Archive for Open Thread
Something to lighten up the blackness of the consumer frenzy.
Fifty years ago today, November 22, I was in Scout Room in the basement of St. Celestine’s Catholic School in Elmwood Park, IL, a close-in Chicago suburb. It was, like today, a Friday. Friday afternoon. I was sitting on the right side of the classroom, halfway down the row of wooden desks against the windows that looked out into the window well. The sun was streaming in through the grating above when the news came over the P.A. that President John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic president, had been shot in Dallas. There was no further news on his condition. We prayed the rosary, then school let out early. The world had stopped.
It was not the first death I had experienced as a child. Three years earlier, my uncle had died in the Park Slope mid-air collision over New York City. Still, the news was dramatic and alarming, yet incomprehensible.
Last night while driving back to my hotel, NPR’s “All Things Considered” aired a feature about the reaction at a Boston Symphony concert when the news arrived. Conductor Erich Leinsdorf delivered the news and, as the shocked audience’s gasps echoed in the hall, announced that the orchestra would play the funeral march from Beethoven’s Third Symphony. A second wave of gasps, as the finality of the news sank in.
I had never heard this tape before.
Later, during a scheduled intermission, the musicians debated backstage whether it was appropriate to go on. Ultimately, Henry B. Cabot, the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s president of trustees, decided the music should continue.
Cabot addressed the audience, “The ladies and gentlemen of the orchestra came to me during intermission, and some of them felt that we should not continue the concert. I told them that I thought we should continue. And I told them that the day my father died,” Cabot said, his voice cracking, “I came to a symphony concert for consolation. And I believe you will receive it yourselves.”
Fifty years later, I teared up behind the wheel.
Randi Rhodes is going off the air. No more “It’s Friday, you bastards!”
Rhodes, whose nationally syndicated show airs Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m., had suggested to her listeners since October that her days on radio were “totally numbered.” Premiere said today it will no longer carry her show after the year ends.
“Premiere Networks will no longer produce and distribute The Randi Rhodes Show after Tuesday, December 31, 2013,” Premiere’s public relations director Rachel Nelson told POLITICO in an email.
Rand Paul — Real American.
“I never, ever cheated. I don’t condone cheating. But I would sometimes spread misinformation. This is a great tactic. Misinformation can be very important.”
All Saints’ Day. Anyone visiting a cemetery besides the pope?
Mr. Blount doesn’t have to go as far as Europe to ply his faux hayseed persona. He has only to head north. In ”I Don’t Eat Dirt Personally” (that title alone would make me buy the book), Mr. Blount is ”in someone’s chic salon eating arugula” when his dinner partner starts to press him on the alleged Southern habit of eating dirt, all her prejudices about the unspeakable practices down South yearning to be confirmed. Mr. Blount breezily complies: ”Hell, yes, we eat dirt. . . . And if you never ate any blackened red dirt, you don’t know what’s good. I understand you people up here eat raw fish.”
Hell, yes, this is your Friday Open Thread!
The country is open for business and so is this thread.
A few “government shutdown” stories about WIC recipients in North Carolina having nothing to feed their children but beans and Voila!, embattled DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos suddenly finds money to “fully fund” the program after North Carolina was the first (and only) state in the country to pull the plug on WIC. The Charlotte Observer called it “another head-shaking first for our state.”
What’s doing tonight from 5:30-9:30 p.m. besides the Fish Fry at the Bywater?
Thank God It’s Finally.