George Szirtes: "Visions before midnight: the inimitable voice of Clive James" (New Statesman)
Poetry Notebook is primarily a defence of apprenticeship and craft in pursuit of the elixir of memorability.
Tom Reimann: Why We All Ignored the Bill Cosby Rape Charges for 10 Years (Cracked)
By now you've probably heard that Bill Cosby has been accused of drugging and raping more than a dozen women over the course of his 50-year career as a stand-up comedian, sitcom father, pudding salesman, and model of terrible sweaters (he also made a cartoon about a terrifyingly obese child with a debilitating speech impediment somewhere in there, presumably to complete some kind of career bingo card).
John Cheese: The 4 Most Important Things to Know as a Gamer Parent (Cracked)
The exact moment I knew I was a gamer parent -- that is, a gamer who happens to have kids, and not just the parent of kids who play games -- was when I heard my nine year-old son Drew proclaim, "They won't let you kill kids in this game? That's a bunch of bullcrap," and immediately realized I was going to have to have a conversation with him about it.
AARON CLINE HANBURY: Why C.S. Lewis Never Goes Out of Style (Atlantic)
The author's death barely made headlines 50 years ago when he died on the same day as JFK and Aldous Huxley. But today, his writings are more relevant than ever.
Christopher Orr: "Hunger Games: Mockingjay Is Darker, More Relentless Than Ever" (Atlantic)
Would it have been better if they hadn't split it in two? Probably. But it's still awfully good.
Henry Rollins: Politics Isn't a Sporting Event (LA Weekly)
A few days before the midterm elections, I got this unsigned email: "How are you going to feel when the Republicans take the Senate on Tuesday, just like they took the House because of your POS hero Obama? Arrogance and incompetence by that fucktard Oliar led to this so thanks for voting for the hack, LMAO!!!" It was my first good laugh of the day. It was like getting email bombed by an energy drink-addled 13-year-old. Is there any political office you would like to occupy if this was one of your constituents?
Abby Martin: How the Universe Became Something out of Nothing | Interview with Lawrence Krauss (YouTube)
Abby Martin interviews theoretical physicist and cosmologist, Lawrence Krauss, discussing everything from his belief that all religion will be eliminated within a generation to his view on the origins of the universe.
Mike Nichols and Elaine May - 1959 Emmy Awards (full version) (YouTube)
The Total Mediocrity Award.
David Bruce: Free eBooks (Wordpress)
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
David Bruce's Smashwords Page
David Bruce's Blog
David Bruce's Lulu Storefront
David Bruce's Apple iBookstore
David Bruce has approximately 50 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'
from Marc Perkel
Hello Bartcop fans,
As you all know the untimely passing of Terry was unexpected, even by him. We all knew he had cancer but we all thought he had some years left. So some of us who have worked closely with him over the years are scrambling around trying to figure out what to do. My job, among other things, is to establish communications with the Bartcop community and provide email lists and groups for those who might put something together. Those who want to play an active roll in something coming from this, or if you are one of Bart's pillars, should send an email to email@example.com.
Bart's final wish was to pay off the house mortgage for Mrs. Bart who is overwhelmed and so very grateful for the support she has received. Anyone wanting to make a donation can click on this the yellow donate button on bartcop.com
But - I need you all to help keep this going. This note isn't going to directly reach all of Bart's fans. So if you can repost it on blogs and discussion boards so people can sign up then when we figure out what's next we can let more people know. This list is just over 600 but like to get it up to at least 10,000 pretty quick. So here's the signup link for this email list.
( mailman.bartcop.com/listinfo/bartnews )
from that Mad Cat, JD
In The Chaos Household
Sunny and way too toasty.
Letter To Auction
'On The Road'
It's been called the letter that launched a literary genre - 16,000 amphetamine-fueled, stream-of-consciousness words written by Neal Cassady to his friend Jack Kerouac in 1950.
Upon reading them, Kerouac scrapped an early draft of "On The Road" and, during a three-week writing binge, revised his novel into a style similar to Cassady's, one that would become known as Beat literature.
The letter, Kerouac said shortly before his death, would have transformed his counterculture muse Cassady into a towering literary figure, if only it hadn't been lost.
Turns out it wasn't, says Joe Maddalena, whose Southern California auction house Profiles in History is putting the letter up for sale Dec. 17. It was just misplaced, for 60-some years.
'On The Road'
Rare Collection To Auction
A rare collection of ancient Chinese jade pieces, some dating back 6,000 years, will be up for grabs in Toronto on Tuesday and are expected to "well exceed" their collective pre-sale estimate of $500,000, says A.H. Wilkens Auctions & Appraisals.
"We really don't see pieces of this nature come up very often any longer," said Andrea Zeifman, COO and senior appraiser at A.H. Wilkens, noting such a collection is usually held in a museum.
