Saturday, June 10, 2006

Longing, Belonging & Shortening

Tarheel Tavern - Ron Hudson Edition

When have people made you feel loved unconditionally, a part of the crowd, one of the crew, a family member and so on and when have they not. Isn't belonging what we all seek on so many levels? Perhaps if we all felt more like we belonged, we wouldn't need so many divisions in this world right now. Idealistic of me? Yes, but we have to strive for better or life won't be much to brag about, eh? If anyone just wants to submit out of theme, though, let them come. I am an all-inclusive, equal-opportunity provider!..."

- Ron Hudson

Leave it to my dear blogpal, Ron, to come up with a most timely and important subject...belonging. And leave it to me to start deconstructing the word...

I remember taking a literature class under Arthur Holmberg called "Intimacy and Isolation", which looked at the myriad ways in which these opposing themes played out in literature since the time of the Sumerians...who portrayed in their poetry a natural sense of love, in poems such as "My Honey Man", wherein the details of their love, as expressed toward their beloved, was redolent with terms such as honey, nectar, flower and the like.

But words of longing were not present, at least until the Egyptians began to express it in their poetry. As civilizations and cultures arose, each bore a distinctive stamp, and some added to the evolution of love, for lack of better words. Courtly Love, for example, didn't come until much later, and Courtney Love much later still, with the invention of the "Hole".

Do I hear thunder? Am I going to have to disconnect?

My own dear folks are chiefly responsible for inculcating in me a sense of helping others feel they belong, and in the process, I rarely felt that I didn't belong, even while sporting the most ostracisable sartorial contraptions. I feel as if I have had implanted within me an organ of perception, laced with empathy, such that another's discomfort is my discomfort. And when I see other's bearing the brunt and bruises of insensitive others, my Davidic nature, no fan of the Overdog, bites at my ear, a myktysen of conscience, blood and deed flowing to where the need.

My first other-worldly friend was probably Manuel, who had moved to Charlotte from Nantucket when I was in the sixth grade. He and I gravitated to one another, as we saw each other as sufficiently strange and knowledgeable. The word, "yankee" never issued from my folks mouths, and the same acceptance was shown when I brought home Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, African-American, gay, atheistic, or any other persuasion -- except those of similar background who nevertheless seemed to be up to no good. In retrospect, I appreciate their good judgement.

I have found bloggers, in general, to share this quality of acceptance and belongingness.

When I think back on times and places where I was made to feel I didn't belong, in most instances, I am glad I was forewarned.

Shortening is a type of grease you use in cooking. It is also what happens to your original post when thunderstorms cause you to have to unplug your computer and wait for the turbulence to clear.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Zarqawi's Last Words

Before taking two bombs and going to sleep, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi spoke the following words:

Ibm aq abu musta jahisc moblab suwami qal sniti, barumbi tanaji ikn kinh zaflamid ouches
boumboum carash yawi zawi pudinanpawi, haoduz yir gahdin growe.
Gitt thufuk oudam ifaz, lim ba pygboi sukon midik u peesa shite.

Laying here looking at the ceiling, someone lays a sheet across my chest
Something warm is flowing down my fingers, pain is flowing all through my back.
Life is flowing out my body, pain is flowing out with my blood
The sheets are red and moist where I am lying, God in heaven teach me how to die

Moments after having breathed his last, a crowd of exuberant Iraqis gathered in the streets and began to chant:
"Abu Musab al-Zarqawi"
(to the tune of "My Favorite Things")

Bombdrops on Moses and whisky and kittens,
bright copper cattle and war's wooden shippins,
brown paper packages tied up with strings,
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Cream-coated yonies and crisp penile strudels,
Gore bails and slay hells and schnitzels on poodles.
Bombers that fly with "Rev. Moon" on their wings.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Girls in white dresses with blue satin burkas
snowflakes that stay in my nose and mind circus,
silver white weapons that melt anything,
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

When the Bush bites, when Cheney stings,
when I'm feeling bad,
I simply remember Musab Zarqawi,
and then I don't feel so mad.

Bombdrops on Moses who whispers to kittens,
bright copper cattle and war's wooden shippins,
brown paper packages tied up with strings,
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
All this while doing their latest dance craze, "The Twist".

