Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Goodbye, Doc.

Another great American music pioneer has died in 2012.  "Traditional Plus" artist Doc Watson, a blind virtuoso from North Carolina who played a variety of genres on both electric and acoustic guitar before achieving fame in the country-folk field in the 1960s, passed away yesterday at the age of 89.

He is reunited with his son Merle, who died in a farm accident in 1985.  Here they are performing Cole Porter's Summertime. Doc doesn't show off his own picking skills on this one, but his soulful singing talent really shines.

Monday, May 28, 2012

I thought Showtime Put "The Borgias" on Hiatus This Weekend...

I didn't bother to tape The Borgias while I was out of town because I thought they were skipping the holiday weekend. Now, when I get back home (and to my computer), I see snippets online about the Pope's Butler being thrown in prison in the Vatican for stealing documents from his desk, exposing corruption in the Vatican, and suspicions that a rogue Cardinal is behind it all.

It sounds like I missed an episode...oh, wait.  That's a news story that broke over the weekend about the latest developments in the 2012 Vatileaks scandal.  The references to a papal butler and a detention facility inside the Vatican made me think they couldn't possibly be talking about this century.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Karl Armstrong Has 99 Problems

The Sterling Hall bomber was busted for marijuana trafficking after Illinois State Troopers, during a routine traffic stop, found 800 grand that happened to smell like pot hidden under the floor of his RV.

A search of his Town of Madison trailer home did not reveal any drugs, but police seized computers and other records.

This raises several questions:

1. Karl Armstrong has been living in a trailer in the Town of Madison?  Really?  There goes the neighborhood.

2. There's still a Town of Madison?  I thought the City of Madison and Fitchburg divided it between them.

3. Chicago drug dealers employ 65-year-old men who drive RVs as drug-runners?  Are they marketing to aging Baby Boomers?

4. How long before this inspires a Hollywood comedy?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Farewell to Maurice Sendak

He was a bit of a misanthrope, but a charming and talented misanthrope. He certainly didn't suffer fools gladly. This delightful interview appeared earlier this year on The Colbert Report.
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Grim Colberty Tales with Maurice Sendak Pt. 1
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive
And here is part 2:
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Grim Colberty Tales with Maurice Sendak Pt. 2
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Saturday, May 5, 2012


It was a somber Star Wars Day this year, as Adam Yauch, better known as Beastie Boy MCA, succumbed to cancer at age 47. He had been too ill to attend the group's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

He will be greatly missed.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Union-Busting Doge of Venelazzo Backs Walker

Campaign finance reports show that, between January 18 and April 23 of this year, Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson gave Scott Walker's campaign a quarter of a million dollars.

Of course, that's chump change compared to the $20 million he threw away on the quixotic Newt Gingrich presidential campaign.

It's not surprising that Adelson would be attracted to Walker's politics.  He has long been an adversary of labor unions.  Unlike the Las Vegas strip casinos owned by Caesar's Entertainment and MGM Resorts International, the Venetian and Palazzo are non-union properties.  Adelson also likes doing business with the authoritarian, free-speech-hating governments of China and Singapore.  He's currently lobbying the Spanish government to give him big tax concessions and exceptions to labor laws in exchange for building a big casino-resort (that would mostly employ foreign guest-workers). In a country with a 23% unemployment rate, his economic development promises may be tempting, despite the fact that he will privatize all the profits and socialize all the risk.

No wonder he likes Scott Walker.