Dispatches from Boulder the Damned
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
On this date in 1927, Isadora Duncan was killed in Nice, France when her scarf gets tangled in the rear wheel of the convertible in which she's riding. Her neck is broken and an artery severed. Duncan was one of the great dancers, I feel compelled to point out these days.
Wrong. Duncan was one of the greatest artists the United States has ever produced. Even today, she seems ahead of the time. She invented 'modern' dance, but she did much more: she united in concept the many things that constitute dance and re-elevated it to the athletic and artistic level where it belongs. And, for the record, she did it pretty much by herself, her way, in a an age that takes a lot of liquor to be elevated to 'repressed.' She seems odd even now. Imagine 1910 America and Europe. But she won them over, which speaks to her art.
Isadora Duncan's Innovations:
1. Duncan was the first American dancer to develop and label a concept of natural breathing, which she identified with the ebb and flow of ocean waves.
2. Duncan was the first American dancer to define movement based on natural and spiritual laws rather than on formal considerations of geometric space.
3. Duncan was the first American dancer to rigorously compare dance to the other arts, defending it as a primary art form worthy of "high art" status.
4. Duncan was the first American dancer to develop a philosophy of the dance.
5. Duncan was the first American dancer to de-emphasize scenery and costumes in favor of a simple stage setting and simple costumes. By doing this, Duncan suggested that watching a dancer dance was enough.
That these were considered innovations says much of her world; that she was considered little better than a stripper, or boring, or wrong, or as weird as many performance artists today says a lot about ours. Born in San Francisco, she was only 49 at her death.
I know nothing about dance, except that I've grown to attend and certainly appreciate it and under the instruction and guidance of various women to enjoy it, sometimes a lot. But I admire courage and dedication and consistent vision with Bismarkian ferocity. Duncan had it.
In the alarming history of American medicine, in 1956 surgeons Walter Freeman and Egas Moniz performed our first prefrontal lobotomy on a depressed, 63-year-old Kansas woman in Washington, D.C. They successfully create a lethargic dullard, and the duo claimed a medical triumph, despite the fact that two of their next twenty lobotomy subjects die. Even more than electroshock, this shows how establishment Medicine, unchecked, can leave the rails in dubious pursuits. She was merely 'depressed', so there was nothing for it but removing part of the brain. Hello?
Suspicious stories not being covered: Rush Limbaugh's drug trial, CBS's claims against Bush, anything to do with Afghanistan.......
Monday, September 13, 2004
For the record, if we talk about patriotism and chickenhawks, Bush and Kerry. From "Who Served..."
The US Chickenhawks/People Who Did Not Serve:
Elliott Abrams Sought deferment for OVERWEIGHT.
Richard Armey - Sought college deferment, too smart to die.
Bill Bennett - Sought graduate school deferment, too smart to die.
Dick Cheney - Sought graduate school deferment, too smart to die.
Tom DeLay - Sought college deferment, too smart to die.
Phil Gramm - Sought marriage deferment, too loved to die.
Rush Limbaugh - Sought college deferment, too smart to die.
Trent Lott - Sought deferment, couldn’t find out why.
P.J. O'Rourke - Sought deferment.
Kenneth Starr Sought deferment for psoriasis.
Vin Weber - Sought deferment for asthma.
Don Nickles, Senate Minority Whip - Did not serve
Senator Richard Shelby, did not serve
Saxby Chambliss, Georgia (yet somehow feels he has a right to attack Max Cleland's patriotism)
Karl Rove - avoided the draft, did not serve
Eliot Abrams, did not serve
Att'y Gen. John Ashcroft - sought deferment to teach business ed at SW Missouri State
John Engler, did not serve
Dennis Hastert - avoided the draft, did not serve.
George Will, did not serve but everyday he writes about sending in the troops.
Bill O'Reilly, did not serve
Paul Gigot, did not serve.
Pat Buchanan, did not serve
Bill Kristol, did not serve
Them's the Chickenhawks. Who want you to send your kids to do their bidding, while piling up deficits beyond count for the grandkids.
Molly Ivins has a useful column today. Her genial disdain for Bush has vanished, and she clearly detests his administration.
Sunday, September 12, 2004
On this date in 1966, The Monkees premiered. Although the talented and versatile Michael Nesmith was a member, the group was excoriated for being actors - well, personalities - and 'not really' musicians, as if the musical talents of most of the pop world was any better. They sang some decent tunes and were fun, pretending to be no more than they were and became quite successful. Damn them.
I didn't like them much, but the whole snobby attitude towards them bummed me as much as the supposed 'real' folkies snobbery against the Kingston Trio eight years previous. Rather hypocritical. But a true piffle in history.
