A very dear friend contacted me recently about Austin City Limits. I’ve always been a fan of Austin City Limits so I was interested. And, to my amazement, it turns out her two sons, in an indie band called The Frontier Brothers, are competing for a "new artist" slot on a future broadcast of Austin City Limits. I knew they were a serious working band (out of Fort Worth), but this news about this opportunity, and especially about them in relation to this opportunity, was new to me. I passed the word on to friends who are music fans and to a few friends who trust me when I ask a favor of them. And only one friend misconstrued this situation as something like American Idol. Austin City Limits is a long-running PBS program presenting well-respected, professional musicians. And it seems it is offering an opportunity to working (but not nationally-known) bands to be introduced in a new band slot. This is so NOT American Idol.
I now go to the site each day (one vote per day being allowed) and I vote for this band. I urge you all to check this out at the URL I am putting below. (Actually, this URL will specifically take you to The Frontier Brothers on the band ballot, but it also gives you the page, The Sound and the Jury.) You can sample their music (you can sample any of the bands’ music) and if you like their music, you can cast a vote for them (or for another band there). One reason this particularly appeals to me is that this to me is so far superior to American Idol. No ridicule, no comedy, no Not-Ready-For-Primetime bands. The Frontier Brothers is a serious working band making their bones in venues all around Texas and the Southeast, and this is a serious opportunity for them. For all these bands. And that matters.
Check it (and them) out: http://acl.mp3.com/feature/soundandjury/?band=THE-FRONTIER-BROTHERS.
Marat, we’re poor, and the poor stay poor.
Marat, don’t make us wait anymore.
We want our rights, and we don’t care how.
We want a revolution — now.
- from the musical Marat/Sade
Marat was an extremist among extremists, a polemicist. He whipped up the French to bloodthirsty mobs in 1789 with the diatribes he wrote and published. He signed the death warrants of Louis XVI ane Marie-Antoinette. He was instrumental in bringing on the bloodbath of the French Revolution.
Marat had a disfiguring skin disease that kept him in a medicinal bath almost around the clock. He did his writing there. And he was ultimately assassinated there.
The artist who painted him was a polemicist also — in art. He also signed those death warrants. He painted Marat unblemished, almost unbloodied, gracefully slumped, a hero, a martyr, almost a dead Christ figure.
You can see this Marat by googling MARAT DAVID PAINTING. You will see how we are supposed to believe he was, how we are supposed to believe all the instigators of the years-long massacre were, when we sing The Marseillaise today, Bastille Day.
An issue of interest to anyone who buys or intends to buy anything online concerns the proposed taxation of online commerce. State revenue-services departments across the country are frustrated by taxes they believe they are entitled to and not getting from online sales for items to be used in their jurisdiction. This is a use tax. Buy a book on Amazon.com. Read it in your respective states. State tax departments will soon say you owe them use tax for the use of that purchase in your own state.
This is a tax most consumers have not dealt with or even known about, and if any of you plan to buy anything online, I advise you to educate yourselves about it. You might be liable for it and in violation with your state tax department if you ignore your liability. That is, if state tax departments are successful in their attempts to activate this previously arcane tax, which has suddenly gained in importance because of the burgeoning of online sales.
I have a particular familiarity with use tax because I am required to file and submit it along with my state (CT) sales tax annually. I am Sole Owner of a very small business and have had a CT tax number and filed annual tax submissions since 1990. The form I use is entitled “Form OS-114 Sales and Use Tax Return”. Very few categories of taxes on that 2-page form pertain to my business: primarily (1) Gross receipts from sales of goods; and (2) Use tax on purchases of goods/rentals/services by my business subject to use tax.
AOL News today gives the ten top dogs in the US among breeds, based on breeder numbers. It also gives readers a chance to vote for their favorite breed, and also their least favorite breed.
I will note, for breed partisans (Brendan???), that a few breeds did NOT make the Top Ten: Pug. Huskie. Llasa apso. Greyhound. (Please don’t tell Robbie.)
Finally, the piece gives favorite dogs by city. Miami - German Shepherd. Detroit - German Shepherd. So far so good. New York City - Ohhhhhhhhhh, the fru-fru-ity! Poodle.
I was until quite recently a New Yorker. Do I miss New York? I guess not the dog parks.
Today I spent three hours calling Joe Lieberman supporters from the state Lieberman headquarters. I was given a stack of voter sheets of people throughout Connecticut who had registered their support for him via e-mail. Most were in Fairfield County (Connecticut’s Gold Coast) and a lot were Republicans. Also a number were Independents. And, yes, there were Democrats, too. Which is also remarkable, given the recent choice by Democratic leadership and activists for Ned Lamont. Almost without exception, these are voters who want a centrist candidate and/or admire Lieberman’s 18-year record and conscience. Strangely (to me at least), it was very easy to talk to all of them about someone who had been a 3-term Democrat. Some Republicans and Independents had voted for him each time he had run as a Democrat . Many said “I don’t agree with him on some/most/almost all issues, but I know he is principled and I trust will make reasoned choices for Connecticut (and the nation).”
These conversations were refreshing experience for me. I have in the past worked as a phone volunteer calling Democrats for Democrats. This was something new: These were voters who, though party members, will be voting “outside the box” to support a seasoned politician on the merits of issues rather than party line.
Here in Connecticut, voting machines had their party levers removed long ago, but what I had mostly heard and seen up to now was party lever thinking. Pull away a party affiliation and people start to think in other ways.
I call this a Good Thing.
