The Widdershins

Lazy Weekends: Something Borrowed, Something New

Posted on: August 21, 2021

Happy Weekend Widdershins!

What a week of the media blaming Joe Biden for the 20+ year old mess of Afghanistan. Trump was right about the media, if for the wrong reasons: they really are the enemy of the people. They got mad at Michelle Wolf because she said it to their very faces. So much appalling hackery going on.

I spent most of the week on Fire Island with some friends. While there I discovered the English-Albanian pop singer Dua Lipa. I knew her name (there is a remix of one of her hits that features the one and only Madonna), but never heard her music. One song of hers I discovered this week is called “Love Again.” A super duper catchy, fun and kind of sad song. What struck me as it began playing was that Lipa and her co-writers/producers were sampling the Imperial March from “Star Wars.” Composed, of course, by John Williams. It was a striking and bold choice! Once I dug in, however, I learned that Lipa was not sampling the Imperial March. She was sampling the 1932 song “My Woman” written by Bing Crosby, Max Wartell, and Irving Wallman. According to reports when her co-writers played the sample for her Lipa also thought they were playing John Williams. Because, well, you’ll hear below that it does sound exactly like the Imperial March. This brings me to my point that while John Williams is an absolute titan of film scores – primarily known for his collaborations with Steven Spielberg – John Williams is also an incorrigible thief. Since I primarily listen to classical music I recognize countless Williams moments in the music written before him. Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring dominates “Star Wars.” The “Schindler’s List” theme is lifted directly from Mahler’s Eighth Symphony. And the “Harry Potter” theme is, in fact, nearly identical to the theme from “Schindler’s List.” Prokofiev and Wagner are also frequently heard in Williams’ music. And I know many composers are often “inspired” by those that came before them. But John Williams takes the “inspiration” to shocking heights of plagiarism. And he never seems to share the credit. Dare I say, John Williams is a major fraud.

Discuss! This is an open thread!

93 Responses to "Lazy Weekends: Something Borrowed, Something New"

DYB, thanks for the new post and sharing some of your knowledge on classical music and composers.

The visuals on that song by Dua Lipa are somewhat perplexing to me, what is the lassoing a big egg represent? A future baby?

Re NWLuna’s comment in previous post. “[Twitter] will not ban Taliban members unless they ‘express hate against a person or group'”

You can’t even call it gallows humor because it’s not funny.

Do they not have *anyone* in Twitland, with enough status to be heard, who can point out that maybe, just maybe, it’s bad, very bad, to make it so clear you don’t count women as people?

Maybe it’s just business.

I wonder how much of the economy is based on misogyny. I would really like an economist to study that. As far as I know, it’s never been done. How much money are men willing to spend on that – objectifying and degrading women? Like if misogyny ended today, would the economy collapse?

@3, PJ, A new economy would spring up — There’d be funding for safe public transportation, parks with accessible amenities, convenient day care. Accessible buildings, streets, services for those with mobility deficits. Volunteer caregivers, who are so often women, would get paid and then put that money into circulation. More grocery stores with healthy food in all neighborhood because of enough customers with reasonable incomes. Universal healthcare coverage including mental health, dental, eye and hearing care. Centralized network to find job-sharing part-time work for those with other responsibilities who can’t work full time. Thorough safety oversight for food production, consumer products, infrastructure maintenance. Funding for science/medical research into conditions which affect women and children, and men’s conditions which cause disability and pain but not death (these areas don’t get much funding).

Or so I dream.

“Like if misogyny ended today, would the economy collapse?”

Interesting point, PJ!

My guess is that it would be very similar to ending reliance on fossil fuels suddenly. Yes, lots of collapse.

But with an intelligent transition, as Luna points out, it would be the dawn of a new age of humankind.

Okay. We can all stop laughing now.

Can you believe there are men whining that some people have lost income since OnlyFans quit selling pornography? And blaming this on right-wing interests, when actually it was that the porn sellers refused to ensure that their content did not have underage or non-consenting trafficked women.

