Chamblee54

Blackface Drag At Club Sheba

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on January 31, 2019

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Reading about Shirley Q. Liquor brought back memories of a night long ago. A young man, who I will call Carroll, grew up across the street. In his spare time, he did drag shows. What I was expecting was Carol Burnett and Lily Tomlin, using his own voice. One Sunday night, free admission and a buffet was all I needed to venture downtown and see the show.

The venue was an unpretentious bar called Club Sheba. The clientele was mostly lesbians, many of whom were African Americans.

Club Sheba was located on Forrest Avenue. The street was named for Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate General. Forrest Avenue later became Ralph McGill Boulevard, named after the former editor of the Atlanta Constitution.

As show time approached, I saw a table that had empty seats. I pulled back a seat, and a beefy lady informed me that she did not want a man to sit at that table.

The first act was what I expected. The reputation of Carol Burnett did not suffer, and Lily Tomlin was still in the closet. After the first act, I shot a game of pool with my friend, and went to the buffet for a second plate. A lady stopped me. ”You’re not supposed to get full”

I went back to the pool table. After a while there was a crowd standing around, and it was evident that a second act was going to start soon. I saw a black lady in the crowd making faces at me, took a second look, and realized that it was Carroll.

He did not use his voice this time, but lip synced to Grace Jones and Diana Ross. He wore blackface, and an afro wig. The crowd at the Club Sheba enjoyed this part of the show. Many of the Black Lesbians went to the stage and stuffed dollar bills in his faux bosom.

The pictures today are from The Library of Congress. These ladies were participating in “Inter city beauties, Atlantic City Pageant, 1925.” This feature is a repost.

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Was Warren Harding A Bad President?

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Politics by chamblee54 on January 30, 2019







It is a cliche of history classes that Warren Harding was one of the worst men to occupy the oval office. (Richard Nixon was the POTUS the last time PG studied history. This cliche does not consider the last forty years.) PG is a fair minded person, who is always looking for something to write about. The question for Mr. Google was “was warren harding a terrible president?”. Answers dot com has a generous helping of biographical sketches. Some of the links used in this article no longer work.

Warren Gamaliel Harding was born Nov. 2, 1865, Caledonia OH, and died Aug. 2, 1923, San Francisco CA. (His birthplace is also cited as Blooming Grove OH, and Corsica OH.) He published a newspaper, got into politics, and was elected to the US Senate. In 1920, he was a compromise candidate, on the tenth ballot of the Republican convention. He clobbered James Cox, (His family firm, Cox Enterprises, owns Channel 2 and the fishwrapper.) and became President March 4, 1921.

The United States was in an economic downturn in 1921. The War in Europe ended in 1918, and a postwar depression was on. The last two years of the Wilson administration had been chaotic, with the President suffering a debilitating stroke. In a few years, the roaring twenties were on, and America was prosperous for a few years.

Mr. Harding was reputed to be a womanizer, gambler, and heavy drinker. He was not an activist President, but allowed his cronies to do what they wanted to do. This proved to be his downfall.
“I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies all right. But my damn friends. They’re the ones that keep me walking the floor nights!”
There was a major scandal involving oil reserves. It centered around a place in Wyoming called Teapot Dome. The details of this affair mostly came to light after the death of President Harding. Albert B. Fall, the secretary of the interior, was convicted of a felony for his role in the affair… the first cabinet officer to become a felon while in office.

Mr. Harding went on a trip to the west, to make speeches and deals. He was the first President to go to Alaska. While in Alaska, he read some documents about the crooked dealings of his friends. In a few days, he was in San Francisco. He had been in ill health during the trip.

“On Thursday, the President’s health appeared to be improving, so his doctors went to dinner. Harding’s pulse was normal and his lung infection had subsided. Unexpectedly, during the evening, Harding shuddered and died suddenly in the middle of conversation with his wife in the hotel’s presidential suite, at 7:35 pm on August 2, 1923. Dr. Sawyer (a homeopath, and friend of the Harding family), opined that Harding had succumbed to a stroke, but doctors there disagreed. … After some discussion, the doctors issued a release indicating the cause of death to be “some brain evolvement, probably an apoplexy”. Mrs. Harding refused to allow an autopsy. In retrospect, scholars speculate that Harding had shown physical signs of cardiac insufficiency with congestive heart failure in the preceding weeks. Naval medical consultants who examined the president in San Francisco concluded he had suffered a heart attack. “

The sudden and mysterious death of a President, with reports of a scandal surfacing, is fertile ground for conspiracy theorists. Mr. Harding did appear to be in poor health, so this may have been a natural occurrence. The truth will never be completely known.

