Chamblee54

July 3, 1981

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on July 3, 2022

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July 3, 1981, was another day before a holiday. The new President, Ronald Reagan, was recovering from gunshot wounds. There was talk of an era of conservatism, with possibly severe repression.

There was an article in the New York Times. RARE CANCER SEEN IN 41 HOMOSEXUALS. “Doctors in New York and California have diagnosed among homosexual men 41 cases of a rare and often rapidly fatal form of cancer. Eight of the victims died less than 24 months after the diagnosis…”

This was the media debut of AIDS. It would not have that name for a while. Almost nobody thought, on that summer day, just how bad AIDS would be. In five years it was obvious how serious AIDS was.

article-02 PG was on another trip to the west coast. It was becoming obvious that this would be a vacation, rather than a relocation. He was riding a bicycle, with a milk carton overloaded with camping gear. Some kids told him to get saddle bags, and carry the weight lower. If you have the weight on top, you would lose control coming down a big hill. PG did not listen to the kids.

On July 4, PG left Patrick’s Point state park, about 300 miles north of San Francisco. Coming down the first hill on highway 101, the bike shook, shook harder, and flipped on its side. PG was thrown off. The front wheel was bent beyond repair. PG gathered his gear, left the bike behind, and got a ride into the nearest town.

PG got a bus ticket to Seattle. That city was in an economic downturn, with less than half a page of help wanted ads. PG found a auto delivery service, and got a VW bug going to Oak Ridge, TN. In a few days he was in Atlanta. A few days later, a temp agency came up with a job as a driver for a blueprint company. PG worked for that company, in one form or another, for the next 24 years.

As for the gay men with Kaposi’s Sarcoma … in all probability, the patients mentioned in that article were all dead within a year. AIDS has become a dominating story in our time. At its worst, it was claiming 50,000 lives a year. With the advent of wonder drugs, the death toll has been greatly reduced. The impact of AIDS on American life cannot be adequately described. This is a repost.

Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. Lawrence K. Altman, M.D. is still writing articles for the New York Times.

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Dorothy Parker

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 28, 2022








PG first heard of Dorothy Parker in tenth grade. His friend Bob Gibson cut the poem Resume out of the literature text book, and carried it in his wallet. Mrs. Parker had been dead for two years at the time, with her ashes resting in her attorney’s filing cabinet. As the years rolled on, there were stories about the round table at the Algonquin hotel, and a poem about W.R. Hearst … “Upon my honor, I saw the madonna, by the door, in a niche, of a well known whore, and a prominent son of a bitch.” There was another famous comment: Re “The Cardinal’s Mistress” by Benito Mussolini, Dorothy Parker
wrote one of my favorite bon mots: “This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” Wikiquotes lists both of these items as “misattributed.”

It is now 2019, several years after the first DP post. Born Dorothy Rothschild, on August 22, 1893, Miss Parker did nicely without a middle name. Chamblee54 has featured Miss Parker several times (one, two, three, four.) Today, these four posts will be combined into one. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library” and The Library of Congress. If you want a list of clever sayings, google is your friend. The quote investigator has five pages of the alleged sayings of Miss Parker.








It was 5:25 pm. PG had not heard from either person who was supposed to be at his house at 5:30. While muttering things about unreliable people, he started to look at a writing contest. The idea was to write 100 words or less. The challenge was to produce a “a quick, honest and heartfelt response” to an image. The meme is seen below the fold.

The image has a quote. “I hate writing. I love having written. Dorothy Parker.” When PG sees words of wisdom, with a famous name at the end, his impulse is to check it out. When you search the wikiquote page on Miss Parker, and look for hate, love, and writing, you will not see the quote. dorothy.parker-02

There was one item in wikiquotes that made PG laugh. It was in the “Misattributed” section.
“Upon my honor, I saw a Madonna. Standing in a niche, Over the door, Of the glamorous whore, Of a prominent son of a bitch.” Said to have been written in the guest-book of Hearst Castle, referring to the room occupied by Hearst’s mistress, Marion Davies. Parker always denied it, pointing out that she would never have rhymed “honor” with “Madonna”.” Nor would the entertainer.
When PG saw that quote, he knew that this piece would be longer than 100 words. Inserting quotes into a piece will bloat the word count every time. About this time the phone rang. His friends were in the front yard, being eaten by mosquitoes. PG put on a white shirt, and left.

Later that night, 99 sick well chosen words fell out of the fingers, and into the ether.

The quote is suspect. Wikiquotes does not show it, after a search for love, hate, and written. The image is probably manufactured. The image is a piece of paper, coming out of a vintage manual typewriter. The main text is one size. The author credit is another size. Vintage manual typewriters only produced one size of product. This one size is considerably smaller than either size in this image. The text in this image was produced elsewhere. This rendering of a bogus quote is then pasted onto a blank sheet of paper, seen merging from a vintage manual typewriter.

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The other day there was a post here on the dotty subject of Dorothy Parker quotes. The departed dipsomaniac would seem to be a quote magnet.

One quote, that appears to be genuine, is about another quote magnet, Oscar Wilde. “A Pig’s-Eye View of Literature: Oscar Wilde If with the literate I am, Impelled to try an epigram, I never seek to take the credit, We all assume that Oscar said it.” (First printed in Life, (2 June 1927) p. 13 When you can give a source for a quote, the chances of it’s legitimacy go up tremendously.)

The original plan for this post was to do a wikiquotes search of the quotes in this post. This concept very quickly turned out to be too much work. The first paragraph of the original post has a clue.

PG first heard of Dorothy Parker in tenth grade. His friend, Bob Gibson, cut the poem Resume out of the literature text book, and carried it in his wallet. Mrs. Parker had been dead for two years at the time, with the ashes resting in her attorney’s filing cabinet. … there was another comment : Re “The Cardinal’s Mistress” by Benito Mussolini, Dorothy Parker wrote one of my favorite bon mots: “This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”

In the post the other day, it was discovered that the poem about W.R. Hearst was written by someone else. Which brings us to “The Cardinal”s Mistress”. Yes, that was written by Hitler’s BFF, Benito Mussolini. When he wasn’t making the trains run on time, he wrote a sappy novel. And the comment by Miss Parker is great. But did she really say it?

A blogspot facility called Heavens to Mergatroyd has the text from a New Yorker review of TCM. It is a delightful read. However, the landmark quote is not there. The spell check suggestion for mergatroyd is derogatory.

Wikiquotes calls the comment “misattributed”. “Quoted in The Algonquin Wits (1968) edited by Robert E. Drennan, and Try and Stop Me. As noted at Snopes, Drennan’s source seems to be a Parker review which does not seem to contain this quote. If Parker wrote this statement anywhere the primary source seems to have gone missing.”

Try and Stop Me is a newspaper column by Bennett Cerf. The link is to The Dispatch, Lexington N.C., October 12, 1962. Next to the column is The Dispatch Religious Activities, Directory of Churches. The pastor of First Baptist is David Hoke Coon, Jr.

