June 2nd, 2008

Chris Keeley

YSL RIP

The iconic fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent has died at age 71. It is in part because of his influence on modern popular style that pants are now considered fashionable for women:
Originally a maverick and a generator of controversy — in 1968, his suggestion that women wear pants as an everyday uniform was considered revolutionary — Mr. Saint Laurent developed into a more conservative designer, a believer in evolution rather than revolution. He often said that all a woman needed to be fashionable was a pair of pants, a sweater and a raincoat. “My small job as a couturier,” he once said, “is to make clothes that reflect our times. I’m convinced women want to wear pants.”
Another snip from the NYT obit:
“Every man needs aesthetic phantoms in order to exist,” Mr. Saint Laurent said at the announcement of his retirement. “I have known fear and the terrors of solitude. I have known those fair-weather friends we call tranquilizers and drugs. I have known the prison of depression and the confinement of hospital. But one day, I was able to come through all of that, dazzled yet sober.”

Chris Keeley

Update: Palestinian journalist Daoud Kuttab, who, btw, is not a terrorist, has a most informative ed

Update: Palestinian journalist Daoud Kuttab, who, btw, is not a terrorist, has a most informative editorial up today about the history and the cultural significance of the garment for which Ms. Ray's unfortunate paisley scarf was mistaken. Snip:
For the record, the keffiya is not a symbol of either Islam or terrorism and predates Yasser Arafat. The head dress (which comes in white, checkered black or checkered red) came into importance in the early 20th century as part of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans who ruled the Middle East for over four hundred years left a two class system of landlords and peasants. The landlords generally wore a red high hat regularly referred to as a tarbouch or fez. Peasants wore the keffiya as a practical head cover to protect from the hot sun in the daytime and the cold winds at nights.
Chris Keeley

Upon arriving for my freshman orientation at Messiah College in

Daoud Kuttab is an award winning journalist and columnists. His regular articles appeard in the Jordan Times, Jerusalem Post and the Gulf News as well as many other publications.

Upon arriving for my freshman orientation at Messiah College in
Grantham, Pennsylvania back in 1971, I was asked to wear a cardboard
beanie. Having just come from Jerusalem I was rather upset at having
to wear that head covering. The beanie that I was given looked very
much like the kippa that Jewish settlers wear in the occupied
Palestinian territories. I later discovered that there was no
connection between the two head coverings. Since then I have seen
that small rounded item put on the head on different individuals
include the Catholic Pope and the Anglican Bishop.

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Chris Keeley

Jeremy Scahill launches paperback edition of "Blackwater" June 3rd in New York

Jeremy 
  • Jeremy Scahill launches paperback edition of "Blackwater" June 3rd in New York
  • Jeremy Scahill's website and tour schedule 

    AMY GOODMAN: At least three Iraqi witnesses appeared before a federal grand jury last week investigating the killing of seventeen Iraqi civilians in September by Blackwater forces in Baghdad’s Nisour Square. On Wednesday, one of the survivors, an Iraqi lawyer who was shot a number of times in the back, is expected to testify before a Geneva UN human rights panel.

     

    It’s been quite a year for Blackwater. The private military firm went from being a relatively unknown contractor working in Iraq to a household name and the subject of multiple investigations, lawsuits and congressional inquiries. In the meantime, the company continues to reap millions of dollars in profits and was recently awarded a new contract from the State Department.

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  • Chris Keeley

    This distinctive, African-based 5/4 rhythm pattern (which goes bomp-bomp-bomp bomp-bomp) was picked

    Bo Diddley -  This distinctive, African-based 5/4 rhythm pattern (which goes bomp-bomp-bomp bomp-bomp) was picked up by other artists and has been a distinctive and recurring element in rock 'n' roll through the decades," according to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.

    Guitarist George Thorogood, a Diddley disciple, put it more bluntly.

    "[Chuck Berry's] 'Maybellene' is a country song sped up," Thorogood told Rolling Stone in 2005. " 'Johnny B. Goode' is blues sped up. But you listen to 'Bo Diddley,' and you say, 'What in the Jesus is that?' "

    Among the artists who made use of the Bo Diddley beat were Buddy Holly ("Not Fade Away," later covered by the Rolling Stones), Johnny Otis ("Willie and the Hand Jive"), the Yardbirds (covering Diddley's "I'm a Man" and adding their own guitar stylings to the closing bars, which were later incorporated into the Count Five's "Psychotic Reaction"), the Strangeloves ("I Want Candy"), Bruce Springsteen ("She's the One"), U2 ("Desire") and George Michael ("Faith"). Hundreds of artists have covered Diddley songs.

