Friday, December 04, 2015

The War On Christmas

E.: MMMMMAAAAARRRRCCCC! Do Baptists believe in Christmas?

M.: Hmmm? Yeah, I think so. How come?

E.: I send a Christmas card every year to my friends in Alabama, but they never send one back.

M.: They're elderly, right?

E.: Yes, now they are. They didn't used to be.

M.: I bet they just forgot.

Watching Pedestrians

Maybe because I'm feeling sick, I'm particularly struck watching pedestrians on the street. Such an unusual assortment today! About a quarter appear homeless.

A fellow eyes a squashed cigarette butt on the sidewalk, and picks it up, presumably for reuse. Another fellow leaves his cart on the sidewalk and crosses the street with a cup onto private property, in order to pour water from a tap, which he drinks and casts the excess away. Someone else asks money from an uninterested pedestrian, gets turned down, then aimlessly pokes in a garbage can before sitting at a bus stop. A frail-looking elderly woman parks her cart for a minute in order to eat from a Styrofoam container.

And then there's a woman balancing precariously on a bicycle while stopped waiting to cross the street. A courteous driver stops to allow her passage, but there's a second lane to worry about, so she shouts: "What are you doing? Fuckin' go!" A man speaking a foreign language into a cell phone. A slow-mo bicyclist.

The Diva's Song From "The Fifth Element"

Anything 'Fifth Element' I love!:

'Extinct' Squash

In 2008, on a dig in the First Nation’s Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin, archaeologists made a small but stunning discovery: a tiny clay pot.

Though it might not have seemed very impressive at first glimpse, this little piece of pottery was determined to be about 800 years old.

And inside that pot? ... [I]t’s actually brought an extinct species of squash that was presumed to be lost forever.

Laure Courtellemont Will Be Here Next Friday!

Such control! (Especially at 0:40 and 1:25). Coming to Sacramento on Dec. 11th!

Anonymous Anonymous

From The New Yorker.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Live TV From San Bernardino

Live TV from San Bernardino is pretty exciting right now. Active manhunt in a residential area.

Regarding Today's Gun Madness

Regarding active shooters with AK-47's and body armor, let's review Ben Carson, once again:

“Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say, Hey, guys, everybody attack him, he may shoot me, but he can’t get us all. [Laughs.]”
So, is there a problem, or are county workers and the developmentally-disabled just slow?

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Eccentric Behavior

I was explaining to my co-workers about the eccentric behavior I've seen on the street lately. One man shouted and waved at a bus stopped at the traffic light, not in order to flag the bus down, but so the bus driver could watch him shadow box. On Thanksgiving, I watched an elderly man with headphones and a faded red-white-and-blue pom pom park his bicycle at the intersection of E. Roseville Parkway and Douglas Blvd. in Roseville in order to dance at the corner.

My co-workers thought this amusing. They wondered, however: Why was I using the construct 'a man'? Why not just own up to my conduct?

Dark Side of the Moon

The moon passed between Nasa's Deep Space Climate Observatory and the Earth, allowing the satellite to capture this rare image of the moon's far side in full sunlight. We normally don't see this side of the moon. As the moon is tidally locked to the earth and doesn't rotate, we only ever see the one face from the earth. Awesome shot!

The Pedant's Revolt

Albuquerque Really Loves Holly Holm

Holly Holm Month. Wow! And a parade! Albuquerque loves warrior women! Call in Katniss Everdeen, set up The Pit as an arena, call Lynette to referee, and have our own Hunger Games:
Following the fight, Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry said the city would plan a celebration to honor the 34-year-old Holm.

Albuquerque city councilors then declared November “Holly Holm Month.”

On Monday, plans were announced for the parade and celebration to honor Holm.

Malign Hesitation

Malign hesitation is a good term. The authorities in Colorado Springs simply don't know how to spin the obvious in ways that don't make the city look bad. News abhors a vacuum, so people like Ted Cruz make up cover stories:
Caution in the light of factual uncertainty is almost always a laudable stance for journalists and public officials. But from the beginning of yesterday's attack on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs there's been an odd reluctance to state what appears to be obvious: that the attacker, now identified as 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear, was motivated by extremist anti-abortion politics.

Sneaky Dog

Tonight on our walk, Bella and I went west along X Street, adjacent to the W-X Freeway segment of Highway 50. I had forgotten about the large number of homeless people who camp out under the W-X freeway, and some of them were active.

