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This is an Open Thread
Feb 10 2012
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This is an Open Thread
Feb 10 2012
First, Salvador Dali. Then, Willard. It’s the anagrams that keep on giving. And oh what strange things, what strange associations the mind makes.
Your Bloguero is informed that the surrealist leader André Breton coined the anagram “Avida Dollars” for Salvador Dalí, to tarnish his reputation by the implication of commercialism. Very clever. And intentional. But when your last name is Romney, and the letters that spell “money” are obvious and comprise 5/6ths of your family name, you have a big problem. Especially when the US economy is in the gutter, and you’re running for president in 2012, and you want to claim that you can end the depression. And it escapes no one that you have tons and tons of money.
As if that weren’t enough, the problem is exacerbated by the design geniuses who created Willard’s logo. Look at these awful examples:
They made the “R” essentially unreadable by turning it into a flag-thing, leaving you, dear reader, with a 5-letter scramble that can only spell one thing, “money.” Just look at it. Just think about it. Look at this terrible logo. Ask yourself, “What’s the word that comes to mind.” You don’t think, “Oh, he’s the guy to fix the economy.” Nope. You think, “Money. He has tons of money. He’s really, really, really rich.”
This isn’t rocket science. When you think about Romney, because you see his name somewhere, it’s unavoidable. The mind is in control. You have to associate his name and logo with the word “money,” of which Willard has far more than anyone else.
This inevitably feeds the meme that he’s a very, very rich guy and that he’s, therefore, totally protected and completely isolated and thoroughly out of touch with the middle class, the poor, and probably even a lot of people who think of themselves as rich, just not as rich as he is.
How can he ameliorate this? Certainly not by making speeches about the glories of capitalism. Or talking about his success in plundering companies. No. Goodness. The reminder of all of these unfortunate associations dominates his name. Look. Look at his name. You see it. It’s not his fault. He didn’t make up the name. It’s not a nom de guerre. Would that it was. No. It’s right there in his birth name. He has it. His father has it. His kids have it. R+money.
And unfortunately, once you focus on these letters, just one time, dear reader, you cannot miss it. Again. You cannot forget it. You cannot look at his name and not think, “Oh, money. There’s his money again. It’s R+money.” Whenever you see his logo, you automatically think, “Oh, money. R+money.” And that involuntarily and automatically associates with the thought “out of touch.” With privilege. With not being like your Bloguero and you. With being rich and having the world handed to him on a sterling silver platter by a liveried butler. With Richie Rich.
His handlers and Faux News try to shield him from the devastating anagram by referring to him solely as “Mitt,” a monicker (like Kimberly and Muffy) that reeks of the upper class, prep schools in Connecticut, being a legacy (and not the sharpest tool in the shed) in the Ivy League, and the kind of privilege and seashore homes and yachts and snootiness that you can imagine. He’s part of the people that Jay Gatsby aspired but was unable to become because of the source of his funds. You can fill out the entire picture.
But look, it gets worse. “Mitt” isn’t really his first name. His first name is really “Willard”, and that name, which your Bloguero and Al Sharpton prefer, reminds of just one thing, rats.
Yes, your Bloguero can hear you complaining. “Come on, Bloguero. This ‘analysis’ if that’s what it is, is too far fetched for us. We don’t believe in this kind of semiotics.” Hah. Don’t be skeptical. And don’t be silly. This is a problem as old as Shakespeare:
‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.
Oh, be some other name indeed. Don’t like the Bard as a source? Fine. How about Marshall McLuhan instead, “Diaper backward spells repaid. Think about it.”
Before its too late, and it may already be just that, Willard needs a logo that manages to obscure this name problem. Something simple that makes all the letters the same size and font. But look. Willard’s been running for president for an eternity, and, if you didn’t understand this already, he just doesn’t get it.
This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest of essays in The Dream Antilles. Usually it appears on Friday. Sometimes, like now, it’s something else entirely. To see what essays were in The Dream Antilles you have to visit the Dream Antilles.
Feb 10 2012
Still think that Electoral Politics mean a damned thing?
