, ugly letters at the bottom. Most San Francisco residents instinctively understand why those letters are bottoms.

Another city with a phoenix flag is Atlanta. This unfortunate item is what “Vexillologists call … SOBs: seals on a bedsheet.” The seal of the city is installed in the middle of a blue bedsheet. The Atlanta city flag is seldom displayed. Many residents are unaware of its existence.

“Made from durable nylon, our authentic Atlanta flags are constructed to official specifications and available in assorted popular sizes. Each flag has two heavy duty grommets for easy display, though we also offer an optional pole sleeve and gold fringe for indoor display. These flags are “made-to-order” right here in America, so please allow about 10 days for your order to ship.”

The subject of government flags is controversial in Georgia. Up until a few years ago, the state flag had the St. Andrews Cross. To the right was a blue strip, impaled upon the state seal. This flag was an aesthetic disaster, with the state seal Frankenstein stitched onto the stars and bars. This flag violated what might be rule six of flag design: Do not offend a significant portion of the state population with a symbol. The good news is that the Georgia flag has been changed. The state seal remains.

Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.








Watering Hole Story

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 15, 2015











PG and his neighbor DA went out to drink beer and shoot pool. The destination was a place called the Watering Hole. The Watering Hole used to be a VFW. There was a TV repair store next door. When the county legalized bars, the VFW went somewhere else. The TV repair store became the game room. You could see on the floor where the counter used to be.

This was a weeknight. The other customer was past his limit. The drunk was fussing at the bartender when PG and DA walked in.

PG got lucky and hit a good shot on the pool table. He got a bit cocky, and said “and now for my next trick”. The drunk staggered into the game room, and lay down on an empty pool table. DA replied, “Is that your next trick?”

Before long, it was time to go home. As PG and DA were leaving, the drunk was arguing with the bartender. He wanted to buy a twelve pack to take home. The drunk won the argument, and started walking up Clairmont Road with his prize.

PG got a block or so away from the Watering Hole. He saw the drunk sitting in front of a seven eleven store. The drunk was sitting on the curb, drinking a beer. PG drove in front of him, and stopped the car. DA got out, and walked over to the curb. She picked up the eleven pack, and walked over to the car. Her pace was deliberate. The drunk stood up and yelled obscenities. The car drove away. off. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.