One aspect of the Harding administration that is not well known is his attitude about race. In the years after World War I, America was engulfed in race hatred. The Ku Klux Klan had a revival.
“In a speech on October 26, 1921, given in segregated Birmingham, Alabama Harding advocated civil rights for African Americans; the first President to openly advocate black political, educational, and economic equality during the 20th century.” Mr. Harding supported an anti lynching bill, which a Democratic filibuster kept from passing.
Jimmysnax brings the Internet tradition of snarky commentary to the legacy of Warren Harding. Apparently, former newspaperman Harding could not write his way out of a paper bag. (In 1923, radio was a novelty. The printed word was the primary means of communication.)

Run your eyes over one of the best known examples of his waterboarding of the English tongue: “I would like the government to do all it can to mitigate, then, in understanding, in mutuality of interest, in concern for the common good, our tasks will be solved.”

Here’s what H. L. Mencken said about Harding’s speech writing and speech making: “He writes the worst English that I have ever encountered. It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash.” The 20’s were a wonderful time for language!

Or as E.E. Cummings put it, announcing Harding’s death: “The only man, woman or child who wrote a simple declarative sentence with seven grammatical errors is dead.”

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This repost is written like Kurt Vonnegut.





Ham On Rye

Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on January 29, 2019


Ham On Rye is due back at the library today. PG could not renew it, because someone else had made a request. This was going to be a snow jam day, but it did not even deliver a good drizzle. Going bonkers over an inch of snow is an Atlanta tradition, and PG would not have it any other way. Which does not write this book report. Pictures from The Library of Congress.

HOR is the about the childhood of Hank Chinaski, who is really Charles Bukowski. It seems like a dreary affair. Hank Sr. is a sadistic asshole. He gets off on beating his son. Mother sits back and does nothing. The story is set in depression Los Angeles, which adds to the morbid ambience of the tale.

A discerning reader can see the roots of the acorn that grew into Charles Bukowski. One of his few childhood friends had a basement full of home made wine. Charles went down there, and made a life long friend. Before long, daddy put a padlock on the basement.

Someone who will write Notes of a Dirty Old Man needs to get out of grammar school first. At some point, a near fatal case of acne hit. Hank was going to the hospital, and receiving acne cures that made daddy seem warm and fuzzy. Eventually, Hank went on to getting drunk whenever possible, and then fighting the person who supplied the hootch.

For all the horny talk, there is little sex in HOR. Hank goes to get drunk with some kid who had a hot mother. The kid passed out, and mama came home. Hank hits on mama. She pulls her skirt up. Her pussy hair is half gray, and not pretty like her head hair. Hank decides to go home instead.

Hank graduates from High School, gets a job in a department store, and gets fired within a week. Hank bounces around, wins a pile of money in a drinking contest, gets kicked out of the family house, and gets kicked out of a Filipino boarding house. Hank starts talking the pre-Pearl Harbor pro German talk, only to discover that the Nazis he meets are idiots. The story ends with the announcement of Pearl Harbor. Hank does not enlist.

A story like this needs a one star review. “I can handle depressing books. I actually steer away from anything too frothy. This one, I am afraid, would depress a circus clown after his best stage performance. Dark. Sad. No uplifting moments. I finished it, hoping it would have some redemption at the end. Wrong. Went from depressing to clinically depressing.”

