Monday, June 18, 2018

“A government handout video”

David Begnaud is a CBS News correspondent:

These images make my heart break. What kind of country are we living in?

My representative in Congress, John Shimkus (R, Illinois-15), is missing in action on the separation of parents and children at the U.S.–Mexico border. When I called his Washington office, an aide told me that he’s not aware of Shimkus having any position on this practice. To remain silent is to be complicit.

Fifty blog-description lines

I’ll quote from a 2014 post:

The first words of Van Dyke Parks’s song “Orange Crate Art” — “Orange crate art was a place to start” — long appeared on this blog as what Blogger calls a blog description line. In May 2010, I found myself unexpectedly caffeine-free and made a new line, keeping the quotation marks that had surrounded Van Dyke’s words. At some point I returned to being caffeinated, mildly so. And I kept changing the line (and saving to a text file), always choosing some word or words or element of punctuation from a post then on the front page. These lines now look like bits of found language, detached from contexts, amusing, banal, evocative, opaque. I like that.
Here are the latest fifty lines, still mildly caffeinated:
“My, that coffee smells good”
“Now is the time”
“I’ll take the Buick”
“We must be better than this”
“Unrestored”
“All by osmosis”
“It’s still Mueller Time”
“Proofread carfully”
“Early-twenty-first-century”
“We’re excited you’re here!”
“Don’t argue”
“Dig the goners”
“Loaded high and to the brim”
“A stranger to all the passers-by”
“Standard equipment”
“Fluke life”
“Where’s the pen and ink and good paper”
“‘Telegram!’”
“‘I flossed!’”
“Quilted steel”
“Evidence-based”
“Earl Grey, or Irish Breakfast?”
“‘Buddy, the wind is blowing’”
“Candy and snacks”
“A cheerful companion”
“Digitized”
“Enough to build a house”
“Mark the music”
“Many a tame sentence”
“‘Till spring?’”
“That was . . . that”
“Didn’t clap”
“Art, check. Sardines, check.”
“Ib”
“Does your person have facial hair OR glasses?”
“Hints, balloons, a line, the other shoe”
“Sound of thinking”
“Small rooms with doors”
“Start your sharpeners”
“Say, why not write this down”
“‘The inexorable sadness of pencils’? Phooey.”
“Unreasonable to me”
“Not employed in formal writing”
“I suspicioned you weren’t.”
“ICYMI”
“Notions and Sundries”
“Tangy”
“Every letter of every page”
“Always wonder”
“Green type”
Collect them all!
Two hundred blog-description lines : Fifty more : And fifty more : And yet another fifty

[Yes, I think there should be a hyphen in blog description line.]

Sunday, June 17, 2018

NPR, sheesh

From a story about wildfires in the American southwest: “visitors tip well to hear old-timey Western tunes like ‘The Entertainer.’”

I suspect that the reporter confused Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Sting (1973). Butch Cassidy was the western. Marvin Hamlisch adapted Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer” for The Sting. But even if Joplin’s composition had been part of Butch Cassidy, that wouldn’t make it a “Western” tune. No more than Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” is a “Western” tune. Category mistake.

Related reading
All OCA sheesh posts (Pinboard)

Music for Father’s Day

I’ve reached the end of the recorded alphabet. Another way of putting it: I’ve listened to my dad’s CDs, 400+ CDs. I started in October 2016, which means that I’ve averaged something like one CD every thirty-six hours or so: Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, Ivie Anderson, Louis Armstrong, Fred Astaire, Mildred Bailey, Count Basie, Tony Bennett, Art Blakey, Ruby Braff and Ellis Larkins, Clifford Brown, Dave Brubeck, Joe Bushkin, Hoagy Carmichael, Betty Carter, Ray Charles, Charlie Christian, Rosemary Clooney, Nat “King” Cole, John Coltrane, Bing Crosby, Miles Davis, Matt Dennis, Doris Day, Blossom Dearie, Paul Desmond, Tommy Dorsey, Billy Eckstine, Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, Gil Evans, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Erroll Garner, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Stéphane Grappelli, Bobby Hackett, Coleman Hawkins, Woody Herman, Earl Hines, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Dick Hyman, Harry James, Hank Jones, Louis Jordan, Stan Kenton, Barney Kessel, Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross, Peggy Lee, Mary Ann McCall, Susannah McCorkle, Dave McKenna, Ray McKinley, Marian McPartland, Johnny Mercer, Helen Merrill, Glenn Miller, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Thelonious Monk, Wes Montgomery, Gerry Mulligan, Red Norvo, Anita O’Day, Charlie Parker, Joe Pass, Art Pepper, Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell, Boyd Raeburn, Django Reinhardt, Marcus Roberts, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Rushing, Catherine Russell, the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, Artie Shaw, George Shearing, Horace Silver, Frank Sinatra, Paul Smith, Jeri Southern, Jo Stafford, Art Tatum, Claude Thornhill, Mel Tormé, McCoy Tyner, Sarah Vaughan, Joe Venuti, Fats Waller, Fran Warren, Dinah Washington, Ethel Waters, Ben Webster, Paul Weston, Margaret Whiting, Lee Wiley, Teddy Wilson, and, finally, Lester Young.

