The Widdershins

Lazy Weekend: 100 Days, But Who’s Counting

Posted on: April 25, 2021

Happy Weekend Widdershins!

So we are hitting 100 days since Biden took office. And frankly, he’s managed to do an impressive amount of good things, despite unprecedented (certainly in modern politics) obstruction from the QOP. Rethuglicans just can’t find a way to attack him. They are so desperate. And if it wasn’t for 2 awful Senators (rhymes with “Manchin” and “Sinema”), so much more would already be done to improve Americans’ lives…

This report from CBS this morning is a fascinating look the song “Strange Fruit,” made famous by Billie Holiday. Specifically this ties to Manchin and Sinema in their refusal to recognize how the filibuster has kept racist laws in America on the books. And continue to this day. I just saw a statistic: in the 24 hrs after the Derek Chauvin verdict, 6 people were fatally shot by cops. Meanwhile, cops in Newark, NJ, did not fire a single shot in all of 2020. It is possible to police without shooting people. We know because Newark, NJ has done it.

Here is a fascinating segment from CBS This Morning about the song “Strange Fruit,” immortalized by Billie Holiday. A song that in effect destroyed her life because she refused to stop singing it and the Federal government thought the song was dangerous. There is an interesting plot-twist half-way (at least a plot-twist for me because I was not familiar with the background on the song.) This is an open thread.

62 Responses to "Lazy Weekend: 100 Days, But Who’s Counting"

And on this day in 1917 – Ella Fitzgerald was born.

The complete performance of “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday.

Amazing post D! I had no idea of the history of “Strange Fruit.” And love the music. The one with Joan, Dinah and Ella was awesome.

I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know the story behind Strange Fruit until about a decade ago, but there was always something unpleasant about it. Oh, not the singer’s voice, but the words and intonation. Now that I know, I can barely listen to it. My imagination’s too active.

Oh, Canada!

Sad to report that a magnificent opera singer, Christa Ludwig, passed away today. I never got a chance to hear her sing live, alas. She was 93.

In this clip, singing Brahms, the accompanist is Leonard Bernstein. (And, for some reason, Andre Previn is turning Bernstein’s pages.)

@6 Luna, it’s a horrifying song. I can understand why Billie Holiday insisted on continuing to sing it, even as basically the federal government destroyed her life for it. And I understand why the federal government feared the song. It is dangerous. “Strange Fruit” is a perfect distillation of the Bertold Brecht quote: “Art is not a mirror held up to reality,
but a hammer with which to shape it.”

@9, DYB, that Brecht quote is spot on.

Thanks for the great post DYB and telling us about “Strange Fruit”. How horrible of a scene with so many people not appalled by the death of those two men.

Billie Holiday was a courageous woman and suffered each time she sang that song.

@1 These two guys are really funny and using the frame of a car window as their stage, is unique.

I want this puppy!

@13, those ears!!!

@14, Someone give Briebrie a mirror.

DYB, Christa Ludwig was indeed a wonderful singer. We are too young to have seen her live in her prime, unfortunately.Thank you for sharing the news of her passing, and the clip as well!!

Lots of cute animals – love them all!

I know what you mean about Billie Holiday’s singing, Luna. I’ve always struggled with the way she sounded. In her earlier days she had more control of her tone and pitch, but the drugs definitely had an impact.

In the case of “Strange Fruit,” I now have a much greater appreciation of her courage and artistry.

@17, I agree. I do not understand why Biden is so eager to meet with Putin. And the sanctions he imposed are not nearly strong enough.

@18 OMG Stawwwwwp! German Shepherds are such beautiful dogs.

Meanwhile, did you see this insanity from Rick Santorum?

@20, Right, because the white colonists genocided everything they could of Native Americans out of existence.

This is WILD

If Biden wants to meet with Putin I’ll bet there is a good reason. And he drew back from the Ukrainian border a few days ago, last I heard. He also allowed Navalny access to a doctor, although I agree that Navalny should not be in prison at all – Putin should!!!

Love the cute critters!

DYB – I had no idea Tina and Cher sang together. That was amazing.

Did y’all hear about F*cker Carlson’s latest? You know some crazed cult members are going to start calling the police on children of color now. These Faux News personalities are evil incarnate.

I assumed Santorum was in some kind of home by now. Bit shocked he’s still being reported on.

As for F*cker Carlson, that Gee-I-Don’t-Get-It look he’s always wearing? It’s obviously struck inwards and is causing spongiform encephalopathy. If we’re lucky, it’ll progress rapidly.

Where’s Biden’s Infrastucture Bill at? I know the Repubs presented their version, the one to make sure everyone hates Democrats, which I hope Biden is laughing out of town like he did their concept of covid relief.

