Chamblee54

Fifty Nine Years

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History by chamblee54 on November 22, 2022

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Fifty nine years ago, John Kennedy went to the oval office in the sky. The bullets hit Mr. Kennedy at 12:30 pm, CST. He arrived at the hospital at 12:37. He had a faint heartbeat on arrival, but quickly succumbed to his wounds.

In Georgia, PG was nine years old. He was in Miss Mckenzie’s fourth grade class. There was going to be an assembly soon, and the class was going to perform. There was a rehearsal in the cafetorium, and some of the kids were acting up. They went back to the class, and PG thought they were going to be chewed out about the misbehavior in the cafetorium. Instead, Miss Mckenzie came into the room, and told the kids that President Kennedy had been shot during a parade in Dallas Texas. She did not say anything about his condition. One kid cheered the news.

School let out at the regular time, and PG walked home. His mother and brother were crying. He was told that the president had died. The cub scouts meeting that afternoon was canceled.

Later that night, a plane arrived in Washington. The tv cameras showed a gruesome looking man walk up to a microphone. He was introduced as President Lyndon Johnson. This may have been the worst moment of that day. Photographs for this repost today are from “Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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Seven Score And Nineteen Years Ago

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on November 19, 2022









A vicious battle had been fought near Gettysburg, PA. It is widely considered the turning point of “Mr. Lincoln”s War,” the moment when the Union took the upper hand. It came at a horrible price, and a cemetery was built to hold this price.

The ceremony to dedicate the cemetery was held November 19, 1863. The headline speaker was Senator Edward Everett. The President was an afterthought. After it was over, Mr. Everett reportedly told the President that he said more in two minutes than he did in two hours.

The speech by Mr. Lincoln is an American classic. Schoolchildren are forced to memorize it. There are a few legends, many of which are not true. According to The Lincoln Museum , the speech was written on White House stationary, not the back of an envelope. The train ride would have been too bumpy to write. There is also confusion about what happened to the original text that the President read from.

HT to Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. Measured in pixels, the picture of George Custer is 720×666. This is a repost.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.







The Burning Of Atlanta

Posted in Georgia History, History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on November 15, 2022

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Around this time 157 years ago, Atlanta was on fire. General Sherman was preparing for his March to the sea, and wanted to destroy anything of value in the city. The fire is reported as being on 11-15 of November, depending on what source you use.

The November fire was the second great fire in Atlanta that year. On September 2, the city was conquered by the Union Army. The fleeing Confederates blew up a munitions depot, and set a large part of the city on fire. This is the fire Scarlet O’Hara flees, in “Gone With The Wind”.

After a series of bloody battles, the city was shelled by Yankee forces for forty days. There were many civilian casualties. General Sherman was tired of the war, angry at Atlanta, and ready for action. This is despite the fact that many in Atlanta were opposed to secession.

Click here to hear a lecture by Marc Wortman at the Atlanta History Center. Mr Wortman is the author of “The Bonfire: The Siege and Burning of Atlanta”. The hour of talk is fascinating. This is a repost. The pictures are from The Library of Congress

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About this time every year, there is a post about the burning of Atlanta. One of the sources is a lecture by Marc Wortman. If you have an hour to spare, this talk is worth your time. One of the stories told is the tale of Mr. Luckie.

“According to folklore, two stories abound as to how Luckie Street was named. The first is that its moniker came from one of Atlanta’s oldest families. The other, probably closer to the truth, regales the life of Solomon “Sam” Luckie. Luckie, as it turns out, wasn’t so lucky after all. When General William Tecumseh Sherman first came marching through Atlanta in 1864, Luckie, a free Black man who made his living as a barber, was leaning against a gas lamp post in downtown talking to a group of businessmen. A burst from a cannon shell wounded him; he survived, but later died from his injuries. Folklore suggests that he may have been one of the first casualties of the assault on Atlanta. Luckie Street, an extension of Auburn Avenue, was later named in his memory.”

Marc Wortman wrote a book, The Bonfire: The Siege and Burning of Atlanta. The one star review, and comments to that review, are unusually detailed. Here is a selection.

“…People forget – or were never taught in school – that most Confederate soldiers descended from Revolutionary War patriots or were up-country poor sons of farmers. Many Confederate soldiers were relatively recent new arrivals to the U.S., semi-literate dirt poor immigrants from Ireland and Scotland who’d never had the chance to own even an acre of their own land in Europe. In the mix were well-educated, elite merchant business owning French Huguenot refugees of the Catholic Bourbon genocide of Protestants. These immigrants had nowhere else to go, 9 times out of 10 never owned a slave, and fought for the CSA to keep what little they’d hardscrabble carved out over a decade of arrival into the U.S.”