#Bernie2020 It’s His Turn

Posted in Library of Congress, Weekly Notes by chamblee54 on January 28, 2019


The display of a link on this page does not indicate approval of content.
@PikePlaceTechie 1) Yesterday was supposed to be a day of celebration for my middle brother Alex, who got married last night. Instead my family had to deal with the fallout of my youngest brother #MichaelHodge being falsely accused for standing & smiling in front of an indigenous man with a drum 2) People then proceeded to spam my family with harassments and threats of physical violence. We then find out our parents address was posted online. If that wasn’t enough, our family operated business has been slandered and attacked.
Ex-students of the high school of racist MAGA teens just revealed their horror stories
The Digital Lynching of Covington Catholic
Statement on the actions of Covington Catholic High School students19 Jan
Atlanta Storytellers Podcast Episode 12 Alayna Huft Tucker, Shannon M. Turner, Theresa Davis
Stacey Abrams looks at her options after the narrow loss in a Georgia election marred by disputes over voting irregularities
The Secrets of Lyndon Johnson’s Archives
Why We Need to Bring Back the Art of Communal Bathing
Top 10 worst neighborhoods in Atlanta. Not all are dangerous.
In Business and Governing, Trump Seeks Victory in Chaos
Lightning was demolished to make way for the Georgia Dome
“Conversations With People Who Hate Me.”
Pick up the nearest book to you. Go to page 45. The first sentence explains your love life.
Kmart 1973 Reel to Reel (High Quality)
@w_terrence The Media & the #VerifiedBullies need to apologize to the #CovingtonCatholic students. They are being harassed and receiving death threats from verified accounts
An Open Apology to the Covington Catholic MAGA Hat Harassment Team
The Marie Kondo Books Debate Has Classist & Racist Undertones That Can’t Be Ignored
‘He’s a good man’ Family says driver who left deadly accident made a mistake
Twitter suspends account that helped ignite controversy over viral encounter
Twitter suspends account that helped ignite Viral Encounter Gives MSM a pass
Traffic stop at DeKalb gas station leads to officer-involved shooting
‘Some white people may have to die’: UGA teaching assistant under fire for post A University of Georgia graduate student is getting criticism for comments he wrote on Facebook. The man at the center of the controversy is Irami Osei-Frampong — a philosophy graduate student employed by the university as a teacher’s assistant. He speaks frequently about race and equality, but some critics believe he crossed the line when he made a post online that stated, “Some white people may have to die for black communities to be made whole.” and “Fighting white people is a skill.” “I’m confused why that is so controversial,”
CNN and Jake Tapper Neglect to Disclose Connections to PR Firm Behind Nick Sandmann’s Statement, Signal Boost it Anyway
MC Crumbsnatcher – Glamorous Official Music Video
The kids aren’t heroes or racist villains; they’re immature teenagers
Nothing justifies what the Covington students did
Nick Sandmann speaks out on viral encounter with Nathan Phillips
William Tyler on New Age, Windham Hill, and Emerging Sounds
@chamblee54 @bloggingheads is a podcast series. Every week, @billscher @mattklewis have a liberal/conservative conversation about current events. This week has the best comment I have heard about maga-hat-gate. “it’s important because it’s important”
Kmart 1973 Reel to Reel (High Quality)
Five Ways You Can Support The Mental Health of People of Color
Let’s Stop Coddling White Teenage Boys
Ingraham And Bongino Upset That African American Guest Called Donald Trump A Racist
Video shows shirtless man high on meth attack stranger inside restaurant
Second man found dead with Ed Buck was no drug abuser, friends say
Welcome to Phoenix Flies 2019 March 2-24, 2019
HIGH FREQUENCIES: Remembering David Dickens, 1961 — 2019
Search continues for ‘armed and dangerous’ man police say killed 4, injured another
The Covington students and the calculated art of making people uncomfortable
The Abyss of Hate Versus Hate ~ trump outlet
“Are Traps Gay?” | ContraPoints ~ never tweet
Roseanne Cash ~ A Few Thoughts On Paper Ballots
Irami Osei-Frimpong ~ Irami Osei-Frimpong
Remember How Great…? ~ Remember How Great…? volume 2
Mr. Sandman – The Chordettes ~ Stop Trusting Viral Videos
You do not have to express an opinion about everything. It is all right to let some things pass without comment. ~ @dylanmarron blocked me on twitter. I had never been to his page, but he blocked me anyway. This is how he has conversations. Maybe it is because I don’t hate him. ~ You can insert all five vowels into sh_t and get a scrabble ready word. ~ The so called racism of Donald Trump has been cynically exaggerated by the Democratic party. ~ people who died on january 24: Caligula (AD 41), Winston Churchill (1965), Bill W., co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (1971), L. Ron Hubbard (1986), Ted Bundy (1989). ~ pictures today are from The Library of Congress. The pictures were taken in Missouri in August 1938. The photographer was Russell Lee ~ selah