Has it passed the House? Any estimates on when it gets to the Senate?

I think meeting with Putin because he did the bare minimum makes no sense. Navalny is still in prison and Russian troops are still in Donbas. And Russians continue to interfere with our governing via cyber war. Nothing has fundamentally changed with regards to Putin and Russia. We need to set the bar a little higher.

Quixote @25, did I ever tell here the story that a few years ago I was walking my dog late at night. A man was walking in the direction of Hudson Yards. A young, beautiful woman in high heels and revealing clothes walked past us in the opposite direction, and the three of us crossed paths on the sidewalk. The man looked this woman up and down, then looked at me, winked and nodded knowingly. The man was Rick Santorum.

And on Biden’s infrastructure bill, last I heard Manchin was squawking about breaking up the bill into several bills so they can get bipartisan support on some of it.

@27 re Manchin squawks.

/*endless screaming*/

I’ve been avoiding news the last few days due to exhaustion. Here’s something amazing — and it’s real. From 2017, but just saw it now.

Hey all, thinking we can leave this post up for a little longer.

Luna, beautiful picture! I saw a bird

Luna, I see a bird too. Made out of flocks of birds?

This morning the feds raided Rudy Giuliani’s home and office. They confiscated his phones and other materials.

Love the Agatha Christie photos, thank for posting DYB.

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy…get him!

I hope they find a ton of corrupt evidence and do something about it.

The flock of migrating birds forming a bird — if you click on the tweet there is a thread of more pictures taken as that flock moved. The photographer shot a series and one caught that particular formation.

@33, poooooor Rudy! Tots and pears.

Oooooh! Lots of stuff!

@38 Luna…OMG that is c-ray-zeee!


This pretty much sums up the seriousness of the ‘Recall Election’ against Gavin Newsome.
California braces for another ‘clown car’ of recall candidates

OAKLAND — Running in the California recall may be the best bargain on the planet for fame and fortune seekers.

For just $4,000, any registered voter can grab an instant platform in what’s sure to become the nation’s most watched election this year — and leverage that position on social media and airwaves with some of the most attention-getting stunts possible.

State officials announced Monday that the recall has enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, three days after reality TV star and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner launched her campaign to challenge Gov. Gavin Newsom. California is already bracing for the media frenzy that occurred 18 years ago when B-list actors and ax-to-grind residents jumped into the state’s only other gubernatorial recall.

“If you want to be famous for being famous, there’s no better way to do it than to run for governor of California — even if you have no chance of winning,” said veteran California PR guru Larry Kamer. “It’s kind of the political equivalent of running naked down the street.”

If the Russian Navy is in the Black Sea with enough force they may not need much of a land army.

Did everyone see Biden’s speech? Hubs & I watched it and thought he was great!

Enjoyed all your comments and pix of the darling animals. I love Agatha Christie, read most of her books in my 20s. Love that the FBI raided Ghouliani and whatshername. I hope Merrick Garland continues to go after trump and his vile crew.

Kamala looked beautiful tonight. This was historic, the first time a prez gave a speech with TWO women behind him!

There’s talk everywhere of how great it is to see two women up there during the speech, but I have to say, I’m ambivalent. It gives me some of the same feeling as the Chauvin trial.

It’s not cause for celebration when justice happens. It’s the essential minimum. And yet it is cause for celebration, which just shows how far we have to go, which is yet another kind of sad.

Anyway, ambivalent. Glad to see them. Sad it’s remarkable.

Fredster? Hope you’re OK!

Also hope he’s okay. I think about him whenever I come here.

Q, I had a twinge of thought like yours. Yes, this shouldn’t be a new thing in 2021. But I couldn’t help being excited anyway.
Well, having my surgery in the morning, so hitting the sack early. Catch you all in a day or so.

Thinking good thoughts for you Annie, that all will go well for your surgery.

I did take a deep breath when I saw Kamala and Nancy up there, behind a man, a good man.
What ran though my mind is how it should have been Hillary up there, for actually winning in 2018 as the first woman to be US President, with Bill as the past President and First Man.

I thought Biden did a good job tonight, I think the Dems will have to go at this alone again…the Rethugs basically sat there like sore losers.

Annie, sending you good thoughts and vibes for the surgery!! Please check in as soon as you can!

Hope all is going/has gone well, Annie!

Annie, hope your surgery goes well and your recovery is quick!

Annie! Best of luck tomorrow!!

I am so excited over the Giuliani/Toensig news. Those are two terrible, criminal people who have had their paws in many of the worst Republican crimes over the past several years. They are long term members of the crime family. May they rot in prison!

From The Daily Beast:


They just keep confirming it…Republicans are pedophiles, abusers and rapists.

And on that note…new post!

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