The War Between The States continues to be a source of controversy. After the Charleston church killings, many comments were made about the Confederate battle flag. (If you can’t talk about gun control or mental health, you talk about a symbol.) This led to discussions about the war itself. There were ritual denunciations of slavery, assumed to be the sole cause of the conflict.

The notion of autonomous states in a federal union was novel when the United States Constitution was written. The debate over federalism versus states rights continues to this day. States that want to legalize marijuana may be the next battleground. (Few are expecting secession over bong rights.) Many in the CSA saw the Union as being a conquering army, and fought to defend their homes. While slavery was certainly a factor in the creation of the CSA, it was not the only Casus belli. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

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Gloria Marie Steinem And The CIA

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on November 13, 2022

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@measure7x “Been struck by how difficult it is to find a full text copy of Gloria Steinem’s CIA pamphlet, ‘A Review of Negro Segregation in the United States.’ Now I see why… Supposedly only 5 (‘known’) copies in the US. Guess some people really don’t want this going around” Sometimes opening twitter is asking for trouble. This tweet sent me on a wild goose chase, looking for information about ARONSITUS. Another thread provided a bit of information.

@marina0swald “a 1967 NYT article quoted gloria steinem as saying “I found them liberal and farsighted and open to an exchange of ideas,” when describing her close work with CIA agents to send americans to disrupt youth festivals in vienna in 1959 and helsinki in 1962” @marina0swald “another report the IRS prepared was on racial segregation in the US. it should be noted that this pamphlet is notoriously hard to find and truly doesn’t appear to be digitized anywhere. only five known copies exist. why? well the contents speak for itself” @marina0swald “published near the height of the civil rights movement, the report states that the reason racism exists is because it’s self-perpetuating, and black people simply imagine they are oppressed. the report has steinem’s name stamped across the top.” @marina0swald is a pen name, and not the widow of Lee Harvey Oswald.

A google search was not helpful. Duckduckgo came through with a handful of results. Whoever wants the document suppressed has done a good job. Even Amazon does not have access.

There is a bit more information about Ms. Steinem and the CIA. If you have a taste for conspiracy theories, there is a two hour radio show from 1986. A transcript is available.

“The first revelations of Gloria Steinem’s relationship to the CIA appeared in the New York Times in 1967, in an article that stated that Steinem had a part in launching a CIA front group which was called the “Independent Research Service.” Just prior to this exposure, Ramparts magazine had disclosed that the organization was CIA-funded. … The purpose of the IRS seems to have been to subvert communist-minded youths on an international basis. The supposedly “Independent” Research Service was, in fact, totally dependent on the CIA. It is believed to have been formed in response to the Communist World Youth festivals occurring throughout the 1950s and 1960s. These festivals were held in communist countries until 1959, when the festival for that year was scheduled to take place in Vienna — neutral territory during the Cold War. The State Department did its best to discourage American youths from attending. Some did go, though, and in the meantime the CIA covertly arranged for the Independent Research Service to organize an anti-communist delegation to attend and disrupt the festivals.” …

“Another fact exhumed by the Red Stockings is the group’s publication of a pamphlet in 1959 called, “A Review of Negro Segregation in the United States.” Steinem’s name is listed on the inside cover, this time as co-director of the Independent Research Service. The pamphlet focuses on the supposed advances made by black people in the U.S. For example: “Beyond the noisy clamor of those who would obstruct justice and fair play, no alert observer can be unaware of the concerted effort to rule out segregation from every aspect of American life.” The reason some discrimination does still occur, according to the research group, is because “it is also self-perpetuating, in that the rejected group, through continued deprivation, is hardened in the very shortcomings, real or imaginary, that are given as the reasons for the discrimination in the first place.” In other words, the oppression of blacks continues not because of white, ruling-class interests, but because black people actually have become inferior. [CN: Here Red Stocking is paraphrasing how they see the IRS pamphlet’s argument.]” This quote cannot be verified. All we have today is a picture of the cover, which might be faked.

When you talk about the CIA, there are conspiracy theories galore. It can be tough to wade through the information. The focus of this story is the pamphlet about “Negro Segregation.” One story sheds a bit of light on the Steinem-CIA-Segregation axis, along with a tasteful picture of Ronald Reagan, Rupert Murdoch, and Roy Cohn. The story does have a credibility gap. When discussing Richard Nixon, the author opines “Petty shit compared to Donald Trump, but it was a different time.”

”A youthful Gloria Steinem had just spent a year and half in India, where, we are told, she befriended Indira Gandhi and the widow of the “revolutionary humanist” M. N. Roy, and had met a researcher who seems to have been a C.I.A. agent or contact. Attractive and progressive, Steinem was hired to run the I.S.I. [sic] and to recruit knowledgeable young Americans who could debate effectively with the Communist organizers of the festival, defending the United States against Communist criticism of segregation and other American failings.” Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.”