Sex work is work — riiiiiiight. Said by those who don’t know that most of the “workers” are trafficked women and girls, and nearly all suffer beatings, many including head injuries (61%) while being trafficked.

Well that was a ranting detour into the dark side of humans.
Here’s a nice bird on a lotus for a palate cleanser.

DYB — thanks for the music info. I listen to mostly classical and jazz music, and grew up listening to classical. Here’s I’d been assuming Williams acknowledged what he incorporated into his scores. (scornful face)

That’s a beautiful dream @ 4, Luna. All of it. I love that.

But yep, quioxte. You said it well! And yes, we can all stop laughing now. Only we’re not really laughing (as you know and I know). Like you said @ 2. It’s not even gallows humor.

I didn’t know that story about John Williams. It does remind me of poor Salieri.

There is nothing common about that kingfisher! Or the lotus 😀 . What a stunning clip!

Quixote @1> You ask a good question about the music video. These things can be impenetrable sometimes. I did some digging and nobody really offers interesting explanations. I know that the song was written after a particularly painful breakup for Lipa with someone who was cheating on her. So I take the clown imagery, as she sings about falling in love “again and again and again” (god damn!) as making a fool of herself with all these horrible men (clowns.) She becomes a clown herself by constantly falling for them. The egg is weird: explicitly it appears to be a reference to a Clown Egg Register! Apparently there is an actual museum dedicated to this in the UK. Clowns were not allowed to steal each other’s looks and before photography was available they would paint their makeup on eggs to preserve their “copyrighted” clown appearance. Then save the egg as proof in case anyone steals their clown face design. (Who knew!) I’m not sure exactly how trademarking clown faces relates to the large egg the cowboy clowns are lassoing. But I do like your interpretation that it may represent fertility. Men fighting over the woman, trying to make her theirs. She falls in love with the winner? She chooses one and the others fall on their faces. In the end she becomes a clown herself for falling in love. (God damn!)

@8 Luna, no, I’ve never heard John Williams credit Stravinsky, etc. All the soundtracks say “Music by John Williams.”

Famously, however, a far classier composer – Dimitri Tiomkin – did acknowledge his influences in a famous 1955 Oscar acceptance speech:

“Lady and gentlemen, because I working in this town for twenty-five years, I like to make some kind of appreciation to very important factor what make me successful to lots of my colleagues in this town. I’d like to thank Johannes Brahms, Johann Strauss, Richard Strauss, Beethoven, Mozart, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov. Thank you.”

Ironically for this thread, the person who presented Tiomkin with his Oscar that year was Bing Crosby!

@ 10 PJ> I loooove “Amadeus.” Such a wonderful film (and play.) And poor Salieri, had his reputation ruined by Peter Schaffer. Salieri was actually a very good composer and teacher. His students included Beethoven, among many others. Salieri spoke at Mozart’s funeral and taught his son. The rumors that he hated Mozart and killed him started circulating some years after Mozart’s death and were immortalized by Schaffer in his play.

@12: That’s great stuff, DYB! God damn! 🙂 I enjoyed reading that. And I really do like her voice – thank you for the introduction.

@13: YES! Hat tips. It should be an easy thing to do…

@14: Oh no, DYB. That’s terrible. And completely unfair. I didn’t know that. But true admission: I found the fictionalized (*now* I know it was fiction) version of Salieri to be simply delicious – as a villain. I ate him up with a spoon and asked for seconds. I thought the actor who portrayed him in the movie was just phenomenal. I know people exactly like that. Some of them are in my own family. To see them represented so perfectly was mind blowing.

But still… (slap face myself), that’s awful… because in this case, it wasn’t true.

The theme song from Schindler’s List is so haunting. Rightfully so.

This is from “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”. It’s called Remembrance, Remembrance.

The cancer of white supremacy is growing. It got a heavy dose of oxygen from Trump. He gave them a “get out of shame free” card and they went to town with it. Loud and Proud. No more hiding under hoods.

But now I think we’re in the “delta variant” phase of white supremacy. I’m watching these parallel and related tracks. The serial killers of Covid-19 and White Supremacy. At least with Covid-19, you can get vaxxed and wear a mask to protect yourself and others.