While preparing this commentary, an effort was made to find the text for “Resume”. It is a bona fide quote, first printed in New York World August 16, 1925. While looking for the text, Google suggested a search for “resume dorothy parker analysis.” One result was sponsored by a politician, Michelle Nunn. Another had this to say. “We know that we’re being a bit obvious here. But check it out: almost every single line in this poem offers an idea for a different way to die. When it comes to wordplay, Parker’s not messi…” Maybe she meant to say messy.

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BigO is a site with mp3 downloads. Most of them are concerts. PG found one exception. It was a 1960 interview, STUDS TERKEL WITH DOROTHY PARKER/BOB NEWHART – CHICAGO 1959/1960. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

Dorothy Parker is somewhat of a legend. There were the funny sayings, a few poems and stories, and her life. Mrs. Parker was well known as a witty person during the twenties. She drank, a lot, and talked often of suicide. It was surprising to find a 1960 interview.

In fact, Dorothy Parker died in 1967, at the age of 73. By 1960, she was in decline, living at the Manhattan’s Volney Hotel. “Edmund Wilson … paid occasional painful visits to her at the Volney. (“She lives with a small and nervous bad-smelling poodle bitch, drinks a lot, and does not care to go out.”) … She was still revered, a legend, but she had also become a pathetic relic. Yes, “you might as well live,” but for what? And on what? Not only was she running out of old friends, she was running out of money, though uncashed checks, some quite large, were strewn around her apartment (along with the empty bottles), not helping with unpaid bills.”

There were some zesty quotes in the interview with Mr. Terkel. “I can’t call myself a critic. Honestly. I can only put down what I think and pray there isn’t a libel suit.” “I’m not a poet, you know, I just write verse” “The beat boys aren’t saying anything except look at us aren’t we great … I don’t think the beat generation is much worth worrying about. Very soon, in the very near future, they will be as forgotten as mah jongg.”

Towards the end of the interview, Mr. Terkel said “i know some people would want me to ask, did she really say all those things that she was quoted as saying” “… no, no, and it was a curse on me, it was simply awful the things that were attributed to me. I wouldn’t have minded if they had been good. I was, in effect, the shaggy dog of my time.”

Another quote magnet for the meme generation is Thomas Jefferson. PG saw yet another inspiring quote on facebook today. Mr. Google was consulted. It turns out the quote is real.

Thomas Jefferson to William Hamilton, 22 April 1800 is the source. Vice President Jefferson was going to be elected President later that year. It is not known what effect that had on the quote in the meme. “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” It is not known whether a twenty first century Jefferson would unfriends anyone who says anything unappealing.

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Bad Gays

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 24, 2022


Bad Gays “A podcast about evil and complicated queers in history, hosted by Huw Lemmey and Ben Miller.” The first episode I listened to was Jeffrey Dahmer. I soon learned that BG is uber-woke. Think Robin DiAngelo on steroids, with better hair. I find this sort of talk to be rather dreary.

As it turned out, I had downloaded a show about Truman Capote. While racism did exist in Monroeville Alabama, and was deplorable, Truman is a hoot. We learn that Miss Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe to play Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Which brings us to thursday morning. “I am sitting on the front porch. I am listening to a podcast about Gertrude Stein It is not kind to the lady. I thought of my friend, who lives in Mexico. He gave me a copy of The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book. I sent him a link to the podcast on facebook. Life is good.” There was a lovely reply: “She and Gertrude Stein are buried in Paris in Père Lachaise cemetery. Their names are on each side of the tombstone. So sweet.”

I don’t know much about Gertrude Stein. It seems like she had a brother named Leo, that she was close to. Leo and Gertrude lived together in Paris. Leo then said rude things about Alice B., and Gertrude kicked him out of her life. While writing this piece, I tried to find more information about Leo/Gertrude/Alice. Google is not always the answer.

Gertrude apparently was fond of the Germans, and the Vichy regime in occupied France. This is curious for a Jew. Somehow, Gertrude and Alice managed to stay in France throughout the war.

Carl Van Vechten was the next episode in the que. CVV was the literary executor for Gertrude Stein, and an all around piece of work. All I knew about CVV was a collection of photographs in the Library of Congress. Some of these portraits are displayed with this post.

Mr. Van Vechten was connected to something called the Harlem Renaissance, a flowering of music, art, and literature in upper Manhattan. As you might imagine, BG had a lot to say about the lives of Black people in the rural south. It is not tough to imagine a person of color, in 1921 Georgia, thinking they would be better off in New York City. BG played this for all it is worth.

I got curious about CVV, and googled him. In addition to the birth/death information (June 17, 1880 – December 21, 1964), there was one delicious item. In 1926, CVV published a book, N____ Heaven. At 14 minute into the podcast, BG discussed this book. I wish I could have seen their faces.

FWIW, the titular phrase was uttered by a character in the novel. It seems as though “Some churches had separate balconies that black and white alike called “n____ heaven”” The book was a sensation, with both admirers and detractors. “This reissue is based on the seventh printing, which included poetry composed by Langston Hughes especially for the book. Kathleen Pfeiffer’s introduction investigates the controversy surrounding the shocking title and shows how the novel functioned in its time as a site to contest racial violence.”

“The one violent protest which has come to my ears was that of a certain Negro whose conversation is heavily sprinkled with the words “darky” and “n___.” When I suggested to him that he eliminate from his own conversation words which he objected to from he lips of others, a deathly silence came over him and our conversation abruptly died. Soon afterward he remembered that he was already late for an important engagement downtown.”

After acknowledging the existence of NH, BG had a pearl-clutching meltdown. One wonders if they actually read the book they were denouncing so fervently. If one is so inclined, NH is available for download here. The end of the book features a “Glossary of Negro Words and Phrases.” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

The Origin Of Barbie

Posted in Book Reports, GSU photo archive, History, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 23, 2022

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PG found a copy of Snuff at a yard sale. The story was written by Chuck Palahniuk, pronounced paula nick. This book report may have spoilers. This is a repost.

The 197 pages recount an attempt to break a world record. Aging porn star Cassie Wright is trying to take on 600 men in one session. The plan is to die, in a blaze of gooey glory. The story is told by four characters: Mr. 72, Mr. 137, Mr. 600, and Sheila. Each of the four feels a connection to Miss Wright. It is a case of four wrongs making one Wright.

The story gets weirder and weirder. Mr. 72 is convinced that he is the son of Cassie Wright. Mr. 137 became an Okla-homo after being diddled by daddy. Mr. 600 is said to be Miss Wright’s baby daddy. Sheila, original name Zelda Zonk, was another possible Wright baby. After a while, the reader just plows ahead. When PG pays a dollar for a book, he wants his money shot money’s worth.