Help welcome Coturnix at his new blog, "A blog around the clock"

It may be easier, at this hour anyway, to simply repost Bora's message...

So, the day has finally arrived - my Big Move to SEED scienceblogs. Go check out the brand new front page and all the old and new bloggers there. With 24 great new bloggers (including Carl Zimmer, Matt Nesbit, Effect Measure and Mike The Mad Biologist) joining PZ Myers, Chris Mooney and the rest of the gang, this will be The Big Hub of Science blogging in the nearest future. Thus, tomorrow (Friday) at noon, when the new site launches, will be a big event in blogging history.

My new blog, a fusion of all three of my blogs, will be a new brand, with a new name - A Blog Around The Clock, reflecting my age and musical taste, my usual blogging frequency and the area of my scienific expertise, all in one title.The Banner was designed by Carel Pieter Brest Van Kempen who also runs a delightful science/art blog Rigor Vitae (

The new URL is:, the new Atom feed is:, and the new RSS feed is:

Please change your bookmarks, blogrolls and newsfeeds to reflect this move. It would be really nice if you could ask your readers to do the same, as well as point them to the new front page. Just try to do it at noon if possible.

Morningwood, Nouvelle Vague, Tatu, Pussycat Dolls

Morningwood blog
Amersterdam concert video
Nouvelle Vague
Nouvelle Vague - Blue Monday video

Pussycat Dolls

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Galbraith remembered as giant

After the service for John Kenneth Galbraith, Kitty Galbraith exits with the Rev. Professor Peter Gomes.
(Staff photo Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard News Office)

People came from near and far to Harvard May 31 to pay tribute to a man who was probably the most famous as well as the tallest economist of the second half of the 20th century, John Kenneth Galbraith, who died April 29 at the age of 97.

Harvard Commencement Webcasts

Please note that these videos will not be active until the time of the event. If you are unable to tune in, you can find the archived videos online at the Harvard Commencement Web no later than June 9.

Class Day: Wednesday, June 7, 2-4 pm EST
Speaker: Comedian Seth MacFarlane

Commencement Morning Exercises: Thursday, June 8, 9-11:30 am EST

Commencement Afternoon Exercises: Thursday, June 8, 1:45-4:15 pm EST
Speaker: Commencement address by President Lawrence Summers, followed by Jim Lehrer, noted news anchor and novelist

Al Gore on Jay Leno TONIGHT!


North Carolina's Ryan Adams and Tift Merritt on Austin City Limits.

Decisions, decisions...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

"The Dictionary of Corporate Bullshit" by Lois Beckwith

"The Dictionary of Corporate Bullshit"

Happy 2nd Anniversary Scrutiny Hooligans!

Scrutiny Hooligans turned 2 yesterday, and I somehow missed it. So here I am, a day late and a dollar short, with my wish that their next two years are as fruitful and wondrous as the last two. They are one of the wonders of the blogworld, and I, for one, am proud to call them my footmen...which is Tocharian B for "friends". (See: futmin)

I raise a glass!


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

CD WATCH: Drive-by Media (in concert) "Why Rush Sucks"

In order to promote local talent, we at Anonymoses Bloggerifics Corporation will be highlighting some, but not all, although surely more than one, of the the great bands in the area. Yesterday, we through the spotlight on The Activist Judges. Today we are highlighting Drive-by Media and their new CD, "Why Rush Sucks", and are waiting for the art for The Trial Lawyers.

"Why Rush Sucks" features the songs:
- Lying For Dollars
- It's the Dope Speaking
- I can hear but I still can't listen
- I'm glad I'm not black
- Yourn Kampf
- I'm your Fat Fuhrer
- I just like the shape of cigars
- Keeping the Rabble Ignorant
- Sure I'm a dropout, isn't Chomsky?
- Arrogance Squared

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Tarheel Tavern: Anniversaries, Marriage and Acts of Love

"Morning" by Anonymoses Hyperlincoln

I love anniversaries. Eat them for breakfast. Probably why I'm so skinny.
And the skinny on recent anniversaries is that The Cheap Seats Is One Year Old!
AND BlogAsheville is also One Year Old. Let me explain the seeming impossibility.
After this picture.

