My thoughts on the top--and not so top--stories in this week's political, sports, and pop culture news.
“We are stardust, we are golden, billion year old carbon.” Where do we turn to now? Those voices gone, co-opted or minimized. Thank you for sharing this. She, it, the artists of the time, brilliant. I appreciate you keeping this in front of us.
...thinking about that iconic photograph @ the 1968 Summer Olympics: Tommie Smith, John Carlos & Peter Norman & the unrelenting backlash from their actions!
It is heartbreaking that still, @ the end of 2022, protests are still necessary!! But, it is heartening that their voices will be heard, those photographs will be seen, & those righteous sports heroes will no longer be ostracized or “forgotten”...✊✊✊...the fight for justice continues!!!
Re: "Vox populi, vox dei." My true geekiness is outing itself but I have to point out that the entire quote, from Alcuin of York, is "Nec audiendi qui solent dicere, Vox populi, vox Dei, quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit." Which translates, "And those people should not be listened to who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of God, since the riotousness of the crowd is always very close to madness." The real quote means the opposite of what Elon thinks.
Here's a great piece on the issues in Qatar: https://youtu.be/UMqLDhl8PXw
Note the video of worker living conditions, passport seizures etc. It's unconscionable.
Re: anti-semitism. I'm really impressed that you've been something of a junkyard dog with a bone on this. The message of equanimity it sends is significant. Is it just me or have players grown so big today that Wembayama's 7'5" looks less imposing that Cap did in the 70s? Finally, hooray for reason in the CA legislature.
We are stardust, we are golden
We are billion-year old carbon
And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden.
Great poetry. The recording of Joni Mitchell is still completely amazing. Thank you for reminding us of that time. So powerful.
And then there's the new & unbelievable talents of Victor Wembanyama. He doesn't move like a tall man. He doesn't handle the ball like a 7'5" player. He doesn't play like an 18 year old. What a phenom! I wonder which NBA team will draft him. Such an incredible talent. I've watched several of his games. Just astounding!
Respect to the Germans & especially the Iranian team for their courage to stand up for the truth & protest the treatment of our fellow humans.
As to Fox - liked what you wrote about the Savior Syndrome. So true. Keep people dumb & stupid.
Teach them they don't have the personal power to overcome. Only the Savior can do that for you. All the terrific things happening in the world are okay because they will help herald in the Second Coming. That's what I hear all the time. Hmmm.
And Georgia citizens must have an uprising if they want to keep their rights intact. How can a person who doesn't live there, has a primary residence in TX, has many other issues even run for the Senate? Whew! Too much. I hope the good Rev. wins the run-off.
Thanks Kareem. So much happening in the world. We always need to aware and on guard.
Joni's "Circle Game" is folk, but it's a good one. Also, "God Must Be A Boogey-Man" is a must.
Not related, but shame on you Robert Zimmerman (Bob Dylan). I guess you've become the person that could be used in "a classic Bob Dylan tune" about complacency. I realize that auto-pens are common practice among athletes/celebs/musicians, mainly for "freebie autos", but when people are paying decent cash for an authentic signature...man, it's wrong to use a rubber stamp or auto-pen.
"You've been through all of F. Scott Fitzgerald's books
You're very well-read, it's well-known
But something is happening here and you don't know what it is
Do you, Mr. Jones?"
I enjoyed your commentary on “Banshees of Inisherin,” and appreciate your review. The previews showed Colin Farrell in such a heartbreaking vulnerable state, I wasn’t sure I’d get through it but McDonagh is always good. When we lived in Houston, we loved the Alley Theatre and would attend many wonderful plays, wonderfully acted (it’s one of the jewels of Houston). One play we attended was Martin McDonagh’s “The Lieutenant of Inishmore.” McDonagh had me in that first scene. Act I opened with a body hanging upside down. The stage dripped blood and we didn’t know what to expect next. What followed was a hilarious black comedy. I’ve been hooked on McDonagh’s stories ever since.
Thanks for your weekly take on the news.
Germany protesting gives hope that countries and cultures can change dramatically. Even if it takes more than 70 years.
When the time comes to "clock out", I want Joni Mitchell by my side. The one-legged three! No clock or defender can stop that shot.
The FBI statistics that you cite as evidence of "a slight decrease in violent crimes" were incomplete and deeply flawed. Close to 40% of US law enforcement agencies — including in the nation’s two largest cities —did not submit any data to the feds, who reported that violent crime was down by about 1% across the country, from 1,326,600 in 2020 to 1,313,200 in 2021. 1 in 5 police departments — 469 of 593 — failed to report any crime data at all including the largest department in the country, the NYPD. In New Jersey, only 177 of its 578 departments turned in crime stats. Pennsylvania 40 of 1,504, 2 0f 757.
Herschel Walker is as useful as a steam-powered grapefruit.
Ron Bonta has been a terrific AG. Once again, California gets it right.
While not explicitly framed that way, Musk’s “poll” was about the big fish, Trump, and all others scarcely mattered at all. I have a hard time swallowing the results of Musk’s poll--it would be the first time Trump won the popular vote (including Emmy judges). A guy who has never cleared 50 percent approval in the US (where he’s more tolerated than any other place on the planet) somehow gets a show of support in the mid-70s. Bovine feces.
Kareem wrote: "...the moment when young people realized they had a common voice and the numbers to make that voice meaningful."
Perhaps pop culture has flooded the intellect of our youth to the point of apathy. Comfortably numb as long as they have their devices of social destruction. Albert Einstein once said he feared the day that technology replaced human interaction. He said we will have a generation of idiots when that happens. Well, that time has long come...a look at the media $hit show these days is all it takes to see that Einstein was correct.
As for politicians - can anyone say vigorous background checks/psychological evaluations before a person can even be considered a candidate for ANY and ALL public offices? It's not complicated. Many professions require it as a condition of employment. Why not our trusted officials? Instead we allow psychopaths and sociopaths to govern the land and dictate the laws. The gene pool is now a puddle.
Just caught up on the listening part of your Substack. What a smooth, rich voice on Samara Joy. Best version ever for me of Moon River-Louie Armstrong’s. Enough can’t be said about Joni Mitchell. So glad I’m still around to enjoy all this music. Thank you!