Cracks in the fabric

Eileen is home safe and sound. My brother had a mishap with my mom’s car while they were in Calif. As he was driving back from Ohio apparently a long pole rammed itself into the front of the car, happily not hurting anyone in the car. So I have to do the leg work on this now: call the insurance company, connect with the police report, yada yada. 

The New Yorker published several poems from John Updike’s last book of poetry in the current issue. Like any good information hoarder, the publisher is making sure none of these poems are available to anyone not subscribing to the New Yorker or willing to shell out 25 bucks (16.50 on Amazon) for this book of poetry. Sheesh. Too bad. Some nice poems about mortality all with Updike’s typical touch of the vulnerable and the real. As I was shelving the clipping of these poems, I realized how Updike was really quite a good poet, both in his poems but also in his prose. The man could write.


I  have been pondering my embrace of my own musical hackdom recently.

 I was talking to a very congenial young prof from Hope on Sunday. He kept telling me I should promote my compositions on the web and go to conferences and give presentations. I told him I had a web site, but wasn’t sure I had commercial potential.

When I told him I wasn’t sure that not many people wanted to hear my music, he protested so vehemently that I think he missed my comment that I like my music and love doing it.  It seems that music has to take a second seat to its own self promotion before it has any chance of validity as a commodity. Oh well. I just like doing it. 

Speaking of, I had a flash yesterday that it would be fun to write a piece for  my friend Jordan. I could do a three movement piece with one movement each for the three saxes he plays: soprano, alto and tenor. I could write it and we could perform it sometime. 

I have been spending quite a bit of time with Shostakovich lately. I was working on the last fugue from his 24 preludes and fugues. It is quite cool. A double fugue that still has lots of lovely melody. Also have been listening to his string quartets. Good stuff.

I think I’m a bit morose because I have to go to the doctor this morning.

This doctor likes a six month follow up to the annual check up. That’s what this is. I am prepared for him to fuss at me about my weight. Everything else seems okay to me. 

There was an interesting article in the NYT recently  (It’s dated March 14 on the web…. but I’m not sure which day it was published) called “These Days, No Reporting Behind a Nations Back”  The author, ANAND GIRIDHARADAS, talks about the immediacy of reporting on the web and reminds us that anything written on the web can pop up anywhere in the world. It contains interesting little facts like 

According to data teased out of the Google Trends service, the phrases “new york times india” and “washington post india” are searched eight times as much in India, as a proportion of all Indian searches, as the equivalent in the United States. By the same measure, “new york times china” is searched more intensively in Beijing than in New York.


This means the homeboys are keeping an eye on U.S. reporting. The writer goes on to point out how this helps with accuracy (local people tend know the on the ground facts better) or as GIRIDHARADAS elegantly puts it:
“Here” readers are better watchdogs than “there” readers. 
The drawbacks seem to be how it is changing the speed of reporting. Anyway, I thought it was cool.
And I enjoyed this little piece on my hero Dick Gregory in the NYT.   I haved been following this man for years. Read his books. Listened to his stand-up. 
Enjoyed this story:

Ed Weinberger, who was later a producer of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Cosby Show,” worked as a writer for Mr. Gregory for three years, often accompanying him on his trips to the South. He remembers him spending “hours on the phone, gathering information, finding out what was happening.”

Once, Mr. Weinberger recalled, when they were both fleeing an angry crowd, Mr. Gregory heard someone yell, “Get the nigger lover.” He turned to Mr. Weinberger and said: “Let’s separate. I think they’re after you.”

Very funny and scarey and courageous.  I also like this:

“I buy about $1,500 worth of papers every month,” he said. “Not that I trust them. I’m looking for the crack in the fabric.”

Yeah, baby. Cracks in the fabric. Me, too.

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