Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Back It Up! "Trashy Mom Gets Tased "

An operetta for our time! Atlanta? You bet. Now if you think this a comment in many way upon our society you just might be right. The comment application is below. Back it up! It tops "I Got the Hookup." [Langauge warning. Social behavior warning. Parental technique warning. No-information voter warning.]

HT: Rodger, Real King of France

UPDATED with commentary from Top Rope Zeus, plus frame by frame audience reaction from Daniggawitdatattoos who notes, "Atlanta, what the fuck? For real? What the fuck is going on in Atlanta? She deserves every piece of that taser. And her kids? They shoulda had little baby tasers…." And then there's analysis provided by The Advise Show on the nature of hood rats and thugs. Illuminating. "That man has the hardest job in America. Like I said, look at Chicago. I call gangs 'domestic terrorism.' They're bred to kill black men.":


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 31, 2013 1:14 PM | Comments (39)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Republicans vs. Conservatives, 2013





Here endeth the lesson.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 31, 2013 12:09 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

This brings together a great song by Gordon Lightfoot and rare footage. Edited with a clear eye and a large heart it's one of the finest tribute videos I've found of You Tube. Worth your time twice over.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 31, 2013 4:29 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Twenty Bucks: Father Guido Sarducci's Five Minute University

In your heart you know he's right.

Bonus: The Secret of Life


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 31, 2013 2:36 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
El Greco's Inquisitor


Your answers for the inquisitor
In his wine-stained satin lace,
Are as irrelevant as answers
Deduced from deepest space.

Your presence in his universe
Confirms him of your crime.
He seeks to seal all passages
Divined from space and time.

Behind the science of his spectacles
Lives a mind reduced by power.
A gesture from his languid wrists --
All's over in an hour.

"We seek to keep our faithful
Baptized, confirmed and saved
From those dark, unknown questions
That live beyond the grave.

"Hunched within my velvet throne,
My pen controls the door
That opens to the vaults of night
Above the killing floor."

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 31, 2013 12:35 AM | Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Steve Goodman : City Of New Orleans (Live 1972)

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 31, 2013 12:01 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Hello In There

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 30, 2013 1:11 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: George Gershwin plays Rhapsody In Blue -- The Piano Rolls Recording

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 29, 2013 12:43 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Relax. It's Only a Drill: Machine gun fire from military helicopters flying over downtown Miami

"Police say they have only the public's safety at heart which is why this happens at night. They want us to tell you, again, it is just a military training exercise."

Look at it this way: In the camps we won’t have to worry about obesity.

[HT: Blur Brain]

UPDATE: Houston's in on the act too. Do you see or hear helicopters? Army training exercise happening on Houston's south side | HT: Don Sensing

So remember, like they say in Houston: "If you see the helicopters or hear gunfire, it’s only a drill."

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 28, 2013 9:35 AM | Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Twelfth Speech Night or The Story of O, Chapter 5?

"Up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time. And I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations."

orsino__valentine2.jpgIf Obamaspew be the food of fools, BRINGETH IT ON!

Give ALL excess of Him, that, surfeiting,

The Obamatrons may sicken, and so die.

That Hope and Change again! it had a dying poll fall:

O, his valved voice slurps o'er my ear like the sweet drool,

That cackles over another bank bailout,

Stealing my money while flatulating! Enough; no more;

His words sound not so sweet now as before.

O Story of O! how tired and boring art thou,

That, notwithstanding his venal verbosity,

Deceiveth as the devil, nought truth enters there,

Of what no validity soe'er,

But falls into debasement and low approval,

Even in a joint session bleat: so full of shapes is his fancy

That he alone is high and fantastical.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 28, 2013 9:01 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Overview Effect

Full screen highly recommended....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 27, 2013 2:03 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Strange and Wonderful: "Did you get pears?"

One of the many seemingly throw-away moments in Mad Men; moments that shine a brief light on a mystery.

Here's its an ancient couple in a brief cameo. They've come through the years to a mystery that is only known to them. Like many marriages that survive, it runs on the trivial that lives in the deep:

"Did you get pears?" "We'll discuss it inside."

There's a novel or a sermon or a life hidden in that. Few will get to read or hear it. Fewer still will live it.

For some it will seem banal, but others will hear it,

Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Perhaps that is what Don hears as he pauses. Or maybe it is what we hear.

Or maybe it is what Matthew Arnold heard on Dover Beach,

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Which is just a poet's way of saying, "Did you get pears?"

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 27, 2013 1:32 AM | Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: "And I wished to live the life of the body forever...."