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November 11

Posted in Georgia History, History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on November 11, 2022






Veterans day was originally Armistice Day. On November 11, 1918, at 11 am, Paris time (the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month) a cease fire went into effect for “The great war”. Officials of the major armies agreed to the ceasefire at 5 am (European time). There were an estimated 11,000 casualties in the last six hours of the war.

At 11:59 am, U.S. army private Henry Gunther became the last soldier to die in World War I.
“According to the Globe and Mail this is the story of the last soldier killed in WW1: On Nov.11, 1918, U.S. army private Henry Gunther stood up during a lull in the machine gun fire and charged the enemy. “The Germans stared in disbelief,” says the Daily Express. “They had been told that morning that the fighting was about to stop; in a few minutes they would stop firing and go home. So why was this American charging at them with his bayonet drawn? They shouted at him to stop and frantically tried to wave him back but… he hadn’t heard anything of the ceasefire.” A German gunner released a five-round burst and the soldier lay dead, at 10:59 a.m. In his recently published Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour, U.S. Military Historian Joseph Persico notes that Private Gunther had previously been a sergeant but was demoted after an Army censor read his letter to a friend back home, urging him to steer clear of the war at all costs. Gunther, who was in no-man’s land when the ceasefire news arrived, had been trying to prove himself worthy of his original rank.”
This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.






Veteran’s Day is a bad day for a cynic. I appreciate living in The United States. Even with all of her flaws, I have a good life here. The role that Veterans have played should be honored. On the other hand, those who profit from war often exploit Veterans, for political mojo. Many of these people did not serve. Those who profit from war, without serving, deserve our scorn.

Veterans are often not treated well after their service. It is estimated that a quarter of the homeless are veterans. The services offered to wounded veterans are shamefully lacking.

Hugh Pharr Quin CSA was my great grandfather. He served with the Georgia State Troops, in the War Between the States. I prefer the USA to the CSA, or whatever would have followed a Confederate victory. The Union army had to prevail, over the various Confederate Armies, for this to happen. Do I dishonor my great grandfather by saying, we are better off that the other side won?

Veterans Day was originally Armistice Day. This was the day, 104 years ago, when the War to End All Wars ended. World War I was a ghastly bloodbath, in which millions died. It affected many of the problems that plague us today. I would be willing to bet that not one person, in ten thousand, knows what World War I was about. And yet, the men who fought in that conflict (I don’t think they had women soldiers then) deserve the same gratitude as those who fought in any other conflict.

The soldier…many of whom are drafted…doesn’t get to choose which war to fight in. The sacrifice of the World War II soldier was just as great as the Vietnam fighter, but the appreciation given was much greater. I grew up during Vietnam, and saw the national mood go from patriotic fight, to dismayed resistance. By the time I was old enough to get drafted, the Paris accords had been signed. For better or worse, there went my chance.





Your Racism

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Race by chamblee54 on November 10, 2022

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This is a repost from 2014, and the Mike Brown case. … Last night, in anticipation of the Grand Jury presentation, chamblee54 published Freedom Lies Bleeding. “grand jury renders opinion ~ national hissy fit begin again ~ when justice is popularity contest ~ freedom lies bleeding in street”

There was a comment. Anonymous said, on November 25, 2014 at 2:28 pm (Edit) “Thanks Luthor… you’re racism never disappoints!” The name was misspelled. The spell check suggestion is Author.

There is both style, and substance, to consider here. Is Freedom Lies Bleeding racist? Who knows? The definition of racism is growing, in carcinogenic fashion, as we speak. Some say it is systemic institutions of oppression. Some say it is jokes about toothpaste flavor. Maybe the best definition is that racism is anything that you do not like.

The poem was directed at the concept of mob rule. As President Obama said, “We are a nation built on the rule of law, so we have to accept this decision was the grand jury’s to make.”

A few years ago, O.J. Simpson was accused of murder. Many people thought he was guilty. After a long trial, he was found innocent. Should popular opinion have overruled the jury? No, it should not. The jury saw the evidence, and heard the arguments. The people can protest and debate, but they cannot take the place of a jury.

Is a dependence on a system of law and order racism? Anonymous seems to think so. Is they qualified to make this judgment? If racism is anything that you don’t like, then Anonymous is qualified to make the call. Maybe they knows something we don’t.

There is the style of the comment to consider. While Anonymous did not give their name, there was an I.P. address. The IPA is connected to a .edu server. Apparently, this is a workplace computer. Leaving insulting comments from your employer’s computer does not reflect well on the institution.