Good news, sorta. A huge explosion in North Korea on the anniversary of the nation's founding (I'd thought from their propoganda this consisted of God bowing before the Beloved Leader and offering this Land Without Electicity) was noted by everyone in the area, since the mushroom cloud was two and a half miles in diameter. That'sa one big explosion, but today Secretary Powell said that it was not nuclear and that ...... well, it wasn't nuclear.
Yes, North Korea had been making unpleasant noises about testing a nuclear weapon, but this wasn't it. It was probably just another huge mistake, like the one last Spring that destroyed a railroad station and much of the town around it. Both these incidents took place awfully close to China, who must - all in all - be thrilled to know the complete nutjob beneath them might indeed set off an above ground test and have the wind blow it north. That's gotta warm their hearts.
Maybe North Korea is just letting a thousand flowers bloom in the form of misplaced ammo dumps?
Things are also going swimmingly in Baghdad, where the Green Zone is surrounded and under fire by insurgents, increasingly (and pointlessly) violent. The photo is of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, shot to hell. Not a good thing, Martha.
This will be two nations reverted to war lord control by the stupidity of the Bushies. You recall Afghanistan, don't you? You do? Well, good for you. Bush doesn't.
You might want to read this piece by James Fallows in The Atlantic about Bush's lost year of 2002, and how we're paying for it now.
Very odd, there is nothing on Bush's National Guard records today. Nada.
Not true. Here's a piece of veterans expressing opinions on it. Some for, some against. Balanced, you see.
Hurricane Ivan is a true horror now, a 165 mph Class 5, with surge potential of twenty feet. It could get worse, perhaps ending up like Camille, which had winds - steady winds - of over 200 mph when it slammed into Alabama and Mississippi in 1969. Compared to the East Coast and Florida, nothing there and so hardly any coverage, but just think about that. A two hundred mph hurricane working its way up the Florida panhandle. One hundred billion dollars in damage, easy.
Saturday, September 11, 2004
"Four hundred thousand people make some money trading on eBay." Our VP Dick Cheney, on below-the-radar economic indicators that are unfairly not counted in the GOP statistics, apparently thinking trading means securities. "If we only included bake sales and how much money kids make at lemonade stands, this economy would really be cooking." -- John Edwards
There are two things about the CBS report regarding Bush's Guard record that quiver me today. One, obviously, is the new contention that a signee of one of the letters from Bush's superior officers is fake because he'd left the Guard a year and a half previous. The other is that as soon as CBS made public its contentions, the web was alive with text and composition experts pointing out the supposed errors.
Sorta like CBS, and its famously vain anchorman, had been set up. If it turns out that one of the letters is a fraud, the public will assume they all are, true or not. And because of the wickedly quick response, it looks as if the whole thing could have been designed to bring down the Dem's, who have been sloppy and lackluster, and CBS, which the GOP has hated since Watergate. CBS would deserve it, but if the Dem's fell for it - as I did - they're toast. Fortunately, it doesn't seem they have.
It is the third anniversary of our new Day of Infamy. What was our greatest tragedy and crime became, ironically, our greatest demonstration of power. What clearly was hoped would be a two year pile of decaying crap in the center of New York was gone in months. Not only gone, but subject to forensics and analysis. A friend from the Third World pointed out to me that the things Americans don't actually notice are the things that actually impress: the united, can-do, let's do it attitude of the WTC pile - even with all the problems - and its completion within about nine months, stutters the majority of the world where fifty year old residue of war and earthquake still stand. B-52's and stealth are all very well, but it's in the civilian sector that America intimidates and awes. It's in the very jobs of public service, safety, and municipal cleanup - which Americans look down on - that the world looks up to us, for the most part. The day to day, decade to decade increase in competence. We need to remember that.
When I worked at the Hostel here in Boulder, the first thing travellers commented on was that Boulder was so clean. Then, the busses were so clean! And on time! Then, so much construction...... Not Europeans, as much, but Asians, Russians, and.......New Yorkers, who were amazed that if they asked for directions, they got them, usually more information than they could use, restaurant recommendations, and then.....the library. Free! So much was free and so good. I loved receiving their thanks, as if I had gnawed the library from marble stone myself. In any case, that's the America that impresses far more than the Marines, as it should be, and no offense to the jarheads, who probably know its true better than anyone.
Back to what Bush calls "Patriot Day" in a bid to essentially throw a saddle over his own federal holiday.
