Posted: May 19, 2015 Filed under: 2016 elections, morning reads, Republican politics, U.S. Politics | Tags: Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal, Department of Education, Donald Trump, George Pataki, Jeb Bush, Koch Brothers, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, same-sex marriage, Scott Walker
In this today’s Washington Post, Dana Millbank belatedly latches onto a very old meme–The Republican field is a clown car–in order to promote one of the clowns.
“If you can’t take a joke,” Lindsey Graham has said , “don’t run for president.”
Graham, a senator from South Carolina and one of umpteen Republicans running for president, can take a joke — which is why he appreciates the absurdity that is the GOP field. There are far too many candidates (so many that there are concerns they won’t all fit on a debate stage), and to gain attention they are juggling, tooting horns and blowing slide whistles like so many painted performers emerging from a clown car.
“I do bar mitzvahs, birthday parties, weddings, funerals — call me, I’ll come,” Graham told a crowd in New Hampshire last month. He said voters should ignore Hillary Clinton and “look to the 35 people running for president on the Republican side. And just shoot up among us until you get one of us out of the tree.”
But what if you are the joke? Just think, Graham could be the first obviously closeted gay man to win the nomination of the party that hates gays and wants them to be second class citizens.
Ted Cruz tried for his 15 minutes of fame by holding the first announcement. Marco Rubio drew thousands to Miami’s Freedom Tower. Mike Huckabee brought in aging crooner Tony Orlando but was easily eclipsed by Ben Carson, who had a musical extravaganza and a video putting the candidate in the company of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr.
Former New York governor George Pataki, perhaps the smallest of the GOP Lilliputians, announced on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” last week that . . . he will make his announcement on May 28. Donald Trump announced over the weekend that he would make an announcement in June and that “the announcement is going to surprise a lot of people.”
It would probably surprise a lot of people if Trump said something that made sense.
Sigh . . . .
Also in this morning’s WaPo, Bobby Jindal hints that he too will have an important announcement soon: Bobby Jindal launches presidential exploratory committee.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) on Monday formally launched a presidential exploratory committee, the clearest indication yet that he is gearing up for a White House run.
“For some time now, my wife Supriya and I have been thinking and praying about whether to run for the Presidency of our great nation,” Jindal said in a statement. “If I run, my candidacy will be based on the idea that the American people are ready to try a dramatically different direction. Not a course correction, but a dramatically different path.”
The Louisiana Republican has made frequent visits to key early voting states in recent months, testing a message centered on the need to “restore the American Dream,” which he says President Obama’s “weak leadership” has diminished. But despite his experience as governor and a compelling personal background as the American-born son of Indian immigrants, Jindal has struggled to make an impact in national polls of potential Republican candidates.
If Jindal does anything “dramatically different,” I’d be stunned. But he’ll just be peddling the usual Koch brothers gibberish to very small audiences.
What are the other clown car occupants up to?
Rick Sanatorum has been busy either grossly misinterpreting or blatantly lying about a book he supposedly read.
Buzzfeed: Harvard Professor: Rick Santorum Is Misusing My Book To Say “All Black Men Are Sexual Predators.”
Last week, former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum called men who father children with multiple women “sexual predators.”
When making his argument to the socially-conservative Cornerstone organization in New Hampshire, Santorum cited statistics on marriage from Harvard professor Robert Putnam’s book, Our Kids.
“Another new statistic just came out in his book. A majority of children being born out of wedlock today in America are born in families where the father is in the home. But they’re not married,” said Santorum. “So they are born to cohabiting couples. So the majority of children born out of wedlock are born to cohabiting couples. And what does Putnam say about these? They stuck to them longitudinally, they never get married. Let me use that term, never, like one or two percent ever get married.
“And he compared it when he was growing up in the 1950s and when children were conceived out of wedlock, what happened in the 1950s,” added Santorum. “We all know what happened in the 1950s and here is the amazing thing, this is Putnam saying this, 80 plus percent of these marriages succeeded.
“And children were raised in stable homes. Now these fathers leave the home and not just father children with that particular women, they father a child with another women, and another and another. We have created predators, sexual predators particularly where, again, Putnam—low income America.”
Voters will spend the next year trying to figure out the different shades of the GOP presidential candidates.
Here’s what Putnam had to say about Santorum’s comments.
“I’m a progressive and I think the evidence is that first of all, there has been a collapse in the working family class family, black and white, and that’s bad for kids,” Putnam said responding to Santorum in a speech to promote his book last week.
Putnam said Santorum misinterpreted what he was saying and took advantage of “the fact I was trying to be open.”
“But there is a presidential candidate, who yesterday quoted me as saying therefore—he’s quoted me as saying all black men are sexual predators. I’m not going to say who it is but what I’m trying to say is, he’s a conservative and he took what I was saying and sort of so misinterpreted it that it’s nothing like—it’s just isn’t even in the universe of what I said. But that’s an example of how at least this one guy was in effect taking advantage of the fact that I was trying to be open. He says ‘isn’t it amazing that this liberal’, actually he said ‘this extreme leftist at Harvard acknowledges that blah, blah, blah.’”
Another clown car occupant, Rand Paul wants to eliminate the Department of Education (Rick Perry and Mike Huckabee do too). Think Progress explains: What Would Actually Happen If Rand Paul Eliminated The Department Of Education. According to TP,
We wouldn’t have a federal department to administer Pell Grants to students….
There wouldn’t be any oversight over states when they break civil rights laws….
There wouldn’t be a department to check on rampant inequality between low-income school districts and wealthy districts.
We would have inconsistent education data, as the quality of data would vary among the states….
There would be more gender discrimination within schools….
There would be no way to hold schools accountable for the funds they receive.
Of course for the GOP clowns, those are goals that should be wholeheartedly supported.
Jeb Bush stumbled out the block and has continued to stumble and stagger on his path to an as-yet unannounced presidential candidacy. Here’s the latest from Reuters, via Yahoo News: Jeb Bush sees no constitutional right to gay marriage.
(Reuters) – Republican Jeb Bush said in a weekend radio interview that he does not believe the Constitution grants a right to gay marriage, emphasizing his support for “traditional marriage.”
The Supreme Court is expected by the end of June to make a landmark ruling that could make gay marriage the law of the land or return the decision to individual states.
