The Widdershins

Hello Widdershins!

It’s a bananas world out there. Let’s stay on top of it, but let’s also chillax a little with some music. Our theme today is: favorite covers. Sometimes the cover is better than the original! (I think that’s basically true of everything Bob Dylan’s ever written.) Sometimes the cover is different enough that they both work. Sometimes a song’s been covered so many times (Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” must be in the dozens at this point.) So what are some of your favorites? Here are a few of mine. This is not exhaustive and will be amended in the comments!

 

The first show Letterman hosted after 9/11 featured Tori Amos singing Tom Waits’ “Time.”

Boy George and The Pet Shop Boys recorded a brilliant cover of Dave Berry’s “The Crying Game” for the movie of the same name (which was named after the Berry song).

Madonna made a powerful cover of Marvin Gaye’s “I want you” with the British electronic duo Massive Attack.

Sophie B. Hawkins’ magnificent cover of Bob Dylan’s “I want you” (not to be confused with Gaye’s) impressed Dylan himself.

The Civil Wars’ surprising cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” is a work of genius.

Gavin Friday made a wonderfully spooky cover of U2’s “The Fly.”

Adele’s cover of The Cure’s “Lovesong” is wonderful.

A ravishing cover of Queen’s “These Are The Days of Our Lives” by George Michael, Lisa Stansfield and Queen.

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It’s a mess. All of it. The whole damned thing is a disaster. Dump nukes NATO, issues an executive order to fire some judges, nominates a hyper-partisan former Bill Clinton hunter and Bush White House torturer to be the new SCOTUS (which justice Kennedy might have used some unethical backchannel shenanigans to make happen), Roe is on the chopping block, etc. etc. I don’t need to make a full list, you already know. So where the bloody hell is the Democratic leadership? Chuck? Nancy? Bueller? I think we have all been asking this question for a long time. Why are the national Democratic leaders not leading protests and rallies to oppose Trump? Why is Maxine Waters the only member of Congress to seemingly be an avowed member of The Resistance? They may not have the votes to stop him and McConnell/Ryan – but why are they not making any noise to make it seem like they give a damn? It’s demoralizing, yes? I’ve been raging at them for some time, I know you have too. A few days ago The Hoarse Whisperer wrote an interesting thread on twitter that attempted to answer that question. And I think he made a very compelling argument for why Nancy and Chuck are not on TV every day screaming at Trump and McConnell and generally wreaking havoc, and why it may actually be the correct strategy.

The Hoarse Whisperer argued that by placing themselves in front of the camera as “leaders of the Resistance” Chuck and Nancy and Kamala, etc., will make every single election around the country about the Democratic leadership, not about the specific Democratic candidate, and that would be a disaster for Democrats. Imagine San Francisco liberal Nancy Pelosi every day on TV calling Trump a dumbass. One reason Democrats have managed to flip almost every special election, even in deep red states, is that although Republicans keep trying to tie Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer or Kamala Harris to each candidate, the “establishment” leaders of the party – by staying largely out of the way – allow each candidate to disown them and run on local issues…and then win. (Pelosi actually said recently that she doesn’t care if Democrats like Connor Lamb bashed her as long as they win their elections.) The public thinks their absence a sign of weakness or lack of determination to fight Trump. (It may actually be with Schumer, who is a wuss, but definitely not with Pelosi, who is a legislative warrior.) The public wants to see Pelosi storm the barricades because it will feel like she’s doing something even though legislatively there is nothing she can do at the moment. But in reality all Nancy Pelosi storming barricades would do is make each special election, in every red state, about Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco liberal. So it’s not a sign of weakness; it is a strategy for Democratic party leaders to stay out of the way and let others be the faces of the Resistance. And the special elections results so far are evidence that the strategy is working.

What do you think about this? I actually was convinced by this argument.

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Another question: this photo of Melanie Trump is from Brussels. Does it look like she had kidney surgery?

And a bit of literature trivia: The Booker Prize is a prestigious British literary award, given each year to an English-language work of fiction published in the UK. To commemorate their 50th anniversary the Bookers decided to create a special award this year, to recognize the best novel out of its past 50 winners. It’s an impressive list made up of Salman Rushdie, William Golding, Hilary Mantel, Kazuo Ishiguro, Margaret Atwood

