Thursday, November 30

President or Supreme Court Justice?

I feel I need to let you know that this quote is from Andrew Sullivan. I figure you might get confused because I have so many chats with former presidential candidates.
I had a chat recently with a senior Republican and former presidential candidate. We were discussing how deeply divided the Republicans are. I asked him: what could unite them again at this point? He answered in one word: Hillary. She's the last hope for the far right. Please, Senator Clinton. Don't do it.
Yesterday I heard on someone on NPR talking about Senator Doctor Bill Frist's decision to be a doctor again and they mentioned how wide open the Republican field has become now that several of the presumed frontrunners (Frist, Santorum, the guy in VA) are out of the race. My thought was then, what do the Democrats have to do to fuck this up. We'll never again have an Independent, let alone Green Party, as a serious candidate so I have to align myself with Democrats, which is depressing in and of itself, since they can't seem to shoot fish in a barrel. Anyway, Andrew and his unnamed conversation partner pretty much spell it out. Hillary is not the candidate for 2008, if ever. She's an extraordinary woman but I don't think the Oval Office should be her goal, nor the best embodiment of non ministrari sed ministrare.

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Tuesday, November 28

Bebe Moore Campbell

Rest in peace Bebe Moore Campbell.

This has been a bad Fall for Black entertainers. We have lost several and from almost every creative arena.

Yet again, I have been caught with an author I know more by reputation that work. I have not read any Bebe Moore Campbell but I recognize her as a thoughtful, well-respected writer.

Read something for Bebe Moore Campbell.

King Biscuit's King

Robert Lockwood aka Robert Junior Lockwood has died.

I was fortunate enough to see Robert perform several times through the years at King Biscuit Blues Fest and it was always a pleasure. It was romantic to stand in the shadow of the step-son of Robert Johnson and it was fun to listen to him play.

He had an uptown style nothing like what you probably think of when you think of his step-father, Robert Johnson. Robert Johnson taught Lockwood some guitar stuff but Robert Lockwood was a child of the jazz era and his music was more like T-Bone Walker than Robert Johnson.

His generation is all but gone; Honeyboy Edwards being one of a very few still around. Hell, even the next generation which includes BB King and Buddy Guy is about gone. The Blues is on the verge of becoming a historic artform. I know some will argue with me about that but so few of the artists out there who are creating interesting Blues. I kinda gave up on the music a while ago so maybe it's just me but I can't help think the good stuff is being ignored and therefore suffocating the genre.

Enough of that negativity.

Go see live blues for Robert Lockwood.

Sunday, November 26

Green Cup 2010

Looks like South Africa might have a green cup (the world cup)!
An initiative aimed to implementing a "Zero Waste" concept for the 2010 World Cup was launched today in South Africa with the support of the government as well as local and international businesses.
I wanna go, I wanna go, I wanna go.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

The one whose mind knows the clarity of perfect wisdom is never afraid or even anxious. Why? Because when being at one with the living power of wisdom, the mother of all the buddhas, that person has the strength to remain in a state of undivided contemplation even while ceaselessly and skillfully engaging in compassionate action.

The wise one is enabled to act because of concentration on a single prayer:
"May all beings never leave the path of enlightenment, which is their own true nature and is empty of separate self-existence."

Drink Beer & Save the World

Homer said it best:
Bart, a woman is like beer. They look good, they smell good, and you'd step over your own mother just to get one!
I knew drinking all that beer was doing good.

Buy the book (Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer and Save the World)
Buy some local beer.

Wednesday, November 22


I have yet to read her (Zadie Smith) books but I have heard several interviews with her and she sounds brilliant.