Sixty Dumb Quotes

Posted in Library of Congress, Quotes by chamblee54 on January 27, 2019






This repost was originally published January 08, 2012. At that time, no one could have forseen the prophecy of quote number four. The idea that Donald Trump’s (seldom mentioned) first wife could have said “Fiction writing is great. You can make up almost anything” was marginally noteworthy in 2012. There is a saying, life is bad fiction. President Donald J.Trump is an example.
Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life. – Brooke Shields
If we don’t succeed, we run the risk of failure. – Dan Quayle
So, where’s the Cannes Film Festival being held this year? — Christina Aguilera
Fiction writing is great. You can make up almost anything. – Ivana Trump
I’m convinced the Beatles are partly responsible for the fall of Communism. – Milos Forman .
When I’m a blonde, I can say the world is purple, and they’ll believe me because they weren’t listening to me. – Kylie Bax, Model/Actress.
The internet is a great way to get on the net. – Bob Dole
You guys, line up alphabetically by height. – Bill Peterson, football coach
I get to go to lots of overseas places, like Canada. – Britney Spears
I think war is a dangerous place. – George W. Bush
I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father. – Greg Norman, Golfer
It’s nice, it gives you a feeling of security so that if something breaks we know we can always call a guy over and he’ll bring a drill or something. – Brooke Shields
Rotarians, be patriotic! Learn to shoot yourself. – Gyrator, Chicago Rotary Club journal
These people haven’t seen the last of my face. If I go down, I’m going down standing up.
Chuck Person, NBA Basketball player
I’m so smart now. Everyone’s always like ‘take your top off’. Sorry, NO! They always want to get that money shot. I’m not stupid. – Paris Hilton
I think gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can’t help but cry. I mean I’d love to be skinny like that but not with all those flies and death and stuff. – Mariah Carey
Predictions are difficult. Especially about the future. – Yogi Berra
My sister’s expecting a baby, and I don’t know if I’m going to be an uncle or an aunt.
Chuck Nevitt, basketball player
The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation’s history. I mean in this century’s history. But we all lived in this century. I didn’t live in this century. – Dan Quayle
And now the sequence of events in no particular order. – Dan Rather
Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods. – George W Bush
The doctors X-rayed my head and found nothing. – Dizzy Dean
I was in a no-win situation, so I’m glad that I won rather than lost. – Frank Bruno, Boxer
I have opinions of my own –strong opinions– but I don’t always agree with them. – George Bush
I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first. –
George Rogers, NFL RB
I do not like this word “bomb.” It is not a bomb. It is a device that is exploding.
Jacques le Blanc, French ambassador
The word ‘genius’ isn’t applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein. – Joe Theisman
Half this game is ninety percent mental. – Danny Ozark, Philadelphia Phillies manager
Be sure and put some of those neutrons on it.
Mike Smith, Baseball pitcher, ordering a salad at a restaurant.
If I sold all my liabilities, I wouldn’t own anything. My wife’s a liability, my kids are liabilities, and I haven’t sold them. – Ted Turner
They misunderestimated me. – George W Bush
I don’t diet. I just don’t eat as much as I’d like to. – Linda Evangelista, Supermodel
Facts are stupid things. – Ronald Reagan
What a waste it is to lose one’s mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.
Dan Quayle
That’s just the tip of the ice cube. – Neil Hamilton, BBC2
A bachelor’s life is no life for a single man. – Samuel Goldwyn
I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid. – Terry Bradshaw, Former football player/announcer
It isn’t pollution that is hurting the environment, it’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it. – Dan Quayle
I’ve never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body. –
Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward.
The only happy artist is a dead artist, because only then you can’t change. After I die, I’ll probably come back as a paintbrush. – Sylvestor Stallone
Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.
Mayor Marion Barry, Washington, DC
We are not ready for an unforeseen event that may or may not occur. – Dan Quayle
Will the highways on the internet become more few? – George W Bush
Traditionally, most of Australia’s imports come from overseas.
Keppel Enderbery, Former Australian cabinet minister
There is certainly more in the future now than back in 1964. – Roger Daltrey
We’re going to turn this team around 360 degrees. – Jason Kidd
I’ve never really wanted to go to Japan. Simply because I don’t like eating fish. And I know that’s very popular out there in Africa. — Britney Spears
Pitching is 80% of the game. The other half is hitting and fielding. – Mickey Rivers, baseball player
I love California, I practically grew up in Phoenix. – Dan Quayle
Put the ‘off’ button on. – George W. Bush
So Carol, you’re a housewife and mother. And have you got any children? -Michael Barrymore
Food is an important part of a balanced diet. – Fran Lebowitz, US writer
We’ve got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need? – Lee Iacocca
For NASA, space is still a high priority. – Dan Quayle
He’s a guy who gets up at six o’clock in the morning regardless of what time it is.
Lou Duva, veteran boxing trainer
If it weren’t for electricity we’d all be watching television by candlelight. – George Gobel
If only faces could talk… – Pat Summerall
Every minute was more exciting than the next. – Linda Evans, actress
I’m not anorexic. I’m from Texas. Are there people from Texas that are anorexic? I’ve never heard of one. And that includes me. — Jessica Simpson
DISCLAIMER: The accuracy, legitimacy, and context, of these quotes is not known. They have not been verified. Quotes were originally published by 2Spare , a digital facility that advertises “Endless entertainment to spare”. PG does not know where 2Spare got this content. 2Spare is for sale. Even though most of the quotes originated in English, the possibility of translation errors exists. The original title was “60 Dumbest Celebrity Quotes”. The use of the superlative is questionable, as is the celebrity status of Dan Quayle. Pictures are from The Library of Congress .





Tallulah Bankhead And Billie Holiday

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 26, 2019

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Tallulah Bankhead was born January 31, 1902 in Huntsville AL. She had a year-older sister, Eugenia. Their mother died February 23, 1902. Legend has it her last words were
“Take care of baby Eugenia. Tallulah can take care of herself.” This is a repost.
The father of the actress was Will Bankhead
. He was a prominent politician, who served as Speaker of the House of Representatives in Washington. Mr. Bankhead was on the short list of Vice Presidential candidates for Franklin Roosevelt, but was passed over. The Bankhead national forest and the Bankhead Highway are both named for Will Bankhead.
Tallulah Bankhead was an actress, radio show hostess, and personality. She went to London in the early twenties and became a stage sensation. Returning home, she became a Broadway star with “The Little Foxes.” She made movies, but saved her best public performances for the stage.