The time to Occupy is now more than ever. It is far past time to remove the sham of Freedom and have a People’s Revolution – perhaps a Jeffersonian Revolution ala a Bolivarian one.
Then we have poor misguided Chris Hedges wringing his hands so hard he broke his Rosary over a broken window while applauding Greek Riots. Puhhhlleeeez.
Plenty to rant about tonight, my friends. I’m ready to roll!
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Feb 10 2012
This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
February 10 is the 41st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 324 days remaining until the end of the year (325 in leap years).
On this day in 1937, Roberta Flack is born in Black Mountain, North Carolina, and was raised in Arlington, Virginia.
During her early teens, Flack so excelled at classical piano that Howard University awarded her a full music scholarship. She entered Howard University at the age of 15, making her one of the youngest students ever to enroll there. She eventually changed her major from piano to voice, and became an assistant conductor of the university choir. Her direction of a production of Aida received a standing ovation from the Howard University faculty. Flack is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority and was made an honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma by the Eta Delta Chapter at Howard University for her outstanding work in promoting music education.
Flack became the first African-American student teacher at an all-Caucasian school near Chevy Chase, Maryland. She graduated from Howard University at 19 and began graduate studies in music, but the sudden death of her father forced her to take a job teaching music and English for $2800 a year in Farmville, North Carolina.
Flack then taught school for some years in Washington, DC at Browne Junior High and Rabaut Junior High. She also taught private piano lessons out of her home on Euclid St. NW. During this period, her music career began to take shape on evenings and weekends in Washington, D.C. area night spots. At the Tivoli Club, she accompanied opera singers at the piano. During intermissions, she would sing blues, folk, and pop standards in a back room, accompanying herself on the piano. Later, she performed several nights a week at the 1520 Club, again providing her own piano accompaniment. Around this time, her voice teacher, Frederick “Wilkie” Wilkerson, told her that he saw a brighter future for her in pop music than in the classics. She modified her repertoire accordingly and her reputation spread. Subsequently, a Capitol Hill night club called Mr. Henry’s built a performance area especially for her.
When Flack did a benefit concert for the Inner City Ghetto Children’s Library Fund, Les McCann happened to be in the audience. He later said on the liner notes of what would be her first album “First Take” noted below, “Her voice touched, tapped, trapped, and kicked every emotion I’ve ever known. I laughed, cried, and screamed for more…she alone had the voice.” Very quickly, he arranged an audition for her with Atlantic Records, during which she played 42 songs in 3 hours for producer Joel Dorn. In November 1968, she recorded 39 song demos in less than 10 hours. Three months later, Atlantic reportedly recorded Roberta’s debut album, First Take, in a mere 10 hours. Flack later spoke of those studio sessions as a “very naive and beautiful approach…I was comfortable with the music because I had worked on all these songs for all the years I had worked at Mr. Henry’s.”
Flack’s version of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” hit number seventy-six on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972.
Flack’s Atlantic recordings did not sell particularly well, until Clint Eastwood chose a song from First Take, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”, for the sound track of his directorial debut Play Misty for Me; it became the biggest hit of the year for 1972 – spending six consecutive weeks at #1 and earning Flack a million-selling gold disc. The First Take album also went to #1 and eventually sold 1.9 million copies in the United States. Eastwood, who paid $2,000 for the use of the song in the film, has remained an admirer and friend of Flack’s ever since. It was awarded the Grammy Award for Record Of The Year in 1973. In 1983, she recorded the end music to the Dirty Harry film Sudden Impact at Eastwood’s request.
Flack soon began recording regularly with Donny Hathaway, scoring hits such as the Grammy-winning “Where Is the Love” (1972) and later “The Closer I Get to You” (1978) – both million-selling gold singles. On her own, Flack scored her second #1 hit, “Killing Me Softly with His Song” written for Lori Lieberman in 1973. It was awarded both Record Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female at the 1974 Grammy Awards. Its parent album was Flack’s biggest-selling disc, eventually earning Double Platinum certification.
In 1999, a star with Flack’s name was placed on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. That same year, she gave a concert tour in South Africa, to which the final performance was attended by President Nelson Mandela.