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Michael Ondaatje

and many other writing geniuses. The judges narrowed the list down to 1 title from each decade and then they let the big words loving public vote on the ultimate winner. And the prize was given to….Michael Ondaatje’s “The English Patient.” I’m sorry to our friend Pat, a former member of our blog, who detested Anthony Minghella’s movie adaptation with every fiber of her body. It’s a shame because I consider it to be one of the top 10 best (English language) movies ever made. And Ondaatje’s novel – quite different from the movie in some key story points, but breathing the same fire in spirit – is truly a masterpiece of words. When I read it I would go back and re-read entire pages because of the beauty of Ondaatje’s language. It is poetry in prose. And the characters he created are magnificent and rich with life. From the title character, the “English” patient – a man who betrayed everything he believed in for a woman he loved; to the young nurse, Hana, who tries to give him comfort in his final days because he reminds her of her loved dead ones and she is desperate to hold on to her memories for as long as she can; to the young Indian sapper Kip, whose life is consumed with finding bombs to diffuse and if he misses one – he knows people will die. “He spends all day searching,” Hana says at one point, “and at night he only wants to be found.” One of the most beautiful passages in the book – read in its entirety in the movie – is from a journal the Patient’s beloved, Katharine, left behind in a cave where she died alone.

My darling, I’m waiting for you — how long is a day in the dark, or a week? The fire is gone now, and I’m horribly cold. I really ought to drag myself outside but then there would be the sun. . . I’m afraid I waste the light on the paintings and on writing these words. We die, we die rich with lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have entered and swum up like rivers, fears we have hidden in, like this wretched cave. I want all this marked in my body. We are the real countries, not the boundaries drawn on maps with the names of powerful men. I know you will come and carry me out into the palace of winds. That’s all I’ve wanted — to walk in such a place with you, with friends, on earth without maps. The lamp is gone now, and I’m writing in the darkness.

So, the Mango Moron has nominated himself a Justice. Based on his writings, Justice Brett Kavanaugh is as conservative and Trumpy as any criminal traitor “President” on the verge of indictment could want. He has already gone on record against undocumented immigrants, against LEGAL abortion, against the Affordable Care Act and against the Consumer Financial Protection Board….and of course, has said he felt it would be disastrous for a President to be indicted.

What now? As DYB pointed out so eloquently, the Democrats have no procedural remedy to stop the confirmation of this asshole. Chuck Schumer cannot pull a Mitch McConnell and fakely claim that he is concerned about adding a justice at such close proximity to the election, even if he wanted to. (My point, that Drumpf is an illegitimate President, and shouldn’t get to nominate anyone because he did not legitimately win, is clearly not being embraced by anyone in power. SAD!)

As I write, protests are going on in front of the Supreme Court. People are truly fired up about this, and that’s great. I think calls and letters and showing up in front of Senators’ offices will be forthcoming, and will have an effect. But what will be the most effective, in my opinion, is this: Lobby the Ladies.

We cannot allow Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins to hide behind a pretension that they “don’t know” whether or not Judge Kavanaugh will overturn Roe v. Wade. The Federalist Society List ONLY contains people who will overturn Roe v. Wade. As conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin stated so eloquently,

It should not be more complicated than this: Voting for a nominee on the Trump list (either the original 20, or the wider 25) opens the door to the criminalization of abortion. Collins might break her pledge and vote to confirm one of these judges approved by Federalist Society. That is up to her. But she should fool no one that voting for one of these judges would not amount to reversing Roe. Oh, and the Federalist Society judge-pickers must be called to testify under oath, and all notes, documents and other materials relating to their selection process must be subpoenaed for review. I bet that’d be fascinating.

This, to me, is the key point. Every man and woman in the Senate who claims to be pro-choice should be told this over and over again: We ARE NOT FOOLED. We know that Kavanaugh was picked partially for his anti-choice beliefs and record. There should not be any pretension otherwise, and Susan and Lisa should be confronted with this reality by us, Democratic Senators and activists everywhere.

If ANYONE votes for this guy, they should know exactly what they’re getting: an ultra-conservative, corrupt justice who will overturn Roe v. Wade. As a special bonus, he will protect Drumpf if/when he is subpoenaed by Mueller. If this country were less screwed up, not a single Senator would even consider it. But these are desperate times. We must rise to them accordingly.

This is an open thread.

Good Sunday Widdershins!

I don’t know about elsewhere but here in the south summer is definitely here. And I know that because when I see the temps shown they also show that awful heat index.  Then add in the humidity and ugh!

Below I’ve added some summer time “classics” .  I’m sure y’all have some that are your faves also so please add them in the comments.

Open thread of course.

(1) Summer in the City~Lovin’ Spoonful

(2) Summertime~Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Armstrong

(3) Summertime Blues~Eddie Cochran

(4) Hot Fun in the Summertime~Sly & the Family Stone

(5) Summer of ’69~Bryan Adams

(6) The Boys of Summer~Don Henley

* * * *

There you go Widdershins – six nice “summer” songs.  Share some of yours below.

