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Early morning dew do?

I would like to say, in reflection upon my lovely early morning fitness march I had yesterday in Prospect Park, when so many of my neighbors were out walking their dogs, who gleefully frolicked while catching up with their canine friends, whomever failed clean up the poop caked into the tread of my New Balance shoe, I hope your dog turns on you and shits on your pillow.

Wax Wolf at Bushwick Book Club

Inspired by Dame Darcy’s Meat Cake Bible, “Wax Wolf” by Henry Tenney and your humble Spoon

Hank showed up with some lyrics and they fit surprisingly well with the music I had been flirting with just before he arrived

Video by Dame Darcy

Literature Inspiring Artists

Bushwick Book Club, the brainchild of the amazing Susan Hwang, features artists who create works after reading various pieces of literature.

Now taking place in cities from Seattle to Sweden, the local host chooses a different book for each show, and invites a select group of artists to read it and create music, or dance, or visual art inspired by it.

NoDame Darcy Meat Cake Bible Barbes Bushwick Book Club Wax Wolfrmally it is a novel, or play. But in this case it was the collective issues of Meat Cake, the macabre world created by post-feminist visionary cartoonist Dame Darcy.

A renaissance woman of many talents, Darcy’s 2016 tome Meat Cake Bible includes all 17 issues of Meat Cake (published by Fantagraphics from 1993 to 2008), and includes stories from the unpublished 18th issue.

An Idaho native and bi-coastal bi-continent performer, the author was in town for the Brooklyn Book Fair, and I was quite excited to find her waiting for us at Barbes, on 9th Street in Park Slope, where Bushwick Book Club was convening.

She performed some eerily beautiful music to close the evening. And she told me she recently had a screenplay based on Meat Cake optioned, and she was soon to leave for the Coast to begin the process of having it made into a movie.

The Return of Hanknspoon

TV writer Henry Tenney and I have worked together since our college days. He was one of my original roommates in this apartment building, back before the flood, a member of the Soho theater company I ran in the 1990s, and has been the front man for two bands I started, the Cheese Beads and the Highland Shatners.

And it was Hank who first started calling me Spoon, the name that eventually stuck when it comes to my musical persona.

This was our second collaboration writing a song for Bushwick Book Club, the previous song being created from Galápagos by Kurt Vonnegut. He also sang backing vocals on the tune I composed for the Book Club show based around Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

The next Bushwick Book Club performance will also take place at Barbes, October 10th. The book will be Light on Life, by B. K. S. Iyengar, the so-called Michelangelo of Yoga.

http://bushwickbookclub.com/

https://www.damedarcy.com/

http://barbesbrooklyn.com/

Walter Becker R.I.P.

A Giant from my youth has fallen, Walter Becker dies at 67

Like Paul McCartney, Steely Dan’s Walter Becker played bass for the good of the band, in the early days. But got to show off his competency as a guitarist later on.

The Dan was a major mile post in my post Beatles – Dylan wider awakening.

I learned via an insider that most of the thrust and songwriting was mainly all Fagen, but Becker was the one who was there to say, “Donald, don’t do that. Do this. Now, do it again.”

Few ever did what they did and no one will ever do it again.

Donald Fagen’s eulogy in Rolling Stone.

 

The Moon Walk 50 Years On

As only the Onion would have covered the Moon Landing

Onion Moon Landing

To the moon with you!

Some 20 years ago, I was in a rehearsal hall in midtown Manhattan, surrounded by some 8 cast members and the stage manager of the play I was directing, as we discussed age differences in relationships.

I had mentioned there was a time when I told myself I would not date anyone who was born before the Moon Walk – a stipulation that was abandoned in later years.

On actress perked up to say, “I remember that! My mother got me out of bed to watch it on TV.”

She was referring to Michael Jackson’s performing his backwards shuffle on the MTV Awards.

EVERY person in the room assumed I was referring to the same incident.

The one that stands, oh, alongside the invention of the wheel and writing, as one of the greatest achievements in the history of human civilization seems to have been overlooked. And it continues to be taken for granted every since.

It seems the wrong Moon Walk has taken over the consciousness of Americans, if you can call it consciousness.

A New Yorker Review of the New Canadianisms Dictionary

Jesse Sheidlower, former American editor of the OED, reviews the Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles, Second Edition at the New Yorker Online

Having grown up watching the CBC on Channel 9 out of Windsor, I always had affection for the rather civil Canadian ways of being and seeing, and speaking about the world. And I was always in awe of how the very best youth hockey teams we Ohioans could offer up were devoured like snacks by our jovial Canadian counterparts, who played the gim aboot as well as a gim could be played.

So I very much enjoyed reading this review and being reminded of so many Canadiansims, as well as learning about some previously unfamiliar ones.

