Friday, March 30, 2012



The Western film genre is played out, and I say that as one who has often enjoyed it. The industry can make a proficient revival once in a while, like Unforgiven and Open Range. But they are old wine in new bottles.

Blackthorn, which as far as I know never had a theatrical release, is now out in a spectacular Blu-ray transfer. A kind of "post-Western Western" in an exotic locale, it both reminds us of the pleasures we enjoyed before the cowboys-and-outlaws movie became hackneyed and combines those with a strange (to North American eyes) place and a relatively recent period (1927, with flashbacks to the early years of the 20th century).

The premise is a little gimmicky perhaps: Butch Cassidy survived the gunfight we assumed he had perished in and is now a small-time rancher in Bolivia. A lonely old man, he decides to sell his horses and return to the United States. Needless to say, his course does not run smoothly, particularly when he becomes unavoidably teamed up with a Spanish mining engineer turned crook.


But the plot gimmick is useful; since everybody knows the famous movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, it avoids a lot of potentially tedious exposition, and we can get right on with the story. Besides, several well-directed flashbacks to Butch and Sundance are among Blackthorn's most poignant scenes.

Playwright and actor Sam Shepard as Butch, who now goes under the cover name of Blackthorn, gives a finely spun portrayal of a man who sees his end clearly before him, but still has personal business to attend to. He's weary but not cranky -- the character Jeff Bridges should have been in True Grit instead of letting himself go cartoonish.

Mateo Gil (no, I never heard of him before either) directed this Spanish production, and he got restrained realism out of everyone in his cast ... except, unfortunately, the other main characters played by Eduardo Noreiga as the Spanish ex-mining engineer and Stephen Rea in the admittedly thankless part of an old boozehound and former Butch Cassidy hunter, who coincidentally runs into the aged Butch.

Gil and his cinematographer, Juan Luiz Anchia, have made the most of the Bolivian landscapes. I've rarely seen such striking exterior shots, and they're not just pictorialism to plug gaps between action sequences; they set moods and become characters in their own right.

Judging from the lack of interest Blackthorn has generated so far, it will probably drop quickly into the sinkhole. Watch it while it's available, preferably in Blu-ray and on a big screen.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Wilson Van Dusen (1): Looking at madness

It would be mistaken to describe Wilson Van Dusen's work with schizophrenics as understanding madness or explaining madness, if by those was meant that he developed some kind of theoretical framework or formal treatment "modality" (in the awful jargon of the psychotherapists). Van Dusen (1923-2005), a clinical psychologist among many other things, was for some years on the staff of Mendocino State Hospital in California.

In so far as he had a technique, it consisted of listening to what mad people (he didn't go in for euphemisms) had to say. Rather than trying to "cure" them of their "delusions," he assumed that schizophrenics were having experiences that were as real to them as what you and I are experiencing at this moment. (But unless you are an advanced mystic, which I am not, Van Dusen would have added that what we are experiencing is another kind of delusion.)


Van Dusen described himself as a phenomenologist, and said, "The phenomenologist makes a profound effort to capture, describe, and understand experience just as it is. His work is really protoscientific, coming before science. ... In many respects it is unfortunate that the science of psychology imitated the methods of physics, because it long ago had to abandon looking at the psyche and it doesn't do too well even now with bits of observable behavior."

When the scientific study of the mind began in the late 19th century, its most common method of research was introspection: the psychologist looked into his own mind to see what was there. Introspection is regarded in academic psychology these days as a quaint relic of the past, like phrenology. While there are dissenters, behavioral psychology still rules. Even observing outward behavior is, as Van Dusen noted, quickly passed over. Most scientists are desperately eager to spin theories, since those are what get attention, publication, and grants. Just seeing and recording what is casts a small shadow in the competitive professional world. But Van Dusen was an introspection revivalist.


The Natural Depth in Man isn't concerned only with the phenomena of schizophrenia. As the title suggests, it explores all sorts of mental phenomena that reveal inner aspects of consciousness. They include what he calls self-reflection, or paying attention to the seemingly irrelevant words and images that pop into our minds without invitation; the hypnogogic state, or twilight between wakefulness and sleep; dreams; and spiritual experiences.