“It’s at the core of the Catholic faith and to imagine how we are going to succeed in our country unless we have committed family life, (a) committed child-centered family system, is hard to imagine,” Bush told the Christian Broadcasting Network show, “The Brody File, in an interview broadcast on Sunday.
“So, irrespective of the Supreme Court ruling because they are going to decide whatever they decide – I don’t know what they are going to do – we need to be stalwart supporters of traditional marriage,” said Bush, who converted to Catholicism 20 years ago….
Bush also said in the radio interview that Christian business owners should be able to refuse, “if it’s based on a religious belief,” to provide services to same-sex couples.
But at Slate, Mark Joseph Stern notes that: Jeb Bush Accidentally Made a Brilliant Argument Against Anti-Gay “Religious Liberty” Laws.
Jeb Bush has an odd conception of liberty. As governor of Florida, Bush strongly opposed same-sex marriage, preferring to force committed gay couples to live as legal strangers with no ability to formally adopt their own children. As his presidential campaign warms up, though, Bush has taken a selectively expansive view of liberty.According to Bush, anti-gay business owners should have a legal right to refuse service to same-sex couples seeking to celebrate their relationship.
Bush’s support for anti-gay “religious liberty” laws are no surprise—unless you happen to have believed that silly BuzzFeed report that he would be “2016’s gay-friendly Republican.” What is surprising is that Bush framed his endorsement of such laws in a way that beautifully illustrates exactly why the usual argument for such laws is so fatuous. Take a look at his comment:
A big country, a tolerant country, ought to be able to figure out the difference between discriminating against someone because of their sexual orientation and not forcing someone to participate in a wedding that they find goes against their moral beliefs. This should not be that complicated. Gosh, it is right now.
At bottom, Bush is arguing that the law should differentiate between identity and conduct. He believes the state may protect gays from discrimination because they’re gay (identity), but not because they’re celebrating a gay relationship (conduct). Unfortunately for Bush, this argument fails quite spectacularly in the wedding context, because homosexuality is an identity defined by its conduct. To be gay is to be attracted to, and maybe marry, someone of the same sex. There is no more fundamental way to discriminate against a gay person than to refuse to serve them based on the fact that they are marrying someone of the same sex.
Koch brothers favorite Scott Walker is having some not-so-funny (from his point of view) problems. He has been a target of corruption investigations for the past couple of years. Now this from The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Records indicate Scott Walker was copied on letter promising loan to donor.
Madison — State records say that Gov. Scott Walker received a copy of a 2011 letter pledging a $500,000 taxpayer loan to a now-defunct Milwaukee construction company headed by a Walker donor, seemingly contradicting statements by the governor and his aides that he was not aware of the award.
A spokeswoman for Walker said that, in spite of the records, a copy of the letter from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. was never delivered to the governor’s office.
The Sept. 9, 2011, letter from Paul Jadin, WEDC’s chief executive officer at the time, was sent to William Minahan, owner of Building Committee Inc., a company that is now being sued by WEDC for defaulting on the unsecured loan without delivering the promised project and the jobs it was supposed to create.
Jadin said in his letter of intent that he was writing “on behalf of Governor Scott Walker” and noted “cc: Scott Walker, Governor” at the bottom.
Walker’s top cabinet appointee, then Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch, urged WEDC officials to provide the loan, and Walker’s then-chief of staff Keith Gilkes attended an initial meeting on it, according to records provided to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by the Walker administration.
“In closing Governor Walker and I are firmly committed to doing everything possible to expedite the processing and awarding of this incentive award,” Jadin wrote in the letter.
Read the details at the link.
And from the La Crosse Tribune: Hours after damning audit, Scott Walker calls off WEDC-WHEDA merger.
Gov. Scott Walker has cancelled a planned merger of two economic development agencies after a new audit said Walker’s job-creating entity failed to follow statutes or its own policies when making financial awards.
The audit released Friday also says the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. failed to meet all statutory requirements related to program oversight and that staff “did not consistently comply with policies established by WEDC’s own governing board” which is chaired by Walker.
The audit comes as Walker had been calling for a merger of WEDC and WHEDA, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.
Within hours of the audit release, Walker issued a statement calling for that merger to be removed from the state budget along with a merger of two other state agencies.
“After hearing concerns from legislators, stakeholders, and the WHEDA and WEDC boards, we asked legislators to remove the proposed agency mergers from the state budget and we asked the bill authors to not move forward with the proposed separate legislation,” Walker said.
Walker also had proposed a merger of the Department of Financial Institutions and the Department of Safety and Professional Services into one regulatory agency. That merger is also cancelled, he said.
Wisconsin Democrats are gloating . . .
“While Scott Walker has completely abandoned Wisconsin to advance his presidential ambitions the continued incompetence and ineptitude at his Economic Disaster Corporation is bordering on criminal negligence at this point,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said in a statement.
Meanwhile, wicked witch Hillary Clinton and her husband (who is a different person) got paid a lot of money for making speeches. Horrors!
That’s all the clown car news I have room for today. What else is happening?
Posted: May 18, 2015 Filed under: 2016 elections, morning reads
Presidential Wannabes are lining up in the nation’s backwaters states that host the earliest primaries to tout their wares. Well, all of them except the Jebster who is fundraising on the West Coast. He’s coming off a very bad, terrible week where he proves yet again, that the Bush Boyz had wasted yet stellar educations. I’d thought just about every one learned the lessons of the foreign policy wreck that was the Iraq invasion and occupation. I guess if you really have no skin in the game and your investments are all lined up in defense industries, you can afford to ignore lessons that cost the rest of us lives, naivety and money.
So, let me start out with Hillary and then go the GOP clown car. There’s a big feature on Clinton in USN&R today that’s worth a look. It characterizes Hillary as a “trail blazer” who is trying to establish her identity outside of her husband. Silly me! I thought she did that when she became a U.S. Senator and successful Secretary of State.
