January 2nd, 2014
kidz doing up Trombone Shorty's toone
and a great version of this one.
December 10th, 2013
Blessings on your journey and thank you for what you learned and offered.
October 26th, 2013
Originally posted by terriwindling
at On friendship
"Friendship has never seemed both more important and less relevant than
it does now," writes Jessica Vivian Chiu in a beautiful essay on friendship for the Paris Review. "The concept surfaces primarily when we worry over whether
our networked lives impair the quality of our connections, our
community. On a nontheoretical level, adult friendship is its own
puzzle. The friendships we have as adults are the intentional kind, if
only because time is short. During this period, I began to consider the
subject. What is essential in friendship? Why do we tolerate difference
and distance? What is the appropriate amount to give?"
She then goes on to explore the friendship between writers Sherwood Anderson, Theodore Dreiser, and the sculptor Wharton Esherick. You can read the full essay here.
Considering how important friendships have been in my own life and in the lives around me, I find it baffling that the joys, sorrows, and complexities of friendship (and for me personally, women's friendships) have not been a central theme in literary and other arts. Yes, the ocassional book or film (and, rarer still, painting or song)...but the numbers are small compared to works dedicated to romance, family dynamics, and personal journeys in which friendships are fleeting or relegated to second tier roles.
Yet for many of us, our friends are family; and often in our young adulthood it's friendship that lasts while romances come and go. Meeting someone with the potential to become a close friend can feel almost as giddy as falling in love; and certainly the end of a friendship can be just as painful as divorce. Sometimes worse.
I'd like your help today in recommending works of art (in all fields) on the subject of friendship. For example, my favorite novel to date on the subject of friendship is Elizabeth Wein's brilliant Code Name Verity, a gorgeously written and harrowing story about the friendship between two young female pilots in World War II. To me, this book captures the absolutely intensity of the bond between best friends. My favorite memoir on the the subject is Testament of Friendship by Vera Brittain (author of the better-known World War I era memoir Testament of Youth). This beautiful book is about Brittain's deep relationship with fellow writer, feminist, and politcal activist Winifred Holtby. (Close runners-up would be A World of Light by May Sarton,
a fascinating book in which the author looks at the friendships that
formed her world from her mid-twenties to her mid-forties; and Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett, about her complicated, rather difficult friendship with fellow writer Lucy Grealy.)
My favorite biographical work about friendship is The Red Rose Girls by Alice Carter, about the artists Jessie Willcox Smith, Elizabeth Shippen Green and Violet Oakley.
And you? What do you recommend on the theme of "friendship," in any form of art?
Good friendships aging like good wine: The photographs above, from top to bottom, are of me and my dear friend Ellen Kushner back in the 1980s (photographed by Beth Gwinn); Ellen and me again n 2006 (photographed by Nina Kiriki Hoffman); and Ellen, Tilly & me during Ellen's visit to Chagford, with Delia Sherman and Kathleen Jennings, this week. (The first photo by me, the second photo by Ellen.)
September 4th, 2013
Current Music: Miles Davis
Oh boy, yet another county is voting to secede from the State they are part of. There are numerous counties in northern CO that want to secede from CO and become either their own state or part of another state. Siskiyou Co. in northern CA voted to do the same last night.
Why? oddly enough these are all republican counties that do not feel as if they are fully represented by the Democratic majority. Well, guess what? I lived in CO for years when it was a republican stronghold, in Jefferson County when it was run by a very conservative church in Arvada. When you don't get your way, you DO NOT OFFER TO TAKE YOUR BALL and go home. Democracy is advanced citizenship (thank you "American President"). You might even have to work on compromises for the good of the whole. self-sacrifice in ways that does not involve war or emergency situations. Being adult and wise.
A good lesson to learn. BTW, honestly, if I could have seceded from the United States of Cheney/Bush I probably would have and even thought of becoming an expat if Romney won. That said, maybe if you don't like the country you live in and do not want to solve problems, you could leave. I understand Somalia, the libertarian paradise, still has some real estate.
