Sunday Reads: Riot not Quiet

Good Afternoon

I don’t know about you all, but I need a break from the news.

So today, we will have links from stories about science and history and other sorts of shit.

Starting with the images for the post…this week, TCM and Bonhams is holding another auction, one of them is centered around old vintage movie posters: Bonhams : TCM Presents … Vintage Movie Posters featuring the Ira Resnick Collection

The poster auction starts tomorrow, so be sure to check out the wonderful eye candy at that site. All the images below are items available to bid at the link above.


Okay, now lets get to the links:


Since we are starting off with a connection to film, and Hollywood, we have to cover the recent deaths and hospitalizations of a few popular cultural icons…

Ann Wedgeworth Dies: ‘Sweet Dreams’ Actress Was 83 | Deadline

Ann Wedgeworth, a Tony Award-winning actress most widely known for roles on sitcoms Evening Shade and Three’s Company, died Thursday following a lengthy illness at a New York area nursing home, her family has announced. She was 83.

Wedgeworth, who won a National Society of Film Critics Award for her tough but poignant performance in 1985’s Sweet Dreams – she played the mother of Jessica Lange’s Patsy Cline – won the 1978 Tony Award for best featured actress in a play for Neil Simon’s Chapter Two.

Born in Abilene, Texas, Wedgeworth moved to New York City in the late 1950s and soon joined The Actors Studio. She debuted on Broadway in 1958’s Make a Million, and went on to take roles is such stage productions as Period of Adjustment and Blues for Mister Charlie. She appeared in A Lie of the Mind, Sam Shepard’s off-Broadway play, in 1985. Her costar in the production, Geraldine Page, had married Wedgeworth’s ex-husband, actor Rip Torn.

Wedgeworth’s other credits include Scarecrow, Bang the Drum Slowly, Thieves, Steel Magnolias, Hard Promises, Love and a .45, and 1977’s Handle with Care, for which she won her first National Society of Film Critics Award.

David Cassidy Hospitalized and in ‘Critical Condition’

Former Partridge Family star David Cassidy is reportedly clinging to the last moments of his life in a Florida hospital.

Per TMZ, Cassidy’s condition is currently listed as “critical” as he suffers from organ and kidney failure, and “unless he gets a liver transplant soon he could soon die.” He’s also been in and out of a consciousness from an induced coma since earlier this week, with his family and friends beginning to arrive at the hospital to pay their final respects. Earlier this year, the 66-year-old Cassidy revealed he’d been battling dementia for many years, which prompted him to stop performing live. “I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming,” he said at the time. “I want to focus on what I am, who I am, and how I’ve been without any distractions. I want to love. I want to enjoy life.”

Malcolm Young Dies: AC/DC Co-Founder And Soundtrack Specialist Was 64 | Deadline

The rock world mourned today as Malcolm Young, co-founder and guitarist for AC/DC and writer on a miles-long list of soundtracks for TV and film, died at age 64. He had been suffering from dementia and was no longer touring with the Australian hard rock band.

The band announced his death on its web site.

“Today it is with deep heartfelt sadness that AC/DC has to announce the passing of Malcolm Young,” the statement read. “He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever. Malcolm, job well done.”

Young was the rhythm guitarist and co-writer on all of the band’s music, which became a TV and film soundtracks staple for its anthemic choruses. His music graced such TV shows as The Sopranos and ER, and also enhanced films like Iron Man and The Avengers.

Another statement from the band noted that he died surrounded by family.

“Renowned for his musical prowess, Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many,” the statement read. “From the outset, he knew what he wanted to achieve and, along with his younger brother, took to the world stage giving their all at every show. Nothing less would do for their fans.”

Brother Angus Young said Malcolm’s legacy “will live on forever,” noting that he was stubborn, but “he stuck to his guns and he did and said exactly what he wanted.”


(Damn, I was going to stick with non-newsy items, but while grabbing those links above this popped up at me: Harvey Weinstein Drew Up List For Investigators To Target: Report | Deadline  The list was over 90 people btw…)

Connecting the Weinstein Effect to Film Criticism: How Does Film Criticism Climb Out From Underneath the Hollywood Scandals?

With Hollywood scandals making headlines in waves, how do we overcome our collective paralysis?

Yesterday afternoon, the staff of Birth.Movies.Death released a statement addressing their lack of coverage of Hollywood’s ongoing sexual abuse scandals. “That this ongoing tsunami of revelations came on the heels of our own troubled history has weighed heavily on us here at BMD,” the statement read, admitting that “responsibility and humility collided, and to be frank, we froze.” This statement also came on the heels of a statement by entertainment site Tracking Board, which recently underwent staff-wide sensitivity training when certain members of their staff made offensive comments about the cycle. While the effects of these statements depends on the perspective of the person reading them – one site that said too little, one site that said too much – it does speak to how poorly prepared many entertainment sites are to handle the seriousness of the moment. It feels overwhelming.

