April 30, 2004

One more NPR bit...

In light of the Sinclair Broadcast Group's foul decision not to air the Nightline tribute to the US troops who have died in Iraq, I thought it would be good to hear this NPR story again, in which Walter Cronkite remembers the landmark TV series See It Now, which helped expose the extremist actions of Senator Joseph McCarthy.

It reminded me that the fight against censorship is an ever-present battle, with history that we can actually learn from. You know, the history that people are always claiming they never want to repeat?

Posted by zippy at 1:54 PM

April 29, 2004

Juvenile Delinquent

Heard this story on NPR today and thought it was a pretty moving piece.

"In 2000, when George W. Bush accepted the GOP presidential nomination, he told the story of juvenile delinquent Johnny Demon to highlight the need for "compassionate conservatism." Now 21, Demon has no job, no permanent home and no idea he was used in Bush's speech. Reporter Robert Draper follows up on Demon's fate in the latest issue of GQ. Draper talks with NPR's Robert Siegel."

I think I'll grab a copy of GQ so I can read the whole piece - I was struck by Draper's technique, using the story to highlight the disconnect between political officers and the people they try to serve, who often lead lives that politicians can hardly imagine. Stories like this always lead me back to the factory in Florida my college roomate and I worked at part time one summer, calling in sick together once a week and dreaming of our sophomore year. We were far removed from the other workers, trying to eke out existences for themselves and their families at $4.20/hr., doing tedious, mind-numbing chores over and over for 8 hours straight.

How can you make someone else understand, really?

Posted by zippy at 11:30 PM

April 26, 2004

marching against The Man (but not men)


Beth and I hit up the March for Women's Lives yesterday - really quite an amazing experience. There were tons of people who seemed excited, interested and strong - no angry people, no threats - a positive vibe and a combining of forces. Lots of celebrities spoke and the pace of speakers was perfect - each person said what they wanted to say and quickly traded places with the next speaker. The guys in attendence got a shoutout, as did the Republicans - and it didn't center completely on Choice but more on taking control, being vocal and getting active in your own community. There were numerous booths for signing up to vote and lots of clever homemade signs. I got a pin and we sat in the cool breeze listening to powerful women at the podium.

When the Anti-Choice guy drove by in his bus w/ the megaphones and the picture of the fake fetus (it has a full head of hair so how can it be an actual fetus?), I didn't see any of the women walking near it get angry or even respond. It wasn't his day to shine.

Posted by zippy at 10:06 PM


I am now 3/4ths of the way through the third Sinclair Lewis book I've picked up, Arrowsmith (previous reads include Main Street & Babbitt). There is something so enriching about his character development, the way he gets under the skin of their true natures and depicts their interal thoughts as all over the board, i.e., realistically. They are not usually steady in their beliefs but solid in their personalities, while shifting in response to life events. I don't know why I am so drawn to the writers of the 30s/40s/50s (Huxley, O'Hara, Fitzgerald, Salinger) but I guess I find pleasure in characters who have the greatness that unavowed, each of us hopes we have, as well as the failures we wish were less obvious. I feel like I can sink my teeth into the characters in Sinclair Lewis' books - and have some empathy for the crazy Midwestern sensibilities. (Although, I secretly view my hometown as a normal small town with Sin City undercurrents, saving it from sanctimoniousness).

So I usually just imagine small towns in Ohio.

Posted by zippy at 4:13 PM

April 20, 2004

They exist (and so do I)

It's strange, how you can consider a day or the last week and think 'I haven't had time to write at all' which is completely untrue - and yet it still seems as if the week was busy...

I find excuses to be outside now, in the hot air & sun, whereas I've spent the last months exploring the insides of my rented rooms. Most appealing to me is the sensation of existing inside and outside interchangeably. There is no shock to my skin when I walk outside, and I feels less detached from the comfort I've just left behind.


On another note...can guide ponies really exist? Apparently, and cater to people with various types of blindness, especially "blind equestrians who ride large horses." I only half believed it but then I learned they are actually called guide horses.


