If you ever read my more rambly posts, you probably know that I’m a great admirer of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s work, and am very active in the community that has grown up among his readers — and though lately I don’t have as much time to hang out there as I have done in the past, I’m still taking it all in.
Yesterday, for instance, Ta-Nehisi wrote not once but twice about the essential cruelty of America’s right-wing. In the first post, he wrote:
[An] embrace of cruelty is arguably the dominant feature of the present conservative movement. It has been repeatedly expressed in alleged “humor.” The assertion of a right of judgement over the First Lady’s physical person, for instance. Or watermelon patches on the front lawn. Or Obama waffles. There is little distance from that kind of cruelty to aspirin between one’s legs and from aspirin between one’s legs to transvaginal probes.
In the second, he discussed Rush Limbaugh’s execrable treatment of a law student who had wanted to testify before the House of Representatives on the issue of insurance coverage for birth control, writing:
See update below.
Genuine sorrow: Davy Jones has died of a heart attack, aged 66.
I loved him once, as only a very little girl can, with a kind of ache that would sit on my little girl heart whenever I saw his beautiful face. His voice was lovely, and he and his Monkee friends are, I’m sure, a big part of why I have such a big place in my heart for absurdist humor. Because if you think The Monkees was just a little kids’ show? Look again. It was madness. Wonderful, inspiring madness.
But in the family and in the home in which I live as a 47 year old, Davy is best known for his collaboration with children’s author Sandra Boynton (also a purveyor of absurdist humor, if you think about it) on the song “Your Personal Penguin.” He sings the part of the penguin.
So in his memory, in real gratitude for his pop presence in my life, and with tears in my eyes, I offer you this: Davy Jones, singing “Your Personal Penguin” (after the jump). May he rest in peace – may his memory be for a blessing.
On Friday, I posted a clip of Billy Bragg singing to a dancing Canadian lobster. (Nova Scotian, to be more precise). I allowed as how I would like to know more about this dancing lobster fella and Canadian kids’ TV in general, and an obliging commenter helped me out – check out her knowledge and prodigious Google-fu here. Bottom line for our purposes? Dude’s name is “Captain Claw.”
You might well imagine that armed with this information, I proceeded to the YouTube. Whereupon I found the following piece of sheer delight: Captain Claw singing the undeniably catchy “When You’ve Got to Go” song.
Welcome back, Angry Black Book Chatters!
I hope you enjoyed having last weekend off as much as I did. And a special shout-out to the members of #TFY who met up last Saturday night for churrascaria in Long Beach, where we completed our plans for world domination while eating endless supplies of grilled meats.
Full of meat, plans for world domination complete, #TFY basks in the afterglow. (From L to R) @dvnix, @angryblacklady, @tanjint, @trixied13and @thescottfinley
But the work waits, and it’s time to continue our radicalization with Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. You know the drill: a chapter a week, I post a summary, you weigh in with comments about what you took away from the chapter, or how it applies to current events.
We started with the Prologue, then Chapter One: The Purpose and Chapter Two: Of Means and Ends. All caught up? Great. Radicals, activate! Continue reading
week month year in ABLC land has been filled with uteri and vaginae-related news, mainly about the GOP’s War on Women™, to be precise. On the front page alone, as I type this, we have a post by ABL, sending out a uterus-shaped symbol to all the Uterati so we can gather all the anti-women bills that are being considered/passed across the country in one place, a guest-post by @ThundarKitteh on all the anti-women dumbfuckery going on in her state of Indiana, a guest-post by @deaniemills on the outrageous state-sanctioned rape bill that has passed in her state of Texas, and another post by ABL on the postponement of the “Personhood” Bill in Virginia, due to the national outcry that has risen over it. My own last post was on the flak the Girl Scouts have been receiving because of a perceived connection with the newest manufactured bogeyman of the right, Planned Parenthood. Right beneath my last post is an excellent post by roadkillrefugee on the real reason Glenn Beck nailed himself to the Catholic Church cross over the whole birth control nontraversy.
By the way, I haven’t bought GS cookies in years. Tonight, I changed that by buying 5 boxes of my personal favorite, Lesbian Cunnilingalongs (h/t @socratic on teh Twitter Machine. Actual name, Tagalongs. So. Damn. Delicious. Peanut butter and chocolate go together like me and Margaret Cho*. They make me want to listen do, err, listen to Melissa Ferrick all night long.) at a nearby supermarket just so I could support my local Lil Uterati (h/t, my angry black overlady).
(Click for All Things Vaginal)
Back in the 1990s, Woody Guthrie’s daughter Nora got in touch with our man Billy, and asked him to write music for a whole treasure-trove of lyrics that Guthrie himself had never had a chance to set to music.
Which is to say: The torch was passed.
Bragg recorded these songs with Chicago-based band Wilco in the Mermaid Avenue project, and they’re probably the best known of his work in the US — but as they’re not “his” songs, I don’t really much associate them with him. Which is madness, really, and I’m sure he’d tell me so.
Be that as it may, there is one song that emerged from those recordings that I particularly love: “Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key.” The other day I commenced to look for a video — only to stumble upon the following, a truly random and delightful slice of Canadian pop culture: Billy Bragg performing on the (apparently) defunct kids show “Peggy’s Cove” (or, possibly, “The Peggy Show.” I’ll have to ask one of my Canadians to clarify this matter for me).
Did I say “performing”? I meant: Singing to a dancing lobster (ok, it’s really more of a rhythmic swaying that the lobster does, rather than a dance — he’s a puppet, after all), who eventually offers to row our Billy back to England. The visual quality isn’t quite HD, but the clip (after the jump) is really quite outstanding, nonetheless.
My father, Ted Hauser, and me.
It was my father’s 82nd birthday on Wednesday, but he wasn’t here to celebrate: He died of cancer when he was 35 and I was 10 months old.
As a child, I think I believed that grown ups stop missing people who died long ago. I think it seemed a little odd to me when a grandmother would start talking about her own grandmother with sorrow.
I’ve realized, of course, that loss never really ends. We live differently with it over time, but it’s always there. I am always, and will always be, a little girl wanting to hold her dad’s hand.
82 years ago, in the very hospital and on the very floor on which my daughter was born (coincidentally on the anniversary of his death), my father was born, a tiny, wrinkled thing, a baby — a promise. Not anyone’s dead dad yet, not anyone’s dead husband. Just a promise. I wish he could have lived more of that promise out before he was taken from us.
Michigan’s Emergency Managers in the national spotlight
Click for a larger version
In the current issue The Nation magazine, I have a piece titled “The Scandal of Michigan’s Emergency Managers” which is a general overview of Public Act 4, Michigan’s Emergency Manager law. For regular Eclectablog readers, there isn’t much new there but for those who haven’t been following, it’s likely to be a bit of a bombshell.
Excerpt after the jump.
Warning: Hands Will Get Dirty. Proceed At Your Own Risk.
Welcome back, Angry Black Book Chatters! We’ve maintained a good conversation about Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, first with the Prologue, then with Chapter One: The Purpose.
Today we’ll tackle Chapter Two: Of Means and Ends, in which Alinsky begins to lay out concrete rules for the pragmatic radical.
A bit of housekeeping: we’ll be taking next weekend off and resuming the series with Chapter Three the following week, as yours truly will be reporting to the mother ship for a weekend of re-programming by our Angry Black Overlord in the City of Angels. This break should give those of you who have intended to participate, but fallen behind on your reading, an opportunity to catch up.
And now to the rules! Continue reading