Hillary Clinton is taking some important steps to establish her own identity as she stakes out positions that are separate and distinct from her two celebrity predecessors, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
It’s part of her strategy to set the framework of the 2016 general election very early and in ways that enhance her electability. “She can shape the general election message from Day One,” says political scientist Bill Galston, a former White House adviser to President Bill Clinton. “We know who she is, but not what she stands for. She gets to answer that question on her own terms, which is unprecedented in modern presidential politics.” Hillary Clinton is the overwhelming favorite to win the Democratic presidential nomination, at this point without serious opposition, and will have many months in which to refine her message. A big part of that will be explaining how Hillary differs from Bill and Barack, as she tries to show she is a leader of the future, not a politician from the past.
The process has already begun. Clinton has distanced herself from her husband’s policies by saying that the crime-fighting agenda endorsed by Bill Clinton two decades ago, such as mandatory minimum sentences and other tough anti-crime policies, resulted in too much incarceration of African-American men. She says these policies have not done much to reduce serious crime but have kept young black men away from their families for long periods of time, damaged their ability to be productive citizens, and harmed the social structure of many African-American communities.
I’m really not sure why the media seems to think she’s never been her own person and only reflects the accomplishments and views of her old boss and her husband. This strikes me as supremely patronizing and a level of assholiness that I can’t really comprehend.
Headlines today show my assholy, hot mess Governor Jindal putting together a presidential committee and praying to his angry sky god for guidance. Like he hasn’t been running for the Republican nomination for at least the last three years. The dude should resign the governorship. He hasn’t been the least bit interested in the state, its people, or even being here for at least that long. Tiger Beat on the Potomac has a few money quotes.
Jindal has also suffered from low approval ratings at home — sitting in the high 20s-low 30s — and Louisiana Republicans have criticized him for the state’s budget deficit. In February, Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s — two of the top three U.S. credit rating agencies — downgraded the state’s outlook from “stable” to “negative,” citing Louisiana’s $1.6 billion shortfall and declining oil prices. The budget gap has increased pressure on the governor to raise taxes, which would be a nonstarter with anti-tax advocates such as Grover Norquist and a liability in a Republican primary. Jindal has blamed much of the budget issues on the drop in oil prices.
He has so far been overshadowed in a large and growing Republican presidential field, registering at one percent in the latest polls among national Republicans and those in Iowa and New Hampshire. Early-state activists say he will likely have trouble breaking through in a field that features many social conservative favorites — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; the past two Iowa caucus winners, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; tea party icon Texas Sen. Ted Cruz; former Texas. Gov Rick Perry and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, among others.
The Jebster has written off Iowa altogether or not. It rather depends on who you’re listening to from his campaign.
Between his low standing in state polls, the socially conservative bent of the Iowa GOP base and his decision to skip the state’s straw poll in August, Bush has lots of incentives to give up on Iowa next year. Republicans here know it, which is why the former Florida governor spent his weekend reassuring them he hasn’t already written off the state as a lost cause.
“I’m going to be here. I’m here right now!” Bush told reporters Saturday after appearing at a fundraiser in Iowa City for Sen. Chuck Grassley. “Why would I be here if I wasn’t going to compete in Iowa?”
From Dubuque to Iowa City to the state GOP’s Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines on Saturday night, Bush threw everything he had into the effort to convince Iowans that he doesn’t plan to blow off the state. His intensely private wife, Columba, and his son Jeb Jr., both accompanied him to Dubuque, where he held an hourlong town hall. He took 11 questions from the crowd there, and then a few dozen “selfies” with attendees before leaving. He met privately with several top donors, county chairs and elected officials — some of whom have been alarmed by Bush’s laissez-faire approach thus far to Iowa — prior to his speech at the Republican Party dinner; when it was over, he greeted a long receiving line of supporters in his hospitality suite
Pearl Clutcher Lady Lindsey has announced he’s running because “the world is falling apart”. Quick! Some one get an interior designer! This is a radically new situation and we need a make over!
Sen. Lindsey Graham said Monday that he will announce his decision about whether to run for president on June 1 in his hometown of Central, South Carolina, but left little doubt about his intentions by saying “I’m running.”
“I’m running because of what you see on television; I’m running because I think the world is falling apart; I’ve been more right than wrong on foreign policy,” he said on “CBS This Morning,” when asked if he was running because he was unimpressed with the rest of the field (and appearing to dispense with the pretense that he hasn’t decided whether to jump in). “It’s not the fault of others, or their lack of this or that that makes me want to run; it’s my ability in my own mind to be a good commander in chief and to make Washington work.”
So, back to Jebster and the good ol’ days of Lord & Master marriages.
After spending a week in the hotseat over his support for the Iraq War, likely presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) on Saturday decided to take a swing at yet another hot-button issue.
Bush told the Christian Broadcasting Network that “traditional marriage” was necessary to rescue children from poverty and achieve success in society.
“If we want to create a right to rise society, where people — particularly children born in poverty, if we want to have them have a chance — we have to restore committed, loving family life with a mom and dad loving their children with their heart and soul,” he said.
Bush, who has said he personally opposes gay couples adopting children, said he did not support a constitutional amendment for same-sex marriage, adding that gay rights have “accelerated at a warp pace.”
“Irrespective of the Supreme Court ruling because they are going to decide whatever they decide, I don’t know what they are going to do, we need to be stalwart supporters of traditional marriage,” he said.
The former governor said that his position on the matter was informed by his Catholicism.
“Talking about being formed by one’s faith, it’s at the core of the Catholic faith,” he said. “And to imagine how we are going to succeed in our country unless we have committed family life, a child-centered family system, is hard to imagine.”
What a clusterfuck the Republican party has become.
What’s on your blogging and reading list today?
Posted: May 17, 2015 Filed under: just because
Did anyone catch the film Tales of Hoffmann last night? It was on TCM, and unfortunately it is not scheduled for broadcast again anytime soon. I missed it. And that is such a disappointment.
More on this film at the end of the post. The images you see are from that opera/ballet put on film in 1951 and 4K digitally restored by Martin Scorsese in a 2015 release that is being screened in limited engagements worldwide. (A few being in Austin, Nashville, San Francisco, and a couple of more cities in the US, as I said more on this later…)
First, let’s get some newsy links out of the way:
The numbers out of Nepal are shocking:
Nepal quake death toll becomes highest on record; dozens still missing | Reuters
The number of people killed in Nepal by two major earthquakes has surpassed 8,500, making the disaster the deadliest to hit the Himalayan country on record, as rescuers on Sunday searched for dozens of people still missing in remote villages.