Snuff has a couple of gimmicks that are repeated to the point of no return. The talent is known by a variety of names, like pud puller, wiener wrangler, page paster, fist flogger, white washer, and sherbet shooter. The movies made by Cassie Wright all had satirical titles, like World Whore One, and The Asshole Jungle. It was funny the first twenty times.

Another gimmick Mr. Nick works us with is the “true fact.” Someone will throw out a chestnut, and say “true fact.” Many of them are Hollywood beauty secrets, like Lauren Becall, and Tallulah Bankhead, drinking eggshell tea. Here is an example.

“… Hitler … was disgusted by seeing his fellow soldiers visit French brothels. To keep the Aryan bloodlines pure, and prevent the spread of venereal disease, he commissioned an inflatable doll that Nazi troops could take into battle. Hitler himself designed the dolls to have blond hair and large breasts. The Allied firebombing of Dresden destroyed the factory … “

Mr. Google has more. “But in 1942 the project was halted when German soldiers refused to carry the dolls because of the potential embarrassment if they were captured by the enemy. Author Graeme Donald uncovered Hitler’s secretive “Borghild Project” while researching the history of Barbie, which was based on a postwar German sex doll.”

“I was actually researching the history of the Barbie doll that was based on a German sex doll of the 1950s. Ruth and Elliot Handler from America visited Germany in 1956 and saw the Lilli dolls that were sold in barbers’ shops and nightclubs – and were not for children Ruth didn’t realise this and bought one and realised later they were not toys. But Ruth and her husband used the doll as a foundation for what became Barbie.”

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

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The Last Night Of Judy Garland

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on June 22, 2022






“In march of 1969, Judy married her fifth husband, Mickey Devinko, better known as Mickey Deans, a gay night-club promoter. Judy had an unfortunate habit of marrying gay men. They lived together in a tiny mews house in Chelsea, London. The evening of Saturday June 21 1969, Judy and Mickey were watching a documentary, The Royal Family, on television, when they had an argument. Judy ran out the door screaming into the street, waking the neighbors.
Several versions of what happened next exist, but the fact remains that a phone call for Judy woke him at 10:40 the next morning, and she was not sleeping in the bed. He searched for her, only to find the bathroom door locked. After no response, he climbed outside to the bathroom window and entered to find Judy, sitting on the toilet. Rigor Mortis had set in. Judy Garland, 47, was dead.
The press was already aware of the news before the body could be removed. In an effort to prevent pictures being taken of the corpse, she was apparently draped over someone’s arm like a folded coat, covered with a blanket, and removed from the house with the photographers left none the wiser.
The day Judy died there was a tornado in Kansas…. in Saline County,KS, a rather large F3 tornado (injuring 60, but causing no deaths) did hit at 10:40 pm on June 21st, that would be 4:40 am, June 22nd, London time, the morning she died. I know the time of death has never been firmly established, but since Rigor Mortis had already set in, I think this tornado may very much be in the ballpark in terms of coinciding with time of death…. Other news articles suggest the tornado struck Salina “late at night” which could certainly also mean after midnight on June 22, or roughly 6:00 am London time…

The Toledo Blade for June 24th, also in an article located right next to a picture of Garland, in a write-up on the Salina tornado noted that “Late Saturday [June 21] and early Sunday [June 22, another batch of tornadoes struck in central Kansas.” So it seems the legend seems confirmed.”

The text for this story comes from Findadeath. You can spend hours at this site. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.






Cleve Jones

Posted in Book Reports, Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History by chamblee54 on June 8, 2022


When We Rise, the autobiography of Cleve Jones, was a surprise at the library. I had heard of Mr. Jones … something about the names project and the aids quilt … but didn’t know much else. Pictures today are from ” The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library. “

Turns out Cleve is a 1954 baby, like myself. He has a different story from me. I find myself thinking of where he was in his life, and where I was in mine. It often is not complementary to me. Cleve was living in San Francisco and Germany. I was in Georgia, just being the bum I was.

A vanity project “Oh dear – hearing over and over again how handsome Cleve was and how ‘hot’ all his lovers were grated on me after a while. It’s a shame because I expected more from someone who was there at the beginning of gay liberation, and indeed, played an important part. His vanity or lost youth seemed more important than really getting to grips with the zeitgeist of the period.”

The Amazon one star reviews confirm something that I’ve picked up on from the book … Mr. Jones has a healthy ego. Everywhere you turn, there’s people that Cleve doesn’t like, or who don’t like him. This is one thing that rings true about the Atlanta experience as well. There was always drama. People have their baggage. There is not always room under the seat to stash it.

For those who are new here, here is the story. Cleve had been saving pills for his suicide, when he was a teenager in Arizona. He got it together, met some people, and moved to California. Cleve lived hand-to-mouth for a while. I think he hustled a little bit. After a while, he got a job, and met somebody who lived in Germany. For a few years he would go back to San Francisco, work for a while, and spend his summers in Europe. About this time Harvey Milk had his camera store on Castro Street … more of a meeting place for his buddies, than a profitable camera store. Cleve got to know Harvey, and eventually was worked for him. Cleve claims to have gone into City Hall, on the day that Harvey was shot. He was able to just walk in, and see the body of Harvey Milk before anybody got to it. This part of the story set my BS detector off.

Dan White was tried for the murder of Harvey Milk, and George Moscone. He was convicted of a much lesser charge, and people were offended. It was a mess. About this time, I went to California on a Trailways bus. I wound up in the moonie camp, outside of Santa Rosa. I somehow got got back to town, but didn’t get to spend much time in the city. I went to a club called the Stud, on Folsom Street. It was one of Cleve’s hangouts.

I was in San Francisco for the pride parade in 1981. This is about the time when the first reports of aids started to come in. Cleve read these initial reports, and was talked to some friends of his about how worried were. Cleve met a man named Bobbi Campbell. Sister Florence Nightmare RN was the 16th person in San Francisco to be diagnosed with Kaposi’s Sarcoma.

Cleve Jones has AIDS. He was took a positive antibody test as soon as they became available. He was in bad shape at one point, when a doctor got him on one of the early nineties drug cocktails. Cleve responded well to the new treatment, and is with us today.

The Names Project is what Cleve Jones is best known for. TNP created the aids quilt, a massive memorial to the people who died of aids. ”The quilt traces its origins to 1985, when Jones decided to commemorate the 1,000 San Francisco residents who had succumbed to AIDS to date by asking those attending a march to tape placards bearing lost loved ones’ names onto the San Francisco Federal Building. To Jones, the wall of names resembled a quilt. Most of the quilt’s blocks are rectangles measuring 6 feet by 3 feet, or roughly the size of a grave. Many were individually crafted by people whose friends and family members succumbed to AIDS …”

Today, the quilt has over 50k panels, and is a piece of logistic work. For some reason, the quilt moved to Atlanta in the early aughts. Cleve did not approve. His official connection to the project ended about this time. At last report, the quilt is moving back to Caifornia.