PJ, I completely agree with you on Salieri in “Amadeus.” A brilliant characters and F. Murray Abraham played him to perfection. I’ve Abraham on stage a couple of times and he was brilliant.

I do love the “Schindler’s List” soundtrack. It’s a beautiful score. It’s just that Williams lifted the main melody from Mahler’s 8th Symphony. And you know, people do that. They just tend to not pretend they didn’t. Music – classical and movie scores – are filled with homages. Beethoven quoted Mozart, Mozart quoted Bach, Brahms quoted Beethoven, the list is endless.

One of my favorite “quotations” comes from Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.” You can’t mistake where the melody came from, it’s right there in the title. Paganini’s tune was used and re-used by a slew of composers: Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Benny Goodman, dozens more. Same tune, endless interpretations. Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody” includes 24 variations. The most famous is No. 18: Rachmaninoff took the original melody, flipped it upside down, played it backwards, at half the speed. And came up with one of the most famous melodies ever composed:

Another incorrigible thief is Andrew Lloyd Weber. There’s a famous moment in “The Phantom of the Opera” (I’m not familiar with the musical, so can’t tell you which one) that is lifted directly from Puccini’s opera “La Fanciulla del West.” Lloyd Weber did not get Puccini estate’s permission. They sued and won. So now every time curtain goes up on “Phantom,” Puccini’s estate gets $$$.

I’ve also heard some Lloyd Weber song that borrows heavily from Janacek’s opera “The Makropulos Case,” which I love. Specifically it’s the big tune in the opera in its denouement. I’m not sure if the Janacek estate if aware of who Lloyd Weber is, but if they’re not they should be so they could collect some money.

The big joke is that because Lloyd Weber’s father was a director of a major musical school in the UK, young Andrew walked the halls and heard melodies coming out of various rooms. He then just borrowed them for his musicals.

“I do love the “Schindler’s List” soundtrack. It’s a beautiful score. It’s just that Williams lifted the main melody from Mahler’s 8th Symphony.”

Which in a horrible way, is kind of perfect. It’s what white men have been doing since forever. Cheating and stealing (and killing – see Native Americans). That’s their schtick. Taking credit for other people’s accomplishments is the white man way. And also abusing other people… They are either bullying or begging. The two B’s. That’s what they have in their tool box. Trump is their poster child. The epitome of their vacuous culture. The only reason we have a Constitution is that they were protecting their own narcissistic self-interest. (But to condemn all white men would be racist. I’m only talking about the *culture* of white men and how they are taught the lie that they are somehow special – when they are not – which creates the need to bend reality… with aggression.) I’m a white woman, but I don’t identify with white women culture. Also… pretty ugly – supporting the Big Lie of white male supremacy.

@18 – beautiful score.

Happy Sunday all.

Here is an interesting article out of CA about the vaccine boosters, for anyone that is interested.

Dear God. Hillary. Every time one of these news items comes up, I get verklempt trying not to think about what we could have had. In 2008.

(2016 would have just been another election. There would have been no Mango Moron. At the least hint of such a possibility, she would have done something to prevent it — gotten Congress to pass required release of 1099s? — and we would have never even known the pitfall we avoided.)


Me too Q. I can’t count how often I think of Hillary and how much better things could have been, at least 600,000+ people would still be alive in the US.

I try so hard to put her away in a box in my mind, but there isn’t such a place in reality. Every damn time I think of her and what men have done to keep her out of the White House, I get really upset.

Josephine Baker was the only American-born woman to receive full French military honors at her funeral.

Screw CNN!!!!!!!!!!!!

They are putting out a new series called ‘Impeachment’ on Sept. 7th.

No, it isn’t about Dump, it’s about Bill Clinton.

Shadowfax, is this the one produced by Monica Lewinsky? She did one as well, although the one she did may be scripted. Someone plays Hillary in a fat suit.

I agree, Shadow. It’s extremely upsetting. Joy Reid was talking about it on Friday – the 40 year campaign of hatred by men (and women) on the right AND the left against Hillary. And still… she almost (did win – in any normal democracy – you know, where the person with the most votes wins) won. That’s fucking amazing what she did.

