Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Yorker Caption Contest Caption |updtd|

I've entered this contest a few times, last time several years ago, and am now inspired by Roger Ebert to take it up again.

My caption in the current contest:

"Rhymes with 'schmagon'."

And now that I've entered I see the contest is open only to people who reside the U.S. or Canada.

Behold my only entry in the New Yorker Caption Contest! (I'll probably keep entering, out of spite. I can declare myself winner every month. Who will care? Or notice?)

Update, April 2 (U.S.): I won!—just as I said I would say. There are three entries you can vote for - the first one, "Your tattoo escaped," is hilarious.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New Neil Young & Crazy Horse Album

The album is called "Americana," and includes the classics "Tom Dooley," "Gallows Pole," and "Clementine." Love it.

Last song: "God Save the Queen."

That's funny.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Because I Can...

I get awful tense thinking about things I've did.

This has been another episode of "Because I Can."

Saturday, March 17, 2012

One Woman's Forced Ultrasound Story

From Texas:
Instead, before I’d even known I was pregnant, a molecular flaw had determined that our son’s brain, spine and legs wouldn’t develop correctly. If he were to make it to term—something our doctor couldn’t guarantee—he’d need a lifetime of medical care. From the moment he was born, my doctor told us, our son would suffer greatly.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Contraception Grift

Imagine you are rottenly and terminally sick with cancer. And someone comes up with a cure - a 100% cure - for your particular kind of cancer. It's made from pig pancreases. (Not as far-fetched as some might initially think: until the 1980s insulin was made from the pancreases of pigs, and many medicines are still made from pigs.)

The medicine, like so many medicines, is very, very expensive. But you work for, and have health insurance through, a Jewish-owned company. And they refuse to cover the medicine that will save your life, because its against the Jewish religion to have anything to do with pigs - even though you're not Jewish.

That's an illustration of what's really going on in the U.S. contraception boondoggle, although the people behind it desperately do not want people to look at like this. They want you to think it's about the poor suffering Catholic Church, and how the government is oppressing them. It's not. It's about your rights as an employee, just for starters, and the Catholic Church's, and all religious organizations', duty to be fair and decent players when they engage in society outside their religion.

This is nothing less than political grifting for uninformed voters, with truly ugly potential side-effects. It is truly abhorrent behavior.

Update: From February, solid proof that this is complete and utter and dangerous bullshit.

post edited for clarity

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

RIP, Harry Stamper

I'm very sorry to say that my friend Tom Stamper's brother Harry Stamper died last Friday:
On Friday, March 9th, 2012 folksinger Harry Stamper passed away at his home in Charleston, Oregon. Harry Stanford Stamper, Jr. was born September 20th, 1944 to Harry and Viola Stamper in Roanoke, Virginia. Harry wrote prolifically on a range of subjects, although he was best known for his labor songs and his work with the ILWU, his union for 37 years. His song, “We Just Come to Work Here, We Don’t Come to Die” is considered a classic in labor and folk song circles. The song is featured on Classic Labor Songs from Smithsonian Folkways and on the album We Just Come to Work Here, We Don’t Come to Die: Songs of Health and Safety. Harry’s music has been recorded and performed by a wide array of musicians including Anne Feeney, Citizen’s Band and General Strike. Stamper’s lyrics were featured in Sing Out!
Tom introduced me to Harry many years ago, and I was especially honored to have him play an extended, hilarious and raucous set at my Open Mike in Ashland, in around 2005. Harry was a pro, a true pro, and an extremely funny, engaging, thoughtful, whip-quick, and just plain human human to be around. He was just a very special man, and it made my life better just to know him the little bit I did.

Sorry for the loss of your brother, Tom.

Here's an Oregon Public Broadcasting clip from 2001 on Harry. They did a nice job.

P.S. Found this, too. Very nice:
A musical tribute in Harry’s honor will be held at the ILWU Local 12 Hiring Hall, 2064 Sherman Ave., North Bend, Oregon on Saturday, March 17th at 2 p.m. The family wishes to make it a party that Harry would have liked to attend. Holly says, “We want to pack the house.” So come on prepared to play, sing and/or tell stories and celebrate a life well lived.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Moist. Invisible.

I had been up in the dream for some days in a row with Bob Dylan traveling the bowels of America, ingesting the weird hurt things there - Bob played me a song about this American trip later; he called it "Syria" - when Bob finally spoke in a somewhat understandable way, saying something like:

"Modern recording technology (he points to human, maybe dog silhouettes dancing in the distance) allows all the pieces to be put into one big broken piece again." He looks at me somewhat pleadingly: Did I see? The dancing silhouettes break into pieces.

Later, a doctor visits. "Would it help," he asks, looking directly at me, "if you were moist? Invisible?"