A pull quote stolen from Boing Boing:
But the problem with readers, the idea we’re given of reading is that the model of a reader is the person watching a film, or watching television. So the greatest principle is, "I should sit here and I should be entertained." And the more classical model, which has been completely taken away, is the idea of a reader as an amateur musician. An amateur musician who sits at the piano, has a piece of music, which is the work, made by somebody they don’t know, who they probably couldn’t comprehend entirely, and they have to use their skills to play this piece of music. The greater the skill, the greater the gift that you give the artist and that the artist gives you. That’s the incredibly unfashionable idea of reading. And yet when you practice reading, and you work at a text, it can only give you what you put into it. It’s an old moral, but it’s completely true.
The link to KCRW's audio interview.

Tuesday, November 21

Some people are just smarter

I put my simple little tribute to Robert Altman earlier and now I see this:
First, I didn't know there were so many versions of "suicide is painless"; second, and more importantly, I never would have thought to make that my tribute like words from the author, just a photo of, music inspired by and a quote from Robert Altman.

That, my friends, is a multi-media tribute.

Robert Altman has died

A man with amazing talent.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Director Robert Altman, who introduced an innovative ensemble style of filmmaking in such works as "MASH," "Gosford Park" and "Nashville," has died at age 81, his production company said on Tuesday.

A spokesman told Reuters that Altman died on Monday night but gave no cause of death.

Altman revealed at the Academy Awards in March that he had a heart transplant when he was in his 70s but kept it a secret in order to keep working. He received a lifetime achievement award at the same ceremony.

Altman, born in Kansas City, Missouri, was 30 when he made his first feature film.

On the strength of that he moved to Hollywood where his big break came with "MASH," the 1970 black comedy about a medical unit during the Korean War. Its irreverent ad lib dialogue caught viewers by surprise and ushered in a new era of film making.

Monday, November 20

Film City USA

Nashville is usually thought of as a music city, and we are definitely that, but what most people don't know is that we are a movie city and tonight was payoff to the supporters of this industry and art form.

Nashville Film Festival has arranged a special engagement of the new film:
Come Early Morning

Exclusive and FREE To Our NFC Members

The film's star, Ashley Judd, director, Joey Lauren Adams (to be confirmed) and music producer, Alan Brewer will be in attendance for a special Q & A panel to follow. Brian Mansfield (Nashville correspondent for USA Today) will moderate the panel.

Come Early Morning
Monday, November 20, 7pm
Regal Green Hills Cinema
Q & A Panel to Follow Screening

NFC Members may bring one guest to this event. Members must show their NFC Card for admittance. Seating is limited.

Come Early Morning, Dir. Joey Lauren Adams, 97 min, USA, Rated R (language and some sexual situations)
Cast : Ashley Judd, Jeffrey Donovan, Tim Blake Nelson, Laura Pepron, Diane Ladd, Stacey Keach
Original Music by Alan Brewer

Come Early Morning is a beautifully rendered film about a southern woman in a small-town, rural community, a subject director Joey Lauren Adams obviously knows intimately. Delicately told, it is the story of Lucy, a 30-something woman who keeps waking up with a stiff hangover and a guy she doesn't even want to look at. If coming to grips with why she keeps repeating this pattern isn't enough, Lucy also begins to realize that she needs to get in touch with her familial past and, more importantly, with the person she has become. Fueled by a perfectly nuanced performance from the gifted Ashley Judd, Come Early Morning is about life transitions, the search for love, and the burdens we carry with us. A portrait of simple truths that isn't archetypal melodrama, it steadfastly avoids wallowing in the depths of sentimentality or self-destruction. You can't help but appreciate this kind of storytelling for its directness, honesty, and qualities of toughness and heart that leave you wanting to know more as it plays itself out, following you into that part of your filmic memory reserved for distinction.-- Geoffrey Gilmore, Sundance Film Festival

Questions or comments? Email or call (615) 742-2500.
The film was quite good. Ashley and her mama, Naomi, sat directly behind us. I could soak in the Ashley lovliness. I do have to say it was a little uncomfortable thinking about hot she looked in her underwear during most of the movie with her sitting right behind me. She looked fabulous in her winter coat too but wow...on the screen and her equally attractive, although trashed down roommate, Laura Prepon.

