Sunday, March 23, 2014

Art Connects

You Go Down Smooth - Lake Street Dive

Sunday poetry

In the Lake District

In those days, in a place where dentists thrive
(their daughters order fancy clothes from London;
their painted forceps hold aloft on signboards
a common and abstracted Wisdom Tooth),
there I - whose mouth held ruins more abject
than any Parthenon - a spy, a spearhead
for some fifth column of a rotting culture
(my cover was a lit. professorship),
was living at a college near the most
renowned of the fresh-water lakes; the function
to which I'd been appointed was to wear out
the patience of the ingenuous local youth.

Whatever I wrote then was incomplete:
my lines expired in strings of dots. Collapsing,
I dropped, still fully dressed, upon my bed.
At night I stared up at the darkened ceiling
until I saw a shooting star, which then, conforming to the laws of
would flash - before I'd even made a wish -
across my cheek and down onto my pillow.

~ Joseph Brodsky

Friday, March 21, 2014


Ana Márquez-Greene

Special - Garbage

The Worst Special Interest Ever

Chief Puppeteer Wayne LaPierre

“It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”

~ Rose Kennedy

Anita told me about a story she heard on NPR while driving to Grand Rapids that made me sick.

It seems that President Obama nominated a truly amazing young man to be the 19th Surgeon General of the United States. Dr. Vivek Murthy, who wasn’t even born until a year after the country celebrated its Bicentennial, is probably one of the most qualified individuals ever to be nominated for any federal post by any president.

He graduated as valedictorian from Miami Palmetto Senior High School in 1994. He then attended Harvard, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences, graduating with honors in just three years. He received his medical degree from Yale Medical School and decided to earn an MBA in health care management from Yale School of Management while he was at it.

Dr. Vivek Murthy
Dr. Murthy completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Boston’s Brigham and Women's Hospital. He taught medicine at Harvard Medical School, served on the U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – which advises the National Prevention Council on strategies to advance the nation’s health – and founded a system that brings new drugs to market faster and more safely. Oh, and he’s a recognized leader in HIV prevention and AIDS education who founded a nonprofit organization to work on these issues in the U.S. and India.

Kind of smart, isn’t he? Kind of unbelievably smart, in fact, and motivated and disciplined and talented and awesome, don’t you think? Surely the wise and noble men and women who comprise Congress will approve of President Obama’s choice and allow this noteworthy man – who’s recognized by other doctors as firmly in the medical mainstream – to assume this office and improve public health, right?

Wrong. The National Rifle Association, which has the testicles of scores of male politicians in jars on shelves in a large basement storage room at their headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, doesn’t like the fact that Dr. Vivek once had the unmitigated gall to publicly state that guns are a health care issue and an assault weapons ban is a good idea.

Can you believe the nerve of that guy? Doesn’t he know that the NRA calls all the shots here in the Land of Chuck Heston and Ted “Motor City Madman” Nugent? U.S. public policy is dictated by NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre, who opposes banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, requiring universal background checks and limiting in any way the public’s access to semi-automatic weapons. Public policy isn’t shaped with the best interests of the citizenry in mind. It’s shaped by fear-mongering and lying and not giving a shit about slaughtered first-graders.

When asked if the White House was abandoning Dr. Murthy’s nomination, a spokesman said, “We are recalibrating our approach, but in answer to your question, no.”

Recalibrating your approach? What in the hell does that mean? That’s the kind of infuriating gobbledygook that earns President Obama the scorn of progressives and emboldens the GOP to forge ahead with its evil machinations.

This blog post isn’t about presidential appointments or the surgeon general or White House statements or even Dr. Vivek. It’s about how flawed and skewed and broken and dirty our system of government is, how bad it smells and how distressing it is that a pro-gun lobbying group founded in 1871 can control elected officials like puppets on strings.

Since Dr. Vivek probably won’t get the chance to serve as surgeon general, maybe he can find the time to make a house call because this story makes me physically ill.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Nothing Is More Beautiful

Where am I Going? - Gino Vanelli (live in Montreal)

Sunday poetry

As I Grew Older

It was a long time ago.
I have almost forgotten my dream.
But it was there then,
In front of me,
Bright like a sun—
My dream.
And then the wall rose,
Rose slowly,
Between me and my dream.
Rose until it touched the sky—
The wall.
I am black.
I lie down in the shadow.
No longer the light of my dream before me,
Above me.
Only the thick wall.
Only the shadow.
My hands!
My dark hands!
Break through the wall!
Find my dream!
Help me to shatter this darkness,
To smash this night,
To break this shadow
Into a thousand lights of sun,
Into a thousand whirling dreams
Of sun!