Quixote is right. The year for Hillary to win was 2008. When there was a Democratic House and Senate. Not 2016 (even though obviously, her winning at any time would be better – especially against Mango Moron). But by 2016, the House was owned by white pigboys (Chaffetz, Ryan, McCarthy, Scalise, etc). And the Senate was owned by Satan himself. In 2008, she would have made the health insurance companies obsolete. She wouldn’t have made a deal with the devil like Obama. There are some things that should not be for profit (schools, hospitals, prisons, healthcare). The way it is now, Covid is good for business.

Tom Nichols, who is like a broken clock – right once in while, was waxing poetically about his racist, misogynist father who said about 2012… “you know, Obama and Romney are both good men; we’ll be ok no matter who wins” (isn’t that just so saccharine sweet? Awwww. Barf.) *men* being the operative word here – you caught that, right? Why can’t we just get back to that, Tom asks. Well because, assfuck, there were not “two good men” running in 2016. There was a moral person (gasp! Female) and a Sociopath. Joy Reid bitch slapped Tom right down. She was having none of that shit. (I love Joy Reid). That’s when she started talking about the 40 year hate campaign against Hillary and how douchebags (my word) were willing to join with fucking Putin! to defeat her. That’s how deep the misogyny blade goes. And the racist blade goes just as deep.

It’s the same blade. The target just depends on what costs them the least. But the user is always some stunted jerk trying to stand on somebody else to make himself feel bigger.

29 DYB, I have no idea who did this new video. I’m too angry about it to go and look it up.

It makes me livid that he had a consensual affair and the person who was hurt the most was Hillary. CNN and most of all of the media was against Hillary, even in 2008. They wanted the new, mixed race, ‘attractive man’ or the big mouth, dumb ass, white man with a poor comb-over, more than THAT women.

I have to watch the media rather than put my head in the sand on the important issues…but I hate the media when it comes to politics. They have way too much influence over people with their own opinions.

30 PJ
Don’t forget what Russia did and also Comey, that was not normal, and without those extra dirty tricks, Dump would not have gotten the extra electoral votes. After all we have seen of his corrupt term, there is no doubt in my mind the electoral college votes were paid for.

Therefore, Dump did not win the election of 2016 legally. It might take awhile to prove, if Congress has the will to.

I’m with you, Shadow. And the price of ignoring real election-stealing is that the Dump was able to make the whole idea radioactive with lies.

@31: Amen, sister.

@33: Yes, you’re absolutely right, Shadow. Comey was the pasty little white boy we all knew in grade school. Constantly picked on. I always felt bad for little boys like him. But he made it all the way to the “EFFFF BEEE I” (h/t Silence of the Lambs). And the NY FBI’s bullied him. The NY FBIs were convinced that Hillary was going to shrink their junk (panic time!) should she become president. So just like when he was in elementary school… In order to prove himself as a “man” Comey needed to tank Hillary. So that’s what he did. He was in a position to do it and he took that immoral choice – to abuse his power and tank Hillary.

He was – and always will be – an extremely weak person who dramatically affected history. Way to go, bro. It makes me sick that he has daughters.

Now that I think about it… who’s to say who did more damage? Comey or Putin?

I cannot ever blame black women for choosing race over gender in 2008 – in a way, how could they not? And yet, we had on our side, POWER HOUSE black women who chose gender/sex over race. Visionaries. Maya Angelou, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, and all the beautiful black women they represented.

Hello Shinners! Great post, D. I’m back from the Celebration of Life. It was beyond amazing, and thank you so much for all your condolences and well-wishes. The family put together so many photos and tributes to my friend all over the house, and several days of being together with all their friends and family. My friends and I spoke, had a star named after him, and presented the family with a book of remembrances we all wrote. And, a member of our Crew showed up whom we hadn’t seen in decades. It was a beautiful farewell to a beautiful soul. And, we are now more connected than ever, which will help to fill in some of the emptiness where my friend used to be.

