President Barack Obama has spent the last few days in Cuba as part of his effort to normalize relations with the island that has endured a 50 year embargo. The Chicago Tribune reported that Obama advocated for “human rights, including freedom of speech and assembly and religion” during the trip to which President Raul . . . → Read More: Cuba vs. US: From Secret Assassination Attempts to the Present, by Mark Erickson
I just watched Mavis! on HBO – this documentary is so good, it even caused me to have warm feelings towards Jeff Tweedy!
There’s great vintage clips and commentary from Chuck D & Dylan, plus a warm moment with Levon Helm not long before he passed.
– Pat Thomas is the author . . . → Read More: Mavis! Staples Documentary is Excellent, by Pat Thomas
John Trudell, poet, activist for American Indian rights, dies at age 69
RIP John Trudell.
I’ll never forget hearing him speak 20 years ago in a basement hall at the University of Washington, at a time when the case of Leonard Peltier was getting renewed attention (which did not result in his pardon), . . . → Read More: RIP John Trudell, by Daniel Housman
The Last Waltz-as-an-actual-event was a Requiem for both a Sensibility and an Era (call it Classic Rock, if one must), even if no one present knew it. I’ve also always assumed that–as of this date in 1976 anyway–not a single person on that Winterland stage (Patti Smith’s pal Bob aside, of course, and . . . → Read More: Last Shootout at the Classic Rock Corral! by Tom Kipp
Below is a list of worthy anti-colonial (#anticolo) movies—perhaps the best ever made. A cursory Google search has not uncovered a single list of the best anticolo flicks of all time. The aggregated minds of East Portland Blog have come together to generate a list and potentially be the first website to broach this . . . → Read More: The Best Anti-Colonial Movies of All Time
Television host Steve Allen plays the piano on this and it forms a moment of unusual beauty. Here’s Jack Kerouac, our latter day Whitman, singing the body electric in old school San Francisco. He uses the word “fellaheen” a half century before middle eastern class and sectarian struggles would dominate the headlines. Something in . . . → Read More: Jack Kerouac – October in the Railroad Earth
“Hat n’ Boots” was a gas station situated on the old hiway 99 near the Boeing complex south of seattle. as a kid, i remember begging my parents to stop there to buy gas, just so we could go there. it was a giant COWBOY HAT that sold gas! and the restrooms were GIANT . . . → Read More: Hat n’ Boots, by Art Chantry
At 8:20 a.m. on September 9, 1971 the Attica Prison riot began. At 9:45 AM on September 13, tear gas was dropped into the yard and New York State Police troopers opened fire non-stop for two minutes into the smoke. by the time the facility was retaken, 10 hostages (Nine of them Prison guards . . . → Read More: John Lennon – Attica State (LIVE) – Apollo Theatre – New York City, by Pat Thomas
This recently resurfaced film clip is awesome, and tells the story as well as I could. Just watch the video:
Vortex 1 Wikipedia Page
Vortex 1 in the Oregon Encyclopedia
Singing from the Floor: A History of British Folk Clubs is the first ever “oral history” of the British folk scene with expressive quotes from Martin Carthy, Shirley Collins, the Watersons, Ashley Hutchings, Wizz Jones, Dave Swarbrick, June Tabor, Maddy Prior, Joe Boyd, Richard Thompson, Clive Palmer – utterly inspiring and essential.
– . . . → Read More: Oral History of British Folk Music a Must Read, by Pat Thomas
1910 Fair boys sneaking around
Rimkus grew up mere blocks from the sprawling permanent Minnesota State Fair grounds – near halfway between St. Paul and Minneapolis and a virtual city in and of itself.
As a kid, planning for a few precious days at the fair was a big deal; Rimkus and his best . . . → Read More: Rimkus Loves the Minnesota State Fair
Robert Frank’s game-changing book THE AMERICANS, published in 1958 by Grove Press (there was a different edition published in france a year earlier with essays many assorted french intellectuals (and cover art by saul steinberg). the american edition had a single essay by jack kerouac. the project itself was funded by a Guggenhiem Grant.
. . . → Read More: One of the Coolest Books About the USA Ever Made, by Art Chantry
This is the old Yuengling mansion on upper Mahantango Street in Pottsville, PA. It and it’s full block of stables and grounds and such were donated to the city some decades ago – probably to the huge relief of the Yuengling family. It was given to the Schuylkill County Council for the Arts who . . . → Read More: Amb-Road Trip Vol. 3: Yuengling Mansion, by John Ambrosavage
Ambrosavage rolled in for lunch at the All American Cafe in Pottsville, PA and beheld the following scene: “So this guy at the All American Cafe just told this young gal at the counter that he hit pick 5 for 350 dollars. ‘I was 1 away from 1.5 million’ he said and yet he . . . → Read More: Amb-Road Trip Vol. 2 – Cafe, Church, Brewery, by John Ambrosavage
Manson Prosecutor and Prolific True-Crime Author Vincent Bugliosi, born in Hibbing, Minnesota in 1934, is best known for his prosecution of Charles Manson and his hippie cult followers. During the year-long trial, Bugliosi used vicarious liability and aiding and abetting theories to convict Manson. This skilled prosecutor described Manson as a “dictatorial maharajah of . . . → Read More: Thank you, Mr. Bugliosi, and God Bless, by Mark Erickson
My favorite photo from our Washington, D.C. experience today was of a reflection. We caught this shadow on the back of the Lincoln memorial at sunset, as a dad was proudly taking a picture of his son, who had just graduated from college. The dad asked the son to take off his robe but . . . → Read More: Images and Ideas from the Lincoln Memorial, by Charles R. Cross
Kim Rendfeld will serve on a panel about midwifery at the 2015 Historical Novel Society Conference, June 26-28, and talk specifically about the practice in early medieval times.
Childbirth was so risky in early medieval times the expectant mother confessed her sins as her time drew near. If her baby was in jeopardy, the . . . → Read More: Spiritual High Stakes for Newborns, By Kim Rendfeld
On 12 September 1962, John F. Kennedy famously said during a speech:
“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard…” Side One (and the title track) of Public Service . . . → Read More: Because It Is There: The Race For Space, Public Service Broadcasting.
A review by P. Raffington Dysart
A 12th century painting of Esther and Ahashuerus at a banquet, with a pretzel.
Giving up something for Lent? A dessert? TV? Facebook? The 8th-century characters in my novels would envy you.
Early medieval Christians took Lent seriously. No meat. No eggs. No dairy. Only one meal a day around 3 p.m., and that . . . → Read More: People in the Dark Ages Would Think Our Lent Was Easy, by Kim Rendfeld
If I could choose any stone to have over my grave, my pick would be Thomas Jefferson’s. His is an obelisk, and his epitaph reads as follows:
HERE WAS BURIEDTHOMAS JEFFERSONAUTHOR OF THEDECLARATIONOFAMERICAN INDEPENDENCEOF THESTATUTE OF VIRGINIAFORRELIGIOUS FREEDOMAND FATHER OF THEUNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
This is as noteworthy for what it leaves out as . . . → Read More: Monticello: Thomas Jefferson’s Mountaintop, by Chuck Strom