What a piece of work is a man!

How noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form, in moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! -- Hamlet Act II. Scene II.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 25, 2013 10:55 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Hillary's 2016 Campaign Starts Today!

And to start it off with a bigger bang than she's had in decades, I've designed this special bumper sticker that carries her message to a grateful nation!


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 24, 2013 11:06 PM | Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Revenge of the Fly

The fly that launched a thousand photoshops.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 24, 2013 10:05 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Wrong Girl

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 24, 2013 11:34 AM | Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
These Are the Good Old Days

Looking back at 2013.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 23, 2013 3:54 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Smallest Sphere: What Most of the Small Wars of the 21st Century Will Be Fought Over

All the Water on Earth:


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 22, 2013 8:35 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
MLWho Day?: Brain Fade, Denial, or "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn"

It's chill but I've been down the hill looking for a couple of items I don't really need and failing to find them. Fine by me. Back at the house I'm relieved to discover that the postman seems to have had no junk mail to bring me today. Fine by me. The stores are full but traffic seems strangely light.

Later at Ken's, the market up the block and around the corner, I am buying a few modest items for a modest Monday dinner when the checker asks me, "Are you having a nice long weekend?"

Without thinking I reply, "Well, all my weekends are long these days."

"Good for you," she says and then it hits me.

"I'm sorry. Today was a holiday, wasn't it?"

She nods. I try to think of something to say to recover from what must be, to the clueless young, a clear gaffe, but I've got nothing. Since the morning I'd completely forgotten the status of this new holy day in America. I guess I was overwhelmed with the second immaculation taking place somewhere very far off to much more muffled praise than the first immaculation. In addition, being in Seattle you just don't get a lot of notice about MLK regardless of the media's breathless litany of adulation and rotund hosannas of praise. Seattle is, after all, the very whitest city or town I've ever had to endure. That is, however, no excuse -- at least to the ever sensitive and always guilty white folks that yabble and clatter about the town.

Early in the day the holiday was brought to my attention by the always slavish Joshua Rothman at The New Yorker who confidently opined: "Today, on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, a lot of us will be watching King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, on YouTube or elsewhere." A bit later on another page I read a more realistic assessment of the day which went, "We have "progressed" from 'I have a dream...' to 'I have a drone...'." My range of reaction was measured between a muttered "Yeah right" and a rueful but passing smirk.

And then I just forgot about it. Seattle's just too white to pull together a convincing MLK Day parade.

Reflecting on The Day after my grocery store reminder I have to say that I'm sticking with that rueful but passing smirk as I consider the distance we've come since King's speech at the Lincoln Memorial 50 years ago in 1963. Then we struggled, with men like King, to come together as a people, to move beyond our past, to be one nation. Now, under the cynical manipulation and malicious policies of one who would cast himself as the inheritor of the King mantle, we find the current occupent of the White House doing his best, day after day, to drive the races apart once again.

How strange that someone who has attained the presidency in this day and age should not only hate citizens because of the color of their skin and the cut of their bitter and clinging class, but be lauded for it. Stranger still that he should be half-black and be inaugurated on the day set aside to honor Martin Luther King. Once I would have remembered and honored this day and felt we were at last getting beyond race hate in America. When exactly that was I now forget. I guess we've still a reckoning ahead of us.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 21, 2013 6:28 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Don't Give Up

Don't give up. You know it's never been easy.

"November 2012 was not a defeat. It was a loss in a close election that rattled the Democrats by showing just how much of the country had turned on their savior.

It was a rebuke to Obama's mismanagement of the country and the economy over the last four years..... The country did not repudiate us. The majority of Americans did not pledge allegiance to some rotten post-American country. The majority stayed home. And that is damning, but it's also comforting because these are the people we have to win over. They don't believe in Obama, but they don't believe in us either. They don't believe in politics because it isn't relevant to their lives." -- Sultan Knish: Don't Give Up


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 21, 2013 9:20 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Man (1920 – 2013)

"Line drive! Into left field! Hit number three thousand! A run has scored! Musial around first, on his way to second with a double. Holy Cow! He came through!" — Harry Caray's radio play-by-play call of Musial's 3,000th major league hit


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 20, 2013 6:18 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's Will the Circle Be Unbroken?