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, killing thousands and demolishing more than half a million homes, most of them in rural areas cut off from emergency medical care.
A second major quake struck on Tuesday 76 kilometers (47 miles) east of the capital Kathmandu, just as Nepalis were beginning to recover from the previous earthquake.
The death toll from the two quakes now stands at 8,583, the home ministry said on Sunday.
The previous deadliest earthquake to strike the country – in 1934 – killed at least 8,519 in Nepal, as well as thousands more in neighboring India.
Just last night another strong aftershock, if you want to call it that, struck Nepal. Makes you wonder if this is just the few before at big one, by that I mean even larger than the upper 7’s we have already seen.
Turning to US news: Duke professor: Blacks riot because they’re lazier than Asians and have ‘strange’ un-American names Will this shit ever stop:
A North Carolina professor said over the weekend that he was suspended after he was caught writing in the New York Times comment section that there was a link between the Baltimore riots and “strange” names that black people had instead of having traditional white names.
According to WTVD, Duke University Professor Jerry Hough responded to a New York Timeseditorial titled “How Racism Doomed Baltimore” by suggesting that the author’s attitude was what was “wrong” with the black community.
“[T]he blacks get symbolic recognition in an utterly incompetent mayor who handled this so badly from beginning to end that her resignation would be demanded if she were white,” he wrote. “The blacks get awful editorials like this that tell them to feel sorry for themselves.”
Hough noted that “the Asians” faced discrimination throughout U.S. history: “They didn’t feel sorry for themselves, but worked doubly hard.”
“I am a professor at Duke University,” he admitted. “Every Asian student has a very simple old American first name that symbolizes their desire for integration. Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration.”
Hough added that blacks made the problem worse by refusing to date white people.
“It was appropriate that a Chinese design won the competition for the Martin Luther King state,” he concluded. “King helped them overcome. The blacks followed Malcolm X.”
Oh brother….read the rest of what was said and the reaction at the link.
In other news: Addicting Info – Elitist White Teabagger Pens An Article About What It’s Like To Be Black
Alan Caruba, contributing writer for the fringe right-wing Tea Party News Network, has some pretty impressive credentials. Founder of “The Center for Anxiety,” a conservative propaganda mill, Alan has spent his entire life on the quest for knowledge.
Not the kind of knowledge a contemporary student or scholar craves, mind you; Alan’s quest is for knowledge of how to be as ignorant as humanly possible.
At that he is a complete success. Caruba is a notorious science denier; for years he’s claimed that universities keep the myth alive for the benefit of…who knows who. He’s also a proponent of all things biblical, and he hates the LGBT community with a passion because he’s so much better than them.
The list goes on, straight down the lines of the fringe right. Alan Caruba is a holier than thou myth junkie whose views are appreciated by knuckle-dragging nitwits across America.
It’s no wonder he writes for the number one publication of the Tea Party.
You ready for it? There are a lot of misleading and flat out wrong…go and take a look.
That should put you in the mood for…
Op/ed via NYT: Housing Apartheid, American Style – NYTimes.com
A long read via HuffPo: 61 Years After Brown v. Board Of Education, Many Schools Remain Separate And Unequal
So as you take time to read those, let’s segue to a segment from John Oliver, on the current situation in US Education:
American students face a ridiculous amount of testing. John Oliver explains how standardized tests impact school funding, the achievement gap, how often kids are expected to throw up.
Well, what do you expect, after all that standardized testing…you go to college, right?
Then what happens?
Want a job before graduating college? Study technology, and be a man | www.ajc.com
Having a job in hand prior to commencement is a coveted security blanket, but not an easy one to land.
Still, some groups of college seniors and grad students have a better statistical chance of getting one before they enter the real world, according to a new survey.
Being a techie male puts you in the best position, says the annual Career Insight Survey from the career network AfterCollege.
Just 14 percent of college seniors have a job locked up before graduation this year, according to the findings, and only 13 percent of graduate students do.
But, among technology students, 28 percent have jobs in place. That’s far better than business students at 18 percent and life sciences students at 15 percent.
Meanwhile, 18 percent of men have a job being held for them compared to just 11 percent of women students.
“What’s particularly shocking this year is the clear discrepancy in job hunt success based on gender and area of study,” said Roberto Angulo, AfterCollege CEO.
This is particularly shocking?
More links…quick like:
The Right Baits the Left to Turn Against Hillary Clinton – NYTimes.com
I hope this Blue Bell situation gets settled soon, but it looks like it is not: Blue Bell Creameries lays off 1,450 employees due to listeria outbreak
Check it out, gays get rights before women do in Ireland. Sorry, I am so happy for this but it still stings a bit…Ireland appears set to say ‘yes’ in gay marriage vote – Al Jazeera English
The same-sex marriage referendum has transformed Ireland before it’s even begun | Una Mullally | Comment is free | The Guardian
However here in the States, Cruz needs to shut the fuck up: Addicting Info – Ted Cruz: Gay Marriage Is The ‘Greatest Threat To Religion In American History’
I can tell him where he can stick his threat to Religion too…
There is an interesting story here: Daughters of Diaspora | Al Jazeera America
Shaped by the decisions their mothers made, two cousins grapple with assimilation in both the U.S. and France
RIP: Elisabeth Bing, ‘Mother of Lamaze,’ Dies at 100 – NYTimes.com
It seems this first is a long time coming: Juana Garcia, first female NY Water Taxi captain, takes helm – NY Daily News
As a call back to Emma Watson’s He for She Campaign: Salma Hayek Speaks Out on Hollywood’s Failures to Women
And while we are on the subject of Hollywood and women: Why Peggy Olson is the biggest badass on Mad Men
What is Mad Men really about? The series opens (“Smoke Gets in your Eyes”) with handsome, duplicitous, womanizing, alcoholic Donald Draper (or Dick Whitman) alone in a bar, observing patrons through smoke, seated exactly like the opaque window-jumper from the series credits.
