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The Log for May 8: First Lady documentary ‘Becoming,’ Alice Walker, Dylan, Prokofiev


#1 Dog walks are meant for podcasts. Longer walks mean even MORE podcasts:

a) Fresh Air: Chef Tom Colicchio talks about what it will take for restaurants to survive.

      b)  NYT The Daily: Arrival of the murder hornets and The Chinese Lab theory.

c)  NPR Up First: Unemployment numbers.

d) NYT Sugar Calling: Cheryl Strayed talks with Alice Walker. “Whatever we have, we have to work with it.” (Strayed’s weekly podcast has hosted writers Amy Tan, Judy Blume, Pico Iyer, Margaret Attwood,  and George Saunders.

#2 VISIT: The talk with Alice Walker sent me to her website. Filled with commentaries and poems and nods to essays of others. The first two lines of her poem “True Success” really got me:

“True success means having enough
To Share.”

An essay on the intellectual fatigue of a black woman having to constantly defend, justify, explain her race, recruited an essay by her daughter, Rebecca Walker, for strength. That one is titled “Leaving the Intellectual Plantation,” and it is powerful.

#3 LISTEN UP: “The Best of Prokofiev”   — a relaxing, invigorating, Reader’s Digest survey of the composer’s “greatest hits.”

#4  EXPLORING: Our virtual walk of the Camino de Santiago has entered a part of Spain known for its “Castro Culture” — a hilltop living Celtic culture that existed throughout northern Portugal and northwest Iberian Peninsula from the end of the Bronze Age (9th Century BC to the Roman conquest.

Their villages were often built on hills with surrounding fortifications, called “castros”(castles). Eventually,  large cities grew on some hills with high walled defenses — not enough to keep the Romans at bay. Still, the Roman conquest took more than a century to complete.

#5  WORD UP!  When a story purports to be about the best sentence ever published in eminently literate Atlantic magazine … well, ya just gotta check it out.

They landed a big one from Oliver Wendall Holmes Sr. in a piece he wrote in 1862 about his search for his Union officer son, Oliver Jr., downed in the horrific and deadly battle of Antietam. Spoiler alert: His son became a  Supreme Court justice. The story is titled “My Hunt After the Captain.”  It is as compelling as you can imagine.

The sentence from this story is about riding the train south to Maryland and it weighs in at 186 words. It could be a short story in itself, maybe titled “Unwanted Distractions,” and as familiar today to frequent flyers as it was then to the man on the train”

Many times, when I have got upon the cars, expecting to be magnetized into an hour or two of blissful reverie, my thoughts shaken up by the vibrations into all sorts of new and pleasing patterns, arranging themselves in curves and nodal points, like the grains of sand in Chladni’s famous experiment,—fresh ideas coming up to the surface, as the kernels do when a measure of corn is jolted in a farmer’s wagon,—all this without volition, the mechanical impulse alone keeping the thoughts in motion, as the mere act of carrying certain watches in the pocket keeps them wound up,—many times, I say, just as my brain was beginning to creep and hum with this delicious locomotive intoxication, some dear detestable friend, cordial, intelligent, social, radiant, has come up and sat down by me and opened a conversation which has broken my day-dream, unharnessed the flying horses that were whirling along my fancies and hitched on the old weary omnibus-team of every-day associations, fatigued my hearing and attention, exhausted my voice, and milked the breasts of my thought dry during the hour when they should have been filling themselves full of fresh juices.

#6 ANSWERED: We often ask, which FOX host is responsible for more Covid-related deaths because of their irresponsible “reporting” (aka: repeating the nonsense of Trump)?

So now we know: It’s Hannity by a handshake over Tucker Carlson, according to a University of Chicago study.  The reason is, Carlson got off the Trump Crazy Train sooner than Hannity.

It’s a pity they didn’t have the resources to study the whole FOX birdcage — because some of the looney birds like the morning monkeys and Jeanine Pirro have been singing batshit crazy COVID songs longer and louder.

#7  LOVE THAT BOB: This is a very fertile time for Bob Dylan. He has released his third song in recent weeks, behind the epic “Murder Most Foul” and the literate “I Contain Multitudes.” It is called “False Prophet” and it is a swaggering blues belter. Give a listen, read the lyrics. Album up soon!

#8  OH, WHAT A NIGHT: Homemade pizza with Rose, took delivery of a new case of wine, a ZOOM visit with old friends.

And watching Michelle Obama’s documentary “Becoming” on Netflix. Obama film reminded us of a time when people of all colors, persuasions, beliefs, dreams, and beliefs stood together and voted for a better America.  We can do it again. We must do it again.

That’s how we end our day.


One thought on “The Log for May 8: First Lady documentary ‘Becoming,’ Alice Walker, Dylan, Prokofiev

  1. Pingback: The Log for May 8: First Lady documentary ‘Becoming,’ Alice Walker, Dylan, Prokofiev « Bound for Belize

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