Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Blame Game

Was Bret Michaels on the blood thinner Coumadin? He probably was, since it is routinely prescribed after surgery. Doctors say his appendectomy was not related to the stroke, but if he was taking Coumadin, that would explain why he hemorrhaged less than two weeks after the operation.

Count on the medical establishment to bury this all-too-common, albeit disastrous medical error and shift the attention to a previous head injury, his diabetes, or his "lifestyle".

Monday, April 26, 2010


Asheville, North Carolina (CNN)

President Obama prayed Sunday with the Rev. Billy Graham at Graham's mountaintop home before leaving North Carolina to attend the memorial service for 29 West Virginia coal miners killed in a recent explosion.

Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Graham at his family home, according to Graham spokesman Larry Ross. He is the 12th president, dating back to Harry Truman, to meet with the so-called "pastor to the presidents."

"I am pleased to have had President Obama in my home this afternoon," Graham said in a statement, adding that Obama sought the meeting while on vacation in Asheville for the weekend. "My son Franklin and I enjoyed a brief visit with the president, followed by a time of prayer together."


Two notorious religious bigots, father and son, praying with Obama. That's pathetic -- and more than a little bit creepy. Personally, I prefer Jeremiah Wright.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Vocation, Vocation, Vocation

Gene Lees, 82; Jazz Writer, Biographer, Critic, Lyricist

by Matt Schudel Washington Post, April 24, 2010

Gene Lees, a multitalented writer who left a lasting mark on jazz as a biographer, opinionated critic and graceful song lyricist, died April 22 at his home in Ojai, Calif., after a stroke. He was 82.


"Graceful" wouldn't be the word I'd choose to describe Lees' lyrics. "Clunky", "maudlin", and "trite" all work for me. Good thing he was a jazz journalist, biographer and critic. If he'd been a gym teacher or a bus driver, he wouldn't have had the opportunity to collaborate with the likes of Bill Evans and Tom Jobim.

If he were not such an important and influential member of the jazz community, would any of his lyrics ever have seen the light of day?
This Side of Plagiarism?

From Jazz Corner (Facebook)

Previews going on now for "This Side of Paradise: A New Musical about Zelda and F. Scott Fitgerald with music and lyrics by Nancy Harrow.

Click on http://www.paradisethemusical.com/ and a song begins to play. The first line of the lyric is, "For ev'ry Gatsby, there's a Daisy". The melody is from Harold Arlen and Leo Robin classic, "For Ev'ry Man There's a Woman", the only difference being one extra note that Harrow added to accomodate the extra syllable in the word "Gatsby".

For evr'y man there's a woman, for ev'ry Gatsby a Daisy, and for ev'ry song, a songwriter who, intentionally or not, rips it off.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

All Circuits Are Busy

From Livescience.com

Why We Can't Do 3 Things at Once

For those who find it tough to juggle more than a couple things at once, don't despair. The brain is set up to manage two tasks, but not more, a new study suggests. That's because, when faced with two tasks, a part of the brain known as the medial prefrontal cortex (MFC) divides so that half of the region focuses on one task and the other half on the other task. This division of labor allows a person to keep track of two tasks pretty readily, but if you throw in a third, things get a bit muddled.

"What really the results show is that we can readily divide tasking. We can cook, and at the same time talk on the phone, and switch back and forth between these two activities," said study researcher Etienne Koechlin of the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France. "However, we cannot multitask with more than two tasks."

The results will be published this week in the journal Science.


Yahoo! News ran the following headline: "Study suggests humans can't do more than 3 things at once".

Yup. Three's the limit. Especially if one of those things involves reading, thinking or writing.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Larry King Seeks 8th Divorce

Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- CNN talk show host Larry King and his wife, Shawn King, each filed for divorce Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Both cited "irreconcilable differences" in their filings.


Age and height?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fun With Koans

Greek Buddhists believe
that a kudo is the sound
of one hand clapping.

But they can't say that
in a haiku, because it's
Three's A Crowd

How many men over 6'6'' can hide in Oprah's closet at the same time? How many if she's in there with them?

Monday, April 12, 2010

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

I removed three contrarian comments from an increasingly racist and hate-filled anti-immigration thread on Facebook.