However, the unique event which propels the first episode, and the brilliant series that follows, is Peggy Olson’s first day of employment at Sterling Cooper. And what a remarkable day it is. What begins with an awkward elevator ride with Ken Cosgrove (version 1.0), leads Peggy to personal and professional life lessons from Joan Holloway (later Harris), who sends her to a condescending, slut-shaming (and probably ex-lover) gynecologist where she scores her first birth control prescription. From there, we witness a terse Don Draper rebuff Peggy in a cringeworthy exchange, and watch her momentous day end as she guides drunk vulture Pete Campbell into her apartment for a one-night stand.
If you ever want to read a good analyses of Mad Men and the relationship of costumes to characters, go to TLo:
Mad Style | Tom & Lorenzo Fabulous & Opinionated
You will not be sorry….take a look at how they described the last time we saw Peggy, which touches on that first episode of Mad Men:
Cue the rockstar entrance:
Everyone out of my way. It’s my first day on my new job.
No perfectly put-together and professional suits here. She went for a sassy little dress (complete with a row of Pussy Power buttons) instead because Roger Sterling gave her permission to stop worrying about what others think of her. And of course, it’s got her signature power color, that mustard yellow, which has been a consistent motif for her going all the way back to Day One of her career:
Kick ass, Peggy. Kick ass.
And as Peggy navigates the tight hallways of McCann Erickson and embraces her future …
Don’s in as wide open a space as possible, with no idea of what is future’s going to be. We noted before that each final shot of this season has Don stationary, while the camera moves away from him, but this time he’s moving away from the camera himself. It feels less like things are being stripped away from him and more like he’s deliberately running away.
Seriously, their work on these Mad Style reviews is excellent. I think I will miss it just about as much as the show itself…which airs the final episode tonight.
Okay, more quick links, on Cuba:
Cuba a wonderful, eye-opening experience – LA Times
Travel to Cuba – Los Angeles Times
[Postcard] | Kid Chocolate’s Place, by Jason Novak | Harper’s Magazine
Visitors enjoy Canterbury cathedral’s celebrated stained glass at ground level | Culture | The Guardian
Ben Latham-Jones acquires Ealing Studios Entertainment | Deadline
Ben Latham-Jones has fully acquired Ealing Studios Entertainment, the production entity of the iconic London-based studio, it was announced today. Latham-Jones, a former creative director for Fox, will take over the role of head of studio from Barnaby Thompson, who will now segue into focusing on directing. Thompson will retain his shares in Ealing Studios Operations, which runs the stages and facilities side of the business, alongside partners Harry Handelsman and Uri Fruchtmann.
Latham-Jones hopes to turn Ealing into a hub of British filmmaking excellence, recalling its heyday under legendary exec Michael Balcon, who was responsible for classics including The Ladykillers and Kind Hearts and Coronets.
Which brings me full circle back to the film The Tales of Hoffmann…
The Tales of Hoffmann review – Powell and Pressburger’s other magic ballet film | Film | The Guardian
“Made in England” is how Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger finally stamped their unworldly, otherworldly Tales of Hoffmann from 1951, an adaptation of the Jacques Offenbach opera, which is now on rerelease. It actually negated English and British cinema’s reputation for stolid realism. This is a hothouse flower of pure orchidaceous strangeness, enclosed in the studio’s artificial universe, fusing cinema, opera and ballet. It is sensual, macabre, dreamlike and enigmatic: like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In his autobiography, Powell recalls talking to a United Artists executive after the New York premiere, who said to him, wonderingly: “Micky, I wish it were possible to make films like that … ” A revealing choice of words. It was as if what this executive thought he had seen was some kind of miraculous film that he still did not believe was “possible” in any sense. Robert Rounseville is the famous poet Hoffmann, in love with a dancer, played by Moira Shearer. Hoffmann regales tavern drinkers with tales of his three former loves: Olympia, Giulietta and Antonia – an automaton, a courtesan and an invalid, three different manifestations of love’s dangerous, seductive power. In each case Robert Helpmann plays the dark nemesis figure, with his extraordinary, skull-like face. You might compare this to the 1948 Powell and Pressburger film The Red Shoes, though in many ways it is even more hallucinatory.
‘The Tales of Hoffmann,’ Newly Restored, Opens at Film Forum – NYTimes.com
Admirers and detractors of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s film “The Tales of Hoffmann,” from Offenbach’s opera, are equally vociferous. The newly restored edition, playing at Film Forum Friday through next Thursday, reminds us why. This 1951 film belongs to a bewildering number of categories. It’s lip-sync opera, multilayered meta-theater (indeed, a dizzyingly baroque exercise in overt artifice), kitsch extravaganza of luridly colored design (by Hein Heckroth) and keenly musical ballet.
And what’s more, it’s an over-the-top example of 1950s neo-Romanticism tipping over into surrealism; it’s not merely Anglophone but terminally English (the ostentatious quaintness of several accents is its most dated feature); it’s steeped in ideas from Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes (the femme fatale entrancing the hero, the dolls whose poignancy and vivacity raise questions about reality); and it’s an audacious essay in film fantasy, sui generis in its inventions and its splicing of different arts.
I think the next sentence best describes this film:
I love it except when I don’t. It’s crazy, twee, camp, exhilarating, trite, bold.
“Tales of Hoffmann” followed the success of Powell and Pressburger’s “The Red Shoes,” and again its dance heroine is Moira Shearer. Though “Hoffmann” doesn’t have the obsessive fervor of “The Red Shoes,” it’s a much better demonstration of Shearer’s dancing. (She was often the first to say so.) She’s again teamed with the dance-mime stars Léonide Massine and Robert Helpmann; we also see again the ballerina Ludmilla Tcherina.
Watching it again after many years, I’m startled to see just how pervaded by dance and choreography it is. Sometimes in small, scarcely dance moments, it captures the alchemy of movement meeting music better than anything in “Red Shoes.” No wonder: The choreographer is Frederick Ashton, one of the most tellingly musical choreographers of all time, and the conductor is Thomas Beecham, experienced in working with dance since the Diaghilev Ballets Russes, and with long experience with this opera. (His rhythmic élan is a source of life from the very opening bars.) Ashton also gives the film’s best performances, though only in supporting roles.
Best to read the rest of the review at the link.