    His debut single was his self-titled 1955 classic, with "I'm a Man" as its B-side. The songs were released on Chicago's Chess-Checker Records label, also the home of Chuck Berry and Willie Dixon.

    "It was the first in a string of groundbreaking sides that walked the fine line between rhythm & blues and rock 'n' roll," his Hall of Fame biography says.

    Diddley was also a pioneer of the electric guitar, tweaking his instruments and adding a variety of effects to his recordings

    Chris Keeley

    Michael Short knows he was wrong to sell crack cocaine, but he questions whether he needed 15 years

    Michael Short knows he was wrong to sell crack cocaine, but he questions whether he needed 15 years in prison to learn his lesson. Now some of the politicians who helped put him there are wondering, too.

    Cracking Open
    Michael Short knows he was wrong to sell crack cocaine, but he questions whether he needed 15 years in prison to learn his lesson. Now some of the politicians who helped put him there are wondering, too.

    By Vanessa M. Gezari
    Sunday, June 1, 2008; W18

     

    ON HIS 18TH DAY OF FREEDOM, Michael Short awakened before dawn. In prison, corrections officers had paced the halls at night, jingling keys and shining flashlights. Now Mike slept fitfully, even in a king-size bed.

    It was a damp, gray Tuesday late in February. He slipped on a pinstriped shirt that hid his tattoos, slid his feet into shiny new loafers and rubbed coconut oil into his hair, cut razor-straight at the temples and flecked with gray. He was 36, with a basketball player's long-legged gait and the lined brow of a man well acquainted with consequences. Standing in front of the bathroom mirror, he nervously knotted a silver-and-white tie that his girlfriend had bought him at Macy's.

    On days like this, he wished the past were a room with a door you could close, a place you could walk away from, as he had walked away from prison after President Bush commuted his sentence. But the past wasn't like that, at least not for him. Over breakfast, he practiced the testimony he was scheduled to deliver that afternoon before a congressional subcommittee: My name is Michael Short. I am here because in 1992 I was sentenced for selling crack cocaine. Before that, I had never spent a day in prison. I came from a good family. I had no criminal history. I was not a violent offender. But I was sentenced to serve nearly 20 years. I was 21 years old.

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    Chris Keeley

    Part 2 Cracked up

    part 2 craked up

    Vanessa and Mike would go to Hains Point or Rock Creek Park and drink Heinekens and talk. Sometimes they would sit in her car in front of his mother's house, listening to the radio and laughing. If he was nervous about going to prison, she never guessed. "I never had no idea that they would give him 1,001 years," she said.

    In the prison visiting room, she was impressed by what she saw. "He started educating himself; he started reading a lot, getting a lot of knowledge," she said. After receiving his management degree, Mike earned his personal trainer certification and completed courses in nutrition and plyometric training.

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    Chris Keeley

    Dallas International Pop Festival (it was held 2 weeks after Woodstock with

    Re: Dallas International Pop Festival (it was held 2 weeks after Woodstock with
    same muscians and I was there - now I'm in NA).

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: richard
    Date: Mon, 02 Jun 2008 16:47:33 +0000
    Subject: Re: Your Festival Web Site
    To: "Dale A."

    Hey, Dale. Sorry about the problems with the "I was there" form. I
    thought I had that fixed. I recently switched hosts, and have had
    problems with the forms ever since.

    I'd like to hear the stories you've got. I'm getting ready to start
    really putting the nose to the grindstone on the book. I've got to get
    all the input and interviews done by Labor Day. There's going to be a
    39th anniversary Texas Pop Revisited this Labor Day at the Texas
    Musicians Museum, in Hillsboro, TX. It's going to be a small one,
    about 2000. Canned Heat, Johnny Winter, Big Brother, The Family Stone,
    James Cotton and Shiva's Headband are going to be there as well as
    some cover bands doing Santana, Led Zeppelin and Janis stuff. I'll be
    there with the bus, and a bunch of the original organizers, artists
    and attendees will be there, too. I know that's a long way from
    Florida and California, but if you're interested, go to
    www.texasmusiciansmuseum.com for more info.

    Yeah, I'd love to get the observations of someone just back from Nam.
    Man, talk about culture shock!

    Peace,
    Richard