Tag Archives: Uganda

Diverse Diversions: Not Aggravating Aggregations

31 Aug
Kodak 'Brownie'

Kodak ‘Brownie’

Recently I noted (in the cursory manner to which I am accustomed) Teju Cole’s commentary on a Rene’ Burri photo. Over at Howard Dinen’s 1standarddeviation.com, Dinin engages in a informed and illustrated exchange with another photography enthusiast

The big news is that Japan won the Little League World Series (which is a legitimate world competition, unlike some misnomered World Series to which we can point) but we should (and will) note a charming display of sportsmanship from the Chinese Taipei/Uganda (next big beisbol powerhouse) game.

RIP Oliver Saks ” poet laureate of medicine”*, whom millions knew as the physician played by actor Robin Williams in the 1990 film “Awakenings”

The box office hit documentary Amy is not the only recent memorial to MS. Winehouse. Two (so called) art exhibits in San Francisco, A Family Portrait and You Know I’m No Good

Hockey tradition comes to baseball when Edwin Encarnacion hits his third dinger of the game in Toronto

Jim Harrison and Dalai Labrador Rosie [photo: Robert Birnbaum circa 2004]

Jim Harrison and Dalai Labrador Rosie [photo: Robert Birnbaum circa 2004]

From Jim Harrison’s Songs of Unreason

When young I read that during the Philippine War
we shot six hundred Indians in a wide pit. It didn’t seem fair.
During my entire life I’ve been helpless
in this matter. I even dream about it.


In summer I walk the dogs at dawn
before the rattlesnakes awake. In cold weather
I walk the dogs at dawn out of habit.
In the pastures we find many oval deer beds
of crushed grass. Their bodies are their homes.


I left this mangy little
three-legged bear two big fish
on a stump. He ate them at night
and at dawn slept like a god
leaning against the stump
in a chorus of birds.


The fly on the window is not a distant crow
in the sky. We’re forced into these decisions.
People are forever marrying the wrong people
and the children of the world suffer.
Their dreams hang in the skies out of reach.

Vin Scully has been calling baseball games as long as I have been alive—he’s coming back for one more year

ALEX COX is the director who among other films made Repo Man, Walker (for which Joe Strummer did the soundtrack),Sid and Nancy. I recently received a this note, “Robert: This is what old filmmakers do when they show us the barn…”

Alan Watt observes

The real reason why human life can be so utterly exasperating and frustrating is not because there are facts called death, pain, fear, or hunger. The madness of the thing is that when such facts are present, we circle, buzz, writhe, and whirl, trying to get the “I” out of the experience. We pretend that we are amoebas, and try to protect ourselves from life by splitting in two. Sanity, wholeness, and integration lie in the realization that we are not divided, that man and his present experience are one, and that no separate “I” or mind can be found.

To understand music, you must listen to it. But so long as you are thinking, “I am listening to this music,” you are not listening.

Eleven days before George Scialabba is feted in Cambridge and other parts of the known world

* from Washington Post obitituary

Misc Miscellany : Covering the Waterfront

24 Aug

If there is such thing as must-see-TV for pissed-off people (POPeeps) like you and me than John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight would be it. I can rattle off a hand full of topics on which Oliver & Co. Swiftian lampooning point of view vivisected conventional wisdom and apathy (drones. sex education, food waste, Edward Snowden interview, Chicken farming). The lastest sacred bovine to feel the sharp blade of Oliverian wit — Televangelism.

The Daily Beast‘s Marlow Stern updates:

In order to prove how ridiculously easy it is to establish a tax-free “church” that pads its coffers with donations for “blessings,” Oliver established his own church—Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption—and asked his viewers to send cash donations to a P.O. Box that he’d then donate to charity….It turns out that, aside from the bags of seeds, beef jerky, and foreign currency, Oliver and Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption received a boatload of money from viewers….

How great it would be if Oliver targeted the exemption Scientology received after strong-arming the IRS with the threat of a 1000 lawsuits (as stated in the documentary Going Clear )

I guess if the New York Times is going to publish silly shit like this it makes up for it by good stuff like this


Nobody brings this up about the SHORT FINGERED VULGARIAN, who is always on about, ‘We can’t have foreigners coming into this country!’” said Maher. “His first wife is from Czechoslovakia. His current wife is from Slovenia. So, if you think crawling under a wall is the most disgusting way to become an American, somewhere there is a Panamanian woman hiding in a truck full of chickens with ten pounds of heroin-filled condoms in her stomach who’s thinking, ‘Well, at least I didn’t have to blow the SHORT FINGERED VULGARIAN.’

Speaking of “the short fingered vulgarian”, who is now the leading tag for click-baiting media, SFV weighed in on the other popular click bait tag, Deflategate (talk about a massive failure if imagination, 42 years later ‘gate’ is still the suffix of choice for mindless journalists)

Streaming video is coming close to taking over my life (a subject I expect to elaborate on in the fullness of time). In any case I chanced upon a baffling but compelling film entitle Upstream Color

Celebrities doing senseless and silly things

I had not known of actress Olivia Munn (which does highlight my pop cultural illiteracy)until The Newsroom featured her as a nerdy financial news reporter. Turns out she is a hysterically bawdy and quick witted lady

Book publisher Europa Editions deserves this attention

Will Cuba take over Major League Baseball?

NFL thug James Harrison made news by rejecting “showing up trophies for his adolescent boys. And what do you know, the usual know-nothing trolls lined behind him…

Good 70's by Mike Mandel

Good 70’s by Mike Mandel

As it is in limited edition, Good 70’s (and thus I don’t have firsthand, hands on knowledge of it, I can’t properly say much about) seems to be a special thing.

This boxed collection contains facsimiles of Mandel’s original publications, long out of print, including the Baseball-Photographer Trading Cards, Myself: Timed Exposures, Seven Never Before Seen Portraits of Edward Weston, plus previously unpublished work such as Motel Postcards, People in Cars and Mrs. Kilpatric, and ephemera from the projects, including selected facsimile contact sheets from the baseball photo shoots, a letter to Mandel from Charis Wilson regarding Edward Weston and a pack of ten of the original 1975 baseball cards.

Do Men In Blue (baseball umpires)make boo boos? A long as I am talking umps, baseball has a long memory

Move over Cuba and Dominican Republic, Uganda — the next baseball powerhouse?