Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gunfight at the Okra in the Produce Aisle

A woman was arrested in July 2014 after she pulled out a gun when asked to slow down in a Rutherford County, Tenn., Walmart parking lot, according to WGNS News.
The woman said it was all right for her to threaten to shoot people because she has a carry permit.
That same week, an Alabama man “accidentally” shot his girlfriend while holding a baby and jumping on a trampoline, Milwaukee County Sheriff’s deputies reported a “running gun battle” between the occupants of a minivan and a Nissan on I-43, a 12-year-old San Antonio boy got shot by a gun kids were playing with, a Georgia GOP congressional candidate announced that he wants Americans to fight the U.S. government with bazookas, a man tried to bring a gun into the U.S. Capitol, a Minnesota man gunned down a 17-year-old girl who had asked him to stop trespassing on his riding mower in her yard, a Texas man shot himself while hitching up his pants in a convenience store, a Tennessee woman slapped and threatened to shoot a Kroger clerk whom she called a n****r, and an “open carry” armed man frightened shoppers away from a Missouri Walmart.
“You don’t want your kids around that,” said shopper George Rolf. “There’s a lot of people out shopping, especially in a place like this.” But in Kansas City, Missouri, the open carry of firearms is legal, because Ammosexual America is insane.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

On a Hill with Hal Holbrook

"Summer Cemetery" by Meg West
Hal Holbrook in "Our Town," 1977

“It was like that cemetery in the play ‘Our Town,’ ‘on a hilltop, a windy hilltop.’ It was quiet up there, with the tender foliage of spring all around us and the sky above our heads a long way off, and this was the only time I saw Grandfather cry.
“As he stood at his father’s grave, the tears rolled down his face while the silent agony of his life clutched at him. It was then that I saw that life was not going to be a spring day. There was suffering ahead. It did not require that any words be spoken for me to see the face of what life had in store. I saw it in the anguish of Grandfather’s tears.
“When I look at pictures of me as a little boy I see a happy child with an impish look. It surprises me. Where did it come from? How could I have lived through the deprivation of having no mother and father, never knowing why they left, and then being sent away among strangers and the beatings at that school, and still look happy in those pictures?”
“A while ago, my wife and I were watching some Hollywood toy person, fresh off drugs, pouring his heart out on television about being an abused child. I said, ‘My god, it just hit me. I was an abused child!’
“’Yes, you were,’ said my wife.
“’I never thought of it before.’
“’You were too busy surviving,’ she said.
“Was it the image of my grandfather that kept me going? A survivor himself. Or was it the little acts of kindness that saved me. When the piano teacher put her arms around me and held me close (after a beating by the school headmaster) — those moments? I saw the face of kindness and perhaps that gave me hope.”
Source: “Harold: The Boy Who Became Mark Twain,” a memoir by Hal Holbrook

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Dream Blows In On The East Wind

This series of eight children's books appeared from 1934 to 1988, illustrated by Mary Shepard

I have, at long last, been reading P.L. Travers’ tales of Mary Poppins.
The stories proceed with an oddly appealing dream logic, somewhat similar to the SF novels of A.E. Van Vogt or the Fantomas novels by Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain.
Impossible occurrences are continually mixed in with mundane ones, and some characters are always incapable of noticing them. The nanny Mary Poppins herself is refreshingly curt and sometimes unreasonable. She is inexplicable, a dreamlike fait accompli.
I can see how the stories, with their Cat-in-the-Hat flavor of safely hidden anarchy, would appeal to children. They’re better than the movie, which subjected the character to the inevitable Disney blandification process.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Rockford RIP

The late James Coburn and the late James Garner in Paddy Chayefsky's "The Americanization of Emily."

He was an authentic person among phonies, an authentic talent among empty celebrities, a quietly courageous and humorously self-deprecating man, a man who played heroes and, although he would have denied it, actually was one.
It occurs to me that one thing I have never heard is someone say something bad about James Garner.

The Modern Media Miasma of Misinformation

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, like the other right-awing talking heads, is accustomed to peddling bullshit propaganda. He's just not accustomed to getting called on it.
If Mika Brzezinski had not INSISTED on correcting Scarborough with the facts, Scarborough would have gotten away with rewriting history yet again, pushing the mass audience a little deeper into the corporate media miasma of misinformation.
And this is the “liberal” corporate news media channel, remember? The one that peddles lies to kiss Reagan's ancient ass.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Face of a Fox News Monster

A German refugee child and Superman fan is shown at the New York City Children's Colony, a school for refugee children run by Viennese immigrants (Marjory Collins/Library of Congress). Or, as Fox News would put it, a monster.

Fox News Scolds Americans for Not Knowing History, Then Lies About History

Yeah, well, there's a reason they don't know that, Fox Animatronic Lady.
You’ve got to hand it to Fox News. Few would have the temerity to complain that Americans don’t know history and then lie about history in the same breath. Where catapulting the propaganda is concerned, Fox News is absolutely relentless.