Miss Bankhead was known for being sexually active, with both men and women. Hattie McDaniel, who played Mammie in Gone With The Wind, was rumored to be one of her “friends”. Her introduction to Chico Marx went like this
“Miss Bankhead.” “Mr. Marx.” “You know, I really want to fuck you.”. “And so you shall, you old-fashioned boy.”
One legend has Miss Bankhead at a dinner party with Dorothy Parker and Montgomery Clift. As might have been expected, the cocktail hour went on most of the evening. At one point, Mister Clift had his head in Miss Parker’s lap. “oh you sweet man, it’s too bad that you’re a cocksucker. He is a cocksucker, isn’t he?” Miss Bankhead replied “I don’t know, he never sucked my cock.”

Her most famous movie role was in “Lifeboat”, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Her co stars complained that she was not wearing panties under her dress. Mr. Hitchcock posed the question, is this a matter for wardrobe or for hairdressing?

In the fading days of radio, Tallulah was the host of “The Big Show”. She became known for her deep voice, and for saying “Dah-ling”. More than one guest got big laughs by calling her Mister Bankhead. After “The Big Show” ended, Miss Bankhead remained active on stage and television. She died December 12, 1968.

Miss Bankhead was a staunch Democrat, as is fitting for the political family she was raised in. During the McCarthy era, an actress friend of hers was accused of being a communist. Miss Bankhead made a statement of support for the actress on the radio, and then asked her, are you a communist? The actress said that her daddy was a republican, and so she guessed that was what she was. Miss Bankhead was horrified.
“A republican! That’s worse than being a goddamn communist.”

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One of Miss Bankhead’s more explosive friendships was with Billie Holliday. “The truth of the matter is that the evidence strongly suggests they probably first met in the early 1930’s during Bankhead’s Harlem rent party and nightclub-slumming days, well before Holiday ever became famous. What is known is that by 1948 they were bosom buddies. A year earlier, Holiday entered the Alderson Federal Reformatory for Women to serve her famous “one day and a year” sentence after being found guilty on dope charges. Four months after her release in 1948, Holiday was appearing at New York’s Strand Theater with Count Basie on the first leg of a cross-country tour. At the same time, Tallulah Bankhead was nearby on Broadway starring in her hit play, Private Lives. Bankhead caused quite a commotion every night thundering late down the ailse during Billie’s show to sit in her special seat to stare in amazement at the gifted & stunningly beautiful Lady Day. Because Holiday’s license to perform in nightclubs where liquor was being served had been revoked (and not renewed) she was forced to earn her living in gruelling tours on the road. For months after the Strand performance, Bankhead traveled with her whenever she could. Also on the tour was dancer/comedian James “Stump Daddy” Cross – nicknamed after his wooden leg, who joined the two famous ladies to make a treacherous threesome.”

“…it appears that during the late 1940s she and Holiday were also lovers. Perhaps they had been all along. Holiday later told William Dufty, who ghostwrote her autobiography, that when Tallulah visited backstage at the Strand Theatre, the thrill she took in exhibitionistic sex made her insist on keeping Holiday’s dressing room door open. Holiday later claimed that Tallulah’s brazen show of affection almost cost her her job at the Strand.”

Before long, Miss Holiday got busted again. Apparently, Miss Bankhead made a phone call to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, asking for leniency. There is a remarkable thank you – you’re welcome correspondence between Miss Bankhead and Mr. Hoover. “As my Negro Mammy used to say ‘When you pray, you pray to God don’t you……I had only met Billie Holiday twice in my life….and feel the most profound compassion for her…she is essentially a child at heart whose troubles have made her psychologically unable to cope with the world in which she finds herself…poor thing, you know I did everything within the law to lighten her burden”. “A giddy and twitterpated Hoover wrote back , “Your comments are greatly appreciated, and I trust that you will no hesitate to call on me at any time you think I might be of assistance to you.”

At some point, the two became less intimate. Miss Bankhead had her own legal headaches, and put some distance between her and Miss Holiday. (Eleanora Fagan was the birth name of the chanteuse. Tallulah Brockman Bankhead was the real name of the thespian.) When “Lady Sings the Blues” was being prepared, Miss Bankhead got an advance copy, and was horrified by what she saw. A fierce note was sent to the book’s publisher, and scenes were edited out. Miss Holiday was outraged. The letter that resulted is a poison pen classic. “My maid who was with me at the Strand isn’t dead either. There are plenty of others around who remember how you carried on so you almost got me fired out of the place. And if you want to get shitty, we can make it a big shitty party. We can all get funky together!”

The first part of this story is a repost. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. “Members of the Atlanta Woman’s Club, during a luncheon for retiring president W.F. Milton, in the AWC banquet hall, in Atlanta, Georgia, March 5, 1937.” Picture of Billie Holiday from The Library of Congress.