I removed them because I didn't want to be part of the discussion. I then became the subject of the discussion, and it got even uglier.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Truth in Labeling

Joseph Ratzinger picked the wrong papal name for himself. A more fitting name than Benedict XVI would be Maledict I.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

For Christopher

A sonnet isn't very hard to write
If all you try to do is make it rhyme
But if you want the rhythm to be tight
The fucker's gonna take a lot of time
The tricky part is DUM dee DUM dee DUM
Not even Shakespeare's sonnets always scan
Not all of them are perfect -- only some
And still we say that Shakespeare is "The Man"
Because it's not enough to follow rules
And DUM dee DUM does not a sonnet make
And it is safe to say that only fools
Would say to break the rules is a mistake
A sonnet cannot be a work of art
Unless, like yours, it's written from the heart

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Happy Birthday, Maya Angelou!

Tomorrow is Maya Angelou's eighty-second birthday. I wrote a tribute to her a few years ago, which I am re-posting in her honor. My poem is a bit dated, but then again, so is hers.

Ain't That Bad? (after Maya Angelou's poem of the same name)

Dancin' the funky chicken
Eatin' ribs and tips
Diggin' all the latest sounds
Drinkin' gin in sips
Dancin' the Beer Barrel Polka
Eatin' Kielbasa and kraut
Diggin' that funky accordian
Lettin' it all hang out
Puttin' down that do-rag
Tighten' up my 'fro
Wrappin' up in Blackness
Don't I shine and glow?
Puttin' down that hairnet
Loosenin' my bun
Wavin' my babushka
Ain't I havin' fun?
Hearin' Stevie Wonder
Cookin' beans and rice
Goin' to the opera
Checkin' out Leontyne Price
Hearin' Frankie Yankovic
Fixin' some knishes
List'nin' to Liberace
While I dry the dishes
Get down, Jesse Jackson
Dance on, Albert Ailey
Talk, Miss Barbara Jordan
Groove, Miss Pearlie Bailey
Get down, Lech Walesa
Z. Brzezinski, too!
Write, Joseph Conrad
(CONRAD? Heck, who knew?)
Now ain't they bad?
An' ain't they Black?
An' ain't they Black?
An' ain't they bad?
An' ain't they Black?
An' ain't they fine?
Now ain't they bad?
An' ain't they Polish?
An' ain't they Polish?
An' ain't they bad?
And ain't they bad?
An' ain't they Polish?
An' ain't they fine?
Black like the hour of the night
When your love turns and wriggles close to your side
Black as the earth which has given birth
To nations, and when all else is gone will abide.
Pink like the first blush of morning
When the sun comes up and turns darkness into day
Pink like a cervix when it's giving birth
And a layette when a baby girl is on the way.
Arthur Ashe on the tennis court
Mohammed Ali in the ring
Andrew Young and Andrew Watts
Black men doing their thing
Andrew Golata in the ring
The Pope in the Vatican Court
Roman Polanski and Rubenstein
Pink men of every sort
Dressing in purples and pinks and greens
Exotic as rum and Cokes
Living our lives with flash and style
Ain't we colorful folks?
Dressing in navy and white and beige
Knockin' back vodka mash
Livin' our lives with zest and grace
Ain't we got panache?
Now ain't we bad?
And ain't we Black?
An' ain't we Black?
An' ain't we bad?
An' ain't we bad?
An' aint we Black?
An' ain't we fine?
Now ain't we bad?
An' ain't we Polish?
An' ain't we Polish?
An' ain't we bad?
An' ain't we bad?
An' ain't we Polish?
An' ain't we fine?
Monotheism for Dummies

The Big Enchilada

God is male. He’s old, he's white.
His beard is long, his asshole’s tight.

He watches everything you do.
And then he throws The Book at you.

Friday, April 02, 2010

No Teacher Left Behind

An angry listener called in to New Jersey 101.9 this morning to complain about the previous caller.

She identified herself as a teacher and said, "If he thinks teachers have it so easy, and teaching is such a great job, he should have went into teaching."


Thursday, April 01, 2010

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right

Robin Meade, the perky morning news anchor at HLN, reported today that a priest in New Mexico had written a letter to Pope Paul VI in 1963, urging him to "defraud repeat (sexual) offenders".

What the frock?