Anonymous is entitled to an opinion. However, leaving a name calling comment does not speak well for this individual. The six words say more about Anonymous than they do chamblee54. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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Joni Mitchell

Posted in Georgia History, History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on November 6, 2022

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Monday is Joni Mitchell’s 79th birthday. Roberta Joan Anderson was born November 7, 1943, in Fort Macleod, Alberta. For this birthday tribute we will revisit four previous posts. one two three four Pictures are from The Library of Congress. … A facebook friend went on a Joni Mitchell kick. First it was a link to an interview. Then it was a quote from The Last Time I Saw Richard. A lady said Blue was her favorite album all all time, and a man enthusiastically agreed.

Given the apples and oranges quality of her catalog, it would be tough to pick one album as a favorite. PG then realized that fbf was going to be thirty soon. PG is sixty. These are two different perspectives on the craft of Joni Mitchell. One has driven through the storm, not knowing what was next. The other is presented with an almost complete body of recorded work.

PG has known about Joni since high school, and been a devoted fan since 1976. Joni’s most popular album, Court And Spark, came out in 1974, eleven years before fbf was born. Who would be the equivalent female musical force from 1943, when PG was minus eleven? The answer is nobody. (Coincidentally Roberta Joan Anderson was born on November 7, 1943.)

ms mitchell After the comment about Blue, PG listened to For The Roses. Joni’s craft is like a cluster bomb… there are lines that you never fully felt, bomblets waiting to explode in your gut. Let The Wind Carry Me has one of those hidden threats. Mama thinks she spoilt me, Papa knows somehow he set me free, Mama thinks she spoilt me rotten, She blames herself, But papa he blesses me.

The first thing PG heard by Joni was Big Yellow Taxi. It was on The Big Ball, a 1970 mail order sampler from Warner Brothers. This was when Joni shacked up with Graham Nash. The next year saw Blue, followed by For The Roses, and Court And Spark. PG always thought Joni was someone he should like, but somehow didn’t. It wasn’t until 1976 that PG broke through the barrier, and became a Joni Mitchell fan. Seeing her in concert did not hurt.

On February 3, 1976, PG took a study break. (He scored 100 on the test the next day) Joni Mitchell was playing at the UGA coliseum a few blocks away, and the door was not watched after the show started. PG found a place to stand, on the first level of the stands. The LA express was her band that night, and created a tight, jazzy sound, even in the UGA coliseum. Tom Scott pointed at Joni, said she was crazy, and drew circles around his left ear. The one line PG remembers is “chicken scratching my way to immortality” from Hejira.

The Hissing of Summer Lawns might not be her best album, but it is certainly her bravest. Court And Spark was a commercial success. Instead of producing a bestselling followup, Joni took a ninety degree turn. Summer Lawns, for all its eccentric sparkle, confused the record buying public. The gravy train took off in another direction.

In those days, 96rock played a new album at midnight, which people were known to tape. On the night of the Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash, the album was Hejira. This was followed by Mingus, another curve ball. Finally, Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter appeared, and did not make a good impression.

The eighties, nineties, and aughts appeared. PG, and Joni, lived their lives. 1996 saw a frightening interview in Details magazine. It was startling to see that for all her granola glory, Joni Mitchell might not be a very nice person. In a pot and kettle moment, David Crosby said “Joni’s about as humble as Mussolini.” Music is a tough way to make easy money.

More recently, there was a long interview on Canadian television. She is not mellowing with age. The cigarettes have not killed her, even if her voice is not what it once was. The recent albums that PG heard are strong. There seem to be more on the way. Maybe the facebook friend will have have the “what is she going to do next” experience after all.

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A few weeks ago, PG was at the library. He had a story to take home, before going over to the biography section. There he found Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell. At least with fiction, you know you are dealing with a made up story. With biography, you have to use judgment.

It is a familiar story. Joni was born in the frozen north, was a rebellious girl, and got pregnant. She gave up the daughter for adoption, only to be reunited many years later. Joan Anderson gets married to, and divorces, Chuck Mitchell. Joni sings, writes, tunes her guitar funny, becomes a star, gets too weird to be popular, makes and loses money, smokes millions of cigarettes, and becomes an angry old lady. There is a bit more to the story than that. Reckless Daughter fills in a few of the blank spots.

Millions of cigarettes might be an exaggeration. Joni started smoking when she was nine. When she was a star, she was almost as well known for her constant puffing as her pretty songs. When Joni was in a Reagan era slump, she was going through four packs a day. Just for the sake of statistics, lets call it two packs, or forty fags, a day. Multiply forty by 365 and you get 14,600. If she started at 9, and had her aneurysm at 72, that gives you 63 years of nicotine abuse. If you assume that there were forty fags a day for 63 years, that gives you 919,800 smokes. IOW, while seven figures is not out of reach, it is rather unlikely that Joni smoked more than 2,000,000 cancer sticks.