Other reviews of the film here, if you have access:
Classic film of the week: The Tales of Hoffmann (1951) | The Times
Three Lovers Lost: On ‘The Tales of Hoffmann’ – WSJ
Review: 1951’s ‘The Tales of Hoffmann’ is a triumph of cinematic art – LA Times
Opera Fresh: Classic “Tales Of Hoffmann” Film Gets New Life With 4K Restoration
moviemorlocks.com – NYFF: The Tales of Hoffmann (1951)
Video clips here: Videos for The Tales of Hoffmann
There are three at that link.
But what I want to really share, is the significance of the film….
Schoonmaker, Scorsese on Powell and Pressburger’s ‘Tales of Hoffmann’ | Variety
This week, Camerimage film festival presents a retrospective of the films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Last month at the Lumière Festival, Thelma Schoonmaker, the three-time Oscar winning editor and Powell’s widow, spoke about “The Tales of Hoffmann,” Powell and Pressburger’s 1951 adaptation of Jacques Offenbach’s opera, which is one of the films screening at Camerimage.
Martin Scorsese has influenced generations of new filmmakers. But who and what films influenced Scorsese? One front-runner: “The Tales of Hoffmann,” Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1951 adaptation of Jacques Offenbach’s opera, which liberated the duo from the constraints of early 1950s’ sound cinema.
In a video presentation made for and screened at the Lyon Lumière Festival in October, Scorsese admitted that he became “rather obsessed” by the movie.
That could be an understatement. Attending Lyon, Thelma Schoonmaker, Scorsese’s three-time Oscar winning editor and Powell’s widow, took a captivated audience through the film, shot in only 17 days, its singularity and huge impact on not only Scorsese but also George Romero. Cecil B. DeMille was another large admirer. Bertrand Tavernier pointed to “Blade Runner” as just one movie that channeled “Tales.”
It is fascinating. Read more…at the link.
Another look here:
An even more enchanting ‘Tales of Hoffmann’ after restoration – LA Times
Martin Scorsese said it was a big influence on his films “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull.” George Romero, director of the seminal zombie thriller “Night of the Living Dead,” said it was the reason he became a filmmaker.
The “it” in question is Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s Technicolor masterpiece “The Tales of Hoffmann,” which has entranced and influenced filmmakers since its release in 1951.
“Ten Commandments” director Cecil B. DeMille wrote the British filmmakers in 1952, telling Powell and Pressburger: “For the first time in my life I was treated to Grand Opera where the beauty, power and scope of the music was equally matched by the visual presentation.”
” ‘Tales of Hoffmann’ was a daring and bold thing to try,” said Margaret Bodde, executive director of the Film Foundation, which Scorsese began 25 years ago to preserve and restore motion pictures. “The film is like an experimental film. If you read the description of the production, you wouldn’t have imagined it would have come out as well. It holds your interest in a way that you wouldn’t imagine a film like this would. ”
Now, 64 years after its initial release, “Tales of Hoffmann” has been digitally restored by the Film Foundation and the BFI National Archive in association with Studiocanal. Scorsese, Schoonmaker and Ned Price, vice president of mastering for Warner Bros. technical operations, supervised the restoration work, which was completed by Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging.
This restoration, which opens Friday for a weeklong run at Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles, brings out all the detail in Hein Heckroth’s lush production and costume design and Christopher Challis’ vivid Technicolor cinematography. The new version also includes six minutes of footage that was cut before its original release, as well as an epilogue.
The original 35-millimeter Technicolor three-strip nitrate camera negative and 35-millimeter original soundtrack negative from the British Film Institute vaults were used for the restoration. The material for the added footage was also discovered at BFI.
Those involved with the Film Foundation Technicolor restorations of Powell-Pressburger’s “The Red Shoes” and “The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp” from 1943 had to contend with mold on the original negatives. But that wasn’t the case with “Tales of Hoffmann.”
“It was in quite good condition,” Price said. “We dealt with the normal shrinkage, which is inevitable with film. Over time, they lose moisture. They shrink and they warp differently. But we aligned the three strips, and they matched perfectly.”
Schoonmaker, who also supervised the restoration of “Red Shoes” and “Blimp,” said the team was “very lucky that we could concentrate on the color and the detail instead of having to spend a lot of money on cracks and mold and dirt.”
For years, fans of the film have talked about missing footage, Schoonmaker said.
“Scorsese and I didn’t know what that was,” she said. “Finally, when we started getting all the elements together, the woman at the British Film Institute scoured the vaults and found the missing six minutes.”
Read more about the restored footage…
You can still catch this film on the big screen.
Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger – Pure Genius
Look on that page for scheduled screenings of this film and other Powell and Pressburger films.
Events & Excursions– Portland, San Diego, Berkley…Albuquerque…Austin, go and check it out.
It is exciting because The Tales of Hoffmann is being shown in Nashville May 29th through June 4th…hopefully I can get up there to see it with my mom and Bebe…anyway, just be sure to see if you are lucky enough to be near a screening.
Well, this is a long thread for sure. Thanks to Boston Boomer who wrote all the threads this week, you sure are a hell of a trooper, super woman.
This is an open thread…yeah.
Posted: May 16, 2015 Filed under: morning reads, U.S. Politics | Tags: Archbishop Keough High School, Baltimore police department, Boston Marathon bombing, capital punishment, Catholic Church, death penalty, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Father Joseph Maskell, Jean Hargadon Wehner, sexual abuse by priests, Sister Cathy Cesnick, Terre Haute supermax prison, terrorism
Yesterday the jury in the Boston Marathon bombing case sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death for his role in the 2013 terrorist attack that killed three people and severely injured hundreds more.
From the Washington Post:
BOSTON — Two years after the horrific bombing of this city’s famed marathon, a federal jury on Friday sentenced to death one of the young men responsible for the attack, turning away appeals for mercy from his attorneys and even some victims.
The jury of seven women and five men rendered its decision after deliberating for more than 14 hours. As the verdict was read, the bomber, 21-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, displayed no sign of emotion.
The outcome was a victory for prosecutors, who said the former college student worked in tandem with his older brother and carried out the attack in a “heinous, cruel and depraved manner.” Jurors rejected arguments that Tsarnaev had fallen under the sway of his brother, Tamerlan, and was remorseful over the suffering he caused.
Tsarnaev will be transferred to a federal prison, where he will remain until he is put to death by lethal injection. His attorneys did not comment after the verdict, but they are expected to appeal the sentence.