Crossing 21st Street, about 1:20 a.m., I could see two homeless men and a dog on a parallel path to ours, on Y Street, just north of Broadway, so I decided not to turn south on 21st, but choose maybe 20th or 19th instead, but before we could turn, I could hear the two panicked voices of the men, running and shouting angrily. Their dog had seen Bella in the distance, so jumped ahead, and was moving swiftly north on 20th to blindside her with an attack. The homeless guys were overreacting; I was underreacting. They got their dog under control and apologized profusely. I chuckled at the drama and we went our separate ways.

"Resilience" On Stage This Weekend!

Jacob writes:
Hey Marc, I wanted to Invite you to my show, "Resilience." Its this weekend and I would love your support. It's going to be a beautiful night of contemporary dance. Plus, all proceeds benefit the UC Davis Cancer Center.

Jacob's show promises to be wonderful (especially in light of his recent triumph at the McCallum Theatre's Choreography Festival)!

Colder Than Barrow

Weird winter, so far. It's cold enough here, but not wet enough:
According to the National Weather Service, it was actually colder in Alturas, Calif., the seat of Modoc County in the far northeastern corner California, than it was in Barrow, Alaska, which lies above the Arctic Circle and is the northernmost city in the United States. Alturas registered minus-3 degrees, while Barrow recorded 3 degrees above zero. It was even colder in Alturas on Saturday -- minus-5, breaking a record set in 1931 -- and that was warmer than one spot in California, in the Lassen National Forest east of Redding, which checked in at minus-11.

Micro-Entrepreneurship Fundraiser

Chandra sends news of her annual fundraiser benefitting youth in Los Angeles:
Hey Marc! Good morning I am not sure how much you know about my non-profit but I help young adults start their own businesses. It is like an incubator program but much more structured with real results! I have been working for free since January and we are barely making it through until our next fundraiser, which is in February. ANYWAY, we have a Giving Tuesday fundraiser going on (link at the bottom) right now and our humble goal is 1k. If you are unable to donate anything perhaps you can share it and tag a few who you think might be interested in helping? We truly are raising up youth who never knew they could be business owners. smile emoticon I appreciate any support you can give ! BRBA forever! lol
Oh, it's just for today!
The CITY is anxiously preparing for the start of our unique, results-driven micro-entrepreneurship program to begin in Spring 2016 and need a little help getting us through the winter with our costs that never go away! On May 31st our young entrepreneurs completed the business enterprise program and presented their newly legally formed and operational businesses to a panel of local executives and entrepreneurs. 80% of our students didn't have a name, a logo nor ANY business training before The CITY. As they presented to the panel it became clear the 46 weeks of structured programming paid off.... each had formed their own business. One was even ready to open his own store front location less than 30 days after program completion. We invite you to be a part of the true life-changing experience for the next entrepreneurial class with your donation teaching not only self sustainability and business skills, but life long confidence to take control of their futures and to be contributors to the building of the inner city.

Monday, November 30, 2015

"The Debut" Performance - 11/29/15 - Starlite Lounge

Great way to kill it guy's!!!!!Pepper Von

Posted by Andres Barreto on Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Fascist Temptation

“Trump is a fascist. And that’s not a term I use loosely or often. But he’s earned it,” Max Boot, a military historian and foreign policy advisor to Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio, posted on Twitter.

“Forced federal registration of US citizens, based on religious identity, is fascism. Period,” added John Noonan, a national security advisor to former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

I'm impressed that Max Boot can clearly see that Trump is a fascist. Boot was one of the chief neocons of the 90's, and a huge enthusiast for G.W. Bush. I can't imagine why he supports Rubio now, except that, in the land of the blind, a one-eyed man (like Boot) is King.

Here are some eloquent thoughts by Sacramentan Jerry Kennedy:
Remember that scene at the end of Dear White People? The one where they're trying to figure out who sent out the invitation to the frat's blackface party and Sam is the likely suspect but she denies it and spins it back on the dean and says something along the lines of "The real problem isn't who sent the invitation out...the real problem is all the people who got the invitation and showed up to the party anyway." I kinda feel that way about Republicans trying to blame Donald Trump for what's happening in their party. Trump isn't the embarrassment here; the embarrassment is that when Trump showed up, the casual racism and radicalism that's been spreading like a silent cancer in your party showed up at his rallies, loud and proud, and you can't pretend it's not there anymore. You created this monster and now, like the original Victor Frankenstein, you get to sit back, powerless, and watch your creation destroy everything you claim to love and hold dear. I hope you're enjoying the show as much as I am.
Umberto Eco's checklist:
"The Cult of Tradition", combining cultural syncretism with a rejection of modernism.

