Monday, April 22, 2013

Richie Havens

Richie Havens gone.  Terrible loss.  I used to see him at the Café à Go-go in the Village.  One of the people who changed my life.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Carry On Margaret: Still Playing in Theaters Near You

The Carry On films were a series of 31 very popular low-budget British comedies (more films than any other British series), made between 1958 and 1992, which spoofed various typical social characters and cultural icons -- Carry On SergeantCarry On NurseCarry On Teacher, etc.  By 1978, after 20 years and 30 movies, the series wore quite thin. After that year, when the penultimate Carry On Emmanuelle (thin, indeed) was made. there was a break of fourteen years. Then, in 1992, thinking there were still tickets to be sold, producers tried to resurrect the series with Carry On Columbus (nodding to the Columbus cinquecentennial), which turned out to be the last unfortunate gasp. It was one of those franchises that just did not want to admit its own demise.

"By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them" is the way the Gospel of Mark (7:16) puts it.  "By their friends ye shall know them" is a similar aphorism, which derives from Aesop's fable of "The Ass and His Purchaser."  Both are apt in considering who still buys into, and carries on, the shopworn legacy of the departed Baroness Thatcher.

A selection of symptomatic remarks on her passing:

“Thatcher on feminism: "I hate feminism. It is a poison."
Thatcher on Mandela: "He is a terrorist."
Thatcher on Pinochet: "Welcome."”

Original Tweet:

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Road to Syria:
"It all depends on what America says"

There are a couple of characters missing from this cartoon (and I don't mean Bing Crosby and Bob Hope), but, essentially, it is spot on.

The recent New York Times article, Arms Airlift to Syrian Rebels Expands, With C.I.A. Aid, has made it all embarrassingly clear. It also, I take no pleasure in pointing out, confirms my previous analyses (especially here, but also here, here, and here).

The article describes a “a cataract of weaponry” pouring into Syria, in shipments whose "size ... and ... degree of distributions are voluminous," and are “suggestive of a well-planned and coordinated clandestine military logistics operation.” As a "former American official" is quoted: “People hear the amounts flowing in, and it is huge.”  

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