The connections keep going on. I became virtually connected to a Georgia writer who knew Lance Black, before he used all three names. The Georgia writer, and Dustin Lance Black, did not like each other. Some things never change. Moving on into present tense, @CleveJones1 was forced out of his San Francisco apartment. His landlord doubled the rent, to more the $5,000 a month. I stay in a Brookhaven house, coveted by Mcmansion mongers. Life goes on.

Jon Ossoff Pep Rally

Posted in Georgia History, History, Library of Congress, Politics, Religion by chamblee54 on June 5, 2022







Jon Ossoff held a campaign event Monday at Congregation Bet Haverim. Mr. Ossoff is running for Congress, from Georgia’s 6th district. PG lives in the 6th district. CBH is located south of the 6th district, at 2074 Lavista Road, Atlanta, GA 30329. The event was on facebook live, in three parts: part one, part two, and part three. Parts one and two had the camera set at a ninety degree angle, which made for uncomfortable viewing. Part one was some performers, accompanied by a front row of dancing democrats. Part two was the candidate’s remarks. By part three, the camera was set at a conventional angle. The candidate took questions from the crowd.

PG learned during part two that the event was held at CBH. He wondered, is this facility in the 6th district? Mr. Google helped to find a website for CBH, and a map of the 6th district. PG realizes that other people are concerned about the outcome of this election. However, they do not get to vote. Outsiders can, and do, send money. Lots of money. The 6th district is the most expensive congressional race in history. FWIW, Mr. Ossoff does not live in the 6th district.

Most of the advertising financed by this outside money is obnoxious and misleading. Both Mr. Ossoff and his opponent, Karen Handel are guilty. It is poignant to hear Mr. Ossoff say in part two, at 3:51, that the election is not democrat versus republican, but sense versus nonsense. Both sides are spewing nonsense…like the campaign ads accusing Mrs. Handel of using taxpayer money to pay for a “luxury SUV.” The Secretary of State job had an auto allowance. Big deal.

After confirming that CBH is outside the district, PG wanted to make a comment.
Luther Mckinnon – Is CBH in the sixth district? I looked at a district map, and CBH does not appear to be in the 6th district. Is it appropriate to have a campaign rally outside the district, for people who do not live in the district? Mr. Ossoff does not live in the district he wants to represent.
Cenate Pruitt · Luther: I have it on good authority that CBH has congregants who live in that district. Is there a problem with CBH hosting an event as a central location for those congregants to meet with the candidate?
LM – This is a touchy issue. There is a very serious problem with outside money flooding into this election. I, a resident of this district, am sick and tired of the outside attention this race is receiving. I guess if you support Mr. Ossoff you won’t mind, and if you are tired of his dishonest campaign you will mind. The optics of this are very bad.
CP – I don’t live in the Sixth myself. Am I not allowed to have an opinion on the matter?
LM – An opinion yes. A vote no. You might consider that 6th district people might not appreciate your telling them how to vote.
CP – I’ve told nobody how to do anything, nor has CBH as an organization. As far as “out of district money” I politely encourage you to both look up how much out-of-district money has been spent on Handel (those attack ads ain’t free) and take up your concerns with the Supreme Court re: campaign spending.
LM – The optics of this are bad. As far as your “polite encouragement” I have done some research.
Joshua Lesser · Luther Mckinnon, thanks for your question. Let me share with you how and why this meet and greet happened. A. You’re correct CBH is not in the 6th district. B. Many of our members live in the 6th district. C. The campaign asked if we would hold a meet and greet open to the entire Jewish community. D. There was a significant effort to target invitations to people who live in the district. E. This was explicitly not a fundraising event nor an endorsement. F. If Handel’s campaign had asked, I would have advocated that we extend her the same courtesy. I hope that puts some of your alarmed concern to rest.
LM – It was not “alarmed concern” as much as annoyance. This campaign is long and noisy. I am working on a blog post as we speak. I will link to it here.
JL – I understand the annoyance. When you use terms like bad optics, that sounds more like alarm to me. What I didnt say is that there has been vigorous debate in the Jewish press about whether Jon is a good choice. I felt like CBH was doing a community service to allow Jewish voters to hear directly from the candidate. I hope youre not too annoyed that a Jewish candidate might want at least one meet and greet with his community.

At the end of the q&a, a lady made an announcement. There was going to be a group of “Jews for Ossoff” canvassing for the candidate. There were going to be many opportunities for volunteer work. “On sunday, we’re all gonna go canvassing together. WHOOHOO!”

“This was explicitly not a fundraising event nor an endorsement.” No, it was a pep rally. People were encouraged to be fired up for Jon Ossoff. If you want to split hairs, you can say this is not an endorsement. Are we supposed to believe that CBH would have staged an event like this for Karen Handel, if her “campaign had asked”?

The phrase “bad optics” has been used. To PG, this is when something looks bad. The thing with “b.o.” may, or may not, have any real effect on the situation, but it looks bad to outsiders. The first time PG heard this phrase serves as an illustration. It was during the debate on whether to build a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons. The powers that be want to spend over a billion dollars for a football stadium. Schools don’t have enough money. Roads need repairs and expansion. The sewer system is a disaster. And yet, somehow we want a billion dollars to build a football stadium. Technically, the hotel-motel tax used had been dedicated to financing the Georgia Dome. On one level, it was proper to use this money to build the “Blank Bowl.” However, the schools still don’t have enough money. The overall priorities of our society are questioned. The optics are bad.

How does this apply to a Jon Ossoff pep rally, held outside the 6th district? People outside the district have a right to an opinion. And people inside the district have a right to be annoyed. Whose right is more important? Which group will have a vote in the election? Maybe, just maybe, the campaign by outsiders will annoy the voting population. The voting population might not understand that the enlightened, and wealthy, people outside the district have their best interests at heart. This perceived disrespect might not have the intended effect. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

UPDATE: Karen Handel defeated Jon Ossoff in the runoff election. In the 2018 election, Mrs. Handel was defeated by Lucy McBath.

In the 2020 elections, Jon Ossoff was elected to the US Senate. After the 2020 elections, the Congressional districts in Georgia were redistricted. The 6th District is now dramatically different.

After this post was published, this message appeared on facebook. “Wed 10:27pm I am really disappointed in you and your unfair portrayal. I feel you abused my goodwill and undetstanding. I dont mind disagreement, but you misrepresented me. Good luck and take care.” When PG tried to reply, he learned that Joshua Lesser had unfriended and blocked him.

PG sent Rabbi Lesser a letter. “My initial comment was to question whether this is appropriate. Cenate Pruitt replied to this, and I replied to Cenate Pruitt. There was one ridiculous comment:”As far as “out of district money” I politely encourage you to both look up how much out-of-district money has been spent on Handel (those attack ads ain’t free) and take up your concerns with the Supreme Court re: campaign spending.” This attitude does not speak well for Mr. Ossoff or CBH.