The discussion about Hillary is hitting me hard. I will never forgive Obama or the DNC for tanking her candidacy in 2008. “Even” a woman could have won after 8 years of Dubya. But no, the men felt it was time for a black man (the “man” part is key of course) and as usual, women’s rights go last.

I don’t blame the voters for not picking Hillary in 2008. The DNC changed the rules, overweighting the red state caucuses and took 50% of Hillary’s delegates from California and Florida. Even still, the delegate count was close enough that she could have pulled it off.

As usual, she did everything right and the men wouldn’t let her win. I truly believe, based on my experience with PUMA, that a lot of white women went Thug after that and never came back.

Yes MB, it was a railroad job by her own party in 2008. I think of women like Nancy and others that thought Hillary could sit in down, shut up and wait another round to be next in line, think of themselves as king makers.
All the Dems gushed over Barry, and his cute daughters…and water dog given to him by Teddy Kennedy.

They probably decided Barry was easier to manipulate than the high IQ Hillary. They could push though Obama care rather than have Hillary work on something that was much better.

WTF!!! To Hell with the most qualified candidate, and a role model for women and girls. Eff all the damn traitors!

But our Hillary finally stood back, watched him gifted some of her electoral votes and went on to be his SoS for ONE term, and did a great job.

Now she gives her party a middle finger for betraying her and supports the causes she believes in and once again, proves what she says is the truth.

She and Bill are probably going to live longer by her not being our President in 2016, that’s the only good thing about what happened that I can think of.

“Agree,” “Agree,” and “YES!” to all your comments about Hillary!

@24, of course she does — that’s our Hillary. Gets down to work without posturing or pressers.

Time for a cute critter break.

Love the critters, Luna – the bird and the pupper!

Kasparov is so right. Thankfully Biden takes that same approach and so far, it has been an antidote to the poison of Putin and his enablers in the US.

Speaking of poison, I got my CA Gov Recall ballot in the mail today. I can’t wait to vote NO on this ridiculousness!!!!

@39 Shadowfax, I think it was probably Ted Kennedy that killed Hillary’s chances in 2008. His endorsement of Obama was the end. I remember it came as a big shock to everyone, including Hillary. He was a scumbag.

@39: Excellent points, Shadow. Well said! Nancy Pelosi is a killer. Her own daughter said, “Nancy Pelosi will cut your head off and you won’t even know you’re bleeding.”

Well, in Hillary’s case, we all SAW the bleeding. No hiding from that one. It was not one of Nancy’s discreet kills. We all saw the neck slicing! And the blood spurting out all over the place. It was truly horrible. A brutal betrayal. There were many people who stood by Hillary and many who betrayed her. To name a few of the betrayers: Hilary Rosen, Patti Solis Doyle, Ted Kennedy (TOTAL fucking scumbag, Amen, DYB) – lowlife backstabbers.

But do I love it when Nancy kills Thugs? I do.

So with Nancy, it’s obviously complicated… God will have to sort that one out.

Teddy might have picked Obama in the early days…after all, the Kennedy men were cheaters and didn’t give much credit to women, remember how Marilyn was treated?

Teddy was a pig and don’t forget how he tried to hide his incident in Chappaquiddick. He’s still hasn’t worked off his sins over that one…and is far from the Pearly Gates, even now.

How do ya like dem apples, Teddy?

MB @ 43
I got my ballot today too! Such a freaking weird ballot, one side is
Gavin, recall – Yes or No

The other side a mass of nobodies without any experience to run CA.

I had to wrangle my adult son into getting the voting done to save Gavin.
He had to ponder the idea of voting on the other side of the page for a Democrat, after he voted “no’ recall on the front, thinking that if Gavin lost, who would he vote for in his place. I told my son if any of these idiots won, I was leaving the state…

My logic was to not vote for anyone, or to use the last option, to write in someone. I wrote in ‘Governor Gavin Newsom’,

After an hour of political discussion, I had both of our ballots in my hand and am driving them to the post office tomorrow.

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday granted full approval to Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine – becoming the first in the U.S. to win the coveted designation and giving even more businesses, schools and universities greater confidence to adopt vaccine mandates.

