How To Not Think About Trump* For Three Minutes And Change

*or Virginia, or Brexit, or all things Putin or…

Via my sister-the-music-professor’s ex, this perfectly wonderful youtube came to my attention today.  Now it comes to yours:


I have to confess that I’ve been overwhelmed lately — by work and the shock of the new semester, partly, and more by a sudden politics and strife overload. Everytime I’ve started to post here, I’ve found myself facing ten-digit paralysis, unable to move the fingers over the keys to report and fulminate on the overlapping, serial outrages.

Finally, I hope, my rage is once more ready to overwhelm my despair, so I plan to show up a bit more regularly, as soon as the last syllabi are complete…but in the interim glorious foolishness like the above helps me. I hope it pleases the jackalry.

This thread is, of course, open.

A Musical Open Thread Interlude: All Women Edition

Seems like we could all use a break, so:

Updated with a few editions!

This one isn’t quite all women, but two thirds of the main lyrics are women, so we’ll just let it slide…

Open thread!

Saturday Evening Musical Interlude

This is America… I can’t do this on my own… how did we get in this mess…

National mood, at the intersection of id and money: Uneasy, edgy, not happy.

First flakes of what’s supposed to be our first big storm of the winter just starting to come down. How’s the weather, real or metaphorical, in your area?

Thursday Morning Open Thread: Whatever Gives You Joy

You should definitely watch Ms. Ohashi’s performance with the sound on.

However, concerning The Hu… YMMV. (John Wayne would absolutely have been a fan, though!):

If you’re in the mood for nostalgia, click on Sanchez’s tweet for more obsolete childhood memories…

With Apologies To Valued Commenter Raven…This Is Funny

And yet more thread.

To start: do not bring a bulldog to a roundup:


Texas is up pretty convincingly as I write this, but in Raven’s honor I’m rooting for Georgia, and there’s lots of time.

In other ways to enjoy the first day of a better year (saying it often enough helps make it so!) — another video I love to show my documentry class:


One of the early assignments is to take a bunch of historical newsreel footage of New York and cut it to some contemporary song — I have some cuts, and the students can use those or pick a favorite tune of their own.  That exercise is all about cutting to and with picture, beginning to think in visual narrative, and getting the start of a feel for the role of rhythm in conveying meaning and feeling.

This video helps get some of those asks across — and it repeats the theme of the Umbrella Man video: technical skills are great, and expand one’s palette.  But it’s possible to achieve a great deal with simple craft, as long as you know what you’re trying to say, and take great pains to make the straightforward shots and cuts you know how to make as precise as possible.  As, I think, this video does.

And because I love pictures, here’s an old favorite to help the year begin on the right note:

I say hello to the fighting Temaraire, here on her last journey, just about every time I return to London (and will again later this month).  Turner is one of those artists who needs to be seen in person.  Reproduction gets close to what he did with light; it cannot capture the texture and play of his paint.  Anyone on or travelling to the east coast…if you come to Boston, his “The Slave Ship” at the Museum of Fine Arts is a pilgrimage destination.  Truly, if you’re in town, you owe it to yourself to see this astounding work.  And if you’re in range of New Haven, Yale’s Center for British Art is a must-visit.  It’s got a ton of remarkable art, and as good an introduction to the singular visions of Turner as I’ve seen outside of London.  (If you do make it to London, then the Tate Britain gallery, a recent find of mine (I’m slow) has a wealth of Turners. The National Gallery has the headliners, the ones that make the art books — but Tate B. has enough examples to see how his eye and sensibility matured.)

As you might have guessed, I’m a Turner fanboi. Not apologizing.

Open thread!