Start spreading the news…
How odd (and unanticipated) it was in early January to find — after nine years of flirting with the possibility — myself a de facto citizen of the city that has been home to so many and for so long. After 34 years as a tourist in New York City, I suddenly and truly find myself OF New York City. I give directions on subway lines, bus lines, parkways, drives, and numbered streets and avenues (well, okay, this last only in one of the five boroughs, Manhattan), I drive uptown, downtown, all around unheralded and naturally, and I function as a guide and advisor to friends and relatives who are experiencing The City for the first (or tenth) time as out-of-towners.
This realization of my transformation first came to me on, of all dates, September 10th, 2001.
So, today — on Ted Turner’s BIG DAY (his 25th anniversary of CNN) — news breaks of the long-held secret of Deep Throat’s identity. So to begin his spot with Turner over the quarter-century milestone, Wolf Blitzer starts off by asking him what the revelation of the identity of Deep Throat meant to him.
So The Ted replies “It means nothing to me.” He then explains that the news that interests HIM is IMPORTANT news, GLOBAL news, news having to do with WORLD HUNGER, INTERNATIONAL news. News that isn’t ANCIENT HISTORY.
But Blitzer doesn’t give up. He asks, “Isn’t there SOME news that isn’t GLOBAL that can still be very IMPORTANT?”
Turner essentially says no.
Watergate was 30 years ago.
Now, CNN’s founding was 25 years ago.
Turner describes 25-year-old details of that IMPORTANT, GLOBAL, WORLD HUNGER-RELATED, NOT ANCIENT, and INTERNATIONAL event — HIS formation of a 24-hour news service. And he presents his creation of CNN, and his OFFER to go to Iraq in that wartime, of TRULY HEROIC proportions. And when Blitzer calls him on THAT, he continues, “Well, it WOULD have been heroic if I had gone.”
Poor Ted Turner. Imagine if his silver anniversary had fallen on 9/11/01.
181st St., NYC - Police and other emergency personnel outnumbered local residents on 181st late this afternoon, as cleanup continued on the avalanche that had closed a parkway and disrupted New York City. Yellow police tape was stretched across garden and access areas of the Castle Village apartment complex, and unusual traffic patterns on city streets demonstrated the adjustments New Yorkers have made in the absence of one of their main traffic conduits.
The crumbled stone wall, facing the Hudson River, collapsed along most of its length, and depth. Bulldozers worked above, and earthmovers below, to begin clearing the Henry Hudson Parkway. The Northbound lane north of the collapse stood empty and unused, while southbound traffic was passing by further down the hill.
Inland from the disaster, parking on the east side of Broadway had been prohibited today and a parking prohibition will continue Saturday and Sunday, so that two lanes of northbound traffic can run up Broadway and take over some of the load from the parkway;s normal traffic. Away from the main streets in Washington Heights, the neighborhood seemed normal, quiet and unhurried. But everywhere there were signs indicating the locations of Red Cross relief stations. Residents of one Garden Village apartment building were still being barred from returning to their homes until the stability of its foundations can be assured.
Meanwhile, in the Bronx, firefighters battled to bring under control a fire that was consuming a group of portapotties.
New York, New York
This date and year marks the 62nd anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Tonight in honor of that courageous effort, I attended a service at a synagogue in New York City.
On the dais, and each lighting a candle representing the concentration camp they had once survived (Auschwitz, Belsen, Buchenwald and Treblinka among them) were four elderly women and one elderly man. A young woman lit a sixth candle for the million Jewish children who perished during the Holocaust.
The keynote speaker referred to his grandmother, who had been murdered, and his uncle, who had starved to death at age seven. He gave those present, and all Jews, a responsibility: that we, who live, give life to those who died. By acknowledging that they did exist (Hitler’s annihilation of them and their world notwithstanding), that we will remember them, and that we will leave a record of them on this earth, as we might hope to be remembered and recorded when we have died.
From the Mourner’s Kaddish:
Yisgadal, veyiskadash, shmey rabo.
GO ILLINI GO!!
University of Illinois, Class of 1971
Someday eighty years from now, when almost everyone here will be dead, someone — maybe the last survivor here, or maybe a descendant of one of us — will go to the information source of that future time that is the equivalent of our Ancestors.com, look up the 1990 U.S. Census for Newington CT and learn that in 1990 there was a head of household named Joe Loy (age 42), a wife named Leanna Loomer (age 41), and a son named Brendan (last name perhaps ambiguous) who was 9 years old. All the chatter here will have died down, all the random pictures will have gone offline, and that single entry may be the window we have to that (for then) long-ago family.
Someone will need to know those crucial bits of data, because that may be all we will get to know about those people unless the researcher is able to put the census data together with a name engraved on a tarnished Music Cup at Newington High School. We will all be dead.
I’ve been looking into just such windows into Brendan’s, Joe’s and my family past. I found an orphaned girl living as a niece at age 14 with people whose name I have never heard of. I found a legendary family curmudgeon at a time when he was a 23-year-old bachelor, servant, and bar keeper. I found a family name written phonetically because the family had JUST arrived from Prussia and probably didn’t speak enough English to know that that was their name being recorded. I found people with occupations such as Farm Laborer, Coal Picker and Housekeeper. And they are all dead, too.
Of course I wonder what will be said of the people listed in the 1990 census in eighty years, in relation to the society and recorded national history of their time. Could they truly have participated in two non-elections back to back? Could they have participated in the re-election of an unexaminable administration surrounded by controversy and malfeasance? Could a by-then aging population of Irish-Polish former redhead and blonde descendants have counteracted the effects of a juggernaut of that time long past?
Maybe they will have thrown off the dead hand of history. It will be dead, after all.
New York was grey all day. By evening it was misting. At 9:30 P.M., when I left the city, it was still doing that. Gloomy day. Great time to be at the Met tho :)