Yeah. I wrote in the Lt Gov. What a joke Question 2 is. But consider: there were only 40+ (46?) gumballs there. When they ran the same scam on Davis, there were over 100 and one of them became Gov.

Hopefully, the outcome is better this time. Good for you for prodding your son into getting with the program!

It’s passed!

Never, ever, EVER doubt Nancy Pelosi. I hope one day she will get the credit she deserves for being one of the most powerful and effective Speakers in living memory.

@52, MB, yes, and probably of all time.

That this even needs to be said!

I’ll never doubt Nancy is a killer. I often like it (oh, I already said that). She took a knife to Hillary quite effectively in 2008. We’re all just not going to forget that, right? Uppity said Nancy is one of those women who climbs the ladder and then kicks it. So no other women can climb up it.

Who has Nancy ever supported for president? I guarantee it was never a woman. She’s a Catholic true believer.

She’s a monster, but she’s our monster, right? I’d vote for her. Sadly, in a heartbeat. She passes the bar I won’t go below… she’s never sexually abused anyone. That’s a bridge too far for me.

I have always voted for Nancy, Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer in my state…every time they were up for election.

Nancy is a fantastic leader, except when she turned her back on Hillary in 2008.

I put Nancy right up there with Churchill, George Patton. I really do. We need people like that on our side, because we all live on this shithole planet (morality wise, human being wise) and we would have no hope without people like them pushing back. But like the men who came before her she was never pro-women.

Speaking of the House – the Jan 6th Committee just requested a torrent of important documents about the insurrection and who was involved. This includes TFG and all his plotting to attempt to stay in office. Great thread with the details.

We do seem to be teetering on the razor’s edge…

I think we’re all kind of banking on you. Calies. To come through for us on this recall terrorist (but legal, in this case – not that they care about that) attack. You gave us Ronnie and Nancy who started the nightmare. And now you have a chance to make it right. Thank you, to Shadow and her son and MB and Socal and quioxote and all the people trying to make it right. I’m hanging on by my fingernails.

Yes I know… I have no leg to stand on. My state sucks. But not as bad as like 40 other states.

I sure hope people vote in Cali. The ballot is needlessly confusing.

I am going to vote “No” and also write in Gavin Newsom’s name on Question 2. It’s a bad idea for him to leave his name off that question since a lot of people may vote “Yes,” and in that case he isn’t even an option for those who voted “No.”

Here’s more discussion about a vaccine mandate, which I believe will be federal in some fashion by October 1.

I like her. Way to go Governor Hochul!

In the critter category, some good news from Afghanistan:

Thank you so much for the puppy breaks, Luna. Like fireworks in the sky – that’s what happens inside my chest when I see puppies.

This is my song to puppies everywhere:

DYB @44 I REALLY loved Cher and Madonna together! So great.

@61: Purple Power!! Woot woot! Purple was my Mom’s favorite color.

Something to distract us away from our earthly troubles … for a while.

D, fabulous post! I’ve always loved the John Williams soundtracks, did not know how much he copied! His son, Joe Williams has been the singer for the band “Toto” for years. He’s a pretty good singer.

@13, I love Dmitri Tiomkin, whom I first heard as a little kid when watching “The Guns of Navarone” which I thought was an amazing movie score.

I will check out Dua Lipa.

Luna @7, Ahh, that is a palate cleanser. Beautiful.

PJ @10, That was a great movie. Poor Salieri!

D @18 &19, very interesting tidbits! Although my sibs & I loved rock n roll and pop music, my parents made sure we heard plenty of classical, and some opera. I was the one that appreciated it the most.
They also liked the popular singers of their generation, like Sinatra and Doris Day, etc. The only music I did not grow up hearing was Country.

Agree with all of you about 2008, in fact, read and chatted with some of you about it back then.

Luna, love the cute critters and the Astronomy pictures. Incredible.

PJ @59, Thanks for that encouragement! I hope we will pull it out. The recall law is insane.

MB, I’m glad your trip went well. It sounds like a beautiful tribute.