“The entry for the stereotypical Canadian term “eh”—not included in the original edition—is almost five thousand words long, discussing its history (it’s first found in British English), its status as a marker of Canadian identity, its main functions (“Confirmational uses, Contesting uses, Pardon eh, and Narrative uses,” further divided into a number of subsenses), and its use in other English-speaking countries. “Hoser” is shown to have been created by the comedians Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, on “Second City TV,” in 1981. The development of “chesterfield”—once a common Canadianism for a sofa of any sort, but now somewhat moribund—is explored at length…

The dictionary also includes regionalisms from around the country. A “parkade” is a multilevel parking garage, found chiefly in Alberta and associated with the Hudson Bay department stores. “Bunny hug” is used in Saskatchewan for a hooded sweatshirt. In Quebec, “guichet” is a term for an A.T.M., from a Canadian French word for “counter.” Newfoundland is particularly well represented, thanks to its isolation and to an unusual Irish-dominated settlement history…”

Updated from the 1967 first edition of A Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles, the DCHP-2 is a “greatly expanded edition, which took eleven years of work by a team of linguists at the University of British Columbia.”

Released to coincide with Canada’s 150th birthday, this new edition was systematically re-conceptualized to focus upon 20th- and 21st-century words, along with revised meanings of various DCHP-1 entries.

Declaring it a “delightful dictionary,” Sheidlower takes minor exception to some lackluster photo illustrations provided for the online project, while praising its less than conservative use of modern research tools, and the inclusion of video still not typically utilized by scholarly websites.

And I found delightful Sheidlower’s own special way of using the English language to explore itself, as I always do. And that included the chuckle I had at the very end, when his parting line about this revised Dictionary of Canadianisms landed right on the button.

Read the Full Review at the New Yorker Here

 

Small Cats Get Their Due

 National Geographic turns a light on small cats usually out of sight

Awesome photography of these rarely seen felines by

Small Cats Iberian Lynx

A fascinating article at nationalgeographic.com focuses on various cat species from around the globe many that most people have rarely seen, or even heard of.

“Advances in genotyping and sequencing reveal that Earth’s 31 small cat species hail from seven distinct lineages, each named for the first discovered species in the line.” Thus the title statement accompanying a chart showing who is related the to whom.

While large in size, the modern day cheetahs and pumas (aka cougars, North American mountain lions) are genetically related to small cats. This is why they do not roar like lions, tigers, and panthers (which include leopards and jaguars) due to a different bone structure in the neck, but can actually purr like a typical house cat.

But the world is full of all sorts of other cats that can appear familiar or incredibly exotic, and which are often singular in their remarkable habits. Or rather, it was once full of them. The all too familiar destruction of natural habitats by our own species has endangered many of this secretive members of our extended planetary family.

I have been a lover of cats since Year One

small cats tsp 1 yr old w kitten

But some of the furry felines in this informative article by were new even to me.

You can read the article and see all of the wonderful photos HERE.

Small Cats - Sand Cat

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/02/photo-ark-little-cats/

 Photographer Joel Sartore Official Website

The Somme in All Its Gory – Monday Map

Brilliant Detective Work at 4D Somme

Cartographers use the scarred landscape of France, World War I maps, and satellite imagery to plot the battlefield in stunning detail

somme-overlay

The website 4D Somme is dedicated to the British units raised in Ireland and Ulster, who saw considerable action during the battle of the Somme, which began on July 1, 1916, and ended nearly 5 months later, on November 18th.

But the overall imagery provided covers the entire battlefield.

somme-lines-july-november

Above, the British lines at the start and end of the battle.

Hundreds of thousands died to move the front about 7 miles – over one million casualties in total among the British, French, and German forces fated to take part in arguably the most savage and costly battle in human history.

The satellite maps and the overlays taken from actual WWI strategic mapping can be zoomed into down to the individual village, trench, or observation post.

somme-air

Above, actual reconnaissance photographs lined up perfectly where they were actually taken from aircraft similar to those operated by my maternal grandfather, who flew for the American forces father south near the end of the Great War.

While other sites go into greater detail about the people who fought and died along the River Somme in 1916, this site is entirely engrossing and highly recommended.

The 4D Somme full url is

http://queensub.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=f0629347d5dc4d6987686f876eec5649

 

 

Happy 75th Bob Dylan

A long life was granted to Bob Dylan

Despite the same perils and pitfalls that felled so many other iconic musicians and songwriters of his ilk and era.

And while this song pokes fun at the way pundits, scholars, and fans have described or imagined Bob Dylan, it is not entirely inaccurate or exaggerated, when it comes to what he does and why.

As for his reputation for astute social commentary, this could have been written last week, instead of half a century ago.

And so too could this…

And when it comes to precision strikes in the post 9-11 world, here Bob Dylan pays homage to any early influence from the Delta Blues tradition while landing direct hits on the delusional societal backsliding centered at Twelfth Street and Vine, which has never actually existed in Kansas City, any more than other myths people cling to while denying the reality of everything from Climate Change to Evolution.