Here are two (unembeddable) Young recordings. I’ve had them for years on LP. For whatever reason, their CD release — Lester Young Trio, Verve (1994) — retains plenty of surface noise. Listen past the noise for a joyful modernism. Lester Young, tenor sax; Nat King Cole, piano; Buddy Rich, drums. Recorded March or April 1946 in Los Angeles:

“I Want to Be Happy” (Vincent Youmans–Irving Caesar)
“I’ve Found a New Baby” (Jack Palmer–Spencer Williams)

My dad’s LPs shaped so much of my interest in music. Or rather: not his LPs but his playing them for the very young me. No joke: I had baby-talk for “Miles Davis” and “Columbia.” Listening to my dad’s CDs has put me touch in musicians to whom I’ve given only cursory attention — especially Mildred Bailey, Blossom Dearie, and Artie Shaw. Thanks, Dad.

And Happy Father’s Day to fathers.

Also from my dad’s CDs
Mildred Bailey : Tony Bennett : Charlie Christian : Blossom Dearie : Duke Ellington : Coleman Hawkins : Billie Holiday : Louis Jordan : Charlie Parker : Jimmy Rushing : Artie Shaw : Frank Sinatra : Art Tatum : Mel Tormé : Sarah Vaughan : Joe Venuti : Fats Waller : Lee Wiley

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Parents and children and money

Writing in The Washington Post, James A. Coan, a clinical psychologist and neuroscientist, considers the long-term effect on children of separation from their parents and concludes that “the Trump administration is committing violence against children”:

At minimum, forced separation will cause these children extreme emotional distress. Most of us know this intuitively. Less intuitive, as Nim Tottenham of Columbia University told me, is that “the sadness is not the thing that really matters here. What matters is this is a trauma to the developing nervous system.”
And:
Charles Nelson, a pediatrics professor at Harvard Medical School, provided the comprehensive long-term view: As those children grow and develop into adults, the combination of chronic inflammation and behavioral inflexibility will impair their health in at least two ways — through direct weathering of their bodies and less effective problem-solving, impulse control and decision-making.

Just to make sure I’d heard him right, I said: “So psychological trauma is mediating a pathway to brain trauma, and that is affecting behavior down the road, which can affect health and longevity?” He replied: “Yeah, you got it.”
A recent New York Times editorial about the Trump administration’s barbaric policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S.–Mexico border listed five groups accepting contributions: Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, The Florence Project, Kids in Need of Defense, The Texas Civil Rights Project, and The Young Center. Hint, hint: tomorrow is Father’s Day. It’s a good time to give something.

From the Saturday Stumper

Aside from some tough stuff in the northeast corner, today’s Newsday Saturday Stumper, by Brad Wilber, is easy. Or E-Z. Pretty. Or very.

I was happy to see the clue for 15-Across, eight letters (a giveaway, at least for me): “‘Mother of the Blues’ who sang with Satchmo.” It might be more accurate to say that Louis Armstrong played in her band. For instance.

Another giveaway, 43-Down, seven letters: “Find rain in Iran, e.g.”

And a trickier clue, 67-Across, eight letters: “Setting for many mass movements.” WORKSITE? No. And no spoilers. The answers are in the comments.

Bloomsday 2018

From James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922), a passage from my favorite episode of the novel, “Ithaca,” which takes the form of a catechism. What Leopold Bloom thinks about when he goes to sleep:



Many years ago I wrote a note in the margin for “one sole unique advertisement”: “in a sense he’s a poet, an Imagist.” Well, maybe. And another for “not exceeding,” &c.: “not Ulysses!” True that.

The word of the day from the Oxford English Dictionary today is Bloomsday: “‘The 16th of June 1904. Also: the 16th of June of any year, on which celebrations take place, esp. in Ireland, to mark the anniversary of the events in Joyce’s Ulysses.”

Other Bloomsday posts
2007 (The first page)
2008 (“Love’s Old Sweet Song”)
2009 (Marilyn Monroe reading Ulysses)
2010 (Leopold Bloom, “water lover”)
2011 (“[T]he creature cocoa”)
2012 (Plumtree’s Potted Meat)
2013, 2013 (Bloom and fatherhood)
2014 (Bloom, Stephen, their respective ages)
2015 (Stephen and company, very drunk)
2016 (“I dont like books with a Molly in them”)
2017 (Bloom and Stephen, “like and unlike reactions to experience”)

Friday, June 15, 2018

An editorial

A New York Times editorial: “Seizing Children From Parents at the Border Is Immoral. Here’s What We Can Do About It.” Have you called your representatives in Congress yet?

And now, just minutes ago: “Trump says he would oppose immigration bill cobbled together by House GOP, dealing a blow to leaders rallying support for it” (The Washington Post).

[There is such a thing as overriding a veto.]

Mac hardware :(

Mac developer Quentin Carnicelli writes about the sad state of Mac hardware:

It’s very difficult to recommend much from the current crop of Macs to customers, and that’s deeply worrisome to us, as a Mac-based software company. For our own internal needs, we’ve wound up purchasing used hardware for testing, rather than opting to compromise heavily on a new machine. That isn’t good for Apple, nor is it what we want. . . .

Apple needs to publicly show their commitment to the full Macintosh hardware line, and they need to do it now. As a long (long) time Mac OS developer, one hesitates to bite the hand that feeds. At a certain point, however, it seems there won’t even be anything left worth biting.
My late-2011 MacBook Pro won’t be able to use the upcoming macOS 10.14. I’d like to buy a new, faster machine, but one try at the MBP’s redesigned keyboard put me off. And that was before I knew about keyboard failures. So for now, I’ll be holding out with Roy Earle.

One quick way to make an older machine faster online: use Cloudflare’s DNS. Bam!

“Germania Round the Clock”


Alfred Döblin, Berlin Alexanderplatz. 1929. Trans. Michael Hoffman (New York: New York Review Books, 2018).

Related reading
All OCA Döblin posts (Pinboard)