I’d planned a different lineup. Then the Texas legislature not only banned abortion, it deputized vigilantes to turn in anyone who assisted in one, starting with cab drivers. That was expected. The Supreme Court ruling — it declined even to discuss the appeal — was a surprise that earned a brutal dissent from Justice Sonia Sotomayor: “Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand.” Reading that, as my city flooded, I decided the last thing I want to do here is intensify the pain. What might be useful, as we head into a so-called “holiday” weekend, is some affirmative culture. Not treacle, just smart and useful reminders that we — well, some of us — are better than this.
New CD coming. Many guests. And this teaser. You can’t help responding to the song — it echoes some of his greater hits. Even more, the animation is swoonsville. And cheers for Elton’s mask on the cover. Watch/listen here.
THE WEEKEND MOVIE: “LOCAL HERO”
The smartest, best movie with a happy ending — everyone who’s seen it will say that. “Local Hero” is a modest Scottish comedy directed by Bill Forsyth in 1983. It’s a dream story: capitalism vs. humanity and nature. In our country, capitalism crushes all opposition most of the time. In Scotland, magic and mystery are still alive. Go there, see what life is like there, dream it can be your life — isn’t that what we so often do when we travel? Happily, armchair travel is possible. Take a dram of whiskey. Turn off your phone. Wallow in near-perfection.To read more, click here. To watch the trailer, click here. To order the stream from Amazon, click here.
HERO OF THE WEEK: IN HIS GARDEN HE GREW THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN
Tony Hillery built a garden. And planted it. And children sprouted. Read about this remarkable man.
VACCINATION CARD HOLDERS: Your vaccination card is the most precious card in your wallet. Unlike your credit and bank cards, it’s not replaceable. That alone can create anxiety. And it’s cheap cardboard, highly perishable. Take it out, put it back, it can get ragged. Set it down, it can get wet and stained. Inevitably, you can now buy 4″ x 3″ cardholders. Inevitably, some are shoddy. These are acceptable. I’ve researched two kinds. One has a cover, made of an unspecified material we’ll call plastic. To buy two of these 4″ x 3″ covers for $10.95 at Amazon, click here. The basic card holder is clear plastic. To buy a 10-pack for $10.95 from Amazon, click here. What will you do with 10? Well, gift them to your nearest and dearest. And send a few, mailed without a return address at a post office in another zip code, to people who decline to be vaccinated. Yes, a prank. Also, a friendly hint.
THE MOST AMUSING TWO-MINUTE VIDEO ON YOUTUBE
David Bowie recalls the first time he saw The Rolling Stones. A guy in the audience shouts at Mick Jagger:”Get a haircut.” And Jagger… Now you click. And share.
MEET MARLON BRANDO
The death of Charlie Watts has caused a spike of views of “Gimme Shelter,” the documentary that David and Albert Maysles about the Rolling Stones’ disastrous appearance at Altamount. It reminded me of a little known Maysles film about Marlon Brando’s press tour for a stinker of a film. It’s funny and revealing, and just watching the preview will make you smile. Click here.
JOHN PRINE AND IRIS DEMENT – “IN SPITE OF OURSELVES /WE’LL END UP SITTIN’ ON A RAINBOW /AGAINST ALL ODDS, HONEY/WE’RE THE BIG DOOR PRIZE
Not like any other love song. Click here.
IF YOU’VE NEVER READ THIS, NOW IS A VERY GOOD TIME
After he got out of the concentration camp in 1945, in just nine days, Viktor Frankl wrote “Man’s Search for Meaning.” It has sold tens of millions of copies, been published in dozens of languages, been named as one of the 10 books you must read — for many, it’s been a life-changer. Frankl’s message is simple: Life can be terrible. But there is one power you alone possess: the power to decide what you think about your situation. If you think there is a point to your suffering and if you can imagine your life on the other side of it, you are searching for meaning. More, you are finding meaning, for the very act of searching ennobles you. Achievements can pile up, riches may come your way — none of that matters. The search is everything. To read more, click here.