January 20, 2018
Art, politics, angels, demons . . . and righteous dogs.

Opening Day

This week I began a new series of editorial videos for Slate.com.  Up till now I have used a production crew to create short films.  This works very well for TV where you can find (if you’re lucky) a budget of some kind.  The web is different.  If I wanted to continue this online, I realized I had to get the costs down.  So finally, after some fuss and education I have gotten the video deal down to the cost of an editorial illustration. Thanks to Bill Smee and everyone at Slate for giving this a go.  Shooting for one a week.  Let’s see what happens. I will put these up as I do them. A big difference between this and print is that success is measured in clicks . . . not only editorial decision preference. So your page-view really helps.  Hope you like.


In honor of opening day, who these ballplayers remind you of?


The Giants’ Brian Wilson?



Manny Ramirez?






Milton Bradley?


Strasburg and zimmerman

Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann?



See the full video at http://www.slatev.com/video/opening-day-meets-2012/

Pinetop Perkins

Gone to his next gig at 97.  Here he is at 95.  Life and art, conjoined in beauty, right up to the end. Way to go Pine.

Inequality in America

My talk with Eduardo Porter, author of The Price of Everything, for Need to Know. (Video brought to you by Goldman Sachs? That cracks me up, but not too much.)

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.



So the Wisconsin GOP finally fixed the Democrats’ wagon.  Without the Democrat state senate members they found a way to bust the public employees unions by passing a bill that took out financial concerns and became a raw grab for party and union-crushing political power.  As if this kind of tactic will go down well in Wisconsin.  Most polls point to a quiescent but still firm pro-union sentiment in that state and in the country.  Scott Walker’s polls are already hitting the skids.  The stories of the immiseration of the middle class will flow and so will Democrats, over time, into these legislative jobs.  The question is . . . what can the majority do with this? Already Walker is a poster boy.  How high and far can it be waved? Can the clear exposure of the GOP agenda wake Democrats up?  Today the Assembly will vote. Sometimes politics can surprise you. This may be one of those times.

Today in the NY Times by Justin Sullivan, Getty





The nuisance of baby seals is once again upon us.  These annoying pests are everywhere, around the northern part of Canada. And you thought that Global Warming would knock them off . . . well, that is working, but not fast enough!  So that’s why the Canadian government is supporting this annual activity where these useless creatures will be decimated by the hundreds of thousands.  How?  With bludgeons among other handy high tech tools. So if you believe in protecting Canada from the baby seal infestation problem do not sign the petition below, put forth by tree-hugging, simpering, weak-kneed liberals no doubt.  Real men kill baby seals.


PS: Ignore this letter from Rebecca Aldworth of the Humane Society International/ Canada:


It hurts to say these words: Hundreds of thousands of harp seal pups are in danger of slaughter here on the ice floes of Eastern Canada in just days.

It’s the largest slaughter of marine mammals on the planet, and the Canadian government — undeterred by seal pups drowning in their melting habitat — has sanctioned even more killing this year.

What can you do right now to help stop this madness? Join the 2011 boycott to save seals.

Why boycott Canadian seafood? Because it works. Canada’s commercial fishing industry hunts baby seals during the off-season, selling fur for a tiny fraction of the industry’s overall profit. Seafood — like snow crabs, cod, and cold water shrimp — make up the lion’s share of their revenue, and in the past 6 years that we’ve refused to support their cruelty, the industry’s bottom line has taken a nose dive.

In 2009, the European Union banned its trade in products of commercial seal slaughters, closing a primary market for Canada’s sealing industry. As shrinking global demand for seal skins have left the fishing industry with fewer incentives to go out on the ice and made a government buyout of sealing licenses more attractive, we’re truly on the verge of a breakthrough for seals.

The end is near — I can feel it. Join the 2011 boycott to save seals and be part of our historic campaign to end this brutal hunt at last.


Rebecca Aldworth
Executive Director
Humane Society International/Canada