I was very disappointed in this decision. I strongly resent the Feds coming into Massachusetts, where we don’t have the death penalty and only 18% of citizens supported it for Tsarnaev, and forcing us to accept this barbaric practice against the public will. It also makes me feel sick at heart that the victims will now have to deal with years–probably decades–of appeals of the sentence. Tsarnaev should have been put away for life and left to fade into obscurity.
Tsarnaev showed no emotion as his death sentence was read.
ABC News reports: The Eerie Quiet in Court as Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Sentenced to Die.
An eerie quiet settled over the federal courthouse in Boston today as victims and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing heard a jury ordered Dzhkohar Tsarnaev to be put to death.
Liz Norden, who wanted Tsarnaev to get the death penalty for detonating the bomb that left two of her sons amputees and their bodies forever burned and scarred, cried quietly when the jury decided that the 21-year-old should die for his crimes.
Bill and Denise Richard, who strongly advocated against capital punishment for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, sat stone faced as the verdict was read, even though it was their 8-year-old son Martin who was the youngest victim killed in the horrific attack….
Boston bombing victim Martin Richard.
Inside Courtroom 9 the jurors, seven women and five men, stood as the verdict slip was read, as did Tsarnaev. One male juror removed his eyeglasses and wiped his eyes with a tissue and leaned his body into the rail of the jury box as if to prop himself up. Two female jurors, their cheeks flushed red, sipped from water bottles. Another woman had her arms crossed in front of her.
Tsarnaev never looked toward the jury box, not even when it became clear that those men and women decided he should be put to death. One of his defense attorneys, Miriam Conrad, covered her mouth with her hand. Once the verdict was read, police in court including Watertown Police Chief Ed Deveau and Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans, who is personal friends with the Richard family, exchanged glances.
Throughout it all, the mood in the courtroom was heavy and subdued. The judge’s clerk Paul Lyness admonished those assembled inside before it began that “any outbursts” would be treated as contempt of court. There were none.
Tsarnaev will most like await his appeals at a Federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.
The Indy Star reports: If Boston Bomber is executed, it’ll likely be done in Indiana.
According to an official at the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Terre Haute is the only prison that has the special confinement unit that houses federal death row inmates. While the BOP could not go as far as to say that Terre Haute is the only prison where a federal inmate could be put to death, every federal execution has taken place at the facility since 2001.
Timothy McVeigh, Juan Raul Garza and Louis Jones Jr. were the last three inmates to be strapped to the table in the western Indiana prison and have a lethal drug cocktail run through their veins.
Tsarnaev may now face that same fate.
Larry A. Mackey, the attorney who tried both of the Oklahoma City bombing cases and delivered the prosecution’s closing argument in McVeigh’s, told The Indianapolis Star it’s “highly, highly unlikely” Tsarnaev will win his appeals.
“The judge has been very careful in protecting the defendant’s rights,” said Mackey, who has been following the case closely since it went to trial in March.
Sometime in the next 60 days, Mackey said a formal sentencing hearing will be held, and Tsarnaev will return to court with his council for the judge to impose the jury’s decision to put him to death.
Following the hearing, Tsarnaev will be transported to Terre Haute’s special confinement unit where he’ll wait out the exhaustion of his appeals, said Mackey.
Death chamber at Terre Haute supermax prison
More on the Terre Haute prison from the Boston Herald:
The 1,400-inmate, all-male U.S. Penitentiary at Terre Haute, Ind., is the likely landing spot for the 21-year-old Tsarnaev, who would be housed at the prison’s “special confinement unit” with the other 50-plus inmates on federal death row.
Since the federal death penalty was reinstated in 1988, 74 federal convicts have been sentenced to die for their crimes, but just three have actually been executed and another 10 have been taken off death row, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Sampson, who has since had his death sentenced overturned, first went to Terre Haute following his 2003 conviction.
All three who have been put to death — Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, and Texans Juan Raul Garza and Louis Jones Jr. — were executed at Terre Haute’s in-house chamber.
Robert Nigh, who represented McVeigh, described the Indiana lock-up as a place where inmates “certainly had access to other inmates, commissary, reasonable opportunity for recreation, hygiene.”
The sight — and smells — of the prison’s “death house” still stick with him. “That was surreal,” he said. “When you walked into it, my recollection is (seeing) stark white walls, and it smelled and felt like a hospital or a clinic. It felt like a place where you go to get medical care. It had that feel to it. And it’s designed for the exact opposite.”
An article at Business Insider makes the prison sound a lot worse than the above description: What it’s like inside the terrifying super-max prison where the Boston Bomber is expected to be executed.
Though US Penitentiary Terre Haute has been open since 1940, Tsarnaev would likely be held in the Communications Management Units, a special unit opened in 2006 for terrorism-related offenses.
Because of the prison’s reputation for housing some of the country’s biggest security threats, some have called it “Guantanamo North.”
According to NPR, the units have 50 cells and house many men convicted in notable post-9/11 cases, as well as those involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1999 “Millennium” plot to bomb the Los Angeles International Airport, and multiple hijacking cases.
The Communication Management Units in the prison severely restrict communications between inmates and the outside world. Inmates are limited to two two-hour nonphysical visits per month, plus one 15-minute phone call per week.
Mail must be screened, copied, and evaluated before being delivered to inmates. All conversations must be in English.
Sister Rita Clare Gerardot
According to Sister Rita Clare Gerardot, “a spiritual adviser to death-row inmates at Terre Haute,”
“They are in a small cell by themselves. All their meals are pushed through a slot. There is no recreation, but they can go out of their cells three times a week into cages,” Gerardot told The Tribune-Star, a newspaper in Terre Haute.
Inmates can speak to one another from the front of their cells, according to Gerardot, and have limited time to use a phone, e-mail, or a library.
“Truthfully, I don’t know how they keep their sanity. They have to be persons of great strength of will to get up every day, and know they have no choices,” Gerardot said.
Tsarnaev will likely wish he had died in the Watertown shootout like his older brother Tamerlan. And as the Boston Globe notes this morning “everything could have been different” for this young man.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could have been graduating from UMass Dartmouth this weekend. Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu, Krystle Campbell, and Sean Collier could still be alive.