This post is written by a white male Hollywood writer. I think it does take a look at things from one perspective I have not thought about, and actually said to to myself…who gives a shit, another white man’s point of view. But, it does point to some good things:

Since the collapse of Cinefamily, it seems like the entertainment industry has been dominated by stories about sexual harassment and abuse, and it’s easy to rationalize yourself into circles as a writer about your part in all of this. How can you talk about comic book movies and award season buzz when people are putting themselves on the line to protect others? Shouldn’t I, as a white man, keep my mouth shut and my ears open to help amplify the voices of women in the industry? Or is it my responsibility to speak out in the hope that I might reach people disinclined to listen to anyone who doesn’t look like them? Or am I trying to make myself the victim by even acknowledging this conflict? When faced with these layers of doubt, it certainly seems like the prudent course of action to keep one’s voice out of the mix.

(Worth noting: no writer has better tackled these twisting concerns than The Cut’s Rebecca Traister, who captured each side of the argument – the good intentions of men and the road to hell that they may ultimately pave – in a piece titled “We Are All Implicated in the Post-Weinstein Reckoning.”)

All of this was difficult enough when the accused (Weinstein, James Toback) loomed large as cartoonish villains in Hollywood. In the past week, though, the entertainment industry’s wave of sexual harassment issues has enveloped people known just as much for their advocacy as for their talent. First it was George Takei – an outspoken advocate for both LGBTQ and Asian/Asian-American representation in film and television – who was accused of sexually assaulting a male model in 1981. Just yesterday, Transparent star Trace Lysette corroborated previous claims of misconduct levied against Jeffrey Tambor with her own on-set experiences; meanwhile, former comedian and current Minnesota senator Al Franken faced accusations of his own by radio host Leeann Tweeden. Each of these men had made a name for themselves as performers, but in recent years they had also taken on a special significance as outspoken allies against underrepresentation in the media. They were advocates. Now they’re just part of the problem.

Take a look at the rest of the piece…as more revelations come forward, these twisted feelings become more griping.

Damn, I love Kevin Spacey’s acting… look at that, he is a fucking monster.

Roy Moore, that is a criminal act. Period. (Check this out: Roy Moore’s Systemic Danger to Our Democracy | History News Network)

Geez, we need Al Franken…what he did was during a script for a USO tour skit, right? It is not the same…right? Cough…Cough.

Fucking hell, Takei too?

Oh, and then Bill Clinton. ML…was consensual, but we already have been there and done that…

tRump=Grab Pussy

We all have admittedly said these things. Right?

Moving on, Jamie Rotante Essay on ‘Betty and Veronica: Vixens’ | The Mary Sue

We’ve been really excited about the upcoming Archie Comics ongoing title, Betty and Veronica: Vixens, in which Betty and Veronica are the leaders of the Vixens, the toughest motorcycle gang in Riverdale! In an exclusive essay for TMS, writer Jamie L. Rotante explains why this new comic is so important. Especially right now.

by Jamie Rotante

The premise of Betty & Veronica: Vixens is simple enough: the iconic duo hits the open road for wild adventures on their new toys as they lead an all-girl motorcycle gang. There’s leather, brass knuckles and an appropriate amount of ass-kicking. It’s what you’d get if you made the two BFFs the stars of a Russ Meyer film.

But it’s a lot more than that, too. It’s not just about motorcycles. It’s not just about a subversion of classic characters we’ve all come to know and love. Hell, it’s not even just about Betty and Veronica—there’s a larger story that spins out of it, one that extends past the comic page itself and bleeds into everyday life. It’s about women who have waited their turn for decades finally getting the chance to take charge. It’s about Betty, Veronica and a host of the other ladies of Archie Comics who have only ever been explored as passing characters. And it’s about these female characters coming together to rise above. It’s women helping women.

More at the link.

Video here on ice melt: How worried should we be about melting ice caps? – BBC News

The UN climate change conference in Bonn, designed to activate the Paris agreement about greenhouse gases in 2020 that President Trump pulled out of earlier this year, has come to an end.

BBC Science Editor David Shukman has looked into how worried we actually should be about melting polar caps.

You can blame a ‘medicane’ for this week’s deadly flooding in Greece. | Grist

You can blame a ‘medicane’ for this week’s deadly flooding in Greece.

Nope, a “medicane” is not a new type of health insurance. It’s a Mediterranean hurricane — such as the one currently developing in the Mediterranean Sea, where warming waters have produced a weather system with the characteristics of a subtropical cyclone.

Flash floods linked to moisture from the storm hit parts of Greece on Wednesday, killing 16 people and injuring dozens more. The storm is projected to skirt Sicily and head toward Greece this weekend, potentially inflicting more damage.