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July Blood

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on January 25, 2019

Obituary Mambo

Posted in Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 24, 2019








Andrew Sullivan had an uplifting feature, the other day, about obituaries. As is his custom, he found an article at another site, threw out a juicy quote, and moved on. It is up to Chamblee54 to provide more detail, and put up pictures for the text averse. These pictures today are from the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church cemetery. This is a repost. Many of the links are dead.
It is a common practice to look at the obituaries (aka “Irish sports page”) first thing in the morning. If the reader is not included, then the day can proceed as normal. This custom does not take into account the possibility that you have died, and your family it too cheap to purchase a notice.
The article in question is Ten things you don’t know about the obit biz It starts off by saying that the family members are usually happy to help the obit scribe. They have stories about the recently deceased, like
” Eddie “Bozo” Miller boasted of regularly drinking a dozen martinis before lunch, yet he lived to age eighty-nine.”
Newspapers take different approaches to obituaries. Some assign rookies, or use the death beat as punishment for troublemakers. Others give the job to their best writer. The paid notices are usually written by family members, with the help of the undertaker.
Of course, there is the occasional oddball. Alana Baranick, obituary writer for Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer and lead author of Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers , likes to visit every municipality in the United States named Cleveland.
One oft repeated saying is that obituaries are about life, not death. As the source puts it:
“The British “quality” newspapers — The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, and The Independent, substantiate the old chestnut about obituaries being about life, not death. These papers rarely mention the cause of death, focusing instead on presenting a vivid account of a lived life. American papers have an unhealthy fixation on death. It’s common for “complications of chronic pulmonary disease” or “bile duct cancer” to show up in the story’s lede, never to resurface.”
Only one obituary has won a Pulitzer prize.
” Leonard Warren, a Metropolitan Opera baritone, dropped dead mid-performance in 1960. Sanche de Gramont (who changed his name to Ted Morgan), a young rewrite man at the New York Herald Tribune, banged out the obit in under an hour and won a 1961 Pulitzer in the Local Reporting, Edition Time, category.”
There is an The International Association of Obituarists The headquarters is in Dallas TX, presumably near a grassy knoll. They have an annual convention, which is said to be a lively affair. The 2005 conference was in Bath, England. The 2007 conference was in Alfred NY. There is also the Society of Professional Obituary Writers.

IAO was founded by Carolyn Gilbert, the lady who puts the bitch in obituary. Ms. Gilbert collaborates on a page, Remembering The Passed. RTP has a series of podcasts. They require an apple app to listen, which is too much work for PG.
Death is a part of life. Every language has a word for it, and English has a number of slang expressions. An incomplete list would include :
““passed on”, “are no more”, “have ceased to be”, “expired and gone to meet their Maker”, “are bereft of life”, “have ceased to be”, “rest in peace”, “push up daisies”, “whose metabolic processes are now history”, “are off the twig”, “have kicked the bucket”, “shuffled off their mortal coil”, “run down the curtain” or “joined the Choir Invisible”
Columbia Journalism Review (Motto: Strong Press, Strong Democracy) has a feature about Obit.
“Krishna Andavolu is the managing editor of Obit an online magazine intended for those interested in obituaries, epitaphs, elegies, postludes, retrospectives, grave rubbings, widow’s weeds, and other such memorabilia of expiration. Part eulogistic clearinghouse, part cultural review, Obit purports to examine life through the prism of death. Founded in 2007 by a wealthy New Jersey architect who sensed an exploitable niche after seeing a middle-aged woman distraught over the death of Captain Kangaroo, the site is a locus for enlightened morbidity.”
OM is worth a visit. The top story features a picture of Betty Ford, who survived Breast Cancer, Alcoholism, and The White House, to die at 93. The site has an ad from Newlymaid.com, with the creative suggestion to Trade In Your Old Bridesmaid Dress & Get a New Little Black Dress.
OM has a popular feature called Died on the same day. Grim reaper recruits on January 24 include Caligula (AD 41), Winston Churchill (1965), Bill W., co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (1971), L. Ron Hubbard (1986), Ted Bundy (1989).
No google search is complete without someone trying to make money. Obituaries Professionally Written says
” … we believe in honoring a life with respect, dignity and integrity. When needed, euphemism is used liberally. “
OPW content provider Larken Bradley says
“”Obituary writing is an honor, a privilege, and great fun … I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing.”… After she dies she expects her obit headline will read, “Obituary Writer, Six Feet Under.”