In a year, it was a vacant and remarkably clean lot. America moved on. The Pentagon, the WTC were almost as nothing to our behemoth of a nation. It did nothing to approach defeating us. It pissed us off beyond measure.
What happened? Why are we so divided today in our strength?
Bush, if you must know. I quote below from a website of photographs of the attack three years ago. Tragedy crossed upon terror and world wide support. And Bush, in a matter of months, not only lost it but antagonized these shoulders at our side against us, because they knew he was lying about Iraq. They'd looked in his eyes, too.
Brethren pay final respects to the Rev. Mychal Judge, the Franciscan priest and New York City Fire Department chaplain killed by falling debris while administering last rites to a fireman at the World Trade Center. In Oxon Hill, 7-year-old Courtney Brown clutches her parents' hands at the funeral of her big brother, Bernard, 11, who was flying to California on a field trip when his plane hit the Pentagon. Solitary grief becomes shared sorrow in a worldwide day of mourning three days after the slaughter in America. Church bells peal around the world as multitudes of well-wishers light candles, bow their heads in prayer and lift their voices to sing the anthem of a wounded nation. Some 200,000 Berliners gather at the Brandenburg Gate beneath the Victory Column to express their solidarity. "America does not stand alone," German President Johannes Rau tells the crowd. "The entire world stands in these days at the side of the mighty American nation. We are bound together by friendship, we are bound by the same values, we are bound by love of freedom."
Germany speaking there, nearly as pissed off as we. That's talent, to alienate them so quick. A talent that ought to be rewarded by voting him out.
Friday, September 10, 2004
"You have to watch TV. It's great! Every New Year's I make a vow to watch more TV." - Ann "Home Alone On New Year's Eve" Coulter
On this day in 1990, Africa takes a giant step backward. Liberian president Samuel Doe is stripped naked, beaten, and tortured to death. The process is captured on videotape, which soon becomes West Africa's most-watched snuff film. Prince Johnson, who led the rebellion, chews one of Doe's ears after tearing it off. This cut down investment in the new regime, I'd wager.
The Bush camp, caught again in a clear fabrication, is putting a lot of emphasis of the fact that one of the documents produced by the White House has a superscript 'th' and 'st' as in 4th and 1st , which they say required technology that couldn't have been done in the early 1970's.
But I had a manual desk typewriter in 1978 that could. I think they were separate keys. I loved that thing because of the large type. So I can only assume that such things could be done. That doesn't mean it isn't a plant, just that it's wrong to say the technology did not exist then. It did. This raises the question of how an 'expert' could not know this? An expert could not be so ignorant. So there is a lie about experthood or a lie about superscript in manual typewriters. A lie, in any case, to cover up another.
Of more interest is the slow leak of information, always followed by insistence that this is the last of them, and then more. Always more. Nixonian to the nth degree.
Kinda like 'missing evidence' that would tend to exculpate the accused, thus removing a tendency for small fry to rat out their superiors. This, too, is taking place. As well, the Army says the CIA kept more Iraqi prisoners from the Red Cross - a violation of law down to the social club level and in direct contradiction of the Geneva Conventions - than it has admitted.
This isn't like Vietnam. This is Vietnam on the homefront all over again.
And young Samantha Spady of Nebraska, who apparently led a repressed if academically successful life there, had apparently become a world class partier at CSU before she died of alcohol poisoning, they think, last weekend. On her own website, she detailed her determination to get zippered and documented her past achievement of that condition. The fraternity building in which she died has been deactivated by their national and thrown off campus. They'd had many problesm, alcohol related, in the past.
Thursday, September 09, 2004
From Wonkette, currently my favorite blog, the new Kerry Campaign Headquarters Chart of Particulars. Although nobody is giving high marks to Kerry at present, they're all lining up behind him now, not out of a sense of right and good but against a definite wrong, hypocritical, and dangerous administration. My hatred of the GOP at this point, sharing some with genetic idiot Zell Miller, makes me somewhat unbalanced myself. The many disguises of selfishness that permeate that party at present disgusts me. I cannot help it.
"Bush did cocaine at Camp David during his father's administration! That's it? That's it? I mean that's it?"-- Rush Limbaugh, on new Kitty Kelly book
Rush apparently doesn't feel the anger towards drug use and drug users he once did. For people who get upset about sex in the West Wing, illegal drugs - the purchase of which kills Americans - should probably get Rush more angry when used by the children of the President at a secure location at taxpayer expense.
Not only do we have written evidence Bush didn't serve well or at all in any state Air National Guard during those periods he said he had, we now have evidence that certain of his superior officers were pushing others to "sugarcoat" - their word - Bush's reports. Being in the Guard wasn't easy enough, one supposes. He was entitled. He was a Bush....