The author of Reckless Daughter, David Yaffe, is a problem. He talks about the mood of America in 1969, four years before he was born. Mr. Yaffe goes to great lengths to show us that he knows about making music. Some readers will be impressed. There are mini-essays on Joni songs from her golden years, the time between “Ladies of the Canyon” and “Hejira.” And gossip, gossip, and more gossip. Joni is well known for her celebrity lovers.

We should make the point that PG enjoyed Reckless Daughter. The inside stories are fun, and pages turn over without too much head scratching. Maybe this is a statement about the career of Joni Mitchell. You enjoy the music for many years, and then complain about the details. Reckless Daughter follows the trajectory of other celebrity biographies. The star is born, takes up a craft, gets a break, becomes successful, goes over the mountaintop into a long decline. With Joni, nothing after “Mingus” was well received. The chanteuse was broker, and angrier, by the minute.

On page 13, Joni hears Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Sergei Rachmaninoff. This is the piece that makes her want to be a musician. One page 129, we learn the story of A&M studios in Hollywood. At one time, The Carpenters were in studio A, while Carole King was recording “Tapestry” in studio B. Joni was recording “Blue” in studio C, which had a magic piano. One time, Carole King learned of a break in the studio C booking, and ran in. Three hours later, “I feel the earth move” was recorded.

A few years later, Joni was on the Rolling Thunder tour with Bob Dylan. One of the concepts was support for Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, whose story can be found elsewhere. Joni became disillusioned with Mr. Carter. When Joan Baez asked Joni to speak at a benefit concert, Joni said she would say that Mr. Carter was a jive ass N-person, who never would have been champion of the world. Joni later got in SJW trouble for posing in blackface, for the cover to “Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter.”

On page 251, we learn that Bob Dylan does not dance. Other items include “Free man in Paris” being written about David Geffen, and Jackson Browne writing “Fountain of Sorrow” about Joni. Mr. Brown is a not-well-thought-of ex of Joni. As for Mr. Geffen…. Joni stayed at his house for a while, at a time when Mr. Geffen was in, and out, of the closet. Did they make sweet music together?

So this book report comes to an end. Joni is recovering from a brain aneurysm, and will probably not produce anything else. The book is going back to the library, and PG will move on.

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Joni Mitchell has product to promote. She gave an interview to New York magazine, where she smoked a few cigarettes and expressed a few opinions. There were enough attention getting comments to make the news.

When I see black men sitting, I have a tendency to go — like I nod like I’m a brother. I really feel an affinity because I have experienced being a black guy on several occasions.” She proceeds to tell a story about dressing like a down and out black man as a way of dealing with an obnoxious photographer. “I just stood there till they noticed me. I walked really showily, going, Heh heh heh. It was a great revenge. That was all to get his ass. To freak him out. I had to keep him on the defensive.”

Gay-mafia-made-man David Geffen was a target. “I ask her about a painting, visible in a vestibule, on the way to her laundry room, of a curly-haired man with a banana lodged vertically in his mouth; turns out it’s Geffen, and she painted it. “Before he came out. He’s never seen it,” she says, before explaining: “He was using me as a beard. We were living together, and he’d go cruising at night. He was very ambitious to be big and powerful, and he didn’t think he would be [if he was openly gay].” By 1994, the two had fallen out over her insistence that he didn’t pay her enough in royalties.”

The product is a four cd boxed set, Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting To Be Danced. There was a single one star comment about the joniproduct. Al Norman Seems like a collection of Joni’s forgettable tunes February 3, 2015 ~ “My wife loves Joni Mitchell, and never listens to this set. Seems like a collection of Joni’s forgettable tunes.” This comment was sponsored by Head and Shoulders. “100% flake free hair & A GREAT SCENT”

You just can’t get away from capitalism. Ms. Mitchell heard “… on the radio, a record executive “saying quite confidently, ‘We’re no longer looking for talent. We’re looking for a look and a willingness to cooperate.” As interviewer Carl Swanson notes, “For now, she’s hoping that people buy her boxed set, with her self-portrait on the cover. To that end, she gives me a Joni Mitchell tote bag with one of her paintings on it to carry my things home in. Get the word out.”

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Joni Mitchell gave am interview recently to a Canadian Broadcaster. She is famously Canadian. The chat was in her California living room, which is littered with her paintings. Many of the paintings are things like Saskatchewan at forty below. Mrs. Mitchell alternates between painting and music, which tend to balance her cigarette fueled mind.