Van Dusen writes:
One of my underlying purposes is to make these regions of the psyche accessible and usable to others. ... Though I am a clinical psychologist, I would like to see mental health experts become less necessary as people find how they can understand themselves. People are generally too impatient and too ready to impose meanings on their psyche to learn from it. And unfortunately, the psyche cannot help but speak a language richer than our understanding. I'd prefer that persons find a modicum of understanding through themselves than a greater wisdom from the purchased friendship of experts.
His commitment to phenomenology sometimes deserts him, especially in his chapter on dreams. Psychologists are understandably fascinated by dreams, and apparently none has ever been able to resist the temptation to theorize about them. Even Van Dusen swallowed the notion of the Gestalt therapists who were all the rage at the time he wrote this book, the mid-'70s.

According to the Gestalt wizards, everything in your dream represents an aspect of yourself. You dream of walking through a door and notice the doorknob -- "become that doorknob!" the therapist orders in the post-dream debriefing. Seems like bollocks to me, but then I have no theory of dream interpretation, so who knows?


The book's outstanding chapters are about madness and spiritual experience, the latter of which I will take up in a future post. His description of experiences with psychotic patients is starkly gripping.

And, I must warn, disturbing. In all seriousness, do not read this chapter if you are undergoing mental turmoil or suffering major depression. Save it for a time when the winds of the mind blow gently.

It's a commonplace that the mad live in a world of their own, but no one that I know of writes of it as well as Van Dusen: "The mind slips out of gear and no one is around to care about its output. The machine clanks and bangs in its habitual way. There are no stresses, no should/oughts, no hope, no fear. Such a machine would not react if you pointed a loaded gun at its head. Gun. Bang, bang, what's the difference?"


A psychotherapist once told me that those who are long-terms guests of mental hospitals aren't necessarily more "insane" than others who work out their problems as outpatients or even on their own -- the psychiatric ward patients are the ones who have simply given up, he said. Van Dusen implies something similar: "In the shorthand of the hospital staff these people were called sitters. That was their life's occupation, sitting."
A number of other observations will further underline the nature of madness, even in its lesser degrees. Mad people are relatively useless both to themselves and to others. [His emphasis.] These two forms of uselessness are essentially the same thing. Those who are useless to themselves are usually useless to others and vice versa.
Madmen turn in on themselves in a variety of ways. One common way is to get locked into their own symptoms. ... The depressed get locked into their own mood. They can barely perceive or interact with others. Their own mood pulls them in like a giant magnet. Psychotics, the real madmen, often bottle up their concerns in some story they want others to join in.
The life space of madmen is constricted. For the sitter the life space might not include even the chair he sits on. ... Contrast this with the gifted normal's life space that includes complex inner events, family, occupation, friends, a hobby, involvement with service clubs, and a careful following of events overseas.
The most chilling aspect of madness that Van Dusen investigated is hallucinations. Some schizophrenics see things, or see them in a way, that normals don't.

More still hear voices. These are not the occasional "little voices" in our minds I think we all hear from time to time, meaningless phrases or our own voice speaking words we read in a book. Madmen hear voices as loud as everyday speech, or louder. The voices are usually unfriendly, often threatening.
Almost all patients had private terms of their own for these experiences. The Other Order, The Eavesdroppers, etc. ... Most patients reported that the other world introduced itself itself suddenly to them. One man was riding a bus and he heard a piercing scream. He pleaded for it to come down in volume, and it did. One woman was just working in her garden and a kindly man started talking to her when no one was around. One alcoholic heard voices coming up a hotel light well. When he listened he heard them plotting his death. ...
For most persons hallucinations ushered in a host of dreadful experiences. ... They found that the voices could easily gang up on them, literally putting them through hell. As one woman said with great feeling, "You can't have twenty people screaming at you constantly without going to pieces in a little while." Very often alcoholics who have really been living it up find they are tortured by others. Voices come out of ventilators and odd places and comment that the person is a worthless bum that should be killed. One man went through ten days of loud disputes as to how they would kill him. They had a gun -- he could hear its hammer fall -- a hangman's rope, a flame for burning, etc. This condition is experienced by many alcoholics who finally kill themselves to get it over with.
Patients with some grip on rationality who have intense hallucinations search for something, anything, that will get their tormenters to go away.
Prayer was often tried but to no avail. The very negative voices didn't like religious things, and they could manage to foul up Bible reading or prayers by snatching away thoughts. Patients who tried various ways of placating voices, doing as they suggested, found the voices were taking over and ruining their lives. Many tried vitamins, a change of scenery, various symbolic gestures (thick padding over the heart, keeping crosses around them, etc.) but these didn't work.

