-- Philip Wylie, Gladiator (1930) This novel clearly influenced Jerry Siegel when he and Joe Schuster created the comic strip Superman, and as such, and in additional to its own merits, has earned itself a place in genre history.
Paul Krassner, R.I.P.: Sixties and Seventies counter-culture icon Paul Krassner died yesterday. He was 87. A political satirist and psychedelic drug advocate (among many) other things. He founded and published The Realist, a sharp-edged humor magazine, from 1958 to 2001. In 1967 Krasser and others (including Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Ed Sanders, and Phil Ochs) founded the Youth International Party (YIPPIE), an absurdist movement (they famously ran a pig for president) that played a strong role in the anti-war demonstrations at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in 1968. Hoffman and Rubin became two of the famous "Chicago Eight" arrested at that convention; how Krassner avoided arrest then was a matter of luck. Krassner's impact on an entire generation cannot be overstated.
Deep State Conspiracies: This past March, Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali was shot ten times and died. Cali was a leader of the Gambino crime family and was thought to be their link to the Inzerillo Mafia family in Sicily. He was also, according to an attorney for his assassin, Anthony Comello, thought by Camello to be a member of the Deep State. Comello supposedly (again, according to his attorney) became the victim of internet conspiracy theories shortly after Donald Trump's election; more specifically Comello was drawn to QAnon, a whack-job internet phenomenon that claims that a "Deep State" (usually consisting of Democrats) exists and is pulling the strings behind our government (think Alex Jones). Among their claims are that Dem politicians are pedophiles and that JFK Jr. isn't dead -- he's only hiding and will emerge to run for president some time in the future. Anyway, Camello was convinced that Cali was a part of the deep and he went to Cali's house with the intention of placing him under citizen's arrest (a ploy he had tried to use earlier against New York City mayor Bill de Blasio; he had also asked U.S. marshals to arrest Representative Maxine Waters and Adam Schiff -- they refused) but ended up shooting him in self-defense (again, per his attrney). "Mr. Camello also believed he was a chosen vigilante of President Trump. 'Mr. Camello became certain he was enjoying the protection of President Trump himself, and that he had President Trump's full support,' [his attorney] wrote."
We have always had loonies and wackos and susceptible people who are easily influenced into strange beliefs. Usually it's about 20% of the American populace who have this particular outside-the-box thinking, but the number has surely risen over the past few years. Wonder why?
Who da thunk it?: Evidently I'm not the only person who dislikes Donald Trump. Here's Joan Baez:
Good News: It's not all bad. Here's some recent headlines:
- Doctor Uses Table Salt to Bring Down Costs of Artifical Skin Grafts From $900 to $5 Per Square Inch https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/doctor-uses-salt-to-bring-down-cost-of-artificial-skin/
- Population Doubles for One of New Zealand's Rarest Birds, As 150 Chicks Hatch This Season https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/population-doubles-for-karaka-one-of-nz-rarest-birds/
- Scientists Create First-Ever Magnetic Liquid -- And Its Movements Are Mesmerizing https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/first-ever-magnetic-liquid
- New Study Shows That Spending Just Ten Minutes With Cats or Dags Can "Significantly" Reduce Stress https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/spending-ten-minutes-with-pets-can-significantly-reduce-stress/ [They certainly did not study my cat]
- Frugal Carpenter Scrimped and Saved So He Could Give Full Scholarships to 33 Strangers https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/frugal-carpenter-cut-corners-to-give-full-college-scholarships-to-33-strangers/
- Airline To Stop Using 55 Million Plastic Items on Flights https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/air-new-zealand-cuts-55-million-plastic-items-from-flights/
- Local Church Pays Off $7.2 Million of Crippling Medical Debt for 6,500 Families https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/church-pays-off-7-2-million-of-medical-debt/
- High Schoolers Give "Amazing" Silent Ovation for Classmate With Sensory Issues Receiving His Diploma https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/students-give-silent-ovation-for-autistic-classmate/
She went to the school of
learned to walk backwards,
skin a black cat with her teeth.
Soon, she could dance with
cook perfect gumbo,
telephone the moon collect.
But it took 23 doctors to
after she kissed that snake.
-- Tom Robbins (from Wild Ducks Flying Backward)
[He turned 87 today]