When I won, as a high school junior, a state-wide essay writing competition, I was invited with sundry other academic winners to a celebration at the capitol. Rick Perry was to preside. All of us — champions in debate, calculus, physics, music, literary criticism, and more — gathered on the floor of the Texas state senate to accept Governor Perry’s congratulations. Perry took the podium as he does, with all folksy gravitas, gripping its edges in each hand. But when he addressed us he didn’t talk about academic achievement. He talked about football.The Homecoming Queen: Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig writes about Texas, football dreams, and homecoming mums. [more inside]
The gentle genius behind Police And Thieves. So often delivered live by The Clash. "You should hear Junior Murvin singing this song... He can sign it as high as the roof!" A sweet, sweet voice, now quiet.
Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives. "In 2011 the Texas state legislature slashed family planning funds, passed a new sonogram law, and waged an all-out war on Planned Parenthood that has dramatically shifted the state’s public health priorities. In the eighteen months since then, the conflict has continued to simmer in the courts, on the campaign trail, and in at least one PR disaster. Meanwhile, what will happen to Texas women—and their fathers, brothers, sons, and husbands—remains very much unclear."
Earlier today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the California Prop 8 case, Hollingsworth v. Perry. SCOTUSblog has a round-up of their analysis of today's arguments here. NYT article. LA Times article. [more inside]
“For some reason, the GOP has chosen 2012 to relitigate reproductive freedom, an issue that was resolved decades ago. Why [Rick] Santorum, [Rush] Limbaugh et al. thought this would be a good time to declare war on half the electorate, I cannot say. But to ignore it would have been comedy malpractice.” -- Gary Trudeau"Only once in the long history of "Doonesbury" has Garry Trudeau’s syndicate ever intensely objected to one of his story arcs. It was 1985, a documentary purporting to show the reactions of a fetus had been released, and Trudeau satirized the film "The Silent Scream" with his own “prequel" strips featuring “little Timmy,” a 12-minute-old embryo. Those strips never saw wide release in newspapers. Now, Trudeau has decided to take on the abortion wars head-on for the first time in "Doonesbury’s" four decades in a series of strips depicting mandatory vaginal ultrasounds as rape." [more inside]
After interminable months of campaigning, debates, and roller-coaster polling, the first official vote of the 2012 presidential race is in -- and boy, is it a doozy. Ames straw poll winner Michele Bachmann placed second-to-last, while former juggernaut Rick Perry performed so badly he's canceled upcoming events and is said to be on the verge of dropping out. Meanwhile, perennial laughingstock Rick Santorum, consolidating the support hemorrhaging from Perry, Bachmann, and an ad-blitzed Newt Gingrich, rocketed past the youth- and independent-backed Ron Paul and, with 99% of the vote counted, is separated from Mitt Romney by four votes out of ~120,000 -- by far the closest result in caucus history. As the shaken field contemplates the path ahead through Romney firewall New Hampshire, conservative South Carolina, Florida, Super Tuesday, and beyond, President Obama staged a quiet redux of his own dramatic caucus win four years ago, a dry run for the looming general election. And as for powerhouse Buddy Roemer? Don't worry -- his team is ready to do battle with evil.
Penn Jillette: An Atheist's Guide to the 2012 Election. [SLYT] Via BigThink, "A knowledge forum featuring the ideas, lessons, stories and advice of leading experts from around the world."
How many arms have held you, and hated to let you go, how many, how many, I wonder, but I really don't want to know.
Katy & I. [Video] Jack Moore has an obsession with Katy Perry.
How 'The Fridge' lost his way. A profile of William 'The Refrigerator' Perry.
'Sesame Street' Pulls Katy Perry video from show. Sesame Workshop, which produces the long-running PBS children’s show “Sesame Street,” said on Thursday morning that it would not show a music video planned for the coming 41st season of the series that features the pop singer Katy Perry, citing in its decision the outcry of viewers who had seen the suggestive video online. The video features Ms. Perry singing a parody of her song “Hot ‘N Cold” accompanied by the “Sesame Street” character Elmo. Via NYTimes.com
"For friends and fans of John Lurie, there’s a disturbing article in the current issue of The New Yorker. The title of the piece is Sleeping With Weapons (sadly, abstract only for non-subscribers) and it's a strange and sad tale. John has been in hiding for the past 18 months to avoid a former friend who is supposedly stalking him. In addition, he has a mysterious illness that kept him a virtual prisoner in his apartment for six years." [more inside]
Born In the Sky: Upsetter at the Controls With Susan Cadogan - Do It Baby (Nice 'n Easy) and The Upsetters - All Combine.
Mere days after asserting his state's "sovereignty" from an "oppressive" Federal government, Governor Rick Perry stands before an angry crowd at Austin City Hall and announces that Texas may once again secede from the Union. "There's a lot of different scenarios," Perry said. "We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot." [more inside]
Roger Ebert called it "one of the finest, truest, most deeply felt movies in my experience". Rated X on initial release, it still has not appeared on DVD. [more inside]
Three well-received albums, but without selling many of them. One of the greatest singles ever, but it didn't chart. An acrimonious split after only four years amidst heroin addiction and charges of attempted murder. A lead singer and songwriter who descended into a quarter of a century of addiction: first heroin, then crack, just about staying alive, but only just. But The Only Ones are back, dubbed as cult heroes, and acknowledged as an influence on bands like Nirvana, The Replacements, Blur and The Libertines. Just a little haggard and worn, but playing live again (The Big Sleep, Another Girl) after twenty-five years.
The Philosophy Podcast seems to be a podcast where great philosophical works are read aloud. Unfortunately you need to pay for the full works, but the bits are fun. For something a little more contemporary, check out Philosophy Talk, hosted by Ken Taylor and one of the funniest contemporary analytic philosophers: John Perry. In particular, check out Perry's light essays in which the power of procrastination can be harnessed (and apparently now put on t-shirts), an ideal desk is a giant lazy susan, and connections are drawn between golf and suffering.
RumorFilter: Gov. Perry of Texas in bed with his Sec. of State --for real! More on this brewing scandal here, here, here, here, and here. Perry in 2002 called Texas' then-existing/now-illegal sodomy laws "appropriate." And here's a rundown on the rumor and non-response (from the kos link)
Drifiting towards war - "I have held off public criticism to this point because I had hoped that the administration was going to act on this problem, and that public criticism might be counterproductive. But time is running out, and each month the problem gets more dangerous." - Fmr Defense Secretary William Perry