Apparently voices stop only during sleep. They often reappear at the moment of awakening. If they decide to keep one awake, it's good-bye to sleep.
These quotations out of context possibly make Van Dusen's attitude toward patients sound cold and uncaring, but it's just the opposite. He didn't sentimentalize madness, but he empathized with it. He paid his patients the tribute of taking their experiences seriously, as something just as real to them as ordinary experience, albeit far more painful.

Van Dusen even talked to patients' hallucinations, with the patient as a "medium." He found the hallucinations could carry on a conversation, although often the voices were quarrelsome and ridiculous. One patient's hallucination claimed he could read Van Dusen's mind. Van Dusen put this to the test and found that the hallucination was lying.


Some hallucinations seemed to be relatively benign, even positive. Van Dusen calls them "higher-order" hallucinations, compared with "lower-order" ones. He says dealing with lower-order hallucinations "is like dealing with mean drunks." But "the higher order is just the opposite. Whereas the lower attacks the patient's will, the higher order acts out of great respect for the patient's will. One man experienced the higher order as a sun in the sky at night. When he felt fear of the sun it would withdraw."

An ardent student of Swedenborg, Van Dusen almost certainly believed that hallucinations were the voices of spirits -- mostly the degraded spirits who inhabit a bleak region of the astral plane and get their kicks from making trouble for people on Earth.

Allan Kardec, the founder of Spiritism (not the religion of Spiritualism) and to my way of thinking the greatest of all experts on the nature of non- and semi-corporeal beings, said, "There are spirits of all degrees of goodness and of malice, of knowledge and of ignorance. ... The superiority or inferiority of spirits is recognized by their language: the good counsel only good, and say only good things; everything about them proves elevation; the bad deceive, and all their words bear the marks of imperfection and ignorance."

Wilson Van Dusen helps us understand our fellow men and women victimized by their own character defects and choices, but perhaps even more, by spirits who have turned away from God's grace.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

We are all living under the Occupation now

Re the Toulouse shooter, who inconveniently turned out to be a Muslim jihadist rather than a nativist loon, from the blog Sultan Knish (tip o' the hat to PA Cat at Belmont Club):
Between all the non-stop coverage, the expressions of grief, the political pandering, no one is stating the obvious. France has been occupied all over again. Once again the occupation has been carried out with the consent of the authorities who have decided that cowardice is the only way. Vichy France has become Vichy Europe, Vichy America, Vichy Australia, where the blatant appeasement is disguised as honor, treason is portrayed as responsible leadership and collaboration in the mass murder of your own people is never acknowledged as such.
Vichy isn't the only World War II metaphor that needs wide revival. Another is Quisling.

According to Wikipedia:
The term was coined by the British newspaper The Times in an editorial published on 19 April 1940, entitled "Quislings everywhere" after the Norwegian Vidkun Quisling, who assisted Nazi Germany as it conquered his own country so that he could rule the collaborationist Norwegian government himself. The Daily Mail picked up the term four days later, and the BBC then brought it into common use internationally.The Times' editorial asserted: "To writers, the word Quisling is a gift from the gods. If they had been ordered to invent a new word for traitor...they could hardly have hit upon a more brilliant combination of letters. Aurally it contrives to suggest something at once slippery and tortuous."
Our politicians, for the most part, are not our politicians. Neither are our journalists, academics, and bureaucrats serving us. 

Rather than to a foreign government occupying this country, however, their loyalty is to an ideology occupying the country. It is the ideology of the New Marxism, in which the proletariat (too white, too traditional) has had its dictatorship privileges revoked in favor of the non-indigenous population, brought to these shores under a special import license (de facto open borders), supplemented by the old-line minorities.

We no longer can count on defenders, on leaders. There are only overlords, the Quislings who see their advantage in political correctness and population replacement.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

What the devil has gotten into Barron's?


Maybe the Devil himself, operating in deep cover under the name "Rupert Murdoch"?

Before Murdoch's News Corp. took over the Wall Street Journal, it was one of the few newspapers in the United States worthy of the name. While I disagreed with some of its corporate-centric positions (particularly its open borders advocacy), it was notable for depth of research and thought-provoking op-ed articles.Now, three years post-Murdoch acquisition, the Journal has devolved into a USA Today targeted to a richer demographic. The paper's coverage is heavy on fashion, entertainment, expensive wines, and sports.


Let us turn our attention to Barron's, also bagged by Murdoch's company. Barron's is by a long stretch the best mass-circulation periodical devoted to investing, streets ahead of grade-school tripe like Money, Kiplinger's, and SmartMoney. I'd almost say that if you manage your own investments, Barron's is necessary reading (although of course it should be supplemented by other sources).