Open thread of course.

 

 

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It will be here sooner than we think. Trump announcing his pick to replace Justice “I really don’t care, do you?” Kennedy on the Supreme Court. McConnell says he wants to schedule hearings in September. I suspect the process will be quick. McConnell wants this victory as much as Trump does. The ongoing degradation of America and a functioning government by Mitch McConnell is, well, ongoing and will keep going until he’s all dead. There’s nothing really Democrats can do to stop him. There are no secret rules that they can whip out. Josh Marshall published a letter he received outlining the danger of Trump’s pick, dangers outside of Roe v. Wade and whatever other established laws Republicans want to kill. The danger is Mueller’s investigation. I’ll just link to the article and you should read it in its entirety (it’s not very long.)

I think the only two options Democrats have going forward are 1) change the number of justice on the Court and pack it with liberals and 2) impeach and remove the justices Trump appointed because an illegitimate and criminal President should not appoint anyone. Of course chances of Democrats doing that are about negative 100%. They are always civil to Republicans. (Far more civil to Republicans than they are to fellow Democrats.) So what does it mean for the future? Does anyone know a really good psychic??

MadamaB is busy with her move (post move actually), work and is also sick! So this is an open thread (as always.)

 

 

 

Good Sunday to you Widdershins.   With the fourth of July coming up I thought I would take another look at this post I wrote sometime back on musical marches. It’s also being reposted because I got too much shit going on right now to attempt to sit down and write anything else. There will be the usual hubbub of hot dogs, apple pie, fireworks and probably a few parades.  Those parades will probably include marching bands. Being that I was a music major in my first college incarnation, and that I was an instrumental major and also in marching band, my thoughts went to marches.  March music was and is a part of Americana.  We have had fife and drum corps, trumpet corps, all the way up to enormous marching bands today.  Musically speaking, a march  “is a piece of music with a strong regular rhythm which in origin was expressly written for marching to and most frequently performed by a military band.”.  Marches are usually written in 4/4 or 2/4 time, and the tempo is around 120 beats to the minute.

An American march (and some British – especially the marches of Kenneth J. Alford aka Lt. F. J. Ricketts) has three strains and the third one is usually referred to as the “trio”.  Marches also appear in classical and operatic music as well as what we consider the “typical” march setup.

We’ll go with the idea that “march” can be any part of the piece or song.  It can be in the title, in the lyrics or whatever.  So let’s see what everyone comes up with.  My contributions are below.

This is one of John Philip Sousa’s “lesser” marches, the King Cotton march.  You may not recognize the name but you may be familiar with the music.

Here’s another Sousa march where I’ll bet you recognize the music but did not know the name.  This is the “Liberty Bell” march.

Here’s another march, a British one time time, written by Kenneth J. Alford, the Colonel Bogey March that you probably know from the movie The Bridge over the River Kwai.  What you probably don’t know is the background for the creation of the march.

Supposedly, the tune was inspired by a military man and golfer who whistled a characteristic two-note phrase (a descending minor third interval) instead of shouting “Fore!”. It is this descending interval that begins each line of the melody. The name “Colonel Bogey” began in the later 19th century as the imaginary “standard opponent” of the Colonel Bogey scoring system, and by Edwardian times the Colonel had been adopted by the golfing world as the presiding spirit of the course. Edwardian golfers on both sides of the Atlantic often played matches against “Colonel Bogey”.Bogey is now a golfing term meaning “one over par”.

This march is entitled the “National Emblem March”.  I’ve heard this countless times but never knew who the composer was.  It was a gentleman by the name of  Edwin Eugene Bagley.

Bagley incorporates into the march the first twelve notes of The Star-Spangled Banner played by Euphoniums and Trombones and ingeniously disguised in duple rather than triple time. The rest of the notes are all Bagley’s, including the four short repeated A-flat major chords that lead to a statement by the low brass that is now reminiscent of the national anthem. Unusually, Bagley’s march does not incorporate either a break strain or a stinger.

The U.S. military uses the trio section as ceremonial music for the color guard when presenting and retiring the colors.

Another fine British march, again by Alford is “The Mad Major”.  Since Ricketts/Alford was a Lt. and the title involves a “mad” major I wonder if there was some payback here.  😉

Another Alford march with some history to it:

The vanished army was the original British Expeditionary Force which went to France in August 1914. They were all professional soldiers – regarded as the finest British army ever deployed, which was saying something! There were a mere 80,000 of them and they faced an enemy five times their number. After battles at Mons, the Marne, the Aisne and Ypres (Oct-Nov., 1914) they had fought themselves to death. Their army had vanished. This march was written by Kenneth Alford to honour them.