THe Hangover Journals
Modern Peasant
Syntax of Things
Edgy Mama
Bird on the Moon

Blogger time is different from normal time. The year may, for example, have seemed like 10 years, say, or two weeks. Blogs bend time, but in different, and often opposing, ways. It is what is called "unintelligent design", or more correctly, "intuitive design". This is not to be confused with "Body by Fisher", which refers to the Fisher King himself, Bobby Fisher. Or was it Jesus?
One of those guys. Maybe. You're the car person.

At any rate, it is important that we celebrate these anniversaries, as it marks us as cultured beings, with cultured pearls of wisdom and other goofiness.

Everyone who's coming can contact Egdy Mama for directions.
Bring your family and fans if you like. If everyone could choose an unmet
blogger from the blogroll and contact them about the
extravablogiversapaloozathon, that'd be great. There are too many of you who
haven't come out of the cybershadows into our BlogAsheville extravirtual
gatherings, and I'm as curious as can be.
Date: Saturday, June 17

Time: 6:30 ish until the beer runs out, or someone starts dancing nekkid
in the treehouse, whichever comes first

Place: Pnavistan, home of just a
few high-minded North Asheville liberals and two cats (if you've never been
here, e-mail me for directions at janusatannefittenglenndotcom)

Who's invited: You. BA bloggers, Asheville bloggers, NC bloggers, their family
members, blogger groupies, male strippers.

Dress: The less, the better.

Bring: Food to share. Alcohol, if you don't want beer. Prizes (wrapped).
A sleeping bag if you plan on being overserved.

The Extravablogiversapaloozathon is a chance to celebrate our achievements, our
friendships, our creativity, and our future. I can't wait to see everybody

Well, I, for one, will be there. And I want to nudge other Taverners to try and make it as well. We could, alas, prove, once and for all, to the aching world, that we are, indeed, the Andy Gryphons we've been waiting for. And toward that end, let me now readjust your screen, and bifocals, back onto Justin Thibault's bloggerly year in the Cheap Seats.

Lots of fun things here too. For example, Justin proffers:

So, since I'm having the birthday party at the Tavern - I
figured it would be fun to play a little game. In the archives for the following
months, I used (or modified) a popular song title. See if you can't find one or
two. Use the comments section with your answer.

July 2005
August 2005
October 2005
March 2006
May 2006

There are a lot of cool stats he has compiled regarding his year of blogging dangerously. But what I found particularly pregnant was this:

A lot of you may not know it; but this area has many
bloggers...even though most of them are in Charlotte, Asheville, and up in the
Triangle. They've set the standard for me in terms of design and content. I
can't say that I meet the highest standard in any area - but I imagine I'm
somewhere within a few standard deviations of the top of the bell curve. I check
out the Tavern most times it comes out and, agree or disagree with the authors,
you can tell that we have people who are passionate about their community and
our democracy. So, I just wanted to thank y'all for everything that you do and
your example has helped me this first year.

"Night" by Anonymoses Hyperlincoln

"All men are my brothers, and all women my lovers and sisters."
- Gandhi

Maybe the Mahatma didn't have a father and mother, I don't know. But, in general, I'd have to agree with his sentiment. In fact, that's one reason why I enjoy the Tarheel Tavern. Even with disparate notions about what may, or may not, be true and good, we still seem to respect each other enough to realize that we are all at different stages of development, and that there is probably not one of us who has a monopoly on the truth.

Take, for example, the "God's Patriotic American Family Marriage Amendment" that is, for some odd reason, impeding Washington from thinking about more important matters. Is there a pandemic of Gay Marriages? And if there what? We still haven't caught Osama. We are in a downward spiral with respect to the environment. We are paying out the ass for gasoline while greedy CEOs sneer their way to the bank. Soldiers are being slaughtered, and some appear to be slaughtering others. They are not sufficiently protected, and they are in an unnecessary war, with only a bad end in sight.

We should not let politicians get away with diverting our attention from truly pressing matters...especially if it involves writing bigotry into the constitution. Our politicians are doing what Osama could never do: Disenfranchising millions of Americans.

Ron Hudson is urging every caring soul to say no to the bigotry, distraction and wrongheadedness, which Jude Nagurney-Camwell calls "An Unwise Use of the U.S. Constitution", in a recent BlogCritics column.

