The documentary “Life Itself” shows film critic Roger Ebert in a less than flattering light. In a society that celebrates youth and vitality, some might find it shocking that we see Ebert’s face ravaged by cancer. We see shots of his final days when he’s unable to walk or talk. Yet he was able . . . → Read More: ‘Life Itself’ shows Roger Ebert ravaged by cancer, but engaged till the end, By RANDY RENDFELD
A 13th century toy mounted knight – Walters Art Museum via Wikimedia Commons, used under the terms of under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license
When we shop for toys for the loved ones on our list, we like to think the kids are learning something. Books help children associate those squiggles . . . → Read More: The Dark Ages Warrior’s Version of Play with a Purpose, By Kim Rendfeld
This 14th century image by Don Silvestro dei Gherarducci depicts the newborn Virgin Mary about to be bathed.
When I decided to write fiction set in the days of Charlemagne, I knew very little about the Middle Ages but was certain of one thing: medieval people didn’t bathe. I recall being told by teachers . . . → Read More: Yes, People in the Dark Ages Bathed, by Kim Rendfeld
First published Sept. 8, 2014, on Spann of Time http://www.susanspann.com
To prove her innocence of adultery, Kunigunde, wife of Holy Roman Emperor Heinrich II, walked over red-hot ploughshares (circa 1010, bas-relief from Bamberg Cathedral).
Who’s Guilty? God Knows. By Kim Rendfeld
Delve into the justice system of early medieval Francia and . . . → Read More: Who’s Guilty? God Knows. By Kim Rendfeld
“As a novelist, I don’t judge the marriage traditions of another society. My responsibility is to accurately depict my characters’ reality and their reactions to it. But examining customs in another time teaches us that the definition of marriage–who is eligible, who gets to decide, why one gets married–has indeed changed.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Kim . . . → Read More: Traditional Marriage: Eighth Century Frankish Style
Microfiction by Knute Rimkus
They lived in a white microhouse. It was a shoebox, for baby shoes, in the Varane neighborhood. Their neighbors lived in shoeboxes too. This misery did not love company.
They ate dinner quickly. She thought the steak was too red and only ate half. She drank water. Murdoch drank a . . . → Read More: The Short, Happy Life of Francis McFly
David Bowie is a staple on classic rock radio, and deservedly so. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (and my Rykodisc extended version) is clearly a four-star album. I am also quite fond of Outside (1995) and Earthling (2007), among other releases. Bowie has had duds. I listened . . . → Read More: David Bowie’s Reading List, By Mark Erickson
Gillian Gaar, longtime scribe to the Seattle scene, author of She’s A Rebel and other books, needs surgery and has no insurance. I hope you can donate, but at least please do try to spread the word around:
– Andrew Hamlin
. . . → Read More: Author in Need Seeks Eye Surgery Assistance, By Andrew Hamlin
The lecture in which Pat Thomas will participate, sponsored by the Northwest Film Forum on 1960s/1970’s underground African American films on Saturday March 23rd in Seattle has been changed from 8 pm to 6 pm – the NEW time for this free event is 6 pm !
After two trips to London (May and . . . → Read More: Pat Thomas, Ron Johnson and Gary Perry to Discuss Legacy of the 1965 Watts Riots, the LA Rebellion and Social Justice, Reviving a Cultural, Social, Artistic and Political Framework on March 23 at 6PM, New Time
Killer Show by John Barylick is a great Bugliosi-style book about the Great White concert fire in Rhode Island that killed 100.
This book describes how a group of head-bangers, suffering from various degrees of chemical dependency, and with a collective average IQ of maybe 80, gather, balls to the wall, in a wood-frame . . . → Read More: Killer Show – John Barylick – Book Review by John Layne Anderson
We all watched Philip Seymour Hoffman channel Lester Bangs in Almost Famous. But this is the man himself; the real article.
Listen close you yutes; you young bloods who never bought an album but pay out your ass for your data plan and call music free; there was a brief time in American history . . . → Read More: Lester Bangs About Music, By Davin Michael Stedman
I just heard that Richard Ben Cramer passed away. I have his DiMaggio biography, and I had heard that he was working on one of Alex Rodriguez. I had looked forward to reading it. It is a sad day for sports literature.
– Chuck Strom
It’s taken several decades, but maybe, someone has finally made Jack Kerouac‘s 1957 novel On The Road into a credible Hollywood film. This LA Times article tells the story of all the ups and downs along the way….
– Pat Thomas is the author of the recently released work, Listen, Whitey! The Sights . . . → Read More: Kerouac’s On the Road to Hit the Big Screen, By Pat Thomas
Poet and mystic William Blake was considered a madman by his contemporaries. His work received little attention while he was alive. I didn’t became aware of Blake until I plugged into Allen Ginsberg’s versions of Blake via Ginsberg’s song/poems – and via Van Morrison’s Sense of Wonder and Veedon Fleece albums where Van quotes . . . → Read More: Allen Ginsberg Sings William Blake’s “The Nurse’s Song,” By Pat Thomas
Jerry Rubin died 18 years ago in a Los Angeles hospital. An anti-Vietnam War demonstrator during the 1960’s, he and Abbie Hoffman (and many others) marched on and surrounded the Pentagon in ’67, led the riots at the Chicago ’68 Democratic Convention, and inspired John & Yoko to campaign against Nixon in ’72. By . . . → Read More: Jerry Rubin – Entrepreneur, Yes, Republican, No, By Pat Thomas
I LIKE that we kill trees to make books. I love trees. I’m leaning up against one right now. I feel like a hunter of the Great Plains standing over the last gasp of a dying Buffalo when I hold a good book; admiring its achievement and its power. This book used to be . . . → Read More: BBC Storyville: The Love of Books – A Sarajevo Story, By Davin Michael Stedman
BIG ASS BOOMBOX is a loud pop festival consisting of at least forty bands and fifteen writers performing in four venues over two days. This event is free and will take place in PORTLAND, OREGON on Jan 11 and 12, 2013. (This is after the end of the Mayan calendar, so no guarantees.)
more . . . → Read More: Big Ass Boombox – A Loud Pop Festival is Coming to Portland, Oregon, 1/11 and 1/12/2013
Happy Birthday to Sylvia Plath, one the literary obsessions of my youth, Steve Wynn turned me onto Peter Laughner decades ago, he said “this guy’s songwriting reminds me of you” and handed me a cassette of Laugnhers’s solo LP. I’m a little less obsessed with Plath these days, but I did buy a CD . . . → Read More: Peter Laughner – Sylvia Plath, By Pat Thomas
In 1971, Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg wrote and recorded together. Bob took the tapes to CBS Records, who said “no way will we release this crap.” The tapes went unheard until 1982, when producer John Hammond started his own record company and put them out, as he saw it as a “landmark cultural . . . → Read More: Allen Ginsberg – Vomit Express, By Pat Thomas
The first biography of Nick Drake was published in 1986 and written in Danish. But that wasn’t what made the book unique. What made it special was that the author Gorm Henrik Rasmussen had spent time in 1979 and 1980 at Nick’s house interviewing both of his parents, getting an insight into Drake’s life . . . → Read More: Nick Drake – Pink Moon – Seminal Biography Now Available in English, By Pat Thomas