The CBC interview is paired with a more formal chat in Toronto. She could not smoke during the Toronto interview. The Toronto interviewer is just a bit smarter than Jian Ghomeshi, who endured the second hand smoke in California. Mr. Ghomeshi said things like “The song “Woodstock” defined a generation.” Mrs. Mitchell was in a New York City hotel room that famous weekend.(Spell check suggestion for Jian Ghomeshi: Joan Shoeshine)

There are some juicy quotes. Art is short for artificial. When listening to Joni songs, you should look at yourself, and not at her. Free love was just a gimmick for the men to get laid. False modesty is pointless. Sylvia Plath was a liar, or maybe it was Anne Sexton. (James Dickey said that Sylvia Plath was the Judy Garland of American letters.)

A fearsome foursome gets in the game. Someone screamed, on a live album. “Joni, you have more flash than Mick Jagger, Richard Nixon, or Gomer Pyle combined!.” Years later, the fan introduced himself to Mrs. Mitchell.

The conversation mentioned Bob Dylan. He is from Northern Minnesota, and not quite Canadian. Apparently, Mrs. Mitchell kicked up a fuss with some comments in 2010. ” Bob is not authentic at all. He’s a plagiarist, and his name and voice are fake. Everything about Bob is a deception. We are like night and day, he and I. … Grace [Slick] and Janis Joplin were [sleeping with] their whole bands and falling down drunk, and nobody came after them!”

Did Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell ever tune up together? Joan Baez, a similarly named contemporary, is well known for dating Mr. Zimmerman. Ms. Baez did sing at Woodstock.

Mrs. Mitchell doesn’t exactly take back her comments about Bob Dylan. ““I like a lot of Bob’s songs, though musically he’s not very gifted. He’s borrowed his voice from old hillbillies. He’s got a lot of borrowed things. He’s not a great guitar player. He’s invented a character to deliver his songs. Sometimes I wish that I could have that character — because you can do things with that character. It’s a mask of sorts.”

In a kill the messenger moment, Mrs. Mitchell lashed out at the interviewer from the 2010 piece. It is odd, since he didn’t ask any trick questions. Black and white transcripts are tough to deny. “The interviewer was an asshole.” (The body part is bleeped.) “I hate doing interviews with stupid people, and this guy’s a moron” “His IQ is somewhere between his shoe size and (unintelligible)”.

The troublesome 2010 interview was conducted with John Kelly, a Joni Mitchell tribute artist. “JK: Drag does have a power, though — that netherworld of a thing you can’t quite know, which makes people nervous. JM: Drag wasn’t always counterculture. In his memoirs, Nixon talked about the Harvard and Yale men in power who would put on these plays where they dress like women, and Milton Berle did a kind of “hairy drag.” Becoming a gay thing made drag go underground.” Did Mick Jagger and Gomer Pyle ever do drag with Richard Nixon?

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Pass The Popcorn

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Politics, Race, Religion by chamblee54 on October 28, 2022

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This is a repost from 2014. PG was editing pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. Some of these images decorate this post. He had been working on a batch of pictures. It was time to blow through the remaining 200 images, and get them out of the way. Focus on what you are doing, and ignore the distractions.

Sometimes, the old fashioned interruptions intrude. At one point, the telephone rang. The recorded voice of Pat Boone (?) urged PG to vote for David Perdue in the coming election. Did you know that Obamacare is causing cutbacks in Social Security? Did you know that the Republicans think you are a total idiot for believing this nonsense?.

One status provoked 139 comments. PG ran out of popcorn. “White queers should really check themselves when you think it’s okay to show up to a party in blackface. Whether or not you think it’s artsy there is a history of racial oppression that goes with blackface. You’re not being cool, you look foolish, you should edit yourself and check your fucking privilege.”

Someone in New York had a Rocky Horror Show party. A person paid homage to the opening number, which features a pair of lips against a black background. This detail did not come out until 45 comments had hit the innertubes.

It was a lively discussion. PG is a known caucasian. He does not know what it is like to live as a POC. PG does suspect that some incidents do not merit high octane rhetoric. In this virtual town hall meeting, an party costume became a chance to opine about “the relationship between systemic racism and oppression.” So many big words, so little time.

“… epic insensitivity to the experiences People of Color face in our white supremacist society, which is totally uncool, and an example of implicit racism. The fact that Cher would not even consider that painting her face and body could be offensive is blatant proof of her privilege. … To dismiss someone’s comments and to challenge the fact that Cher’s look resembles blackface and could offend someone is the exactly a page from the playbook of white supremacy. The very act of saying this isn’t racist is you forcing your asinine opinion on people. … We can only move forward with open dialogue and not by dismissing people’s feelings.”. … “I mean for real. No shade let’s talk about trauma and white supremacy. … The reality that white supremacy is a constant trauma white folks can choose to pay attention to is real. The fact that “lifetime minority status” for people of color shortens the lifespan is fact. Any ou going to tell my home girl that she is out of line for developing community, decolonizing and coping strategies smash that system girl it’s tired and dying out anyways. I’ll be dat black supremacist for you any day of the week.”