Medicanes are so uncommon that scientists have yet to establish a clear set of criteria for them. Weather systems like these are more typically found in the Caribbean, where warmer water temperatures feed tropical storms.

Now for some psychology science news:

A mom’s support helps a child learn to handle negative emotions, but what if mom is distressed? — ScienceDaily

When children become upset, showing negative emotions or behaviors, some parents become distressed, while others are able to talk their child through the difficult situation. Studies have shown that a mothers’ reaction — positive or negative — to her child’s negative emotions can predict whether her child develops the ability to effectively regulate his emotions and behavior. A new study explores potential predictors of mothers’ supportive or non-supportive behavior during emotional challenges.

A walk at the mall or the park? New study shows, for moms and daughters, a walk in the park is best — ScienceDaily

A family studies researchers believed that if the attention restoration theory, which describes how interaction with natural environments can reduce mental fatigue and restore attention, worked for individuals it might also work for families to help facilitate more positive family interactions and family cohesion. They tested their theory by looking at sets of moms and daughters who were asked to take a walk together in nature and a walk in a mall.

Hibernating ground squirrels provide clues to new stroke treatments: Multi-step screening process leads to molecule that may protect brain cells — ScienceDaily

In the fight against brain damage caused by stroke, researchers have turned to an unlikely source of inspiration: hibernating ground squirrels. While the animals’ brains experience dramatically reduced blood flow during hibernation, just like human patients after a certain type of stroke, the squirrels emerge from their extended naps suffering no ill effects. Now, scientists have identified a potential drug that could grant the same resilience to stroke patients.

And a bit of Archaeology news:

Archaeological research on social inequality — ScienceDaily

The origins of social inequality might lie in the remnants of ancient Eurasia’s agricultural societies, according to an article recently published in the major science journal Nature.

The article, “Greater post-Neolithic wealth disparities in Eurasia than in North America and Mesopotamia,” includes research from Anna Prentiss, a professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Montana.

Prentiss and UM anthropology Professor Emeritus Tom Foor provided data from the archaeological sites at Bridge River, British Columbia, and Ozette, Washington.

As people became more agricultural and settled, the rich became richer as the ancient farmers who could afford oxen, cattle and other large animals increased their crop production. This provided significant opportunities for amassing and transmitting wealth, and the degree of household wealth-based inequality became much higher in Old World, Eurasian contexts, as measured by house size.

“High degrees of inequality did not contribute to long-term stability in ancient societies,” Prentiss said. “That is something that should concern us given the extraordinary high degree of inequality in our own society.”

And lets finish up with some history!

Happy birthday, Statute of Marlborough! – Medieval manuscripts blog

Earlier this month, we celebrated the 800th anniversary of the Forest Charter, Magna Carta’s little sibling. It inspired a new Tree Charter, with accompanying events ranging from bike rides to pole launches. Today, we commemorate the Statute of Marlborough. At 750 years old, issued on 19 November 1267, it’s one of the the oldest pieces of legislation in England still in force today.

The Statute of Marlborough almost didn’t make it to this day. Only four of its twenty-nine sections are still in force. In 2014, the Law Commission made plans to scrap it altogether. The surviving sections are now known as the Distress Act and the Waste Act. The Distress Act states that anyone seeking reimbursement for damages must do so through the courts, while the Waste Act ensures that the tenants do not lay waste, sell or ruin their lands and other resources without special permission.

Medieval Manuscripts: Bread in the 15th-century –

The Bibliothèque nationale de France is a trove of hidden treasures, for, although researchers visit this unique library time and time again, its contents are seemingly endless. Manuscript Latin 9333 has a very special story. It apparently went missing in 1848 for unknown reasons, only to appear a hundred years later in 1948 for the first time in the hands of a researcher in the reading room. This researcher, none other than Otto Pächt, recognised its outstanding artistic worth and announced his find as a “rediscovery”. Another fifty years were to pass, however, before the particular appeal of this remarkable manuscript was once again remembered. Now, at last, a facsimile edition acknowledges the book’s true importance.

We now move on to the bakery where a woman next to the counter can be seen watching a young baker removing several large, round, white loaves from the oven (f. 61). The basket on the counter is already full and several more loaves lie on the table. Whereas the back door in the Italian image leads into a dark room, the German artist depicts it opening onto a magnificent landscape in the small inset with shapes of hills or perhaps mountains vaguely suggested in the distance, and a blue sky. One remarkable detail in this miniature is that, as we know, a bakery requires a chimney, hence the one on the roof.

Go to the link to see the images…

Early medieval loom discovered in northern Iraq –

A team of Frankfurt-based archaeologists has returned from the Iraqi-Kurdish province of Sulaymaniyah with new findings. The discovery of a loom from the 5th to 6th century AD in particular caused a stir.