But everything changed when Tsarnaev, along with his older brother, detonated a pair of bombs near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon.
A 19-year-old sophomore at UMass Dartmouth at the time of the bombing, Tsarnaev was sentenced to death on Friday—while a commencement ceremony for the Class of 2015 was underway. He convicted in April on 17 capital charges and sentenced to death for six of them.
According to a UMass Dartmouth transcript introduced in court during the trial, Tsarnaev was an Engineering undergraduate with a mechanical engineering major during the Fall 2011 semester, his first in college. In the Spring 2013 semester, he was classified as a Arts & Sciences undergraduate with no declared major. The commencement ceremony for undergraduates in the College of Engineering was held Friday at the university’s Vietnam Veterans Peace Memorial Amphitheater. The ceremony for undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences is scheduled for Saturday.
Tsarnaev may never have graduated, even had he and his brother not chosen to perpetrate one of the worst terrorsist acts on U.S. soil. At the time of his arrest, he had a cumulative GPA of 1.094.
But perhaps he could have been among those students celebrating a new a beginning this weekend instead of facing a death sentence.
And everything could have been different.
Sister Catherine Ann Cesnik in 1970
We’ve been hearing a lot about corruption at the Baltimore Police Department lately. Yesterday I read a fascinating story about a cold case that shows the corruption there has a long history. If you’re interested in true crime stories and corruption in the Catholic Church, I highly recommend this piece by Laura Bassett at The Huffington Post,
Buried In Baltimore: The Mysterious Murder Of A Nun Who Knew Too Much.
It’s the story of the murder of a nun who had tried to help girls who were being sexually abused by at least one priest at a Baltimore Catholic school in the late 1960s. Here’s the introduction. I hope it grabs you and you decide to read the entire long article.
On a frigid day in November 1969, Father Joseph Maskell, the chaplain of Archbishop Keough High School in Baltimore, called a student into his office and suggested they go for a drive. When the final bell rang at 2:40 p.m., Jean Hargadon Wehner, a 16-year-old junior at the all-girls Catholic school, followed the priest to the parking lot and climbed into the passenger seat of his light blue Buick Roadmaster.
It was not unusual for Maskell to give students rides home or take them to doctor’s appointments during the school day. The burly, charismatic priest, then 30 years old, had been the chief spiritual and psychological counselor at Keough for two years and was well-known in the community. Annual tuition at Keough was just $200, which attracted working-class families in deeply Catholic southwest Baltimore who couldn’t afford to send their daughters to fancier private schools. Many Keough parents had attended Maskell’s Sunday masses. He’d baptized their babies, and they trusted him implicitly.
This time, though, Maskell didn’t bring Wehner home. He navigated his car past the Catholic hospital and industrial buildings that surrounded Keough’s campus and drove toward the outskirts of the city. Eventually, he stopped at a garbage dump, far from any homes or businesses. Maskell stepped out of the car, and the blonde, freckled teenager followed him across a vast expanse of dirt toward a dark green dumpster.
It was then that she saw the body crumpled on the ground.
Father A. Joseph Maskell
The week prior, Sister Cathy Cesnik, a popular young nun who taught English and drama at Keough, had vanished while on a Friday-night shopping trip. Students, parents and the local media buzzed about the 26-year-old’s disappearance. People from all over Baltimore County helped the police comb local parks and wooded areas for any sign of her.
Wehner immediately recognized the lifeless body as her teacher. “I knew it was her,” she recalled recently. “She wasn’t that far gone that you couldn’t tell it was her.”
Cesnik was still clad in her aqua-colored coat, and maggots were crawling on her face. Wehner tried to brush them off with her bare hands. “Help me get these off of her!” she cried, turning to Maskell in a panic. Instead, she says, the priest leaned down behind her and whispered in her ear: “You see what happens when you say bad things about people?”
Maskell, Wehner understood, was threatening her. She decided not to tell anyone. “He terrified me to the point that I would never open my mouth,” she recalled.
Now, decades later, a group of women who attended Keogh back in those days are working together with a journalist and a former Baltimore police office to find out who killed Sister Cathy.
Posted: May 15, 2015 Filed under: just because | Tags: B.B. King, blues guitar, King of the Blues, notable deaths
We’ve lost one of the great ones. Legendary Blues Guitarist and singer B.B. King died last night in his sleep.
The AP obituary via the Joplin Globe: ‘King of the Blues’ blues legend B.B. King dead at age 89.
LAS VEGAS — B.B. King, whose scorching guitar licks and heartfelt vocals made him the idol of generations of musicians and fans while earning him the nickname King of the Blues, died late Thursday at home in Las Vegas. He was 89.
His attorney, Brent Bryson, told The Associated Press that King died peacefully in his sleep at 9:40 p.m. PDT. He said funeral arrangements were underway….
For most of a career spanning nearly 70 years, Riley B. King was not only the undisputed king of the blues but a mentor to scores of guitarists, who included Eric Clapton, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix, John Mayall and Keith Richards. He recorded more than 50 albums and toured the world well into his 80s, often performing 250 or more concerts a year.
King played a Gibson guitar he affectionately called Lucille with a style that included beautifully crafted single-string runs punctuated by loud chords, subtle vibratos and bent notes.
The result could bring chills to an audience, no more so than when King used it to full effect on his signature song, “The Thrill is Gone.” He would make his guitar shout and cry in anguish as he told the tale of forsaken love, then end with a guttural shouting of the final lines: “Now that it’s all over, all I can do is wish you well.”
Live at the BBC, 1989
BBC Newsbeat: BB King’s influence on modern music.
Nicknamed “The King of Blues”, Riley B. King recorded dozens of albums and toured the world well into his 80s, wowing audiences and inspiring generations of musicians.
He was a mentor to many famous guitarists, including Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards and Eric Clapton.
His style inspired many to learn the instrument.
“BB, anyone could play a thousand notes and never say what you said in one,” tweeted Lenny Kravitz in tribute.
BB King was ranked No. 6 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 2011 list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
He was known for his sophisticated soloing, subtle vibratos and bend notes – playing on the Gibson guitar he called Lucille.
Live at Sing Sing Prison in the 1970s
This is an open thread. Dakinikat will have a Friday Reads post a little later on.