It's kind of a southern gothic chick flick but it's good.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

The Buddha was joined by his own son, Rahula, a young boy. He advised him: "Cultivate Rahula, a meditation on loving-kindness, for by cultivating loving-kindness, ill will is banished forever. Cultivate, too, a meditation on compassion, for by cultivating compassion, you will find harm and cruelty disappear."
Majjhima Nikaya

Ruth Brown RIP

I have never been a huge fan of female singers - there are exceptions, always - and therefore never paid much attention to Ruth. As any growing individual and music fan I now appreciate and respect her. As we move into the 21st century we will continue to lose these pioneering musicians and that is an unfortunate fact of life. We do have a well documented body of work and for that we can be glad.

So, go out and buy some Ruth Brown.

Nike now gets it

Nov 20 (Reuters) - Sporting goods company Nike Inc. (NKE) on Monday said it stopped orders with its Pakistan-based supplier of hand-stitched soccer balls over labor concerns.

The company said the decision follows the supplier's failure to correct significant labor compliance violations.

Nike said soccer teams and leagues sponsored by Nike will not be affected by the decision. The company, however, continues to source apparel in Pakistan. (Reporting by Shikhar Balwani in Bangalore)

Friday, November 17

Another Way To Tell If Gore Is Running...

I'm starting with the end of this article because I think it's the most interesting theory. It's going to be fun watching what happens with the 2008 presidential election. I don't think it's Al's time. I just don't know if people are ready for President Gore. I think he should continue to do what he's doing for another 4 years, if not 8. Barring most situations I will vote for him based on his environmental policies alone but I just don't think most Americans give a shit about global's too theoretical, especially in the christian fundamentalist realm, which seems to be a predominant ideology right now. Oscars are in Jan or Feb so we'll see.
An Inconvenient Truth will probably be nominated for an Oscar. It's the third highest grossing documentary in history and the most successful documentary of 2006. It will probably win. If you see a chubby, happy Al Gore standing next to the producer and director, celebrating the win at the Oscars, forget it, he's not running. Nothing to do with Hollywood plays well in the heartland (except the movies themselves). The cultural resentment of Hollywood is almost pathological in certain sections of the country. However, if Gore chooses not to be there -- if he's at the spa that day -- then you can take it to the bank. Big Al's running.
Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for pointing the way to another interesting article.

Monday, November 13

Monkey Fish Frog

I laughed at this one scene of South Park more than any other scene since the original unaired pilot.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Of slight account, monks, is the loss of such things as reputation. Miserable indeed among losses is the loss of wisdom.

Of slight account, monks, is the increase of such things as reputation. Chief of all the increases is that of wisdom.
Anguttara Nikaya

Tis the Season for Fair Trade

Visit - the new marketplace for ethical and fairtrade products.

For a Christmas which invokes the true spirit of the season, make this festive season a Fair trade one.

Never before have so many Fairtrade certified seasonal gifts been as readily available as they are this year. The growing range of Fairtrade cotton has meant many new gift ideas for this year and a Fairtrade football should help kick start the New Year in a positive way.

Fairtrade food, drinks, flowers and chocolate can all help to make this a time to remember – in our homes and in homes on the other side of the world.

Choose from hundreds of exciting products with the FAIRTRADE Mark now available in the new look and you can spend your Christmas cash safe in the knowledge that your purchases are guaranteed to make a real difference to the lives of marginalised farmers and their families in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Friday, November 10

Damn, Not Gerald too!

(CNN) -- Gerald Levert, the R&B singer whose hits included "I Swear" and "I'd Give Anything," as well as chart-toppers with the groups LeVert and LSG, has died, according to his label, Atlantic Records. He was 40.
So young.

More Mr. Ed

I put my two cents in yesterday but I like the way James Poling says it over at metadish. I have to agree with how he remembers those Sundays at 6pm. The difference being ed Bradley was even cooler because he was a Black guy, like my dad and ultimately, like me.