But what hath Murdoch wrought on Barron's?

There's no way an outsider can tell how much the reporting side of the paper has been affected by the influence of the Murdoch dynasty. But any reader can twig that orders have gone out from Supreme Headquarters, Murdoch Expeditionary Force to Barron's copyeditors who write the headlines: "You shall invariably find a metaphor related to the business of the company, even if you must scrape the bottom of the barrel deeper than mankind has yet ventured."


Examples from the past two issues:

"Harman [maker of car stereos] Pumps Up the Volume."

"A Total Opportunity for Growth" [Total, the French energy company]

"Some Healthy Respect for Novartis [pharmaceutical company], Please"

"It's Time to Put Tesco [grocery chain] in Your Basket"

"New CEO Is Nice Fit for American Eagle" [apparel marketer]


Please. I enjoy wordplay, probably too much, but there is nothing of play in headlines like these; they're just a formula, and quickly tire one to the bone.

The day Barron's starts running articles about what the fashionable investor will wear to a meeting, I'm outta there.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012's weaselstrike

Photobucket writer John Nolte's head is exploding over some no-no words from Al "Tawana" Sharpton. His article wanders hither and yon but finally gets around to quoting Sharpton:
White folks was in the cave when we were building empires. We learned to admire them, but they knew to admire us. We built pyramids without a ____, ____ new architecture ____. We talked philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it.
You the best chicken ____ in the universe. Gonna buy some Colonel Sanders chicken. Then the Chinaman come in and throw some hot ___ [cough] ___. Then the Korean sells us watermelon.  ___ watermelon all my life. They're gonna cut it up and put it in a bucket with a rubber band around it, and then we're gonna buy it like it's somethin we didn't know what it was.
___ uh, white interloper I said I was wrong. uh, uh, cracker, though I think cracker is a certain personification of a certain type of person down south, just like redneck. I mean, you know some people misinterpret cracker meaning all whites, it's not true. But the confusion means you shouldn't use it. I mean, sometimes being flippant you say things you shouldn't say, cause it gets in the way of your message and people  don't really understand what you're saying.
Nolte concludes:
True, Sharpton said these things long before he was on MSNBC. But his history was well known, and the lack of outrage from the left when he was elevated to primetime highlights the hypocrisy of their anti-Rush censorship crusade. MSNBC President Phil Griffin knew that Sharpton said this sort of stuff regularly--that, in fact, such bigotry and radical rhetoric was an integral part of the Sharpton persona. He hired him nonetheless. One has to wonder if Brian Williams, Matt Lauer, and Tom Brokaw are proud.
Over to you, MSNBC!
Nolte doesn't quite say that MSNBC should kick Sharpton off the air retroactive to the day he first appeared, but that seems to be the gist of it. Nolte's jab is a weaselstrike -- his own brand of political correctness.
Imagine letting race pimp Sharpton say "homos" and "Chinaman" and, what's the other thing, "cracker"!
So now "we" have adopted the same principles as the Leftist Establishment. Free speech is okay in its (our) place, but you can't use derogatory terms about protected groups! 
I beg to differ with Nolte. Let Sharpton say whatever he damn wants. Let everyone hear what's in his proto-brain.Why should MSNBC or other media "cover" for him by telling him to steam clean his rhetoric when he's not talking to his co-racialists?
It's easy, and dangerous, to slip into a frame of mind where the Left is allowed to make the rules and the Resistance can only say, "you're breaking the rules."

Thursday, March 08, 2012

The unknown, remembered gate

Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.

T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"

If Dr. Ian Stevenson had worked in another field, he might well have been awarded a Nobel prize for his accomplishments. Given his field of interest, though, such an honor was unthinkable because of the tunnel vision of orthodox science. Stevenson spent most of his professional life investigating cases of children who said they remembered previous lives as other people.


His methodology was as rational and scientific as you like. Hearsay evidence was ruled out until corroborated by him personally. He interviewed the children who claimed past life recall, as well as their parents for supplementary detail such as how old the child was when he started speaking of a prior existence. Stevenson then looked for evidence about the alleged previous personality (or "PP"); when it could be identified as a specific person who had died, he learned as much as he could about the PP from the PP's relatives, friends, and public records. 

The goal was to find out how well the child's memories matched the facts of the PP's life. He was alert to possible sources of "contamination," or alternative ways the present child might have learned about the PP. Stevenson particularly wanted to know if the families of the child and the PP had ever known one another, or even lived in the same location.