~ Langston Hughes

Sunday, March 9, 2014


Fire - Bruce Springsteen (rare and live)

Sunday poetry


It nearly cancels my fear of death, my dearest said,
When I think of cremation. To rot in the earth
Is a loathsome end, but to roar up in flame - besides, I
am used to it,
I have flamed with love or fury so often in my life,
No wonder my body is tired, no wonder it is dying.
We had great joy of my body. Scatter the ashes.

~ Robinson Jeffers

Saturday, March 8, 2014


Only Happy When It Rains - Garbage w/Shirley Manson

The Internet Sucks Today

The shirt I got from

This is what greeted me when I got online this morning and went to, my all-time favorite blog:

We are deeply saddened to report the passing of Bart on the morning of March 5, 2014. He died peacefully due to his flu, pneumonia and his Leukemia. His last word is below as well as opportunities to communicate what he and his Tequila Tree House have meant to you over the years.

As we grieve the loss and celebrate Bart's life we will consider our options for the future of the page in the days ahead. Send us your thoughts.

Donations to help Mrs. Bart cover Bart's medical expenses are greatly appreciated.

I’m very, very sad about this.

Bartcop was one of the first sites that I stumbled across years ago when I first started spending time online. I found his honesty and bluntness wonderful and refreshing and almost immediately became addicted to his site. Dubya was smelling up the Oval Office and ruining the world at the time and I found it cathartic and comforting to read Bart’s no-holds-barred, well-deserved attacks on Bush, Cheney et al. My first bookmark was probably

I didn’t always agree with him – especially on gun control – and I didn’t share his fondness for Shirley Manson or gambling but this was all part of what made Bart Bart so I always scrolled from top to bottom no matter what. His many short posts, images and links were perfect for someone with a short attention span like me. Later, when he started featuring special pages like ‘Mystery Celebrity,” “Mystery Car” and “Don’t Look Down,” I clicked every time and e-mailed my guesses when I had ‘em.

When I followed in his huge footsteps and started blogging, I occasionally sent him links with my request that he consider sharing them with his readers. And he did, more than once. It was so exciting to see a link to “What’s the Diehl?” at his site. It was guaranteed to cause a huge, albeit brief, spike in my readership. People who came to my blog from Bartcop didn’t become regular “What’s the Diehl?” readers, though, because “What’s the Diehl?” wasn’t Bartcop. There was only one Bart.

I didn’t learn until today that Bart’s real name was Terrence R. Coppage. I didn’t know that he was born on September 12, 1953 in St. Louis or that he had attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. I didn’t know that Mrs. Bart’s – that’s how he always referred to his wife – real name is Debby. I didn’t know that he used to play drums. And I didn’t know that he had worked in the restaurant and vending industries before becoming the sharp-witted, perceptive, provocative and generous political blogger on whom I relied to inform and motivate me and validate my disgust at politicians, pundits and panderers who sullied public service and kept us in the dark about what was really going on.

I just knew that he was smart, funny and cool and he made the Internet better.

Rest in peace, Mr. Coppage. Although we never met, I will miss you tremendously.

A shot of Chicano for Bartcop

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Three Wise Men

Dedicated to the One I Love - The Temprees

Sunday poetry

Cosmetics Do No Good

Cosmetics do no good:
no shadow, rouge, mascara, lipstick -
nothing helps.
However artfully I comb my hair,
embellishing my throat & wrists with jewels,
it is no use - there is no
semblance of the beautiful young girl
I was
& long for still.
My loveliness is past.
& no one could be more aware than I am
that coquettishness at this age
only renders me ridiculous.
I know it. Nonetheless,
I primp myself before the glass
like an infatuated schoolgirl
fussing over every detail,
practicing whatever subtlety
may please him.
I cannot help myself.
The God of Passion has his will of me
& I am tossed about
between humiliation & desire,
rectitude & lust,
disintegration & renewal,
ruin & salvation.

~ Steve Kowit