May 18th, 2013
May 11th, 2013
April 21st, 2013
This article gives some of the background of the deal. Blackstone buys Sea World and leverages $1.3B in debt. That means they really did not have the money to buy them, used their name to borrow $1.3 billion and then transferred the debt immediately to Sea World. Blackstone has no debt and Sea World has to cut, austerity for all. And then goes for public sale to cover that debt, promising dividends all the way. In the meantime the Blackstone group makes $500,000,000 for putting this together. net, that means the invested $1,000,000,000 and borrowed $1,300,000,000. They moved that debt immediately to the new company they bought and asked public investors to buy stock to fund that debt. and paid themselves $500,00,000 in management fees for coming up with the scheme. I wonder if investors will ever get their 3% dividends. So for putting up $1,000,000,000 Blackstone gets $1,800,000,000 profit, almost a 2--% margin from other people's money, promising to pay them back over time. Wow!
It must be nice to play with the money of others and not have a ton of risk. And if this fails, Blackstone still makes money as managers and consultants. It's good to be the king!
And oddly enough Blackstone backs the austerity plans of members of Congress (Simpson, Bowles, Ryan). Not saying debt is not a problem. It sure in the hell is, but when your basis for doing business is borrowing money and then selling things off to pay for it, making sure you take your percentage off the top of the sale, regardless of whether the sale makes sense or not--basically making money using someone else's money with little if any risk to your own pocketbook, you have to wonder whether that economic model ever has an end. The last guys to invest in Ponzi schemes always get burnt. Follow this through to the logical conclusion.
the government runs up debt by doing stupid things like not budgeting for our annual ecological disaster, appropriates unbudgeted emergency funds (at this point do not think about the $4,000,000,000,000 unbudgeted for Iraq and Afghanistan) has no real backing to pay for these debts and has to start selling off what was supposed to be a public trust. Little things like property and mineral rights in national parks. Eventually the debt gets to the point that the big traunche of money that is a surplus and is supposed to be kept sacred (Social security) gets to be sold in an attempt to cover irresponsible management, which does not affect the managers because they still keep their jobs and get bonuses and perks. Remember in the long term how effective Chain Saw Al was as a manager. He gutted companies, took his bonus, sold them as a shell of their former self (basically selling the name) and road off in to the sunset holding money and creating nothing. Oh yes, many of those companies investors found were worthless when he was done. There are two ways to cut debt--revenue and austerity.
The US is in bad enough shape both are needed. Management ran up debt, the Federal reserve printed money to cover it quantitative easing) and the money was used by groups like Blackstone to amass more money they now keep offshore. It's good to be the KINGS! Use other people's money to make vast amounts, leverage the whole damned government and then keep the money out of circulation waiting for the next crisis.
Eventually the whole country gets sold. When will people realize money is not a commodity but a symbol for something real--people's work, love and life. And then cannot be traded bartered and sold without real damage. Out of control capitalism really is unsustainable. Vampires run out of blood eventually if they turn them all.
Of course, debts could be paid and revenue (taxes) raised to do it, but first you would have to be grounded in your country.
April 8th, 2013
April 7th, 2013
Playlist fun. Every now and then I hit shuffle on my smarterthanme phone and see what happens:
Dis Beat Disrupts--George Clinton
Get Up Off Your Ass...-P-Funk All Stars
Sign in Stranger--Steely Dan
something by Del the Funky Homo Sapien
Harmonic Choir and Whale Songs
Yes, it was one of those days.
January 30th, 2013
I was looking up an Ohio Players toone to post in honor of the recent passing of the front man, and I happened to see a song by Carl Carlton "She's a Bad Mama Jama". I always wondered what happened to Little Carl Carlton. Used to listen to him back in high school. The local radio station WJMO, Mojo Soul Radio used to feature him on their weekly TV show.