“We can only move forward with open dialogue and not by dismissing people’s feelings.” Holy hypocrisy, Batman. Have you ever tried to offer a non-compliant opinion? Unless you are an emotional masochist, or have very thick skin, *stay in your lane*.

Eventually, PG ran out of steam, and went to sleep. The next morning saw the end of the pictures, while listening to Peggy Caserta talk about Jania Joplin. Miss Caserta wrote a book, Going Down With Janis The opening line: “I was stark naked, stoned out of my mind on heroin, and between my legs giving me head was Janis Joplin.”

UPDATE: This is a repost from October 28, 2014. This whimsical post serves as a time capsule to a simpler, more innocent time. Many of the traumas that have obsessed us in the last eight years … The Trump Presidency, COVID … would have been dismissed as bad fiction in 2014. Meanwhile, seven time zones away, the Euromaidan revolution was going on. It was little noticed in the United States, which was more interested in racist halloween costumes. Ukraine has had severe complications for the world, and might lead to nuclear disaster. Cher’s halloween costume will not be very important when the nuclear fallout falls, or any of the other looming disasters hit.

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Man Trap

Posted in History, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on October 19, 2022

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John Booth was an actor, and firearm enthusiast. He was a ruthless critic of productions that did not include him. When something displeased Mr. Booth, it was necessary to let people know about it. Someone told the actor that boo was short for Booth. He believed this, and was forced to find other ways to express his displeasure. .

A play called “Our American Cousin” gave a performance in Washington DC in 1865. In act two of OAC, a lady called another lady “you sockdologizing old man-trap.” The crowd roared with laughter. Mr. Booth thought the line insipid, and looked for a way to express his anger.

When Mr. Booth was through with his commentary, he jumped out of the balcony. The riding spur on his boot caught a drape. Mr. Booth landed with all the weight on one leg. The leg was badly broken. It would have been less painful if Mr. Booth swallowed his pride, and said boo. Pictures for today’s entertainment are from The Library of Congress.

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Oscar Wilde

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on October 16, 2022

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October 16 is Oscar Wilde’s birthday. On that day in 1854, he appeared in Dublin, Ireland. He is one of the most widely quoted people in the english language. Some of those quotes are real. Since he was a published author, it should be easy to verify what he really said. This birthday celebration is a repost, with pictures from The Library of Congress.

One night in 1974, PG was talking to someone, and did not know who Oscar Wilde was. The conversational partner was horrified. PG became educated, and learned about a misunderstanding with the Marquess of Queensberry. Soon the “Avenge Oscar Wilde” signs made sense.

Mr. Wilde once made a speaking tour in the United States. One afternoon, in Washington D.C., the playwright met Walt Whitman. Thee and thou reportedly did the “Wilde thing”.

The tour then went to Georgia. A young black man had been hired as a valet for Mr. Wilde on this tour. On the train ride from Atlanta to Augusta, some people told Mr. Wilde that he could not ride in the same car as the valet. This was very confusing.

After his various legal difficulties, Oscar Wilde moved to Paris. He took ill, while staying in a tacky hotel. He looked up, and said “either that wallpaper goes, or I do”. Soon, Oscar Wilde passed away.

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The Velvet Warlocks

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on October 4, 2022


PG was listening to disgraceland episode#64, about the grateful dead. He was at a stopping point with multi tasking, and decided to look something up. The show mentioned the first show by the warlocks, later known as the grateful dead. This was 50 years before “dead name” was a dirty word.

“On May 5, 1965 ‘The Warlocks’ … played their first show, at Magoo’s Pizza Parlor in Menlo Park, California” This was the day before PG turned 11. Lyndon Johnson was settling in for his elected term as President. The Braves were playing their lame duck season in Milwaukee. Combat troops had been in Vietnam for a little over two months. This was the start of the escalation. “By the end of 1965, more than 184,000 American troops were in Vietnam.”

Multi tasking is full of pitfalls. Whenever there is a break, you are tempted by facebook and twitter. Like this tweet: “The audio excerpt in this article is incredible: Part of a multi-movement work called “PASSOVER” by Rick Burkhardt. Musicians speak while playing, seated around a dinner table. From the collective @ensemblethingNY” The answer is to make a note of the link. Maybe you go back later and listen. Maybe you don’t. The focus should be on the first entertainment/chore. The dg-gd episode has a half hour to go. UPDATE The audio excerpt is pretty good. It is under seven minutes long. People of a certain age may feel old while listening to it.