The nearly 200-piece collection comes from the estate of the late Irving Langleb, a Brooklyn-born linguistics scholar who moved to Japan after working in Asia during the Second World War. He became a businessman in Japan and started collecting jade pieces that were being exported along with many antiques out of China due to excavation of gravesites amid industrialization and agricultural growth.
Highlights include symbolic cong tubes from the Liangzhu culture and a collection of burial pigs, which were placed into the hands of the dead as a sign of wealth and prosperity in the afterlife.
Former NBC employee Frank Scotti claims Bill Cosby used to give him money to pay off women.
Scotti, who worked as a facilities manager at the Brooklyn studio where The Cosby Show was filmed, told the New York Daily News that Cosby had him hand out monthly payments to eight women between 1989-1990.
Scotti said the women received up to $2000 a month, with Shawn Thompson, whose daughter Autumn Jackson alleged that Cosby was her father, reportedly receiving more than $100,000 following the 1974 start of their alleged affair. Cosby, who has faced a string of decades-old sexual abuse allegations in recent weeks, denied the paternity claim.
Scotti, who saved copies of the money orders to four women, believes that Cosby was sleeping with all the women who were getting money. "Why else would he be sending money?" Scotti asked. "He was sending these women $2,000 a month. What else could I think?"
He said that Cosby once handed him "a satchel of money, all $100 bills," and would ask Scotti to put his own name on the money orders. "He was covering himself by having my name on it," he said. "It was a coverup. I realized it later."
Won't Give Up Guns After All
Lynden Pioneer Museum
A small museum in northwestern Washington says it won't be removing all of the weapons from its World War II exhibit, after all.
The Lynden Pioneer Museum had announced that because of concerns about the state's new law requiring background checks for gun transfers, it was returning the 11 rifles it had on loan to their owners before the law takes effect next month.
Director Troy Luginbill said he was worried that the nonprofit museum would otherwise have to pay for background checks before it returned the weapons.
But The Bellingham Herald reports that after learning of the issue, the owners of a pawn shop in Bonney Lake offered to do any paperwork required to return the weapons.
Lynden Pioneer Museum
U.S. Environmental Overseer
He has called climate change "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people" and a ratings ploy by the Weather Channel. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a "Gestapo bureaucracy" and environmentalists remind him of Nazis: "I could use the Third Reich, the Big Lie. You say something over and over and over and over again, and people will believe it," he has said.
Meet Jim Inhofe (R-Pissquik), a 79-year-old senator from Oklahoma, who, thanks to the Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate this month, is the incoming chairman of the Senate committee on the environment and public works. Slated to be the next chairman due to his seniority on the committee, Inhofe will be in charge of overseeing a wide variety of environmental issues and every action of the EPA-the agency in charge of implementing President Barack Obama's climate change policy.
The power shift on Capitol Hill is nowhere more stark than in the handover of the committee gavel to Inhofe by outgoing chairwoman Barbara Boxer, a liberal Democrat from California, and a staunch ally of Al Gore and environmental groups. Boxer supported various attempts to limit greenhouse gas emissions, and fought against the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta's oil sands, which she called a threat to the climate and a cancer risk.
From his perch of power, Inhofe is expected to spearhead a fight against the centrepiece of Obama's climate change plan: stricter regulations on coal-fired power plants that have been announced by the EPA, but not yet implemented. Inhofe was easily re-elected on Nov. 4 to his fifth term in the Senate. He campaigned on conservative values and "protecting Oklahoma's bread and butter," the oil and gas industry.
Captain Relieved Of Duty
The captain of one of the Navy's premier warships has been relieved of command after an investigation found that he routinely used foul and abusive language toward crew members and engaged in inappropriate touching and questioning of women.
Capt. Wayne Brown was relieved as commander of the San Diego-based amphibious assault ship Boxer after an investigation concluded that he had "lost the respect, trust and confidence of his subordinates" because of his temper and his behavior toward female crew members, according to the investigative report. His behavior included touching and asking crew members whether they were using birth control with their husbands or boyfriends.
Brown created a "hostile, offensive and intimidating work environment," according to the investigation that was undertaken after complaints from enlisted personnel and junior officers.
Brown joined the Navy as an enlisted sailor in 1986 and became an officer in 1989. After being relieved, Brown was reassigned to a desk job in San Diego.
In a move likely to further inflame tensions with Israel's Arab citizens, the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday approved a bill to legally define the country as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
The decision, which set off a stormy debate that could bring down Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's brittle coalition government, followed weeks of deadly Arab-Jewish violence and was denounced by critics as damaging to the country's democratic character and poorly timed at such a combustible moment.
It now heads toward a full parliamentary vote on Wednesday.
Israel has always defined itself as the "Jewish state" - a term that was contained in the country's declaration of independence in 1948. The new law seeks to codify that status as a "Basic Law," Israel's de facto constitution.
The bill calls not only for recognizing Israel's Jewish character but for institutionalizing Jewish law as an inspiration for legislation and dropping Arabic as an official language.
