The Widdershins

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Hello Widdershins!

This week is the end of Summer, at least officially. The funny thing is in Eastern Europe we’d never heard of a season ending in the middle of the month. We always considered Autumn began on September 1 (always first day of school.) Winter started December 1. Spring on March 1 and Summer on June 1st. I learned the hard way shortly after coming to the USA that this is not how Americans do it. On some exam in an ESL class the question was “When does Spring begin.” Naturally I said “March 1” and lost a point. Nobody had ever told me it was different here. I also never quite adjusted to Inches/Feet and Fahrenheit. It just makes more sense that water freezes at 0 degrees and boils at 100. And everything else falls in between. I still use a Celsius thermometer for body temperatures. And the metric measuring system just makes so much more sense! It was Ronald Reagan who decided to stick with the Imperial system in the US, wasn’t it? Well, the UK is about to reintroduce the Imperial system. To spite the European Union, I guess? This is Boris Johnson’s great new idea for Brexit… I just don’t know how many ways Boris Johnson can face-plant England. Of course, we had – and still have – You Know Who. So who are we to judge about face-planting.

Speaking of face-planting, the newest MAGAt rally was a bust. Nobody showed up. Now the complaints are “The media overreacted!” Or maybe in this instance the attention given to the plannings of the second rally scared away people like Ginni Thomas – wife of SCOTUS justice Clarence Thomas – from renting buses to bring people to DC; something she did for 1/6. As did countless others.

Speaking of winter coming, Amy Coney Barrett and Clarence Thomas appeared this past week in public and gave speeches on how completely non-political they are. After I stopped laughing I got scared because these people dominate SCOTUS and we are in a world of hurt with their upcoming rulings. The Texas abortion non-ruling is just a taste of what’s to come. The same person that wrote the Texas abortion law is currently petitioning SCOTUS to uphold the Mississippi abortion law and in the same brief argues SCOTUS must overturn the rulings that outlawed a ban on same-sex sex and that allowed gay marriage. The Christian Taliban is on a mission. We may soon be demanding our Democratic governors tell SCOTUS to enforce their laws if they can.

This is an open thread.

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!

Happy Weekend Widdershins!

Another week, more social media outrage over the fact that Merrick Garland hasn’t imprisoned the Trumps yet. Look, I do get it. But he’s been the AG for 4 months. Nobody would have the Trumps in shackles at this point; at least not legally. We have no idea what Garland is planning to do with the Trumps and with their satellites (the Mnuchins, Barrs, Wilburs of the world.) We just don’t have any clue. We can only wait.

The Olympics have began! I think they should have postponed them again. It is simply not safe. Japan is having a massive Covid outbreak. And they are not mandating that athletes be vaccinated. Which is absolutely appalling!!! But they did not allow a deaf and blind Paralympic swimmer to bring her guide (her mother) with her because of Covid precautions. And that swimmer had to withdraw. They also initially did not allow breastfeeding mothers to bring their babies with them – until pressure forced them to reconsider. And then someone scheduled Team USA women’s soccer team to be practicing during the opening ceremonies, so they were not able to attend. And then there’s the ridiculous Ralph Lauren uniforms. The man’s been designing these since the Olympic Games first started in Greece. And they are ridiculously ugly. Is there no other designer with more interesting ideas than “frat party?” But at least Naomi Osaka got to light the torch.

This is an open thread! What’s on your minds?

Happy Weekend Widdershins!

How’s the heat where you are? NYC has been sizzling for a few weeks. Just brutal out there. But we also had torrential rains that flooded the subways. Meanwhile Canadian villages are literally burning to the ground these days from the heat. What I find interesting about these weather phenomenons is that they are becoming more extreme at an extremely fast pace. Just within a span of a couple of years unthinkable things have been happening (Texas freezes!) It’s not as if scientists didn’t warn us about climate change… And they even warned us about how rapidly these things would start happening. And we are watching it in real time…

This is an open thread!

Happy 4th of July Weekend, Widdershins! Or did we replace 4th of July with Juneteenth, as the Republicans claim? I don’t know, I kind of like having two holidays.

What’s everybody’s plans for the 4th? Friends and BBQ? Or just staying in? I’m staying in pretty much. Will meet one friend for lunch tomorrow and then just Netflix and chill with my dog.

This is an open thread!


Biden illustration: REBUILD WITH BIDEN

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Our President

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Not done yet with you

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