At 27:44, dg-gd dropped an item that could not be ignored. The warlocks had to find a new name. Someone else was called the warlocks, and there were complications. It seems as though the warlocks … a pretty obvious name … was also an early name of the velvet underground. Other early vu names included the primitives and the falling spikes.

“When they (vu) finally did come across a name which stuck, it was thanks to a contemporary paperback novel about the secret sexual underworld of the 1960s that Tony Conrad, a friend of John Cale, happened across and showed to the group. The novel, written by Michael Leigh, remains in print most likely thanks to the band which appropriated its title.”… “Had Lou Reed and John Cale not seen a copy of this book in a New York City gutter (fittingly) and decided to use its name for their group, this little volume would have been justly forgotten. Written in a style which titilates while decrying the scene it describes, it’s a piece of blue-nosed junk.”

The rest of the show rolled on. Jerry stuck his finger in a dictionary at random, and found grateful dead. It was the name of a story. The band played at the acid tests, which mostly went well, until they did not. Pigpen drank rotgut to excess, until it killed him.

PG was editing pictures out of a folder labeled pa41. The images were shot by John Vachon,in June 1941. The last picture, while the 27 club end of Pigpen played over the speakers, was Women washing clothes in utility building at FSA (Farm Security Administration) trailer camp. Erie, Pennsylvania. Another picture, from January 1941, is Pinochle game in Czecho-Slovak Dramatic Club. Ambridge, Pennsylvania. Both pictures are included in this feature. This is a repost from 2020.

#1619Gate

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

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This is a repost from 2020. The 1619 Project was published by the New York Times in August, 2019. It was a grand historic project, marking the 400th anniversary of the first African slaves to arrive in Virginia. Claims were made. “The 1619 project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding …

Many of the claims were controversial. A few days ago, without any explanation, the Times deleted many of the “true founding” comments. Not surprisingly, many people noticed the difference. Cached copies have a way of contradicting convenient revisionism.

Full Disclosure: I have not read The 1619 Project. My reading bandwidth is limited. I cannot comment on the narrative presented in the project, and assume that much of it is true. What is fascinating about #1619Gate is the spectacle of the mighty New York Times humbling itself. There is also the bizarre behavior of @nhannahjones, the lady behind The 1619 Project

This tweet landed on my timeline earlier this week. @nhannahjones “There is a difference between being politically black and being racially black. I am not defending anyone, but we all know this and should stop pretending that we don’t”
@kelsey_midd “What does this mean?”
@nhannahjones “If you don’t know it ain’t for you.”
@kelsey_midd “I’m not the only person that asked. I’m also a black person.”
@nhannahjones “Yes, I am capable of seeing your avatar. And I will repeat: if you don’t understand the difference between being born/designated a certain race and taking up a particular set of racial politics, I am not going to educate you here.

@chamblee54 The lady does not suffer from false modesty @nhannahjones “Reporter @nytmag covering race from 1619-present//AKA The Beyoncé of Journalism//Co-founder ida b wells society //smart and thuggish//Aries//1619Project.” After a while, “The Beyoncé of Journalism” was looking more like the Kellyanne Conway of historic scholarship.

Before getting to the last segment of this show, we should mention what happened earlier sunday night. I am part of a poetry community, which is now meeting on zoom. This group is welcoming, and supportive of my work. Unfortunately, they welcome some less appealing players. Last night, one man had a poem about abolishing the police. There was a line. The only time colonizing white people like the police is when they need to have a (racial slur) exterminated. (That is not an exact quote.) I cut the sound off, and waited for the piece to be over.

The boundless folly of woke twitter awaited me. I soon came across the following exchange. I have a screen shot of the punch line, in case it is deleted. The tacky poet fell into context.

@sullydish “Basic rule in online journalism: if you change something after publication, acknowledge and explain it. On 1619 Project, NYT just broke this basic *ethical* rule. And to further the cover up @nhannahjones deleted all tweet history. Let that sink in.”
@nhannahjones “This is the last thing I will say about this. The wording in question never appeared in the 1619 Project text. It appears nowhere in the printed copy, something easily verifiable as pointed out to you. It didn’t appear in my essay nor any of the actual journalism we produced.”
@ira_mckey “It may be the last thing you say about it, but the Twitter screenshots and the history of what you said about it Still exist.” (Includes photo of NHJ tweet: @nhannahjones “I argue that 1619 is our true founding. Also, look at the banner pic in my profile.”)
@nhannahjones “This is my tweet. My tweets are not official 1619 copy.”
Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. More episodes of the #1619Gate series are available. Two Three Four Five

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