Needs 3-Mile Buffer
A government report with significant implications for the U.S. energy industry says a struggling bird species needs a 3-mile buffer between its breeding grounds and oil and gas drilling, wind farms and solar projects.
The study comes as the Obama administration weighs new protections for the greater sage grouse. The ground-dwelling, chicken-sized birds range across 11 western states and two Canadian provinces.
A 3-mile buffer for the birds represents a much larger area than the no-occupancy zones where drilling and other activity is prohibited under some state and federal land management plans.
However, those plans also contain more nuanced provisions, which backers say will protect sage grouse, such as seasonal restrictions on drilling or other activity and limits on the number of oil and gas wells within key sage grouse habitat.
Greater sage grouse populations dropped sharply in recent decades due to disease, pressure from the energy industry, wildfires and other factors.
Weekend Box Office
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1"
"Mockingjay, Part 1" didn't catch fire like the previous installments of "The Hunger Games," but it still had the biggest opening of the year with $123 million at the weekend box office, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Lionsgate's "Mockingjay" opened well below the $158 million debut of last year's "Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and the $153 million opening of the 2012 original. But even with a $30-million-plus slide in the franchise, "Mockingjay" far surpassed the previous top weekend of the year: the $100 million debut of "Transformers: Age of Extinction."
The result made for some unusual ironies. The biggest opening of the year (and by a wide margin) was seen by some as a disappointment. After initial box office receipts of "Mockingjay" rolled in Friday suggested a weekend take below expectations, Lions Gate Entertainment's stock dipped 5 percent.
Last week's top film, the long-in-coming sequel "Dumb and Dumber To," slid considerably. The Universal comedy dropped to fourth place with $13.8 million.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1," $123 million ($152 million international).
2. "Big Hero 6," $20.1 million ($7 million international).
3. "Interstellar," $15.1 million ($70 million international).
4. "Dumb and Dumber To," $13.8 million ($6.5 million international).
5. "Gone Girl," $2.8 million ($2.4 million international).
6. "Beyond the Lights," $2.6 million.
7. "St. Vincent," $2.4 million.
8. "Fury," $1.9 million ($11 million).
9. "Birdman," $1.9 million.
10. "The Theory of Everything," $1.5 million.
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1"
A controversial and tireless advocate for the nation's capital who created jobs for generations of black families, Marion Barry was the ultimate District of Columbia politician, though his arrest for drug use in the midst of a crack cocaine epidemic often overshadows his accomplishments.
The former four-term mayor will long be remembered for one night in 1990 when he was caught on video lighting a crack pipe in an FBI sting operation. In an instant, the then-mayor of the capital city was exposed as a drug user himself.
Barry died Sunday at 78. His family said Barry died at the United Medical Center, after having been released from Howard University Hospital on Saturday. No cause of death was given, but his spokeswoman LaToya Foster said he collapsed outside his home.
Barry first made a name for himself in the South as a leader in the civil rights movement and brought his fierce advocacy to D.C. to support the fight for local residents to be freed from the rule of Congress to manage their own city affairs. That legacy was remembered Sunday at the White House upon news of Barry's death.
Barry was born March 6, 1936, to Marion and Mattie Barry, in the Mississippi delta and was raised in Memphis, Tennessee, after the death of his father, a sharecropper.
While an undergraduate at LeMoyne College (now LeMoyne-Owen College), Barry picked up the nickname "Shep" in reference to Soviet propagandist Dmitri Shepilov for his ardent support of the civil rights movement. Barry began using Shepilov as his middle name.
Barry completed graduate work in chemistry at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, earning a master's degree. He left school short of a doctorate to work in the civil rights movement.
Barry's political rise began in 1960, when he became the first national chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, which sent young people into the South to register black voters and became known as one of the most militant civil rights groups of that era.
Barry's work with the committee brought him to Washington. He first entered local politics as a member of the school board and then in 1974 as a member of the first elected city council.
He was wounded by a shotgun blast in the Hanafi Muslim takeover of D.C.'s city hall in 1977. The shooting was credited with strengthening him politically. In 1978, Barry defeated incumbent Mayor Walter Washington in the Democratic primary and went on to easily win the general election.
Barry's early years in office were marked by improvement in many city services and a dramatic expansion of the government payroll, creating a thriving black middle class in the nation's capital. He established a summer jobs program that gave many young people their first work experience and earned him political capital.
The city's drug-fueled decline in the 1980s and 1990s mirrored Barry's battles with his personal demons, leading to the infamous hotel room arrest on Jan. 19, 1990. The video of Barry was widely distributed to the media and made him infamous worldwide.
Barry suffered numerous health problems over the years. In addition to kidney failure, he survived prostate cancer. In early 2014, he spent several weeks in hospitals battling infections and related complications.
Barry was married four times and is survived by his wife, Cora, and one son, Marion Christopher Barry.