Thursday, November 9

So long to the "60 Minute Man"

Sad news. I had no idea he had leukemia. Ed Bradley was a hero and an icon.

Bad couple of days for the big guys

Spain: Miguel Angel Sanchez's 57th-minute goal gave third-division Rayo Vallecano a 1-0 win over Espanyol and eliminated the defending champion from the Copa del Rey.

Scotland: St Johnstone recorded one of their finest results to stun Rangers at Ibrox and reach the CIS Cup semi-finals.

Hibernian progressed to the CIS Cup semi-finals thanks to a deserved win over Edinburgh rivals Hearts.

Monday, November 6

Bill Clinton & the Stones suck

Ahmet is one of the most important people in my musical pantheon and I hope he recovers fully.
Ahmet Ertegun, the founder of Atlantic Records, was in a coma after falling backstage at former President Bill Clinton's birthday party in New York.
Ertegun slipped and hit his head as the Rolling Stones were going onstage to perform Sunday, Oct. 29, The Daily Mail reported.
"Mick was terribly upset," an aide to the band said, referring to lead singer Mick Jagger. "Ahmet was unconscious in the intensive care unit and the doctors at first didn't give him much of a chance. But they are now listing him as stable."
Ertegun, son of a Turkish diplomat, founded Atlantic in 1947 with his brother, using money borrowed from their dentist. The label's roster has included luminaries of jazz, R&B and rock ranging from Ray Charles and Duke Ellington to Led Zeppelin and the Stones.
Original story

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Having slain anger, one sleeps soundly;
Having slain anger, one does not sorrow;
The killing of anger,
With its poisoned root and honeyed tip:
This is the killing the noble ones praise,
For having slain that, one does not sorrow.
Buddha, "The Connected Discourses of the Buddha"

Saturday, November 4

Buddhist Thought of the Day

If you students of the Way wish to become Buddhas, you need study no doctrines whatever, but learn only how to avoid seeking for and attaching yourselves to anything.
Huang Po, "Zen Teaching of Huang Po"

Thursday, November 2

Who let this guy out?

Stephen King
Thanks Time for this quote:
If I know anything, I know scary, and giving this president and this out-of-control Congress two more years to screw up our future is downright terrifying.
Stephen King
In an emailed election pitch for

Nat's Confessions

William Styron died (NYT, you might have to subscribe) the other day.

When I was a freshman at Sewanee I had a lot of trouble with writing (I blame this on my high school but that's another story). I had the same professor for both English 101 & 102.She seemed convinced that I could write I just hadn't been given the skills. After the first couple or three writing assignments she had me in her office weekly were we would go over what I had done correctly and what I had done incorrectly. She was an extremely patient woman and I was a willing student, I mean, I never really thought about. The teacher says "come see me", you go, right? At Sewanee, English 101 was poetry + The Sound & The Fury by Faulkner; English 102 was Shakespeare plays. My professor, whose name I can't remember, suggested we continue working together in ENG 102, our weekly meetings continued and improvements became apparent and consistent. By the end of the semester I was making B's, maybe even an A, on my papers and my professor had announced she was leaving Sewanee to go somewhere in CA. During our last meeting, which was more a congratulatory thing, she expressed her pleasure at my growth by given me her copy of the Confessions of Nat Turner. I didn't know the book or the author. I have no idea if she gave it to me b/c I was Black or b/c she actually thought I would enjoy it. It was years later before I read it but I did. I read it, I enjoyed it. It was my first exposure to the Nat Turner story. I knew he'd led a slave rebellion but I didn't know anything surrounding it nor was I informed enough to realize this was a book of fiction. I'll have to pull it out again to see what I think now.

I think of that professor periodically, probably more than any of my non-departmental professors. She took what seemed like a strong interest in my potential and she helped. At a liberal arts college like Sewanee you cannot survive without being able to write well. For her to help me that first year was instrumental in my ability to make it through an Anthropology program with as little effort as I put in (I worked but not as hard as I should have).