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PG was going to repost an old favorite, Obituary Mambo. When you recycle something this often, it is a good idea to check the links. For OM, many do not work.
The story begins with a story at the digital home of Andrew Sullivan. This fine facility is now in paywall purgatory. When you click on the old link, you see a cartoon of a French borderguard, and the message
“THIS CONNECTION IS UNTRUSTED You have asked Firefox to connect securely to andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com, but we can’t confirm that your connection is secure. …” The browser has this reaction to several of the links in the original story.
Monetization of obituaries seems to have run aground. Links to Obit Magazine give you a page of fine print HTML. The International Association of Obituarists is not on the internet. The NPR interview with Carolyn Gilbert, founder of the IAO, is still up. Presumably, she is still putting the bitch back in obituary. Maybe the 2005 convention in Bath, England was too much.
Another link gave this result:
“Welcome to http://www.obituarywriters.com ! Our new web site, powered by EarthLink Web Hosting, is currently under construction.” In its place is The Society of Professional Obituary Writers, “Proudly powered by Weebly.”
SPOW hosted a contest in 2011 and 2012.
“Each year, The Society of Professional Obituary Writers holds a competition to honor excellence in obituary writing. Obituaries are submitted by reporters and editors from all over the world, and blind-judged by a panel of our members. Winners receive trophies, known as the Grimmies, and are feted at the annual conference.” Grimmies were given for Best Obit, and Best Body of Work.

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Give A Damn

Posted in History, Library of Congress, The English Language, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 23, 2019

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@BernieSanders “I got into politics not to figure out how to become President. I got into politics because I give a damn.” The old tweeter sent this message December 11, 2015, at 4:42 pm Sanders Standard Time. At last glance, it was retweeted 25,901 times, and liked 44,263 times.

What exactly is a damn? When you give one, do you gift wrap it? The dictionary says that damn is a verb, meaning “condemn to a punishment or fate; especially : to condemn to hell.” Giving a verb is not good grammar. Damn is considered a mild profanity, which adds polemic punch.

History gives us a second opinion. “In 1665, Aurangzeb, or Abul Muzaffar Muhi-ud-Din Mohammad Aurangzeb was the emperor of the Mughal empire. He ruled from 1658 until his death in 1707. Aurangzeb had coins minted in precious metals as well as copper. The copper denominations were one Dam and one half Dam.” (“Aurangzeb … eliminate the use of the kalima on the coinage, as he felt the sacred words would be defiled on coins as they were handled by infidels.”)

At some point after the invention of the copper dam, Great Britain conquered the Mughal empire. By this time, the dam was not worth twice as much as a half dam, but not much otherwise. According to some unverified sources, British soldiers would say that something was not worth a dam. Or maybe, they said they would not give a dam. Somehow, the profaning n was added, and a saying for apathy entered the english language.

How much is a dam/damn worth? To people living downhill from the lake, a dam is valuable. As for the numismatic value of an ancient copper coin: “By looking at both catalog values for copper Dams minted in the Mughal calendar year of 1075 (Western date 1665) … we can provide the following very approximate values for copper half-Dams and Dams minted in the name of Aurangzeb: worn: $4, average circulated: $7, well preserved: $30.”

Getting back to BS, he probably used the conventional meaning of GAD, which is that he cares. Or maybe, he meant that he gives a dollar. If current economic trends hold up, the dollar might not be worth a dam. The welfare state proposals of BS, according to the admittedly biased Wall Street Journal, would cost $18 Trillion. This would effectively double the national debt. If we get mixed up in another war, or if a nuclear power plant blows up, another few trillion might go down the tubes.

Only the most deluded Bernoids expect college tuition to be free in 2018. BS is talking a good game, but most people know his pants are on fire. One person who is offended because BS won’t step up the lies is Ta-Nehisi Coates. If reparations are added onto free college tuition, then the value of the dollar might go below a half dam. This is a repost. Pictures for snowstorm Saturday are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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Citizen Part Three

Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress, Race by chamblee54 on January 22, 2019


PG had been putting this off. A while back, he took a copy of Citizen: An American Lyric. The idea was to produce a response to it. There would be a live show, that would include these responses.

PG started to read CAAL. He quickly realized that this was not his kind of book. The author, Claudia Rankine, is a college professor. The tone of CAAL is academic. The topic of CAAL is racism. Reading academic prose poems about microaggressions is not likely to change black/white America. PG might learn a thing or two, but can also expect to be insulted. When it comes to what reading material PG am going to invest with his precious time, he prefers a story. It might not make PG a better person, but he will enjoy the time spent reading it. Reading a Yale professor talk about microaggression will be prove to be neither transformative nor enjoyable.

Then there was a meme on facebook.. “Pick up the nearest book to you. Turn to page 45. The first sentence explains your love life.” The book nearest to PG was CAAL. The first sentence on page 45 is also the only sentence on page 45. It is that kind of book. The sentence: “And when the woman with the multiple degrees says, I didn’t know black women could get cancer, instinctively you take two steps back though all urgency leaves the possibility of any kind of relationship as you realize nowhere is where you will get from here.” How this explains a love life is a mystery best left unsolved. It will, however, motivate PG to write part three of the CAAL series.