The research was done in situ. The on-site studies began in 1961 when he studied about 20 cases in India and five in Ceylon, what is now Sri Lanka. In the end he had investigated some 3,000 cases, published in a number of books. Here is a brief summary of Stevenson's findings; here the transcript of an interview with him.


Stevenson is by far the most prominent among the few who have investigated apparent cases of past-life recall without recourse to hypnosis. Ever since an amateur hypnotist named Morey Bernstein sent a Colorado housewife back to a life in 19th century Ireland as "Bridey Murphy" and wrote a best-selling book about it -- the Bridey Murphy case is now discounted by most researchers -- hypnosis has been the tool of choice.

Many researchers serious and otherwise have induced subjects in hypnotic trance to "recall" previous incarnations. But the results have tended to be provocative rather than evidential.

How not to conduct reincarnation research is shown in Many Lives, Many Masters, a big hit among New Age naïfs. Dr. Brian Weiss describes the dozens of hypnotic regressions conducted with a single patient, Catherine, whom he says was strikingly attractive. In one early session, he asked Catherine -- regressed to a life as "Aronda the Egyptian" -- what year he was living in. "Aronda" replied, "1863 B.C."

That should have put his guard up at the very least. How could an Egyptian in the time of the pharaohs know she was living 1,863 years before the first year of the Christian calendar, itself not adopted until our medieval era? It does not seem to have bothered Dr. Weiss.


Other researchers, particularly Helen Wambach and Hans TenDam, have worked more scientifically with hypnotic past life regressions among many subjects, unlike Dr. Weiss's one. Their studies can be admitted as evidence. But a basic problem sticks: although hypnosis has been practiced for more than a century and remarkable effects demonstrated, we still don't understand what hypnosis is or all that it is capable of. We do know, however, that hypnotized subjects are extremely suggestible. So it's hard to evaluate evidence based on regression.

Naturally, Stevenson's method is open to objections too. Assuredly they have been proposed. For one: why are most of these cases in parts of the world where reincarnation is a widely accepted belief? Either the acceptability of reincarnation promotes fantasy stories in children, or their reports of past lives are not ignored as they would be in, for instance, American culture -- take your pick. In the big picture, Stevenson seems to have been properly inquisitive about past-life claims and honestly reported facts in the cases that would seem to counter the reincarnation thesis.


Unfortunately for Stevenson, as even his admirers and students of psychical research concede, his books are nearly unreadable -- precisely because each case study goes into overwhelming detail to show how he took into account the possibility of fraud, error, or alternative explanations to reincarnation.

In Old Souls, Tom Shroder, a Washington Post writer, describes accompanying Stevenson on two research trips, in uncomfortable and sometimes downright inhospitable environments -- such as Beirut in the aftermath of its civil war -- and seeing first-hand the doctor's painstaking methodology. (I expected Shroder, as a WaPo reporter, to be an arch-skeptic or Stevenson debunker. Good on him, though: I found his book admirably objective and filled with interesting observations about Stevenson himself and the cases Shroder was eyewitness to.)

Stevenson never claimed that any particular case proved reincarnation, or even that all of them put together were proof, but he believed that the sum of his findings strongly indicated that we live successive lives.

"Perhaps my main contribution will be that of making Western persons familiar, not with the idea of reincarnation -- it must be one of the oldest ideas in the world -- but with evidence tending to support a belief in reincarnation," Stevenson said. Even if that evidence must enter through an unknown, remembered gate.


Monday, March 05, 2012

Forget Iran. Skinny models are the strategic threat to Israel.

In Israel, maybe you can't be too rich, but you can be too thin. That is, if you want to work as a model -- apparently this only applies to females (sexism!).

"Knesset to vote on bill banning underweight fashion models," says the headline in the Jerusalem Post. Contrary to rumor, it is not titled the "Oy Vay, What's the Matter, You Don't Like Your Mama's Cooking?" Bill.
Should the bill pass its final votes, models with a Body Mass Index below 18.5 will not be able to appear in advertisements. ... The bill is meant to stop the presentation of too-thin fashion models as a physical ideal for young girls who are at risk of anorexia and bulimia.
At risk! At risk! At risk! I thought maybe Israelis who've lived with intifada bombings might be a little tougher than we soggy Americans, but apparently they too have caught the "at risk" obsession. For fuck's sake, we're all "at risk" for something every day of our lives. Too fat. Too thin. High blood sugar. Low blood sugar. Mania. Depression. Murder. Suicide. You could pass 50 new laws a day, 365 days a year, and there'd still be human actions that might seduce the "at risk" population into a lot of bother.