"The Cult of Action for Action's Sake", which dictates that action is of value in itself, and should be taken without intellectual reflection. This, says Eco, is connected with anti-intellectualism and irrationalism, and often manifests in attacks on modern culture and science.

"Disagreement Is Treason" - fascism devalues intellectual discourse and critical reasoning as barriers to action.

"Fear of Difference", which fascism seeks to exploit and exacerbate, often in the form of racism or an appeal against foreigners and immigrants.

"Appeal to a Frustrated Middle Class", fearing economic pressure from the demands and aspirations of lower social groups.

"Obsession with a Plot" and the hyping-up of an enemy threat; This often involves an appeal to xenophobia (such as the German elite's 'fear'of the 1930s Jewish populace's businesses and well-doings, see also anti-Semitism) with an identification of their being an internal security threat: He also cites Pat Robertson's book The New World Order as a prominent example of a plot obsession.

"Pacifism is Trafficking with the Enemy" because "Life is Permanent Warfare" - there must always be an enemy to fight; Both fascist Germany under Hitler and Italy under Mussolini worked first to organize and clean up their respective countries and then build the war machines that they later intended to and did use, despite Germany being under restrictions of the Versailles treaty to NOT build a military force. This principle leads to a fundamental contradiction within fascism: the incompatibility of ultimate triumph with perpetual war.

"Contempt for the Weak" - although a fascist society is elitist, everybody in the society is educated to become a hero; for example: the 1930s Germans, especially Hitler labeled Jews inferior humans thus weak as well as the physically disabled, the mentally retarded and mentally ill as weak—thus these "weak" or unwanteds were eliminated (executed) or "exterminated" (the Jews, or even Germans with disabilities).

"Selective Populism" - the People have a common will, which is not delegated but directed by a dictator; This casts doubt upon a democratic institution, because the leader and government "no longer represent the Voice of the People".

"Newspeak" - fascism employs and promotes an impoverished vocabulary in order to limit critical reasoning.

"Non-truths & Lying/Spread of Propaganda" - Umberto Eco wrote from a modern-day standpoint about Fascism; He did not study the Fascism of Spain, Italy or Germany where this style of governing evolved in the 1930s prior to World War II: Those involved were Francisco Franco, Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, and more can be learned about fascism by reading on these people.

I'll Be Watching YouTube Videos In My Dotage

I was rewatching the lush 2008 Kylie Minogue "X" Tour video and marveling what a good song the less-often-played "Ruffle My Feathers" is, and feeling sad that she didn't sing it when I saw the tour. Yet here is a fan-made video from that very show indicating that she did sing it, and I just forgot. YouTube is a handy tool. I imagine I will sail into doddering senescence watching YouTube videos, because that's where my memory will actually be located:


Thanksgiving Zumba

Gathering for Thanksgiving Zumba, with Felicia, Camila, Francine and Barreto Brothers Zumba, because that's how the Pilgrims were greeted to sunny New England.

Macy's Theatre of Lights Show In Old Sacramento

At the What Cheer House, across from Evangeline's in Old Sacramento, there was a rehearsal Monday night (11/23) for the telling of a Christmas story on behalf of Macy's Theatre of Lights. I could tell it was a rehearsal because even Santa wore a black windbreaker labeled 'Crew'. A smattering of people applauded as lights flashed and 'snow' fell. Looking forward to the full production soon. Opens Wednesday evening!
Macy's Theatre of Lights underway Friday night (11/27). Big Crowd!

Getting Ready For The Sunday Hip Hop Show

Tuesday night rehearsal (11/24).

Rehearsal Saturday (11/28) with some of the dancers for "The Debut" hip hop dance party. In order to match the gray part of our group's gray, black, and purple color scheme, I'm wearing the 'Breaking Bad' "Yeah, Bitch: Magnets!" T-Shirt by the Heisenhoneys, Chandra ChannyCozy and Maeve Milstead in Los Angeles.

We are going to have a great show! Thanks Krystle! (And thanks COACH for the photos.)

(Little idiosyncratic connection: The Season 5 'Breaking Bad' police evidence room magnets scene memorialized by the T-Shirt was filmed 2.5 miles from where I grew up in Corrales, NM. The chain of causation leading from childhood to hip hop is long, but vibrant, and I hope inevitable.)

Scoping out the space for "The Debut" performance at the Starlite Lounge (noon, 11/29):

Entering The Starlite (5:40 p.m., 11/29)

Science Is All About Finding Hidden Links