Discrimination and injustice should never be the result of a
proposal for any amendment to our U.S. Constitution. It's not a play-document to
be used by political panderers at will. It is sacred to the heart of American
freedom, justice, and democracy.

I'm old enough to remember when a majority of whites would ban so-called "miscegenation" or interracial marriage. The daftness, I suppose wasn't immediately apparent to some, I suppose. But people still have blind-spots, and many will not stand for it being pointed out. But the math is simple:

The amendment does not spread freedom.
If anything, it takes it away.
And I thought we were about spreading freedom...

As Ron says:

It took the US Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation,
several Amendments to the Constitution and the Civil Rights legislation of the
1960s to overwrite the bigotry of our founding fathers who saw African American
slaves as only three-fifths human. It has been in my lifetime that the majority
has continued to support laws that denied multi-racial marriages. Luckily, these
laws have come off the books and are viewed as archaic.

Cheryl at the Last Nerve... chimes in:

This whole gay marriage debacle is a waste of time and taxpayer money. If two men or women or two of anything in this world can stand each other's morning breath enough to want to
smell it every morning, let 'em have each other!

Over at Sarx, Raphael adds:

ONCE AGAIN, the left and the right of my social circle are
the same thing. No messing with the
Constitution over marriage. It's not the area of the feds. Period.

And yet, as Pam at Pam's House Blend warns, the anti-gay Article 8 Alliance, and other clots of atavism, other "Bizarre Bay State homobigots " seem hellbent on seeing it otherwise.

But you know what? I think I heard our President make a genuine Freudian Slip during one of his addresses. Maybe it was a Jungian petticoat. Will consult the scientists at Liberty University. They have double-digit IQs!

Are we offended yet? Do we take issue with someone regarding mediocrity as mediocre? Never. Not us. We are beyond all that. We all have, yes, triple-digit IQs. I checked.

Anyway...Bush talked about "spreading feareedom". A new word, I suspect. A combination of Fear and Freedom. Spreadable, like mayonnaise. Only with bigger, sharper knives. And sure enough, The Age of Exuberance has devolved into The Age of Fear. As it turns out, where there is no evolution...there is devolution. Devolution. Devil+Pollution. Note. Change to Devilution.
Have Cal slip it into American Heritage.

"Evening" by Anonymoses Hyperlincoln

The Coturnixes Do New York
A. Fear of Flying
B. Bryant Park

There is so much I can relate to in this adventurous trio. Post 9/11 fear of flying, the vicissitudes of New York airports, Bryant Park, the importance of bloggers, enjoyment of family and travel...
and his aside on Tesla is most interesting. I wonder if he knows how much he resembles the genius of a different age?

It is clear from reading The Travels of Coturnix that here is a man very much in love with his family and friends. This is also clear in reading Erin's heart-warming account of the Charlotte Metro Heart Walk 2006 in which she is participating a raising funds. Please contribute what you can...and read about the reasons she is offering her time and services.

In fact, if any American Idols are out too can pony up to the bar. Kellie Pickler? Bucky Covington? Chris Daughtry? You out there?
I've heard that at least one of you made a recent visit, and that you were actually a pretty nice guy. And that ZhaK had pictures to prove it! Zhak does offer up A Fine Dish!

But apparently he is not the only one in the fine dish department.

Look what washed up in Charleston!
And this.
And this!

But there are different kinds of dishes, as Nicomachus knows only too well.
Here is a dish called Daryl.

And a future dish or two from another Darryl. This one with two "r's".

And if I wasn't hungry enough, Billy the Blogging Poet has to come along and pen a tour de force on what else? Food!
Fast Crimes In Fast Food

Scrutiny Hooligans wants to know why Rep. Taylor can't see the forest for the fees.
Maybe he needs a little nudging...

The Bull City Bully Pulpit share an act of love for his hometown, Durham. The diamond in the rough of the Triangle is actually the jewel in the crown. Any dissenting views?
I, for one, like Durham...and have recently found myself researching its English well as the English Chapel Hill -- a much smaller place.

Lots going on in Caroline this weekend.
But she doesn't mind. She's a taverner at heart.
Just like John. The composer. The whale.

Or was that Hovhaness?