The group of Near Eastern archaeology undergraduates and doctoral students headed by Prof. Dirk Wicke of the Institute of Archaeology at Goethe University were in Northern Iraq for a total of six weeks. It was the second excavation campaign undertaken by the Frankfurt archaeologist to the approximately three-hectare site of Gird-î Qalrakh on the Shahrizor plain, where ruins from the Sasanian and Neo-Assyrian period had previously been uncovered. The region is still largely unexplored and has only gradually opened up for archaeological research since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

The objective of the excavations on the top and slope sections of the settlement hill, some 26 meters high, was to provide as complete a sequence as possible for the region’s ceramic history. Understanding the progression in ceramics has long been a goal of research undertaken on the Shahrizor plain, a border plain of Mesopotamia with links to the ancient cultural regions of both Southern Iraq and Western Iran. These new insights will make it easier to categorise other archaeological finds chronologically. The excavation site is ideal for establishing the progression of ceramics, according to archaeology professor Dirk Wicke: “It is a small site but it features a relatively tall hill in which we have found a complete sequence of ceramic shards.

It seems likely that the hill was continuously inhabited from the early 3rd millennium BC through to the Islamic period.”

However, the archaeologists had not expected to find a Sasanian loom (ca. 4th-6th century AD), whose burnt remnants, and clay loom weights in particular, were found and documented in-situ. In addition to the charred remains, there were numerous seals, probably from rolls of fabric, which indicate

that large-scale textile production took place at the site. From the neo-Assyrian period (ca. 9th-7th century BC), by contrast, a solid, stone-built, terraced wall was discovered, which points to major construction work having taken place at the site. It is possible that the ancient settlement was refortified and continued to be used in the early 1st millennium BC.

So fascinating.

That is a lot to digest…so catch y’all in the comments below!

Some more poster images:

25 Comments on “Sunday Reads: Riot not Quiet”

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    Hey, I haven’t written a long post…in so long. I know there is a lot of news that I am missing. Like the news about the new mayor in New Orleans…LaToya Cantrell is New Orleans' first female mayor

    Which should get a post all on it’s own.

  2. Sweet Sue says:

    Okay, JJ. I have to admit that “Cock of the Air” made my day.

    • NW Luna says:

      I read that title and did an about-take! Lol.

      Then I thought of the penis drawn by Navy pilots on condensation trails when out on “training” flights. Boys are really hung-up on their dangly parts which everyone else thinks are boring (except in the right circumstances, of course).

      • quixote says:

        And all it really meant in the Bad Old Days was “rooster” with all the puffed up self-promoting crowing appertaining thereto. Often there were connotations of “bantam” as well. Now it’s just snigger stuff. (With connotations of “bantam”?)

        Funny how language changes.

        • Sweet Sue says:

          I still say “cock of the walk.”

        • NW Luna says:

          Oh, I knew it wasn’t used as a euphemism in that movie title, at least I think not. I remember reading about Cock Robin as a nickname for Robin Hood or as an endearment for or personification of a male robin. Then there are cockfights (cruel) with roosters.

          We kept bantam chickens when I was growing up. Neither sex was very smart, but that’s chickens for you, lol.

  3. Enheduanna says:

    The posters are beautiful JJ. Golden Boy looks like one I’d like to see. A lot of these I haven’t seen.

    The history articles are always so interesting. I sometimes wish I’d become an archaeologist.

    Guess who majored in history in college – Conan O’Brien! Saw that on teevee last night. He helped Lawrence O’Donnell promote his book in SFO recently.

  4. NW Luna says:

    janicen, this is because of you and other good people like you!

    Democrat Ralph Northam won partly on the strength of overwhelming support from African Americans, who made up about 20 percent of the Nov. 7 electorate. The surveys and analysis, released Thursday by the African American Research Collaborative in partnership with Latino Decisions, said Northam drew that support partly because of two factors: heavy get-out-the-vote efforts that reached more than half of black voters in some locations, and racially charged advertising from Gillespie that played particularly poorly with African Americans.

  5. NW Luna says:

    JJ, Ooooh, a Sasanian loom from around 500 CE! I’m off to read about this. Nice post. Refreshing to have other things than the crappy state of this nation to read about.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Great post! Love the movie posters.

  7. NW Luna says:

    JJ, I went to look up more on that Sasanian loom but couldn’t find anything with more info. I wanted to see a photo of the burnt-wood remnants, not just the loom weights. I did happen on a photo of Sasanian spindle whorls, then Sasanian textile motifs, and somehow on to Pinterest photos of card-weaving and Viking historically accurate dress. Now I want to make one of the Viking hoods that has an integral neckwarmer and is cut from one rectangle of fabric to make efficient use of that handspun, handwoven textile.

  8. bostonboomer says:

  9. bostonboomer says:

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Janet Yellen is resigning from the Central Bank even though her term on the board goes till 2024.