Quixote @50, over a hundred names last time?!?! I was so angry about that recall I must have burned out the details from my brain. My god. Have the Democrats tried to get rid of the recall? Could it be unconstitutional?

Shadow, @39, interesting comments about the Dems and Chappaquiddick. We did the same as you on our ballots.

Erik Prince, the Blackwater thug, is charging $6,500 to fly people out. Hillary is charging $0.

72 Luna

When I met Hillary and held her hand for a couple of minutes, this is what I said to her, “Hillary, you make me feel so proud.” She still does. What a wonderful woman she is.

Luna, thanks for the uplifting photos.
The white pup with his legs out back, doing the frog position…he is so darn cute.
Also the full moon in a beautiful setting.

For anyone in CA that wants to check that their ballot was received by the state, here’s the link. Just click on ‘Where’s My Ballot’ button.

My ballot is in the hands of the post office and the State said they were notified by the post office that it would be received by them soon.

Couldn’t be easier. I wish all the other states would do this for their voters.

Beata, I hope you are feeling well. We miss you.
You too, Fredster.

Hey ya’ll!

Well, as some of you already know I got the ‘Rona. Delta breakthrough. First started feeling ill on Saturday, got tested, positive. The symptoms have been fairly mild. Light fever, light cough, stuffy nose. The stuffy nose is the most annoying part. On the phone with a friend he said I sounded winded, though I haven’t noticed that especially. And on Wednesday while cleaning out my cat’s litter box I noticed I couldn’t smell it. So my sense of smell is gone. But fortunately I can still taste food! So far I’m not missing any smells. LOL.

I’m already on the mend, the fever is gone, the stuffiness clearing up. So I’m ok.

But a creepy thing happened yesterday: I live in a doorman building. My doorman calls from downstairs. He says there’s some woman from NYC Health Dept to see me. I’m like “Huh?” She takes the intercom and says they tried to call me, but couldn’t get through. She reads the phone number and it’s not my number. She asks me for my phone number so she can call me because she’d rather not come upstairs. I was like “I don’t know who you are and I don’t want you coming upstairs either.” I did give her my number so she calls. NYC Health Dept gets all the positive test results back and they do tracing. She wanted to know where I was and who I was with. She says I don’t have to respond, but they are trying to do tracing. She wanted me to give her my friends’ contact info because she wants to confirm they’ve also been vaccinated and tested. I was like “I’m not comfortable giving you their info, but I’ll give them your info and if they want, they will call you.” Some of them did call. She also went through a list of all the symptoms to check which ones I had. She said they’ll be texting me every day until Aug 31st (which is supposed to be the last day of my quarantine.) And I should respond to the texts. It’s actually kind of scary and creepy, no? I get that tracing is important, but they showed up at my house!

Beata and Fredster (I haven’t heard from Fredster in a long time), I hope they are all ok!

@69 annie, I also listen to a fairly wide variety of music. Mostly classical, but besides Madonna (!), you can find music from Sinatra and Emmylou Harris, etc. I do have very little country (at least contemporary country, is Emmylou Harris country music?). Very little rap, heavy metal, etc.

D, I’m so sorry you went through the ‘Rona! And the contact tracing sounds invasive. I hope you continue to recover.

The media is really trying to build a narrative about Biden. That 41% approval rating was a massive outlier and there isn’t a statistically significant drop at this point.

DYB, I sorry to hear that you were a break-through Covid Delta victim. So glad to hear your symptoms are mild and you are on the mend. Thanks for letting me know what your experience is like. Hope you are over it soon and maybe you can gain more immunity for it? Sounds like your vaccine is working well.

As far as the aggressive MO of the ‘tracker’, coming to your house and grilling you on your friends is pretty weird. I think you did the best thing by letting your friends call him/her if they want to. The aggressiveness of this person seems over-the-top to me.

Do you have any idea how you got Covid?

DYB, sorry to hear about the breakthrough and glad it’s mild.

Re the contact tracing. We’ve all developed allergic reactions (rightly) to the insane intrusiveness of commercial tracking. But public health tracking is actually a good thing.