Posted by zippy at 10:27 PM

April 11, 2004

Weekend of Frank Lloyd Wright

More accurately, the day of Frank Lloyd Wright...yesterday was the day of driving to the luxurious & cozy surroundings of the Scarsdale B&B in West Newton, PA, where we walked in the nearby cemetary as darkness fell and drove over the Monongahela River for a late dinner.

Our appointment at Fallingwater was for 1 p.m. - however, over an Easter Sunday breakfast of pecan/banana/maple syrup French toast, our fellow guests told us if we did Fallingwater, we HAD to check out Kentuck Knob, which photos cannot do justice. Fallingwater was stunning, especially where a staircase led down from the house to a platform inches above the rushing water. The tour was more of an exploration of the personalities who occupied the house and the exactness which F.L.W. demanded in both the construction and the actual lives of those housed in his finished masterpiece. We had about a dozen in our group, and the tour moved along at a good pace, touching lightly on the artifacts inside (although I did catch a glimpse of two framed music manuscripts, one from 1590, and one that appeared to be signed by Bach at the top).

But it was Kentuck Knob that blew me away. At first there were two of us and our guide, who happened to be the marketing director and extremely knowledgeable about every inch of the residence - she informed us that Fallingwater was built as more of a party house for the Kaufmanns to entertain in while on vacation from Pittsburgh, while the Hagan family used Kentuck as their primary residence. Entering the large, earthy living room, we were surrounded by priceless artifacts from the current residents and a comfy room full of red cypress triangles of light and space - the end of the room jutted into the landscape with sandstone walls and glass windows, giving no distinction between inside and out, but the carved overhangs with hexagonal trellises protected those peering out into the wild from inside.

I can't really do it justice, but every inch of the house felt warm and inviting while forcing you to look outside into the beautiful landscape, and was all the more incredible for each famous piece of art and artifact. The living room had a table with a 70 million year-old triceratops vertebrae, a dinosaur egg, a petrified sabertooth tiger bone and huge fossilized snake head. The walls were lined with American Indian pottery and two (Hawaiian?) warrior clubs. Current owner Lord Peter Palumbo filled the room with original F.L.W. furniture purchased at Christie's and Sotheby's auctions as well as modern Scandinavian pieces. Then there were his photo frames with Princess Di & G.W. (blecch)...

Other noted art...Claes Oldenburg's prototype for The Clothespin in Philadelphia, a turquoise-filled Tibetan headdress, four signed Warhols, one framed Lichtenstein drawing - and of course, I learned that this was the man that recently auctioned off the Farnsworth House in Illinois after a second-round of flood damage (the first cost him $10 million to rennovate).

Well, after all this stunning display of luscious, organic, priceless wealth - we go to the visitors center and there is Lord Palumbo and family themsleves! With their three dogs, and a little basket of Peeps and chocolate eggs put out by their teenage daughters for guests. We petted the dogs and complimented him on his purchase.

Needless to say, I have had extreme sensory overload and must allow my body the slumber it craves. *Sigh!*

Posted by zippy at 10:35 PM

April 7, 2004

Easter Candy

Evil evil Easter Candy. Can't stop eating it. I've decided that Easter has the best selection - Halloween tends to be minature versions of candy bars that you can buy any time of the year, but Easter has its own special variety and lots of colors. Evil.

I took a respected, hard-hitting survey and found out that I'm a Jello Shot. Very persuasive study! They must have been spying on us on the ski trip bus...

Posted by zippy at 2:28 PM

April 2, 2004

Zero Spin Zone

I'm all for Air America, but doesn't it go against their message of free speech and frank, open political discussion to make people use Real(lySucks)Player? It makes my Mozilla/iTunes senses shudder. Evil RealPlayer, taking over my computer with zillions of pop-up ads and launching at all the wrong times. I guess I'll just have to wait 'til I'm in a tuned-in city to check it out.

Posted by zippy at 11:34 AM