Page 45 does not speak to PG. He has had experiences where people say preposterous things to him. The idea is to just ignore it, and be happy for your life. And mostly that is what happens. The consequences of speaking up are too severe. You have to pick your battles. You cannot go off every time your feathers get ruffled. PG would also be interested to talk to the woman with the multiple degrees,” and hear her side of the story.

CAAL is full of episodes like this. Obviously, some people enjoy this sort of thing. It might get people to listen to each other, and get along better. Or it might just make people tune out, and wait until it is over. CAAL does not tell PG anything he has not heard before. It is not, to his way of thinking, especially well written. CAAL is not enjoyable to read. Is CAAL supposed to be swallowed like medicine, to make you a better person?

Putting race aside, lets look at page 45. There is one sentence on page 45. Page 44 has a two sentence paragraph, and five lines of dialog, each separated by a blank line. CAAL is supposed to be an *art* book. It is sponsored by several foundations. The back cover has a list of awards harvested by CAAL. Is this a book to be admired, or a book to be enjoyed?

Part one and part two of this series are online. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

The Narco State Rag

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Politics, War by chamblee54 on January 22, 2019

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This feature was written July 13, 2010. The situation in Afghanistan is little better. If we leave, the country falls into chaos. If we stay, we spend money we don’t have. It is a bitch.

Some people euphemize bitch by saying that something is a bear. Across the frontier from Afghanistan, the Russian bear is dealing with a heroin epidemic. Some say the United States suckered the Soviet Union into invading Afghanistan in 1979. The disastrous war that followed led to the fall of the Soviet Union. We are still dealing with the karma.

Tom Dispatch has an audio feature about Afghanistan, and the many unanswered questions about our war there. We invaded Afghanistan to get revenge for 911, and looked for a reason later.

At the 3:06 mark on the tape, when Tom makes a comment Afghanistan being a narco state. PG had a flash of understanding about the reason behind this war. This may even have been powerful enough to ignore the reports about a terror strike in September 2001, and let 911 happen.

The rumors of CIA involvement in drug trafficking are wide spread and long term. When planes went to Central America in the eighties to bring arms to the contras, they came back to the United States loaded with cocaine. There are stories of collusion with the government in Cuba. There are many, many more stories about connections between the US government and the drug trade.

When the Taliban took over Afghanistan, they cracked down on the poppy farmers. Much of the raw opium for heroin/morphine/opium is grown in Afghanistan. This was not a pleasing for the CIA.

Could it be that the real reason for our involvement in Afghanistan is to ensure the flow of narcotics into the hungry world? This would be a big cash cow for the CIA, although not enough to justify the amounts of money being spent on the conflict.

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

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Reject The Black-White Binary

Posted in Library of Congress, Weekly Notes by chamblee54 on January 21, 2019


How an emerging African megacity cut commutes by two hours a day
Exclusive: Miss Sophia, Wanda Smith out at V-103
New Townes Van Zandt Album Sky Blue Announced
UNC Chancellor Folt to step down, issues big decision on Silent Sam
Episode 11 Charles Parrott, Ryan Jones, Jon Goode
7 Reasons Why LGBTQ+ People Don’t Go to Your LGBTQ+ Inclusive Church
howard13th “How to train your fractal 2″”Going on a trip in my favorite rocket ship”
How Jean Toomer Rejected the Black-White Binary
Gillette Goes Full Social Justice, Jumps on Toxic Masculinity Bandwagon
Why Nike’s Woke Ad Campaign Works and Gillette’s Doesn’t
@DawnQLandau #Bloggers @makingtimeforme @BelieveinBumble @tempkimkam @DawnMMiller @itmoi All joined the #AttitudeofGratitude this week. Check it out & tell us what ur #grateful for! … @becomingcliche @Fab_fiction still hoping you’ll join us! 💙 #blogging #gratitude
The 2018 Annual Attitude of Gratitude: Bloggers Flood The Internet With Happiness & Positivity!
This Gillette ad takes on toxic masculinity. Of course the right lost its mind.
Another racially charged incident in a Florida McDonald’s.
Cajun-style restaurant in metro Atlanta mall fails health inspection … again
Mikel Wilson and Doug Caulkins oral history interview, 2019-01-12
Dear White People, Please Stop Pretending Reverse Racism Is Real
Commision vote set for Varsity property, nearby redevelopment
Filmmaker interviews neo-Nazis and jihadists. Here’s what she learned.
21 Things You’re Doing Because You Had an Emotionally Abusive Mother
When Toxic Masculinity Infects Our Queer Spaces, We All Lose
Hollyweird: Jack Nicholson Inspired This Joni Mitchell Song
Who is Ed Buck? The Democratic donor in whose home two dead men have been found
‘Every day he regretted it’: Eye surgery warning from widow of man who died by suicide
@ksatnews The Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington apologized after videos emerged showing students from an all-male Catholic high school mocking Native Americans.
LA county coroner ~ GEMMEL MOORE
Check out Nate Mask’s Artwork ~ Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.