Wednesday, September 29, 2021
I am very fancy, and have been acknowledged as such by Super Lawyers, the Thompson-West ratings thing. Today I learned that I can buy a golf glove with the Super Lawyers logo on it. I'm hard pressed to think of something sillier.
To Freshgrass at MassMoca over the weekend. This is it's tenth year, and we've been to nine of these. It is always wonderful. Notables: A.J. Lee and Blue Summit, Amythyst Kiah on Friday night. The Ruta Beggers did a commissioned piece featuring their fiddle player, Sofia Chiarandini that was quite wonderful. I was surprised by Saturday's headliner. Trombone Shorty has been out there working hard, and I've passed on seeing him a few times. That was a mistake- he puts on a great show that is more than slightly informed by James Brown. Bela Fleck is working with an all-star band.
Perhaps the most notable part was that proof of vaccination was required, as were masks indoors. This had the effect of creating a community of trust that made the whole scene feel good.
Monday, September 13, 2021
Over the years I've been involved with a lot of arts not-for-profits, and one of the things I've learned to be careful about is mission creep. The organization has a thing that it does, but there is funding available for another thing that's sort of like the main thing, and all of a sudden the original thing isn't the main thing any more. Reading the education stories in this past week's NYT Magazine reminded me that mission creep is not unique to arts not-for profits, and is probably a good deal more common than I once thought.
The Times articles really amounted to saying one thing: the problems in the American educational system aren't the result of failed instructional programs, or bad teachers: you will find failing schools everywhere where there is poverty, and expecting the schools to address poverty is asking too much from them.
Something like this can be said about the crisis in American law enforcement. We expect more from cops than they can provide. Poverty breeds, inter alia, crime, and cops lack the training to address the conditions which breed poverty. If the only tool you have is a hammer....
I don't have a glib solution in mind, but I think we need to seriously reconsider the capacity of these institutions to address the problem of poverty and re-tool them so that they aren't called upon to do more than they are capable of
Friday, September 10, 2021
I try to avoid discussions about 9/11, mostly because such discussions are nearly always premised on falsehoods- much as the wars that followed were. One of the lies that is told is about Rudy Giuliani. This sets the record straight on that score.
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Worthwhile piece on William Faulkner.
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
For the past month or so there have been film crews all over the city making a movie about Mother Cabrini. I'm not sure who the audience for this might be, but as A points out everyone in Buffalo will go see it
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
I've been thinking about rock instrumentals for a while now. This list has some that are undeniable, and more that I've never heard of. Christgau's response is, I think, too jazz centered, which is cheating. Is any Miles Davis really rock and roll? I don't want to get too hung up on genre definitions- it's all music derived from primarily Black sources, after all. If we ignore boundaries, and just consider it all as the American Music Trinity I might start with Little Walter's "Juke, but where does that end? I don't know where to put "Green Onions", or "Soulful Strut". The Allman Brothers' Band's "Jessica" goes on my list. Is Jeff Beck's cover of "Goodby Pork Pie Hat" rock? Moreso than "Jack Johnson, I'd say.
Friday, July 23, 2021
Good piece on why the half marathon should be an Olympic event. I'm not sure how many halfs I've run, but it really is a terrific distance, and, I think, my favorite. A marathon is grueling, and at some point 5ks and 10ks got too fast for me, but 13.1 felt just right.