The titans who made this recording were: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band 1989 (Jeff Hanna,Jimmie Fadden,Bob Carpenter,Jimmy Ibbotson) , Johnny Cash, Roy Acuff, Bruce Hornsby, Paulette Carlson, Michael M.Murphey, Earl Scruggs, Roy Huskey Jr., Randy Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Chris Hillman, Jimmy Martin, Levon Helm, Emmylou Harris, John Hiatt, Roger McGuinn, Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Mark O'connor, Rosanne Cash, Jerry Douglas, Chet Atkins, Marty Stuart, Vassar Clements, the Carter Family.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 20, 2013 12:53 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Off-Whites Only: Laundry in the Age of Obama

Taking the blame for this is Morgan @ House of Eratosthenes

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 18, 2013 2:46 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink

Empty is only the warp of the tapestry,
the portion of pattern, is only the interval,
is solely the silence that shapes our pale music
heard faded when drifting towards day from our dreams;
from that sleep-shaded land where our souls
slake their thirst for the new, for the novel,
and the stone still rolls down the thousand-year cliff
from the first of our dreams, from the red heat of those plains,
from our search for safe shelter, from our consumption of carrion.

Yet if dreams hold an answer, as flowers clasp fog,

they must answer with breath, and, if they answer,

must move among stars, and have their own songs

of the body and blood, and must sing them....


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 17, 2013 2:10 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: "Float On"

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 17, 2013 1:04 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful [Updated]: The Guy with the Train in his Basement

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 14, 2013 2:42 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: The Anthem of Empire State of Mind

Central Park from above like you've never seen it. Big dreams just below like you've never heard them.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 10, 2013 2:33 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Wind Chill


The role of Stone is that of Ice
But seeks a slower sun.
To Synapse, Stealth Invisible,
Concision to the Bone.
The praying hands of branches bared
By Breath, this season's Star,
Implore insensate, arrogant,
As snowflakes to the Fire.
Above the church a fist of smoke
Diminishes the Blooms
Within that Park where prayers revolve
On a Carousel of tombs.

-- Gerard Van der Leun

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 9, 2013 12:42 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Winter? Freezing? Ice? Thin? Who Cares? We're Russian! We Have No Brains!

It cannot be noted or said too often: There is something deeply and seriously wrong with Russians. It goes back centuries and it abides.

Found at Russian Icebreaker - Neatorama


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 9, 2013 11:46 AM | Comments (18)  | QuickLink: Permalink
1910: Car and Nation

[Note: Item received in email this morning.]

This car was assembled on November 11th of 1910. Normally, 1909/1910 style bodies were wooden, but this 1910 style body is partially steel, the only one known; presumably a transition to the use of all steel bodies in 1911. It was originally delivered to R.E. Lawrence in Astoria, IL. Vernon Jarvis of Decatur, IL, purchased the car in 1951 and later displayed it in his Early American Museum at Silver Springs, FL, until in 1967, when the current owner bought it. After 30 years in storage, restoration was completed in March, 2007.

The year is 1910, over one hundred years ago.

The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.

Fuel for this car was sold in drug stores only.

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!

The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.

The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME.

Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!

Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as 'substandard.'

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.

The five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2, Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars.

The population of Las Vegas Nevada was only 30!

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented yet.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write and only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.

There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A.!

I am now going to forward this to someone else without typing it myself.

From there, it will be sent to others all over the WORLD... all in a matter of seconds!

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 8, 2013 11:00 PM | Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Close Encounters of the Redneck Kind

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 8, 2013 10:56 AM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Thoughts of the Low Information Voter

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 6, 2013 12:44 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sunday Sermon: "And I looked and behold, a pale horse. And his name that sat on him was Death. And Hell followed with him."



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 6, 2013 2:34 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Tension and Release: The Applied Hydrodynamics of Water, Rubber, and Gravity

Here at American Digest we are always eager to study the laws of the physical universe extremely closely. For some, slow-motion is a gimmick but for us it is a serious scientific tool.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 5, 2013 2:02 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Greece: Cradle and Grave of Civilization Where the Wages of Socialism is Smog

Socialism, so caring, so "fair," so humanity based, so green... and so wonderful for the environment! Especially when all the parasites run out of money: Smog hits Athens, residents resort to wood-burning for heat

A haze of smoke hangs over the city skyline in Athens, early Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. The cloud is the result of a massive switch to wooden stoves and fireplaces for heating as many households, already hard hit by the economic crisis, can not afford to buy heating oil after the cash-strapped government decided to harmonize taxes on heating oil and diesel fuel, leading to a 40 percent rise in the price of heating oil.
File under "Coming Attractions." Soon to be playing at an Obamaville near you.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 2, 2013 7:39 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
G2E Media GmbH