Yes, it feels intrusive. But they really do need to know everywhere you’ve been while infectious, who you’ve been near, and how well you’re isolating. That’s the only way of having a hope to stop transmission.

That said, given how transmissible delta is, and given how it’s already widespread, contact tracing in NY is probably on the order of herding cats. (In FL it would be hopeless.) But still, props to the NY Health Dept for trying.

@83 quixote, I understand why it’s important to trace…but it’s undeniably bizarre to have a government official show up at my home demanding to know where I was and who I was with… There’s just no way around that.

Yeah. Not sure what the house call is about, except that they did say they tried to call first. I’m amazed the NY Public Health has the personnel to make house calls for every person they can’t reach. ?? That’s the weird part to me.


So that whole thing about #DeathSantis running for President? Voters in his state say “no thanks.” New York’s Nosferatu Part Deux!

Good news so far on the recall. Votes have not been counted, but here is the count on the ballots mailed in and how many were from Dems, Stupidos, and Others (Independents).

Quotes below:

The early numbers look good for Democrats.

“…the number of ballots collected across California at almost 2.7 million — roughly 12% of the 22.2 million ballots mailed earlier this month.

While Los Angeles and Orange counties have reported returned ballot counts consistent with the statewide average, the early response has been huge in Bay Area counties that are solidly Democratic. San Francisco reported 23% of its ballots have been returned, Alameda County reported 18% of its ballots are back in the hands of elections officials and Santa Clara County reported almost 17% of ballots have been cast.

Compare that with counties where Republicans hold sway: 11% of ballots returned in Riverside County, less than 10% in San Bernardino County, only 7% in Fresno County and a scant 1.9% of ballots returned in Kern County, according to the state survey.

More info…

DYB, my professional medical opinion (as the phrase goes) is that contact tracing is a damn good idea and strategy for limiting the spread of Covid. I am surprised they have the staff to come to make house calls, but good that they can. OTOH I would have done the same cautious approach as you until finding out that was the current process. Does NY state publicize that they have this process?

That kind of contact tracing, including in-person visits if necessary (and to ensure treatment adherence) has been standard for TB in my state, and I’m sure in other states. TB is too nasty of a disease to let spread. So is Covid.

Our state does Covid infection contact tracing after getting the mandatory- report info on positive infections. Reading up on it, they call or send letters rather than do house calls. We don’t have enough staff!

What’s also good is that WA has a free app, available in 30 languages, for anonymous contact notification:

When you enable WA Notify, your phone exchanges random, anonymous codes with the phones of people you are near who have also enabled WA Notify. The app uses privacy-preserving Low Energy Bluetooth technology to exchange these random codes without revealing any information about you. If another WA Notify user you’ve been near in the last two weeks later tests positive for COVID-19 and follows the steps to anonymously notify others, you’ll get an anonymous notification that you’ve had a possible exposure. This lets you get the care you need quickly and helps prevent you from spreading COVID-19 to the people around you.

An algorithm does the math to identify events that could potentially transmit COVID-19 from ones that were at a safe distance or short enough that you don’t need to be warned. WA Notify will only alert you if you have potentially been exposed.

I hope you get your sense of smell back soon! Since you still have your taste sense, which is closely allied with odor sensation, odds are that it’s temporary.

*Very* ambivalent about recognizing the Taliban to the extent of maintaining a diplomatic mission. Maybe if they proved they’re no longer cursed criminals escaped straight from hell for at least ten years…. Even then. They have committed crimes against humanity to rival any monster in history. (Of course, that assumes women are human.) They have no place in decent society except in sackcloth and ashes, repenting their millions of sins.

Recognize the Taliban as misogynist terrorists. Nothing more.

This wren is closely related to Troglodytes pacificus, the Pacific wren (formerly considered to be the same species as the Eastern N American winter wren, and the European wren), which has an even lovelier song. They’re common in coniferous forests where they flit about in the undergrowth and burble songs which are amazingly long and complex, especially coming from such a tiny bird — only 4″ in length including the tail.

Thanks for the lovely palate cleanser, Luna!


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