I’ve got two more famous Sousa marches played by “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Corps Band.  First, “The Washington Post” March.

The last of the marches by “The March King that I selected is “The Stars and Stripes Forever”.  Here’s a little info for you.

Piccolo players play the famous obbligato in the first repeat of the trio (the one after the breakstrain). In the final repeat of the trio (grandioso), the low brass joins the piccolo players with a prominent countermelody. The official version, as played by the United States Marine Band, is performed in the key of E-flat.

Now I haven’t forgotten the vocal and operatic folks here so I’ve got this for all of you from Aida.

I know there are some more opera “marches” out there so I’m hoping our opera and vocal fans help me by adding some pieces below.

Open thread of course and hope everyone has a happy fourth of July.

Yesterday, Wednesday, June 27, 2018 was a bad day. A very bad day. A shitty fucking day. I can’t even begin to process the news about Justice Kennedy’s resignation. And yet – why are we surprised? We knew he was ready to go. Supreme Court vacancies were on the ballot in 2016. We talked about it. Hillary Clinton talked about it. Some of us considered that to be a really big deal. And others did not. Others dismissed our concerns as hysterics and fear mongering. We all know who they were: Bernie and Jill Stein voters. I know some of them personally. I got yelled at repeatedly for fear mongering. Funny enough, I got yelled at yesterday on Facebook for the same thing. A former colleague I haven’t seen in about 10 years declared that I was toxic by posting so much negative news, that no doubt I thrive on all the bad stuff and he was unfollowing me because I was making him anxious. He then sent me a private message reiterating his position. I told him to fuck off and then blocked him. It’s interesting to see this come full circle.

Some smart people with big platforms really thought Trump wasn’t going to be that bad.

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Lizza and Hayes were far from alone from holding those positions. And I’m yet to see any person in the media come out and say: “You know what? I was actually wrong, I fucked up, holy shit, I’m sorry.” Not one. Each and every person either defends their position (see the entire NY Times political desk, plus…well, everyone everywhere actually.) Those that don’t defend their positions pretend they never held them (like Chris Hayes; he doesn’t think Trumps left of Hillary on anything, but he doesn’t acknowledge entertaining that thought in the past.)

I am worried about the fallout from this. McConnell has already said he wants to vote on this in early autumn. Remember he earlier cancelled August recess. (Question to ponder: did McTurtle know about Kennedy’s retirement and cancel the August recess for this reason?) I’m worried about what Democrats will and will not do about it. Truthfully, there’s nothing they can do. There are no hidden levers of power they are not pulling. They are sitting ducks. But I hope at the very least they make a stink of such intensity that people will talk about it in history books. That’s what we need, it’s what the electoral wants. I’m not convinced Schumer and Pelosi understand that. Certainly Schumer has shown himself to be too weak and accommodating in these Trump times to inspire any confidence. Pelosi is a better fighter, but both she and Schumer just threw Maxine Waters under the bus because of “civility.” That tells me we have a lot to worry about. Since our Democrat leaders still consider “civility” to be so important, do we really expect that they will wreak havoc in Congress? They can’t block McConnell – but it doesn’t mean they must roll over and be civil about it. We are living through time of pure, raw political power. Republicans made that. Somehow Democrats still haven’t recognized this reality.

One reporter tweeted that he ran around Congress trying to get Republicans to comment on their desire to overturn Roe v. Wade with the new Justice and he said not one Republican would talk about it. Each one downplayed the significance of Roe v. Wade, if they agreed to discuss it at all. This is clearly coordinated. Republicans will vote to confirm whatever right wing nut job Trump nominates because they want to fulfill their lifelong dream of overturning Roe v. Wade. But they don’t want to talk about it. Our last hope rests on Collins and Murkowski. Collins said she supports Roe v. Wade and considers it settled law, but she has lied to us on ACA before. Murkowski also says she supports Roe v. Wade, but it’s only one of many considerations. So, our last hope is most likely fool’s hope.

Our last last hope is that if Democrats ever retake control of Congress and the Presidency, they might increase the number of justices to re-balance the court. They should do this. I’m afraid that they will not. We will just live with what we have for generations. And everything is on the table: from Roe. v. Wade to gay marriage to Trump prosecution. Where we go from here…

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Blog Archive

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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

Take the kids to work? NO!

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
2.5 years to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan

B-I-N-G-O!

Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Rudy: oh shit the pee tape IS real!

Need Reminders?

Never too early to shop for Christmas

“Look this way”

Manafort’s Jail Photo

Indeed who?

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