But, the legislative busybody protests, there are serious risks besides nuclear war. Anorexia causes suffering!

It does, but so does hyperlegislation. A society that tries to solve every ill through regulation infantilizes its people, as deadly in the long run as another entity intifada-izing the people. They get out of the habit of taking care of themselves -- that's the government's job. At the same time, the legal code devolves from a safety net to a trap that can be pulled tight any time the authorities feel like it. With a galaxy of laws on the books, it's impossible not to break some: the only question is when a functionary with a badge or a desk will decide to enforce them against you. Paradoxically, a country with too many laws is no longer a government of laws but of men.
[A bill sponsor] said that the fashion industry is using a disease to earn money, and they are responsible for encouraging teens for becoming anorexic. He called overly thin models a “social and strategic threat,” whose removal will save millions of shekels in medical bills.
Teenagers are without exception mixed up, over-impressionable, foolish. That's the definition of teens. Will it help to make sure they never see a bad example of anything? Perish the thought that society's guidance should teach them to develop will power and independence from group norms. No, pass laws to make jolly sure nothing and no one is there to influence them. 

You can damn near stamp out personal responsibility, but it ain't over till the lady with the correct body mass index sings.


Saturday, March 03, 2012

Miles at the top

You have noticed, or will now that I mention it, that I have included in the sidebar a section called "Listening." It is of no importance but perhaps minor interest. Just recordings I've listened to lately; not necessarily recommended, although most are, since they come from my collection.


A few words about the most recent addition to the list. Miles's Someday My Prince Will Come is not particularly lauded by the jazz critic industry -- they tend to go into ecstasies for the big band productions orchestrated by Gil Evans (Sketches of Spain, Porgy and Bess), which have splendid moments but for me border on excess; and, of course, the inevitable Kind of Blue, which has been sanctified.

But Someday is Miles at his pure best, with the remnants of the finest combo he ever worked with (two members of that group, John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, had already split).


Miles had a few good years to go, but once he got rock and funk on the brain, he devolved into a not-Miles. Some of his stuff beginning with Bitches Brew may be important, may even be great in its way, but not for me. At the time of Someday, he was still master of a style of playing that as far as I know, no horn player had ever achieved previously: he showed the world that trumpet playing can be meltingly sensuous. 

Fortunately for posterity, Coltrane agreed to play on a couple of tracks. He and Miles seem to urge each other to rare heights. "Teo" is named for the producer of many Miles albums, including this, Teo Macero. I've heard the track dozens of times, always with astonishment. Coltrane's solo, dark and surging and mysterious, is for the ages.


I happen to have the Mobile Fidelity CD edition, which brings a more focused and atmospheric sound than the original Columbia release. It must have been one of MoFi's earliest CD releases and the insert contains zero information about the session other than the players (not even who played on which songs), instead devoting three pages to touting the glories of the compact disc. I had to look it up online to see when it was recorded (1961).

MoFi was to go on to many great remastered CDs. Miles produced more great albums, but not that many. Ten years on he had graduated from doing things only Miles could do, to making self-consciously hip albums that any talented trumpet player could do.


Thursday, March 01, 2012

Racist chickens invade school! Battle stations! This is no drill!


Chickens have committed a hate crime in Massachusetts. Look at those above: they're white, every one of them. Recruited by the Ku Kluck Klan. Do not be complacent: your children's school could be in danger.

To make matters worse, a racist typographical error compounded the incident. Just ask the AP, always on the lookout for white racism.
Mass. school quickly fixes racist typo on menu
School officials in a Massachusetts town are apologizing for sending home a lunch menu that listed KKK Chicken Tenders as an option.
About 6,500 students in four Methuen schools went home with new menus Tuesday, a day after the original one mistakenly listed chicken seemingly in the style of the Ku Klux Klan. Superintendent Judith Scannell tells The Eagle-Tribune the menu was supposed to list Chicken Tenders, with the KK standing for a creatively spelled "Krispy, Krunchy," but an employee mistakenly hit the "K'' key one too many times.
"My deepest apologies to anyone who was offended," said Heidi La Bajada, diversity coordinator for Methuen school food services. "The typist involved has been suspended without pay and from her thumbs pending investigation. We are actively seeking a grant from Massachusetts corporations to purchase software that will guard against keying the letter 'K' more than twice. In the meantime I can only say, we are extending Black History Month to include March. Remember Martin Luther King of Kings, and join with me in this prayer: 'We shall overcome.'"