In 2010, she appeared on the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, singing a duet of “Where Is The Love” with Maxwell.
Flack is also a spokesperson for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; her appearance in commercials for the ASPCA featured The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.
Feb 10 2012
Obama’s Guiding Principle: Leave No One Accountable
By: Scarecrow, Firedog Lake
Thursday February 9, 2012 8:35 am
(W)hatever you thought or feared was going on in America, and whoever you believed had caused the collapse of America’s economy, caused millions to lose their jobs, their homes and their retirements and continued to loot the country, it’s time to look forward. Because everyone who matters – and that’s not you – now agrees, they say, to function in the public interest, even though it’s a bald face lie, since nothing has changed and the looters and their complicit overseers are still in charge.
Obama’s people have performed this function for America’s looters over and over again. They did it for Wall Street, the banks, the rich tax evaders, the insurance companies, the oil companies, the gas companies, the coal companies, the CIA, the DoD, and numerous torturers and their legal/policy enablers and associated war criminals in the previous administration.
Consistent with this strategy, Obama’s team must silence, neutralize or punish anyone who protests or blows the whistle on the massive criminality and corruption involved. It must also emasculate the left and what’s left of the liberal wing of the Dem Party, using the argument that the Administration is not nearly as awful as the other Party’s people, who openly glorify looting and killing and vilifying the victims.
But of course, when we were ruled by the latter, everyone with any humanity was repulsed by the open looting and killing and indifference and was willing to say so. When the Administration sanctions it, however, we are supposed to bite out tongues, because it could be worse.
Well, it’s worse, and it’s more insidious and corrupting of our souls than where we were four years ago. It is evil.
Feb 10 2012
Apparently, Cachaito Lopez is no longer with us. From wiki:
Born in Havana on February 2, 1933, Orlando “Cachaíto” López first got actively involved in music when he was only nine years old. By the age of eleven he was involved with an orchestra with his aunt. His early desire was to play the violin, but his Grandfather Pedro insisted he take up the double bass, as there had been a long tradition of bassists in the López family – legend has it that there are over 30 bassists in its lineage; a trend that they did not want stopped.
About a decade ago, I was bompin’ ’round Jack London Square on a brisk, sunny day, a weekday, for some reason, and I wandered into some craft-store/kite shop, where some short-ish Hispanic gentleman was attempting to get some query across to the clerk en Espanol. My “Landscaping Spanish” from days of old was horrendous, but I managed to figure out that he was looking for “hand-shirts,” or in other words, “gloves.”
His name was Orlando “Cachaito” Lopez, and he was the bassist for the Buena Vista Social Club. He was front-lining a gig at Yoshi’s that night, and wanted to protect his hand-parts from the frisky, brisky Bay.
Feb 10 2012
As we do on most days, Bobby the dog and I walk through Cronesteyn Park. Today it was rather late, around 5ish. But it doesn’t get dark now til after 6pm.
I thought we’d only do half the park and turn around, but it’s hard to stop once you’re there. So we crossed the Rijn-Schiekanaal via the Lammebrug and ended up exiting on the west-north-west side of the park. We walked over the train tracks and onto the the Kanaalbrug.
There was a blind lady on the bridge, using her long pole and other senses to make her way. She was going slowly and seemed a bit tense, a little tentative. So I walked up beside her, saying HELLO, HOW ARE YOU?
Then I realized: she’s not deaf, you idiot! I resumed in at a normal volume: How is everything? Okay? Hey, would you like a hand?
She didn’t hesitate and slipped her arm through mine. She seemed to relax and told me it was okay.
Feb 10 2012
Stuff like this should be just as illegal as kid porn.
Today “conservative” Boston Talk radio 96.9 said something about a bill allowing insurance companies to drop birth control. Thought all day about it wondering how many of Sith Lords participated in that marketing focus group. The whole concept sent me into this rage about……..
Do they think all of us are as dumb as a box of rocks.
Is it to pacify the southern Jesus freaks who do have guns.
What is their angle in irritating women everywhere.