I don’t see how I misrepresented you, when I quoted you directly. You are entitled to have a pep rally for Jon Ossoff. You misrepresented yourself to say “This was explicitly not a fundraising event nor an endorsement.” I should note that Mr. Ossoff, with all of his problems, is the better choice in this election. I would hope that you have not offended any other 6th district voter with your outside interference or haughty attitude.That is one of my concerns over this event. If something bothers me, it is probably bothering someone else. Luther Mckinnon”






Happy Birthday Mr. Ginsberg

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Holidays by chamblee54 on June 3, 2022





Allen Ginsberg would be 96, if nature had not made other plans in 1997. The son of Louis and Naomi Ginsberg arrived, in Newark NJ, June 3,1926.

Hippie, beatnik, gay, artist, peace promoter, Buddhist convert…these are a few of the labels. He became famous for being famous, well known to people who never read a word of his poems. Two of the more famous were howl and kaddish.

Howl became scandalous in 1956 when it was busted for obscenity. It is mild by today’s standards, but almost landed Mr. Ginsberg in prison. PG heard about howl in the early nineties, and looked high and low for a copy. He could not find one. Today, not only is the text widely available, there are recordings of Mr. Ginsberg reading his work. (Here is an updated version: howl 2011.)

1956 was the year of the obscenity trial for howl. This took place on the other side of America from Brookhaven, where PG was two years old. This was the year when the Georgia legislature voted in a new flag, for whatever reason. In 1955, President Eisenhower had a heart attack. Many wondered if it was a good idea to have Richard Nixon as the vice president.

The original plan was to listen to Mr. Ginsberg read, while editing photos. PG was going to listen to the words, and think of something to say while listening to the bard. About the seventeenth time Mr. Ginsberg shouted “Moloch”, the plan began to fall apart.

The player was turned off, the files stored on an external hard drive, never to be heard again. PG just is not a poetry person. This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.




Howard Zinn

Posted in History, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on June 1, 2022












Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present, spent an hour talking on Booknotes. This is a C-SPAN show, with author interviews. The show aired March 12, 2000. Later that night was a show about the 2000 election, featuring Green Party candidate Ralph Nader. The role Mr. Nader would play in the November election was unimaginable in March.

The first serious job Mr. Zinn had was World War II. He served in the Air Force. Towards the end of the war, “we bombed a little French town on the Atlantic coast called Royon… `We’re not going to use regular demolition bombs. We have something new. We w–you’re going–instead of dropping our usual 12 500-pound demolition bombs, you’re going to drop 30 100-pound canisters of jel—jellied gasoline.’ It was napalm–the first use of napalm in the European theater.”

Later, Mr. Zinn thought about it all. “And it didn’t s–the–the thing is you’d bomb from 30,000 feet. You don’t see what’s happening down there. You don’t see people suffering. You don’t see people burning. You don’t see limbs falling. You–you just see little flashes in the–in the d–in the dark, you know. And—and you go back, and you’re debriefed and you don’t think about it. And it’s horrifying.

Later–only later did I begin to think about it, and I was horrified by what I had done, and I’m still horrified by what I did. But I think that had an effect on my thinking about war, because here I was in the best of wars. And I believed it was the best of wars because I volunteered for it. A war against fascism? I mean, how could you find a more bestial enemy? And yet it’s a–it complicated the war for me. It complicated the morality of the war, and it made me begin to think that war itself is evil. Even when it starts with good cause, even when the enemy is horrible, that there’s something about war, especially in our time when war inevitably involves indiscriminate killing … war simply cannot be accepted morally as a solution for whatever problems are in the world.

Whatever tyranny, whatever borders are crossed, whatever problems there are, somehow human ingenuity has to find a way to deal with that without the indiscriminate killing that war involves.”

Brian Lamb is the host of Booknotes. He speaks non theatrically, often with questions that are very different from the narrative presented by the author. After this talk about war, the question was “LAMB: What would you have done had you been president and those bombs were dropped on Pearl Harbor? Mr. ZINN: That’s the toughest question I’ve ever faced. I … And–and I confess, I–I–I haven’t worked out an alternative scenario.

PHOTUS is known for taking a non-heroic view of our history. Regarding the US Constitution, “When they set up the new government, when they set up the new Constitution, I mean, they set up a strong, central government which will be able to legislate on behalf of bondholders and slaveholders and manufacturers and Western land speculators.”

Mr. Zinn does not discuss The War Between The States on this show. (PG has not read PHOTUS, and does not know how WBTS is treated.) This was a case where the central government was favoring the industrial interests, at the expense of the agricultural interests. How much of that conflict was economic, with abolition serving as a moral fig leaf?

After the war, Mr. Zinn went back to school. A job appeared at Spelman College, and he worked there seven years. After that, he taught at Boston University for 24 years. His next door neighbor was five year old Matt Damon, who later read the audiobook version of PHOTUS.

There is one more bit of amusement from the transcript. Mr. ZINN:`For the United States to step forward as a defender of helpless countries matched its image in American high school history books but not its record in world affairs. It had opposed the Haitian revolution for independence from France at the start of the 19th century. It had instituted a war with Mexico and taken half the country. It had pretended to help Cuba win freedom from Spain and then planted itself in Cuba with a military base, investments and rights of intervention. It had seized Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam and fought a brutal war to subjugate the Filipinos. It had opened Japan to its trade with gunboats and threats. It had declared an open-door policy in China as a means of assuring the United States would have opportunities equal to other imperial powers in exploiting China. It had sent troops to Peking with other nations to assert Western supremacy in China and kept them from–kept them for over 30 years.’ LAMB: There’s a lot more in here about Colombia and Haiti and Nicaragua. Is this country at–this sounds like I’m–I’m arguing here, but has this country done anything right?

This is a repost. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress














I Sing The Body Electric

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Poem by chamblee54 on May 31, 2022

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1
I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.

Was it doubted that those who corrupt their own bodies conceal themselves?
And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who defile the dead?
And if the body does not do fully as much as the soul?
And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?
2
The love of the body of man or woman balks account,
the body itself balks account,
That of the male is perfect, and that of the female is perfect.

The expression of the face balks account,
But the expression of a well-made man appears not only in his face,
It is in his limbs and joints also, it is curiously in the joints of his hips and wrists,
It is in his walk, the carriage of his neck, the flex of his waist and knees,
dress does not hide him,
The strong sweet quality he has strikes through the cotton and broadcloth,
To see him pass conveys as much as the best poem, perhaps more,
You linger to see his back, and the back of his neck and shoulder-side.