"60 Minutes" interviews the Texan who got a lot of rich people's kids into the Guard during those years. He's a Democrat, though.
The day after The Rocky Mt. News revealed the CU Regents are trying to keep the Grand Jury report from being made public, everyone else in the media pulls in a day late and a dollar short. As of this morning, the Denver Post, which has been covering this well, hasn't even noticed. Quite bizarre, all this.
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
So, Bush did lie about his service. And the military, which knew he'd failed to serve, did nothing about it. The Boston Globe finally broke all this open, and the White House has had to retreat and retrieve the Watergate neologism: 'misspoke.' This is the word Watergate conspirators and deniers used for what the rest of the English speaking world called 'lying.' The GOP is misspeaking yet again.
Turns out, the military gave Bush a bye he didn't deserve: he failed to honor his written committments, his pledges, he counted on his name to deny him punishment and he was correct. His Dad being head of the CIA might have helped, I don't know...... This is the olde family, Olde Boy, olde money network that laces New England and elsewhere; the WASH establishment either corrupts or infuriates its scions to greater and less extents. Sometimes both.
Molly Ivins is dead-on today. That's a shock, of course.
The titanic struggle here in Boulder is over. The tectonic plates of political strength have adjusted, and Mark Ruzzin is the new mayor of Boulder. Shocked beyond comprehension by this wave of change (there are squirrels in Boulder who have known no other Mayor than Will Toor, who stepped down....), the Transition Team announced plans for the changeover.
Exhausted by the struggle, or perhaps to catch Fox News at 9, City Council Members nearly forgot to swear the new mayor in, and hear out the Transition Team's estimation of when their task would be completed. Estelle Chumm, Team Leader, told the hushed Council that the name plates would be switch after OSHA and EPA reports were completed and mailed, and thought, given all the changes that go with the switching of such an important office, that their work would be done by 2100 hours. A written report was requested, Councilman Eldridge stood and thanked the Team, and the suction caused by the speedy exit of everyone knocked a pamphlet to the floor. Sic Transit Gloria.
On this day, thirty years ago, Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon for any crimes committed during Watergate. Nixon never admitted he'd committed any. Ford lost his own bid for re-election in two years because of this, standing up to the nation when many thought they needed revenge and justice for Watergate when Ford knew they wanted revenge for a lost war and to stomp someone. He was correct in so doing, and he should be recalled for that. And thanked.
Also, in 1989 President Bush I signed the American Disabilities Act which set in motion all that construction in court houses and government buildings to allow folks in wheelchairs to access their rights and participate in government like everyone else. Yup, swung into action on that right away, didn't they?
Judas. Can the CU Regents get any more stupid? Get any more clueless in estimations of their own standing in the public's mind? The Regents want the Grand Jury's report kept secret??? Unbelievable. If there is a remote chance of that happening, there ought to be an investigation of the competencies of whoever suggested that. This is corruption and incompetence so pervasive it's rather stuttering. There is no, zero, reason beyond their immense vanities and social standing to have concieved of such foolishness. Even if the Jury report weren't a damnation of them, which it is, keeping it pretend secret (the leaks are out) by asking a judge makes it look like it is, and makes it far worse when all is revealed, and .........what the hell are these featherweights drinking?? And this decision was reached with legal counsel? Are you kidding? That's moronic.
So odd, again, that this is only in the Rocky Mt. News and not in The Boulder Daily Camera, the Post, or the Daily. So odd.
At CSU, a young woman has died, apparently of alcohol poisoning, and was left for twelve hours till her body was found. Five times the amount of alcohol in her body than if she were merely 'drunk.' Five times. Let's be honest, nobody unencouraged, especially inexperienced kids, could do that without 'help.' Without encouragement. This is manslaughter in effect if not in law, and given that she was underage......well, someone ought to see time at least.
I've been convinced for years that these alcohol and drug laws create such a climate of hypocrisy and selective enforcement that the damage done to respect for law by the young supercedes whatever benefits there might be on paper to having them on the books in the first place. And now, all the parents who'd sue everyone in sight if it were their child who died are using attorneys to protect their conspiritorial offspring in this sad mess.
I'm old enough now to see the babe who was Ms. Spader, when not so long ago....well, okay, a long time ago.... I'd have seen a Babe. What a pointless, revolting loss of a child, a kid. Young woman to some, kid to me. Died alone in a strange house and nobody knew.
At best, nobody knew. How is that possible?
All material on this site copyright Richard L. MacLeod (Dark Cloud) 1968-2014 unless otherwise stated.