KEEPING IT REAL

A friend talking about something on youtube: “she dances a Spanish thing with some bloke and a bunch of other folks in costumes.”

Paring things down to the artichoke!

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WHAT WILL IT TAKE?

Will it take the descendants of slaves to save liberty in this country?

I went to a Baptist funeral over the weekend, saying goodbye to the mother of childhood friends. It was incredible seeing people I hadn’t seen in 40 years!

Almost everyone there was African-American. And it was heartening that the pastor was fulminating against Trump in his eulogy of the deceased. And it was completely relevant, since the deceased herself was politically active and politically outspoken.

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WALK DON’T RUN

because you want to be in a thoughtful, receptive mood when you flock to the Museum of Modern Art October 5-16 for its retrospective of the films of Marlen Khutsiev. I’ve only seen his July Rain, which is quintessential Soviet thaw cinema. Most of his films aren’t available on DVD, so you need to be there.

And to top it all off, Khutsiev, NINETY-ONE YEARS OLD, is working on a new film and is coming to New York City to be interviewed at MOMA!!

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I’D SAY IT’S PAST TIME

Isn’t it time, now that Trump has pledged to accelerate humanity’s race to extinction, that Hillary started making the environment a campaign issue?

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WEDNESDAYS WITH ALLA

Speaking of S.N. Behrman, I was thinking of his Portrait of Max as I wrote my biography of Alla Osipenko.  Behrman foregrounds his friendship with Max Beerbom, drama critic and humorist and just highly interesting individual. I don’t quite foreground my interviewer-interviewee relationship with Osipenko, but it’s an important part of the book.

I was also thinking of Mitch Albion’s Tuesdays with Morrie!  In the sense of chronicling regular visits to a senior inspiring person. So I had to sign and send the book to David Black, who’s Albion’s agent as well as representing a lot of other top authors. As well as being my nursery-school-playground playmate. David’s the son of Hillel Black, who’s had a long and extraordinary career in publishing, and he and my Dad were college friends. And we were also, as very young tykes, neighbors in Jackson Heights, Queens. Still looking for that picture of us in crepe-paper capes in the playground. . .

Didn’t know that Hilly had just died last February. Donations in his  memory may be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center–that tells you something.

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I’LL BE THERE – WILL YOU?

Since summer now extends into what was once fall, how appropriate that the Metropolitan Playhouse down on East Fourth Street revives S.N. Behrman’s 1936 End of Summer beginning October 7. Behrman’s one of our greatest playwrights, but his work isn’t as often seen as it should be. Just happened to re-read this particular play, however, not too long ago, so I feel synchronized. Like last year’s The Awful Truth, End of Summer originally starred Ina Claire. In his autobiography, Behrman mentions owning a recording of a performance she gave of his 1931 Biography. . . where is it now?

In End of Summer, the Claire character almost falls for a strong man, a shrink with definite fascistic tendencies. Relevant in 1936–relevant this election season.

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CATCHING UP WITH CINDY VOORSPUY

It’s been a long, long time since I first went to Staten Island for one of the riotous parties she threw in her parents’ historic old home.

It’s even been a long time since I last saw her, at a memorial tribute to Fred Koury, past president of City-as-School when we were both there in the 1970s.

But last month we had a great catch-up conversation.

Now she works at the NYC Department for the Homeless, and she’s restoring the family home. Her parents are gone, but she’s established in her mother’s honor the Lathrope Voorspuy Memorial Scholarship Fund. Its mission is to “to encourage grass-roots activism by underwriting the cost for students in programs which train for community organizing, or political candidacies.”

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A BIG YAWN

Jim Naureckas at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting finds it interesting and lamentable that “mainstream” “news” media journalists can’t seem to muster up any interest in the fact that Amy Goodman was arrested–by the state of North Dakota!– for trespassing when she practiced the public interest-protecting act of real journalism at the construction site of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

But Amy Goodman is indeed an actual journalist, not a corporate employed-and-muffled “journalist.” And she routinely puts to shame those I will generously call her colleagues.

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I WONDERED WHEN WARREN WOULD START KICKING

Senator Warren shoots a shot across HRC’s bow:

Warren’s letters to the DOJ and FBI remind Hillary that she is not getting a free ride: support from Warren is conditional. Hillary’s love affair with Wall Street has to cool. You know, we’ll give each other some to think. . .

Pam Martens and Russ Martens at Wall Street on Parade have some things to say. . .

“It’s long past the time for the U.S. Senate to stop conducting isolated, piecemeal investigations and undertake the type of in-depth hearings that the Senate held from 1929 to 1932 that led to the public’s understanding of the serial criminal activities on Wall Street that had produced the Great Depression and which led to the passage of the Glass-Steagall Act — legislation which protected this nation for 66 years until its repeal in 1999 during the Bill Clinton administration.”

And of course, without Warren’s support, HRC may get about 100 Sanders supporters to vote for her.

Will HRC finally wake up?

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OVERHEARD

It’s my birthday present from the hood, perhaps:

I actually heard a political comment made by someone in the West Village!
Not talking about his lovers, his career, his commodities.

Two guys sitting on a townhouse stoop. I walk by and catch:

“. . . Obama has been so harsh to whistleblowers. . . ”

Music to my ears.

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