The sprawl and fulness of babes, the bosoms and heads of women,
the folds of their dress, their style as we pass in the street,
the contour of their shape downwards,
The swimmer naked in the swimming-bath, seen as he swims through
the transparent green-shine, or lies with his face up and rolls
silently to and from the heave of the water,
The bending forward and backward of rowers in row-boats,
the horse-man in his saddle,
Girls, mothers, house-keepers, in all their performances,
The group of laborers seated at noon-time with their open dinner-kettles,
and their wives waiting,
The female soothing a child, the farmer’s daughter in the garden or cow-yard,
The young fellow hosing corn, the sleigh-driver driving his six horses
through the crowd,
The wrestle of wrestlers, two apprentice-boys, quite grown, lusty,
good-natured, native-born, out on the vacant lot at sundown after work,
The coats and caps thrown down, the embrace of love and resistance,
The upper-hold and under-hold, the hair rumpled over and blinding the eyes;
The march of firemen in their own costumes, the play of masculine muscle
through clean-setting trowsers and waist-straps,
The slow return from the fire, the pause when the bell strikes suddenly again,
and the listening on the alert,
The natural, perfect, varied attitudes, the bent head, the curv’d neck
and the counting;
Such-like I love—I loosen myself, pass freely, am at the mother’s breast
with the little child,
Swim with the swimmers, wrestle with wrestlers, march in line
with the firemen, and pause, listen, count.
3
I knew a man, a common farmer, the father of five sons,
And in them the fathers of sons, and in them the fathers of sons.
This man was a wonderful vigor, calmness, beauty of person,
The shape of his head, the pale yellow and white of his hair and beard,
the immeasurable meaning of his black eyes,
the richness and breadth of his manners,
These I used to go and visit him to see, he was wise also,
He was six feet tall, he was over eighty years old, his sons were massive,
clean, bearded, tan-faced, handsome,
They and his daughters loved him, all who saw him loved him,
They did not love him by allowance, they loved him with personal love,
He drank water only, the blood show’d like scarlet
through the clear-brown skin of his face,
He was a frequent gunner and fisher, he sail’d his boat himself,
he had a fine one presented to him by a ship-joiner,
he had fowling-pieces presented to him by men that loved him,
When he went with his five sons and many grand-sons to hunt or fish,
you would pick him out as the most beautiful and vigorous of the gang,
You would wish long and long to be with him, you would wish to sit by him
in the boat that you and he might touch each other.

4
I have perceiv’d that to be with those I like is enough,
To stop in company with the rest at evening is enough,
To be surrounded by beautiful, curious, breathing, laughing flesh is enough,
To pass among them or touch any one, or rest my arm ever so lightly
round his or her neck for a moment, what is this then?
I do not ask any more delight, I swim in it as in a sea.

There is something in staying close to men and women and looking on them,
and in the contact and odor of them, that pleases the soul well,
All things please the soul, but these please the soul well.

5
This is the female form,
A divine nimbus exhales from it from head to foot,
It attracts with fierce undeniable attraction,
I am drawn by its breath as if I were no more than a helpless vapor,
all falls aside but myself and it,
Books, art, religion, time, the visible and solid earth,
and what was expected of heaven or fear’d of hell, are now consumed,
Mad filaments, ungovernable shoots play out of it,
the response likewise ungovernable,
Hair, bosom, hips, bend of legs, negligent falling hands all diffused,
mine too diffused,
Ebb stung by the flow and flow stung by the ebb, love-flesh swelling
and deliciously aching,
Limitless limpid jets of love hot and enormous, quivering jelly of love,
white-blow and delirious juice,
Bridegroom night of love working surely and softly into the prostrate dawn,
Undulating into the willing and yielding day,
Lost in the cleave of the clasping and sweet-flesh’d day.

This the nucleus—after the child is born of woman, man is born of woman,
This the bath of birth, this the merge of small and large, and the outlet again.

Be not ashamed women, your privilege encloses the rest,
and is the exit of the rest,
You are the gates of the body, and you are the gates of the soul.

The female contains all qualities and tempers them,
She is in her place and moves with perfect balance,
She is all things duly veil’d, she is both passive and active,
She is to conceive daughters as well as sons, and sons as well as daughters.

As I see my soul reflected in Nature,
As I see through a mist, One with inexpressible completeness,
sanity, beauty,
See the bent head and arms folded over the breast, the Female I see.

6
The male is not less the soul nor more, he too is in his place,
He too is all qualities, he is action and power,
The flush of the known universe is in him,
Scorn becomes him well, and appetite and defiance become him well,
The wildest largest passions, bliss that is utmost, sorrow that is utmost
become him well, pride is for him,
The full-spread pride of man is calming and excellent to the soul,
Knowledge becomes him, he likes it always, he brings every thing
to the test of himself,
Whatever the survey, whatever the sea and the sail
he strikes soundings at last only here,
(Where else does he strike soundings except here?)

The man’s body is sacred and the woman’s body is sacred,
No matter who it is, it is sacred—is it the meanest one in the laborers’ gang?
Is it one of the dull-faced immigrants just landed on the wharf?
Each belongs here or anywhere just as much as the well-off, just as much as you,
Each has his or her place in the procession.

(All is a procession,
The universe is a procession with measured and perfect motion.)

Do you know so much yourself that you call the meanest ignorant?
Do you suppose you have a right to a good sight,
and he or she has no right to a sight?
Do you think matter has cohered together from its diffuse float,
and the soil is on the surface, and water runs and vegetation sprouts,
For you only, and not for him and her?

7
A man’s body at auction,
(For before the war I often go to the slave-mart and watch the sale,)
I help the auctioneer, the sloven does not half know his business.

Gentlemen look on this wonder,
Whatever the bids of the bidders they cannot be high enough for it,
For it the globe lay preparing quintillions of years without one animal or plant,
For it the revolving cycles truly and steadily roll’d.

In this head the all-baffling brain,
In it and below it the makings of heroes.

Examine these limbs, red, black, or white, they are cunning in tendon and nerve,
They shall be stript that you may see them.

Exquisite senses, life-lit eyes, pluck, volition,
Flakes of breast-muscle, pliant backbone and neck, flesh not flabby,
good-sized arms and legs,
And wonders within there yet.

Within there runs blood,
The same old blood! the same red-running blood!
There swells and jets a heart, there all passions, desires, reachings, aspirations,

(Do you think they are not there because they are not express’d
in parlors and lecture-rooms?)

This is not only one man, this the father of those who shall be fathers
in their turns,
In him the start of populous states and rich republics,
Of him countless immortal lives with countless embodiments and enjoyments.

How do you know who shall come from the offspring of his offspring
through the centuries?
(Who might you find you have come from yourself,
if you could trace back through the centuries?)

8
A woman’s body at auction,
She too is not only herself, she is the teeming mother of mothers,
She is the bearer of them that shall grow and be mates to the mothers.

Have you ever loved the body of a woman?
Have you ever loved the body of a man?
Do you not see that these are exactly the same to all in all nations
and times all over the earth?

If anything is sacred the human body is sacred,
And the glory and sweet of a man is the token of manhood untainted,
And in man or woman a clean, strong, firm-fibred body, is more beautiful
than the most beautiful face.

Have you seen the fool that corrupted his own live body?
or the fool that corrupted her own live body?
For they do not conceal themselves, and cannot conceal themselves.

9
O my body! I dare not desert the likes of you in other men and women,
nor the likes of the parts of you,
I believe the likes of you are to stand or fall with the likes of the soul,
(and that they are the soul,)
I believe the likes of you shall stand or fall with my poems,
and that they are my poems,
Man’s, woman’s, child, youth’s, wife’s, husband’s, mother’s, father’s,
young man’s, young woman’s poems,
Head, neck, hair, ears, drop and tympan of the ears,
Eyes, eye-fringes, iris of the eye, eyebrows, and the waking
or sleeping of the lids,
Mouth, tongue, lips, teeth, roof of the mouth, jaws, and the jaw-hinges,
Nose, nostrils of the nose, and the partition,
Cheeks, temples, forehead, chin, throat, back of the neck, neck-slue,
Strong shoulders, manly beard, scapula, hind-shoulders,
and the ample side-round of the chest,
Upper-arm, armpit, elbow-socket, lower-arm, arm-sinews, arm-bones,
Wrist and wrist-joints, hand, palm, knuckles, thumb, forefinger,
finger-joints, finger-nails,
Broad breast-front, curling hair of the breast, breast-bone, breast-side,
Ribs, belly, backbone, joints of the backbone,
Hips, hip-sockets, hip-strength, inward and outward round,
man-balls, man-root,
Strong set of thighs, well carrying the trunk above,
Leg-fibres, knee, knee-pan, upper-leg, under-leg,
Ankles, instep, foot-ball, toes, toe-joints, the heel;
All attitudes, all the shapeliness, all the belongings of my or your body
or of any one’s body, male or female,
The lung-sponges, the stomach-sac, the bowels sweet and clean,
The brain in its folds inside the skull-frame,
Sympathies, heart-valves, palate-valves, sexuality, maternity,
Womanhood, and all that is a woman, and the man that comes from woman,
The womb, the teats, nipples, breast-milk, tears, laughter, weeping,
love-looks, love-perturbations and risings,
The voice, articulation, language, whispering, shouting aloud,
Food, drink, pulse, digestion, sweat, sleep, walking, swimming,
Poise on the hips, leaping, reclining, embracing, arm-curving and tightening,
The continual changes of the flex of the mouth, and around the eyes,
The skin, the sunburnt shade, freckles, hair,
The curious sympathy one feels when feeling with the hand
the naked meat of the body,
The circling rivers the breath, and breathing it in and out,
The beauty of the waist, and thence of the hips,
and thence downward toward the knees,
The thin red jellies within you or within me, the bones and the marrow
in the bones,
The exquisite realization of health;

O I say these are not the parts and poems of the body only, but of the soul,
O I say now these are the soul!

Text for this adventure is from the Project Gutenberg.
The text was reformatted by Chamblee54.
“I sing the Body Electric” was written by Walt Whitman.
An audio version of this poem is available from Librivox.
Pictures from The Library of Congress.

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Bob Dylan

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Holidays, Music by chamblee54 on May 24, 2022









This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. Today is Bob Dylan’s eighty first birthday. This tribute is composed primarily of three previously published pieces of work. Some people think Bob Dylan is a piece of work.

This compendium was assembled in 2016. On David Bowie’s in 2016, PG created a computer playlist, and assembled a few blog posts into a birthday celebration. Three days later, David Bowie was dead. PG decided to do the same thing to Bob Dylan on his birthday. Instead of dying, Bob Dylan won the Nobel prize. A similar effort on RuPaul’s birthday had no effect on the performer.

It was a late may morning in Atlanta GA, and a slack blogger was searching his archives. Yes, Issac Asinov never got writers block, and when he wasn’t going to the bathroom he was typing, but that is a lifestyle choice. Easy writing makes tough reading. So, anyway, in the may archive for 2011 there was a post about Bob Dylan’s seventieth birthday. People were taking bets on whether he would make it to thirty, and here he is at seventy nine.

Hibbing MN is a cold place. At least it can claim to be the birthplace of Robert Allen Zimmerman. That’s Allen, with an e, and double L, just like hell. The original initials were RAZ, which might be a good trivia question, or, with a silent W in front, radio station call letters. The problem is, he legally changed his name to Bob Dylan, with no known middle name. Those initial are BD.

On May 24, 1941, the curly haired wonder boi arrived. The world was a different place. Europe was in flames, and eyeing the young men of America as fresh cannon fodder. This was twelve years, eleven months, and eighteen days before PG graced the planet. A twelve year old in Hibbing MN would have no reason to think of a newborn baby in Atlanta GA.

The first time PG heard of Bob Dylan was probably at the record rack of Zippy’s dime store in Cherokee Plaza. There was an album of his greatest hits, and it came with a poster. The poster had a drawing of the man, with psychedelic waves of hair cascading in multi colored glory to the edges. PG never did buy the LP.

The former Mr. Zimmerman was never big on top 40 am radio. Somebody somewhere was getting a headache over those lyrics, but Atlanta GA was not somewhere in those days. By this time, Mr. Dylan had crashed his motorcycle, and gone into hiding. As the counter culture exploded (if only someone had disinfected that counter) the curly haired poet was in hiding, the subject of much speculation. At one point, people were stealing his garbage, and claiming to find evidence of investment in munitions firms. The neoscience of Dylanology continues to this day.

As PG got older and stupider, he heard more and more Bob Dylan music. In the summer of 1972, there was a performance at the Concert for Bangladesh. A couple of albums released during this era sucked, and some people stopped caring about Bob Dylan.

At the start of 1974, a tour was announced. The Band was to be the backing group. The circus came to the Omni, and PG got some of the mail order tickets. He couldn’t find anyone to use the second ticket, and sold it to a stranger outside the arena.

The show was nothing special. Bob Dylan excels at writing, is ok in the studio, and blah on stage. Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter was at the show, and was said to look bored. Mr. Dylan was invited to the Governor’s mansion after the show, and talked to the Governor. A lot of people in Georgia were surprised that Jimmy would want to run for President.
As the Seventies went me me meing into sex and drugs oblivion, Bob Dylan regained both his writing touch, and love of the spotlight. The Rolling Thunder tour happened, he got back together with Joan Baez, divorced his wife, became born again, became more Jewish, counted money, and generally lived the life. PG did his own version of all that, without Joan Baez or being circumcised again.

In the winter of 1991, America was consumed by war fever. Saddam Hussein had been elevated to next Hitler status, and had to be taught a lesson. One night, Bob Dylan played on a music awards show, and performed “Masters of War”. He played a discordant version of that ditty, with the result that few understood what he had said. By this time, Mr. Dylan had assembled a band, and gone out on the “Never Ending Tour”. A Bob Dylan concert had gone from being a special event, to being another name on the festival roster. Overexposure will do that.

On the last night of the Olympics in 1996, Bob Dylan played the House of Blues downtown. PG won a pair of the $80 tickets in a radio station contest. It was his only trip downtown during the games, and had to wait in a security line to get into Centennial Olympic Park.

The only celebrity, other than Mr. Dylan, seen at the House of Blues that night was Bill Walton. The band was competent…they impressed PG as being like a bar band that did a lot of Dylan songs, with a strangely authentic lead vocalist. The sound in the room was not good, at least in the spot where PG stood. The only song he recognized was “All along the Watchtower”, the Jimi Hendrix classic. Mr. Dylan got a cheer when he put his harmonica appliance on.








The aptly named dangerousminds has a link to a story about the recording of Blonde on Blonde, by Bob Dylan. It only happened once.

Bob Dylan was 24 years old, newly married, and had “sold out” i.e. started to play electric guitar. A bunch of Canadians known as The Hawks (later The Band) was touring with him. Barely a month after the release of “Highway 61 Revisited”, sessions started at a New York studio.

The New York sessions did not work, so a decision was made to go to Nashville. Al Kooper played organ, and served as a music director. A crew of Nashville players was recruited. A bass player named Joseph Souter, Jr. would become famous a few years later using the name Joe South. Kris Kristofferson was the janitor at the studio.

Most studios have bafflers, or sound proof room dividers, splitting the studio into cubicles. For these sessions, the bafflers were taken down, and the band played together as a unit.

The second session in Nashville started at 6pm and lasted until 530 the next morning. Mr. Dylan was working on the lyrics to “Sad eyed lady of the lowlands”, and the recording could not start until he was ready. The musicians played ping pong and waited. At 4am, the song was ready, and the record was finished in two takes.

PG had marginal encounters with two of the players on this album. He met a lady once, who worked in an insurance office. One of the customers was Joe South. His driving record file 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, sold that contract for a nice piece of change, and lived happily ever after.

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.








If it ever quits raining, PG is going to walk to the Chamblee library and return a book, and a cd. The cd is by Bob Dylan, and is a work of genius. The book is about the former Mr. Zimmerman, and is a piece of garbage. (BTW, Dylan is not the only Zimmerman to hit the big time. Ethel Merman was born Ethel Agnes Zimmerman.The Zimmerman telegram got us into World War I. The less said about George Zimmerman, the better)

When returning cd’s to a library, you need to get a check in receipt. Once, PG returned a stack of cd’s to the Brookhaven library. When checking them in, one was missed by the scanner. A few days later, there was a note in the mail about an overdue cd.

The good news was, the cd was on the shelf when PG went back to investigate, and the matter was quickly settled. It did not help that the cd was a collection of disco music called “Shake your booty”.

“The freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” was released in the early sixties, when the man was barely old enough to buy a drink. There is not a bad song on it, and several are classic rock staples. At a time when mindless pop dominated pop music, here were thoughtful, moving lyrics.

In 1991, with America in a war frenzy, Mr. Dylan appeared on a music awards show. He performed “Masters of War”, at a time when the majority would be appalled if they could understand what he was singing. Mr. Dylan has been reinvented many times, and often the lyrics get gargled.

Five years later, PG won tickets to a Bob Dylan concert. It was the last night of the Olympics, and the man was appearing at the House of Blues. (Tickets were $80, so the radio contest is the only reason PG went). It was like hearing a good bar band, that did nothing but Dylan songs, with the man as the vocalist. Due to the mix of the sound, PG could not recognize many of the songs.

The book is Bob Dylan: Prophet, Mystic, Poet by Seth Rogovoy. It tells the Dylan tale as a story of Jewish prophecy. PG got to page 16, where the author claims that “Like a Rolling Stone” “almost single handedly revolutionized rock’n roll music”. Huh?

PG was eating dinner, and did not have anything else to read. He got to page 38. Nothing in the next 22 pages changed his mind away from ditching the book. How does nonsense like this get published?






Destroy The Village To Save It

Posted in History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on May 20, 2022


“It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.” This is one of the most familiar lines about the Vietnam War. It is often cited today, when discussing the response to COVID-19. Who said this?

It was “originally reported by Peter Arnett of the Associated Press, who quoted an unidentified American officer on why the village of Ben Tre was leveled during the Tet Offensive in early 1968. … A two-paragraph version of the AP dispatch was buried on page 14 of The New York Times, with no byline,” on Feb. 8, 1968. … “BENTRE, Feb. 7 (AP) It became necessary to destroy the town to save it,” a United States major said today. He was talking about the decision by allied commanders to bomb and shell the town regardless of civilian casualties, to rout the Vietcong.”

“Almost instantly, however, the line was being misquoted everywhere. On Feb. 10, an Oregon newspaper rendered it “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.” Two weeks later the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on a group of protesters carrying a banner that read, “It Was Necessary to Destroy the Village in Order to Save It.” In whatever form, the words had become a mantra of the anti-war movement, a … summary of what was wrong with the entire Vietnam adventure.”

“The day before Arnett’s story ran, the Times’s James Reston had asked in his column, “How do we win by military force without destroying what we are trying to save?” … Associated Press itself had used a similar phrase almost exactly a year before Arnett’s dispatch. In late Jan. 1967, the AP distributed a wire photo of a different village with a caption that read in part: “The Americans meantime had started to destroy the village to deny it to the Viet Cong.” The photograph was published across the country. One wonders whether the officer Arnett was quoting had come across the caption the previous year.”

“But the actual father of the metaphor — the man who put it into roughly the form we know today — seems to have been Justice Edward White of the U.S. Supreme Court. In a 1908 decision known as the Employers’ Liability Cases, the justices were asked to give a narrow reading to a congressional enactment concerning common carriers in the District of Columbia. The court refused. The requested reading, according to White’s opinion for the majority, would in effect add a new clause to the statute. He then explained why doing so would be wrong: “To write into the act the qualifying words therefore would be but adding to its provisions in order to save it in one aspect, and thereby to destroy it in another — that is, to destroy in order to save, and to save in order to destroy.””

The fighting in Ben Tre took place during the Tet Offensive. This is widely seen as a turning point in America’s involvement in that conflict. “On January 30 1968 … the North Vietnamese and the Vietcong launched a massive military offensive that proved the battle raging in Southeast Asia was far from over, and that President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration had grossly oversold American progress to the public. Although U.S. troops ultimately ended the offensive successfully, and the North Vietnamese and the Vietcong suffered brutal loses, these bloody weeks triggered a series of events that continue to undermine Americans’ confidence in their government.”

“Cronkite was so shocked at the devastation of the communists’ Tet offensive that he went over to see for himself what was really going on.” On February 27, 1968, “he concluded the war was a stalemate, probably unwinnable. … Lyndon Johnson was said to have watched the broadcast and exclaimed to his press secretary, George Christian, “If I have lost Walter Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.